Lucha Forever presents the biggest show of its debut year, as Mark Haskins defends the Lucha Forever Championship against Chris Ridgeway, and Jimmy Havoc sides with CCK to battle Zack Sabre Jr., Marty Scurll, and Will Ospreay. Read on for our full review and match ratings.
Chief Deputy Dunne
Ladder Match for the Road To Glory briefcase
(Winner: Kip Sabian)
(Winner via pinfall: Omari)
Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis (“Aussie Open”)
Trent Seven & Tyler Bate (“Moustache Mountain”)
(Winners via pinfall: Moustache Mountain)
(Time limit draw)
(Winner via pinfall: Toni Storm)
Mark Haskins (C)
Last Man Standing Match for the Lucha Forever Championship
(Winner: Mark Haskins)
Travis Banks, Chris Brookes & Jimmy Havoc (with Kid Lykos)
Will Ospreay, Zack Sabre Jr. & Marty Scurll (“LDRS 2000”)
(Winners via pinfall: LDRS 2000)
My first experience of Lucha Forever was SomethingMania, which I attended. Ultimo Battle, the biggest show Lucha Forever will likely do in its first year, was my first time watching the promotion on tape. I certainly chose a good first event to stream from them, that’s for sure!
The card for this show was incredible. From a dream match for Pete Dunne, to a huge Lucha Trios main event, with a superb little tag team bout booked in the middle… Ultimo Battle was going all out. Throw in a lovely ring set up, and you had a show that just looked superb before a single punch had been thrown.
That first punch eventually connected in the opening ladder match, which was a fun bout, and saw Bea Priestley take two huge bumps that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a female talent take. The piledriver onto the ladder was an iconic moment in her career, for me, and she’s shown she’s not afraid to take big hits when competing with male talent. Well, we already knew that anyway, didn’t we? Kip Sabian is bloody brilliant to watch in person, so I had no qualms with him winning the contract for a title match, although a Priestley win would have been nice.
Although it’s early minutes were dominated by the usual Trent Seven silliness (which he’s brilliant at, by the way), the Moustache Mountain/Aussie Open match ended up being s great spectacle. Tyler Bate is one of the best talents on the planet, and I loved his in-ring moments here. Adjusting to Moustache Mountain being more fan-friendly took some time, I won’t lie.
Dunne and Marufuji was a big match going into this, but I thought it delivered. Dunne’s enthusiasm for the match was clear from the start, and there genuinely was no moment where it seemed clear who would win. The minutes flew by here, and I liked that the time limit draw protected both men. I suspect there would be money in a rematch.
I thought Viper and Toni Storm had a tough spot. We’ve seen these ladies have wonderful contests in the past, and they are very familiar with each other, but whilst this match was solid it never felt special. Maybe it was a lack of time, or placement on the card, but with so many big attraction matches on the show, this maybe felt a bit more tired? Still a good match, mind!
Haskins and Ridgeway had a great Last Man Standing match. Stiff shots, and big chair spots, with slimy heel Haskins managing to retain his championship. Haskins is on a good run in this promotion, and his match quality has been great, but I wasn’t sure what to expect from he and Ridgeway. Truth is, we got a championship match that should perhaps have been chosen as the match of the night. Honestly, a great title match that quite easily could have closed the show with five more minutes added.
The final trios match was good fun, with Jimmy Havoc stepping in for the injured Kid Lykos. There were some big moments here, with Ospreay and Havoc coming face to face again one of my personal favourites. There was some bloody complicated choreography at times, and the talent deserve full credit for pulling some of this off. The action was non-stop from start to finish, and all six men proved why they are some of the top names in the U.K. right now.
For match quality, Ultimo Battle was one of my favourite shows of the year. Visually, the ring looked wonderful, although I’d have liked ringside to be lit a bit brighter throughout the fights. There was only one negative here, and that was the commentary, which at times distracted from the action on the screen – neither man had good chemistry with the other, in my opinion.
If you’re an indie wrestling fan, but haven’t tried out Lucha Forever yet, I highly recommend you start with Ultimo Battle. Not a single bad match on the show, and a group of wrestlers who knew how big this show was really did bring it.
Match of the Night
Pete Dunne vs. Noamichi Marufuji