Saturday, 13 January 2018

Interview // Zack Gibson

On Monday 8th January 2018, Across the Pond Wrestling was invited to a Press Conference to announce some big news about the forthcoming UK tour and weekly live shows being produced by 5 Star Wrestling, in conjunction with the digital TV Channel, Freesports. While at the event, we had an opportunity to speak to a man who if you know the UK scene, needs no introduction, a former ICW Zero G Champion, A former Futureshock Champion and one-half of the current Progress Tag Team Champions: Liverpool's Number One, Zack Gibson.

In the press conference just now and before, you've spoken about the need to bring in Imports to get in the casual audience but also the need to champion British Wrestling first and foremost, do you see that as the biggest aim coming out of 5 Star?

Yeah, pretty much I'm very outspoken about such things and mostly I just say what I think and it's started resonating with fans. I've taken this on as my own, little personal mission to make sure that all the boys are getting together. In the Q & A earlier, someone got cut off in the middle of asking about comraderie amongst the British lads and of course there is, we all wrestle up and down the country and are in the same or similar locker rooms day-in, day-out, throughout the year so of course we have comraderie and especially when it's a tour like this that's ambitious, 30 arenas back-to-back and three hours of live television a week and coming out of nowhere, not just starting with one hour and seeing how that goes we're just going arenas straight away, 3 hours straight away and that's a massive opportunity and we've got to make sure it benefits our lads. We've got something of an unofficial union and we're trying to make sure it's the right guys that get seen and as someone who's become a bit of a voice for the company, not the only voice but one of them, purely because they like the way I talk so I've been used for a bit of the press, with that direct link to the office, I've become a voice for the performers to the office and with Americans on the show, it's one of those things that divides between us, with wages, I'm sure you've heard this one million times before, it's not news, but someone like a Rey Mysterio is going to get paid more to come over, but he's coming to the British scene, that's what's hot at the moment, that's why they're coming here. It is something of a necessary evil. We need those names to connect to the mainstream audience who don't know us and haven't taken a chance, they'll take the chance on Mysterio or Rob Van Dam but when they come in, they'll see the young, hungry British talent that we have to offer and that's what they'll stay for and write about and follow through the shows. We need the big import names right now but a year from now, I hope it's going to be a very different story. Hopefully, 5Star is going to be the company to get us there. It's already changing, I went to New York and Boston with Progress and we were the imports, the stars, the American fans were going past their talent to talk to us so it's happening, it just needs to happen here on a national scale and hopefully this is the company to do it.

Having been part of ITV's World of Sport Special last year and ICW's Fear and Loathing show, you've done arena shows and television shows before, do you think that gives you an edge going into this venture?

Definitely, as far as experience goes for this, we've picked certain teams of lads that have some experience for this. I've already done TV for ITV and NGW but they were all pre-recorded so going live is new for me. I got kicked into a Christmas Tree on Good Morning, Britain but I don't think that counts (laughs). The arenas, I've already wrestled in them, I've already in fact wrestled for 5Star at the Echo Arena but you know, on that kind of larger, grander scale, it's going to take more than just good wrestling and that's where the passion in the British locker rooms is going to come into play, we're all hungry and we want this and people don't just want to see smooth sequences, they want the passion and the emotion, that's what sells at an arena level. Well, we don't know if you'll get that from the superstars but you'll certainly get it from us.

So the Zack Gibson character, Liverpool's Number One, it's not a stretch to call him a villainous character, are you worried that this campaign of championing British wrestling and delivering passionate performances that if confronted with an import talent who's just cashing their cheque, that you could end up accidentally becoming a fan-favourite?

Maybe but I'm very good at what I do (laughs), I'll find a way. No but it's a consideration and modern wrestling is very different and it's constantly changing, if you look at something like Batman, especially the Christian Bale films and Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker, he's the one that everyone's talking about, that they're buying the T-Shirt of, that they're dressing up as. The game has changed, it can't just be black and white, you have to expect that there'll be those who do what you want and cheer the faces, boo the heels but then there'll also be those that just cheer on the performers they enjoy and that's just the way things are changing and we've learnt we have to adapt to it.

So we know that not just colleagues but friends of yours like James Drake who's been part of the WWE UK scene and Jack Gallagher who's on 205 Live have either begun to or made the move to WWE. Is making it to the WWE a goal of yours or do you see the UK as beginning to present enough of an alternative to that?

Of course, when I started as a professional wrestler, my goal was the WWE, I think everyone's is and I don't think that will ever go away, I want to wrestle there, it's the best wrestling in the world, of course when I say that, it's because they've collected the best wrestlers (laughs) but I still want to get there, I'm still pushing for that but I haven't got blinkers on, I know it's always a long way off and if other opportunities present themselves, I want to take them and there could well be something to rival it, it could even be this if it takes off the way we want it to, the way we planned it to, you know, fast forward two years, ITV might come knocking again and we might have another new alternative, you just never know, the industry changes so fast but Ive gone on record to say I'd love to wrestle for the WWE, they are still the standard bearer and you see the British influence coming in more and more and I can see my spot there, I can physically see it. There's an outline and I can see how there's a spot I could fill, as you say, some of my friends are already there, I was at Jack's wedding and guys like James Drake, I couldn't be happier to see them succeed and hopefully one day, I'll join them.

You've performed for a good number of different UK companies: We already mentioned ICW & Progress but there's also groups like Rev Pro and Futureshock, a lot of these companies have their individual thing, what do you think makes 5Star unique, what can they offer that's different to an already stacked UK scene?

I think what's different is it is for the mainstream audience, you've got guys like me and Eddie Ryan but then you've also got Rey and Jake (Hager, FKA Jack Swagger), it has that cross-appeal. Other companies, even the bigger ones, have quite a niché appeal but ultimately, 5Star's style has yet to be defined, I can't necessarily answer that question yet. With Progress, they are punk rock pro-wrestling, you rock up to their show and you know what you're going to get and that's why they're so successful because what they put out is so incredible but it's also got this cohesion of style, ICW have their hardcore, almost ECW-throwback style, you know with them what they going to get. With 5Star, you're certainly going to get a big variety to the shows, you'll get high-flying, heavyweights, comedy, you'll get everything but it doesn't have one thing that defines it yet but two-three months down the line, that might be clearer. What will set us apart is that it can appeal to a bigger audience. It can bring a load more eyes on the British scene, people might come to one of our shows having never watched an Indie show before and go away and explore all the great wrestling that's out there and with us at the helm, we're not going to let this opportunity for the British scene pass us by and that can only be a good thing.

Article By Jozef Raczka (@NotJozefRaczka)

Friday, 12 January 2018

NXT 282 Review // The Undisputed Era vs Aleister Black & Roderick Strong

On 11th January 2018, NXT aired its 282nd episode of NXT, taped at Center Stage, Atlanta, GA on 4th January. Our main event of the evening was set to be an NXT Tag Title rematch between SaNItY and The Undisputed Era but shenanigans would occur and, well, you can see in the headline what happened. The show also featured a few big debuts/ returns in the form of Lio Rush taking on Lars Sullivan, Kassius Ohno against Raul Mendoza and MMA star and MYC finalist Shayna Baszler taking on Dakota Kai. But was it any good?

We get a unique cold open as Adam Cole welcomes us to 2018, the year of the Undisputed Era, Bobby Fish says they closed 2017 in style by winning the tag titles, but that's just the beginning, in 2018 they prove to everyone why they're the baddest, Kyle O'Reilly talks of how their year of dominance begins tonight as they're going to take out SaNItY and Cole swears to take out anyone who gets in the way of him becoming NXT Champion.

Shayna Baszler def. Dakota Kai //Ref. Stoppage

Both of these women were in the Mae Young Classic with Kai being eliminated in the Quarter Finals by Kairi Sane and Bazsler by the same woman in the finals, we see backstage footage of Baszler bullying recruits until Kai steps in and most importantly, we get the NXT debut of Nixon Newell, heal up soon, Nixon. They lock-up to start as Baszler powers to the corner, holding the lock, she breaks just before 5 before sweeping Kai's legs out, Kai goes for a waistlock but is forced over into a double wristlock, Shayna wrenches at the finger and elbow joints before applying a leg stretch to the shoulder and hitting a knee to the head, she grinds down the hand with her foot and stomps out the shoulder leaving Kai defenceless for a referee stoppage.

Quick Squash m8. The first and certainly not the last of its kind for 2018 as Baszler announced herself as a cocky, destructive force with just a shade of a certain Bruiserweight to her heelish antics. While there's no story for her at the moment, I hope bigger things are to come for Kai who is too talented to be just developmental enhancement talent.

Post-match, Baszler locks in a Kirufuna Clutch (grounded sleeper) on Kai till Ember Moon comes in to break it up, Baszler walks away signalling that she wants Moon and most importantly, the NXT Women's Title around her waist.

The Authors of Pain speak, not just Paul Ellering but the actual Authors! They speak of being the baddest force in NXT and how anyone who gets in their way will suffer, Ellering says they don't care where or when or who but they want their titles back. How about in Philidelphia, Paul?

Christy St. Cloud backstage with Bazsler being asked about why she broke Kai's damn arm, William Regal turns up and tells her that going around bullying people, breaking arms and attacking people after matches, just call him Shania Twain because that don't impress him much, more importantly, it won't earn her a title shot. Baszler shrugs it off, she ain't shook, not one bit.

Kassius Ohno def. Raul Mendoza // Pinfall

Well, this was refreshing, a match with no outward storyline that wasn't just a quick squash (m8) and begins with a good ol' handshake, you crowds may chant 'this is awesome' but you know what is awesome? Respect. Mendoza starts in with a waistlock transitioning to a headlock but Ohno lifts him with his head to show dominance, Mendoza gets a sunset flip for a 2 but Ohno reverses it into a package of his own for a 2, Ohno with a lateral press for a 1 and throws Mendoza to the corner who flips the ropes, hits a shoulder tackle, goes up top, Ohno picks him up for a powerbomb by Ohno but Mendoza flips him with a hurricanrana, he lays into a seated Ohno with kicks but Ohno is nothin' to mess with and knocks his head off with a boot, in the corner, Ohno hits corner elbows for a 2, picks up Mendoza into a Gory special but Mendoza rolls through for a pin, Ohno is immediately back up and hits a forward slam and a senton for a 2, picking up Mendoza, he immediately springs to life with an arm drag, an enziguri, another arm drag and another enziguri for a 2, he jumps onto Ohno but is caught into an electric chair position, dropped onto the ropes and Ohno hits an elbow to the back of the head and another High Tension running elbow strike for the pin.

This was good work by both men, Ohno was his usual dominant self but he worked hard to make Mendoza look good and the offence that Mendoza got in was crisp and effective. Ohno seems to have been put into the Player Coach role for the forseeable but it works for him and if he can keep putting on enjoyable stuff like this, you won't hear me complaining.

Zelina Vega is getting the 'interview by disembodied hands' treatment. She speaks about how she and Andrade are more on the same page than ever and it's more work to stay the champ than to become it and at Philly, Andrade will put in the work. When asked about Johnny Gargano earning a title shot, Zelina says Johnny hasn't earnt a shot, he got lucky and took advantage of an opportunity, they've beaten Johnny twice and that Ciampa was always the success not him and that Andrade won't need to try to beat him again, when asked whether there'll be a change in tactics for match 3, Zelina refuses to disclose secrets but says there'll be no running for Johnny come Philly.  

Christy St. Cloud is with Jonny Wrestling, he acknowledges a lot of people didn't think he had a chance of winning his shot at the title, suddenly, a wild Velveteen Dream appears, Dream tells Johnny to say it, in this instance 'it' is not his but thank you for him getting lucky as Dream was meant to have the match with Kassius Ohno but he was injured, he tells him that he could have beaten Ohno in 30 seconds, not the twenty minutes it took Johnny, Johnny got lucky against Black and that he can't beat Almas, he tells Johnny that Dream earnt his spot and Johnny doesn't deserve it. I'm fully up for these two having a match, they're both great and I'm sure this match will be.

Street Profits stuff happens, they're backstage being all street and profitty, they eventually get to the point that they want a tag title shot, they go to Regal's office that is now just a table of water, they ask when they get a title shot, Regal announces that next week the Street Profits will take on Authors of Pain for the number one contendership. They seem happy about this.

Lars Sullivan def. Lio Rush // Pinfall

This is Rush's return to TV since he got into hot water for making jokes about Emma losing her job, my guess, this won't go more than a minute, Sullivan rushes but Rush dodges, moving around the ring lightning quick avoiding Sullivan, on the ropes and Rush hits a handspring heel kick, goes for a springboard but is caught and choke dropped by Sullivan, Sullivan whips Rush from one corner to the other, goes for a shoulder tackle but Rush dodges, Sullivan crushes him in the corner, goes for another but Rush dodges again, Rush goes in for an attack but is hit with a massive clothesline and the Freak Accident side slam for the pin.

Well, I was wrong, it lasted longer than a minute. Not by much, but it did. Rush being destroyed here was an appropriate act of comeuppance for him making a bad joke but give him his credit, I haven't seen a crowd get this hopped up by someone just dodging for a long time. Sullivan did his big man thing, it still works.

Post-match Lars is on the mic, he faced opponent after opponent in 2017, sometimes two at once and they all fell, but now he keeps going back to a force he'd never dealt with before but that brings him joy as he wants to destroy, he's going to take Killian Dain and break him like a toy, he grabs Rush, picks him up and hits a top rope Freak Accident on him to make a statement.

Backstage and The Undisputed Era lay out SaNItY or at least the male members. Where's Nikki Cross when you need her?

The Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly) def. Aleister Black & Roderick Strong // Pinfall

Before the match begins, The Era lads are in the ring and looking real smug because SaNItY aren't there to take their rematch after Cole & The Gang 'kicked the chaos out of them' and promised to do so to anyone who opposed them, before Cole can finish, out comes Nikki Cross who tries to murder everyone while two referees really fail to hold her back effectively, Cole says 'as I was saying...' but before he can finish, out comes Regal to announce that they will still have a tag title match tonight and, but before Regal can finish, out comes Roderick Strong to announce he'd fight them and that he's going to go backstage and, but before he can finish, out comes Aleister Black to announce he'll team up with him, they nod at each other and charge the ring, laying into Fish and O'Reilly as Cole flees just before Black kicks Fish out of the ring and into the ad-break, back from the break and the match proper starts, Black and O'Reilly start as Fish comes in and both members of the era take all the kicks, O'Reilly tries to go for kicks of his own but Black has All The Kicks and throws in some Muay Thai strikes and a knee for a 2, O'Reilly rolls out to recuperate but a wrecking ball dropkick from Strong takes them both out and he rolls O'Reilly back in and straight into an O'Conner roll for a 2, Black is straight onto the arm wrench, Pulled arm-first to the corner and a tag to Strong as O'Reilly is whipped into a single leg dropkick for a 2, Strong hits chops and a backbreaker for a 2, O'Reilly goes to escape but is pulled back again for a tag to Black who immediately goes for yet more kicks but O'Reilly dodges to the apron, Black follows but O'Reilly dodges back again, before Black can follow, his leg is swept by Fish onto the floor and into the second break, back again and Fish and O'Reilly are working quick tags, wearing down Black with a nice near fall off a modified figure-four/slingshot senton combo, Black goes to escape but O'Reilly leaps on him and just hits a shit ton of palm strikes, tag to Fish as O'Reilly runs at Strong knocking him off the apron, both men hit corner forearms on Black and an exploder suplex from Fish gets another good near fall, Fish immediately applies a cravat chinlock but Black elbows out, he's whipped to the ropes but on the rebound gets a sunset flip for a 2, and his back up, dropping Fish with a high knee, this gives Black the breathing room to get a tag, Strong bursts out hitting forearms and dropkicks, there's a lovely spot where he keeps throwing O'Reilly into Fish before chopping him on the rebound repearedtly before he hits a backbreaker on O'Reilly and a belly-to-belly on Fish and a high knee on O'Reilly but Fish breaks the pin, Strong throws Fish out and O'Reilly is back up with a roundhouse but Strong responds with another knee, Black crushes Fish outside and rolls him back in, he goes to follow but Cole pulls him out, Black doesn't like this and chases Cole up the steps but this leaves Strong alone in the ring with two men who hit Total Elimination for the pin.

This was a fun, little match with both teams working hard to pack a lot of content in. It's impressive considering common storytelling logic that Black and Strong were so good that I even thought they might pull it off and walk away with the titles. If I had to criticise the match, I did feel that it was a little too rushed, taking some of the drama and emotion out of proceedings as clearly, it was a lot of set-up for Black and Cole to have another match (and with a Number One Contender's match next week, it would seem odd to have a quick title change so soon before a TakeOver) but as an event in itself, still a lot of fun.

Post-match, Black comes back in and kicks away at the Era but Cole posts him, the three men hold down and batter Black with Cole hitting a shining wizard onto Black before using his foot to lift Black like Black does, Fish and O'Reilly hit another Total Elimination and Cole hits Last Shot onto a chair. Out comes Regal again who has really had enough of this shit for one day and announces that with Philidelphia's extreme history, there'll be a match between Aleister Black and Adam Cole at TakeOver: Philidelphia, and it will be Extreme Rules.

On The YouTubes

Lio Rush has had a lot of time to think since not being ready for everyone's response to his Asuka joke and now that he's come back and still losing, he's got a lot of re-evaluating to do...

Papa Hunter talks about meeting Dusty Rhodes for the first time at the venue we came to you from tonight.

William Regal checks on Black as he's helped to his feet, the audience gives him an ovation as he walks to the back.

Dakota Kai talks about how she's feeling after her match with Shayna Baszler. Not great, Bob.


A good, entertaining start to the new year over here on the developmental brand. Not by any means a standout episode as everything was good but nothing was great but with some strong character work, especially by Baszler and Dream, 2018's looking good over here. The future's bright everyone and the future's not just now, the future's yellow.

Article By Jozef Raczka (@NotJozefRaczka)

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

WWE SmackDown Live 959 Review // 2nd January 2018 // AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn

It was the first SmackDown of 2018, so it was bound to be freaking amazing, right? WWE lined up a main event featuring WWE Champion AJ Styles taking on Sami Zayn whilst Kevin Owens, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan hung out at ringside. The episode also saw the return of Becky Lynch, as she joined SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair and Naomi in confronting The Riott Squad, following their match with The Welcoming Committee. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable, Xavier Woods, The Bludgeon Brother, Breezango and The Usos were all also featured. 

Let's talk a look, pals and see how it all went down at the Amway Center in Orlando.

AJ Styles called out Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon
Sami Zayn def. AJ Styles // Pinfall

Rightio, this storyline is getting old already and following how the show ended I'm not sure that it can recover. More on that in a moment. Firstly, lets talk about the opening segment, as AJ Styles kicked the show off, before being joined by General Manager Daniel Bryan and Commissioner Shane McMahon. This was a convoluted way of getting Bryan and McMahon to be ringside for the main event between AJ Styles and Sami Zayn later on. McMahon was worried that Bryan would allow Kevin Owens to be ringside for the match, so instead of just banning Owens from ringside himself (because he's Bryan's boss and surely that means Bryan can't overturn his decisions), McMahon said he'd be at ringside and Bryan said he'd be there too. The only thing that I kinda dug about the segment was McMahon asking Bryan a question and then cutting off the answer by saying "I wasn't finished talking", because I thought it was a cool way to show the development in their relationship and actually showed a little bit of thought behind it. 

I think my main issue with this storyline is that it is being hilariously over-booked for the wrestler that are actually involved directly in it. AJ Styles and Sami Zayn have the ability to put on a really good television match (see their April 2016 RAW match for details), whilst also having the ability to carry an interesting storyline. With Kevin Owens thrown into the mix, this should be a no-brainer. Yet, the match ended up being just alright, showing flashes of what the pair can do together, but being constantly undermined by whatever is going on between Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan at ringside meant that they didn't get reach even half of the level that you would expect. A couple of nice near falls for each man and great little sequence with Zayn getting caught in the Calf Crusher after Styles ducked a Helluva Kick meant that this wasn't a complete waste of time, however. The finish featured much fannying around as McMahon tried to get Owens removed from ringside and Bryan tried to do the same to Shane, before Zayn picked up the win with a Helluva Kick after Styles had knocked Owens off the apron. I was pretty buzzed that Zayn had picked up such a big win, but man, the finish was lame. 

The post-match stuff somehow manage to get more over-complicated. A furious Styles got the mic and demanded a match with both Owens and Zayn, with Bryan booking a Handicap match for the Royal Rumble, with the WWE Championship on the line. Like what is happening here? Has Bryan turned heel now? He was pretty buzzing to book the match and then started yesing like fuck all over the announce table. Who thought this was a good idea? Is this happening? Surely, Shane is the villain here? Why are we having this feud at all? I have so many questions and not in a "Man, I can't wait to find out the answer to these questions on next week's SmackDown LIVE" kind of way. Less of this please.

Ruby Riott & Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan def. Natalya & Carmella & Tamina // Pinfall 
Becky Lynch returned alongside Charlotte Flair & Naomi 

Before the return of Becky Lynch, the Riott Squad vs. The Welcoming Commitee featured some more confusing booking, as it played out in front of a dead crowd. I suppose the match itself wasn't that confusing, but more the fact it was taking place in the first place, without any clear character shift for either Natalya, Carmella or Tamina. Two heel trios facing off didn't really do anything for anyone and I quickly found myself drifting from the contest, especially when it continued through the commercials (American adverts are very distracting). There was a nice exchange between Liv Morgan and Natalya at the very beginning and Sarah Logan's new Kentucky Knee finisher is pretty sweet as well. Having a three person faction with such a small roster doesn't seem to be conducive to varied television on either SmackDown or RAW at the moment. 

The segment that came after the match was definitely a step upwards as Ruby Riott and Charlotte Flair cut two solid promos, before Becky Lynch made her first appearance since getting crushed by a door on 20th November. After seeing Logan and Morgan stumble through promos in previous weeks, it was certainly a wise decision to keep the mic in Riott's hands here and she ended up doing a good job. Riott bought a good intensity as she ripped on Orlando and actually made some suspect content about magic seem remotely interesting, before Flair's interruption (sans SmackDown Women's title) bringing out Naomi and then Lynch. Personally, I'm not sure what having Flair, Naomi and Lynch dominate the whole Riott Squad in their first confrontation does for this long-term, because surely the interest is in having Lynch still searching for revenge after the Riott Squad (or at least Riott) dodge the attack, but it was still a fun watch.

SmackDown Tag Team Championship // Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso (C) def. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable // Pinfall

The first SmackDown title match of the year, followed the pattern of having questionable booking as we saw a dusty finish between The Usos and Benjamin & Gable. The thing here is that the first part of the match was actually very good, full of energy and with a shocking conclusion, because of the sheer dominance of the challengers. Benjamin and Gable continued to impress here and we didn't even see Gable pull out any Chaos Theories! The opening got the crowd pumped as Benjamin jumped up to meet an Uso on the top rope and nail a throw, before Gable nailed a moonsault for an early near fall. A lot of the action took place during the break with Benjamin & Gable working the leg and then when we came back it was straight into one of those wicked Uso hot tags. The spirited hot tag being cut off with one Uso getting thrown shoulder first into the barricade, followed by the other taking the Powerbomb/Double clothesline combination for the pinfall. It was refreshing to see such a major swerve from the regular format and also to see such a dominant win. I was considering the possibilities for the next few weeks as The Usos, who have previously been presented as the best tag team in WWE, looked to regain the belts and recover from being run over by a relatively new tag team. But then...

Basically, the pinfall happened between the two illegal competitors (which makes Benjamin look a little dim for not knowing he was the legal man) and then after an awkward moment with another referee coming out, the match restarted. The rest of the match was fine, there was absolutely nothing wrong with it, but it just wasn't the same. The energy wasn't quite there, my excitement had kind died down thanks to the whole restart angle. The actual finish was pretty cool with whichever Uso it was managing to block Benjamin & Gable's finisher by dropping down into a rana position from the powerbomb, leading to Gable jumping straight into a superkick from the other Uso, before multiple superkicks and a Superfly Splash meant the Usos held onto the belt. I guess that Benjamin & Gable's decisive victory first time around will mean that we'll get another title match between the two teams, that will hopefully keep things simple. 

United States Championship Tournament // First Round // Xavier Woods def. Aiden English // Pinfall 

This clash was probably my favourite of the night, mostly due to it's lack of shenanigans, which considering Big E, Kofi Kingston and Rusev were at ringside for the entirety is pretty impressive. The match was a little short, but English and Woods worked a good pace from the off and included a few creative spots that helped the contest stand out. The opening back and forth section was very well put together as the pair slickly exchanged a number of holds, whilst the handful of spots on the outside, highlighted by Woods colliding with the steps after missing an Honor Roll, made for a delightful first few minutes. A near fall a piece, including a lovely Torture Rack backbreaker from Woods, kept the good times coming, before Woods picked up the win after escaping a potential avalanche piledriver with a back body drop and nailing Limit Break for the victory. Following this contest, I'm pretty sure Woods and English are two of the more underrated singles guys in WWE, right now. To top things off we also got Rusev singing before the match, which was wonderful.

Also this week...Bludgeon Brothers vs. Breezango didn't happen because Harper & Rowan started beating up Fandango & Tyler Breeze before the bout and then battered The Ascension as well after they tried to help...The commentary team did rundown of the Royal Rumble card so far, which seemed a little early, but whatever...Baron Corbin revealed that he'll be participating in the Men's Royal Rumble...Former Basketball player Karl Malone was shown in the crowd...


The first SmackDown of 2018 wasn't a great one, for me. This was mostly down to some weak booking and ongoing storylines that just seem unnecessary. Daniel Bryan's supposed heel turn is baffling, an all heel trios match struggled to hold the attention and whilst the dusty finish in the Tag Team title match wasn't awful, it wasn't as good as the first part of the match on it's own would've been! There were some positives though with Aiden English and Xavier Woods having a fun and creative bout and Becky Lynch's return helping keep the show's head above water. 

Review by James Marston (@IAmNotAlanDale)

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

WWE Monday Night RAW 1284 Review // 1st January 2018 // Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe

It's Two Thousand and Eighteen, lads. New Year's Day brought us the first Monday Night RAW of the year and WWE put together an intriguing card for the American Airlines Center in Miami. After Roman Reigns got disqualified in an Intercontinental Championship match with Samoa Joe on Christmas Day, this week saw Reigns put the belt on the line once again in the main event, with the caveat being that if the Big Dog was disqualified he'd forfeit his title. Newly-crowned RAW Tag Team Champion Jason Jordan battled former champ Cesaro and the undefeated Asuka collided with RAW Women's Champion Alexa Bliss in a fascinatingly poised non-title clash, whilst General Manager Kurt Angle, Kane, Universal Champion Brock Lesnar, RAW Tag Team Champion Seth Rollins and "Woken" Matt Hardy also made appearances. 

Did we learn anything about the direction of WWE's product for the upcoming trip round the Sun? Let's take a look, ATPDubbers. 

Intercontinental Championship // Roman Reigns (C) def. Samoa Joe // Pinfall 

This week's main event received some heavy build across the opening two hours, with a lengthy hype package (especially for a TV bout), as well as three backstage segments. The hype vid was your regular look at the history of the feud, focusing on Joe's attack on Reign's Shield partner Dean Ambrose, as well as the DQ finish to their encounter last week. I thought the backstage stuff was done well, with the two interviews having some real impact and punch behind them. Reigns looked confident and assured on the microphone (something he seems to have gotten much more comfortable with since the John Cena feud last September), but Joe's promo was utter fire. Joe spitting his words out with a throw back intensity and general bad-assery was just perfect, the kind of thing that makes you wanna see two big lads throw each other around. The line about turning Dean Ambrose into a "stay-at-home husband" whilst being interviewed by Ambrose's real-life wife, Renee Young, got a gorgeous reaction from Miami, with Young selling the comment just right too. Joe has been almost untouchable on the microphone recently. 

The title match was an enjoyable heavyweight collision between two opponents who have become increasingly familiar with each other over the last 11 months. Joe's intense and fiery beatdown from the bell gave the match a real sense of urgency that helped it hold it's sizeable television time and also featured as a driving force for the bout's main narrative. That being that if Reigns was disqualified then he'd lose the title. This stipulation has been used many a time over the years and can often come across as a little lame, with a handful of worn-out spots. Luckily, I didn't get that feeling here, as Joe just seemed determined to rile up the champion as much as possible, playing on the emotional reaction we saw from Roman last week. The only moment that felt a little laboured was Reigns clattering into the referee after a push from Joe, as Reigns pleading with the ref not to disqualify him, and all that went with it, was a bit too pantomimey for my tastes. That being said, it did help create some needed drama down the stretch and the crowd seemed to go for it. 

The highlight of the match was Joe locking in the Coquina Clutch in the middle of a fire-up from Reigns, because it got an amazing reaction from the Miami audience. At that point it felt like the crowd were super ready to see Joe take the Intercontinental title and I'm sure it would've got an even bigger reaction had he managed to grab the title from Reigns. However, after Reigns slipped out of the move and won a few minutes later with a spear, it seems like we're well on the road to another WrestleMania title challenge for the Big Dog (and surely a FOURTH main event in a row), as Joe was only one of two men Reigns hadn't  been able to best this year (The other being Kevin Owens if you were wondering). Where does this leave Joe on the Road to WrestleMania? There's the obvious Dean Ambrose collision on the horizon, whenever he's back, I suppose. 

Jason Jordan def. Cesaro // Pinfall

This match would come about in a frankly confusing opening segment. It began with Kurt Angle announcing the rules for the Women's Royal Rumble match (They're the same as the Men's) and then concluded with Angle booking Jason Jordan vs. Cesaro. Why on earth weren't ANY women involved in the announcement of the rules? This was perhaps a worse move than having Stephanie McMahon the star of the original match announcement...BECAUSE THERE WERE NO WOMEN INVOLVED AND THEN SOME MEN INTERRUPTED THE ANNOUNCEMENT! It's not hard guys. The rest of the segment was super wordy and mostly focused on Cesaro and Sheamus accusing Angle of "favourtism" towards Jordan  and then Jordan looking like a dork and getting booed. Surely, the match that followed up between Jordan and Cesaro would pick things up a notch? 

Actually, yeah, it did. Whilst the crowd weren't particularly paying attention, The Swiss Superman and Chad Gable's former pal wrestled a lovely television match, with a good story that played out nicely across it's ten minutes or so on-screen. The idea that Seth Rollins wasn't really into helping out his fellow Tag Team Champion at ringside, whilst Sheamus' constant interference on the outside allowed Cesaro to control the majority of the match was made clear early on. Whilst Rollins could've been more involved in lifting the crowd, his presence served the storyline well. Now, let's talk about Jason Jordan's selling...because it was sublime here. Cesaro worked the left leg after a distraction aided chop block and from that moment onwards the injury was kept firmly in view as Jordan hobbled through the match, struggled to hit certain moves and even had to use a one-legged bridge after a Northern Lights suplex. It's a shame that Jordan was lumbered with the gimmick of being Kurt Angle's son, because without it he actually has real potential as a babyface. Bringing the story full-circle, Rollins finally came to Jordan's aid, taking out Sheamus at ringside, giving Jordan the chance to hit his as yet unnamed belly-to-back suplex dropped into an elevated neckbreaker finish and only for JJ to completely ignore The Kingslayer after the match!  

Asuka def. Alexa Bliss // Submission

Whilst the women didn't get the chance to be involved in the announcement of the rules for their Royal Rumble match, Asuka and Alexa Bliss were involved in one of the feature bouts of the evening, getting a good deal of time. Completing a hat-trick of good upper card matches, this was another contest with a great story, that played into the strengths of the performers and made Asuka look like a boss without doing a massive deal of harm to Bliss or the RAW Women's Championship in the process. We'd seen earlier in the show that Bliss was doing anything she could to get out of the match or to find some kind of advantage with Kurt Angle and then Nia Jax refusing to offer their help (Jax was taking some soup to Enzo Amore in hospital, because why the fuck wouldn't she be?), so Bliss stalling repeatedly and then clawing her way into the contest, using a modified bow and arrow on the ringpost made perfect sense. It was a shame that Asuka's comeback featured some of the worst looking dropkicks I've ever seen. I'm not quite sure what was wrong with them, but Bliss seemed to be taking the move in a way that I've never seen it taken before and it took a bit of wind out of the sails for me. Of course, the Empress of Tomorrow would get the win with an armbar, but Bliss looked credible in defeat, lasting longer than anyone has on RAW. But what exactly happens next? If Asuka doesn't automatically get a title shot, then there needs to be a damn good reason why found over the three weeks moving towards the Royal Rumble. 

Finn Balor, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson def. Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel & Elias // Pinfall

For the first time since April 2014 in Tokyo, Finn Balor tagged with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson and whilst the match was a straight squash, that didn't stop it being a cool moment, that popped the smarks amongst us good and proper. Gallows and Anderson looked reinvigorated as babyfaces, with Anderson even pulling out a slingshot dive to the floor in the closing stages. They've now got the opportunity to really run with their "Nerds" catchphrase for a little while, before an inevitable contest with The Shield. It was a shame that before we got to the match we had a piss-poor concert segment with Elias and The Miztourage. I thought the idea of Elias was that he's actually not that bad at playing his guitar and singing and that, but he just says dickhead-ish things about wherever he is and looks like a hipster twat. This weird Auld Lang Syne parody with cow bells and those bells that come on sticks veered more into the Jillian Hall territory. This is surely more likely to cause people to switch over, rather than give a shit about seeing them get beaten up.

Kane attacked Brock Lesnar 

I was pretty indifferent about the show-closing segment. I'm pretty indifferent about the match it's promoting. Paul Heyman's promo about Lesnar being able to beat everyone in the Royal Rumble in one go was a little odd, but mostly Heyman's usual intensity and vigour was there, so it ended up decent. Kane coming out and just chokeslamming Lesnar was a decent interaction, I suppose. Lesnar sitting up and laughing directly afterwards was a fun call back to THAT WrestleMania match with The Undertaker, who we all know is Kane's brother, so that was decent. Then they had a bit of a scrap and some lower card lads came out to stop it going too far and someone doing the other a mischief, which whilst a little confusing, was in it's own way...decent. To be quite honest, I'm still trying to work out what Kane's doing in a World (Universal) title match in 2018. 

Bray Wyatt def. Apollo Crews // Pinfall

This match made me smile for the sole reason that it was the longest match that Apollo Crews has EVER had since moving to the main roster in April 2016. I mean, it was only just over ten minutes (with some taken up by an ad break), but we got to see Crews actually use some of the offence that makes him stand out, so that's a start right? For me, this competitive match did much more for Wyatt than a 2 or three minute squash would've done, as we were allowed to see him take a bit of a beating, as an impressive 17 stone bloke pulled out Standing Shooting Stars and moonsaults off the apron, only to almost brush it off in the conclusion, rebuffing a spin-out powerbomb and nailing a snap Sister Abigail to seal the victory. I could've done without the Dana Brooke falling off the apron spot though, because it did absolutely nothing for the match or anyone involved. I'm not sure what was dafter about the post-match antics, Matt Hardy turning up on the screen and then the image of him multiplying in the same space or Wyatt acting like he was scared of the editorial wizard in the production booth. This was certainly the weakest part of the "Woken" angle so far. 

Goldust & Cedric Alexander def. Drew Gulak & Ariya Daivari

Because Enzo Amore ended up in hospital with the flu, we didn't get to see Cedric Alexander get his advertised Cruiserweight Championship match...instead we got Goldust. Google says Goldust in 260 lbs and who am I to argue with Google. Goldust is 260 lbs. I understand the logic behind putting the character in there with a Cruiserweight division that has struggled to grab the audience (mostly down to awkward and inconsistent booking), as Goldust is a well-loved veteran, whose name may encourage a few extra clicks on the YouTube video. But I'm not exactly sure how this helps anyone in the long-term (or even beyond Wednesday afternoon tbqh). I don't remember Goldie even taking any offence here. He got the hot tag after a minute or so and then Alexander pinned Gulak with a Lumbar Check, after some admittedly cool interplay between Goldust and Alexander as partners. I guess, there's the element of Alexander getting a rub off of tagging with Goldust and being endorsed by a future Hall of Famer, but on the flip side two of the three 205 Live competitors to appear on the show ended up looking like complete chumps. 

Braun Strowman def. Rhyno // Pinfall

This was a magnificent moment. ICYMI - Braun Strowman just kept powerslamming Rhyno and Heath Slater. There was a match, but it's inconsequential when put up against what followed with all the powerslams and that. Strowman did some slamming, his music would play, either Slater or Rhyno would move a toe and then Strowman would slam them again. The crowd was hot as shit for it, I was chuckling my little titties off and my Dad was looking on confused as he tried to take the lights off our plastic Christmas tree. 

Also this week...Whilst a jazzy Auld Lang Syne played in the background, we heard from Bayley then Sasha Banks and then Paige, Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville of Absolution on why they're gonna win the Women's Royal Rumble...There was a look at DX Invasion of WCW from April 1998 (because some people hadn't heard about that yet)... We learnt The Miz will be returning next week on RAW... Booker T potentially died when trying to discuss the Universal Championship match at the Royal Rumble... 


All in all I thought this was a pretty good way to start the year for the red brand. Yeah, there was some baffling moments like the opening segment, whatever Matt Hardy was supposed to be doing on the tron and Goldust rocking up in the Cruiserweight division. But if you haven't realised you aren't going to like everything on a three hour RAW yet then you're gonna be a pretty miserable person. The three uppercard matches delivered and all told dynamic and different stories, plus we got Finn Balor tagging with Gallows & Anderson, a decent length Apollo Crews match and Braun Strowman powerslamming Heath Slater and Rhyno to death. That's a solid enough haul to keep me happy for this week.

LPW Halloween Bash 2017 [DVD] Review // 28th October 2017 // Henry Winter vs. The Golden Cobra vs. Mustafa Khan

Disclaimer: ATPW Editor James Marston asked Adam Bowler if he would like to take part in an interview to discuss some of the points raised by Marc Pearson in the following review, in an attempt to present as balanced a view as possible. This would've been a chance for Mr. Bowler to either dispute any criticism found below or to talk about the future changes he's planning to make to his product after reading Mr. Pearson's words. Mr. Bowler refused the offer. He mentioned something about Mr. Marston getting his "fifteen minutes of fame", before sending this on Christmas Day..."WHGO THE HELL DO U THINK U R NOW I DO NOT GIVE PERMISSION FOR THE REVIEW #". Whatevs. Here's the freaking review, kids. Buckle up, Teddy, because it's the Halloween Bash and I've a feeling we're in a for a bumpy ride.

Leeds Professional Wrestling are a funny one. Formed in Leeds in 2011 by Adam Bowler, they have been a laughing stock in the British wrestling scene pretty much ever since. Despite Britwres being on a serious high right now they don’t seem to be able to attract the audience share that other Yorkshire based promotions such as RISE and Tidal have captured. Legends of less than 50 paying customers seem to come up time and again along with fights with talent, missing title belts and rows with literally every other promoter in the country, from PCW’s Steven Fludder to Southside’s Ben Auld to his latest falling out with Ricky Knight, Adam manages to piss of fans, promoters and, well, just about everyone to be honest.

Which I’m sure makes you wonder why I’m reviewing this show. I should state for the record here that I’m not a friend of Adam’s, having been blocked by him precisely 4 times so far, nor do I work for LPW. Adam asked me to do a DVD review of one of his shows, and an interview for this fair site, so I figured that seen as I’ve never actually seen one of his shows I’d give it a shot.

But, being Mr Bowler, there was a snag. It took 2 MONTHS for the DVD in question to arrive. Now for a company who draws such low figures one would think that some free publicity would be top priority, but that friends would be logical thinking. Something Adam doesn’t seem capable of!

“IT'S A NEW clean professional slate for LPW. New everything Rebranding”

His words not mine folks!

First impression doesn’t amount to much as my name is spelt incorrectly on the envelope! Then when I take the DVD out of the envelope the DVD box doesn’t have a front cover so looks bargain basement as it can get, not the best start for the new “professional” LPW! I asked Adam about this and he informed me that his talent had “kicked off for no reason” about being on the cover. More people Adam has angered I’m sure. Not the first time this has happened, check out the awesome cover of LPW Nemesis 2015!!!

Onto the show then...

IT’S THE 28th of October 2017 and we are live at the Stanningly Rugby Club in Leeds with roughly 30 people on hand to see not one, not two but THREE new champions crowned, Adam obviously not a believer in the less is more theory. I’m later told that we NEED a new LPW Champion and Cruiserweight champion after Adams falling out with the Knights means that he is not allowed to use their talent!

The show starts with SOME GUY coming to the ring, I say some guy because there’s no graphic on the screen to say who it is! My backyard wrestling promotion in 2009 had on screen graphics but Adam either can’t make them or can’t be bothered to add them, as a first-time viewer it would be very helpful to know who each man is though. Whoever he is he comes out to utter indifference, I mean complete silence. He cuts a promo about Ross Pointon, who then comes to the ring, the guy (Francis Darwin as I later find out) rips on Pointon who is apparently an MMA fighter until Pointon shoves Darwin, to silence. Pointon then cuts a promo, to silence, which finishes with silence. Its like the crowd (I use that word very lightly as there can’t be more than 30 people there including the bored looking bar staff) have never been to a wrestling show before so don’t know how to react!

Onto the matches…

Gareth Angel vs. Danny Steel vs. Caz Crash for the new LPW Cruiserweight Cup

Clearly, I’m missing something here because at the previous show, LPW High Voltage, PJ Knight won a tournament to become the first Cruiserweight Cup winner, yet here tonight we are getting a 3 way to crown a new champion! What happened to PJ Knight? We are never told!

I thought this was a 4 way as there was a guy already in the ring, turns out he’s the ref! For some reason the ring announcer announces each man then their music plays, then Crash and Steel come out to the same music which is odd, they could be a tag team but with no match graphic or information from the commentators we have no idea! Match is actually decent with Angel as the heel, Steel as the face and Crash as the tweener. It’s the type of match that I bet in front of a decent crowd would be good but its painful how little noise there is until late into the match when Steel gets some clapping going. Crash hits an RKO to get the win in around 11 minutes. I would have put this on first then had the Pointon/Darwin confrontation but that’s just me.

Brooklyn vs. Felicia – Women’s Championship Qualifying Match

So, the British Championship match and the Cruiserweight Cup are just stand alone matches but the women’s championship gets its own mini tournament, because of reasons. 

Commentators don’t say why, there’s nothing I can find online to explain it, it just is. Judging by her attitude Brooklyn has recently turned heel. Seemingly indifferent to the match at hand. Felicia is a cat apparently, different if nothing else. She’s got a lovely Northern Lights suplex and a sweet swinging neck breaker finisher which only gets 2, to silence. Brooklyn wins with what she calls the Brooklyn Bridge, it’s a weird cross arm submission that looks like it has no pressure on it at all and the crowd groan. The ring announcer then asks for a round of applause for Brooklyn, when the crowd boo she says, “aw, no need to be like that”, who the hell is this woman? She’s the absolute drizzling shits!

Alfie Rogue vs. Athena Furie – Women’s Championship Qualifying Match

Alfie Rogue looks like she would rather be ANYWHERE but here, actually looking bored and nervous at the same time. She has no facials in the match and zero crowd interaction! Ooo Furie has a Roman helmet with her and different coloured eyes, that’s different. She shouts a lot but its an intensity that has been lacking so far on the show, and it means she gets the “crowd” to cheer for Rogue. Match is back and forth with Furie working the arm of Rogue. Rogue gets the win when Furie misses a swanton bomb enabling Rogue to hit a spear for the 3. Rogue vs. Brooklyn in the finals. Personally, I would have preferred Furie vs. Felicia but that’s just me. Ok match.

At this point I pause the show and I ask Adam a few questions regarding his booking ideas, and he asks me to work for LPW and try and convince Steven Fludder, Ben Auld and “that promotion you work for” (no idea) to help Adam with his shows, I point blankly refuse as there is nothing that Adam could offer me that would make me want to work for him and I can just imagine what these promoters (and the one who I apparently work for) would say! I guess this is why I was asked for the DVD review and interview!

Andrew Jepson vs. Rex Savage – Number One Contender Match

Bugger me, Savage gets a reaction when he comes out, he interacts with the crowd and everything, meaning there’s more noise in the first moments of the match than the rest of the show so far! Both men are big so it’s a hard hitting, slow paced power match. But as said, the noise that Savage brings from the “crowd” means it not that bad, its not great but its certainly ok. Jepson controls with suplexes, he cuts off Savage anytime he gets anything going, BUT, when he’s on offence the silence descends on the “crowd”, it reinforces my belief that is not a wrestling crowd. They perk up though when Savage starts his comeback, hits a spear on the outside then, in the ring, counters a butterfly suplex and hits a running powerslam for the win. Best match of the show so far.

I just have to show you guys this as it made me smile, there was a raffle at the show and I’m seriously jealous of that main prize, a bottle of win! Made better by Adam repeating this throughout the post of the UKFF, a website that Adam seems to have a major obsession with. 

IF he put half the effort he does into arguing with people on the UKFF into promoting his shows I’m positive that he would draw more people. His December 2017 show drew precisely 6 people, one of which was from the UKFF, and he didn’t pay to get in!

Jayrow vs. Francis Darwin – LPW British Championship – Ross Pointon is Guest Enforcer

This match is to crown the first ever LPW British Champion. No, we don’t know what the difference between the LPW Championship and the LPW British Championship, I asked Adam and he responded that “it’s like the Intercontinal (sic) and the heavyweight title if that makes sense“, it would Adam if you’re company was large enough to sustain 2 titles, but you already have a main title and a Cruiserweight Cup, so adding a third title waters down the other 2!

As stated I don’t understand why the Women’s title gets a tournament and this new championship doesn’t! A few minutes in, Ross Pointon leg sweeps Darwin, for no reason, wasn’t provoked or anything like that, just did it! Anyway, Darwin is seriously intense, using suplexes, strikes and submissions (that’s a great catch phrase isn’t it) until Pointon puts one of Jayrows feet on the ropes! So Pointon is acting like a heel but is a face? That’s so very confusing! BUT ITS NOTHING to the WOEFUL finish of this match. Darwin gets in Pointon’s face about his actions, but before they can come to blows Rex Savage and SOME GUY in a mask come out to stop them, they hold onto Darwin, so he can’t get to Pointon, but by holding onto him it means the ref counts him out giving the win and the new championship to Jayrow! The first few minutes of in ring here were good but holy shit that’s probably the worst finish to a match I’ve seen this year, and I saw Martina beat Damian Dunne after shooting him in the head, WITH A TOY GUN! This was so much worse and made both men look like utter losers. Pointon acts like a heel manager on the outside yet we, the fans, are meant to cheer him. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE, BECAUSE AFTER THE MATCH, JAYROW ACTS LIKE A HEEL, REFUSING TO HIGH FIVE THE GUYS IN THE FRONT ROW, I'M SO CONFUSED NOW, WAS DARWIN A FACE?

I asked Mr. Bowler about this match and why it was booked in this way, his response was “I don’t need to explain stuff for a review it’s about 1 show”

In the same conversation Adam started telling about the main event of this show, saying he didn’t know what he was thinking booking one of the participants, we’ll have to see if we can guess which one!

Alfie Rogue Vs Brooklyn – LPW Women’s Championship Final

The terrible MC gets the ref to hold up the belt saying, “it’s a nice belt” to which one of the commentators says, “it’s from Topman”, that made me smile WAY more than it should but after the garbage of the last match I needed something to cheer me up. Brooklyn looks just as uninterested in this one as her first match, Rogue manages to look even less interested if that’s possible! Only highlight of this match is a nice falcon arrow by Rogue, the rest of it is stiff and disjointed. Brooklyn wins when Athena Fury comes out and distracts Rogue allowing Brooklyn to get a roll up, not holding the tights or anything like that, just a plain bog standard roll up. Two screwy finishes in a row, maybe Mr Bowler is a fan of Vince Russo who know, I’ve lost the will to live or ever watch wrestling ever again by this point!

But hey, don’t take my word for it on this one, this whole match (all 4 minutes of it) is on YouTube if you want to see for yourselves what it, the venue, the lack of people (quoted as 50 by Mr Bowler, you be the judge) and the WOEFUL MC are like! 

Henry Winter vs. The Golden Cobra vs. Mustafa Khan – LPW Championship Match

Adding to an already confusing card is two men who were advertised for the show not being here. This match was advertised as being Paradise vs. Henry Winter vs. Hades vs. The Golden Cobra. As with so many things tonight no mention of this is given on commentary. No mention how these men have got title shots OR why previous champion Bash is no longer the champion either! Oh, and there is 7 minutes left of the DVD for this match so I’m not expecting it to be all that long!

Match is nothing special at all, just mild brawling with some stuff on the outside, the “crowd” pop for a chokeslam by Khan, Winter's manager attacks Cobra enabling Winter to hit a backbreaker for the win in just 5 minutes to utter indifference. TBH I’m struggling to guess which wrestler Mr Bowler referred to as all three were God awful!

And that folks was LPW Halloween Bash 2017

The Good – The commentators were mainly background noise for me, not providing us with much info about WHY the matches were happening or WHY 2 champions had been stripped of their title, but they had some good banter and were not that bad. The PA system was decent, with all the music sounding good and whoever was in charge of said music doing a decent job. Savage vs. Jepson was MOTN, hard hitting back and forth action with Savage trying his absolute hardest to keep the noise level from the “Crowd” as high as possible. The opener had a few good moments!

The BAD – The DVD lacking a cover made it look so cheap. The MC was the worst I’ve heard in 6 years of watching British Wrestling, I don’t know where Adam found her, but I hope for his sake he never uses her again and she was cheap. Who the hell is Ross Pointon and why should I care about him? His fee was a truly massive waste of money yet when I asked Adam about it replied with “lets just say we’ve got something planned”, that suggests that this angle thing is going to go somewhere yet a quick check on LPW’s December 2017 show suggest that not only was Pointon not there but that another MMA fighter (Ian “The Machine” Freeman, whoever he is) no showed the event! Every other match on this show was piss poor, going through the UKFF Adam says time and again that we should go to his shows to see great matches, but I just don’t see them here, screwy finishes that make no sense performed in front of indifferent people mean they are hard to watch, this 90-minute DVD took me 4 sessions to watch!

Adam has stated that not one show in his 6 years of promoting has made any money, his backers, whomever they may be, must have seriously deep pockets to allow him to keep running shows! On the evidence I’ve seen here I’d strongly advise him to stop running and save it to people who know what they are doing, as Adam clearly doesn’t have a clue!

Oh, and I’m waiting for his answers to the questions I posed to him for the interview, that he asked for, in October 2017!

Review by Marc Pearson (@MarcRPearson101)