Thursday, 12 July 2007

MPW March Madness - DVD Review

It’s always good to take a look at a promotion you haven’t seen before, which is why, having met some of their stars a few months ago, I was eager to get a look at the Midlands Pro Wrestling product, which I was able to do, courtesy of their first ever DVD release, March Madness.
First up, John Bull & Das Inferno come to the ring. Das Inferno is a massive guy, masked and dressed in the German national colours. Bull tells of his delight at decimating Mad Mike at a previous show. Psycho Steve then arrives on the scene, challenging the heels to a tag match later on.

Then it’s on the evening’s first bout, a number one contenders match for the Central Counties title, as Stiro takes on Raze, who is accompanied by Nero & Leon Lionheart. An okay bout, nothing exception here, and to be honest it seemed like a training match at times. Raze got the win and the title shot later in the show after an Ace Crusher.

Next, Danny Oxman goes up against Jett Black. With some good use of submissions attempts to begin with, this match seems a little more intense than the opener, with Oxman putting together some good power moves. Black eventually taps after Oxman applies a Texas Cloverleaf. Afterwards, Alex Gold comes to the ring and challenges Oxman, a challenge Oxman readily accepts.

Winner stays in tag action next. First, the Beach Boys, (no Good Vibrations, sadly), take on the Lowlanders. Sadly, the MC doesn’t tell us who the individual wrestlers actually are, so I have no idea who is doing what to whom. Some good double-team work from the Scots as they eliminate the Beachers after a Yakuza kick. The losers are replaced by Jetta & Fan Boy. Fan Boy annoys the hell out of me with his high-pitched screeching, but thankfully the Lowlanders soon kick the crap out of him, and Jetta and her buddy are soon on their way, although the lovely lady isn’t too happy about things. Then Team 3CW, Stevie Lynn & Chris Whitton arrive on the scene. The 3CW boys put on a good showing, before Whitton pins one of the Scots with a roll-up. Then, the final team, Jekkel & Exodus, come to the ring. The masked men pound the hell out of their opponents, as another masked team, Rhyme & Reason, watch on from ringside. A brief fight back from 3CW doesn’t help them as they eventually go down to the masked men’s version of the Doomsday Device. Good stuff here.

The fourth bout of the evening sees the kendo stick waving Devil Man take on the masked White Tiger. For some reason, even though this bout was entertaining, I just couldn’t get into it. However, the action improved a little towards the end, which saw the Tiger take the win with a spinning sunset flip.

The second half of the show began with a battle royale. By now you should all know my feelings about reporting on these matches. Featuring wrestlers such as Conscience, Ice XXVII, Rhyme, Reason, Shaun Hunter & Samurai, and as is the norm with this kind of match, it’s one mass brawl, looking like New Street in Cromer on a Saturday night. The match ended when Samurai eliminated Leon Lionheart, kicking him off the ring apron.

Next up it’s Majik, in total heel mode here, in his old school challenge, taking on Jayson Mayson. Fought over the rounds system, it’s a pretty even contest, until Majik gets the win by count out after pushing Mayson from the top rope to the floor. Then, as Majik celebrates in the ring, the man he beat in his first old school challenge, Keith Myatt, appears on the scene, demanding a re-match. Having already defeated Myatt once, Majik refuses. Myatt then introduces Bubblegum, someone Majik is more than willing to wrestle.

Tag action follows as Das Inferno and John Bull take on Psycho Steve & Nero. Again, I’m going to be totally honest, this bout just didn’t do it for me. While Nero, and to a lesser extent, Steve, were okay, Inferno and Bull just seemed out of it, and Bull’s finisher, a bossman slam on Steve, just looked a mess.

Title action next, as Raze makes his second appearance, taking on Chris Charizma for his Central Counties title. A good little bout here, certainly better than the previous match, with some good moves from both men. Charizma retained his title, pinning Raze after a sit down power bomb.

In conclusion - a good introduction to the MPW product, with the positives far outweighing the negatives. WAR’s production values have certainly got better since recently. However, the continued lack of commentary from their video & DVD releases detracts from the shows they are filming. With nobody to tell me about current storylines or about a wrestler’s background, I was left in need of some information, with no information forthcoming. WAR really need to think about adding announcers in the future, because it doesn’t really make me want to go out and buy other titles from their collection. That being said, this is the only criticism I have of them production-wise.

Match of the night goes to the main event, Raza v Charisma, A good effort here.