On 16th March at the Rushcliffe Arena, I took the bold step of going to see NGW’s latest Proving Ground show.
There were six matches in total and this is what went down.
Chuck Wood vs Dara Diablo
There was a clear face/heel dynamic in this. Pre-match, Dara tried to rile up the crowd via insult; Chuck Wood on the other hand, is a very likeable character with an easy to understand lumberjack gimmick. He showed he has good comedy wrestling in him and was able to elicit positive reactions from the crowd. His move-set largely focused on chops and double axe handles to help further his character.
In the final stretch, there were shenanigans by Dara to help him pick up the win. All in all, a good opener.
Big Guns Joe vs Ethan Allen
This match was more storyline driven than anything else. Just as this match was starting to warm up, there was interference from Lucas Steel to render the match a no contest and Robbie X came to make the save.
In a spectacular moment of wrestling logic Leanne Marie, in her duty as ring announcer, said that Robbie X vs Lucas Steel was agreed to by the management that minute and was going to be the main event. NGW had announced the match over a week ago, which confused this writer somewhat.
Reece and Rogan vs Niño and Joe Nelson
This was your standard tag team wrestling fare, with Joe Nelson being the subject of the battering from the heels, who we misheard as Keith and Logan. Niño got the hot tag and the Italian ran wild. There was interference from Reece and Rogan’s manager, allowing them to pick up the victory.
One thing from this match will always baffle me: why does Niño (the Italian) have his name spelt with an ñ (a common feature of Spanish). All language geekery aside, a very watchable match.
Adam Maxted vs Jack Turner
Coming into this, I expected the more well-known name to be both an easy victor and presented as an entitled heel, akin to EC3. This was a good back and forth match and was most notable for the terrifying noise when Jack Turner made a senton, and the broken ring that made pinning attempts a literal uphill struggle.
Adam Maxted picked up both the win and an apparent concussion, which was a shame as his match later that evening for Wrestle Gate Pro was shaping up to be a great one. I hope he recovers well.
Stixx vs Myles Kayman
Pre-match Kayman cut a promo about how he’s miles better than anyone and how Stixx is getting old and can’t beat him. It set the mood well for the story of the match with the up-and-comer going up against an older hometown hero.
Myles faked an injury to generate even more heat and try and pick up a cheap win, and his youth played well with his energetic style, which gave him the early advantage. The fake injury comes home to roost in a lovely karmic way, with Stixx himself playing possum and getting a roll-up pin for the victory. A brilliant match, which told a neat little story.
Lucha Britannia Guest Match: Buffalo Soldier vs Malik
This was a nice showcase match for the brand and both were able to highlight their skills – Malik with his heavy hitting and Buffalo with his fantastic step up kicks. Mr Soldier took the win in a match that left me wanting to see more of both competitors.
Lukas Steel vs Robbie X
On to the main event, with the masked Robbie X taking on Lukas Steel as scheduled earlier.
The two worked well with one another and it was immediately apparent from the match that Lukas is rightly being treated as a big deal in NGW. There was a ref bump and no visual pin (a rarity) but there were shenanigans that allowed Lukas to pick up the win and leave Robbie with a strong case for retribution.
My lasting thoughts from this match were that given Robbie’s gimmick of throwing up the ‘X’ sign, it would be tricky for medics if he were to be a special guest referee one day.
The show as a whole gave me a good chance to broaden my horizons and see a lot of wrestlers who I hadn’t watched before. I would happily see them again when they’re in the area.