11/27 BTW RETURN OF THE DRAGON TV REPORT: Ricky Steamboat returns to the ring, more

BY JUSTIN MCCLELLAND, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Full results of BTW Return Of The Dragon

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BTW RETURN OF THE DRAGON TV REPORT
NOVEMBER 27, 2022 (RECORDED)
AIRED ON FITE TV
REPORT BY JUSTIN MCCLELLAND, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Commentators: Joe Dombrowski and Shane Douglas

(1) BATTLE ROYAL

This was joined in progress and over in under five minutes. Brian Idol eliminated Tommy Dreamer, only to be immediately eliminated by Scott Steiner.

(McClelland’s Thoughts: This was very bad, consisting of just one guy after another being tossed out with no rhyme or reason. This was, I believe, a teaser to get late orders, although I can’t imagine anyone watching this and then wanting to see the rest of the show.)

Bret Hart opened the proper show in a pre-recorded promo, praising Ricky Steamboat as one of the best wrestlers of all time.

(2) MATT HARDY vs CROWBAR (w/ PERCIVAL)

Crowbar tried to use a chair but the ref took it away. The distraction allowed Hardy to hit a Twist of Fate for the pin at 8:37.

(McClelland’s Thoughts: This was what you would expect a Matt Hardy vs Crowbar match to be in 2022. A few crazy bumps including a painful looking splash on a guardrail, some decent wrestling, albeit in slow motion. The finish was out of nowhere but this was decent.)

Nikita Koloff, Earl Hebner, Tatanka and Eric Bischoff gave some pre-recorded well-wishes to Ricky Steamboat.

(3) NWA CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP: KERRY MORTON (c) vs BRIAN PILLMAN, JR.

Morton pinned Pillman with Kiss It Goodbye (a jumping knee strike) at 7:19.

(McClelland’s Thoughts: This match was fine but definitely could have used more time. I felt like they were really just kicking into a higher gear when it was over. Morton has improved a lot in the last year. Pillman has shown a lot more personality and charisma as a heel here and on the Flair retirement show than as his bland AEW babyface persona.)

The Briscoes cut a tremendous promo about their match with the Rock and Roll Express. They took great exception to the fact the match was advertised as the RNRs last match in the Dorton Arena, with the implication they would have any more matches anywhere once the Briscoes were finished with them.

(4) BIG TIME WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP: DREAM CRUSHER DANNY MILES (c) vs FACADE (w/ DANI MO)

After a fair amount of cheating on both sides, Facade tried to hit Miles with the title belt. As the ref was taking the belt away, Miles hit Facade with Facade’s can of spray paint and used a package piledriver for the pin at 12:40.

(McClelland’s Thoughts: This was one of the better matches on the show, in part due to having more time than all but the main event, which gave it more time to breathe and develop. The match wasn’t flashy but both guys worked a perfectly acceptable midcard match.  The psychology of the ending was a mess with supposed face Facade trying and failing to cheat and then getting beat when the heel used Facade’s own gimmick against him.)

Mr. T.A., a middle aged guy in a wrestling robe, cut a heel promo about how he got no respect and he’d invented the term “puke” and the Cobra Clutch. As you’d expect, this led to Sgt. Slaughter coming out to put Mr. T.A. in the Cobra Clutch to a big pop.

The Rock and Roll Express rebutted the Briscoes previous promos, noting only they will decide when their last match is.

(5) THE ROCK AND ROLL EXPRESS (RICKY MORTON AND ROBERT GIBSON) vs MARK AND JAY BRISCOE

Mark accidentally clonked his own brother with a chair. Ricky then gave Mark a destroyer for the pin at 6:21.

(McClelland’s Thoughts: The Rock and Roll are limited in what they can do but this was a very nice, quasi-send off for the legendary team. Briscoes worked well with them and Morton’s destroyer was legitimately impressive. This was exactly what the nostalgia-based crowd wanted to see.)

X-Pac, Tully Blanchard, Johnny B. Badd and Jake The Snake Roberts sent well-wishes to Ricky Steamboat.

(6) SAVANNAH EVANS vs AMBER NOVA

Evans pinned Nova with a full nelson slam at 5:55.

(McClelland’s Thoughts: Pretty much a squash for Evans, who overpowered Nova at nearly every turn. Not sure why this show needed a squash match that didn’t even set up anything for Evans to do in the future but the match was a good showcase for her.) 

(7) RICKY THE DRAGON STEAMBOAT AND FTR (DAX HARWOOD AND CASH WHEELER) vs BLACK MACHISMO JAY LETHAL, BROCK ANDERSON AND NICK ALDIS (w/ ARN ANDERSON)

Steamboat and FTR won with a triple tap-out to triple figure fours at 16:38.

(McClelland’s Thoughts: Not surprisingly, this was the best match on the show. Steamboat wrestled a much smarter match than Ric Flair did at his retirement show, sticking to a few big spots. The crowd went wild every time Steamboat came in, especially when he delivered his signature arm drag. FTR and Lethal did a great job in carrying the meat of the match.)

After the match, FTR put over Steamboat and Arn Anderson as legends, even bowing at their feet. Steamboat thanked the crowd for coming, ran down some career highlights and mentioned what a special place Raleigh was to him, noting it was where he had his first world title shot against Harley Race in 1979.

Overall Thoughts: This show will draw obvious comparisons to Ric Flair’s Retirement Show from a few months ago. This was a much more low key affair, with a significantly weaker undercard. This was really a one match show but that match delivered. Steamboat’s retirement match far exceeded Flair’s, particularly because I was never concerned for Steamboat’s actual well-being in the match. The whole show is a breezy watch and it was great to see the Dragon one more time. Chris Maitland and I will be reviewing this show in depth on this week’s episode of Wrestling Coast to Coast.


CATCH-UP: 11/30 AEW DYNAMITE TV RESULTS: Keller’s report on MJF addressing his AEW Title win, Dax vs. Danielson, Death Triangle vs. Elite, Joe vs. A.R. Fox

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