As the Dream Tag Team Invitational approaches again, I decided to look back on my experience last year and my first experience with the British wrestling scene.
I discovered Fight Club: PRO when they announced that The Elite would be appearing at this show. The show wasn’t too far away but I still debated whether to a buy ticket. I tried to come up with excuses not to go but the only thing that was stopping me was me. None of my friends like wrestling or were willing to make the journey so I built up the courage and decided to go alone. My knowledge of British wrestling was pretty much non-existent so I was excited to watch some new wrestlers. However, as the day of the event drew closer, my excitement grew but also my nerves. When the day arrived, I even contemplated not going because I was so worried about what others would think if they realised I was alone. I knew I would regret it if I didn’t go so I got the train to Wolverhampton and found my way to the venue. I took my place in line and found that the person in front of me and behind were also by themselves. This calmed my nerves as it seemed like such a normal thing to do. I had nothing to worry about!
I had been to the meet and greet earlier in the day which had a more relaxed vibe to it as everyone was able to talk to the wrestlers and get pictures taken. As I entered the building for the show, the vibe was different as it was filled with anticipation for what we were all going to see. The room quickly filled and the show began.
The first match of the night was supposed to be a four-way between Chris Brookes, Omari, Dan Moloney and Mark Haskins but as the match was about to start “I hope you suffer” played over the speakers and Jimmy Havoc appeared. He inserted himself into the match but then “C’est la vie” played and Nixon Newell came out. I never thought I would hear this song at a wrestling show but this got a huge reaction with many dancing and of course singing along. I was hooked from the start as the ring began to clear. Every competitor had the spotlight on them at some point during this match and prepared the crowd for the kind of action they were going to receive for the rest of the night.
The first invitational match was Angelico and Jack Evans vs. FSU (Mark Andrews and Eddie Dennis). FSU were clearly the favourites as they made their way out to “Party Hard” but both teams received great reactions. This match had one of the moments that I remember from the night. As both teams fought into the crowd, Angelico and Dennis to one side while Evans and Andrews went to the other, they made their way to the balconies that were above the fans on the floor. Angelico climbed one while Andrews did the same on the other side. Both dove onto their opponents as the crowd became unglued for this moment. The match returned to the ring but the pace did not slow down. FSU picked up the victory.
Next up was Shane Strickland, Lio Rush and Sami Callihan. I forgot how much I enjoyed this match until I watched it back. The match was fast-paced and started off with all exchanging various near falls until the action spilled to the outside of the ring. Fans were frantically dodging out the way as each wrestler dove to the outside to try and one up their opponents. The action returned to the ring as they traded vicious kicks, forearms, and chops, growing with impact as the match continued. Callihan picked up the win in a match which I highly recommend.
The other invitational match was between the Hunter Bros. (Jim and Lee Hunter) facing off against The LDRS (Marty Scrull and Zack Sabre Jr.). Before the match started, Marty took the mic and put down Wolverhampton and said that this match would be over very quickly. This match had more comedy than the other and while I was re-watching this match, I laughed out loud at some parts like the dosey-doe part which led to Scrull and Sabre dancing. After a back and forth match, the Hunter Bros picked up the win. This is where one of my most vivid memories of the night occurred. As the LDRS were complaining on the outside of the ring, I suddenly see them holding a Zimmer frame up in the air while Joel tries to get them to give it back.
The Fight Club: PRO Championship was on the line as Travis Banks defended against Will Ospreay. Banks seemed to have an answer for Ospreay’s high flying offence and became one of my favourites to watch as he is so intense with every move. During this match, he hurled himself through the ropes to the outside to take out Ospreay. Ospreay also channelled Shinsuke Nakamura but was unable to keep Banks down. After more back and forth, Banks retained the championship by making Ospreay submit.
Penta El Zero M faced Rey Fenix in a hard-hitting match. From near falls at the start, fighting on the outside and to exchanging destroyers and package piledrivers, this match had a bit of everything. There was a package piledriver on the ring apron and the crowd lost it at this part. As the match continued, the crowd became invested in every near fall as the brutality continued. Penta finally picked up the victory and both competitors received well-deserved adulation from the crowd.
Moving on to the main event; British Strong Style vs. The Elite. My nerves returned in the form of nervous-excitement as this was the match that had bought me to Fight Club: PRO. British Strong Style made their entrance and did the Triple H water spit on the ring apron. The Elite made their entrance and received a great reaction which quickly turned into The Elite chant. As the match started, various chants came from the crowd such as “Kenny give us a wave” to singing Omega’s name to the tune of Seven Nation army. As the match continued, the Elite gained the advantage as they got into position to allow the crowd to clap the Terminator theme to prepare for the dive to the outside. Later into the match, Nick Jackson was in the ring to dive to the outside while Omega and Matt Jackson had Pete Dunne and Trent Seven ready for the Meltzer driver. Before Nick could leave the ring, Tyler Bate disposed of Nick as Dunne and Seven were ready to deliver their own piledrivers. Bate flew over the top rope and The Elite had been dispatched for now. The crowd were so invested in this match and didn’t quietened as the match progressed. The Elite eventually picked up the win after a Meltzer Driver and a One Winged Angel.
My journey to Wolverhampton had come to an end but it was just the start of my wrestling journey. This show made me a fan of Fight Club: PRO and my love for professional wrestling had been reinvigorated. Personally, this show expanded my horizons of the wrestling scene that was around me but allowed me to grow as a person and step out of my comfort zone. I have now been around the UK, Japan and America and watched various shows live and the majority of those have been alone. It’s a liberating feeling of being able to watch something you enjoy and become of a part of a community that loves something as much as you do. I have never had any problems at shows and have always felt welcomed. You’re never truly alone as people around you will strike up conversations with you just because you have this one thing in common: professional wrestling.
With DTTI coming up, I am excited for these shows and have no nerves at all. I look forward to chanting and singing along, seeing some favourites and seeing some new wrestlers I haven’t seen before. All three nights have stacked cards and regardless of which show you are attending, I am positive that you will leave the show satisfied because of what you have seen.