On the evening of February 25th, ATTACK! Pro Wrestling came to Bristol for the first time in 2017 for the show 'Gorilla Pressed and Deep in Conversation'. The show did not disappoint whatsoever and I'd have to say that this is quite possibly the best ATTACK! show that I've ever attended with solid action from start to finish, returns, debut's, surprises, heel turns and, of course, the obligatory ATTACK! Pro Wrestling raffle!
It was a cold, wet, miserable evening in Bristol. I rocked up to the Trinity Centre at around 1830hrs and saw a couple of friends (Jay and Abe) waiting in the queue so joined them. They'd been to the Rev Pro event in Portsmouth the previous evening so we had a chat about what had gone down at that show. Abe was revelling in the fact that he'd got his picture taken with Pentagon Jr. and Jay was loving that he'd managed to meet Marty Scurll and Trent Seven among others. That's something you can't take away from fans is the magic of meeting your favourite wrestlers.
Doors opened at about 1900hrs and we managed to get in pretty quickly. Sometimes it takes a while to get in the door at Trinity Centre, but last night was pretty good in comparison to what I've experienced there in the past, so well done to all involved there. Once inside, I bumped into a few of the Pro Wrestling Chaos regulars so had a quick chat with them before getting a drink finding a seat. Usually at Trinity Centre I'll sit at the back of the room (easier access to the bar and toilet) but this time I sat in front of the entrance stage on the opposite side of the room. It made for a more enjoyable experience being closer to the ring so I'll definitely be looking to get a spot around there again in the future.
The show kicked off at 1930hrs. With only two matches announced and a plethora of ATTACK! regulars announced for other shows or simply not in attendance, I was a little bit sceptical of how this show could be awesome. Rule number one, as you're about to find out reading this blog, never EVER doubt ATTACK! They've always got something up their sleeve! Our usual MC, Jim Lea, wasn't in attendance but we did have Pro Wrestling Chaos' Jaida on ring announcing duties. Shay Purser, who was in his usual arrogant heel mode, was our referee for the opening contest.
Ryan Smile vs Mike Bird
This wasn't one of the aforementioned two announced matches, but that didn't matter. Two extremely talented guys going toe-to-toe for 20 odd minutes is never a bad thing! After a few comedic antics at the start of the match with Ryan humiliating Shay, including sitting him on the "naughty step" and pointing out that he's not Shay's father, the match got underway.
For me, this was one of the best opening contests that I've seen for any show that I've been to. Both men got their usual spots in, including Ryan with his over the turnbuckle con hilo fairly early on in the contest. Bird came back into it with a Superplex and some extremely hard chops. As I've said previously in blogs for Pro Wrestling Chaos, Bird hits some of the hardest chops in all of wrestling. I can honestly say that I wouldn't like to be on the receiving end of them! Rather you than me, Ryan!
Smile came back into it when Bird decided to slap him about a bit, but this only fired up 'The All Day Star'. Another highlight was the hurricanrana which Smile hit from the apron to the floor. It was on the opposite side of the ring to where I was, but it looked sick! Another highlight took place just a couple of minutes later when Bird hit two suicide dives between the top and middle ropes. The 'Ginger Jesus' failed in his attempts to hit a third though when Ryan caught him with a brutal Superkick!
The end of the match came when Ryan caught Bird with his "Out of Somewhere" finishing move. The tenacious Mike Bird was able to kick out at one. This only seemed to fire 'The All Day Star' up more than he already was and after three Superkicks followed up by "Out of Somewhere", Smile managed to put away 'The Ginger Jesus' and picked up a huge win!
This was as good a contest as you'll see all year in ATTACK! and was worth the £14 admission fee alone! I'll tip my hat to both of these guys though because this really was incredible. It's certainly worth purchasing the DVD or VOD if only for this match. But this was just the opening contest and there were lots of surprises and shocks to come on this show.
Shay Purser got on the mic after this match had ended and announced that with certain people not being in attendance, he was the longest standing official in ATTACK! and said that he had a problem with Warren Owen being the ATTACK! 24/7 Champion. Shay then took the title from Warren and stripped him of the belt and declared himself a three time champion.
Chris Roberts then made his much anticipated return to ATTACK! and told Shay that he has a friend who's a "Little Bastard" who was here tonight and with that, former WWE Superstar Hornswoggle came out to a nice pop from the sold out Trinity Centre audience. Swoggle, as he's now known, then proceeded to beat the tar out of Shay, hitting him with a German Suplex, a Celtic Cross (the Finlay version of the move) and a Tadpole Splash. Swoggle then called Warren into the ring to pin Shay, which he did to become a three time ATTACK! 24/7 Champion.
Chief Deputy Dunne vs "The Drew Meanie" (Drew Parker)
One question I always ask myself before attending an ATTACK! Pro Wrestling event is "I wonder which ECW legend Drew Parker will wrestle as?" Now, this character might not be to everyone's taste but it really does show how talented and versatile Drew is. Here he wrestle as "The Drew World Order's" Drew Meanie. Some of these alternate names are incredible!
Chief Deputy Dunne has been on a tear since losing to Eddie Dennis in Cardiff at night one of the ATTACK! Pro Wrestling Under The Mistletour in December. He might not have had the winners share of the purse too often, but he's showed a more vicious side since Christmas and, personally, I think he's been better performance wise for it.
It was the man from Scotland Yard who picked up the win in this one and it was due to an interference. No, not from either of his partners in Anti-Fun crime, Travis Banks or Los Federales Santos Sr., but from Elijah Dahl! Elijah wasn't out there to join the Anti-Fun Police, but to get inside the head of EC-Drew who he took out at the previous event in Cheltenham. The distraction from Elijah was enough for Dunne to take advantage and pick up the win.
#CCK (Chris Brookes and Mondai Lykos) vs FTW (Kay Lee Ray and Nixon Newell)
Chris Roberts is our official here and before things can get underway, Shay Purser returned to make his presence felt. He, of course, sided with his friends #CCK in disposing of Roberts from the ring and putting the boots to FTW. However, just when the crowd thought the worst was going to happen with Kay Lee Ray and Nixon being on the end of an attack from Brookes, Lykos and Purser, some familiar music hit and the crowd lost their poop!
The music was that of 'The Bruiserweight' Pete Dunne who hadn't been seen in an ATTACK! ring since November of last year having lost his "Loser Leaves ATTACK!" tag team match to Jim Lea. Shay, seemingly glad to see Pete returning, clearly got the wrong end of the stick as 'The Bruiserweight' wasn't in Bristol to help the Rogue Ref and #CCK. He was there to help his good friend Nixon Newell and Kay Lee Ray meaning for the first time in over two years, Pete Dunne was once again a fan favourite in ATTACK!
Pete pointed out that he had lost his position on the ATTACK! roster last year and Jim Lea wasn't at the event, but asked the fans if they wouldn't mind him wrestling anyway. Of course, this got a resounding approval from an audience which was becoming more and more invested in the product which ATTACK! was supplying us with on this night.
#CCK & Shay Purser vs FTW & Pete Dunne
You'll have to forgive me for any mistakes from this point on as I had stopped taking notes. No way was I taking my eyes off of this match because from start to finish it was simply fantastic. This was 20 odd minutes of awesomeness. It was everything I love about high flying wrestling, with everything I love about strong style, with everything I love about tag team wrestling.
If I had to pick my highlight or favourite moment from this match, the one thing that sticks out in my mind was when #CCK and Shay hit FTW and Dunne with simultaneous Destroyer's. Moments later, the favour was returned as the fan favourites hit simultaneous Destroyer's on the rule breakers.
Nixon Newell picked up the win for her team in this huge match when she got the pin on Shay, much to the delight of this packed Bristol crowd. As the losing team slowly descended to the back, FTW and Pete Dunne took a few moment to soak in the applause and adulation of the crowd. I'm sorry that I couldn't offer more of an insight into this match, but I was too busy losing my mind and, as mentioned earlier, I didn't take notes for this one. Awful on my part and I sincerely apologise. This match isn't available on the VOD either so it can only live in the memory of those who were in attendance.
The interval was up next which always gives us time to chill out for a bit, have a chat, check out the merchandise and get a drink. I queued to get my mitts on some Jimmy Havoc merch and while I was waiting, Mike Bird spotted my 'Bird & Boar' t-shirt and insisted on a picture. I snagged myself a Jimmy Havoc t-shirt as well as a snap and a Pete Dunne signed 8x10 and a picture.
People do like to tease me with all the pictures I get with wrestlers but as I always say, if you've got the opportunity to take a picture or two and make a memory, do it. Many of these guys aren't going to be wrestling on the UK circuit for long, so take advantage of this sort of thing while you can. I'm glad I have on so many occasions in the past with guys like Nakamura, Gallows, Anderson and AJ Styles who are now tearing it up in WWE. I'm hoping it won't be long before guys like Havoc, Bird and Dunne are doing the same on SmackDown or RAW.
Up next was the part of the show which we all came for: The Raffle! I've no idea how the raffle became so popular, but it's more over than the wrestling itself. The Brothers of Construction (Jim & Lee Hunter) hosted the raffle along with the adjudicator Sierra Loxton. This raffle helped to raise money for Cavendish Cancer Care who did a lot to help the late Kris Travis in his unfortunate battle with cancer. I'm not sure how much money was raised, but whenever something like this is done for charity it really brings a smile to my face. Once again, well done to everyone involved.
Elijah Dahl vs 'Raving' Danny Jones
It's always strange seeing Danny in ATTACK! knowing what his character is like in Chaos. That's not a negative kind of "strange" by any stretch of the imagination either. I love seeing Danny competing. I remember him being on the first independent show I went to in 2013 as Roger The Cabin Boy. It's safe to say that he's come a hell of a long way since those days and is really impressing a lot of people in the ring.
I remember sitting and thinking to myself when watching this match, and I'm sure many other people must've thought this as well: Elijah is going to be a huge star. The guy has the look, the presence, he's constantly getting better in the ring, he can talk on the mic. What more could you want in a potentially massive star?
Speaking of things I like about Elijah, the first thing he did in this match was destroy Danny's whistle! Now, I'm not opposed to the use of the whistle, however, I do appreciate someone who can get under a crowds skin by upsetting a guy who's a massive fan favourite.
As I think many people in attendance expected, Elijah Dahl picked up the win in this match. A few things about this match got me thinking. Chief Deputy Dunne has a mysterious tag team partner for the Kris Travis Tag Team Invitational on March 4th and 5th. What if Elijah Dahl was his partner? That would be huge for both Elijah and the Anti-Fun Police. I'm going to stick my neck on the line and say that Elijah is my pick to partner Chief Deputy Dunne.
ATTACK! Pro Wrestling Title - Eddie Dennis vs Jimmy Havoc
Our second debut of the evening and it was a big one in the form of Jimmy Havoc. The man who I'd call the face of ATTACK! Pro Wrestling, Eddie Dennis, wasn't in his usual humorous, fun loving mood. He knew he had a fight on his hands with 'The King of Goths' so had to make sure he had his game head on.
This was another match which didn't disappoint. Eddie was the overwhelming fan favourite and Havoc was booed by about 98% of the audience. So that was pretty much everyone booing him aside from myself, Jay, Abe and one or two others. As much as I cheered Eddie, I didn't boo Jimmy and wouldn't have been disappointed in a result either way.
The match initially got thrown out when Jimmy low blowed Eddie and Chris Roberts called for the bell. Just F.Y.I. for anyone who's never seen an ATTACK! show, there is no bell. The fans are the ring bell. Jimmy stormed off to the back, upset that Roberts had called the match off but Eddie wasn't having any of it. He called for the mic and told everyone at Trinity Centre that he wouldn't allow the title match to end in that fashion. Instead he insisted the match was restarted as a no disqualification.
Havoc returned wielding not one, but two steel chairs and brought them both to the ring. The next 15 minutes were absolutely brutal with both men using all kinds of weapons such as chairs, drawing pins (thumb tacks for our American readers), a ladder, a baking tray, a frying pan, a staple gun, an 8x10 of Jimmy Havoc and alcohol.
I'm not sure which spot made me wince more. The one where Jimmy poured drawing pins into Eddie's mouth then superkicked him or the part where Jimmy used the 8x10 to papercut the webbing in between Eddie's fingers and then proceeded to pour alcohol onto the open wounds. Thinking about it now, drawing pins are one thing. Papercuts are the most painful thing I've personally ever experienced. Rather you than me on that one, Eddie!
Eddie retained the belt in this one. Havoc had set up two chairs to face each other and covered them in drawing pins, but we all know what happens when someone sets something like this up. Jimmy took quite possibly the sickest Last Stop Driver ever through the chairs to end the match with Eddie getting the 1-2-3. After the match, Jimmy congratulated Eddie and told him he's a worthy champion. The two shook hands and Jimmy headed to the back as Eddie celebrated his win.
As Eddie was celebrating, Chief Deputy Dunne came out to attack the champion. Eddie laid down the challenge to Mr. Anti-Fun himself to fight him in the ring for the title. Dunne needed little persuasion, of course, and Chris Roberts called for the bell. Early on, it looked like Eddie had it wrapped up when he levelled Dunne with the Next Stop Driver. However, you know when there's a little pest that just won't go away? On this night it was Shay Purser. Shay dived into the ring to break up Chris Roberts' count and disposed of him from the ring.
Eddie took out Shay with a brutal forearm to the jaw, but was caught off guard when the Rogue Ref's pals Mondai Lykos and Chris Brookes entered the ring to assist their ally, Chief Deputy Dunne. Lee and Jim Construction then came down to the ring to even the numbers up. Eddie got on the mic and challenged #CCK and Dunne to a six man tag. The crowd really wanted this but Eddie was blindsided by his "friends" as he was cleaned out by The Brothers of Construction with a shot to the head with a safety helmet and a "Wet Floor" sign! Seriously, where do they come up with this stuff? It's awesome!
Eddie did have some true friends, though, in the form of Drew Parker, Danny Jones and FTW who came out to even the numbers. Everyone brawled until Eddie was left in the ring with Chief Deputy Dunne, the latter of the two had full control after the assault from The Brothers of Construction and clocked Eddie with the title belt and then hit him with a wicked springboard Lung Blower. Shay re-entered the ring to count the fall but 'The Pride of Wales' kicked out at ONE!
As Eddie's allies attempted to get back into the ring to help their good friend, they were held back by the allies of Chief Deputy Dunne as the man from Scotland Yard hit one of the most impressive DDT's I've ever seen to seal victory and be crowned the brand new ATTACK! Pro Wrestling Champion, much to the dismay of the sold out Bristol audience.
That just about wraps up this latest instalment in the world of ATTACK! Pro Wrestling. This was by far one of the most enjoyable shows I've ever been to. Shocks and surprised throughout the night and I'd highly recommend everyone check out the VOD which is available for just £4.99 on the ATTACK! Vimeo page.
The next instalment of ATTACK! comes from Cathay's Community Centre on the weekend of March 4th and 5th where ATTACK! pays tribute to the late Kris Travis by holding a tag team invitational weekend in his honour. Funds will be raised once again for Cavendish Cancer Care over the weekend which is sure to be both emotional for all who knew Kris or saw him in the ring, as well as a highly entertaining weekend of wrestling fun!