Picture credit to @JGosPhotography
After what has been a great year for British Indy wrestling myself and Jenny would see the year out with FPW Jingle Bell Brawl and what better way than with our favourite local promotion running their second show from the much larger Westcroft Active Leisure Centre in Charlshaton. We attended both the afternoon and evening shows but this review will just be on the evening show but a quick recap. Grado, Dave Mastiff and Martin Stone advanced in a No.1 Contender’s tournament for the FPW Heavyweight Title and would face the winner of the last qualifying match in a Fatal Four Way in the evening show.
The show opened with Matt Burden welcoming the FPW crowd back to Westcroft and the turnout to me was as impressive as their previous show Trick or Treat IV which was great to see. The opening contest would be the last of the qualifying matches for the No.1 Contender Fatal Four Way. Joel Redman was unable to make the show so he was replaced with The Alpha Male’s Iestyn Rees.
FPW Championship No.1 Contender Tournament: Sha Samuels vs Iestyn Rees
Sha Samuels really likes taking it to the FPW fan’s ringside taking his time to enter the ring and even telling fans supporting him that he knows what his name his! It really must be stated how I think Iestyn Rees has a big future in the independent scene, he really has the look of a star and can really go in the ring as seen in this match and his recent tag team matches with The Alpha Males. The match was back and forth before Iestyn Rees got the upper hand over Sha Samuels before being distracted ringside by Rob Lynch and James Davis, The London Riots which allowed Sha Samuels to roll up Rees to pick up the win with help not just from The London Riots but a handful of tights as well.
Matt Burden came out to congratulate Iestyn Rees on a great match and informed the fans that The Warden had opened a challenge to Tom Chamberlain and we would find out now if it had been accepted. Tom Chamberlain’s Valet came out instead in what can only be described as a singlet 3 sizes too small and wrestling headgear and said that Tom Chamberlain would not wrestle in front of the ‘cretins’ in the FPW crowd.
The Warden vs The Valet
This match was largely forgettable besides some comedy wrestling with just how absurd The Valet looks as there is really nothing to him and The Warden had no problem throwing him around and easily picked up the win. After the match he informed the fans that he would not rest until he got his hands on Tom Chamberlain.
Matt Burden surprised the FPW fan’s by announcing that the next match would be for the EVOLVE Championship.
EVOLVE Heavyweight Championship: Drew Galloway (c) vs Davey Boy Smith Jr
This match was fast and physical from the start with both competitors struggling to get the upper hand on each other until the match spilled to the outside when Davey Boy Smith threw Drew Galloway into the barricade where the support beams around the ring was caught and a silenced hit the crowd where we thought it was going to collapse! Drew focused his attack on the knee of Davey Boy Smith and even put on submission on him outside the ring stretching his knee over the apron which was only just broken before the five count. Once the action got back inside the ring they exchanged vicious kicks and moves but Drew Galloway kept going back to the knee of Smith. Davey Boy Smith fought back and caught Drew his Father’s Running Power Slam and got the three count on Galloway but the referee had noticed Galloway had his foot on the bottom rope and the match carried on and Galloway put away Davey Boy Smith quickly after the restart to retain the EVOLVE Championship. After what was a really great match both guys shook hands and left everything in the ring. This was my first time seeing both of these guys since they left the WWE and I really think they have both come a long way and put on a match I would happily watch again and I hope to catch them live again soon.
Before the interval it was announced Rockstar Spud would be at FPW’s next show Reloaded Rumble 4.0 on the 8th February.
FPW Tag Team Championship – Best of 4 Series Triple Threat – Match Two: The Alpha Males vs The London Riots vs The Swords of Essex
On the afternoon show The London Riots picked up the first victory in this series. It really is hard to explain in writing how popular The Swords of Essex, Paul Robinson and Will Ospreay are with the FPW fans and it seemed they wanted to make up with their earlier lost as after entering through the crowd they took the action straight to The London Riots by taking to their air as only they can…but as Charlie Garrett can as he displayed in this contest a side of him I haven’t seen before really giving Will Ospreay a run for his money with his acrobatic skills. The action was fast and furious in this match with some really unique offense including a massive spear from Rob Lynch taking out both Paul Robinson and Will Ospreay and The Swords of Essex combining to only just reach Iestyn Rees height for a test of strength. Speaking of Charlie Garrett’s aerial skills they helped The Alpha Males pick up the next victory in the series. This leaves The London Riots and The Alpha Males on a victory each with The Swords of Essex yet to pick up a victory but really after this match I would welcome a best of 16 series at this point as whenever these teams fight at FPW it really is a great display of tag team wrestling and I am sure they are trying to outdo each match they have against each other.
FPW Championship No.1 Contender Tournament Final – Fatal Four-Way: Sha Samuels vs Martin Stone vs Dave Mastiff vs Grado
It has to be said I can never get bored of Grado’s entrance from the great random use of Madonna’s ‘Like a Prayer’ he can really get a crowd going like nobody else at the moment and was even given some Irn Bru by a fan for his efforts! When all the competitors were in the ring in which Dave Mastiff even gave a hand helping Grado down from the top rope, I love the chemistry between these two and would welcome a comedy tag team between the two but they have to come out to Bronski Beat’s ‘Small Town Boy’ or it’ll be a missed opportunity for gold. Martin Stone and Sha Samuels did their best to keep Dave Mastiff out of the match and focused on wearing down Grado for a majority of the match but when Mastiff got in he exploded with such physicality only he can bring to the wrestling ring which really is a sight to see live. After a massive cannonball on Martin Stone in the corner from Mastiff he was thrown out by Martin Stone who Grado then took down and picked up the victory over a beaten Sha Samuels in a result which I think a lot of FPW fan’s didn’t see coming but would welcome with a massive ovation for Grado who celebrated downing his bottle of Irn Bru. So the new No.1 Contender for Greg Burridge’s FPW Heavyweight Title is Grado.
Alberto Del Rio vs Marty Scurll
Making his UK independent wrestling debut Alberto Del Rio for FPW was a massive coup by the FPW founders as the crowd exploded when his music hit and he came out with energy and passion that I think was missing from his WWE work. Marty Scurll who for me is one of the best British wrestlers today really took the match to Del Rio keeping him on his back and out of the contest for some time and pulled off some really unique moves on Del Rio. The match went to the outside and Marty Scurll threw Del Rio into the barricade right in front of myself and Jenny who has such a deep hatred for Del Rio it’s really something and it’s not in a ‘Boo he’s a bad guy’ dislike it’s a genuine dislike for him which I cannot explain but thank you Marty you made her night! The match got back into the ring and after near fall after near fall Marty Scurll just couldn’t put Del Rio away and fell victim to the Cross Arm Breaker. After the match Del Rio spoke on the mic about the situation in the WWE which lead to him leaving and how impressed he was by Marty Scurll, British Wrestling and the FPW fan’s.
FPW saw 2014 out with a bang. With their second show in a new venue it was always going to be interesting to see how many people from the last show would attend and they turned out in their numbers and what we got to see made it a great night. Alberto Del Rio was a big pull for FPW and yet again British talent like Marty Scurll, Drew Galloway and all the teams in the tag team series put on a great display. I see no reason why FPW Reloaded Rumble on 8th February won’t be a success with the way the guys are running these shows at the moment.
Thanks for reading and have a Merry Christmas a Happy New Year I hope to see you all at show’s over the country in 2015.