Saturday 25 February 2012

Fight Club: Pro, Rise Against 2012 - Review by @DMC316

On paper Rise Against is one of the best shows you can hope to see. On one hand you have Fight Club: Pro’s track record consisting of a solid roster putting on strong shows, and on the other hand you have the wealth of talent booked for this event. Fight Club: Pro sets the stage well with it’s atmosphere; the active bar, the rowdy crowd, the metal fence that surrounds the ring. But anyone can write on paper, did it hold up?

British Strong Style - Clint Margera vs Trent Seven

This match felt like a suitable opener, a strong match which will leave focus on the wrestling superstars who have travelled over to join them. Margera and Seven are home-grown staples of the promotion. Margera emanates an instant likeability to the FCP fanbase with his attitude and look, while Seven is the resilient hero who manages to overcome the odds more often than not. If a face ever had to be put to Fight Club: Pro, it would be Trent Seven who spent most of last year with the title around his waist and tackling the likes of Davey Richards and Colt Cabana. Going into this match, one can’t be sure what ‘British Strong Style’ is, but one is assured these two men will fight. It’s what the fans want, and it why that word features in the promotion’s name.

Margera and Seven set the mood very quickly, choosing hard strikes over a traditional lock up. The rest of the match becomes apparent, these two are gonna hit each other with whatever they can as long as each action is harder and stronger than the last. They go through chops, forearms, elbows, clotheslines and multiple slaps, each with more impact than the last to successfully gain a crowd reaction. The most memorable moment from the match saw Seven taking Margera’s legs to deliver a big swing from the ring Apron into the metal fence where a Clint shaped hole now resides. They continued to up each other to the point that shirts and even elbow pads had been removed as the attacks were laid in. By the end of this match Margera had certainly gone through hell, as reddening and scratches were visible all over his body and there were even signs of problems with his ear drum after a chop to the side of the head. It was Seven who would pick up a convincing victory after dominating the later part of the match, but Margera’s commitment earned respect not only from his opponent on the mic but the audience through their applause. Seven followed the match by making a bid for reclaiming his title with the fans firmly in his corner. This was a huge match which left everyone with a clear sense of what British Strong Style is. Not only did it wear out it’s competitors though, but it also wore out the crowd who were given fifteen minutes to cool down before the next match.

Jonathan Gresham vs "The Future" MK McKinnan

This match was to feature AR Fox who was sadly deported upon his arrival in England. The triple threat he should have been in had the potential to be one of the promotions best matches, but it’s replacement more than manages to make up for the loss. Jonathan Gresham is one of the most talented wrestlers around today, capable of a great many things and holding a personality that the FCP faithful embrace. MK McKinnan on the other hand is FCP’s golden boy with a home crowd advantage that’s well deserved after managing to keep up with the likes of Mike Quackenbush and El Generico at past events. This is a return match which will see a great change in pace but will be no less hard hitting.

Gresham was met with a sea of “Welcome Back” chants, putting no doubt in the fan’s appreciation of him. Then the two went at it as though they hadn’t forgotten each other and were picking up from where they left off in their last bout. The spectators are teased with multiple counters and pin combinations. What does connect is impressive and the two aren’t afraid to go big as McKinnan put the metal fence through it’s paces with a dive to the outside, and Gresham delivered a top rope Moonsault to the outside. These two never slowed down for long, always hitting the ropes to bring an attack or bouncing back for more punishment. Gresham is capable of keeping the crowd involved throughout and they are left reeling from every piece of action put together in the ring. Finally this hard and fast match would end with bang as it should, as MK McKinnan picked up the win off a great Shining Wizard. As expected it was an outstanding match that established both of it’s competitors. Jonathan Gresham’s presence was again rewarded with “Welcome Home” chants as it was made clear by McKinnan that he had a home here. McKinnan would then make a bid for the title himself which would provoke a response from Seven. Seven’s confrontation turned the crowd against him and seeds were planted for a feud that would play out over the next few events. Seven had no trouble holding his own in a back in forth with the crowd who made remarks his weight and loved the responses they received.

FAN: “We don’t need another Yokozuna!” SEVEN: “Don’t worry, you’re mom’s not on the card.”

Chris Brookes vs 'The Baby Jesus of British Wrestling’ Rockstar Spud

Chris Brookes worked hard to get this match, helping out the promotion by working the merch stand among other things, but it was at the last event he made his name know. First he got “Book Chris Brookes” chants circulating, then on twitter he got #WeWantBrookes popular, until finally he was stopped short of making ‘C! True Long Island Story’ by receiving an opportunity to wrestle for Fight Club: Pro. It is worth noting that before each of the first two matches, a roaring “We Want Brookes” chant had rung out through the venue, putting the crowd strongly behind him. His opponent Rockstar Spud is undoubtedly one of the most entertaining wrestlers you can see today. His energy, attitude and performance never fail to impress an audience who have developed a ‘love to hate’ relationship with Spud. One goes into this match sure that Spud will impress and hoping Brookes can live up to his hype.

Brookes would enter to a tremendous ovation, as chants and cheers cried out for him. Spud, who usually has one of the most entertaining entrances in wrestling, would instead appear more subdued on his approach to the ring, disappointing the crowd. Spud, an expert on the mic, would then berate his opponent, the promotion and the fans before attacking Brookes and eliminating any chance of an actual match occurring. Spud would continue to antagonise the crowd with his antics and support from a Dave Williams, until eventually managing to turn the atmosphere completely. The crowd were now past loving to hate Spud and were onto wanting to rip his testicles off. Spud revelled in the verbal abuse he was receiving and managed to generate an intense reaction from the crowd who began throwing objects at The Baby Jesus of British Wrestling. As he made his exit, the fans were left still wanting to see Brookes in action at some point and in keen anticipation of the Spud getting his comeuppance.

"The Bastard" Dave Mastiff vs "The Callihan Death Machine" Sami Callihan

Finally comes the appropriate main event. Dave Mastiff is one of the strongest and most capable wrestlers in Great Britain, and is capable of bringing a style that has held up against Trent Seven and has incidentally become popular with the FCP crowd. On the other side of things, Sami Callihan was not announced as the number one independent wrestler recently by accident. Callihan is undoubtedly one of the most unique characters on the wrestling scene and is tonight’s main attraction. Mastiff earned his nickname as ‘The Bastard’ months ago when he cost Callihan his match for the FCP Title. Callihan goes into this match with fury, looking for revenge, and it is expected that Mastiff will come back with the same intensity.

The two did just as expected, as Mastiff began a dominating offence, his first move being a Powerbomb which would see Callihan’s head connect with a low hanging discoball on the way up (these are the risks of wrestling in a nightclub), and a whole lot of mat on the way down. Mastiff would continue a dominating offence but Callihan is able to make you believe he’s still alive and has a chance, and with the star power he brings puts the fans are solidly behind him, calling for him to get up and do what he does best. There are elements of a typical big man on smaller man battle, with Callihan trying to lift Mastiff which bring a great reaction when he finally hit’s the Scoop Slam, and hits a Powerbomb on his own on the monster. Throughout the match, Callihan is able to exude the sense that he is something special, he is man who has truly worked on his trade and shows it in every way possible. The crowd were at their loudest during this fantastic match which saw a good length. The eventual winner would be Dave Mastiff, and while there was a little disappointment from the audience, The Bastard was established as force to be reckoned with in a promotion he will frequent more often.

Following the show fans can talk to wrestlers, get photographs with them, buy merchandise and more often than not they can join them in the pub for a few pints. The only drawback to Fight Club: Pro is the slight feeling of guilt that hits when you realise you’ve only paid five pounds be there. Wrestling this good shouldn’t be this cheap, and FCP deserve far more recognition than they have. If you missed Rise Against and don’t own a time machine than you have truly missed out and can only look forward to their next event on the 23rd of March. Make sure to get a hold of their Facebook and Twitter, Fight Club: Pro should not be missed.

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  1. This was a really great post. The best write-up I've seen on this site thus far. Kudos to you, Derrie.

  2. very good write up fair few points. well done

  3. This show was ridiculously good, the best i've seen in years. This article really does it justice, bringing back memories of the matches, the banter, the atmosphere, and the outrage when Chris Brookes was cruelly beaten before the match...very well done sir.