After almost 18 months away from wrestling, shows are back with a bang! This is the second time I’ve visited Liverpool for wrestling and the first time I’ve been to see TNT. Had there not been a pandemic I would have been a lot sooner but here we are. TNT Going Off Big Time!
An exciting night of action looks set to happen in Hangar 34, a venue that TNT seems to use to use a lot and is close enough to the city centre for a Liverpool novice like me to find easily (thankfully). As someone who travels to shows on their own a lot of time, this is a nice little detail that means I will undoubtedly be back here in the future.
Bit of pre-show anxiety on my part, with it being a new venue and all, but it worked fine once I realised my standing ticket didn’t mean standing. I still broke a chair, which was fun, especially as someone else tried sitting on it afterwards and hit the floor. He seemed too drunk to mind though.
The system the venue had for ordering drinks, sticking your hand up and hoping you get noticed, was a bit clunky, although given the situation fair enough. A couple of changes to the announced card, with apparently travel problems meaning we had no Jody Fleisch or Stevie Boy, it would have been great to have them but as we’ll see later on their replacements weren’t too bad.
TNT Going Off Big Time | TNT Tag Team Championships:
The King’s of the North vs The Young Guns
A great way to open up the show with an open challenge by the very scary-looking (but beloved) King’s of the North. The longest reigning tag champs in company history have been with TNT for years and with this being my first exposure to them live they certainly lived up to that reputation. Their open challenge was answered by the young men who are everyone at the moment, The Young Guns. As a big of theirs already this was a great matchup before the bell even rang. And once it did, boy did it live up to that, a really lovely tag match, ugly in the best possible way. The King’s of the North would eventually retain but after that performance from Ethan Allen and Luke Jacobs they will be circling for another shot soon I’m sure.
Dan Moloney vs Soner Dursun
We moved on to another match featuring some kind of unknown. Before this match, I had no idea about Kid Lykos’ position as General Manager (forgive my ignorance) so seeing him come out to do some housekeeping announcements was a surprise for me at least. He announced a tournament for the vacant World Title and announced the first entrant, Birmingham’s own Dan Moloney. And his opponent in this first-round match was TNT’s own Ignition Champion, Soner Dursun. This was another great match, smooth stuff from two very well rounded guys, different enough from the first match as well with some more aerial moves, particularly by Dursun. Moloney would eventually pick up a win after finally hitting his ‘Drilla Killa’ piledriver, Dursun looked great as well and if Moloney doesn’t continue his advance towards the World Title a clash between them for the Ignition Title would be a solid main event.
TNT Going Off Big Time | TNT Womens Championship:
Lizzy Evo vs Alexxis Falcon
Perhaps the match I was personally most anticipating going into the show. Both Lizzy and Alexxis are genuinely great talents in the ring but over the last year and a half as wrestling has come through multiple tough times both of them have shown their outright class as people as well. Massive respect for both of them. And knowing how long this face-off has been coming made things even more heated. Especially as Lizzy Evo still manages to get Liverpool to boo her (magic). This was superheated from the get-go, felt like a big match and both wrestlers absolutely brought it. I was wincing ten rows back at times. Things got out of hand as they ignored referee James Greenwood and we ended with a double count-out. In other circumstances, this might have been disappointing but when Evo continued to attack Falcon after the Bell and laid down a challenge for an even more vicious follow-up, it was absolutely vindicated. Probably my personal match of the night.
The halftime break came at a fortuitous moment for me as the chanting group of chaps behind me were just about to tip over into being genuinely irritating. I managed to find a quiet booth upstairs, with some very friendly neighbours and a great view. It’s a minor point but it vastly improved how much I could focus on the second half of TNT Going Off Big Time; Part 2.
TNT Going Off Big Time | Ultra X Championship:
Kid Lykos II Vs. Leyton Buzzard
This was supposed to be a battle of the generations with Lykos II facing off against the somehow still young-looking Jody Fleisch, sadly this wasn’t to be but the replacement was a great surprise. Having heard the name before, and seeing him advertised for the following days, Leyton Buzzard heading out to challenge Lykos II was genuinely really cool. He fired off some pretty cutting barbs at Lykos II before they had a really hot match. Two almost gravity-defying guys who can also pull off slick technical stuff is a match made in heaven and these two did it really well. Even working with no real history (that I know off at least) this was really smooth. Lykos II retained in the end but Buzzard, on his TNT debut, pretty much ensured this won’t be anywhere near the last we see of him, and that’s a great thing for us fans.
She Wolves (Kasey Owens & Molly Spartan) vs Zoe Lucas & Mariah May
I had heard of all four of these wrestlers before but had never quite managed to cross their paths at an actual show. And this was a great way to do that. Really enjoyable tag team action from everyone involved, did a great job of giving everyone an individual spotlight and giving both teams a chance to shine as duos. Eventually, there was a bit of a miscommunication between the She-Wolves and their third member, which didn’t factor into the finish itself but lead to said third being beaten up by her teammate’s post-match. A really nice come down before the main event and a really enjoyable match.
TNT Going Off Big Time Main Event
TNT Extreme Championship:
Big Fn’ Joe vs Clint Margera vs Jack Jester vs BT Gunn
Oh boy, it’s main event time. A four-way deathwatch for the vacant extreme title. Your writer isn’t a big deathwatch expert by any means but just seeing the names announced for this it was clear this was going to be something brilliantly violent. Especially when Stevie Boys replacement was announced as his running buddy (and someone I have seen a lot of) BT Gunn. Two Scots and two terrifying English men then just went to war with one another. It would be impossible without sitting down and rewatching this over and over again to catalogue the absolute carnage these four men created. As someone who goes back and forth on deathwatch wrestling, this was a great example of when it can be immensely captivating, sickening, and darkly funny, all at once. After light tubes, thumbtacks, chairs and even more than I inevitably missed in amongst the chaos it was Clint Margera who picked up the win and became the new champion. Anyone who has heard his name will know that TNT is in for some extreme stuff shortly, and any one of the other challengers from tonight would be worthy opponents. His post-match tribute to the sadly passed Danny Havoc was a fittingly emotional way to end a roller coaster of a night.
Overall this was absolutely brilliant, the perfect show to return to after such a long spell out. A great mixture, a platter of wrestling styles served up by a great rostered talent. Once I found a slightly more quiet place to sit I was absolutely engrossed, and even in the first half I was mesmerised (just also slightly deafened). Already looking forward to my next TNT show, and would highly recommend them to anyone who can make it over to Liverpool to see them.