GRAPS AND CLAPS REVIEWS – GPW ‘A NIGHT TO REMEMBER’

Added by Andrew Ogden

Welcome everyone to another edition of Graps and Claps , that has traveled back from the last review of 1978 Camden and landed in 2018 Hindley for Grand Pro Wrestling’s (A Night To Remember) which was the last stop on the way to the big 15th Anniversary Show taking place on the Saturday 14th July (a rare weekend show for GPW).

Sadly on this evening I had to shun the usual jaunt around the pubs of Hindley due to the shambolic shit houses called Northern Rail who since the implementation of a new timetable have gone from a tin pot rail company to an absolute shambles of a rail company providing cancellations, delays, packed trains and the recorded announcement of doom – ‘Northern would like to apologise for the late running of this service’. So a journey which should have got me into Hindley for 6 pm, instead got me to Hindley via Salford at 7 pm, even the Guinea Pigs next to me on the train down looked fed up! – the lengths we go to get to a show on a work evening.

Arriving in Hindley, I took to 15 minute walk down to the Rose Club venue which has been the home for GPW for more than the 18 months I have been visiting this venue. An old ballroom dancing venue that is currently having a bit of a refurbishment with new chandeliers, a new bar (this has been promised for the last 3 shows, but not delivered yet), but one thing missing was a bit of air conditioning as it was a sweat box on this evening thanks to the sultry temperature outside. Let’s see what went down on this evening of action:

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First match of the evening we had was a Tag Team match between 2/3rds of the former GPW Tag Team Champions – The Bad Lads (Big Joe & Micky Barnes) facing off against The Austins (Lana & L.A). These two teams have previous from the last shows gauntlet with The Austins eliminating The Bad Lads from said match, so Big Joe & Micky were looking for revenge here on The Austins. Early exchanges were Lana getting the upper hand on Big Joe including using a cheeky roll up bomb in the corner, but Joe and Barnes would soon take control spending a lot of time cornering Lana until L.A got the tag hitting a number of high flying moves including a Meteora Knee Dive which looked very impressive.

Finish of the match came when the Austins took out Micky Barnes (blouse constantly coming undone) with an array of kicks and strikes and with Big Joe remonstrating in the corner he ran to attack the Austins but was instead drop toe holed into Barnes’ balls. With Barnes out of the way, Lana hit a Death Valley Driver on Joe flooring him and with L.A on top he landed the BIG Swanton Bomb to Joe for the 1-2-3. To rub salt into the wound The Bad Lads were subjected to the OOOOOO AAAAARRRHH Finger Point of Doom from the Hindley faithful.

Really fun opener and another example of Big Joe coming across as a star of the future, his character work has been one of the highlights of the North West underground scene and this has been rewarded with a number of appearances at TNT and Futureshock – Keep an eye out for him.

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2nd match of the show was between the undefeated Isiah Quinn w/The House of Isiah and also a freshly bagged up Matthew Brooks who was kidnapped at the last show by The House of Isiah. Isiah’s opponent for the evening was Graps and Claps favourite Sam Bailey who was making a comeback to GPW after some time away from the company. With my trusty notepad ready and only 1 pint down, my mind was fully clear to get all the finishes and holds correct in this match, so lets see what happened.

Isiah took the early part of the contest hitting Bailey with a big lariat to gain control,with someone shouting a rude word in the audience, Quinn said ‘There are kids in the audience’!, which brought the great quip from my mate Tom Slade who said and I quote ‘Your complaining about swearing, but your quite explicitly promoting kidnapping’ ha!

Bailey got back into the match hitting two head kicks to Quinn to the outside (but caught by his minions) only for Bailey to hit a dive to them to send them all packing. Getting Quinn back in the ring, Bailey hit a face first buster for a 2 fall, with The House of Isiah trying to get involved, Matthew Brooks escaped the clutches of his keeper for the night by trying to get involved in the action but was soon re-kidnapped and sent to the back.

Back in the ring, Bailey tried to hit the springboard face first buster but his leg was caught by one of the House of Isiah with referee Mike Fitzgerald looking on in full view and instead of calling the DQ, Quinn took advantage and hit Bailey with an elevated Jumping DDT for the 1-2-3 to keep his undefeated record intact. This was only the start of the bad officiating for the night!

3rd match on this evening was a big one as Sandy Beach who has lost every match in GPW and has been becoming a running joke for the GPW faitful who have been singing about Sandy’s losing streak incorporating the Blondie hit ‘The Tide is High.

‘He’s not the kind of guy, who will ever win a match!

Oh Noooooooooooo!

The Tide is High, but I’m holding on

Sandy Beach has Never won! Never Won! Never Won!’

All those losses though it has to be noted were not officially announced matches and in fact just Sandy running in and demanding matches, so on this evening we had Sandy’s first ever Sanctioned match against Dangerous Damon Leigh.

Early part of this match, was Beach trying to avoid Leigh time wasting on the outside providing a great line for Damon of ‘you would never see me do this!’ coming from the Futureshock Chicken this brought instant roars of laughter from our section. With his stalling, Beach went under the ring and dug out an inflatable shark which he tried to attack Damon with (utterly daft) but ultimately failed, when he did get down to the wrestling he did hit Leigh with an impressive running knee in the corner and with the match coming to a close he was all ready to hit a dive to Damon Leigh but instead took out the referee (Licky Lips).

With referee out, Isiah Quinn made an appearance to take out DDL leaving Beach the easy task of getting the pin that we never thought we would see and so the losing streak of Sandy Beach was over!

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Halftime Main Event was supposed to be the British Title clash between the Champion, Sam Gradwell facing off against No.1 contender C.J Banks, but with a pre-match promo from Gradwell stating that C.J is not good enough to face him in a title match whilst also stating that with his WWE UK status that his stock was worth more than what C.J’s was. It is to be noted here that Gradwell was getting molten level booing, the level only seen when Zack Gibson is around in the ring.

Gradwell in amongst all this, asked for an opponent worthy of a match with him on this evening which including Gradwell offering out a number of people in the crowd including GPW Regular Kev Moss who got a shooing off Gradwell, which then brought out Rio and Sam Bailey in the chaos who were soon batted away, but the man to take up the opportunity of a title shot on this evening was Ste ‘Bin’ Mann who is usually a tag team wrestler in the team ‘The Midnight Bin Collection’ with ‘2 Shades’ Jett Fashion..
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Gradwell got off to a flyer in this match, hitting an x-plex to the ring apron which looked very painful. Back in the ring, Bin Mann made a comeback hitting an x-plex of his own and an enziguri for a close 2 fall, but that was as good as it would get for Mann as he tried to go for a splash in the corner but Gradwell stuck Fitzgerald in the way and with the blinkered ref not looking, Gradwell low-blowed Mann flooring him and then soon after going up top to finish the match off with a huge flying headbutt for the win. Good match with Gradwell once again looking very impressive, it is amazing he hasn’t been used elsewhere compared to some of the other WWE UK signings, he has all the skills to be a top performer at the highest level.

With the half-time out of the way, we returned with Tag Team Title action between Champions Ashton Smith & Martin Kirby vs the No.1 contenders Craig Kollins & T-Bone who won the tag team gauntlet at the last show to get this opportunity. Before I get into the match, I note that Smith and Kirby even though they are champions have been playing the reluctant partners gimmick trying to one up each other.

T-Bone who is looking in great shape with his WWE UK Tournament opportunity coming up, him and his partner Kollins did fantastically at cutting off Ashton Smith from his corner preventing Kirby from tagging in. Kirby did eventually get the hot tag from Ashton hitting double Kirby Power to Kollins and Bone. Smith and Kirby looked well on their way to victory but with Kirby ready to get the win, T-Bone pushed Smith on to Kirby to break up the fall causing dissension between the two partners which ended up being their downfall from then on in as T-Bone and Kollins went on to victory and your New GPW Tag Team Champions – Craig Kollins and T-Bone.

After the match Kirby and Smith hugged but with Kirby ready to walk, Smith turned Kirby around and superkicked Kirby to the shock of the GPW Crowd BOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!. This has been a great 6 month build up out of 2 singles wrestlers going into a reluctant tag team, even though we knew that one would be turning, it was always the prospect and intrigue of who it would be. So with Ashton turning into a baddie, it looks like we might be getting the big collision match between Kirby and Ashton next month.

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Semi Main Event was a battle of former Tag Team partners and best friends with Joey Hayes facing off against Delicious Danny Hope. The feeling out process took a bit of time to get going with both wrestlers reluctant to act the aggressor in this match, but as time went along it was Hope who took that role. Hope though throughout this match was struggling with an apparent knee injury as he took a seat on the floor/mat on a number of occasions. Hope despite the injury performed admirably but was finished off by a CHEEKY ROLL UP! by Joey for the 1–2-3, this was really good once it got going!

After the match Hope gave a speech saying about his and Hayes friendship which brought a tear to Joey’s eyes and then proceeding to induct Joey into the GPW Hall of Fame with other inductees Kris Travis & Dom Travis. Making a speech, Joey promised that he would obtain the one thing he hasn’t won in GPW and that would be the GPW Heavyweight Championship from Dylan Roberts in July.

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This speech brought out Dylan’s Manager ALAN ALAN ALAN! Tasker who said in no uncertain terms that Hayes wasn’t good enough to dethrone his charge Roberts, this only riled Hayes who with Hope tried to corner Tasker only to bring out Roberts and Soner Dursun to attack Hope and Hayes. With this beat down happening, C.J Banks made the save and asked for a title shot on this evening against Dylan.

A good 10 minute match ended with Hayes and Hope trying to send Tasker to the back but he managed to escape their clutches running to the other side of the ring, in amongst the melee Roberts had managed to lock in the Camel Clutch to C.J Banks for the near enough clean as a whistle submission victory to the disgust of the audience who have seen Roberts as Champion for around 16 months it seems!.

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Drinks prices – £3 for a pint of Carlsberg. If you do go around the pubs of Hindley also expect to pay no more than £3 for a pint anywhere it is cheap as chips!

So with the show done, we now look forward to the 15th Anniversary Show on Saturday 14th July which is setting up to be a fantastic show that deserves if you have the time to go and watch (Only £8 and a fun 3 hours plus of wrestling!).

Possible/Matches made:

Dylan Roberts vs Joey Hayes (GPW Title)

Martin Kirby vs Ashton Smith?

Damon Leigh vs Isiah Quinn?

Sam Gradwell vs C.J Banks or a worthy challenger in his words? (British Title)

So get your tickets now from grandprowrestling.co.uk for what will be an excellent night of wrestling.

@oggypart3