Photo Credit: Darren Potts
Speed King 2014 was started off, as with the Risky Business show, with Noam Dar this time however it was against Pete Dunne in their Speed King semi-final match. Dar was still a bit of a comedian however it seemed he was taking the opposition of Dunne and the tournament more seriously. This was reflected in the methodical beginning of the match where both men traded hold for hold with each other. As with the Dar vs Bate match that day this lead up to a series of rapid one counts, however after each wrestler regained their composure Dar offered his hand for Dunne only to roll him up for a cheeky two count. Dunne however didn’t seem to see the funny side of this as after he began to get very physical in hitting Noam with an assortment of strikes picking the pace of the match up. As Dunne went for a tombstone on Dar, he was reversed into a heel hook which nearly finished him of, though it seemed that he should have tapped after actually hitting his desired move on Dar and doing more damage to his own leg. Maybe Dar shouldn’t have thought of this as much though as Dunne managed to get Dar rolled up for the three count to advance to the final.
Next up was a rematch from last years Speed King with El Ligero facing Kay Lee Ray, in a match that was as even as the crowd were split supporting each of the two. This rather well supported and very respectful match was an exhibit of how well both the wrestlers can chain moves together with barely any strikes thrown in the entire time they were in the ring. The crowd, seemingly much to the surprise of Ligero were more and more behind Kay Lee as the match went on and this was reflected in the amount that she took control of the match. After a short flurry from Ligero against the very popular Ray, she put the match to bed getting the pin and going to the final of the Speed King tournament.
Following this was another respectful and sportsmanlike match between Robbie X and Petey Williams. As the match started to build Robbie X surprisingly got the upper hand over the more experienced Williams, on the other hand this lead to a point through the mid match where Williams took advantage after riding out the early storm. As the match went on the tension built as both men got another fairly even crowd reaction before exploding into what the Speed King show is known for which lead to the crowd beginning a this is awesome chant to a very shot for shot, reversals for reversal showdown. In the end Robbie managed to get the final say with a sunset flip power bomb to finish the Canadians night.
“Ego Dragon” Martin Kirby was to face Dean Allmark next on the show with Kirby not wanting to wait around to get the match started. It looked as if Kirby wanted to get the match done fast so he could prepare to defend his title in the main event, however Allmark had different plans as he tried to pick up the pace to gain an advantage. Deans plan seemed to work for a while but after a while Kirby decided he’d had enough and started looking to less sportsmanlike tactics to gain the upper hand which was exactly how he got his victory with a low blow to put himself in a position to keep his title later in the night.
AR Fox was in competition following on from this match against the other half of Project Ego “the Shooting Star” Kris Travis, which Travis started this match in the same disrespectful manor of his counterpart by kicking off a Fox handshake offer. Once the match got started Travis was showing his talent in keeping a very even match going until AR Fox seemed to decide that he would have to take to the air in order to beat the shooting star, though after going for a second dive to outside the ring he would get caught by the boot of Travis. Even after that Fox would stick by his guns and showing off his almost parkour like offence, don’t let this make you think Travis took all the damage because that couldn’t be more wrong, a certain death valley driver on the apron comes to mind. That agonisingly painful looking move lead to a near fall for near fall exchange between the two guys as the crowd were whipped into a frenzy of this is awesome chants, deservingly so. However this all sadly had to come to an end which was an AR Fox win and advance to the final of Speed King.
Now to follow that performance before the intermission was going to be a challenge, cue “White Lightening” Mark Andrews and Will Osprey. In the Risky Business show I had seen a taste of what both these guys can do and I’d heard about how good they both are, but that doesn’t prepare you for this match. “Time to fly” is the slogan Mark Andrews has on his gear and that couldn’t be more of a description of this match. Each man was going move for move in an aerial war between the two, some of them that I would not like to try and name so I’m not going to try. All I can say is that the match got more outrageous and the crowd did the same in support of these to outstanding flyers. In the end though there had to be a winner which turned out to be Osprey which booked his ticket to the final. Thankfully for the rest of the show the break was next, which allowed everyone to breathe a bit.
After the break Prince Devitt challenged “The Star Attraction” Mark Haskins for the Southside Wrestling Entertainment heavyweight championship. Now during the in ring introduction Haskins had his name called with a following dropkick from the white and black spider painted challenger. This was an early taster of a very physical striking match which gave a nice style break from the rest of the Speed King show. Devitt’s chops were so frequent and violent that Haskins was left at points curled up gasping for air covering his red chest, though the champ was fighting and defiant throughout the early dominance Devitt handed out. This paid off as Haskins got the chance to dive into his opponent sending them both into a scattering crowd, even on the outside this match was physical and both men gave as good as they got. From that mayhem the match finally re-entered the ring and began to slow down slightly, this didn’t last for long though. After a bit that seemed to be allowing everyone to catch their breath the frantic end to the match ensued with each man getting very close to the win. The champion eventually managed to escape with his title intact with a pin fall victory.
Now the shows name sake title match, just to recap the finalists were; Pete Dunne, Kay Lee Ray, Robbie X, Will Osprey, AR Fox and the defending Speed King champion “Ego Dragon” Martin Kirby. It looked as though Kirby would start with Pete Dunne however he had a different opinion when he bailed out, tagging in Kay Lee Ray, this allowed Dunne and Ray to trade holds to start the match. Kirby would tag in and out in spots throughout the early part of this match, which the constant switching lead to Fox and Osprey to pick up the pace of the match. During one of Kirby’s small entrances in the match he broke up a mass submission involving all the other competitors. After some were out of the ring it seemed everyone took turns diving to the outside to do as much damage to all their opponents at the same time, with AR Fox getting the final jump, leaving the ring over the cornerpost. This chaos lead to Robbie in the ring pinning Pete Dunne with his sunset flip power bomb, only to get pinned by Kirby straight after, which allowed Fox and Osprey to continue where they left off earlier flying around the ring. This exchange was won by Fox unfortunately for Osprey who was pinned off a 450 splash by Fox, leaving Kay Lee Ray in the ring with Fox. Then for her and Kirby to switch low bridges which lead to Kay Lee receiving the same 450 that put Osprey away, though this time there was no three count to the shock of Fox and the crowd. This would lead to Fox being reversed by Ray and pinned by Kirby after Kay Lee hit him with a swanton. Kirby now turned his attention to Ray who wouldn’t give up the fight as the crowd would not let her either even through being put through the chairs in the crowd just next to me. When the action got back to the ring the ref was struck which let Kirby set up a chair and go for a shot with the title belt to Kay Lee Ray, however this underhanded tactics was returned by a reversal into a low blow from Ray who had Kirby down for a long time. Not long enough however for the second ref to get a three count. After shutting a Kay Lee flourish down Kirby took out the second ref after a two count, leading to Kirby hitting the chair he set up for a slow first ref two count which allowed Kirby to have the last say with a belt shot to retain the championship.
This show was a great show which had some very interesting looking matches which excelled in all ways even to Kay Lee Ray’s huge following by the end of the show. After watching the last two Speed King shows I am thoroughly looking for to the continuation of this tradition being in Nottingham. Again thanks to Indy Corner and my next show I’m at will be the House Of Pain: Evolution 6 show on the 9th of May before X-factor on the 11th.
Thanks for reading, @AlphaofAwesome for any feedback.