Photo Credit: (c) Gordon Harris
June the 5th of this year could have been marked as a turning point for many careers in Preston City Wrestling.
On that night, the PCW sell out event “Showdown” occured, headlined by the magnificent Lionheart versus AJ Styles match. But what transpired on that show had implications for many and many feuds that began from that event would culminate at ‘The Fourth Awakens’ held on 7th of August.
Fans at ‘Showdown, witnessed Kris Travis return to address the PCW faithful and seemed to hint at a possible retirement speech until Sha Samuels gatecrashed the special moment he had with the fans. Samuels actions would force General Manager Joanna Rose to announce that they would battle at ‘The Fourth Awakens’ after Samuels engaged in a savage tirade at Travis expense and a brawl broke out between the two.
Team Single after an amazing match with The Hooligans stated that they would allow the fans to determine there next opponent’s on this event thanks to an online poll and Noam Dar’s reward for defeating Bubblegum in a non-title match would be to face the PCW debutant, the multi-promotional Champion Drew Galloway.
Add the announcements of the world renowned stars Samoa Joe, Ring Of Honor’s ReDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly), the PCW Heavyweight Championship Bout between Dave Mastiff versus Bubblegum and the superb matches also on the card, it was no surprise that ‘The Fourth Awakens’ was another sell out show on the night.
Six Way Match: El Ligero vs Dean Allmark vs Charlie Garrett vs Ashton Smith vs Ophidian vs Luther Ward
The Fourth Awakens’, began with PCW’s traditional six way battle, featuring two PCW debut’s including the aggressive Luther Ward and highly agile Ophidian.
These two men added a brand new feel to the mix in a style of match that the PCW crowd have often grown accustomed to in providing the high octane movesets and feats of athleticism that defy belief.
Each man had there chance to shine and produced a sterling array of visual highlights to keep the fans guessing on who would be the winner. Wither it would be Ligero hitting a superplex from the top turnbuckle onto the other opponents on the floor, Allmark demonstrating his highflying ability or Garrett getting a nearfall after using his standing summersault. When all was said and done there could only be one winner and it would be ‘The Mexican Sensation’ El Ligero.
PCW Tag Team Championship: Team Single (Rampage Brown & T-Bone) vs The Brolievers (Josh Bodom & Ryan Hendricks)
The Brolievers have been impressive in tag team matches across the UK and have certainly been a hit with the fans recently as they defeated a variety of teams on the online poll held by PCW.
On this night they faced Team Single, one of the most dangerous, destructive, and dominant forces not just in PCW but in the UK. The fans weren’t divided on who to cheer for as out of respect they couldn’t see anyone defeating the PCW Tag Team Champions in the mood they were in.
The match started furiously as Rampage directed his venom at Bodom while T-Bone battled Hendricks. The crowd were in awe as they witnessed Rampage striking his opponents with ruthless accuracy.
The crowd chanted, “This is awesome” as Rampage decimated Hendricks with a melon and then targeted Bodom with a chair, it wasn’t long after he struck with stiff clubbing blows to his face and then he locked Bodom in with a submission as the referee called for the bell.
Soon after T-Bone took the microphone, and stated whoever wins between ReDragon & Hayes/Kirby, “We’ll be waiting”.
Iestyn Rees vs Dave Rayne.
Next it was the fan’s favourite, Dave Rayne against the man who seems to have been recruited by FWB (Friends With Benefits) Iestyn Rees.
Before the two locked up, Rayne who is a consistent entertainer to the fans answered back the PCW crowd as they directed chants towards him as he was confronted with the size of Rees in the ring.
“We’re all Dave Rayne!”- PCW crowd. “Take my place then!” – Rayne.
“Do your best Dave Rayne do your best!” – PCW crowd.
Despite the constant encouragement, Rees proved that he was wanting to avenge the loss he experienced on his debut earlier this year as he used his raw power to dictate the match. Aided with direction from Joanna Rose at ringside he got the win with a thunderous powerbomb. But it wasn’t over yet as the vindictive Rose ordered him to strike Rayne again with another powerbomb, that he complied with to leave Rayne needing assistance to help him to the back.
Noam Dar vs Drew Galloway
In the match of the night, Galloway who as stated earlier was embracing his PCW debut faced a man whom the PCW faithful adore, Noam Dar. A prime example of this as they all chanted Dar’s name in a variety of different songs causing Galloway to look in awe before the match officially began.
The two men told a brilliant match story of the big man versus smaller man as Galloway used his power and size trying to dominate his fellow countryman, Dar would use his speed and agility to counteract his opponent.
Galloway would focus has attack on the back of Dar with clubbing blows and even a crucifix from the second turnbuckle to gain nearfalls while Dar would launch himself at Galloway with suicide dives through the ropes and targetting his left leg by grapevining it in a Kneebar.
As the match drew to a close it would be Galloway suffering the defeat as Dar used a rollup for the pin. However, afterwards a disappointed Galloway shook hands with his friend, then brutally clotheslined him, followed up with a tombstone piledriver then striking him with a rope stand to leave Dar injured and the crowd booing with his betrayal.
PCW Heavyweight Championship Three-Way Elimination Match: Dave Mastiff (c) vs Bubblegum vs Chris Masters
Before the match began in what was originally a one on one Championship match between Dave Mastiff versus Bubblegum. Joanna Rose seized the microphone from Richard Parker and declared that Chris Masters would be cashing in his re-match clause after losing the PCW Heavyweight Championship to Mastiff before five thousand people on PCW’s free outdoor event last month.
Looking understandably disappointed by this unexpected turn of events, Bubblegum had to be convinced by Masters to join forces to defeat the PCW Champion Mastiff.
The two challengers prepared there assault against the fan favourite with mixed results as Bubblegum was often overpowered while Masters would use his ally as the distraction he needed to gain nearfalls on the Champion.
At one point during the match, Mastiff was thrown outside leaving the two FWB members in the ring and it was Masters who demanded Bubblegum lay down for him much to the outrage of the fans and Joanna Rose. Just as it looked as if Bubblegum may do it, he kicked out the pinfall attempt and then rolled Masters up to eliminate him leaving Bubblegum versus Mastiff.
It was then as Masters looked to attack Bubblegum, Rose grabbed the microphone again and announced that he was fired from FWB and also fired from PCW.
Mastiff and Bubblegum continued the battle and despite the size difference Bubblegum gained the advantage several times throughout the match and looked to possibly defeat the Champion but Mastiff wasn’t ready for his Title reign to be a short one and defeated the Cruiserweight Champion by pinfall. However, Rose had another surprise and announced that Mastiff would defend the Championship again later in the night against Samoa Joe to the delight of the fans.
Lionheart vs Rockstar Spud
Lionheart came to the ring and announced that he hadn’t been chosen for a match on this, the fourth anniversary show of PCW and told the crowd that he found a special guest behind the scenes to have a match with, that man was Rockstar Spud.
The two traded move after move and as technically sound the match was, the crowd was slow to get into the bout. Lionheart looked the stronger of the two throughout and was certainly the aggressor at times as he stuck hard with stiff kicks and hard forearms.
Spud was down but not out as he used his speed to launch himself over the top rope striking Lionheart who was at ringside and then doing the same again catapulting himself from the top turnbuckle getting a nearfall as Lionheart was returned into the ring.
In the end after a series of nearfalls on Spud, Lionheart finally got the win after the Rock Bottom and a splash from the top turnbuckle.
ReDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) vs Joey Hayes & Martin Kirby
All four men shown why they are known as four of best in the business, as they traded holds and counterholds at the beginning of the match.
Fish and O’Reilly singled out Hayes who continously tried to win the match by himself much to the annoyance of the crowd, but once Kirby was tagged in the complexion and the tide of the match changed.
As Hayes and Kirby worked together they had ReDRagon looking to returning to ROH with a defeat until, Hayes lived up to his monker that the PCW faithful gave him, “Joey is a wanker” and attempted to win the match by himself again and ReDRagon took advantage and got the win.
Afterwards ReDRagon accepted Team Single’s challenge and agreed to face them for the PCW Tag Team Championship at ‘Supershow Of Honor II’ in November.
Kris Travis vs Sha Samuels
The very mention of the name Kris Travis sparks the words, “inspiration”, “courageous” and “amazing”, rightly so, as the man who fought and defeated cancer. The man who underwent eighteen weeks of tiring and exhausting chemotherapy treatment after having surgery to remove a tumour in his stomach.
Travis then resumed training in March and announced he was ready to battle for this match. However, his opponent Sha Samuels was undefeated, merciless, unforgiving and who targeted Travis.
Travis arrived to the ring receiving a chorus of cheers and a standing ovation from everyone in Evoque except Samuels.
The match began with Travis attacking Samuels, with every strike knocking him down and the fans cheering with every blow. Travis who once said “I may not look like the old Kris Travis but I still fight like one.” certainly proved it as he lept over the top rope to the floor knocking Samuels down.
However, his hated opponent was still in the bout, seized Travis and threw him into chairs on the outside of the ring and was relentless in his assault with viscous stomps to the stomach.
The more Travis was beaten down the more he kept standing up and fighting back. The fans continued to will him on but the attacks from Samuels allowed Travis to fall prey to the chickenwing submission and Samuels won the match to the disappointment of the fans.
Samuels wasn’t finished yet as he tried to assault Travis after the match until Lionheart arrived to help his friend and Samuels retreated. The PCW faithful stood tall cheering for the man in the ring whom despite defeat he had shown amazing heart and dedication for this industry by making an amazing comeback.
We are all glad to have the man Kris Travis back.
PCW Heavyweight Championship – Dave Mastiff (c) vs Samoa Joe
The final match of the show saw the former Ring of Honor, TNA and current NXT star Samoa Joe face the PCW Heavyweight Champion Dave Mastiff.
Both men engaged in a strong bout, with the two not allowing any advantage gained by the other. From headlocks to armbars they both traded stiff yet unrelenting holds methodically trying to find a weakness in the opponents offensive.
It was Joe who would unleash his assault with stiff jabs and fast kicks while Mastiff would manage to lift Joe, hitting the santon bomb and then strike with the running cannonball.
The bout would come to a sudden end with FWB gatecrashing the match attacking Mastiff and then Joe. It was then Masters who arrived to help as all three men fought off FWB leaving the match ending in a no contest but it would be Joanna Rose with the last laugh as she announced Mastiff will face the man he last saw back in April, Jeff Jarrett on October 31st.
Also on the show Richard Parker let the fans know that the legend, the Dragon Ricky Steamboat will also be at the October 31st show to draw cheers from the crowd.
And that was the end to a fantastic show and what a year it has been for PCW, here’s to many, many more.