The second Davey Boy Smith Memorial Cup Tournament finally got underway on the latest episode of NGW’s British Wrestling Weekly!
There’s a lot deck this week, but first we get another recap of the Destiny Rumble that Liam Slater won two weeks ago. Fast-forwarding… and we have Liam Slater in a sit-down interview expressing his disbelief in actually winning the whole thing. He likened it to escaping the dark cloud that was the Joseph Conners “ownership”, but he’s still got to put that issue to bed.
Jake McCluskey vs. Zack Gibson
This is a Davey Boy Smith Memorial Cup match, and Jake’s by himself for a change. He’s still “Unique”, which is better than the old “Mr Moonsault” name he had, as commentary notes that Jake’s actually the underdog here.
The format of the tournament seems to be a league system, as Dave Bradshaw on commentary tells us that there’s 3 points for a pinfall or submission victory, 2 points for a count-out or disqualification win, and a point for a draw.
Gibson starts by taking McCluskey into the ropes from a tie-up, as he begs off, only to get caught in a clutch for a one-count before Zack went for the Shankly Gates. McCluskey escapes as Gibson seemed to be letting him off, before Zack started to work over the wrist and fingers. A forearm rocks Jake some more, but he cartwheels away into a dropkick as Gibson was left dazed… for like a second as a clothesline drops Jake. It’s pretty one-sided, as McCluskey’s attempt at a wheelbarrow roll-up’s turned into a back suplex as we headed to a break. Will we return to the match?
Of course not! It’s another Gilligan Gordon “bounce around the screen” promo, this time talking about the NGW tag team division. The constant cuts remind me of those YouTube vlogger videos that you stop watching and just listen to, lest you get headache. Of course, it tells you nothing, and I don’t know the point apart from establishing Gordon as an annoying figurehead?
Back to the match, and Gibson’s trying for a Helter Skelter, but McCluskey rakes the eyes before pounding away on Gibson on the mat. Jake capitalises on the impaired Gibson by pulling him to the mat, as commentary announces that we’re getting Joseph Conners vs. Liam Slater in two weeks time. Next week though, is that NGW tag title match between the Proven and Team Insane Fight Club, and “extended highlights” of the other tournament match between Bubblegum and Justin Sysum. Whoops.
I always wonder if they plan so far ahead to have “downtime” in matches to plug these things…
Gibson fires back out of the corner, leaning into McCluskey’s forearms before decking him with one, a la Pete Dunne. Jake tries to hit back with a superkick, but it’s blocked and met with a Ticket To Ride for a near-fall, before Zack looked to go for the Shankly Gates… it’s resisted and eventually countered into a roll-up for a near-fall. Zack’s right back with the arm-work though, before scoring with a tombstone-into-a-lungblower, before Jake slips out of another Helter Skelter and replies with a superkick.
Jake tries to follow up with a standing moonsault off the back of Gibson for a near-fall, followed by another superkick then a tope… but that proved to be his undoing as Gibson catches it and turns it into a Helter Skelter on the floor, before Zack beat the count to win the match! A weird one especially as Zack only gets two points, but hey, it was a pretty good match before then. ***¼
The show ends with a recap from the Rumble, where Team Insane Fight Club and the Proven had a convenient series together, before there’s a sit-down promo with Joe Hendry moaning about NGW’s executive Mark Labbett. Hendry reckons that being a TV star doesn’t matter… which he says, on a show airing on proper TV. Joe’s angry that NGW’s breaking their legal agreement that allowed Team Insane Fight Club to pick their own opponents.
This has to be a rib, right? Joe Hendry doing “I’m going to sue you” legal storylines in two promotions at the same time?
The show wraps up with one more reminder of what’s happening next week… and I guess that’s what they meant a few weeks ago with that note about them “making decisions about… who to feature on future programming as more information becomes available”. With Bubblegum apparently retiring as a result of allegations around him, it’s left NGW between a rock and a hard place – but it’ll be interesting to see what sort of light that match next week will be portrayed in.
As for this week’s show – another decent match as the tournament got going… but I honestly wish they’d not kill the flow of matches even more than the adverts do by sticking seemingly irrelevant segments after the break.