Here are five things you need to know about British wrestling this week!
1) ATTACK! kicked off their summer season with Rafflemania.
Back just five weeks after their annual Press Start extravaganza, ATTACK! Pro-Wrestling rocked up at the Trinity Centre in Bristol last Friday for Rafflemania II: Stripwrecked, the first of three shows over the summer season.
Although the promotion has had a main title – the ATTACK! 24/7 Championship – for almost three years, they felt that its transience (it has changed hands 48 times in that time) made it a bit of a joke and instituted a tournament for a new title at Press Start IV.
Eddie Dennis & Wild Boar both advanced from that show, and they were joined in the semi-finals by Mike Bird & Super Santos Sr. on this one. Bird beat Zack Sabre Jr. in a superb contest, while Super Santos Sr. downed Charlie Garret and afterwards joined Chief Deputy Dunne in the Anti-Fun Police, taking the rank of sergeant.
Dunne had earlier tried to recruit “Raver” Danny Jones & The Love Making Demon, having caught them at an illegal dance party and blackmailed them into joining the AFP, but they turned on him during the opening contest, where the ATTACK! Tag-Team champions Bayside High (Mark Andrews & Nixon Newell) beat Dunne & Jones.
The show, which also included a battle of the title tournament losers last time out in Tyler Bate versus Travis Banks, was main-evented by Eddie Dennis & The Brothers Of Construction (including 24/7 champion Jim Construction) versus Wild Boar & CCK (Chris Brookes & dirty wolf Kid Lykos), with Dennis & the Brothers getting the win without any 24/7 shenanigans.
ATTACK! return quickly with a debut show at The Barn in Cheltenham called Club One Hundred, and all their shows are available to watch on their On Demand service.
2) Zack Sabre Jr was Top Gunn for PCW in Blackpool.
After last week’s successful iPPV, Preston City Wrestling returned to their normal fare with a show at Club Domain in Blackpool last Saturday. Titled Top Gunn in honour of special guest Billy Gunn, the day kicked off with an academy showcase which saw wins for Rocky Future, Jimmy J & Lauren, amongst others.
The main show began with a tick in the W column for Iestyn Rees over El Ligero, while the man from whom Rees took the Masterlock Challenge gimmick from – Chris Masters – made his PCW return in the next match, teaming with co-general manager Dave Rayne as the Legion of #BOOM against Joey Hayes & Martin Kirby.
The PCW Tag-Team champions, Team Single, started the fourth year of their reign as they finished the third – facing The London Riots. And they emerged with their belts intact after both teams were counted out.
The eponymous star guest Billy Gunn fought another import in the shape of Hardcore Holly and, despite (or maybe because of?) their combined age of over 100, they sent the crowd home happy.
Zack Sabre Jr. vs Bubblegium, photo by Tony Knox
The show, which also featured Sha Samuels & Lionheart teaming to beat Nom Dar & Grado, and Viper downing Sammy Smooth in an intergender match, was main-evented by the return to PCW of Zack Sabre Jr., who wiped away the last four years of his absence with a memorable victory over Bubblegum.
PCW are back on August 6th with their 5th Anniversary show, and their DVD store has recently been updated with many of the latest releases.
3) Live from Norwich, it’s WAW.
Back for a third round of TV tapings, to be shipped around international TV channels as a showcase for their wares, the World Association of Wrestling filled Epic Studios in Norwich at the weekend, with a double shot of WAW action (as well as some Bellatrix action on Sunday.)
With a solid set-up from training school (which produced Nick Aldis & Paige, amongst others) to holiday camp shows and full-blown family events, WAW have their own solid roster and augment that with some international guests & some of the UK’s top stars for these tapings.
For this set, they again flew in Scott Hall to act as commissioner, and also used PN News & Robbie E, as well as bringing in Ted DiBiase as a special attraction.
DiBiase recruited the UK Hooligans & The Battlekats (four of Paige’s relatives in the same team!) to act as his Million Dollar Dream Team, and they beat Scott Fusion, Big J Johnson, Matt Walters & Jorge Castano on the first set of tapings.
Castano was one of a number of veterans pulling on the tights for these shows, and older fans may also remember Phil Powers & Paul Tyrell, as well as more regular workers Jonny Storm, Jody Fleisch, Robbie Dynamite & EWW’s Dominator.
The first set of tapings was headlined by a victory for Special Edition over the Superflys, and also included a double WAW Open Light-Heavyweight title change, when Brad O’Brien beat Mitchell Starr to win the belt, only to lose it immediately to Villman.
On the second set of tapings, which were main-evented by a Hardcore Steel Cage Match between the UK Hooligans & the Superflys, Villman lost the belt to Kip Sabian, but WAW British heavyweight champion Brad Slayer managed to keep his title, seeing off the challenge of Ruffneck in a match overseen by Commissioner Hall to ensure there were no shenanigans.
The shows also featured Nathan Cruz, Doug Williams & CJ Banks and news of their eventual broadcast will be carried on WAW’s webpage.
On Sunday afternoon, Epic Studios was turned over to Bellatrix 20, headlined by a match made at the end of the previous chapter, between Saraya Knight & Lisa Marie. Lisa Marie beat her rival but not so convincingly that Commissioner Hall couldn’t help but order a re-match – this time a lumberjack match at Bellatrix 21.
Earlier in the show, which also featured Violet O’Hara, Lana Austin & Erin Angel, there were two title matches as Blue Nikita defended her RQW title against Kay Lee Ray, and Lory beat Sammi Baynz for the WAW Women’s title.
Bellatrix 21 is on September 17th, again as part of a WAW TV taping at Epic Studios.
4) A huge 8-man tag stole the show at IPW:UK’s Supershow 3.
With the IPW:UK title still in limbo following Jimmy Havoc’s injury and Joseph Conners’s subsequent interim title run in Havoc’s name (although surely that can’t end well, can it?), last Sunday’s Supershow 3 from the Casino Rooms in Rochester was topped by a traditional British staple – a Battle Royale!
IPW:UK All-England champion Sammy Smooth took the honours in that tussle but three of his rivals opened the show in a grandly-titled Battle Royale Entrants Three-Way Match, which saw rising star Tom Dawkins defeat Martin Kirby & Juventud Guerrera.
Conners defended his/Havoc’s title against Hadrcore Holly, and Holly’s opponent from PCW the previous day – Billy Gunn – was also in action here, beating Zack Gibson.
Paul Robinson, quiet of late outside Will Ospreay’s RCWA, made some trouble on his return to Kent, attacking Maverick Mayhew on the latter’s way to the ring to face Grado and then doing his best dirty work to down the Scottish superstar.
Paul Robinson photo by Rachel Smith
The show’s big talking point, though, was a massive eight-man tag team affair, with outsiders Team Single (PCW tag-team champions Rampage Brown & T-Bone) & The 55 (former ICW tag-team champions Sha Samuels & Kid Fite) coming out on top against the IPW:UK “home” team of tag-team champions DnD and the SmoothStar team of Sammy Smooth & Scott Starr.
While in the modern UK scene there are rarely promotion-specific wrestlers, this has to be seen as a significant contest on those terms and possibly hints towards future storylines. Those storylines will play out in Swanley, Tonbridge and Snoldnad in the coming weeks, on the way to The Biggest Show Ever in Brixton in September, which Low-Ki was announced for this week.
5) Chris Ridgeway Knocked out Damian Dunne in Barrow (and other stuff).
Regular readers will know that I always keep my ear to the ground for the smaller promotions doing good things and another caught my eye this past weekend in Barrow, as KnockOut Wrestling promoted Deception at the Cemetery Cottages.
The Cumbrian outpost, where things have reportedly taken their own evolutionary turn, has been kept entertained by KOW for the past couple of years and Barrovian Chris Ridgeway has flown the flag for his hometown on the national scene. Ridgeway headlined this show in a streetfight, downing Damian Dunne, and will no doubt look to put himself in the title scene at Road To Gold III.
Those titles, Rikki Kray’s Showcase Championship & Dan Moloney’s KOW Championship, were successfully defended at Deception (against Ethan Berry & Drew Parker, respectively), but one man who won’t be going to Road To Gold is Shaun Vasey, who took the pin in a Loser Misses Out four-way match, won by Chris Brookes and also featuring Bubblegum & RJM.
KOW returns on August 20th.
In remembrance of a local teenager who took his own life, Pro Evolution Wrestling promoted the Kamil Ciemniewski Memorial Show last Saturday at Wotton Hall in Gloucester, headlined by a match for the Kamil Dench Trophy between Mike Hitchman and Eddie Ryan, won by the Wild Boar.
Both EVW championship belts were also on the line, with Charlie Garrett beating EVW champion Big Grizzly by DQ (and then challenging him to a rematch this weekend, which Grizzly accepted), and The Bristol Boys successfully defending their EVW Tag-Team titles against The Heritage City Henchmen.
The show also featured James Castle, Lion Kid & former EVW Tag-team champions The Renegades. ProEVO will be back this weekend at the Merchants Academy in Bristol.
Zoe Lucas suplexes Jinny, photo by JD Howells
Last, but by no means least, Revolution Pro-Wrestling taped TV at the Cockpit in Marylebone again. Their first Sunday in the month outings becoming a highlight of the southern-based graps fans’ calendars.
This time out, and leading into his huge main event with Katsuyori Shibata at the York Hall on Sunday, Zack Sabre Jr. teamed with his old pal Marty Scurll as the LDRS Of The New School, beating The British Young Bloods in the main event.
Although Sabre Jr. didn’t defend his title, Pete Dunne again put his on the line, defeating Noam Dar, and the tag-team title situation got so muddied during the match between champions Charlie Garrett & Joel Redman and The Legion of Lords that this Sunday will see a big four-team affair, with both those teams and The British Young Bloods and Storm & Fleisch going at it for the belts.
The show included a Trent Seven win over Mark Haskins and a Pro-Wrestling EVE showcase, in which Jinny beat Zoe Lucas. It also featured Fleisch, Storm, Josh Bodom & James Castle. The resulting footage will emerge on RevPro On Demand, as will this weekend’s Summer Sizzler action, which I’ll run down in next week’s column.