Wrestling Frontiers: FWA 28/7/2002 Portsmouth
Posted by Phil on July 30th, 2002
Held at the spectacular Pyramid Centre in Portsmouth, No Surprises rates as my favourite FWA event to date. Well-booked, well-executed, and with some real major surprises on hand, this was a very enjoyable show indeed.

Raj Ghosh & Chris Justice opened up preceedings. These are two of the best of the bunch when it comes to the young up-and-comers in the FWA (although Chris’ dancing still disturbs me!). This was a great opener with some spectacular counterwrestling holds and maneouvres from both guys. Chris eventually won the match, but a mammoth man walked to the ring and destroyed both guys, leaving them laying. The FWA is in trouble if this guy is running amok!

James Tighe v Mark Sloan was next. I was looking forward to this master v student battle, and was a little disappointed that it wasn’t up to their usual standard. However, it was still a great match, and many of the fans I spoke to were raving about it during the interval.

After James Tighe won with a spectacular new finisher, the Old School hit the ring and offered Tighe a place in their faction.

Tighe exhibited a great deal of class, telling Dean Ayass, to kiss his…well, that was the gist of it anyway.

Tighe paid the price though, as the newest member of the Old School was revealed to be…Mark Sloan, who beat his pupil mercilessly. Sloan, who founded the FWA, had become disgusted with what it had become. So the Old School/New School war now embarks on a whole new chapter as Mark Sloan attempts to wreak vengeance on all who have bastardised his dream!

Before the next match, an unfortunate incident occured. Throughout the evening, Scottie Rock (an FWA wrestler who had not been booked on the show), who was in attendance having consumed what seemed to be far too much alcohol, had been increasingly unruly. After continually refusing to stop, Rock was escorted from the building in an ugly scene. I’ve said it before, wrestlers who attend events should have a bit more respect for those in the ring, and hopefully this will be the last time we’ll see such stupid behaviour.

The mixed tag match was next and I personally thought this was one of the best mixed tag matches I’ve ever seen. Sweet Saraya and Kruiz v Hade Vansen & Nikita was a really good match, made even more special by virtue of the fact that men and women competed as equals (within a few minutes I’d forgotten it was a mixed tag, as the women were competing just as strongly against the men as against each other which, in my opinion, is a good thing). Special credit must go to Nikita for putting forth her finest performance yet, and to Saraya for being absolutely brutal in there. Nikita and Hade won in a match which very nearly stole the show for me.

Then came a big surprise. Rob Brookside was introduced, then who should walk through the curtain but the All Japan Junior Heavyweight champion Kendo Ka Shin. A lot of the fans went wild at the site of the popular Japanese competitor, and this was a big signing by the FWA which has already made news on the Observer site among others. The match itself was good, but perhaps not as spectacular as some people wished. Ka Shin did pull off a great half-tarantula though, before Brookside finished him off with the Brookside Closer for the upset.

Just as people had recovered from one shock, another occured as Justin Richards was booted out of the FWA following a loss to Jonny Storm courtesy of some ill-timed interference by manager Dean Ayass (FWA Commissioner Victoria Demontfort had previously stated that any member of the Old School who lost their match would be kicked out of the FWA). The match itself was pretty good, as you’d expect from both these guys, and was a fitting end to Justin’s FWA career. Following the match, Justin was beaten to a pulp by the Old School…chalk it up, Justin…one less for the Old School!

After the interval, Jane Childs awarded Graham Hughes (pictured left) with a developmental contract. Hughes has been impressive at previous Futureshock events, and deserved this honour. However, he was soon interrupted by the Messiah Brandon Thomas who, in a shock move, turned heel on the Portsmouth crowd! (Jesus turns heel? I’m suing my Sunday School teacher – she never warned me about this one!)

Paul Travell then came out, seemingly to defend Portsmouth’s honour. However, his true intentions soon came to light, as he bowed down at the feet of Brandon Thomas declaring his devotion to his new Messiah. Travell even went so far as to wear a sackcloth tunic!

The New Breed then hit the ring to attack the Messianic Miscreants. In a great match, the Breed lost to Travell & Thomas after Travell dove onto Ashe on top of a steel chair. During the match, it should be noted that the Breed pulled off some incredibly innovative moves, including a german suplex into an armbar, and this was probably one of my favourite New Breed matches ever purely based on the amount of daring innovation and style changes they showed. Well done guys!

Also during the match, in a moment reminiscent of Moses’ parting of the Red Sea, Paul Travell’s trousers parted and went their seperate ways. Maybe Brandon can lay his hands on them backstage and heal them!

Up next was a match to determine the fate of Cami. Jack’s bundle of joy was up for grabs in his match with the Duke of Danger….if the Duke won, then Cami would be his maid for 30 days. However, if Jack won, Cami would get the Duke for the same period as her servant.

During the match, which was a real solid bout, the Duke showed the depths of his depravity by hoisting Cami up in the air and driving her to the mat with a brand new move, which I will dub the Peer Pressure. Using nefarious tactics, and his erstwhile butler Simmons, the Duke eventually defeated Jack and left with poor Cami over his shoulder.

Up next was Drew McDonald, who had been promised a surprise opponent by Victoria Demontfort. The opponent was former British champion and former WCW star, David Taylor. These two had a great groundbased ‘Old School’ match which was a real change in pace to some of the other matches (one of the things I really liked about NS4 was that there was such a variety of wrestling styles on the one show, there truly was something for everyone). Drew won the match after interference by Dean and an Ace Crusher/stunner from Drew. But I have to applaud both men for a fine solid technical wrestling match.

In the main event, Scott Parker faced Flash Barker for the FWA title. Dean Ayass was banned from ringside for this one. Another good match, Parker looked to have the match won (twice) after the Golden Arrow. However, it was Barker who would get the win with his roll of the dice move to retain the title. After the match, the Old School hit the ring and shaved Scott Parker’s hair off!

On TalkSPORT last week, Dean Ayass issued a challenge to Jody Fleisch that if he could make it back from his trip to Japan (Jody left for Japan on Tuesday) by the time the final bell rang in the main event, he would grant Jody a title shot with Flash there and then.

As the Old School tore off Parker’s remaining strands of hair, Jody suddenly appeared from the crowd, leaped into the ring and tore the house down with a spectacular impromptu contest with Flash Barker. Some great moves by Jody as always, and the crowd noise was amazing throughout.

After a modified Phoenix 720 DDT from Jody, Flash was down for the count and the FWA had a new champion. Congratulations to Jody Fleisch – the new FWA champ!

A great show and a great night, but there are questions to be answered:

How will the FWA trainees react to Mark Sloan defecting to the Old School?

What will happen to Cami now that she is in the Duke’s clutches?

What made Brandon turn bad?

And has Dean Ayass found a loophole which could see Jody’s title aspirations in dispute?

Perhaps we’ll see some of these questions answered very, very soon…