Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Random Match Reviews #5 (12/22/15)

I take a look at matches from a number of promotions in the UK!!

Before I begin, I should note that I viewed four out of these five matches through the 3rd edition of RAWIternative (put together by Beyond Wrestling). The match from PROGRESS Wrestling came from that promotion's streaming service.

1.) PROGRESS Wrestling - Chapter Eight: The Big Boys Guide To Strong Style (7/28/13) - Hardcore Match - James Davis vs. Jimmy Havoc: ***1/2

I decided to start with this match, since it occurred first (chronologically). James Davis is one-half of the London Riots, with Rob Lynch. They've been undefeated as a tag team since PROGRESS Wrestling's inception, but they've been causing the promotion a lot of trouble. This was the last show on their contracts, and as punishment, Jim Smallman (one of the promotion's owners) split them up into singles matches, and one of those is a Hardcore Match with James Davis against Jimmy Havoc, a fan favorite at the time, who had a history of deathmatch wrestling. These videos do a better job at explaining the backstory than I can:

As far as the match itself goes, it's not for the faint of heart, and if you're not into these kind of matches, you'll probably not like it. For me, I thought it was pretty good for what it was, and as someone who's never really seen a Jimmy Havoc death-match before, it was certainly an interesting match to watch. The basic story here was that Jimmy Havoc dominated most of the match, but he became overconfident (since he was in his element) and didn't end the match when he should have, which led to James Davis getting the win. Again, if death-matches aren't your thing, you probably won't even consider watching this. Still, it's perfectly fine for what it was, and it plays an important part in early PROGRESS storylines.

2.) TCW/CZW Present: TCW vs. CZW: Against All Odds (10/8/14) - El Ligero vs. Rich Swann: ***1/4

Here we have the first match in this set that is from the third RAWIternative. It's features an inter-promotional battle, as El Ligero, representing Tidal Championship Wrestling, takes on Rich Swann, representing CZW. I thought this was a pretty solid match. Not the best of this bunch, but still fairly entertaining. Rich Swann always provides a good time, and GEl Ligero look solid here as well. In the end, El Ligero would score the victory for TCW.

3.) ATTACK! Pro-Wrestling - Mandrews Goes To America (1/24/15) - Mark Andrews vs. Pete Dunne: ***3/4

These are two guys from the UK scene who I, and a lot of others, have become pretty familiar with over the last few years. This match comes from ATTACK! Pro-Wrestling, and a relatively small venue that actually looked pretty cool. I really enjoyed this match. You had a great high-flyer in Mark Andrews going up against a technically sound wrestler in Pete Dunne. These two just meshed together well, and it produced a very good match. Andrews would get the win in this encounter.

4.) Fight Club: PRO - All The Best (2/6/15) - The American Wolves vs. The Hunter Brothers: ****

This match comes to us from Fight Club: PRO. Of course, everyone knows who The American Wolves are. I believe that I have seen Jim & Lee Hunter before, but I can't recall for certain. Regardless, I thought this was a great tag team match. You can always expect a really good tag team effort with Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards, but The Hunter Brothers showed a lot here as well. There was a ton of fast-paced action throughout this out, and in the end The American Wolves were able to pick up the win. Despite being on the losing side, I came away very impressed with The Hunter Brothers and their performance in this match. I'll definitely try to check out more of their work in the future.

5.) Southside Wrestling Entertainment - Great Expectations (7/18/15) - Roderick Strong vs. Will Ospreay: ****

Here we have another match from SWE that features a prominent North American talent in Roderick Strong going up against arguably the fastest rising star in the UK (and independent wrestling in general) in Will Ospreay. Oddly enough, this match was the cause of a minor controversy, as Strong had to pull out of a ROH live event in Las Vegas, Nevada to fulfill this international commitment. I really enjoyed watching this match. Strong is just an amazing talent, who rarely (if ever) puts on a subpar performance, and he worked really well with Ospreay here. Lots of very entertaining action from both guys in this match. In the end, Ospreay gets the win with (if I recall correctly) some sort of cradle pin/rollup on Strong. A very good match here. Will Ospreay is someone who is going to do great things in the world of wrestling (and he's already gotten a great start).

That concludes my 5th set of Random Match Reviews! Thanks for reading! I look forward to producing more of these in the future!

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