This was a packed house and probably the biggest crowd I’ve seen at a 4FW event. Probably helped by the fact they did a offer of kids go free which can sometimes be off putting but it wasn’t noticeable and didn’t have screaming kids running around the place. Luckily I had no kid to bring so I took up my seat four rows back with an excellent view of the ring.
First of all, 4FW have been spending some money recently. The ramp and set looked amazing with improved lighting and logos in the entrance way, banners all around the barriers, new turnbuckle pads and banners covering the ringpost. All in all, it looked really professional.
The show started off with a crazy opening contest featuring one of the top British guys on the Indy scene, a top import and some of the young 4FW stars. It was a all babyface 6-man tag with El Ligero teaming up with Volkan Azlan and Jason Larusso v Uhaa Nation, Saime Sahin and Owen Phoenix. It was a really good opening contest which got the crowd really into it from the start. Lots of high spots, crazy dives but the 4FW regulars were not overshadowed by the more experienced Ligero & Uhaa. Speaking of Uhaa, this man is crazy and some of the stuff he does needs to be seen to be believed, incredible for a guy of his size. The finish came with a great Moonsault by Saime Sahin getting the pin on Jason Larusso. Everyone shook hands at the end with the exception of Larusso who slapped Sahin in what could be the start of a heel turn.
Next up was Dave Mastiff taking on the returning Joel Redman (Oliver Grey). Redman was wearing a leg brace and took much of the punishment in this match with Mastiff hitting him with some stiff shots controlling the match throughout. Redman didn’t get a lot of offence in, clearly never met anyone with Mastiffs talent in Nxt! He did however pull out a surprise victory with a roll up and quickly headed to the back before Mastiff could vent his frustration.
Next up was Antonio De Luca facing off against Juventud Guerrera. I haven’t seen Juve for sometime but he was in pretty decent shape and put a lot into the match. He was over with the crowd and had Setsuko Takahashi in his corner doing the cheerleading. De Luca is really good and improves every time I see him and it was good to see him get the pin on the ‘Juice’. Really good match, Juve not as high flying as he used to be but I guess that is to be expected. However it was good to see him live and I’m sure De Luca will benefit from being in the ring with a veteran like Juve.
Next up was RJ Brewer taking on Doug Williams. Doug got a huge pop as he came out and this match was a solid technical match from start to finish. Really good stuff from both men, stiff uppercuts as usual from Doug and Brewer looked good too. The end came with a perfectly executed Chaos Theory giving Doug the win.
‘Sensational’ Saul Adams came to the ring next with the always entertaining Nadia Sapphire in his corner. Chris Masters was the opponent and came out to a good pop. After a bit of comedy these guys really go into it. Adams is a really good heel and Nadia was always there ready to interfere. Together they are a great combo. Master was good as he always is when he comes over to the UK. Adams got the pin after a really good match after Nadia distracted him. He did get a kiss on Nadia though although probably wishes he hadn’t!
After the intermission came the match I was looking forward to most as Tiger Ali defended his 4FW Junior Heavyweight title against Zack Sabre Jr. This match didn’t disappoint with a strong mat based attack from Zack, working on arms, legs and whatever he could get a hold of, hooking Ali into some very painful looking submissions. Everything Zack does looks painful although Ali looked really good too, another guy who has improved a lot having spent some time in Japan. He worked over Zack’s back and hooked in a tight Camel Clutch. Zack made it to the ropes but eventually got caught in it again. The match was stopped, I couldn’t see if Zack tapped or the ref stopped it with Zack not responding but either way it was a massive victory for Tiger Ali and he retains the Junior Heavyweight title.
Next up was a pure comedy match between Mad Man Manson and Lomax. I’m not always a fan of comedy but Manson does it so well that I couldn’t help myself and it turned out to be very entertaining. After a few exchanges they decided to change from a wrestling match….to a football match. The ref changed to a black shirt with a second ref coming out with linesman flags. Comedy ensued as the ref blew his whistle whenever he saw a foul. Lomax was yellow carded for a foul in the corner, Manson then got the pin but the linesman flag was up, I guess he was offside??? (you really had to be there!!) Lomax then hit a low blow to get the pin. It wasn’t the Sabre/Ali masterclass that we had seen before this match but everyone seemed to enjoy it.
The main event was a 4way elimination match for the 4FW Heavyweight title with Eddie Ryan defending against Jack Dynamo, JD Knight and the always brilliant Sha Samuels. This was pretty much a 3 on 1 handicap match with everyone working over Ryan. Things eventually broke down between the heels with Knight getting the pin on Dynamo to have our first elimination. Ryan then got the pin on Samuels leaving JD Knight and Eddie Ryan battling it out for the title. Ryan took a lot of punishment but got the pinfall to send the crowd home happy and retain his title. A very good match, all 4 of these guys are very good and it ended an excellent night for 4FW.
Overall a brilliant show going just over 3 hours. All the matches were very good but the highlight was Zack Sabre Jr and Tiger Ali who really put on a classic.
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