Preston City Wrestling presented the sold out ‘Showdown’ at Evoque on June 5. It hosted an amazing array of matches and it’s main event had been a talking point of controversy and unease among wrestling fans. It kicked off it’s show with a four way match.
Ashton Smith vs El Ligero vs Dean Allmark vs Charlie Garrett.
All four men proved why they are fan favourites with the PCW crowd as they produced a five star opening match filled with high spots and wrestling quality.
Starting the action would be Allmark using a tilt-a-whirl headscissors on Garrett that set the tone for the rest of the bout. It would be Ligero who seized control of the match in the early going hitting the Air Carumba (somersault plancha) on Garrett and Smith who battled outside the ring.
Garrett recovered and battled with Ligero, the two would continue to trade there signature moves leaving Garrett on the ring apron until Smith then hit a spear through the ropes on Garrett that knocked Ligero down to the floor as well but it was then Allmark who summersaulted from the top turnbuckle to the floor wiping out everyone else to have the fans cheering.
The superb match came to an end as Garrett looked to be in control of the match until Smith used the schoolboy roll up to get the pin. Afterwards, Garrett accepted that he was pinned fairly and all four men stood united knowing they produced a dazzling array of visual highlights for the PCW faithful.
No Holds Barred Match: Sha Samuels vs Dave Mastiff
From the start, fans knew this was going to be a hard hitting affair with Mastiff launching his assault on Samuels before the bell. The two men rarely entered the ring as both fought on the outside with Mastiff getting the advantage after the two exchanged forearms.
The battle continued on the outside as Mastiff threw Samuels into the chairs and steel wall. Fans chanted “one more time!” and Mastiff was happy to oblige as he did it again…and again as blood began to show from Samuels back.
Mastiff pushed Samuels into the ring and began to press on his advantage until the music of Chris Masters played and at the entrance way stood G.M Joanna Rose. Mastiff appeared distracted by what occured and Samuels took advange, wrapping his braces round the throat, and locking in the chicken wing choke, it was a victory for Samuels who’s unbeaten streak continues.
#BOOM Championship – Dave Rayne (C) vs Joanna Rose
A match the PCW crowd knew wasn’t going to be one of technical wrestling brilliance, but for entertainment, they knew it would hit the mark. Accompanied by Bubblegum, Rose looked reluctant to face Rayne who asked for this match at the previous event after the barrage of verbal abuse the G.M. gave him.
The two eventually locked up and despite Rose showing that her training has paid off as she managed to carry Rayne over her shoulders in a feat of strength that surprised the fans. Unfortunately for her she couldn’t complete the move as the weight of Rayne was too much. Seeing Rose in trouble, Bubblegum interfered in the match, an action that got him sent to back.
Through the chaos of Bubblegum being ejected from ringside, this was the opportunity for Team Single to attack. Despite Rayne attempting to fend off the PCW Tag Team Champions, their raw power was too much as T-Bone hit his double underhook suplex and Rampage Brown used the spike piledriver allowing the returning Rose with the referee in tow to count the pin allowing Rose to capture the #Boom Championship meaning at this moment in time, F.W.B held every Championship in PCW.
PCW Tag Team Championship: Tables, Ladders & Chairs: Team Single (Rampage Brown & T-Bone) vs The Hooligans (Roy & Zak Knight)
For two years, Team Single has owned the tag team division, eliminating all who has opposed them. The Hooligans, wrestling is in there blood, it’s who they are and on this night they would give the Tag Team Champions the biggest test of their reign as Champions.
From the moment the bout began it was a tour-de-force of chaos, but chaos in the absolute best way possible.
Zak grabbed a ladder the drove it hard into Rampage on the outside of the ring as Roy fought with T-Bone with a chair. The early going belonged to The Hooligans as they set up a ladder on the middle turnbuckle and one by one atomic dropped Rampage and then T-Bone on it between there legs.
The Hooligans showed why they are one of the elite tag team’s in the UK for wrestling as well as brutal action as the continuity they have rocked the Champions and gained a nearfall. But then Team Single regrouped and fought back. Rampage & Roy left the ring and fought through the crowd leaving T-Bone & Zac fighting in the ring.
Roy pummelled Rampage down onto the merchandise table, leapt off the stairs and connected with a flying elbow allowing the fans to witness a brilliant moment, meanwhile in the ring, T-Bone managed to hit Zac through the tableto the shock of the fans. As the match drew to a close Rampage would hit the spike piledriver on Zac to get the pinfall victory to a mixture of boos for the result but cheers for the amazing match all four men produced. Afterwards, like they did with The Briscoes last year who gave them a hell of a fight, Team Single joined The Hooligans in the ring and thanked them for the match.
T-Bone took the microphone and demanded that the fans vote on who they should face next, one stipulation, they must be good, they must gave them a challenge like the Hooligans did.
PCW Cruiserweight Champion Bubblegum vs Noam Dar
Two of the UK’s very best wrestlers battled each other next. Road to Glory Winner and Cruiserweight Championship Bubblegum faced previous Road to Glory Winner and master of the fans, Noam Dar. Before the match began, Bubblegum & G.M. Joanna Rose became frustrated as Dar controlled the PCW crowd like a conductor to his orchestra as they yelled out there favourite Dar songs.
The two locked up and both quickly proved exactly why they are both specialists in there style of wrestling as they traded hold after hold, matching countermove with countermove to gain the appreciation of the crowd.
Throughout the technicality of the match, Bubblegum resorted to his disgusting ways again as he tried to place his used chewing gum in Dar’s mouth drawing “ewws” from the fans but they would soon cheer as Dar took the battle to the outside and soon had the advantage. The fan favourite, Dar, would overcome the Cruiserweight Champion and interference from Rose, to win the match by submission.
As Dar seized the Cruiserweight Championship, his exaltation turned to despair as Rose took the microphone and said, it was NOT a Championship match and on the August 7th, he will face multiple World Champion, Drew Galloway.
As the fans looked at each other excited at the news they had received, familiar music started to play around the club, it was CKY – “96 Bitter Beings”, meaning, PCW legend Kris Travis was here.
Taking the microphone on arrival, he let the fans know how much he has appreciated there support throughout his battle with cancer, even taking his time to film a small youtube video directed at an internet troll and then his mood changed. Slowly fans could sense a hint of doubt in his voice as he spoke about returning to the ring, he spoke of the standard of wrestling in the UK set by wrestlers in his absence, that that standard may be to high for him to reach but this was dismissed by this writer and the PCW crowd.
Before he could finish, Sha Samuels arrived to the ring, dismissing and ignoring Travis, he demanded that G.M. Joanna Rose give him a Title shot. Then Travis shoved him to remind him that he isn’t intimidated by anyone and that this was his moment to talk to the fans.
Samuels then verbally assaulted Travis with a vile tirade, “Why don’t you go back home and wait for the cancer to come back!”
There was only one response to that comment and Travis acted, launching himself at Samuels, the two scrapped in the middle of the ring until Samuels looked to have the advantage and that was when the PCW roster intervened. As Samuels retreated, Rose announced that August 7th, it would be Kris Travis returning to the ring to face Sha Samuels to roars from the fans.
Martin Kirby & Joey Hayes vs So Scandalous (Ryan Smile & Damian Dunne)
So Scandalous (Dunne & Smile) made there way to ring with mixed reactions from the fans, this was mainly due to the fact on who there opponents were.
First arriving of there opponents, was the outspoken Joey Hayes, who at first during his arrival looked in awe of the “Maaarrrrtin” craze that has swept through PCW since he first bellowed out his tag team partner’s name at the last event. Next was Martin Kirby (who by special request by Hayes) had new music, “Sing about Martin”, celebrating the magic that is Martin.
The action in the ring was quick and flawless, as Hayes battled Dunne and then Smile, outnumbered he found himself victim to a double team of double suplexes and beatdowns. Recovering he found his way back to tag in Kirby who with a combination of speed and experience took control of the match to the approval of the fans.
Despite So Scandalous trying to rain on the “Maaaaaartin” parade, with a barrage of excellent tag team offences, but there was only going to be one team triumphant and even though at times Hayes looked to be frustrated with Kirby accidently overshadowing him, the winners would be Hayes & Kirby in a good match.
It has to said that on this night, there are many main eventers across the world aren’t as over with the fans as Hayes and Kirby at the moment as fans chanted, ‘Who’s our favourite Maaaaaartin?!”. PCW appears to agree with this assessment as Hayes & Kirby will face the destructive ReDragon on August 7th.
AJ Styles vs Lionheart
The main event was next. Your writer is at loss for words when it comes to discussing the accident that occurred the last time Lionheart faced AJ Styles at PCW last year.
Whatever your feelings on who caused it, the aftermath and the fallout. Every fan can agree that we never want injuries to occur in the ring, the well-being of the wrestlers is something every fan wants because of the amazing action and entertainment they produce for us on a regular basis. On this night, the professionalism shown by both men towards each other was something to be admired.
The reaction to Lionheart’s arrival on way to the ring was that of applause and respect from the fans, they had seen him in wrestling ring after his near career ending injury in previous events but to face the man who was involved in it takes guts.
The reaction to AJ Styles arrival into the ring was that of pure venom, looking around the PCW arena nearly every fan was pouring scorn at the IWGP Champion and in return, he mocked them with “suck it!” gestures.
The match began with the two men testing each other with headlocks and wristlocks. The fans soon became divided as the match unfolded and it became undeniable at the talents both men set on display.
During the match it would be Lionheart focusing his attack on the back of Styles connecting with backdrops and hard irish whips into the corner while his Styles would target Lionheart’s right leg with a figure-four on the steel post and stiff kicks.
The gripping match reached it’s finale when Lionheart connected with the Rock Bottom and a splash from the top turnbuckle to get a near fall, frustrated Lionheart went for a another splash, this time only to be caught with raised knees to the ribs as he landed and it was then Styles locked in the figure-four to get the win.
Afterwards, Styles took the microphone and spoke of how no one wants to see injuries happen in the ring and if he could organised it, this match would have been for the IWGP Championship because Lionheart had earned the opportunity. He then offered to shake the hand of Lionheart who accepted the hand perhaps as a symbol of closure throughout his ordeal. This drew applause from the fans to close a great match and an amazing show.