Pro Wrestling Kingdom – Part Two – The Howling Of The Kingdom Review: Wrestling!!
The weather was atrocious on this extremely wet Birmingham night on Saturday 26 October with the wind howling down the narrow streets near the Crescent Theatre in the centre of Birmingham which made for a very atmospheric surrounding to the location for this show and as storm’s threatened to wreak havoc all across the United Kingdom this proved to be a highly apt title to what proved to be a show overloaded with fun, wrestling, humour and packed with atmosphere.
The venue itself is far from the standard for a British Wrestling Show, neither a village hall or a community centre we found ourselves in very nice surroundings having our pre show drink with those whose entertainment for the night was of a very different vent – all that I can say is that their show must have been something else to match up to the level of enjoyment which we had.
Ryan Smile is the promoter of Pro Wrestling Kingdom (PWK) and he has gone on record as stating previously that PWK will operate at a level and to a standard that he feels could make the difference to attracting new fans into the scene by showing levels of professionalism with how the show is constructed and ensuring that the little touches are done properly so for example if you possess lighting in the venue than use it to benefit the show, make it look special on DVD, create a big time feel at the venue for the fans who have paid on the day.
PWK is also a storyline heavy promotion with the idea being that the show’s are listed as being in part’s so just as in reading a book once you progress through so many chapters and reach the end of that particular story then all begins afresh which is a concept that I personally love.
When our time for pre-show drinks had come to an end we then embarked upon our journey down to the dark recesses of the theatre where we entered a room which proved to be one capable of producing a superb atmosphere and was the type of location cleverly selected by Ryan Smile as it managed to combine both excellent viewing potential with seats not only around the ring but a balcony as well, but also because of the set up when you entered it had the feel of a fighting arena, not a ring in the room, but a ring with the crowd on top of the wrestlers and the ability for people to both watch and vocally support from all corners.
The first battle on the night was the promoter himself Ryan Smile up against Kris Travis who had as his manager Lauren Klair.
In PWK the word ‘battle’ has replaced the word ‘match’ in another sign of attention to detail and using words to aptly describe the in ring product on offer here at PWK, this exciting opening match came to epitomise what followed with quick paced action, hard hitting moments and both fighters demonstrating openly their character (another word which came to be a byword for the night) in two ways, firstly by their vocal interactions with the noisy crowd and secondly by how both guys refused to simply lie down.
We started off with Lauren Klair cutting a promo and instantly being heckled by one of the vocal majority in attendance whilst she talked about using her contacts in life to enhance the career of Kris Travis and how she could take him places, once the match was in action Ms Klair had some verbal interactions with members of the crowd and played a key part in the finish when she distracted the bemused Smile to allow Travis the quick roll up.
For what I believe was a first time in the ring as a manager Ms Klair did very well and certainly created some spiky comments amongst the fans.
Second battle was Marshall X against Sam Wilder
Sam Wilder I have to be frank I know little about, what I saw of him in this match he comes across as a technically sound fighter who looks as if he possesses the capability within him to produce the X Factor but on this occasion Marshall X who I think has one of the stronger characters on the British Scene had to much of an all round game for Wilder, Marshall X was on the receiving end of a few Wilder hits but the chav showed his smartness at the end to steal the victory.
Third Battle was The Hunter Bros vs Corey Johnson and Chris Ridgeway.
This match was a match of firsts for me, I had never seen either Ridgeway or Johnson in the ring previously and whilst I had seen The Hunter Bros on a number of occasions I had never previously seen them as full of character and so much crowd interaction as on this show,
One of the benefits of holding a show in a venue where everything is compact is that there is unquestionably a much higher level of intimacy for everybody present and this really came through during this match where at times it felt that wrestlers and crowd were all in this together, something which in my time following British Wrestling was quite unique and a positive without doubt.
‘Wrestling’ is what really came out of this, Chris Ridgeway came across to my unbiased eye having not seen the guy before as a guy who could do the technical stuff soundly enough and that of course is also a trait of both Lee and Jim Hunter and the early exchanges in this match was a whole series of strong technical moves accompanied to running commentary from Jim Hunter on the outside of the ring and loud chants led by Jim and followed through by an increasingly rabid crowd of ‘Wrestling!’.
There was of course though a fourth man in this match and to me in some ways he ended up as the star although I do not wish to demean the contributions of the other three who all more than did their part in a highly entertaining match up but Corey Johnson was the big man in the match yet despite that and the fact that he only has around twelve month’s of show experience under his belt to date he produced what I felt was a scintillating sequence near the end of this match and one of his moves a shoulder tackle spear is one of those moves which when you see it is jaw dropping, it is like wow, I believe that this man is going to be somebody to keep an eye out for in the future if he shows the passion and character (yes that word again) that he did in this match up, works hard and continues to learn we shall see much more of him and Lockup intends in the future to feature Corey Johnson in our ‘Ones To Watch’ section when we complete our work on the House Of Pain Roster and spread our wings nationally.
Battle Number Four pitted in a battle for the right to be in a Number One Contendership battle for the PWK Title two guys I was much more familiar with, MK McKinnan and Eddie Dennis
This was how I expected and hoped as in it was a quality match up, MK McKinnan kicks like a guy twice his size which actually Eddie Dennis is not far off from being, MK is never intimidated though by much bigger guys as I have seen previously elsewhere, in fact instead he seems to raise his game and his level of ferocity to deal with the extra size of his opponent and this was no exception.
Eddie Dennis though is someone who I am massively impressed by, he is a big man yet with a varied move set, he appears to be capable of absorbing an enormous amount of punishment yet does not give up and is capable of himself producing some absolute monster moves on his opponent and here after a number of near falls on both sides in this battle the extra size and strength of Dennis proved to be the difference as he stole the win but MK did very well here against a far larger man and a mobile one to boot.
After the match Eddie attempted to sneak up on MK but MK was too alert and gained a measure of revenge by smashing the shining wizard over the Welshman.
Separate footnotes to this one, Eddie Dennis has my favourite entrance music on the scene currently and is also one of the best heels about always attracting strong crowd reactions wherever I see him and interacting cleverly with the jeering and baa’ing fans, again this match was great fun and Eddie is now in the Number One Contendership Match for the PWK title.
After the interval the next battle was between El Ligero and Morgan Webster.
Webster is another guy I have not seen a huge amount of but boy this guy can move, he is lightning quick and to get the picture when you see Ligero at times looking slow by comparison you get an idea as to just how quickly Webster can move around a ring, Ligero though of course is still quick himself and so crisp and as such is so high impact, in overall terms Morgan Webster needs to develop his all round game before he could go head to head with El Ligero over say a series of matches but Webster certainly has enough about him to score a victory over just about anybody in any one-off match and he proved that here with a real shock victory over the Mexican.
Footnote to this: Do not ever get involved in a match with either of these guys if you do not like taking slaps, there was a passage of this battle where truly ferocious slaps were exchanged backward and forwards which was simply tremendous, the type of exchange which stirs even the dormant nodding fan let alone the passionate people in this venue who were up off their seats during this particular exchange.
The sixth battle was a Teacher vs Student match up of Dave Mastiff and Dan Moloney
Dave of course is the teacher here but has recently been out with what I believe to be a broken hand and as he entered the ring he was holding his hand although this was not to be part of the match later.
Moloney came out so hyped up that it instantly felt special before a blow had been exchanged, I do enjoy Teacher vs Student matches as you feel that an extra edge exists, a true sense of reality of points to be both made and scored and this just felt truly like a fight which is true credit to both guys.
Moloney so hyped up and powerfully built and quicker than Mastiff with a range of well-adjusted moves in his repertoire actually out wrestled and out fought Mastiff for the first half of this exciting match up, I have seen Mastiff a number of times before and he has always dominated opponents, this was the first time I had witnessed him up against a guy who appeared to be getting genuinely the upper hand over his own teacher (if you excuse the hand pun!).
At one point Mastiff appeared to have suffered either some form of mouth injury or had something knocked into his mouth which he was desperate to get out and appeared to be almost in retreat from Moloney but blimey this Daniel Moloney is a machine and as from the first exchanges he maintained this wild-eyed look not allowing Mastiff time to catch breath and as the younger and fresher looking man things looked bright at this stage for the young student.
The difficulty when facing a guy such as Mastiff is with the guy’s experience and know how and his size and strength it can only take a split second for him to change the course of a match, suddenly Mastiff changed the course of the match then hit a range of power moves and you know when a 300 pound man hits power moves the word ‘Power’ is the critical one with added emphasis, yet one of the most incredible moments I have witnessed in over 50 British shows in 2013 was about to happen….
This had been an incredible battle between teacher and student, one of the most physically powerful men on the scene in Mastiff who by now was angry at being belittled by his hot-headed student who earlier on had slapped him, his opponent the incredible Dan Moloney who during the whole match was like an enraged bull and who at times had come close to beating up his teacher – we reached the point alluded to above, Mastiff hit a sequence of massive power moves and the final one was a running Senton Splash from a 300 pound man – Dan Moloney kicked out of this on ONE!!!! He emerged looking like the angriest man I have ever seen in a ring and I was caught between marking out big time and holding fear for the giant Mastiff, this Moloney is incredible, Moloney taunted Mastiff, he then SLAPPED Mastiff round the face hard, so hard that Mastiff’s head almost revolved 360 degrees whether from impact of Big Dave revving himself up in return who knows but it was the final straw in this incredible and highly aptly named battle.
Big Dave became Big Bad Dave and became totally enraged himself smashing a German Suplex into the corner followed up by the infamous Mastiff running Cannonball into the corner, even then such had been the astonishing performance of Moloney that I was not convinced that this was the end but it was, I would pay big money to see these two go at it again and Dan Moloney is definitely a key part of the future of our scene.
If we had concluded there it would have been a terrific show but there was still another battle to come and this was the second match up for the Number One Contendership match at Part 3 and was between Bubblegum and Kay Lee Ray.
I do love both of these fighters, Bubblegum is such a wonderful character who again never fails to attract real reactions from the crowd and has on a number of occasions come close to getting into real fights with crowd members such is the strength of his heel work and again that proved to be the case here, not surprising really as this show attracted a robust and noisy crowd who by the time of main event had really been built up strongly by a very good show so he was an apt fit for the night.
His opponent Kay Lee Ray is wonderful, the use of her female gender obviously adds to the opposing male heel work naturally but she is in her own right a terrific wrestler who I have seen before on other shows where she very nearly stole the show away from other very high-profile matches and here again she demonstrated her virtues, initially Bubblegum easily dominated her and taunted her with words such as ‘Get Back In The Kitchen’.
At the start of this Kay Lee Ray had entered to a falling of coloured streamers very much portraying her as the star here and after so much of Bubblegum taunting and pushing her around Kay Lee hit a fearsome sequence which ended with Bubblegum cowering in the corner, the crowd were electric on here with the passion of the crowd combined with the acoustics of the room making it sound like there were hundreds in attendance, ‘Kay Lee Ray’ was the ongoing chant throughout here.
Bubblegum hit a disgusting looking double stomp on Kay Lee’s chest from the top rope but he then paid the price of underestimating her as she quickly grabbed the win from the sneering Mancunian.
This means that at Part 3 Kay Lee Ray now has a Number One Contenders match with the giant Welshmen Eddie Dennis which should be quite a contest in a unique manner, Dennis menacingly maaaaaaaaaade his way to the ring to confront Kay Lee but despite having just had a fiercely fought battle and then facing up to the fresh and over a foot taller Eddie Dennis, Kay Lee did not make a single backward step.
Their match should be quite something on November 30th in the same venue, a show which also includes the incredible match of Seb Redclaw vs Mad Man Manson vs Grado.
This show was terrific fun and different to other British shows in a positive way, a lovely intimate venue well situated in the heart of Birmingham, I definitely cannot wait for Part 3 of this exciting new promotion.
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