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Found 10 results

  1. This is a No. 1 contenders match for the FWA’s All England Title. These two, both FWA Academy graduates had been part of the 3 way match that had opened British Uprising two weeks before. Tighe had actually won the title shot in that match, but as Ghosh wasn’t the man pinned, being a good fighting babyface, Tighe agreed to put it on the line again here. Both men are coming in as faces, and with them both coming through the FWA’s training school together they know each other well, so we get a lot of feeling out and parity exchanges early on. That was very much the en vogue Indie style at the time but makes sense given the context of the story of the match. Tighe, being the bigger and stronger of the two, and also the better wrestler – both in kayfabe and non-kayfabe – then takes control by hitting a nice series of German suplexes. While Tighe dominates most of the exchanges, Ghosh is trying to stick and move to try and work an opening. When he does get some separation he gets a nice near fall off a springboard seated senton ala Rey Mysterio. It’s a short, fairly standard match between the two clocking in at around 6/7 mins, but the action we do get is good, and actually when it ends I thought it was just starting to click into something that could’ve been a pretty decent match if it had got a bit longer. As it is, Tighe counters out of a roll up to hit a standing shooting star press and then his Tighetanic (northern lights bomb) finisher for the win. (** ¼)
  2. We are at the Pyramids Centre in Portsmouth for this show. Portsmouth on the south coast of England was the original home of the FWA when it was initially the Fratton Wrestling Alliance, but despite the FWA Academy being based there this would end up being the last but one show they would run in the city. Speaking of the FWA Academy, this is a master vs. student match, with Sloan being the trainer of Tighe who has been his star pupil and protégé. Tension had been teased between the two of them due to Tighe accidentally costing Sloan the All England Title to the Zebra Kid at the previous show Vendetta. The teacher/pupil relationship is the narrative for the match; with the two knowing each other so well, the initial stalemates and counters make sense. Despite the familiarity the sequences aren’t as smooth as you might think however. Sloan gets the first advantage and starts to work the arm, and increases the aggression by throwing Tighe out of the ring and onto the ramp, which is a nasty bump. When Tighe returns the favour with a body slam on the ramp, it’s clear the ‘friendly’ exchanges are over. There’s some decent psychology with Sloan concentrating on the arm and going back to it to counter Tighe when he tries to get on offence. Tighe shows good resilience, but probably kicks out of too much as they seem to get a bit bored of the simple story they were telling in favour of big moves. In particular, Sloan hits a top rope superplex into a DDT that looks brutal and probably shouldn’t be just a nearfall. Tighe’s win comes out of nothing, when he rolls though a t-bone suplex into his Tighetantic finisher and feels very abrupt considering he was selling for most of the match. There were some nice moments in this, but I felt they could’ve done more with the teacher vs pupil storyline in terms of building it into the match structure. After the match they share a handshake, but when the Old School stable of disgruntled BritWres veterans comes out, Sloan then turns his back on Tighe to join the faction, where he would essentially become their lackey. (** ¼)
  3. This is the last FWA show of 2004, and just two weeks after British Uprising III, the apex of the company’s run. I’ve highlighted in the reviews of the matches from that show here on the board, that despite months of good build up, BU3 just didn’t live up to the hype. While I think if watched today it’s a better show than the reputation it got at the time, the fact remains the show made a significant loss, and for a company with little in the way of financial assets, that was a huge blow. The FWA would never reach the heights it would hit in 2004 again – it’s weekly TV show would also soon go off the air due to a lack of funds – but a decline in the quality of shows was not immediate, as shown by Goldrush. As I’ve done many times in my FWA retrospective here on PWO I’m going to quote Greg Lambert in his book Holy Grail on this time period: ‘It’s a commonly held myth that FWA started to downslide immediately after BU3. That’s not strictly true. Just two weeks after the Sky Dome, the first annual Goldrush at Broxbourne Civic Hall was a cracking little show. The FWA was right back on form that night, and most importantly, made money at the box office to ensure the company could keep going into 2005’. The opener gets the show off to a quality start in ring, but the fact that James Tighe – after main eventing (but losing) at both Uprising II and Uprising III is in the opener, shows the problem the FWA had with being able to build up names to refresh the main event scene from the Williams, Storm, Fleisch, Shane stalwarts. It comes about in storyline terms from the fact that Tighe had been the winner of a ‘next generation 3 way match’ at the first British Uprising and was pissed off about the successor 3 way match two weeks previously, of which Mayan was a part of. He’d already beaten the other two competitors – Spud and Ross Jordan – so is now after the hattrick. He’s also coming in frustrated off his loss to AJ Styles at BU3 and being embarrassed by the returning Fleisch and Storm after that match. The result is him taking it out on Mayan. I thought this was a really strong match, with the perfect heel/face dynamic. You can make a strong case that Tighe was the best wrestler in the UK in 2004 in terms of consistent match quality and he is impressive in working over Mayan, with lots of work on the back. He definitely gives off a Roderick Strong vibe at this time, mixing smooth technical wrestling with hard hitting strikes. While Tighe dominates a lot of the match, Mayan gets in some really well timed hope spots to keep the crowd invested. At this time he was a real prospect. Tighe was clear in the build-up that he didn’t want to just beat Mayan but make him tap out, so I liked the finish whereby Tighe wins the match with his Texas Cloverleaf, but Mayan passes out rather than taps. It gave Tighe the much needed win after his high profile losses in 2004, but also furthered his angle of getting increasingly bitter and frustrated, while Mayan looks like a warrior by passing out rather than submitting. (*** ½)
  4. From main eventing British Uprising II the previous year, 2004 was not a good year for James Tighe. Well in kayfabe terms. In ring, he was one of the company’s strongest performers. In a storyline sense, his failure to capture the British Heavyweight Title led to him losing a lot of matches, often in upsets to guys lower on the card than him. I don’t think a losing streak gimmick has ever really worked in wrestling, but it was with the goal in mind of building his frustration at losses to a heel turn. Given how impressive he was in 2003 and in the title match with Doug Williams I feel the FWA should’ve kept pushing him as face challenger at the title level, but with his lack of charisma, it was probably right that the fans would end up picking more outgoing and flashier personalities over him. Tighe faced off with Styles at Vendetta in July, in a match that began sportingly but that saw Tighe getting increasingly desperate to win against a big name - to well and truly snap his losing streak. In the match, Tighe was able to go toe to toe with AJ for large parts, but, starting to feel he was being outgunned, resorted to trying to use a chair. The end result would actually see Styles on the end of a very dodgy referee call – whether intentional or not a recurring theme for Styles’ matches in the FWA – and he ended up as the one getting disqualified giving Tighe the much needed, if tainted win. Which is pretty much the reason for this being a 30 minute Iron Man Match – to decisively find out who was the better man. As I’ve noted in the reviews of other matches on the show, British Uprising III was mainly booked on the basis of matches built on feuds, but the fairly clear aim was for this to be the workrate match to carry that requirement of a big indie show. This is the main event of the show and has the task of following the controversial end to the FWA Title match which initially has an impact on the atmosphere, but the massive pop that AJ gets brings the crowd back. The first 7-8 mins are wrestled very cautiously, but I enjoyed the feeling out process given that the match is going a half hour and it doesn’t make sense to go too hard too quickly, I could see some finding the opening stretch dull, but I liked the struggle in the holds and every counter being fought over. This is shown in them fighting over the headlock, including Tighe snatching one when AJ is going for his patented drop kick. AJ’s tactic is to up the pace, and following getting the drop kick, able to follow Tighe out, jump the guardrail and catch him with the superkick. This leads to a period of AJ dominating, until being caught and driven face first by Tighe. But just when Tighe is starting to feel confident and in control, he takes his eye off the ball going for a suplex and gets caught in a crucifix for the first fall. I liked that as Tighe is protesting, he almost gets rolled up for a good close near fall. Following a period of back and forth, they both fall to the outside on a hurucanrana that didn’t look very smooth, but added to the sense of struggle in the match. This leads to a double count on the floor during which AJ takes a nasty over head suplex into the guardrail, which is enough to allow Tighe to sneak back in and level things at 1-1. I really liked Tighe smelling blood and going in for the kill and secure that big career defining win; he doesn’t want the draw. AJ is finally able to break the momentum with the Pele kick and then hits a brutal looking brianbuster for 2, knowing he has to bring out the big guns. AJ then going for a chink lock didn’t really fit the storyline but the flurry of strikes is more like it and just as in their first match, Styles manages to once again break Tighe’s nose. As the clock ticks down, AJ is the one going for the win while Tighe is just trying to survive. With 3 mins on the clock he desperately fights out of the Styles Clash on multiple occasions, as the crowd go nuts knowing that it’s a kill shot this close to the end. Sadly for him a kick out from a powerbomb puts him naturally in position for the Styles Clash and AJ goes 2-1 up with 2 mins to go. With 10 seconds to go Tighe gets a great nearfall with a roll up to try and tie at 2-2 – the equivalent of a late chance in football – but Style sees the last few seconds out by ducking and weaving as the clock strikes down. Not a typical babyface way of doing it but very smart. Post match, Styles tries to show respect but gets a Tighe low blow for his troubles. Jody Fleisch, who had made a big non-wrestling return on the show after more than a year away tries to make the save but gets taken out by Tighe’s tag team partner Mark Belton. We then get the big return of Jonny Storm to the FWA as well, and after the tease of a confrontation with his long time friend/rival Fleisch, we get AJ as the peacekeeper and a reunion handshake to a big pop. In terms of a match, I think this is very good. Some may think the opening segment doesn’t have much going on, but I liked the struggle and the building of the match. The little stories interweaved without having to resort to big moves and kick outs is very much appreciated by me, although I did think the match had a higher gear it could’ve found as it went into the final stretch. The main downside is that for the second year in a row in the main event of the biggest show of the year, and as he often did when facing the top names, Tighe loses the big match again. (*** ¾)
  5. We are back at the Broxbourne Civic Hall, the FWA’s main home, and this is AJ’s first time back with the company for over a year. The month before this James Tighe had put in a great effort against another high profile import in Low Ki, but continuing the losing streak he’d been on, he was unable to get the win. This is another big test for him to try and snap that streak decisively given the calibre of opposition. AJ is coming in with the TNA X Division Title, although this is a non-title match up. Unlike the contest with Low Ki, which had far more grappling and submissions, this is much more all out action with lots of high impact exchanges. It starts respectfully until AJ busts Tighe open nastily when he breaks his nose on his trademark drop down, leap frog drop kick. While this would’ve obviously sucked for Tighe, the sight of his own blood works to fire him up and he takes it to AJ with some real aggression including turning him inside out with a German Suplex. Tighe is so fired up that he actually ends us shoving the ref out of the ring when he goes to make a break. Both men stop to help the ref back in, but this will play into the finish later. Tighe has been so impressive in this FWA re-watch, particularly with his versatility and his ability to change his style depending on his opponent. For the most part he is able to keep up with AJ’s explosiveness hitting some big moves of his own like an underhook powerbomb and a swinging sit down uranage. Styles though, recognising he is getting over powered by a man clearly desperate to get a win at all costs starts to go aerial where he has the advantage and connects with a tope con hilo to the outside, even more impressive considering the guardrails were in fairly tight. With both men throwing everything at one another, and getting increasingly reckless we get another inadvertent takedown of the ref with AJ absolutely wiping him out with a discuss close line. Unlike earlier however, when AJ goes to check on the ref on the outside, this time Tighe kicks the rope into his balls to a chorus of boos. Further showing his desperation Tighe then goes to the outside for a chair only for an attempt to use it getting reversed. Fired up by the low blow AJ smashes the chair into the mat just as the ref is stirring, who thinking that sound was him hitting Tighe disqualifies Styles to more boos. Tighe’s celebrating and shouting “a win is a win” is glorious. The ending is pretty cheap and I can see turning people off, but in the context of the story that Tighe was a desperate man trying to do anything to get a win and it building up to the rematch it works. It also works - whether this is intentional or not - as one thing that has been consistent since AJ started appearing in the FWA is him being on the end of poor officiating and unlucky decisions. Finally, the way the match unfolds allows Tighe’s frustrations to finally turn into him becoming a heel. At times, it breaks down into a bit too much ‘your turn, my turn’, but the broken nose and the intensity they hit each with helps to make it a compelling match. (*** ½)
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXVpOjuh0K0 This is Low Ki’s return to the FWA after first appearing at the FWA/ROH show Frontiers of Honor around a year before this. He’s matched up here with James Tighe who was the break through wrestler of the year in the FWA in 2003, culminating in him main eventing British Uprising II for the FWA Title. Following that unsuccessful challenge he’d been in a slump and on a losing streak. This match feels very much like a Low Ki/Bryan Danielson match at times, but whereas those matches were much more even, Low Ki is able to dominate much more, especially in the opening stretches. There is some great counter wrestling at the beginning, with everything looking like a real struggle and several times Tighe is just able to escape Ki’s submissions by getting to the ropes, including a hanging Dragon Clutch that is applied over the top rope. As ever, Low Ki brings a real intensity to everything he does, and his kicks and chops are really vicious. Anytime that it looks like Tighe is getting the advantage, Ki’s striking ability is what can get him out of a hole – they are weapons that Tighe doesn’t have. Tighe does though have the slight power advantage, and he is able to catch Ki coming off the ropes into a great looking German Suplex before hitting a double underhook into a power bomb for a nearfall that the crowd really seemed to bite on. Once again though it’s Ki’s striking that is decisive; when Tighe, sensing he has the momentum goes for his Tighetanic finisher Ki hits some nasty looking knees to escape before hitting a rolling koppu kick to the back of the head. From there he transitions to the Dragon Clutch and the ref calls for the bell with Tighe passing out. This is an excellent match, almost on a par with the match that Tighe had with Doug Williams, which at this point in company history I think is the best match the FWA has had. This doesn’t have the nuances of that match, but the early grappling into the progression of high impact moves – without it ever becoming spot, spot, spot – means this is excellent. At a couple of moments, particularly when the match is starting to escalate that Tighe goes back to a chin lock that is slightly jarring, but that is nit picking. Tighe continued his losing streak, but looked anything but weak in this one, going toe to toe with one of the best on the independent scene at that time. (****)
  7. As with British Uprising I the previous year, it’s good to see the show main evented by the FWA Title and main evented by two British guys. Over the year since that show Doug Williams had been firmly established as the ace of the company having brought the title ‘home’ by beating Christopher Daniels at ROH’s Night of Champions in March. Following that he successfully defended the title against a series of imports including Chris Hamrick, Juventud Guerrera, Christopher Daniels and Bryan Danielson. This is his first home grown challenger. This is a really well built up match. Back at Crunch 2003 in March, Doug defeated James Tighe in a match that showed that Tighe could compete with Doug, but wasn’t yet on his level. For much of the summer and autumn Doug was competing in ROH and NOAH, cementing his position as the best wrestler in the UK and as a trailblazer of sorts for the UK scene, while Tighe was able to pick up big wins and defeat two former FWA champions; Jody Fleisch and Flash Barker in a mini tournament to become No. 1 contender. With his momentum growing Tighe was also able to beat another former FWA champion in Christopher Daniels and then finally pin Doug in a non title triple threat match, also involving Flash Barker, in Newport in Wales two months before this to show that he was now ready to challenge. A simple story – very Japanese in booking - and effective in building Tighe up; it really felt like the title could realistically change hands here. Stylistically, it’s a match up that also clicked - Tighe as a younger version of Williams, looking to take his crown. That plays into the match from the start and the opening mat exchanges; these are two technical guys, proficient in that style. A reminder as well, that FWA Title matches at this point were contested under 2 out of 3 falls rules. For most of the first fall, Doug, showing that he’s the top guy in the company is largely in control with Tighe trying to work an opening on the leg to make use of his Texas cloverleaf. Williams mainly controls the head and neck with a series of front chancery’s one of which he turns into a reverse DDT on the floor. Tighe, feeling like he is being dominated on the mat tries to up the pace with a pair of dropkicks and also an exchange of forearm’s, but this just seems to piss Doug off. After a series of reversals where each looks to hit one of their signature moves, he is able to catch Tighe in a cobra clutch which he flips over in a version of the move I don’t recall seeing before, but which looks really painful. This is enough to get a tap to go up 1 fall to 0. We have breaks between the falls with each having a corner man and taking on water, both playing up to the WOS heritage and the rounds system but also helping give it that big fight feel. With Tighe still feeling his neck, Doug goes straight in for the kill and tries to hook the same move again, before transitioning into a cattle mutilation! He’d had a series of great matches with Bryan Danielson in ROH that year so I like that he was working that in as a move he had picked up. Doug is looking to keep the advantage and keeps working over the neck but gets caught with a snap German when charging in with a knee. Tighe realising this is his chance uses that as an opening to hit a flurry of a springboard back elbow, a hurucanrana and a brainbuster for a nearfall when Doug just gets his foot on the bottom rope. He levels up the match at 1-1 after hitting two Tighetanics after Doug actually kicks out of the first one. I liked this and the foot on the rope as it showed the resilience that Doug has even in dropping the fall, and that Tighe will really have to raise his game to take the title. Almost off the restart, Tighe gets a great nearfall reversing the Chaos Theory into a roll up. With both men in a sudden death environment now, the third fall sees the intensity levels rise and the match breakdown into more of a brawl and it spills to the outside with Doug taking a nasty bump on the outside when going for his revolution DDT off the apron. They work their way to the ramp where in a brutal looking moment, Tighe takes a Chaos Theory on the ramp! Tighe is clearly now running on fumes but somehow stays in the match kicking out of not just a revolution DDT, but a series of a pair of brainbusters followed by the Chaos Theory! Getting frustrated, Doug deviates from his game plan and makes an error by going to the top but missing a senton. This gives Tighe the chance to hit a desperation tiger driver but just for 2! Given it’s got him a fall already, it makes sense that he goes for another Tighetanic, but having been hit by it before, Doug is able to counter this time and go all out with a Dragon Suplex Chaos Theory to retain the belt. This is a great match, the best of the FWA all year in 2003, and probably to this point the best I’ve seen in the company history. From the opening exchanges, to the escalation, to the ebb and flow and then the hot finishing sequence, there is lots to love in this one. (**** 1/4)
  8. This is to determine the No. 1 contender to the FWA Title at British Uprising II to face Doug Williams. Each won a match at Vendetta in June to qualify for this match; Tighe beat Jody Fleisch while Barker knocked off Jack Xavier. This is being presented as the future of the FWA in Tighe versus the veteran Barker, and it makes for a nice dynamic. I also liked the announcers playing up Barker’s desire to return to British Uprising one year on from losing his title at the same event. These two match up well stylistically – Tighe was excellent as a mat wrestler, combining that with the hybrid style being popularised by ROH at the time. Barker during his heel British Title runs was much more of a brawler, but since turning face at the beginning of the year now wrestles in a more MMA inspired way. The mat exchanges between the two at the beginning are smooth, with each trying to find an opening without rushing in. Whereas a lot of the other young UK wrestlers at the time were looking to do everything at pace, Tighe stands out from the pack by working much smarter and taking his time. I enjoyed Tighe consistently working the headlock and using that as a tool to keep on top of the bigger and stronger Barker and using that as a way of trying to prevent him using his strikes. The match has a really nice logical flow to it, with each changing their game plan to suit their strengths as things progress. Early on it’s a technical bout which favours Tighe, so Barker goes with strikes and kicks rather than trying to trade holds. Tighe realising he his overmatched when it comes to striking then takes things to the air with a springboard crossbody and split legged moonsault. In the end he is able to counter Barker’s attempt at his Flash in the Pan (roll the dice) finisher for the three count and No. 1 contender spot. This is a smartly wrestled match that largely keep things simple with a logical escalation as it goes on. Thumbs up. (***) While the winner of the match was to be the No. 1 contender to the FWA Title, the loser was given an All England Title shot the same night, which seems strange for losing a match, but that means we are set for Barker to take on the perennial All England Champion Zebra Kid. Zebra was champ at Vendetta but since then there had been title switches involving Chris Hamrick and Jonny Storm, before coming back to him. I won’t post this match in its own thread as just as it starts we get interference from Hade Vansen who had done the same thing at Vendetta, and the match is thrown out. After the last incident Vansen was fired/suspended in storyline, but once again he tries to hijack the show triggering a big brawl between the three guys and lots of security. We see the camera following security throwing him out the building, while the commentators try to play it off as a shoot. People maybe rolling their eyes at the whole worked shoot stuff, but as Greg Lambert outlines in his book on the period, that sort of angle had never really been done in British wrestling before. In an interesting note from Lambert’s book he notes that Alex Shane concocted an angle that only him and Vansen were in on whereby they had a confrontation at a fan convention to again sell the ‘realness’ of what was going on.
  9. This is the first of two qualifying matches for a No. 1 contenders match, with the winner of this match meeting the winner of Flash Barker vs Jack Xavier on a future show to determine who would get an FWA title shot at Doug Williams. Jody is of course, the biggest star in the company at this point, while Tighe had been putting on a series of excellent performances and is coming off a big win against Paul London at Frontiers of Honor. There is a contrast in that coming into this show, Jody’s burgeoning feud with his former best friend Jonny Storm has been costing him his focus and costing him matches. These two mesh together really well and this is an excellent match. While you could make the case that the opening sequences and reversals are too choreographed, the speed and precision with which they are worked is fantastic, and it helps to establish right from the beginning that Tighe is not out of his depth and can hang with someone of Jody’s calibre. Tighe is so smooth with his matwork, and watching him in 2003-04 makes me really wistful that his career tailed off at the time the UK scene was in the doldrums. The match also enables Jody to show off some of his technical skills, which he didn’t often show, and I thought he looked very competent on the mat. I particularly enjoyed his switching from an arm bar into an STF to try and prevent Tighe from getting to the ropes. The action is fairly fast paced throughout, and while it’s a common complaint of a lot of matches from the 2000s to this day, you just feel that if they had slowed down at times and let some of the sequences breathe then we could have had one of the best matches from the company all year. The mat wrestler vs the flyer is always a match up I enjoy, and Tighe also brings a lot of suplexes and high impact moves to the table. I loved his double chicken wing into a release German suplex. The second of the evenings Chekhov's Gun’s comes midway through the match, with the mention by the commentators of the popularity of Jody which can best be summed up by an enthusiastic fan in the crowd wearing a Dakko Chan mask, which was Jody’s masked character from when he wrestled in Michinoku Pro. This comes into play later in the match, when following a mid air collision and both men falling to the outside the ‘fan’ in the mask leaps the barrier and holds onto Fleisch’s leg making him lose by count out. The fan is revealed of course to be Jonny Storm. Following the reveal, Tighe gets on the mic to say he doesn’t want to win that way and they both ask the ref to restart the match. As was the case at Frontiers of Honor when there was a time limit draw between Low Ki and Flash Barker, we once again have FWA head official Steve Lynskey playing up his heel ref character by refusing the request and confirming that Tighe moves on. This is a really fun match, with some great sequences and exchanges. The count out interference ending is a shame, but it was all being designed to build the heat on the big Jody Fleisch/Jonny Storm showdown being planned for British Uprising II. Sadly, as I’ll document, we don’t get to that match. (*** ½)
  10. The growing momentum of the FWA in the latter half of 2002 came at the same time as the emergence of ROH as a company generating a significant buzz. With the featuring of Jerry Lynn and AJ Styles in prominent positions in the FWA, Christopher Daniels winning the British Heavyweight Title and in return Doug Williams being featured heavily in the States, a relationship between the two promotions was established. A joint card between the two was the logical progression. This brings us to Frontiers of Honor; a one night tournament between the two companies, featuring six inter-promotional matches. The concept was enough for another very strong attendance and the companies’ second show at the York Hall. A key note before getting into the opener is that unlike some inter-promotional shows, this is treated more like a sporting rivalry rather than an invasion or a heated grudge. As such, ROH wrestlers are not presented overtly as heels in their matches, outside of Christopher Daniels – who actually says he’s competing for himself rather than ROH. Given that so many in attendance were clearly excited to see US guys who were getting a lot of hype, it’s safe to say that was the best approach to go for rather than force a heel invading company dynamic onto the occasion that would have been somewhat tone deaf. What’s encouraging though, is that despite this, the home town FWA guys mostly get support as well rather than being turned on, which can sometimes happen when seen to be facing guys perceived as ‘cooler’ or better (something which can happen when ROH guys face New Japan wrestlers today for example). The opener between James Tighe and Paul London is very much a babyface vs babyface match, with clean action, and both guys getting support from the crowd. Listening to the ThROH The Years podcast on the PWO feed you can sometimes forget what a great babyface that London was at this point, able to elicit genuine affection and support from the crowd. Unfortunately, because of the nature of the match not having a defined heel, you don’t get to see that great selling from London. Tighe was a really promising technical wrestler at this stage, who was starting to grain traction with the crowd and he works the match in the style of a Dean Malenko in a WCW cruiserweight match in 96/97, looking to wear down a high flier with submissions and holds, but not in a necessarily vicious way, which would perhaps have allowed London to really rally people behind him. Early on there’s some nifty arm work from Tighe but nothing necessarily coherent that runs throughout the match, He does act as good base though and there’s lot of fun back and forth action. In particular is London’s impressive running shooting star press off the apron. Looking at their international reputations, it’s perhaps a shock that Tighe picks up the clean win with his Tighe–tanic finisher (a cross legged brainbuster), but he was starting to get a significant push in the FWA, with 2003-04 being arguably the peak of his career. It’s to Tighe’s credit at this stage that he looked so comfortable in there with a guy that would be signed to the WWE by the end of the year. This is an enjoyable opener that doesn’t overstay its welcome at a little over 10 mins, but I feel like if Tighe had been more vicious, and enabled London to generate that sympathy from the crowd it could’ve been something really good. The match puts the FWA 1-0 up. (** ¾)
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