Tuesday 27 November 2012

SouthSide Ill Manors - This is Personal!! By Robert Shade

This Friday the 30th November at Rushcliffe Arena in Nottingham at 7.30pm is the continuation of the feud between Southside Wrestling Entertainment (SWE) and House Of Pain (HOP).

Over the years across the globe there have been various feuds that have taken place, WWE vs. ECW invasion for example, many others in history, I know that in Japan there have been some feuds between promotions of late and in the UK other promotions have ran inter company feuds but this one feels different, there is a very good reason for that, there is genuine and very real ill feeling behind this feud, this is the tale of the self perceived big boy (SWE) coming into the territory of what it felt was a small fish in HOP and thinking that it can simply hold shows in Nottingham the city where HOP has been based for many years and just get away with it, in the meantime SWE with it’s big international names and using some of the best known UK talent was putting across a silent message that HOP with it’s different approach to holding shows which are based around the use of it’s own trainees as HOP is not only a promotion that puts on shows, they also have one of the finest wrestling schools in the UK.

The origination of this feud dates back to when Ben Auld the promoter of SWE decided to put on a free show for fans who had been ripped off by 1PW and he was looking for a central location for this show and Stixx who is the Heavyweight of HOP and the leader and head trainer of the group offered the use of a facility in Nottingham for this supposed one off event to thank the fans so to speak.

After this initial event because the show went so well the venue organiser asked Ben if he would do a second show, that soon turned into a third, in the meantime Stixx along with the HOP tag team The Predators took exception to this as suddenly it seemed to in their eyes go from helping out a fellow wrestling promoter to do a one off show on their territory to aid these fans who had been ripped off by 1PW to hold on a minute here you are now trying to lay anchor in our city, on our territory and we are not having this!!! Stixx is also of the opinion that without his original assistance there would be no Southside, his claim and that of the other HOP members is that without their initial help SWE would not have had the name or the leverage to get a foothold in Nottingham and now they felt betrayed and threatened and big time!

I have been to the House Of Pain wrestling facility, it is a superb venue and it is very appropriately named ‘The Dungeon’, Stixx loves it as it reminds him very much of the old Rocky films, the kind of workout centre that Rocky would learn to fight in, I agree with Stixx, that place is ideal to breed fighters, (it is cold and dank and I mean that in a complimentary way, it is not full of colourful posters or flowered wallpaper it is hard bare walls, the type of harsh environment where real men workout,) I do not mean pretty boy wrestlers but real big strong powerful guys who can and will handle themselves against all comers, they train hard there, real hard, they do the cardio’s and boy do they pump iron, what is being created in The Dungeon is a whole group of wrestling/fighting machines and each and every one of them is being moulded in the image of Stixx himself, we all know Stixx, mean looking, extremely talented in the ring but when he needs to be absolutely vicious and he will do ANYTHING no matter what it takes to win, there really is no limit with him and all of his trainees are being brought up with the same mindset and are developing and some have already developed the skills and charisma to go with that mindset.

The point is they are seriously angry, they really do feel threatened by this supposedly larger promotion not on their doorstep but literally on their turf and against their will, these boys only deal with business in one way and it is not around a negotiating table!!

Over the past year or so they have invaded Southside shows on a regular basis, not only in Nottingham but elsewhere in the UK as Southside also host shows in St Neots,Huntingdon and Stevenage but it does not matter where the show is HOP turn out in force, in the ring they have taken most of the SWE belts, Stixx himself is the SWE heavyweight champion, The Predators are the SWE tag team belt holders and HOP’s own Max Angelus has a money in the bank contract which he can cash in at any point in time, the only SWE title currently not in HOP hands is the Speed King Title which is held by Robbie X, HOP’s own Alex Gracie who is the HOP Full Throttle champion, has never ever been defeated, he is gunning for that belt on Friday to give HOP a clean sweep, I attended the HOP show yesterday and witnessed Alex ‘Noisy Boy’ Gracie in action, he absolutely mutilated his opponent the extremely talented Adrenaline Danny Chase, Robbie X is an extremely talented guy in his own right having defeated Marty Scurll, Martin Kirby and Jonathan Gresham to win that belt but he is going to have to go to another level to retain against the Gruesome Gracie!

HOP’s invasion of SWE though is not limited to winning belts, a few months ago they took out one of the main SWE guys the heavyweight T Bone with an absolutely brutal decimation of him in the middle of the ring, I was present and it sent chills down the spine such was the brutality of this beat down, several of the HOP roster came out and simply beat T Bone down so badly that T Bone was unable to wrestle for Southside again for a few months due to the severe injuries suffered, whilst this was going on Stixx calmly knelt down in the middle of the ring much like a king from medieval times giving the last rites before execution, such was the chilling atmosphere created.

Also outside of the ring, HOP flood the crowd with a mixture of their fans and trainees, at the previous SWE show in Nottingham a whole side of the sold out arena was House Of Pain and they were loud!! It was like being at a football match (from the 80s not today!!), it is not only their numbers or their volume which is impressive though, these as I’ve said are mainly trainees these are big powerful guys who genuinely have a grief here, the chants and the facial expressions are built to intimidate and remind you of what a force and what an angry force SWE are having to deal with here.

There is a further situation that somehow SWE are going to have to cope with and that is the fact that HOP now have a mouthpiece/manager who is beyond doubt the best in the business today a certain Mr Harvey Dale, picture a combination of the mouth and the evil tactics of some of the very best managers of yesteryear from the WWE and Harvey Dale depicts them, when he speaks you listen, he is loud, very loud, he is intelligent, he is not just noise, he has the backing of a real army and he also operates at ringside in a number of the matches and is absolutely excellent at his sneaky underhand tactics often reversing the flow of a match in his guy’s favour.

Having said all of that Southside are bringing some very special talent to the table themselves,whether we are talking of El Ligero, Mark Haskins, The Hunter Brothers,T Bone, Nathan Cruz even the crazy Mad Man Manson has a superb win record for SWE plus of course Robbie X.

The main event is a last man standing match between Stixx and Mark Haskins for the title, they fought at the previous Notts event, a magnificent match up which lasted for about 30 minutes and went all over the arena with both talents producing move after move of simply exceptional quality, both guys continually kicked out of finishers, we had referees fighting, interference from the aforementioned Harvey Dale, we had run ins from both sides, we had an atmosphere which was so loud throughout with the various chants of House Of Pain and Let’s go Southside or SWE that it was genuinely difficult to speak and be heard to the person next to you, it took them that long for Stixx to eventually get the 3 count on Haskins, this time a 10 count is required, I would bed in for the night for this one if I was you because it is going to be absolutely magnificent.

There have been strong hints about this match from both sides, from the SWE side Ben Auld has made it clear that if somehow Stixx does retain the title he will be prevented from leaving the building with the belt, if Mark Haskins looks like he is getting into a strong position during the match various HOP trainees who will be in the crowd are promising to get involved to make absolutely sure that Haskins will not respond to the ten count, as I say these are bred fighting machines who are livid. In response to that SWE have stated that they have back up plans of their own…

The way that the show is set up is as follows, there are 8 matches on the card (7 of which relate to the feud, I shall mention the other later), in each match there is a HOP member vs. a SWE roster guy, whoever wins shall obtain a win for their side (as well as the belt if title matches) at the end of the night whichever side has the most wins is the dominant brand, if SWE prevail then they will continue to come to Nottingham and Harvey Dale has to go into the ring and kiss the bare backside of SWE ring announcer/commentator Diamond Dale Mills, if HOP win the night then SWE have to leave Nottingham FOREVER!

Even so things will not necessarily be that straightforward, there are potential twists in store, LJ Heron is the current HOP champion, however in the past he has appeared on the SWE roster and both promotions when picking their teams tried to select him, as a result he is now in a triple theat match with HOP’s Diamond Dave Andrews and SWE’s Nathan Cruz, if LJ Heron wins that match up then at the conclusion he can say which of the two promotions he is awarding the win to.

In addition to that HOP’s own roster member Max Angelus has arguably had one or two recent issues with HOP’s own mouthpiece Harvey Dale, there is a school of thought out there that there is a possibility that Max Angelus may double cross HOP at this show although Harvey Dale and the rest of HOP are adamant that he will not, at the HOP show yesterday after the main event which was won by the aforementioned beast Alex Gracie, Gracie was attacking his already downed and defeated opponent Danny Chase when Angelus arrived on the scene, dragged Gracie off and ordered him into the ring, once Gracie entered the ring Max Angelus gave him a lecture about what it means to be a member of HOP and to remember what that entailed, however whilst he was doing this Max Angelus wore a SOUTHSIDE top, he then after the lecture threw Gracie out of the ring, this still was not the end as then out of the crowd leapt T Bone, stoical SWE roster member previously taken out by HOP and former best friend of Max Angelus, in a flash these two guys were brawling and I mean really fighting all over the ring having to be separated over and over again by HOP roster members, what does this all mean….

I do not know which way this is all going to go down on Friday evening, what I do know is that this is the hottest feud I have seen in wrestling for years, it is as I say formed upon real personal grievances and has two top promotions literally fighting it out for the rights to remain/own Nottingham as their city, the feud has caught on in such a way that two radio stations have dedicated themselves to the feud, Rob Maltman’s Harborough FM show on a Thursday evening from 10pm is the Southside show as Rob is a SWE fan, Rob did used to ring announce at the HOP shows but he is now barred from doing so as he is no longer welcome given his SWE allegiance, British Wrestling Radio is now renamed House Of Pain Radio and is ran by Dean Mitchell who puts across the HOP side of this feud on a weekly basis, I would highly recommend listening to Rob Maltman’s show on Thursday 29th November as Harvey Dale and Ben Auld the night before the show go head to head live and unedited, this is part two after they did the same last week, that was the most intense 30 minutes of radio I have heard for a very long time, as tensions continue to grow I would expect this week’s showdown to surpass even that.

As an aside but a very worthwhile aside the other match on the show is SWE’s first ever International Exhibition match which pits Prince Devitt against Michael Elgin, I personally am very excited to see this, such a contrast in styles and a first time match up, it truly is a dream match and to be honest I think I need say no more on that, it says everything simply by the names in the match!

So Southside or House Of Pain, you may have your preference as to who the dominant promotion in Nottingham will prove to be but one thing is absolutely guaranteed if you have tickets to go to this I am absolutely certain that it will be a night never to be forgotten and unique in UK wrestling history, if you have not got tickets as yet, what is going on with you!!!

If you would like to see the card for this event and/or buy tickets or generally find out more about either promotion they are both on Facebook under their respective names, their twitter handles are @southsideWE and @HOPWrestling, the websites are www.southsidewrestling.co.uk and www.houseofpainwrestling.co.uk

If you would like to follow me my twitter handle is @Shadetheshoot

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