Who Dares Wins – 28 March 2014
This was my first trip to Preston, and it was long overdue. I had hoped to go several times previously but circumstances had not allowed it – whether it was money, or work or being double booked I had just not been able to make the trip, plus whilst Preston is not the farthest away place in the world it is far enough that it needs planning a little more than a trip to a local show. I had hoped to go to Road To Glory earlier this year but was waiting to get the money to book the full front row package but they sold out before I had chance, so instead I booked for Who Dares Wins on the basis of there being a rumble match as well as London and Kendrick on the card. I am not really one to be smug but as further announcements rolled out I felt more and more justified for basically blindly booking for the show.
I had extremely high expectations for PCW before even hitting the road in the afternoon, everything I had seen previously on DVD/Bluray and YouTube had looked great and the roster was made up from the top guys in the UK with a flurry of imports included too. It also seemed like all the shows were great fun, the crowd being involved in the action and on the video releases the commentary is always an enjoyable part of the action too then they regularly book some real entertainers who will come out and have fun with the crowd too, Dave Rayne is a key member of the roster and always provides some laughs and even wrestles from time to time. Then there is the venue – Evoque – which is a nightclub with sprawling areas for the fans to inhabit, and for fights to spill out into and big screens all around which relay the action, giving it a really unique look and feel. The venue used to have a giant chandelier type thing above the ring, it’s a shame this isn’t still there but there is an impressive lighting rig in its place.
So, on to the card, a 30 man rumble match is the main focus for the show but the rest of the card is solid too. Paul London and Brian Kendrick challenging Team Single (Rampage Brown and T-Bone) for the PCW Tag Team Championship, Fight Club (Liam Thompson and Kid Fite) Taking on Robbie Dynamite and Dean Allmark, Bubblegum challenging April Davids for the PCW Cruiserweight title and a special “Who Dares Wins” match featuring Dave Mastiff, El Ligero, Danny Hope, Joey Hayes, Martin Kirby and Cyanide (replacing the injured Noam Dar) where the winner gets the #30 entry into the rumble and the loser gets #1.
Possibly the highlight of the card though, for me at least, sees Kris Travis taking on Prince Devitt.
My first impression arriving at the venue was very impressive, completely different to working men’s clubs and sports halls. There was a bit of a queue but it all moved very quickly and we soon found our ringside seats. There was a good atmosphere as people filed in and the buzz picked up, on the big screens they played some of the recent PC Fiction videos which kept people entertained, and they also did a bit of a pre-show in the ring announcing the matches that would be happening.
Before the action started Lionheart came out to the ring to address the fans, thanking everyone for their support since his accident at the last show and informing everyone that even though doctors have said he may never wrestle again he will prove them wrong. He was about the address the PCW Championship when Joey Hayes made his way to the ring and said that as he is the MITB holder he should automatically be given the title. Stephen Fludder cut him off and explained that the title has been vacated so his briefcase is irrelevant at the moment, instead the winner of the Rumble would be crowned the new PCW Champion.
“Who Dares Wins” match
This match was fast from the off, Mastiff singled out Cyanide for his personal attention, probably the highlights of the match involved these two, first Mastiff picking Cyanide up for a scoop slam but then besting that later in the match hitting him with a German suplex. At one point Danny Hope gave el Ligero some “horn tassels” and together they had a tassel off. Alliances were made and broken throughout the match, everyone wanting to get the #30 spot in the Rumble.
Dave Mastiff picked up the victory, pinning Joey Hayes. So Mastiff will enter the Rumble at #30, but Joey Hayes will go in as #1
Fight Club vs DNA (Robbie Dynamite & Dean Allmark)
Decent tag match, both teams have a really good look and look like “proper” tag teams with matching gear etc. Fight Club controlled the majority of the match but the highlight however was Allmark flying out of the ring taking out Fight Club, Dynamite and about 2 rows of fans. Referee Des had a bit of a nightmare in this one, Fight Club blatantly ignoring the rules and he was unable to control them or keep them out of the ring. Despite being in control for long periods Fight Club were unable to put Allmark or Dynamite away and ultimately DNA picked up the win.
April Davids [c] vs Bubblegum
Unsurprisingly Bubblegum started off the match with a cheap shot, hitting Davids with a microphone before the bell. Other than a few moments of offence from Davids, Bubblegum was in control for most of the match and after April was distracted when Team Singles music played he ultimately picked up the victory to become the NEW PCW Cruiserweight Champion.
From what I am aware Davids has been a fighting champion so it is no mean feat for Bubblegum to pick up the win. On this night she really pushed Bubblegum but unfortunately it was not enough.
Bubblegum is a great character and he seems to be able to compete with anybody so his championship reign could be a good one. He is great at getting instant heat from crowds wherever he is.
Team Single [c] vs London/Kendrick
London and Kendrick were out first, then Team Single’s music played but they were nowhere to be seen. A video played on the big screens of them backstage, but it turns out to be fake, T-Bone and Rampage jumping their opponents from behind. This was by no means a squash match but Team Single never really looked in danger.
Whenever they could increase the pace of the match London and Kendrick managed to get into the match a little, but Team Single – both individually and collectively – are excellent at controlling the tempo of the match and taking the momentum away from their opponents.
In the end the power and strength of Team Single won out and they successfully defended their titles
Kris Travis vs Devitt
The simplest way to describe this match is AWESOME! Both guys gave it their all and both dished out and took a hell of a lot of punishment, the action spreading out into the first couple of rows of seats on more than one occasion. Several near falls where it genuinely looked like the match was over but each time both men fought back. Devitt eventually picked up the win and acknowledged Travis after the match. Fludder told Travis that his match at the next show against Petey Williams has been scrapped, and we’ll have Travis Vs Devitt part 2.
Both these guys are at the top of their game and look every bit the professional; I don’t think a single foot was put wrong in the whole match, so the return match should be something to watch. Devitt has such a unique look with his body paint too; it really makes him stand out amongst other wrestlers.
Far too much went on to try and report on it all but there were many highlights.
Paul London drew #7 but didn’t actually make it to the ring until about the same time as #28, instead he went all around the crowd getting in on selfies, and it appears he may have even gone out shopping too! There was a camera on him the whole time so hopefully this will make it onto the extras when the DVD is released. When London finally made it to the ring he was eliminated almost immediately!
Anybody who has seen the last two PCW rumbles will know there is a tradition of a dance spot; this was not forgotten about this year although it was something very different. When Cyanide came to the ring Mad Man Manson called everyone off saying he would sort it and tried to explain to Cyanide he needed to dance, when he refused Manson said they will just make him dance and then the Miley Cyrus song “Wrecking Ball” came on, Danny Hope Jumped on Cyanides back and rode him … like a wrecking ball causing about 7 eliminations in the process. Manson is great as always and had a pretty good run in the Rumble before finally getting eliminated.
Another highlight of the rumble came from the fans, there were a few participants who were not known to them so they got named “This Guy” “That Guy” “Some Guy” “New Guy” and “Newer Guy” which led to some really amusing chants for the remainder of the match – this was still funny on the way home when trying to discuss the match and we were debating “this guy” and “that guy”
The Final 4 were T-Bone, Rampage Brown, Kris Travis and Danny Hope. Travis was the first to be eliminated leaving Team Single to gang up on Danny Hope. Hope managed to duck a big kick from Rampage which inadvertently knocked T-Bone off the apron, eliminating him. After exchanging a few words with his partner Rampage went back to Hope and continued to beat him down. Hope was able to ‘tassel up” and ultimately dodged the charging Rampage and pulled down the rope to win the rumble and become the NEW PCW Heavyweight Champion much to the joy of the crowd, with everyone on their feet in celebration!
His celebrations were short lived however, with Joey Hayes returning to the ring and hitting him from behind with his MITB briefcase and cashing in. Hope was able to kick out of the first pin attempt but Hayes locked in a cross face forcing Hope to tap out and to become the NEW PCW Heavyweight Champion.
My overall impression of the show was very good, it is very fan friendly and the quality of the matches was good, the crowd really came into its own during the rumble which added something extra too.
In addition to all of the action, during the interval I got to have an in ring photo with London and Kendrick as well as a really special opportunity to get a photo with Devitt in full make up too!
My first trip to Preston was a really good experience; I am glad I got up to this show and hopefully will be able to go again in the not too distant future. I would definitely recommend anybody to check them out, either go to a show or watch some of the huge amount of footage available on YouTube or check out their website and pick up some DVDs or Blu Ray.