Hello and welcome everyone to another edition of Graps and Claps taking me to Show number 93 of the year in the town named after NXT superstar Keith Lee – Keighley for NGW Collision Course which was my 2nd time watching the promotion this year after an excellent show at Pudsey in February. Now this was my first visit to Keighley since a Year 6 adventure holiday 24 years ago on the same day that Blackburn won the Premier League title thwarting Man United from winning it once again, so lets get into my day out on the other side of Bradford.
Well it started off at 1130 am at Rochdale Train Station awaiting a delayed Northern Rail train for 15 minutes thanks to the lack of carriages on this service, so as ever there was a very tight squeeze and also a tight squeeze to get my connection at Manchester to get to Keighley. Luckily I just got in in-time as the 1202 pm had just arrived, but the fun didn’t stop there as for the lack of crew members and trespassers in Ashton meant another 50 minute delay on my journey, so an hour and half out of the house and I hadn’t even left Manchester, thankfully I got on my way and after having seen Sandy Beach the horse win in the 210 at Uttoxeter to send fans of the wrestler of the same name into raptures at its success, we arrived in Keighley at 240 pm.
Meeting up with Graps and Claps columnist Andrew Campbell in the Choux Bar which on first glance looks like an ordinary station cafe, but once you walk through it actually sells ¾ decent beers from local breweries and by the looks of it a gorgeous Xmas dinner for £4.95 which on first glance looked amazing. In here I had a pint of 4.2% Drover pale ale from Wishbone Brewery (£3.00) whilst discussing the going on’s at the previous night’s NXT UK show in Liverpool, do take note though with this place that it shuts quite early on, so it is one to get in once you arrive in Keighley.
Next up the road was the Boltmaker Arms which is home to the vast range of beers from Timothy Taylor’s which has been an established tipple in the north for years – usually Landlord. This place had a very homely feel to it with an open fire and plenty of wood furnishings looking like a carbon copy of the Woolpack off Emmerdale, here I had a £3.30 pint of 4.7% Havercake Yorkshire Ale which was more akin to a red ale but very smooth in taste and a winner in my book for drink of the day from a pub. Final pub before going to the wrestling was one I had been recommended on Twitter, which was The Cricketers which once again is a village type of pub with things like live bingo taking place at 5-6 pm on the day and also Happy Hour at 4pm. Here I went for my weakest beer of the day with a Settle Brewery Blonde wetting me lips, sadly though for my mate Andrew he left near enough a full pint of bitter because it was a bit too dry in taste and having tasted it I concur.
Now the Victoria Hall which is located not far from the train station, holds around the 400/500 marker as in terms of seating with a huge raised seating area being head on with the ring, so not a bad view from wherever you sat. Beer in here was anything from Carlsberg and Tuborg on tap costing £3.60 to Timothy Taylor Drinks in bottles costing £4 with the latter tending to be our drink of choice. Quite the mix of an audience on this afternoon but with certainly a family friendly show in the offing, the near enough sold out crowd took there seats for the 6 matches on the card so without further ado let’s get into what went down!
First up we had a proper big lads contest with ‘The Standout’ Lucas Steel who is a recent graduate of the NGW Academy and looks like he has been on the Rampage Brown ‘Solid as Shit’ exercise routine, he certainly looks the part for someone who could easily be on the WWE’s radar in the future plus even though he is in his early stages he can also work the microphone as well. His opponent was another guy who has consistently improved over the last year, that man – Adam ‘Flex’ Maxted who is very much Steel’s equal in the size stakes – two big good looking hosses!
Early on Maxted hit a picture perfect dropkick then a dive to the outside to Steel but was then caught with a big boot from Steel to put him on the back foot. Maxted came back with a Springboard spear which he had missed earlier and then a big JOHN WOOOO!! to stun Steel but Steel made a comeback after Maxted missed a moonsault but when he tried to go for the pin he didn’t have Maxted’s shoulders down properly, back at a standing position though Steel hit Maxted with a chokeslam side driver for a 2 count. Maxted hit a springboard dropkick once back in control, but as he climbed up top, out came Maxted’s nemesis at the moment in NGW – Nathan Cruz who crotched the Ulsterman on the ropes, leading to Steel to finish off Maxted with a big Powerbomb for the 3 count to end a really good opener to proceedings. After the match with Steel celebrating his way to the back, Cruz got on to the microphone to warn Maxted for the future whilst a young lad in the second row was trying give some lip to Cruz which was great to watch.
Second up was a Women’s match between Lizzy Styles and Graps and Claps favourite Lana Austin fresh from her PROGRESS debut the other week which went down well on that evening. Early on though in this match, Lana didn’t fare too well as Styles hit a running forearm in the corner to wound Austin but she came back to hit a headscissor driver for a 2 count, throughout the match Styles tried to work the back of Austin and at one stage she had locked in a Boston Crab on Lana to leave Lana scrambling for the ropes. Lana though did make a comeback hitting a cross body for a 2, Styles though wasn’t finished as she reversed a Lana DDT into a bridge pin for a 2 count, Lana came back to hit a Underhook Suplex for 2 that was until we reached the controversial part of the match as Lizzy utilised a CHEEKY ROLL UP!! on Lana using a handful of tights in front of the oblivious referee who counted 3 as the protests came too late from Lana – shambolic officiating folks. Despite the cheap victory both women looked good in the match and probably better than you would see in most places.
Next up we had a proper good match on paper with SUPERBAD! Kip Sabian taking on El Phantasmo in a preview of what we will also see on Tuesday Night Graps this week. A lot of comedy to start the match with Sabian trying to be a chicken by running away from ELP, whilst telling the audience that he didn’t want to be treated like a Muppet – cue an impromptu rendition of ‘MANANAMANA’! from the crowd and ELP who was having the time of his life at this tomfoolery.
Once we got down to business it was ELP who was on top utilising the tightrope walk and then a delayed senton to get a 2 count on Kip, but that only riled Sabian who was in control for most of the middle part of the contest that was until ELP hit a springboard moonsault for a 2 count and then followed up with a dive to the outside to stun Kip. Back in the ring though Sabian looked to put away ELP with a tornado ddt for a close 2 count, but it was ELP who finally chalked one up on the board for the goodies on this afternoon in Keighley as he hit the Headbanger for the 3 count to send us into the the break after a really fun match with two of the best around currently on the Undergraps scene.
Back from break with £1 raffle ticket purchased, we came back with Gen-X title action with Robbie X (Champion) taking on Myles Kayman who you might know from Tidal as the man who gets boos by turning up unannounced much to the ire of the crowd there. Robbie X who I don’t think gets the credit he deserves as a high flyer, was very much in control early on as he hit a springboard dropkick and a ddt for a 2 count, but as he was looking to hit his springboard cutter he was blocked and then attacked by a returning Lucas Steel to cause DQ which soon sent out Adam Maxted who called both Kayman and Maxted out to make this a Tag Team match – Playa Playa! Sadly though for Kayman, joining forces with Steel didn’t prove too good as Robbie X finally hit the springboard cutter and then a sweet shooting star press to get the victory for both him and Maxted with the latter certainly standing out as one of NGW’s main guys getting revenge on Lucas Steel.
With that said and no raffle win, it was now time for your Main Event with the NGW & World of Sport Champion Justin Sysum taking on ‘The Showstealer’ Nathan Cruz in a rematch of the big Hull City Hall show and also last time in Pudsey where both men put on a match of the night contest on that evening, so the anticipation for the same thing happening was right up there.
First thing to say about these two is how in great shape they are, especially Cruz who would walk into any top heel spot in any company in the UK as a right smarmy tosser but for some reason that I don’t know, he only does NGW and North and maybe the odd one here and there?? Sysum who was possibly the main star coming out of World of Sport still looks like an adonis and the sort of Superhero character that kids especially in the crowd can look at, like I want to be that guy, he certainly has got it nailed down to a tea.
Sysum early on hit a Fisherman’s suplex on Cruz for a 2 count, but was then chopped down to size by Cruz who hit a rope assisted suplex to wind the big fella. Cruz though got a bit too cocky for his own doing as he went to chop Sysum near the ring post but Sysum ducked and Cruz hit the ring post to leave his hand throbbing. Back in the ring Cruz hit a stun gun and a running knee to Sysum to leave him laying for a beatdown, Sysum though came back hitting a Dropkick and some big forearms to the chin of Cruz, but it was a running clothesline by Sysum where he knocked out the incompetent referee in the corner to send him packing to the floor. This left an opening for Cruz’s cohort Richie West to get in the ring to put the odds in Cruz’s favour as he hit the Show Stolen but this only got a two count, with Cruz getting frustrated, Adam Maxted came out to get his revenge on Cruz from earlier to send West out to the outside and then duly flooring Cruz, which lead to Sysum hitting the spinning Hammer Fist to Cruz to get the 3 count and retain the NGW Championship to send everyone in attendance home happy with the scene of Maxted and Sysum being mobbed like Hulk Hogan in the 1980s to great their heroes!!
After a post show pint in the local Wetherspoons and a trip to the Euro Shop for a big bag of Cheetos and a can of Polish plonk, it was time to get the train back home to Rochdale getting back in the promise land for 1045 pm to rest from what was a fantastic afternoon’s entertainment with certainly Sysum vs Cruz, Sabian vs ELP and Steel vs Maxted being the standout contests. Even though I won’t be going to Hull for the big show on the 14th December, I would certainly not put you off going to it if you have any free time as NGW put on a really good show but maybe doesn’t get the promotion among the top promotions that it probably should do.
With that said then, I hope you have all enjoyed reading and I will return once again with a review of the final Tuesday Night Graps from Manchester this coming Tuesday night. So until then – BYE!!