Friday, 28 October 2016

Wrestle Ropes' Ready For The Weekend: October 2016 Week 5 - SWA, SWE & PROGRESS

It's Halloween weekend and we've got a preview that is full of treats and a handful of tricks also! This week, we kick off on Friday with Scottish Wrestling Alliance in Paisley, Renfrewshire, before looking at Southside Wrestling Entertainment's 6th Anniversary Show in Stevenage, Hertfordshire on Saturday and then closing up with PROGRESS Wrestling's Chapter 38: When Men Throw Men at Men in Camden, London. There's little time to wait so let's get Ready For The Weekend!

We've also included alternative shows across the weekend including shows in Sheffield, Preston, Southampton, Greenock, Bristol and Portsmouth! 

Friday night kicks off the wrestling weekend with SWA returning to The Lagoon Centre in Paisley. The event will see regular stars of SWA as well as some new faces from down south. 

One of the matches which will showcase both is the contest between Ryan Griffin and Soner Dursun. Griffin is the current SWA Junior Heavyweight Champion and a firm fan favourite in part for to his high-flying style. His opponent, Dursun will be making his first appearance for SWA but comes in with good credentials as his a former FSW Adrenaline Champion, a title which is comparable to the SWA Junior Heavyweight Championship. This match will be a great meeting of two young stars who no doubt will have many more championship wins in their future. 

Tag team action will also be on the cards this Friday night as the duo of Lana Austin and Alexis Rose will make their SWA debut when they face probably the best known Scottish female tag team today, The Bae Club's Sammii Jayne and Debbie Sharpe. All four women are known for their success as singles competitors as well as being part of their respective tag teams. The teams have never met before in the ring so it will be intriguing to witness what team comes out on top and how the personalities collide with each other. Both duos are known for maybe stretching rules of competition shall we say so the jury is out when it comes to choosing a winner. 

The main event this Friday is quite simply the only reason you would need to attend this event in Paisley. Joe Coffey is widely regarded as not only one of Scotland's biggest starts but one of the best in Europe, possibly the world. His opponent has traveled the world and competed for the biggest wrestling promotion on earth, WWE. Coffey's opponent at The Lagoon Centre will be Cody Rhodes. Since his departure from WWE, Rhodes has been tearing it up on the independent wrestling scene, facing legends and stars of professional wrestling at every turn. Coffey needs no promoting from us if you have even seen one match of his, you will know what he brings to the ring every time he competes. Rhodes has went on record as saying he wanted the best from SWA and they have delivered that in Coffey. This very well could be one that those in attendance look back on in years to come and say “we were there”.

Also this Friday, Xander Cooper will make his SWA debut against Robbie Solar while David Devlin shall face his mentor in Mikey Whiplash. Aspen Faith will also be in action when he competes against Timm Wylie.

Friday Alternatives 

Insane Championship Wrestling Wrestleria 
Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Feat - Joe Hendry v Jack Jester

Preston City Wrestling Fright Night 4
Preston, Lancashire 
Feat - Chris Masters v Iestyn Rees *I Quit Match*

Moving on to Saturday and SWE will celebrate their 6th anniversary as they head to Stevenage, Hertfordshire and The Gordon Craig Theatre. The event will see three of their championship defended as well as an international defence. 

The international defence will come in the form of Eddie Edwards defending the TNA World Heavyweight Championship against Bubblegum. Bubblegum is the current Speed King Champion but he'll be trying to add more gold to round his waist this Saturday. Edwards will not be giving up the title easily though as this is his first reign as TNA World Heavyweight Champion, which adds to his many previous title reigns which have contributed to him being a ROH and TNA Triple Crown winner. Bubblegum will not be an easy challenger to fight off though and any underestimation could result in Eddie Edwards' first reign being very short lived. 

Since Robbie X returned to SWE his focus has been soley on his former tag team partner, Mark Haskins. Robbie even resorted to attacking Haskins with a kendo stick during SWE last event. Haskins wants revenge and he's not going to let Robbie get away with his attack. SWE have recognised that Haskins wants retribution for the attack and have scheduled both men to face each other this weekend and kendo sticks will be legal. Robbie wants to destroy Haskins, he'll get the chance to do just this this Saturday. That being said, with kendo sticks being legal for both men, it may turn out to be Robbie who finds himself on the end of a career changing kendo stick attack at the hands of Haskins. Whatever happens expect some creative brutality in Stevenage this Saturday.

The feud between Joseph Conners and El Ligero has consumed SWE for as long as anyone can remember. When Ligero's team beat The Righteous Army, forcing them to disband, many thought it was the end. However, that was not to be the case and the two men will meet once again this Saturday with the richest prize in SWE being on the line, the Heavyweight Championship. The hatred between these two men is so strong that SWE imposed a clause on their championship match that if either man touched the other before this Saturday then the match would not take place. Both men have managed to remain restrained but that restrained will be gone in Stevenage and they will have to give it all they have as this championship match shall also include tables, ladders and chairs (oh my). Only one person is leaving as champion this Saturday but we doubt that either man will able to walk away the same as they entered.

This Saturday will also feature Melina defending the Queen Of Southside Championship in a six-way match against Alex Windsor, Nixon Newell, Kay Lee Ray, Dahlia Black and Toni Storm. The Southside Tag Team Championship will also be on the line when international duo of Shane Strickland and Matt Cross Stixx and Chris Tyler at The Gordon Craig Theatre. Finally, Cody Rhodes shall make his SWE debut when he faces “The Bruiserweight” Pete Dunne in the first meeting between the two men.

Saturday Alternatives 

Insane Championship Wrestling That's a Paddlin' 
Southampton, Hampshire
Feat - Wolfgang v Joe Hendry 

Premier British Wrestling Maximum Impact 2016
Greenock, Inverdale
Feat - Davey Blayze v BT Gunn

PROGRESS return to the Electric Ballroom in Camden, London for the first time since August to present the 38th Chapter in their history, entitled When Men Throw Men at Men, with another wonderful card of wrestling lined up. 

The fourth Natural Progression Series kicks off on Sunday, with this edition featuring the added twist that it will be to become the first ever Women's Champion. This first quarter final match shows that PROGRESS aren't messing around, as bitter rivals and two of the promotion's most prominent females will go head to head, with Jinny taking on Pollyanna. These two have been feuding on and off since the start of 2015, having a number of tag bouts since as well as putting women's wrestling on the map in the promotion with a huge No Disqualification match in May 2015. The two have split victories in the past, but a lot has changed over the last 18 months, with Jinny developing into a much more vicious and capable performers, defeating the likes Leva Bates, Toni Storm and Mishca East. She'll be looking to use her increased experience to finally put the plucky Pollyanna down for good, but with so much on the line, it won't be an easy task.  

The issues between The South Pacific Power Trip (TK Cooper & Travis Banks with Dahlia Black) and The Shirtlifters (Jack Sexsmith & Roy Johnson) have been rumbling since the Summer, when Johnson would be pulled into Sexsmith's feud with The SPPT during a Wasteman Challenge in July. Sexsmith's choice words for the group who he'd had problems with for sometime, only added more fuel to fire and the two teams have been scrapping ever since. This Sunday, they'll look to put the rivalry to bed in a fan-voted Tables Match. The gimmick would seem to favour the more heinous The SPPT, who have been on a major role since joining up in PROGRESS. With Sexsmith in particular seemingly stepping outside his comfort zone, we could see a very different side to the Sexually Frivolous star on Sunday, as he and Johnson aim to put Cooper and Banks through a table. Expect shenanigans and excitement as the two popular teams collide in the Electric Ballroom.

In a huge international encounter, former World Champion Mark Andrews and Matt Cross will go toe to toe with a change to face Mark Haskins for the SMASH Championship on the line. Cross is best known for his work as Son of Havoc in Lucha Underground, showing an ability to wrestle in a variety of styles and that sense he'll be more than a match for Impact Wrestling star Andrews. If you've ever seen a Cross or Andrews match over the last few years, then you'll know exactly what to expect here and if not, then prepare to have you mind blown by an aerial assault, that will be action-packed to say the very least. The two previous met during a ten person match at Super Strong Style 16, but have never faced off one on one anywhere. Mandrews picked up big victories on PROGRESS's shows with SMASH in Canada, whilst Havoc has gone undefeated in his last four bouts in the Canadian company, so this match is finely balanced to create a real battle for the title shot, which could also open up opportunities within PROGRESS itself. 

Elsewhere on the show, Rampage Brown will put his Atlas Championship on the line in an open challenge, The Hunter Brothers (Lee Hunter & Jim Hunter) return to take on the debuting team of Alexander Henry & Jason Prime known collectively as The New Nation and Pastor William Eaver faces Paul Robinson. 

Sunday Alternatives

Insane Championship Wrestling You Don't Win Friends With Salad 
Feat - DCT v Lionheart

Revolution Pro Wrestling Live in Portsmouth
Porstmouth, Hampshire
Feat - The Big Guy (fka Ryback) v Legion of Lords (Lord Gideon Grey & Rishi Ghosh) 

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 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 -

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Event Review: FCP Breaking Into Heaven - Clint Margera v Pete Dunne 2 *Falls Count Anywhere*

After a very good show on Friday and a superb show on Saturday in Wolverhampton, Sunday, 23rd October saw Fight Club: Pro head North for a show at Manchester Metropolitan University's Student Union in...umm...Manchester. 75 miles from their home, FCP presented a show that saw Clint Margera get a shot at Pete Dunne's FCP Championship in a Falls Count Anywhere Match, Trent Seven went one on one with Mikey Whiplash and Chris Brookes tangled with Fire Ant. With Kimber Lee, Nixon Newell, Shane Strickland, Orange Cassidy and Travis Banks featured on the undercard, could Breaking Into Heaven better the high standards that had already been set across the weekend and smash into Manchester with a cracker? 

Pete Dunne collected his second successful FCP Championship defense in as many days, with a victory over the man who last defeated him in FCP, Clint Margera. The bout began with a similar moment to Dunne's bout with Trent Seven on Pulp Fixxion Part 2, where The Bruiserweight attacked Margera before the bell, calling out the FCP management for making him defend the belt against a "Death Match Worker", only for Margera to turn the tables and make the match Falls Count Anywhere, because...he bloody did. The duo brawled around the Union, fighting on the apron, around ringside, into the fans and onto the stage area. This fracas was punctuated by elongated "Pet-er" chants for Dunne (in reference to a moment from PROGRESS Chapter 37, a week earlier just half a mile away). At times it became a little too much and distracted from the action, which may also have something to do with Margera being a relatively unfamiliar face to the Northern audience. This isn't to say that there wasn't plenty of good to very good stuff going on (Dunne hitting a Tombstone Piledriver on the stage, being the stand out moment), but that it often got overpowered. 

Just like the night before there was plenty a shenanigan in the finish of this on. Chris Brookes made the save for Dunne following Margera hitting an avalanche Death Valley driver and then it all seemed start happening. Ref bumps, biting, wet willies, all sorts of things were occuring, but the long and short of it was that Dunne retained the title with a Rear Naked Choke. There were even more antics post-match, with Trent Seven came out to help Margera, only to be beaten down by Dunne and Brookes as well. This would lead to Jimmy Havoc returning to the promotion, turning on former KYS pal Dunne and turning babyface in the process, as he hit Brookes with an Acid Rainmaker. It was a cool end to the show and after a lengthy time off it's good to see Havoc continue to make his return in different promotions and shake up their stories and rosters in the process. I can't help but feeling that having Havoc announced as already appearing on the show, impacted a little on the moment, as anyone who was paying attention could see exactly where ir was going. Potentially having Havoc come out and cut a return promo earlier in the night before coming back out for the save, would have given the moment more of a swerve factor, but preferably I would've liked this to be a complete surprise.

The semi-main saw Mikey Whiplash defeat Trent Seven, giving Whiplash his second victory in as many days over former FCP Champions. If you've been following British professional wrestling over the last twelve months, then you'll know that Whiplash and Seven have been tearing it up in Insane Championship Wrestling trading victories in Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester, with things spilling over to Scottish Wrestling Alliance in Motherwell and a special show presented by Jimmy Havoc in Glasgow. So as was to be expected, this bout was slickly put together and stiff as fuck as Whiplash and Seven tore strips out of each other and hit the majority of their big moves in an intense scrappy match. There was a lot of back and forth, with reversals and strike battles, with the story playing out as two guys who are extremely familiar with one another and had an answer for seemingly even the most severe assaults. 

If I was surprised to see Whiplash defeat Margera on Saturday, I was flabbergasted that Whiplash pinned Seven with a Gotch-style piledriver, only moments after withstanding a Bret's Rope piledriver (silly, silly nearfall). With two big wins over the weekend, Whiplash would seem to be becoming a regular for FCP, but having already gone through two of the promotions top babyfaces and with FCP currently looking a little heel heavy, I'm intrigued to see how he'll fit in next year. Bouts with the likes of Tyler Bate, The Hunter Brothers and Nixon Newell should provide some great variety, with the returning Jimmy Havoc offering another attractive prospective match up. Seven sold the loss like an absolute boss and after back to back losses he looked not just hurt from the rough clash, but emotionally drained as his quest to regain the FCP Championship seems to have hit a stumbling block. 

In a surprisingly long opener, Chris Brookes picked up his third victory of the weekend, this time besting Fire Ant. This bout was very much in the CHIKARA vein, as the pair mixed some good quality wrestling exchanges with a number of comedic spots and general hijinks. It was clear where the bout was heading from the very beginning as after being a piss-kidney to a loud fan, Brookes repeatedly asked the ref to back Ant up, causing Ant to end up actually outside the ring himself. It was corny spot, but both men, as well as referee Joel, played it perfectly. As Brookes' gimmick is developing into someone who would really rather not be wrestling, after taking control of the bout he took Ant out of the ring and out of the room, into the bar area of the student union, before legging back to the squared circle in attempt for a countout. The moment was made by a couple of verbal quips from Brookes once he got back inside the ring.

One of the spots that I was most looking forward to was Brookes (who is still a turd) going for his, now signature, wet willy spot. You can't do a wet willy on a masked man/ant. The spot didn't let me down and went flying passed what even my twisted imagination had conjured up on the drive to Manchester. After initial confusion by the lack of ears, Brookes pulled a canister of bug spray from a black fabric bag and really went to town with it. I don't know the international rules of wrestling completely, but I'd imagine that bug spray doesn't result in a DQ, because what if there's like bugs, that aren't wrestlers, trying to get involved? Exactly! Following this spot the pair mixed things up with some pacy sequences and a couple of nice near falls, including a Brainbuster from Ant and Michonoku Driver from Brookes. The Calamari Catch King would win with his now familiar closing sequence, getting a submission with his double armed octopus stretch, although Ant had previously been able to reverse the rope-hung whiplash neckbreaker, as repeating that sequence began to pay off in more interesting variations. 

The Hunter Brothers (Lee Hunter & Jim Hunter)' only appearance across the weekend saw Ashley Clementine (Kimber Lee) and Orange Cassidy unsuccessfully answer the open challenge laid down by Lee and Jim. Considering both were already on the show under different guises, it was a mild disappointment when Clementine & Cassidy came out, probably because the open challenge gimmick often leads to a lot of speculation. The match was entirely dictated by the Clementine & Cassidy's gimmick of being The World's Laziest Tag Team. At first, I was quite into the idea with Cassidy putting on weak head locks and both going to sit in the crowd after taking chops from Lee & Jim. It wasn't "laugh so much it hurts" funny, but it was still funny. However, for me it ended up dragging, as the single joke was stretched across almost fifteen minutes without really having a big punchline. It was mostly entertaining, but could have done with losing five minutes or more. Had this been the third night in a row of seeing the Hunter Brothers, then I think I would've enjoyed the change of pace for Lee & Jim, but with this being their only match of the weekend and with very little tag wrestling at all over the three days, a Hunter Brothers bout with a hot local tag team would have felt fresher than a bottle of Tropicana. 

The strongest contest on the show was Shane Strickland going over Travis Banks, in a bout that presented a nice style clash. Banks desperation to get a win in FCP was stamped all over the action once again, this time from the very beginning as Banks upped the aggression level with Strickland matching it and the pair producing a pacy and dynamic opening sequence that set the tone for what was to come. The crowd was well split between the two and both worked the Manchester audience well, keeping things fairly even with a string of top quality reversals. Banks catching Strickland coming out of a Rolling Thunder into a German suplex and Strickland swiftly hitting a Spanish Fly as Banks charged in looking for his running knee strike are the two moments that spring to mind initially, but the bout was full of similar switches and swerves.. The match didn't have as many strong near falls as the Banks v Fire Ant match from the night previously, but it managed to tell a different story within the established narrative in a distinct style. I would love to see the pair have a rematch at some point as an extra five or even ten minutes would have only benefited these two creative performers, especially as they become more familiar with each other.

In the sole women's outing on the show, Nixon Newell defeated Kimber Lee in a hard-hitting battle. The contest fell into a similar pattern that we'd seen from the other female matches that weekend, with the pair trading moves. Forearms, chops, kicks, a few more kicks and a german suplexes. A spot where the pair hit each other with bicycle kicks looked particularly well-done, as I've often seen that moment look awful if not timed right and not built to in the right manner. In comparison to the Newell v Kay Lee Ray match from the previous night, the bout had a little more aggression and omph behind it, especially in a sequence where Newell hit a head butt and a German suplex, before Lee would reply threefold. I would've liked to have seen a little bit more action before the finish to really develop the hostility between them, with Newell wanting to even the score from their previous match in May. The bout concluded with Lee missing a high-angle senton bomb and Newell nailing a picture perfect Vulture Culture Destroyer for the pinfall. 

Continuing his more than impressive weekend, Dan Moloney won a four way contest pinning TK Cooper in a match that also included Ethan Silver and Drew Parker. It was even more of an imposing victory because not only did Moloney call out anyone to face him, but he ended up with three opponents and finished the match standing tall over all of them. The bout concluded with an incredible double powerbomb on Silver and Parker, before a deadlift spinning sitout powerbomb to Cooper, making Moloney look like an absolute (super)beast. Moloney completely owned the space during this one, especially in that final stretch and after the match. Outside of Moloney looking like a top tier talent in the making, the rest of the four way was an entertaining spot fest that managed to fit an awful lot of action into a short amount of the time. Cooper, Silver and Parker could certainly play a role in FCP in the future, with the trio all offering something a little bit different to what's already on the regular roster.


ATPW Scale Rating - 6.75/10

Show in a Sentence - A good start for FCP in a new city, but couldn't match the two previous show.  

Match of the Night - Shane Strickland v Travis Banks

Words - James Marston

All images are the property of Fight Club: Pro.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Event Review: FCP Pulp Fixxion Part 2 - Trent Seven v Pete Dunne

On 22nd October, Fight Club: Pro was at Fixxion Warehouse for the second night in a row, with Part 2 of Pulp Fixxion. The main event saw Pete Dunne put his FCP Championship on the line against Trent Seven, whilst Mikey Whiplash and Clint Margera went at it in a No Disqualification Match. With the likes of Kay Lee Ray, Kimber Lee, Nixon Newell, Shane Strickland and Fire Ant making up the undercard, could FCP raise the bar following a very good event just 24 hours earlier? Let's have a look, brah.

Pete Dunne retained his FCP Championship with a victory over Trent Seven in what was the best match across the two Wolverhampton shows. The pair might be PROGRESS Tag Team Champions, but in FCP there's no loved lost between the duo and that showed before the bell with Dunne striking before the announcements even began. The crowd (including myself) were hooked from that moment onwards as Dunne and Seven worked a 16 minute sprint. The bout was a mixture of Seven no-selling shit and some huge dramatic near falls. The two tropes seemed to play into each other, with Seven's ability to dig deep following taking huge moves like a superplex, giving the match a sense of momentum, allowing the fans to start to believe that Seven could take the title from Dunne at the first time of asking. This meant that each near fall had some real weight and believability. Dunne running into a powerbomb, before Seven turned it into a Single-leg Boston Crab, that he's put away Tommy End and Mark Haskins with recently, was a moment that I was completely wrapped up in, desperate to see the heel champion quit. This was helped by how well Dunne sold the hold and the previously mentioned drive of the contest.  

The finish saw a whole lot of shenanigans, beginning with a spectacular ref bump that saw Shay Purser moved into the path of a Seven suicide dive by Dunne. This caused Purser to go through the two rows of ringside seating and It looked wonderful (obviously not for poor Shay) being timed perfectly and getting a big reaction out of the Wolverhampton crowd. Every second following this was brilliant to watch, certainly helped by the emotional investment that I have within FCP as well as the two performers and characters, but I'd like to think it was equally as exciting and entertaining for those attending their first show with the company. In a sequence that was a rollercoaster of emotion, Seven hit a dragon suplex and spinning piledriver, but there was no ref to count the pinfall, but after Dunne had caught Seven low and hit his DT3 (Pumphandle Facebuster) a second referee, Joel Allen, managed to come flying out of the curtain, only for Seven to kick out at two and get another thrilling near fall off a roll-up as Dunne argued with Allen. By the time, Dunne got the submission win, it was as crushing a moment as it should have been, rounding off a wonderful final stretch and enhancing Dunne's credentials as champion. When the moment comes for Dunne to lose the belt, that moment will be all the sweeter because this bout took place. 

In the semi-main slot, Mikey Whiplash picked up his first victory in FCP, by defeating former champion Clint Margera in a No Disqualification match. This was an incredibly creative contest, as the duo took a limited selection of weapons and constructed a number of breath-takingly brutal highspots. Without using the cavalcade of "toys" that were seen across Margera's series with Chris Brookes earlier this year, the bout kept things interesting by having each spot feel bigger and more impressive than the last. This was an aggressive and violent display from the beginning as the two threw forearms at each other and then threw each other into the ringside chairs and walls. This was two chaps with no real backstory, beyond the tag match from the Friday night, just battering the piss out of each other for 15 minutes, just because they bloody could. 

The final three spots of the match were stupid, silly stuff (Meant in the best possible way, that you can call something stupid or silly) Whiplash took a superplex through some chairs, Margera took a slam off the top rope through another load of chairs TO THE FLOOR and then Whiplash hit a Death Valley Driver onto a pair of interlocked chairs on their side to get the win. Any three of those spots could have ended the match and I don't think anyone would have felt hard done by had that been the case. So, is there a case to be made for their being "too much" here? Probably. Is that a case that I'm going to put forward? Fuck no. As uncomfortable as some of teases and spots made me feel at points, it kept me completely involved in the contest as I was on the edge of my seat (bad back and all), partially in anticipation of what carnage was to come and partially because I was hoping neither performer would end up seriously hurt by some of the more high-risk aspects of the bout. The victory going to Whiplash was a slight shocker, as I expected him to come in and put over the FCP regulars, but I'd certainly be up for seeing more Whiplash in Fixxion Warehouse in 2017. It'll be interesting seeing how he'll fit into the wider picture and storytelling within the promotion.

Nixon Newell picked up a big win over Kay Lee Ray, in a match that is difficult to describe because of the ridiculous amount of styles and influences the duo used throughout. Like one moment the pair were doing a cool back and forth headlock and pins thing, which mimicked what had been seen in the Three Way with Kimber Lee from Pulp Fixxion and then all of a sudden Lee and Shane Strickland were having a dance off in a scene reminiscent of the 2001 The Simpsons' episode Tennis the Menace! The match didn't need the dance off to be entertaining, but I also don't feel like it detracted from the quality of the bout either. The pair continued with the back and forth and did so very well with a series of suicide dives, strong-style forearms and a number of finisher attempts, whilst also mixing in some comedy like chopping referee Shay and having him assist Newell in an inadvertent Stunner. It was a difficult task to try and include so much contrasting content within the match but Newell and KLR created something that was entirely enjoyable, featured some excellent wrestling and looked a lot of fun to be involved in as FCP continues to develop it's women's division. This was definitely a step in the right direction. 

One of the strongest stories in FCP in 2016 has been Travis Banks' quest for a win and it was in his loss to Fire Ant (putting him 0-11 in FCP) that it really began to shine and develop into something that currently feels like it could become something particularly special into the new year. Whilst the match seemed to take a couple of minutes to fully connect and grip the crowd, the final stretch of combat was superb stuff, as Banks came agonisingly close to getting his first win in the promotion. Two near falls for Banks stand out in particular, the first being the Kiwi Buzzsaw withstanding a barrage of offense, including a tope conhilo, high crossbody and PK, only to reverse a brainbuster attempt into one of his own, with the second coming moments after when the New Zealander showed his frustration all over his face, and hit a corner roundhouse kick, only for Ant to put his foot on the ropes before the three count. I was so involved in the losing streak angle, that by the end of the bout I found myself turning on Ant, despite him not doing anything wrong at all. I just wanted Banks to win, goddamit. I love being able to get sucked in by the wrestling I watch, get lost in it and begin to engage with narratives and this angle is certainly ticking those boxes right now, with this bout with Ant being a strong continuation of the story. 

In intergender action, Chris Brookes went over Kimber Lee in a fun bout that told a decent story. In my review of Pulp Fixxion, I spoke about how much I hate the Brookes and his asshattery in FCP, which if you've read any of my reviews (or even just another paragraph of this one, I suppose) then you'll know I think that this is a wonderful thing. Before the match began the Calimari Catch King attempted to get out of the bout, revealing that he was actually in love with Lee, giving this as the reason that he lost their previous bout during the CHIKARA Anniversario Tour in May. This was played well by both performers, with it being clear that Brookes simply wanted a night off and Lee wanting nothing to do with it. After an early flurry from Lee, Brookes would control the match following a big boot, grounding Lee and just generally being a cockwomble about it all. It all worked nicely into a strong comeback from Lee, which included a sharp near fall after Brookes ran into a sit-out powerbomb. Brookes finishing sequence was being heavily put over across the weekend, as he hit a superkick and rope-hung whiplash neckbreaker, before locking in a double armed octopus stretch for the submission victory. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing how this plays into future matches in FCP. 

The opening match of the show saw Dan Moloney defeat Shane Strickland with his deadlift spinning sitout powerbomb, in what was one of the best, if not the best match I've ever seen out of the Superbeast. There was some tremendous wrestling in this one, as Moloney and Strickland's styles connected well, with Moloney able to operate in the powerhouse role, whilst also showing some real skill in being able to up his pacing and go toe to toe with one of the speediest performers on the Indy circuit. As much as Strickland is a hugely impressive wrestler to watch, thanks to his pace and varied offence, including a wonderful sequence that concluded with a rolling thunder into a jumping cutter, most of my attention was on the local Moloney. He handled the crowd's chants surrounding his smaller than usual footwear well and genuinely looked to be developing into potential top tier star. FCP continued to build it's roster of villains with the Moloney victory, joining the wins for champion Pete Dunne, Mikey Whiplash and Chris Brookes, across this show, seemingly with an eye on the Infinity tournament on 25th November.


ATPW Scale Rating - 7.84/10

Show in a Sentence - A very good evening of wrestling, that upped the quality in a number of areas from the stellar card the night before.

Match of the Night - Trent Seven v Pete Dunne

Words - James Marston 

All images are the property of Fight Club: Pro.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Event Review: FCP Pulp Fixxion - Clint Margera & Trent Seven v Pete Dunne & Mikey Whiplash

On 21st October 2016, Fight Club: Pro returned to Fixxion Warehouse in Wolverhampton, West Midlands for the first show of three across the weekend, as they presented Pulp Fixxion. With a main event that saw FCP Champion Pete Dunne team with the debuting Mikey Whiplash to take on former champions Clint Margera and Trent Seven in a No Disqualification Match, as well as Kay Lee Ray, Joe Coffey, Kimber Lee, Nixon Newell and Shane Strickland in supporting matches, could FCP start the weekend in style? 

The headline bout of the evening saw Clint Margera and Trent Seven pick up a momentum building victory over FCP Champion Pete Dunne and Mikey Whiplash in an action-packed tag team collision. From before the bell, when Margera came flying onto Dunne and Whiplash, this was brutal fight that had plenty of energy and a boat load of intensity. The first couple of minutes saw all four on the outside of the ring, with Seven hitting a suicide dive onto Dunne who had been seated at ringside, before Margera was launched into the chairs on the other side of the ring by Whiplash. Both moments looked vicious and the blood-thirsty crowd wanted more. They certainly wouldn't be disappointed as all four men delivered top draw performances, pacing the encounter well and picking things up when needed. This was a great example of British strong-style.

The idea that these two teams were evenly matched was spread throughout the bout, with neither getting the upperhand for long. This was seen during a seated strike battle on the outside and became even clearer when all four went for running front dropkicks at the same time, leading to the foursome hitting multiple strikes on each other one after another. This would play nicely into the closing stages of the bout, as Seven was able to save Margera from taking a con-chair-to from the dastardly duo and Whiplash would save Dunne from taking a piledriver from Seven. By this point, having watched the two teams pull out their biggest moves and bring steel chairs into the mix, it felt like it would take some special or a big mistake to conclude the bout. In the end, it took a tiger suplex from Seven, a hard forearm from Margera and a Piledriver from Seven to get Whiplash's shoulders pinned to the mat. What about Dunne? The Bruiserweight simply watched the pinfall before walking out. Not only had Whiplash saved Dunne from taking a piledriver earlier, but he also stopped the pin when Dunne took one earlier in the clash! As hard-hitting and violent as the match was, it could be easy to miss the story that was told throughout the outing, but it created a satisfying watch for those keeping up. 

Dan Moloney's victory over Fire Ant featured a nice mix of good banter and solid wrestling, as Moloney continues to get more and more comfortable with every match he has. The crowd latched to Moloney's slightly small boots and began to serenade him with the Roderick Strong hymn book. The Superbeast's reactions to this were priceless and I hope that this only develops across the weekend, as there is some real opportunities for more comedic moments and to create even more heat for Moloney. The contest itself was very good stuff, with Ant always seeming to have Moloney's number, until that it is Moloney went for Ant's antennae, in a similar way to how the crowd grabbed onto the opportunity to sing "Shitty Little Boots" in various formats. The pair created some smooth wrestling inside the ring, with a number of tight reversals, whilst Ant got a strong near fall off a trio of big moves as he hits a Frankensteiner, a PK and then a brainbuster in quick succession. Having split from Facesmashers partner Wild Boar at Project Mayhem V, a victory for Moloney has set him on the right path with Boar conspicuous by his absence. 

Chris Brookes continued to get under the skin of the Wolverhampton faithful as he got a win over 2 time CZW Wired Champion Shane Strickland. This was strong blend of slick wrestling and comedic japes as Strickland made his debut in FCP and quickly got over with the crowd, partly because he wasn't Chris Brookes and partly because he's got some fun offence. The match played out fairly simply as Strickland's lucha stylings went up against Brooke's general twattery. Notes I wrote on this match include "Wrestling with Brookes being a general wanksock" and "Brookes is dick", I feel that they kind of sum up how fucking angry Brookes makes me. He put Strickland in a camel clutch and gave him a wet willy. Who does that? The wrestling was paced well, with Strickland getting to show off in exciting bursts, that made Brookes' ways even more frustrating. It would often be Strickland's pacy, risk-laden offence that would catch him out and that would be how the match concluded, because after a missed 450 splash, Brookes would finish off his opponent with a superkick and elevated spinning neckbreaker, before locking in the Octopus Stretch for the submission victory. A fun opener to the main show, that got the crowd nice and warmed up for more wrestling.

Outside of the main event, Joe Coffey pinning Travis Banks was the strongest fight of the night. Banks had suffered nine consecutive losses since joining FCP in February, despite coming close against world class talent like Zack Sabre Jr, Sami Callihan and Trent Seven, and that story really drove the match for me. Each near fall for Banks had so much more behind it, as like his previous FCP matches, Banks appeared to come as close as you can come to winning a match without having your hands raised. Banks hit a number of his big moves including the Running Knee, Brainbuster and a springboard roundhouse, but couldn't hold Coffey down for long enough. This was a real ding dong strong style battle, with the pair not holding back, as the action went mostly back and forth throughout. The finish would see Coffey having to dig deep, removing his elbow pad and after a flurry of action, he'd connect with his AwRaBestFurThaBells lariat combination to pick up the win. It was another tough loss for Banks, as the desperation that had caused him to hit a huge suicide dive earlier in the match, turned to frustration at having lost once again. It feels like it's only a matter of time before Banks snaps and with matches against Fire Ant and Shane Strickland still to come this weekend, it may happen sooner than we think. 

Kimber Lee would come out on top of an entertaining women's match, that also including Nixon Newell and Kay Lee Ray. This bout was almost entirely "Everything you can do, I can do better" as the trio traded headlocks, pinfall variations, forearms, German suplexes, reverse ranas, before beginning to go for their trademark moves. Despite just seven minutes of ring-time, the three way seemed a lot longer for how much the ladies managed to cram into the match, that seemed like it never took a pause for breath! The reverse rana sequence is one of the silliest things I've seen in a while, for all the right reasons. Having three all play babyfaces could have easily caused issues, but the trio worked hard to keep the crowd interested and the audience was happy to chant for all three in various combinations and simply enjoy the grappling. The sequence of near falls in the last leg of the bout were quality stuff, with KLR coming close on a Gory Bomb, Newell nearly winning with the Shiniest Wizard you ever did see, before KLR was able to block a Vulture Culture Destroyer attempt, only to find herself on the receiving end of a massive powerbomb from Lee. With Newell scheduled to face KLR on Saturday and Lee on Sunday, there's more to come from the women of FCP this weekend! 

A special pre-show match saw the debuts of Omari and TK Cooper, with the Big O coming out successful in a decent contest that showcased each man well. With just five minutes, both men established themselves well with the audience, with Omari receiving a strong reaction after being announced as an FCP trainee. Cooper controlled the majority of the outing, after catching Omari with a tasty axe kick on the apron, going on to hit a variation of the Blue Thunder Bomb. It was interesting to see Cooper attempt to pull out a number of tricks and flips, which he almost always missed to give Omari an opening in the match. Cooper has a lot more in his locker than I think I've seen from him previously and I'd very interested in seeing him join the main FCP roster to see just how much he can do when given the chance. Omari has quickly developed into a promising pro wrestler also and it was nice to see a different side to him having watched him come up through Kamikaze Pro. I'd like to see him use his size more and up his aggression levels at points, but this is certainly a young man with a lot of potential.


ATPW Scale Rating - 6.93/10 

Show in a Sentence - Really good fun, good solid start to the weekender. 

Match of the Night - Clint Margera & Trent Seven v Pete Dunne & Mikey Whiplash

Words - James Marston (@IAmNotAlanDale)

Friday, 21 October 2016

Wrestle Ropes Ready For The Weekend: October 2016 Week Four - FCP, IPW:UK & ICW

With the news that ITV are bringing back World of Sport for a one off special, there's never been a better time to get into British wrestling. This weekend, we begin our look with Fight Club: Pro in Wolverhampton as they present Pulp Fixxion, before moving down south to Selson in Surrey for IPW:UK UK Future 8 2016 and then flying back up to Glasgow, Scotland for ICW as they celebrate their 10th anniversary with a special taping of Fight Club. There's little time to wait so let's get Ready For The Weekend.

There's also alternative shows in Edinburgh, Swindon, Stroud, Wolverhampton, Kent and Bristol, so there's no excuse not to get down to a show!

On Friday night, Fight Club: Pro kick-off a triple header at Fixxion Warehouse in Wolverhampton with Pulp Fixxion. It promises to be another night chock-full of British Strong-Style, with an added twist as a number of CHIKARA performers join in the fun as well. 

Having won the FCP Championship from Sami Callihan at Project Mayhem V in September, Pete Dunne finds himself teaming with a man making his debut for the company. But this is certainly no rookie taking his first steps in pro wrestling as Dunne teams with veteran and former ICW World Heavyweight Champion Mikey Whiplash. On the other side of the ring will be the man that Dunne and Callihan attacked in September, Trent Seven. With Seven scheduled for a singles match with Dunne on Saturday, both men will be looking to cause as much damage to the other as they possibly can and head into Saturday's clash with the upperhand. Joining Seven will be Clint Margera who is coming out of a brutal feud with Chris Brookes and will be looking for a new face to inflict his own brand of lunacy on. He'll find himself up against Whiplash on Saturday. With four men who are known to like to get more than a little bit violent, this contest could end up going all over the Warehouse, but when the dust settles the title picture in FCP could have a very different look. 

Travis Banks has been one of the most consistent performers in FCP in 2016, but perhaps not in the way that he would have liked. Despite coming close on numerous occassions, against the likes of Zack Sabre Jr, Sami Callihan and Trent Seven, Banks is yet to collect a victory in FCP. That brings us to this Friday where he'll come against the debuting, "Iron Man" Joe Coffey. A former ICW World Heavyweight Champion, Coffey has wrestled some of the best performers in the World, and similar to Whiplash despite making his debut in FCP, he'll be anything but a pushover. Banks desperation for a victory may push him even further against Coffey and force him to take a step up. He'll be looking to move faster, hit harder and dig deep. If there's anyone that can match those attributes it's Coffey, who will be looking to make an impact on the fans in Wolverhampton. 

In an event that is choc-full of debuts, Kay Lee Ray will step into an FCP ring for the first time as she takes on Nixon Newell and Kimber Lee in a mouth-watering triple threat bout. Newell will be looking to bounce back from her loss to Jessika Havok in September, whilst Lee will be looking to recreate the form she was on during FCP's CHIKARA tour in May, that included a victory over Newell, while KLR will be wanting to show the FCP crowd what they've been missing out on. When the discussion turns to the best females in independent wrestling these three names are almost guaranteed to be brought up, so what happens when you put all three in the ring at the same time? Fixxion Warehouse will find out on Friday night!

Also on the card, Chris Brookes faces two time CZW Wired Champion Shane Strickland, whilst Dan Moloney comes up against former CHIKARA Campeonatos de Parejas Champion Fire Ant. 

Friday Alternative 

World Wide Wrestling League Wrestling Showdown 
Feat - Mark Coffey v Dickie Divers

Moving on to Saturday and IPW:UK are holding their annual 'UK Future 8 2016' in Selsdon, Surrey at the Selsdon Hall. The event sees eight up and coming stars competing in four quarter-final matches with winner progressing to semi-finals and the eventual final, all in one show. 

This year sees last year's winner, Sammy Smooth back to make it two straight years as UK Future 8 winner. However, this year he will be holding the All-England Championship which he shall be defending in not only his quarter-final match but if successful, every round of the UK Future 8 tournament that he competes in. Sammy Smooth will be facing Cieran Donnelly whose tag team partner, Danny Duggan will also part of the tournament and will be competing against Scott Star in the second quarter-final match. The third quarter-final contest will see the debut of Robbie X in IPW:UK and he'll be facing IPW:UK training school graduate, Ashmore in what will be a big match for both men. The fourth quarter-final sees another IPW:UK training school graduate, Lewis “Maverick” Mayhew in action when he competes against one half of the current IPW:UK Tag Team Champions; Scott Wainwright. Mayhew has a big future ahead of him but it could well be cut short by Wainwright. While it is very hard to pick a winner in these types of tournaments, a few stand outs in the pack are Robbie X, Sammy Smooth and Scott Wainwright. Robbie X has the advantage of not only being a debut in IPW:UK but holds a vast amount of experience. Possibly the most experienced of all eight men. Sammy Smooth on the other hand has the experience of winning this tournament before and that is sure to give him an edge. The added pressure of having the All-England Championship on the line could either be of benefit to him or be the cause of his downfall. Scott Wainwright is probably in the most successful era of his career so far and that is largely down to his change in attitude much to the detriment of his opponents. A more ruthless streak has already lead him to becoming the IPW:UK Tag Team Champions with Paul Robinson and that streak could well lead him the becoming the UK Future 8 winner of 2016.

Also scheduled for this Saturday is the first ever 10,000 peso tag team challenge where Cuban Heat and his new banker, Marc Lloyd shall face Muscle Mountain.

Saturday Alternatives 

4FW Kingdom Rising 2016
Swindon, Wiltshire
Feat - The Sheikh’ Tiger Ali vs Saime Sahin 

Pro Evolution Wrestling Live in Stroud
Stroud, Gloustershire 
Feat - T-Bone v Iestyn Rees 

Fight Club: Pro Pulp Fixxion Part 2
Wolverhampton, West Midlands 
Feat - Dan Moloney v Shane Strickland 

Finally on Sunday, Insane Championship Wrestling will celebrate their 10 year anniversary with another edition of their 'Fight Club' event in Glasgow at The Garage. The event will have a number of implications for 'Fear & Loathing IX', ICW's biggest show to date. 

One match that will shape 'Fear & Loathing IX' is the contest between Kenny Williams and Lewis Girvan. When it was announced that Ricochet would be in action on November 20th, both men threw their hat into the ring to face him. ICW management decided that instead of them choosing who would face Ricochet, they would let them fight it out to see who wants it most. So that's what's going to happen this Sunday, former ICW Zero-G Champion; Williams who has been fighting with Lionheart for a number of months will face Girvan, the self-proclaimed “Best Young Wrestler In The World”. Only one of them is face Ricochet at 'Fear & Loathing IX'. 

ICW have also announced that BT Gunn and Stevie Boy will end their rivalry at 'Fear & Loathing IX' but in what type of match that will be is to be decided by the winner of Chris Renfrew & Gunn vs The Filthy Generation on October 23rd. Gunn and Boy were supposed to face each other at the last edition of 'Fight Club' but that never happened thanks to a chairshot from Kay Lee Ray to Gunn. If it had not been for Renfrew's intervention, the outcome could have been far worse. Both Gunn and Boy hate each other with a passion. Their previous matches show that to be clear. Whoever wins the match this Sunday will have something very special in store for their final encounter. 

Lionheart is defending the ICW Zero-G Championship in a Stairway To Heaven match on November 20th and there have been a number of qualifying matches for the five match places that are available. This Sunday will see another qualifier take place with Liam Thomson taking on Chris Ridgeway. Thomson has been a stalwart of ICW for a number of years and is back in the hunt for championship gold after shall wee say an unsuccessful attempt to woo Debbie Sharpe. Ridgeway has declared his intentions to be in the Stairway To Heaven match and wants his first taste of gold in ICW at their biggest event to date. Both men are hungry for a win this Sunday so they can go on and be in with a chance on November 20th. One element which may come into play is that fact that Thomson never answered Christopher Saynt's challenge on two occassions. Saynt has announced that he will be attendance this Sunday. Take that as you will.

Also scheduled this Sunday is six-man tag team action between Mike Bird, Wild Boar & Iestyn Rees of The Mauraders and the trio of DCT, Sha Samuels and Grado. Additionally, Darkside, William Grange and Dickie Divers will compete in a three-way elimination match while former tag team partners, Davey Blaze and Joe Hendry will meet to settle their differences in the squared circle. While Mark Coffey has been suspended by ICW co-owner, Red Lightning, his tag team partner and fellow ICW Tag Team Champion; Jackie Polo will be facing Red Lightning's cousin, Aaron Echo in singles competition.

Sunday Alternatives 

Internation Pro Wrestling: United Kingdom Women's Showcase 
Swanley, Kent 
Feat - Xia Brookside v Erin Angel 

4FW Kingdom Rising 2016 Night Two 
Emerson's Green, Bristol 
Feat - Tiger Ali v Billy Gunn

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 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

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Thursday, 20 October 2016

TV Review: WWE NXT #217 - Buddy Murphy v Wesley Blake

The 12th October episode of WWE's NXT show was headlined by former Tag Team Champions Buddy Murphy and Wesley Blake facing off with each other for the first time, although Samoa Joe had other plans. TM-61 (Nick Miller [Mikey Nicholls] & Shane Thorne [Shane Haste]), Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss featured in the other high profile bout. After a less than stellar episode last week, would NXT show any signs of improvement? 

If you'd been watching the last few weeks of NXT then I'm sure you'd have been able to guess that Samoa Joe was about to interfere during Buddy Murphy and Wesley Blake's grudge match. It just felt like the natural progression of the two storylines. Murphy and Blake were actually doing some pretty good work in the ring, telling a cool story of them both being very familiar with each other and I feel like the crowd was getting into it by the time Joe came charging down the ramp. There's definitely space to redo that match at a future date or even reform the team because of the attack. What followed with Joe calling out NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura once again was a brilliant watch. The King of Strong Style standing on the stage and removing his neck brace produced a great visual, before the stakes were upped in a pull-apart brawl. Joe and Nakamura brought the intensity in a brawl that had a very different feel to their pre Takeover: Brooklyn II brawl. In the end it was Joe who was left laying in the ring, after plenty of twists and turns. After wanting to fight Nakamura for weeks, it will be interesting to see how Joe reacts over the next few weeks. 

In the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, TM-61 defeated Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli to advance to the second round in a mostly dull encounter. This was Sabbatelli's debut and Moss's first bout in around a year and whilst they both looked great, I didn't see much from them to get particularly excited about. It was telling however that Full Sail Arena began dueling chants about Sabbatelli, instead of getting behind a TM61 side who are yet to get over with the audience, despite obvious talent. The contest felt like it was overly long for what felt like a foregone conclusion for a Miller & Thorne and despite the size of Moss & Sabbatelli they didn't have any convincing near falls across almost ten minutes of wrestling. In the Quarter Finals, TM-61 will face either Team Aries or Niko Bogojevic & Tucker Knight. 

 Best of the Rest

  • Billie Kay [Jessie McCay] defeated Liv Morgan in a scrappy bout, after Peyton Royce had tripped Morgan. 
  • In Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round action, the debuting SAnitY (Alexander Wolfe [Axeman] & Sawyer Fulton) def Bobby Roode & Tye Dillinger [Shawn Spears], with Roode leaving Dillinger and Eric Young and Nikki Cross [Nikki Storm] being revealed as the other members of Sanity.


ATPW Scale Rating - 5.25/10 

Show in a Sentence - Great show ending angle, pedestrian elsewhere, except for SAnitY introduction, which needed more time.

Strongest Segment - Buddy Murphy v Wesley Blake interrupted by Samoa Joe 
Weakest Segment - TM61 v Riddick Moss & Tino Sabbatelli 

Words - James Marston