Hello and welcome everyone to the first of 5 editions of Graps and Claps this week, taking me this time on a short trip to Manchester for Futureshock Wrestling’s return to the Fairfield Social Club for Tapped 2 with the main event of our boy Ashton Smith taking on the unstoppable force of Pete Dunne who once again contributed to extra bums on seats to a local promotion. Who would have thought 3 years ago that the same wrestler who got beat off Sabu on a dinner time PCW show would be the biggest drawing UK act of a generation?
Arriving into Manchester for 145pm, first port of call was The Seven Stars Wetherspoons for a £1.79 pint of Terrapin Naked Bliss Mahogany Porter whilst waiting for faithful brother Geoff to turn up. This spoons does at times feel like it has a distinct lack of real ale compared to say the Regal Moon in Rochdale which is maybe in the top 3 of ‘Spoons.
Geoff in attendance, we moved on to regular haunt The Crown and Kettle who are in the midst of a Wilde Child Brewery tap takeover if you are in the vicinity for the upcoming Tuesday Night Graps show, Wilde Child do excellent tropical type IPA’s that make the mouth water and are readily available from local beer stockists. I went for a £3.85 Cherry Oatmeal Stout that had the slight taste of Morello Cherry with a smooth finish – top notch in my book, to note there are at least 10 Wilde Child beers on tap!
Next up was The Pie & Ale bar which as you guessed it sells Pies and Ale, very much like its sister bar – ‘Bread and Wine’. I had a pint of 3.8% Great Heck Brewery ‘Dave’ which was a light tasting stout that included discount if you held a CAMRA card.
There are also a wide range of gourmet pies costing anything upwards of £8.95 served with mash, certainly worth a try if you are visiting to have with your pint and to be honest this place has been around for 4/5 years and has proven a success so it shows there is certainly a market there for this type of grub.
Final two pints before the show took place in ‘Spoons via the Oxford Road one amd The Waterhouse for two lots of chocolate stout which were both passable, but nothing to write home about.
Drinks done, we made our merry way to the Fairfield Social Club for the show, firstly met with a customary hug from Mr. Taff before taking our seats just to the side of Futureshock commentator Rob Halden who must dread in fear of my foghorn voice shouting over his great commentary, much respect to him when most of the time he does the comms on his own unless Matthew Taylor-Richards is available to sit beside him.
Drinks were a plenty on the big Fairfield board on this evening, with special ales from Top Rope Brewing including a 6.7% ale named in honour of Johnny Saint who was in attendance and also a cracking Ice Cream Ale called ‘Stone Cold Cream Austin’ – the latter cost £3 pint whilst the other was £3.50 for a half. Also to keep the audience nourished were fantastic cakes from Bake-o-Rama and chicken inspired wings and wraps from Oh My Glaze, stuff like this makes this venue stand alone among the usual nightclubs and 02 academies that wrestling is ran in.
Talking of Johnny Saint, just seeing him first hand you notice one thing straight away – the size of his hands – A right proper ‘Tommy Dick Fingers’.
With a sellout crowd settled and stuffed from the preshow food we got down to business with the action and your first match of the evening with JJ Webb taking on Isaiah Quinn who as ever according to the fans in attendance was ‘not going to win’.
This was very much a showcase for JJ who has been one of the shining lights of the Futureshock year namely putting Damon Leigh in the Chicken Suit. JJ hit a sweet Tower of London to Quinn from the top rope, then following up with an Ambrose Clothesline to Quinn’s jaw to flatten him for the 3 count – this was impressive folks.
Next up was what looked like a mismatch on paper with Chris Egan taking on one half of the Futureshock Tag Champions – Tyson T-Bone. As expected Bone dominated Egan from the get go hitting Egan with nonetheless a Powerbomb and a Piledriver both of which Egan miraculously kicked out at 2 much to the chagrin of Bone who you could see was getting visibly frustrated. With that frustration, Bone got caught unawares with a CHEEKY ROLL UP from Egan who picked up the shock victory to send everyones accumalators down after the second leg.
Cue the AAAAARRRGGGHH 👉👉 Walk of Shame for T-Bone who didn’t look pleased.
Women’s action next with two fan favourites of the Futureshock Women’s division looking to stake their claim for a shot at Molly Spartan’s title, with Lana Austin taking on Shax.
This was certainly one match that started off slow but ended up being an excellent match, both Shax and Lana both hit the ‘arse into face’ move but Shax added extra boot. Lana though did manage to recover to finish Shax off with an elevated DDT from the outside in to get the 3 count. After the match though a despondent Shax attacked Lana from behind to leave her laying, so its looking like this could be a feud for the next few months away from The Queen Bees which is a refreshing change.
Next match was a 6-man tag match with Sam Bailey and his boys Rizman Khan & Alex Boylin taking on Soner Dursun & the ever popular young team of Luke Jacobs and Ethan Allen – The Young Guns who came within a whisker of winning the tag belts last week.
The closing of this match came when both Young Guns hit big stereo dives to the outside to the baddies. These dives were the catalyst for Sam Bailey to take his ball and not bother to re-enter the ring as he left his charges like lambs to the slaughter as Dursun locked in an arm submission to Boylin to get the tapout victory for his team.
Once again the Guns looked impressive here, another couple of years they could be huge once they fill out a bit more! Meaning Jacobs could be Brock Lesnar – scary 😮
During the half time I looked on in awe as G-Man was doing live editing whilst sat on a couch, this man is a machine. Also Chris Egan who was having a well earned rest after beating T-Bone but not without injuring his hand.
In ring photos were with money printing machine Pete Dunne for £10 and it is to be noted that he was wearing full foot strapping on one foot so a weakness to spot as he goes into his big match next week against Ilja at Wembley.
Half time over with we returned with ‘Just’ John McGregor taking the massive task of the 36 stone Monster ‘Crater’. John who picked up a win last Sunday is looking to prove that life without former tag partner Kevin Lloyd will prove fruitful but would he be able to move the immovable object called Crater??
Sadly for John, this was a one-sided massacre as Crater hit a Chokebomb backbreaker, a huge lariat and then the match-winning Crater Slam for the sub 5-minute win – this was bloody dominant.
Semi main event time with Big Joe’s open challenge as Joe flanked by his bodyguard Thomas Wolfe offered an opportunity to anyone in the Futureshock locker room to take up his ‘Little Man’ challenge and for him to prove once and for all that he is the bigger man.
Who accepted this challenge you ask – well it was none other than Liverpool’s No.1 Zack Gibson who came out to berate Joe for being one of the reasons wrong with British Wrestling which only riled up Joe and got in a surprise turn of events, the crowd being on Joe’s side for a change.
With the challenge accepted we got down to business with Joe more than holding his own by lifting the much larger Gibson off the ground. Sadly for Joe that’s as good as it got as Gibson hit the Helter Skelter spin slam for the 3 count to end a fun 15 minute segment with Joe coming out great because of this.
Time for the Main Event now signalling yours truly to strike up his vocal chords for a rendition of ‘All of the Lights’ for Ashton Smith who was taking on the unbeatable WWE UK Champion Pete Dunne whilst in the presence of Johnny Saint – This was to be a cracker!!
Early portion of this match was Dunne stamping his authority on Ashton who wasn’t getting much in the way of any offence making everyone think that this would be done in quick fashion. Peter hit some brutal forearms and an x-plex to the apron to wound the brave Ashton.
Back in the ring though Ashton managed to fight back by hitting strikes and a ddt to get a two count, he did try to follow up with a Roll of the Dice but Dunne had other ideas.
Dunne hit the Bitter End for a count of 2 and seven-eighths to leave the crowd stunned to think that was the end, but sadly for Ashton the end was soon to come with Dunne tapping out Smith with asubmission to end an excellent main event to show that Smith could hang with the Bruiserweight.
After the match Dunne put Ashton over on the mic only for Zack Gibson to run in and attack both only to be stopped by Johnny Saint who with Dunne helped to break Gibsons fingers to send the crowd home jubilant, but not before good egg Ashton Smith thought of the idea to pass me the microphone to sing him back to the backstage – to say I nailed it would be an understatement, but I felt really chuffed about this I do say – Thank you Ashton!!
There we have it, another excellent couple of hours of Futureshock Wrestling that proved that Fairfield Social Club is a corking venue for the graps – make sure you grab a ticket for the next time they have a show at this venue you won’t be disappointed.
It was also great to put a face to a name and have a chat with a fellow Rochdale fan on the front row who I knew off the Dale forum back in the day – what a small world!
Side note: Even though the 4-1 defeat on Saturday to Sunderland wasn’t great to watch, go and take a trip to the Stadium of Light as it is a fantastic stadium to go to.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this as ever, leave any feedback and give this a share. I will be back on Wednesday with a review of Tuesday Night Graps from the Frog and Bucket – So till then Bye!!
P.S – I didn’t get to call to Wembley for the Progress podcast thing as well – Ah well nevermind there loss!