Southside Wrestling Entertainment – ‘Unlucky For Some’ Show Review
This is both a busy and a momentous time for the ever-growing promotion Southside Wrestling Entertainment (SWE), this show which I travelled down to the excellent Stevenage Arena along with my son and two friends, one of whom was Lockup’s Ollie Harper was hot on the heels of the very recent brilliant CZW show in Nottingham promoted by SWE and was only two weeks before what is likely to be a crazy third anniversary show in St Neots on October 27 of which more later, then only a few weeks following on from that is the first ever SWE SuperShow in Nottingham on November 17 before they take a well deserved three-month hiatus.
So in such a hectic schedule was this a show which sandwiched between other such ‘special’ shows would pass by relatively unnoticed?
You only had to take a look at the card as well as be familiar with the history of SWE to appreciate that this was never ever going to be the case and in fact the card as is often the case with SWE was so stacked that it was difficult to predict the likely main event or which match was likely to steal the show and when we discussed the line up on the wet and windy road down to Stevenage from the East Midlands that there was not a match where we felt it was a potential weak link on the card there was so much riding on each match whether it was going to be the latest potential dramatic occurrence in the strong storylines or just a potential absolute classic wrestling match that the biggest challenge for us fans was to ensure that we remained sufficiently energised to be able to give whatever the main event was its due support.
Before the show commenced we attended the Meet & Greet where we met the absolute legend who is Ultimo Dragon who through his interpreter was so friendly, the potential WWE bound star Davey Richards, Michael Elgin who truly is a star for the here and now and the future and is a wonderful guy to chat to about wrestling and The Pope who did try to pimp me, it took some fierce talking to keep him on the right track when dealing with my son’s merchandising and photographic needs, he is one hell of a character and a nice guy too!
So onto the show and another comment to make here is that in the setting of this arena in Stevenage it allows for several hundred people to attend and they rammed the place and it also enables due to the size and quality of the setting SWE to use their titantron screen which was used to superb effect during this show.
So we commenced in the standard manner of most SWE show’s (unless Harvey Dale tries to have his way) of Diamond Dale Mills, the absolute heartbeat of SWE, the walking legend of ring announcing and commentating, the man who as one DDM fan was pictured on DDM’s entrance video was the only reason he was there! He received his usual ovation upon his entry.
Adam Curtis also joined us.
The first match up was a tag match of which there was unusually three on this show and we had The Predators from The House Of Pain who have been the SWE Tag Team Champions I believe for over a year now seeing off many contenders in that time and their opponents on this occasion in a non title match was a first time team in SWE of two extremely talented guys in Robbie X and Jonny Storm.
At the previous SWE show Robbie tagged with Max Angelus against The Predators and on that occasion Max turned mid match on Robbie which effectively left Robbie in a handicap match up with The Predators which predictably then ended in defeat for him, on this occasion Robbie selected a guy in Storm who is renowned for his moral scruples and who was never going to desert the incredibly talented teenager Robbie X midstream against the two guys from House Of Pain Paul Malen and Joseph Conners who to be fair work incredibly well as a tag team although on this occasion they were missing an ingredient which many feel has been vital to their previous success Harvey Dale, indeed without the mouth Harvey Dale distracting the referee and generally cheating The Predators were not only out wrestled by the two smaller and quicker men but they lost the match to them.
At the next SWE Show The Predators are defending their title’s in a three-way Tag Match against two team’s they have previously defeated by nefarious means with in addition to Harvey Dale previously having masked men working to protect them, those men were recently revealed to be Stixx and Alex Gracie two other members of the House Of Pain group still with their eyes on making/keeping SWE as ‘their’ promotion.
We had a change of pace next with Zack Sabre Jr in his final SWE appearance of 2013 going up against Kenbai the talented 27-year-old from Japan, of course Zack Sabre has spent a lot of his career in Japan too and these two have met previously in other promotions including tag matches in NOAH and you could see their obvious in ring chemistry from the moment that the bell rang, I personally am a huge fan of Japanese Wrestling and so was eagerly awaiting this match up and was not disappointed, it was played out at a different pace with a differing style to the other matches on the card which always make for a nice contrast and was more of a clinic for the ardent fans of the technical stuff and I for one thoroughly enjoyed it.
In the end Zack Sabre Jr got the win by pinfall but what was gracious to see was what is so often the custom in Japanese matches the respect shown to each other by the two wrestlers, before, during and after the match.
As a footnote I believe that as this was his final SWE appearance for the calendar year that Zack Sabre Jr for me has been a standout performer in his matches this year, he has if anything been too good for some of his opponents, this man really has it all and surely with the big boys seemingly scouring the Indy Circuit more than ever before if Zack wants it then they if they have any sense will be in touch soon.
Before we had the next match the big titantron screen burst into action and we were treated to the background to the upcoming match which was Dean Allmark vs T Bone.
This I think is a wonderful ideas as whilst personally I attend each and every SWE show around the country I appreciate that not many can do that and with SWE operating at five separate venues, Stevenage, Letchworth, Huntingdon, St Neots and Nottingham you do get occurrences when a storyline commences or continues at a particular location but unless you were in attendance or purchased the DVD you might be totally oblivious to this fact so then when a storyline continues in front of you and you have previously missed a key part of it then it does take something away from the intended enjoyment so an absolute belter of an idea here.
The video which we watched (in silence as clearly the crowd were enthralled with what they were being told) was mainly T Bone bitching about how Dean Allmark gets the opportunities in All Star Wrestling and possibly elsewhere of title shots and big matches that T Bone for one does not receive.
The reason for this according to the outraged T Bone is because of course Dean Allmark in All Star Promotions slept with the bosses daughter and married into the family a la Triple HHH and just as Triple HHH is accused by some of receiving opportunity’s above his ability level but because of who he was sharing a bed with, T Bone was making similar allusions towards Allmark.
Another little part of this was that the two were supposed to collide at a previous show in St Neots but Dean Allmark failed to show so instead T Bone made mincemeat out of his talented replacement Jimmy Jacobs as an example of what would happen once he did get his hands on Dean Allmark.
Once the video finished out came in turn both T Bone and Dean Allmark and this was one of those occasions when ‘match’ is not necessarily the accurate descriptor here but ‘fight’ perhaps ought to be substituted instead.
T Bone for me has in SWE all year-long been on one, as in had a mood and behaved like a diva all year moaning about this or that and to give the guy credit he has backed it up in terms of making his point by absolutely destroying people all year-long as well but Allmark came out on fire here and without any fear went straight for T Bone, this led to an out-and-out brawl which at times left the ring and went around the arena, it was one of those occasions when as a front row fan you quickly check that your drink is safely in your hand and you can move quick without tripping over anything as it had the feel of anything could happen.
Throughout this T Bone was a monster, Allmark countered though bravely a lot which T Bone threw at him with Allmark intelligently using his speed to counter the superior power that T Bone possesses.
In the end Dean Allmark scored a win over T Bone which really was questionable over how wise that was, the moment the count happened I thought to myself god I would not have done that but Dean Allmark is in the ring and I am not in the ring for a very good reason! Allmark has guts aplenty but sadly what I thought would happen did indeed happen an absolutely outraged T Bone after the match destroyed Dean Allmark who then had to be aided from the ring – there is no debate over this, these two guys shall meet again, T Bone is ready to kill, Dean Allmark the brave courageous soldier that he is will fight to the death you sense to prevent T Bone from bullying his way to making a point, me? I cannot wait but I might just decide to watch their next match up stood at the back!!
The final match before the interval was Davey Richards from Ring Of Honour who might be going to the WWE up against a guy who should also be on the WWE radar El Ligero.
Prior to this match happening I had mixed feelings as of course El Ligero is in this remarkable feud with Ego Dragon Martin Kirby who was also on the card and this is the ‘go home’ show if you like to their cage match which surely will end the amazing feud (possibly over a very badly injured body or bodies!) so I was a little anxious that we might see some interference from Kirby in this one but I felt on a personal level that it was not needed as the feud has been built so strongly it sells itself now and thankfully we did not receive any interference because Richards vs Ligero was in its own right an outstanding wrestling match.
This was the match that in the pre-show discussions held over the M1, A14 and A1 roads won my vote to be the main event but as strong as this match was by the end of the show I agreed with promoter Ben Auld’s booking and hey I should learn by now – he is usually pretty spot on!
This match was everything that the match ought to have been and more, I had heard Ben Auld interviewed on Lockup’s affiliate BritWresChat a couple of days before this show when he revealed that Davey Richards was the only import that El Ligero has ever requested to face and you could understand that here.
I am a massive fan of Davey Richards work, I saw him at PCW last year but also at SWE and it was the better booked match at SWE which made me such a fan of Richards when he had an outstanding match with Noam Dar then afterwards put Dar over big time, this time El Ligero of course is much more experienced than Noam Dar and the match was a blur of kicks and chops and flips and mat work and reverses and there were at least two ‘This is Awesome’ chants that I heard during this.
It was also one of those matches where they had a series of near falls and I personally did not mind who won, I was just enjoying watching such a high quality match unfold in front of me as well as enjoying the fact (although not surprised) that El Ligero was more than holding his own with a man rated so highly by so many people in America and elsewhere, I simply did not want this to end, so when a potential fall became a near fall I was quietly having my own ‘yes yes yes’ moment, so good this match up was but of course like all good things it had to end and it did end with a Davey Richards victory but El Ligero as I’ve said was every bit as much a winner out of this match as Davey was and also as a build up to the cage match, I am sure that Kirby was watching and would have noted El Ligero going one on one with a world-class talent and holding his own and kicking out of finisher and signature moves alike and will realise particularly as El Ligero’s emotional level’s will be on a much higher scale come October 27 that he is in for the fight of his life.
After the interval we had a tag match which I was interested in seeing for a few reasons, I was on the edge of my seat at the opportunity to see Ultimo Dragon in action, watching Hotdog Haskins is always entertaining and I also was intrigued to see how the dynamic of Stixx and Max Angelus was going to work.
Bit of background here, Mark Haskins is the current SWE Money In The Bank Holder and is involved in a three-way match for the SWE Heavyweight Title on October 27 against the defending champion the erstwhile Heavyweight House Of Pain Stixx and Max Angelus the previous champion who is having his rematch.
Max Angelus was originally part of the House Of Pain invasion of SWE several months ago now and was trained by Stixx at the HOP Academy but last year after a tumultous war between Stixx and Mark Haskins for the title in a No DQ Match which just and I mean just ended in a win for Stixx, Max Angelus came out as he was the then Money In The Bank holder and cashed it in by smashing his tutor and previous friend and HOP ally Stixx over the head with the briefcase and earning the 1,2,3.
Max Angelus then became firmly part of the SWE side in this SWE vs HOP feud and defended his title successfully on a number of occasions before losing it to Stixx whilst Max himself was injured, Max was then barred by SWE management from in ring action for a period of time due to his injuries but early on in this period he was on the Harvey Dale Golden Tongue segment of the show in Letchworth and during that segment despite Harvey Dale (as Stixx’s manager and HOP mouthpiece) taunting Max over his loss at the end of the segment Max basically gave the SWE fans who were chanting his name the big Fuck You and since then has appeared on a show at Huntingdon where he made it clear his intention to fight for his title shot again at St Neots but was mouthing off against both SWE fans and Stixx and since then has turned on Robbie X in his tag against the HOP team of The Predators and now was teaming with the leader of HOP Stixx hence the intrigue as to what would happen.
Also in this match worth mentioning as earlier was no Harvey Dale who has been a key dynamic in the whole HOP vs SWE feud as well as in Stixx becoming the champion again although I understand that Harvey Dale will be back at the anniversary show in his stead on this occasion was erm Adam Curtis!
So early on there was clearly not so much tension but a sense of unease and mistrust between Stixx and Angelus which given the above history was entirely understandable, over on the other side Haskins and Dragon who whilst I am fairly sure have never tagged together before (Haskins has worked in Japan so possible) looked instantly the more cohesive unit.
During this bout Stixx and Angelus varied their teamwork between sometimes smooth which no doubt occurred through their joint will to win along with their history of working together at House Of Pain to moments when they both realised they themselves wanted the glory and not their partner and it was more obviously awkward, on the other side Dragon did some nice moves but Haskins dominated the time in the ring so we had a lot of what is to come with the three Englishmen dominating the action.
Due to their superior and more natural cohesiveness Haskins and Dragon snared the win leaving Stixx and Angelus in a place where the demons enter the mind and paranoia sets in and whilst you sense that to an extent they may try to work together against the quicker Haskins in St Neots their trust of each other is now so low that they could turn on each other if either one glances so much of an eyebrow in the wrong direction so a great set up for the title match at St Neots as well as a live viewing of Ultimo Dragon.
Moving on to the penultimate match of the night and the final singles match of the evening and we had The Pope or Elijah Burke dependant upon your preference I shall refer to him as Pope as it is quicker to type and he played more of that character! He went up against Marty Scurll.
There is something distasteful about Scurll currently, everywhere I see him he is roundly booed and not necessarily for his character, is it the great British public taking it out on a Brit who has started to achieve something out of his own little bubble as in his various TV appearances in different guises or his natural arrogance I am not sure but when I first saw Marty Scurll in action and first met him he came over as very down to earth and likeable and his ring work is fantastic but these day’s it is hard to find a fan with too much good to say about him, me? I think that he is playing the heel to an incredibly well done degree and it is a bit like John Cena as in any reaction is better than no reaction and ok if it is natural as opposed to choreographed boo’s he is receiving to an extent that shows what a hot job he is doing so all credit to Marty there.
Once this started Pope looked to be in a different league to Scurll which was astonishing to me, Marty Scurll the guy who could wrestle a pen out of your granny’s handbag without her noticing – god he is a natural heel! – but everything he tried Pope either countered or simply moved out-of-the-way of which resulted in Scurll looking foolish as he was dropping elbow drops onto the canvas as one example whilst Pope was pimping around elsewhere baby!
This was hugely entertaining with a combination of Pope’s effervesence and the superb work in the ring from both, after Pope’s early mental disintegration work on Scurll, Marty recovered to apply some masterclass work of his own, tying Pope up in knots at times and to my mind making Pope think more than once that he erred by underestimating this cocky looking British kid.
Another match where really I was not keen on it finishing but when it did with Pope scoring a well-earned win, Scurll left to a cry of dickhead from one fan – to me, again a sign of just how good a job the über talented Marty Scurll is doing with his character work and if he retains this then perhaps TNA or others will come a calling again.
The main event was a bit of a mystery as originally we had an intriguing dynamic with Project Ego of course who are Kris Travis and Martin Kirby up against the The Unbreakable Fucking Machines of Brian Cage and Michael Elgin but with Cage missing his flight we did not know until the time came who his replacement was but we ended up with Davey Richards double working following his earlier superb match with El Ligero and so instead we had the The Unbreakable Fucking Wolves against Project Ego.
This still left in my mind the question of how would Project Ego work, in Southside of course Travis is like most places Travis, superb work in the ring, he can abuse people quite happily but usually ends up leaving people in hysterics with his antics but Kirby in SWE is Ego Dragon Martin Kirby who is as good a heel character as I have seen in any promotion I follow worldwide in the past 12 months, how would these awesome heel in his final match before his defining cage match with Ligero interact with his more jokey partner but whilst still retaining that aura of nastiness?
The way it worked out in terms of the dynamic was simply superb with Travis doing his bit to try to cheat his way to victory in amongst some outstanding wrestling whilst Kirby was busying himself abusing members of the crowd and generally being a nasty bastard.
As for Richards and Elgin wow is the most apt word here, two individual talents who are just so so so good that it is near impossible to define the level which these guys perform at without you actually seeing it for yourselves, to realise that Richards had already been in a long and tough match earlier in the evening and was now pulling off all kinds of high risk and quick and technically difficult moves was breathtaking but if anything he was outshone by Elgin who was simply incredible, the power that this man has performing over and over again one on two moves against Project Ego repeatedly lifting both Kirby and Travis into the air at the same time all by himself and then producing slams of rare power and there was in one double move moment from Richards and Elgin a double slam where I feared that the ring would break so powerful was the slam, my back winced I think in sympathy with the Project Ego guys.
The teamwork from both sides was incredible to see, this was the match of the night it simply had absolutely everything.
We had moments of comedy,extremely high quality technical wrestling, outstanding teamwork from both sides, some immense moves, all four brawling at once, you name it, this had it.
My favourite tag match of all time that I have watched live is from NOAH which pitted the Kings Of Wrestling up against Shuhei Taniguchi and Takeshi Morishima, that is a match where I am not sure I shall ever see it surpassed but this match I concluded was possibly in my top three of all time tag matches seen live so highly did I rate it.
It concluded with an amazing finish that has to be seen to be believed and it earns Richards and Elgin victory but Travis and Kirby did so so well and Kirby looked strong building up to the cage match with Ligero as well absorbing unbelievable amounts of punishment from Elgin in particular but still coming back over and over again.
At the end Richards mentioned that there are rumours about his future which he is not allowed to discuss publicly but he then called Elgin the future of Indy Wrestling if indeed Davey himself does leave the indy scene.
Also during the show we saw a video building up to the cage match to end the feud between El Ligero and Ego Dragon Martin Kirby, Lockup shall be writing a feature article next week on this terrific feud but in the meantime please do enjoy the video here and now.
To conclude this show was very impressive, exactly as forecast, no disappointing matches, all of them very good with a couple of them simply outstanding, well booked and a packed house in a large and impressive venue, with the storylines well done and very well promoted and explained through the use of the titantron I cannot wait until October 27.
A very quick preview of October 27, held in St Neots, 3rd anniversary show it includes the following:-
End Of Feud Match in a Cage:- El Ligero vs Ego Dragon Martin Kirby
SWE Heavyweight Title Match:- Stixx vs Mark Haskins vs Max Angelus
SWE Tag Team Title Match:- The Predators vs Bhangra Knights vs The Hunters
First Time Ever:- Doug Williams vs Mad Man Manson
International Dream Match:- Davey Richards vs Tommy End
Speed King No 1 Contender: As yet unnamed four-way match.
Plus much more.
Looking at this it appears as if we may have some culminating or strong segments of ongoing storylines in addition to some remarkable matches, on that day October 27 British Wrestling history shall happen in St Neots, there simply is no other place you can be that day, you will never forgive yourself! To ensure that you do not live a lifetime of regret and miss this please head along to the Southside site and get yourself tickets, there are not many left so do not wait!
Details of contacting Southside are below and Lockup would like to thank Brett Hadley for the use of his photo’s and Southside for the use of the video.
Brett can be contacted on:- https://www.facebook.com/bretthadley?fref=ts
Southside facebook is:- https://www.facebook.com/NBWSouthside?fref=ts There is a link to buy tickets on there.