Are the days of the Shane era numbered already?
It seems a long time since the FWA held ‘Goldrush’ at the Broxbourne Civic Hall and indeed it is. It was at the end of November that the FWA last staged a main roster show, and it’s been down to problems at the Brent Town Hall that there hasn’t been a show since, but now the FWA return to Broxbourne for ‘New Frontiers’ and could a new FWA British Heavyweight Champion be about to crowned?
FWA British Heavyweight Title: Alex Shane v Jonny Storm
Who could have believed it? At one time last year, Jonny Storm, an FWA stalwart if ever there was one, wasn’t even a member of the official roster. Why? Well, the not quite so popular XPW European Champion had managed to beat a string of top American imports, but couldn’t defeat James Tighe in a Loser leaves the FWA match in Morecambe. It was adios to Jonny but hey, this is professional wrestling and rules are made to be broken!
Storm returned to the UK after a tour of Thailand determined to get back into the company. It wasn’t an easy task, and despite helping out by wrestling Colt Cabana at Hotwired, there were plenty in the company (stand up Mr Tighe) who didn’t want him back, even if he was getting plenty of people to sign his petition. At British Uprising 3, matters came to a head. All wrestlers currently on the FWA active roster were due to vote on whether a Storm could blow through the FWA again. It was looking pretty grim for Storm as James Tighe and Mark Belton made FWA Commissioner Flash Barker realise that his retirement made his vote for Jonny invalid. But then Jodie Fleisch, remarkably still on the active roster despite his year-long retirement, returned to cast the deciding vote. Storm was back in the FWA!
His official in-ring comeback took place at Goldrush just weeks later and after a victory over Chad Collyer, he entered the Battle Royal held that evening to determine a new Number one challenger for Alex Shane’s British Heavyweight Title. It looked as if Storm had no chance of winning that evening as he couldn’t even get in the ring, let alone fight anyone. He was attacked with a steel chair by bitter rival James Tighe but his evening wasn’t over. Storm returned to the arena, actually made it to the ring and eliminated both Doug Williams and Ulf Hermann to grab the Number One challengers spot.
Since then the war of words between Shane and Storm has been relentless. But is Shane scared of his opponent this Sunday? There was a time when British Title matches in the FWA were fought over the best of three falls, but Alex Shane isn’t a great fan of that rule. He made sure his title challenge to Doug Williams was over the best of one fall and after a great deal of debate, so will this Sunday’s title defence. All very helpful when Shane can rely on people like Vansen, Stone, Kincaide and Stixx to interfere on his behalf. But if that does happen, FWA Commissioner Flash Barker is certain to take tough action, and the same goes for a certain dodgy referee in the company! Then again, the ever-scared Shane also has to fear the return of arch rival Ulf Hermann, though added security may prevent a repeat of his interference at Uprising.
It’s a one-on-one battle between two men who know each other very well, could Storm be about to reach the top of the FWA for the first time?
FWA All-England Title: Hade Vansen v Spud
Only one champion in the FWA managed to hold onto his belt throughout 2004, so is perhaps a title change imminent? Spud wasn’t even in the company when Vansen won the title beating Flash Barker at British Uprising 2. In fact he didn’t make his in-ring debut on a main show until Hotwired last year where he put up a great, but unsuccessful battle against James Tighe. But Spud had already shown the FWA fans what he was capable of at a round-robin tournament in Enfield where he beat Jack Xavier. At Uprising 3, Spud took part in the Next Generation triple threat eliminator to determine a new Number One challenger for the All-England Title. The young Midlander defeated Aviv Maayan and Ross Jordan to get tonight’s title shot. One thing is already confirmed and that’s the fact that Vansen knows only too well what his challenger is capable of. At that Battle Royal at Goldrush, it was Spud who eliminated Hade Vansen. After denying him a chance to fight for the British title, could Spud be about to take away his All-England Title too?
FWA All-England Title Eliminator: Jack Xavier v Leroy Kincaide
2004 was a pretty tough year for Jack Xavier. After a punishing series of matches with Alex Shane, he found himself feuding with Hade Vansen. The All-England Champion was allied with Shane and helped him defeat Xavier. A battle for the All-England Title ensued but despite some wins in that Enfield round-robin and in a tag match at Hotwired, both of Xavier’s title challenges ended in failure. But worse was yet to come as Xavier fell foul to a vicious backstage attack at Goldrush. It left him hospitalised and led to depression as he faced a long lay-off from the ring. Realising how much Xavier had helped the company over the past few years, the FWA management committee gave him the chance to get back in the title picture. They offered him this match, an eliminator for the title he challenged for so valiantly last year. His opponent? None other than one of Alex Shane’s security team, Leroy Kincaide who’s making his main roster singles debut at New Frontiers. He’s a hungry fighter but then again so is Xavier, it promises to be a thrilling match.
Hampton Court v Declan O’Connor and Joey Hayes
One thing is guaranteed from New Frontiers. At the end of the evening, Buttercup will still have the duty of cleaning the FWA Tag Title Belts that belong to her master The Duke of Danger and his butler, Simmons. Why? Well, after Simmons was forced to pull out of Goldrush due to illness, Hampton Court asked the FWA if they could have a non-title warm-up at New Frontiers. The Committee agreed but could this be a request that backfires on them?
Under the new FWA rules, only those rated in the top 5 can challenge for a title. Now seeing, Northern newcomers O’Connor and Hayes are making their main-show debut, they can’t challenge for the title. But, what if they were to get a shock win over the champions at New Frontiers?
Zebra Kid v Chris Hero
A debut and a welcome return all in one match. Chris Hero has earned himself a big reputation as a wrestlers who’s both tough and prepared to wrestle for very long periods of time. Now he makes his FWA debut against The Zebra Kid. We all know the problems that Roy Bevis has had over the past year and while no one can condone his actions, it’s time to put things in the past and look forward to the future. Zebra Kid is a former FWA All-England Champion and British Heavyweight Title challenger. Once he announced his return to the FWA, he was determined, as was his father, ‘Rowdy’ Ricky Knight’ to face as tough an opponent as possible at New Frontiers. It certainly looks as if he’s been granted that request in full and then some!
James Tighe/Mark Belton v Aviv Maayan/Ross Jordan
Tighe and Belton are on their way to winning an award for the grumpiest wrestlers in the FWA. Since Tighe turned heel during his match with AJ Styles last year he’s been a total pain! He’s also staging a vendetta against the young stars who took part in the Next Generation match at Uprising 3. He already holds a win over Spud and Aviv Maayan, but it’s the latter of those two who has caused the latest bout of grumpiness from Tighe. It was Maayan who eliminated Tighe from the Goldrush Battle Royal, only for the eliminated Tighe to cost the youngster his chance of glory. Tighe is after revenge for what happened at Goldrush and knows another victory here could confirm a tag team title shot in the near future.
Stevie Lynn v Mark Sloan
Another main roster debut in the FWA as the company pledges to give as many stars as possible their chance to be successful in the company. Stevie Lynn has had a great deal of success in wZw and is their current Cruiserweight Champion but he faces a tough task on his FWA debut. Mark Sloan is a former FWA British Heavyweight Champion and doesn’t lay down easily for anyone. A win here could propel the career of Lynn to new heights (New Frontiers perhaps?) but Sloan is not yesterday’s man that’s for sure!
FWA Open Door:
Like I’ve just written, the FWA want to give plenty of opportunity to new stars this year and the FWA fans get the chance to go all inter-active this weekend. Up and coming stars from all over the country will be making their way to the ring this weekend but only two will be allowed to wrestle. Stars include: Max Voltage, Jack Storm, Heresy, JC Thunder, Johnny Phere, TJ Cain, Cameron Knite, ‘Superstar’ Tony Sefton, Carbon and Jamie Idol will all be hoping they’ll be getting the cheers of the crowd which guarantee they get a match at New Frontiers.
The show also sees Dirk Feelgood make his main roster debut for the FWA and a special announcement by Jodie Fleisch. After his return at Uprising which certainly ruffled a few feathers, what could he have to say at New Frontiers? Could he have his eyes on a match with either James Tighe or Mark Belton or has he still got some grievances against Jonny Storm? Then again this could be the final goodbye, who knows.
New Frontiers takes place on Saturday February 26th at the Broxbourne Civic Hall. For ticket info and details of the pre-show Fanslam, go to frontierwrestling.com