FWA British Uprising 2 – Full Report
19th October 2003
Author: Luke Constable
FWA British Uprising II, en an impatient queue of ardent wrestling fans are made to wait in the cold for half an hour, with a droning fire alarm ringing it’s irritating dirge for the duration, and with only the fluffy chest-hair of the OAP whose swim was bought to a premature end for amusement in the mean-time, and still refuse to let it dampen their spirits, you know they’re waiting in anticipation of something good.
Indeed the security check that postponed the start of the show may have been frustrating, but it served only to make the fans appreciate getting in the York Hall even more. And for a night as big as this, that wasn’t to be a bad thing.
The FWA commentary team of Nick London and Tony Giles strode out to the ring, and hyped up the crowd as they made it known that they were making a recording for the upcoming wrestling television channel. After initial talk of the channel’s (now-delayed) launch subsided, it was feared by some fans that the idea may have fallen through, so it was satisfying to hear something positive regarding the channel from one of the companies involved.
With the crowd’s excitement having been somewhat spiked by that, the British Uprising preview video played on the big screen, which made it’s main show debut. It should be noted that the clip of Jody Fleisch holding the FWA championship belt – which he won for the first time a year ago at the inaugural Uprising – was met with a huge, heart-felt reception. The now-retired Fleisch was not to go unappreciated by the fans as they welcomed what has so far been the nearest thing to a goodbye gesture on Fleisch’s behalf. The crowd were still buoyant though, and the end of the video marked a thundering explosion of pyrotechnics, which got a pop of its own. And as Jane Childs sauntered to the ring to welcome the fans, it was clear that British Uprising II had begun.
Jack Xavier was the first man out to take on his US opponent, Homicide. The latter took control in the early goings, simply by listening to the fans. They’re calls for ‘Chops!Chops!Chops!’ resulted in a few backhanders to the chest of Xavier, and shouts of ‘One more time!’ meant repeat performances of a knee to the face and tree-of-woe dropkick.
Xavier was not to be outdone, and a moonsault from the apron paved the way for close two-counts for ‘Our Saviour’ from a front slam and a flatliner. However he was soon to be dominated by Homicide who landed a top-rope double-arm suplex before grounding Xavier with some submission moves. This didn’t dent his enthusiasm for flying manoeuvres however, as was evident when he missiled into Xavier with a running senton tope.
Xavier fought his way back in with gusto, most notably when he responded to a Homicide knee-drop by kipping-up and blasting his opponent with a boot to the head. His fightback looked to be futile when Homicide hit a low-blow and signalled for the finish, but Jack managed to wriggle free from his grasp to land the Xaviator and the winning three-count. Although there were a few audible boo’s from some Homicide fans, they still seemed largely happy with a good opener.
A ten thousand pound bounty was at stake next as Mark Sloan attempted to beat Nikita for the money. Stevie Knight (the pick of many to have been the man to have set the 10K gauntlet) accompanied Sloan to the ring and ruled himself out of the running. Although he claimed not to have put the bounty on her head, he still made it clear that he doesn’t like her very much as he announced her as coming from “London’s dirtiest, cheapest brothel”. This angered her to the extent that she ran to the ring to get to him, but was cut off by the opportunistic Sloan with a kick to the head.
‘The Specialist’ impressed with his innovation, not least when he cut off a Nikita fightback from a figure-four leg-lock with a devastating DDT which bought the crowd to their feet. Submission holds were well represented by Sloan too, as he stretched his female foe with a fireman-carry-type stretch on the turnbuckle and a modified bow-and-arrow-type lock. The fact that the word ‘type’ appears on the end of both moves signals my inability to find adequate words to describe them. Sloan would do well to capitalise on this and devise a new gimmick where he boasts of his ability to frustrate writers with his modification-happy manoeuvres. Not only would it draw immense heat (probably), but it would also lay the table for a British Uprising III clash with pompous novelist and all-round bookworm Will Self. Am I the only with good (good/stupid) ideas?
Nikita gave as good as she got, and did so by using moves that I can describe. A samoan drop and an enziguri didn’t keep Sloan down for too long, but a northern lights suplex floored him momentarily, but only for a two-count. A flying head-scissors and backbreaker were followed by a missed moonsault, allowing Sloan back into the match. As impressive as his fisherman facebuster-into-suplex was, it didn’t deter Nikita enough, with her taking the opportunity to grab the win after slamming Sloan into the canvas with a top-rope facebuster. So a win for Nikita, but no Bounty for Sloan. Nevermind, I hear Sloan prefers bananas to coconuts anyway…
The first-ever International guest match took place next as U.S. independent wrestlers CM Punk and Colt Cabana collided in a fantastic match. Cabana endeared himself to the British fans by taking a comedy approach early on. Loudly exclaiming ‘Hold on, I know this one!’ as he pondered the correct reversal for a hammerlock got some laughs, as did his whining of ‘He’s twisting my head!’ as Punk was…er…twisting his head. The joking got physical when Cabana dared Punk to floor him with a shoulder tackle. After two failed attempts to move Cabana, Punk mustered up as much speed as he could to try and make it third time lucky, only to be tripped by the casually outstretched foot of his cocky opponent.
The jokes were over when Punk got back up though. A few not-so-friendly boots to the face softened him up for a half-nelson/STO move and a delayed vertical suplex. The first prominent near-fall came from Punk’s leg-lace DDT, which only spurred Cabana on to squeeze the skull of his Straight-Edged adversary and screaming “Tap out you p*ssy!”. Unfortunately for Cabana, Punk never tapped, but opted instead to drill Cabana with a picture-perfect reverse hurracanrana. Backing Colt into the corner with Punk’s assistance, the two ascended the turnbuckles, and despite a last-ditch effort to break free from Cabana, he still fell victim to Punk’s breathtaking Pepsi Plunge. His top-rope pedigree got the inevitable winning pinfall, and the move legitimately seemed to daze Cabana for a short while. But he still managed to stagger back to his feet to direct some chants from the fans, who sung the names of both CM Punk and Colt Cabana.
Those very same fans were less than impressed when news of the Zebra Kid’s late arrival was made common knowledge. Jane Childs’ announcement of his lateness due to unforeseen circumstances didn’t go down too well, but it wasn’t too sure if it was a work or not. All would be revealed later.
The first pressing revelation of the night was to take place in the hardcore tag team match pitting the Family against Ulf Herman and…no-one – unless, of course, he managed to arrange a stand-in partner to help him out for the night. Alex Shane, his regular tag ally, accompanied Herman to the ring even though he couldn’t wrestle due to a back injury. Family manager Greg Lambert reaffirmed the stipulations at hand. Although he would take a brutal Herman chair-shot should his team lose, he was all too confident in the Family beating Ulf, and thus ensuring that both he and his long-time nemesis Shane would have to leave the FWA.
Shane, never short of words, had other ideas. He had every reason to have confidence in Ulf, as he vowed that he wouldn’t go it alone, for he DID have a partner. And there was two things they could do about it – that’s Mikey and Whipwreck! The former ECW legend appeared with a bin-load of weapons in hand and a York Hall full of cheers in his ear. The fun had begun.
Mikey and Ulf quickly displayed their tag team skills by hitting a spike piledriver…on Mrs. Greg Lambert. But fear not, for there was no woman-beating to be reported. Mrs. Lambert is, of course, the now-legendary blow-up doll that has been frequenting the FWA front row as of late. Eitherway, it wasn’t too long until the Family were absorbing similar punishment. Ulf and Mikey made relatively brief work of tag team champions Paul Travell and Raj Ghosh in the ring, polishing them off with a chokeslam and a Whippersnapper respectively. Only then did the makeshift duo decide to bring weapons into the fray. This is where the fun got funner.
Ulf’s beloved baking tray served him as well this night as it has throughout his blood-soaked wars with the Family. Shot after shot after shot rained down on the noggin of Travell. His head was attacked further when a VCR came arcing down onto him, which promptly pulled a crimson mask down tightly over his face. Finally, the juice had come back…in a manner of speaking.
His partner didn’t escape the wrath of Ulf either, who conducted a brief lesson in hardcore wrestling entitled ‘How To Render A Mans Testicles Useless’ – the pupil, Raj Ghosh. Take one camcorder. Snuggle it nicely between the legs of your opponent. When ready, proceed to take baseball bat and swing it into the aforementioned camera, showering small pieces of technology into the front row. This lesson also offered a fun alternative, with the camcorder replaced with a computer keyboard. Travell was on the receiving end, but sadly for him, there were two receiving ends, both of which, sadder still, no longer produce sperm.
With help from fellow Family members Scott Parker and Ian DaCyple, the Family managed to subdue Mikey and Ulf for long enough to muster a comeback. A ringside ladder was the platform Travell required for a tornado DDT on Ulf. With Herman down, Travell procured a container of drawing pins. Grabbing a handful and sprinkling them demonically on the mat below, you sensed that something sinister was afoot. This is where the fun got painful.
Showering in the tacks was enough of a distraction to Travell for him not to notice his opponent. The seven-foot Herman grabbed Travell and pressed him high above his head before dropping him on the scores of pins below. But that still wasn’t enough to end the match as the two teams seemed intent on surpassing the others’ barrier of pain. It was at this point where the already engrossed fans were drawn closer into the match as they caught sight of a table. But that wasn’t enough for the Family. The missing ingredient was fire. This is where the fun got dangerous.
With Travell and Ghosh holding Herman on the ring apron, Ulf fought back for his life at the risk of someone else’s’, swatting away Ghosh before sending Travell back-first through the flaming furniture with a chokeslam. With my view restricted due to jumping fans, I didn’t see as much as I could have. But what I did see will be an image that will stay with me for a very long time indeed. All I could see was Travell frantically trying to extinguish the flames that were dancing wildly on his back. As referees ran from the back to rush to his aid, moments later Herman, almost unnoticed, got the winning pin-fall.
You could sense that the concentration of the fans was on Travell, and the mayhem they had just witnessed, so people seemed a little slow in coming around to the fact that Greg Lambert was minutes away from having his skull smashed in courtesy of Ulf. They soon realised this when Alex Shane re-appeared to stop Lambert’s intended escape. A roll of gaffer tape later, and Lambert was bound to the ropes, eyes covered up, and impending doom was imminent.
He’d counted against the actions of Shane, however. Grabbing Ulf’s chair from him as he swung it over his head, Alex turned it onto his former tag partner, and proceeded to beat him about the head with it, and then ‘Pillmanized’ his left arm. Sending many finger gestures to the Bethnal Green attendees, Shane stormed off to a chorus of boos a changed man. People were left wondering why as we proceeded to the interval.
Ulf may have won the tag match, but I emerged the real winner!!! Not only did I manage to salvage a broken shard of table from the wreckage, but I also got it signed by Colt Cabana and Justin Credible! Hooray for me, notching one up on the scoreboard for filthy poncing scumbags everywhere!
Flash Barker was the second half’s first participant, but the second wasn’t there. His All-England title match was thrown into disarray when it was announced for certain that champion the Zebra Kid had not made it in time. This sparked cries of ‘Bullsh*t’ from the unhappy fans who were intent on seeing the two face off against each other. One man who wasn’t unhappy with the situation was Hade Vansen. The FWA’s bad man-in-chief emerged through the crowd demanding a match. With FWA head honcho Elisar Cabrera trying to quell the situation to no avail, he decreed that the Zebra Kid had been stripped of his belt, and that the new champion would be the winner of Flash versus Hade.
Regrettably the match was all too short. Flash, who was working despite injury, attempted a dropkick, only to wince in pain and clutch his knee as a result. Moments later a leapfrog went awry and Flash went down, again holding his knee. Vansen then took the initiative to slap on a submission hold and forced Barker to submit. Vansen’s impromptu title victory was marred somewhat by more strong ‘Bullsh*t’ taunts, as the fans voiced their disapproval. It was still unclear at the time if Zebra’s absence was an angle or not, so the knee injury and it’s legitimacy served only to confuse people more. (As it’s transpired, Flash has revealed that the injury is genuine, and he may be out for some time as a result. If you’re reading, I’d like to wish you a fast and successful recovery.)
Next up was the long-awaited Hampton Court/Birchill handicap match. Having avoided the match since Frontiers of Honour in May, the Duke of Danger and Simmons would know have to face the colossal rookie monster.
Birchill’s early dominance was bought to a shattering hiatus by the Duke when, perched on the top turnbuckle, he was shoved by Mr. Danger through the air and sent hurtling through a ringside table, and into the surrounding guard-rail. It was hard to determine what was more shocking – the fact that he had been thrown so recklessly into the table, or that the ‘he’ in question was a man the size of Birchill.
The table offensive gave Hampton Court the chance to take control, which they duly took with some double-team moves, such as a powerbomb and a blockbuster neckbreaker. Birchill, still stunned after crashing through the table, was under considerable pressure before in-fighting blighted the chances of Simmons and the Duke. As they argued with each other complacently, the sleeping giant awoke and proved that he’s not much of a morning person; a fireman’s roll here, a standing moonsault there, a standing shooting star thereafter – nothing new to those familiar with him, but still truly outstanding to witness. He still had an extra party trick on reserve for the occasion. Dusting it off after debuting it at Hotwired last month, he clutched the Duke round the shoulder before flipping nonchalantly backward through the air and squashing him down. A moonsault rock bottom, a single-man standing Spanish Fly, call it what you will – it’s enough to send Bir-chill’s down you spine (Me so funny). Furthermore it was enough for Birchill to leave the ring as the referee counted to ten. The win by double knock-out…need you ask?
One thing you may need to ask, as a fair number of fans did in unison, is where Jonny Storm’s hair went. Having obviously come up in the money lately, the ‘Wonderkid’ must be celebrating something, and how better to do that than by shaving your head and buying a nice new ring jacket with your name on the back? Perhaps he was celebrating his XPW European championship, or that he was going to defend it against former ECW and WWE worker Justin Credible?
Having bumped into him earlier on in the day at a local McDonalds, I had assumed that those wonderful burgers and other such snacks would’ve given him the energy needed to go toe-to-toe with one of Britain’s finest. He seemed to be driven on further by the crowd, proclaiming us to be “the best motherf*ckers in the sh*t”, which, according to my Oxford Dictionary of Bad-Ass Swear Words means that he thought we were great. So hooray for him. Hooray.
After threatening to leave, Storm was dragged back into the ring by the chasing Credible, who proceeded to oppress his opponent with a superkick, a spinning DDT and a raising corner powerbomb. Storm retaliated with a salvo of his own offence, including a wheelbarrow DDT and an amazingly high springboard senton off the top rope to the outside, which resulted in him landing awkwardly on his shoulder.
The two continued to go back and forth in the ring, with pin variations from both men falling short each time. Seizing upon this, Storm made a grab for Credible’s kendo stick which was ringside. Having snatched it back from him, Credible then aimed for Jonny, only to hit the referee instead. Credible then hit the spinning tombstone piledriver – That’s Incredible – but with no official to count the three, Storm grabbed the cane and took out Justin with a shit of his own. Storm tried to follow up with a moonsault only to miss, leaving Credible time to attempt another piledriver. But as he lifted him into place, Storm shifted his weight and hooked him into a roll-up, and the win was his. After the match, Credible thanked the fans again and as a special leaving gift, gave Storm That’s Incredible, saying that ‘This one’s for London!’. Well done that man.
Now it was main event time – James Tighe versus Doug Williams for the FWA championship in a two-out-of-three falls match. The contest had been hyped up earlier at the Fan Slam event, where a Q+A session with the two resulted in some harsh words between them. The story was set; Williams, the established, respected champion versus Tighe, the young upstart, intent on staking his claim for the title at the first attempt.
The first round saw Williams firmly in control for the early goings. Any chance that Tighe ever saw to try and gain a firm foothold in the match was quickly snuffed out by Williams, whose vast repertoire of counter-holds was on display. Mainly centering on mat-based wrestling, there were few significant major impact moves to be seen, which both men tried to end abruptly by going for their respective finishing moves. James lifted Williams up for the Tighetanic, but the ‘Anarchist’ writhed away to attempt the Chaos Theory rolling german suplex but was cut off, as was his subsequent attempt at the Revolution DDT. A stand-off ensued, but before long the men were back to mat-based affairs and an innovative roll-over cobra-clutch type submission saw Tighe tap out. The first victory to Doug Williams put the score at 1-0.
In the second round Tighe was determined to make amends as quickly as he could, as was testified by his german suplex and a springboard elbow from the ropes. Williams fought back into it by attempting more submission holds in an attempt to get the second successive tap-out, but it was to no avail. After Tighe administered a brainbuster that planted Doug into the mat head-first, he followed up with the Tighetanic, with the referee counting the winning pin. With the scores now tied level at one apiece, it was down to the final round.
Similarly to the previous round, both competitors tried to finish the other off early on. Williams tried doing so with the Chaos Theory, rolling Tighe through as the crowd collectively ‘oohed’ in unison to try and shift momentum whichever way they wanted it to go. It swung in Tighe’s favour when he secured the roll-up, but a two count was all he managed.
The match soon spilled outside for the first time, with Williams taking the first major attack first, when his attempted tornado DDT off the ring apron was cut short when Tighe threw him violently into the guard-rail. He would be made to pay for it shortly after. Williams and Tighe fought each other up the ramp way, and come back down in spectacularly brutal fashion when Williams hauled Tighe over his head for the rolling german suplex on the wooden ramp. Tighe answered the twenty-count with a second to spare after having his head thudded into the floor, which left him open for the finish…or so Doug thought.
The Revolution DDT controversially and narrowly missed out on the pin when referee Steve Lynskey counted three, but declared afterwards that it was only a two count. The match continued, with a visibly irate Williams dropping Tighe with a brainbuster, a fisherman DDT and a rolling german suplex. But to the astonishment of him and the York Hall fans, Tighe kicked out at two. A baffled Williams had nothing else to say to sum up the situation other than simply this – ‘F*ck’.
With his frustration evident, Tighe almost captured one final chance to win in the form of a double-arm powerbomb, but he had nothing left to stop Williams from converting another rolling german into a full nelson suplex for the decisive, crucial three-count. Your winner two falls to one and still FWA champion – Doug Williams. A blast of confetti swirled through the air as they embraced in the ring, Tighe congratulating Williams on retaining his title, Williams congratulating Tighe on proving that he was worthy of being a title contender.
All in all, British Uprising 2 fulfilled it’s purposes. Old feuds were bought to a close, new talent was put over, and great matches took place. It somehow feels as if the FWA have taken another ‘step up’, and it’s not hard to see why. For if this proves to be the FWA’s final show of the year, it may very well be possible to some people that the next time we see them may be on television. Wouldn’t that be nice?