Wednesday 6 March 2013

Southside Wrestling Entertainment Battle Of The Ego’s 3 Review By Robert Shade

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Credit for all photos to Brett Hadley

When traveling down to St Neots for this show my son commented that this event had no imports on it and also said that he wondered if having two comedy matches on the same show was too much, when we travelled back home following on from the conclusion of this event he said that this was one of the most entertaining and fun wrestling shows that he had attended, given that this was our 8th show already this calender year and none of the previous shows were poor and the previous week we had been to the outstanding Dragon Gate UK show in Castleford this was some praise and words which I totally endorse.

On our previous visit to St Neots we had seen the high profile no ropes match in the El Ligero vs Ego Dragon (Martin Kirby) feud, this time around there was no single match which was as unique to view so again I wondered if this might pale a little in comparison, absolutely not, this show just like the previous SWE show in Letchworth demonstrated sthat Southside is a promotion which continues to grow as further emphasised by continuing improving production values with investment in lighting and entrance effects being used here and in terms of the in ring product every match in it’s individual way brought entertainment of the highest order to the vocal and very lively crowd which was absolutely absorbed throughout with the product being put to them.

 The first match of the night was a grudge match between Stixx and Jonny Storm - bit of background for those unfamiliar, Stixx is obsessing that SWE management is purposefully keeping him away from the Heavyweight title picture by matching him up with opponents who fully occupy him and do not allow him to challenge for the title, this is possibly true given the shenanigans that the despicable Harvey Dale brings at ringside, Stixx himself will have fully trained Mr Dale up on such tactics and as SWE is a promotion which is promoting class in every meaning of the word there is no such place in the title hunt for such a pair of wrestling rogues - such tactics led to this match up as in the previous SWE show at Letchworth Jonny Storm was in the final of a tournament to decide the number one contender for the heavyweight title when Stixx interfered costing Storm the match, this was the opportunity for Storm to take revenge, the match itself was of high quality with both fighters showcasing their undoubted quality in the ring, Jonny Storm quite simply is a technical craftsman, Stixx who took issue with me calling him a bitch in my Letchworth show review for all of his intransitive behaviour he is one hell of a wrestler, an advantage of Stixx running a wrestling school is that he has his own style of wrestling but he teaches others different styles which means that he too if necessary can wrestle in those differing ways which is why I have seen him have so many good matches - however his association with Harvey Dale has brought him down several levels and he has started to lose his focus on outwrestling an opponent and is forever looking to sneak a win by injudicious methods - back to the match after the action continuing in and out of the ring with Stixx always looking the more brutal and the more powerful, one moment in particular sticks in the mind when he held Storm up above his head like a small child and then just threw him with disdain, Storm just as predictably was always that little bit quicker and that little bit smarter, the crowd was rabid during this match up with cries of Lets Go Jonny filling the arena throughout, the passion shown by these fans during this encounter was matched by the passion shown by Storm and Stixx in the ring, just when it looked as if Stixx was going to get the win after some involvement from Harvey Dale, Jonny Storm quickly got the pin and then charged out of the building exiting through the fire door, he was pursued by Stixx and photographs have since appeared on Facebook of Storm driving off with Stixx running down the middle of the road in a furious chase, something tells me that we have not seen the end of this one!!!

 Next up was The Hunter Brothers vs The Bhangra Knights, I have seen the Hunters on three previous occasions and have always felt that they oozed quality both as individual wrestlers and as a team, they ran out with masks on which was the first time I have seen them do that, I mention that purposefully as later in the match review the reason will come to light, The Bhangra’s I had not previously seen wrestle as a team but I had heard and read of their quality so was looking forward to this match and I was not disappointed, if companies such as WWE and TNA ever wish to seriously consider rebuilding their tag team divisions then they should take a DVD of this match and study it, if they analyze it in detail they will be able to showcase so much of what makes tag team wrestling so wonderful when it is done properly, in theory the Hunter’s were the faces in this match but the wonderful exhibition of pure technical tag wrestling from both sides just earnt the wonder and the rapt attention of the assembled throngs and it was one of those occasions of which there were at least a couple more later in the show when you did not want either team to score a pin as it would have meant an end to such bewildering movement and syncronicity in the ring but as the match continued to develop into this perfect study for how to tag team wrestle in ran a couple of mystery fellas clad in jeans wearing the same masks that The Hunters ran out in and interfered attacking the Bhangra’s, from this the Hunters managed the win and will now face off with The Predators for the SWE Tag Team Title at Risky Business 2 on April 28 at Huntingdon.

We then had match number 489 or whatever it is in the feud lasting around three decades between one half of The Predators Joseph Connors and Mad Man Manson, Connors has quite simply found Manson quite simply maddeningly undefeatable and totally unavoidable in equal measure, tonight proved to be no different, the ‘match’ commenced with Manson informing us all that as he has absolutely no idea how to wrestle he wished to suggest alternative means of settling this feud, the first idea which was agreed to by Connors was for an arm wrestle to take place but after some Manson Mad Manson shenanigans this did not take place, this was then suggested that we could perhaps have them play Kiss Chase amongst other suggestions but in the end they settled for a game of Musical Chairs to settle this, this was absolutely hilarious please anybody who was there if I have missed a detail out on this piece of the show excuse me as I spent most of this time with tears rolling down my cheek at the Manson antics, I have seen this guy many times before yet he never ceases to make me laugh and to be fresh, he is an absolute genius, we started off this game (I cannot believe I am reviewing a game of Musical Chairs!!) with the two of them in the ring and two chairs whilst the music played, obviously when the music stopped they were both able to sit down so it continued, Connors tried to remove a chair so that we were down to one but behind his back Manson was replacing it so we kept on going for a while with two chairs, in the end we did manage to get down to one chair and Manson managed to win this game which resulted in Connors having a tantrum whilst he was busy doing this Manson rolled him up and scored the pin!!

We are now going to see a supposed! conclusion to this feud as match number 779 between them will also be at St Neots on 30 June during the Notorious 3 show which will be a blindfold match with the very interesting stipulation being that if Manson wins then he takes Connor’s position in The Predators! Now that I would love to see!!

The final match before the interval was surprisingly the SWE Heavyweight title match between the impressive defending champion Max Angelus and the imposing Number One Contender T Bone, I fully expected this match to be exactly what it was and that is a very hard fought match up between two guys who really do understand the value of this title given that the Heavyweight belt on one of the UK’s top promotions is prestigious. Angelus I have written before possesses in my book the most demonic kicks in the UK today, the impact sound always makes me wonder how his opponent still has his jaw in one piece come the end of the match, in addition to that Angelus is one of the most mobile around the ring heavyweights in the country and always puts on a strong show, T Bone is a wrestler that I have seen a lot of, initially I thought that he was good, increasingly and in particular in the past few months I get the impression that T Bone has really stepped up his velocity in matches, everything he does, each move just seems to have interest added in terms of its impact, they fought in and out of the ring again just like Stixx and Storm earlier in the night, most of the match I have to be honest and say that it looked as if T Bone was going to come out on top, he is a more experienced wrestler than Angelus and it looked as if he was using that extra bit of knowledge to his advantage seemingly anticipating the moves which Angelus was attempting then getting his own moves in with success and as I say with interest but Angelus is not the champion of a top promotion for no reason, I was at a House Of Pain show recently and saw him win a Royal Rumble going in at Number One and emerging victorious at the end, Angelus does not know how to lose, he does not know when he is beaten and for very good reason because it is damn difficult to defeat this warrior, after what looked and felt like a bit of a war and after a few efforts by both guys at big finishes Angelus scored the win to retain his title but T Bone did himself proud.

After the interval three matches remained, two of the matches we just knew would be awesome, how? by the match ups.

 The first of these matches was MK McKinnan vs Mark Haskins, McKinnan is an extraordinary young talent who just has the wrestling world at his feet, Haskins is more experienced but like MK he is a high flying technical genius of a man, this match oh boy, you hear of certain match ups being called dream matches, this was one to give us wrestling addicts a wet dream (although not literally!) they pulled so many moves out of the book, so many bursts of quickfire action, so many incredibly flexible and skillful ways of avoiding their opponents attack, so many high impact moments one of which left MK with a bloody nose that it was absolutely spellbinding to watch, when you dream of a match up and think what it could be like, then no longer do you require visualizations of it as it is happening in front of your own eyes the bigger task as a fan then becomes believing in this as reality, can it truly be this good? Well both this match and the final one truly were and have whetted my appetite even further for SWE’s forthcoming Speed King 2 tournament given that this could be a possible match up. In the end what was in my mind a shock outcome occurred as MK stole the win, it almost felt a bit like the student beating the teacher and whilst I do not think that Haskins has ever coached MK, given how young McKinnan is and the experience that Haskins possesses it shows you what a talent McKinnan already is and just how high he could go.

 Before the main event and the second technical masterclass of the second half of the show, we had the second comedy match with the other Predator Paul Malen taking on Loco Imbecile (of whom I shall have an exclusive article on next week), what can I say about this? I have already reviewed a game of Musical Chairs now I find myself having to describe Loco arriving at the ring carrying a Hello Kitty Lunchbox which he opened to reveal Jaffa Cakes which he then fed various members of the crowd with (but sadly not myself!), after a feeding session which certainly made the now infamous ‘Feed me more!’ chant perhaps more apt in SWE than WWE, Loco was still not ready for the match as he had some party poppers to pop! During the match once it did get going we had numerous chants for Jaffa Cakes!! Perhaps SWE should look into a sponsorship deal from McVitie’s after all who in the entire history of the Jaffa Cake has ever succeeded in getting around 300 people consistently chanting Jaffa Cakes! Also this is a Mexican jaffa cake eating party popper wrestler who had great difficulty in standing on the ropes and usually failing, in the meantime that perennial party pooper Harvey Dale who had accompanied Malen to the ring was busy tucking into Loco’s Jaffa cakes whilst Malen attempted to make some sense of Loco, very difficult to describe this match up as Loco Imbecile kind of gave me a vision of what it would be like if I ever climbed into the ring and that is not a pretty thought but this guy was hot with the crowd an amazing reaction for a new guy on the circuit and I am sure that even though in the end Malen did get the win Loco when sat on the plane back to Mexico no doubt eating Jaffa Cakes will be deeply satisfied at the impact which he already has made, my concern would be could he climb up the stairs onto the aircraft without falling over but perhaps they elevated him on board!

 Main Event and it is typical of Southside to do this as Southside equates to top class wrestling was the Speed King Title defence for Robbie X in the same venue where he won the title against the only other man to hold the same title Marty Scurll who was also the guy he eventually pinned after winning a four way last year to gain the title - this title is now one of the most coveted titles in indy wrestling given the forthcoming world class tournament coming in Nottingham on May 25, to go into that tournament as the defending champion against the card which the promoter Ben Auld has assembled would be an honour for any man to hold and that was exemplied by this match which was remarkably every bit as good as the earlier McKinnan vs Haskins match up, just one of the many funny but also prescient moments of the night was that before Robbie X/Scurll started the crowd were chanting ‘This will be awesome’ and indeed it was and more, Marty Scurll is an experienced wrestler these days and received a huge pop from the crowd for what is one of his home venues, given the man’s opportunities in TNA and Dragon Gate and his European wrestling pedigree you might have thought that as this raging battle wore on that he might think after receiving yet another hard hitting quick moving attack from Robbie X that he would just lie down, I mean Robbie’s moves were executed so well but Marty is made of much sterner stuff and he is desperate to have on his wrestling CV defending Speed King Champion announced to his name on May 25 before his match against Samuray Del Sol so he gave it absolutely everything he had, I saw Scurll hit every move I have seen him use previously and then again and again, finisher and signature and then finisher again, off the top ropes, The Graduation, punches, kicks everything was hurled at the 18 year old Robbie X, the crowd were ecstatic with this, we had already had an amazing night but this was more than just the icing on the cake, this was wrestling ecstasy, Robbie X is simply wonderful, a teenager who has had some challenges to deal with in life, who went on a year long losing streak in SWE but then had his breakout moment on the previous show at St Neots when he beat Scurll to win a title which produced an outpouring of emotion as real as I have seen at a wrestling show, back and fro went both the match as more finishers were hit by both talents, the crowd totally hooked also going back and fro, Lets go Marty went the home fans, Lets go Robbie went the travelling fans and also I think some of the home fans out of admiration for what this teenager was doing, sadly but also joyfully as it meant we reached a crescendo it finished Robbie X yet again hit his finisher and this time after kicking out of so many previously Scurll who had had three tough Dragon Gate matches the previous week winning two of them against international level stars could not prevent the outrageously gifted Robbie X from defeating him once more.

One hell of a show, it demonstrates that whilst when used properly imports definitely do add to a show and importantly to a UK wrestler’s experience we possess so much talent in the UK that a show this damn good is entirely home produced - or is it sorry Loco I forgot about your air miles accumulated to do this show what an Imbecile I am!!

Couple of final points to Paul Malen as the crowd said ‘Manson’s going to be your partner!’ and also as this show was about Ego’s I just had to mention Diamond Dale Mills the guy is a legend!

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