As some of you might be aware, WAW are in the process of gaining multiple TV deals to show British Wrestling worldwide. There is apparently some big name channels looking at their product, and with that being the case they returned to their home base of Epic Studios in Norwich on Saturday 14th May for their second batch of episodes to be taped.
Pre Show – Meet and Greet
As they do for all shows, WAW hosted a meet and greet prior to the show. It costs £10 to get in and you can meet WAW home talent for free. Well known Independent stars will charge for signed 8x10s and the big names will charge a higher fee for autographs and take professional pictures in the booth, which cost £10 each. First I met some of the well-known Indy guys at the show. These included Luke Hawx, Nathan Cruz and Jonny Storm. Also in this category was Lisa Marie Varon, better known as Victoria and Tara. She is making her comeback to the ring at the Bellatrix Female Warriors show as part of the weekend on the Sunday. By the time you are reading this, this has probably already taken place. It was great to meet her! Then came the big one though. I’ll let the photo do the talking.
So that was sweet (or too sweet if I may). Then came the tapings. Three episodes were to be taped in the afternoon and three more in the evening. I was only to make the afternoon tapings unfortunately. Here are the rest of my photos taken with talent. Below these will be the rundown of the show.
The show opened with a dark comedy segment featuring the owners of WAW, Ricky and Saraya Knight. They joked about Saraya rarely wearing a dress, which she indeed was at the show. Saraya wanted to throw some t-shirts but Ricky said it loses him money. They come to an agreement but the segment features some dissention between the two, which was a very nice piece of foreshadowing. All in all, a very funny, improvised comedy segment to kick off the show for the live crowd.
The taping started with the intro video on the titantron, before some dancers came out. It’s 2016, we don’t need dancers at a wrestling show. This segment went on for what seemed like ages, and ages, and ages, and ages. In reality, it was actually about a minute and half, but it was unnecessary.
A 6-man cruiserweight match kicked off the show since Bubblegum was moved to a different match in the days leading to the show. Decent match, not the typical cruiserweight spotfest but there were some moves that looked cool. A lot of brawling between all six men. Kip Sabian picked up the win with the Coup de Grâce move made famous in recent times by Finn Balor. Solid opener, but, like all other matches on the show, it was very short and could have done with a few more minutes. I give it 2*.
This match was very good, as you would expect from Nathan Cruz, but it was much too short. It went maybe four minutes maximum, and I get that they’re taping for TV, but they really should have given the matches more time than they did. Aron Frost is very impressive for a big man. He’s 6’4 from Oslo, Norway. At just 26 I imagine he will make his way further afield around the UK and Europe. He went over in a very good match that should have been longer. Purely for the length I give it just 2*.
Now I don’t like to start a review with a burial, but Brad Slayer is no good as the finish showed. Don’t get me wrong he has potential as he is young, but at this stage he is very green. He’s very over with the fans. Ruffneck on the other hand is a genius of heel. He is the closest thing the UK has to Kevin Owens. I believe he is moving to the US soon, so that will be our loss and America’s gain. Prior to the match though was the first introduction of the night of the WAW Commissioner, Scott Hall. He came out to shake hands with both competitors and to observe the national anthem. Brad shakes his hand no problem, but Ruffneck, the dastardly heel that he is, refuses. Razor responds with a toothpick to the face. It was a decent match but as I said earlier Slayer isn’t the best.
The finish came when Brad Slayer rebounded off of the ropes into a back body drop from Ruffneck. Slayer didn’t flip anywhere near as far as he needed to, and, in an awful looking bump, he landed on his head. I think the entire building reacted to the landing. Ruffneck demanded that Steve Lynskey count to ten. He did, and Ruffneck won the title by knockout, whilst Brad was lying in the ring unmoving. It seemed that he was ok, and that this was the planned finish. It’s just that it was a stupid bump to be taking. I can confirm that after the show I saw Brad Slayer on the streets of Norwich with Kip Sabian as I was leaving so it appears he was fine. It was very scary at the time though. He was even able to wrestle on the show in the evening. This concluded Episode 1 of the tapings. I give this match 1.5*.
A great technical match would be expected from these two and that’s what we, albeit a short one. It started off when Dynamite’s music played for Isaksen’s entrance, and then Isaksen fell off of the top rope whilst posing. Then, hit Dynamite’s music for his entrance, and laughter from the crowd. This match was short, but a very good British technical style match. Robbie Dynamite hit a diving headbutt and transitioned into an armbar for the win. 3*.
Wow. This was BAD. We all know the reputation Mr. Anderson has, so they put him with a dude in his forties who weighs 350lbs. Good one! Anderson did his usual schtick with the dropdown mic. Kendo cut him off after the first Anderson. Anderson immediately gained control and finished the intro. Thankfully this was quick. Kendo began to go for what appeared to be a Vader bomb but his foot fell in between the bottom and the middle rope about five times. At this point, Kendo thought “F*** It” and did a splash…FOR THE WIN!!! This match was horrible, luckily it was about 3 minutes. Why they would book Anderson like this is beyond me. I was in attendance for the infamous Sharmell vs Jenna match at TNA Victory Road 2009. This match was nowhere near that bad, but it was bad. 0.5*
Roy Knight of the UK Hooligans vs Bubblegum
There is no graphic for this match as it was a late replacement made on Thursday. Roy Knight, also known as The Zebra Kid, has been one of the UK’s finest and most controversial performers over the last 15 years, to the point where I once witnessed him being arrested at Norwich Airport many years ago, but I digress. This match was great. Just great. This was my first time seeing Bubblegum live. The man is a wonderful professional wrestler to watch. At one point, his Manchester City roots came out as he began to sing “Blue Moon” whilst on the top rope. The finish though, SUCKED!!! Bubblegum covers Roy but only manages a 2 count. The referee then proceeds to distract himself with an uncovered turnbuckle (which he openly let Roy use on Bubblegum, by the way). Bubblegum is pissed that it was only a two, and proceeds to push the referee whilst he is sorting out the turnbuckle. You see where this is going, right? Roy Knight hits Bubblegum with a clothesline. At this time, the referee turns round to see, not Bubblegum, but Roy looking at him and he thinks “HE’S the only man standing, HE must have pushed me”. I knew what was coming, the whole crowd knew what was coming. There wasn’t a damn thing we could do. The referee raised his hand to call for the bell, and to the dismay of everyone in the crowd, he called a disqualification. At this point I was thinking it was maybe a 4* match. I cannot possibly give it 4* with that finish. 3.5*.
The Midas Stable came out accompanied by their manager, “The Norfolk Paul Heyman”, Tommy Lee. I just gave him that nickname by the way. Imagine a short bald bloke, with a miniscule of Heyman’s promo ability and the thickest Norfolk accent you’ve ever heard. I just realised I could have skipped the description of his look. Here you are.
Anyway, the match. The legends team came out individually to pops increasing after each entrance. Just Joe came out first, followed by Williams and then lastly by X-Pac who had Sean Waltman on his titantron despite being promoted as X-Pac and announced by the MC as 6-Pac. This match got a bit of time compared to some, but it was still short. X-Pac wasn’t in long. He did a minute in the middle before coming in for the finish. He hit the wheel kick, he hit the bronco buster before winning with the X-Factor. It was decent. X-Pac was blown up at the end of the match without doing much. 2.5*
This match was just two green guys in the death spot. Nothing more, nothing less. Nobody cared about this match at all. I will point out that Nemesis had a completely different gimmick to the graphic shows. He was an army guy, coming out in camo clothes and a British flag. The fans call Keegan “Sharon Osbourne” for some reason, apparently he looks like her which I’m sure is a massive complement to a 245lb man in his mid-twenties. He also had a badass theme song and won with a sharpshooter. 1.25*
After a long show filled with angles, next came perhaps the biggest angle in British Wrestling today, if this makes TV that is. The former WSX star and current RQW champion Luke Hawx was out first to “Hit a Mutha*****” by Three 6 Mafia followed by the Knight Family’s Zak Knight. Zak is known to the casual fan as Paige’s brother who didn’t make the WWE from the “Fighting with My Family” documentary shown on Channel 4 a few years back. Scott Hall came out before the match as the Commissioner to observe the national anthems of both Great Britain and the USA. This was a very good match.
After maybe 12 minutes, Tony Valentine ran in with a chair through the crowd but the instant attack was thwarted by Zak. Out came Zak’s father, and the owner of the WAW, Ricky Knight. Ricky hit Luke with the chair while the ref was down, handing the title to his son, before taking it from him as he hit Zak with the chair and placed Luke’s hand over Zak’s lifeless body to win his the match and confirm him as the unified champion. Saraya and Roy came out to confront Ricky as he got on the mic. Ricky proclaimed “I’m done with WAW, I’m done being Paige’s dad. Zak, I can make you champion and I can make you un-champion”. Un-Champion. UN-CHAMPION! That’s my new favourite word. During the evening show, they teased a battle for power between the owner, Ricky Knight and the commissioner, Scott Hall. Zak Knight in storyline owns 48% of the company, so expect him to become involved in this storyline since he isn’t getting a rematch.
I would definitely recommend the WAW TV tapings if anyone is in the Norwich area. They are always good shows and bring a host of stars over every time. WAW will be back at Epic Studios for TV Tapings on the 2nd and 3rd of July. The only matches confirmed so far are Luke Hawx vs Mr. Anderson and Victoria vs Saraya Knight. WAW tour the Norfolk and Suffolk area as well. This Sunday (22nd) Scott Hall will be at their show in Lowestoft, Suffolk. Tickets are still available. Just go to wawuk.co.uk and click the ticket tailor links. Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter @SCFack and let me know what’s up! Also remember to follow the blog’s account @wrestlingfansGB. After over 2450 words. That’s all from me, I’ll catch you down the road.
My arms are killing me now by the way.