The line-up for NGW’s Destiny Rumble was completed as the final two spots were up for grabs on this week’s British Wrestling Weekly.
Once we get past the usual show-opening “don’t try this at home” warning and the recap of last week’s Myers/Conners match, we’re taken inside Hull’s City Hall as Dave Bradshaw pitches to extended highlights of last year’s Destiny Rumble. Sorry, “an over the top, Rumble-style match”, according to Alex Shane. That match was won by Doug Williams, who would go on to unsuccessfully challenge then-champion Nathan Cruz for the title.
Back to lie action now, and RJ Singh comes out with his “assets” for this week’s match:
Alex Gracie & Cayden Lay vs. Team Sports (Ace Matthews & David Graves)
Winners get into the Destiny Rumble, and it’s a rare NGW appearance for “Team Sports”… who yeah, do have more character elsewhere (*cough* Ace Athletic*cough*), as they’re portrayed here as white meat babyface.
We go to a break before the bell rings, and return with a message from “Gilligan Gordon Incorporated” with analysis of the Destiny Rumble. He dots around the screen as he rattles off some names… and tries to have us believe that there could be an underdog winning. That was a whole lot of nothing, I’m sorry… if it was meant to remind us who’s in the Rumble, it didn’t go so well as it rattled off names way too quickly for them to sink in.
Finally our match starts with David Graves and Alex Gracie squaring off, and it’s the “Grafter” Graves who gets the first takedown. There’s a tease on commentary for “one of the hottest prospects in the world of wrestling” who’s going to be announced for a match taking place in a few weeks… nothing like overshadowing what’s going on now, eh?
Gracie edges ahead with a knee to the gut, but he nearly gets rolled up as Graves tries to catch him off-guard. It doesn’t work though, as Gracie tries to throw the youngster into Cayden Lay’s boot, but Graves gets a blind tag out as he deftly avoids the boot… and it’s the relative rookies who are in front. Graves and Matthews exchange frequent tags, but Gracie gets in a blind tag to Lay, as the big guy obliterates Team Sport with a double clothesline. Ace Matthews gets left in the ring as Lay peppers him with shots, then flattens him with a snapping legdrop for a two-count. A charge in the corner from Lay ends with him running into Ace’s boots, but Ace’s attempt at a fightback gets delayed as he struggles to make a tag out… and instead gets charged into the corner.
Gracie’s back to stomp a mudhole in Matthews’ in the corner, as is Lay… but Gracie takes it a step too far when he spits at Graves, firing up the youngster. RJ Singh’s “assets” fall flat on their face as Cayden misses a charge and spills outside, and in comes Graves for the hot tag… Alex eats a suplex from the “Grafter”, but Lay pulls out Graves to save the match.
Graves avoids being lawn-darted into the ringpost, shoving the big man there instead, before Ace Matthews spiked Gracie on his head with a falling slam. That looked nasty! Graves tries to finish it off, but Little Miss Roxxy distracts the referee as RJ tries to interfere… he’s knocked down, but Cayden Lay’s back in to catch a diving Graves and squash him with a powerslam, before putting Gracie on top for the pin. A valiant effort from Team Sport, but this was a pretty standard, TV-style outing from the template of “bad guys who aren’t exactly dominant”. **¾
We’re taken to VT that announces Justin “Hammer” Sysum as being a part of the Davey Boy Smith Memorial Cup Tournament… complete with as much footage of the British Bulldog as they could get without having to pay WWE. Zack Gibson’s also in it, and will look to repeat his win in the inaugural tournament, but I swear he won that shot in the last season, in the awkward “extra” episodes that were filmed in Liverpool.
The show ends with the announcement of the final two men in that tournament: Bubblegum and Jake McCluskey. Hmm, don’t those two have very recent beef in NGW storylines? That tournament starts in three weeks… one week after the Gen X return of Will Ospreay, who’ll take on Robbie X. Wait, that’s the name? Sure, Ospreay’s a massive name, but there’s a difference between being “one of the hottest prospects” and being a star!
Next week, of course, is the Destiny Rumble, and I have to feel this’ll be a match spread across multiple weeks – IF NGW’s keeping their usual 30 minute timeslot (which is more like 22 minutes after adverts)… otherwise their big match of the year’s going to need to be heavily edited down! A decent show this week, but clearly in the lull before the big shows later in the season.