Hello and welcome everyone to British Wrestling’s favourite alternative view Graps and Claps this time taking me on the short journey to the Fairfield Social Club just off Manchester Piccadilly on a balmy Sunday afternoon in the city for Futureshock Wrestling – Tapped which was a new concept on the wrestling show incorporating Wrestling, street food and craft beer all in the aid of celebrating Manchester Beer Week and at a guess if it proved successful, further events would occur in the future.
Having spent most of the weekend watching football, first off at Stalybridge on Friday night to see Rochdale register a 3-0 victory whilst also taking some of the sights and sounds of Stalyvegas – namely The Stalybridge Buffet Bar based on the station platform offering an extensive range of beer and a collection of pies that made the mouth water. Drink of tge evening here was a half pint of 9% Abbeydale Brown Ale which had a fruity and smooth after taste.
Other alright pubs here was maybe one of the Hydes pubs which a big beer garden to soak up the rays of the sun, being honest though apart from the station pub I probably wouldn’t visit again. Now i’m known for reviewing toilets but if this wasn’t a wrestling trip only blog, the winner for the worst toilet of the year would be won hands down by the Stalybridge Celtic toilet/grate near the main turnstile – no wash facilities, the smell of stale piss and just a hole to piss in – just horrid! 💩💩
Obviously Saturday was the joyous occasion of watching England reach the World Cup Semi Final in the local drinking haven called The Flying Horse which when wrestling hits Rochdale in the year ‘never’ it would feature a lot in this blog.
Anyway’s Sunday started with a trip via the Metrolink to Manchester stopping off first at the Seven Stars Wetherspoons in the Printworks for a £1.79 pint of Saltaire Brewery 5.5% Pacifica IPA which is another in a line of good drinks from this brewery, go and give there blonde ale a drink if you spot it in any pub near you.
Next pub was Graps and Claps pub of the year winner, The Crown and Kettle which was in the midst of a Thornbridge Brewery tap takeover from one of the best breweries around in the U.K. Here I had a pint of 4.5% Strawberry Lucaria Ice Cream Porter costing £3.40 which was like drinking a strawberry and chocolate ice cream with a smooth finish, sadly though a half of a 7.4% cherry sour didn’t hit the right notes leaving an acidic aftertaste.
Next pub was local craft ale haven Port Street Beer House meeting up with Andrew Gibney of French Football writing fame and all round good egg with his missus. This pub had a number of collaboration drinks costing the usual pretty penny that PSBH is known for. I had a £6.30 pint of 4.2% Fourpure Nugget Pale Ale with 10% knocked off the original price if you are a card carrying member of PSBH, I would say this was the better of the two drinks in here, the other being a half of Eldorado DIPA priced at £3.30.
Drinks done with the time coming past 4 pm, we made the 15 minute walk to the venue for the evening’s festivities. Based down a backstreet and underneath the railway arches, this is a corking venue with its high ceilings and bright lighting to give the setting a warm glow instantly making it a perfect place for 2 hours of wrestling.
Beer and cider selection was vast with at least 16 drinks on offer from Hogan’s and Top Rope Brewing Co. priced anywhere from £3 to £5.10 for a pint , of the 3 pints I had here they were all fairly decent and well worth a second try when I go back again. Food selection was either posh Doughnuts from Yes Doughnuts or The Gravy Train offering of Poutime which is Chips, Gravy, Cheese curds and any topping of your choice. Having already tried their work before in Leeds, I stuck to the Poutine which was an excellent addition to watching the graps – really crispy chips that made me think back to the days of my childhood with the proper thin cut ones my mum would fry – yummy!!
Anyways on to the wrestling taking up my position in front of the commentary desk of Rob Halden and G-Man, so hopefully you can hear their commentary back on VOD and not my clapping/cheering which is well known to be ear shattering.
First match of the evening was between J.J Webb who is on a collision course with Damon Leigh at a later date taking on Big Joe who despite not picking up any victories in Futureshock at the moment, he has garnered great reactions from the crowd everytime he has turned up.
In fairness to Joe, he did control most of this match offensively until he got too big for his size 4 boots and was finished off by J.J with a Tower of London for the loss. As ever Joe was his argumentative self here, I just hope his short temper doesn’t become his downfall in his fledgling Futureshock career.
2nd match up was Damon Leigh who is trying to become more serious and move away from the chicken schtick which has haunted the majestic eagle for well over a year now. His opponent for the afternoon was Chris Egan who has made a promising return to the squared circle in the last few months.
Early stages of this contest was DDL playing up to the crowd and having a go at anyone who dared to call him a chicken. One spot in particular that brought much laughter from the crowd was one where DDL was ready to hulk up and show his fighting spirit but instead fell flat on his face in the process.
At the business end of this match DDL hit a DVD for a 2 count, Egan hit a sweet code red to register a 2 count for himself, but when Egan missed a springboard moonsault DDL capitalised and finished off Egan with a compactor for the victory.
After the match DDL tried to beat down Egan once more but was chased away by J.J Webb with a chair. It was then announced by Webb that at the 14th Anniversary show on August 18th himself and DDL will compete in a ‘Loser must wear a Chicken Suit Match’ which should bring much laughter and entertainment on that particular evening.
3rd up for the evening was Danny Hope who is fresh from a win over WWE UK star Wolfgang a couple of weeks ago at 53two, his opponent which was supposed to be T-Bone on the advertised card was instead replaced Sheikh Rizwan Khan w/Alex Boylin in his corner.
A lot of this match was Hope trying to combat the presence of Boylin on the outside whilst also trying to dominate Rizwan back in the ring. Luckily for Danny he managed both and finished Rizwan off in swift fashion with a Superkick for the 1-2-3 at the second attempt. Danny’s reward for winning was doing his famous catwalk with a loveable doggo from the audience – literally wrestling has gone to the dogs 🐶
Half Time Main Event next with The Sexy Gents (Sexy Kev AND JOHN!) who have been having their problems recently after a spate of losses to Chris Ridgeway and T-Bone. They were hoping to get back on track here taking on the promising Futureshock Academy graduates – The Young Guns (Luke Jacobs and Ethan Allen) who have been impressing this writer in there early infancy as a team.
This was a really good tag match with the Gents playing the more veteran role, trying to stamp their authority over The Young Guns and surprisingly looking like that all was well in the camp, but that soon came crashing down for The Gents as Sexy Kev knocked John McGregor off the apron leading to Kev being rolled up by Luke Jacobs who got the 3 count, meaning that The Young Guns could easily be in line for a Futureshock Tag Team Title match at a later date.
The Sexy Gents will have to patch their differences up sooner rather than later as it was then announced that they will be facing CCK at the 14th Anniversary Show in Prestwich.
After the break we came back with 3-way Adrenaline Title action between Joey Hayes, ‘Turkish Wolf’ Soner Durson who were hoping to dethrone current Adrenaline Champion Sam Bailey who was flanked by Alex Boylin and Rizwan Khan.
A decent 3-way match ended badly for people wanting a good guy victory as Bailey’s buddies got involved to distract the ref with Bailey finishing Durson off with a great name for a finishing move ‘The Sambuca Slammer’ for the 1-2-3. That is now 3 victories for Bailey over Soner even though they weren’t the cleanest – it is still 3 wins so it will be interesting to see if Durson tries one more time in August.
Women’s Tag Action next with The Queen Bees (Molly Spartan and Jayla Dark) vs Lana Austin and Futureshock trainee Hollie. Most of this match was Jayla and Molly working over young Hollie who was getting great support in her debut from the Manchester throng. Hollie got a hot tag to Lana who cleaned house giving her team the advantage but a mix up from the referee over who was legal led to poor Hollie being pinned with a huge spear from Molly for the 1-2-3. After the match The Queen Bees tried to break Hollie’s arm but they luckily chased off by Lana, give Holly her due though she performed admirably for her first time in the ring.
Main Event 6-Man Tag Match with Cyanide and his boys fresh from another oil fitting at Webster’s of Weatherfield – Noah & Henry T.Grodd taking on the odd trio teaming of Ashton Smith, James Drake and a rare sight of people cheering Zack Gibson.
After the now regular singalong from Rochdale’s answer to Kanye & Rihanna of ‘All of the Lights’ to utter gentleman Ashton Smith, the action got underway at a frenetic pace with the goodies on top early on.
A lot of the story though around this match coming was – would Zack Gibson get along with his partners? With early signs being promising but he soon showed his true colours by attacking James Drake to the boos of the crowd as skulked off to the back.
With Drake and Ashton at a disadvantage things didn’t look good for them at this stage, but teamwork between the two came through as they sent Cyanide packing to the outside leaving Smith to finish Noah off with the ‘Roll of the Dice’ for the win to send the crowd home happy.
Before leaving the venue, I had chance to get a photo with Ashton who likes our attempt at singing – its all done in jest from our part!
Also I got to meet Mr. Taffs mum who is a nice lady, early reports suggest she will be back!
Overall a really good evening of wrestling in a top venue that hopefully turns into a permanent option for Futureshock in the coming months – early signs look promising with the decent sized draw they got here.
Hope you have enjoyed reading this review of Futureshock Wrestling, any feedback is welcome!
Next time you will hear from me, will be GPW’s 15th Anniversary show ‘The Biggun Near Wigan’ which you can read a preview of here on Graps and Claps in the archives.