Hello and welcome everyone to this edition of Graps and Claps taking me this time to Prestwich once again for Futureshock Wrestling Underground 31 to see the appearance of former WWE star and current Dragon Gate kingpin PAC as he was set to take on one of Futureshocks standouts in the form of Soner Dursun for whom in recent months had recaptured the form that he was showing in a Futureshock ring in 2017 – so anticipation for this match was at a high level for those in attendance, which I can happily say was very much a sellout with people standing at the back to get a view of the action.
As ever, though before the wrestling was the pre-show festivities in Bury, as me and Geoff took our friend Andrew Campbell on a whistle-stop tour of the town’s drinking scene as he had not visited it before. First pub was The Thirsty Fish Micro pub that is located next to Bury Bus Station, this small establishment was fairly packed with customers wanting to take a break from shopping on Bury’s world famous market with a wide range of Cask, Keg and Ciders to wet the whistle – of which I tried two pints, first off being from Stod Fold Brewery – West Coast Pale Ale (4% £3) which was a nice light starter but rating nothing above average for this drink. However, the pint of Moorhouse Sabbath Flight IPA (5% £3.40) was a more Moorish drink that hit all of the right notes. Even though this place is tucked away from most of the other pubs in Bury, it is certainly one to visit on your travels!
Next stop as ever on a walk around Bury was The Trackside who finished No.2 in the ‘Pub of the Year’ for Graps and Claps offering a good range of local ales ranging from your 3.8% pales to 12% Barrel Aged Stout this is a good place for the beer connoisseur. My pint for the half an hour or so we was here for was a pint of Torrside Marynka Hazy Pale Ale (4.5% £3.20) that was quite fruity in taste, on the other hand Andrew’s 7.4% stout was a bit too strong in barrel aged taste. Next pub was just the 1-minute walk to The Clarence which is home to Silver Street Brewery, plus a range of other ales, cocktails and a good fine dining experience which it has won awards for – a far cry from when it used to be a proper local shithole that I frequented on many a Thursday night. Only the one pint here from Scottish Brewery Inveralmond ‘Bard’ (4.6% £3.75 with a CAMRA discount), that I would give a 6/10 – proper solid malty drink!
With the time coming up to half 4, we then visited two more pubs before taking the tram to Prestwich. First being, Wyldes which is under the Joseph Holt’s banner. Recently this place has had a refurbishment, now offering pizzas on order and plenty of TV Screens showing the afternoon’s sport which to be honest has added a bit more character to a pub which was always generally quiet when I used to go regularly. Siding with a pint of Nethergate Glory (3.8% £2.57) as it was the only one on the bar I hadn’t had, we finished this off quickly, before moving on to the last stop being Automatic which is ran by the same people who run The Clarence, another fine dining place, but it does sell a good range of cask ales and a big range of whisky’s if that is your tipple of choice. I myself though, went for a pint of Three Brothers APA (4.5% £3.25) that was just passable – still though well worth a visit – I certainly recommend the food here of what I can remember from my only Valentines Day in this building (yes I am still bitter – ha! Jilted Ex)
Drinks done, we arrived in Prestwich at 6:05pm only to be greeted with a huge queue outside the Longfield Suite with not much sign of it moving. We were all ready to queue, but we were greeted with the presence of Shauna who we hadn’t seen for a few weeks since WXW in London (amazing to think we seemed to see each other every week), so with Shauna in tow we went for a quick drink in the Railway and Naturalist as we waited for the queue to whittle down, which it duly did when we got back in for 6:30pm. Initially though we stood up at the back up until the third match, as eagle eyed Geoff spotted empty seats on the front row next to Shauna, so we took up base there for the remainder of the show. So, with that said let’s get into what went down!
First up it was ‘Mr Purple Pants’ Isaiah Quinn taking on Henry T.Grodd, with the latter looking to build momentum as he looked to stake a claim once again to challenge Crater for the Futureshock Title. Grodd early on beat down on Quinn to floor The Guiding Light, that was until Quinn fit a face front slam on Quinn to get back in the game. However, that was about as much as Quinn would get in as Grodd hit a tilt-a-whirl slam to Quinn and soo finished off Isaiah with a BIG Lariat to get the three count. Grodd as he has been, is getting over very well with the Futureshock audience and in some people’s eyes he should be the only to slay Crater and not John McGregor but that is debatable.
Up next was 8-man tag action with many of this writer’s favoruite involved with the newly turned JJ Webb teaming with Big Joe, Damon Leigh and the Nordic Accountant Thomas Wolfe to take on Callum Corrie, William Regal’s son Joe Bailey and The Young Guns (Ethan Allen and Luke Jacobs). Now The Young Guns here were hoping to get a much needed victory as they have been on the wrong side of things in the last three months losing to James Drake & Sam Bailey and also Big Joe and DDL (Big and Brave) and it would be a great start for the Guns as Jacobs was like a house on fire hitting rapid fire clotheslines and knees to anyone in sight. However as the match went on, it would be Big Joe who put the baddies in control, until Joe Bailey who was wearing his dad’s hand me downs, hit a double underhook suplex to Joe to get the hot tag to Callum Corrie. Unfortunately for Corrie it didn’t end too well as chaos ensued around the ringside area, leading to DDL and Joe finsihing off Corrie, as Damon hit the compactor to get the three count. Chalk up another one in the loss column for the guns, who will be hoping for better luck next time as they team with The Hurricane to take on Joe, DDL and Wolfe on March 17th at Stockport Town Hall.
3rd match was ‘Serious’ Kev Lloyd looking to soften up Crater who is due to take on his former team mate John McGregor on the 17th March at Stockport for the Futureshock Title. As the sirens sounded for Crater, so did the patter of feet going to the bar/toilet! Now when they look back at the record books, this match will say Crater won this match which he duly did using his plodding and ponderous offence to flatten Kev with a huge lariat for the three count in around 5 minutes. What it won’t say will be what a shower of shit this match was and it wasn’t Kev’s fault as he is a very accomplished wrestler who I do feel deserves better than this! The reaction to Crater as Champion is being played out to total silence, which has been shown in the crowd wanting a change in the form of the more mobile pairing of Grodd and John McGregor – which we all hope will be sooner rather than later.
Grodd after this match tried to attack Crater with a spear but was thwarted as the big man knocked him down – BOOOOO!!!
Thankfully after that, we got back on track as we had 3-way action for the Adrenaline Title as Chris Ridgeway took on C.J Banks and the Champion Joey Hayes, with the latter wanting to hold to his ever growing title collection at the moment that would make the Ultimo Dragon jealous. Originally, as people might remember this was supposed to involve Ilja Draguanov, but due to Dark Match duties in Coventry against my boy Ashton Smith he was otherwise engaged meaning Chris Ridgeway was his replacement. Hayes and Banks on the other hand have been tearing the house down at Stockport and Manchester, with possibly the first meeting being the best of the two! As a match, I thought this was possibly the best match of the night, with all three competitors producing a fun 3-way action that involved everyone at every moment, which generally you have one on the outside and the other two do the work – so at least this was something different from the norm.
Lasting around 15 minutes, the end came when CJ Banks who was looking to finally topple Joey Hayes, ending up getting hit with the JKO to leave him laying on the outside leaving Joey and Ridgeway to battle it out of which Hayes got the better of it as he locked in the Cross Hayes to Ridgeway who tapped out to end a fine match. After the match we had a confrontation between Hayes and Banks who look set to have another war in the coming months.
We then went into the 15-minute break and half-time photos with Chris Ridgeway of which there were quite a few takers.
Back from the break we came back with John McGregor looking for a fight with a former Futureshock Champion as he looked to get validation from someone to if he is really going to be the man to topple Crater. Now rumours had been rife that a certain Jack Gallagher was going to answer the challenge as he had been tweeting from the National Football Museum in Manchester and that looked to be proven right when Gallagher’s music sounded to a great ovation from the Prestwich audience, sadly though there was no Gentleman in sight as McGregor looked on and duly attacked from behind by one Sam Bailey – BOOOOOO!!!!
Obviously with the early attack, Bailey was on top for quite a lot of this match much to the groans of the audience, still though give Bailey his due he is still a capable of putting on a good match and it certainly looked at one stage that he would prove to be that bump in the road for McGregor, but maybe he got a bit cocky for his own good as he was hit with a Tornado DDT by a valiant McGregor who got the three count in a good match to prove that McGregor possibly does have it to defeat Crater next month.
Women’s action next with Futureshock up and comer in this division Hollie taking on Taonga with the shrieking Alexxis Falcon in her corner. Now as mentioned on Futureshock’s last show, both Taonga and Falcon got involved in Hollie’s and Lana Austin’s match causing a DQ so this was set fair for Hollie to get some much needed revenge on Taonga and Falcon. For the duration of this contest it has to be noted that Alexxis was being a constant nuisance on the outside especially with our section – sitting on my mate Andrew’s lap, whilst also giving shit to me and Shauna, to her credit this did get a reaction from us lot – so well done! Falcon also got involved in the ring as well as Hollie floored Taonga with a Bazooka Knee, Alexxis came up from behind to hit Hollie with a high spin kick to leave Hollie laying, which then led to Taonga to hit the Unprettier for the 3 much to the boos of the audience. Honestly, I thought this turned out better than I though it would be – good stuff!
After the obligatory raffle, we now come to the Main Event with Soner Dursun taking on ‘The Bastard’ PAC in what was set to be an absolute humdinger! You know what this did not disappoint anyone who bought a ticket with PAC bringing his working boots and so did Dursun who has been one of the underrated stars of the North West scene in the last couple of years. We had dives, strikes and high-octane action that kept the Prestwich crowd on the edge of their seats for the near 20-minute duration. Soner looked like he had PAC beat as he got a 2 count on a Spanish Fly as they soared through the air, it has to be said how great PAC looks with his shoulders looking like someone’s kneecap – he has certainly not been on the pie and chips diet like me! PAC as well is just so fluid with his transitions from move to move, just a treat to watch.
As the match reached its conclusion, it would be the man from the North East who would get the win as he hit a 450 splash and then locked in the ‘Rings of Saturn’ to tap out The Turkish Wolf to end an absolute corker of a match, possibly my second best match of the year only after the Irie/Cobb match from Leeds last week – still this should be one you should search out when it comes on Futureshock On Demand.
Show done, it time took make our way home, but not before having a quick chat to 442Dale and Chaff off the Rochdale Fan’s Forum about Rochdale perilous position in League 1 and to whether Keith Hill should go – its a Yes from me! Making our way to the tram after walking past the huge queue to see PAC, we got back into Bury for 9:30pm as our wrestling weekend came to an end, with us now looking forward to Tidal’s show in London on March 3rd. Anyways if you want to check out any matches from this show make sure you watch PAC vs Dursun and Banks vs Hayes vs Ridgeway.
As ever give this a like, retweets and share on the usual social media platforms and until next time – BYE!!