Well the 5* Wrestling, 3 hour long televised shows started today and I watched along on the Prestigious Ones Twitch Stream (that is Joe Hendry for those who don’t know) and thought I might as well give my review on it. I mean it isn’t like we’re doing anything else this week!
PJ BLACK vs ??
Winner : PJ Black
It wasn’t a bad match, it seemed to happen before the actual show started so the flat feeling I thought was down to that. It wasn’t that the crowd weren’t into it but it just felt dark which made it look like there wasn’t anyone there even though you could hear it and atmosphere can be important in wrestling.
You are always going to get a fun match when it comes to PJ Black, the man is amazing live but he was kind of mismatched against the guy he was fighting. I have no idea who he was meant to be and can’t be bothered to go back and check but it just dragged in the middle and the ending was pretty bland.
When Black did his moonsault off of the top rope I really worried about him because the rope sagged so much it looked like he’d fallen off it, thankfully he hit it perfectly to pick up a win to mild applause.
JASON PRIME (PRIMATE) vs JACK JESTER
Winner : Jack Jester
It always weirds me out seeing Primate being called by a actual name and not just Primate. Specially when he comes out in the mask and all that.
It was a bit of nothing though. I mean I love Primate and from what I’d seen of Jester I was sure he was going to be a favourite but it lasted minutes and was kind of a squash for Jester which feels weird for me because obviously I watch DEFIANT Wrestling all the time and he’s like a unstoppable monster on there.
I dunno it was just another dark match so who cares?
NATHAN CRUZ vs FLASH MORGAN WEBSTER vs MARK HASKINS vs JOEY AXL vs BT GUNN
SNAP OR TAP CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Winner : Mark Haskins
This match couldn’t be bad. It had too much talent in it. I’m always a bit meh on Webster but that is because I feel DEFIANT never play to his strengths but he’s always fun to watch and BT Gunn is just fantastic.
It was fast paced, which is strange for a submission match but made more sense seeing it was a four man match I guess. You have to keep people down for a long period before you can put a submission on and get the win but it made it more interesting then a battle of technical ability.
Thought it was too early and in too good a match to have the pants down joke, don’t know anything about Cruz so don’t know if its something he does regularly but it felt like a forced “joke” that the crowd very much didn’t seem to care for. Then again when the crowd didn’t care for the five man submission which was a fantastic spot I kinda of gave up on them.
Axl being dominate was pretty cool but also kinda boring when he basically eliminated everyone with the same move, the double crossface on Axl and Haskins from BT Gunn was also cool. Commentary made it feel like a mess though which made it much less entertaining then maybe it would have been.
A decent opening match for them.
Eliminations went : Webster via Axl, Cruz via Axl, Gunn vs Axl, Axl via Haskins.
RAMPAGE vs MOOSE
Winner : Rampage
I loved the match. It had its problems and I’m not the biggest fan of Moose but Rampage is the absolute coolest and they went at it from just before the bell rang and continued to try and murder each other the whole time.
Two guys that you never see getting manhandled manhandling each other. It was crazy. Rampage picking up Moose on the outside to slam him on the apron was just breathtakingly amazing, Moose kicking out of a piledriver for the first time made me scream and I don’t usually scream at Moose moments it was just a clash. Two trains running at each other.
The only match I’d recommend people watching so far and to be honest it wasn’t the cleanest or best match.
Also I know Moose is the fan favourite but it felt a bit odd having Moose as the good guy and Rampage as the bad guy. That might just be because I’ve never seen Rampage as a bad guy.
MAX MONEY vs CARLITO & CHRIS MASTERS
SEMI-FINAL TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT
Winners : Max Money
Max Money : Adam Maxted & Charlie Sterling. Two guys I’ve seen a whole bunch. Adam Maxted is absolutely amazing and Sterling is very underappreciated and I’ve said it a whole bunch of times that he will one day get to NXT/WWE.
The match was pretty much what you would think of it. Sterling did his comedy routine with flashes of his brilliance when he wasn’t being the chicken shit bad guy hiding behind Maxted, most of the time Maxted and Masters just spent the time posing off and trying to test their strengths. I’m pretty sure I heard a boring chant for a moment or two and didn’t blame them because I turned off my mind and started reading twitter instead.
My heart sank when Adam gave one of his perfect drop kicks just for Carlito to kind of stomp into it, make it look super stupid and then fall over. That was it with this match.
JAKE HAGER vs EDDIE RYAN
Winner : Jake Hager
No such thing as a bad Eddie Ryan match and I’ve always been a Hager fan and it was a good match. The only reason I wasn’t enthusiastic about it was the rest of the night just was so bad not only that they had commentary problems at the beginning of the match which just added to the kind of not caring attitude.
It was a great match and showed off the absolutely amazing talent of Eddie Ryan just for Hager to win by holding the ropes.
By this point though I just didn’t care if you haven’t guessed and I lost complete interest IN A EDDIE RYAN MATCH. Though since when has his slam been a Plymouth Slam?
ZACK GIBSON vs REY MYSTERIO
Winner : Rey Mysterio (DQ)
I do like Gibson, if you’ve read my DEFIANT reviews you’ll know I love watching him. Right now he isn’t really the bad guy though, everything he said pre-match was true and he got in the ring and looked so good against Mysterio who came down to pyro and girls waving firey sticks around…
You forget how small Rey is and he just whizzes around the place at top speed, Gibson is by no means a big guy but he used his height and strength to his advantage and really brought it to Mysterio in a very clever match.
The win by DQ through a low kick was pretty cool. It built up what a bad ass, no fucks given character Gibson is whilst giving Mysterio the win.
Gibson looked a million bucks and 5* would be silly to waste a guy like him.
EL LIGERO & JODY FLEISCH vs DAVE MASTIFF & BIG GRIZZLY
TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT SEMI-FINALS
Winners : El Ligero & Jody Fleisch
You won’t see a much more terrifying team then Grizzly and Mastiff.
I loved the match, the BLW tag champions used their size to try and kill Ligero and Fleisch whilst those two used their speed to run rings around them. I’ve always been a huge fan of Grizzly’s so it was great to see him in action again and boy was he bloody amazing.
It wasn’t even that strange that the two smaller guys won in the end, they separated the two beasts and after a grueling match managed to take one down whilst the other was on the outside.
Fun match and probably my favourite of the show so far.
ROB VAN DAM vs JOHN MORRISON
5* CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE MATCH
To be honest the commentating had been so bad and the crowd sounded so dead by this time I’d turned the sound off and didn’t turn it back on even though the wonderful Zack Gibson had come down to join them. Joe Hendry had been arlight but the other guy was dreadful, they talked over everything and Hendry had nothing to bounce off of. It was just poor in general and as by this time there was a feeling of getting it over with I just didn’t have the energy to carry on listening and just wanted the last match done with.
Match was great, it always would have been. Morrison is a very under rated performer and he is a spectacle to watch, RVD might not be at his best but he matched Morrison in spectacle if not in speed anymore. It was a fun match to watch but my brain was worn out by the time it came on. Plus for these two guys especially having the ring ropes so loose really showed and looked seriously dangerous.
I did love the cannonball off of the top rope into a standing Morrison though, that was pretty much my favourite move of the night.
I enjoyed the ending too with the reversed roll up giving Morrison a win. It was actually a fantastic match.
Its all been said before I know, I’m very late to the game with this review mainly because I just didn’t enjoy the majority of it. It isn’t the attitude to take so in my Final Thoughts I’m going to explain it clearly.
It isn’t a good representation of British Wrestling at all.
There are so many really good British guys on there but the atmosphere kind of took me out of it. The arena didn’t look even half full, the crowd were loud but it also didn’t come over that way on TV, it was so dark that half the time it felt like a empty arena. Crowd can make and break things. I don’t know why but it just is that way. Watching at home I just lost interest half way through, by Ryan vs Hager I actually turned off and came back to it another day hence the review taking so long to be published.
It felt flat which is not how UK crowds tend to be.
They also had the barriers the wrong way around so not only was the outside of the ring weird to look at but it made you cringe when wrestlers went near them. There is absolutely no excuse for it. They aren’t a new company, barriers have been a thing in many companies for a long time and common sense should rule over anything else.
Ring Ropes were also way too loose, again there is 0 reason for it. Whoever they had putting the ring together should know it, the wrestlers should have said something and something should have been done in the dead air they had, as I was watching on Twitch I KNOW just how much time they had for people to come down and tighten them and it made moves look dangerous and sloppy.
The UK vs US story that seemed to go on all night according to the commentators was boring. It should be celebrating the UK scene with imports to bring people in, instead it really felt like glorfying US guys and putting UK guys in to fill up the spaces they had left on a three hour long show.
Yes THREE HOURS.
Most people don’t like sitting through three hours of WWE but here we were sitting through three hours of a show with no storylines other then Eddie Ryan vs Jake Hager and Zack Gibson against 5* Wrestling. It just dragged.
Plus in those three hours the only female presence was SoCal Val backstage once or twice interviewing people for short periods of time. No female wrestlers at all in the three hours of the show. They didn’t even have a manger or just ANY female presence at ring side at all. Its poor for a company right now and as much as DEFIANT (then WCPW) got called out on bullshit when they did a whole taping block without females so ended up with like a month or two with no females on their show so should 5*. The bullshit reasoning of “finding the best” is just…. Its just bullshit because there are just as many top class females in the UK as there are males and no other company seems to have problems finding them or giving them their dues.
No music or videos for the UK wrestlers is beyond disrespectful. How long have these guys had this contract and they’ve done nothing to get music sorted out? Some of the guys on the show even have their own music anyway so it IS just disrespect full stop. That has to change at the very next show, they have a week to sort it out after months of planning for it. They should not have gone to air with 0 music at the least for the UK talent. Plus when they had tag teams did the screen only show one name? I didn’t really notice but in the Ligero/Fleisch vs Mastiff/Grizzly match I’m sure they only ever showed one name?
The championship match should also never have been between two Americans. Its a UK title defended on a UK show on UK TV yet there was 0 UK presence in the match. It isn’t showcasing the best of UK Wrestling, I don’t even know who wanted RVD vs Morrison in the first place! I’m a fan of both men and never wanted to see the match. Hell I would have even dropped it down the card for Ryan vs Hager NOT because I’m a Ryan fan but because it had a story, UK vs US, it had a great shocking ending and built up a wrestler that could be the face of the company being screwed by the American wrestlers.
Saying all that….
The UK guys are fantastic and its great to see them get recognition and a good pay day. All of them went out there and showed what UK wrestling is about. Great to see guys like Eddie Ryan, Big Grizzly, El Ligero, Zack Gibson, Adam Maxted and Charlie Sterling get the TV time and even more eyes on them.
I feel if the other things didn’t seem to obvious and it wasn’t so long I’d have enjoyed it more. Turning off and coming back to it meant that I really enjoyed the last hour of the show and I’ve even since watched the Ryan/Hager match back and liked it much better.
They need to play it smarter though. They need more story lines being built, characters being developed and urgency being put into things like the tag team tournament. It needs better lighting and to remember that this is three hours long, if you aren’t in the arena its a long time to sit and watch wrestling so everything has to be its own unique and interesting part of the show instead of just match after match of, decent, wrestling with no stories or grandeur built up.
We’re in the semi-finals of a tag team tournament but most people will be watching it not caring. They didn’t make a big fuss of it, didn’t have the belts on display or ask any of the teams about what it would mean to be champions. The commentators were boring and didn’t excite me at all about any of it so why should I care? I shouldn’t not be caring about something that is working towards crowning champions.
They have a great roster and good potential BUT I’m not going to say “its teething problems” because this is a company that has been around. There is no excuse for no music, no videos, lack of interviews, lack of engagement, lack of building up stories, over use of US wrestlers, poor lighting and loose ropes. This isn’t even their first time on TV. I get that Nathan Cruz came out to defend them and say the arenas were a must for the TV deal, and that is fine I get it they had to do it, but do what you can to make it feel atmospheric don’t darken the crowd so its like no one is there.
Even our local shows used Facebook and Twitter to really ramp up story lines, feuds and title importance why can’t a three hour long TV show do it?
Make people care.
This is seriously important and people NEED to care.