Image Credit: www.prowrestlingchaos.com
Next week, “Johnny Wrestling” Johnny Gargano and perennial indy star Colt Cobana are coming to Pro Wrestling CHAOS for their annual Total Chaos show; a kind of throwback to the Lethal Lottery from WCW, where the night’s roster is announced in advance but the match-ups and stipulations are only drawn/picked and announced on the night. That, however, is just the icing on the cake: Mikey Whiplash returns for the first time since Chaos 18, Eddie Dennis is back after his good match with Drew Galloway at the last show, as well as regular talent El Ligero, Martin Kirby, The London Riots and current King of Chaos, Wild Boar. The usual CHAOS roster is stacked with British stars familiar to followers of PROGRESS, Rev. Pro, Dragon Pro and many others, as well as a few talented local guys such as Alex Steele. I had the pleasure of sitting behind the ebullient ‘Steele Section’ at CHAOS 21 and such vocal support was a joy to see and hear. The big thing though, the announcement that made me Mojo-Rawley-level hyped for this show, is that there will be a little Havoc added to the CHAOS!
So without a pre-announced card, what can we expect? It could be seen as a brave decision for a promotion to willingly drop such a marketing tool, but both the gimmick of the show (of which this is their second) and the strong roster as announced so far more than compensate. It remains to be seen, however, if Total Chaos can follow up on April’s CHAOS 21:Heir 2 the Throne, an absolute tour-de-force of grappling excellence and notable highlight of the Indy ‘Wrestlemania Season.’ With Pro Wrestling CHAOS’s equivalent of Money in the Bank, a tournament match for the tag-titles, a stunningly worked Mountevans Rules match between Johnny Kidd and ‘Gentleman’ Jack Gallagher and the rubber-match of a two-year no-holds-barred feud between Mike Bird and El Ligero (matches one & two are here) most fans would have been more than impressed, but there was so much more to come… A little bit of history: both the ROH World Heavyweight Title and TNA World Heavyweight Title were defended on the same card in consecutive matches, followed by a Tables Match for the King of Chaos Title! The athleticism on show in the Jay Lethal vs Mark Andrews match gave it an air of importance echoed by the mutual respect shown by the competitors both before the match.
What Jay Lethal had in World Champion sportsmanship, Drew Galloway had in World Champion ego. The TNA title holder’s ring entrance was broadcast to the world on social media with supreme swagger, and with Eddie Dennis working the crowd as the Blue Eye Babyface we recieved a good, old-school match between two big guys that played to the crowd and contrasted well in style with the previous one.
After seeing two of the arguably ‘Major’ World Championships defended, the crowd could have gone flat for the last match of the evening. Thankfully, there was a lot of heat behind this one! Since Wild Boar picked up the CHAOS title from Mike Bird in CHAOS 18:Rhynos, Boars, Birds & Beards (yes, that Rhyno), Jeckel and the machiavellian Pariah Khan have gone after him like a homing missile. Another rubber-match in a series of 3, this follows up on a DQ win for Jeckel and a Double-KO in CHAOS 19 & 20, with a win for the powerful Wild Boar that kept the crowd wide-awake.
Oh, and did I mention the record crowd that was 600+ strong?
All things considered, that is a big thing to follow up, so where can they start? The Heir to the Throne match featured the ongoing feud between The DoomsDay Killers and their former leader Gideon, with ‘Evil Little Ian’ Williams playing the cowardly heel excellently, and a tremendous finish mired in controversy when Flash Morgan Webster ran in and grabbed the case. Pro Wrestling CHAOS management subsequently stripped Webster of the case and with his injury in the WWE Global Cruiserweight Series/Classic qualifier against Zack Sabre Junior, we are not going to see the Modfather of Wrestling in action this time around. Get well soon though, Flash! There will be plenty of potential fallout from this match with more competitors likely to be a surprise on the night, or at least some kind of announcement with regards to the Contract Briefcase.
More importantly than any storyline angle is the consistent booking in this promotion. Visiting stars are used well to their strengths, and matched up against regular roster-members to good effect selling the talent, the match, and most importantly tickets. Hindsight and history tell us that if the booking of these visitors is poor, then all three fail. From Rich Swann vs Mike Bird (CHAOS 8:All Night Swann), to Rhyno getting stuck into The DoomsDay Killers, to the Title matches last time, they have all worked well and kept the fans coming back with even more friends.
Looking at the events schedule, there looks like there is going to be good fodder for Pro Wrestling CHAOS’s new subscription on-demand service too, as well as catching up…
With this in mind, and the fact that they have Technical Wizards booked, highflyers, and a few brawling legends… this could be good… this could be CHAOS!
Pro Wrestling Chaos 22: Total Chaos
May 21st 2016, Yate Leisure Centre near Bristol.
Details can be found at www.prowrestlingchaos.com.