Thursday, 29 September 2016

Wrestle Ropes Ready for the Weekend: October 2016 Week One - SWE & Source


With another weekend of wrestling ahead of us, British wrestling just continues to move forward. This week we're looking at a couple of Southside Wrestling Entertainment shows, one on Friday in St Neots, Cambridgeshire and another on Saturday in Nottingham, as well as a Source Wrestling School event in Glasgow, also on Saturday. Of course, we also have alternative shows from around the country that this week features shows in Glasgow, Liverpool, so there's certainly a bit of something for everyone as we get Ready for the Weekend! 



Friday night kicks off the wrestling weekend with Southside Wrestling Entertainment hosting the first of five weekend events! This first event entitled Adrenaline Rush shall be held at The Priory Centre in St Neots. As is the norm with SWE, the card is packed with international stars alongside home-grown stars of the UK. 

One match that is the essence of international and domestic is Bubblegum vs Fenix. Bubblegum is one of the finest wrestlers in the UK. Simple as that. Numerous wrestlers name him as an example they wish to follow and learn from while others claim that the best matches they have had in their careers have been with him. He is constantly in the upper echelon of talent in the UK and has held numerous championships in British Wrestling, some on multiple occasions. His opponent, Fenix, is best known on these shores for his time in Lucha Underground where he is one third of the current Trios Champions. Fenix is an exceptionally fast competitor who utilises his Luchador style to perfection. Both of these men will be competing in the Speed King tournament the following day and may meet at some point. This match will give both men an idea of what they'll face should that happen and whoever wins this match, may well take a psychological advantage on any future contests. 

The war between Joseph Conners and El Ligero continues to grow ahead of their championship match on October 29th. Neither man is allowed to touch the other unless it is a competitive match. That being said, both men will meet in a tag team match this Friday. Now another scheduled match this weekend will see the duo of Ligero and Brian Cage face Conners and HC Dyer. Conners wasn't best please at Ligero's choice of partner and when this made it's way to “The Mexican Sensation”, he hit back claiming that he could beat Conners with anyone as his partner. Conners is one of the sharpest minds in wrestling and capitalised on that by challenging El Ligero to let him choose the partner. It was accepted and now Conners has an ace in the hole. We don't know who he will choose but it doesn't take a genius to know that it is unlikely to be someone that will be of aid to Ligero and most certainly will be an aid to Conners. 

Originally SWE had announced that Sami Callihan would be facing Will Ospreay. However due to Ospreay being unable to compete this Friday, this has created an opportunity. That opportunity will be heading to “Smashmouth” Chris Ridgeway who will be filling the void. Now Ridgeway is certainly not here to make up the numbers and he will know that this is a huge opportunity to not only test himself against a world-class calibre wrestler but also to send a message to everyone else. Ridgeway is part of the Speed King tournament this weekend and a win over someone like Callihan would do amazing things for his confidence and mindset. That being said, if Callihan does walk away with the win, it could motivate Ridgeway even more. “Smashmouth” hits hard to begin with, as does his opponent. When Ridgeway has confidence or anger in his mind, he's even more hard hitting.

This Friday will also see Damian Dunne taking on international star Lio Rush while Jessicka Havok is back in SWE where she'll compete against Alex Windsor. In a true international match, New Zealand's Travis Banks and Japan's Kazma Sakamoto will face each other in singles action. And finally, Southside Wrestling always like to have some multiple competitor matches on their shows and Friday will be no different as Chris Tyler, Robbie X, Chris Brookes and Nixon Newell all fight it out in a fatal four-way match in St Neots. 

Tickets Available £10-£25pp

Friday Alternatives 


Glasgow Pro Wrestling Asylum Live in Dennistoun 
Dennistoun, Glasgow 
Feat - Jack Jester v Lionheart
Tickets Available - £6-£10pp

 Britannia Wrestling Promotions Scouser Series 
Liverpool
Feat - Don Meacho v The Babyfaced Pitbull


Saturday shall see Source Wrestling School's second event in Bridgeton, Glasgow at the Bridgeton Community Centre. The first event they held their was a huge success with a loud crowd packed in the building. This Saturday's event look to be a repeat of that based on the matches that have been a announced so far. 

This weekend has a special extra layer as the president of All Japan Pro Wrestling, Atsushi Aoki shall be competing in Bridgeton as well as Source Wrestling School's other event in Govan on the Sunday. On the Saturday, Aoki will be facing one of the top heavyweight wrestlers in Europe in the shape of “Iron Man” Joe Coffey. Aoki will bring his experience of competing for over a decade in a true test for Coffey. While obviously a test, Coffey shall have an idea what to expect this Saturday as he has spent time in Japan himself and faced a number of competitors during that time. Aoki has not been in the UK for over 5 years and there is no indication of when or if he ever will return again. Matches like this are few and far between which makes them even more unmissable to wrestling fans. 

Tag team wrestling or more precisely tag teams are on fire right now in the UK. One of the top regarded teams in the UK if not Europe are the duo of Jackie Polo and Mark Coffey, better known as Polo Promotions. Now both of these men had success as singles competitors before joining together, but their success as a team has been even greater. Their opponents this Saturday in Bridgeton have had a similar beginning. Lewis Girvan and Aspen Faith are two of the finest young wrestlers in Scotland today. In fact scrap that, they're two of the finest young wrestling in Britain today! While they are known, the feel they aren't taken as seriously as they should be and have decided to join forces and form The Kings Of Catch. Now all four of these men are proven in the ring. They're all great individually. They're just as good as teams. Put both of those teams together in one match and we could have a match we're talking about for a long time after this weekend. Polo Promotions have proven themselves as one of the best team today. They've got the accolades to back it up. The K.o.C. may be new to the tag team circuit but Polo Promotions will know the quality that faces them. They'll probably see parts of themselves when they first began as a team in this new duo of Girvan and Faith. If Polo Promotions win, they'll prove again why they have their reputation. If The K.o.C. pick up the victory, they'll make a statement right out the gate that they're here to make people pay attention. 

Source are not only producing some of the best new wrestlers in Scotland right now but they're also showcasing some of the most promising talent in the UK. The match between Ryan Griffin and Danny Jones is a prime example of that. Griffin is a Source graduate who now holds the SWA Junior Heavyweight Championship with a reign of over 500 days. He's continued to improve and evolve his craft since his debut a few years ago. His opponent, Jones hails from South Wales and is a graduate of the Dragon Pro Wrestling Academy. He's been competing for a number of years under a number of guises but now he stands simple as himself. Jones is a quick moving, very entertaining wrestler to watch, much like  Griffin. These two men have never met in a match yet they do share a number of similar traits. This match encapsulates one of the Source Wrestling School's greatest positives. It's bringing two young, hungry, talented wrestlers together to let us the fans see what the near future holds for British Wrestling.

Also scheduled so far for Source's event at the Bridgeton Community Centre in Glasgow is a match between two wrestlers from other training schools in Scotland. Glasgow Pro Wrestling Asylum's C.S Rose shall be taking on Premier British Wrestling Academy's Aaron Echo in a match that will mark both men's debut for the Source Wrestling School.

Tickets Available - £6-£10 pp


As their big weekend continues, SWE present two event on Saturday in Nottingham, with Day of Reckoning 12.5 in the afternoon, whilst the show we're focusing on Speed King 2016 is in the evening. This is the fifth incarnation of the junior heavyweight tournament that boasts Marty Scurll, Martin Kirby, Jay Lethal and El Ligero as it's previous winners. The tournament takes the form of six singles matches, leading into a six way scramble to crown the winner. In a break from the norm, I'm going to be assessing the chances of six of the top contenders to the crown! 

Perhaps the favourite to take the crown is Will Ospreay, who has had the biggest year of his career, so far, after breaking into New Japan Pro Wrestling in April and winning Best of the Super Juniors XXIII. He's also reached the final of PWG's Battle of Los Angeles, HOPE's King of Flight and TNA's Joker's Wild, whilst also winning the RevPro British Cruiserweight Championship this year. The reigning Speed King Champion is undefeated in SWE since winning the belt from Andrew Everrett in August. Ospreay kicks off the day with a huge match against Brian Cage, before having a mouth watering clash with Lio Rush in the First Round! With The Aerial Assassins' appearances in the UK becoming sparser over the last few months, this is a rare opportunity to see a performer who has been on the tip of the wrestling world's tongues in 2016. 

Fenix will be making his SWE debut across the weekend, having wowed audiences on Lucha Underground, as well as reaching the Semi-Finals of Battle of Los Angeles this year. The Mexican star has already won the Lucha Underground Trios Title and PDM Light Heavyweight Championship (twice) in 2016 and is looking to make Speed King the centre piece of his debut weekend. He'll have his work cut out for him as he face Stixx on the afternoon show, before rolling on to face Sami Callihan for the second time in just over a month! Another performer who isn't often seen in Europe, let alone the UK, he'll be bringing a style that Nottingham may not be used, but will certainly have them loving the lucha thing on Saturday night! 

It's a big weekend for Martin Kirby, who celebrates his 100th SWE appearance on Sunday, but before that he'll be a major part of Speed King, as he goes up against Robbie X in the First round. Kirby already has a Speed King victory to his name as he defeated the likes of Kay Lee Ray, Ospreay and Pete Dunne to win the tournament in 2014. He's also had a run with SWE Tag Team titles in 2015, whilst winning the HOPE Championship and PCW Tag Team Championship this year and having more tournament success in GBP's Junior Heavyweight Cup in 2015, DPW's Tag Team Title Tournament in 2010-11 and 3CW's Free for All Rumble in 2008. Kirby's familiarity with SWE would have to elevate him to one of the tournament favourites, and his ability to entertain the crowd whilst wrestling a high impact style will make sure that his involvement will must-watch, no matter what. 

The dark horses for the tournament, includes Lio Rush, Mark Haskins and Sami Callihan. In just his third year in the business, Rush has had an incredible 2016, winning ROH's Top Prospect Tournament and MCW's Shane Shamrock Memorial Cup XVI, as well as winning CZW's Wired Championshion on two seperate occassions. Rush also making fan's sit-up and take notice with a breakout match with Jay Lethal at ROH Supercard of Honor X - Night 1, so he'll be looking to captilise on his momentous year, by taking the Speed King title back to Lanham, Maryland. Haskins has been collecting championship gold this year, winning the PROGRESS World Championship, Smash Wrestling Championship, 4FW Junior Heavyweight title and FNW British Championship all within one calendar year. However, he hasn't won a tournament since 2009, and despite tearing it up at the Battle of Los Angeles and all over Europe, Haskins will be looking to show that he can get it done against some of the World's best Junior Heavyweights, when he tackles Stevie Xavier in the First Round. Callihan has been a man on a mission since leaving WWE at the end of 2015, having great matches in PWG and EVOLVE, winning titles in AAW, PWX, FCP and PW 2.0 and getting to the semi-finals of wXw's 16 Carat Gold Tournament. He's arguably the most powerful wrestler in the tournament and will be looking to use that too his advantage, whilst also showing he's got plenty of speed to matches his opponents. 

Matt Cross, Bubblegum, Stevie Xavier, Robbie X, Chris Ridgeway and Chris Tyler complete the field for the tournament, but they certainly won't be there to just make up the numbers! They'll be chances for them to prove that as Cross will go up against Tyler and Bubblegum will tangle with Ridgeway with a win putting them straight into the final! Also on the card, El Ligero teams with Brian Cage to take on Joseph Conners and HC Dyer, whilst Nixon Newell will team with 3 time WWE Women's Champion Melina to face Kay Lee Ray and Alex Windsor. 

Tickets Available - £10-£30 pp

Saturday Alternatives 


Premier British Wrestling Live in Larbert 
Larbet, Falkirk
Feat - Rampage Brown v BT Gunn
Tickets Available - £10-£13 pp

4FW Live in Thatcham 
Thatcham, Berkshire
Tickets Available - £5-£10 pp

Sunday Alternatives 


Southside Wrestling Entertainment Kirbymania
Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Feat - Martin Kirby v El Ligero
Tickets Available - £8-£18 pp

International Pro Wrestling: United Kingdom Har-Low Can You Go
Harlow, Essex
Feat - Fabian Aichner v Sammy Smooth 
Tickets Available - £9-£12

HOPE Wrestling Savages
Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire
Feat - Cy Gregory v Hustle Malone
Tickets Available - £3-£10 pp

That wraps up this week's preview of the weekend's wrestling schedule. Of course, there are many more events taking place over the three days. To find out more about the shows we've highlighted here as well as all the others, check us out at www.wrestleropesuk.wordpress.com for the latest show and match announcements, British Wrestling event list, interviews, exclusive columns, reviews, reports and results!

Words - Andy Scotland & James Marston
Images - James Marston
Image Source - Facebook.com

All images are property of their respective owners.

Event Review: PROGRESS Chapter 36: We're Gonna Need a Bigger Room...Again (Tommy End v Mark Haskins v Marty Scurll)


It wasn't just the biggest show in company history, it was the biggest show England had seen since Big Daddy and his pals loomed large. It featured some of the best wrestlers in the country across the card and three of the very best in the entire world in the main event. Chapter 36 had a hell of a lot to live up as over 2000 PROGRESS Ultras descended upon the O2 Academy Brixton in the hope of being a part of something special. Now usually at this point, I'd tease that the show could end up being a disappointment, but this is PROGRESS and the real question here was, just how special would this show be? Let's find out, lads and lasses. 



Marty Scurll. Tommy End. Mark Haskins. Just looking at those names all in the same line should send a shiver down any die-hard wrestling fan's spine and if it doesn't...go away. These three men put on a real display, fitting of the main event slot and whilst most of the talk will be about the finish, it would be almost irresponsible not to begin by talking about the marvelous work that all three did to build towards it and the clever booking that steadily unfolded across over a half hour. After a tense start, displaying the lengthy history that all three share and an number of early pin attempts, each one of the trio was given ample time to shine. Haskins and End looked great when beating the shit out of The Villain, whilst equally upping their game when coming up against each other in a number of pacy and violent strike and grapple sequences. 

Whilst I've always preferred triple threats with two heels, despite some obvious examples on the other side of the coin, they just tend to produce the best opportunities for story-telling. However, I'm just gonna throw that line of thought out of the window, because this contest produced some of the richest narratives that one could hope for, whilst also being incredibly simple at the same time. Everyone wants the belt, everyone that isn't Marty really doesn't like Marty, Marty will do absolutely anything to walk out with the belt. This meant that every move hit on Scurll was extremely satisfying, because he's just so damn good at being a dick and with Haskins and End being some of the hardest hitting wrestlers in Europe you've got yourself a magic combination. The build of near falls for both challengers, the escalation of Scurll's chicanery, every agonising submission, the dramatic sequence on the apron that would lead to End and Scurll suplexing Haskins through a table and a lot more all came together to create a compelling, dynamic, convincing work of art, with an electric Brixton crowd adding a big scoop of whipped cream on the sweet, sweet pie that was this match. 

So, I should probably speak about the finish at some point, because if the crowd were electric to begin with things were about to become...ultra electric (yeah)! The narrative of Scurll being a man possessed trying to keep hold of his prize came to a thrilling climax as he took out every referee in the building after being unable to put End away with multiple Gotch-style piledriver attempts. As the crowd poured scorn on Scurll, The Villain ended up face to face with one third of PROGRESS' owners, Jim Smallman, when the familiar stab of former PROGRESS Champion Jimmy Havoc's music hit for the first time in over a year and Havoc nailed Scurll with a precise Acid Rain Maker, with a knowing nod to former arch rival Smallman. It was a marvelous moment that got the reaction it deserved, whilst setting up a now mouth-watering potential clash between The Villain and perhaps the only man in company history who could out Villain the Villain. This being PROGRESS, I'm sure we'll get to hear from Havoc in due course, to fully explain his involvement.

One of my favourite things about this match, was that the fall didn't come directly after Havoc's interference, because it easily could have felt like Havoc handing the belt to someone, which wouldn't have been the best way to start off a new technico champion. Luckily, after Havoc left, there was one last sprint of action with Scurll and Haskins grappling for just enough the right amount of time before Scurll found himself locked deep within the Sharpshooter. It was so very satisfying to see Haskins finally win the belt after coming supremely close on a number of occasions and do so in convincing form, finally getting a man who has terrorised him for months to submit. This match really did have a little bit of everything, transitioning from a strong wrestling three way into a more sports entertainment style with the angle in the final third, before finishing off with a wonderfully cathartic finish. If you like your wrestling to tell a story, then you'll love this match. 



I was almost tempted to do a similar opening for this match as I did for the last, as it really does have the same kind of feel. Two of the best, in a match type that when done well encourages great wrestling and story-telling, whilst also having a strong back-story and lead-in...there wasn't really a way this could go wrong. Honestly, having seen the previous two matches between the pair in May and December 2015, this was pretty much exactly what I wanted to see from ZSJ and Ciampa here. The duo have a tonne of chemistry in the ring, working holds as well as anyone, slick and crisp in every move and transition, that almost half an hour of wrestling seemed to pass by in a flash. Their previous matches have presented an interesting twist on the old cliche of technical wrestler vs physical brawler, because both men able to raise their game to meet the other in either category and the 2/3 falls gimmick allowed them to get into this even more than before. 

In the first two falls, ZSJ worked Ciampa's arm pretty extensively, with The Psycho Killer doing a stunning sell job, both when in the holds and when later on the offense. This worked nicely as a foundation, whilst also presenting a through thread to follow throughout the match, with the crowd popping anytime ZSJ went near Ciampa's hurt wing. There were also a plethora of pin falls, each made more convincing by the gimmick and the sheer smoothness of the pair's work. I lost track of the number of stunning sequences that the Cruiserweight Classic alumni put on here, but each would culminate with one of the other gaining a near fall, as the crowd got further sucked in. Slotted into this was ZSJ taking the opportunity to lock in a triangle choke with Ciampa fighting out and nailing a make-shift Project Ciampa, threading the two stories together well. This portion of the match would end with some more silky action, climaxing with both men managing to keep each others shoulders pinned to the mat, resulting in the match going to 1-1. I'm still undecided on this as a "finish" here, as part of me feels like it was trying to be a bit too clever, however the result did mean that the final fall would come out as the distinctive victory after both men had proved to be evenly matched. 

The final fall was an eight minute sprint that saw both men going all out to outdo his opponent, with a number of strong potential finishes and a riled up audience. The pair showed an impressive ability to switch gears in a match that could have easily have peaked too early, as ZSJ brought a renewed focus on Ciampa's arm following a wonderful back and forth submission sequence, whilst the former ROH World Television Champion dipped into his bag of tricks, including hitting a Pedigree for two and an Avalanche Project Ciampa. With both men becoming increasingly frustrated the match broke down in to a number of nasty slaps and strikes, somehow finding another place to take the contest, before ZSJ was able to get the win with Hurrah!... Octopus Hold. When all was said and done and Ciampa gave his last bow in an independent wrestling ring, Brixton had been treated to an incredibly technical, incredibly physical, strong-style epic!  



Topping the undercard was a sprawling encounter, that saw The Origin's Dave Mastiff, El Ligero, Nathan Cruz and Zack Gibson take on some of their biggest rivals in Damon Moser, Jack Gallagher and FSU's Eddie Dennis & Mark Andrews. However, the group's biggest rival of all has always been the fans and this was typified with the reaction that all the foursome and especially Gibson received as they attempted to cut their traditional pre-match promo. This included the crowd throwing so much toilet paper into the ring that I was expected a shit load of Andrex puppies to come flying down the aisle to reclaim it. It was an incredible sight, that made fun of the villainous group, with The Origin absolutely reveling in the reaction they were getting. The babyfaces did a great job of encouraging the crowd to keep going, controlling them well, adding to the brilliant work that Gibson was doing on the microphone, exaggerating ever syllable to get the best reaction, whilst Mastiff was making toilet roll angels. 

The match was a lorra lorra fun, as everyone brawled around the large room, featuring some great spots, including Andrews hitting a moonsault off a high barricade. As much as the issues between the teams felt serious, the tone of the match often verged towards the comedic with the performance skills of the likes of Ligero and Mastiff, helping to get the mood of the action spot on. The babyfaces would often get the better of their rivals, with a wonderful spot seeing Gallagher ties all of the opposite team (except Mastiff) in knots, whilst he, Dennis and Andrews basked in the glory. The contest also featured one of the best false finishes of the night, as after Ligero had pushed referee Joel too far, he took a Stunner from the ref, followed up by a beautiful Next Stop Driver from Dennis, assisted by a Shooting Star Press from Andrews, only for Gibson making the save just in time. The finish was a fitting end to Gallagher's time on the independents as he and the man he's faced more than anyone else in his career, Gibson, put together some lovely wrestling, for what was perhaps the final time. Of course, with this being The Origin the finish would have to include shenanigans as Mastiff nailed Gallagher with a car stereo, allowing Gibson to hit a spinning brainbuster for the win and keep The Origin together as a group. As much it would have been perfectly fitting to have broken up the Origin here, with various other feel good moments on the show, it makes sense to continue to build four of the promotions hottest heels, plus giving Gibson the pin on Gallagher on his way out the door gives Liverpool's Number One even more ammunition to fire at the crowd at future shows.

The biggest contest on the first half of the show was the Tag Team title bout, that saw British Strong Style (Pete Dunne & Trent Seven) go over The London Riots (James Davis & Rob Lynch) to pick up their first titles in PROGRESS. This was a very good, action packed tag bout, that rarely took time for a breath, featuring some quality spots and a perhaps surprising sprinkling of comedy. This was a style that suited all four men well, as they used spots like all four sitting on chairs outside the ring and trading brutal forearms and focused on Dunne's obsession with biting opponents, building to a bite-fest between all four. These sorts of sequences could have felt jarring with some of the more serious action, but in the context of the story, that didn't have a whole lot of prior build, made it feel more like both teams were trying to one up the other. 

I found it interesting that there was no notable face in peril and hot tag sequence, or at least a very short one, with both teams mostly just trading big moves and near falls. There was one section in particular, that featured biting, forearms, German suplexes and Powerbombs that really highlighted this as the four men rotated the momentum with no one holding it for long. This was arguably the best-booked match of the evening, as after proving they could go toe to toe with the Tag Team Champions, Dunne and Seven took the easy way out as following a ref bump, Seven drove the handle of London Riots' cricket bat straight into the already hurt eye of Lynch and finished things off with a piledriver combined with a running punt kick from Dunne. British Strong Style have risen quickly after only forming as a team at Chapter 33, but they are also one of the most interesting heel teams in recent memory, with plenty of depth to their act. As good a bout as this was, I feel the best is still to come from Pete Dunne and Trent Seven in PROGRESS! 


Joe Coffey and Rampage Brown could walk into pretty much any company in the country and end up in the main event, however their clash in the Final of the Atlas Championship tournament opened the show as the pair had a belting heavyweight tussle. I'll be honest and say that I haven't been overly enamoured by the "big lads" division heading into the show, with the tournament having a couple of issues, but this match was exactly what the division should be about. Coffey and Brown went right at it, keeping things fairly open throughout the bout, but giving both men ample time to look their best. The duo traded big blows throughout with the action spilling to the outside early on where Coffey hit a snap scoop powerslam, that really set the tone for how things would pan out. 

The match was full of impressive moments and well worked sequences, that got over the idea that Coffey and Brown were evenly matches, whilst also setting up the duos finishes, with a sequence where Coffey would struggle out of a piledriver attempt particularly standing out. After tonnes of tit for tat fighting that included chops and headbutts and a wonderful suplex sequence, it was Brown who weathered the storm, kicking out of a Discus Lariat, before nailing an avalanche samoan drop and a piledriver, which would be followed up by another following Coffey's resilient kick out to become the first Atlas Champion. Just like the tournament itself had been, putting these two at the start of the show was a brave choice by PROGRESS, but it paid off well, with the pace and make up of the contest getting the crowd even hotter for the rest of the show. A re-match is surely a must!

The lone women's match was a relatively low-key trios match, that still provided some strong action in an energetic ten minutes. With a tournament to crown the first Women's Champion supposedly just around the corner, Jinny, Dahlia Black and Alex Windsor went over Nixon Newell, Laura Di Matteo and Pollyanna in a match that was structured perfectly and got the most out of everyone involved. Pollyanna worked well as the face in peril as arguably the most over babyface, whilst TK Cooper's involvement at ringside and some wonderful rudo work by Jinny and Black got great reactions. Things would break down shortly after the hot tag, rolling along at break neck speed as everyone rotated in and out of the ring hitting big moves. The standout here would have to be Jinny's version of the Styles Clash which got a massive pop. The finish tied everything up neatly, as Cooper would end up hitting girlfriend Black in the face after Pollyanna ducked, then get kicked in the dick by Newell, before a busy busy finish saw Jinny able to put long-time rival LDM away with her Face Lift Finish. 

The second half would feature a bonus match, after Paul Robinson returned after a four month hiatus and his demand for a match was answered by Chuck Mambo, who was, perhaps surprisingly, having his first one on one match on a Chapter show. This was a simple bout done well, as Robinson had plenty of heat and Mambo is a popular persona. Structure wise this was plain, with a face shine, strong heat sequence, short comeback including a nice blockbuster, a decent near fall for Mambo, before Robinson collected the W with a nasty curb stomp. It was short, sweet, but effective, with both men working hard to maximise the time they were given, whilst also taking time to make sure the crowd were back up to their usual levels after the interval. Part of the enjoyment here was that both hadn't been seen all that often recently, and so their work seemed fresh and exciting, however they definitely both staked a claim to deserving more time on the product with their performances. 

Unfortunately, Pastor William Eaver and Sebastian's No Disqualification match ended within seconds after Sebastian was legitimately knocked out by a lariat and had to be taken out of the ring on a stretcher after being seen to by paramedics. This was handled well by everyone involved, including a respectful crowd. Hopefully, we get to see this match sometime soon, but more importantly I'd like to wish Sebastian a swift return to health following the accident. 


Finally... 

ATPW Scale Rating - 8.16/10 



Man, what a show. Seriously, this was the first event I've given above a "Superb" rating on the ATPW Scale. Top to bottom, each match outdid itself in it's position on the card and there was barely a moment where the crowd wasn't totally into the action and with 2400 in attendance the atmosphere made things extra special. The main event was my match of the night, because I love dramatic narrative wrestling, but you really could have picked any of the top half of the show. I could go on and on here, but if you've read the rest of the review and haven't seen this show yet, you'll know exactly what I'm going to tell you, go now, demandprogress.pivotshare.com.

Words and Images - James Marston 
Image Source - Facebook.com 

All images are the property of their respective owners

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Opinion: WWE - How Much is Too Much?


With the brand split and the ever-growing NXT, WWE has a lot of shows to keep up with. There's Raw on Monday, Smackdown on Tuesday, NXT on a Wednesday, then there's a pay-per-view each month from each of them, then there's Main Event, Total Divas and a tonne of other shows to watch on the Network...AAAAAAH. That's a lot of content to be keeping up with, even if you are only watching Raw and Smackdown.  

Now I'm not here to talk about the logistics of it, or how much money it'll be making them/losing them; I'm not qualified to do so and I'm not daft enough to even pretend that I understand the runnings of a multi-million dollar corporation and the logic behind what they do and what they broadcast. As a fan though, and as someone who has kept up with them religiously for the past 5 or 6 years I do have to ask...how much is too much? 

I've tried to look at it from an adult perspective; it's certainly going to be hard work keeping up with the three main brands that they have if you're working full-time or are in full-time education. Keeping up with three shows a week is going to be extremely difficult, especially if you intend on watching them all live; that's a lot of sleep you're gonna be missing out on and I've found that as I've gotten older, going into work on a few hours sleep just ain't kosher. I'm old, I like my sleep and the cold weather hurts my hip, what can I say?  Then there's the PPVs; if you have work on a Monday morning (I did up until very recently) then you've not got a lot of options if you want to watch it live. You can get the day off but if you want to do that for every PPV then you're not gonna have any holidays left for anything else, or you can try and struggle through a full shift on a few hours sleep (which I again don't recommend at all). Of course you can always just wait and watch it the next day like I used to do but for the people that hate missing it live then I'm afraid you don't have much of a choice, either way doing whatever you're gonna do twice/three times a month is gonna be a lot harder than doing it just the once. Trying to balance full-time work/study plus a social life PLUS your passion for wrestling is extremely tough and not everyone is going to be able to do it with the amount of content that's available to us.

Of course, from the other side of the fence, if you've already been keeping up with Raw, Smackdown and NXT before the brand split then it's really only an extra PPV per month that you're needing to watch. Some might not see it as that big of a deal but considering that the ratings are dwindling for WWE in general it just seems like it's a lot for people to be keeping track of. It doesn't help that almost all of the major wrestling companies and a lot of the bigger indy companies all have their own versions of the Network to keep up with too; when they're putting out more interesting stories than what the WWE are providing us with then of course people are going to switch their interests elsewhere, especially if they only have a set period of time to watch wrestling each week like most of us do. If you keep up with your local wrestling scene then that takes even more time out of your schedule, whether you're attending shows or watching them online. That's been the big one for me; I much prefer going to live shows now than I do watching them on TV/online. 


What I've found works for me is just watching the PPVs and doing a monthly catch up of NXT. I don't watch any of Raw and Smackdown (and if I do it's usually because someone has told me that it's a particularly good show) and I don't watch the PPVs live because I always end up falling asleep two matches in and need to watch the rest of it the next day anyway. I've found something that works for me and I'm sure that you lot have found something that works for you, whether it's watching it all live or doing something similar to what I do. I just feel that there's so much content being put out by WWE that it's too much for me to keep interest in anymore.  

Let me know what you think, do you agree with me and think that there's too much to bother with now or are you quite happy with the amount of content that WWE are broadcasting?  Do you even, dare I say, want even more programmes from them?  You can tweet me @LestrangeLock with your thoughts or send me Howlers in the post, whatever's easiest.  

Words - Lily Lestrange
Images - James Marston

Opinion: Every Minus Five Star Match according to The Wrestling Observer Newsletter or This Is Not The Worst Wrestling Article in the World, This Is Just A Tribute.


What makes a minus five star match, a minus five star match? On Dave Meltzer's scale, we can go all the way from the full five stars, through DUD into a minus five star, taking in quarter and half stars along the way, it's a faintly clumsy, unwieldy system (in that way, you could say it's like the title of this article) but it's one that works. I began thinking about this when recently a match at this year's BOLA between The Young Bucks & Adam Cole vs Ricochet, Will Ospreay & Matt Sydal got the full *****. This marks the first five for these performers to the best of my research but also, the first for PWG. It got me to thinking about the flipside of this match, the legendary Los Villainos vs Psycho Circus from last year's Triplemania, the only trios tag match to receive the menos cinco. Appropriately, there are but five matches to receive the -***** rating, I thought I'd take a look back at them and try to see if I can work out, what makes them truly, the worst.

First up we have Moondog Spot taking on Junkyard Dog in the second round of 1985's WWF Wrestling Classic. Moondog throws punches as soon as Junkdog gets in the ring, Moondog pulls off a jumping fist to the chest, climbs to the second turnbuckle, fall on his face, Junkdog headbutts him twice from his all fours position, stands up, does another headbutt and then falls on Moondog and counts his own pinfall. I thought I'd just write this out because it lasts forty-six seconds. It's not even the shortest match of the PPV (that honour goes to Dynamite Kid who dropkicks Ivan Putski as he sings the National Anthem for a three count) but boy is it somehow the sloppiest even in that short time. In the battle of these two dogs, it would seem, from this writer's POV that being one of having never seen either of these two men compete before, it would appear that in wrestling logic, Junkyard Dog's head is made of pure steel because three light head taps was apparently enough to just about kill Moondog. This is an odd one for the start of the list because yes it's dreadful, it has no story, no heel or face dynamics and no impressive performances and the ending makes no sense because if the ref isn't in the ring, why not wait for him, timekeeper? Just wait for him to get in the ring, I can only deduce that the issue with this is that it's nothing, it is literally a nothing match which does nothing for either men. There's nothing to say about it, so I'm not going to say anything more. Moving on...

...To Mr.T at Wrestlemania, no not the serviceable tag match from WM but Wrestlemania II's boxing match with 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper. Thirteen minutes. Thirteen minutes this match takes before in the fourth round, the ref takes a bump, Pipes goes for a bodyslam and some ground n' pound and gets disqualified. Thirteen minutes this goes on before we don't even get a proper ending. The worst part is, this isn't a boxing match, it's not a wrestling match, frankly, what the fuck is it? At least the battle of the dogs had the decency to be a rubbish forty-six seconds. I don't entirely know what to say here as they try to pretend that this is a real boxing match, which is fine in concept but neither men seem willing to put any conviction behind their punches. We're watching two men fail to act like they give a shit for a crowd who would prefer to just watch King Kong Bundy competitively sweat (ComSweatative?) against Hulk Hogan. It's not even a satisfying end to a story, it ends with the two men being pulled apart, trying to brawl to each other and then just leaving. Pipes is a legend of course, very few men from his era have been more deserving of a WWE World Title run and never had one but this was just filler, toxic celebrity ego stroking that tries to write in a wrestling ending to a boxing match and as a result ends up failing on all accounts. It could have worked but it didn't. Actually, maybe that's being too polite.

So our next stop on this magical train through shitland is WCW/NwO Halloween Havoc 1998 (which if you'd like to read more on, subtle plug here) with The [Ultimate] Warrior taking on Hollywood Hulk Hogan. Now the immediate problem with this match is that you have to compare it to the minor masterpiece that these two men pulled off at Wrestlemania 6. Actually comparing those two is unfair, if Wrestlemania 6 was Elvis Live in Hawaii, this was Pop Idol winner Steve Brookstein down his local pub reliving past glories but failing to remind anyone why they loved them in the first place. Neither Hogan nor Warrior are able to in any way go like they used to (debatably they never even could but that's a debate for another day) and watching wrestling's most infamous porn tape take on sport's entertainment's highest profile homophobic blogger try and relive such famous spots as 'dueling bodyslams', 'running the ropes' and 'punching' at half speed is not a pleasurable experience. And just when you thought the match was getting dull, the over-booking starts: this match features interference from The Giant (Big Show), Stevie Ray, Vincent, Horace Hogan and Eric Bischoff who straight up grabs the ref and chokes him but the ref doesn't consider this a DQ but then he also ignores a blatant lowblow from Hogan and oh yeah, Hogan setting his bloody face on fire (actually a tad inaccurate, his face on,y gets bloody from setting it on fire). The main issue with this match is the bad taste in your mouth from how clear it is that they brought back the melting waxworks of Warrior and Hogan to duke it out, just so Hogan could have the ego trip of being 1-1 with Warrior but here's the thing: their original fight, while to someone of modern wrestling sensibilities is ridiculously slow, is full of simple storytelling and easy symbolism of torch passing, this one is so ridiculous it literally has the torch blow up in Hogan's face. Of the three matches so far, this one is easily the most deserving of its full -***** rating.



If you know anything about bad wrestling, you had to know, we'd eventually get something from 1999's Heroes of Wrestling. The entire PPV is full of bad matches, weird, sloppy finishes and only one man looking like he's having fun and that's Jake Roberts and he's only having fun because he's at peak drunk. So the match that Meltzer Driver deemed the worst on this particular PPV is the Bushwhackers vs Nikolai Volkoff & The Iron Sheik a match in which a Croatian masquerading as a Russian and an Iranian get 'USA' chanted at them for ten minutes as they fight two New Zealanders. In sticking with the -***** tradition, this is a limited offense match. There's forearms, elbows, headbutts and clotheslines. At one point Sheiky baby locks in something approaching a Camel Clutch to add variation. I should give credit to The Iron Sheik actually, he comes the closest to delivering a performance in this match, especially in a stunning sequence where he threatens to leave the match if the crowd don't stop chanting USA, only to decide to come back just before they get counted out. The heels! This match is of interest as time-wise, it's so close to the WWF reunion of the four men at Wrestlemania 17's Gimmick Battle Royal (because the gimmicks and the battle royal rules are 'over the top'. Geddit?) but whereas that was played for laughs, this one isn't even really played. At one point Dutch Mantel on sedated commentary says words to the effect of 'the referee doesn't seem to have seen Volkoff tag in but I don't think he cares'. He's not alone, a dreadful match but one that frankly, if you expected anything other than detritus from this PPV, you really are an unstoppable optimist.

Our final match (luckily) is from Mexican promotion AAA and last year's Triplémania XXIII where Los Villainos (Villaino III, IV and V) took on the Psycho Circus (Murder, Monster and Psycho Clown). The first question I have about this match is what did Hugo Savinovich think about it? We never got to find out because shortly after the match started, his mic cut out and was replaced with a horrendous fucking buzzing noise (the one good piece of commentary Matt Striker provides is suggesting people imagine he's calling a Killer Bees match. A bad joke but y'know, you take what you can get). You know what everyone loves about trios matches: fast paced action, big high-flying spots, technicos in peril from those dastardly rudos cutting off the ring, well instead here we get some half-speed weak slapping, a few sloppy to reckless looking suicide dives and umm, so which team were we meant to cheer for? Was it you, Murder Clown? Were you the hero we dreamt of as a child, Murder Clown? So the crowd are cheering for both the villains and the psycho clowns so I can only deduce that this is like The Undertaker if he took on Sting, they could try and heel it up but no one wouldn't cheer them. Still, this match does have one nearly functioning dungeon of doom spot till you realise that oh yeah, the clowns are actually powerbombing the two villainos holding the third clown, they're trying to murder murder clown (or is it monster? I didn't keep track) so the match eventually ends after one of the clowns goes for the least convincing chair work this side of Horace Hogan (thank you to Matt Striker for pointing out that it was a chair and that we probably knew that. He's a quick one that Matt Striker) but gets distracted by his respect for Villaino III stops him being able to pin him leading to him getting clumsily rolled up. So I do want to use this time to ask everyone - top rope falling headbutts, has anyone apart from Rey Mysterio ever made them look like anything other than them falling and twatting themself on the ring? It looks especially sloppy when you actually miss the other person and the camera angle needs to cover your shit, Mr.Clown. Put simply, this match is a fucking mess but it's almost a beautiful one, of the five matches here, this is the only one I would watch again. If The Final Deletion was the Sharknado of wrestling, all knowing winks to so bad it's good culture (and no, Delete or Decay was not the Sharknado 2: The Second One of wrestling, Sharknado 2 had a cameo from Kurt Angle, Delete or Decay had Joseph Parks) then this match is feasibly the 1959 Santa Claus movie where Mexican Santa and Merlin fight the devil from Santa's spaceship. It's campy, ridiculous, goes on for a bit too long but is occasionally so utterly tone deaf and so bizarre that it becomes oddly fascinating, not necessarily good (definitely not good) but certainly interesting, and for that reason I disagree with Big Dave and give this *****. Just kidding, it's really fucking bad.

So are these the five worst matches I've ever seen (Really with Mr. T vs Pipes, the question is 'was that a match'?)? I mean they are all undeniably awful but it's hard to really see if these are the five worst I've ever seen, I don't know. But is a -***** even a negative thing? On the surface yes, but there are only five -***** matches, at the time of writing there has been eighty-one ***** matches, so really it's in its own way, more prestigious to wrestle a shitsterpiece than a masterpiece. In my exploration of the backside of the wrestling scale, I don't know if I've learnt what makes a -***** worthy of such damnation, what makes it so much worse than a -**** for instance? I still don't know but here's the thing, none of these matches are worthy of anything less than our complete contempt, sure there have probably actually been worse displays of wrestling than these but for what they represent, it makes sense to keep them as the reminders to all bookers - your match could be next. Don't book matches if you don't think they matter, don't try and make people give a shit about fake boxing, don't try to relive past glories if you were possibly approaching past it when you were living them and just don't watch Heroes of Wrestling. So what makes a -***** match? There's a lot of bad wrestling out there but something stood out that made these special. Maybe what we should take away that just because a journalist thinks something, doesn't make it fact (no, that would mean I don't matter and that can't be true) or maybe we should just take it that Dave Meltzer shouldn't have to represent everyone. If he likes a match, that's fine, if he doesn't and you did, it doesn't mean you can't like that, maybe you wanted to watch The New Day drink piss jugs with Jon Stewart, but just be prepared for someone to disagree with you. I want there to be some deeper meaning to this article than 'I dunno maybe some matches are just always going to suck' but really that's all I've got. A really unsatisfying conclusion to an article about matches with weak endings, it's almost like I planned this all along. I didn't.



Words - Jozef Raczka 
Images - James Marston & Jozef Raczka 
Editor - James Marston

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Wrestle Ropes Ready for the Weekend: September 2016 Week Four - FCP, PWC & PROGRESS


The weekend is on it's way once again, which means it's time to look ahead at what the British wrestling scene has to offer as we see out September with a bang and an almighty line-up of shows. First off we look at what Fight Club: Pro have to offer in Wolverhampton, West Midlands on Friday night, before heading south for Pro Wrestling Chaos in Bristol on Saturday, before closing things off with the biggest wrestling show England has seen for many years, as PROGRESS Wrestling take over Brixton, South London on Sunday! Right, now you know what's in store, we better get your ready for it, eh?! 

None of those near you? Don't worry, we've added a couple of alternatives for each day! There's big shows in East Kilbride, Nottingham, Preston, Ayr and Birmingham, with the likes of Zack Sabre Jr, Mark Coffey and Noam Dar, so you'd be a fool not to get to your nearest show this weekend! 



Following last month's International Tekkers: The Beginning of the End, Fight Club: Pro's September show promises to be another hard hitting night of British Strong-Style action, as Project Mayhem V celebrates the companies seventh anniversary at Fixxion Warehouse in Wolverhampton, West Midlands. 

To say that relations between Chris Brookes and Clint Margera have become heated over the last three months, would be an understatement. After battling in an impromtu No Disqualification match at Rage Against the Death Machine in July and then taking things up a notch at International Tekkers: Beginning of the End in an "I Quit" Chain Match in August, Brookes and Margera look set to take their extremely personal rivalry to an entirely new level, by allowing fans to bring their own weapons. After The Calamari Catch King kicked Margera's girlfriend in the face to finally push the Death match specialist over the edge last month, it's safe to say that Margera desperately wants to hurt Brookes and with the former Infinity Trophy winner not exactly a fan favourite, Fixxion Warehouse won't be the most friendly of places for Brookes come Friday night. Who knows what kind of creativity Wolverhampton possesses, but I've got a feeling we'll be finding out soon enough! 

Another rivalry that has been running wild in FCP is the battles between Lee and Jim, The Hunter Brothers and the comparatively inexperienced pairing of Dan Moloney and Wild Boar, The Face Smashers. The teams traded victories at Infinity and All the Best in December 2015 and February of this year respectively, before things became even more violent in April when the four appeared to destroy the Planet Nightclub at Planet Terror Vol. 2, with no official result given because the two teams ended up fighting anywhere but the ring! If the two teams had problems before, then Boar package piledriving Jim off a bar and through the merch table, leading to Jim having to helped out of the venue and requiring surgery, in July at Rage Against the Death Machine, when the teams were schedule to have two singles matches against each other, has made things much much worse. It's clear that Jim and Lee are out for revenge on Friday and with the fourth match being aptly scheduled as a Tables Match, they have the perfect opportunity. On the other hand, Moloney and Boar will be looking to build on their massive victory over former ROH World Tag Team Champions War Machine last month and finally put to bed one of the longest running feuds in FCP. 

If the previous two matches I've talked about have been as personal as you can get, then there's absolutely nothing personal about Trent Seven battling current EVOLVE Tag Team Champion Drew Galloway, but that won't stop these two heavy hitters from beating the absolute shit out of each other. I can hear the chops these two will be dishing out ripping a whole in time and space, right now. Seven has been up against some big names this year, besting the likes of Tommy End and Eddie Kingston, but as he looks to get back in the picture for a shot at Sami Callihan's FCP Championship, he's up against his biggest challenge of 2016 so far. Galloway rolls into Wolverhampton for the first time, having reigned as TNA's World Heavyweight Champion already this year, looking to cause shockwaves in FCP. Will the hometown crowd give Seven the push he needs to defeat his 6ft 5in opponent or will the well-travelled newcomer conquer another city? There's only one way to find out and that's to be there in Wolverhampton to witness the carnage! (Or with the show being sold out get on that sweet sweet On Demand scene, right here - https://vimeo.com/ondemand/fightclubpro)

Also on the show, Travis Banks continues to look for his first win in FCP in a Two Out of Three Falls Match with Tyler Bate and in a rematch from August, Nixon Newell takes on former TNA Women's Knockout Champion, Jessicka Havok! 

FRIDAY ALTERNATIVES 


British Championship Wrestling Champagne SuperNoam
East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire
Feat - Noam Dar v Lionheart
*SOLD OUT*

House of Pain September Weekender: Night One 
Hucknall, Nottinghamshire
Feat - Garrett Bond & Juken v Paul Malen & LJ Heron
*PAY ON THE DOOR*



On Saturday, Pro Wrestling Chaos shall be at the Hungerford Community Centre in Bristol with their The Hungerford Games event. 

The show shall see the continuation of the Knights Of Chaos Championship tag team tournament with one of the semi-finals taking place. This semi-final will see Alex Steele and Eddie Dennis, known collectively as Steele Dragons face The Hunter Brothers. Both of these teams have had the crowd behind them each time they have competed in the tournament so a divided crowd could well make an appearance this Saturday. Whoever does progress to the final shall be facing The Swords Of Essex so another challenge awaits the winners. Both teams only have one shot at getting to the final and they'll have to show why they deserve it more than the other. 

At Choose Your Weapon last month, there was a tag team match that involved Roger The Cabin Boy and Panda Cub. During the match, a video played by "Flash" Morgan Webster where at the conclusion, they both attacked their respective partners before leaving in silence. Since then nothing has been said except for the fact that Roger The Cabin Boy now wishes to be known as Danny Jones. These men seem to be on the same page and with that being the case, PWC have signed a tag team match with Jones and Cub facing Jezz Gardner and Matt Horgan of The Pure Breed. Pure Breed are a product of the Dragon Pro Wrestling Academy, just like Cub and Jones. No one knows what is going on with Cub and Jones but Horgan and Gardner have known them since they began training and probably know them as well as anyone. The question is, do Pure Breed have the knowledge to understand what is happening with Cub and Jones and are they able to combat it? Or are these two men now no longer the same as the men Pure Breed once knew? 

The main event this Saturday in Bristol shall see international star and former wXw World Tag Team Champion, Sami Callihan make his PWC debut. At Choose Your Weapon, Wild Boar was scheduled to defend the King Of Chaos Championship against Dave Mastiff. However, due to injury, Boar was unable to compete. General Manager, Jimmy Havoc agreed with Boar that he would allow him to keep the championship despite being unable to defend it on the condition that he would be challenged by Callihan. Boar agreed to the match and in doing so has possible given himself the biggest challenge of his career. Boar has a brutal almost animal-like edge to his offence and it is what what has made him such an intimidating competitor. Callihan also has that style of offence, meaning that Boar will possibly be meeting his first opponent that has similarities to himself and it will be a real test for the champion. Boar has fought anyone who has challenged him and defeated the likes of Johnny Gargano and Pete Dunne in his championship reign, this Saturday will be the biggest test of his reign and one of the biggest of his career. Callihan will find out that Boar is an animal in the ring and likewise Boar will be bound to discover that “The Death Machine” isn't just a fancy nickname. PWC could be seeing it's most violent match to date in Bristol this Saturday at The Hungerford Games.

Also scheduled for The Hungerford Games is Mike Bird going up against a mystery partner selected by Pariah Khan, whilst "Pastor" William Eaver, "Mr. Massive" Chuck Cyrus and Kelly Sixx are all scheduled to appear. 

General Tickets available here - http://www.ringsideworld.co.uk/events.php?id=1027

SATURDAY ALTERNATIVES 


Preston City Wrestling Dar Wars: The End of an Era 
Preston, Lancashire 
Feat - Zack Sabre Jr. v Bubblegum

Pro Wrestling Elite May The Force be With You
Ayr, Ayrshire
Feat - Polo Promotions (Jackie Polo & Mark Coffey) v The NAK (BT Gunn & Chris Renfrew)



It's the biggest show that England has seen in, at least, a generation as PROGRESS Wrestling presents Chapter 36: We're Gonna Need a Bigger Room...Again in O2 Academy in Brixton, South London with a stacked seven match card.

Showcased in a brilliant hype package on social media, Zack Sabre Jr and Tommaso Ciampa's rivalry has been building and building since they clashed in the Quarter Final of Super Strong Style 16 in July 2015 at Chapter 19, in what was regarded as one of, if not the best match of the highly acclaimed tournament as ZSJ came out on top. Things would escalate in a rematch that December at Chapter 24: Hit the North with Ciampa getting his win back, but despite battering each other repeatedly, things would remain relatively friendly until Chapter 27: The Lost Art of Suffering in March this year, when following an unsuccessful challenge for the Tag Team Championship, Ciampa laid out The Technical Wizard before laying down the challenge for Chapter 36. These Cruiserweight Classic competitors have stolen the show together before and with the rubber match being made Two Out of Three Falls, they'll have three times the opportunity to steal the biggest show in PROGRESS to date, all whilst beating up their most bitter rival! 

The Origin consists of Nathan Cruz, El Ligero, Zack Gibson and Dave Mastiff and they've been causing all kinds of problems for PROGRESS since the Summer of 2014, taking on a number of different aliases until the group we recognise today was formed. With so much history it was inevitable that the villainous foursome would collect a number of enemies along the way and this Sunday four of those enemies may cause the downfall of the group as we know it. As The Faceless, the group took the Tag Team Championship from Eddie Dennis and Mark Andrews, known as FSU, they'd later clash in titles rematches in January and April as well other tag and singles matches, with Cruz & Ligero always having a trick up their sleeve to remain champions. Damon Moser was initially a member of the group, but having been kicked out fairly early on, he's made it his mission to destroy his former stable, including taking part in a vicious No Disqualification Match with Cruz in June. Cruiserweight Classic competitor Jack Gallagher has defeated Origin members on three consecutive PROGRESS Chapter shows, so Moser will be hoping that Gallagher is the lucky charm that will lead to the group's demise, before The Extraordinary Gentleman heads of to join the Cruiserweight Division on RAW! These two sides are going to go to war with each other and once the dust settles PROGRESS may be a very different place indeed. 

Chapter 36's main event is a Three Way Dance between three of the World's premier wrestling talents as Marty Scurll puts his World Championship on the line against Mark Haskins and Tommy End. Both challengers are no stranger to the title picture, with the pair coming as close as you can to winning the belt without getting to take it home, putting on PROGRESS classics in the process. Both challengers have proved that they belong in the promotions upper echelon, with Haskins repeatedly beating top talent to become Number One Contender, including winning the 2015 Thunderbastard match, whilst End has won Super Strong Style 16 and even defeated Scurll in a non-title match this year, only to be screwed out of the title thanks to an interfering Mikey Whiplash and other nefarious Scurll shenanigans. Whilst the challengers didn't exactly need any other reasons to wrestle the belt from Scurll's grasp, we've seen The Villain commit atrocities to both as he attacked Haskins wife in February and cheated to defeat End not once but twice in their last meeting. When these three make their way out to the ring on Sunday, there will definitely be a big match atmosphere inside the O2 Academy, but will that atmosphere help drive one of PROGRESS' nearly men to winning their first PROGRESS title and get vengeance on Scurll or will The Villain do what he does best and find a way to win, by any means necessary? Sunday, Brixton, O2 Academy, be there or you'll regret it forever. 

The show also features the Final of a tournament to crown the inaugural Atlas Champion in a division for those over 205lbs as Joe Coffey clashes with Rampage Brown, British Strong Style (Pete Dunne and Trent Seven) challenge for The London Riots' Tag Team Championship, Pollyanna, Nixon Newell & Laura Di Matteo team up against Alex Windsor, Dahlia Black & Jinny and "Pastor" William Eaver gets his hands on the man that cost him the World Championship two months ago, Sebastian.  

Tickets still remain here - http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/event/progress-wrestling-tickets/226391

Sunday Alternatives 


Kamikaze Pro Conspiracy Theory 
Bournville, Birmingham 
Feat - Clint Margera v Ryan Smile 

House of Pain Wrestling September Weekender: Night Three
Calverton, Nottinghamshire
Feat - Team Archer (Lucas Archer, Gabriel Kidd & ???) v Team Malen (Paul Malen & The Alpha Brothers (Johnny Alpha & Ricky Alpha) - Elimination Match
*PAY ON THE DOOR*

That wraps up this week's preview of the weekend's wrestling schedule. Of course, there are many more events taking place over the three days. To find out more about the shows we've highlighted here as well as all the others, check us out at www.wrestleropesuk.wordpress.com for the latest show and match announcements, British Wrestling event list, interviews, exclusive columns, reviews, reports and results!

Words - Andy Scotland & James Marston
Images - James Marston
Image Source - Facebook.com


All images are property of their respective owners.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

DVD Review: WWE Money in the Bank 2016 - Seth Rollins v Roman Reigns 6


WWE Money in the Bank 2016 is out now on DVD and Blu-Ray, from WWEDVD, Amazon, Base and all reputable home video outlets, priced £12-£23 on DVD. The release features the full Money in the Bank PPV, with around 3 hours of wrestling content, which unfortunately means there is no space for any special features on the disc. However, there is Seth Rollins challenging Roman Reigns for the World Heavyweight Championship, John Cena battling AJ Styles, a Six Man Ladder Match for the eponymous Money in the Bank contract featuring Chris Jericho, Cesaro, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Dean Ambrose and Alberto Del Rio and more, so this disc has to be well worth the money from your bank, right? 



The main event has Roman Reigns putting the World Heavyweight Championship on the line against Seth Rollins in a very good contest. The pair work to the crowd, keeping true to their characters, whilst playing towards the mostly anti-Reigns audience, which makes for a much more satisfying story. The action flows well throughout, with a number of big spots and pacy sequences and reversal, as well as a handful of strong false finishes. The show ends with the most sign-posted swerve, as the Money in the Bank winner heads down to ringside (Ummm...if for some reason you didn't want spoilers, sorry about the front cover of the DVD!) 

John Cena and AJ Styles first ever clash, in the semi-main is arguably the match of the night, as the pair wrestle a clever contest. Styles dominates Cena and always appears to have an answer for The Cenation Leader's signature offence, with this becoming the bouts main narrative thread. The finish leaves things open for a future rematch, and with the duo seemingly never breaking into their top gear here, but doing more than enough to get the Las Vegas crowd whipped into a frenzy, that will be something you should be very excited about come the conclusion of the match. 

Rounding off the upper-card, Chris Jericho, Cesaro, Sami Zayn, Alberto Del Rio, Kevin Owens and Dean Ambrose battle in a Six Man Ladder Match, with the Money in the Bank contract on the line in a fun spot-laden contest. The best spots of the match comes from rivals Zayn and Owens who get to continue their feud with some nasty moments, whilst Cesaro puts in the contest's strongest performance. The final few minutes felt a little anti-climactic, with a construction of ladders never quite living up to the initial excitement, meaning that the finish seemed to be missing something. 

The mid-card is highlighted by a stellar Fatal Four-Way Tag Team match, that sees Enzo & Cass, The Vaudevillains and Gallows & Anderson all going after The New Day's Tag Team Championship. After Enzo & Cass and The New Day cut comedic promos, the match keeps a good pace, with some sterling booking and featuring a variety of exciting sequence and spots, involving all eight men. Baron Corbin taking on Dolph Ziggler has some lovely moments where the two appear to be clicking, but also features some slip ups and an awkward ending. Things aren't help by the audience, who whilst beginning to warm in the final stages, are mostly silent for the first two thirds of the bout, apart from a mild "Boring" chant a few minutes in. 



Natalya and Becky Lynch team against Women's Champion Charlotte and protege Dana Brooke in a decent bout, but it's the post-match shenanigans that are the most interesting part. It takes a while Sheamus and Apollo Crews to get going in their bout, but the match develops into a hard-hitting scrap that features some big spots and a sweet finish. Rusev defending the United States Championship against Titus O'Neil, starts off well with a brawl on the outside, but it quickly becomes clear that O'Neil is out of his depth as he struggles to keep up the pace in what is the worst match on the card. 


Finally...

ATPW Home Video Rating - 6.51/10 




This is a good supercard offering from WWE, with all three of the marquee bouts delivering enjoyable and entertaining outings, whilst the Tag Team Championship match provides the under-card's best action. As far as WWE B-Shows go, this one is probably the most worthy of your DVD shelves, as not only does it contains good quality action, but there's also two World Heavyweight Championship changes and it's also the final supercard before RAW and Smackdown were split in the WWE Draft and numerous new titles began to be added. Although there's no special features, which means we miss The Golden Truth going over Breezango and The Lucha Dragons getting the best of The Dudley Boyz from the Kick-Off show, the disc doesn't really miss them 

Words - James Marston 
Special Thanks to - FreemantleMedia International and Fetch Publicity