The Anti-Fun Police defended their IPW tag titles on the latest go round of IPW TV – on another jam-packed show…

We’ve no sit-down promo to start, as Ricky Slatter opens the show from Unit Nine in Milton Keynes, running down the show ahead of the still-absurdly-long titles.

Ben Basden vs. Maverick Mayhew
Basden’s one of IPW’s recent trainees who is being hedged down a MMA-like gimmick. He did pretty well in the recent junior heavyweight title tournament, but he started by losing a wristlock as mayhew caught him with a dropkick.

Basden offers Mayhew his guard, but instead catches him with kicks before he pulled down a leapfrog and looked to grab an ankle lock. More kicks keep Mayhew on the mat, before Basden worked over the arm, wrenching away and stomping on the elbow. Chops break out between the two as Maverick tried to guide the match his way… but an enziguiri is only good enough for Mayhew to land a near-fall.

A brainbuster’s next, but again… a two-count is all Mayhew can get, and when he tried to finish off Basden with a senton bomb, he’s caught on the landing in a cross armbar for the finish. Another win keeps the momentum going under Basden, who get into it with the crowd after, but right now it’s very much a work in progress gimmick. **¼

They replay clips of David Starr’s loss to Rob Sharpe in the top contender’s match a few weeks back… then David Starr’s attack on Sharpe before he could have his title match last week.

After commercials, there’s a sit-down promo with Dr. Phoenix – the former Luke Phoenix – who tells us about his time off wrestling with injury. Another injury forced him to the sidelines recently, but he’s back and because the fans weren’t around during his injuries, we’re getting to see a more sinister man in Dr. Phoenix – the world’s best wrestler. That sounds like a video game title… Anyway, Phoenix isn’t happy that he wasn’t included in the junior heavyweight title tournament, or that the title’s gone to NOAH’s Daisuke Harada, and he’s going to be the man to bring the title back. Or so he reckons.

David Starr vs. Cieran Donnelly
While Starr’s moaning about the ring announcer skipping a nickname, poor Cieran doesn’t even get a name plate. Remember when he was part of DND? Heck, I’d settle for even a vignette to show us what “Hold Tight TV” is, rather than it just being a throwaway one-liner…

The crowd throws “jobber” chants at Donnelly, so Starr’s probably going to take him lightly. At least until Donnelly tried to charge at him, only for Starr to wipe him out with a cartwheel kick and a series of chops that left Donnelly down in the corner for the sliding splash.

Donnelly looks to fight back with some right hands, before a backfist rocked Starr… except a missed knee drop left the door open for a brutal Blackheart Buster from Starr, who looked to wind up for a Han Stansen, only for Rob Sharpe to appear, chair in hand. Rob just wants to sit and watch, and he’s not watching for long as Donnelly rolled up Starr for the upset win. Well, there’s something else for Starr to rightfully moan about… **½

Post-match, Rob Sharpe got the mic and challenged Starr to another top contender’s match next week. Of course Starr accepted….

There’s a backstage promo with Chief Deputy Dunne and Los Federales Santos Jr., and my word, it’s like they scraped all of the paint off of the old IPW:UK tag titles. Santos is coming back off the injury list, and they want to make 2019 the year they show why they’re around.

After a break, David Starr’s got a sit-down promo, addressing the situation with Rob Sharpe, albeit from his skewed perspective. Given the match barely happened (in the TV universe), its odd we’re getting the promo now rather than next week.

IPW Tag Team Championship: Team Storm (Jonny Storm & Andreas Corr) vs. Anti-Fun Police (Chief Deputy Dunne & Los Federales Santos Jr.) (c)
Team Storm had Jay Garner and Ashley Dunn hanging out at ringside, while the Anti-Fun Police brought out Cadet Lil’ Joe Nelson with them.

Santos starts out with an enziguiri and a cartwheel to Corr at the bell, but his injured foot instantly caused him problems as he hobbled… and tagged out to Dunne, who made a cover and was tagged back out. Santos can’t do much as his foot is held by Dunn and Garner, which provided a distraction as Corr and Storm prepared for a chop block to Santos’ ankle. All of the hangers on are ejected in the opening minute, so we’re down to the regulation two-on-two.

Storm’s in to stomp on Santos’ ankle some more, before he raked Santos’ eyes through the mask. It’s very methodical, old-school stuff as Santos is left on the mat, with Corr tagging in to the tune of “tiny Rusev” chants. A spinning heel kick from Santos gets him through, but he has to shove away Storm before a tag’s made to Dunne, who catches Storm with a 999 in the corner. A cutter’s next to Storm, before Corr’s tripped into the ropes for another 999…

…but Corr cuts him off with a spinebuster for a near-fall! Santos is back in to slam Storm, but Jonny slips out and shoves Santos into the ref. That’s the cue for the Bone Brothers to hit the ring and pounce on Santos, as Nelson, Dunn and Garner came out to join in. An Orihara moonsault from Nelson to the floor plays its part in clearing out the troops, before Santos looked for a dive… only for Garner to throw some powder at Santos. One belt shot from Dunn later, and Storm hits a very loose approximation of a Stretch Muffler to force Santos to tap out. Well, on paper, Santos injuring his ankle worked into the long-term storyline, but I’d like to know more about how and why Jonny Storm has managed to build such a group. Given how quickly we were rushed to the break, I doubt we’ll get it. **¾

PAC will be on IPW TV in three weeks time…

Dr. Phoenix vs. James Castle
Phoenix came out in a lab coat and apron that came straight out of the Frankenstein movies. Is he the engineer of excellence or a doctor that moonlights as a butcher??

The opening exchanges here saw Phoenix get frustrated a little by Castle, so he comes back in by working over Castle’s arm, before Castle tried to walk off a chop. A running kick and a low dropkick catch Phoenix unawares, with a double knee drop catching Phoenix in the lower back for a near-fall.

Phoenix manages to find a way back in with a lungblower for a two-count, before the Doctor just stomped on the shoulder and neck muscles as he tried to neutralise Castle. A modified Axel Dieter Special pulls Castle back by the ropes, but a rope break’s quickly called for, before a strike battle’s quickly snuffed out by some palm strikes from Castle.

Castle nearly snatches a win with a Michinoku driver, then again with a brainbuster, before a Saito suplex and a Code Red from Phoenix led to a pair of near-falls for himself. Phoenix tries to follow up with a Muta Lock, which he eventually locks in before Castle elbowed free, before he ran in with a Nail Bomb diving knee for the win. A decent main event, but once again, the Milton Keynes crowd were rather muted for this one. **¾

The show ends with Ben Basden staring down James Castle from the stage – and what should have been a tense moment just fades away.

While there’s nothing strictly wrong with these shows, I can’t help but get the feeling that IPW’s trying to do to much with the time they have. Since nothing’s being built to (I mean, these shows tease upcoming dates, but they don’t explicitly build to matches on future IPW events), there’s really no need to make these episodes four-matches-a-show – while packing in recaps AND character-building/scene-setting promos. It just makes everything seem rushed and lack impact. Kinda like those golden days of TNA where everything was “to the back”….