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The Pope is Coronated with NWA Gold

Prime Time Live Review – October 20th

This week on Prime Time Live, Zicky Dice puts his NWA TV Title on the line against ‘The Pope’ Elijah Burke, while Mike Bennett is in action against JR Kratos and we get the big reveal of the brackets for the UWN World Heavyweight Title Tournament.

It’s a big night of action so let’s go straight to the ring!

Jesse James vs. Max Caster

I hate to start on a negative note but I wasn’t really feeling this match. It didn’t really do a lot for me. It wasn’t flashy, and that’s fine—not everything has to be a high spot-infested extravaganza. But at the same time, nothing really excited me here. The match never felt like it shifted out of second gear.

Jesse James is an old-school slugger and I usually enjoy the style very much, but there was very little outside of blows and lariat attempts. There was a lack of real venom or heat to these blows to really make them look forceful. Caster, meanwhile, was able to use his speed to hit dropkicks and an elbow drop from the top. He also threw some nice strikes but there wasn’t much else. Eventually his speed helped Caster to take the win, dodging a lariat and rolling James up for the pinball victory.

The Surprises of the Title Tournament Brackets

The brackets for the first ever UWN World Heavyweight Championship
Credit: United Wrestling Network

We then got the reveal of the participants and the brackets for the UWN World Heavyweight Title Tournament, and wow. I was not expecting some of the names there. In fact, I was very pleasantly surprised.

Former UWN stalwart Peter Avalon is an exciting inclusion and points back nicely to the company’s history. It’s intriguing that AEW has agreed for Avalon to appear. We know Cody has a history with the NWA and the UWN—could we see more AEW stars appear on Prime Time Live in future?

Erick Redbeard, formerly Erick Rowan of WWE fame, is an unexpected but very welcome choice. As is MLW’s Davey Boy Smith Jr, a significant name that will only add even more legitimacy to the tournament and the title it represents.

While I was perhaps surprised at the lack of Danny Limelight and Dan Jospeh, this is a highly exciting bracket and I look forward to the start of the tournament next week when Peter Avalon takes on everyone’s favourite angry man, ‘The Dirty Daddy’ Chris Dickinson. Good luck Pete—you’ll need it!

Christi Jaynes vs. Miranda Alize

I’ve not seen either woman in action before, so I was interested to see this one. The two women started off with some nice chain wrestling on the mat, with Christi betraying some cockiness by blowing a kiss at Miranda and shouting for her to come on.

Miranda was able to come back with a big high knee and a stamp of the fingers. But it didn’t keep Christi down for long, as she nailed a running knee into the corner and her ‘Good Night’ knee strike finisher. But instead of going for the pin, she went for a moonsault from the ropes (where she struggled a bit with climbing up) which only earned her a two count.

An exchange of slaps followed, with Christi mailing the ‘Good Night’ knee again, but the subsequent moonsault attempt missed, leaving Miranda free to catch Christi with the ‘Drive-by’ running knee for the win.

A fun little match that saw Miranda use her resilience and ring smarts to take the win. Good stuff.

The Pope Will Not Be Moved

Standing by backstage with David Marquez, ‘The Pope’ Elijah Burke gave, appropriately enough, a promo of biblical proportions, proclaiming that he has been through fire and flood and survived, and like a tree next to a river, he cannot, will not, be moved. It was fiery stuff indeed, although take what you will from The Pope saying he trusts Zicky Dice as much as “a six year old trusts its farts.” Say what?

More intriguing was the reveal that this match for the TV title would be fought under NWA TV title conditions—meaning there is a time limit of six minutes five seconds. Now, as Prime Time Live is a weekly pay-per-view and this match was the main event, shouldn’t the TV time limit have been put aside for this one? We’ll have to see what impact this has on the match.

UWN Tag Team Champions So-Cal Distancing vs. The Friendship Farm

Gentleman Jervis flips off Sweet Robin to land on Andy Brown
Credit: Justin Cotterell

The Friendship Farm have proven in recent weeks that they mean business and this match was no exception. They displayed real effort and fire in this great title match. Sweet Robin even has a new look, a pink and black outfit reminiscent of Bret Hart and a shaved head. There was no dancing from Sweet Robin on his way to the ring. He was all business.

Andy Brown and Adrian Quest tried to get the jump on the Friendship Farm boys, Sweet Robin and Gentleman Jervis fought back, sending the champions scurrying. The Farm singled out Adrian Quest and kept the pressure on, Sweet Robin nailing a modified version of Sweet Victory for a near-fall. In fact, the Friendship Farm boys went for a lot of covers early, demonstrating their desire to take the titles.

So-Cal Distancing took the advantage by double super kicking Jervis. They then cut off the ring, attacking Sweet Robin on the apron so he would come in and distract the ref so they could double team Jervis.

Eventually, Jervis escaped a vertical suplex and tagged in Sweet Robin who unloaded on the champs. He duplexes both men at once and hit Sweet Victory. As the match broke down into a free for all with all four men in the ring, Sweet Robin found himself in the outside, where Adrian Quest hit him with a gorgeous springboard moonsault. He followed up with an insane 450 splash into Robin on the ramp, taking him out completely.

Back in the ring, Andy Brown hit the ‘COD’ rolling cutter and a massive fist to drop Jervis and take the 1-2-3.

A brilliant effort by both teams and a highly enjoyable match.

Mike Bennett vs. JR Kratos

Mike Bennett is not a small man. He has a lot of well defined muscle. So you can appreciate how big JR Kratos if I say he dwarfed Bennett. Kratos is a big hunk of beef, no question.

Kratos started by taking Bennett to the mat before realised shoulder barges were probably a bad idea. They took it to the outside, where both men exchanged some furious forearms and chops, until Kratos threw Bennett into the ring steps, damaging his knee. Kratos kept up the pressure on the ring, decimating Bennett with a furious release vertical suplex that saw Bennett bounce across the ring.

Thrown out on to the ramp, Bennett recovered and went for the ‘Hail Mary’ piledriver but ultimately ended up hitting a Death Valley Driver onto the ramp, knocking the wind out of Kratos. Back in the ring, the pair exchanged more fists before Bennett took out Kratos ‘ legs with a low dropkick and got a near-fall with a suplex. Kratos returned fire with a big spinning powerslam for a near-fall of his own.

A power bomb attempt was slipped out of by Bennett, who struck with a spear in return and a kind of sir-down Rock Bottom. Bennett went up top but Kratos caught him and nailed a superplex, which he rolled through to boost Bennett up for one more suplex. However, Bennett slipped out and hit a spear, a superkick and the Hail Mary piledriver for the hard-earned victory.

This was a great physical match that saw two big men just throw big shots at each other whilst throwing each other around. It was clear that, with the main event only having a short time limit, that this was the main event wrestling-wise in all but name, and it certainly lived up to the title. Bennett is playing the desperate, never say die character really well and it paid off in this match for sure.

NWA TV Champion Zicky Dice vs. ‘The Pope’ Elijah Burke

This match was made in the basis of Zicky Dice spitting on Elijah Burke two weeks ago, an act Elijah called spitting on tradition. Well, the start of this match saw Zicky set tradition aflame! He attacked Elijah from behind as the match started, throwing him from the ramp to the floor. He then sent Elijah into the ring post before slamming him on to a table. The Pope was out for the count as Zicky took the mic and berated Pope, the NWA and Billy Corgan, all the while taking shots at the battered Pope on the floor. I enjoyed Zicky pointing fingers at the dirt sheets who said he had left the NWA, while stating Pope had done nothing to earn his contendership.

Zicky demanded they call the match off as Pope was unable to compete. But Pope wouldn’t stay down, climbing in the ring to fight. So, the 6:05 timer was commenced and the bell finally rang. Pope tried valiantly to fight back—a flurry of punches here, a German suplex there—but Zicky cut him off every time. But he got overconfident. Pope was able to send Zicky into the corner post then followed up with a pair of running knees for the surprise pinfall victory! New champion!

New NWA TV Champion Elijah Burke poses backstage
Credit: Justin Cotterell

Your mileage on this will vary, as in a lot of respects this was more of an elongated angle than a match. However, it did tell a compelling story and resulted in a real feel good moment as Pope captured the gold. A thumbs up from me.

Final Thoughts

Take away the opening match, and this was a very enjoyable episode of Prime Time Live. We got important news and developments with the announcement of the UWN World Heavyweight Championship tournament brackets, two great matches with the tag title bout and the Bennett/Kratos fight, and big feel good moment with Pope winning the NWA TV Title.

We’re six episodes in now and Prime Time Live has been pretty much putting on consistently entertaining shows. With the title tournament starting next week, things are only going to get even better. Check it out—it’s worth it.

Chris Flackett

Written by Chris Flackett

Wrestling obsessed since '91. Lived through the Monday Night Wars and is still here to tell the tale. Major fan of Strong Style, technical and Super Jr. Wrestling, as well as big versatile hosses smacking the hell out of each other. Lives in Manchester, England.

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