On this week’s WOS, we find out the final tag team in our tournament semi-finals… and there’s a little bit of something for everyone, including a great match between Will Ospreay and Martin Kirby.
The “last week” recap focused on Crater and Rampage, along with Grado’s brush with a suit… this week, Will Ospreay is back, and we’ve got a women’s match. As ever, So Cal Val, Alex Shane and Stu Bennett are on commentary, and we’re straight into action.
WOS Women’s Championship: Bea Priestley vs. Kay Lee Ray (c)
Bea wasn’t involved in the decision in the inaugural title match two weeks ago, so she gets a shot here… and there’s a jump start as Priestley booted Kay Lee during her intro.
Priestley keeps up the aggression, with a sliding forearm as Kay Lee was in the ropes, before getting a near-fall from a suplex… but she takes too long in the ropes as a gamengiri from Ray stopped her in her tracks. There’s more of the “X is in a relationship with Y” bollocks that passes for explaining a character here… but Priestley avoids a superplex and instead knocks Ray back for a double stomp that almost gave us a new champion.
Ray’s sent to the outside as the pair end up exchanging forearms, but Bea loses her focus and throws the champion back inside… and of course, Kay Lee dives right back to the outside. We’ve the Gory Bomb, but Viper wanders out… and that of course stops referee Steve Lynskey from counting the pin, because wrestling. Kay Lee tries to dive onto Viper, but she’s caught and thrown into the guard rails… and this is thrown out as a no contest as Bea just got stood on by the railings. This was fine, and for a change didn’t have that feeling of a match that was just spinning its wheels until the interference came. **¼
Viper’s not the only interference though, as more Generic TV Muzak hits as a new face arrive: Ayesha (of last year’s Mae Young Classic… and prior Britwres fame). She has a brief argument with Viper in the aisle before all four women brawled, until they were stopped by security. Stu Bennett “cancels” the match, and instead orders a battle royal next week between these four, and it’s to crown a WOS champion. Does Rampage know his belt’s on the line in a match he’s not involved in?
We go to “earlier” as Grado’s again miming in front of Stu Bennett. Stu’s annoyed that Grado reverted to his old self, but Grado wants one more chance… and if he can find himself a partner, he’ll be in the WOS tag title tournament. Who the hell books a tournament without enough teams?!
Will Ospreay vs. Martin Kirby
These two have something of a history, stealing the show in the early days of WCPW. Kirby’s clearly the bad guy here, and he jumps Ospreay at the bell, but Will’s quickly in with a rebound armdrag off the ropes before a dropkick took Kirby to the floor… for a faked out dive.
A low dropkick from Ospreay catches Kirby back in the ring, before we get a clear shot of a forearm as Kirby was clinging to the ropes, before a tiltawhirl backbreaker from Kirby leaves Ospreay on the deck. There’s a chinlock from Kirby, but Ospreay easily elbows free before rebounding with a handspring corkscrew kick, which gets the replay it deserves, before Ospreay has to abort the Shibata-ish dropkick. We do get the over-the-top 619 via the hard cam, then a springboard forearm as Kirby’s left down for a near-fall.
An enziguiri from Kirby looked to get him back in, as he took Ospreay outside for his own version of a 619, this time going around the ringpost and into the ring, before we’ve a tope as Kirby crashed into Ospreay. Those are some flashy moves for a bad guy! A Michinoku driver’s nearly enough for the win, but Ospreay’s able to kick out and tease a Storm Breaker instead. Kirby wriggles free, but gets taken down once more as Ospreay rolls through into headscissors… which Kirby kicks away, only to run into a standing Spanish Fly. Things get a little more frantic as a hook kick and a Dragon suplex puts Kirby into the corner, but he gets his feet up to block a charge as he rolls up Ospreay into a neckbreaker for a near-fall.
Heck, Kirby gets arrogant enough to try for the Zoidberg Elbow, but he’s ‘rana’d away as Ospreay took him outside for a Sasuke Special, complete with replay, then a shooting star press back into the ring for a near-fall as we didn’t see what got Kirby in perfect place. Nevermind the Storm Breaker’s next, and that’s the win. Easily the best bout on WOS so far this series… and I’m not surprised in the least. ***¾
Back from break, Grado’s in the ring with Stu Bennett as we find out who he’s got as his partner for the tag title tournament. But first, we’re told that they’ll face Robbie X and Crater, the Masked Men, one of whom has an awfully hilarious dubbed over roar. Anyway, Grado has found a partner: it’s the baby Bulldog! Curiously, they already had a graphic for Grado and the Bulldog on the video screen…
WOS Tag Team Championship Tournament – First Round: Robbie X & Crater vs. Grado & Davey Boy Smith Jr.
I don’t know about you, but calling someone “the biggest legend’s son” feels like such a big compliment that tails off badly into a “he’s not made it on his own” backhand, right?
Crater tags himself in early as Grado needs someone to bounce off of. Except he’s actually smart, and he tags in Davey Boy Smith Jr. to try and use his power. Unfortunately, after a couple of shoulder tackles, Grado tags himself in and just cracks himself off of Crater. Comedy! He rolls out in a daze as the Bulldog throws some forearms, and has Crater staggering… until the big guy returns with a clothesline and a dubbed in roar. Either that or that mask has a microphone inside it.
Robbie X comes in and looked to be on the defensive, including taking a press slam off the top as his misdirection backfired badly. Grado’s back to pick apart Robbie X, but he just grabs an arm and tags out as Stu Bennett took a dig at Grado’s ability. There’s a keylock from Smith that nearly led to the pin, before a stalling suplex brought back memories of his dad… ahead of another near-fall.
Grado’s used as a weapon as he’s slammed on Robbie X, but Robbie’s back with a hiptoss and a dropkick on the “drunken elephant”, before he deadlifts away a German suplex effort. There’s a Dusty elbow back from Grado as he got back into it, but Crater catches him with a shot in the ropes, much to Robbie’s confusion as the bigger guy tags in and bulldozes through Grado. Crater quickly tags out as Robbie X comes close with a standing moonsault… Robbie wants to tag out, but Crater wants no part of it. He doesn’t do a Kirby and drop off the apron, as he instead just stands there, shaking his head as the Bulldog’s back in to blast Robbie with a back body drop. There’s a boot to knock Crater off the apron next, before another back body drop sent Robbie into him… and Crater just throws Robbie on the floor instead of saving him.
Robbie’s thrown back in as Crater walks away, and one quick cutter later, Grado gets the win. I’m not thrilled with them doing two “partners walk out on each other” angles IN THE SAME TOURNAMENT, but as long as this doesn’t give us a Robbie X/Crater squash, then it is what it is. **¾
So we’ve got our semi-finals booked: it’s Iestyn Rees & Kip Sabian vs. Stevie Boy & BT Gunn, while Adam Maxted and Nathan Cruz face Grado and Davey Boy Smith Jr. in the other semi. Those are apparently next week.
Crater headed back to the ring after the match as he looked to bully Robbie X some more, but Smith and Grado provide shield as this was snuffed out too quickly.
Sha Samuels gives Maffew some new intro material for Botchamania as he takes the mic off of Rachel Stringer as she tried to plug a “triangle match” next for a shot at Rampage’s title. I like how Sha’s doing all the talking for Rampage, but I wasn’t a fan of how much the interview seemed to take it as a joke.
Maxted was out with Nathan Cruz (but weirdly wasn’t in week one, since they weren’t a pairing then…) and Cruz offers to replace his partner, “to save his handsome face.” Joe Hendry’s sing-a-long again comes complete with the enthusiastic-yet-robotic hand waving.
Joe Hendry vs. Justin Sysum vs. Nathan Cruz
It’s a little unnerving how shallow the WOS roster is when in week four we’re already into “matches for title shots” that two-thirds of the planned match have already had. Anyway, after making himself subservient to his tag partner (or is he really just easily duping him to get a chance of a title shot), Hendry and Sysum attack Cruz from behind to get us going. There’s a double-team back body drop as commentary’s fawning over Cruz’s chances of being on TOWIE, before Hendry traps Sysum in a grounded front facelock. The pair continue in the ring, with Hendry bulldozing through Sysum with a shoulder tackle, before Cruz returned to the ring to clatter the Scotsman with a leaping knee, allowing the Showstealer to take a shot at Sysum… only to run into an eventual dropkick.
Sysum returns fire with a crossbody out of the corner, before Maxted trips him in the ropes. That distraction allowed Cruz to attack him with the Thanks, Tully belly-to-back suplex off the ropes, but Cruz takes a while to follow-up, and we end up with a nice sunset flip/German suplex combo as we get some three-way action. Hendry fires back with a neckbreaker to Sysum, before he rolled and tripped Cruz en route to the ankle lock. Justin Sysum dives in to stop Cruz from tapping, but rather than keep on Nathan, he decides to take the pair into the corners for some Stinger splashes. A Fishermen’s suplex on Hendry nearly earns him the win, before Cruz comes in and hit’s Alex Shane’s Move for a near-fall.
Things break down into a Parade of Moves, with a Freak of Nature fallaway slam to Cruz almost getting the win, but Adam Maxted puts Cruz’s foot on the rope to make the save. Hendry’s dumped to the outside with a back body drop… as was Sysum, whose flailing legs clatter into Hendry’s head… but Sysum’s right back in with a running spear from the floor and into the ring, catching Cruz flush.
Sysum looks to go for his 450 Splash, but Adam Maxted gets involved. There’s almost an accidental punch between the pair, as Sysum takes advantage of that hitting Cruz with a discus clothesline that took me some time to figure out what it was. Anyway, it’s enough for the win, and Sysum gets another shot at the title… hopefully this time he has a way to stop CJ Banks and Sha Samuels from getting involved. ***
Next week: both tag title tournament semi-finals, Crater has a handicap match, and we get the women’s battle royal for Kay Lee Ray’s title.
We all know what WOS is at this point: but if you can get past the abundance of camera cuts, there’s a decent show lurking underneath. Ospreay/Kirby pulled out a real cracker of a match, despite the over-production and editing, while the story of Grado doing whatever he can to impress management is a nice throwback to Mick Foley’s efforts to win the hearts of Vince McMahon back in the day. Although I doubt we’ll see Stu Bennett being hit over the head with a bedpan in this series…
Ratings-wise, there’s dissenting thoughts regarding the overnights – one source lists the show as having crept up to 0.6m viewers with a 5.5% share, while another is claiming the rise is only up to 0.55m with a 5.3% share. Either way, the ratings slide has stopped at least, and although the comparisons to pretty much anything else on the Saturday evening timeslots remain grim, barring any major drops in the remaining weeks, I think we’re pretty much assured of at least seeing the series reach it’s conclusion on ITV.