Saturday March 4th
Tonight is the night when 1PW crown their ‘World’ *ahem* Heavyweight champion. I guess we better hope the hype from October is worth the wait…
To start the day off 1PW had a free signing in the Asda car park featuring Christopher Daniels, Jerry Lynn and an amazingly grumpy looking Christian Cage. The NWA champion seemed unwilling to even look people in the eye, unlike the grinning Fallen Angel (who close up looked like the missing link between Goldberg and Gillberg).
Still annoyed as he looked Captain Charisma signed the posters and posed for photos without complaint……mostly because he said nearly nothing.
For some reason the people who turned up to the signing received free tickets to Sundays FanSlam….well that saved me seven pounds.
Less than an hour later the press conference was called inside the Doncaster Dome, and remarkably the bar was empty. I guess its true about reporters and drinking!
The press conference was hosted by Anthony Kingdom James, in attendance to answer questions were Spud (who sat on two piled chairs as his request for a booster seat was denied), Sterling James Keenan, Ulf Herman, Rhino and Christian Cage; who looked a little happier than he did outside. Rhino is HUGE! The guy blocked my vision at each side, Ok I could see above him easy enough but those shoulders filled even my peripheral vision.
Highlights of the conference were:
* Cage and Rhino admitting to not watching WWE TV anymore, neither was even aware of the roster changes or bouts for Wrestlemania.
* When questioned about the way WWE are handling the Eddie situation both former WWE stars looked unhappy but chose a tame answer of highlighting Eddies character (including Rhino talking about wrestling Eddie while hungover).
* All the men quite happily swapped stories with the people in attendance, even playing a little into kayfabe and talking about how easy each one was to beat. One brave guy told Rhino his jump to TNA made no ripples…everyone backed off!
Heading back to the bar I found myself talking to a group of journalists who were due an interview with Christian Cage, however the once again sullen NWA Champion walked off informing them he had no time. Guess the Doncaster weather didn’t agree with Cage.
On to the show. The very first match of the night was a 1PW Title Tournament match pitting Abyss against the UK’s own Darren Burridge. ‘The Pukka One’ was sloppy as hell with his work, which after seeing what he could do before surprised me! The match was over in under three minutes and Burridge was squashed! The only UK guy in the tournament was jobbed out! * (and thats being generous)
Jerry Lynn Vs Christopher Daniels was next up, and again was part of the tournament. A fantastic back and forth match which had it all, Daniels missed his BME but managed to get the pinfall on Lynn using a Stroke like move into a pinning predicament. ****
In a four way tag match that was nearly the match of the night Southern Comfort went over The Rotweilers, Jonny Storm and Jody Fleisch, and the comedy team (at a combined weight of 200 pounds according to Colt Cobana) of spud and Colt Cobaba. This was pure comedy gold with Smothers working the crowd perfectly, and we got to see a four way DANCE OFF!!!! Storm was the only person, ever, to dance worse than Smothers. Shame Homocide and Ricky Reyes refused to dance, I’m sure Mr 187 could bust a groove! Tracy was the workhorse of this match by far and scored the pin on Cobana following a Doomsday Device. ***
Back to the tournament action as Samoa Joe faced Austin Aries. Joe unsurprisingly went over following a Muscle Buster. Both men seemed to be phoning it in during this one. **
Next up was the bump of the night! AJ Styles Vs Sterling James Keenan. A nice back and forth match with both men looking strong right up until the end when keenan didnt get his head up in time for the Styles Clash! Very nasty, but it got AJ the pinfall. **
Just before the break 1PW announced that the May shows would feature a tournament for their tag team belts. Of the eight teams to be involved only six were named:
- Southern Comfort
- The Rotweillers
- Storm and Fleisch
- Al Snow and The Blue Meanie
- Austin Aries and Roderick Strong
- The return of The Impact Players!!!
OK back to the show. Abyss faced Chris Daniels in a hard hitting match where both men took some nasty bumps, including one which dented the guardrail pretty badly. Abyss kicked out after Daniels hit two BME’s before catching The Fallen Angel with a Shock Therapy for the win. ***
AJ Vs Samoa Joe….hmmmm. I wasn’t sure how AJ would win, but it seemed obvious he would as one heel was already in the final, and if TNA would be happy with Joe losing. A ‘this is awesome’ chant broke out, but I couldnt see this being that great. neither man caught my attention and I nearly missed the Spiral Tap that led to AJ getting the (clean) pin on Joe. *and a half.
The penultimate match saw Christian Cage face Rhino in a non title match. Again Cage seemed to be phoning in his performance, but Rhino became the third person to have kicked out of the Unprettier to my knowledge. A second put down Rhino for the three count and not a moment too soon. *
The main event was the tournament final with the winner being crowned the 1PW Heavyweight Champion. A better match than Abyss managed the rest of the night, the Weapon of Mass Destruction got the pinfall on Styles after keenan interfered allowing abyss to hit a Black Hole Slam. ***
Sunday march 5th
Well, I had Fanslam tickets free I figure I might as well make the most of them.
Spud pinned Micky L. Spud had to do all the work here and managed to drag a **
Sterling James Keenan pinned Stevie Lynn. ***
Highlights of the Q&A:
* Asked about their favorite wrestlers of all time led to a funny moment where Joe just ignored the question and sang into his IPod.
* Colt Cobana talking like a British 1970’s wrestler including accent and stories of his time on the road with Giant Haystacks.
* Rhino when asked if he rated John Cena answered ‘John who?’
* Joe proclaiming he could beat anyone, including Robocop. Chuck Norris was apparently Joes star pupil.
* Anthony Kingdom James stealing a Big Mac from a kid in the crowd to feed to Joe, worryingly enough people wanted to see Joe eat it, but the lack of Big Mac sauce put him off.
* Finally Joe spoke about the pillow situation with Jay Pheonix. Joe didnt even know the kid was a wrestler!
To end the fanslam Abyss came out and Black Hole Slammed Christian Cage. This set up the ‘injury’ excuse for Christian to fly back to the US early after only giving the 1PW staff a few hours notice to cover his departure.
In the funniest match I have ever seen Darren Burridge and Colt Cobaba went over Southern Comfort after reversing a Doomsday device into a roll up for the pinfall. ***
Next up was due to be Spud Vs Ricky Reyes, but Abyss came down to allow Spud a chance at the 1PW belt. Amazingly Spud looked competitive against Abyss and had the crowd firmly behind him, but the predictable happened with Spud falling for the three count after a HUGE Black Hole Slam that had 6 revolutions. **
After the match Keenan cut a promo on Christian saying the NWA Champion was scared of Abyss and didn’t care about the fans. This explained why Captain Charisma wasn’t turning up.
Christopher Daniels beat Austin Aries with the Angels Wings in a fantastic match. Aries showed a lot more charisma than I have ever seen from him, ROH and TNA included. ***
AJ Styles beat Jerry Lynn (originally advertised as AJ Styles vs Scorpio) after a Torture Rack Powerbomb. As usual the crowd was firmly behind AJ. Styles is the poster boy for the main group of fans it seems. ***
In what could have been the most stiff bout ever Rhino faced Samoa Joe. Both men exchanged hard shots, and at one point I thought Joe had actually been knocked silly by Rhino. The end came when Rhino went for the Gore and Joe reversed it into a choke for the win by tap out. ***
2 Cold Scorpio beat Sterling James Keenan after a 450 splash in a slow building but awesome bout. After the match, Keenan hit Scorpio with the MK Ultra. For his age Scorpio seems not only in shape, but in better shape than when he was in ECW! ****
Jonny Storm & Jody Fleisch beat The Rottweilers in a hard hitting stand up match. Both teams giving as good as they got, but a spark was missing. **
Samoa Joe beat AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels in an X Division Triple Threat Match. The result was given away when it was announced as for the X division belt, but this match was nearly as good as the five star bout from PPV a few months back. Joe got the win after pinning Daniels following a Muscle Buster. ****
Finally Ulf Herman failed to get the 1PW Championship from Abyss in a No DQ bout. Herman was chokeslammed through a tack covered burning table for the pinfall. **
Overall what did I think? The weekend could have been better for sure. The seats on both nights were less than perfect, but the electric crowd made both nights. 1PW could be with us for a long time if they can keep matching the Sunday show rather than the slightly lacklustre Saturday.