Just got home from my trip down to St Neots for Southside’s first show of 2014, and my first ever Southside experience.
When I arrived I was met with a queue of people waiting to go in, there was already a great atmosphere with people chatting away about the matches and what they are excited about, there was also a great mix of fans. When I made it through the queue and into the hall of the Priory centre I was immediately given the “wow” factor, at the far side of the ring was a stage for the entrance with a screen to one side and commentary desk on the other. Opposite this there was stadium seating meaning that even if you got the back row you would still have a great view of the ring. The show was a sell out so I think that is about 350 people, and the place had a buzz heading to the opening bell.
First up on the big screen is MK McKinnan’s promo about Martin Kirby and seeing a new MK for 2014. Diamond Dale Mills comes out to introduce the show and recaps some of what has been going on – mostly about ridding the company of the cancer that was Harvey Dale (who has bought a ticket to sit ringside) and he introduces Adam Curtis who helped bring down the House of Pain from the inside. Curtis goes on to say that his aim is to purify Southside and that this was just the start.
The first match is for the Speed King title, Ego Dragon Martin Kirby successfully defended his title against MK McKinnan in a very hard fought match. When this is your opening match up you should know you are in for a great time! Personally I really like Kirbys “Ego Dragon” persona, he is an incredibly talented wrestler but this alternative character gives him something else to add to it.
After the match Kirby gets on the mic and states how he has defeated all the Southside heroes including El Ligero, there are no more heroes left to challenge him and claims that he is invincible. At which point The Hurricane Shane Helms music plays and the match is made for him to face Kirby later in the year.
It is announced that Noam Dar will not be appearing, but Tommy End will still be competing later in the night against a new opponent.
The next match is Will Ospreay against Darrell Allen. This match was insanely fast from the off, both men utilising their ability to fly around the ring. Allen came out victorious after avoiding Ospreays 650 splash then hitting a frog splash of his own.
The third match was one that I was really looking forward to, a “Strange bed fellows” tag tea match pitting the team of El Ligero and Mad Man Manson against RJ Singh and a mystery partner. When it comes time for the arrival of the mystery partner Chris Masters music plays but instead of the Masterpiece out comes Flex Buffington. This match was a load of fun, there was some actual wrestling involved but all 4 men contributed to having a lot of fun, Manson interacting with Flex was golden, culminating in dragging him off by his ear to take him to the gym leaving Singh to pick up the win by reversing a Ligero sunset flip attempt into his own pin.
After the match Singh thanks the crowd for their support over the years since he may not get another chance before he leaves wrestling at the end of the year. He proclaims himself as the most prolific Indian wrestler in the business and no other Indian wrestler has done as much as him, cue Tatankas music and the match is made for later in the year. You could argue that this is not very PC but it is good booking none the less and a great opportunity for Singh.
The first half main even saw Chris Masters defeat T-Bone by submission. T-Bone took forever to get in the ring despite continued chants of “Chicken!” from Masters and the crowd. A very good match between two good big men, throughout the match T-Bone was distracted by his girlfriend Lana Austin spending too much time looking at Masters, finally he took issue with it and pushed her away, she retaliated with a tilt-a-whirl stunner setting up T-Bone for the Masterlock.
At the interval Masters did photos in the ring, he was incredibly popular with everyone, myself included.
The second half opens with The Starbux – Mark Haskins and Robbie X – successfully defending their tag titles against The Predators. The Predators are a great traditional tag team and whenever I have seen them I have always seen a good match, this was no exception especially up against the combination of Haskins and Robbie X – both of whom so much good is said about and I cant dispute a word of it. A really strong match with the champs coming out on top in the end.
After the match Malen gets on the mic and says that even though they lost they are still a strong team and best friends after being together for seven years. Connors takes the mic and agrees with him saying Malen is a great partner, a friend …. And a sack of shit hitting him with the mic. Connors beats down Malen and chokes and whips him with a belt before spitting in his face and walking off.
Tommy End comes out next and says that Noam Dar isn’t injured he is just scared so whoever his opponent is they should come out so he can kill them. Out walks Big Bad Dave Mastiff to a big pop from the crowd. In what I can only describe as a brutal fight End comes out on top with a roll up after both men had missed their big finishers.
Main Event time, Tommaso Ciampa successfully defended his ROH TV Title against Kris Travis. Adam Curtis came out with Travis saying that part of his quest to purify Southside was to do away with imports. This match was amazing, back and forth throughout and it looked like it was over so many times but both men showed amazing resilience and fight. At one point the fight spilled outside and half way up into the stadium seating then back down with Travis getting thrown through 3 rows of ringside seats. Travis is another guy who never fails to entertain and to impress, he really can do everything in the ring and his status as the Number one wrestler in the UK is well deserved. Ciampa is impressive too, he has great timing and does some great things in the ring, I am fortunate that I get to see him again next week at Kamikaze Pro. This match will be worth the DVD purchase on its own!
Overall a really, REALLY great show, from the set up to the presentation and all the wrestling and talent involved everything was excellent. Totally worth the trip down from Birmingham and I am already looking forward to going to my next Southside show!
I would like to publicly thank Ben and everyone involved in putting on the show for a great experience! If you get chance to go to a show then I strongly advise you take it! Or check out www.southsidewrestling.co.uk and buy some show DVDs – you will not be disappointed!