IPW:UK made their live debut on FloSlam tonight… for a show that had its challenges going in and finished with a bizarre main event.
“Supershow 6” was forced to make some changes late in the day after WWE pulled Pete Dunne and Joseph Conners from the show. Conners would be replaced by Adam Maxted in the main event’s 8-man tag, whilst Dunne would be moved to a pre-show match instead… with his replacement against Matt Riddle being Ryan Smile.
This is the first time we’d seen anything live via FloSlam, so let’s see how things hold up. The last iPPV we watched out of England was riddled with technical bugs. Would the Casino Rooms in Rochester have good enough internet? By the end, the answer was: yes!
Dean Ayass is on commentary again – and we start with a to-camera piece running down the card, including Team Sammy vs. Jimmy Havoc’s army.
#CCK (Chris Brookes & Kid Lykos) vs. Project Lucha (El Ligero & Martin Kirby)
#CCK jumpstart their opponents at the bell, but Ligero and Kirby knock down Brookes as he’s forced to tag out to Lykos who’s quickly flattened with a pair of dropkicks.
Brookes trips Ligero eventually as Lykos lands a back senton, before Brookes works away on the horns of Ligero’s mask. Sadly, Brookes tags out and Lykos is quickly overwhelmed by the more experienced pairing, as his head gets rammed into the top turnbuckles. An attempted save from Brookes goes awry as Kirby lands a legdrop for a near-fall.
Brookes blind tags in as he lifts up Lykos for an assisted lungblower then a back senton for a near-fall, which leads to Kirby getting a wet willie! Kirby ended up on the back foot for a while here, before Lykos called for… and failed with a brainbuster. Kirby hits back, and blocks a second brainbuster, instead landing a suplex to Lykos instead.
Ligero and Brookes tag in, and Ligero lands a Code Red for a near-fall, before Brookes blocked a C4L. A trip from Lykos ends up with my favourite trope (sarcasm), as Ligero made Brookes piledrive Lykos for a near-fall, before Kirby’s victory roll slam gets another near-fall. A Hart Attack-like splash gets a near-fall as Brookes breaks things up, with a Michinoku driver getting a near-fall for the Calamari Catch King.
An assisted swinging suplex almost gets it as Ligero breaks up the cover, before Kirby’s caught in a Gory Special… which he reverses into a backslide for a near-fall. Ligero and Kirby come in, and an assisted Shiranui knocks down Brooks, but the big lad recovers as the Ink Bomb (Gory Special met with a Blockbuster) gets the win. Impressive stuff from #CCK, who continue to impress around the UK. ***¼
Technical moan – fade out your lower thirds all the way guys!
Matt Riddle vs. Ryan Smile
Brandon Tolle from the WWN is refereeing here, and it’s not hard to believe this is the first match between these guys. Smile’s taken to the corner from the off, before he returns the favour, as they work waistlocks.
Riddle gets a hammerlock as Smile backs him into the corner, before Riddle takes down Smile with a Bromission, but they’re in the ropes so it’s broken up quickly. A bicycle knee sends Smile down, before a German suplex keeps the “All Day Star” down after he’d tried for a PK on Riddle.
An exploder suplex keeps Smile at bay, and this is pretty one sided right now! Riddle lands a leaping forearm, but Smile fires back briefly as they trade Yakuza kicks and leaping forearms. Smile continues with an Arabian moonsault to the floor as Riddle’s met with a diving tope con hilo over the ringposts from Smile.
Smile’s comeback ends with the Smile High frog splash, but Riddle moves away and tries for a bicycle knee, instead eating an OsCutter. A double stomp lands for a near-fall from Smile, who then replies with some boots to a kneeling Riddle, which just winds up the former UFC fighter. They go back and forth until an overhead kick takes down Smile, before a jumping tombstone collects a near-fall.
All that’s left for Riddle is the Bromission – but Smile rolls out and gets rolled up for a near-fall. They trade open handed slaps, before Smile just headbutts Riddle. Another knee rocks Smile as a Bro To Sleep collects another near-fall, before a Fisherman Buster is blocked, with Smile catching a sleeperhold instead, but Riddle works free and catches another Bromission as Smile’s forced to tap. Another fun outing – especially in defeat from Smile, who’s really making the most of his chances to impress. ***½
After this match, they pitch to ring announcer Chris Hatch with an announcement on future FloSlam cards – they’re next live on March 19, with Drew Galloway, plus DND vs. Kings of the North. Sadly, that barely got a reaction…
War Machine (Hanson & Rowe) vs. London Riots (James Davis & Rob Lynch)
The Riots lost their tag titles on a non-FloSlam show, and we start with some headbutts from the Riots – and yes, this is the hard hitting battle you fully expected going in.
Rowe accidentally drops Hanson with a knee, and its Hanson who takes a lot of double teaming, ending with a back senton from Davis early on. We get a comeback from Rowe, who charges Davis into the corner, and he’s kept there for a while as Rowe and Hanson take their shots. A diving crossbody from Hanson gets a near-fall, but Davis finally tags out to Lynch, who clears house with big boots and overhead belly to bellies.
A pop-up spear gets a near-fall as my feed glitches and jumps ahead, where we see a caught tope from Davis, but Lynch’s tope con hilo into Davis sends everyone down! Hanson clubs away on the Riots, before Rowe slams Hanson onto Lynch, before Davis makes the save with a cannonball off the apron to the War Beard.
Back in the ring, Rowe eats a double spinebuster for a near-fall, and then we slow things down with a cravat from James Davis. There’s something you didn’t expect here! Lynch clubs away on Rowe with forearms for a spell, as the Riots take over with a rope-hung back senton onto Rowe. That gets Davis a near-fall, but Rowe manages to get a uranage out of desperation to leave both men down.
Hanson finally gets tagged in and he goes to work on the Riots with kicks, before he lands a series of what I affectionately call “Forever clotheslines” to both of the cornered Riots. A seated senton and a Bronco buster keeps the Riots at bay, before the Fallout forces Lynch to kick out at two.
They look to go for it again, but Lynch cuts it off as he ends up taking a cartwheel clothesline from Hanson. Davis gets the Emerald Fusion on Hanson, but he can’t make the cover as Rowe gets a judo throw and a knee strike as all four men are laid out. We resume with more strikes between Lynch and Rowe, eventually ending with a District Line powerbomb for a near-fall.
Hanson catches a crossbody from Davis, who’s then dropped over Rowe’s knee with a death valley driver, as a powerbomb and a big splash send Davis to the outside. In comes Lynch for another powerbomb, but he blocks it and lands some forearms before a slam from Hanson gets a near-fall from Rowe – as Hanson’s tope takes out Davis on the floor.
The Fallout follows from there – the back suplex and a legdrop – but Davis makes the save at the count of two, before a cartwheel clothesline from Hanson is missed as he’s sent flying with a double shoulder tackle. From there, Rowe’s left to take the District Line, then the pop-up spear and the Riots pile on him for the win. A good, hard-hitting match, but this crowd didn’t seem to get into it until late on. ***½
We’ve got an intermission now, so they fill the time with Zack Gibson vs. EC3 from an IPW show at Brixton last year. We’ll skip this one to get a snack, since I don’t think it’ll be in the on-demand. At least that’ll mean that bits of the intermission raffle will be edited out, since this massively bled into the end of the EC3 promo at the end of that match.
10,000 Cuban Peso Challenge: Cuban Heat vs. Jack Sexsmith
This is Jack’s first match in IPW:UK since last May, and the rules on this: if you last ten minutes with or beat Cuban Heat, you get those 10,000 Pesos. Which is either £300 or £8k, depending on which Peso it is…
All mind games early, with a “missionary” pin from Jack for a near-fall early on, before he scores a near-fall from another roll up out of the ropes. Cuban Heat tries for a roll-up, but he just ends up grabbing Jack’s junk. Sexsmith goes up and hits a cannonball into Cuban Heat and Big T on the floor, before he pulls off a slam on Cuban back inside.
Cuban crotches Jack after a distraction from the “Banker” Marc Loyd, and that leads to an X-Factor for a near-fall. Sexsmith is choked on in the corner, before a suplex gets Heat another two-count. Another suplex sees Jack turn it into a small package, but from a near-fall Cuban gets a clothesline as they go back and forth.
Atomic and inverted atomic drops follow from Jack, who then lands a spinning neckbreaker, before he misses a hip attack in the corner. A knee to the head and a DDT sees Jack stay on top, and out comes Mr Cocko… but Big T comes in with the briefcase and Jack takes it to the head. That’s knocked out Sexsmith, and that leaves Cuban Heat to apply the Super-Mang stretch before the ref called it off. It was what it was – a decent match with the requisite interference. **¾
After the match, they continue to beat down on Jack, with Big T hitting a spinebuster to leave Jack laying.
Marty Scurll vs. John Morrison
Or Lucha Underground’s Johnny Mundo, if you’re not feeling like baiting Jerry McDevitt…
Yes, the ROH TV title’s on FloSlam, which I’m sure some people in Sinclair Towers will be thrilled at! They start by taking each other into the corners, before John Morrison break dances… which prompts Scurll to threaten to leave the match.
Ground-based grappling starts us off, before Morrison scores a Russian legsweep and a spinning break-dance-y legdrop for a near-fall. That doesn’t help as Scurll chops back, before an arm whip gets him out of a suplex. They go outside as Scurll superkicks Morrison’s head off the apron, before the fans scatter as Scurll threatened to throw JoMo into them. See, this crowd gets it, eh WCPW mob?
Another chop misses as Morrison gets his way back into things, but Scurll works over Morrison’s left arm with wristlocks and scissors. Scurll grounds Morrison with a hammerlock, before more chops in the corner keep things moving along swiftly. Morrison slides out of the ring and comes back with a double springboard leg lariat to the Villain, before another one from the mat sets up for a standing shooting star press for a near-fall.
After a flipping neckbreaker, Morrison goes up top… but he’s stopped as Scurll lands an uppercut, which helps set-up for a superplex attempt. Morrison fights free, then misses a 450 Splash as Scurll fights back with superkicks to the head, before a piledriver gets a near-fall. They go back and forth for a spell, with a Just Kidding superkick interspersing things, until a brainbuster from Scurll taking down the Lucha Underground star.
Sensing that Morrison was prone, Scurll started to stalk and set-up for the chicken wing, but Morrison just hits an enziguiri to cut it off. Scurll snaps away at Morrison’s finger, but JoMo comes back with a jack-knife roll-up for a near-fall, before a Starship Pain misses. From there, Scurll leaps in with a chicken wing, and Morrison’s forced to tap out. Really good work, with Scurll adapting his work to fit around a, shall we say, less than boistrous crowd. ***½
IPW:UK Women’s Championship: Ruby Summers vs. Amazon (c)
An unadvertised semi-main event here, as Amazon/Ayesha Ray defended against a debuting Ruby Summers.
Amazon uses her power to shove down Ruby, who tries for a German suplex, and that goes as well as you’d expect. A fallaway slam takes Ruby across the ring, and this is all one-way. Summers finally sidesteps a charge in the corner, and she makes a comeback with some charging forearms, before a missile dropkick off the middle rope takes Amazon to a knee!
A DDT gets the Amazon down for a two-count, but it’s only a matter of time as the predicted extended squash ended with a choke bomb. It was what it was given the size differences. *¾
It’s main event time now, the four-on-four armed war. It’s a War Games-style match, without a cage, and everyone’s allowed to bring a weapon.
Armed Warfare: Jimmy Havoc’s Army (Zack Sabre Jr, Jimmy Havoc, Adam Maxted & Tennnesee Honey) vs. Team Sammy (Danny Duggan, Cieran Donnelly, Scott Star & Sammy Smooth)
We start with Sabre – who brought a copy of the Observer newspaper (not Meltzer’s sheet), and Danny Duggan, who brought a cricket bat from the London Riots.
The newspaper doesn’t go well, so they start with trading shoulder tackles before black-trunked Sabre chops away on Duggan with kicks. Duggan tries to suplex Sabre, but it’s turned into a guillotine choke, but Duggan reverses the reversal and finishes off that suplex for a two-count.
Duggan powerbombs free of a Sabre triangle choke, but Zack replies with an Octopus hold, before Jimmy Havoc comes out, with a rather staid steel chair. Regardless, Duggan lands a leg lariat and an atomic drop on Havoc, before a PK from Sabre knocks him down. That chair’s thrown at a cornered Duggan, before Sabre puts on a Boston crab as Havoc has a breather.
Havoc then locks in an Arabian clutch as Sabre reads the Observer – not finding ROH contract scoops in there – and as time runs out, out comes Cieran Donnelly to even things up with a table! Havoc gets rid of the table immediately, but Donnelly’s a house of fire, as DND manage to drop Sabre with a leaping neckbreaker. Donnelly throws Havoc into a chair for a near-fall, and they’re shaving the time between entrants already here.
Things turn around again as Havoc and Sabre wear down DND, but Donnelly catches a chair and returns it back to Havoc as the chair’s used to break up a pinfall attempt. The fifth man out is Adam Maxted with a chair for Havoc’s team. He catches a plancha from Donnelly, but nonchalantly posts him before Duggan takes a spinebuster.
A clothesline takes down Donnelly, as does a hanging suplex, before Maxted uses the chain to choke away at Donnelly in a chinlock. Connelly’s sent flying with a fallaway slam, before he goes for that chain yet again right as the odds even up with Scott Star makes his entrance with the title belt being his weapon. Maxted is quickly eliminated via a Wrecking Ball senton from Star, and for once, the babyfaces have the advantage here!
Havoc tries for an Acid Rainmaker, but he just takes a superkick and a superman punch from DND, as does Sabre, but Havoc throws a chair into Scott Star as he was ready to go airborne. Instead, DND hit the High Tension (superkick suplex), but Havoc breaks up the count on Sabre.
The heel team is completed with the arrival of Tennessee Honey, who’s brought a stick with her – and as she makes her way to the ring, DND get eliminated via a pair of schoolboys. Poor Scott Star, he’s left in there 3-on-1 against the heels, as Honey uses the stick on a restrained Star in the corner.
Havoc accidentally drops Honey with a rolling forearm, before Star pins Sabre out of nowhere, before Honey gets eliminated with a schoolboy! It’s Havoc against Star and (eventually) Sammy Smooth, but first Havoc whacks Star in the groin with the cricket bat, just as Smooth makes his entrance with a golf club.
Smooth looks to swipe Havoc with a golf club, but he turns the club and whacks Star with it… then gives him a headlock driver as Havoc scores the pin, before he lays down for Havoc and there’s our rushed finish. Jimmy Havoc wins as the sole survivor. This was a weird one; it felt like the eliminations at the end came way too close together to mean anything, but the goal seemed to be for Smooth to turn heel rather than have a main event. **
After the match, Smooth sets up a table and gets the microphone to berate the crowd. Apparently Smooth’s still bitter after losing the All England title to Star a while back. The crowd chanted “you sold out”, but Havoc quickly noted that he wasn’t paying Smooth. After calling himself a winner, Smooth picks up Star and dumps him through the table outside as the show came to an end. Form live reports, this was apparently IPW:UK’s version of John Cena turning heel, with upset fans screaming… but without that emotional investment, it just felt rushed.
What Worked: No technical issues on a live indie iPPV. From the UK, no less. Massive thumbs up to IPW:UK and FloSlam for pulling that off! A lot of this card had good wrestling, and I’d dare say up until the final two matches, this was a hell of a solid show. A good debut from #CCK sets up a run with DND later down the line I’d suspect, whilst Ryan Smile looked good as a late fill-in.
What Didn’t: That main event was very weird. Not to say it didn’t work as planned, it felt a little too WCW-y for my tastes. Building up a main event, but having it be pure storyline is a good way to get people to come back if they’re invested in the storyline… but for new fans via FloSlam… I’m not so sure.
Thumbs: Up. Until the end. As a new fan, it certainly seemed like there was only one major storyline in play (two, if you want to count Cuban Heat), and that may not be enough to keep those new Flo fans.