The tenth episode of the latest season of NGW’s TV show continued the build to “Team Warfare”.
We still have that out-dated “premiere voiceover”, which you’d have thought someone would have edited out by now. There’s Jody Fleisch doing a shooting star press into the steps too… Unlike last week, we don’t start with a carried-over match, as the usual crowd-panning shot leads us to a tease of the main event of Liam Slater vs Joseph Conners… and an interview from Zack Gibson.
But first, we’re going to the studio and some talking heads. Our “outspoken British wrestling pundits” are Alex Shane and Oli Davis. As usual. Can you tell I’m not a big fan of the commentator getting more air time than some of the wrestlers? After some painful banter, they repeat the main event we were literally just told about in the last minute, and then promise to announce a match for next week.
They throw to a clip from “last season”, where Liam Slater gets kissed by Lillith, which led to Joseph Conner’s Righteous Kill DDT. Apparently that was the “Kiss of Death”. They talk about a promo that Liam Slater had record – but they don’t show it to us yet… instead they just show a clip of him talking, but with very reduced sound. Alex Shane puts over “a totally different Liam Slater”, and if I were a new fan to this, I’d be switching off by now. Call me stupid, but I like my wrestling shows to start with wrestling… or at the very least, something that looks like it’s part of the same show I’d have seen in the arena.
Oli highlights how Liam Slater’s got nobody to back him up, whilst Joseph Conners does. Francesca Wood talks up the future Team Warfare match, and throws to video from two weeks ago of the Pete Dunne/Zack Gibson match. They replay the finish, which switches to a promo with Zack Gibson talking about Pete Dunne.
Gibson puts over Dunne, describing him as one of the best, and continued to complain that he wasn’t allowed to be in the Davey Boy Smith Memorial Cup. They use this as a tease of Zack Gibson agreeing to Richie West’s offer of joining the Control’s team… and this segment would have been so much better in front of a live crowd.
Back to the studio, and they build to the Slater/Conners match, and then the commercial. Eleven minutes, and zero new wrestling… could NGW have not recorded a bunch of filler matches so we at least start with action, rather than content like this that’d have you reaching for either the “off” switch or the fast forward button?
Back from the break, it’s the studio again, and Francesca pitched to another video clip. Kudos to the details there, as Alex Shane had left “to go to ringside” for the main event. The clip is from Dara Diablo vs. Liam Slater from a few weeks ago, and a spot where Diablo accidentally laid out Liam’s brother Dan, en route to Diablo beating Slater. Cue another sit-down promo, as Slater relived this all. Slater feels guilt over his brother getting hurt, but he blames Joseph Conners for it all.
Joseph Conners vs. Liam Slater
With the YouTube video at over 20 minutes, we actually have our match! Liam Slater’s already in the ring… so he got the jobber entrance for the TV main event?!
Slater attacks Conners as he was kneeling in the corner, and Slater took Conners into the opposite turnbuckles to stomp away. Conners gets his head rammed into the turnbuckles, then takes a back body drop as the “Righteous” one’s still wearing his ring jacket.
A series of leaping forearms takes Conners down, but he tosses Slater onto the apron, who climbs back in and knocks Conners down with a right hand then some uppercuts. Conners keeps missing with shots in the corner, before being backdropped onto the apron and then dropkicked to the floor. On the outside, Slater gets a kick to the midsection, then gets rammed into the apron as they cut to a commercial.
Another “don’t try this at home” warning airs, and we’re back…
Conners throws Slater head first into the lighting rig, but Slater fires back by throwing Conners into the ring, and Lillith grabs hold of Slater as she “fixes him in a trance”. This time, he stops acting like he’s never seen a woman before and moves out of the way to avoid a baseball slide dropkick from Conners, and throws Conners back into the ring.
Slater lands an European uppercut in the ropes, but his dropkick is caught and turned into a slingshot into the corner. Slater lands on the middle rope and returns with a double axehandle smash. A double underhook suplex followed, but Conners dumped Slater out of the ring in an atomic drop, but with the floor acting as a knee instead.
The camera focuses on Lillith standing near Slater, as Conners jumps outside with another axehandle smash, then throws Slater back into the ring. Conners lifts up Slater for a back suplex, and gets a two-count from it, before a hanging vertical suplex sees Conners follow up with a legdrop and get just a one-count.
Conners works a neck crank on a grounded Slater, before he flips out of a back suplex and ends up connecting with a pair of double clotheslines, as both men crash to the mat. Slater snaps and unloads on Conners in the corner with some strikes, then lands a pair of running back elbows, before he misses a third, and then drops him with a full nelson facebuster.
Slater waits for Conners to get back to his feet, but Conners backs out of a Fireman’s carry, before a second Fireman’s carry leads to a Snake Eyes in the corner, then a back suplex for a near-fall. They exchange some near-falls, before Conners shoves Slater out of the corner, as a double-stomp gets Conners a near-fall.
Slater avoids a crucifix powerbomb and lights up Conners with half a dozen European uppercuts, before flipping out of a backslide, and into a crucifix buckle bomb. Slater pops back with a clothesline off the ropes, then a missile dropkick and a crossbody off the top rope, but Slater’s visual pin is ignored as the referee remonstrates with Lillith on the apron.
After turning around, and even making a fast count to make up for his flub, the referee ejects Lillith from ringside, as we cut to an overhead view that showed someone taking a position by the guard rails as Lillith made her way to the back. Slater waved goodbye to Lillith, and turned around into a Righteous Kill DDT from Conners… and kicked out just before three.
That was apparently the first time anyone kicked out of that move in NGW, and of course, it’s time for a commercial break. Another “don’t try this at home” warning, and we’re back as Slater gets taken to the corner as Conners continues to berate him. Conners follows with the mounted punches, but Slater escaped and ended up getting dumped back on the top rope.
Slater tried to fight out of the superplex, and headbutted Conners to the mat, before missing a senton bomb off the top. That led Conners to set up for a package version of the Righteous Kill DDT, and that was enough for the win. A pretty good match, telling a nice story of Slater trying (in vain) to beat Conners, but I cannot overstate how much I hate referees being made to look like fools with those “oh, I can’t count because someone’s standing on the apron” distraction spots. ***½
Post-match, Joseph Conners sarcastically claps Slater in the aisle, and we’re going back to the studio where Francesca Wood announces the main event for next week: Bubblegum defending the NGW GenX title against Matt Myers. We get a clip from several weeks ago of “Wild Boar” Mike Hitchman hitting Myers with the Trapper Keeper package piledriver, but some backfired distraction led to Myers kicking out. Yep, we get another patronising bit of commentary as Shane proclaimed “I’ve never seen anyone ever in wrestling kick out of that move”…
The Boar’s pulled off of Myers by referee Steve Lynskey, and Boar puts his hands on the ref… but there’s no disqualification for some reason, as Myers instead lands a Stone Cold Stunner for the win. That apparently gave Myers the title shot, and we have a sit-down interview with him talking about how he’d come close to beating Bubblegum for the title earlier in the year, only for the 10 minute time limit to beat him.
Alex Shane has morphed back into the studio to hear the announcement of next week’s main event… and we wrap up by recapping yet again about the one match we saw this week.
As a TV show, this was horrendously paced. I get that this whole product is put together for novice fans, but you would expect there to be some learning curve, as opposed to every episode reliving everything for new fans. Yes, I’m new to the NGW product, and yes, I appreciate the flashbacks, but there’s still a lot about this format that troubles me. Assuming I was sitting down to watch this on a Saturday afternoon, without the benefit of fast-forwarding through the YouTube video (or even being able to fast-forward a recorded version of it), would this have held my interest for long enough to get to the start of the match at around 25 minutes past the hour?
Probably not – but then again, if this is the format they’ve stuck with for three seasons, it’s got to be attracting and holding an audience. For a TV show that’s turning live events into TV shows, I understand why they’re not recording “filler” matches (as that’d make a long night even longer), but the current halfway house they’re using to pad for time is very hit-and-miss when it comes to the flow of the show.