NGW’s British Wrestling Weekly finally saw Matt Myers challenge Nathan Cruz for the NGW title with this week’s episode.
This was a spill-over from the third season, where Myers helped Nathan Cruz (and NGW) win the Team Warfare match, before Myers had to successfully defend his Gen-X title earlier in the season in order to qualify for this match.
We’ve got two matches today though, as the title match will follow “our first look at Liam Slater after he’s been forced to side with Joseph Conners”. Speaking of, that match is now…
Screwface vs. El Ligero
For the live crowd, this came just four matches after the match which saw Slater “imprisoned” by Joseph Conners. Slater’s out in shorts, looking miserable, apparently acting as the “repressed” heart and soul of NGW that’s been chained by Conners.
Ligero gets attacked from behind by Screwface as he stared at Slater and Conners before the bell. Screwface rakes Ligero’s back as he went for an early neckbreaker, but Ligero gets out and kicks away at Screwface, before landing a slingshot Ace crusher from the apron into the ring.
An early C4L is blocked as Ligero takes Screwface to the ropes for a kick to the leg, then he sends the newcomer to the outside for a plancha attempt… but Screwface trips him onto the floor. Lilith distracts the referee as Screwface, Conners and Slater try to triple-team Ligero, but Slater has a change of heart and shields Ligero instead… before Conners pulls him aside as Screwface uses a chain to the midsection of Ligero anyway.
Back in the ring, Screwface washes his boot across Ligero’s mask then gets a sit-down splash for a near-fall. Ligero’s chokes across the middle rope as we get a split-screen to promote the main event, and we return as Ligero takes a back suplex for another near-fall. Joseph Conners grabs Ligero as he tries to choke him in the ropes, but again Liam Slater refuses to get involved… Alex Shane tries to argue that “he’s contracted to (do whatever Conners says)”, which is some weird contract that I wouldn’t think would be legally allowed, even in a post-Brexit apocalypse!
Back from a commercial, Ligero takes a powerbomb after Screwface pulls him out of the corner, before the masked man’s fightback ends with him being sent to the outside again. Conners, Slater and Lillith stand over a downed Ligero, but Screwface follows to the outside as we’re back to more distraction from Lillith. There’s nothing like making your head referee look incompetent, repeatedly falling for the same trick in the same match.
Slater’s ordered to throw Ligero into the ringpost, but he just throws him back inside as he again defies Conners. That’s the cue for a Ligero comeback with a ‘rana off the top rope, before he knocks Conners out of the corner as he hits Screwface with the Sliced Bread #2 for a near-fall. Conners tries to trip Ligero, which sets up for the Cross Rhodes-esque neckbreaker, but Ligero gets free and tries for his C4L DDT. Screwface blocks that, then drills Ligero with a ripcord into a big boot, and that’s the set-up for the Screwdriver – the Cross Rhodes, but more impressive – and that’s enough for the win. A decent match, but I’d have liked there to have been more subtlety in the whole “how do we distract the referee” thing. **¾
After the match, Joseph Conners enters the ring and mounts Ligero with some punches. Liam Slater watches on from ringside, before he slides in and pushes Conners off of Ligero. The lights go out all of a sudden, returning to reveal Cyanide in the ring. That’s the 6’ 3”, 350lb mountain called Cyanide, not the drug. They acknowledge that he’s not been in NGW for ages (he was originally part of NGW in their early years, teaming with Jack Toxic… who’d later become Jack Gallagher), and Cyanide is clearly aligned with Conners.
Well, if you have someone under contract who isn’t willing to co-operate, then having someone twice his size will certainly help influence him! Cyanide flattens Ligero with some big splashes, then Conners orders Slater to unmask El Ligero. Slater goes ahead and slowly loosens the laces of Ligero’s mask, but Conners orders him to stop – just before Ligero’s real identity is revealed.
A good angle here, as they’re reforming the Righteous Army in NGW… I wonder how (or indeed, if) this is going to be affected by those WWE UK deals? Conners has already been pulled from another group that broadcasts on YouTube, and with NGW having a “proper” TV deal, that may only unscore things further.
We go from that to a sit-down promo from Matt Myers, who tells us of his fear of failure – and how he’s moved on from failure and is willing to learn from it. The promo ends with a curious line, about how he’s “willing to become the new, New Generation Champion”. Is he being given the belt or is he having to fight for it?
NGW Undisputed Championship: Matt Myers vs. Nathan Cruz (c)
In the lead-up, they play a promo with Myers saying that he’s going to try and win the match in 10 minutes, treating it like a Gen-X match… whilst playing it up like Myers didn’t want that promo to air until Cruz couldn’t hear it. Kayfabe that actually makes sense!
After the big-fight introductions, we start with a handshake, and a running knee to the corner, then a springboard moonsault as Myers leapt into Cruz. A spinning heel kick takes Cruz down as Myers kept up his hot start, following up with shoulder charges in the corner, then an inverted atomic drop… before Cruz gets his first strike in, courtesy of a leaping knee.
Myers tries to retaliate, but his leap-over in the corner is caught as Cruz goes for the Tully Blanchard-esque slingshot back suplex, before scoring a near-fall with a crossbody out of the corner. Cruz takes over from there, taking Myers into the corners, before the Gen-X champion hits back with a flying elbow for a near-fall, before a blocked Myers Stunner sees Cruz hit back with a hanging neckbreaker.
Cruz eventually gets a near-fall from that neckbreaker, and we get an ill-timed commercial break as Cruz chops down Myers… but first, an advert for “next week”. Eh? Nothing else was taped from Eternal Glory… instead, it’s “The Beast is Back”; so there’ll be a segment with Mark Labbett…
Back from break, Cruz is still on top of Myers, taking him into the corners, but again Myers flies out with axehandle smashes, before popping back up from a German suplex to hit a diving kick. A charge in the corner from Cruz misses, as Myers hits another dropkick, then a Flatliner for a near-fall as Cruz was forced to kick-out.
Myers attempt to follow-up ended when Cruz pushed him out of the corner, forcing him to land awkwardly on his knees from a flapjack-esque landing. That saw Cruz target the knee as he went for a modified cloverleaf, forcing Myers to reach for the ropes to get himself free. Cruz ties for the Show Stolen, but Myers gets free and lands his Myers Stunner for a near-fall.
They trade uppercuts for a while, as Myers shocks Cruz with his own finisher for a near-fall. From there, Cruz went for a German suplex, which Myers rolled out of and took him into the corner for a knee strike, before a middle rope moonsault gets blocked by Cruz’s knee. That slingshot belly-to-back suplex takes Myers down as Cruz hits his Show Stolen… but Myers kicked out immediately!
Shocked, Cruz picks up Myers for a German suplex… but the challenger gets back up, and takes another German suplex, this time staying down. Cruz picks up Myers for a Burning Hammer, but the challenger was playing possum! Myers hits Cruz with a pair of Myers Stunners back-to-back, and that’s enough as Myers scores the win and becomes a double-champion! A really good babyface-vs-babyface match, which had its inherent issues re: crowd reactions, but a great match nevertheless! ***¾
Before Myers could even get his hands on the titles, the arena again went dark and static-y, before we return to see Joseph Conners, Screwface, Cyanide, Dara Diablo and Liam Slater surrounding the ring. So we don’t get a victory parade, but we do get a staredown as it seems that Conners is going to be challenging for the title… or will be? Again, will those WWE UK deals screw up this story?
As a show, this week’s British Wrestling Weekly was fine – I wasn’t crazy about the interference-riddled match to start the show, but the main event more than made up for it. For NGW’s sakes, I just hope that they’ve not just spent a full hour of TV building up to something that external deals mean that we can’t see progress – especially in light of how other groups have had to change plans!