Review: Target Wrestling ‘Live In Carlisle’ (May 2022)

After having a lot of fun with Target Wrestling’s 9th Anniversary Show, we’re back with their May 2022 event in Carlisle that was recommended by Jim Wool on the Twitter machine:

So here we go.

Target Wrestling Tag Team Championships – Soldato & Sami Spark defeated The Spawn of Target (Mad Man Mathews & Fulton King) w/Buddy Roller by pinfall to retain the Target Wrestling Tag Team Championships.

Kicking off the show with a championship match, then new champions Sparx and Soldato facing The Spawn. The Spawn had control for the majority but the champions fought back for big moments of the match, like a Sparx top rope diving crossbody which was smooth. After a top rope dive to the outside onto all of The Spawn by Soldato, Sami Sparx hit a nice Asai Moonsault.

Just as it looked like it was a win for The Spawn, both went for powerbombs with King backing into Mathews, causing some miscommunication leading to Soldato knocking Mathews out of the ring, some tandem offence and a 450 splash from Sparx lead to retention.

The match was fine, too often it got a bit disconnected from the crowd and it slowed down while some of the wrestlers were finding their way about. Soldato was busting out some cool combos but without the crowds oohs and ahhs they didn’t quite land as effectively. The crowd did pick up in parts, and when they were wanting to be involved it provided a boost.

Fulton King once again was the stand out, any time he was involved in the action it was highly entertaining. He’s assured in the ring, charismatic, and is always “on” even on the apron waiting for a tag.

I need to see more of Mad Man Mathews, he didn’t give a mad man vibe to me, unless it’s down to wearing blistering white boots, a bold choice for any wrestler. There were glimmers of anger, but with a name like Mad Man I need some unhinged, uncontrollable rage. Maybe next time.

Molly Spartan defeated Session Moth Martina by pinfall.

A late replacement for Lizzy Evo, Molly Spartan stepped in to face the debuting Martina. After riding out dog’s abuse from a wee guy in the crowd, Molly overpowered Martina in the early going to a chorus of boos.

There were some dicey uncoordinated moments, the finish came from Martina attempting a springboard code breaker but slipped off the second rope so just had to do the standing version.

Even with the miscalculations of some of the moves, both engaged with the crowd so well that it made up for it. They were heavy behind Martina which made booing Molly all the easier. A good match overall.

Target Wrestling High Octane Division Championship – Four Way – Martin Kirby defeated Tommy Oliver, Jonny Storm, and Damon Havok by pinfall to win the Target Wrestling High Octane Division Championship.

In another late change, Damon Havok was added to the High Octane Division Championship match, and after his performance in April it was a welcomed addition.

The match started with tag team rules, two in the ring, tag in and out the others. Havok escaped the ring when confronted while Oliver avoided being involved which left Martin Kirby and Jonny Storm opening the contest.

A lot of action going on with Kirby and Storm being silky smooth in the ring as expected. Once again I really enjoyed Damon Havok’s contributions to the match, he calls himself the King of Short Style but I like that he doesn’t do the short person tropes and that he’s a really engaging wrestler in his own right.

Tommy Oliver continues to just be so bland. He shares the name with the greatest Power Ranger, hopefully there’s a candle out there that can transfer a fraction of the Green Ranger’s charisma over to him. He continued his disagreements with Kirby from April, refusing to accept a tag, trying to take over from a superplex that Kirby was trying to hit on Havok, all good stuff if he projected any sort of character. In one positive, he hits a mean spinebuster, there’s nothing wrong with the moves he can perform but the package needs more than just being able to do the moves.

After a schmoz, Kirby hit a famouser on Havok to pick up the win and the title. Oliver attacked him after the match to leave the new champion laying.

An entertaining match and I’m hoping and praying that next time I watch a Tommy Oliver match that he goes all in on being a bastard, a change of gear, a leather jacket, something that screams “bastard”. He can do the wrestling but I need the character to invest in.

Jody Fleisch defeated Owen Ozzy Michaels by pinfall.

Jody Fleisch is an enigma. He has wrestled for so long some of his opponents now weren’t even born when he first the ring, but he still hasn’t missed a beat. Owen Ozzy Michaels’ job was to keep up.

Ozzy got in a bit of offense including a nice Buckshot Lariat but the match was really an exhibition of Jody Fleisch. The Michaels flurry was good as he hit a big scissors kick after dodging a Shooting Star Press and almost nabbed it with the follow up Lariat.

Fleisch settled the bout with a springboard tornado DDT that Michaels took beautifully.

After the match Fleisch offered his hand but Michaels kicked it away.

Though it felt more like an opportunity to just show off what Fleisch can do, Owen Ozzy Michaels played his role perfectly. A great match, Michaels continues to impress.

The Lawless (Tim Strange & Asylum) defeated Tribal & Jimmy T by pinfall.

Chaos kicked off the match with The Lawless attacking their opponents before the bell. Things settled and the match began.

Strange and Asylum bullied Tribal, anyone that wears a pullover hoodie with the sleeves cut off as part of their wrestling attire thoroughly deserves it.

Jimmy T eventually tagged in, ran wild for a minute, before The Lawless massacred him with high impact move after high impact move, finishing off with a tandem crucifix bomb for the win.

A very strong showing from The Lawless. I enjoyed this one more for the fact that I don’t like the presentation of Tribal and Jimmy T. All of it screams two lads dragged off the street, still in their casual clothes. Considering how everyone else looks polished and looking like wrestlers, these two stick out like a sore thumb.

If Mad Man Mathews was looking for tips on how to look deranged and, well, mad, he should watch Asylum as that guy has some angry eyes and a look that could kill.

Target Wrestling Heavyweight Championship – Shreddybrek defeated Medallion by submission to win the Target Wrestling Heavyweight Championship.

A big heavyweight clash to main event where two power based lads battering each other over the big belt.

Shreddy outmuscled Medallion, throwing him about with relative ease. Medallion’s come backs where regularly thwarted but he found an opening to hit a running senton but could only manage a nearfall.

Medallion dodged a spear to send Shreddy into the referee which allowed a man in a mask to arrive and hit Medallion in the face with his own medallion. Medallion kicked out of the following pinfall but Shreddy slapped on a Steiner Recliner for the submission.

A great heavyweight scrap to wrap up with intrigue to get folk to come back to find out who the masked man is. Shreddy looked like a beast being able to out-power Medallion.

Another good show from Target Wrestling, lots of positives with Fulton King and Damon Havok continuing to impress along with Owen Ozzy Michaels even if his actual offense was more limited than in past watching. Jody Fleisch continues to defy the laws of time and The Lawless looked brutal.

I’ll probably watch the June Carlisle show soon with heavy hopes that there’s some character brought to Tommy Oliver. He might need a mouthpiece just to generate some reaction, we’ll see.

It wasn’t a perfect show by any stretch but each match had something good to take away from it.

It’s available on YouTube now:

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