Now that I’ve reviewed the first episode of World League Wrestling TV, let’s skip ahead to episode 10 and see how much has changed.
The Harley Race clips and CG intro are still intact, but now hosts Brian Thompson and Leland Race look to have better lighting to work with. Race is a little overly excitable still. He talks before it’s his turn and has trouble letting Thompson finish what he’s saying. Thompson takes it in stride. You know, Race has an energetic speaking style, but he looks sleepy. Must just have that kind of face.
Thompson and Race lead us into our first match, which is part of the semi-finals of the WLW Junior Heavyweight Championship Tournament. Surprisingly, WLW has never had a lighter weight title before.
WLW Jr. Heavyweight Title Tournament Semi-Finals: “Yoga Monster” Mike Sydal vs. Jayden Fenix
Despite Fenix making fun of Sydal’s yoga gimmick early on, Sydal is the heel here. It’s actually not surprising; he’s recently been doing run-ins as a heel on Metro Pro TV. But this is the first time I’ve seen him as the bad guy in an actual match. This is only the second Fenix match I’ve seen. Sydal works over Fenix for a while after suckering him into a handshake and then kicking him. Both guys are thin and agile, but there aren’t a lot of flips this time around. Instead, Sydal gets heat with chokes and showing off. Fenix does a cool sequence where he chains a northern lights suplex into a falcon arrow. Sydal does his standing moonsault. The finish comes a teensy bit anticlimactically when Fenix hits Sydal coming off the ropes with a Busaiku-style knee kick and pins him. Still, fine match.
Winner – Jayden Fenix
Rating – OK
Next, Thompson and Race stumble over some words and get to talking about Mike Sydal’s accomplishments (brother of Matt/Evan Bourne, competed in Ring of Honor and Japan), putting over how meaningful it is that Fenix was able to beat him. Then they lead into the next match by stumbling over the match type (Thompson says “triple threat situation” at the same time that Race says “three-way bout.”) These two need to work on getting in-sync with each other.
WLW Ladies’ Championship: “Miss Natural” Heather Patera (c) vs. Lucy Mendez vs. Stacey O’Brien
First, a little about Heather Patera. Not sure when she started using her real (?) name, and I’m not sure if she’s really Ken Patera’s daughter, but I’ve seen her wrestle several times on WLW and Metro Pro shows as simply “Miss Natural.” Back in the day, she was pretty short and thin, and she often got “Molly Holly” chants from the fans due to her resemblance to the former WWE wrestler (not sure why those chants were supposed to be derisive; Molly Holly was great). Nowadays, she’s considerably heavier, looks nothing like Molly, and gets booked in a lot more feds due to the prevalence of women’s wrestling.
Thompson and Race do commentary for this match. They’re about like what you would expect from their hosting segments. O’Brien is the only babyface. She and Mendez go right at each other, and Patera sits back and waits for an opportunity. They get her involved pretty quickly. This isn’t the typical WWE-style three-way where they basically take turns getting taken out of the match for the other two to fight one-on-one. This match has a number of three-way moves, and everyone stays inside the ring pretty much the whole time. Mendez does a bulldog and rocker dropper simultaneously. There’s a series of fish-out-of-water pinfall attempts that are creative but a little too slow; the ref has the opportunity to count three at least twice. Then there’s a standing octopus hold done to someone who’s got someone else in a half crab, and a tower of doom powerbomb/superplex. The end comes when Patera tosses Mendez off of her, O’Brien hits a backstabber, Patera throws O’Brien out, and Patera gets the pinfall victory to retain her title. Then O’Brien gets back in and they face off with the ref separating them. Not bad, kind of slow.
Winner – Heather Patera
Rating – OK
Eric Bischoff, looking wrinkly, gives a somber recommendation for WLW.
Thompson and Race nerd out over Bischoff and the nWo, then stumble over each other’s words while shilling the upcoming live events. You don’t care unless you live in Missouri, and I don’t anymore.
Overall: OK. All right, so, what have we learned? Well, WLW improved their studio production by a noticeable margin, so that’s good. Thompson and Race still need polish as a duo, but I think they can achieve it with time. The presentation of the wrestling didn’t change except that the matches here were from a different venue than the ones in the first episode.
I can’t say WLW TV is essential viewing, but I can’t really say that any wrestling is essential. I mean, we all have more important things in our lives, right? But WLW’s show isn’t bad, nor is it very complicated to follow. If you want some wrestling with an old school mentality that doesn’t take a lot of critical thinking to figure out what’s going on, or if you just want something to play in the background while you mill about the house, this is as good a choice as any. Hopefully, they’ll step up their game as time goes by, and down the road, I’ll be raving about it.