3CW The Fight Before Christmas Night One
December 8 2017
We’re in Northallerton at the Forum. Hosts are Mike Groom and Stevie Aaron. I’ve specifically tuned into this show to get a look at Rampage Brown vs. Luke Menzies. The latter being extremely green but such a top prospect that WWE have already inked him to a deal, awaiting a visa.
Project Lucha vs. The Kings of Catch
Lewis Girvan has a reputation as one of the hottest up and comers in BritWres but Aspen Faith might be the one to watch. Girvan was pushed ahead of time in ICW and perhaps haven’t lived up to his ‘best young wrestler’ tag.
One of 3CW’s strengths is a belief that tag team wrestling is worth doing right. They have a solid division and incorporate the into other angles. Kirby looks enthused and does a solid job of taking heat. The Kings of Catch do less well, making a mess of one tag move to the point where Stevie has to point out they “didn’t get all of it”. Project Lucha are capable of concealing the younger lads shortcomings. A staple of a good wrestler. Make your opponent look better than they are. Ligero scuttling into position for a top rope move aside, it’s a good performance from the veterans. The Kings of Catch win out and Project Lucha should be proud of the part they played in it.
Final Rating: ***
Rampage Brown vs. Luke Menzies
Menzies is the latest addition to the Big Lads Wrestling scene. There are not many wrestlers who make Rampage look normal sized.
— Arn~! (@ArnoldFurious) January 12, 2018
The match has an early Menzies shine before Rampage takes over the pacing and leans heel to control. It’s a very deliberate ploy t get the crowd to rally behind Menzies but I was really into the concept of them barrelling into each other and establishing a heel/face alignment, for the benefit of the fans, takes the edge off that. Menzies can’t get his Jackhammer and Rampage downs him with a piledriver for the pin. This had its moments but Menzies is very new to the business and Rampage had to lead him. I imagine it won’t be long before that natural athleticism makes Menzies into a star of sorts. He has that ‘Goldberg’ feel to him. The natural athlete. He probably lacks a little of Goldberg’s aggression.
Final Rating: ***1/4
Sammii Jayne & Charli Evans vs. Jetta & Little Miss Roxxy
Sammii Jayne always looks like a joke when she walks out here. Arguing with kids, playing the panto villain role. Jetta plays a similar small venue heel role normally but is also capable of working face. This is the first time I’ve seen Charli work heel. They definitely cater to the audience they have, which means clear heel/face alignment stuff. All you can hear is kids yelling so they play to that. Roxxy is an exciting prospect. She’s a pocket dynamo with multi-coloured hair and she stands out. Sammii plays her traditional heel role to a tee although she takes advantage of a less smart crowd by having a full-on conversation with Roxxy during a headlock. Although this is to buy them time after Jetta gets legitimately injured. Calling a match on the fly isn’t easy, especially if you’re so used to wrestling pre-planned matches. Jetta’s broken wrist is a bummer. Roxxy ends up submitting to a Rings of Saturn and the Kings of Catch turn up to give her a Tombstone for good measure. Fluke injury to Jetta derailed this one. She came in with a hairline fracture that she didn’t know about and got hurt bad.
Final Rating: *1/2
3CW North East Championship
Amir Jordan (c) vs. Ace Athletic
Amir has agreed to defend against one of the members of Ace Athletic. Ace announces there’s a special referee; Prince Ameen so Amir brings out Si Swan to watch his back. Ace selects David Graves as the challenger. 3CW provides us with a split screen in order to keep an eye on Ace Matthews. Like a camera that follows the manager at the football. It’s a fairly dull bout with Graves controlling and Ameen not doing much to sway the bout in the heels favour. If your referee is a heel he might as well be an asshole about it. Ameen doesn’t do enough for me here. He makes counts for Jordan for example. Ameen should be getting something in his eye, or being distracted by fans. Anything to stop him counting in Amir’s favour. At one point Jordan has his foot on the rope and Ameen stops his count. You’re a heel, mate, just ignore that shit. Ace subs himself into the bout so Si Swan beats him up. With Si fighting Graves and Ace it leaves Benji to sub himself in and Jordan beats him. Ameen being slow on the count but eventually counting three, for reasons best known to himself. Maybe he’s always wanted to be an official. I didn’t enjoy this. It didn’t make sense at times and Ameen’s role was wrong. Although Ameen does make a point of shaking hands with Amir afterwards, which explains his lack of heel behaviour during the contest. Ah, ok, that’s better. The match still wasn’t my kind of thing though.
Final Rating: *
3CW Tag Team Championship
The Rogue’s Gallery (c) vs. The Kidd Connection
The Rogues picked up the tag titles, despite being underdogs throughout their careers. Chris Whitton’s knee injury is the reason why this happened. With Whitton sidelined Kid Richie has teamed with Gabriel Kidd to try and get the straps back. It’s a situation that screams ‘heel turn’. As in, someone involved in this will eventually turn. Smart money is on Chris Whitton, even if that would be a retread of 3CW of old. The Rogues are relatively green to be tag champs and this is a babyface tag match so Kid Richie finds himself having to control the pacing, a rarity for the fella. Leon Mercer in particular looks lost in the midst of an International and Kidd attempts a monkey flip, ending in a horrible bump. There are too many instances where they don’t seem on the same page. It’s always likely to happen to inexperienced wrestlers and the Rogues only have a year in the business. Shenanigans erupt at the finish with Richie attempting a pinfall, only to be told he’s not legal and a protesting Kidd gets rolled up for the loss. This didn’t work for me. They didn’t gel and I think the Rogues are in this spot too soon. They’d have been better positioned as an opening act until they’d learned structuring better. The biggest concern here is Mercer not reading the situation and ending up almost breaking his neck. It’s ok to be inexperienced but it’s not ok to be unsafe.
Final Rating: *3/4
3CW vs. The Damned Nation
The main event is an intriguing contest. It’s under elimination rules. Pinfall, submission or exiting the cage. In other words, with the latter, if you run away you’re out. It’s a little bit like War Games, in terms of entrances, but not in terms of finishes. First in for Damnation is Chris Renfrew. Alex Gracie starts for “Team Gracie”. Renfrew is the latest in a string of wrestlers to play to the children in the audience, which is fine. The content that I usually watch isn’t so child friendly so it’s sometimes a bit jarring to see such childish behaviour but if it gets over then it’s working.
Just before the next Damned Nation member comes out they botch in the corner, with Renfrew toppling out before Gracie charges in and almost falls over. Damnation get a two on one advantage when Dragon Aisu comes in next. They can’t get a fall over Gracie and Primate arrives next. The issue here is the lack of intensity from Damned Nation. They control Gracie but they should be more desperate to pin him to maintain a two on one advantage. Gracie’s desperation kick-outs could have been hugely entertaining. Next up for Damned Nation is HT Drake. This allows a 3 on 2 and the entire match feels like ‘guy gets run into cage wall’. Which is fine for this crowd, as it’s mostly kids and they get into it regardless. Drake pins Gracie for the first elimination and surely earns himself a title match in the process. Next in for the babyfaces is Screwface. Having Screwface and Primate together makes it two monster babyfaces but they miscue on each other. Bas Ban is the last man in for Damned Nation. The heels dominate the match and pin Screwface. That leaves Primate taped to the cage, on his own and getting hit with plunder. The last babyface in is Joseph Conners, if you can call him a babyface. He always looks like he’s struggling to be good and would rather be molesting puppies. The story is him and Gracie though so it’s a little weird Gracie has already gone. I struggle to rally behind Conners at the best of times. He takes out Drake with a crossbody off the cage. Aisu puts Primate out, thanks to Rory Coyle chair shotting him from the floor. This leaves Conners on his own, as a conquering babyface hero. Bas Ban, thicko that he is, leaves the cage to get a chair and gets disqualified. Gracie runs back in to make the save, which is surely a breach of the rules but there’s no DQ so what can you do? Aisu has a pretty decent brawl with Conners to conclude the match. When it comes to matches with relaxed rules he can turn back the clock. Don’t Look Down puts him away and Conners wins it for “Team Gracie”. This was patchy but I enjoyed it. The finish was strong.
Final Rating: ***1/2
The show started and finished strong but had a run of horrible luck in the midcard. Jetta’s broken wrist started it off, the odd Ameen refereeing performance added to it and Leon Mercer finished it off. It was such a run of misfortune that I thought the main event was doomed but credit to Aisu and Conners for holding that together. The booking on the main was solid, looking to establish intertwining storylines amongst the babyfaces. Now Primate has an issue with Screwface and the Gracie-Conners angle has progressed. 3CW’s main problem, regarding attracting fans, is that their live product is aimed at kids and that doesn’t translate well to VOD. When there are so many shows, promotions and matches available online it’s tough enough to draw fans as it is.