GRAPS AND CLAPS REVIEWS – GPW ‘THUNDERBRAWL’

Added by Andrew Ogden

Hello and welcome everyone to another edition of Graps and Claps taking me on another journey to deepest darkest Hindley for GPW ‘Thunderbrawl’ on a surprisingly sunny Friday evening given the wet weather we have had all week in the North West. Sadly for me not a lot of pub crawling on this evening due to arriving into Hindley for 6:30 pm, so me and our Geoff went to meet up with Ben (@britwresawaydays) and Tom in Hindley’s new drinking hot spot called ‘Korre’ which is basically a Cocktail/Wine Bar that I have been trying to visit in the last couple of visits but never ending up doing, so I was interested in seeing what it had to offer.

On first reflection if you like your cocktails this is more your place, if you like your beer probably not as they only have Staropramen on tap costing £3.60 and also a handful of 500ml bottles of some local plonk, to be honest though the Staropramen was a very good pint and as a change to visit I would probably go again – so a thumbs up from this pub expert.

On the walk down to the venue, the locally famed Jonesies Bar is now boarded up, so sadly we will never see what actually lurked in that pub.

With the time coming up to 7 p.m we met up with Graps and Claps correspondent and French Football expert Andrew Gibney and also Baseball fanatic John who were visiting GPW for the first time, so it’s good to see that the company is picking up new followers by the show.

This was shown as well by the sold out crowd in attendance snaking round the Rose Club looking at advertisements for ‘Big Bang Tungsten’ featuring some proper heavyweights of the darting world.

In the venue the scramble for chairs and tables was evident with a number of our group going upstairs on the balcony to snaffle a chair or two to set up to the side of the entrance way. With all that said let’s get into the wrestling action on what looked on paper to be a tasty night of action!

First up we had a Grudge match months in the making between former Tag Team partners and friends as Martin Kirby took on Ashton Smith in a match that should have taken place at the 15th Anniversary show but due to Ashton having a supposed injury he was unable to compete leaving Kirby to take on Crater instead on that evening. It is to be noted that Ashton came out to ‘All of the Lights’ but as he is a very naughty boy in GPW, his usual singing section was keeping quiet and instead was giving him the sound of apathy – BOOOOOOO!!!.

The opening of the contest was mainly Kirby tricking Ashton with a number of headlock and arm reversals to frustrate Ashton enough to send him for a powder to the outside – which elicited a shout of ‘Chicken’ from the crowd that provoked Ashton to say ‘That’s Damon Leigh’s Gimmick’! Back in the ring, Ashton managed to get back on the offence, including a sweet variation on a ‘Code Red’ for a count of 2 and seven eighths. With Ashton looking like he was on his way to victory, he was caught with an enziguri to the back of the head by Kirby and then finished off with a Rocker Dropper for the 1-2-3 and your winner Martin Kirby. With the cross in the loss column bad boy Ashton was then subjected to the AAAAAAARRRRGGHHH walk of shame from the Hindley faithful to send him sulking backstage! This was an excellent opener between two of the best in the UK and well worth your viewing once it arrives on GPW’s On Demand service.

Before we get into the next contest, the greatest discovery known to Hindley man was found as a range of hot pies are now on sale at The Rose Club including Steak & Ale and Meat & Potato costing £2.50 – these went down such a treat that they had sold out by the time the Rumble had started. As I said on Twitter on Friday night, these possibly rival the Temple of Boom Vegan Curry & Rice for the ‘Best Food at the Graps’ award – a game changer this certainly was.

Next match was a 3-way No Holds Barred Tag Team Title Match with the Champions Craig Kollins & T-Bone taking on The Austins (L.A & Lana) and also the Midnight Bin Collection (Ste ‘Bin’ Mann and Jett Fashion) who as noted last time had a break up/make up of sorts at the 15th Anniversary show so it would be interesting to see if they could co-exist to rest the titles away from Kollins & Bone.

As ever with No Rules matches at GPW this went all around the building, including Kollins sending Fashion through a fire exit door to the left of me, we had a dive sequence to the outside which included poor Ste ‘Bin’ Mann unfortunately not getting enough traction on the dive doing his best Brie Bella impression by going vertical to the outside and landing with a big ‘THUD!’ Thankfully he was able to continue the match but this didn’’t half draw a gasp from the audience.

With more fighting on the outside, including some evil baking tray shots the fight took to the bar area that ended with Lana Austin hitting a dive to everyone outside from the raised bar area. Back in the ring with the match reaching it’s climax, either T-Bone or Kollins got caught up in the ropes for Jett Fashion to hold in place for Ste ‘Bin’ Mann to use a couple of Baseball Bat shots to the gut that had Baseball expert John shaking his head in disgust at Bin Mann’s swinging technique. Sadly though for the MBC it all went downhill from there as The Austins put paid to Bin Mann, as L.A Austin finished off Jett Fashion with a Swanton Bomb to get the 3 count and your new Tag Team Champions – The Austins.

Another great match for just the chaotic nature of the action, this was excellent! With the match out of the way, a despondent Bin Mann attacked his partner Jett Fashion to finally break up the long serving team due to cuts at the council – so no more bin collections in Hindley as of from Friday evening.

Next up GPW’s owner Johnnie Brannigan came out to confront the GPW British Champion Sam Gradwell who has recently picked up a ACL injury which will keep him on the shelf for around 9 months which is unfortunate for Sam as he has been an excellent champion and for me one of highlights of many a GPW show over the last year and a bit. Brannigan anyway wanted to strip Gradwell of the British Title and award it to tonight’s ThunderBrawl winner but Gradwell said ‘NO!’ and that he will compete in the Rumble to take his opportunity at winning the No.1 contendership to the GPW Heavyweight Title.

GPW Heavyweight Title time the Champion Joey Hayes taking on the former Champion Dylan Roberts w/Alan Alan Alan Tasker in a rematch from the 15th Anniversary show, this time in a Submission match. With the Submission rules, this was more technical based contest that did sort of bring the audience down a little bit from the opening two contests, but nonetheless it was still a fine contest. Dylan tried to get the Submission victory with a half crab and a variation on The London Dungeon arm submission to Joey but thankfully our Champion was able to get to the ropes to break it up. With Dylan desperate to reclaim his crown, his Manager Alan Alan Alan Tasker got on the ring ropes to try and distract Joey, but Joey instead ducked to send Dylan knocking down Tasker to the floor, leading to Joey hitting a cutter then locking in the CrossHayes for the tapout win to send the Hindley faithful celebrating into the half-time photos with Joey Hayes.

Before we got started with the ThunderBrawl, the formality of the raffle was drawn with a drunken audience member who’s birthday it was – my god this bloke was just having too much fun as he fell on his arse on the outside to roars of laughter from the crowd, it is to be noted that said fella was then hit with a stray baking tray by a lad I know in the front row – AAAAAAARRRRGGGGGHHH!!!!

ThunderBrawl time with combatants coming in at 60-second stages which did at times feel like 10-second stages it was that frenetic. Now I am not going to list all of the 40 competitors or all eliminations – you can checking @britwresawaydays for all of that, but instead I will note some of the interesting happenings during this contest. Sadly for Indy Corner fans, Benno was not present for his surprise entry in the Rumble it must have been the roadworks in Liverpool putting paid to this, but we did have a number of surprise entrants including Heresy (Johnnie Brannigan), Simon Valour, Ethan Allen, Luke Jacobs, JJ Webb, BIG T and the most shocking of them all – Liverpool’s No.1 Zack Gibson as the 35th entry!

We also had Sam Gradwell who made his entrance but never actually got in as he stayed on the outside to speak some lethal barbs to Johnny Brannigan and Simon Valour commenting on their dad bod’s and if they had only just grown a moustache they would have got a WWE contract – Ouch! This was a great line! We had the sound of the Bad Lads theme playing which instantly led our group who wanted to see Big Joe left in disappointment when it was Drill and Mickey Barnes making their entrance to much apathy but when Joe did make his entrance at No.37 there was much relief.

Crowd favourite in this rumble was Entrant No.28 Sandy Beach who since with his losing streak going has been on a roll in GPW and by the show he is gaining  well deserved following. As we know with Sandy he now makes his entrance with an Inflatable Shark of all things that was used to great effect in this rumble provoking the Hindley faithful to shout to the tune of 2018 smash hit ‘Baby Shark’ – SANDY’S SHARK DO DO DO DO! Christ alive this caught on! Also in this match we had the newly broken up team of the Midnight Bin Collection coming to blows as they eliminated each other when Jett Fashion came on rushing at Bin Mann.

Anyways we got down to the final 4 with Craig Kollins, Sandy Beach, Martin Kirby and Zack being the men that could possibly become the No.1 Contender to the GPW Heavyweight Title. Kollins was the first to go, leaving just three with the crowd fully behind Sandy Beach and Martin Kirby to get the glory. Sadly with Sandy looking to throw Kirby over the top rope, ever the opportunist Gibson creeped up from behind and chucked Sandy out much to the disgust of the audience who wanted Sandy to get the victory but nevertheless a star was made in GPW in the form of Sandy Beach!

Down to two now with Martin Kirby facing off with Zack Gibson and it was Gibson who low-blowed Kirby on the apron to send him packing over the top to become the 2018 ThunderBrawl winner and also your new No.1 Contender to the GPW Heavyweight Championship. After the match Gibson got on to the mic to proclaim his victory and to send some tasty words to Joey Hayes who came out only to be locked in the Shankly Gates to end the show. Well what a fantastic rumble this match was, breathless and plenty of storyline development in this with Gibson instantly getting 3 new challengers in Kirby, Beach and Hayes and instantly filling the void which has been left with the injury of Sam Gradwell.

With the show done at 10:15 pm, we made our way out of the venue and back to the station for one last drink in the Joseph Holt’s pub next to the station for the debrief of the show before getting back into Manchester for 11:30 pm to end what was an excellent evening of action and another one to add to GPW’s continuing trend of excellent shows – no wonder this event sold out if they are constantly like this one!

I hope you have enjoyed reading this edition of Graps and Claps, give it all the likes and retweets and any comments are very welcome – the support means a lot! Next review from myself will be from Futureshock’s show in Stockport taking place on Sunday 16th September. Till next time  – BYE!!