Graps and Claps-ish: BWR One (#GrimsbyGraps)

Added by Chris Wilson

Welcome to Graps and Claps-ish, the alternative to the alternative look at the British wrestling scene. Today’s review takes us back to Cleethorpes Memorial Hall for British Wrestling Revolution’s One, their anniversary show. It has been a remarkable year for wrestling in the Grimsby area. Who would have thought a show announced at the local college, only to be moved last minute into a social club, could gain such momentum that they have sold out two 300+ capacity shows within 24 hours? For perspective, think of some major cities in the north who don’t sell out considerably smaller rooms with equally top quality talent. So here’s to you, BWR. I like to think I did my part, *cough* #GrimsbyGraps *cough*.

As the anti-Ogden, not much to report before the show. I started work at 4:30am, finished at 2pm, went home and fell asleep during France versus Uruguay, woke up for Uruguay’s two entries into You’ve Been Framed, ate a £3 Goodfellas Big Cheese Pizza (you are what you eat), took a shower, and went to the venue wearing as little as possible because 1) the heat, 2) I go to the gym four times a week let me show off damn it.

One thing though: I brought my Mum along. I wanted to prove I don’t spend my weekends away at some weird sex cult (sadly). Plus she hasn’t been to a show since All Star Wrestling ran Grimsby Auditorium years ago featuring such gems as David Flair, a Scotty Too Hotty lookalike called Too Hotty Scotty, Spiderman, WCW’s The Dog, and Tatanka. Tatanka chatted my Mum up while his wife stood next to him.

Anyway, some sporadic thoughts from my Mum as THE REVOLUTION CONTINUES…

The opening contest pitted Tel Benham, the NXT Performance Center trained Scotty Rawk, Amir Jordan, and debuting Chief Deputy Dunne in a four-man fatal; the winner becoming the #1 contender to the BWR Cleeserweight Championship. It was a fast-paced two in, two out affair with Jordan – fresh from a 50-strong conga line during the last Memorial Hall show – gaining the crowd’s support from the off. Dunne came close to victory as he planted a brutal knee to Rawk’s face, but he fell victim to Jordan’s Senton Bomb, earning your Naan’s favourite wrestler a future title shot.

Jordan celebrated after the match in a jubilant fashion, chucking his jacket in the air and… it stayed there, caught on the wire holding the Anarchy briefcase. Jacketless, he returned backstage.

My Mum really likes Amir Jordan. She thought he stood out.

Next, in a Tag Team title semi-final, SHAFT (Matt Myers & Kelvin Kayton) faced Guilty By Habit (Robbie X & Powerhouse Blake, the third GBH combo in this tournament alone). This started slow and unassuming – here’s isolating the weaker team member, there’s the hot tag. But things really warmed up once Robbie X delivered solid 7/10 chops on the Walter scale before Myers broke out a backcracker variant of the Canadian Destroyer (!!!). SHAFT had Blake literally on the ropes when Sons of Ulaid’s music played. Nobody appeared but it distracted Kayton enough to eliminate him from the bout. Blake saw Myers on his own and delivered a Blockbuster for the win. The near year-long tournament ends on August 31st when GBH (Powerhouse Blake & Dan Maloney at the rate they’re going) face Scotty Rawk and Cole Quinzel for the belts.

A rather familiar women’s contest saw Lana Austin (with Eliza Roux) battle Kay Lee Ray, who finally debuted after Snowstorm 2018™ took her out of No Gods No Masters. And… sigh… Read my review of Austin versus Ayesha Raymond  and same again from the two Creature Comfort rejects on the front row. Do they believe they are helping Lana by going against the story being told? Do they think Lana as a performer/artist appreciates having to stall for several minutes each time to get the right reaction?! The good news, Austin and KLR’s many battles in S*******e, and blatant interference from Eliza Roux, brought the crowd around. Roux couldn’t prevent KLR from hitting the Gory Bomb to put Austin away.

Mum thought Kay Lee Ray was ace and will be watching World of Sport because I told her she was on it. My Mum is supporting #UnionisedGraps, you should too.

Before intermission, it was time to crown the first ever Mr #GrimsbyGraps in the Bank née Anarchy Briefcase holder: Reese Ryan vs. his security detail Will Kroos vs. avid Graps and Claps reader Gabriel Kidd (in full ‘AH! AH! AH!’ good guy mode) vs. Drew Parker vs. Tom Weaver vs. ‘Big Kink’ Jack Jester. Jester was last seen putting a traffic cone on Joseph Conners’ head, so it speaks of Grimsby’s mentality that this and offering a girl on the third row a big swig of his bottle of Jack Daniels suddenly made him beloved.

In the match itself, each man took a turn reaching for the case only to be pulled down by the next guy practically saying “my go”. Things turned violent when Jester picked up the ladder and lobbed it at his opponents ringside. Drew Parker flipped off the top turnbuckle, proving to be as effective as a ladder, before big boy Will Kroos’ tope suicida caused ten ladders-worth of carnage. Back in the ring, Lifeboat Man Gabriel put on a lifejacket made of ladder and swung it around lamping everyone. Then the ladder was crumpled as Weaver landed a running Death Valley Driver on Jester. Thankfully there were two more of them under the ring. Reese Ryan yelled at Kroos to help him, but Kroos refused and destroyed him. In the end, Weaver was alone and climbing up when Jack Jester jumped inside, waved goodbye, and pushed – launching Weaver outside, who landed awkwardly on the way down. Jester retrieved the briefcase to become Mr #GrimsbyGraps in the Match. This was a great spectacle that reminded me of the older Money in the Bank matches – risky without being too dangerous, nothing too convoluted, built up logically for a sheer clusterfuck, and exciting. The ring announcer’s use of “first ever” suggests we will see this again at BWR’s Two (name TBC) next July.

To note, Tom Weaver had to be treated by St John’s Ambulance during intermission. Hard to tell if it related to the bump to the outside, or dehydration because holy hell the temperature in there…

My Mum laughed all the way through the ladder match, by the way. Clearly watched too many Tom and Jerry cartoons as a kid.

We went to the bar for a can of Fanta Lemon, £1.30 each (not bad). I also performed my duty as a gambling addict by paying £5 for three strips on the raffle. I should have been put off, paying so much for generic prizes (VIP prizes, T-shirts that haven’t even arrived yet), but I want to win a raffle. Any raffle. If the prize was a ‘Best of Alex Gracie’ DVD I would celebrate like Shawn Michaels’ boyhood dream coming true.

Meanwhile, jacket update…

Merch sales done, Amir Jordan entered the ring to retrieve it. The ladders had mysteriously disappeared so he leapt in the air and boinged off the middle rope. Nowhere near. Enter G-Man to save the day.

G-Man: is there anything he can’t do?

The second half of the show started with Cole Quinzel challenging Kip Sabian for the BWR Cleeserweight Championship. Cruiserweight… Cleethorpes… Cleeserweight… No? Sabian sent Powerhouse Blake away to prove he could go it alone. Kip outclassed Quinzel but was almost undone by a Stunt Grandad in the front row giving him trouble – don’t headbutt the wrestlers, folks. Sabian did win cleanly on his own, just ignore the kick to the bollocks before the Supertwat Driver. After the match, Blake returned to beat down one-half of his opponents next month. Scotty Rawk made the save. Cue some finger-points in the air and “Rawk ‘n Cole Bay-Bay”. I don’t want to rag on the local talent, but doing that shtick when there’s a guy in the main event who wrestled the genuine article at Royal Albert Hall three weeks ago is Too Hotty Scotty levels of tacky.

In the semi-main event, ‘The Gatekeeper’ Simon Lancaster and Harry ‘the Hammer’ Winston faced Jimmy Mcilwee and his mystery cousin from Scotland. Much teasing later, his cousin was… Grado! I’m told Mcilwee did a Facebook video where the reveal was obvious, but it’s cool BWR have the confidence to book a huge star like Grado as a surprise when even NGW had to promote him to high-heaven for their February Pudsey show. As expected, Memorial Hall was transformed into Butlins as Grado threw out the “easy” and “baldy” chants. I used to be quite sour on him, but seeing Grado live makes me appreciate the seaside resort, pantomime aspect of British wrestling. Pure fun. Mcilwee landed an elbow drop on Lancaster to apparently pick up his first pinfall victory in over three years.

The main event for the World #GrimsbyGraps Championship saw ten-month champion Joseph Conners challenged by WWE UK champion Pete Dunne and Tournament of Death winner Jimmy Havoc in a triple-threat. The crowd was split between Conners (as established in previous articles, we love him here in Grimsby) and the Bruiserweight, leaving Havoc as the grumpy and the de-facto bad guy who quickly introduced a chair into proceedings. They brawled on the outside, up the ramp, and then out into the car park.

Pretend the next bit is 500-words of poetry. It’s 2018, so here’s the video:

Inside, Dunne hit the X-Plex to Conners on the HARDEST PART OF THE RING~! before courteously waiting for the fans to file inside (only a dozen of us ran around through the front door, including my Mum in 4 inch heels) to unleash joint manipulation on Havoc. Conners executed the Don’t Look Down DDT on Havoc but got denied by Dunne’s Coup de Grâce. Dunne captured Conners and blasted him with the Bitter End. As he went to cover him, Havoc tossed Pete out of the ring and pinned Conners to become the NNNEEEWWW World #GrimsbyGraps Champion!

Jimmy Havoc hastily exited, leaving Conners to grab the microphone and declare he wants to invoke his rematch clause in a No Holds Barred match. This will presumably happen at the next event on August 31st when #GrimsbyGraps returns to Memorial Hall for Uprising 2.

My Mum wants to go to that show and will probably ground me if I don’t change my tentative plans and take her. I’m 31 in October.

Year 2 of BWR will also start with Jody versus Jonny part 2636 as originally advertised at Dive & Kicking, and the first import in #GrimsbyGraps history: TNA’s Suicide (Chris Silvio in cosplay, probably). I can’t wait to see the amazingly absurd journey of Grimsby and Cleethorpes as a hotbed of wrestling continue into the autumn and 2019. They must be doing something right if the likes of El Ligero are going out of their way to congratulate them on their success, and your Jimmy Havocs and Pete Dunnes choose Cleethorpes over Riptide in Brighton. The paydays help, I suppose.

I’m unsure if I can make the BWR event. But whatever the case, Graps and Claps-ish returns in a day or so as I head over to Beverley’s version of a Memorial Hall for NGW’s Proving Ground 40.

Until then…………………………………………………BYE!