Wrestler of the Day – May 6: William Regal

Today’s wrestler is a man. Such a man. It’s William Regal.

Regal of course got his start in England back in 1983. Those matches are REALLY hard to find so we’ll pick things up with a one off match in 1986.

Roy Regal vs. Marty Jones

There are six five minute rounds here and it’s 2/3 falls. For some reason Regal starts up one fall and WHAT IS THAT ON HIS HEAD??? I kid you not, William Regal HAS A FREAKING MULLET! He’s 18 years old here which is almost as bizarre as that hair. Marty takes over on the arm to start before working on a headlock.

They head to the mat with Marty cranking on the head before trading arm control. Regal hooks a modified cross armbreaker but gets wrist dragged down for two. The first round ends and we get a nice handshake. Jones hits a quick right hand to the ribs and a gutbuster to start round two. A pair of very nice backbreakers have Regal in trouble and a dropkick puts him down for ten. That’s the end of the match as Regal seems to be injured.

Rating: C-. These matches are such a different style that it’s really hard to grade. The injury didn’t help all that much either. I’ve heard of Jones before, though it’s bizarre to see someone like Regal as a total rookie with A FREAKING MULLET like that. The match didn’t have time to go anywhere and the round structure takes some getting used to.

Regal would head to the States and WCW in the early 1990s. He would wind up taking over the TV Title soon upon arrival and fight for the TV Title at Fall Brawl 1993.

TV Title: Steven Regal vs. Ricky Steamboat

Yes it’s that Regal. I still can’t get over the idea that his butler is Bill Dundee. We have the double ring setup as tonight it’s WarGames of course. They’ll be alternating back and forth. The first match is in ring one. Dragon has the scales and such here which is odd looking but he’s Ricky Steamboat so who can argue?

Buffer introduces Regal as being very dapper. There’s something funny about that name. Oh and I almost forgot: this is the first WCW show when they’re officially out of the NWA and are completely free. Steamboat has bad ribs from a beating last night by Regal on Saturday Night.

Speaking of Saturday Night, this is a very interesting show because the results for all the big matches had been spoiled. This is one of the major reasons why the NWA was mad and ultimately eliminated. WCW would tape MONTHS of shows in advance, giving away storylines to anyone at the tapings. For instance, later on there’s a title change and a new manager debuts. Both were known almost a month prior to them occurring.

Now think about why this is a problem. First and foremost, people know about the storylines months in advance. Second though, think about how the wrestlers are being treated. Look at Miz today as WWE Champion. Apparently his reign was supposed to be shorter but he has impressed management so much that they’re giving him a longer reign. Now look at this version of WCW. With the title changes set in stone for months down the road, why would you work hard, knowing that no matter what you do, the title changes have already happened? What’s the incentive to work harder? See the problems here?

Anyway, on to the match. Apparently Regal hurt Steamboat with an umbrella. Regal tries to go after the ribs so Ricky has to fight defensively for the majority of the opening. Off to the ramp for a bit as they try to defend Steamboat throwing him over the top to the ramp rather than to the floor. Also, shouldn’t throwing someone over the top to the ring also be a DQ?

Regal uses simple psychology here by going after the injured ribs like anyone with a brain would do. That’s the basic definition of ring psychology: why would a person do just what they did? If you were in a real fight and you knew the other guy had an injury, you would go after it right? It makes sense to, which means it’s good psychology here. Steamboat chops away in the corner and we get some reversals on Irish whips resulting in Regal’s arm hitting the buckle.

Steamboat works on the arm, again using psychology. Old guys know basic thoughts. Regal gets what appeared to be a thumb to the eye and we get an unheard of STEAMBOAT SUCKS chant. What the heck??? Steamboat plays possum and gets a leg drag but uses his leg to take Steamboat over. It’s hard to describe but imagine an arm drag by Steamboat but Steamboat uses his leg to get it over.

Back to the arm and shoulder and then up for the cross body. Steamboat’s ribs are hurt by the move though and he can’t cover. You can tell the camera side is empty as they never get close to showing it. It’s a WCW trademark and you can tell why they do it because at I think Beach Blast 93 we saw the other side and it was completely empty. Regal does the same short arm scissors lift that Bulldog famously did to Shawn but he can’t break the hold.

I was right about the crowd as they caught a quick shot of part of it. It must be Halloween because everyone is wearing an empty seat costume. Off to a chinlock by Regal. This has been 98% mat wrestling so far. It’s not incredibly interesting but it’s very technically sound of course. Off to a body vice by Regal which is a perfect move for him to use here. When did Regal start using power moves though?

Modified surfboard by Regal where he leans back with it but leaves Steamboat on the mat for a bit and just pulls on the arms. He pulls back a bit and has Steamboat more or less on his knees to give you a visual. Regal gets a nice butterfly suplex for two as we alter the style a bit. Steamboat counters into a slingshot and gets a one count while he’s setting up for it. I guess that’s a cover of some sort?

Steamboat can’t slam him and Regal falls on him for two. Ventura says Ricky should get himself disqualified. Regal tries a Tombstone but gets reversed into one of the softest Tombstones I’ve ever seen. You can hear the crowd just die on it’s impact. Steamboat counters a belly to back into an O’Connor Roll for two. Steamboat goes up and hits the cross body but hurts his ribs again. PSYCHOLOGY BABY! Ricky skins the cat but Sir William (manager) DRILLS him in the head with the umbrella so a German suplex gives Regal the TV Title.

Rating: B-. This was incredibly technical which makes things rather boring. That being said it’s still very good as both guys worked incredibly well of course. The fans hated it though which is a problem as an opener is supposed to make a crowd get into a show. Good stuff though, but 17 minutes was probably too long here.

Regal would hold the title for a LONG time until Larry Zbyszko of all people took the title in 1994. Here’s the rematch from Clash of the Champions XXVII.

TV Title: Larry Zbyszko vs. Lord Steven Regal

There’s a nice story here as Regal spent weeks bragging about how great he was until Zbyszko came out of retirement to show he could hang with the Englishman. Larry won the title from Regal about a month ago and Regal wants the belt back. Why he’s coming to the ring in a powdered wig and coat circa 1776 is anyone’s guess.

After disrobing and de-wigging, Regal hides in the corner like a true cowardly heel. Larry finally charges in but gets knocked down to give the challenger control. Some uppercuts and slaps to the face make Larry mad as Tony actually brings up the Western States Heritage Championship which Larry held for a few months back in the late 80s.

Zbyszko throws Regal over the top and out to the ramp. Back inside Larry counters a butterfly suplex into a backdrop for two and a piledriver gets the same. Regal kicks out of a swinging neckbreaker so Larry pummels him up against the ropes. Slugging it out is fine with Regal as he drops Larry with an uppercut and puts on a chinlock.

Regal only gets two off a cover as Larry counters with a bodyscissors of all things. The hold is broken and Regal hits a double knee to the face followed by a headbutt to send Larry into the corner. Zbyszko comes back with a bearhug into a Boston crab but Regal kicks him forward into a rollup and grabs the rope for the pin and the title.

Rating: C+. This was a very different style than you would see most of the time in wrestling at this point. Larry was able to hang with Regal in that kind of wrestling and the match was an interesting technical display with some very nice counters. Regal continues his trend of wrestling for the majority of the match before cheating to win.

Since I’m sure you’re getting sick of hearing about the TV Title over and over again, here’s a tag team match from Clash of the Champions XXXII with Regal’s partner Sir Robert Eaton of the Blue Bloods.

Tag Team Titles: Sting/Lex Luger vs. Blue Bloods

The challengers are Lord Steven Regal and Earl Robert Eaton, which is Bobby Eaton now as a nobleman. Sting and Regal start things off and we get our first contact after a minute of posing. Regal cranks on the arm to start but gets dropkicked into the corner. Sting says bring it on before it’s off to Eaton vs. Luger. Lex is sent to the floor but Eaton walks into a backdrop on the concrete. Back inside and Luger poses, sending Eaton to the corner for a tag.

Luger slaps Regal in the face and says bring it on. Regal is tentative but sends Luger into the corner for some European uppercuts before tagging Eaton in again. A jawbreaker puts Luger down but it staggers Eaton enough that he has to tag Regal only a few seconds later. The Blue Bloods start double teaming Lex and Eaton nails his top rope knee drop.

Regal puts on his self named Stretch but Sting makes a quick save. Eaton goes up top but gets caught in a weak powerslam from Luger and they collide with each other. The hot tag brings in Sting, who knocks Eaton off the top and into Regal, setting up the Deathlock for the submission from the Earl.

Rating: C+. Just a nice little title defense here against an acceptable pair of challengers. Sting and Luger clearly weren’t going to lose the belts the night after winning them, but it was a nice performance by Eaton and Regal. It’s a good idea to have hands like the Blue Bloods around to put on a solid match and they helped do that here.

That’s enough time out of the comfort zone. Regal lost the TV Title to the worthless Prince Iaukea in 1997, so here’s his chance to get it back from new champion Ultimo Dragon at Slamboree of that year.

TV Title: Steven Regal vs. Ultimo Dragon

Regal is challenging. Dragon goes to a wristlock and manages to stop Regal’s usual counter to it and hooks an armbar. Test of strength goes on with Regal taking him down but Dragon pops right back up. They go to the corner and Dragon does his stand on his head in the corner deal. Why does no one ever hit him while he does that? I get the real life reason that he might die, but in kayfabe why not hit him?

Back on the mat Dragon fires off some kicks and hooks a half crab. Regal makes the rope and fires off some kicks of his own to send the champion to the floor. Back in a suplex gets two for Regal. They trade full nelsons and Dragon gets a sunset flip for two. Regal Stretch is avoided and Dragon is all fired up now for some reason. They get into a chain wrestling match and Regal is in his element. Regal tries the Stretch again but Dragon grabs his own mask to block it.

Since the Stretch won’t go on it’s time for the bow and arrow/surfboard (Dusty and Tenay call it either or) but Dragon escapes and fires a kick to the back. Here’s the bridging Indian Deathlock and the fans chant for Regal. Dragon switches to a camel clutch and it turns into a brawl. Dragon dropkicks him to the floor and Sonny fires off some kicks. Those get him yelled at by the champ so Dragon sends Regal back in and hits a top rope rana for two.

Regal tries the Stretch again but Dragon makes the ropes. The fans are firmly behind Regal now which is strange as this is heel vs. heel and Dragon has been the good guy by default. Both guys try rollups for two but Dragon takes over with a spinwheel kick. Tiger suplex is countered but Dragon sends Regal to the floor. Asai Moonsault hits and Sonny adds in some more kicks. Dragon stops him so Sonny kicks Dragon, allowing Regal to take over. In the ring a reverse suplex sets up the Regal Stretch and we have a new champion.

Rating: B. This was getting really good at the end and was still good when Sonny got involved. Was there ever a more useless manager now named Paul Jones? Really good opener here as they were beating the tar out of each other. Dragon would get the title back in a little over two months.

Regal would get fired over a match with Goldberg on Nitro, sending him over to the WWF for awhile. Here’s his first mtch on June 29, 1998’s Raw.

Darren Drozdov vs. Steven Regal

Sable introduces Regal, who sadly enough is just Steven Regal, British guy. I hadn’t realized it yet but Lawler is now on commentary both hours. Sable sits in on commentary. Droz hammers away on Regal who does his usual shouting. We’re on a split screen of the match and Sable, so at least there’s something to look at. JR keeps asking Sable about her relationship with Vince and all that and she can’t comment. Regal hooks a chinlock and pounds away on Droz. Droz makes a comeback and goes up. Regal suplexes him off the top and the Regal Stretch ends this boring match.

Rating: D-. I can see why Regal was sent down to Dory Funk’s training center for some more work. He hurt his ankle there though and later broke his leg so he didn’t have another match on WWF TV until around Halloween. That’s good too because this was really pretty boring stuff.

Regal’s injury plus not being a WWF guy for the most part would put him back in WCW in summer of 1999. That went NOWHERE as he was basically a jobber to the stars for his entire time there. Instead, we’ll jump ahead to March 2000 where Regal performed on the 3rd Annual Brian Pillman Memorial Show.

Chris Benoit vs. Steven Regal

That would of course be William Regal and this is the only reason to watch this show. Benoit has only been in the WWF about four months at this point so he’s still a big deal. Feeling out process to start with Benoit taking him into the corner and firing off right hands. Chris cranks on the arm a bit and Regal can’t roll free. Instead he grabs a wristlock of his own and cranks on the Canadian’s arm as we’re still in the technical portion of the match.

They go to a test of strength grip with Benoit on the mat and Regal drops a hard knee to the chest. They keep the grip and Benoit nips up before headbutting Regal away. A hard dropkick and an enziguri send Regal to the floor but he avoids a baseball slide and kicks Benoit in the face. They head to the apron with Chris DDTing him down onto the edge of the ring.

Back in and Benoit suplexes him down for two but Regal trips him up and cranks on a chinlock while laying on Benoit’s back. Think an STF minus the leg lock. Benoit makes it over to the ropes for the break so Regal dropkicks him down for no cover. Regal hooks a seated surfboard stretch but reaches up to hook a dragon sleeper at the same time. I haven’t used this in awhile but FREAKING OW MAN!

Benoit elbows out of it and chops the tar out of Regal but Steven kicks him in the chest to put him back down. Back up and Benoit tries to roll some Germans but Regal elbows his way out. Regal tries a butterfly suplex but Benoit is all like “YOU DARE FIGHT MY SUPLEXES???” and hits another German. Benoit can’t follow up though and Regal takes him to the top for a butterfly superplex for two.

Regal is sent into the corner but they ram heads, giving Benoit two. Regal may be busted open. A pair of rollups only get two on Benoit so Regal fires off even more forearms. Benoit counters a tombstone into one of his own but the Swan Dive misses. Back up again and a dragon suplex gets two for Benoit but the Crossface ends Regal a second later.

Rating: A-. This match got Regal a job in the WWF and it’s not hard to see why. This was a very physical match with both guys looking great out there. Until this point, Regal has mainly been known as the blue blood who could have good matches at times but would usually be there as a jobber. REALLY good match here and worth seeing if you’ve never seen it. I believe it’s on Benoit’s DVD.

Regal would get the European Title pretty quickly upon arrival and defend it at No Mercy 2000.

European Title: William Regal vs. Naked Mideon

That’s his official name mind you. It’s not some random nickname I gave him. Basically he wrestles in a thong and a fanny pack. He comes out in regular clothes but tries to rip them off during the match. Apparently he’s trying to get naked, making him the Kelly Kelly from the old ECW days of this generation. Mideon keeps wanting to take his clothes off but just doesn’t for some reason.

Lawler says he’s a great chain wrestler. He can beat any chain you put him up against. Eh half a point for a decent line. Pretty much total dominance by Regal here. Mideon gets his shirt off and continuously pulls his pants up. Wouldn’t that be against his character in theory? Crowd is DEAD here mind you. And there go the pants. Regal sets for the Stretch but thinks twice about it. A neckbreaker ends it.

Rating: D-. Totally pointless match where nothing of note happened and the comedy didn’t exist. Mideon was hardly a character that was ever going to really do anywhere and I have no idea what the point of this being on the show was. This was a waste of time but I guess it bridges the gap between the big matches.

Regal would soon enter his biggest feud in WWE to date, as he became Commissioner but was opposed by Chris Jericho. This led to a showdown in the opening match at Wrestlemania X7.

Intercontinental Title: Chris Jericho vs. William Regal

Jericho is defending and this is a result of him not liking Commissioner Regal’s regime. Basically he thinks Regal is boring and therefore relieved himself in Regal’s teapot. Regal responded by having the RTC and the Dudleys beat up Jericho on various nights. Jericho came back by dressing up by Doink for no apparent reason and putting Regal in the Walls of Jericho.

Regal pounds away to start but Jericho forearms him out to the floor. There’s a big dive by the champion to take Regal down before he drops Sweet Willy B on the barricade. Back inside and a jumping back elbow off the top puts Regal down again before they head to the mat. Jericho tries for the Walls but Regal escapes and sends the still injured shoulder (from the aforementioned beatdowns) of Jericho into the post. A quick suplex gets two for Regal and it’s back to the arm.

Jericho comes back with an elbow but Regal takes him down with a rollup for two more. Another suplex puts Jericho down again but Regal can’t keep him down. The fans start cheering for Jericho as Regal takes off a turnbuckle pad. The referee is ok with this for some reason as Jericho’s shoulder goes into the steel. Jericho comes back with a pair of enziguris before a middle rope missile dropkick gets two.

Jericho misses a charge in the corner and nearly hits the post head first. In a surprising move, Regal goes up top for a butterfly superplex which gets a delayed two. Jericho trips the legs and tries the Walls again but the shoulder gives out, allowing Regal to hook the Regal Stretch (STF with a half nelson) but Jericho makes the rope. Jericho fights back again but gets kicked in the shoulder, only to send Regal into the exposed buckle and hit the Lionsault to retain. That was a really sudden ending and JR sounded surprised so maybe it was called on the fly.

Rating: B-. This was exactly what an opener was supposed to be: fast paced, hard hitting and it told a good story. They beat on each other for seven minutes straight with nothing of note looking bad. The idea of the shoulder injury was a perfectly fine story to keep the match going and the Regal Stretch worked for a climax. This was a really good opener and it hit every point it was supposed to hit.

Regal would join the Alliance during the Invasion and face Tajiri at Survivor Series 2001.

William Regal vs. Tajiri

Regal hurt Tajiri’s girlfriend Torrie on Smackdown to set this up. Also these two used to be friends. Tajiri is Cruiserweight Champion and was supposed to face X-Pac in a title for title match, but according to Commissioner Mick Foley, “No one cared about X-Pac or the Light Heavyweight Title anyway”. Tajiri fires off a kick but gets suplexed right back down.

The knee trembler takes Tajiri down but Tajiri goes after Regal’s knee with the kicks. There’s the Tarantula and Regal is bleeding from the nose. A handspring elbow gets two for Tajiri but Regal ties his head up in the ropes to stop the momentum dead. Regal tries a powerbomb but gets countered by another kick to the head. The Buzzsaw Kick misses and there’s the Tiger Bomb from Regal for the pin. Too short to rate but it was fine. Short, but fine.

After the Alliance was vanquished, Regal would start a feud with Edge and challenge him for the Intercontinental Title at Royal Rumble 2002.

Intercontinental Title: Edge vs. William Regal

Edge is defending. The referee checks Regal over and over again for knuckles and finds them in his trunks. Well you can’t say he didn’t do his job. The referee stupidly puts them on the ring post instead of like, giving them to someone to take to the back or something. Edge pounds away to start and chokes with his boot in the corner. He goes after Regal’s bad nose as Lawler claims conspiracy.

Regal comes back with a clothesline but Edge kicks him in the back to put both guys down. Being the British dude that he is, Regal suplexes Edge down for two. Make that four. Uh six. Yet somehow that isn’t three. Off to an arm trap chinlock followed by a hard forearm to put the champion down again. A double arm powerbomb hits Edge for two and they head to the apron. Edge busts out a DDT onto said apron, further injuring Regal’s nose.

Back in and they ram heads to put both guys down as the match continues to drag at a slow pace. Edge wins a slugout and takes Regal down with a spinwheel kick and a suplex for two. Regal suplexes him down as well, only for Edge to hit a big old clothesline for two more. The Regal Stretch goes on out of nowhere but Edge reverses into a terrible version of his own to no avail. A top rope spinwheel kick puts Regal down but he finds another set of brass knuckles. Instead of swinging them though, he pulls the referee in the way of Edge’s spear. Regal clocks Edge and wins the title.

Rating: D+. This didn’t click at all. Regal didn’t seem interested in selling at all and Edge wasn’t ready to carry a match by himself yet. He was getting to the point where he could but it would take a summer of feuding with Eddie to get him up to that point. Regal wouldn’t really do anything with the belt other than lose it to RVD. Nothing to see here.

Regal would join up with Test and Lance Storm as part of the Un-Americans in a mostly bad angle. Regal and Storm would become a regular team, including this match from Raw on October 21, 2002.

Lance Storm/William Regal vs. Bubba Ray Dudley/Spike Dudley

The winners get a title shot against whoever the champions are now. Apparently it’s Christian/Jericho. Storm runs down American before the match. Spike vs. Storm to start things off with the smaller dude taking over quickly. The fans want tables but other than that things are mostly silent. We’ve lost commentary for some reason and by the time that sentence is finished JR is back.

Off to Bubba who takes Lance down with a neckbreaker but Regal hits Bubba in the back of his recently concussed head to give Storm the advantage. Regal comes in as Kane arrives in the back. Everything breaks down and Spike ranas Storm off the top. Bubba catches the superkick from Storm and hits the Bubba Bomb. Spoke hits the Dudley Dog on Regal for the win and the title shot.

Rating: C-. This was one of those matches that was too short to go anywhere of note. Regal and Storm as the Unamericans were a solid team but the gimmick was only going to go so far, especially with Test weighing them down as their third man. Nothing to see here and thankfully D-Von would reunite with Bubba the next month.

They would receive a shot at the belts on Raw, January 6, 2003.

Raw Tag Titles: Lance Storm/William Regal vs. Goldust/Booker T

Goldie and Booker are defending. Booker and Storm start things off with the champion slamming him down and dropping a knee for no cover. Off to Goldie for a forearm off the top but Storm hits him in the face to bring in Regal. Goldust shoulders him down as Bischoff is watching in the back. Back to Booker for more punches in the corner until Storm makes the save.

We hit a chinlock as the match is already going nowhere. A running knee to the side of Booker’s head allows Storm to come in for a cravate. Booker finally fights out and kicks Lance down, allowing for the not hot tag to Goldust. House is cleaned and a powerslam gets two on Storm. Everything breaks down and Goldust takes both guys down. Storm gets caught in a modified Hart Attack but Regal takes the referee out.

The champs and referee are both out on the floor and we take a break. Back with Storm kicking a charging Booker in the face. During the break Chief Morely took over as guest referee. Storm accidentally superkicks said guest referee but there’s no one to count. The third referee runs in to count two on Storm after a Booker spinebuster. Off to Goldust for his hard slaps in the corner but the challengers bail to the floor.

Goldie charges after Storm and runs into a clothesline from Regal. This match continues to be dull stuff. Regal pounds away on Goldust a bit more until it’s off to Storm for another chinlock. This one doesn’t last long and it’s off to Booker for hopefully the last hot tag of the night. Mr. T. cleans house and there’s a Spinarooni followed by an ax kick for two on Storm. Morely pulls the third referee out of the ring and a brass knuckles shot from Regal knocks out Booker for the pin and the titles.

Rating: D. It was long, but MAN was this boring. At the end of the day it was pretty clear that the titles were going to change here due to the odds and Bischoff needing to dominate the entire show, which makes it even worse. As usual, a team loses in a joke last week and wins the titles the next week. Also, how overbooked was this match? Nothing to see here.

Regal would miss over a year and a half due to a heart condition so we’ll skip ahead to February 7, 2005 with Raw in Japan. Given who is in the match, you can figure it out for yourself.

Raw Tag Titles: William Regal/Tajiri vs. La Resistance

Gee I wonder what’s going to happen. Conway and Grenier are defending here. The place ERUPTS for Tajiri who is all fired up here. Regal and Eugene were champions but Eugene is injured so Regal picked Tajiri as his new partner. Massive Tajiri chant starts up so Regal starts off with Conway. Regal Stretch goes on but it’s off to Tajiri who adds the low dropkick as the offense is on.

Regal plays Ricky Morton for a bit here despite getting some shots in to try to break the momentum. The fans chant something but it’s in Japanese. Grenier punches Tajiri so when Regal takes him down there’s no one to tag. STF is broken up quickly and there’s the hot tag to Tajiri who cleans house. Let the kicks begin! Enziguri hits Grenier for two as everything breaks down. Double handspring elbow takes out the French dudes and it’s Tarantula time. Regal takes Conway down and there’s the Green Mist and a Buzzsaw kick gives us new champions.

Rating: C+. The match totally doesn’t matter and is rated too high, but this is about giving the fans something to erupt for and that’s exactly what they did here. Tajiri and Regal would hold the belts about three months so this wasn’t just a fluke title reign. No problem at all with this and while it’s not great or anything, it was perfectly done as it made Tajiri look like a star.

Since this is getting WAY too long already, we’re going to skip over the rest of 2005 and pick things up in 2006 when Regal is a replacement opponent for the US Title at Great American Bash.

US Title: Finlay vs. William Regal

JBL goes on a hilarious rant before the match. “LIVER ENZYMES??? AS MUCH AS I’VE DRANK I’M LUCKY TO HAVE A LIVER!!! MY LIVER LOOKS LIKE JAKE ROBERTS’ AND MY LIVER ENZYMES HAVE NEVER BEEN HIGH!” I’m having issues having Cole as a neutral commentator. Regal is worried about Horny (not yet named) interfering. Regal goes a-leprechaun hunting and before the match starts.

Regal says he’ll just leave but Finlay tries to roll him up anyway. They lock up and go all the way to the floor without breaking it. They walk around and back up the steps and into the ring without breaking that lockup. Regal grabs a single leg and works the leg but that gets him nowhere. Regal throws him to the floor and here’s Horny! He pops Regal in the leg and JBL freaks out. “I want one for Christmas!”

Regal loses track of him and stands on the steps instead of, you know, GETTING IN THE RING. Horny sneaks up on him and Regal nearly jumps out of his skin. Back in Finlay gets a clothesline for two and it’s off to a nerve hold. This heel vs. heel thing is only kind of working so they’re going for comedy. JBL gives us a European soccer lesson as Finlay takes over. Regal gets in some kicks and a butterfly suplex for two.

Horny is back! He bites the fingers of Regal and Regal has to rake the eyes of the tiny leprechaun to escape. Back in and Finlay takes over, working on the hand. Regal gets in a shot to the leg to break the momentum. This is a highly technical match to go with the comedy which is an interesting mix. Regal hooks a chinlock but Finlay fights out with some shots to the ribs.

Back to the floor and you can hear them hitting each other incredibly hard. This was the same thing they did back at Uncensored 96, although this is a more entertaining match. Now Finlay hooks the chinlock. Regal throws him into the corner and they ram heads. In a great old school heel move, Regal drops to a knee, putting his leg on Finlay’s throat, while he talks to the referee. Exploder suplex puts Finlay down and there’s a knee drop for two.

The fans call this boring. I call them uncultured slobs. This is a European style match and it’s entertaining to see a different perspective. Regal runs off the apron and gets crotched on the apron skirt. Finlay hammers him back into the ring and takes Regal’s shoe off. It’s possible Horny stole it. Finlay misses a charge and hits the post. The fans are loudly booing now. Regal gets the Irish club that I can’t spell. Horny slips Finlay Regal’s boot though and a shot with that is enough for the pin to keep the title on Finlay.

Rating: C-. I’m going to be in the fairly extreme minority here but I enjoyed this. The technical aspect of it is really good but the comedy stuff is going to be very hit or miss. To be fair though, this was a hard one to work out as the styles really clashed. I was entertained by it though and that’s the point of this.

Regal would hook up with his old partner Dave Taylor as a heel team on Smackdown, with the two eventually getting a Tag Team Title shot at Armageddon 2006.

Smackdown Tag Titles: Paul London/Brian Kendrick vs. Dave Taylor/William Regal

Londrick are champions here. Before the match gets started here’s Teddy. He makes this a ladder match so here are some ladders. Regal FREAKS but Teddy isn’t done. He adds two more teams to make it a fatal fourway title match.

Smackdown Tag Titles: Paul London/Brian Kendrick vs. Daven Taylor/William Regal vs. MNM vs. The Hardys

MNM lost the titles to Londrick and are returning here since Nitro (Morrison) is on Raw. The Hardys are also on Raw but who cares? Jeff is IC Champion and they’re not Boys anymore. The crowd is WAY behind the Hardys. The heels are sent to the floor so it’s Londrick vs. the legends. Matt and London take over but Kendrick and Jeff come back. Spin Cycle takes out London and appropriately enough the Brits come back in.

Matt and I think Nitro pick up ladders and the fight goes to the floor. The Hardys come down the aisle with ladders as Regal and Taylor try to keep them out. Just about everyone is back in now and there’s a pair of ladders. Poetry in Motion hits Regal and Taylor takes a Snapshot. Double superkick puts Regal down again and things slow down a bit.

The champs and the Hardys go at it, including Matt throwing Kendrick into a ladder HARD. Jeff goes up but London makes the save. London goes up but the Hardys save. Nitro tried a springboard move to take him out but the ladder was already down so the spot landing looked sick. Mercury is almost up there but London/Kendrick/Hardys pick up the ladder and shove Mercury over the top onto Nitro.

Poetry in Motion is attempted but London moves and Jeff crashes into the ladder. With everyone down, Kendrick makes a run but Matt saves. Neckbreaker puts Kendrick down and London hits a suplex on Regal outside. Matt gets put on a ladder leaned against the ropes so Kendrick hits a double stomp to the ribs.

Now we get to the famous part of this match. MNM sets up a see-saw thing using a pair of ladders. They put Jeff on the top and set for a double suplex but Matt makes the save. Jeff dives off and the ladder is slammed into Mercury’s face, absolutely destroying his nose. I’ve never seen more blood so fast. His nose was shattered and he would be out for a few weeks and would need 20 stitches.

Due to the injury it’s now a seven man match with the Brits in control. Half nelson release suplex sends London into the ladder. Taylor holds the ladder and Regal goes up but comes down due to fear. Taylor goes up instead but Kendrick comes in for the save. Mercury is already on his way to the hospital. Matt comes back in and hits a Twist of Fate to Taylor. Jeff sets up a ladder on the floor and tries to dive into the ring but Nitro hits a baseball slide to take out the ladder, sending Jeff’s throat into the ropes.

Nitro rides a ladder down onto Regal as a ladder is set up in the ring. Kendrick makes a save and takes Nitro down again. Matt throws Kendrick off the ladder and London has to make the save. Matt backdrops London off but the ladder falls. Jeff vs. Nitro on a ladder now and Jeff gets a big old sunset bomb and the Brits are back. They take everyone down and up they go.

Kendrick gets up there and pounds away on Regal but Taylor pulls him down again. Everyone is down and London starts crawling for the ladders. Matt is up again and goes for the same ladder. There are two ladders next to each other. Matt gets knocked down and London pulls the titles down to retain after a war.

Rating: B+. I wanted to give it an A- but it just didn’t feel right. It’s an excellent match and a great four way ladder match, despite it becoming a three and a half way part of the way through it. Londrick gets a big win here which they need and the fans get all fired up. Definitely the best match of the night (seriously, can you imagine something topping it later?) but it didn’t hit that level of the TLC matches.

Regal again wouldn’t do much for most of 2007 but would become Raw GM late in the year. He would enter the King of the Ring in April 2008 and make it to the finals.

King of the Ring Finals: William Regal vs. CM Punk

Punk comes in with bad ribs because of the matches earlier. Regal is basically in his second match after the Horny match and beating an injured Finlay. Punk starts off fast with some kicks in the corner. He tries the bulldog but gets suplexed down and it’s off to a bow and arrow hold. Punk fights up from that and hits a spinning kick to the knee.

Regal grabs the arms and forces him right back down to the mat as is his custom. The idea is that it’s strikes vs. grapples which is about as natural as you’re going to get with these two. Punk fights up again and hits a BIG kick to the head to stagger Regal. Spinning backfist sets up the high kick for two. That sounded great. Punk loads up the GTS but Regal grabs the rope. He escapes and hits the knee trembler, followed by the Stretch. Punk hangs on for almost thirty seconds but finally has to tap to give Regal the tournament.

Rating: C-. This was too short to mean much but it gave Regal some more psychosis to work with which was a really entertaining time. Then it just stopped cold because it was getting too good and that’s how WWE works. Punk giving up because of the rib injury is ok because Regal didn’t win fairly (coming in at a big advantage), which is fine.

Regal would be Wellnessed off TV and allegedly out of a World Title reign. He would win the Intercontinental Title from Santino Marella in a squash in November before losing the title to CM Punk in a mostly forgettable feud. Regal would get a chance at the US Title at Extreme Rules 2009.

US Title: Kofi Kingston vs. MVP vs. William Regal vs. Matt Hardy

Well this is random. Kofi won the title 6 days ago from MVP. He beat Hardy and Regal for the title shot in the first place. This is an extreme gimmick? Sure why not. MVP is a face here…I think. Yeah he is. Regal has been hitting on Vickie to get into this. Matt gets a rather solid pop. He’s heel here which is just odd to type.

Oh and Matt still has a broken hand from Mania. MVP is the same thing that he is today. That’s all you need to know about him: he hasn’t changed a bit in a year. Regal hasn’t either but he’s more or less a jobber now so it’s not like it matters that much. Kofi hits a dive to take out every American in this match.

Then he takes out the British guy as well. It’s your usual insanity for one of these matches as we get rotating one on one matches. That works fine I think as it’s really the only way you can do these without insane choreography before it starts. Regal gets solid heel heat. He’s just so easy to hate.

Everybody but Matt gets in a Tower of Doom spot so Matt dives on them all but of course it doesn’t work. Also his hand seems to be just fine all of a sudden. For some reason I love that leg drop that Matt does from the middle rope. It’s not like there’s anything really special about it or anything.

Kofi hits a Boom Drop on Regal who is on top of Matt in a decent spot. Kofi hits that pendulum kick that seemingly every midcard face hits now. I was wrong about MVP not changing anything in a year. Now he is even worse at his belly to belly overhead suplexes. Ballin hits on Matt as we’re very close to the end. You can feel it.

Regal beats up everyone but Kofi bounces off the top rope and hits a kick to the head which is called Trouble in Paradise for the pin to retain. It looked like a one footed dropkick but whatever.

Rating: D+. Not bad I guess, but WAY too short. This wasn’t even seven minutes long and it was just kind of a mess. It’s certainly not a bad match or anything like that, but it just felt thrown together and like it was there to kill time. That’s never a good sign. Kofi’s reign is about as forgettable as you could ask one to be also.

It would be off to the ECW roster soon after this where Regal would become the top heel. After losing to Christian in 8 seconds at Summerslam, Regal would get a longer ECW Title shot at Breaking Point.

ECW Championship: Christian vs. William Regal

This is 5 days after the ECW is Leaving announcement was made so there we are. Naturally Christian gets a huge pop being the Canadian. The monsters are sent to the back. This is more of a technical match which is what Regal is a master of. This is an intense match if nothing else. The fans are as into this as they’ve been into anything all night long. Regal avoids the Killswitch three times and then gets it on the fourth. Well that was abrupt. Somehow this was ten minutes long.

Rating: C-. This wasn’t much at all. It could have been a main event on any ECW TV show and it wouldn’t have been anything special at all. This was pretty weak and as mentioned, the announcement that the brand was folding didn’t do much good for the interest level in this match.

Regal would go into semi-retirement after this and only wrestler a few matches a year. We’ll jump ahead to 2013 where Regal is an NXT commentator but Kassius Ohno is tormenting him. They would have a showdown on April 10, 2013.

Kassius Ohno vs. William Regal

They lock up to start with Regal shoving Ohno back. Brad’s stupid joke of the week is to call Dawson Jerry every few moments. Back to the lockup until Regal takes over with an armbar. Ohno is taken to the mat by the arm as Regal cranks away even more. Now it’s a hammerlock and after a drop toehold Ohno still can’t get back up. Regal lets him back up and Ohno grabs a wristlock, only to be easily sent into the corner and stomped down by the old villain.

A forearm puts Ohno down as this has been one sided so far. Ohno finally gets in a shot to the ribs to send Regal to the floor. A baseball slide puts Regal into the barricade and we take a break. Back with Kassius getting two off something we didn’t see and firing off some HARD kicks in the corner to Regal’s head. Now it’s a full nelson to stay on the neck and upper body of Regal. William uses a nice counter to escape and stomps on Kassius’ fingers for good measure. He bends them back around the ropes as momentum changes again.

Regal stays on the arm and hand and drives some knees into Ohno’s face. Ohno comes back with a hard kick to the head to take Regal down as the ear is hurt even more. Another kick crushes Regal’s head against the post but Ohno can’t hook his cravate hold. Kassius kicks Regal again for two but he still can’t hook the Kassius Clutch. Off to a quick chinlock instead but Regal rolls out and hits a quick exploder suplex. His balance is WAY off though so he can’t hook the Regal Stretch.

A belly to back suplex puts Regal on his head again for two more and Kassius is getting frustrated. William is getting all fired up and gets to his feet, only to have his head kicked off for two. Ohno loads up the rolling elbow but Regal nails him in the ribs to set up the Knee Trembler for the pin at 14:06 shown of 17:36.

Rating: B+. This was a match based on emotion and the injury to Regal which worked very well. The story of teacher vs. student is one that always works and it did the job again here. The good thing here is that Regal didn’t look dominant at all at the end, which keeps Ohno from looking weak. Really good and physical match here with a solid story throughout.

The same thing happened later in the year, but with Cesaro instead of Ohno. From Christmas Day, 2013.

Antonio Cesaro vs. William Regal

The Fink is doing entrances, which gives me an answer to the question I just asked. The disgusted yet also terrified look on Regal’s face is perfect. Cesaro cranks on the arm to start and Regal can’t counter. Antonio takes him to the mat but Regal nips up to draw a gasp from the crowd. Cesaro stays on the hold and takes Regal down again but there’s another nip up. “You still got it!”

Regal takes Cesaro down to his knees but still can’t get away from the wrist control as we take a break. Back with Cesaro still on the arm and jumping onto a standing Regal’s shoulders (basically putting himself in a fireman’s carry) to apply even more pressure. Regal flips him down into an armbar but Cesaro nips up just like Regal did earlier. William takes him down by the other arm but Cesaro powers up into a test of strength.

Cesaro easily powers Regal down but the Englishman counters into a cross arm choke. He leans backwards to put Cesaro over his knees while still choking, only to be flipped forward to escape. Back to the test of strength before Regal counters a front facelock into a dragon sleeper. Cesaro flips him forward in a kind of reverse suplex for two but Regal gets him down into the corner and does his “distract the referee while kicking the opponent in the face” spot.

Antonio chop blocks Regal down and rams the bad knee into the apron a few times as we take another break. Back with Cesaro holding a leg lock but Regal keeps fighting back with kicks to the head. Cesaro keeps control by cranking on the knee even more and taking off Regal’s knee brace. The knee is bent around Cesaro’s neck in an old Brock Lock but Regal counters into a rollup and backslide for two each. Cesaro hits a series of ten uppercuts to knock Regal silly, setting up the Cesaro Swing.

After some trash talk Antonio loads up the Neutralizer but Regal backdrops his way out. He drops a knee on Cesaro’s arm to take away the Neutralizer. Regal goes after the arm with everything he’s got and hits an overhead suplex for two. The knee is too damaged for the knee trembler though and Cesaro comes back with a headbutt. Regal is fine with that and headbutts Cesaro right back before loading up a double underhook suplex. Cesaro backdrops Regal but can’t break the grip.

Regal takes him to the mat again and tries the Regal Stretch but Cesaro makes the rope. A forearm from the good arm lays Regal out and a double stomp to the back of the head has the referee checking him. Cesaro looks down at Regal before picking up his limp body. He sets up the Neutralizer but thinks twice about it and lets Regal fall back to the mat. Regal tries to pull himself up so Cesaro puts on the Neutralizer. He looks down at Regal’s unconscious body and looks disgusted after pinning Regal at 16:00 shown of 24:00.

Rating: A. I loved this for a lot of reasons. First of all, the technical stuff at the beginning was excellent with two old school craftsmen doing their jobs as well as anyone can. It’s wrestling in its purest form and when you have guys who can work that style it’s as entertaining as you can get. Then there’s the excellent storytelling with Regal trying every trick he knew but not being able to stop Cesaro’s raw power. The ending with Cesaro not wanting to hurt Regal anymore but giving in to his natural instincts of winning at any cost was great stuff. I loved this match and continue to wait for Cesaro to be taken seriously in WWE.

William Regal is the definition of an old time wrestler. He can wrestle any style and make you HATE him with relative ease. No he wasn’t ever the top guy, but he’s forgotten more about wrestling than almost anyone else can ever learn. Regal will be a trainer or commentator for as long as he wants and a lot of fans will be very lucky to see his students on WWE TV.

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