The Furious Flashbacks – King of Europe Cup 2007
Posted by Arnold Furious on 11.08.2007
Participants from 16 promotions worldwide battle it out for the King of Europe Cup featuring stars from TNA, ROH, NOAH and Dragon Gate.
The Furious Flashbacks – King of Europe Cup 2007
Participants from 16 promotions worldwide battle it out for the King of Europe Cup featuring stars from TNA, ROH, NOAH and Dragon Gate.
This was an interesting set up thanks to Europe being a place where wrestlers seemed to come from all over the world. It made logical sense for someone to organise a tournament like the Super J Cup or King of the Indies or the Super 8 over in Europe. And someone did (Alex Shane & Doug Williams to be precise). Here’s a list of the promotions that got involved and which wrestler represented them…
1 Pro Wrestling (United Kingdom - Jody Fleisch)
CHIKARA (United States - Claudio Castagnoli)
Combat Zone Wrestling (United States - Chris Hero)
Dragon Gate (Japan - Ryo Saito)
IWA Mid-South (United States - Matt Sydal)
International Wrestling Syndicate (Canada - El Generico)
International Pro Wrestling: UK (United Kingdom – Pac)
Premier Promotions (United Kingdom - Doug Williams)
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (United States - Davey Richards)
Pro Wrestling NOAH (Japan - Go Shiozaki)
Pro Wrestling Unplugged (United States - Trent Acid)
Real Quality Wrestling (United Kingdom - Martin Stone)
Ring of Honor (United States - Nigel McGuinness)
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (United States – Rhino)
westside Xtreme wrestling (Germany - Are$)
World Association of Wrestling (United Kingdom - Zebra Kid)
Some of the representatives are rather odd. Fleisch representing 1PW seems strange despite his competing there. Plus guys like Pac, Nigel, Sydal, and Davey Richards have competed for a bunch of promotions and probably aren’t best known for their work in their selected promotion. But what the hell, it’s the fact these wrestlers are all here that’s most important.
We’re in Liverpool. Hosts are Dan Reed and Dean Ayass.
Claudio Castagnoli v Chris Hero
Ring is a bit small. Kings of Wrestling collide! They run some nice countering from the off where Hero breaks out the awesome escaping a Goku Raku stretch with relative ease. Ayass picks Doug Williams to win the tournament while Reed goes with the man beast Rhino. Claudio poses to the crowd’s pleasure and Hero tries to get over with his own posing but gets booed. Claudio takes it back to the mat where he controls with a leglock. Hero nonchalantly rolls out and these guys really haven’t hit any kind of tempo yet. As I type that they start going lucha at speed. Hero gets himself over with wrestling. Claudio is European though so he breaks out the European Uppercut. That knocks Hero out of the ring and Claudio follows with a tope at speed. Claudio sits down on the Goku Raku, camel clutch style. Hero turns out of that into a cheeky roll up for 2. Claudio with the Swiss superman spear into the corner. I love alliteration. It’s also nicely suitable to use the superman move on Hero who’s ring gear is superman based. Hero starts showing his class with a cradle back suplex but he hits so hard HE BREAKS THE RING. Oh boy. First match. “This doesn’t bode well for the rest of the tournament” – Ayass. Quite. They have trouble working around it. Hero lands back first into the dip. RICOLA BOMB…for 2. That was all very sudden. I think they decided to go to the finishing sequence because of the ring. RICOLA SUPLEX…for 2. Claudio takes it to the top rope threatening to just destroy this ring. Claudio gets caught with a Hero Stomp. That gets 2. Then he adds in a kick off the ropes for the pin. Hmm, that was a bit like the kick Sid did when he destroyed his leg. Very disappointing finish. Obviously the ring getting a huge fucking dip in it hurt the match badly and caused them to change their game plan. **1/4 for the improvisation but the match was kind of a mess even up to the point where the ring broke.
Martin Stone v Go Shiozaki
Ring announcer is “Sweet” Stevie Aaron. Nice to see him getting these gigs. Stone is the RQW champion and a frequent belt holder in the UK due to his size and intensity. Go hails from NOAH but he’s no stranger to the UK having competed here on supercards before. Tagging with Kenta Kobashi in fact. He’s been on tour during the time of this show with Atsushi Aoki. The ring is repaired. Stone finds himself outclassed on the mat as the commentators call these two future stars. They trade armdrags to show they’re relatively evenly matched. Stone has lost weight since I last saw him. Go’s selling is somewhat inconsistent here and there’s something about it I don’t like that I can’t put my finger on. Stone pops off a nice snap suplex for 2. Go then turns sideways and lies there doing nothing. Selling is a fine art and has to be a mixture of timing and relevance. Stone decides to stiff him to show how relevant he’s being. Go gets whipped into the rail and it gives way. What’s going on here? Ring breaks. Rail breaks. Get some stronger stuff! Some poor chap gets his pint spilt. Ayass points out the three rules of being English – 1. Don’t spill anyone’s pint. 2. Don’t change your football team. 3. Don’t slag off the Queen. Go breaks out a tope and the timing is all wrong on that. Stone just stood there and watched him and he didn’t have enough pace on it. Go chops away to pay tribute to his mentor Kobashi and then hits a dropkick for 2. Stone has had enough and gets in close to hit a belly to belly overhead. Go catches him with a wind up urinage. Go is deceptively powerful. Stone is no small man. Go returns to chopping and that becomes a trade off. Go’s chops are harsh. He adds in a very Kobashi like shoulderblock for 2. Stone decides to kill him with a German suplex where Go lands on his neck. Stone wants a lariat but Go blocks it with a knee but not for long and Stone winds up the LARIATOOOOO for 2. That’s his second tier finisher. Having not won with that he goes for the London Bridge. Go slips out and kicks Stone in the head. LARIATOOOOOO. Stone no sells it! LARIATOOOOOOO. They both no sell. DOUBLE LARIATOOOOOO. Double knock out. Go chops the neck, in another Kobashi tribute, and hits the fisherman buster for 2. Go slams Stone and goes for the moonsault but Stone is up. He tries for a suplex off the top but Go slips out powerbombs him into the buckles. Superkick! German suplex…for 2. Stone with the miracle kick out there. Go with a double pump brainbuster and that’ll be enough. Go advances. ***. Really messy until the hot finish. The chopping was where it started to get real good and Go Shiozaki looked great by the end.
Pac v Trent Acid
Pac would be Britain’s leading young talent. It’s been a good 5 years since we had a prospect making this kind of splash and that was Doug Williams. Acid doesn’t get an introduction. Ohhhh, jobber! Acid looks scruffy as per usual. He sneaks up behind Pac and waffles him in the back of the head. Reed gives a long history piece about how Acid got selected for this spot in PWU. Pac makes him look REALLY slow here with his usual lightning speed. Standing corkscrew Phoenix splash gets 2. He lands on Acid’s knees. He falls out of the ring and lands in the front row. The fans there seem to think he stinks. Pac bounces around in the ring for his own amusement. Some charming little scally gives Acid the bird. Acid goes blatantly low and hits an evil DDT on the apron. Acid isn’t done and powerslams Pac into the rail. Acid spends too long setting for a dive and Pac throws him into the rail. Pac goes up for the CORKSCREW SHOOTING STAR to the floor. That gets a faecal chant. Pac LOVES those crazy flips. Well, he is mint. Acid with a sloppy springboard DDT. Whatever happened to Trent Acid? He used to be pretty smooth in the ring. Acid bails for some chairs. I wasn’t aware this was no DQ but he did use a low blow earlier. He sets up the chairs on the floor and I really don’t like how close those steps are by the ramp. Pac gets suplexed out of the ring and he lands jaw first on the rail. OUCH. Fuck me. Acid isn’t done. He puts Pac on those chairs he made a building out of. Then he quebradas into the steps. FUUUUUCK. Pac rolls back into the ring holding his face. You know you want to see Trent Acid moonsaulting onto steps don’t you? Here’s the video…
Acid goes low again and hits another DDT but that gets 2. Both guys are hurt from those spots on the outside. Chair in the ring and Pac dropkicks that into Acid’s head. Chair is still set up and Pac BRAINBUSTERS HIM ON THE CHAIR. HOLY FUCKING SHIT. HE’S DEAD. ONE-TWO-TH…NOOOOOO! KICKOUT! Pac heads up top but lands on his feet off the triple flippy plancha so Acid throws a chair in his face. Are you kidding me? That’s like four of the sickest spots ever one after another. These guys are nuts. The chair hit like end on. Acid wants the Acid bomb (wheelbarrow bomb into a set up chair) but that gets TWO. Pac is bleeding from the face off that. What the hell? This is just total madness. More chairs come in. Remind me not to watch PWU. I like violence but this stuff is making me nervous. Like “one of these guys is going to die” nervous. Pac dropkicks the ropes to stop Acid coming off the top. Pac sets the chairs back up. This is such a bad idea. They both go up top and Acid tries for a sunset flip powerbomb. Back up again – REVERSE SUPER RANA INTO THE CHAIRS…FOR TWO???? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? Yakuza kick is ducked and Pac handsprings into a reverse rana and hits the Tiger Suplex…for 2. Pac is ON FIRE. He heads up for the corkscrew shooting star press and THAT is finally enough to end this insanity. Pac progresses to the next round. He also just got an enormous pop. Easily the biggest of the night so far. ***3/4. While Acid was pretty sloppy in the early going this was just a total Pac showcase. A match designed entirely to show how Pac could bump like a madman and hit crazy offence at will. While the match will probably hurt the rest of the night because it had way too many insane false finishes but this was easily a main event in pretty much any promotion anywhere. Damn, Pac is good. He got busted hardway and pretty fucked up in that match too. The only real issue is this isn’t a main event and they behaved like it was. Some of the spots were total overkill and the kickouts were getting pretty ridiculous when the chair spots were involved. On the upside I enjoyed the ridiculous spots immensely. Watching two guys trying to kill each other to prove a point is entertaining.
El Generico v Matt Sydal
Sydal has just gone to the WWE starting in OVW in October 2007. At this show he’s looking suitably muscular. Generico obviously isn’t. Generico is billed as Mexican but is actually Canadian. They goof around suggesting the middle of the ring isn’t safe after the earlier breakage. Generico actually seems to be afraid of it desperately hanging on to a headlock. Sydal gets punched a few times and teeters on the brink of the middle of the ring. Hehe. It’s stupid but some of the fans are getting into it. Sydal attempts a hip toss but Generico edges around on a reversal. They do it back the other way edging around the middle of the ring. Generico tippy toes around it to avoid the centre of the ring on an Irish whip. Generico nearly gets caught in a crossbody but blocks it into a backbreaker to avoid the “mid ring pit of doom”. This is AMAZING innovation. Generico wants the brainbuster into the pit of doom. HE’S THAT NUTS PEOPLE! Sydal with a back suplex into the pit area and Generico sells it like Rocky selling an Austin stunner. He flaps around before gently checking to make sure all his limbs are intact. “I thought you’d die” says Sydal. I’m sad that opening segment is over but it was completely brilliant and innovated on the spot. Generico decides to test the ring out with a series of body slams on the pit of doom. Michinoku Driver, with STINK on it, gets 2. We’re given notice that Pac has been taken to the hospital. Oops. Sydal nearly blows a backdrop over the ropes landing in the middle of them. Sydal then just about manages to crossbody Generico over the top. Can I have my comedy match back? With Samoa Joe absent Generico lifts the Ole Kick and high fives the front row. Generico with a flying DDT through the buckles to the floor. Like a tope DDT from the floor. Generico eyes up a 450 but opts instead for the big Superfly splash for 2. Didn’t he want to win there? Generico attempts a running kick in the corner but misses. Sydal knocks him down and hits the standing moonsault for 2. Generico switches from a cradle piledriver into the Orange Crush in mid air and that only gets 2? Some of these near falls are crazy tonight. I just came off watching St Louis wrestling from the 70’s where a kneedrop finished. It’s a culture shock. Generico tries for his brainbuster but gets thrown off and Sydal hits the Shooting Star Press for the win. ***. Great and innovative comedy around the safety of the ring to start the match. After that it all got a bit spotty, which the crowd has enjoyed thus far. I could have lived with more comedy!
Ares v Doug Williams
Ares is tag partner of Claudio Castagnoli over in Europe. Doug, showing his gentleman status, is wearing a tie. Ares always wears a tie so it’s also a rib on him. Doug steals his tie adjusting spot and hits an armdrag. The crowd is less into this but they couldn’t keep getting spotfests. Doug messes with Ares tie and hits another armdrag. I see Joel Allen’s massive afro at ringside. Is he timekeeper this evening? Ares bails to argue with the fans and does it for so long that Doug gets bored and attacks him. The scally fans keep trying to hit him and seem to have lifted Ares’ patented Swiss Money Holdings briefcase. Scousers eh? Doug breaks out the stretches and hooks three limbs for a near fall. Doug is on form tonight and slides through Ares legs backwards to work his way into another stretch. Ares blocks Chaos Theory and goes low while the ref is getting them off the ropes. Ares tells the ref the fans are cheating, or something, and then chokes Doug with his tie. Ref gets rid of that one and Ares breaks out another tie for another choke hold. Ares blocks the revolution DDT into a swinging suplex for 2. Ares with the wind up chinlock. BOOOOOOOOOOO! He’s just lucky I wasn’t in the audience because he’d have fucking heard about it. Doug starts to show his speed with a springboard crossbody for 2. Ares speaks German, which means everyone in the crowd just instantly hates him. I’m not saying that we’re jingoistic over here, we just don’t like foreigners. Ares escapes a piledriver and hits the Tiger Driver. Seems he used a lot of energy up and both guys are down. SELLING? ON THIS SHOW? Doug gets up first and the Revolution DDT gets 2. Doug gets backdropped out of a piledriver again and Ares again hits the Tiger Driver this time for 2. Why repeat the spot? Ares starts hitting suplexes before going for the Tiger Driver again and this time Doug backdrops out. Doug with a German suplex for 2. Great bridge. That’s like a half Chaos Theory. High knee sets up the Bomb Scare but Ares cuts him off so Doug hits a flying European forearm as well. Ares uses the ropes to avoid the Chaos Theory and then a low blow. Doug reverses the Tiger Driver into the inside cradle and that’s enough for Doug to get the win. ***. While this match had a reasonable amount of selling move recognition it lacked the excitement of the previous bouts thus leaving the crowd somewhat cold.
Zebra Kid v Davey Richards
Davey is a miserable heel and does his best to be a complete dick by irritating the, now slightly drunk, fans and throwing Ares’ ties at Joel Allen. The dastard! Zebra Kid is on day release. He got 6 years for assault (for either knocking out a referee during a match or throwing a bottle at someone in a pub. I forget which although he did both). They manage to make a horrible mess of the opening trade off, slaps aside. Zebra Kid decides to show the other guys how to use the environment by elbow dropping Davey off the entrance ramp rather than towards it. Zebra Kid decides to climb to the balcony and elbow drops Davey off there too. I suppose you don’t care about your body when you’re back off to prison at the end of the day. I’d quite happily take a double count out for this. The camera work is dreadful here. You can’t see what they’re doing but it looks like plunder shots with merchandise. Davey is given suitable time to recover from the balcony dive and DDT’s ZK off the apron. I’m begging someone to sell something. Anything. Up top and ZK hits a DDT off the top. Naturally Davey kicks out because we’re killing every finisher in the book tonight. Davey misses the Savage Elbow and lies in the ring screaming “aw, fuck” suggesting he’s injured. Davey hooks up the Keylock Clutch. Oh, come on! TAP OUT. That made perfect sense and protected the guy that lost. Why isn’t it happening? ZK gets the ropes. Davey botches the G2S so they decide to ignore that and Davey goes back to the arm. This match is just completely rubbing me up the wrong way. ZK switches elbows on the Savage Elbow, which is nice but he can’t hit it as well with the other arm. Davey low blows into the Keylock Clutch and gets the tap out THIS time. And do some research Dan Reed. It’s his submission finisher. It’s not a fucking hammerlock. It really pisses me off when you get basics wrong. It’s avoidable. **. The match had ridiculous high spots but unlike Pac-Acid it wasn’t shocking stuff where they were trying to prove they belonged in the tournament. Here it felt like it was because they couldn’t have a good match without silly spots. When they got the arm psychology it was great. Shame about all the stupidity beforehand.
Ryo Saito v Jody Fleisch
The mention of “1PW” gets booed and Jody does also. But there’s also a loud “One-Pee-Dub” chant to offset that. I don’t know why smarks don’t like 1PW. Probably all the politics. If you don’t want to deal with all that bullshit then just stay off UKFF. That way it can be completely ignored. These guys start at speed, which is where they stay. Shame it all looks so pre-planned. Saito gets the first upper hand by using the tree of woe dropkick. Jody avoids a dragon suplex by landing on his feet and then hits a dropsault. The “One-Pee-Dub” chants continue so there’s a huge crowd divide here. Jody tries to take that and turn it into a standing rana but Saito sees him coming and belly to belly suplexes him into the buckles. They head out into the crowd and Jody hits a moonsault off the railing. That looked cool. Like when he ran up the wall in CZW. Saito could have hurt himself getting caught on a rail on the way back in. Jody kicks Saito off the apron and hits the SHOOTING STAR PRESS OFF THE TOP but he forgets how close the steps are and over shoots – SSP INTO THE STEPS. FUCK ME! Someone book a bed next to Pac in the hospital. You KNOW you want to see that too.
Credit to Jody for carrying on with a broken jaw SABU STYLE~~~~! He keeps holding it after every subsequent move. Jody gets silly and takes a German superplex. On that move you flip over and land face first. OUCH. They trade slaps on the mat, to the chest thankfully, and both nip up so Jody can hit a rana. Jody is in terrible pain. Every time he moves he has to grab his jaw. Jody springboards again but gets dropkicked in the chest. He really needs to get out of there before he does himself permanent damage. Jody pops off another instinctive rana. Saito is nice enough to not strike anywhere near his face and hold his neck loosely but that means they’re going to fuck something up and they promptly both fall off the top rope. Saito decides he wants to repeat the spot so up they go again. SUPER FISHERMAN BUSTER. Jody. Jaw. Fucked. That gets 2. Oh, come on. Jody manages a standing SSP, which must have hurt. Why on earth is he carrying on? SHOOTING STAR PRESS…gets 2. How is he still going? And why are they still killing finishes? Jody takes a fucking lariat and the PREMIUM BRIDGE finishes for Saito. That lariat was sick. I was so concerned I didn’t even type it in caps. **. The injury obviously fucked up the match but huge props to Jody for wrestling with a smashed in face. You may want to get to the hospital now mate.
Nigel McGuinness v Rhino
ROH v TNA~~~! Nigel is over huge here after his previous efforts in this building for Ring of Honor. “Fire Russo” chants the entire crowd. Rhino hears another chant and wants to hear it louder; “Rhino’s gonna kill ya”. “You hear that bitch?” – to Nigel. Crowd is divided and a strong “ROH” chant follows. Nigel won’t be bossed around by Rhino and his smashmouth style and he frequently strikes at Rhino. That is until Rhino levels him with a lariat and looks for the Gore. Nigel bails to avoid it. Rhino follows and they brawl out into the audience. Is this ECW? Or the 1990’s? All this crowd action is bizarre. Nigel takes a long run up a running forearm that sends Rhino into the merch stand. They head up the staircase and this doesn’t feel like a good idea. Luckily we’re nowhere near the balcony. They head up to the bar where Rhino eats the European uppercut. The brawl continues around the arena just to show the entire crowd the wrestlers one at a time. Rhino takes a bump down a flight of stairs. We finally have a camera following them. Rhino goes over the balcony and falls through the merchandise tables. Holy shit. This is madness. That’s two balcony spots and this isn’t even the finals! Some idiot left a ladder set up so Nigel climbs it for a splash onto Rhino. This whole approach is new for Nigel. Rhino goes to throw him back into the ring but he hits the REBOUND LARIAT ON THE FLOOR! Reed points out Jody and his broken jaw have gone to the hospital. Nigel hits a plancha of all things. What’s going on? Rhino breaks out a pescado. These guys are leaving it all in the ring. Nigel finally takes this to the mat and starts working at the arm setting up stuff like the Divorce Court and the Thames Barrier while at the same time making Rhino think twice about using the Gore as he cranks at the neck with the leverage. Nice to get some psychology in this one after all the madness. Rhino eats a jawbreaker but shrugs it off to hit a spinebuster for 2. Nigel ducks a clothesline and pops up with the LARIATOOOO. Both guys stay down and they’re fatigued Ricky Steamboat style. Crowd has turned towards Nigel and show it during a striking duel. Nigel breaks out another LARIATOOOO. Nigel looks to set up the Artful Dodger but runs RIGHT INTO THE GOOOOOOOOORE…for 2. Nigel is groggy so Rhino wants another. This time Nigel moves. REBOUND LARIATOOOOOOOOOOOO and Nigel picks up the pinfall to wrap up day one. ***1/2. They sure let it all hang out there.
POST MATCH The commentators run down the card for the second night. Nigel points out that Rhino didn’t phone it in tonight and really busted his ass out here, which is absolutely true. Crowd appreciates the sentiment as well as Rhino’s effort and we end with a mutual show of respect.
AND THAT’S NOT EVEN ALL FOR DISC ONE! There’s…
Pac v El Generico
Yes, DVD sales thinking about sliding? More Pac! This is from IPW:UK on the afternoon of this show. 2/3 falls. Yeah, two guys who competed in the tournament also had a 2/3 falls match the same day. HARDCORE~! They’ve been having good matches on the circuit especially in PWG. Pac has more time here so starts out showing what an accomplished mat wrestler he is, which is how he started out. Just because he can do a million flips a match doesn’t mean he will. He seems to wrestle more when he’s heel. Reed says the same thing only talking about his suplexes and striking. Basically he has a great range of skills and he’s still only 20. Generico cranks at his neck to try and keep him grounded. Crowd is really quiet this afternoon probably getting set for the long haul. Pac works the knee trying to keep Generico from doing his lucha stuff. It’s a nice change of pace to see something that’s not going at a million spots per second. That main show is one of the most high octane shows in the history of wrestling. Generico works a comedy spot in where he can’t power out of the full nelson. Generico starts becoming a chaining machine with a leglock into a version of the anklelock into a version of the STF into a standard headlock. Pac is able to counter out of the last perhaps contradicting Generico’s school of thought that you should keep moving. Seeing as we’re all wired and excitable it’s time for a bunch of armdrags. We get a handshake instead of an Indy standoff. BRITISH~~~! Generico’s armdrags are beautifully deep. There’s very little that’s as pretty as a nice deep Steamboat-esque armdrag. Well, girls, obviously. Pac hits a rana so fast I have to rewind the DVD. He flipped up in the corner using the ropes into it. SO fast. Flying headscissors followed by a dropsault and Pac is a roll. Not getting carried away though and he drops down into a front facelock. They do some lovely wristlock counters. Pac is really coming into his own as one of the most polished wrestlers out there. He nearly blows a move but improvises to cover for it. The thing is, he’s SO fast that if he fucks up he still has time to recover. Regardless of what he’s doing. He pops off another snap rana, this time head spiking El Generico and rolls him up for the opening pinfall. 1-0 Pac.
That was like 12 minutes in. It’s already as long or possibly longer than the majority of the rest of matches on this DVD. Ayass talks about the psychology of being behind a fall. Generico goes after chops but Pac retorts. He tries a handspring but Generico catches him in a high angle sideslam. Fatigue showing now. Generico tries to slow the pace once again and keep Pac on the mat. That was working quite well for him but as soon as he made it about speed and trading off Pac creamed him. Generico sees him coming with a satellite backbreaker for 2. Generico heads up top for the Superfly Splash for dos. He looks for the brainbuster but Pac rolls out into a sly roll up for 2. Blue Thunder from Generico gets 2. He goes for a brainbuster but Pac counters into a roll up for 2. Generico with a sick Michinoku Driver for 2. He can’t believe that Pac kicked out but Pac is capable taking a lot of abuse and is prone to constantly countering. Pac stands on the apron looking to recover but Generico just kicks him in the face. SICK BRAINBUSTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH for the pin. 1-1
The impact on that was sick. Pac is a loon. He takes everything on the neck. He stays down after the fall and Generico gets another pin for 2. Generico goes up top but he’s really slow about it and Pac hits the superman forearm and SUPER RANA’S Generico off. Generico ends up on the floor and Pac hits a dive because he loves that shit. Camera missed it apart from the impact but Reed calls it a corkscrew. CORKSCREW STANDING SSP gets 2. Hey, gravity. There’s this guy you’ve totally forgotten about. They counter at speed and Pac snaps off another rana for 2. He has about as many rana’s as Rey Mysterio Jr. Generico decides to stop him flipping with a belly to belly into the buckles. OLE KICK IN THE FACE. He calls for another one but Pac rolls out of the way into a REVERSE RANA. NO SOLD. YAKUZAAAAAAAAAAA KIIIIIIIICK!!!! Ayass suggests this is set to end in a double count out, which wouldn’t shock me after that impact. Pac narrowly beats the count. They start slapping weakly at each other but Pac still has leg strength and flips into the Enzuigiri. HANDSPRING TORNADO DDT. How does he do this shit? Generico with the package Orange Crush for 2. Now we’re into high spot territory again. Shame it’s degenerated into that. OLE KICK. HEAD DROP FULL NELSON SUPLEX. He goes for the brainbuster but Pac brings the AWESOME by countering a brainbuster into a fucking snap rana. This guy is incredible. Both guys are hurt and stay down. They both nearly get counted out. Pac wants the Tiger Suplex and fights Generico over into it. Beautiful bridge. Two count. Pac is looking peppy again like he just switches it on and off. Surely he should be ACTUALLY fatigued by now. DRAGON DRIVER~~~~~~~~~~~~~!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE DRAGONRANA DRIVER ladies and gents. One of the most amazing moves ever created in a wrestling ring. ****1/4. More consistency on the selling and that was going WAY up there in terms of snowflakes. Pac was just insanely good in that match. This is quickly turning into the Pac show.
Doug Williams/Go Shiozaki v Davey Richards/Atsushi Aoki
This is from RQW the weekend before. We’re reminded that Doug pinned Go at Universal Uproar, the biggest event of the year. Ayass points out that Aoki was an amateur wrestling champion in the Japanese army. So you KNOW he’s a badass. Go has bulked up a bit so he’s no pushover though. They armdrag each other at speed and Go finds himself struggling for pace so he bails. Doug and Davey come in and that’s more slowly paced and mat based. Doug controls the entire segment and tags out. Go makes it about striking thus allowing Davey a route back into the match. Go is pretty inexperienced. Aoki gets a tag and they keep Go isolated by working the knee. Aoki is smarter because he doesn’t want to trade strikes or show off, just control the match. As soon as I type that Aoki draws Go into a striking contest but then just as quickly as it starts he dropkicks the knee to end it. Go uses his knee as a defensive weapon seeing as its already knackered and gets enough space to tag Doug. Go tags back in and he’s forgotten about the knee already. He’s also not paying attention to Doug who’s the leader of this team. Doug takes Aoki into the crowd so he throw him onto some chairs and various other shit that’s lying around at the back of the venue. Odd approach from Doug. Aoki manages a dropkick on Go and tags in Davey. They make a horrible mistake on a blown bodyscissors takeover. Davey then kicks Go in the head really hard. Falcon Arrow gets 2 and the hand was about an inch off the canvas for 3. Go and Davey trade kicks but that’s for Go to sucker Davey in to a fisherman suplex. Go with a superkick and Doug comes in for his knee combo. Doug has kept Davey off balance but he feels the Chaos Theory coming so Doug can’t get it. Doug opts for a straight up German suplex instead. That gets 2. Davey blocks the Chaos Theory and hits an STO. Aoki gets a tag and a back suplex gets 2. Aoki goes for the cross armbreaker and Go knows its trouble so he jumps in to stomp him. Doug takes advantage with a gutwrench suplex and Go plays up the NOAH style by knocking Davey off the apron. Doomsday European Uppercut gets 2. Davey makes the save and Go’s inexperience let him do so. Doug with more knees for 2. He goes up for the Bomb Scare but Davey stops him. Go blew it again. Aoki with a superplex. Davey comes off top with a missile dropkick and the trilogy finishes with Aoki’s Northern Lights for 2. Davey kicks Doug in the head into another Northern Lights…for 2. The bottom rope comes off costing Aoki the use of the ropes and the Chaos Theory finishes around 19 minutes. ***1/2. Very solid tag match. The tag psychology kept cropping up with Go’s inexperience actually being part of the psychology.
And that’s just disc one folks and we already have SEVEN matches at ***+. At this point I’m already going thumbs up and calling this a definite purchase without disc two and night two.
Night two also comes from Liverpool. Hosts are once again Dan Reed and Dean Ayass. We kick things off with the quarter finals.
Doug Williams v Chris Hero
English crowd is surprisingly pro-Hero. I guess that’s because Doug is on every show for every company in England whereas Hero makes the odd appearance over here. Familiarity breeds contempt in the smark fan’s mind. They go straight to the mat and Ayass points out that whoever wins tonight will wrestle 3 times. Doug brings the British style by stretching the legs apart but Hero flips him out of it. Hero chains on the arm and Doug uncharacteristically, for babyface Doug anyway, uses the hair. The announcers tell us Pac made it to the building tonight after staying in hospital half the night. Hero meanwhile busts out the Johnny Saint tribute to escape a headlock and the crowd loves that. Doug looks disappointed that he fell for it. Doug forward rolls to get out of an armbar and this is been typically British. Ayass tells us he gave some tapes to Paul Burchill a few years back. “Pirate tapes” he smirks. This match has been a startling contrast to the razzle dazzle of the night before. They counter standing with some nifty arm based reversals. This is GREAT wrestling. The back and forth continues and they start to separate and use the ropes more. Doug pushes it further with a snap suplex and he heads up for a diving headbutt off the middle rope for 2. They start striking at each other but Hero outsmarts Doug with a backslide. Hero pops back up with chops and backdrops Doug. NODOWA OTOSHI from Hero, which he shouts out and yet Reed still calls it a chokeslam. Luckily Ayass is on hand to point out the call. Hero breaks out the ARTFUL DODGER…for 2. Doug catches him with an inside cradle for the pin though. ***1/2. Sublime technical wrestling. Probably not everyone’s cup of tea and Hero, while very well educated, doesn’t have the smooth wrestling ability of say a Lance Storm who Doug had a much better match with using the basic premise.
POST MATCH Doug somewhat heels on Hero by refusing to shake hands and walks out. Hmm, that’s…unusual. I guess they have to set someone up as the bad guy. Or do they? I thought pretty much everyone on this show was a babyface due to the excellence of the wrestling.
Pac v Nigel McGuinness
Yesterday was the Pac show. He managed two incredible matches despite there only being one round. He has his head taped up. Nigel gets the mic to put Pac over as a great up and coming star but he should think about the future. Because he’s not healthy. Pac doesn’t want to be disrespectful but they’re having this match. Mind games from Nigel? He’s clearly not overly aggressive though going after the arm rather than the head. He’s got superb technical skills and Pac, not 100%, struggles with it. That bandaging is useless and falls off in short order. Pac flies back with a headscissors and flying rana. People are critical of Pac’s lack of selling but to Pac doing rana’s is like breathing for the rest of us. It’s that natural to him. Nigel just about copes with Pac’s speed countering things before they arrive showing his superiority as a wrestler. Nigel also remembers his initial approach and goes back to the arm. Ayass mentions all the titles Pac’s held as he hits another standing flip. They counter across the ring on a hip toss and Nigel finally wins after several blocks to send Pac over the top. Nigel follows but Pac flies back in and hits the pescado. He’s not done though and goes back in to hit a suicide senton. The commentators suggest Pac is making his head injury worse. In fact he’s so troubled that he takes a knee and the ref comes out to make sure he can continue. Nigel superkicks him. OOOOOH. WIND UP LARIAT….for 2. He killed him with that too. Nigel starts wailing on Pac in the corner and hits a massive running forearm. Pac comes back and sees the Rebound Lariat coming reversing it into a roll up for 2. Pac gets nailed with a lariat again for 2. Nigel sure is using the lariat a lot here. Looks nice. Nigel tries for something off the ropes but Pac blocks it and hits a diving bodyscissors roll up for 2. Nigel is frustrated and knows he might have to hurt Pac to beat him. HUGE LARIAT….for 2. TOWER OF LONDON and Pac lands on his face. He’s down for 3 this time. ***1/4. Nice story behind it to unsure Pac walks away a winner despite losing the fall. Nigel looks concerned post match. He didn’t want to do that but Pac’s never say die attitude forced him to. The Pac show doesn’t quite continue into night two but it was another strong performance and another supportive crowd reaction.
Davey Richards v Go Shiozaki
Ah, one guy who is definitely heel is Davey Richards although despite this the crowd are happy to see him. Go looks bigger every time I see him. Davey controls right from the off by grabbing Go and grounding him. Go grabs the arm but Go bridges and kicks him in the head. NICE. Davey bounces off Go and opts instead to kick his legs so Go levels him with a flying shoulderblock. They counter some more into duelling dropkicks and we have ourselves an even match up. Go dropkicks the knee, twice. As Reed points out that eliminates Davey’s kicking. Go grabs the legs and keeps Davey down with an aggressive Indian Deathlock. He then goes after the knee on the ropes and while Davey’s worried about that he superkicks him against the buckles too. Dragon screw legwhip into the Figure Four. Go has his knee working moveset down. Go misses in the corner allowing Davey to set him up for the Enzuigiri thus allowing use of the kicks without using his bad leg. Go falls outside so Davey hits a tope and ends up in the front row. “USA baby” – Davey; making himself rather unpopular. Reed further sticks the oar in claiming Team America: World Police is a documentary. Davey is just about mobile despite the knee abuse but Go isn’t in a good place either because he’s taken a few big head shots. Davey tries for kicks but only gets one because he’s hurt. He goes for the cross armbreaker and Go struggles desperately in that before getting to the ropes. Davey chops away and Go has taken those from the best. FIGHTING SPIRIT~! KOBASHI CHOPS~~~!!! I think Davey went and pissed him off. Fisherman buster and Davey pops back up so Go hits him with another one…for 2. Go goes back to the basics and dropkicks the knee out again into the half crab. Crowd wants a tap but Davey shows his own fighting spirit despite considering a tap out and gets the ropes. Davey hits a springboard dropkick, which sort of ruins the whole leg injury thing. Go no sells so Davey hits him with a backdrop driver…for 2. Davey goes up for the SHOOTING STAR but Go gets hits knees up. GERMAN SUPLEX….for 2. Davey counters the pin into a keylock clutch and Go has to fight his way into the ropes. Just noticed I stopped breathing during the keylock. Awesome. Davey switches legs on the short kicks but Go just gets pissed off and LARIATS Davey for 2. Orange Crush gets 2. Go decides he needs something big and goes up top. Davey looks out of it. He sneaks in a low blow and hits a diving DDT into the KEYLOCK CLUTCH. Go is forced to tap out but Davey cheated to win! ****. Utterly fantastic match bar one rope move where Davey forgot his psychology. Go Shiozaki looked like a huge star there.
Matt Sydal v Ryo Saito
Dragon Gate clash here. Saito shows he’s a little better on the mat during the opening exchange. They speed up lucha style and also do the duelling dropkicks spot. Sydal won the Ted Petty Invitational. They trade chops, which Saito wins with a big overhand chop. Sydal pops off a dropkick but Saito is there for a belly to belly in short order. Speedy match up here with both guys moving at speed and popping off moves lightning fast. Saito drops off the top with a double stomp for 2. Another chop-off, which ends with Saito hitting a sidewalk slam. Fisherman buster and he rolls out into the sit out spinebuster. He calls that the “Shrimp”. That gets 2. Sydal comes back right away with a spinning heel kick. Saito bails and Sydal hits a dive where he wings the top rope and nearly kills himself. Back inside Sydal hits a middle rope leg jam for 2. This has been far spottier than the previous matches in this round. Sydal hits a sequence of running strikes into the corner and tries for a springboard to follow up but gets caught in a dropkick. That doesn’t stop him hitting a standing moonsault for 2. Yeah, this is a spotty effort. Still good. Saito with a stalling German suplex and he just PLANTS Sydal with it. They counter standing and Saito gets clipped with an Enzuigiri. NO SOLD. RELEASE DRAGON SUPLEX. NO SOLD. Saito just MURDERS Sydal with a lariat into the DRAGON SUPLEX for 2. Two? Saito wants the fucking PREMIUM BRIDGE OFF THE TOP. Sydal elbows him off and hits the Shooting Star Press for the win. ***. Certainly a spot heavy version of the previous match. Much what you’d expect from those involved.
Nigel McGuinness v Davey Richards
ROH v PWG. Davey still looks beat up from his quarter final. Nigel is quickly cementing this building as Nigel’s House. Davey dives on him to get an early advantage. Nigel dodges him in the corner and lays in some back kicking into that clothesline out of the corner. Davey tries for a tornado DDT but Nigel pushes him off and hits an early lariat for 2. “Fuck him up, Nigel, fuck him up”. He looks for the Tower of London but Davey shoves him off and missile dropkicks his back. Davey charges but gets hit with another lariat for 2. TOWER OF LONDON…for 2. Well, Nigel has hit both his finishers really early and not gotten a pin. Davey picks off the arm to eliminate that lariat and perhaps even look for a submission. Fujiwara armbar can’t get it done but Nigel looks hurt because of it and Davey rolls into the Keylock Clutch. Geez, straight to the finishers in this one! Nigel rolls out into a pin for 2. His arm is bad now. Davey has a bad knee but there’s been no work done on that. Poor Go Shiozaki. All his good work gone to waste. Nigel goes for another lariat but Davey kicks his arm. He switches arms on the rebound lariat but that’s ducked. Nigel bounces off again and the REBOUND LARIAT, with the injured arm, finishes. *3/4. They skipped over most of the match and did the last 5 minutes of a 30 minute match instead, which was weird. Especially for a match so near the end of the tournament that had an OBVIOUS finish with the bad knee. Not to mention an even more obvious finish of just using the right arm instead of the injured left one. You’d think these guys were rookies or something. Not the best of booking or execution despite lots of effort.
Matt Sydal v Doug Williams
IWA-MS v Premier. Doug is sporting a t-shirt and launches himself at Sydal with a knee combo. BOMB SCARE gets an early 2 count. Sydal decides to get himself into this with a few dropkicks and a rana. Doug bails out and then bails back in to avoid the pescado. Doug bails out again and this time Sydal baseball slides him. Sydal with a sunset flip but Doug uses the ropes to stop it. Crowd are clearly opposed to Doug here and it only took a lack of a handshake after the quarter final. Sydal slips out of a few Doug holds as Ayass talks about the same thing I did earlier about how the crowd sees Doug all the time and therefore doesn’t appreciate him. Doug with a stalling suplex for 2. Sydal takes a BIG backdrop for 2. Doug seems to be focusing on the back to set up the Chaos Theory. Doug thumbs Sydal in the eye, twice. Sydal hits a diving DDT regardless and the impact is intense but Sydal can’t get a pin. They trade on forearms instead until Sydal hits an Enzuigiri and a bulldog. Quebrada senton gets 2. La Majistral works at the second time for 2. NEAR FALLS sequence. Doug does the counters SO fast on that. Doug goes up top so Sydal rana’s him off. SSP misses and he tries a standing flip but Doug gets knees up and rolls up Sydal for the win. **1/2. Hmm, the semi’s have been rather uninspiring. Hoping they’re just keeping plenty back for the final.
PRE-MATCH Stevie Aaron brings out the special guest who’ll present the winner of the tournament with their trophy. It’s Brian Dixon who usually steers clear of these things. He’s the promoter of All Star, which has been around since the 80’s. They’re the most successful company in the UK although they’re not a big name because of their reluctance to release DVD’s or be on TV.
King of Europe - Nigel McGuinness v Doug Williams
Amazing how little it took to turn the crowd on Doug. He heels it up like a schmuck here though arguing with the fans and shoving Aaron out of the way during his introduction. Thinking about it, I’m pretty sure Stevie Aaron owes me a pint. They start out countering on the arm with some tidy technical wrestling. Doug slams Nigel but Nigel hangs on to the arm. They keep countering back and forth on the arm with Nigel having the more showy reversals. Top wristlock from Nigel, Doug rolls through it and Nigel counters back. Doug gets frustrated and rolls outside. Doug calms himself down and picks the leg but Nigel uses one of his legs to pull Doug down into a headlock. Much like Doug often does to other people. Doug with a headscissors but Nigel gets out into a headlock and Doug retreats into the ropes again. His hanging on draws “pussy” chants. Doug sneaks in a punch by positioning the referee. It’s like he’s been watching some old school territory stuff. That’s Dick Murdoch or Harley Race material. Or Ric Flair. Outside and Nigel weighs in with European uppercuts. The final one breaks the barrier Doug was leaning on. That’s a meaty forearm! Nigel wants to inflict further damage and this heads into the audience. We have a camera following them! Hallelujah. Doug gets set up on a table and Nigel eyes up the balcony. He throws a small table at Doug’s head. Looks like no balcony then as Nigel takes it to the corner. Doug reverses and runs Nigel into a ladder that’s standing by the staircase. Doug grabs a headlock and he’s more comfortable inside. Having said that he ties Nigel up with a hammerlock around the rail. Use your environment. Doug slams Nigel on the floor and goes up top – DIVING KNEE STRIKE TO THE FLOOR! Doug hurts himself in the process, kayfabe, which shows you how high risk the ropes can be. Fisherman buster gets 2. “ROH” chants the crowd. Remember they ran a full Ring of Honor show in this very building. Doug sneaks in another punch and claims it was an open palm. Shades of Wilbur Snyder applied and you can tell from that very move that this is a differently paced match to anything else on the card. Doug eyes up the Chaos Theory but Nigel counters in the corner with the kick into the corner clothesline. Nigel looks for a European Uppercut in the corner but Doug meets him with a flying European Uppercut for 2. Doug goes up top but gets caught in the TOWER OF LONDON for 2. Nowhere near as crisp as the one on Pac earlier. Doug jumped off rather than take it full on. They counter back and forth and Nigel hits a lariat for 2. He’s been looking to finish this off but Doug wasn’t that worn down. Still plenty of gas in the tank. Nigel goes for a superplex but Doug throws him off and hits the BOMB SCARE for 2. Nigel’s lip is busted. Doug elbows ref Steve Linskey causing him to not see Nigel coming when Doug ducks the REBOUND LARIAT. Poor Steve gets nailed. Nigel with a lariat on Doug but the ref is dead. His earpiece got knocked out. Replacement ref is out here. TOWER OF LONDON…for 2. Sure are killing that finisher, huh? Nigel checks on the ref but Doug goes low and rolls Nigel up…for 2. The devastating roll up has claimed 3 victims. Doug knees Nigel back into the ropes but he hits the REBOUND LARIAT. BUT the ref is revived and stops the second ref’s count by throwing him out of the ring! Crowd don’t appreciate it but Linskey is the ref. Nigel NUTS HIM. Doug rolls Nigel up and the second ref gets the pin…for 2. CHAOS THEORY….FOR 2. Inside cradle from Nigel and that catches Doug out and Nigel wins the King of Europe Cup. ****1/4. Don’t really appreciate the finish but the crowd seemed to like it so what the hell.
POST MATCH Linskey has a nosebleed. The other wrestlers come out to applaud Nigel for winning the tournament. Doug, somewhat pissed off, finally offers a handshake and Nigel hugs him. Aww, happy ending. Doug was heel for about 2 hours. Brian Dixon presents Nigel McGuinness with the King of Europe Cup and he holds it aloft. Dixon gets the mic to call this a great show with great wrestlers. The crowd gives everyone a standing ovation. Nigel thanks various folks for leading the way (Finlay, Regal etc) and Alex Shane for putting this show on. He’s a better promoter than a wrestler that’s for damn sure. There’s a great show of respect where all the other wrestlers are taking a knee while Nigel talks about how he loves wrestling and how it brings together the people in the ring and the people in the audience. Nigel calls this tournament a pure and simple love of professional wrestling. Nigel talks about this not being about chanting three letters (like ROH) but rather about wrestling. So we get a big round of applause instead. PURE~!
BONUS MATERIAL –
El Generico/Martin Stone/Atsushi Aoki v Swiss Money Holding/Trent Acid
This is an elimination match involving everyone who lost in the first round. Barring Jody Fleisch who broke his jaw wrestling on night one and Rhino who’s presumably gone home after his strong showing on night one. Oh and Aoki replaces Zebra Kid who presumably had to get back to jail. Generico and Claudio have an Ole v Yeah off. And it is INTENSE! Acid is flying low claiming his johnson is “too big” for him to zip it up. Why doesn’t Acid just, yanno, wash? Everyone likes clean people. This breaks right down into a total fucking mess on the floor. Hey, everyone is doing NOTHING. Brilliant. This is why you all didn’t make the quarter finals. This match is terrible already. They basically take it in turns to have a one on one segment in the ring while the other just aimlessly and ineffectively brawl outside. Only it’s really, really lazy brawling because no one is watching anyway. Like during Royal Rumbles where people just stand around. Generico wakes the crowd by threatening to dive and then it’s the Asai moonsault off the top. The aimless brawling continues around on the floor. Claudio brings the cool by bouncing off the ropes from the floor into a forearm. TRIPLE SUPLEX SPOT~! Out in the crowd no less. Well, if you can’t be arsed to do anything in the ring might as well do it in the crowd. More stalling follows with Claudio and Generico using the rail while everyone else does nothing. Aoki gets clipped with a diving DDT courtesy of Acid. Has Martin Stone done anything at all in this match? Or Ares for that matter? Acid tries for another DDT but gets countered into a Northern Lights for 2. Finally this match is waking up. Aoki tries for a cross armbreaker and kicks Acid in the face while he’s doing it to get shot of him via submission.
Neat. Swiss Money Holdings go after Aoki and single him out. And where is Martin Stone? Standing on the floor doing nothing. Aoki goes low and gets the armbreaker on Claudio but Ares makes the save. Tags ref? No? Aoki with a missile dropkick on Ares. He’s been the most energised guy in this. Probably because he didn’t wrestle the night before. Double team backbreaker/neckbreaker from SMH and Aoki is eliminated.
Stone decides it’s time to get his ass in gear and finally get in the ring. Once again we still have nothing approaching tags. As I type that we get our first tag of the match at about 12 minutes. Ares finds himself cut off. Ref even uses the 5 count to enforce tagging. Well it’s about fucking time. Claudio gets a tag and gives Stone the Giant Swing for 17 rotations. Ares breaks out his usual tie choking. Wheelbarrow Superman Battering Ram gets 2. Generico comes in and starts flipping around and he nearly gets Claudio off a rana. Ares stops him diving so he gets a jawbreaker and Generico sets for a dive again. This time Claudio stops him. Generico presents him with a KICK IN THE FACE for 2. Claudio blocks a tornado DDT in mid move, throws him up into the air and European Uppercuts him on the way down to get the pin. That was cool.
SMH v Stone now. Stone finds himself in double trouble but Claudio unusually miscues on Ares. Stone clocks Ares with a clothesline for the pin. That was about a quarter as good as any of Nigel McGuinness’ this weekend.
Claudio starts popping off suplexes and slams but can’t keep Stone down. Stone starts no selling and hits a brainbuster for 2. Release German on the Swiss. Claudio ducks a clothesline and hits a springboard European Uppercut. Those uppercuts have been used pretty heavily but it is in Europe. Claudio messes around near the ropes for too long and Stone kills him with the LONDON BRIDGE. Stone survives alone. **1/4. Terrible start. The first 10 minutes was pretty much a write off. Then they started losing the more talented guys to boot. Luckily they went with some formula tagging to wrap it up mixed in with some innovative countering. Then we finally got something worthwhile.
Martin Stone v Pac
This is for the RQW title from December 2006. We can’t finish off the Pac show without a showing from Pac right? After all Pac = DVD sales. It’s also nice to see another tournament final. This is also to determine who competes in the King of Europe. When you consider that Pac competed for IPW:UK I think you already know the outcome. Stone has a bad leg thanks to an earlier match. Stone has his family at ringside and hugs them all. Pac has bad ribs. Babyface match and they shake hands. They take it to the mat to start knowing that Pac is faster and Stone is stronger. It’s time to see who’s better technically. Seems like a draw with Stone more aggressive but Pac escaping any hold he has on. Back to the mat with Pac getting a simple hold, the bodyscissors, and trying to turn it into something else. In this case a pin. Stone is aware of that and blocks with his size. Pac decides it’s time to stop being so friendly and picks the injured leg off. Take what you can. Give nothing back. Pac also uses his speed to knock Stone over thus showing he can neutralise his size and strength. Dropkick to the knee and a sweet standing moonsault kneedrop gets 2. They kept shilling Sydal’s standing moonsault but Pac’s is in fact better. Pac’s foot seems to be troubling him. That’s the danger of high risk. Pac dropkicks the knee again and this time Stone stays down. Shinbreaker gets 2. The idea being that Stone can’t kick out of anything because his leg is bad and has to use up energy to get the shoulder up. Pac underestimates what Stone has left in the tank though and gets caught in the urinage for 2. He follows up with a crossface Cobra clutch style but Pac gets into the ropes. Stone charges but Pac dropkicks the knee again. While Stone is trying to get up Pac heads up with the ropes now safe territory and the SHOOTING STAR STOMP gets 2. SHOOTING STAR PRESS…for 2. Stone is up and HE’S PISSED OFF. LARIATOOOOOOOOOOOO. That one was better. That gets 2. Pac bumped that SO well. Both men are hurt so they stand there forearming at each other. Pac seems to have a little more so Stone throws him up in the air and LARIATS HIM ON THE WAY DOWN. HOLY SHIT! That was AWESOME. Pac is limp so Stone POWERBOMBS OVER THE TOP ROPE ONTO THE RAMP. Or, he could have pinned him? Holy fucking Overkill Batman! Pac is dead weight. LONDON BRIDGE back in and Pac HEADSPIKES IT. You know it’s over and Stone wins the match, the title and a berth in the King of Europe. ****. Stone’s selling was…interesting. He kept it up as long as the story required it. Then just murdered Pac to finish the match off. As if he was saying “I’ve taken everything you’ve got. Now it’s my turn”. Hard-hitting match though. Great entertainment and the vast majority of it made far more sense than most of the tournament matches.
POST MATCH Stone puts over Pac and that’s how we finish up the DVD. Which is appropriate because Pac just completely stole the show throughout. Why not end on him?
The 411: This is an easy thumbs up. The tournament boasts a number of excellent bouts with 13 matches on the DVD set breaching the *** margin. The first night of the tournament seemed a little OTT with an assortment of finishers getting killed. It seemed in a few matches like it’d only end when someone was dead or in the case of Jody Fleisch, in hospital. That said night one contained some thrilling encounters and at the end a great and unexpected effort from Rhino of all people. The second night boasted some improved technical wrestling including a very strong final between Doug Williams and Nigel McGuinness. It’s a pity the semis were skipped over so quickly but the lack of filler meant the tournament needed a strong final and that was the only way to preserve it. The extras were solid viewing too with Pac twice popping up to go over **** in bonus matches leaving him as the undisputed star of the DVD. Nigel McGuinness may have won the tournament but Pac stole the spotlight. It only could have been a more entertaining two nights if they’d promoted it harder and gotten a bigger crowd in. I know they tried their best but the quality this tournament would produce wasn’t stressed anywhere. Now it’s gone down and it was a huge success you’d hope it’ll become a regular thing like the Super 8 and the Ted Petty and BOLA. I approve. Once again, thumbs up.