FWA BRITISH UPRISING 2
Saturday October 18 2003
YORK HALL, BETHNAL GREEN
Author: Ulf Ist Gut
Good day Gut fans, Wrestling X’s number one show reviewer (behind The Truth of course) Ulf ist Gut once again brings you the one and only Gut Report for the FWA’s biggest show of the year, British Uprising 2.
Regular readers will know the drill by now. Every time we go to an FWA show there’s always some kind of travel problems and this time was no exception as once again the West Anglian Modernisation Programme was causing problems. This time however, we had an ace up our sleeve as Organised Kaos had just the past Monday passed his driving test, giving us the ability to drive past the line works to a station where trains were running from, namely the FWA’s usual haunt and home of by far the nicest venue, Broxbourne.
While I’m on the subject of Broxbourne, I’d like to make the proposal that every FWA show be held in the Broxbourne Civic Hall due to its greatness as a venue and that it be re-named, or at the very least dubbed, the FWA Arena in an ECW-esque fashion. Come on FWA management, you know it makes sense.
Anyway, the journey itself was faultless, with us not experiencing a single hiccup. However, once we reached the York Hall at around 6:50, we were somewhat surprised to be greeted with a large number of people standing outside. After talking to some people in the queue, we found out that there’d been a bomb scare and that everyone had been forced to clear out while police searched the place. They hadn’t found anything but this set the show back somewhat, leaving me somewhat concerned about the finishing time in regards to the train home and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.
We finally managed to get into the arena at about 7:15pm and after a brief scare when collecting the tickets we entered to take out seats. The whole place looked absolutely packed, which while fantastic news for the FWA, was bad news for us as our tickets meant that we were sat two rows from the back on the floor with a lot of heads in the way, the first time that this had happened to us at an FWA show. Still undeterred, we eagerly awaited the start of the show, which thankfully wasn’t that late and anyway, when was the last time an FWA show started on time?
Before the show started, Jane Childs told us that the Zebra Kid was having travel problems and hadn’t yet arrived at the arena. She also asked us not to swear (which was greeted by the response you’d expect from a crowd who cheered for Ulf Herman). In a side note, each match was sponsored and each time a sponsor was read out, the crowd booed. You’ve gotta love the mentality of FWA fans.
As always, if I miss anything, which in the first half is incredibly likely due to the crummyness of our seats then I apologise, but hey, Nobody’s perfect. Well, except Mr. Perfect of course…..
MATCH 1: JACK XAVIER BEAT HOMICIDE
This was expected to be the first match out and was one of the most anticipated amongst the people I’d talked to due to the appearance of US indie sensation Homicide. As I don’t follow the US independent scene I hadn’t actually ever seen Homicide in the ring before this. All I knew from information gleaned from show reviews and the UKFF was that he was renowned for working rather stiff and that he could get some insane distance on planchas. Of course I knew all about Jack and his credentials as one of the rising stars of the FWA so I hoped this would prove to be a good contest.
From the bell it was obvious why Homicide was so highly spoken of as he rained in some nasty looking offence on poor Jack, utilising a plethora of stiff kicks including a nasty looking Yakuza kick in the corner, some straight kicks to the back and a pair of running boot scrapes which left Jack with a bloody nose. He also landed a picture perfect somersault suicide dives through the ropes which looked incredibly impressive.
Jack kept up his end of the bargain as well with his usual offence, with the standing moonsault off the apron and hitting the Xaviator to finish after reversing out of Homicide’s Cop Killa (Vertebreaker). Post match, the two men shook hands and received a good reception from the crowd.
GUT RATING: 8/10 – Nice solid opener that got the crowd heated up nicely
MATCH 2: NIKITA BEAT MARK SLOAN
Pre-match, Stevie Knight made an appearance and relieved Jane Childs of her announcing duties, claiming that a real superstar deserves a spot on the show. He told us that it wasn’t him who put the bounty on Nikita (my guess is it’s Alex Shane) but fully supported the person who had. He then produced a sterling profile for the Specialist and somewhat less glowing but equally colourful profile for Nikita.
The match itself was good, with Sloan controlling for the most part with some brutal looking offence, including a powerbomb into a backbreaker, a painful looking torture rack variant while Nikita was tied in the Tree of Woe and his now patented rolling Fisherman’s suplex. Nikita didn’t get much offence in if memory serves me correctly, but did enough to pick up the win with something off the top rope, I’m not sure what due to my crappy view.
Overall, I found the match entertaining but with one fundamental problem – no one ever though Mark Sloan would win. All his spectacular offence was great to watch, but he could have hit a triple moonsault off the balcony and he still wouldn’t have won due to the storyline. This in turn spawned another problem that someone from the UKFF pointed out – all of Sloan’s spectacular offence could very easily be used as finishers and by having Nikita kick out of them all, kind of de-sensitised the crowd to anything coming later in the show.
GUT RATING: 7/10 – Entertaining spotfest, but lacked any real drama as the crowd knew who was going to win
MATCH 3: CM PUNK BEAT COLT COBANA
Again my lack of independent knowledge came into play as I only really knew Punk as someone who was always hanging around with Raven and was one of those Straight Edge people who didn’t drink or do drugs and thought they were better than you because of it. I knew absolutely nothing about Colt Cabana other than his name sounded like something Barry Manilow would call his gun so while the rest of the crowd were foaming at the mouth on their feet for their arrival, I remained in my seat thinking how cool Cabana’s theme music was and how much Punk looked like Steve Corino in a pair of football shorts.
The match was pretty decent, with Cabana mixing in a number of comedy spots, like reversing out of a hammerlock by stamping on Punk’s foot and yelling “Ahhh, he’s twisting my head” when Punk was, well, twisting his head. Cabana wasn’t all mouth and no trousers though as he did land an impressive Asai Moonsault at one point.
Punk got in some decent offence, hitting a number of his apparently trademark moves, most of which I missed due to people in front of me. I did get a good view of his laying in some vicious looking boot scrapes and saw his Pepsi Plunge (a top rope Pedigree. Oh, and Coca Cola is far superior to Pepsi) to pick up the win to start a loud reaction from the crowd along with “Please come back!” chants. I didn’t think it was that special myself, but it was entertaining none the less and I’d quite happily see Cabana back in a comedy role a la Chris Hamrick, maybe against Jonny Storm.
GUT RATING: 7/10 – Pretty entertaining but not really my cup of tea
MATCH 4: ULF HERMAN & MIKEY WHIPWRECK BEAT THE FAMILY IN AN APOCALYPSE GRUDGE MATCH
This was to be the climax to the longest running feud of the year, despite the absence of one of the major players in Alex Shane. He did make an appearance at the start of the match to announce that Ulf did in fact have a partner tonight and that it was none other than Mikey Whipwreck, who got a monster reaction from the crowd (we were all expecting Balls Mahoney after the stuff that got posted on the FWA newsboard.)
With a name like Apocalypse, how could this not be anything other than a complete pandemonic brawl. No one was safe seemingly, with Mrs. Lambert making an appearance, getting familiar with Mikey’s crotch before being spike piledrivered. The match was seemingly four on two, with Ghosh and Travell the ones in the match while Ian DaSciple and Scott Parker hung around outside, leaving the question, where the hell were Ashe, ‘The Messiah’ Brandon Thomas and Scottie Rock?
However, despite the numbers advantage, it seemed that Paul Travell was the only one taking any offence with the others being to scared of taking anything other than baking tray shots, which seemed absolutely ludicrous when they had the numbers advantage and basically turned the match into how much crazy offence and bumps can Paul Travell take. Granted, this was relatively entertaining but again, it wasn’t really so much of a match as just a spot fest.
The stuff that was done was impressive, including Travell being press slammed onto a pile of thumbtacks, smacked in the nads with both a golf club and baseball bat, as well as being bashed with a barbed wire baseball bat and then finally double chokeslammed through a flaming table. However, I heard afterwards that Paul actually suffered some nasty burns as apparently he’d instructed Mikey to squirt lighter fluid on his as he’d meant to have caught on fire following the table bump, but the can caught light and essentially turned into a flamethrower. I can’t remember how the match finished, but I do know that Ulf scored the pin on Ghosh to a huge pop.
So it was time for Greg ‘The Truth’ Lambert to take his chairshot. However, for some reason Alex decided to turn on Ulf, stealing his chair and using it on him, including Pilmannising his arm. The whole thing established Alex as a heel very well, but there are a couple of things that I don’t understand.
Firstly, Alex has been feuding with The Truth for months so surely he’d have wanted Greg to get his just desserts. Wouldn’t it have made more sense if he’d let Ulf twat him and then ambush him afterwards? Secondly, why would Alex risk his career if he was just going to turn on Ulf anyway? I mean, if Ulf had messed up and lost, he’d have been screwed. So many unanswered questions. In any case, I hope Paul Travell recovers quickly from his numerous injuries and is back in action soon.
GUT RATING: 8/10 – Entertaining spotfest with a well-performed turn afterwards
Next came the interval, shortened due to the late start, in which I made my way to the lobby for the second ever UKFF photograph and in a rather wicked moment, moments after I’d left my seat I was recognised by the UKFF’s and NWA-UK Hammerlock’s Corey Vandal, who is one of the coolest guy you’ll ever meet.
The lobby was packed when we got out there and after speaking with a large number, including Mr. British Wrestling Dan Ambrose, Big Gay Road Trip chauffeur Pete Scott, the one and only Pure Dynamite and FWA fan legend the UK Hatguy, we all lined up to have the picture taken. Unfortunately the incredible number of us meant that not everyone fit in and a large number, including myself, were cut out. Oh well, there’s always next time.
The rest of the interval was spent trying to get Bagga to take a Corey Vandal chop (he wussed out, but apparently got hit later anyway, as well as going through his own FWA magazine table) and talking to Michael ‘X2 videos’ Brownlee. As we were ushered back into the hall for the second half, I bumped into Gut Report regular mickfoley (I’ll learn his real name by the next Gut report) who suggested I check out the balcony if I get fed up of my crappy view.
MATCH 5: HADE VANSON BEAT FLASH BARKER TO WIN THE FWA ALL-ENGLAND CHAMPIONSHIP
First match back after the interval was the much-anticipated match between Flash Barker and the Zebra Kid. Or so we thought. We’d heard earlier in the night that the Zebra Kid hadn’t arrived yet and come match time he still hadn’t appeared so we were destined to have no match. However, once again Hade Vansen arrived through the crowd, proving the FWA security to be the worst security in the world (how many times has he been let in so far?).
After lengthy discussions between Elisar Cabrera, Flash and Hade, during which I took mickfoley’s advise and legged it up to the balcony where I had a picture perfect view, we had ourselves an All-England title match, despite the absence of the All-England Champion.
Unfortunately, the match wasn’t particularly great. I’ve never really been much of a fan of Hade and he didn’t really do anything to change my opinion of him here. Hade worked over Flash’s knee for the most part after he crumpled in a Kevin Nash-esque way after a drop kick (which afterwards I found out was actually a legitimate injury, leaving Flash working the rest of the match on one leg) and got him to tap with a knee bar to become the new All-England Champion to little reaction from the crowd.
Post match, Hade continued stamping away at Flash’s knee, despite attempted intervention from a number of referees who’d come down to help Flash. I assume that this was to set up Flash’s absence for a while as he’s supposed to have been working on two shot knees for a while.
Personally, I think it’s been clever the way they’ve built up the Hade storyline, but I would have rather they’d used Five Star Flash instead as someone who wants to get his break in the FWA as I find him much more entertaining in the ring than Hade and could produce some sterling matches with Flash Barker and The Zebra Kid. It also seems that part of the storyline with Alex Shane is now completely pointless as due to his heel turn, having him feud with Hade would be unworkable now. Still, the thought was there in the first place.
GUT RATING: 5/10 – Nothing particularly special but excusable under the circumstances
MATCH 6: BIRCHILL BEAT SIMMONS AND THE DUKE OF DANGER
Another climax to one of the longest running feuds in the FWA as The Duke of Danger was finally ready to face the might of Birchill. Simmons received his usual God-like reaction from the Bethnal Green crowd, waving to some of his many fans around the crowd. Pre match, Birchill went after Buttercup, setting her up in a pump-handle position and flashing her garters to the appreciative crowd before getting jumped by Simmons and The Duke.
The match itself was actually more of a match than the usual squash as Birchill’s domination was disrupted by being sent through a ringside table after a helping hand from Hampton Court, creating a thunderous crash and making the crowd explode. Up on the balcony I had a perfect view of all of this and it looked absolutely amazing.
The Hampton Court duo got in some decent offence, with the Duke delivering a scintillating Scoundrel Smasher and a devastating Swinebuster (I love that move). They also landed a Blockbuster Device before a small fight broke out as Simmonz went for the pin while The Duke was in the process of wrapping Birchill up in the Pheasant Plucker. Shoves and words were exchanged, which gave Birchill enough time to recover, leading to his usual jaw-dropping offence, including the standing moonsault and shooting star press, Fireman’s Carry Emerald Fusion and finally a standing Spanish Fly on the Duke (receiving a massive pop in the process) to leave them both lying for the knockout victory.
While nothing new was seen here, I though it was a fitting way for the feud to end, with Hampton Court not being made to look completely weak by being squashed but at the same time keeping Birchill strong by having him only look to be in trouble after a table bump and double team offence. Where they’ll go with him now is anyone’s guess as unless he starts ploughing through The Family, there’s not really anyone else he can go through without making them look bad.
GUT RATING:8/10 – Great match that woke the crowd back up and was a fitting end to the feud
MATCH 7: JONNY STORM BEAT JUSTIN CREDIBLE TO RETAIN THE XPW EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP
In what seemed to be another security breach, the NEW Era Wrestling sound guy managed to infiltrate the technical area and took three attempts to get Jonny Storm’s music playing. Jonny himself appeared with his newly shaven head, now looking the spitting image of Paul Travell. He also graced us with a cool promo beforehand, running down Jody Fleisch and claiming that us smart marks only liked because he could do a moonsault. Then the reaction Justin got when his music hit was nothing short of deafening.
The match itself wasn’t a technical masterpiece, but was still outstanding as they managed to get the crowd involved to an amazing degree. The usual “Harlow Rent boy” and “Faggot” chants that follow Jonny wherever he goes resonated around the York Hall, along with the expected “Where’s your hair gone?” all of which seemed to upset Jonny so much he felt the need to take a break from the match and get on the mic to tell us all to shut up.
Unfortunately for him, the UK Hatguy had other ideas and drowned him out with his air horn. This pushed poor Jonny over the edge as he declared “London, you just lost your match” and stormed (get it, Stormed? You see his last name is Storm and he…oh never mind) toward the back but Mr. Credible was not to be denied and promptly followed and dragged him back to the ring.
Jonny is really starting to look good as a heel having noticeably toned down his aerial offence which could potentially draw face pops. I can’t even remember the last time he used his Rewind Huracanrana, although saying that, he now needs a suitably lethal looking finisher to replace it (maybe the Phoenix DDT, imagine the heat he’d get).
He did still keep his patented double jump somersault plancha in his move set though and we saw it here as well, although it did appear as though he took a nasty landing off it, not getting enough rotation and landing on his head. I didn’t expect him to get up again after that, especially with Justin rolling back down the ramp to check he was OK but thankfully The Wonderkid bounced right back up again.
Credible looked to be really enjoying himself and was on top form, hitting several of his signature spots, such as his running spinning implant DDT, his superkick (taking out an airborne Jonny in the process), his patented Phil Babb post-crotching TM and his That’s Incredible spinning Tombstone, the latter seemingly seeing him win the match if it weren’t for the referee accidentally taking a nasty looking superkick. It was this ref bump that allowed Jonny to get in a shot with Justin’s cane before a roll up to retain his title.
Post match, Credible got on the mic again and said that Storm’d won today and that he was the better man, but that didn’t mean he had to like it and he promptly scooped Jonny up and dropped him with another That’s Incredible to a huge reaction from the crowd.
I really enjoyed this match and I’d quite happily watch Justin again if he was brought back.
GUT RATING: 8/10 – Excellently match that the crowd loved
MATCH 8: DOUG WILLIAMS BEAT JAMES TIGHE TO RETAIN THE FWA HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
One of the most anticipated matches in the FWA was finally to take place and the crowd couldn’t wait. Pre match, two ring rats appeared from the back with stools, buckets and water, a nice touch that helped to make the match seem really special. The match, as usual, was fought under two out of three falls which seems to be becoming more of a negative than a positive as the formula is incredibly predictable ie. Whoever wins the first fall will lose the next and kind of makes the wrestlers look weak as they get pinned or made to submit after about 10/15 minutes. I think it is a good idea in principle to make the match seem special, but unfortunately as with any stipulation it can be overdone.
The match itself was the expected technical master class, with there being nothing particularly flashy but everything expertly executed. The only exception to this came in the third fall when Williams hit Tighe with a sick Chaos Theory on the ramp which brought the crowd to their feet.
Williams won the first fall by making Tighe submit with a unique head submission before Tighe came back to win the second after hitting Williams with two Tighetanics. The third fall was hard fought, with Doug hitting Tighe with everything and the kitchen sink, including his Revolution DDT and after a number of back and forth near falls finally claiming the victory with a Dragon Suplex Chaos Theory to retain his belt in a great technical encounter and a fitting way to end the evening.
GUT RATING: 8/10 – Outstanding technical encounter that made both guys look like a million dollars
And thus ended British Uprising and it was time to head home. After a quick stop at the Liverpool Street McDonald’s we hopped on our train back to Broxbourne and readied ourselves for the drive home. This, however, wasn’t as simple as it sounds and to quote Organised Kaos, “We left Broxbourne at 12:15, then we left again at 12:45”. Somehow we had managed to perform a loop and added half an hour to the journey time. Other than that minor mistake, the journey home was drama free and we finally made it home just before two.
Overall, I’d say that Uprising was a pretty good show, although not as good as the other Bethnal Green shows. Match of the night for me was probably the XPW match, although nothing really stood out as better than the rest, which is probably a testimony to the high quality of the FWA shows. Hopefully the FWA can build on this show and start some new feuds for the New Year.
I’d really like to see the resurrection of the tag division, maybe bringing some new talent through from the Academy or pairing up some of the unused talent. It could be an idea to break up The Family a bit, as there are a lot of talented guys in there who don’t get used anywhere near enough on shows, such as Scott Parker and Ashe. Maybe it’d be an idea to bring over a big name tag team for the next big show, which I believe is scheduled for February, like Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger to really kickstart the division and put The Family over big time.
I’d also like to see more of Five Star Flash as I think he’s a tremendous talent and could have some amazing matches with so many people on the roster. In any case, I’m looking forward to what the New Year brings the FWA. Until then, this has been The Gut Report with Ulf ist Gut signing off.
Ps. Ulf ist Gut