Picture Credit: (c) Turning Face
From the last show to this, there has been a giant question-mark over Pro-Wrestling Chaos. It’s not just whether Gideon will get his revenge on Ian Williams and the DoomsDay Killers; or if owner Pariah Khan has something up his suit-sleeve to seize the King of Chaos championship for one of his henchmen, and thus nigh-on total control of CHAOS. It’s not even who will fill the last spaces in the Knights of Chaos tournament bracket, or the sheer uncertainty of who will face tonight’s big guest stars, NXT & EVOLVE’s Johnny Gargano and IWC darling Colt Cobana. No, it is all of this added together, that makes Total Chaos 2016 such a gunpowder-keg waiting for a spark.
Injuries have added to the anarchic atmosphere of the build-up. Jimmy Havoc was originally announced for this show, but after knee surgery a short while ago he is unlikely to be seen in the ring. Similarly, Flash Morgan Webster, last seen grabbing the ‘Heir to the Throne’ briefcase and escaping despite being announced as ‘wrestling in Latvia,’ is sidelined with multiple injuries suffered during PROGRESS 29’s WWE Global Cruiserweight qualifier. Both of these competitors have a history of making their influence known, despite injury, across the circuit; so it wasn’t without much suspicion, that late in the day Flash announced he definitely wouldn’t be attending due to visiting ‘a doctor in Latvia…’
And most importantly, nobody knows in advance who is wrestling who!
“Did somebody just strike a match?”
After a short wait in a very long queue (kudos to the Chaos staff for their efficiency and politeness) and the obvious delights of the merchandise stands, the show kicks off promptly. As soon as the tuxedo’d and loquacious ring-announcer had warmed up the crowd, he was rudely interrupted by entrance music. For the first huge pop of the night, Jimmy Havoc came, in civvies, down to the ring and threw the announcer out as he had a big announcement to make. He kept us waiting a moment or two in order to berate the members of the crowd in heel fashion, before announcing that as Pariah Khan is unavailable he would be temporary General Manager! This pop was even more loud!
“Not loud enough to cover the hiss of a fuse being lit.”
Our attention is directed to the Chaostron, for the ‘Chaos Generator’ is drawing our first match of the evening…
Alex Steele vs Colt Cabana
Home-town high-flyer Alex Steele is drawn first, to the Steele Section’s great delight, with Cabana’s music dropping to keep the pops flowing. Colt comes out and pumps the crowd with his familiar shtick, even getting into a little politician-style baby kissing, before entering the ring and doing his best to avoid the effusive hugs of the hero-worshipping Steele.
A skit-spot over who was more ‘massive’ (where’s Chuck Cyrus when you need him) led to the more technical work, Colt Cabana dominating the chain, mat, and strong work with Alex getting limited chances to employ his moves from the turnbuckle. Cocky Colt eventually became complacent whilst adjusting a vicious-looking submission, and Steele countered to roll him up for the pin.
Verdict: Great opener which utilised both the wrestling skills and great comedic timing of both athletes.
Project Lucha (Martin Kirby & El Ligero) vs The London Riots (James Davis & Rob Lynch) – Knights of Chaos Tag Tournament
The Chaos Generator seems to kick up a match between Project Lucha members, much to each other’s consternation, before the Riots enter with Jimmy Havoc, beer-in-hand. Exercising his new-found authority, Havoc declares this to be a match in the on-going Knights of Chaos Tag Team Tournament.
The match itself involved a fair amount of double-teaming from both sides, with Kirby and Ligero’s high-flying athleticism and excellent counter-wrestling providing excellent counter-point to the Riots’ stiffer brawling style and often under-appreciated selling. Despite a long period in which Martin Kirby was restrained from giving The Mexican Sensation the hot-tag by classic rolling corner tags and heel ref distraction, the result was The Lucha Project’s following an excellent Kirby-bomb from the top rope and ensuing double-team from Ligero.
Verdict: With the introduction building on tonight’s storyline, the match didn’t disappoint. Solid work of the styles expected from these renowned, impressive tag-teams.
Wild Boar(c) vs Johnny Gargano – King of Chaos Championship
The Chaos Generator throws up a potential grappling tour-de-force next in the form of world-famous “Johnny Wrestling” Gargano against the powerful, but technically adept Wild Boar. To add spice to the occasion, Boar bravely puts his championship on the line.
The match starts with both athletes striving to gain the upper-hand, rolling in and out of arm-holds and mat-level submissions in a demonstration of mutually respectful chain wrestling. This ends abruptly when the action descends to ringside in an effort by the competitors to change gear: The Boar of War using his power to execute strong brawling strikes, and Gargano utilising his speed to plant some stiff kicks.
Back in the ring, the stronger style prevails as the match builds to a crescendo, traded blows and slaps ringing round the building, until Wild Boar packages Gargano and drives him to the mat for the three count.
The respect returns after the bell, however, leading to the two spending the interval posing for photographs with the fans in the ring.
Verdict: Superb demonstration of both broad technical styles and match structure, given just the right level of excitement by having the belt on the line. Boar is looking dominant with that beautiful title belt, at the moment, but as we know that could change if Khan has his way. At least it is presumably safe for another night…
After the interval, the Chaos Generator fires up once again, pitting the red-robed Gideon against ‘Ginger Jesus’ Mike Bird, creepily masked as a plague-doctor. It’s difficult to tell if Gideon is pleased or disappointed to miss a member of the DoomsDay Killers, considering their feud seems far from over.
Jimmy makes another appearance, chucking new ref Ed not just out of the ring but the building too. You see, he’s been talking to a kid during the interval who really wants to try out being a referee…
Cue Gideon’s former protegé, ‘Evil’ Ian Williams sporting a traditional striped top, grinning ear-to-ear. The Peoples’ Republic of Chaos start chanting, derisively, in full voice, “Evil little Ian.”
“The hissing is getting louder, and I swear I can smell cordite.”
Gideon vs ‘Flyin’ Mike Bird
A typically stiff exchange, including some vertebra-cracking suplexes, from the wrestlers rapidly results in a pin attempt from Bird, so quickly counted by Williams that it provokes an angry response from the potential beneficiary! A couple of repetitions later, and the messianic Bird had Evil Ian backed into a corner receiving the full hair-dryer treatment.
Another brawling phase leads to Gideon attempting a pin, with a count so tectonically slow that a ref returns to confront Ian. By the time Mike Bird bombs Gideon and gets another solid pin, a standard 1-2-3 is counted from the apron.
Verdict: Nicely stiff match, with well executed storyline elements. It will advance the continuing feud nicely, and now the unpredictable Mr Bird seems well-and-truly hacked-off with Ian too.
Eddie Dennis vs Big Grizzly
Next up really is a random pairing, but with little storyline the match was worked to fantastic effect. ‘The Pride of Wales’ started brightly, and after a couple of big moves left Grizzly staggering to the ropes, Dennis withdrew his lucha mask to transform into the beloved ‘Eddie Mysterio’. With the crowd melodically chanting for their hero, Eddie runs up for the 619, but Grizzly is having none of it, stepping out of the ropes at the last minute. Big Grizzly, this evening’s One Man Gang impersonation prize-winner, drags ‘Mysterio’ to the apron, unmasking him in the process. Once Eddie finally dons his mask again, he does manage to connect a 619 ending in a sickening knee to the big-guy’s face. When Grizzly recovers, Dennis is toast, sadistically slammed to the mat for the pin.
Verdict: With no obvious storyline riding on it, this was an opportunity to give the character of the talent time to shine, and give the fans a reminder about the potentially epic Hero v Dennis II at the next show.
For those of us keeping track of these things (and discounting the outside possibility of a swerve) the final match was readily apparent and quickly confirmed by the Chaos Generator.
Jeckel vs Mikey Whiplash
Jeckel entered first, unusually unaccompanied. Whiplash, the former ICW champion, entered in a mask scary enough to make a Wyatt Family member tremble in their rocking chair. Jimmy Havoc also made his final appearance of the evening, self-admittedly sloshed, to declare the stipulation to be ‘Last Man Standing.’ The atmosphere was tense, and the Peoples’ Republic immediately started goading Jeckel to good effect.
“Fizzle, Fizzle, Hiss…”
The match itself was extensively ranging, with a large proportion conducted in the crowd or at the ringside barriers, working their way around the audience so that everyone got to see at least a part of the brutal glory. Whiplash, to his credit, always makes good on his hardcore credentials, and two of the high-spots of the night had to be Mikey going back-first through some chairs from the turnbuckle; and almost being hanged in a ring-rope-twist with Jeckel taking full advantage with a few head-shots.
Choking by rope became the theme of the rest of this match, with Bison and Ian Williams followed by The London Riots all coming out to either lay into ‘The Deity Of Deviance’ or strangle him with the now-detached top rope. Finally, to the sound of “No We Khan’t” chants, Pariah entered the ring to deride both the locker-room and the fans, monomaniacally ending with “…there ain’t know stopping me now!” More Heels filled the ring than a branch of Clarke’s.
“Hiss, Fizzle, HISSSSSS…”
The room went from a crescendo of Boos to almost total silence as a video of Her Majesty suddenly appeared on the Chaostron, cut, weirdly distorted and followed by other clips of prominent people… the metaphorical fuse hit the barrel when one word flashed on screen: “MERCY”
The Room exploded. This was no mere pop, but something comparative to dynamite. The prodigal son of Pro Wrestling Chaos, Dave Mercy, strides into the room to the delight of the Peoples’ Republic and the #nWk movement. It has been a year since Mercy put his career on the line against Flash Morgan Webster, coinciding with Khan’s rise to dominance.
The next explosion needed to be measured in megatons; much to Pariah’s indignation, Dave informed him that as of that morning, he’d purchased the remaining shares in Chaos to become Co-Owner and ripped his shirt open to reveal a No We Khan’t tee!
The red-faced, red-blazered Pariah Khan blustered that Mercy may have more enemies than he thinks, and momentarily seemed to be vindicated as Mike Bird barged past Dave Mercy to stand at the edge of the ring; only to similarly reveal a #nWk shirt.
As the jubilant fans celebrated, they were joined by Alex Steele, the Lucha Project, Gideon and Eddie Dennis to clear the ring of Khan and his minions! The War is on!
By Tim Ricketts [@tmricketts – https://twitter.com/tmricketts/]
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Beautiful Photosets of this event by Turning Face
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Video of the final faceoff
Hero/Dennis Round 2 – Thornbury Leisure Centre – 23/7/16