Time for a trip to Manchester again, as CATCH present a North West Strong Clash.
We’re coming from the Bread Shed in Manchester for a featured non-tournament match from… two days ago, actually. Helluva turnaround.
Ethan Allen vs. Chris Ridgeway
Starting with a lock-up, Ridgeway’s taken into the corner… before he bullied Allen through the ropes in a different corner.
Grabbing the wrist, Ridgeway armdrags Allen to the mat, quickly following with a hammerlock as Ethan got to the ropes for a break. A headlock takedown’s quickly escaped, so Allen tries again but with similar results as the pair then looked to try their luck with leglocks. Allen looked to edge ahead, but Ridgeway pulled him down as the ropes forced a quick break… with Ridgeway taking his time to let go. A front facelock from Allen ends in the ropes as Ridgeway sent the pair there, but the crowd seemed to get behind Allen in the student/teacher battle. Ridgeway lunges to the ropes as a rear naked choke was put on him, but Allen chops on the break… and gets hit back as a series of Kitchen sink knees winded the young gun.
Ridgeway keeps the pressure on with a floatover suplex and some more kicks as Allen had to cover up into the ropes for some respite. Back in the ring, Ridgeway ties both of Allen’s arms behind his back as he looked for a submission, but to no avail, despite making Allen look like the early stages of a human pretzel. Allen gets to his feet, but is quickly keeled over by a gut shot, before he was forced to elbow out of a side headlock… which just earned him another stiff kick as Ridgeway was bullying his mentee. More kicks keep Allen on the deck, but the cocky cover from a kneeling Ridgeway doesn’t even get a one-count, as something stirred within Allen, prompting a fightback amid elbow strikes… with a back elbow off the ropes taking Ridgeway down.
A slam eventually followed, despite Ridgeway’s struggles, as Allen then returned the favour for those earlier kicks as he laid in. Elbows and kicks continue to give Ridgeway a taste of his own medicine , before some crossface punches led to Allen getting slapped as Ridgeway fought back from the ground. Things get nastier with some springboard stomps in the ropes, while Allen charged in with knees to the ribs as a set up for a butterfly suplex for a near-fall. Allen tries to pull Ridgeway in for an Allen slam, but Ridgeway escaped and manages to find room to kick him in the back. It sent Ethan onto the apron… but Ridgeway joined him there, teasing a German suplex, eventually getting it after kneeing Allen in the back! Rolling Allen back inside, Ridgeway hits a PK for a two-count, before Allen found a way back in with a clothesline and some front kicks in the corner.
Ridgeway’s rocked, but still manages to break a rear naked choke with an armbreaker… before Allen just reapplied it and dragged Ridgeway to the mat. An Allen Slam finally lands for a near-fall as Ridgeway wouldn’t stay down… so Allen grabs Ridgeway’s wrist to keep him in place for a series of kicks. Except Ridgeway gets back on top and quickly blitzes Allen with kicks, as a brainbuster ALMOST got the win… which just got the crowd fired up behind Allen some more. Allen shrugs off Ridgeway’s next set of kicks, but he’s quickly swept down for another PK, which looked to hit the back of the net. Allen has one more fightback, yanking down Ridgeway by the heel as a Euro clutch looked to get the win, but Ridgeway smothers him back down before the pair struggled over a crossface. It’s Ridgeway who gets it, with some crossface punches softening up Allen… who rolled free for some pinning attempts, only for Ridgeway to return the favour as the ropes saved Allen momentarily. In the end though, Ridgeway gets up and hits one more big PK, and that’s all folks as the teacher defeated the student.
These two left it all out there, and put on a nasty, aggressive match that the North West Strong lads are quickly becoming renowned for. Britwres is clearly rebuilding, but if you like mat-based work and hard hits, this ought to be on your list as the Young Guns continue to build their CVs.
Result: Chris Ridgeway pinned Ethan Allen in 22:14 (***¾)