Pro Wrestling Chaos ‘B-Ballin’ with MVP’ (18-2-17) review
by Tim Ricketts.
Photo credit: © Turning Face®/Jim Maitland.
Last month’s Mysterious City of Chaos left the status of the King of Chaos title in confusion. Under duress, the Referees had let ‘Flash’ Morgan Webster cash-in his illegitimately held Heir to the Throne contract. It still took the numbers of his allies, The Modern Culture, to get the job done, and the back-stage assault of Chaos Owner, Dave Mercy, too. Incensed, Mercy released a video stripping Flash of the title and pitting him against the rightful King Wild Boar, number-one contender Eddie Ryan and four other top contenders in Jimmy Havoc, Dave Mastiff, Big Grizzly and the first monarch, Mike Bird.
Knights of Chaos, The Steele Dragons, challenged Modern Culture to join them and Project Lucha in a three-way title match after the typically puerile interference last month, whilst Sierra Loxton faces Jetta again, this time respectively tagging with five-time former WWE champion Melina and despised fashionista Jinny. Another fine inter-continental import gives the show its title, as the B-Ballin’ MVP comes to face off with Gideon as well as delivering an ‘Audience With…’ Q&A in the afternoon. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend that in person, but the people who told me that I’d missed out were numerous. Thankfully, the whole thing will be available on the ‘UK Wrestling on demand’ service, which has recently expanded to include the UPW and SWA promotions for the same price.
Impact star Andrew Everett was due to take on Dirty Dick Riley, but as any good grapple-fan knows, when injury strikes, the card is always subject to change! A well-known Bristolian rocking a revised ring-name, Charlie Sterling, steps in to face the current UPW champion. Reality-TV star Adam ‘Flex’ Maxted is due to test himself against the established heavyweight, Jeckel.
It is also worth noting how the entire Chaos Club community came together to raise funds for our cherished friend Isaac’s access ramp. A bake-a-thon (#ThisIsCakeos) and raffle of wrestling ephemera that included a DDP-signed Courage shirt, amongst other things, raised £600 on the night. Bravo to all concerned, no superlatives are adequate to describe this effort of solidarity.
The show started with Dave Mercy informing those members of the audience who didn’t already know, that Morgan Webster’s Heir to the Throne cash-in was illegitimate. He demanded Flash return the stolen belt immediately but got The Modern Culture instead, playing keep-away with the belt. Mercy, apoplectic with frustration at the irritatingly juvenile pair, bellowed that he’d sack them, and punctuated his threat with a mic-drop to end all mic-drops. With the front row covered in the shrapnel of expensive audio equipment, Edwards timidly handed over the King of Chaos title belt.
The true King was straight out to retrieve his crown. While Wild Boar is usually quite an intense fellow, the look on his face this evening was one of near-naked hostility, but it was hard to ascertain the direction of his ire as he left to the appreciative chants of the crowd.
Dick Riley vs Charlie Sterling
Tonight’s hostess, Jaida, announced our first match. Local star Charlie Sterling (formerly Garrett), who has been making his name around the UK, returned to Chaos after a long absence. Replacing the injured Everett, he faced the equally acrobatic former Magnum Riley with a pleasing exchange of respect to begin.
After some initial grinding arm work by Sterling, these two competitors started to demonstrate how fiendishly fond of flips that they are, in an astonishing game of one-upmanship. Moonsaults, suicide-dives and trips to the top turnbuckle were the order of the day, and one particular wince-inducing Spanish fly by Dick caught my attention. Sterling showed he has a high opinion of his obviously prodigious talents, getting annoyed at every dodge and counter by Riley, exacerbated by the increasingly voracious chants supporting Dick.
It looked like Charlie had the match won when he countered Riley’s springboard moonsault into a hellish Styles-clash, but the Chaos regular kicked out and set up a sweet sit-out power-bomb. Securing Sterling’s shoulders for the three count, Riley received one last cheap shot. Charlie completed his full turn from respectful returning hero to sore loser, as he gave Dick the middle finger before departing.
Adam ‘Flex’ Maxted vs Jeckel
The physical phenomenon Flex took on Chaos’ moody menace, Jeckel, for the second match. The heavyweights started by feeling each other out with some tests of strength, but Maxted obviously had the advantage. Jeckel is a man of intelligence and resource, so he took the fight to ringside where his experience could be employed. Maxted was softened up on the barriers repeatedly which left him compliant when Jeckel draped him off the apron. Jeckel used this to augment a running forearm and kick to the head, but Maxted recovered well to deliver a series of powerful shoulder charges. Another spell of Jeckel pressure led to a couple of quick pin attempts (aided by a handful of trunks) but it was Flex who got the pinfall on his début.
Ref Mark had barely called for the bell when the ominously threatening Brotherhood made an appearance. These guys have made themselves a problem for Gideon, since he gave them a lesson for demanding bookings, but I didn’t expect them to take revenge on Jeckel for the surprising save of his ex-TeamH8 partner in Westbury. The Red Emperor returned the favour, but only earned a snub for it.
Knights of Chaos 3-way tag title match – The Steele Dragons (Eddie Dennis & Alex Steele) (c) vs The Modern Culture (Danny Jones & Richie Edwards) vs Project Lucha (Martin Kirby & El Ligero)
After the burglarious actions of Modern Culture at the last show, Martin Kirby took a little revenge during the introductions by donning one of their retro track tops. A minute or two later, he had one of Alex Steele’s awesome new T-shirts on too, but only because the Bristolian ‘Heavy Metal Hero’ frequently stopped the action to reveal yet another colour option. Hilarity over, the match got serious. Ref Paz allowed the action to be free-flowing, which benefited the techniques and tactics of all three teams.
A five-man submission chain formed diagonally across the ring, but with the spare man Edwards taking advantage to lay in some stamps, he also inadvertently included one on Jones. A bit of friendly fire didn’t stop Modern Culture working over Kirby in their corner though. The explosively powerful Dennis dealt with their double-teaming well with his fall-away slam/Samoan drop combo, before a series of planchas, topes and dives left Steele, Jones, Dennis and Ligero as an agonised pile of bodies at ringside.
All three teams stepped up their games to try and take the titles, cracking out combos, finishers or flying high, but a Modern Culture bait-and-switch was the defining factor of the match. As Paz dealt with the first tag belt being introduced as a weapon, the second met Kirby’s head, which left him susceptible to a quick two-man finisher and Edwards’ pin. The look of incredulous shock on Richie’s face mirrored that of the crowd, as he realised that Modern Culture were the new Knights of Chaos. A great blend of antics and action.
MVP vs ‘The Red Emperor’ Gideon
After the interval, and hot off his earlier Q&A session, MVP faced Gideon. These two fan-favourites received their own fair share of crowd support as they showed mutual respect and locked up, testing each others’ strength. MVP attacked with a quick pace, so consummate ring-general Gideon slowed things by dropping to ringside, the American star following. They ranged around half of the venue, bouncing and slamming each other off walls, merch’ stands, chairs and barriers before exchanging chest strikes back by the entrance ramp. The inaugural IWGP Intercontinental champ even managed to oblige the front row with a photo pose whilst Gideon was head-locked.
Back in the ring, a spell of Red Emperor dominance led to a two-count pin attempt, whilst MVP’s usually devastating Playmaker likewise only raised two fingers from Ref Paz. The response from Gideon looked to have the former WWE and TNA star beaten, only for The Brotherhood to make their second appearance of the evening through the crowd. Both competitors kept them at bay for a moment, but the canny MVP took full advantage of the distraction to nab a quick pin.
Match over, Dahl, Mezinger and Bane moved in. Determined to make a statement and a name for themselves, again they found themselves facing Jeckel too. The six men brawled for a few moments, before The Brotherhood made a ‘strategic withdrawal’. Yet again, with a long pensive pause and despite being the good Samaritan, Jeckel snubbed Gideon’s show of respect.
Jetta and Jinny vs Melina and Sierra Loxton
Another select international import, former WWE Women’s champion Melina, made her Chaos debut at B-Ballin’. Showing that she’s lost no flexiblity, she wowed members of the crowd with her famous ring-entrance. Opponents Jetta and Jinny had made a cross-country trip to get to the show here, after competing for Pro Wrestling EVE that afternoon. Rather than appearing tired and jaded from the double duty however, it seemed like they might have spent the journey planning tactics. They kept the firm favourite of the Chaos Club, Sierra, trapped in their corner for long periods, tagging frequently. Ringside, the arrogant Jinny and mouthy Jetta exchanged plenty of banter with a vociferous crowd, and kept Ref Mark almost constantly distracted. Melina exacerbated the issue by letting her frustrations get the better of her, which meant that Mark ended up with little to no control of the match. The villains took full advantage of this, to the increasingly legitimate ire of the crowd.
‘Freaky Princess’ Sierra Loxton wasn’t helpless though, as she fought back valiantly and inventively several times, but the fiery-tempered youngster often tried to get in one last attack rather than get to her partner. The couple of times Melina entered the fray, it was a distinct case of quality over quantity. With astonishing speed and tightly accurate strikes and kicks she exploded on both villains, demonstrating the execution that led her to 5 WWE titles. With Jinny still stunned from such an explosion, Loxton finally pinned Jetta to get the win, and revenge for her previous losses. Both Melina and the Chaos Club heaped their praises on the deserving Freaky Princess in the celebrations.
King of Chaos seven-way elimination title match – Mike Bird vs Big Grizzly vs Eddie Ryan vs Dave Mastiff vs Jimmy Havoc vs Flash Morgan Webster vs Wild Boar (c)
Before the posturing and threats during the athletes’ introductions had finished, the audience had already started singing “Let’s go beat up Morgan, let’s go beat up Morgan, lala la la!” The minute the ring-bell sounded, six men briefly allied to oblige the crowd’s wish. With Webster rolling in agony and the alliance over, they paired up and began to spread the fight around the arena. Boar and Havoc reacquainted themselves after their last few battles, as did Bird and Grizzly, whilst Mastiff and Ryan belted seven shades of something out of each other on the far side from me.
Flash recovered well from a familiar double-team manoeuvre by ICW tag champs Bird & Boar to take advantage of a ring-side conglomeration, spectacularly gatecrashing the party from the corner-post. Jimmy Havoc found a steel chair under the ring and went on a rampage which ended with a jarring clash against the ring-post, narrowly missing Morgan’s head. Grizzly and Mastiff were slamming everything in sight, and came together for the first time since August to draw some hearty ‘Big Lads Wrestling’ chants.
The compact but immensely powerful King of Chaos hoisted Big Grizzly for a Fireman’s Carry slam, but his follow up Boar-Splash was ruthlessly sabotaged by Flash. Grizzly covered the champ for our first, shocking, elimination. Some more Big Lads action from Big Grizzly and big Dave did them no favours, Ryan subsequently eliminated Mastiff and Mod Morgan put the Strangler on Grizzly to do the same. Jimmy Havoc had returned with the chair again, and introduced it to Flash’s scooter-helmeted head, but the official number-one contender, Eddie Ryan, kicked it back in Havoc’s face. He may have had some regrets moments later, as Jimmy DDT’d him on the grounded seat and eliminated him. On a roll, Havoc tried an Acid Rainmaker on Mike Bird, who countered superbly to take the match to it’s final two men.
Webster took the initiative, but his multiple pin attempts failed to keep the resilient and impassioned Bird down, and his frustration rose. Bird struck back with a vicious face-first slam and a sit-out power-bomb, to little effect, then impressively broke a retaliatory Strangler submission. He searched his arsenal for high-calibre weapons and found his signature gut-buster drop and Gotch-style driver, which looked to have won him the match if it wasn’t for the arrival of Modern Culture. They yanked Ref Mark from the ring, interrupting the count, and gave him a hiding that forced Paz to take over.
The history between Flash and Paz, who had been the victim of a Strangler when Webster first turned villainous, was etched on the ref’s face. Other than a resigned pleading, he recoiled when Flash took his motorbike helmet repeatedly to Mike’s skull. The concussed Bird managed to respond with kick-outs and a two fingered gesture that provoked a hypocritical look of shock from the mod. ‘Flash’ Morgan Webster locked in his Strangler for the final time to send Mike Bird to sleep, and claim his crown as the King of Chaos. A few lost souls celebrated, but more looked on as though the highly aggravating Modfather of Pro Wrestling was the human embodiment of itching powder.
The opening match of the card set an almost impossibly high benchmark for the rest, but the audience had the greatest advantage from that, as the athletes tried to reach and exceed it. The tantalisingly delicious anticipation of The Brotherhood storming through the audience, somewhat akin to The SHIELD but with more preternatural menace, is an absolute treat. I’m looking forward to seeing their endgame. Also, the chilly entente between Gideon and Jeckel that they have provoked is seriously teasing us with a Team H8 reunion, but in what form could it come?
Flash may have won the Kingdom tonight, but will he be able to rely on the ‘numbers game’ from Modern Culture now that they have their own titles to defend as well? It may also help him to cement the legacy of his reign, if he is forced to rely solely on his own prodigious talent. With the very random Total Chaos up next month, and the visit of Tommy Dreamer and Joey Ryan after that, nobody knows what will happen.
Further info and tickets: www.prowrestlingchaos.com
VoD of this event and An Audience with… will soon be available through the bargain www.UKwrestlingondemand.com
Spandex and Fake Tan, an independent film, has also announced a production partnership with Chaos. Keep an eye out for this interesting (and funny) project.