Rampage Brown vs Mikey Whiplash
The Ritz, Manchester, England, United Kingdom
(reviewed 01/11/2017) Giving this a review because I like these two lads and I’m still jazzed from the Thatcher vs Gallagher match that preceded it. They take their time at the beginning with the usual assortment of strikes and big boy spots, with Whiplash switching between seeming real off and being as on-point as ever. The action spills to the floor, where Whiplash takes control with a scoop slam on the hard wood, though he’s soon sent soaring through five or six rows of chairs from an Irish whip. A powerbomb attempt from Rampage is reversed into a back body drop, and the former PROGRESS champion comes down hard on his knee, highlighting a weakness for Whiplash to exploit. Rampage sells quite well as they make their way back to the ring, and Whiplash’s selling has likewise been fairly good in this match, though not as consistent as I’d like. Whiplash screams at the referee to count Rampage down as he lays on the mat, angering the big man, who invites a few strikes before hitting a Samoan Drop to make a comeback. He continues with a big ol’ shoulderblock off the middle rope and a great back suplex, but his knee prevents him from sustaining his momentum or from hitting his signature piledriver. Whiplash regains control with a rebound lariat and an odd crossface, but he misses a corner dropkick, leading to a gruesome avalanche back suplex from Rampage that puts both men down for the count. Countering a charge from Rampage, Whiplash flips over the ropes and to the apron, ducking between the ropes for a shoulderblock, and Rampage catches him and awkwardly muscles him up to hit the piledriver for a somewhat abrupt win. Solid enough hoss fight here, though it feels rather off most of the way through, seemingly due to Whiplash. Still, what we get is quite fun, if lacking the usual pizazz.