Pro Wrestling Chaos – Total Chaos 2017 (25/3) – Review
by Tim Ricketts
Photo Credit (c) Turning Face.
Ah! Total Chaos… the time of year that I get to sit back and relax about typing up my lead-in because there are no announcements, no matches made beforehand, and with management being spectacularly cagey about talent appearances, we only have the poster and the social media posts of the wrestlers to go on. With fallout likely from the seven-way elimination King of Chaos match and triple threat tag championship match last time out (which both saw title changes), we are probably going to see some tasty match-ups even if by random chance.
It didn’t need match announcements or the tantalizing prospect of roving Superstars to sell out the underground club-like atmosphere of the regular Hanham venue however, so with the house full and uber-smooth MC Rob Maltman back to host proceedings, the chaos generator picked out the first match.
Eddie Ryan vs. ‘Dirty’ Dick Riley
Big Dick Riley continued to prove his resourcefulness with a slight change of tactic from his show-stealing, high-flying victory over Charlie Sterling. The man from the Gutters of Soho brought the sleaze back to good psychological effect, repeatedly getting under the skin of the dour Plymouth powerhouse. It challenged the machismo of the recent title challenger enough to force several retreats and protestations to Ref Mark, but helped Riley neutralise Ryan’s relentless intensity.
With both athletes of a similar size and stature, this came down to a battle of style and technique. Riley’s onslaught of enziguris, moonsaults and a gasp-inducing over-the-top-rope suplex made extending his run of good form as a singles competitor look likely, but the potently powerful attrition of his opponent began to make good headway. Ryan struck, kicked and, in particular, suplexed his way into enough of a dominant position to try his devastating submission. The former Magnum broke the hold by crashing into the corner-pad, provoking another pro-Dick chant for the fan-favourite, and went up on the ropes for a massive moonsault… and a miss. Eddie struck fast to lock his hold back on and claim the submission victory.
Chaos continue to start their shows hot and set a storming benchmark for the rest of the night.
‘Lucha Dragons’ (Eddie Dennis & El Ligero) vs. ‘Project Steele’ (Martin Kirby & Alex Steele)
To quote the late, great author, Terry Pratchett, “Million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten.” So it was almost inevitable when the members of Project Lucha and former Knights of Chaos, The Steele Dragons, were mixed around in the random tag match thanks to the Total Chaos generator. The vociferous Chaos Club immediately deliver the obvious (but trademark-torturing) new team names to Rob. As has been common in the matches that these teams have had this year, the comedy moments didn’t stop there: communication difficulties with the deep in-character El Ligero spark a few mishaps, until the universal language of Lucha Libre kicks in with the appearance of Dennis’ alter-ego Eddie ‘Mysterio’. Alex Steele and Martin Kirby continued their good rapport, built over the last few matches and a mutual appreciation for tasty merch.
Avid followers of the British scene will probably have seen El Ligero and Kirby face each other as much as tag together, but it was a bit more of a novelty to see the Steele Dragons on opposing sides, and certainly a smidgen of a shock when Steele revealed his cheeky roguishness by ‘playing possum’ on the injury he suffered whilst winning the tag titles. When this sprung trap failed to provide a pin, Dennis retaliated, delivering a disappointed epithet, a Next-Stop Driver and a three-count his fellow former Knight.
This pleasantly comedic slow-burn story-line continues well, with a few twists that could have repercussions.
Wild Boar vs. Edwin Ricci
It seems strange after his his epic 441-day reign, not to be referring to Boar as The King of Chaos. Since his victory over Hardcore Holly at All or Nothing last year, he has been assailed on all sides, firstly by former GM Jimmy Havoc, a chasing pack of serious title contenders jockeying for position, and the illegitimate heir ‘Flash’ Morgan Webster with Modern Culture in tow. Webster’s disciples had more than a little involvement in the build up to Boar’s deposing, so this match looked good for Boar to take some measure of revenge on Ricci for his recent loss.
The evolution of Edwin’s ring-name (formerly Richie Edwards and before that, Panda Cub) keeps pace with the improvements he has made in power, pacing and technique; unsurprisingly this progression was borne out in periods of dominance over the ex-top-dog. However, between the lemon-slice iconography on his new kit and his constant pleading for the Club’s appreciation, I felt a compulsion to hum ‘I wanna be adored’ by the Stone Roses. His facial expressions continued to tell the story, one of pain, when he took Boar’s explosive retorts, but as much improvement as he has made it still wasn’t enough to conquer the gritty resilience of the deposed king, who showed Ricci how it’s done with a Trapper-Keeper pile-driver and a pin.
A bit of vengeance for The Wild Boar on a very competitive footing.
Pete Dunne vs. Big Grizzly
I’d heard on the grapevine that it was Grizzly’s birthday, so I was interested to see who the fates would pick as a present. Lo and behold, WWE UK competitor and Progress champion Pete Dunne made a surprising and welcome return to Chaos, and a mega ‘pop’ from the crowd, a week before his busy weekend in Orlando. He seemed keen to get things started, as he jumped the wild Welshman before the bell and took the action to ring-side. Some typically brutal abuse of Big Grizzly’s digits followed, including a sickening use of the turn-buckle iron right in front of me, before he started grand-standing with a fans’ replica WWE title in his teeth. This cued comments of ‘suits him’ from all around me.
I’m sure Grizzly is rapidly heading for the taxonomical definition Arctos Lucha lucha, as he complemented his A-game heavyweight power attacks with some stunning acrobatic work, including a freakishly impressive enziguri. Unfortunately, it was a case of ‘whatever you can do, I can do better,’ in retaliation from Dunne as he viciously lived up to his Bruiserweight moniker. He followed a textbook second-rope superplex with the Bitter End, to send the birthday-boy home without a win.
Great exhibition of brutality from two of Britain’s in-form Superstars.
Jeckel vs. ‘The Red Emperor’ Gideon
After the intermission and some temporary lighting difficulties, the Total Chaos generator put former Team H8 team-mates against each other, with Gideon’s show of respect to his former ally both spurned and quickly interrupted by the predictable arrival of The Brotherhood. They were quickly chased off from their continual quest to strong-arm a booking by the Chaos officials.
Gideon started brightly, getting the first few rows shifted from their seats as he served three supersonic suicide dives to Jeckel, only to get wrenchingly suplexed and savagely stamped in return. Taking too long to lambaste the Chaos Club, Jeckel missed a super-senton, which gave Gideon the opportunity to deliver a great Tornado DDT. He couldn’t convert it into a win though, Jeckel gained that honour following his face-first finisher. After the match, The Brotherhood continued their recent persecution of the two with a despicable beat down, until Dave Mercy intervened. Reasoning that putting them under contract would give him some degree of control of the situation, he promised the menacing trio the fight of their lives at Sweet Dreams in April.
This is one of those narratives that excellently blurs canon Chaos story-line with backstage reality, for those who appreciate that level of layering, at the same time as establishing these brilliantly promising villains. Shame it distracted slightly from another Pier-sixer involving the two experienced Chaos stalwarts.
‘Flying’ Mike Bird vs. Jimmy Havoc
This was a full-blooded, and full-throttle, arena-busting match between two
of Chaos’s most self-destructively reckless roster members, one of those that as part of the live audience you’re lucky to see half of clearly, but what you do see is so in-your-face that it more than makes up for it. They crashed through chairs, smashed each other off the stage, and Havoc even introduced Bird’s head to a fire door in a manner reminiscent of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
Back between the ropes, they traded a destroyer for an acid-rainmaker in two of the notable manoeuvres, but it was the passionate Mike Bird, on form and full of vim and vigour recently, who pulled out an excellent Gotch driver to grab then pinfall victory and maintain his momentum, bearing in mind his upcoming singles match against the eponymous ‘Bro’ (Matt Riddle) at UnBroLievable in June.
This kind of fight is why I watch the Video on Demand too, and it’s always worth it.
‘Flash’ Morgan Webster(c) vs. Danny Jones – for the King Of Chaos Title
Chaos history buffs may have noted that this isn’t the first time that Jones has been given a King of Chaos match by the Chaos Generator, but last time against Mike Bird (as Roger the Cabin Boy) was far more competitive. This stood out to me in stark contrast to his Modern Culture team-mate Ricci’s earlier match, although it was never likely that he would actually challenge his Mod leader.
Despite initially just lying down for the pin, Finger-poke of Doom style, at least Jones teased a fight before he agreed to get the match over so they could get to the pub.
‘Flash’ Morgan Webster(c) vs. The Wild Boar – Loser leaves the title scene, No DQ match for the King Of Chaos Title
Unhappy at the blatant fix that potentially damaged the prestige of the title he worked so hard for, former King Boar demanded his statutory rematch. Flash added stipulations in a bid to deter Boar, but it seemed to just make him even more determined. Just like the last two proper matches, this one continued the fight-club feel by going out of the ring for the early stages, with steel chair swinging psychopathy aplenty.
Wild Boar seemed reasonably fresh despite the double-duty
, certainly able to fend-off a Modern Culture run-in to land a Trapper-Keeper on the champ, but the double-edged highlight of this bout was Flash’s return to high-flying form. It made this back-and-forth affair technically excellent as well as viciously visceral, and certainly worthy of the crown. It took a mistake from the former King, missing a Boar-Splash, to give Webster the opportunity for The Strangler, which gave him a submission win and put pay to The Wild Boar’s title aspirations for 2017.
Flash had one more thing up his sleeve though. Playing heavily on the injury he suffered last year, he began to thank Pro Wrestling Chaos and it’s fans for their support, before swerving back with a giant ‘screw you’.
I’d put this match on a par with the Attack! Elder Stein Final that appears on both of these guys’ ‘Best of’ DVDs. Great match.
We already know that The Brotherhood of Joe Mezinger, Elijah Dahl and Nathan Bane will be facing a huge test at Sweet Dreams, almost certainly against Gideon and Jeckel with a partner (if there’s any justice in the world), but who would that be? The anarchic trio have already fired shots at a few people, including Sierra Loxton, but it could easily be special guest star Tommy Dreamer too. It definitely won’t be Joey Ryan, as he has been booked in puerilely potential sleaze-fest against ‘Dirty’ Dick Riley and the débuting Nixon Newell. Just considering the potential for ménage-à-trois double entendres, it’s lucky that the plucky Welsh lass can handle herself.
Boar and Bird, holders of the ICW Tag Championships, have declared their intent to defend the titles in Chaos, given the opportunity, whilst Alex Steele has managed to goad Flash into a title match too. He might be able to get his own back for being robbed of the contract case at Heir 2 the Throne a year ago… speaking of which, this year’s iteration (Heir to the Thron3) has also been announced for July.
For Tickets/Details of Sweet Dreams and an Audience with Tommy Dreamer on April 29th, UnBroLievable on June 3rd and Heir to the Thron3 in July please see www.prowrestlingchaos.com
Superb ringside photos by Turning Face are available Here, thanks to them for the photo above as well.
Video on Demand will be available at UkwrestlingOnDemand.com in due course.
Results and Title History at chaosevents.co.uk