Sunday, 20 January 2013
PCW More Bang For Your Buck (18/01/13) Review By Aiden O'Brien
My first live show of the year was also Preston City Wrestling's first show of 2013 as on January 18th they presented "More Bang For Your Buck". Coincidentally I closed out 2012 by attending PCW's supershow "Festive Fury" in which PCW presented their first sold out show as 800 fans paid to see names like Eugene, Chris Masters and in his first UK Indy appearance, John Morrison, so I began 2013 with yet another PCW show. The show was entitled "More Bang For Your Buck" as it featured the former TNA and ROH and current PWG, DG USA/EVOLVE tag team, The Young Bucks. This was only their third time in England in 3+ years, and their first time in the north of England. Also it was only six days removed from The Young Bucks reclaiming the PWG Tag Team Title's in DDT4 2013, although unfortunately they didn't bring the belts with them. The main event was all about the PCW Heavyweight Championship as Kris Travis, the third Champion, defended against the original and longest reigning Champion, T-Bone, in a first time ever done in the UK stipulation match of a Bullrope match. The story of the match was told excellently in this video package below:
PCW really have hit oil with their venue, the Lava Ignite nightclub as it's located directly in the city center meaning it's easy for the traveling fan to get there with the train and bus station not far away and near-by parking for the drivers. As mentioned the maximum capacity for the venue is 800, and the venue itself is gorgeous. A large spacious hall with the ring directly in the middle beneath a stunning chandelier and with this being a nightclub there are several large video screens dotted around the venue. You have to walk down some steps to enter the hall and on the other side of the wall the entrance way for the wrestlers also consists of them descending down steps. With this being a nightclub drinks, and cheap drinks at that, are a focus. So this has really helped create a PCW community having the venue be so accessible and also the social aspect of having a few drinks at the wrestling has resulted in a strong and loyal PCW audience who are very vocal. Another aspect that has made PCW such a success of the past year and a half is the PCW's promoter's, Steven Fludder, tireless efforts to promote his promotion, shows and talents through the use of the internet and social media, postering and flyering, advertisements in local newspapers and radio, you'd be hard pressed to be a local wrestling fan and not know of PCW's existence.
In the match before intermission Noam Dar faced Dave Rayne's hand-picked opponent in Dave Mastiff. Dave Rayne was due to face Dar for Dar's PCW Cruiserweight Championship after winning a Money In The Bank briefcase at the previous show but the night before the show he was involved in a very real car crash which means he will be unable to wrestle for the next few shows. Rayne has become a beloved figure in PCW which shows the quirky and unique atmosphere in Preston as Rayne is essentially a comedy heel, but the fans love him regardless. In the opening mic exchanges Dar immediately ripped into Rayne's fan support as the crowd in Preston will pretty much cheer for anything. The ref, Des, gets some of the biggest and loudest chants and cheers of the night. The announcer Richard Parker and commentator G-Man all get loud ovations. At the previous show a wrestlers Mom and a Dog both got chants and even though both were missing tonight, they were both chanted for in this segment to further Dar's point. The crowd even chanted for "VHS" at the beginning of the show when DVD's and Blu-Rays were being plugged! But when Rayne finally announced his replacement against Dar, I was over the moon. These two have only faced each other the once (In a PCW ring as well) and I was gutted to have missed their first match which Dar won back in April.
In an inter-gender singles contest Carmel Jacobs beat Mad Man Manson when Manson tapped out... To himself. This was a really well done comedy match. Manson initially wasn't interested in wrestling a woman so when Carmel had him placed in a headlock, he merely powered her up to a seat on the top rope. And when she attempted a flying cross body, he merely stepped out of the way. Finally agreeing to wrestle her after seeing she was hell bent on wrestling him he allowed her to place him in another headlock, bounced her off the ropes and then took her down with a shoulder tackle. Running the ropes, Carmel went down to the mat so Manson stopped himself and leapt over her down onto the mat to try and strike up a conversation. Carmel merely jumped over him down onto the mat again. This continued, Manson following suit and attempting to engage her into conversation before finally calling Carmel a rude bitch and then leaping over her again... Through the ring ropes to the outside. Manson attempted his trademark nipple twisting spot, but every time Carmel blocked it and slapped him. Eventually Manson grew tired of the slapping and slapped her back - To his own horror! Going to her aid, Carmel tripped him up and then put him in an indian deathlock. Using Manson's own wrestling gear she tied Manson's foot in his straps while she encouraged Manson to tap out which he did - Without Carmel even physically touching him at the time. Post match Carmel was in the ring alone while the video screen counted back from 10 to announce former WWF/E diva LITA will be at PCW's end of May/beginning of June weekender joining both Steiner Brothers, Chris Masters and Goldust. It looks to have been heavily implied that there will likely be some sort of Carmel/Lita match which if this is the case, this could be Lita's first match in any Indy since leaving the WWE as she's primarily been used as a special ref or guest enforcer in American promotions.
A very good show and start to the year for PCW. Both Bucks matches were very good with the opener against Project Lucha being my match of the night. Dar/Mastiff was great and made me very eager for a third match in their series. And the main event was a great spectacle even if some of the stuff they attempted wasn't pulled off just right. After such a strong show in December with a sold out crowd they kept the momentum going with this show and while the crowd didn't look that big just before the show (Admittedly after December a lot of crowds would look smaller by comparison) but a fair number of fans did join the crowd just before the show officially started. PCW have a very strong year ahead with their February double shot only being two weeks to the day after this show and featuring former WWE stars Brian Kendrick, Paul London and Super Crazy all taking part in a 16-man tournament that will dominate both nights. In April they continue the annual rumble and also features former WWF star Ted DiBiase, former ECW/WWE wrestler Tommy Dreamer and two current American Indy Champions as both ROH World Champion and DG USA Open The Freedom Gate Champion, Kevin Steen and Johnny Gargano respectively. And then the big supershow at the end of May with former NWA/WCW/TNA/WWF legends The Steiner Brothers, former WWE wrestlers Goldust and Chris Masters and in her very first time appearing for a UK Indy, Lita in what could be her first wrestling match in several years. All PCW shows are released with a quick turn around on DVD and Blu-Ray and the production quality is perhaps the best seen by any UK promotion right now.
Special thanks to John Searle for all the pictures used in this review.