Main image by David J Wilson
Here are five things you need to know about British wrestling this week:
1) It was more like OhYes! for Joe Coffey at ICW
Whatever the finer details of Insane Championship Wrestling’s business relationship with WWE, which have allowed Finn Balor and Noam Dar to appear on their shows in the last year, they once again paid dividends on Sunday as the former Chris Hero — Kassius Ohno in NXT — was parachuted into the main event of The Infamous ICW at the O2 Academy in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Joe Coffey (and “agent,” Red Lightning) await the NXT star — photo by David J Wilson
Ohno faced ICW Heavyweight Champion Joe Coffey — not one of the handful of wrestlers under a WWE UK contract — and couldn’t quite upset the champion, meaning Coffey goes into November’s huge Fear & Loathing X show at the Hydro in Glasgow at the top of the pile.
ICW’s other champions — minus BT Gunn, who was defending his Zero-G title in Italy — also came through Infamous unscathed, with Kasey Owens defeating first-time challenger Little Miss Roxxy in the ICW Women’s title match, and The Marauders walking into F&L with their belts after seeing off British Strong Style.
British Strong Style, lounging — photo by David J Wilson
ICW’s trademark storyline-heavy action continued on the show, with Ravie Davie ending up suspended after pushing ICW owner Mark Dallas, Chris Renfrew being booted out of Legion for attacking Michael Dante, and Johnny Moss saying farewell to the promotion with a win over Lionheart.
The show also featured wins for Polo Promotions, The Filthy Generation, and the impromptu eight-man team of Wolfgang, DCT & The Purge. You can see Infamous on ICW On Demand, and next up is a Friday Night Fight Club taping at The Garage in Glasgow on October 1st.
2) What’s next for WCPW doesn’t look so clear
What Culture, the parent company of What Culture Pro Wrestling, announced this week that Adam Blampied, Adam Pacitti, Ross Tweddell, Jack King, and Sam Driver were all leaving the company, and with Blampied still a major part of ongoing storylines it remains to be seen what that will mean for the promotion.
The five have already intimated plans to start their own project, titled Cultaholic.
Plans are still in place for the Refuse To Lose iPPV, with The Young Bucks in action, to go ahead on October 2nd, and WCPW has promised to announce a new general manager. Martin Kirby, who has benefited more than most from increased exposure in WCPW, tweeted, “Well, I suppose it was fun while it lasted…”
Mikey Whiplash hits Rampage Brown HARD at Discovery Wrestling — photo by David J Wilson
WCPW Heavyweight Champion Joe Hendry was in action for Discovery Wrestling at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh on Saturday, where he beat Dalton Castle in another impressive win. Discovery Y-Division Champion Lewis Girvan headlined the show in a two-out-of-three-falls match against Joe Coffey, with Coffey adding Girvan’s belt to his collection after beating him two falls to one.
The planned crowning of a Discovery Women’s Champion did not go to plan, however, as Lucy Cole was injured in the tournament final, causing the match to be stopped. The four-way contest (which is rounded out by Session Moth Martina, Nina Samuels, and Sammii Jayne) will be held at a later date.
The show also featured wins for the Mae Young Classic’s Ayesha Raymond, Aspen Faith, Rampage Brown, and WWN Champion Matt Riddle (who wrestled Mikey Whiplash in Glasgow for Source Wrestling on Friday night), and Discovery will return on November 5th.
3) Havoc’s long reign is ended by a Storm
Jimmy Havoc’s two-year reign as IPW:UK Heavyweight Champion is finally over, but it wasn’t his Supershow XI opponent Cara Noir that took the belt.
While the advertised main event of the show, at the Casino Rooms in Rochester last Sunday, was ongoing (and after Havoc’s Army had turned on their boss), Jonny Storm — who had a guaranteed title shot as a result of winning the Royal Rewards rumble — appeared and cashed-in, making the match a three-way.
The new IPW:UK Heavyweight Champion, Jonny Storm — photo by Alex Haskett
Storm duly pinned Havoc and then ranted at the IPW:UK fans, earning instant ire from those in attendance and watching live on FloSlam. This was not the only title change on the show, as reluctant partners, and IPW:UK Tag Team Champions, DND finally ended that partnership as James Castle & Sammy Smooth carried off the belts.
IPW:UK All-England Champion Earl Black Jr., and IPW:UK Women’s Champion Livvii Grace, successfully defended their titles.
Before he emerged to win the title in the main event, Jonny Storm had earlier appeared — alongside longtime friend (and sometimes rival) Jody Fleisch — as one of Dalton Castle’s “Boys,” and they teamed with Castle to beat Cuban Heat, “The Banker” Marc Lloyd & Big T Justice.
There were also wins for El Phantasmo and Matt Riddle, and you can catch the show on replay on FloSlam, as well as on IPW:UK’s On Demand service.
Supershow XI was IPW:UK founder Dan Edler’s last show in charge of the promotion, having sold his controlling interest to the promoters of the Fight!Nation brand. Going forward, all Fight!Nation, ONE, and IPW:UK events will be held under the IPW:UK banner, beginning with this Friday’s show in Canterbury. This column wishes Dan all the best in his future endeavors.
4) Soner Dursun vs. The World is Dunne
One of 2017’s highlights in the north west (and wider UK) scene has been the long FutureShock Wrestling Adrenaline Championship reign of Soner Dursun, and the thrilling contests it has produced with the likes of Travis Banks, Flash Morgan Webster, and Rockstar Spud.
At last Sunday’s Reloaded 3, from 53two in Manchester, Dursun faced his toughest test yet in the shape of WWE UK Champion Pete Dunne, and it was one he could not pass.
Pete Dunne, double champion — photo by Tony Knox
Dursun had actually won the match, by disqualification, as number one contender Xander Cooper emerged to attack the champion. But, mindful of his streak, Dursun begged the referee not to end it that way, and the match continued, only for Dunne to hit his Bitter End finish and lock on a Kimura for the win.
Cooper — who had earlier lost to Joey Hayes — will now face Dunne for the belt, which was very much not in his plans!
Even allowing for the Dursun vs. Dunne encounter, the show was proudly headlined by the FutureShock Women’s Championship, and a two-out-of-three-falls match between champion April Davids and challenger Lana Austin. Despite the odds heavily favoring Davids, it was Austin who picked up the win to start her second reign as the top lass in FutureShock.
Lana Austin submits April Davids — photo by Tony Knox
The FutureShock Heavyweight title was not defended, with Zack Gibson withdrawing from his scheduled bout with James Drake due to injury. Drake instead faced his fellow WWE UK competitor Tyson T-Bone, but Gibson did appear and made his presence felt by interfering in the match and costing Drake the win. Afterwards, Gibson continued to attack Drake, and this one will only heat up from here.
The show also featured wins for The Sexy Gents and JJ Webb, and you can see FutureShock action on their On Demand service, and live when they visit Stockport for Uproar 96 on October 1st.
5) Gene Munny is still certifiably excellent (and other stuff)
A big weekend up and down the country (which also included WAW and Bellatrix in action in Norwich, and both Lucha Britannia and the London Lucha League at the Resistance Gallery in Bethnal Green) kicked off on Friday in Street (that’s a town, not a thoroughfare) when Ultimate Pro-Wrestling staged Arrival.
The show was headlined by a UPW Heavyweight title match between Dick Riley and the man he dethroned to win the belt, Iestyn Rees, and Riley once again came away with the championship.
Also on the show, which can be seen on UK Wrestling On Demand (alongside Pro-Wrestling Chaos, Shropshire Wrestling Alliance, and the archives of Triple X), Josh Bodom won a three-way number one contender’s match against Ryan Smile and Eddie Ryan, #CCK beat Charleston Allen & Kip Sabian, Marty Scurll submitted Mark Haskins, and there were wins for Jeckel and Ayesha Raymond.
Jack Sexsmith vs. Love Making Demon at GOOD — photo by Meg Hewitt
#CCK journeyed up to Wolverton on Saturday, where they main-evented GOOD Wrestling’s 5ive: Keep On Movin’, defending their CZW Tag Team titles against Mike Bird & Wild Boar. Despite Kid Lykos breaking his wrist in the course of the match, Chris Brookes was able to submit Bird, and the defense of the titles goes into this weekend’s Fight Club: PRO double-shot.
The GOOD show was another excuse for Gene Munny to bring out his Certificate of Excellence (now masking-taped to a studded belt for added prestige), and he issued an open challenge. It was first accepted by Panda Cub (the tag team partner of Big Grizzly, who Munny beat last time out), who lost in quick fashion, before Graham the Ref emerged as a second contender.
He, too, was quickly defeated, and this brought out a third challenger in the shape of Eddie Dennis.
Unfortunately, Munny’s #CCK allies helped him defeat the GOOD debutant, even if the certificate was damaged in the process. The show also saw wins for Jayde, “Pastor” William Eaver, El Phantasmo, Kyle Fletcher, and Jack Sexsmith, and will be available soon on GOOD’s Vimeo service.
Mark Haskins and Travis Banks prepare to do battle at Lucha Forever
Lucha Forever returned to Cardiff last Sunday, with SomethingMania at the city’s Banking Hall. On top of the pile was a Lucha Forever Championship match, under no disqualification rules, which saw Mark Haskins retain his title over the man he beat to win it, Travis Banks.
The show featured the final appearance (for now, at least) of FSU, the team of Eddie Dennis & Mark Andrews, who are going their separate ways. They beat Aussie Open, and there were also wins for Kip Sabian, El Ligero, Dahlia Black, Chief Deputy Dunne, and the trio of Chris Brookes, Elijah & Jim Construction.
The show will soon be available on Lucha Forever’s On Demand service.
Coming up —
The big shows of the weekend take place at the Starworks in Wolverhampton, where Fight Club:PRO stages Project Mayhem VI on Friday and Saturday night. In for the double-shot are Dragon Gate’s CIMA, Mochizuki, and Eita, and just about the whole of Sami Callihan’s JML crew.
FCP aren’t the only ones doing double-shots, with HOP:E Wrestling (Friday in Derby and Saturday in Leicester for a TV taping), IPW:UK (Friday in Canterbury, Sunday in Swanley), PCW (Preston’s Evoque on Friday and The Atik in Halifax on Saturday), and New Generation Wrestling (Saturday in Hull, Sunday in Newcastle-upon-Tyne) also getting in on the weekend swings.
The pick of those shows look to be NGW’s Regeneration-X in Hull (featuring Davey Boy Smith Cup qualifiers and a huge ladder match), and that IPW:UK show in Canterbury, the first under the new owners.
In addition, there are standalone shows on Saturday for Pro-Wrestling Chaos in Thornbury, Bristol, and for the Shropshire Wrestling Alliance in Telford, which features WWE UK Champion Pete Dunne.
Lastly, next week sees a pair of school-night Lucha Forever shows, with Hello (Is It Me Your Luchadore?) at the Frog & Bucket in Manchester on Tuesday, and Never Touch Another Man’s Umbrella, featuring Marty Scurll, at The 1865 in Southampton on Wednesday.