Preview courtesy of the Piledriver Newsletter and Paul Michael:
The FWA Academy….Havant Leisure Centre….16 Men….A 6-sided ring.
A simple concept marks a small evolution in British Wrestling as we know it. 16 wrestlers are split into teams of 4 with one goal – to win the Havant Cup. In order to achieve this, they must amass the most points during the show. There will be 9 matches in the evening, consisting of 6 singles matches, 2 tag matches, and finally a single elimination 16 man tag match to round off the evening.
Each team will announce which 3 members from their squad will compete in the singles matches and then also pick 2 members to do battle in the tag matches. All team members will participate in the main event.
The scoring is simple. Each team gains 2 points for each match won. The team that emerges victorious in the 16 man elimination tag is awarded 5 points. The team with most points at the end of the evening is awarded the Havant Cup trophy.
There are a number of rule changes to standard Academy competition for these shows at Havant, and they are as follows -:
- All matches will start with a tie-up
- No count outs.
- Competitors must shake hands both before and after the match
- All team members are allowed at ringside for matches.
- Any rule breaking or interference will be an automatic disqualification (referee’s discretion).
- Strictly no punching.
Team Portsmouth is made up of Mark Sloan, Eamon Shrahan, Max Voltage, and Dan Head. All four members of this team are amongst the cream of the Academy crop; and Team Portsmouth is perhaps the all-round most solid unit of the four teams. Voltage and Head has fought as a tag-team for almost a year now, and their experience as a team will be vital for Team Portsmouth in the tag matches and the 16 man elimination match. All four men have a good track record in singles competition, especially the vastly experienced Mark Sloan. On paper at least, Team Portsmouth would be many fans’ favourites to lift the Havant Cup on August 21st.
Team Southampton consists of Mark Underwood, James Tighe, Harry Mills, and Dan James. In James Tighe the team have without doubt the best singles competitor in the competition; and in Mills and James, a young, dynamic team used to working together. Add to the mix the sadistic, brutal powerhouse that is Mark Underwood, and this team seems to have all styles covered. As with the local cities, it is expected that there will be a fierce rivalry between Team Southampton and Team Portsmouth. If Team Southampton are to lift the Havant Cup, they will have to come out on top in this rivalry; but will a Portsmouth-based Havant crowd work against them?
Team International comprises Rajah Ghosh, his younger brother Rishi Ghosh, Aviv Maayan, and PJ Black. With Black from South Africa, Aviv from Israel, and the Ghosh Brothers from India, the moniker ‘Team International’ could not be more appropriate. The Ghosh Brothers are a cohesive team, and with blood running thicker than water, could be key to Team International’s success. Aviv Maayan will no doubt be deservedly awarded the Rookie of the Year award for 2004, and will be looking to cement that award with strong showings for his Team here. PJ Black, the South African sensation, has already impressed many onlookers in his short career to date; and will be aiming to make a name for himself here. Team International have a lot to prove, and by working together, they may all achieve great things.
Team Invaders is made up of 4 wrestlers whom are non-Academy trained – Stixx, Spud, Jack Storm, and the returning Justin Richards. Richards is the most experienced man in the whole competition, and thus could well be the brains behind Team Invaders successfully winning the Havant Cup. In Spud and Jack Storm, Team Invaders have, like all of the other teams, a seasoned tag-team; and the powerful Stixx is assured to be perhaps the strongest man in the tournament. Team Invaders have a lot of strength of their side in Stixx and Storm, and one of Britain’s finest high-flyers in Spud. If Justin Richards can utilise his team’s strengths to their advantage, he might just mastermind a successful tournament for Team Invaders.
The matches in the tournament to be held on the 21st August are as follows:
– Mark Sloan (Team Portsmouth) vs James Tighe (Team Southampton)
– Eamon Shrahan (Team Portsmouth) vs Mark Underwood (Team Southampton)
– Dan Head (Team Portsmouth) vs Dan James (Team Southampton)
– Rajah Ghosh (Team International) vs Spud (Team Invaders)
– Aviv Maayan (Team International) vs Justin Richards (Team Invaders)
– PJ Black (Team International) vs Stixx (Team Invaders)
– Dan Head & Max Voltage (Team Portsmouth) vs Mills & James (Team Southampton)
– Rajah & Rishi Ghosh (Team International) vs Spud & Jack Storm (Team Invaders)
– Team Southampton vs Team Portsmouth vs Team International vs Team Invaders in a 16 man single elimination tag match.
On August 21st a new era in British Wrestling will begin….be there live to witness it first-hand.