NWL Episode 64

Well, the NWL has gone out of business, but there are still three matches from the 64th episode of their TV show on their YouTube channel for me to review. They haven’t uploaded the complete episode yet, and they may not ever, so I’ll just cover these matches as they are.

Our Story So Far…
– In a recent NWL Tag Team Championship match between the Howletts and the Besties in the World, the referee called for the bell when he thought he saw Leonel Howlett tap to Davey Vega. Leonel and Marco were enraged, claiming that Leo was only reaching for the ropes. They nearly assaulted the ref backstage, but Matt Jackson talked them down.
Stephen Wolf used to wrestle in NWL STL as Marcellus Gaines, but they’re not going to mention that on this show. Just thought you might like to know.
Anthony “Sharkbait” Gutierrez has been teaming with Jet Royal recently, but now that Jax Royal is back from injury, the Royal Blood have reunited, and Sharkbait seems to be back in the singles division.
Christian Rose enjoys making people mad.
Will Lowe is a newcomer who sometimes wrestles in a dragon-esque mask and sometimes doesn’t.
Now on to the show!

Anthony Gutierrez vs. Will Lowe
Will Lowe shows off some high-flying, and a lot of it looks good. His back handspring seems kind of slow to me, though. Sharkbait has really come into his own as a wrestler. He can fly, he can grapple, he’s got plenty of flashy moves, and he knows his way around the ring. My only qualm with him is that his kicks don’t look that realistic (which is weird since he’s a legit shoot fighter). I think it has to do with his size (he’s wiry) and the fact that he wrestles barefoot instead of using boots or kickpads. Those make strikes sound better, IMO. Anyway, Lowe gets to show some stuff, but Sharkbait takes most of the match and gets the submission victory with a rear naked choke after he catches Lowe on a handspring.
Winner – Anthony Gutierrez

Ben Miller interviews Sharkbait afterwards. He casts some shade on the Royal Blood for abandoning him and resolves to be his own man. He wants to be in the title picture because he runs Kansas City. Sounds like he’s leaning in a heelish direction without fully turning.

 

Stephen Wolf vs. Christian Rose
This is a solid match, but I feel that its strengths actually highlight some weaknesses. My main qualm is that Christian Rose employs such a smart game plan that it’s hard for me to believe he loses. He works over Wolf and counters a lot of his stuff so well that he obviously did his scouting beforehand. There isn’t even really a point where he blatantly makes a crucial mistake that leads to his downfall. I would have liked to see him fail because he got too cocky or went to a certain well once too often. Or he could’ve won and looked smart and crafty. Instead, he just gets countered and is then decisively pinned after a combo of moves. He had a similar showing against Dak Draper last time out, but at least that loss was against a former champion. I guess I just wanted a different story. My other issue is minor, and it’s that Wolf hits a standing shooting star press twice in one match. It looks good, especially at the finish as a follow-up to a springboard curb stomp, but it loses its impact as a finisher when it’s already been done before. Anyway, good match that doesn’t quite meet my storytelling desires.
Winner – Stephen Wolf

 

The Howletts & Michael Strider vs. The Besties in the World & Gary Jay
Good six-man action here. Jay and the Besties show up the heels early  (and for a while, actually). The bad guys get control, and Jay gets in the most peril. Strider intelligently cuts off the ring. When Jay gets the tag, everyone’s running around and hitting moves on each other. Fitchett gets left alone near the end and shows a lot of tenacity, almost handling all three opponents, but he finally gets put down with side slam/guillotine leg drop by the Howletts.
Winners – The Howletts & Michael Strider

Without seeing any other segments from this episode, I’ve got to give it an OK rating. I liked the main event a lot, but the other two matches disappointed me a bit. The first one was window dressing to a story I’m not that into, and the second one didn’t scratch the storytelling itch I hoped it would. I don’t know if we’re going to see anymore uploads from the NWL now that they’re gone, but if not, this episode is a bit of a flat one to end on, IMO.

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NWL Episode 62

Our Story So Far…
– Two episodes ago, Maverick finally won the Spirit of the NWL Championship back from Gary Jay thanks to Drew Gold pulling some strings and getting Matt Jackson to book the rematch.
– Last episode, the Besties in the World weathered a bloody street fight with The Foundation to capture the NWL Tag Team Championships.
– Jet Royal has been having to go solo or hook up with other partners ever since his twin brother, Jax, went down with an injury last summer.
Now on to the show!

Drew Gold and Matt Jackson makes plans to sign the paperwork for Maverick to join the Jackson Administration. A blue-haired woman tells Gold to not be late.

Spirit of the NWL Championship: Maverick (c) w/ Drew Gold & Thomas Shire vs. Mike Outlaw
These two have had some good matches together. This one is solid, though it doesn’t reach the level of their previous encounters. Maverick retains with the Gory bomb not long after the commercial break.
Winner – Maverick

Matt Jackson comes out and says its time for Maverick and Shire to officially join the Jackson Administration. Maverick says he’s his own man, so no. Drew Gold says he owns Maverick and slaps him. Maverick lays hands on him, but Shire attacks from behind. Thor Theriot makes the save, but then he spits black mist in Maverick’s face and joins with Gold and Shire. Surprising double turn, considering that Maverick just won the title back, but it makes enough sense. Thor hasn’t been up to much recently, so this gives him some focus.

The Besties in the World say that the NWL Tag Team Championships are special to them because they didn’t come easily. Fitchett makes a Blood Brothers reference and says he’ll bleed for his brother.

NWL Tag Team Championships: The Besties in the World (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett) vs. The Howletts (Marco & Leonel)
Great stuff here by both teams. Flyers vs. brawlers, plus everyone can strike. They lay it all out there. Marco hits a move on Fitchett I’ve never seen before. He tosses him up as if for a tiger driver, but he drops him with a neckbreaker over his knee. The Howletts try to ape the Besties’ synchronized running moves on the floor, but the Besties dodge, and Marco in particular takes a scary bump on the back of his head as he tries a senton. Leo kicks out of a 450. Controversy looms over the finish Vega gets Leo in a sharpshooter, and the referee apparently mistakes his reaching for the ropes as a tap.
Winners – The Besties

The Howletts corner the referee in the back and accuse him of being on the take. Matt Jackson and Maddox have to talk them down and take them away. The blue-haired woman tells the ref he’s in trouble now.

Ace Steel w/ Carolina Grizelda Esmeralda Rodriguez vs. Jet Royal
Hard to get a bad match from these two. Ace has so much experience, and Jet has matured a great deal since the first time I saw his brother and him wrestling in IPW. They do technical stuff, and Jet takes to the air a few times, of course. Ace actually misses catching him on a tope con hilo, but Jet doesn’t sweat it. Very easy to watch an enjoy, I think. Carolina interferes near the end, but it doesn’t help. Jet hits the shooting star press right to Ace’s face, but Michael Strider pulls the ref out for the DQ.
Winner by DQ – Jet Royal

The Foundation beat on Jet and mug for the camera until a Jax Royal video interrupts them. Jax comes out and takes care of both heels (slipping on the ropes a bit at first). He and Jet hit Ace with a doomsday blockbuster and celebrate their reunion. My only complaint is that Jax let Jet get beat up surprisingly long. But the fans ate it up, so it worked.

The middle match was very good, and the other two were enjoyable and set up new stories. Glad to see the Royal Blood back in the tag team division. The NWL is my favorite promotion to watch right now.