I’ve been a bit down on UKW Friday Night Showdown for the first 2 weeks. Not coruscating -Ooh, Coruscating. Well, it wasn’t an all-out attack because I really admired UKW’s grapefruits in running a weekly live show in UKW Friday Night Showdown.
Some of the wrestling was good. Some of the ideas were good. They were let down by technical stuff, like mics being too low and a nasty hiatus of up to 30 minutes at the beginning of the broadcast as we watched an empty ring, a guardrail, or the commentary team who were blissfully unaware of being watched.
So What Have They Done?
Sorted out the hiatus! Hoooooooray! Simple fix, a smaller program time, and a sign to tell us that the program will start shortly. Didn’t have to wait long before we got our first action either.
So what else was good? Well, lots…
JPR is golden on commentary for UKW, as previously reported. He gives us a constant chatter which is so necessary and this week he’s got a mate. Mustafa Khan is with him and they have a great laugh together. When they’re enjoying it, so are we.
There’s a new announcer too, a trainee apparently, Kat, who needs to let the comfort of the piece of paper go but will get better; looking forward to seeing her settle into the role. This sets the tone and makes us feel secure.
They Follow Up
Last week on UKW Friday Night Showdown, JPR had a verbal go at bad boy tag team Cayman Carlisle and huge Henry Winter, the Collective. Not just a go. It was full-on angry teacher mode, ‘Look at me when I’m talking to you’ stuff.
He told them that if they didn’t win the tag belts at the Saturday event, they would be gone from UKW. They were unhappy, of course.
Guess who’s unhappy now? Winter came out. With a belt. He didn’t need to say much. JPR was angry with them and himself and the picture was pretty perfect. Good booking. And damn good work from JPR.
They Had One Thing Running Right Through The Show
Literally running. Leonie Rose beat up Women’s Champ Alfieeeeeee…hang on…eeeeeee. last week, so the champ wanted revenge. They entered the program 4 times, started the action too and eventually Alfieee asked for a match next week, falls count anywhere. Should be fantastic. And never count Rose out.
Some Of The Matches Were Rather Good
Cliff Harrison is fairly recently out of training, but he has a sneer that takes him places, he’s developing a good heel character. The Yorkshireman is what it sounds like. Essentially of his area, it clearly won’t travel unless he becomes a nasty heel in other areas though. Or takes Sean Bean as his manager.
He can wrestle though. The 3 German suplex amigos and ripcord stunner show that. Cliff on the other hand has a eurinagi and an attitude to jaw at the ref.
UKW is pushing these two. Quite rightly. The Round The Clock title hasn’t been handled with aplomb by UKW. This was different: Sheikh Mukhtoom was out. Popular gent and now 5-time title winner. His happiness brought out Johan Hunt. Which brought out Young Horus. And then Billy O’Keefe.
Hang on, Billy O’Keefe? Isn’t he too good a wrestler for this belt push? Well, he did have a beef with Horus, so maybe he came down to sort him out and got into the match. Am I reaching? Yep, but it would be a good idea. The match was rather good, actually, knock down and even drag out. O’Keefe provided a Boston crab, lovely back suplex, and not-so-good crossface.
But there was also a Horus sling blade and sort of cattle mutilation. And then Leonie and Alfieeeee made an appearance and the champ speared Horus!
There were double pins here, bodies all over the place, and a new champion, Billy O’Keefe…what is he going to do with the belt? Produce excellent wrestling matches in defense of the Round The Clock championship? That’s not what it’s for, surely. But if they’re bold, it could become something extraordinary.
Still Some Issues Though
He’s a big bloke. That’s why he’s called Big Duncan. But if they don’t watch it he could become Big Daddy.
You see here he was paired with perennial trier Tommy Dillon. Robert DeCaro and Remus Caine put a hurting on Tommy (well, Caine mainly) and the likeable Dillon had to get the hot tag. Will he be able to? It is a bit Big Daddy, that huge girthed and hugely popular UK Wrestling character in the late ’70s and early ’80’s who made it into a cartoon show in my view. Duncan deserves more than that.
At least here there was a surprise result; Dillon took a DDT on a steel chair for the pin. Duncan didn’t win. A good surprise, but Duncan needs to win big next time. Tommy Dillon? Win or lose, he’s popular.
There was another downbeat ending. This time it was Winter coming out to have another go at JPR, who got over-excited and challenged him. Just think about what you’ve just done. Did it seem a good move, JPR? Maybe think next time, as this one didn’t end well. He was brutalized.
And we ended with him being helped to the back. Hang on, didn’t we end last week with Alfieeeee being helped to the back? We did. To close both episodes in that way just brings us down.
It Was OK Though?
Better than that. UKW Friday Night Showdown Episode 3 had good matches, interesting booking and there was usually something which kept us watching watching. In fact, there were no gaps at all.
Fantastic to see by episode 3.