Monday, 17 September 2007

PTW Defiance - DVD Review

This edition of The Two Sheds Review is going to take a look at one of the newer companies on the British circuit - Power Trip Wrestling. The promotion was formed by my fellow writer Peter Staniforth, and are starting to hold regular shows in the Luton area, having held their first show last March, and it’s this show, Defiance, we’ll be taking a look at.
The show begins with the aforementioned Mr. Staniforth coming to the ring, thanking the fans for attending. Then it’s on to the first match of the evening, singles action as Dean Christ faces Ashton Brown. Brown is a wrestler I’ve seen before on an SAS show, but Christ is a new face to me. Before the match begins, a guy carrying a golf club comes down to introduce “Better Than You” Ashton Brown. I have no idea who he is, because there’s no commentary on this DVD, but he appears to be Brown’s manager. While this match had it’s moments, both Christ and Brown impressed a great deal here, with Brown dominating for the most part with some crisp looking moves, before Christ came back after Brown missed a swanton from the top rope. The golfing guy tried to interfere, but while Christ was arguing with him and the referee, Brown came up from behind with the school boy roll-up with his feet on the ropes. A really enjoyable contest to star the show with.
The second match sees the women in action, as Miss Vicky faces Chelsey Karter, the first time I’ve seen either of these girls in action. I could see from the opening exchanges of this one just how it was going to turn out - not very well. Poor execution of moves on the part of both women led to a pretty poor match, and there were times when they didn’t seem to know what they were meant to do. Thankfully, this mess didn’t last that long, with Karter getting the pin after an almost botched clothesline. Not a very good advert for women’s wrestling this one.
Next up, Nick Aldis versus Dr. Stretch. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Aldis in the past year or so (mainly from the guy himself), and having only seen him in a four-way on a WAW DVD, I was eager to see the guy in singles action, to see if all the hype was true. Stretch, meanwhile, with his mad hair and his long white coat looked like he wouldn’t go amiss on Brainiac: Science Abuse. The verdict - young Mr. Aldis didn’t look too bad on this one. There were a couple of times when his offence looked a little weak, but his overall technical skill looked very sound. However, I can’t say the same for his opponent. There were times when the good Doctor looked a little lost in the ring, and he seemed to have trouble with some of the basics, such as running the ring ropes. Aldis emerged as the winner in this won after his impressive twisting Samoan drop. However, I’d like to see him in a match with an opponent of a higher standard, and hopefully, once WAW head honcho Ricky Knight sorts out those DVDs he keeps promising to send, I’ll be able to see a little more of Aldis in action.
Then it’s the turn of a guy I’m a big fan of, “The Wonderkid” Jonny Storm, as he goes up against Atom. A cracker of a match here. Even though Atom looked a little rough around the edges at times, he managed to keep up with one of Britain’s finest wrestlers, move for move, to make an exciting contest. Storm, as always, was Storm, putting in a great effort. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad Jonny Storm match. This one began technically, before the action moved up a few gears into fast-paced action, including a Storm double foot stop from the top of the bar, before Storm got the victory with his version of the 619.
Then came the Royal Rumble match. By now you should all know that while I enjoy these kind of matches, I hate reporting on them. I have no idea who most of these guys where, as it was hard to hear the ring announcer at times, but it was obvious that some of these guys had had very limited training. It was also difficult to follow the action at times because of the single stationary camera, and it’s positioning near one of the corners. But what I really didn’t like about this one was when it was pretty obvious that some of those being eliminated were either jumping or pulling themselves off the top rope. It was hard to suspend my disbelief when I saw this happening. In the end the match was one by a guy called Humungous, who I have to admit did look very impressive in the closing stages of the contest. Because of the somewhat controversial ending to the bout, PTW owner Peter Staniforth comes to the ring and announces a four-way hardcore match for the next show, featuring the last four men in the rumble.
The only title match of the evening follows, as Shabazz defends the TBW title against Keith Myatt, who brings Dan Edge along for company. This is certainly an interesting contest. The veteran that is Myatt uses all the tricks in the book, and works the crowd into a frenzy, something which many of the younger wrestlers didn’t even attempt to do. Myatt’s associate Edge also got in on the action, attacking Shabazz on the outside of the ring while Myatt distracted the referee. But Myatt’s skill and cunning brought through decades of competition wasn’t enough to get the job done. While Edge climbed onto the ring apron and congratulated Myatt on his work, Shabazz shoved Myatt into Edge, and then rolled-up the veteran to get the title retaining victory. Myatt grabbed the microphone after the result was announced, telling the locals that he would never return to Luton again.
The final match of the evening, fought under falls count anywhere rules, sees Gangster and American Allstar, who bring along Miss Vicky with them, take on The Sky Hi Express team of Dan Ryder and Johnny Lee, who have PTW owner Peter Staniforth in their corner. Given the nature of this match and the solitary camera used to film this show, it was very difficult to watch this match at times, especially as it would often break down into two separate fights, and most of the time you’d end up missing vital action. But from I could see, the action didn’t look too bad, with the Express looking particularly impressive with their high-risk moves, although this wasn’t enough for them after the American Allstar got the pin after his version of the Canadian Destroyer.
Sadly, no extras to speak of on this DVD, but then again that’s understandable seeing as this is PTW’s debut show.
In conclusion - when a new company releases it’s debut show on DVD, I have to admit I’m always a little weary of what I might find, thinking that it might be better if a promotion were to wait a while before releasing their shows on DVD so they can iron out any problems that might occur in the early days, and to also gain it’s own identity and reputation. PTW Defiance ranges from the poor (the women’s match) to the good (Myatt v Shabazz) to the very good (Storm v Atom). Also, having just one camera to film the show hindered my enjoyment a great deal. If a promotion is going to film it’s shows, then it needs at least two cameras, one stationary, one hand-held, so none of the action is missed, and you can also use a hand-held camera to film backstage promos and skits to set up the matches. Finally, I must also take exception to the ring announcer. Although he did a fine job announcing the wrestlers, I’m of the firm opinion that any ring announcer should be wearing a suit and a clean pair of shoes, and not t-shirt, jeans and trainers. After all, the ring announcer is often the first man (or woman) the wrestling fans see at a show, and if he (or she) isn’t presented correctly, then it detracts from the show a little.
With thanks to Peter Staniforth for supplying a copy of this release. For more information of Power Trip Wrestling, visit www.powertripwrestling.co.uk.