Review: Combat League Wrestling (@CombatLeagueW) ‘Wargames Rumble’ (28 Jan 2023)

By Daniel Mejka

Lucha DS (House Raven) defeated Jimmy Pierce (House Wildcat) by pinfall.

Lucha DS debuted some very nice House Raven based gear for the first match of CLW Season 2023 and his Wildcat Wildcard Opener challenge. Logan Smith accompanied his tag team partner and despite being anything but, Jimmy Pierce had to put up with ‘fatty’ chants from the merciless young crowd in Thurso. They’d already christened Logan as a ‘dafty’ last year so I can only assume that The Young Team’s new ‘Dafty & Fatty’ t-shirts will be out very soon.

Pierce was very tentitive at the prospect of facing Lucha and it took him a while to actually start the match. He also made use of the fact he had Logan at ringside to his advantage by distracting the referee at every opportunity so the House Wildcat Captain could interfere.

When this wasn’t happening it was very much Lucha in control who hit some very nice moves that I had not seen before. We got to see him hit his own versions of Trish Stratus’ ‘Stratusphere’ and Kenny Omega’s ‘You Can’t Escape’. A Swanton Bomb finished Jimmy off and got Lucha DS his first win and points for House Raven.

However, after the match The Young Team couldn’t take the loss and decided to take their frustration out on Lucha which injured him in the process and put him out of the WarGames Rumble main event.

House Wolf (Glen Dunbar & Brodie Adler) defeated House Raven (Lad Chapman & Connor Rose) by pinfall.

I’m still mentally recovering from this match and I still can’t believe what happened. As I detailed in my preview this was Glen Dunbar going up against his Season winning teammates from last year and he was now alongside two people he couldn’t stand in Brodie Adler and Taylor Vite. Wolf faced Raven’s Chapman & Rose, two men who have never got on better together than they are right now and it showed in this match.

House Raven were functioning perfectly as a tag team while their opponents bickered throughout the contest. This looked like it was all going to climax when the official was knocked down and Brodie Adler decided to introduce her trusty hurley (at least it looks like a hurley) to proceedings. Glen Dunbar took it off her in what looked like another instance of him defying Brodie’s way of doing things. This was until he used it himself to strike the killer blow and pick up the win for House Wolf once the referee was revived to make the count of three.

I genuinely can’t remember the last time something in wrestling shocked me as much as this did. There were a number of different ways I thought this match could potentially play out but this was not one of them. It was an absolutely shocking betrayal of Lad Chapman and Connor Rose by Dunbar, especially with him being the man who brought them together in the first place.

The fact that ‘The Lowland Superstar’ is now fully behind his captain means that the landscape has now changed for the remainder of the season.

Derren J Blair (House Stag) defeated Struan (House Wolf) by pinfall.

I can’t say I’m surprised that the former CLW House Champion has decided to take legal action against the company. This is a man who calls himself ‘The Tactician’ and is apparently the smartest wrestler in the entire world and yet he failed to remember how the rules of Combat League actually work. Everyone knew going in that everything is reset at the end of the season and this includes the House Championship but Taylor couldn’t take it and has took his ball and stayed home.

Hopefully we will see him back at the House Champion event on March 25th where he could compete to regain the title but I won’t hold my breath. For this show at least House Wolf needed a replacement and CLW provided Struan as their third wrestler for the night.

Just like Logan Smith did last year it appeared as if Derren J. Blair was also going to take the young ref lightly and suffer a shock loss as a result. While once again Struan gave a very impressive account of himself after a back and forth match it was Blair who managed to hit his Hidden Blade and pick up the win for House Stag.

House Stag (Arkham & Albion De Quincey) defeated House Wildcat (Logan Smith & RJ Cash) by submission.

It became clear very quickly that Arkham and Albion de Quincey had been putting the hours in at the CLW Dojo over the off season in order to prepare for this match they already look like a well oiled tag team despite this being their first outing together. They even drew the ire of RJ Cash when Albion made the call to pull out a ‘Gentleman’s Agreement’ on Logan Smith to give them the psychological edge as well.

House Wildcat were very much the opposite in that these are two men who have disliked each other for over a year now and it showed as they struggled at times to function as a team. This culminated in a well-deserved victory for House Stag as Arkham tapped out Cash to his version of an Indian Death Lock while Albion had Logan immobilised in his Snare Trap. #DIY would have been proud.

Wargames Rumble – Winners: House Wildcat (RJ Cash & Logan Smith)

This one is naturally hard to review as so much is going on in a Rumble but I will do my best. Logan Smith was first out having drawn number one and therefore he got zero rest from his tag team match. He was followed out by the man who is now easily the most despised man in CLW, Glen Dunbar.

It initially looked like the two men were just going to wait it out until someone from Raven or Stag entered but they inevitably broke their truce and started going at it. The ring started quickly filling up with the remaining members of the roster until all 11 members were in the match. At this point we thought the entrants were done until Lucha DS’ music hit to shock the Legion, nobody more so than The Young Team who had assured us that Lucha was on his way to hospital in Inverness. Obviously he wasn’t and he took his revenge on TYT which included eliminating Jimmy Pierce.

The field was eventually whittled down to a final four of the men who had just competed in the previous tag match. Albion and Arkham thought they had won the match when they tossed RJ Cash over the top rope and off the ring apron but he landed on Logan Smith who had earlier been thrown out by Albion… but it was through the middle rope. The Wildcats recovered and managed to eliminate Albion and then Arkham to win the WarGames Rumble for House Wildcat.

RJ Cash is now a two-time winner of this match and the points gained here were vital for his house.

His Captain extended something of an olive branch to him after the match and it will be very interesting to see if they can continue to work better together throughout the year.

Standings after WarGames Rumble:

House Stag – 10
House Raven – 5
House Wildcat – 5
House Wolf – 5

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