The season finale of NGW’s British Wrestling Weekly decided who gets a title shot… and who gets into the Davey Boy Smith Memorial Cup!
We open, as usual, with our MC geeing up the fans, which is especially odd as we have a follow-on match from last week –
Joseph Conners vs. Nathan Cruz
…following on from last week, we get a replay of the final moments before the rather stilted Alex Shane-ism “we are officially off-air now” line signals that we’re into new footage. We’re about six minutes into the show when we reach the new stuff, where Cruz goes for the Show Stolen, only for Conners to elbow out and land a push-down stomp instead.
Conners tries for a buckle bomb, but Cruz gets out into a Codebreaker which is blocked… it works at the second attempt, but it’s only good for a two-count. Cruz goes for the Show Stolen again, but Lilith gets on the apron as Screwface comes in and levels Cruz with a chain, but by the time the referee turned around, Cruz was able to kick out at two.
Screwface provides more distraction as Conners swings and misses with a chain, before Cruz connects, sending Conners to the outside. Nathan flies to the outside with a plancha, sending all three men down. Cruz looks like he’s going to get back to his feet first, but Lilith stands in front of him, “mesmerising him”, as Joseph Conners (off camera) managed to get back in the ring, so he wins by count-out. Just UGH at that finish. A decent match, but that finish was just rotten. Joseph Conners gets his title match, but again I’ll pose the question: if WWE UK guys are having to be edited off of promotions’ Vimeo releases, how is Conners going to appear on broadcast TV?? **½
We get Mark Labbett doing a don’t try this at home spiel. Back-to-back for some reason, as we go into and out of a break.
We get a sit-down promo with Zack Gibson talking about the first Davey Boy Smith Memorial Tournament. They show clips of Pete Dunne vs. Zack Gibson from the previous tournament, before the storyline from last season where Gibson was offered an undisputed title shot if he joined the Control. In a story that went nowhere as the Control lost…Gibson takes credit for eliminating the Control from NGW, in a promo that went so long, Zack actually grew a beard.
Or they just spliced two promos together. Probably that.
More recaps from the last time Gibson and Rampage met, in the match that ended in a double knock-out, then we get a replay of the green screen promo from Mark Labbett where he set-up this entire tournament. I press fast-forward, past another pair of back-to-back “don’t try this at home” promos from Labbett, until it’s main event time!
Rampage Brown vs. Zack Gibson
Everyone gets entrances, and I swear that former Control leader Richie West was caught on camera, as a cameraman here.
From the opening lock-up, Gibson’s taken into the corner, before Brown slaps and stomps away at the Scouser, who managed to score with a clothesline out of the corner! A suplex gets Gibson just a one-count before the pair spilled to the outside where they brawled around the ringside area.
Back inside, Rampage drops an elbow onto Gibson as he followed up with a rear chinlock to keep the Scouser down. Zack punches free, but he’s quickly knocked to the floor with a back elbow, and we’re taken to a break as Gibson’s fighting out of another chinlock. Guess what? We only hear Mark Labbett’s PSA once this time, as we return to see Gibson getting whipped into the corner, as Rampage stayed on top of the hometown hero.
Gibson charges into the corner to force a break, before a dropkick off the middle rope knocks down Brown… but Gibson can’t capitalise on it! He finally mounts a comeback with an enziguiri, but another Rampage elbow ends that momentum, before a chop to the throat cuts off an axehandle from Brown. A clothesline gets Gibson a near-fall, before he goes to the Shankly Gates, which Brown easily shrugs off as he boots Zack in the head.
Gibson counters a piledriver into a roll-up for a near-fall, but can’t avoid a Samoan drop as he’s forced to kick out at two. Rampage goes for the piledriver again, but he’s charged into the corner… but it’s not a ref bump until Gibson sidesteps a charge that flattens the ref. The Helter Skelter gets Gibson a visual count as the referee’s down, and that’s apparently the cue for Screwface and Joseph Conners to come out.
Screwface gives Gibson a ripcord big boot before heading out, leading to a visual pin for Rampage… then a near-fall after the referee woke up. Perhaps it’d have been a three had he had his glasses on? After the kick-out, Screwface slides in and beats up the referee, then Gibson, before Conners sets up for a Righteous Kill DDT… only for Nathan Cruz to make the save!
Cruz dispatches of Conners and Screwface, leaving a beaten down Gibson in the ring with Rampage, who heads out for a chair. The referee gets up and tries to disarm Rampage, who ends up taking the Ticket To Ride (Codebreaker) into a chair! A Helter Skelter follows, and that’s a win for Zack Gibson as he makes it into the tournament! A decent main event, with the usual overbooking stuff, but the season ended with a massive win for Zack in his hometown! ***¼
The show – and season – ends with Gibson celebrating, and that’s it. No news of a comeback date, or indeed anything else, as NGW goes off air until at least April. This week’s show had a bit more filler than I’d have liked, particularly with that promo that was so long it allowed Zack Gibson to grow a full beard, but it was what it was.
Compared to season three, this was more of a wrestling show, focusing more on the matches without any of the studio filler that (for me, at least) plagued the prior season. Knowing what others know, there are major questions around NGW’s roster, particularly since they spent the entire season building up someone who may not even be able to appear on TV anymore, but I guess we’ll find that out later on in the year.