This month, we have one of the highlights of the Chaos calendar: Heir to the Thron3. The somewhat incongruous figure 3 lets us know that this is the third iteration, with the first leading to winner Wild Boar’s first King of Chaos reign after his cash in on Mike Bird. The second, Heir 2 the Throne, may be remembered more readily for the monumental TNA & ROH Title Matches, but the eponymous match gave us the illegitimate run of ‘Flash’ Morgan Webster, the Man Who Would be King. Despite advertising that he was ‘wrestling in Latvia’, Flash rushed in at the last minute to knock Alex Steele from the top rung and grab the case. He was officially stripped by the Chaos board several days later, but Flash kept hold of the case to torment both then-King Wild Boar and Dave Mercy right into 2017, as well as providing the spark to recent Title matches involving Webster and Steele.
This show though began with Chaos owner Dave Mercy and MC Rob Maltman dad-dancing down to the ring to a newer, funkier entrance tune in-line with the event’s Guardians of the Galaxy theme, but more importantly to give us some details about October’s incredibly named ‘Coalition of Chaos’ double-header. It will be a day of tournament action, as 8 women face off to crown the much-anticipated first Maiden of Chaos, with Scottish powerhouse Viper named (post-event) as the first competitor.
Seven-man ladder match to become Heir to the Thron3. (J Havoc, J Coffey, D Riley, Big Grizzly, M Bird, M Whiplash & M Horgan)
The first bout on the card was the eponymous Heir to the Throne ladder match, where the athletes compete for a briefcase containing a contract for an open title opportunity, much like WWE’s Money in the Bank. Chaos loaded this match with high-quality talent including Tournament of Death winner (and former GM) Jimmy Havoc and current ICW Heavyweight champ Joe Coffey. Dick Riley and Big Grizzly have both turned in consistently awesome performances recently, whilst Mike Bird and Mikey Whiplash are always dangerous with their pedigree and relentless, borderline-reckless, intensity. Then we come to Modern Culture’s newest recruit, Matthew Horgan, whose promos of increasing discomfort at the calibre of his opponents as they were announced were a delight to watch.
Horgan didn’t let that affect him at the start of the match, as he took advantage of The Brotherhood’s bizarre and ill-advised momentary interjection to try and jump his six opponents. They all took their turn to chop him, and Havoc dispatched him with an eyepoke, before the fight descended into some quality ringside brawling.
Joe Coffey cracked out a couple of signature Airplane Spins on Whiplash and, more impressively, Grizzly, as well as taking down everyone with a ladder around his neck. Riley seemed to be avoiding TLC a bit, but was happy to execute his usual aerial assaults, however Havoc was in his element with all the household hardware until Big Grizzly hammered him through an approximately horizontal ladder. Whiplash cleared house with a chair, but his opportunity was disrupted by the returning Brotherhood, looking for revenge over last month’s defeat, as they carried him off.
Mike Bird earned the accolades for move of the night, if not the century, for his sickeningly heart-stopping piledriver on Horgan from near the top of the ladder. The two wrecked bodies laid supine at ringside in front of me, barely responsive to anything but the pain of that impact for several minutes.
It came down to Grizzly, solid and steady throughout the match, to climb the ladder and claim the opportunity he has deserved, and frequently demanded, for a while. It’s testament to his consistent, potential-fulfilling performances that the crowd roared in approval, rather than respond to his usual ire-drawing monster demeanor. Throwing down the gauntlet with the first match is now a Chaos trademark and they did it again with this epitome of a multi-man ladder match.
Charlie Sterling vs Alex Steele
Sterling arrived first with his tiny teacup, although it was slightly bigger than last month, but was immediately mocked by coffee lover Steele and his large travel mug. He also had to wait for Alex throughout the Heavymetal Hero’s customary pinky-linking with the entire front row – a sole gap hastily filled by photographer Jim. The power of the pinky formed the basis of the early exchanges too, as Alex tried to prove, ineffectually, that his little finger could be leveraged into a devastating power move.
Since his return to Chaos, Sterling has demonstrated his incredible ability and physique without getting the tallies in the W column, but he seemed to have little answer to Steele’s constant traps other than pomposity, derision and characteristic arrogance. Steele, on the other hand, showed why ‘comedy’ wrestling should be taken with deadly seriousness. He has managed to leverage his considerable counter-wrestling skills, devastating reach and high-flying offence with the esoteric opportunities and distractions his hilarity provides. In the hands of a master comedy is a tactic, a weapon as valid as good technique or a quality ‘finisher’.
Just as it seemed that Charlie had started to register this nugget of knowledge and mounted his first persistent assault, one last counter from Chaos’ number-one contender, followed by a solid slam and a brisk pin, saw Steele take the victory and maintain momentum. Not only that, but he got on the mic’ to announce his challenge to whoever won tonight’s main event, next month in his hometown of Yate.
Knights of Chaos tag title: Modern Culture (D Jones & E Ricci) (c) vs Project Lucha (El Ligero & M Kirby)
Would it be ‘fifth time lucky’ for the experienced duo of El Ligero and Martin Kirby? Aside from their run to the semis in the title tournament, Project Lucha’s attempts to capture the gold have been persistently scuppered by ‘Bantersaurus Rex’ and ‘Laddington Bear’ (as commentator Merlin Obediah Cambridge announced the mods) so faced the prospect of being split if they couldn’t nail it this time.
The lads in green took the opening exchanges to Morgan Webster’s lakeys, but Jones gave them an early, and major, setback by delivering a piledriver to Kirby on the apron. Ricci compounded the injury by assaulting the former WCPW champ as he was helped to the back. Ligero had to apply all his knowledge, nous and resilient conditioning to fend off the relentless, ruthless Ricci and AJPW-bound Jones.
Improbably, the mighty Martin Kirby returned, clutching his neck, for the hottest tag I’ve seen in years. It looked to be all in vain though when Edwin utilised the age-old trick of distracting the referee by grabbing one belt, while Danny used the other as a weapon. Seconds later, Ref Paz counted the pinfall that broke the crowd’s collective heart, Project Lucha were no more… until he noticed the missing belt. Benjamin Allen, on camera duty, was more than happy to confirm Paz’s suspicion with a potentially dangerous precedent-setting video replay. Restart or reversal was the ref’s ultimatum.
Project Lucha had used the intervening time to recover and their rally was swift, but Ricci pulled Paz out of the ring as Jones was pinned. Possibly the most laid-back ref in BritWres had finally lost it, and levelled the Bantersaurus with a brutal forearm shot. One last high-flying double-team manoeuvre and Project Lucha had what they’d deserved for months,the Knights of Chaos titles. As a reward, they get to reform Project Lucha Underground with Shane Strickland (AKA Killshot) next month. Epic news, considering that they provided one half of last year’s MotY.
The Brotherhood (Nathan Bane & Joe Mezinger) vs Team H8 (Gideon & Jeckel)
I’d been looking forward to this match, not only for the most intriguing feud in Chaos, but to glean any insight I could as to the Brotherhood’s mysterious master. The only discernible fact so far is that they are male, judging by the pronoun Mezinger can be overheard using in their recent promo video. Bane and Mezinger arrived first and stood waiting, but Team H8 used The Brotherhood’s usual tactic against them, arriving from the back of the room to jump their rivals.
Team H8 were all over the bearded ‘brothers’, and the brawl spilled immediately to the ringside area. Ref Huw looked on in pure frustration as he was unable to get even one wrestler in the ring, let alone the two required to begin the match, the issue exacerbated by the sudden appearance of Brotherhood’s Elijah Dahl. Up to this point, Gideon and Jeckel had managed to impose their smashmouth style to great effect, but then the Brotherhood’s numbers game kicked in.
Gideon was put painfully through a ropey stack of battered steel chairs, prompting the heavily involved heroine of the Chaos Club, Sierra Loxton, to run-in with The Red Emperor’s distinctive cane and clear house. Elijah stopped that resurgence in its tracks with a resoundingly loud forearm to Loxton’s face. Cue entry of H8’s ally from last month, Mikey Whiplash.
Too little, too late. The Brotherhood were in sadistic control, cable-tying their male opponents to the ring-ropes and dragging out a table. Nathan Bane had Sierra hoisted high above the top turnbuckle, when a pleading Dave Mercy appeared at the entrance. He’d give them what they wanted… a 16ft Steel Cage match next month, Chaos’ first. The crowd started to go nuts, but Dave wasn’t finished: ‘please… put her down.’
‘Be careful what you ask for, Dave,’ sniped mouthpiece Mezinger derisively, as Bane super-bombed Loxton through the table. I don’t care that this match never even officially began. This. Is. Chaos.
Eddie Ryan vs Mr Bananas
The Chaos faithful have a lot of affection for the unlikely hero of Mr Bananas, not so much Eddie Ryan though, however the feeling is mutual. In last year’s Heir to the Throne match Ryan took an almighty blow to the bonce from a ladder, which has negatively affected his general attitude and his demeanor to the ‘uncaring’ Chaos Club in particular. It’s led to several violent tantrums when he’s been faced with a loss as well. He began true to form by biting the head off Bananas’ inflatable monkey mascot.
Whilst on paper this appeared to be a bit of a squash match, Jeckel and Pariah Khan stand testament to not underestimating the fuzzy blue primate. Mr Bananas proved his remarkable resilience again by weathering the storm of suplexes from Ryan. Eddie’s frustration grew, aided by the ‘you can’t beat a monkey’ chants, and it wasn’t long before he started to lose focus.
Bananas will utilise any opening he’s given, and an opportunistic DDT led to a pin that he gratefully took. He may have regretted it immediately though, suffering Ryan’s predictably violent reaction. Eddie Ryan really does have an interesting array of suplexes.
King of Chaos title: ‘Flash’ Morgan Webster (c) vs ‘Pride of Wales’ Eddie Dennis
Before the match, we saw an emotional and inspirational video on the Chaostron. Eddie Dennis is chasing his dream, and has given up his day job (as a headmaster, no less) to tackle the grapples full-time. The crowd gave him their raucous backing, and he picked up where he left off in last month’s non-title match: in near-complete dominance over the mod King of Chaos.
Flash looked increasingly uneasy, to the point where his customary cocksure smug grin was replaced with a look of borderline panic as Dennis repeatedly escaped his clutches and dealt his own devastation, but came back with a pair of superb sentons. Getting desperate Webster grabbed a chair from under the ring, but that backfired when Eddie kicked it back in his face.
When the going gets tough for Flash, the Modern Culture usually appear, and this time was no different, but Eddie’s Steele Dragons partner Alex was out like lightning to repay the save at Sweet Dreams. Bodies started flying, including two refs and Webster with a big dive from the corner-post to ringside. Dennis dealt with each of the MC nerds in turn before Flash recovered his moped helmet. Steele stopped the mod in time, only to clobber his friend accidentally.
Dennis failed to recover, and Webster’s Sliced Bread #2-esque Eton Rifle finished him in what felt like a bit of a shock. Flash reliant again on his disciples, but it remains to be seen if Horgan will be able to completely replace Jones whilst he’s in Japan. Eddie, obviously dissatisfied with Steele wrecking both his title opportunity and his first full-time fight, bellowed at him to leave. Will he get a bit of revenge when Alex faces Flash again next month? He’s one of the friendliest fellows in British Wrestling, but like the Incredible Hulk, I wouldn’t like to make him angry.
So between steel cages, Steele Dragons, Lucha stars (did I mention Paul London is coming in August too?) and 8 potential Maidens of Chaos, it’s going to be an exciting few months here in Bristol.