It’s been three months, but they’re back – NGW returned for a new series of British Wrestling Weekly.
Since NGW’s been gone, another promotion has come to the fore using the same commentary team, sometimes-the-same ring announcer, and perhaps other items as well.
The show opens with a Don’t Try This At Home warning, and a long recap of what happened in the Team Warfare match at the end of season 3. After three minutes of that, we’ve got our usual shot of Stevie Aaron gee-ing up the crowd, and the news from Dave Bradshaw that NGW has a new “Executive Producer”, in the form of Mark Labbett. For those outside of the UK, he’s a TV personality famous for his role as a Chaser on the quiz show “The Chase”. Let’s see how much influence he has on-screen…
We have a tag match tonight between The Proven and the pairing of El Ligero & Liam Slater. They build to that with a recap of last season with the debut of an unnamed man spraying Slater with mist, before the mystery man and Joseph Conners tried to saw Ligero in half with a chain. The promo from Liam Slater that follows tells us that the mystery man is called Screwface – gotta love those low-key namings! Slater reckons he was blinded for two weeks because of that mist (and since NGW’s been off air, this is one story that was really easy to stick to!)
Slater threatens retribution against Screwface, and again against Joseph Conners after claiming that his friends and family have deserted him. Eventually we go to Caz Crash, who reckons that the departure of the Control means that the Proven have a new chance to shine. After Slater tells us that he’s compared to the Proven because they’re all trainees of NGW’s, he tells us that he bleeds green. Is that because he had too much of that mist?
After ten minutes of recaps and promos, we go to a break, returning with another Don’t Try This At Home advert, and another promo, this time with Joe Coffey. There’s footage from WCPW here, because why not? Coffey’s apparently been invited into the Davey Boy Smith Cup Tournament II. Ah, I forgot how long-winded that tournament’s name was. Coffey recaps his memories of watching the British Bulldog growing up, and we get a graphic showing us that Coffey will take on Dave Mastiff next week. That should be good.
For those who want to look for spoilers, this show (and I suspect a lot of this season) was taped at the NGW “Regeneration-X” show on September 10th, 2016.
The Proven (Caz Crash & Sam Wilder) vs. El Ligero & Liam Slater
During the introductions, Alex Shane on commentary mentioned that the new executive producer for NGW, Mark Labbett, wanted a renewed focus on the tag team division in NGW. Considering the Regeneration-X show only had two tag matches on, I call b.s. on that! Slater worked a headlock on Crash, but it gets reversed as the pair exchanged holds, with Slater blocking a snapmare before they stood off… and we go to another commercial break.
But that commercial break was a chance for us to get an interview with Gilligan Gordon – recapping how he debuted the Wild Boar in NGW last year. Boar’s apparently in a ladder match for the Gen-X title later on this season, but Gordon’s looking to give another of his charges some success, in the form of Dave Mastiff. Yep, it’s a plug for Coffey vs. Mastiff next week. Did this need to be in the middle of a tag match?
After commercial, we return as Caz Crash tagged out to Sam Wilder, whilst El Ligero came into the fray. Plenty of back and forth counters as Wilder blocked an O’Conor roll before the pair went for dropkicks at the same time en route to another stand-off. Wilder gets worked over by Ligero and Slater, who gets just a one-count out of a low crossbody, before firing into Crash with some roll-ups for near-falls.
Ligero gets another one-count from a dropkick to a seated Crash, who replied with an elbow and a boot to Ligero before Wilder came in to keep up the offence. Conveniently as Alex Shane was rattling on about how Richie West would no longer be able to appear on-screen after The Control lost that Team Warfare match, guess who appeared? West walked down to ringside as Crash wore down Ligero with a rear chinlock, isolating him as far away from Slater in the other corner.
Another chinlock keeps Ligero down, but after he fought out, West grabbed Ligero’s leg in the ropes. Slater finally made the hot tag, grounding Crash before getting a two-count after he’d turned a knuckle-lock into a suplex. Crash sidesteps a corner charge from Slater and replies with a neckbreaker, before both men make tags out, as Ligero gets floored by a series of elbows from Wilder.
Slater gets thrown into Ligero, who then accidentally DDT’s his own man as Wilder hit a babyface-ish comeback, before a deadlift brainbuster saw Wilder get a near-fall. Ligero takes a knee off the apron from Wilder, before Crash’s tope knocked him loopy… and yeah, they’re starting to turn the Proven babyface. Crash hits an Ace crusher, before Slater broke up a bridging German suplex from Wilder. Wilder then throws Ligero out of the ring – but Ligero skins the cat over a bent over Slater on the apron – and holds Wilder for a reverse DDT. Crash rushes in and takes a flatliner at the same time, but the Proven recover to try and double-team Slater… which doesn’t work. Slater dumps Wilder with a full nelson facebuster, then Ligero lands the Mexican wave for a near-fall as Crash was left incapacitated in the corner.
Another commercial break punctuated the match, and we returned as Ligero and Slater went for a double suplex on Crash. Wilder broke it up and sidestepped a superkick as Ligero hit his own man. More double-teaming from the Proven lead to them hitting the Chasing the Dragon (superkick-assisted suplex), but the referee didn’t count the cover as Richie West posted Liam Slater on the outside. How is that not a DQ?
Regardless, the Proven yell at West for his cheapshot, and the distraction allows for Ligero to hit Wilder with the C4L for the win… with some audible boos in the background! A pretty good match in spite of the punctuations, but it was clear the crowd wanted the Proven to win. ***¼
After a series of replays, we return to see Richie West with a microphone, as he declares “surprise” at his return. It’s hard to return when you’ve not been gone… West acts like he’s still manager of the Proven, but Caz Crash snatches the microphone and, long story short, tells West that the Proven want no part of him.
West’s not too happy as he said he’s staying in the ring. I think we know what happens here with wrestling… except it’s not a wrestler who comes out. It’s Mark Labbett, who tells the crowd (and West) that “when the cameras are rolling, I’m in charge”. Labbett orders security to cart away West, and the show goes to the end credits – complete with Labbett as Executive Producer (thumbs up to Kayfabe!)
If you’ve seen NGW before, this is familiar fare. One match, a lot of promos, plenty of recaps. Given that this product is aimed squarely at new fans, it’s not bad, but the pacing remains the same – at times ponderous, but at least the story they told in the first episode tied up some loose ends left over.