This week’s Prime Time Live has some massive encounters, as NWA Women’s Champion Thunder Rosa will be defending against Serena Deeb in a much-anticipated rematch, plus the first round of the United Wrestling Network’s World Heavyweight title tournament begins with Chris Dickinson taking on AEW star and UWN alumni Peter Avalon. Plus, The Bodega and Real Money Brothers in action.
It’s an action-packed show, so let’s not waste head any more time and get straight to the ring.
Heritage Heavyweight Champion Ray Rosas vs. Kevin Martenson
Ray Rosas looks confident for a man who had been chloroformed at the weekend. He’s had a hell of a year; Arizona State Champion, Heritage Champion, appearing on AEW Dark. Martenson, meanwhile, has turned to the past to move into the future, having cut his hair and come to the ring in the trunks he wore when he beat Rosas in their first-ever match back in 2012.
Rosas went to the wrist to start, then the two traded headlocks as the feeling out process began until Martenson exploded with a shoulder block. Rosas replied with a closed fist to the face, which only served to infuriate Martenson, smashing Rosas with a big boot, massive German suplex and a cross body from the top for a near-fall.
A barrage of chops followed, but Rosas was able to block a German suplex on the ramp. So Martenson did the next best thing: suplexed Rosas back in and cracked him with a slingshot boot to the face. Rosas was able to pull Martenson down off the middle turnbuckle and hit a big clothesline to take Martenson down. Not for long, though, as Martenson backdropped Rosas onto the ramp and nailed a big kick to the head. Rosas had enough in him to dodge out of the way of a running senton over the ropes, though, and the smack of body on wood was truly sickening! Ouch.
A surfboard put further pressure on Martenson’s back, and a dropkick to the back from the top kept the advantage with Rosas, as did a backbreaker and leg sweep. Rosas missed an elbow from the top, allowing Martenson to bulldog Rosas across the middle rope, followed by a neck breaker across the rope and smashing Rosas head against the mat.
Martenson went through the brainbuster but his back wouldn’t support him. A German suplex was successful but it took too much out of Martenson. Rosas attacked but Martenson was able to throw Rosas back against the turnbuckles. Rosas countered a Rat Trap sharpshooter with a rake to the eyes and threw Martenson against the ring post, making him writhe in agony. The ‘Bed of Rosas’ modified backstabber followed for the three count.
This was a genuinely great match, with some hard-hitting offence from Martenson and smart psychology from Rosas. And the worked-on body part actually played into the finish! One of my bugbears is when a body part gets worked over the course of the match, only to not feature in the finish. So kudos here.
Also, as someone living in Manchester, can I just say how much I appreciate that Rosas’ ring music sounds like ‘Blue Monday’?
“Sometimes I Paint in Blood”
Aron Stevens interrupted the commentary team as they ran down the night’s matches, advising that as he had been robbed of the NWA National Championship and had not had his calls returned by the NWA and UWN, he will be joining commentary. Blake ‘Bulletproof’ Troop corpsing at Stevens was genuinely funny, leading Stevens to say into camera “I am N-N-N-N-Naughty and I ain’t T-T-T-T-Teasing!” What?!?
Supposedly, The Question Mark is stuck in Mongrovia but Stevens is insistent he will get the Mark back into the USA within the next few weeks. The stage manager then tried to move Stevens on so Stevens bashed him on the face with a chair. Stevens then lay over him and said that he’s an artist: “sometimes I paint in laughter; sometimes I paint in blood.” He then issued a challenge to Eli Drake and James Storm for the NWA Tag Titles.
When Stevens mixes the sinister in with the humour, he genuinely becomes such a triumphant heel. And if that’s the route he’s going down here, then I’m excited.
Real Money Brothers vs. The Bodega
The Bodega have been a very exciting prospect lately. If you read my articles, you know I’m a massive Danny Limelight fan, and with ‘King Fat Boy’ Papo Esco backing him with brutality, the potential is unreal.
The Real Money Brothers didn’t seem as impressed as me, though. They attacked The Bodega boys before the bell. It didn’t last long; Danny Limelight kicking meat in the head and diving on top of him on the outside, whilst Papo bullied Shug. Limelight came in and used his speed to disorient Shug before paying tribute to ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude with a grind and a Rude Awakening neck breaker—yeah, I popped. Rude was always one of my favourites as a kid. Still is!
Papo crushed Shug’s skull near enough with a big falling headbutt, before a big sidewalk slam earned a near-fall. Esco launched Limelight into Clutch in the corner for a Street Sweeper, but a dive to the outside saw Clutch catch Danny and slam him hard onto the apron. Some double team offence kept Danny down as Papo shouted encouragement from the apron. A big leg across the back of Limelight’s neck throttled him against the middle rope, and some cheap shots and a choke from RMB followed.
Clutch stuffed some dollars in Danny’s mouth, only for Danny to spit them out courtesy of an elbow drop from Clutch. The Down Payment earned RMB a near-fall. A lovely wheelbarrow into a rear-naked choke saw Limelight getting some breathing room but not for long. Clutch hit a standing frog splash for a near-fall. Danny did what he does best though, defying gravity by walking the ropes, leaping up and nailing Clutch with some big knees. The hot tag to Esco followed, and Papo was starving! He threw heavy bombs and a big suplex. Limelight threw himself onto Clutch on the outside with a massive dive to take Clutch out. The double team Bodega Bomb onto Shug then sealed the deal.
This was a whole lot of fun with both teams looking tough as nails. The Bodega are really gelling as a team now and they definitely had some great chemistry with RMB. On a side note; Limelight doing the Rick Rude grind again on the ramp then taking a closer look at the UWN World Heavyweight title as he left the ring made me laugh. Well, they do say the Bodega is open for business…
NWA Women’s Champion Thunder Rosa vs. Serena Deeb
Here we are, the big rematch, and perhaps the best women’s wrestler in the world right now in Thunder Rosa. Rosa comes across
They backed each other into the corner to start before some excellent chain and mat wrestling transitions and reversals ended with Rosa transitioning into a vicious-looking leg lock leg, before working over the arm. Serena was able to come back with some deep arm drags before slowing things down with a headlock.
Thunder picked up the speed with an arm drag of her own, before a body slam and a senton got a two count. Serena clutched her stomach and I’d say this was the first point a real advantage was established, in Rosa’s favour. A big pump kick followed, but Deeb was able to hit a neck breaker across the middle rope while Deeb was on the ramp. Deeb threw some big strikes to the neck and upper back to capitalise, as well as a snap mere and low shoulder block to the head.
Thunder thought back with some knees before sending Deeb into the second turnbuckle—HARD. A dragon choke followed as Rosa uttered a terrifying primal scream. Deeb went back to the neck, though, with a neck breaker. A backstabber followed, but Thunder wrenched down on the arm to halt Deeb’s momentum. Thunder locked the fingers and used all her weight to pin Deeb, but nothing doing. Deeb was able to move into nasty-looking neck crank before going for the Serenity lock, but Thunder was able to roll through and hit a quick double stomp to shut Deeb down.
A drop toehold into the buckles allowed Rosa to hit some running and slingshot knees into the corner. A dropkick with pinpoint accuracy followed, as did a Northern Lights suplex for a near-fall. Deeb managed to move out of the way of a running knee, though, and hit a brutal spinning neck breaker, held on, and hit a SECOND neck breaker for a near-fall. Thunder countered a pile driver and landed a Thunder Driver, but a moment’s hesitation in covering allowed Deeb to kick out.
Deeb looked to be hurt, as the ref looked her over, but maybe she was playing possum, as she ran straight at Rosa and kicked her leg out before dropping some elbows onto the joint. Thunder returned with some hard forearms, but Deeb again took the leg out and tangled Rosa up into a crazy modified surfboard-type move for a near-fall. A figure-four on Rosa seemed appropriate for an NWA title match, but Rosa was able to reverse, forcing Deeb to grab the ropes. A face plant into the mats got Deeb a two count. Deeb returned to the leg but Rosa sent her all the way to the outside, where Rosa was able to send Deeb into the ring post.
Back in the ring, a massive release German suplex took Deeb down but a couple of kicks seemed to hurt Rosa more than than the challenger. A primal scream and throat-cutting gesture seemed to signify the end, and it did—just not in the way Rosa expected, as Deeb grabbed the legs, rolled through and 3 seconds later we had a new NWA champion! Wow. I did not expect that but I am not as upset as I thought I would be. A grudging handshake of respect followed, Rosa limped away and Deeb got on the mic and said that she had told us all she was going to rewrite history. She has all the respect in the world for Thunder Rosa and she will defend this title moving forward with “all the legacy, all the pride, all the honour, all the respect because I am from the old school, baby…My name is Serena Deeb and I am the new NWA Women’s World Champion. Thank you.”
This was an astonishingly excellent match, with an astonishingly surprising title change. I’m a little sad, but only because Rosa is one of my favourites. Serena Deeb is more than deserving of the title and proved it by competing in such a hard-hitting, spirited match here. And while people are talking about if this means Rosa is done with the NWA, there is another thing to consider: Deeb is signed with AEW and is making her first defence of the title this week on Dynamite. There’s clearly a relationship blossoming between NWA and Thunder Rosa and I am truly excited to see where it goes from here.
This is why Prime Time Live is such a great show, matches and moments like this.
UWN World Heavyweight Title Tournament First Round: Peter Avalon vs. Chris Dickinson
There was a chance that this could have fallen flat in the main event spot after what we just witnessed. I suspect it was placed in the main event to make sure the NWA title match had enough time, as it would have hurt that match more if it had to go short than this one.
In any case, Peter Avalon and Chris Dickinson are both great talents, and how cool was it to see Avalon back in a UWN ring? Referring to his time as the longest-reigning Heritage champion, Avalon said on his way to the ring that “I am the face of the United Wrestling Network. Without me, the longest-reigning Heritage Champion, there would be no Prime Time Live. So, David Marquez, you’re welcome. Sssshhhh!” I want to see this Peter Avalon on Dynamite—please, Tony Khan!
There was a feeling-out process to begin with before Dickinson took Avalon to the mat. A cheap elbow from Avalon forced Dickinson to loosen his grip. Avalon told Dickinson to shush, so Dickinson grabbed his shushing finger! Dickinson looked to throw Avalon around, but Avalon surprised him with a kick and a hurricarana. A big backbreaker and snap suplex changed the tide, though as Dickinson kept asking “is that all you’ve got?”
A bear hug ground Avalon down before Dickinson tossed him over his head with a massive suplex. Dickinson then looked to throw Avalon over the ropes onto the ramp, but Avalon was able to slip out and get a two count—with his feet on the ropes. Dickinson tried to pick up Avalon for the Death Valley Driver but a stray boot took the ref out. The two men ended up on the apron; Dickinson went for a running knee, but Avalon jumped down, leaving Dickinson to smash his knee into the post, his leg caught on the ropes. Avalon used the opportunity to smash said knee with a steel chair, leaving the “Dirty Daddy” rolling in agony on the floor.
Avalon worked over the leg but Dickinson would not quit, even though he was screaming in pain. Dickinson tried to pick Avalon up for the Death Valley Driver, but he couldn’t support the weight. Avalon made a mistake though by going for a moonsault that found nothing but canvas. The two men exchanged chops until Dickinson nailed a Northern Lights suplex on one leg, holding up the hurt leg so it didn’t have to take the weight—amazing! A DDT got Avalon a near-fall. Dickinson was able to dodge out of the way of the ‘Martinis’ leaping bulldog and was somehow able to German suplex Avalon. A roll-up got a near-fall, but a massive lariat turned Avalon inside out and got Dickinson the 1-2-3 and sent him to the semi-finals.
This was so much fun. Yes, it did suffer from having come after the NWA Women’s title match, but that is a fault of the sequencing, not the match itself. The right person won, but Avalon probably gave Dickinson his biggest challenge on Prime Time Live so far and heeled it up in style. A thumbs up from me!
This was a perhaps one of the best episodes of Prime Time Live so far. 4 matches actually seems to be a really good number of contests for these shows, as it allows the matches time to breathe and really get going. Kevin Martenson and Ray Rosas put on a great, high-impact opener, The Bodega/RBM and Dickinson/Avalon were big-time fun, and the NWA Women’s title match was possibly one of the best matches of the year—it was that good! And the result opens up a whole new world of possibilities. These are exciting times for wrestling, and Prime Time Live is a massive part of that.
Don’t believe me? Check this episode out.