Hello and welcome everyone to this edition of Graps and Claps, bringing you a review of Fight Club Pro’s first show of 2019 entitled ‘Wrestlehouse’ emanating from The Hangar in Wolverhampton.
After finishing work at Noon, it was a relatively early start to make the trip down, but a short delay was had on the train due to a drunken passenger needing assistance. Arriving into Manchester with my tummy rumbling, it was time to get some much needed scran before the next part of my journey, so I paid a visit to The Fusion Lab on Arndale Food Market, which always has a queue lined up for its offering and its no wonder why as there Korean style cuisine went down a treat with my tastebuds opting for a K-Pop Burger and Halloumi Fries which altogether cost £10.50 and still left me with a fragrant taste in my tonsils whilst walking to Piccadilly station.
With 30 minutes to spare though I decided to pop into The Piccadilly Tap for a swift half of Brass Castle Bad Kitty Vanilla Porter (5.5% £2.10 half) which recently was placed 2nd in the Manchester Beer Festival Best Beer Award), once I eventually got to taste the drink after three attempts by the barmaid to get my change right, this was a fine drink with a good sweetness to it.
The trip to Wolves lasted just over an hour, so pretty quick meaning I got into the Black Country for around 320pm, with plenty of time to kill it was time to take a trip round the local drinking establishments. So here is what I visited for you people wanting to know where to go if you want to go to an FCP show!
The Royal London first where I two pints including a Silhill Brewery Amber Ale (4.3% £3.40) that tasted quite tinny as a pint meaning the taps hadn’t been cleaned properly, thankfully my next drink of a pint of Tiny Rebel Goze Gozerian (4.1% £3.00 with £2 knocked off due to points on my more rewards card) was a fruity and sharp tipple that went down very well.
With my room mate for the night Athers turning up, we went on our jolly way to another bar down the street, which used to be the former Slaters, but since shutting it has turned into a posh Gin Bar called Parisian, which you could easily take someone on a romantic date or a pre-cursor to it. Here I had maybe my best pint of the day that being a Paris Pale Ale (£3.90) that went down a treat, not much beer selection on tap though with Grolsch and a La Trappe beer being the others on offer.
I would say as well though this place is an early runner for toilet of the year with some interesting wallpaper adorning the walls whilst your having a piss – top work folks!
Sadly though, less can be said about chain pub The Slug and Lettuce, which even though looking better on the inside than its last inhabitant being a Yates’s, it doesn’t offer much in the way of drink, with me settling for a pint of Meantime London Pale Ale that broke the bank at a cost of £5.10 and it wasn’t the best pint either – thumbs firmly down!
Last two pints before the show took in the fake ‘Spoons of The George Wallis for a pint of Falconers Flight (4.8% £3.45) and then Jack’s Cafe Bar for a good £3 pint of Pravha whilst having a good natter to a couple I know from the Southside Sheffield show, before making the short walk to The Hangar. Drinks done out and about lets see what went down wrestling wise:
First off we started with two of the lesser seen guys on the scene in recent months in the main promotions in the U.K that being former Infinity Trophy Winner Omari taking on Connor Mills of Mills & Mayhew fame. We had an early feeling out process to get us started with submissions and takedowns being exchanged by both competitors. Rollup attempt by mills got followed up with an x-plex into a kick by Mills for 2.
Connor Mills then went high risk with a splash but that missed which in turn proved costly as omari back with a stomp and a splash to floor Connor, but luckily for Mills he somehow recovered just enough to hit a Sky twister to the outside to Omari, but for Mills he went one too many times to the top as he missed a dive and shortly after got caught into the BIG O by Omari for the win in a solid 10 minute opener that as we would see through most of the matches played to a quiet crowd that needed plenty of warming up.
Up next it was it was the Schadenfreude trio of Lucky Kid, Chris Brookes and Tim Thathcher vs Dan Moloney, Travis Banks, Jordan Devlin. Before the match we had some absolute burn from Chris Brookes asking Travis how his match was at NXT UK Takeover and about Dan Moloney getting the boot from the Fed as well – funny stuff to be honest. It has to be noted as well, what a banging entrance theme Jordan Devlin comes out to – a real head nodder!
Early beatdown by both Banks and Devlin to Lucky but Lucky manages to lock in a leg hold to Devlin to get the advantage leading to Thatcher to come in to beat him down. Once Jordan got the tag, Travis came in on the march beating up all the baddies with forearms till Thatcher knocked him out clean with an uppercut to floor the Kiwi Buzzsaw.
Later on in the match another hot tag this time involving Devlin lead to him coming in like an house on fire hitting moves including a Spanish fly and dive to everyone outside. Lots of back and forth between everyone then, but back in the ring it would be Devlin who would prove to be the fall guy as he came in and went for a moonsault on Kid but was caught with an uppercut by Thatcher then hit with a jay driller by Brookes for 3 ending a really fun 6 man match. Despite the loss, Devlin still looked so smooth as silk here – excellent showing by the Irishman.
Next up was Women’s action with my glimpse of Japanese Starlet Yuu taking on Millie McKenzie who is currently holding the Sendai Girls Junior Title. Not much of chanting from the Yuu songbook, as the crowd tended to sit on their hands for the majority of this match.
The bulk of this bout I would say was dominated by Yuu, with a leg sweep to Millie putting her in control in the early going of this contest. Millie did give some resistance by hitting a Stunner to Yuu for 2, Yuu however hit a slam then a back elbow to Millie rock her nicely following with not one but two JOHN YUUUUUUU’S !! However Millie was able to fightback as she hit a Spear to Yuu for the win in an ok contest that was spoiled I think by the lack of crowd noise. After the match though, Millie’s friend Charli Evans came in to attack her from behind whilst in turn then grabbing a turnbuckle spike to fish hook Millie’s gob to the shock and disbelief of those in attendance – BOO URN’S BOO URN’S!
Half time Main Event now with Twitter favourite and New Japan star Will Ospreay taking on the evil Kyle Fletcher in what was sure to be a blinder on paper, but with obviously some of the crowd with Twitter agendas wanting to boo Will – ah wrestling fans 🙄
Very much worked in the New Japan style this was a slow burner of a match that almost felt like as someone commented to me as an audition tape for Fletcher for getting into New Japan and as auditions go he passed with flying colours, the match soon kicked in gear when Will hit a Suplex to kyle on the ramp to floor Kyle, but back in the ring was a dropkick to Kyle that caused toe issues for Will who has been suffering with that injury for a week or so now, meaning Kyle was able to capitalise on this by working on the toe, squeezing at any opportunity he was working the leg (the small things count a lot)
With Kyle on top he hit suplex to Will to the barricades followed up by sending Will scrambling over the railings to add more punishment to the body of Ospreay kill then continued the beatdown in the ring.
Ospreay managed to fight back hitting hard chops then a cartwheel kick for two. Kyle came back though hitting an aussie dart in the corner for 2 which looked and sounded painful . As the match got to fever pitch it would be Ospreay who would be able to jit a three-move combo to Kyle including an electric chair from the top, a standing spanish fly then the match-winning OS-Cutter for the victory in an amazing match, at the time I instantly thought a full 5 star match, but on thinking back overnight I would knock it down to a 4.5 on the GRAPPL App – still though a fucking humdinger of a match!
Break time done, it was time to get back in posotion for a 4-way match with Shane Strickland (thankfully everyone sang his entrance in time this time) vs Mike Bailey vs Shingehiro Irie vs EL Phantasmo. Early ELP undertaker walk to Strickland which culminated in a headscissors to a round of appreciation by the Wolves crowd. It would be Irie though who would impress a lot in this match hitting a Spear and a Whoopsie to ELP for two.
We then had a dive sequence with Mike, Shane and ELP all hitting picture perfect variations on the move. Back in the ring Irie hit a BIG POUNCE to Shane to send him packing, but later on the biggest pop was reserved for ELP who hit an amazing huaracarana to everyone which looked fantastic.
In the end though, it would be the impressive Irie getting the win after a Piledriver, then a Cannonball followed up by a huge clothesline to Bailey for the victoty in a fun 4-way match up!
Next up was a Tag match between The Hunter Brothers taking on Team Whitewolf, I would say not much to report in this contest as it felt very much like a buffer match to the Main Event between Mark Davis and Walter. In what I would say was quite an uneventful match, The Hunters eventually put away Whitewolf with a top-rope Huaracarana after initially messing up said move before this.
Main Event time with the battle of Schadenfreude taking place with two proper ‘dads in a car park’ with Walter taking on Mark Davis, interesting to see Tim Thatcher taking Walters corner for this match, but later we would find that he would lead us into a false sense of security – The bugger!
Hard hitting stuff here from the get go with both fellas slugging it away on the outside with Walter coming off best in the chopping exchanges making Davis’s chest look like best corned beef. As the match moved along to its conclusion, Walter was losing seemingly some of his invincible power as a Powerbomb, a Lariat, a JOHN WOOOO and even a Big Splash from.the top rope couldn’t put the Big Aussie away, but in a shocking turn of events it would be Davis who would hit a Piledriver to Walter in whar some might say a Shock and a clean as a whistle victory.
After the match was the real story as the Schadenfreude crew came down to berate Walter for failing the group only for Thatcher to intervene to comfort hit, but in a shocking turn of events, Thatcher walloped Walter with a choke to leave the crowd gasping at what they were seeing – BOOOOOO!! After the beatdown and Walter being put through a table it was then announced by Mark Davis that he would be taking on Meiko Satomura for the FCP Heavyweight Title in March in what should be a banger of a contest.
So there ends what was a solid show with the 6-man tag, Ospreay vs Fletcher and the Main Event being must see matches back on the V.O.D. As FCP goes on into the year it is great to see the main baddie faction get proper boos from the crowd which is showing they are doing excellently as a whole.
As ever I hope you have enjoyed reading this review and I will back next week with another LIVE review of Futureshock Tapped 3 from the Fairfield Social Club. So until then – BYE!!!