taped 01/13/2018, aired 01/24/2018
Mid-Atlantic Sportatorium, Gibsonville, North Carolina, United States
The show opens with a brief recap of the ending of Battlecade and before CL Party can fully introduce the show in the ring she’s interrupted by the full force of the All Stars. Coach Gemini says they’re all stoked about the new titles that Wilkins and Royal have won and he hasn’t personally been this happy since getting the divorce papers from his sixth wife. He allows CL to ask Wilkins the first question of his reign and she asks how exactly he’s the champion since he didn’t defeat Trevor Lee. The All Stars are incensed and to prove that Wilkins is not only the true champion but the greatest champion, the Coach announces that Wilkins is only going to be defending his title in no time limit matches against other champions in the wrestling world. We’ll find out who Wilkins’ first challenger is later tonight.
Lots of fun banter between the two competitors in our opener as well as the crowd. Sharpe’s got a new t-shirt that he’s pimping out and Chet wants no part of it. Sharpe says that he’s going to get it whether or not he likes it and tosses it over Chet’s head before jumping him, but it’s not long before Chet escapes and blows his nose with the thing.
AWWWW YEAH MY MAN SMITH GARRETT ON COMMENTARY WITH CECIL SCOTT.
Ethan Alexander Sharpe vs Chet Sterling
Once the match actually starts Chet blows through a variety of quick pin attempts and all sorts of fun southern highflying. Sharpe takes over with a hotshot and vaguely wanders through a control segment that isn’t much, though it’s punctuated by a great clothesline at one point. Chet’s bumping and selling doesn’t help much either, as he’s flopping all over the place in a way that simply isn’t warranted for a forgettable Sharpe performance. Peep the way he gets shitcanned out of the ring two thirds of the way through the match and you’ll get what I mean. Sharpe takes too long in gloating, though, and Chet really gets pissed at it (“Keep talking, Ethan! Keep talking!”), stuffing him on a house show dive before landing a hard right hand and a diving blockbuster for the win.
Mike Mars vs Aaron Biggs
Big boy battle. Real straightforward stuff but Biggs manages to be endearing in a way a lot of guys his size can’t be and Mars has a mean streak that’s lots of fun to watch. He gets angrier and angrier that someone his size dares to defy him but his anger clouds his focus, as Biggs just FLOORS him with his standing splash out of nowhere for the win that I didn’t see coming.
The All Stars gloat in the ring before the main event, where Jarry Caray says that the three names that come to mind when you think of technical wrestling are Hackenschmidt, Gotch, and Wilkins. They announce Wilkins’ opponent tonight, who is the brand new Rising Generation League champion Kool Jay!
Roy Wilkins (c) vs Kool Jay
“CWF Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship”
Great work from Cecil and Smith on commentary for running down the situation with Wilkins’ fake title but Kool Jay’s very real opportunity here. The match is real one-sided, with Wilkins’ size and the underhanded efforts of the All Stars preventing Kool Jay from getting all that much going, though his brief runs on offense are fun. Eventually things get increasingly nasty with some great, brutal bumps from the challenger as Wilkins starts to actively try to win the match and the crowd gets SUPER BEHIND KOOL JAY AS HE STARTS HITTING THESE WILD DIVES AAAHHHHHHH. Like holy cow. Feeling the tide rise behind him, Wilkins doubles down on his efforts but Kool Jay simply will not quit. He connects with the shiranui and looks to have this thing won but the Coach jumps in the ring to distract the ref long enough to let Wilkins regain control with the Ore ga Taue and pick up the win with the Wasteland.
Those of us who watch CWF were worried about how the promotion would handle things in the wake of Brad Stutts’ and Grant Sawyer’s departure and while there are clearly some huge concerns something like this assuages most of my fears. I’ve never cared about Kool Jay before but this was a star-making performance not terribly far behind the Snooty Foxx classic from last year. Seeing this as the first post-Battlecade main event has me thinking CWF might be alright in the long run after all. We’ll see how things shake in the coming months (and with the Lee/Wilkins rematch this weekend, as it so happens) but right here and right now I’m hopeful.