Watch the full episode at the bottom of this review.
To kick off tonight’s episode of CWF Worldwide, we get the match that longtime viewers wanted to see for months. It’s wrestler vs announcer when Cain Justice takes on archrival, commentator Cecil Scott! It’s been awhile since Scott competed in the ring as an active wrestler, but he actually performed decently out there. Even though the match soon divulged into a drag out brawl, Scott held his own in there from a wrestling perspective. They brought the right level of intensity that their feud needed. Particularly during a spot where Scott hit a vicious neckbreaker onto the apron.
Scott nearly beat Justice after a Ray Gun followed by a Brainbuster, but Justice got his foot on the rope. Shortly after, Justice kicked Scott hard in the injured arm, allowing him to attempt the Twist Ending, but gets countered with a cradle pin for a near fall. Scott tries to go for his own arm submission, but Justice finally counters with the Twist Ending for the submission victory in 8:49. The clean win suggests that the feud is over, but Justice getting in the face of Brad Stutts and replacement commentator, Mitch Connor, looks like Justice’s tirade against commentators still continues. In either case, the match between Justice and Scott is better than you’d expect.
Afterwards, Brad Stutts conducts an interview with #1 contender to the CWF Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship, Nick Richards in the ring. In light of his upcoming tag team match with his biggest inspiration, Tommy Dreamer, against The Dawson Brothers and later his title match with Trevor Lee, Richards talks about how badly he needs to win his matches. Then, Brad Attitude comes out insisting that it isn’t Richards’ time to win the belt. Richards not only promises to beat Lee, he thinks he can beat Attitude, and will go as far as to put his shot at Absolute Justice on the line. Attitude accepts and we have tonight’s main event set.
Following that, we get two unique looking characters in Nick Iggy and Kerry Awful (The Carnies) taking on Donnie Dollars and the debuting Kevin Ku. More than anything else, this is just a showcase skirmish for the three young guys in the ring. Dollars proves that he still has what it takes to put on a show, but Ku and The Carnies proved that they have what it takes to be the future of this show. Things come to a head when Awful locks in a Boston Crab on Ku, then Ku taps out at 8:46 following Iggy’s knee colliding with his head during the submission. Not a bad match. Hope to see more from the three young guns one day. From all of their in-ring skills and especially The Carnies’ characters, they all have a lot of potential to do well in CWF.
Then, due to a random draw pulled by a fan, Mitch Connor gets to leave the commentating booth to wrestle TV Champion Aric Andrews. Before the match, he gets jumped from behind by Cain Justice. Instead of going to the back, Connor wants to proceed with the title match. It proves to be for naught as Andrews gets an easy win thanks for a Knee Trembler that rocks the already staggered Mitch Connor in 1:28. Dud of a match, but the bigger picture is that we just got a glimpse of Cain Justice’s next feud.
At last, we reach our main event of the evening to decide Trevor Lee’s opponent for the CWF Mid-Atlantic Championship. Nick Richards vs Brad Attitude. Throughout the match, Attitude is working on Richards’ arms to make his Cutter ineffective. It proves to work as when Richards finally does miraculously hit his Cutter, he lands directly on that tweaked arm and fails to make the cover in time. Still, Richards plays the role of the ultimate underdog while Attitude is a conniving heel.
In the closing moments of the match, Attitude gets frustrated that he can’t seem to put away Richards, so he goes out and grabs a chair. He heads to the top rope, but Robby the ref (the same ref who had his hair forcefully cut by Attitude) takes it away from him. This almost allows enough of a distraction for Richards to hit a top rope Cutter, but Attitude pushes him away. Attitude goes for a top rope moonsault, but somehow Richards hits a Cutter out of nowhere. He just barely connected, but he still gets the win in 17:35. Right afterwards, when Attitude is back on his feet, he clobbers Richards in the back with a chair. Trevor Lee comes down to make the save, but instead of helping Richards to his feet, he raises his own championship and tells Richards “You’re not ready.”
That was actually a phrase echoed by Attitude earlier. And to some extent, myself. Especially on the mic against a great promo guy like Brad Attitude, Nick Richards didn’t seem ready for the big main event scene. Not to take away from the guy’s in-ring talent as he certainly has it and when left to his own devices in, say, the midcard scene, he’ll feel right at home. However, he lacks the charisma and star appeal of guys like Brad Attitude or Cain Justice or even Trevor Lee. It’s hard for me to buy into Richards being the one man able to beat Lee after an almost 400 day title reign. Then, I realized that’s kind of the point.
Yes, Richards still needs work on the mic, but in the ring, he’s the perfect underdog. The guy who you don’t believe can make it out on top, but he takes such a beating and gets brief glimpses of a comeback that you can’t help but hope he does win. We saw this type in guys like Sami Zayn, Daniel Bryan, you name ’em. Hell, the whole “You’re not ready” thing recalls Sami Zayn’s NXT struggles to win the big one. Can Richards win the big one? Maybe. In the ring, Richards makes that same babyface role work tremendously. He sold the hell out of his arm for the whole match and made such a believable babyface in peril. You might not buy into him going into a match, but before it’s over, you’ll be singing his praises and rooting for him till the end. This main event helped solidify that and it made me closer to believing in Nick Richards.
He may not look like the toughest dog in the fight, but dammit, Nick Richards certainly fights like he does. I may not be a complete believer in Nick Richards as a Heavyweight Champion, but dammit do I want to. I’m so close, just as he might be close to winning Trevor Lee’s title in 10 days at Absolute Justice. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. As for now, that main event helped sell me on both his impending match with Lee and it sold me on Nick Richards, the ultimate underdog. Absolute Justice will definitely be the ultimate proving ground for the ultimate underdog and we’ll have to wait and see if he can rise to the occasion.