Welcome into the expansion-age of British Wrestling coverage here at Wrestling With Words. It was decided today that we have designated reviewers for Insane Championship Wrestling, PROGESSS Wrestling, and as always we will be covering everything RevPro. On top of that all, welcome into the first representation of Southside Wrestling Entertainment for the site. The card looks stacked, filled with talent with across the globe, and with a main event of Will Ospreay challenging Joseph Conners for the SWE Heavyweight Championship, this looks promising for a first time review outing. Without further ado, let’s get into the show!
OK opener, even a bit below average. Things struggled to pick up or find an identity from the start of the match, although the solid cruiserweight action remained consistent. The match was so fluffy at parts, with offense looking as safe as can be, which isn’t bad, and probably didn’t come across as such to the fans watching from different angles. The second half of the match picked this up, and if it hadn’t had an abrupt finish, would have taken this to a higher rating. With El Ligero going above the fluffy offense, taking uppercuts and corner offense to Strickland, wore him down; although Strickland came right back with a dropkick to the face and a Lumbar Check which only got a 2 count. When Strickland was seemingly back in control after kicking Ligero in the head, within a blink of an eye a reverse hurricanrana was hit as well as the C4L DDT not hit earlier on for the win.
A short but solid and simple back and forth match between two big men that are agile. It got physical at times with kickouts on both ends and Pledge attempting to ground Gunner. Pledge did a really good job at taking damage whilst still trying to get over the fact he’s a beast. Some enjoyable parts were the brawling on the outside with Gunner chucking Pledge into chairs and such as well as Pledge grounding Gunner sucking the life out of him, but that didn’t last long. Before I knew it, the match was over; as that’s the theme of the night so far. Flashy yet quick finishes. One thing I disliked was Pledge hitting a desperation superkick then landing in the position to do a one armed pin, even though he was going to land right on top of Gunner if he didn’t purposely position himself like that. None the less, after Pledge got Gunner in the Fireman’s Carry position, Gunner slipped out and delivered a powerbomb for the win.
This is easily a contender for worst match of the year, and is proof that even past Thunder in the rankings; Leva Bates is the worst worker on this planet, and potentially one of the worst wrestlers I’ve ever seen. EVERYTHING she does either makes me laugh because it’s so bad or makes me cringe. We got a dance-off before the match started because WHY NOT?! We then moved into the “gum on the shoe” portion of this show which was this horrendous professional wrestling match. In a showcase of somehow worse than backyarder’s in 2001 work quality, Leva threw not only the worst working punches I’ve ever seen in my life, which made me erupt in laughter, but also brought out a nae nae, shrugged after delivering offense, and also delivering one of the worst spears I’ve ever seen, as well as being unable to hit a sliced bread off the turnbucke — Leva just collapsed down. She landed on the mat, but this match went through the transparent glass that is a neutral star rating and above barrier; breaking through to the negatives. MINUS ONE STAR. Oh, yeah, someone won in all of this surprisingly. Newell hit a great looking Cross Rhodes to retain. Note: Nixon literally did nothing wrong.
This makes two horrendous matchups in a row. This is really turning me off the show, but luckily AT LEAST the next match will seemingly deliver. What went wrong you may ask? About 8 minutes of pandering to the crowd, overselling a joke by falling all over the apron and ‘fainting’, with the jokes’ content being such of dick jokes and camel toe jokes directed at males, and the pandering itself that went on too long when the crowd was chanting “WE WANT WRESTLING,” — they had to wait a few more minutes for that. That completely took me out of the match, and I found myself not caring anymore although I enjoy The Riots in whatever they do. We got more over-sexualized stuff such as positioning and reference to Second City all being gay for each other which is blah. Forced brawling happened, and the only thing I remember happening after besides James Davis was the finish where all three guys hit Second City Collective with chokeslams and Hurricane pinned Damian Dunne for the win. I forgot to mention there was dancing in this match as well. It must be such a hard concept to start off a wrestling match with wrestling. I’m always down for some fun wrestling, but over the last two matches none of it has been FUN, more so insufferable because of awkwardness, uncomfortable circumstances which weren’t funny, and TERRIBLE ideas that weren’t executed well. I don’t even want to bury anyone but these were so bad they needed a negative swipe. Onto the next one…
This was a tremendous match. I’d say get the show just for this if not what was to come, or if you enjoy watching trainwrecks. Everything accentuated the match: the commentary, atmosphere with European chants and songs, and the dynamic in which both men shared. This was something special, a match that was built as a question: who can be more sadistic? Commentary noted that it would flip-flop between one man willing to go so far and one man taking a beating — the two really dug deep to see who truly was the best. As with so many Sami Callihan matches, we got all the signature Callihan things (spit, boots, outside brawling, etc) yet it always feels different, and especially felt so in this case vs. a perfect clash of styles against hard-nosed mature grappler Haskins. There were so many points in the match in which I thought the match was going to end, but it kept going and increasingly so as a big battle. So many gross bumps occurred like apron ones, a bodyslam on the stage which felt like it was done in 200x speed, and the two being dropped on their damn heads! The finish was wavy and never kept a flat boring ominous structure. There were two finishes that were built to, the first that came was both admitting they would be on the same wave length as tons of Stretch Muffler counters and big spots built to a double kick to the face which laid both out. Finally Callihan knocked out Haskins with a kick to the back of the head and hit a Package Tombstone for a win. There is still so much I haven’t mentioned such as the convincing finger-bending submission I thought Callihan would tap to. What a war.
After the match, Sami got down on his knees and stuck his hand out for sportsmanship, but once Haskins leaned in he spat all over him — which resulted in a superkick to Callihan’s face. A frenzy of confusion followed as Callihan powerbombed Haskins off the top turnbuckle in which he was celebrating on. Callihan then sat cross-legged waiting for Haskins to give a handshake yet the two went nose to nose until they stood back up. Callihan pulled Haskins in for a hug, and eventually mockingly kissed him on the lips. That was that.
Although short, this was a really fun sprint that utilized everyone well. Kirby was the only heel in the match, and was an absolute cock, putting his shirt over the announcers head, preventing high spots from happening, and more. It was a pleasure to see Andrew Everett and Angelico in the same ring, and even at the same time 1 vs. 1 at one point! I’ve never been fond of Morgan Webster, but he was alright here, being the guy that got restless and eventually just teamed up with whoever he was battling against to take out the common enemy. Some unique stuff as well as a Tower of Doom that was executed. Morgan Webster chucked Everett over the ropes and onto Kirby and Angelico. However, Pete Dunne entered the ring and destroyed him, setting up an awesome finish. Angelico got his twisting ankle lock on Kirby, but Everett re-entered the ring to give a Shooting Star Press to Angelico, unwrapping the submission and pinning Angelico to become the 9th ever Speed King Champion!
I just…what? Keep in mind that this was in Ospreay’s hometown and he has never won the SWE Heavyweight Championship. Also, early on, commentary basically let it slip by implying Ospreay IS becoming the first ever British IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion. Conners is by far the most boring champion of any promotion in wrestling right now. He’s an average Joe in how he looks, how he behaves, and everything else regarding his physicality and character. I don’t believe he’s a legitimate guy as champ. I’d almost think you’d be ribbing me if you told me this guy is set to break the record for longest champion in SWE history. He’s had the belt for nearly a year. The match started off OK, and I was thinking to myself that this was set to be average. Conners worked over Ospreay for quite a while, which wasn’t intriguing or enjoyable work over at all. It just felt forced and as part of the process. Eventually Ospreay came back and we got into 50/50 mode. Then we got into stupid territory, and boy was this booking ever stupid. Ospreay kicks out of the Righteous Edge, which is fine. ONE Righteous Edge kickout is fine, as the move was put over before as a finisher, used one time. Then, in a video game finisher spam moment, we got FUCKING FOUR more of them, and Ospreay kicked out like they didn’t mean anything. Moments later, we were back on Ospreay’s comeback and it was like those didn’t even matter. I get it if he got back up from one, but five in total, and there’s no additional selling nor consequence as we moved on to the next chapter in this swerve book. Run-ins and ref adventures. Ospreay finally had Conners down after a superkick and Spanish Fly, yet Pledge, awkwardly albeit which fits the theme of the match, pulled the original referee out of the ring. Ospreay somehow abruptly convinces the second ref to restart the match since it’s in his hometown, but we get a low-blow false finish. The second ref gets bumped and this was officially teleported into near DUD territory. Conners tried to hit Ospreay with the belt but Ospreay dove onto Pledge and set up the corkscrew finish…but he landed on the belt. Reightous Kill connects, and the second ref is back up to magically count the pin. There were so many things executed wrongly here, but there still were tidbits of the match that were fine, and therefore it wasn’t a complete shit show. This could have been so much more than what it was, and it’s a terrible first impression of the promotion’s main event scene plus the stable and Joseph Conners.
I’m not sure I’d say this was the worst show of the year, but it’ll be up there unless if AAA pulls another Triplemania or TNA pulls another Slammiversary. We got a negative star match with Blue Pants pulling off one of the worst performances I’ve ever seen in a wrestling ring, as well as a nonsensical 6 man tag filled with bullshit. In between were simply OK matches with Strickland/Ligero, Gunner/Pledge and the Fatal 4 Way Speed King Championship match. However, the only thing you should get this show for, is the masterpiece that was Sami Callihan vs. Mark Haskins. However, upon reaching the main event, you may be most disappointing in the match as it completely fell flat, providing many twists and turns that were not needed, felt forced, and simply did not make sense. Until next time.