NGW’s tag team titles were put on the line this week as the Proven challenged for the gold in a packed show.
We’re still in Hull, and it’s sort-of a two-match episode this week, as we’ve got a tag title match here and highlights from the Davey Boy Smith Memorial Cup! It’s that cup match we start with too, as there’s “extended highlights” after a sit-down promo with Justin Sysum, addressing their prior match in 2015, where Chardonnay’s interference cost Sysum the win in a three-way.
Bubblegum vs. Justin Sysum
I’m assuming this has been slashed down into highlights because of the ongoing accusations with Bubblegum… Chardonnay’s at ringside, shown to interfere early, but Sysum toys with Bubblegum ahead of a backbreaker.
More teased interference sees Sysum abort a 450 splash, and it’s almost like they’re censoring any offensive moves from Bubblegum, as a black screen flashed up as he went after Sysum in the ropes. Regardless, a diving clothesline followed by one in the corner gets Sysum ahead… and there’s more interference from Chardonnay, allowing Bubblegum to dump “The Hammer” with an Exploder in the corner.
Bubblegum pulls off a vertical suplex for a near-fall, followed by a handspring overhead kick… sending Sysum into the ropes as he comes back with a discus lariat. A Falcon arrow from Sysum almost does it, before an F5 is countered into a double stomp from Bubblegum, then a reverse ‘rana for a near-fall. In the end though, Bubblegum misses a shooting star press… and sells his knee after the impact.
Strangely, Sysum goes up top despite Bubblegum being in the ropes on the other side of the ring with the ref tending to him. Yup, it’s more Chardonnay interference, courtesy of a low blow. Chardonnay hands Bubblegum the ring bell, but he doesn’t use it… and it costs him as Sysum countered a Pedigree into an Air Raid Crash into the win. This was decent enough in clip form, but it’s clear they were forced to abandon the bigger story they were looking to tell.
NGW Tag Team Championship: The Proven (Caz Crash & Sam Wilder) vs. Team Insane Fight Club (Lionheart & Joe Hendry) (c)
This was sort-of set-up during the Destiny Rumble a few weeks earlier, and it’ll be Lionheart and Joe Hendry defending the titles here as the champion’s “legally-binding contract” from last season suddenly means squat.
Hendry and Lionheart charged their challengers early, but it’s Sam Wilder who stands tall after landing some dropkicks, ahead of a faked-out dive from Crash as we, erm, crashed into a break. For once, we return to the same match, as Crash remained in control, at least until Hendry grabbed a headlock ahead of a shoulder tackle from the ever-arrogant tag champion.
Crash rebounds with a dropkick though, as the challengers keep Hendry in the wrong corner… only for Lionheart to provide a distraction as Wilder turned around into a neckbreaker. It’s Wilder who gets isolated for a spell, and it’s not helped when Caz Crash keeps tying up the referee with his protests as the champions keep double-teaming Wilder. There’s a tease for next week as Liam Slater faces Joseph Conners. Apparently Slater’s not won a singles match on NGW TV… and he’s your number one contender?!
Meanwhile, Wilder keeps getting choked in the ropes, but he’s able to come back with a desperation dropkick before making a tag out to a fired-up Crash. Clotheslines from Caz leave Lionheart reeling ahead of a Blue Thunder Bomb, but Hendry breaks that up before landing a DDT. Wilder comes in for a teardrop suplex to Hendry as the referee’s lost all control, and we get replays of all this as we descended into a four-way brawl.
Eventually it settles down in the challenger’s favour, with Hendry eating a punch and an Ace crusher, but now the referee wants to enforce the rules! A belt shot from Lionheart follows, but Steve Lynskey gets distracted by the belt… and in the middle of this, Sam Wilder uses the belt on Lionheart before the Point Proven – flapjack ace crusher – connects for the win out of nowhere. There were some in the crowd who weren’t fans of the cheating from the good guys, but the title change stands… and NGW’s home-grown tag team leave with the gold! Fun stuff, but this got a little too hectic at the end, as judged by the incessant replays… ***
The Proven celebrated with the titles as Hendry and Lionheart were beside themselves on the floor. We then cut to clips from the Destiny Rumble, specifically the part where the referees missed Zack Gibson’s elimination, allowing the Scouser to eliminate Nathan Cruz later in the match. A sit-down promo with Cruz has him unhappy with that, and since he doesn’t know where he stands with Gibson, Cruz announces that he’s done with him. Whatever that means…
As a self-contained episode, this was decent enough – the clipped version of the Sysum/Bubblegum match was alright, but looked like the full version was going to have been overrun with interference… but as is usually the case with NGW’s episodes, there’s not much built for the future, since these shows can air out of order when they’re replayed…