NGW’s latest TV show seemed to be one for-the-kids, as a loud (and high pitched) crowd witnessed the first steps in another mini-tournament.
The episode started with a recap of the Gibson/Rampage match from two weeks ago – that match which ended in a double knock-out. This leads to a green screen of Mark “The Beast” Labbett giving a ruling as to how this affects the Davey Boy Smith Memorial Cup… Labbett recognises Gibson’s desire to win the tournament, but he refuses to give in to demands from any wrestler. So, despite saying “you have to earn it”, Labbett says that there’ll be a four-man knock-out tournament to gain guaranteed entry to the tournament, featuring Gibson, Rampage and two other TBCs from the NGW roster.
We’re now at the Liverpool Olympia, and this looks to have been a “secret” show from January 7th in front of an audience of mostly kids since NGW’s website doesn’t recognise the show at all. Thankfully Joseph Conners’ Twitter tipped this off! Tonight we’ll have Ace Matthews vs. Caz Crash, along with the first match from four-man knock-out tournament: it’ll be Rampage Brown vs. Robbie X.
Ace Matthews vs. Caz Crash
Apparently this was meant to be a tag team match, but David Graves is out injured, so we’re having a singles match instead.
Matthews grabs a wristlock, but Crash rolls through to reverse the hold, only for Ace to get it back again as he moves it into an armbar, then a side headlock. A shoulder tackle knocks Crash down, who leaps over Ace and follows up with a dropkick as the relative newcomer’s sent into the corner.
Crash leaps into him with a hip attack, before a kick is caught as Ace wheels around him to give the referee his leg as a distraction for a series of roll-ups for near-falls. Both men miss a dropkick at the same time as they stand-off… and then they’re interrupted by a voice over the PA system. (Not Rating)
Jake McCluskey and Caden Lay come out, and we’re sent to an ad break as Jake points at his tiny jacket. We return to find out that we’ve now got an impromptu tag match:
Caz Crash & Ace Matthews vs. Jake McCluskey & Caden Lay
Jake needs help getting his special shrunken jacket off, and Caz and Ace make short work of their Future opponents by clotheslining Caden to the outside, before hiptossing McCluskey.
McCluskey comes back with a dropkick as he pulls Ace into the corner, and my God the kid-only audience is creating an ear-bleedingly high-pitched crowd noise. Lay tries to rile Crash into the ring, so Caden and Jake end up double-teaming Ace some more. A slam and a big legdrop gets Lay a near-fall, as does a diving clothesline.
McCluskey tags in and hits a standing moonsault, again for a two-count, and some shenanigans leads to an avalanche in the corner from Lay as Ace Matthews is getting squashed here. He tries to make a comeback, but he’s clubbed into the ropes, before Lay holds up Matthews for a double stomp from McCluskey.
We work towards McCluskey tagging in for a top rope moonsault, but he misses and that gives Caz Crash the hot tag as he kicks away at McCluskey then hits a neckbreaker for a near-fall. A Blue Thunder Bomb gets another two-count for Crash, who then tags Ace Matthews back in, and it’s clear he’s still a little woozy… but he takes down Caden and Jake with clotheslines, before dropkicking Jake into the corner.
In comes Caden, who looks set to take a missile dropkick, but Jake shoves him off as the Future pairing end up hitting a crossbody/suplex combo onto the rookie. A jumping splash gets Lay a near-fall, so he follows up with a British Bulldog-like powerslam as McCluskey hits the moonsault as Caden gets the win. Virtually a squash match, with poor Ace being the crash test dummy in blue. **
After the match, Caden and Jake continue the beatdown until Caz Crash makes the save. Well, at least they’re establishing the Future pairing for a supposedly retooled tag team division down the line…
Next up is a recap of what happened last week when Matt Myers beat Nathan Cruz to win the NGW title – followed by footage from after the show where Joseph Conners, Liam Slater, Screwface, Dara Diablo and Cyanide surrounding the ring… and we see a black screen. Then the lights go back up with Conners and crew having disappeared, so then we finally get Cruz handing over the NGW titles to Matt Myers for the (delayed) celebration.
Robbie X vs. Rampage Brown
Main event time now, and we start with Rampage taking Robbie into the corner from a tie-up.
Robbie grabs a wristlock, but Rampage spins out and grabs the hair to yank Robbie down, before he runs into a dropkick from the 1PW Academy graduate. Rampage uses his elbow to cut off Robbie, who spins in the ropes as he then throws Rampage to the floor, and into position for a diving dropkick through the ropes!
A low-pe follows as we go into the break, and we return to see Rampage being beaten around the ring. Back inside, Robbie hits an uppercut, before he’s flattened by a clothesline by Rampage. From there, Rampage chokes Robbie in the ropes, before he stomps on his opponent’s hands as the match gets slowed to a more deliberate, brutal pace.
Rampage keeps pounding away on Robbie X, sending him into the ropes for cover, before Robbie bounced off of the turnbuckles from an Irish whip. Another chinlock follows, but Robbie fights back and elbows his way free, only to collapse into the corner, where he sidesteps a shoulder charge and rolls up Rampage for a near-fall.
Robbie unloads into Rampage with punches and an enziguiri, before a middle rope dropkick gets him a near-fall, only for a German suplex attempt to get broken up. A roundhouse kick further dazes Rampage, who falls to the X-Express (OsCutter), but Rampage kicks out at two.
Robbie follows up with a rolling forearm, before another X-Express is countered with a forearm to the back, and Rampage just gets the win from there with a piledriver. A solid main event – perhaps a touch slow, but a fine match for a really easy crowd. ***
After the main event, they announce that next week has Zack Gibson vs. Screwface in that four-man tournament. That’s apparently a first-time ever match, which is sort-of-true if you don’t count a triple-threat they had in ICW (under another alias)… maybe they’ll play up that these guys were also tag partners in a prior life for All Star? Also next week – Nathan Cruz vs. Joseph Conners in an intriguing match-up.
All-in-all, a decent episode of TV, but my God, the crowd noise was bordering on the insufferable. I’m hoping that it was genuine crowd noise, because I’d struggle to believe anyone would willingly pick that constant, high-pitched drone. At least the in-ring stuff was good, and they built two two interesting bouts next week, so that’s always a good thing!