Time for a quick catch-up from NORTH Wrestling, and the second defence of Rory Coyle’s NORTH championship.

Tom Campbell and Matthew Gregg are on commentary as usual, with a sweltering Riverside in Newcastle being the venue, which seems to be a little better lit than usual. Shay Purser is your referee for the night, after John Myers was bribed at NCL.10 by the Landed Gentry… who gatecrash the show in a bid to serve some legal papers to Little Miss Roxxy. “Nothing says hot Geordie strong style action like serving court papers!” – a little too close to the truth there, Tom! Anyway, this morphs into a trios match, after Shax was brought out to play her part in a 3-on-1 attack… before England’s Hardest Men get their music and entrance to make the save.

Landed Gentry (Benji & Zeo Knox) & Shax vs. England’s Hardest Men (Lou Nixon & Shreddybrek) & Little Miss Roxxy
The good guys start off like a house of fire, charging into Shax and the Gentry in the corner with some step-up body attacks as referee Shay just stands there.

Ring bell dot MP3 sounds as the match officially begins, with Roxxy throwing Shax into the corner before an early flurry forced Shax to tag out. Zeo Knox comes in… and Roxxy quickly tags out to Nixon, who unloads with punches and kicks, only to get his eyes raked. Another head kick knocks Knox down, before Benji comes in. It’s a little ragged, but it ends up being another spotlight for Shreddybrek to show off his power as he bounces Benji around, only for the Gentry to hit a pair of dropkicks. A step-up dive into the corner a la the Hardyz backfires on the Gentry, as Shreddy overcomes that… Shax tries to woo Shreddy, who kicks out of a crossbody from Benji with ease. Shax tries a DDT, but to no avail… but she does rebound off the ropes for a tornado DDT for a near-fall. A double suplex from Shreddy dumps Shax and Benji, but Shax manages to catch Roxxy with a swinging Fisherman’s buster… only for Nixon to throw her out of the ring like she were nothing.

The Parade of Moves continues, until Benji’s caught in a Torture Rack. Shax tries to get involved, but she’s caught in a Muta lock by Roxxy… and eventually broken free from after Benji slithered free of the rack. The Gentry try to powder, but they take too long and get caught as Roxxy’s press slammed into them on the floor, before catching Shax with a back cracker out of the corner for the win. This was okay, but very rough in places – which you’d expect given everyone’s general lack of experience. **

Spike Trivet vs. TK Cooper
It’s been a very Conservative start to this show, eh?

Trivet and TK exchange wristlocks early, but it’s a leaping leg lariat from TK that draws first blood, but Spike sprays some of his champagne at TK… who responds with a right hand. A boot into the corner misses as TK gets hung in the ropes, allowing Spike to send him to the outside, where we get some brawling around ringside, which gives Trivet the upper hand as they return, with a clothesline getting him a near-fall.

TK escapes a brainbuster, and instead hits back with a swinging neckbreaker for a two-count, only for Trivet to take out the knee with a low dropkick. The Hat Rack Crack sit-out front suplex gets Spike a two-count, as the privileged one starts to use his tie to choke TK with… and get him some more air as the waistcoat had already come off in the sweltering heat. Heck, the shirts off too, revealing a shoulder strap on Trivet… A neckbreaker in the ropes is good for a near-fall, before Spike gets caught in a Kotaro Krusher from TK. From their knees, the pair trade right hands, before we get a big back body drop from TK, and a Yakuza kick into the corner! Spike sweeps away a scissor kick, sending TK flying ahead of a back suplex that almost ended things… but TK’s up at two.

In the end, TK hangs up Trivet in the ropes for a springboard corkscrew legdrop, but it’s not enough to put Trivet down. Another scissor kick misses, but TK ends up hitting a backbreaker-turned-lungblower before connecting the scissor kick… for another two-count! Trivet throws a desperation forearm, but TK’s Samoan, prompting him to reply with a headbutt before the Landed Gentry hit the ring… it led to Benji accidentally decking Spike with a bottle of champagne, before TK picks up the win with Rihanna. This got good by the end, but started out a little shaky… **½

Post-match, Spike lays out the Landed Gentry for costing him the match. Trouble in the cabinet, eh?

Nathan Cruz vs. HT Drake vs. Robbie X vs. Eddie Dennis
Winner gets the next shot at the NORTH Championship. Robbie X is here maskless, since this was before WOS hit the airwaves… so if you’re wondering what’s underneath that Saltire-like mask…

Eddie Dennis is instantly attacked by Nathan Cruz at the bell, as they picked up where they left off here in December, while Drake catches an early springboard cutter attempt from Robbie as the camera was all over the place here. Cruz offers Robbie a handshake, but he’s met with a cheapshot before countering a wheelbarrow bulldog into the Thanks, Tully springboard backbreaker. Eddie’s back with forearms and chops for Cruz, who rakes the eyes to get free. There’s an atomic drop from Eddie, who brushes aside Robbie X to boot, before going corner-to-corner ahead of the fallaway slam/Samoan drop combo. There’s an attempt by Eddie to suplex Crus into the crowd… but instead Nathan shoves him off as HT Drake flies in with a tope con giro into the pile. Drake’s back in with a springboard spinning heel kick for a near-fall on Cruz, as Robbie quickly returns with a hiptoss/cartwheel dropkick combo.

Robbie escaped a Next Stop Driver as he’s forced to fight away Eddie and Drake… but he manages to catch Eddie with an X-Express before a rolling death valley driver plants Drake. The insanity continued with a massive superkick from Eddie to Cruz, who then ate a Shining Wizard from Drake, before Robbie X’s springboard enziguiri kick leaves Eddie down as all four men were left laying. Drake keeps the big Parade of Moves going with a springboard tumbleweed to Eddie… but this is one of those matches where there’s so much going on and very little registering. Even if you’ve had your time cut… slow the hell down guys! It’s entertaining as all hell, but even my typing speed is having massive trouble keeping up. In the end, I give up, just sit back and watch, as we end with Eddie Dennis on the way to victory before Lucas Steel appeared and stared him down.

Eddie goes to punch Steel, who catches him with a big boot before passing him into Nathan Cruz as the Show Stolen gets the win. This was almost a clusterfuck of a match. An entertaining one, but I remembered very little of this outside of the finish, as Cruz and Lucas Steel seem to be a partnership in NORTH. ***

Russian Rules: Boris Koslov vs. Chris Renfrew
I’ve no idea who Boris Koslov is – this is his NORTH debut. Apparently he’s from “Leeds, Moscow”, and has a Russian gimmick. Like you’re surprised. Sadly, that’s all we’re told, which isn’t that great as he ends up addressing us… complete with his fans from Leeds who cheerlead.

Koslov issued a drinking challenge, which was answered by Chris Renfrew, so we’ve got vodka vs. buckfast. I need subtitles, which is saying something here. The pair end up grabbing a chair for a “best of five” drink-off, complete with Shay Purser pouring the shots… which is day one of referee training school stuff. They both finish their booze, but Koslov accidentally calls Renfrew “English”, which prompted Renfrew to fire back in kind… and so a fight breaks out.

Shay hurriedly clears the ring as Renfrew’s taken into the corner for a running boot, before Koslov dove on him with a tope. There’s some brawling around ringside, which saw Renfrew chop the ringpost, prompting him to head to the bar again except this time he throws Koslov into it before ordering a drink… which led to both of them rolling around on the floor like it’s chucking out time at the pub. Back in the ring, Renfrew kicks Koslov in the gut, before the favour’s returned. They’re trying to make each other throw up, but Renfrew manages to hit the “Stoner” (Stunner) for a near-fall. Koslov returns with a spinebuster, then a Cossack legdrop for another two-count, before he misses a shoulder tackle off the middle rope. A missile dropkick form Renfrew puts Koslov back down, but the Russian’s back with a flying shoulder off the middle rope before a DDT led to another near-fall.

In the end, Renfrew hits a pair of stunners, including one off the top rope, which proved to be enough. Eh, as a match it was alright – although part of me was very squeamish with the bit where they were trying to make each other throw up. I’d liked to have seen more of the Koslov character, but there’s more time for that. **¾

Team WhiteWolf (A-Kid & Adam Chase) vs. Super Brotheys (Amir Jordan & Kip Sabian) vs. Anti-Fun Police (Chief Deputy Dunne & Los Federales Santos Jr.)
If you’re wondering, this was before Adam Chase gave himself a new name… Amir Jordan and Kip Sabian have become an “odd couple” in some places, NORTH being one of them. There’s an in-joke here as Amir “can’t say professional wrestling” during Kip’s entrance, because WWE contract…

This was the NORTH debut of Los Federales Santos Jr, who starts by mocking some of Amir’s dancing – if only to show him what’s not allowed. A-Kid starts by grabbing the head of Dunne, who quickly gets to the ropes as the Spaniard tries for an armbar. Dunne gets tagged by Sabian, as Adam Chase also came in for a rather more high-paced stretched that ended with a dropkick from Chase. Team Whitewolf double-team Dunne, before they strayed into Santos’ clutches in the corner, which helped create a distraction for the False Alarm enziguiri.

Santos comes in for a sidewalk slam, then a standing suplex as A-Kid was on the back foot. Commentary compared Santos to Vader… which is a comparison I can certainly see being made when Santos gets some more experience under his belt… but that lack of experience so far led him to take a blind tag as the Anti-Fun Police and the Super Brotheys seemed to fight over who’d be facing Whitewolf.

That led to an argument that allowed Kid to hit a Pele kick before tagging in Adam Chase (who helpfully had his name on the back of his gear). There’s a somersault senton from Chase for a near-fall, but he’s quickly caught by the Anti-Fun Police… before he worked into a neckbreaker/accidental DDT on the fun hating pair.

With no A-Kid to tag out to, Chase tags in Amir Jordan to launch into Dunne with crossbodies, before a hiptoss and a low dropkick has Dunne in trouble. Jordan then calls for a dance, but Santos stops them with duelling Deep Sixes, before he turned around into duelling superkicks. Santos gets back up for a dive, launching into the pile with a tope, but he doesn’t last much longer in the ring as he’s low bridged to the outside, as Whitewolf double-teamed Dunne for another near-fall.

More double dropkicks from Kid and Chase caught out Santos, but they couldn’t avoid a rolling clothesline from Jordan… who then needs the help of Sabian to stop Santos as another Kotaro Krusher put the big guy down. They tried for a dance-off, but Dunne breaks it up, before his springboard lungblower’s caught and turned into a torture rack facebuster. Sabian dives to the outside for… reasons, before a top rope senton bomb from Jordan picked up the win. More measured than the earlier singles four-way, this was an enjoyable tag match… although I’m not sure what happened to turn Amir Jordan from the “job scared, I need a win” guy and into the “Super Brothey”? ***¼

We have a dance-off afterwards, sans the Anti-Fun Police, as commentary try to mask the copyrighted music…

NORTH Championship: Martina vs. Rory Coyle (c)
Martina’s back for the first time in almost a year – last seen in a feud of sorts with Danny O’Doherty and Little Miss Roxxy. How times change!

It’s a weird “babyface match” since the NORTH crowd love Martina and Rory Coyle, and we start with… Martina grinding on Coyle. Then Shay Purser. Again. Eventually Coyle’s had enough and grabs Martina in a bear hug from behind, but she knows how to get out… more grinding. Eh, it works.

We get a parade of holds and (sometimes) escapes as Martina put her Japanese experience to use… then tires herself out as she runs the ropes. It’s very much “classic Martina”, which may be a turn-off for you. She needs a reboot, which works as she finally pulls off the dive before she sprays beer at Coyle. The walk-and-brawl gives Matthew a chance to shout out a few people (cough), before we get back into the ring, where Martina pulls off the Flap Trap.

Coyle instantly hits back with a boot to the midsection, then a camera-shaking bodyslam as he then pulls Martina into a camel clutch. Shay stops Coyle from throwing a punch, allowing Martina to hit another beer spray as she mounts a comeback, featuring a big boot and a staggering legdrop. Rory pulls the referee into harm’s way… Martina stops as she was about to catch Shay with a Bronco Buster… not that he would have disliked it. It provides a distraction anyway as Coyle hits back with a DDT for a near-fall, before Martina slips out of a Fireman’s carry and begins throwing a series of chops and forearms.

Coyle puts the brakes on and lands a sidewalk slam for a near-fall, but Martina’s still got something left in the tank as a satellite DDT got her close to the win. Martina’s caught on the top rope and brings her down with an Air Raid Crash, dubbed the Dip in the Lake… and that’s enough for the win. If you’re not a fan of the “old Martina” shtick, you’d hate this, but this wasn’t too bad all things considered. A comprehensive win for Coyle, who’s quickly becoming a bit of a franchise player for NORTH. ***

After the match, Rory looked to start a session with Martina… until a guy in the Bás Bán mask appeared and attacked Martina and Coyle. Of course, it wasn’t Bás, unless he’d lost weight and height… it was Liam Slater, who then killed Coyle with a powerbomb before celebrating with a beer over him. Slater’s back to take the NORTH title… and I guess that’s our next big feud?

NORTH Wrestling has always been one of those promotions that comes across better live than on tape – much like the likes of Fight Club Pro… perhaps not helped by some of the camera work, which was notably different from the last NORTH show we dipped into. While some of the wrestling may not have been world beating, especially with the first few matches being rough, this NCL.11 made for a fun watch, especially since there’s plenty of characters here who aren’t massively overexposed around the British scene.