After six weeks we kind of have an understanding of what Prime Time LIVE is all about. A weekly episodic pay per view that delivers on better than average matches (more being good to great), mixing free agent talents with stars from NWA POWERRR, NJPW Strong, and talents representing the United Wrestling Network (CWFH and CWFAZ).
I say it week in and week out, but the opening promos that kick the show off are refreshing and do the job that they were intended for, to quickly identify the talent appearing on the show and briefly introduce them to fans who are unfamiliar with them. “Platinum” Max Caster dis-track on Jesse James was spot on. It’s funny how they replaced one cowboy for another. I won’t spend too much time going over the promos, but clearly the winners on the promos were Caster and Zicky Dice, that muppet was epic.
United Wrestling Network presents it’s sixth episode of Prime Time LIVE, the weekly episode pay-per-view that blends talents from promotions within the United Network as well as the NWA and free agents from across the globe. Last week David Marquez announced the new United Wrestling Network World Championship, but this week they will announce the brackets for the show. Marquez even took to twitter to say there would be competitors from major wrestling promotions. Tonight’s episode is a return to form featuring a NWA Championship being defended on the program, the feud between Zicky Dice and Da Pope kicked off right here on Episode 4 and we will see if it comes to conclusion tonight.
JESSE JAMES VS “PLATINUM” MAX CASTER
Filling in for the One They Call Manders, is yet another Santino Brother’s standout Jesse James. James usually teams with Hoss Hogg as True Grit and have held tag team titles all over SoCal. The “Western Roughneck” recently made his United Wrestling Network debut this past weekend appearing on Championship Wrestling from Hollywood getting a victory over Jack Cartwright. Conversely Max Caster made a statement on his debut, Caster stepped into the ring against rising superstar Chris Dickinson and pushed The Dirty Daddy more-so than any other opponent. Initially I thought that this match would have been more appropriate for a Hollywood TV Taping. With all due respect, Caster is coming of a loss and James is a bit of an unknown nationally. But to my surprise both men really put on a good match. Can we all admit that Santino Bros are basically the school or record in Southern California? Leading into this match, I thought we’d see a bit of a styles clash, but it really wasn’t that kind of match. The story might just be that Caster severely underestimated the abilities of Jesse James, but did his homework enough to know that the lariat could be a problem for him. James with a never say die attitude which is reminiscent of all Santinos. Caster enters this match in peak physical conditioning. When Caster faced off-against Dickinson, they mentioned how tough he was, being able to stand toe-to-toe with Dickinson. This match he had to deal with the clubbing shots of James. These two actually matched up pretty well when they were throwing fists, but it wasn’t until Caster really started to focus on the arm of James that the match started to settle into the grove. This was not an enhancement match as James got a ton of offense in as well. He actually had a real nice debut in this match, but Caster’s game plan of going to that arm, disabling the lariat and taking advantage of the weakened arm.
Winner – “Platinum” Max Caster. This was a really good win for Caster, but it was a pretty good showcase for Jesse James too. One of the things I enjoy about Prime Time LIVE is that they can make the losing opponents look strong, even in defeat. Jesse James took a beating, but never gave up and was never really outclassed in this match. Caster wins with a roll up that actually surprised me got the victory. I can’t wait to see more from both in the coming weeks.
UNITED WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION BRACKETS
When David Marquez announced on Facebook “Make sure to do yourself a favor and watch United Wrestling Network Primetime Live tomorrow. We’ll be announcing the participants in our World Championship Tournament and I’m proud to say that athletes from several MAJOR promotions. Be there!” I immediately thought Peter Avalon would be one of the names chosen for the bracket. In fact I listed on the Pre-Party With Jay Cal this afternoon whom I thought might be in the tournament, based on their history with David Marquez and Championship Wrestling from Hollywood. The names I came up with were; Avalon, Scorpio Sky, Karl “The Machine Gun” Anderson, Luke Gallows, and “Azucar” Rocky Romero. So I’m glad one of my choices made the group. Other names who are actually in the tournament are Mike Bennett, Chris Dickinson (which isn’t much of a surprise), Karl Fredricks, Erick Redbeard (formerly known as Erick Rowan in the WWE), Fred Rosser, and the biggest shock to me, Davey Boy Smith Jr. (who is my pick to win it all), and Watts. The brackets break down to Redbeard vs. Watts and Dickinson vs. Avalon on one side. Bennett vs. Smith and Fredricks vs. Rosser on the other side. I feel pretty happy with the brackets. They did a pretty good job considering, 2 guys from NJPW Strong, 2 “free agents,” Avalon was the face of the Network in the past, Dickinson is the face of the Network going forward and two big dudes in Watts and Redbeard I can’t wait for that tournament to kick; Avalon and Dickinson kick off the tournament next week.
CHRISTI JAYNES VS MIRANDA ALIZE
Jaynes is well traveled wrestler has spent much of her career traveling all over North America. She has the distinction of being in the NWA World Woman’s Matchup that saw Jazz win the Championship by defeating Amber O’Neal and Jaynes. Similar to her opponent Alzie, she’s wrestled in Mexico with the Crash. She has a championship victory over Thunder Rosa winning the Baja Stars Women’s Championship in San Diego back in 2019. She has made appearances for Impact Wrestling and AEW and as of late as become a stable in SWE Fury– the same promotion where Tim Storm is currently champion. Alize is a product of Reality of Wrestling and trained under Booker T, Miranda Alize has had some high profile matches being an entrant in the WWE Mae Young Classic. She has had been part of RISE and SHIMMER, STARDOM, has worked many independents of Mexico including DTU, and the Crash. She recently competed matches in AEW, Impact, and AAA. These two are no strangers to each other. The women’s division on PTL has been a highlight of the weekly program. On CWFH, the program has announced a creation of a woman’s championship and there is no word if that title is a Hollywood specific championship, but one could imagine either way the title will find a home on the weekly ppvs. This match up feels like a war of style and finesse versus aggression and speed. Jaynes makes everything look very effortless and Alize makes everything look painful. The match feels like Jaynes is wrestling as the smaller more nimble competitor. Alize dishes out a ton of punishment before Jaynes realizes she’s bigger and connects with a few knees that look like they should have to surgically remove her kneecap from Alize’s face. Christi was looking awesome until she got hung up on the middle rope, efforting a lionsault.
Winner – Miranda Alize. This match really could have gone either way. What I liked the most about this match is these women really looked to be laying it in hard. I feel like either of these two could be potential challengers for the NWA World Woman’s Championship.
DA POPE PROMO
I love Elijah Burke on the microphone. Sorry Cody, but if there is anyone out there that reminds me of your pops, it’s Burke. I love his promos and I think he’s got a solid shot of winning the title tonight. “Zicky Dice, tonight you’re going to find out that the Pope is like a tree, planted by the rivers of waters. Shall not, can not, good god daddy, will not be moved!” Epic promo.
MIKE BENNETT PROMO
“The Mike Bennett right now, might not be ready for Davey Boy Smith, but the Mike Bennett after tonight, will be ready. He will be a little bit different, a little bit better.” I felt like maybe this promo should have been done after his match with JR Kratos. He doesn’t come out and say he’s going to win, but it certainly has a sense to it that he isn’t losing tonight. Bennett is far from one of my favorites, but I was really impressed with his match with Aldis and I look forward to what he can do against Kratos tonight (which is where his promo should have been focused on).
UNITED WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS MATCH
Make no bones about it, The Friendship Farm are polarizing figures. Chris Dickinson made reference to “Gentlemen” Jervis specifically as “what’s wrong with Prime Time LIVE,” in their last appearance. “Sweet” Robin Shaw were unsuccessful in their first match on pay-per-view losing to the Real Money Brothers. And although the duo offer friendship, there was harsh criticism for the pair after their first appearance on the program. Cottonbelly and Shaw do have a CWFH TV victory over 4 Minutes of Heat, which is probably how they earned this match for the United Wrestling Network World Tag Team Titles. Adrian Quest and Andy Brown have yet to defend their titles since they last appeared on the ppv. Their victory over the Real Money Brothers was decisive, however, this pair have a lot to prove. The tag team ranks in Prime Time LIVE is getting stronger with each passing week. The duo mix speed and striking, but often give up size when in the ring. Tuesday night they will have to overcome size to Shaw and quick wit to Jervis. First and foremost, new gear for “Sweet” Robin Shaw. SoCal Distancing comes to the ring, I still wonder why James Logan hasn’t been apart of the PPV. The tandem of Shaw and Jervis is completely different from their debut. They are looking serious. Much like there last appearance on PTL, Quest and Brown have been solid at splitting the ring in half and taking advantage of the smaller of the two opponents (Cottonbelly). Jervis has moments where’s he finds his second wind, lays out Quest, lays out Brown (who isn’t the legal man) only to get blindsided by Brown with a shot that looks like it legit killed him. The hot tag to Shaw has really made him look like a bad dude. Jervis has taken so much punishment. This match has been much, much better than either of their last appearances.
Winners – SoCal Distancing retain the titles. But this match certainly helped to elevate the Friendship Farm. Cottonbelly and Shaw both looked leaps and bounds better than their debuts. Andy Brown gets the pin after that strike on Jervis. Both teams looked much better. But I want to see what storyline will come with SoCal Distancing and when will we see Ray Rosas?
MIKE BENNETT vs JR KRATOS
Bennett to his lost to NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship with grace and earned the respect of many on that September the 15th. With talks of crowning a new United Wrestling Network World Champion, Bennett will return to Prime Time LIVE. Bennett defeated ROH’s Cheeseburger at Warrior of Wrestling in Illinois a few days after his loss to Aldis. He would also take part in the Black Label Pro Turbo Graps 16, losing to “Filthy” Tom Lawlor in the opening round. Although Bennett should his fortitude, if he wants to be taken seriously, he’s going to have to start racking up some wins before he can be in contention for any championship title.You aren’t going to many competitors tougher that JR Kratos. Kratos spent the early part of 2020 wrestling for All Japan Pro Wrestling, sharing the same ring Jokuto Omori, Rising HAYATO, and Tsugutaka Sato, Tako Omari, Yuma Aoyagi, Hikaru Sato, and so many more. Kratos competed at Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport #2 last year. He also defeated Tim Thatcher at last years King of The Indies event. Kratos is a 2 time APW Universal Champion. Krato’s last appearance saw him face off against Tim Storm (who was still the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion). Kratos makes an excellent addition to this already very tough roster. Surprisingly, Bennett is without wife Maria. Maybe he will benefit from the lack of distraction. Kratos looks huge, but compared to Bennett he’s a giant. Bennett is very much over-powered, but Bennett has speed and agility. Bennett mistakenly trys to exchange blows with Kratos. Instead of wrestling Kratos, he’s trying to exchange haymakers. At one point Kratos steps to the outside of the ring and Bennett chases him. Kratos tosses Bennett into the ring steps and now Bennett’s has questionable functionality with his knees/legs. The much bigger Kratos is now just tossing Bennett around in the ring, his vertical suplex literally tosses Bennett out of the ring. The two start exchanging open hand slaps, that are reminiscent of those hand slap competitions from Russia. Now, for reasons I’m not entirely sure of, the pair end up on the stage. Referee Justin Borden shows a lot of of leniency with his count. After a superkick, Bennett connects with a DVD, the announcers explain that adrenaline in Mike Bennett’s body is what allowed him to lift up the much larger Kratos to slam them down. The offense from Bennett is stalled as Kratos continues to rattle the brains of Bennett with forearms. In a match like this, conditioning certainly goes for Bennett, but he’s received a ton of punishment and makes it seem unlikely that he going to have any kind of advantage. For the most part, Bennett has been doing a good job of selling the injuries, after a spear you can see him grab both his shoulder and then rubbing the knee. Kratos is such a gifted athlete, he’s able to do things in the ring that guys his size shouldn’t. Bennett connects with a second spear and a piledriver.
Winner – Mike Bennett. Again, I really feel that this match should have happened before the announcement of the the United World Championship Tournament. Because honestly, Bennett isn’t going to lose on the same night he’s announced for the tournament. They probably should have announced this match as a play-in match for the tournament. Kratos definitely earned some BIG respect tonight from Bennett and his fighting spirit. I genuinely hope to see more of Kratos on this show. I think these are the kind of Heavyweights that will continue to make United Wrestling Network unique, long after the flavors of the month come and go.
NWA TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
What more could be said for the in-ring debut from Da Pope. He was partnered with the right guy in Watts. They did what they needed to do to get the victory. Burke was tremendous on the microphone channeling his inner-Dusty Rhodes. But all things considered, it’s a bad night when the television champion spits on you. I do believe that Elijah Burke was going to become more of a big time player on NWA POWERRR. With the efforts of the NWA set on bringing back the beloved brand, you have to think that Da Pope is just itching to win a championship to be apart of what comes next for the NWA. However, Dice is clever. Perhaps spitting on the Pope was more about getting into Pope’s head. If Dice can get the Pope off his game, then he could perhaps take advantage of the distracted Pope. Controversy has surrounded the “Outlandish One” since the NWA took it’s hiatus due to Covid-19 and restructuring. Fightful had reported that Dice has requested and was granted his release, but the NWA never wavered in it’s recognition of Dice as it’s Television Champion and it was almost as if Dice was mocking wrestling fans on Twitter acknowledging he was still NWA TV Champion. Zicky won that title on January 24th 2020, by defeating then champion Ricky Starks on Episode #20 of NWA POWERRR. Because of the pandemic pause; Dice has yet to defend his championship at a NWA event. His only defense comes in the form of a match up with Rix Luxury where he was victorious at East Bay Pro Wrestling, back in March. Dice’s appearance on Episode of Prime Time Live was his first match back for the United Wrestling Network. Before Pope can even get into the ring he’s attacked by Zicky Dice. Doesn’t appear like there will be a match after all. Dice hits him with the TV Title. Dice is attacking Pope, calling out Billy Corgan (NWA owner). Dice slammed the Pope (awkwardly) through a table. The referees are trying to get control of the match. Dice after talking shit about Billy Corgan and Zicky Dice announces there will be no title match tonight. Dice brings up a good point that the Pope hadn’t earned his title match, but Dice didn’t earn his title shot either. The Outlandish one says his contract is up on New Year’s Eve and that maybe he’ll take the title elsewhere to defend it. Dice even goes so far to call Elijah Burke a “yellow corn-on-the-cob sack of shit.” Pope is trying to get into the ring as Dice explains that the “sheets” had it all wrong. Pope is fighting to get into the ring and Dice is just mocking him. Finally Dice grants the match to Pope. NWA TV Title rules is set for a 6 minute and 45 second time limit, which pays homage to the old TBS Start time for when JCP’s Saturday Night. Dice tried to lay into shots on the Pope into the corner. Which basically restarts the Pope, who lays in some of his armature boxing that gets Pope back in the game. Dice regains control and just keeps taunting Burke. All the momentum left the body of Dice when the Pope caught him mid-air and connected with a powerslam, when the champion efforted to leap from the challenger. Burke hits the trifecta of three german suplexs. Doesn’t go for the pin, but rather dives with a leaping elbow that would make the Macho Man proud. The time clock on the screen is a nice touch. The Outlandish ones should have been DQ, by pulling the referee out of the corner, which allowed him to go low on Burke.
Winner — And New Television Champion, Elijah Burke. Burke wins the match with the Elijah Express. Two NWA titles have changed hands on Prime Time Live. They gave Burke a microphone, which is always a treat. Burke points out that the United Wrestling Network has kept the NWA relevant. Burke is efforting to deliver a promo in the same vein as “Hard Times” and as a long time NWA fan, I can dig it. I also like the title on Burke. I didn’t love the match, but Burke is capable of carrying this belt. I would guess that this means that Dice is an unrestricted Free Agent.
Happy to see the progress from David Marquez Studios, as Prime Time LIVE has been a stellar 90 minutes of wrestling every Tuesday Night. I have yet to be disappointed by my investment each week.You can still order this episode and any of the past episode on FITE TV for the reasonable price of $7.99. It is also available on cable providers via On Demand and DirecTV. Next week the return of The Bodega (Papo Esco and Danny Limelight) taking on Real Money Brothers (Big Suge and Clutch), we will also see the return of Peter Avalon as he takes on Chris Dickinson in the 1st round of the United Wrestling Network World Championship Tournament. Also on that card will be the much anticipated return match from AEW, Thunder Rosa vs. Serena Deeb, this time with the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship on the line. If you’re enjoying these recaps please consider catching the Pre-Party With Jay Cal every Tuesday at 2PM Pacific.