This year I wanted to really pick a sort of jack of all trades wrestler. Someone who can grapple well, strike hard, and hold his own in a deathmatch. The first name that sprung to mine for me was Lord Crewe, and once you see him you never forget. He's intimidating as all get out, standing remarkably tall, but moving quite agile. Between the beard, the muscles, the powerful kicks, Crewe isn't an easy foe to beat, and today we're going to take a look at his career and some of his best matches.
Crewe began wrestling in 2015 for Northern Wrestling Federation, and through 2017 he was definitely a mainstay there. In 2018 his career really caught fire as he worked a lot for Rockstar Pro and Primetime Wrestling where he became the Heavyweight Champion. You'll see quite a few matches from that title run on this list as honestly I think Crewe put on some fantastic matches in this time. Also in 2018 he began appearing for IWA Mid South, and that would signal the start of something beautiful. Beginning then, not only would Lord Crewe wrestle traditional matches, but deathmatch as well. SInce then he's fought in Unsanctioned Pro, No Peace Underground, Mr. Chainsaw, ICW No Holds Barred, and more in the deathmatch scene. He's certainly proving himself to be quite the sadist in the ring, as we'll see with a few matches on this list. He hasn't stopped doing more traditional wrestling though, still wrestling in places like OWA, BLP, and SUP. In addition to that, he competes in shoot style matches for Paradigm Pro Wrestling under UWFi rules. That is all the proof you need that he can really do it all. He's been in tag teams with names like Aaron Williams and Otis Cogar, and he just won the Unsanctioned Pro Title under some sneaky circumstances. From here, who knows what's next for Lord Crewe, but I'm excited to find out.
#10: Violence is Forever vs Aaron Williams and Lord Crewe
Is anyone freaking surprised? Violence is Forever makes their, what is this? 20th appearance in this column? Aaron Williams has popped up a couple times, and seeing all four of these men share the ring is fantastic. This may be an opening round tournament match, but it functioned as the semi-main event for this show, and absolutely earned its place on the card. Kevin Ku and Lord Crewe work very well together, and I'd love to see more of that matchup. That being said, Aaron Williams and Lord Crewe make a great team. We're going to see them face off a little later on this list, but here they work like a well oiled clockwork orange. Williams doesn't get talked about enough outside the Midwest scene, but man he's good. It's a fast paced affair, with hard hitting move after hard hitting move, and it's a great show of all four men's styles. At one point in the match Lord Crewe flips over the top rope, and with his height that's somethinig you have to see to believe. When he hits a backbreaker on Dominic you can feel it in your spine. This match is incredibly hard hitting, and even though Violence is Forever wins, the crowd chants "all these guys." Don't miss this one.
#9: Lord Crewe vs Alex Ocean
Yep, it's ICW No Holds Barred time. Lord Crewe has only had one match in the chains so far, but it was a doozy. Taking on the neckbreak kid Alex Ocean he really impressed, and I'm sure he'll be back. He was already breaking lighttubes mere seconds into the match, and if anyone in the crowd didn't already know him, they did now. After establishing that he's no push over, the two proceeded to have a fantastic deathmatch together, really taking advantage of their surroundings. I've recommended deathmatches before, but I want to be clear, this one isn't for the faint of heart. There are needles going through tongues here, and if you don't like that idea just stay far, far away. If you're still with me, Ocean gets slammed through a door covered in needles! It's a very visceral affair, and one that definitely cemented Crewe as a crowd favorite. He took to the chains very well, and I for one can't wait to see him there again.
#8: Lord Crewe VS Cassanova Valentine
Cassanova and Crewe seem destined to do this song and dance together forever, as just recently Crewe beat Valentine for the Unsanctioned Pro Championship. That match is only five seconds though, so instead we look at this encounter from Unsanctioned Pro 7, and the absolute war between two deathmatch hard hitters. They've met each other a few times, but this one is easily my favorite. It's a Fall Counts Anywhere match, so it really plays to both men's strength. The first big moment in this match that shows why I wanted to talk about Lord Crewe is when he hits a running senton off the apron, and lands flat on a chair. Valentine really is just adored by the crowd, and as much as the crowd likes Crewe, Valentine is home. When I look at deathmatches on this column, I try to talk about elevating the genre, and how wonderful deathmatch can be as a serious artform. That being said, this match has a footlong dildo filled with nails, and God I love it. At one point the match leaves the ring area and goes to the attached restaurant, and I can't say enough how much I want to go here. there's food, a bar, wrestling, and a rock wall! A rock wall!! This match is just a great freaking time, and both men not only give it their all, but really seem to be having a good time when they're not about to die. The day I get to go to a show where a wrestler dumps a pitcher of beer in my mouth will be a very happy day indeed. If you want to have a great time, just watch this fight.
#7:Lord Crewe VS Star Rider
My first time seeing Star Rider and I admit I was impressed. I've included a couple of PTW title matches on this list, and Lord Crewe just works so well as a dominant champion. Lord Crewe's strength really comes into play in this match, and Star Rider's agility helps keep it from being too one sided. Some things you see in this match that would go on to really benefit Crewe in UWFi Rules matches include those massive kicks and a very powerful German Suplex. Crewe takes advantage of the ropes in this match, able to bend limbs around them and press the rules. I love finding matches like this because you see so much of the wrestler you know being formed. My personal favorite part of the match is the end with Crewe booting Star Rider out of the air. After the match you have some good drama surrounded Crewe's title reign and challengers, and if you want to follow the PTW Title stick around for it.
#6: Lord Crewe VS Tommy Vendetta
After this match happened, my entire timeline was telling me I had to see it. And you know what? Ya, this is easily one of the best deathmatches of the year, and Vendetta is on my radar now. The moment the match starts they immediately hit the crap out of each other. Lord Crewe is a beast in the ring, and this match makes that clear as from the bell he is in control. Crewe is one of the tallest men in deathmatch, and as intimidating as that makes him, he's not a slow lumbering big man. He is still very agile, and uses his size well. One thing I love about this match is the comedy. Sometimes Deathmatch gets too serious, but these two have great chemistry. They head all around the arena and end up at a basketball hoop. Vendetta hits Crewe with a basketball, but he catches it, and instead of throwing it back, the two begin to play basketball. It's a great little moment and break from the violence before they hit each other with water jugs. Crewe slams Vendetta on a fork board(God I love deathmatch) on the apron, and it's just a brutal spot. If the opening moments make you think it's going to be a tame deathmatch, by the time the gusset plate shows up that worry is long gone. Another cool thing I noticed was the use of the house lights. During the arena brawl they turn the lights up for the fans, but when they're back in the ring they shift back to just the spotlights. Vendetta winning was a good decision, but Crewe definitely looks like a million dollars here, and I'd be shocked if he doesn't end up with the Mr. Chainsaw Title.
#5: Lord Crewe VS Derek Neal
Terminal Combat is such a cool concept. The first five minutes of any match are under UWFi Rules, and if the match reaches five minutes then it goes under hardcore rules. What I love about this match is the subversion of expectations. Everyone would have assumed that Lord Crewe would end up in a hardcore match, but like I mentioned earlier, he's not just a deathmatch guy. When the match reaches four minutes it seems like we'll go into hardcore, then there's only thirty seconds left. It seems all but certain, then with only thirteen seconds left in the UWFi rules, Crewe wins. It's hard to not see this as a specific response to people thinking Lord Crewe is just a deathmatch guy. He really is a jack of all trades and he's able to win here with just some killer strikes.
#4: The Hallowed VS G-Raver and Bam Sullivan
It's No Ring deathmatch time! This new team of Lord Crewe and Otis Cogar makes me so happy, as they work so well as emissaries of destruction. If you have a passing familiarity with deathmatch you've probably run into G-Raver, and Bam Sullivan has been on the rise lately and was the first Danny Havoc Hardcore Champion. Otis and Crewe make a great team, and having them run dominant over two very well loved wrestlers was a smart choice for No Peace. They isolate and destroy their opponents all around the pit and stage. It's not just a one sided affair though, as Lord Crewe takes the famous tattoo needles from G-Raver in the skull and then a chair. As G-Raver is about to finish off Lord Crewe, his opponent for later in the week, Su Yung shows up, and that interferrence lets Otis and Crewe get the upper hand. After the match, as Otis is want to do, he puts the pig face on Bam Sullivan. It's a messed up, bloody deathmatch, and if you like No Ring Deathmatch you'll love this.
#3: Lord Crewe VS Aaron Williams
I said earlier in the list that we would be looking at Williams facing Crewe, and it's finally that time. Crewe looks so good in this match, and I actually watched a couple of different Williams vs Crewe matches, and decided if you're just going to watch one, this is the one! Crewe and Williams are cut from the same cloth, hence why they make such good tag partners. It isn't as fast and bombastic as others on this list, nor is it as bloody, but the reason it ranks so high is that there is a certain magic between them. They work so well in the ring together, and tell a great story of seeking that belt. Both men look like they could just be slow punchers. Crewe is taller, Slade is ripped, but both have an agility and athleticism that sets them apart. Lord Crewe being able to lift Slade looks amazing, and Slade doing a cartwheel looks equally stunning. Like I said earlier Lord Crewe is very dominant as PTW Champion and this title defense is no exception. There were a couple moments in this match that I though Williams would end the reign though, especially a brutal piledriver near the end. Ultimately though, Crewe is able to retain his title via shenanigans.
#2: Lord Crewe VS Slade
Slade is a damn good wrestler that I haven't gotten a chance to talk about too much on this list, but is absolutely killing it lately. Seeing these two face off one on one feels like some kind of weird monkey's paw dream, as it's not in a deathmatch. Despite the lack of weapons, the match does not lack brutality. It has the intensity and speed of a UWFi rules match, but it lasts much longer then you'd expect. There is one nice comedy spot though when Slade is outside the ring and has the classic "he's right behind me isn't he?" moment. A lot of the match is just suplex, slam, kick, slam, kick, suplex, and it's magic. Slade makes even just a punch to the back look devastating, and Crewe sells fantastically. What's great about this match is the clash of styles: Crewe's kicks are the most lethal, while Slade is all about the hands. When they begin to trade forearm shots it's just brutal, and makes you wonder what a deathmatch between them would be like. What impressed me most though is something I alluded to earlier: speed. Slade literally flies off the ropes into a shoulder tackle. It's a very good match that really shows the strength and style of Lord Crewe well.
#1: Lord Crewe VS Gary Jay
We haven't talked about Gary Jay since the Besties in the World column, but he's an absolute staple of the independent scene. I wanted to include this match in particular because it's a non deathmatch victory for Crewe over a very established competitor. Taking place as part of OWA's Championship tournament, these two put on a quick but solid bout. Crewe shows that he isn't all forkboards and lighttubes as we works some good holds with Jay, from wristlocks to ground moves they work the fundamentals well. Crewe is able to reverse every hold that Jay knows, and that's most of what this match is. It's a back and forth of two wrestlers simply having a good wrestling match. I'm running out of words to say because there's only so many ways to say they locked in a headlock and worked their way out of it, but that's what you get. It's just well executed basic wrestling holds, and like a good horror movie, sometimes doing the basics incredibly well makes for something special. I think Gary Jay was the favorite going into this match, so for Crewe to win I think shocked a lot of people, but he definitely deserved it. He would go on to lose to Ace Austin in the finals, but that doesn't take away from this being a great victory.