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TonyPulis'Cap

[2004-11-28-FWA-Goldrush 2004] James Tighe vs Aviv Mayan

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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)

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