Following my indoctrination with ‘It was acceptable in the 80s’, I’ve returned to check out the next offering of Attack Pro Wrestling, beautifully titled ‘Wrestling To Make Love 2’. With the usual mix of local Welsh talent and some notable UK indy names, the card looks good on paper. Let’s see how it matches up in practice!
The opening match of the evening has the former champion Eddie Dennis going up against Charlie Garrett. Garrett is someone I covered for a match in NGW, and he is a surprisingly athletic man considering his muscular size, thus making this an interesting combination of bigger wrestlers who can also mix it up aerially if necessary. After some initial hold trading, in which Garrett shows his speed with some flips to escape the hands of Dennis, the two guys trade full nelsons, leading to Garrett putting his feet on the top rope to break the hold, leaving Dennis little option but to drop him on his head! It is Garrett who goes to the air first with a plancha to the outside and he lands a springboard crossbody for two, only for his next attempt end up with Dennis booting him off of the second turnbuckle.
Dennis works over his opponents legs after a big back suplex, locking in a grapevine stump puller, falling back on a leg grapevine and turning it into an Indian death lock. Garrett does end up falling off of the apron in an odd spot, but didn’t seem to do too much damage. The legwork plays nicely into Garrett’s comeback as he hurts himself on a kneedrop and Dennis continues to chuck him around, hitting a spinning uranage backbreaker after an atomic drop and clothesline.Garrett still has enough about him to blast Dennis with a superkick, only to take too long on his standing moonsault and hit no-one – Dennis having moved a good ten seconds before!
The finish sees Garrett avoiding a lot of Dennis’ bigger bits of offense, landing a brainbuster and a standing moonsault having avoided the crucifix turnbuckle bomb. A sky twister press by Garrett misses, and after Dennis slips out of the corner on an attempted Garrett superplex, a crucifix turnbuckle bomb and his modified Michinoku style driver are enough for the three count. A great opening match, best Dennis match I’ve seen and both men shake hands in respect to the cheers of the crowd.
Sebastien Radclaw was someone I had particularly enjoyed in my first exposure to APW, and this show saw him teaming with Old Poppa’ Sunflower against the Love Making Demon and Danny Jones. With it being Valentine’s Day, it was only suitable for Radclaw to offer a woman in the front row the chance to be his Valentine. What happens next is an impromptu Blind Date, as Love Making Demon challenges for the right to the young lady. I can’t do the next segment justice, but it is hilarious, including reference to a cheeky Nandos and the seediest places in Newport. The woman eventually picks Radclaw, and LMD and Jones attack to get the match started.
Sunflower is a bit of a random addition to this match, though an early springboard slap to the face is a spot I can definitely get behind. He misses a subsequent moonsault, and in the following melee, three of the competitors end up on the floor which allows Radclaw to his a moonsault to ringside! The ref, not content with being left out, even does his own dive out of the ring! A Radclaw crossbody off of the top on Jones gets a two count, before forearms to LMD end up with Radclaw eating a rocker dropper for his troubles. Sunflower is caught with duelling enziguris in the corner and a top rope legdrop/Big Ending combination for the three count. Although sad that he lost, Radclaw did at least get a kiss before he left. A decent match with a funny angle at the start.
The Anti-Fun Police, considering the nature of APW, are a good gimmick to be portraying, and Smile and Dunne get a fair bit of stick about the ‘closeness’ of their relationship. They issue an open challenge, and it is individually answered by Martin Kirby and El Ligero. Kirby makes it clear to El Ligero ‘I don’t like you, but I hate them more’ and the match begins, Kirby tagging himself in straight away. Kirby wins the initial scuffle against Smile before Ligero does the same against Dunne, leading to a spot where Ligero turtles in the ring, to the complete confusion of the AFP. Kirby is having none of this though and stomps on his own partner to force the tag! In doing this, the tide turns in the match as the AFP begin to work over Kirby with quick tags and strikes.
A jawbreaker by Kirby to get the tag and we see some decent double teaming, as they use a double team hiptoss and double seated dropkick. A Ligero suplex doesn’t impress Kirby, who promises he can do better, only to put Dunne down and poke him in the eyes! Ligero is eventually put back into the heel corner for a second heat section, with a double suplex and some double teaming behind the ref’s back for good measure. It takes a flip out of a double suplex and the avoidance of two charges for Ligero to get a tag to Kirby. Innovative offense sees Kirby make Dunne sunset flip Smile, only to slingshot Dunne into Smile’s private parts!
Towards the end of the match, moves are coming thick and fast, and a lot is made of the tension between Smile and Dunne. Kirby uses a miscommunication to allow Ligero to cannonball senton off the top rope, only for Kirby to miss the follow-up Zoidberg elbow. A Dunne springboard lungblower gets two, but it is the faces who seem to have it won with a Kirby F5 variant and a Ligero splash off of the top rope, only for Dunne to break up the pin. Trading of kicks by all four men ends up in a Smile thunder fire style bomb for another nearfall. Smile is then nailed by a charging Dunne, completely wiping him out, and allowing Ligero to hit a springboard arm and ace crusher before a powerbomb by Kirby gets the three. The match became almost a little too hectic towards the end, but the continuing tension between the two Police members makes the ending an interesting one.
Two other wrestlers I saw on the previous show were Mike Bird and Travis Banks. Banks in particular entertained me, and he gets early props for manufacturing his own ‘FLAP’ chant along the lines of the Daniel Bryan ‘YES’ chant. Bird is someone who doesn’t seem to be all about the messing around and hits him an early snap suplex, before grinding him down with a nerve hold and a dragon sleeper. An eye rake cuts off a short Banks attempted comeback, but Bird misses a charge and is met with a clothesline. Banks shows some an impressive burst of speed to nail Bird with a cannonball and a suplex for two.
Both men start to trade strikes before Bird almost gets the victory with a side slam bomb for two. Banks isn’t out of it yet though, with a springboard kick and german suplex for a two of his own. Bird shows his superlative power with a short arm clothesline and a fireman’s carry into a lungblower, but gets caught on the top turnbuckle, Banks showing impressive athleticism in leaping to the top and throwing Bird off with an overhead belly to belly superplex! His exuberance costs him though, as he leaps at Bird, only to get dropped with a powerbomb. One package piledriver later, and Bird wins the match. Grabbing the microphone, Bird challenges Flash Morgan Webster to a match further down the line.
Our new tag team champions are up next, as #CCK fight in a non-title match against the exciting looking team of Mark Andrews and Nixon Newell. Unsurprisingly, Brookes and Lykos jump the faces before the bell rings, and begin to work on Andrews. This is brief, as Andrews is able to fight his way out of the corner, tag in Nixon and hit a tarantula/dropkick combination on Brookes. After a knee to the gut on Andrews, #CCK use a range of dropkicks at different levels to drop him down to the mat, before Brookes finds an opportunity to use his clothing to choke the popular face. A chinlock by Brookes is made worse by a blatant bite to the face of Andrews.
A leapfrog and a scoot between the legs lets Andrews tag to Nixon, and she wails away on both members #CCK only to have her head taken off with a huge wheel kick by Brookes. Lykos, rather uniquely, uses Nixon’s hair to hold her down as he stretches her body by pulling at the arms. A snap suplex by Brookes gets a two and he has to grab a leg to stop Nixon from making the much needed tag. Grabbing an arm between his leg, Brookes even finds time to taunt Andrews, waving Nixon’s hand almost within reaching distance. Things get worse for Nixon when she is pitched to the outside, Brookes slapping her about behind the referee’s back. Upon re-entering the ring, Brookes shows little respect for Nixon by covering her with just a foot, only getting a two in the process.
At this point, Nixon has been in the ring for a quite a while, and desperately needs the tag. Catching Brookes leg and turning it into a Lykos-assisted dragon screw gives her that opportunity, and she finally tags out to Andrews. He wastes no time in showing off his aerial skills, using Lykos as a springboard to hit a cannonball senton to the outside on Brookes! A wheelbarrow bulldog drops Brookes on top of Lykos, and it is only Brookes stopping the ref after an Andrews’ standing moonsault that stops the face team from picking up the victory. Catching a leg, Brookes dumps Andrews with an overhead suplex, only for Nixon to show her own aerial ability with a moonsault that hits both Brookes and Lykos. Nixon is fired up, but she runs straight into a huge wheel kick by Brookes! A top rope assisted DDT by Brookes feels like it should be the end, but Andrews does just enough to break up the count. He has to break up the count again after a Lykos split-legged moonsault.
A sitout slam followed by a Lykos top rope kneedrop still isn’t enough, as Nixon kicks out. Perhaps frustrated, Lykos brings in the metal tray and scrambles Brookes’ brains in an attempt to hit Brookes! A release dragon suplex is followed by a shooting star press for the Andrews and Nixon victory. Whilst this match was enjoyable in place, it felt like there were too many ‘finishing’ spots by the heels, and the actual face control section leading to the finish was too short – it feels like they eked out a victory rather than necessarily deserved it. However, I did like the interactions between Brookes and Nixon – considering the size difference, it was easy to get behind Nixon as the face in peril.
The main event has Pete Dunne defending his cheaply gained 24/7 Title against ‘Wild Boar’ Mike Hitcham, one of the men who Dunne screwed over at the end of the previous show. The crowd, whilst not necessarily behind Wild Boar, are definitely against Pete Dunne, as we get a rendition of ‘He’s got a top knot on his head’ to begin. Unlike a lot of the other matches tonight, I expect a more rugged contest and the initial offense sees a lot of grinding each other down with locks and holds – Dunne even bends a couple of fingers back before stomping on Boar’s hand! In the first battle of wills, Boar is able to forearm Dunne down to the floor after a trading forearm session. A senton to a kneeling Dunne almost has Boar ready for the package piledriver, but Dunne head to the floor quickly. Unfortunately for him, he gets little respite as Boar drops him at ringside with a suplex off of a reversal.
The fight outside continues, but Dunne gets the upper hand when he trips a charging Boar on the apron, hitting a butterfly suplex against the edge of the ring to ram home the advantage. The crowd briefly cheer Dunne as he releases the top knot, only for them to realise he is just redoing it. Inside the ring, Dunne kicks a downed Boar several times, methodically working his way about the ring. Boar is struggling and Dunne gets a two count off of a double knee drop and another following a collection of stomps. Uncharacteristically, Dunne heads to the top rope, allowing Boar to plant him with a back superplex!
A spear into the corner has the Boar back in control for a split second, but Dunne almost takes his head off with a clothesline. Boar, however, goes on a rampage, with a german suplex and a t-bone suplex in quick measure, followed by another corner spear. The corner senton is finally hit (after being blocked two times) after Dunne gets planted with a pop-up powerbomb. Dunne bites the hand of Boar to get control back, but eats knees on a moonsault attempt. A head and arm suplex is only good enough for two.
Blocking a package piledriver attempt allows Dunne to get control back, and he lands an X-Plex and a sitout powerbomb for a collection of near falls. Boar ‘boars up’ after this, and gets the next near fall after a Rikishi driver, a move that I felt was sure to be the finish. Speaking of ‘should be a finish’, a tombstone by Dunne only gets two shortly afterwards. Dunne goes for the good old fashioned title belt shot, using the refs attempts to stop it to low blow Boar for another near fall. The ref gets pushed down after another attempt to use the belt, leading to an Eddie Dennis run in. Boar spears Dennis by mistake, but the ref is unable to get over quickly enough after Dunne hits his pumphandle/DDT variant.
The finish sees Dunne threaten to hit a package piledriver, only for Boar to retaliate with his own. It looks as if we are going to have another new champion, but Eddie Dennis pulls out the referee! A Boar dive takes out Dennis, but he walks back into a Dunne small package for the three count. With Boar and Dennis threatening to swing chairs at each other, it is announced that they will team against Pete Dunne and a man of his choosing in the main event of the next show.
A slow main event at times, which seemed to descend a little into finisher for finishers sake, but a solid enough way to finish a good event overall. I would argue that that is two for two in terms of Attack Pro Wrestling shows, and I will definitely be picking up the next one – believe me, you should too!
You can download/stream the event for a mere £5.99 right HERE