November 11 2017
We’re in Darlington at the Dolphin Centre. I deliberately tracked this show down because they booked Matt Riddle vs. Justin Sysum. Sysum is the forgotten man of BritWres because he packed in a promising career in wrestling to be Hawkeye in a Marvel travelling show. Had he stuck with the grapples he would be far better known than he is. He was just getting some traction when he left. Now he’s back to prove his mettle.
This is the one year anniversary of 3CW’s return. Host in the ring is “Sweet” Stevie Aaron. He’s also on commentary with Mike Groom.
HT Drake vs. Satchel Jones
Drake you probably know from WCPW. Satchel has a rock star gimmick, which feels like it dropped out of the 80s territories! I actually know Satchel Jones. We were working together on the backstage bits of WCPW when it first launched. I got chatting to him and he was talking about various moves he was thinking of implementing. I never got his name at the time but here he is. Satchel is very inexperienced and it shows. Some of the reversals are horrible. Drake is a good hand though and covers as best as he can. After initial wobbles it settles down nicely. Basically all wrestlers should realise their limitations. Satchel’s tope is fine, for example, but the handspring is a disaster. They repeat the handspring spot and it’s hit the second time, after being botched first time, but it’s still not good. Drake can’t really hold it together and Satchel wins with a double stomp off the top. This was super patchy. Satchel is very inexperienced. Hopefully the wobbles here were early career nerves. Nice lad though, I wish him all the best.
Final Rating: *
Damned Nation Rules
Dragon Aisu vs. Primate
Aisu has wrestled eight matches this year, which is the most since his 2009 ‘retirement’. He’s carrying a lot of weight but he utilises it well, slowing the match down and throwing a lot of chops. The “Damned Nation Rules” involve no disqualifications and presumably no count outs as they brawl around on the floor for ages. Aisu’s lack of rules allows Primate to be even more vicious than usual. He has an intense mini-Goldberg deal going and he feels legitimate, which makes him easy to tell stories with. They tell a fine story with Primate injuring his arm and Aisu going after and being a prick. They do a silly ‘arm drops three times’ spot but otherwise the focus is good. They have two logical finishes, the crossface and a baseball shot to the injured shoulder but they’re both false finishes. As Primate mounts his comeback the lights dip and the Sons of Ulaid are here. Primate fights them off, kicks out of the Dragon Driver and the spear finishes. This went over the top somewhat but it made sense. Primate has the kind of gimmick where he can overcome the odds but he had plenty of ‘outs’ here.
Final Rating: ***
Ace Athletic (Ace Matthews & David Graves) vs. Si Swan & Luke Menzies
Luke Menzies had a WWE tryout, he’s normally a rugby player, and is now on the Indies. He looks like a fucking star in the making. They have him goofing around with Ace Athletic as an introductory angle but his ceiling is really, really high. You can tell when someone has superior athleticism and he’s got it in spades. Si looks pretty confident for a man of his condition. He attempts a few things that should be beyond him but I’ll be damned if he doesn’t have a tasty dropkick for a big lad. Ace is largely a comedy character who runs his mouth. Graces carries a lot of the legwork for Ace Athletic. The heels work Swan over for a prolonged heat segment, leaving the crowd desperate for a Menzies hot tag. Acey develops an injury and wants to be subbed. Benji, the water boy, gets subbed in.
As soon as Benji gets in Menzies catches and kills him with a powerslam. This was all about Menzies and how raw his talent is. He did some impressive little bits of selling and showed his understanding of the basics of pro-wrestling. He’s one to watch. Si Swan cuts a post match promo suggesting he’s retiring because he’s getting older and slower.
Final Rating: **1/2
3CW North East Championship
Prince Ameen (c) vs. Amir Jordan
This belt harks back to the old days of 3CW when it was the Young Lions Championship. Ameen’s combined title reigns with it amount to 2731 days. He’s one of the most dominant champions in all of wrestling. They have a chat pre-match where Ameen offers Jordan a spot as his tag partner…if he stops dancing. Ameen tries to bail, Swan throws him back in and Jordan pins the Prince in 3 seconds for the belt. It’s like when Honky Tonk Man was IC champion for a record time and then lost in seconds to the Woyah!
Final Rating: NR
Justin Sysum vs. Matt Riddle
It’s so weird hearing Spandau Ballet wherever Riddle goes. Keir has a lot to answer for.
Sysum is a firm believer in hooking holds and keeping them hooked until they’re logically broken. Unfortunately for him Riddle has a bigger array of holds and can pull them out of nowhere. I like how Riddle approaches the match, as a cocky but accomplished grappler. The level that Riddle is operating on is superior to the general standard on this show. From a worked perspective that’s also true as he constantly cuts off Sysum. This only changes when Sysum is able to create distance and hit a wacky tope. Sysum is pretty smooth for a big guy and can fly like a cruiser. He’s ever so slightly rusty, because he’s been off for a while being Hawkeye. He looks confident in all aspects of his game and his transitions into and out of big spots are tidy. At least until Sysum tries to run the ropes and it falls apart. They pull it back together with some excellent countering though and Riddle finishes with his version of a Jumping Tombstone. Riddle looked outstanding here and Sysum hung in there for the most part.
Final Rating: ***3/4
Rampage Brown vs. Keith Lee
Bask in Keith’s glory! BASK! Rampage leans heel to give the match some structure and because in a fair fight Keith is doing lucha shit and pissing him off. This match struggles to live up to the last one and is quite flat in the early going with Rampage doing a lot of rest holds where Keith has to power out.
— Arn~! (@ArnoldFurious) December 20, 2017
Keith’s power offence in this is mightily impressive as Rampage is such a large bloke. Rampage bounces so high on the Spiritbomb.
— Arn~! (@ArnoldFurious) December 20, 2017
I love the look of fear from Rampage when Keith Lee hits the ropes. He shoves John Myers into the ropes to put a stop to that and the piledriver finishes. Keith Lee’s power stuff always freaks me out but he manhandled Rampage Brown here in a fashion I’ve never before seen. Brown will be sore in the morning. Post match Ace Athletic come out for a word with our Keith but Keith opts to kill them all instead.
Final Rating: ***1/4
3CW Tag Team Championship
The Kid/Kidd Connection (Gabriel Kidd & Kid Richie) (c) vs. Project Lucha vs. The Rogues Gallery vs. The Sons of Ulaid
Chris Whitton has a sub in this match because he’s injured. He may have torn his PCL, which is quite bad news. 3CW have a handy little tag division. There’s a lot of wrestlers out here so they brawl all over the building so the fans can get an eyeful. Kirby has a lovely spot where he chops everyone else and then takes a chop off everyone else in sequence. There’s a lot of those multi-man spots, which at least prevent the extended selling. The more I see of Project Lucha vs. the Kidd Connection the more I want that as a straight up match. The kids miscue and lose the belts thanks to Ligero pinning. Then Kirby gets rolled up by Rory Coyle much to everyone’s dismay.
That leaves the Rogues Gallery vs. the Sons of Ulaid. The Sons are defined heels, which should allow the focus of the crowd to rally behind Mercer & Kellett but they don’t. There’s a little too much heat and the fans are missing the over Kirby & Ligero. The match is worryingly clunky with the Rogues hitting stuff without the Sons of Ulaid seeing them coming, when they really should. The planning of it doesn’t match up to the execution. I also worry that the Rogues barely scraped by the Sons of Ulaid once and yet manage it again here. I’d have given them more of a mountain to climb but the crowd seems fairly happy with Rogues Gallery winning the belts. Stevie bangs on about the journey they’ve taken over the past year and I’m guessing I would be more into the storyline if I’d seen all of 3CW’s shows over the past 12 months. I really liked this when it was the Martin Kirby show but when it came down to two teams it didn’t do a lot for me. Sorry lads.
Final Rating: **3/4
Solid show from 3CW. Riddle/Sysum was really good. It’s on Highspots if you’ve got that. Sysum is one of these guys who exists and not enough people know about him. Same with Luke Menzies, who’s very inexperienced but has so much potential.