This coming August, Preston City Wrestling will celebrate their fourth anniversary with a historic card which looks to be a surefire card of outstanding bouts. Wih that In mind, I looked back at their third anniversary show DVD release from last year to see what kind of thing we should expect. There are certain things that are almost guaranteed with British wrestling, and one of those things is that PCW events, whether it be in person or on DVD, always deliver some of the best wrestling shows that you can find. That is not even necessarily to say the best independent shows, as the quality they deliver is a notch or two above what you would expect from your average indies, to put it mildly. The video and audio quality is of a high standard and you can lose yourself in the action, unhindered by the annoyances which come with lower budget productions. They use homegrown talent well and their use of imports tends to be intelligent and useful for the careers of those they work with. Stories are kept simple and told well, keeping regular fans’ interest and creating genuine emotional investment in the product and it’s regular stars.
Noam Dar and Dave Rayne open the third anniversary show in highly entertaining fashion. The usual hilarious promo and mischief from Rayne is a great way to get the crowd into the show and they respond well, keeping their energy high throughout the rest of the show’s varied action. The Six-Way Elimination match, billed as a Money In The Bank contest, features some of the UK’s very best as Dave Mastiff, T-Bone, Danny Hope, Martin Kirby, Dean Allmark and Rampage Brown enter a stellar battle for a guaranteed Championship opportunity, which is cashed in later on the same show. This adds an additional dimension of drama and intrigue to the disc, which is already laden with suspense in the midst of some of the best action that you can find from any company in the UK, so both the match and the later cash-in attempt are amongst the highlights of the DVD. El Ligero Vs newcomer Charlie Garrett is a nicely rounded and well executed bout, while the Rocky-esque underdog story of international star Ken Anderson (Mr Kennedy) Vs Liverpool’s Zack Gibson is one of Anderson’s more engaging & entertaining matches in recent memory. Considering that PCW is a company who is only just branching out to include women’s wrestling and are yet to establish their own championship, Nikki Storm and April Davids enter a contest which would be comfortably at home in amongst the offerings of any company with a strong women’s division. Mad Man Manson steps up the antics and shenanigans while Sha Samuels is a perfect straight man as his foil. The PCW Cruiserweight Championship match is a Three-Way with defending Champion Bubblegum defending against Mark Andrews and, in the biggest surprise of the evening for the live crowd, Austin Aries. The reaction for Aries is one of the loudest reactions ever from an already lively crowd and the match itself is fantastic by all involved. Bubblegum especially holds up his end as reigning champion, entering an entertaining showcase worthy of a worldwide stage. Dramatic, expertly performed and adrenaline fueled throughout, this is a must-see for any fans of the UK cruiserweight scene, which gets stronger by the day. The PCW Championship main event between Chris Masters & Joey Hayes is strong, dramatic and surprising in a few different ways. One of those ways how remarkably Masters has progressed since his first WWE run, building his repetoire to the point where he can comfortably hold his own in legitimately enjoyable and multi-faceted matches. His performances had improved dramatically during his second run in the big-time, but he had already been relegated to their tertiary programming and wasn’t given the platform to show his improvement. Here, he has been given ample opportunity to prove himself and has consistently delivered, earning a main event spot rather than simply being afforded one through the name value he accrued by virtue of his WWE exposure.
An excellent release as usual from PCW, this is recommended to all fans of the UK scene, whether familiar with the promotion or not. If you want a crash course in what to expect from PCW, this is definitely as good a place to start as any. A well rounded and thoroughly enjoyable DVD, it’s a show that you will want to rewatch and there is plenty to keep your interest for the duration.
Certainly worthwhile just for the MITB and Cruiserweight Championship matches, there are plenty of other moments which make this a fun and action-packed presentation which will be enjoyed by any wrestling fan.