Thursday, 17 November 2016

Event Review: Attack! Pro Wrestling X Pop Punk - FSU v Chief Deputy Dunne & Pete Dunne

On 12th November, Attack! Pro Wrestling presented a unique event, alongside Pop Punk band, Junior at The Frog & Fiddle in Cheltenham, Gloustershire. The two elements were intertwined throughout the show, with the main event featuring band member Mark Andrews tagging with FSU partner Eddie Dennis against Chief Deputy Dunne (Damian Dunne) and Pete Dunne. With the likes of "Flying" Mike Bird, Chris Brookes, Wild Boar, "Ravin'" Danny Jones and Chuck Mambo also on the card, how would Attack!'s second trip to Cheltenham go down? 

Venue & Crowd - I love the Frog & Fiddle. This is only the second show that Attack! have run in the building and I'm absolutely in love with it. It's small and compact in the barn and even with just 100 fans in attendance, it can be incredibly tight with a ring in the middle, but that allows for a great atmosphere and brilliant interactivity. The crowd was hot throughout, for both the wrestling and the music, reacting to the action well and jumping on any opportunity to have a good ol' sing song. The mix of wrestling and music was used well and even with the ring only leaving room for a few people directly in front of the stage, it was still pretty sweet down the front when Junior were giving it the big ones. I'm not a music reviewer, so I'll be mostly sticking to the wrasslin' portion of the show as we continue.

The main event was an unannounced clash that saw FSU (Eddie Dennis & Mark Andrews) get a crowd-pleasing victory over "The Bruiserweight" Pete Dunne & The Anti-Fun Police's Chief Deputy Dunne in tag team action. The build-up made use of the unique set-up as after Junior appeared to be rounding off the evening, Andrews made reference to just how much fun he was having, of course, bringing out CDD, who used a Twitter exchange from earlier in the week as his fuel. CDD was quickly joined by Pete and a beatdown ensued, until Andrew WK's Party Hard hit, the crowd went nuts and Dennis came out to make the save. It was a flurry of excitement, that moved from one moment to the next at the right pace and concluded with an big main event being set up straight away. What's not to like about this? Nothing. That's what. 

The Dunne Bros and FSU have collided in PROGRESS and Fight Club: Pro and all four guys have plenty of history all over the UK and that showed throughout this tag tangle. The two groups have such a chemistry together that I'm actually surprised that they haven't faced off on more occasions. Because I'm a fool, all my methods of writing notes botched on me for the main event, so unfortunately I can't go as in depth as I would like to this, but the whole match was as crisp and pacy as you would expect. Andrews and Dennis are two of the best babyfaces on the scene right now, the Dunnes are two of the strongest heels, add into that the pre-match build and you had four wrestlers who had the crowd in the palm of their hands throughout. There was flips and tricks and reverse ranas and finisher teases and near falls and all sorts of good stuff, that was made stronger and more enjoyable by a solid structure that unfolded at a nice pace, as well as the hugely satisfying finish. Because my description of the contest is awfully vague (for the aforementioned reason) I would urge you even more than usual to check it out through the on-demand service

Match in a Sentence - Four clever workers with a shit tonne of chemistry and a great knowledge of what their audience wants, with a cool and unique set-up.

After some tunes from Junior, the wrestling portion of the show kicked off with #CCK (Chris Brookes & Mondai Lykos) successfully retaining the Tag Team Championships against Bowl-A-Rama ("Fat Cat" Lloyd Katt & Splits McPins) in a humourous comedy encounter, that got the crowd more than warmed up for the rest of the evenings festivities. The early portion of the contest was wall to wall silliness, that included a multi-man wet willy spot, before referee Shay Purser apparently lost his mind and grabbed Lykos' signature baking tray (not sure what use a damn dirty wolf has for a baking tray) and just started twatting people with it. Everyone went down to the almighty tray of baking. Then there was Katt needing to smoke a cigar for reasons, his cigar getting broken and then Bowl-a-Rama got their bowling ball involved in the action. The bowling ball actually looked pretty damn painful (because it was a bowling ball), especially when thrown into Brookes lower back (I have bulging discs in that region and almost fell to the fall just imagining how that would feel for my old old spine (I'm 23)) 

The final stretch of the match was all about the near falls, as the pace picked up and things seemed to get more serious with Bowl-a-Rama looking desperate to take those tag belts from Brookes & Lykos. The action went back and forth, there was a sick reverse rana from McPins, some brilliant last ditch kick outs and saves that were well-timed. The Gory Special/Blockbuster combination that #CCK do is a great piece of business, everything about it is just lovely. More of that move, everywhere, please. I still hate Brookes though, because Brookes is a slugpellet. Lykos is still a damn dirty Wolf. My hatred for the two characters will always make a match about seven times more intense. By the matches end, I felt like Bowl-a-Rama had been raised up a notch for having competed with #CCK for over 15 minutes and shown that there is perhaps more depth to their act than one might expect on a first glimpse. #CCK are developing into one of the best villain tandems on the scene and continued to show a versatility and willingness to mix up their style that will see them well in the new year.  

Match in a Sentence - A strong mix of comedy and graps, that set the tone for an Attack! show perfectly. 

Wild Boar in singles action! Boar went 2-0 in Cheltenham, with a victory over "The Human Drewplex Machine" Drew Parker. If you haven't seen Parker's "Extremely Confused" gimmick in Attack!, Parker took a knock to the head in September and has since taken on the personae of various ECW alumni, including Sab-Drew and Drew Jack. If you hadn't guessed this time around Parker believed he was 3 time ECW World Tag Team Champion Taz and it was glorious. From the entrance to the no selling with crossed arms to some Drewplexes, if you weren't enjoying this match with the glee of a child hearing sleighbells on Christmas Eve then we can never ever be friends. The japes of Parker's character were met with brutality by Boar, as he threw everything he had at Parker, including a brilliant Pop-up Powerbomb nearfall. Boar even managed to withstand a number of Tazmission attempts. The two characters slotted together well, with Boar's build and style suiting Parker's Tazz parody and creating a match that was ridiculously entertaining. The loss will only help endear Parker to the audience as the gimmick continues to gather steam.

Match in a Sentence - Stupidly entertaining stuff.

Another bonus match saw "The Not-So Ginger Anymore Jesus" Mike Bird best "Bronco" Brendan White, Chuck Mambo and "Ravin'" Danny Jones in a Four Way scramble match. This wasn't a lengthy encounter (8 minutes), but was choc-full of action, with all four guys able to get in a good showcase of their characters and what they could do in the ring. PROGRESS Wrestling's Mambo made a strong first impression on the Attack! crowd, with his laid-back surfer gimmick being easy to like and the ability to get a pop from a surfboard stretch showed that he'll fit in well in the weird and wonderful world of Attack! Taking bumps as Jones blew his rave whistle at him also helped to endear Mambo to his new audience. White also continued to impress as he develops including being involved in a freaky suplex spot with Bird and Jones. After a number of dives to the outside, Bird let his experience show as he conquered all three of his opponents with a flurry of offense including a double knee gutbuster as part of another sweet multi-man spot. With Bird heading into a match with Eddie Dennis to crown the first ever Attack! Champion on 20th November, this was definitely a cool way to set Bird up! 

Match in a Sentence - Fast and exciting four way with a vast array of strong personalities.

Any Other Business

  • The show concluded with Jim Lee celebrating his birthday with a cake, before Chief Deputy Dunne ended up taking a stunner from Junior's Si, complete with the iconic glass smash and Jim Johnston's I Won't Do What You Tell Me! 


ATPW Scale Rating - Fun (or 7.38/10)

Attack! is a brilliant promotion and this was another great show out of the outfit. Seriously, I love Attack! The main event was superb stuff, #CCK v Bowl-a-Rama was very good in a totally different way, Parker v Boar was just the right shade of silly and the Four Way was everything you'd want from that type of match and more. Not for a single moment did I find myself even feeling a little bit bored as every performer worked hard to keep everything they were doing interesting, entertaining and different. Junior's music was a good fit for the feel of the show and continued that interesting, entertaining and different style that I've began to associate with Attack! 

Show in a Sentence - Interesting, Entertaining and Different.

Match of the Night - FSU (Eddie Dennis & Mark Andrews) v Chief Deputy Dunne & Pete Dunne

All - James Marston

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