Style Battle Season 1, Episode 8 (1/14/2018)- Brooklyn, NY
FIRST ROUND MATCH: Matt Riddle vs. Rayo- no rating, fine squash
Roya got in a roll-up or two they ducked some strikes before Riddle managed to hit a powerbomb, then came in with a running knee to the face for the quick win.
MATT RIDDLE PROMO- he said “this was just beginning” and that’s about it, but he said “bro” a few times so people were happy.
FIRST ROUND MATCH: Brody King vs. KTB- 6.75/10
The camera guy accidentally had the camera on the wrong guy for Brody’s introduction. The match was two big, scary dudes hitting each other hard and showing off how scarily agile they are. The crowd was about 90-10 for Brody, so they were quite disappointed when KTB made him tap to a single leg crab. The announcers pushed that Riddle would have a big advantage due to the energy KTB had to extend to win here.
KTB PROMO- good
FIRST ROUND MATCH: Brandon Watts vs. Joey Janela- 6/10
This was a very Joey Janela match, which disappointed me because I felt like we really didn’t get to see much of what Watts can do. He did get to show us some athleticism and his selling of his knee was fine, but I’d like to see him get another shot in a match with someone who is more of a work-rate guy rather than a personality guy,
JOEY JANELA PROMO- good
He complains about not being booked in WWN very often, no matter how well he (thinks he) does when is booked by them. He says he was going to win tonight and prove to “Sal” and “Gabe” that he can hang with the WWN’s best. Sal and Gabe are rarely mentioned on screen at all, but the slightly Pillman-esque element of Janela’s personality allows him to make it work.
FIRST ROUND MATCH: Nick Gage vs. WALTER- 6.25/10
Nick Gage was announced as representing the “Murder Death Kill Gang,” which is EXACTLY the sort of name Nick Gage would pick for his gang. These two had a brawl, which, as you would expect, got quite out of control once they wound up spilling to the outside. Gage soon got himself DQed for hitting WALTER with a chair, seemingly done as a defiant response to the referee ordering him to get back into the ring. The fans in the building didn’t like the DQ finish, but holy f*ck do I now want to see Nick Gage vs. WALTER in some sort of no DQs or Relaxed Rules type of environment.
This all apparently played off of a promo Gage cut on YouTube saying that he didn’t really care about Style Battle and just came here to fight, and he sure got one. The brawl continued on the outside, with WALTER even shoving down a referee who tried to break it up (we were immediately told he would be fined for this). Other wrestlers came out to try to break it up but it took them quite a while to do so. Just when things finally seemed close to clam, WWN Champion Keith Lee came out (based on the way he was dressed, he appeared to have just arrived in the building), presumably to be the final piece in the metaphorical barricade between the two men. Gage once again tried to get at WALTER but Lee punched him in the face as he was trying to get up onto the apron, sending Gage tumbling back down to the floor, at which point the gathered wrestlers, referees, and security were finally able to get him out of the building.
Lee and WALTER shook hands and WALTER headed to the back… put Nick Gage got back into the building and went after WALTER again, but things were quickly gotten back under control.
WALTER’s actions during the brawl appear to have resulted in the entire match being ruled a no-contest rather than a DQ as it first appeared. I can kind of understand where the ref is coming from, as you could argue that WALTER showed that he had no intention of listening to the referee either but Gage just happened to do something illegal first, but, personally I think that’s unfair because 1) WALTER was likely reacting to being hit with the chair, and 2) Gage did do something that was totally 100% illegal, while the match was still going on. If the idea was to do a sort of double-elimination finish then I think it would have been better to do a clear double count-out.
SEMIFINAL MATCH: Matt Riddle vs. KTB- 5.75/10
A hard-hitting but relatively short affair with the same pop-up powerbomb into running knee strike finish by Riddle.
MATT RIDDLE PROMO- he vows to beat Joey Janela to win the tournament here on his birthday.
JIMMY LLOYD vs. JACK GALLOW- 4/10
Short, and pretty generic, too.
WWA4 HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: James Bandy(c) vs. Adrian Alanis vs. Jaxon Vile vs. Liam Gray- 6.5/10
This was a fun little spotfest with the added story of them really driving home the point that the champion could lose the belt without being pinned (which is exactly what wound up happening in the end). The most memorable spot in this spotfest was what started out as your standard Tower of Doom-style set-up where one guy was setting up for a Superplex but then a third guy came in under him to hit a powerbomb, also causing the Superplex to happen… except this time instead of just hitting the powerbomb the guy did a running sit-out powerbomb instead, so the guy doing the Suplerplex (which turned into more of a super brainbuster, which was scary) was holding the Superplex recipient up in the air the whole time as powerbomb guy ran half way across the ring with them!
STYLE BATTLE SEASON 1 EPISODE 8 TOURNAMENT FINALS: Joey Janela vs. Matt Riddle- 8/10
They both cut pre-match promos. Riddle’s was simply “let’s fight,” while Janela claimed that Nick Gage and WALTER were “scared” to face him. Does he have a death wish?
The story of this match was Janela gaining an advantage through nefarious means and then working over Riddle’s head with VICIOUS kicks. Riddle’s selling was phenomenal. Either that, or Janela was legitimately kicking him in the head. They also did a good job with the clash of personalities, and Janela got himself in trouble several times by spending too much time taunting and not enough following up. Riddle managed to hit that combination that won him the first two matches but Janela kicked out for what was probably the best of several good false finishes (it was either that or Janela’s on the double-stomp) before Riddle was able to lock on the Bro-mission to pick up the win.
This was a pretty fun show from Style Battle. They kept it short, as several of these guys had to work the EVOLVE show later in the afternoon and Joey Janela, being crazy, had to make it out to the Black Label Pro show in INDIANA that night. The matches were all good for the time they got, the pacing was solid, the home-town victory in the WWA4 World Heavyweight Title match was a nice moment, and the main event was awesome. Style Battle definitely works a lot better than a pre-show than trying to run on its own.
PWG, EVOLVE, AAW, WWN, etc
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