Monday 5 November 2012

EWW Invasion of The Bodyslammers 2 Review By Adam Joyce

You know what Brit Wrestling needs more of? Ok that's a pretty open ended question that, unless you're thinking kickpads or skinny boys in tights, there is probably a strong argument for your answer. What I was thinking of was pyro. It's not going to turn the industry round but we have so many companies with great production values it wouldn't seem out of place on their shows. It's one of those things that puts the exclamation point on a big win or makes someone look more like a star by the promotion essentially saying we're prepared to spend a little extra on this guy's entrance. I'm not asking for the Guy Fawkes night at the start of every show like every WWE event but a but some extra sizzle on my steak is always good.

It may seem like a random tangent to go on before I start this review but I thought it would be better to put it here then detract from the main part of this review. I could probably write a whole article on what British wrestling needs more of. Things from great production venues to decent venues to guys who actually look like wrestlers to a sprinkling of pyro can make a good show look like a great show.
There's an argument about how TV could help but you need something that looks good before anyone in the industry will look at your product. Before anyone says anything about the Wrestletalk set I invite you to go watch some of the YouTube webisodes and look at how slick they looked compared to the usual bedroom shooter. There are occasional exceptions to this rule, ICW took the Paul Heyman approach of a stripped back approach and made it work for them, but for the most part if you don’t have something that looks good to begin with then people aren’t going to pay close attention to you. One thing that EWW is proud of is that the tick all the boxes when it comes to the points I listed above. The trouble is all the way down in Hastings apparently makes them a little too far for the Internet faithful to trek to which is a shame. Knowing how much effort Stu and the guys put into their shows I opted to make the journey and check out Invasion Of The Bodyslammers 2. Having been impressed by the original IOTB last year, where Dominator turned on Skarlett joining up with the new part owner Charles Fitzgerald III and his new faction Death Row I was expecting some great things from the sequel and I can say I wasn't disappointed.

The show stared out with B-Rey taking on the mysterious Jynx who was presented to B-Rey as in a large present by Charles Fitzgerald III to 'apologise' for the rough treatment at the show in May. The build up for this match was focused quite heavily on who exactly was Jynx. The only answer most fans had was a nasty face painted guy in a black and white jester outfit, albeit one who played the role to perfection. Even throwing a little added magic making a cane appear from no where, while the referee was distracted removing a chair from the ring, to get the win. I like B-Rey, he's got a good look, talent, charisma and the crowd are always behind him, I just feel he's yet to find that final something that makes a wrestler a superstar. Tonight though he was seemingly more of a Robin to Jynx's Joker. Leaving the question who's Batman? It certainly wasn't Comish J-Dawg who Jynx choked out before heading backstage.

The ladies were up next with Erin Angel facing Lady Lori. When I've seen Lori in the past she is always playing face but I find she always comes across as bland. Playing heel here her arrogance seemed more natural, although in need of some work it certainly gives her a character the fans can grab onto. Erin is a great talent and with all the great UK talent appearing in TNA, WWE and various other American promotions over the last few years I'm surprised someone like TNA hasn't shown any interest even if it is a deal akin to what Mark Haskins had. Although beautiful she doesn't come across as one of the underwear models Johnny Ace seems intent on hiring, which makes her more approachable which I think only helps her ability to get the crowd behind her, as shown in the match here as they were behind her, even when she was stuck in a rest hold sequence. The finish came when Erin missed a move off the top and Lori capitalised finishing her off with a release suplex variation.

Up next J-Dawg was doing a little promo for the EWW school before he was interrupted by Death Row who proceeded to beat down on the trainee in the ring. They then pulled another trainee out of the crowd who happened to be Skarlett's brother. This brought out Skarlett and Titan K who tired to hold Skarlett back. She then got on the mic to inform Death Row that they would get theirs in the main event.

The last match of the first match saw EWW's Greg Stockwell taking on Death Row's Philip Bateman in a Golden Contract on a pole match. I think it might be all the Russo booked WCW I lived through but I'm not a fan of on a pole matches because in only half the matches does claiming the object on a pole win you the match, the rest of them it just detracts from what is happening in the ring. This one was won by pulling the contract down guaranteeing the winner a title match at any EWW event. The finish saw Stockwell get knocked off the ropes while posturing only for Skarlett to run out and crotch Bateman on the top rope allowing Stockwell enough time to get up and grab the contract to a massive reaction from the crowd.

The first match after the interval saw eXodus take on Titan K. eXodus is an awesome talent being massive yet still so agile, although I do question whether his rope walk into a blockbuster neckbreaker is really the best move for a heel to be using. Titan is also a massive young guy hovering somewhere around 6'5 with slightly more then a passing resemblance to HHH he seems to be a blank canvas that is just waiting for the WWE bush to style him how they see fit. He has also improved massively from when I saw him last year when he was so green that Phil Bedwell seemingly led him through the finish of their match. That wasn't the case here as he easily held his own against eXodus. Another point from this match was the referee who was owner of the tattoo parlour sponsoring the event as he did something a lot of referees don't seem to do anymore. He actually showed his authority, even with the massive size difference between him and the competitors, not by getting physically involved but just by reminding the wrestlers who was in charge. It's something that some other refs out there should take note of. The match itself was a hard hitting affair with eXodus playing a cowardly heel at points, ducking out of the ring to meet faster and faster counts by the referee. The referee was accidentally taken out which led to the finish as eXodus nailed Titan with his chain and was met by a reluctant three count, aided by Charles Fitzgerald III, from the referee.

The next match up featured AWOL, a stand out from the EWW school, going up against the mysterious debutant Cinders. AWOL seems to be going with some military-esque gimmick that over time could be fleshed out to be something with more substance. Cinders on the other hand seems to be pretty much a complete character straight off the bat going with some sinister arsonist gimmick with a lantern and an all round eerie feel to everything he does. The match itself was quite a solid match while AWOL looked good during it Cinders was the one who really shone. Not only did he have a great grasp on telling a story in the ring but he also did it while keeping in character, something I’'ve seen other ‘monsters’ to forget on occasion shattering the reality. The end of the match came when AWOL missed a corner charge getting hit with an armbreaker from Cinders before tapping out to the crossface to the disappointment of all those in the crowd.

Up next was the main event but before the wrestlers made their way to the ring for the match Charles Fitzgerald III came out and put a wager on with J-Dawg stating that if the Dominator and the Rage won then Skarlett would be fired, J-Dawg accepted saying if they Skarlett won then she would be able to pick Dominator’s opponent for the next show with the wager accepted the wrestlers came out. Dominator and Rage were out first followed by triple champ (EWW, HEW & Wrestleforce) Skarlett who announced her opponent as an old enemy of Dominators, The Bull from Belgium. I started off this review with ramblings on pyro, the thing is as this match was made no DQ the pyro may have been the prettiest part of it. Every time the Bull was in he matched strength with his opponents, every time Skarlett was in she would have to overcome Death Row trying to toy with her using her fire. Even with this pattern it quickly broke down and if man on woman violence is something that you struggle to watch this is defiantly a match for you to avoid with various weapons being used by all involved on each other. The finish coming with The Bull putting the Rage through a board set up in the corner and Skarlett using a piece of this board to take out her former charge for the victory. After the match though was when it really began to break down.

The other members of Death Row all ran out taking out the Bull leaving Skarlett against 5 men. It was here that co-founder of EWW Jamie Club, who had been sat conspicuously at the commentary desk all evening stood up and said this wasn’t how things were done in EWW, leading to B-Rey, Titan K and Greg Stockwell running out and there being an all out brawl between the two factions. In the ring Dominator had cornered Skarlett but Jamie Club sideing with the extremists turned the numbers in their favour and they managed to run Death Row off. Afterwards Skarlett got on the mic and announced that the next event would be in February. As she had won the main event she could decide Dominator’'s opponent so going back into his history she had someone in mind, a TNA superstar.

Overall this was a great show. There wasn’t a weak match on the card. Most of the matches were on the card for a reason and the filler was still great matches that the crowd got behind and there was build for upcoming events giving the crowd reason to come back. It’s the sort of thing most bookers should aim to be producing regularly instead of relying on the term wrestling to be pulling the crowds in. I had a great time at this show and it’s almost criminal that EWW don’t seem to get anymore recognition for the quality of product they put on, it'’s a shame that they are insisting on running such a small number of dates a year. Then again that does lead to quality over quantity so you can’t fault them there, but as they seem to have established a solid fan base at this venue it surely would only work I their favour to maybe expand the number of shows they’re doing by running another venue and thus gaining more exposure. They’re certainly capable of putting on more great shows, even if they used less pyro.

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