More from NGW this week, featuring a blast from the past and the latest defence of the promotion’s tag team titles.
The show opens with footage from season 3, with Joe Hendry and Lionheart promising that they’d never lose the NGW tag titles… only to be dropped by the former champions in Stixx and Colossus. Lionheart was squashed by a Vader Bomb from Colossus… so the NGW tag champions – Team Insane Fight Club – will be invoking the Freebird rule for their defence here.
They announce that next week we have Nathan Cruz vs. Doug Williams… and then we segue into a sit-down promo from Joe Hendry (who’s a heel here in NGW). Team Insane Fight Club get to pick their own opponents for their title defences, and in comes Kid Fite – the third member of the group. Heel Joe Hendry talks up their challenge, and we go to our tag title match… but not before Hendry cuts another promo, this time in the ring, leading up to the announcement of “one person” to face the champions: JD Boom comes out, but he’s barely on the stage steps before The Chase’s Mark Labbett – acting as executive producer for this promotion now – appears… and we cut to an ill-timed commercial.
After break, Labbett calls out the obvious flaw of the tag team champions booking themselves in a handicap match… then he tells JD Boom that his first match won’t be this handicap match, and so he’s not working tonight. Instead, Labbett books a rematch against the former champions – Colossus and Stixx! As Colossus and Stixx head out, Alex Shane drops in a mention that “later on in the show”, we’ll be “going back in time” to see a match between Doug Williams and Jack Gallagher. Call it opportunistic or cynical, but a least NGW’s capitalising on the footage they have of Gallagher before his WWE move.
NGW Tag Team Championship: Team Insane Fight Club (Joe Hendry & Kid Fite) (c) vs. Stixx & Colossus
The champions spent the early parts on the back foot – scurrying away from their imposing challengers by tagging in and out… without even as much as touching them.
When we finally got going, Stixx tore into Fite with a big boot, before Joe Hendry grabbed a boot to stop Stixx’s suplex attempt. After tagging in, Hendry got a near-fall from a suplex of his own, as the Scotsmen looked to isolate Stixx from his much larger partner. There was plenty of sneaky heel tactics, such as the referee falling for fake tags, and the ref spending his time restraining Colossus.
Stixx dropped Fite with a powerslam before seeing Colossus pulled off the apron just as a tag was about to be made. Instead, Fite landed a dropkick for a near-fall as we went to another commercial break… which saw no turnaround, as we returned to see Hendry stomping away on Stixx. The challengers finally got an opening as Stixx shoved Hendry into Fite, then made the hot tag out to Colossus, who just watched Fite bounce off of him. Another attempt saw a crossbody from Fite get turned into a slam onto Hendry, before Colossus’ big splash on the Scotsman came up short. Colossus broke through a double clothesline before being dropkicked into a tag to Stixx, who lit into Joe Hendry with a spinebuster.
Hendry fought back by raking the eyes, then went for his Freak of Nature fallaway slam… only for Colossus to counter it with a chokeslam, but the referee broke it up as Colossus wasn’t legal. Kid Fite tried to use the tag title belt, but Stixx ducked it and grabbed the belt – only for the referee to catch him as he threatened to use it. As the referee got rid of the first belt, Joe Hendry came in with a second belt. Stixx blocked that shot, then used it on Kid Fite… and there’s your DQ finish. These are rarely edifying finishes, but it was way too soon for the titles to be changed back. **¾
After the match, Kid Fite took a big splash from Colossus, as Hendry ran away with one of the tag title belts. It looks like that’s two-thirds of the championship trio on the shelf then.
Next week, we’ve got Doug Williams vs. Nathan Cruz for the NGW title, but first, we’re going back to June 2015’s Brit-Wres-Fest in Liverpool for a World of Sport-rules match to build up Doug Williams’ title shot next week/capitalise on Jack Gallagher’s WWE debut (choose whether you’re being cynical or opportunistic!)
World of Sport Rules: Jack Gallagher vs. Doug Williams
Apparently this was the first match in the BWC Heritage Division… which suggests that they haven’t re-recorded commentary, and means that we’re going to get some references that aren’t going to age well amid dropped/forgotten projects.
Alex Shane – flying solo on commentary – tells us this’ll be a best-of-three falls match fought under six five-minute rounds, with a knock-out finishing it as well. There’s the obligatory shout-out to the old World of Sport, and more hype for something that really didn’t come to pass.
Round 1: Gallagher takes Williams into the ropes, then works a wristlock that’s reversed back and forth. A headscissors attempt from Gallagher gets rolled up into a small package for a one-count, as Gallagher catches Williams in another headscissors as we go to an inserted ad break. They return from break to Gallagher still having Williams in some headscissors, before Williams worked a double-underhood whilst still having Gallagher wrapped around his leg. Williams and Gallagher trade leg stretches in the middle of the ring, before Gallagher sat-up to get out of the hold… only to leap back into the same stretch. Gallagher finally gets out and grabs a toehold, before an arm whip takes Williams down as the first round comes to an end.
Round 2: Gallagher picked up where he left off with arm breakers on Williams, but the veteran’s comeback quickly ended as Gallagher went back to an armbar. An arm stretch followed, but Williams bridged up to avoid getting pinned before pushing away and applying the stretch back to Gallagher. An attempt from Jack to push free ends up going awry as Williams scoots forward and bridges back in a bridging prawn-hold to secure the first fall.
Round 3: Gallagher picks up on the arm again, wrenching away at it as he looked to get back into the match. Wristlocks followed, but Doug pushed the youngster into the corner and lit into him with European uppercuts and shoulder tackles. A crossbody from Gallagher was caught, but he hit back with a rolling cross-arm breaker to force an instant submission to tie the match.
Round 4: Both men went at each other, countering back-and-forth before Williams sat down onto Gallagher for a near-fall. A schoolboy got Williams another two-count, before a backslide was countered into a sunset flip as Gallagher picked up a two-count himself. Gallagher flew into Williams with a corner dropkick, before absorbing a knee strike, only to fall to the Chaos Theory for the win. That finishing sequence felt a little “new school” compared to how the rest of the match went, but otherwise as a throwback, this was really something special. ***¾
I’d have preferred that they’d at least doing some new commentary, as talk of the “BWC Heritage Division” just didn’t jive well at all with the current NGW product, whilst Alex Shane as a solo commentator was a real take-it-or-leave-it proposition; one who seemed to be afraid of leaving more than a second’s silence in the commentary.
After that match from 2015, we go back to a hyped-up Hull City Hall to wrap up the show. As a show, this was a bit of an unusual 45-minutes of wrestling – in a good way. The current NGW product continued with the tag title match ending farcically, and no mention of repercussions… before an 18-month old match was aired to hype up what could well be NGW’s Christmas present. If you’ve not seen it before, go out of your way to watch Gallagher/Williams – you’ll be thankful that you did!