For the first time since Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks and their Black and White horde descended on Wolverhampton, Fight Club: PRO returned to the Diamond Banqueting Suite, presenting a show that struck a fine balance of international talent, and crowd favourites.
My name is Stephen and in my first review for The Indy Corner, I’ll be introducing you to Fight Club: PRO’s ‘World Warriors’
First Impressions on entering were positive, while most of us are fairly partial to Starworks Warehouse as our usual venue, Diamond is a cleaner room, with comfier seating. This might seem trivial, but it certainly makes a difference to this reviewer.
A customary Trent Seven welcome, and we’re off to the races for our first contest.
Enter Chris Brookes, accompanied by Kid Lykos, Lykos had a briefcase handcuffed to his person, presumably containing the Fight Club: PRO World Championship that was stolen from Meiko Satomura last month.
Brookes’ unannounced opponent quickly became opponents, plural. Mark Davis, Clint Margera, Kris Wolf and a debuting Charli Evans all stepped through the curtain as the CCK boys complained to owner Martin Zaki about the fairness of this impromptu scramble.
Five became Six with the addition of the returning Session Moth Martina and the match began, quickly descending into chaos. After a breathless first couple of minutes, during which there was so much going on that it was a little hard to follow, the match fell into a nice groove, with Davis standing tall as an Antipodean Atlas, handing out One-Handed Powerbombs left and right and rekindling his brutal exchanges with Margera from last month.
More than one opponent fell victim to Brookes submission inclined tentacles, and at one point he held two opponents in Indian Deathlock’s whilst applying a Gory Special to a third.
Kris Wolf’s infectious energy is always entertaining, and in one incredibly funny moment, donned her furry Wolf Head, prompting Kid Lykos to drop to one knee and pop the question. The puppy love was not to last however when Brookes reminded his young charge that Kris was in fact, not a real wolf. Evans showing no fear of the fight, regardless of the opposition, bodes well for future matches and Martina unleashed a couple of very impressive Huracanrana’s to complement her arsenal.
The end in this one came when Margera, having backed Lykos into a corner, managed to take the briefcase away, only to turn around into a crushing Davis right hand, with fractured the case, and very possibly Margera’s jaw, this allowed Brookes to sneak in for the opportunistic pin.
The aftermath saw Davis and Martin Zaki collar Lykos and open the case, only to find an insulting banner directed at the Fight Club: PRO boss, as CCK beat a hasty retreat.
This was a fun, frantic opener that certainly intensified the issue between Brookes and rightful champion Satomura. I cant wait to see where this goes.
Your second contest saw Angelico face Jordan Devlin that illustrated one thing. We may boo Jordan Devlin, but he can certainly wrestle with the very best. Angelico fought back with his trademark acrobatic attack, including a lovely Running Knee from the apron to the floor and back in the ring, Devlin worked for all he worth to avoid falling prey to Angelico’s Fall Of The Angels. The tide turned in this one when Devlin was able to hobble the South African, attacking his legs, compromising his movement and agility.
Angelico fought back, once again attempting Fall Of The Angels, only to have his bad leg give out. Jordan Devlin quickly capitalised with a Package Piledriver, in affect shooting his best shot while his opponent was weakest, securing an impressive win in the process.
Our first half came to a close with Omari defending his Infinity Trophy against “Aussie Arrow” Kyle Fletcher. This was the first one on one meeting between the pair, although they have crossed paths in a four way match just over a year ago.
Handshake to start, with both clearly respecting the other. It didnt take very long for this match to reach top speed, with both men showing new tricks. Omari used a lot of quick and snappy armdrags and Fletcher showed plenty of strength and power and the match moved on.
At one point, Omari used the “Ricochet” front flip, over the top rope to the floor, nailing the landing beautifully, but Fletcher was able to race past, back into the ring, to use his own front flip dive from the corner, risking life and limb to take down Omari.
Omari managed to secure the win here after executing his O-Zone finisher, prompting a standing ovation for both fighters, who hugged in the middle of the ring. This match was excellent, and a strong contender for my favourite match of the night.
After a quick interval, the second half began with Tyler Bate. Bate made his entrance to face a mystery opponent, but not before giving a quick show for a hen party in attendance. The “B i g S t r o n g B o i” may be lining up alternative avenues of work in case this wrestling thing doesn’t work out.
Tyler’s adversary for the evening?
The returning MK McKinnan! Back from a knee injury sustained in February. The home fans were happy to see two of their own engage in a spirited war that saw both men give each other their best.
McKinnan’s kicking speed was a factor in this match,with Bate having to be wary of spinning kicks, and when he was brought down to a vulnerable position, McKinnan drilled him repeatedly with very hard kicks to the chest.
Bate’s athletic prowess was showcased throughout, with one highlight seeing Bate counter a Guillotine Choke with an awesome dead-lift T-Bone Suplex.
MK’s sudden Katahajime attempt may have secured the submission on another night, but on this night Tyler Bate stood victorious after hitting his Tyler Driver ’97.
The crowd was torn in their allegiance in this match, and while McKinnan may have come up short here, the Fight Club: PRO fans are still firmly behind him, and seem genuinely happy to have him back competing.
The penultimate contest featured Pro Wrestling Revolver Tag Team Champions “The Besties in The World” Davey Vega and Mat Fitchett. The pairs entrance to the strains of Savage Garden’s “Truly Madly Deeply” was quite the moment for the uninitiated, this being the first time I’d seen the team.
Issuing an open challenge, Vega and Fitchett put their belts on the line and waited for an answer.
Millie McKenzie answered the challenge, her partner, who drew the loudest reaction of the night was Pete Dunne.
Dunne at this point seems very much to own whatever room he walks into, but how would The Bruiserweight co-exist with a new partner.
Initially, the answer to this seemed to be, not very well. Pete harassed and pushed Millie around, tagging out, only to tag himself back in instantly, whereas their opponents were in perfect synchronicity.
Millie attempted to replicate Dunne’s penchant for breaking fingers, but needed to ask for instruction. Dunne attempted a dead-lift German Suplex, only for McKenzie to show him how it’s done.
“The Besties” were effective using several double-team combinations, and just when it looked like the more harmonious tandem would prevail, Dunne and Millie scored big with an Assisted Canadian Destroyer for the win. In celebration Dunne mugged off Millie, posing with both belts, until Millie asserted herself and returned the favour. The pair bonded somewhat, with Millie adopting Dunne’s manners and taunts.
He may not be the very best role model, but Pete Dunne knows how to win a championship.
Main Event time, as Travis Banks squares off against Low Ki, in a match that stokes the fire of an issue that began in July of last year, when mistiming and miscommunication caused a clash between Low Ki and Banks who were on that night, tag team partners.
Banks was able to pin Low Ki in December, teaming with Chris Brookes and Jonathan Gresham against Low Ki, Homicide and Eddie Kingston in a wild six man tag team match. While it’s safe to say Banks respects Low Ki, the pair know each other well, and the competitive spirit of both men shows no signs of surcease.
This match simply put, was excellent. A short feeling out process allowed both men to get the measure of the other, and with that, the two tore into each other with reckless abandon.
A ringside brawl saw Banks take a spill into a section of seats, but the tenacious Kiwi fought back as the fight returned within the ropes.
While on the offensive, Low Ki was like a surgeon, slicing Banks apart with elbows and manipulating and contorting him in a variety of painful holds. Travis however, would not die and came back with a shotgun dropkick before coming up short on a coast to coast attempt.
Low Ki’s temper seemed to get the better of him, as he took a folding chair from a front row fan. Referee Shay Purser took it away, only to have it driven into his face, courtesy of Low Ki’s fist.
Both fighters seemed to have the match won at points after this, but with no referee to count the fall. Eventually Purser was replaced by Joel Allen, who arrived in time to count a very long two count for Low Ki.
Low Ki was eventually able to down Banks with a huge diving foot stomp from the top rope that was at once, a thing of great beauty and abject horror.
Low Ki paid tribute to Banks’ toughness and thanked the fans in a passionate speech that seemingly promising we will see “The World Warrior” again one day.
Overall, this show was the latest in a long line of excellent shows. Not a bad match to be seen, and while the crowds stamina may have waned somewhat towards the end, there was absolutely loads to enjoy throughout. The show was also remarkably smooth, finishing earlier than some previous efforts, meaning less fans would experience issues travelling home, a small plus I know, but definitely a plus.
I heartily recommend watching this show on VOD should you get the chance. Fight Club: PRO will be back at Diamond Banqueting Suite for their annual “International Tekkers” card on June 29th, tickets for go on sale at noon on the 2nd of June.
Thanks for reading!