For one of our “Near-Fall” quick recaps, we take a look at 3CW’s Standing Room Only from this past June.
Keeping up with 3CW’s history of saving shows that have fallen off the radar (cough, 1PW, cough) 3CW took over a date at the Georgian Theatre in Stockton-on-Tees. Tom Campbell and Mike Green are on commentary…
Chuck Wood vs. Martin Kirby
It’s a second appearance in 3CW for Chuck Wood, and I’m stunned to find that it’s only the second match between these two in any guise. Chuck’s brought his wife “Jenny Wood” with him, and he starts by jumping Chuck as they were playing to the crowd.
Apparently we’re an over-age show, so we’ve got some blue language on commentary, along with some cringe-worthy wood puns. I want to see the Mahoga-knee though… Wood and Kirby work a nice basic match to get the crowd into things, with a lot of crowd participation and some rather unusual usage of Chuck Wood’s braces! Chuck rebounds with a standing version of AJ Styles’ Spiral Top for a near-fall, before Kirby decided to head outside and do a lap of honour, ending up with him using Jenny Wood as a human shield. She ends up in the ring, but she just slaps Kirby before Chuck mounted a comeback, coming close with a moonsault, then again with the MDF-U (yes, it is what you think it is).
Kirby tries to get hold of the axe, but when the referee disarms him Jenny’s back in for a crossbody before a stunner from Wood gets a him a two-count, only for Kirby to win with a small package instead. Perfectly fine grappling for a rather different kind of casual audience – hopefully Chuck Wood’ll be sticking around in 3CW. **¾
Dara Diablo vs. Joseph Biggs
We’ve not seen Biggs on tape since the earlier days of NORTH… he’s been wrestling for a few years, but would be seen as the underdog against Dara Diablo here. The crowd got on Dara Diablo’s back for his “Mexican heritage”, and after an initial flurry, Diablo’s quickly cornered by Biggs, who’s able to catch his bigger foe with a back suplex… but he took too long climbing the ropes and gets press slammed down to the mat, as Diablo took over with some crossface punches.
There’s a nasty-looking backcracker from Diablo that gets a near-fall as he maintained his advantage, while commentary seemingly ran through the list of names that weren’t here. Biggs has a brief fightback, landing an enziguiri and a diving knee for a two-count. A short DDT nearly gets the upset, and after a brief brawl on the outside, Diablo drops Biggs neck-first across the ropes before running in with a flying Flatliner for the win. This was a decent contest; Biggs looked alright in his debut, but save for Diablo’s heckles over his background, the crowd seemed largely ambivalent. **½
3CW North East Championship: Amir Jordan vs. Benji (c)
A rematch from Enthrone back in May… can Benji get the second shock? Amir’s entrance played well with the intimate crowd, while Benji tried to come out to Three Lions… only for Ace Athletic to usurp him. The Ace Athletic act didn’t seem to play well in front of a more adult crowd at first, but they slowly warmed to it. The pair had a decent, fast-paced match, with Benji flying all over the place before he was clattered into with a crossbody from Jordan as the former champion tried to regain his strap, in spite of the whistle-blowing annoyances from Ace Matthews at ringside. Myles Kayman gets involved, knocking Amir off the top rope, prompting Prince Ameen to have a whinge… and the match gets thrown out. That’s an awkward finish after something so benign…
Ameen’s upset at the no contest, so he offers a tag match instead. Given that Ace Matthews and David Graves are injured, it’s a no-brainer…
Amir Jordan & Prince Ameen vs. Benji & Myles Kayman
This was Kayman’s debut under that name, and it started with what I think was meant to be a leapfrog that was aborted in mid-air. It picks up from there, with Ameen and Amir working fairly well together, but after some interference from David Graves, the Ace Athletic pair took the edge.
Benji showed some aggression when he was in, as did Kayman, despite the rough edges that were on show as a double-team suplex put Jordan down for a near-fall. Eventually Amir gets the hot tag to Ameen, who clears house as commentary seemed to edge ahead a few seconds of the live action… and we’re quickly into a wonky finish as an O’Connor roll to Kayman drew a two-count… then another one-count as those two added up to the three for the win. Complete with ring announcer Stevie Aaron exclaiming in shock.
Except Ace Athletic called for VAR, so the referee wanders to a screen at the back where his error was corrected… but the pin wasn’t the error, it was a missed tag, and as we restart Benji nearly pinned Ameen with a roll-up, but it’s only good for a near-fall, before Benji interrupts Ameen’s Magic Carpet Ride, then hits a frog splash as Myles stole the pin. This was a little wonky at times, but at least they had some good storyline stuff at the end with Benji and Myles arguing among themselves. *½
Post-match, Ace Athletic minus Benji beat up Amir and Ameen until Lucas Steele made the save.
Myles Kayman vs. Lucas Steele
Myles was left on his own as we had this impromptu match… and slapping Steele perhaps wasn’t the best of ideas. Especially when it earned him a clothesline, a Beele throw and an avalanche lariat before a suplex throw left him down and out. A flapjack and a powerbomb would have completed the squash… but Steele pulls up Kayman at two, before another pair of powerbombs got the win. Splat.
There’s a video promo from Rory Coyle… HT Drake and Satchel Jones apparently wanted a shot at their titles here, but instead he’s swapping the match as they take on “a Scotsman” and someone “from a city you may know”.
Another video promo, seemingly shot in the Rogues Gallery’s garage, as they built up to the latest match in their feud with the Dormo Dynasty, but first they need to have a suspension lifted since 3CW had banned the former tag champions. We return to live action as the Rogues Gallery were introduced to the ring, and were promptly interviewed by Stevie Aaron, who recapped said feud.
One cheap pop and a heckle from the crowd later, the referee starts a ten count as those hecklers saw through the set-up. We get to eight before Leon Mercer left to grab from from backstage… except Kid Richie came through the crowd and used a baseball bat on Stan Kellitt’s leg… and our match is on.
Leon Mercer vs. Kid Richie
The brawling starts pretty much straight away with the pair of them rolling to the outside, trading punches, before he threw Richie into a wall. The crowd seemed pretty quiet during all of it, so they head back to the ring after Mercer slammed Richie on the outside… but he’s quickly taken into the ropes for some choking as the relative veteran mounted a comeback… at least until Mercer rolled back into some headscissors on Richie.
A neckbreaker followed, as Mercer slipped into wrestling mode by climbing the ropes… and he’s quickly crotched by Richie. Richie pulls him up after making a cover, so he could grab his baseball bat again… but Stan Kellitt’s back to disarm him, allowing Mercer to hit a DDT for the win. This was alright, but the crowd didn’t seem to care about this, which was the risk when you bring your product to an entirely new audience. **¼
Post-match, Mercer tells Richie to “go back to Redcar” and prepare for war… but first they gave the rest of the Dormo Dynasty to the count of ten otherwise they’ll use the bat on Richie. Hey, kinda like Home Alone! Sadly, they don’t go “one, two… ten!”, but they do make the ten count before they just leave after Richie cowered in fear.
There’s a video package before the main event to hammer home that Drake and Satchel’s opponents are going to have a hard time co-existing… so this should be easy, right?
Chris Renfrew & Screwface vs. HT Drake & Satchel Jones
Drake and Jones are gunning for a shot at the 3CW tag titles, even if Jones is pretty raw in his career. They started out well against Renfrew, and didn’t look to slip either against Screwface as Satchel Jones managed to belie his lack of experience… until Renfrew kicked him in the ropes. That led to dissension between the bad guys for a moment, but Renfrew was able to refocus as Jones was forced to snatch out at whatever opportunity he could to get offence in.
A Blue Thunder Bomb from Screwface nearly puts him away, as does a delayed vertical suplex, before a low bridge from Renfrew eventually hauled Satchel to the outside. Cue more arguments as Screwface apparently didn’t want to cheat, and that led to HT Drake leaping into them as the fight went into the crowd. Renfrew accidentally chopped the ring post as he aimed for Drake… but he’s able to return to the ring with an Okada-like lariat to Jones as we end up with a big Parade of Moves, ending with the bad guys again having a fall-out for… reasons. With Renfrew on his own, he’s quickly met with a death valley driver from Drake and a double-stomp from Jones for a near-fall, with Screwface making the save so he could bucklebomb both of his opponents.
In the end though, Screwface looked to Roll the Dice on Jones, only for Renfrew to low blow him… because these bad guys just can’t get along… and it eventually backfires as a bridging German suplex from Satchel, with a bit of help on the roll-up from HT Drake gets the win. This was alright, but I was not a fan of the whole “team couldn’t get along” stuff – although if it sets up Screwface vs. Renfrew for down the line, then at least we’re getting something out of it. **¾
So, for a short-notice show, Standing Room Only wasn’t bad, but it did suffer from a crowd that seemingly didn’t know any of the 3CW storylines – as borne out by the crowd lapping up the opener, but then going relatively silent for anything that played off of storyline. The venue had a pretty good look to it, reminding me of a smaller version of the early PROGRESS shows in the Garage, complete with the quaint “shelf on the wall” that’s normally used for putting drinks on.
3CW returned to the venue in September for another show – hopefully with a crowd that’s more receptive to their storylines, unless 3CW opt to go for “split universes” with these 18+ shows, that is…