This week on Random Reviews, we’re going to do what we do best: pluck some random matches out of the ether and give them a going over!
Nadia Sapphire vs. Pollyanna (Entertainment Wrestling Association, September 17, 2016 – available via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUdO4zwqCKQ)
This match was Empress Pro Wrestling’s contribution to the EWA’s British Bash card last weekend. Nadia Sapphire’s act seems to be that of a self-obsessed troll, with her entrance consisting of her looking in a hand-held mirror and repeatedly asking the fans “I look fit, don’t I?”
She reintroduces herself, and for someone from Cardiff, she sure does have a good Liverpudlian accent. The ring announcer bellows “Pollyanna!” in lieu of a proper introduction, and it sounds weird hearing her come to the ring to The Cardigans’ “My Favourite Game”.
Sapphire initially refuses to start the match until the crowd stops booing her. There’s a tonne of stalling as Sapphire forces the referee to hold the ropes, then her mirror as she preens herself in the mirror. More stalling as Sapphire waits to tie her hair back, and it’s getting some heat from the young audience.
Finally, they start with some chain wrestling, with Pollyanna getting an advantage with a wristlock as a kid in the crowd screamed “break her arm”. God, we’re raising some heartless children these days, eh?
Pollyanna gets a near-fall after rolling through a headlock takedown, before Nadia awkwardly takes a drop toe hold into another headlock. A series of chops finally takes Nadia, with Pollyanna’s knees helping her to the outside. They brawl around the ringside area for a spell, with Nadia slamming Pollyanna onto the ramp, which looked like it sucked for Pollyanna’s elbow.
After beating the count-out, we got some offence from Sapphire, which just looked slow. The kicks looked like there was a mass of treacle cushioning the blow. Pollyanna’s brief comeback ended with her being snapmared into the ropes, as Nadia continued to throw her head-first into the mat. At least that was done at some sort of speed.
Pollyanna countered a superplex attempt by draping Nadia across the middle ropes for a double-stomp, and they trade some shots. Five pounds says you can guess whose didn’t look great. Pollyanna backdrops out of a powerbomb, before Nadia switches into a sunset flip for a near-fall, and then takes a forearm to the face.
Another missed charge in the corner from Pollyanna is met with a Northern Lights suplex for a two-count. Sapphire then sets Pollyanna in the corner for a receipt for the earlier double-stomp, but instead she hits a pair of hip attacks for a near-fall. Pollyanna’s poor record with corner charges continued as she missed a double knee strike, but thankfully she kicked out of a hideous jack-knife cover attempt.
Nadia countered out of an Air Raid Crash and got a near-fall with a schoolboy, before she hit a corner avalanch. Another powerbomb attempt from Nadia saw Pollyanna counter it into a Jig n Tonic with an unpleasant landing as Pollyanna got the win. It’d be cruel to say the entire match sucked, but you could really tell who was more experienced. At times, Nadia looked like she was afraid to give or take any strikes, which isn’t great when you consider that the vast majority of wrestlers – male or female – use kicks, punches, forearms, elbows etc as well as moves! **
Sebastian vs. Will Ospreay (IPW: UK Shots n Superkicks; April 11, 2015 – viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfWXkJpAUgY)
Well, this clearly isn’t for the kids. It’s marked as such, especially due to the language aimed at Sebastian during the introductions.
For as much stick as I’ve given Sebastian for having a quiet 2016 (at time of writing, only 11 matches according to Cagematch, ahead of his PROGRESS match with Pastor William Eaver), he was a bit more active in 2015. So, this is a chance to see “Serious Sebastian” (and his MVP-inspired gear) away from the GZRS shtick and face one of the best performers in the world.
Sebastian starts by showing us he knows a wristlock from a wrist watch, but it gets reversed as Seb has little answer for Ospreay’s usual flippy-do-infused wrestling. After taking a forearm, Sebastian drops Ospreay from the apron to the floor with an elevated DDT, and that turns the tide. An overhand “cricket” chop rocks Ospreay, as does a knee to the midsection, before Will takes a drop toe hold into the middle turnbuckle.
We completely miss a running knee to the seated Ospreay, as Sebastian the Black Power Ranger gets a two-count. Seb slams Ospreay and goes for “the best move ever”, which I can guess is the People’s Backheel. Which does not impress Will at all, as he fires back with a flurry of shots, then a lariat and a back elbow.
An enziguiri drops Sebastian for a near-fall, before a tornado DDT takes Ospreay from the outside and back into the ring. A standing shooting star press gets a two-count, before Seb comes back with a hiptoss into a backbreaker that gets him a near-fall. Will grabs Sebastian’s groin as he was thrusting in the corner, which leads to a Cheeky Nando’s kick… but Tom Irvin comes out just as Ospreay was getting ready to finish him off.
Irvin tells Will he’ll “be going back to flipping burgers” after his career is over, and then he climbs onto the apron. The distraction sets up Seb for his finisher, which I can only describe as a mixture of the Stroke and the One Percenter, and that gets him the win. The only word I can use to sum this up is “disappointing” – Sebastian’s offence seemed to be very much influenced by the WWE of 5-10 years ago, in which it was move-move-pause. Which was a nice change from the sometimes-frenetic stuff you see on the indie scene, but it also felt like he has a long way to go. **¼
Prince Ameen vs. Joseph Conners (WCPW, July 27, 2016 – viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHD4pYRqgKM)
So, you know how my biggest criticism about WCPW is their inability to build? During the July tapings, the company’s soon-to-be champion ended up on dark match duty. That’s even lower than where New Japan take guys before they build them back up again. Adam Blampied and “King” Ross are on commentary, as we go back to the earlier days of WCPW’s commentary pair… and my word, this pair sound bored as hell doing commentary.
Conners starts on top with a backslide and a small package as Ameen struggles to get out of the blocks. This prompts Ross to rattle off Conners’ list of titles as Ameen corners him with kicks before rubbing his eyes against the top rope. A back body drop takes down Ameen, as does an atomic drop, before Ameen’s clotheslined to the outside.
Gabriel Kidd is used as a human shield as Ameen gets the advantage back, before Conners just about shoves down Ameen from a leap over in the corner. Ameen quickly recovers with a running powerslam for a near-fall, before he tosses Conners out of the ring like he was in a Royal Rumble. Ameen blocked a sunset flip, but fell into a pumphandle slam from Conners, who followed with an avalanche in the corner and a leaping shoulder tackle.
Conners drops Ameen with a powerslam, before peppering him with elbows in the corner. Another Ameen comeback sees him get a near-fall after a rope-hung neckbreaker, but a second powerslam attempt is avoided as Conners stomps Ameen down, before he gets a crossbody off the top. Yet another Ameen comeback ends as a Pedigree attempt is reversed and turned into the Righteous Kill DDT for the win. Perfect pre-show fodder, but the fact that Conners was in dark matches then became champion a month later tells you all you needed to know about WCPW’s long-term thinking! **¾
Jon Moxley vs. Neil Diamond Cutter (IWA: Mid South, Prince of the Death Matches, April 23, 2010 – viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIE2loqTBMg)
This is from IWA:MS’s “Prince of Death Matches” show, and to be precise, this is a “Whiskey Shots Taipei Death Match”. That’s got to be a first, right?
Of course, Jon Moxley got more fame as Dean Ambrose… without having to beat up his body in death matches. He starts the match by emptying a box of broken glass onto the mat, before both men get a shot of Jack Daniels to start out our Drunken Death Match. Moxley shoves Cutter onto the mat, near the glass, before they go to a test of strength. Both men fall to the mat, selling drunkenness, and it’s probably a little too early to be drunk off of a shot of whiskey!
Cutter takes a slam into the broken glass, and they pause for another shot of JD. Well, Moxley takes it, but Cutter dumps the shot, and gets punched below the belt before he’s whipped into the barbed-wire covered ropes. A swinging side slam takes NDC down, but he pops up just in time for Moxley to fall off the top rope as he went for a moonsault (I guess).
Cutter goes up top and hits a clothesline off the top for a one-count, before Moxley throws him head-first into the glass. Moxley rubs his face into the barbed wire, and it’s time for another shot. NDC dumps his shot again, and gets chopped viciously by Moxley, who sends him back-first into the glass. A powerbomb into the glass is followed by Moxley dragging him off the glass, and I will say this… Neil Diamond Cutter is leaking an impressively low amount of blood for a guy who’s been raked into barbed wire and taken several back bumps into glass!
Moxley rolls to the outside and tosses something across the crowd as he staggers to the merch tables. Cutter follows him out and he gets a chair thrown to the head, and now we see some blood on NDC’s back. Another shot follows for Moxley, and Cutter actually has a shot this time, whilst Moxley superkicks a chair for no reason.
Cutter takes a suplex outside, leaving a nice bloody imprint on the floor. Moxley rambles drunkenly into the mic, as he then grabs something and pours it into Cutter’s head. I’m guessing he took a neat shot of alcohol to the bloodied head? Back inside, Moxley misses a pick and falls to the mat, as Cutter whiffs on a quebrada into glass. Another drink follows, as Moxley goes for an Airplane Spin – and throws up during the spin – before he staggers down into his own vomit. NDC crawls onto the fallen Moxley, and that’s the win.
I’m not usually a fan of death matches, and this was no different. Absolutely rotten trash. The drunken death match concept had a chance if they played it for laughs, but this just made Jon Moxley look like a goof. I’d guess WWE didn’t see this when they signed him…. -***
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