Chris Hero makes an appearance in the next entry in wXw’s Best of 2005, as he dabbled in a European rules match for the Lightweight championship.

Andy Jackson takes us back to Broken Rulz 5 in September 2005… he tells us about how Chris Hero studied tape and ate with Johnny Saint ahead of this to get a different perspective on the rule set. Andy seemed in awe that Chris went to Wales – to be fair, in 2021, I’m in awe of anyone being able to go anywhere… We’re at the Turock in Essen for this, as Chris Hero challenged for the wXw Lightweight Championship under European rules. Or World of Sport rules, as you’d probably also call them.

European Rules for wXw Lightweight Championship: Chris Hero vs. Robbie Brookside (c)
Round 1: It looks like Hero’s powdered at the bell, but returns at the count of six to get us going with a knuckle lock on Brookside. It’s rolled back and reversed, but Hero backs into the corner for a break as Brookside clung onto the wristlock, taking Hero down as the first round came to a close.

Round 2: We curtain-fade into this round, as we pick up where the first ended – with a broken lock-up and a wristlock from Brookside. Hero escapes with grounded headscissors, which gets the crowd chanting “you are no Hero” at him. Harsh. Brookside rolled free and grapevine Hero’s legs, but Hero eventually gets to the ropes to force the break. There’s more unkind chants to “Supersize Hero” as he went for a cravat on Brookside, but it’s rolled out of as the round came to an end.

Round 3: Hero starts by diving for the leg, but Brookside evades as we get another tie-up, with Hero bridging Brookside down. Hero can’t break Brookside’s bridge, try as he might, before he swept away a leg, which started some see-saw pinning attempts that led to a stand-off. Brookside punches out of an armbar, before Hero again backed into the ropes. Brookside gets distracted with the referee and gets knocked from behind by Hero, who looked for a KO as the crowd got into a shouting contest with Hero. Back-and-forth pins end with Hero grabbing a front chancery, but nothing came of it.

Hero cheapshots Brookside in the gut between rounds…

Round 4: Brookside’s still down as the fourth opens, allowing Hero an easy way in with some leaping knees that knocked the Brit into the corner. More close-range shots knock Brookside down, but he beats the standing ten count before being berated by the ref for feinting a jab. The ref teases a yellow card for that, before Brookside began elbowing Hero into the corner. A snapmare and a PK to the back followed on the volley… but Hero then dragged himself into the corner to force a separation. More elbows from Hero take down Brookside, where a toe hold followed, before Hero countered it into a death lock… which Brookside tried to break free as time ran out.

Again between the rounds, Hero cheapshots Brookside, stomping him as Hero got a yellow card for that.

Round 5: Hero starts out hot, taking Brookside into the corner before he went to the deathlock, rolling the hold into a Trailer Hitch instead. Of course Hero cheats, grabbing the ropes for leverage as the ref’s checking on Brookside, before he switched it up into a Muta lock. Keeping the legs tied, Hero eventually forces Brookside to the ropes… but Brookside returns with uppercuts and a grounded cravat, which Hero easily kneed his way free of as another deathlock was broken up by the bell.

Hero baited Brookside into throwing a cheapshot between rounds, but the referee doesn’t issue a warning.

Round 6: They tentatively go for a lock-up, but Brookside’s had enough of Hero and throws some shots. Hero goes for the leg, but Brookside kicks away and had Hero in the ropes… only for Hero to return with a leg grapevine. Brookside quickly counters with a cravat of sorts, but Hero escapes and rolled in for a seated surfboard, transitioning into a STF cravat as the ropes saved Brookside once more as time again ran out, with Brookside rolling outside at the bell.

Round 7: Hero knocks Brookside off the apron to start, then again as Brookside got his feet tied up in the ropes. The referee frees him as Hero calls for a standing ten-count, but Brookside nicks in and after he looked to shoot Hero into the ropes, he scored the first fall with a roll-up.

Round 8: Despite having gotten the pin, Brookside stayed on the deck between rounds, and was visibly spent. So much so, he couldn’t get up for the restart, as Hero pounced on him, grapevining the legs in almost a standing Figure Four. I know I’m butchering the moves. Sorry, Chris, if you’re reading. Hero keeps the Figure Four crossover going as he spun in for a toe hold, only for Brookside to free himself and spin Hero to the mat with some headscissors. Hero’s back up quickly though, and sparks some back-and-forth strikes before Hero nicked an equaliser with a backslide – with his feet on the ropes.

Round 9: They wiped out Hero’s fall because his feet were on the ropes… and we’ve a jump start as Brookside leaps into Hero at the bell, whipping him between the corners. Some hair pulling from Brookside gets a yellow card as Hero fought back with knee lifts, before he tied up Brookside in a grounded keylock, crossing the legs too, before switching it around into another good ol’ toe hold. Brookside counters, but Hero’s in the ropes quickly… and eventually tied up Brookside on the mat as the knee work continued until the end of the round.

Round 10: Hero goes for Brookside at the bell, but gets met with boots and uppercuts as Brookside threw him to the mosh pit on the outside. Hero looks to have some trouble escaping, but Brookside brings him back in the hard way before Hero found his way back in with that crossed-over leg lock, forcing the submission as Hero legitimately tied it up at 1-1.

Round 11: Brookside’s still down as the round started, with Hero slamming him ahead of a back senton for just a one-count. Hero’s toying with Brookside, shoving him to the mat as the referee gives Hero a second yellow card… but Hero cheapshots Brookside as the referee was instructed to tell the ring announcer what for. A double stomp off the top nearly gets Hero the win. He waits for Brookside to beat the standing ten-count as they go back-and-forth on uppercuts, before Brookside crotches Hero as he looked to go up for a moonsault. There’s no time for Brookside to follow up before the bell… but he hits the ropes and hits a baseball slide into the corner afterwards, despite being politely asked not to. Of course that gets him a second warning.

Round 12: Brookside finally looked to start a round on top, having decided to play Hero at his own game. Hero’s up to his feet first and hits a low dropkick at the bell, before a discus elbow looked to force the win by TKO. Brookside gets to his feet, but he’s quickly down again as we enter the final two minutes of the match… with Hero’s bid to go up top backfiring massively as he’s brought down with an Iconoclasm as Brookside gets the win. European/World of Sport rules matches can be pretty divisive – the stop-start nature of the matches do turn some people off, especially in the modern day. Still, if you can get past that hurdle, what you had here was a really good match with Chris Hero trying to take all of the shortcuts he could to win – only for Brookside to play Hero at his own game and nick the win.

Result: Robbie Brookside defeated Chris Hero by two falls to one at 36:07 to retain the wXw Lightweight Championship (***½)