Picture Credit @Jim_TurningFace (http://turning-face.co.uk)
With the contentious issue of Pro Wrestling Chaos’s ownership and inauguration of Tag Champions both settled at October’s ‘All or Nothing’, we head in to the last show of the year with a significant proportion of the roster having a metaphorical hang-over from that event. Not only did Jimmy Havoc abuse his last gasps as General Manager to name himself contender, lay an Acid-Rainmaker upon Champ Wild Boar and run off with the belt, but anyone associated with disgraced former owner Pariah Khan has some humble pie to eat too.
Now he has full control of the Chaos juggernaut, Dave Mercy has been quick to offer unique opportunities to his former opponents, but with a hefty price or potential for a hiding. The monster Jeckel, so long Khan’s right-hand-man, faces the most humiliation as he has to don fancy dress to retain his spot on the roster, with the Chaos Club getting to decide between the eerily analogous Grumpy Cat and a Seahorse, derived from a very surreal and abstract crowd chant.
Big Grizzly, a later and more mercenary addition to Pariah’s army, gets slightly kinder treatment by being handed a spot in a tantalisingly tasty triple-threat against two-time former King of Chaos Mike Bird and nominated number one contender to that title Eddie Ryan. All three athletes have attested their skills in the ring this year, not just in Chaos but all over the UK, so should be worrying whoever wins out of Boar and Havoc in 2017.
Khan’s other associates, The Magnums, also get offered a double-edged sword: a chance of redemption and a future tag-title shot, but only if they can get past Champion Eddie Dennis and his mystery partner whilst the other Knight of Chaos, Alex Steele, is injured.
‘This is the forth anniversary of the Magnums.’ stated The Magnum’s Chris Walker, as I grabbed a brief word with him before the show. ‘We’ve never held a tag title in Chaos because [the title] is new – we have held them everywhere else and we’ve got to win tonight – we’ve got to beat Eddie Dennis and his mystery partner – I can guarantee that we will try our best, we’ll have fun … there seems to be a lot of ladies in the crowd tonight so we’ll make sure we please them. I’m sure at the end of the night people will remember that.’
Women’s wrestling also makes a welcome return to Pro Wrestling Chaos, as a familiar face to the Chaos Club, ‘The Freaky Princess’ Sierra Loxton, makes her début versus the experienced and aggressive Jetta.
Whilst no other matches have been announced, Flash Morgan Webster, with the Heir to the Throne case and his Modern Culture faction of Danny Jones and Richie Edwards, has been looming around Chaos for the past few months. I’m expecting him to be here in Hanham too, posing a threat to whoever holds the title.
So, with a sold-out house baying for the action to commence, whipped up by new ring announcer Jade and Referee Mark, proceedings were interrupted by the deposed Pariah Khan. Looking like a schoolboy in his shorts and red blazer, he declared himself an active member of the roster before delivering up an open challenge.
Mr Bananas vs. Pariah Khan
Out comes a monkey with revenge on his mind. Bristol Zoo’s resident wrestling primate had been banished by Khan and reduced to punting out his produce to the queuing fans before shows, so wastes no time in slapping and kicking the Butlins out of his former employer. Khan offered little to no resistance, so Bananas pulled a namesake piece of fruit from his trunks, rammed it in Pariah’s motor-mouth and put him in submission until he tapped out.
Amidst the protestations of Pariah, including a request to wellness-check Bananas for raised potassium levels, a very unusual video hit the Chaos-tron. To the strains of ‘Under the Sea,’ Jeckel the Orange Seahorse entered the venue, also with a grudge to bear.
Mr Bananas vs. Jeckel
The monster Jeckel, humiliated but not humbled, posed defiantly in front of the crowd before laying in to the blue-furred monkey. Khan, never shy in his backing for Jeckel, even screams that he’ll leave Chaos completely if his man loses. The subsequent change in atmosphere is tangible.
The people’s primate fought back with flips and high-flying, feeding off the fans, but was ruthlessly bought up short by a face-buster suplex that echoed off the high ceiling. When Jeckel attempted the same a minute or so later, Mr Bananas was ready and scissored the telegraphed move into a roll-up pin, leaving Pariah Khan holding his head in despair for the second show running. If this is truly the last we see of him, then it should be noted the enormous fan reaction he has drawn by being the one we love to hate over the past year.
Triple Threat: Big Grizzly vs. Eddie Ryan vs. Mike Bird
The technical contrast of this bout had me tempted in the build-up to the event; seeing Grizzly’s ever-expanding arsenal of big-guy brutality, Ryan’s suplex-and-submission game and sniper-like tactics to multi-way matches, and ‘Flying’ Mike’s all-in all-action approach resolve in the ring.
The three-way stare-off at the bell was inevitably broken by Eddie Ryan who dropped down to ringside, only rejoining the fray when the timing suited him to assist Mike Bird in temporarily disposing of Big Grizzly. Following up, he got stuck in to Bird with a pin-attempt from a stunning suplex. Flying Mike’s rally was cut brutally short by the recovering Big Grizzly though, as he was tripped, dragged out the ring and sickeningly slammed to the wooden floor.
You can’t keep a good man down for long, as the ‘Ginger Jesus of Professional Wrestling’ clawed his way up to the top of the turn-buckles to deliver a diving double lariat to his opponents, not once but twice, knocking them flying in the ring then on the floor. That wasn’t to be the only corner-post action either: as Eddie Ryan set up a Superplex on Grizzly, Bird sneaked in underneath to give Ryan a second-rope German that left the number-one contender prone in the middle of the mat. To the chants of ‘Lucha! Lucha! Lucha!’ Grizzly hit Eddie with one thunderous and mightily painful Frog Splash, but the pin was broken at the last nanosecond by Bird’s drop-kick.
Ryan revealed his remarkable resilience too, recovering rapidly to apply his neck wrenching submission hold to Mike Bird. Grizzly dived in to try and break it up, but managed only to knock Bird on top of Eddie, still relentlessly locked on and unaware that his shoulders were now flat on the mat. A brisk tempo count from Ref Paz gives the fan-favourite flyer another deserved win, but sent the usually unnervingly silent Eddie Ryan into apoplectic anger. Screaming ‘I didn’t lose! I didn’t lose!’ he traps the official in the corner, choking out the member of staff who comes to the ref’s rescue.
The Brotherhood (Joe Mezinger, Elijah Dahl & Nathan Bane) vs. Gideon & The Henchmen (Jim Diehard & Benton Destruction)
The third unannounced match of the evening saw the new team of The Brotherhood storm the ring. Chaos regulars and followers of the region’s action will recognise these guys as top prospects who have been biding their time, waiting for their chance on the Chaos card. Mezinger grabs a mic to tell us that they are fed up with waiting, so The Brotherhood are going to seize the opportunity for themselves. Not if resident ring-general Gideon has anything to do with it, bringing out Midlands mammoth meat-grinders, The Henchmen, to help him in handing out some lessons. Suddenly, the rookies seemed a lot less self-assured.
Gideon started school with a demonstration in clinical strikes on Elijah Dahl; whilst the smallest member of The Brotherhood, he more than makes up for it in terms of sheer physique. These are obviously prodigious students of the game, however, so Gideon soon found himself on the receiving end of some good tag work, cut off from his team-mates and being double-teamed every time Ref Mark could be distracted. A double-man belly-to-back suplex eventually earned Gideon some space.
‘The Unit’ Jim Diehard restored some balance and composure to the experienced team, before the young guns tried the ‘numbers game’ once more. This only left them open for ‘The Toolshed’ Benton Destruction to repeatedly Irish-whip all three Brotherhood into a single corner and deliver a super-sized splash.
A series of increasingly spectacular ring-side dives (including The Unit’s surprisingly graceful between-the-ropes topé) left The Brotherhood softened-up enough for the Henchmen to lift Dahl and Mezinger high, and Gideon to deliver a double diving lariat from the turn-buckle that sent them crashing. Gideon, with both Henchmen stacked on his back, pinned Joe Mezinger. Lesson learned, but I’m sure The Brotherhood will be back to prove a point next year.
After the standard intermission, new 100% owner Dave Mercy comes out to give us some announcements for next year. March will see the mad mix of match-ups that is Total Chaos, February’s big event will have the visit of US star Montel Vontavious Porter, but before all of that, Chaos will be having their first event of the year at the new venue of The Newman Hall. Dave hasn’t left the ring when Flash Morgan Webster makes his presence known. Attempting to shake hands with unimpressed audience members, Flash began his charmlessly offensive charm offence, which he continued in the ring with Mercy, hugging him when the proffered handshake is rebuffed. All with the biggest insincere smug grin.
Webster had an offer for the man he retired from the ring. He wants Mercy to give him control of Chaos, to go back home to his ‘average’ life, wife and kids, so the Man Who Would be King can ‘make Chaos great again!’
‘Chaos has always been great!’ came the impassioned reply from Mercy, as he started referring to the fans with the familiarity of a pub landlord chatting to his regulars, and throwing their loyalty at Flash like a grenade. Not only that, he grabbed the already contentious Heir to the Throne briefcase, and instructed Paz to take it away; cue Modern Culture’s entry to take the contract case right back off the official, followed by The Steele Dragons to back up Mercy. Already in retreat, Flash and Modern Culture swiftly exited when Eddie Dennis’ mystery partner made himself known. With more serious entrance music and ring attire to match his serious skills, Scotty ‘Essex’ Wainwright temporarily joined the team that beat him for the tag-title.
Eddie Dennis & Scotty ‘Essex’ Wainwright (w/Alex Steele) vs. The Magnums (Chris Walker & Dick Riley)
The Magnums made super-sleazy entrance, and were obviously still distracted by the ladies during the initial minutes of the match as the mutual, inadvertent crotch-shots flowed. Eddie even catapulted Riley’s face painfully into Walker’s apex. A topé con hilo from Wainwright was followed by a spell of Dennis dominance as he ground down ‘Filthy’ Chris, but the Magnums have the villains’ guide to dirty tactics and they’re not afraid to use the Distractions and Double-teaming it recommends, as they responded.
Dennis and ‘Dirty’ Dick traded devastating suplexes, whilst Scotty pulled out a signature Spanish Fly that left Riley supine. Dick got some vicarious vengeance by Jackknifing Eddie Dennis before the match degenerated into double-teaming once again. In a contest that was a beautiful exposition of the tag-team form, it took a follow-up on a Next Stop Driver for The Pride of Wales to pin Dick Riley, and put to bed The Magnum’s chances of challenging for the titles.
Immediately following the match, an obviously emotional Riley indicated to the intimate crowd that this was to be Walker’s last match and led a standing ovation for his partner. Just as everyone became respectful at this sudden retirement, Chris Walker made everything clear. Swiftly ambushing his now former partner, he handcuffed Riley to the ropes and beat him mercilessly with a steel chair. Dick was noticeably shaking with agony, and a panicked-sounding Paz called for cuff keys.
I’m pretty sure that this is what the fans will remember, Chris!
Jetta vs. Sierra Loxton
For the first time since March’s visit to this venue, Pro Wrestling Chaos hosts a women’s match. Midlands’ motor-mouth Jetta berates the crowd as she comes out, then takes huge exception to the cheers Dragon Pro Academy graduate, and former Chaos hostess, Sierra Loxton received. Nothing provoked the crowd more than Jetta mistaking Bristol as a Welsh city, however.
Loxton started the bout the brightest, working hard on Jetta’s arm, mirroring her opponent every time she tried to roll out. The unusual movements continued with gymnastic cartwheels and sinuous dodges, and the timing of a playground trip had me chuckling. The experience of the former Shimmer competitor Jetta started to show through though, especially when she began utilising dirty tactics like a thumb to the eye, or a rope burn to the face. The final nefarious nail in Sierra’s coffin was the handful of tights Jetta needed to stop the promising rookie from escaping her roll-up pin.
King of Chaos Title Match: The Wild Boar (c) vs. Jimmy Havoc
Two of the most visceral wrestlers in the UK face-off for the first time, Havoc the Hardcore legend against the sheer primal aggression of Boar. A truly tasty prospect. Jimmy Havoc, acting as Chaos General Manager whilst out injured, spent a lot of time feeding Wild Boar with a series of high-calibre opponents. Now it just seems like Jimmy was either scouting him out or softening him up, not to mention the psychological attack of nicking the championship belt.
So it was not surprising when Boar came out all guns blazing sending Havoc over the top-rope and then crashing through several rows of ringside chairs before the challenger could even get started. Once he did, the two gladiators brawled around the bar and the ring, Havoc eventually revenging being sent through the chairs.
Once they had managed to return to the ring, the trading of moves came in a rapid frenzy; The Wild Boar trying for his Trapper Keeper Piledriver, Havoc for the Acid Rainmaker. Two consecutive two-count kick-outs by Boar from Jimmy’s signature manoeuvre led to Havoc losing his rag with Paz for not giving a three, the referee sparked out cold. With no oversight, Havoc decided that a nice steel chair was the best way to gain an advantage.
Mike Bird came sprinting from out the back to save his friend and tag-partner, and provided enough distraction for Boar to Trapper-keeper Havoc. Eddie Ryan, still furious from earlier, ran in too, closely followed by Ref Mark. As soon as he tries to split up the brawling Bird and Ryan, he gets decked as well. With that, Big Grizzly made his presence felt by attacking both competing athletes before following the two previous run-ins scrapping off towards the back.
It was the perfect opportunity for Morgan Webster to try and cash in his contract, if only he could’ve found a ref to give it to. He sent in Jones & Edwards to keep the prone legal men down whilst he tried to wake one. Modern Culture might be good, but they’re not as good as Boar and Havoc yet, so each got taken down immediately with a finisher. The pandemonium was turned up to eleven by Bird, Ryan and Grizzly returning to chase off Webster which left a five way stare-off before the bell rang for a Double Disqualification. Intensity overload, not helped by Mike Bird taking a long reticent pause before returning the belt to Champion Boar after he picked it up.
Well, that’s a lot of unresolved issues to sort out in 2017, isn’t it? Like a good Christmas Dinner, that’s going to take until the New Year to digest fully.
For information on upcoming events, tickets and the shiny new season tickets, see http://prowrestlingchaos.com.
Epic ringside photography from Turning Face is available at https://www.facebook.com/turningface/.
And keep an eye out for the Video on Demand from www.ukwrestlingondemand.com, who have recently added Ultimate Pro Wrestling to their subscription package.