Monday, 17 September 2007

PTW Superstitious - DVD Review

In this edition of The Two Sheds Review, we’re going to make a quick return journey to British wrestling promoter Peter Staniforth’s Power Trip Wrestling, for a look at their second show and DVD release, “Superstitious”, held this past April 13th in Luton.
The show begins with the boss man himself, Peter Staniforth, coming to the ring to kick off the show, and after making a few announcements, it’s on to the first match, as Special Agent faces the masked Wheeler in a battle of speed against power. An okay match to start the show off, nothing special I’m afraid, with the Agent tossing Wheeler around a few times, and the masked man coming back to get the win, first taking his man out with a Low-Ki like double stomp from the top rope, and then finishing him off with a swanton. Wheeler looked impressive here, but the match didn’t really grab my attention in the way it should have.
Backstage, Peter Staniforth introduces Frantastic and “Big Time” Brian Braddock, the team known as Cause & Effect, and promises great things for them.
Back in the arena, we then see Cause & Effect in action, challenging B52 and Jack London for the EAW tag titles. Now this was better. With each team having one speed man and one power man, it certainly made for an interesting contest. Both teams put in a good performance, putting on a good example of tag-team wrestling as the champions worked over Braddock’s back, before he managed to get the tag to Frantastic, and even though he managed to clean house a little, London’s clobbered Braddock with one of the title belts while the referee’s back was turned to get the title retaining victory.
A return to singles action next, as Red Tiger, accompanied to the ring by Tank, takes on Seb Drea, the first time I’ve seen either of these wrestlers in action. It’s the second speed v power battle of the show, and it’s a good one at that. I was really impressed with the moves and execution of both of these guys, especially Red Tiger’s power moves - his spinning sidewalk slam was a thing of beauty. Tiger’s power moves were well countered by Drea’s speed and aerial execution, especially his 450 splash off the top rope. Of course, Tank tried to interfere from the outside, but didn’t do too good a job, and the great ending saw Tiger catch Drea as he came off the top rope with a moonsault, before taking him out with what I could only describe as a jumping tombstone piledriver. A great bout here, certainly one I will watch in the future.
In a pre-taped segment, The Life Coach himself, John David Bernard Bruno Chapman tries to instil a bit of confidence in Rich N’ Famous, offering him his services for the match tonight. We then see Jonny Storm promising victory in the upcoming match.
Back in the arena, John Chapman leads his new client, Rich N’ Famous, into his match with “The Wonderkid” Jonny Storm. If you haven’t seen John Chapman before, let’s just say that he’s probably the best wrestling manager and promo cutters in Britain at the moment. Before the match even begins, Chapman gets the locals into a right stir. As always, Jonny Storm puts in a great performance here, and Famous isn’t too bad either. Chapman also does a good job in the manager role, something which is sadly missing from the wrestling world of the 21st century. The match lost a little though when they started to brawl through the crowd, with several kids getting in a few licks with their inflatable hammers (something which happened in a couple of the other matches as well), which I found quite annoying. Storm was the winner in this one, taking out Famous and Chapman with the 619, and getting the pin with a schoolboy roll-up after ducking under a clothesline attempt. Chapman tried to attack Storm after the bell, but ended up getting his trousers ripped off, sending the life coach running for cover while trying to cover up his underwear.
Outside, Shabazz cuts a promo predicting victory in his upcoming TBW title defence. The guy seemed a little lost for words at times, but at least he got his point across.
The second title match of the show follows, as Lucian, with his manageress Chelsey Karter, challenges Shabazz for the TBW title. After all the big guy v little guy matches, it was somewhat refreshing to see a match between two guys who were roughly the same size as each other. Shabazz continues to win me over with his performances. There was nothing spectacular from Lucian, but he did okay, as did Chelsey Karter, who constantly tried to interfere in the bout, which proved to be her undoing a couple of times. Shabazz emerged victorious in this one, finishing off Lucian with an ace crusher.
More title action next, as EAW Champion Nero defends his title against Dragon. In yet another size v speed match, both guys put on a great bout, slow and methodical at times, with brief moments of flashiness as Dragon took to the air with a series of high-flying moves. Nero spent the majority of the bout working over Dragon’s knee, but the plucky youngster was able to come back strongly with his speed and guile, but it wasn’t enough to get the job done as Nero retained his title after taking Dragon down with an underhook face buster. A very good contest here, and I was certainly impressed with Dragon’s performance.
The penultimate match of the evening sees Kyle Kraze take on Dan Edge. For those of you who don’t know, Dan Edge is Britain’s only disabled wrestler, and even though I’ve got the utmost respect for anyone who gets in a wrestling ring and gives it their all, the first thing I thought when I saw him was “how could this guy wrestle?” Quite simply, this match was awful. Edge could hardly move, and the match itself was very poor, and when “The Onslaught Machine” Jim Brooks came down to the ring and clobbered Kraze over the head with a steel tray, it was something of a relief that the match ended. Brooks then spouted something about being in the match to determine the first PTW Hardcore champion, before owner Peter Staniforth appeared to remind Brooks that he is in charge.
We then seen some more footage from earlier in the day, in which Staniforth proclaims victory for the hometown hero Leon X, before Jim Brooks appears, saying how angry he is about things in general. A brawl eventually breaks out between the two of them, which Staniforth has to break up.
Main event time, as four men, Leon X, Lionheart, Luc Lanson and Jim Brooks compete for the vacant PTW Hardcore title. I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed with this match. Even though the action looked fine, it was hard to follow it because of the poor camera angles. All I could tell was that there were numerous shots with chairs, steel trays pool cues and kendo sticks, a rubbish bin got flattened, and one guy got put through a table. The local hero Leon X won the battle, as Peter Staniforth interfered on behalf of the hometown hero, clobbering Brooks over the head with his clipboard so Leon could pin him seconds later for the title win.
But the title reign didn’t last that long, as just a few minutes later, Brooks attacked Leon and pinned him, winning the title under the 24-7 rule. Annoyed with what had happened, Staniforth announced a match between Brooks and Leon for the title at the next show.
DVD extras include a chance to see the promos from the show on their own, and a bloopers section.
In conclusion - a definite improvement from PTW here. The majority of the matches ranged from good to very good, with the exception of the Kraze/Edge contest. My one concern about the matches was that most of the singles contests consisted of speed v power matches, when perhaps it would have been better to see power v power or speed v speed. For instance, Jonny Storm v Dragon would have been a great contest.
Production wise, things have also improved, as the camera work was a lot better, and (most of the time), it was easier to view, particularly as we got a shots of the whole ring from the static camera.
With PTW holding shows on a regular basis in the Luton area, I’m sure we’re going to be seeing a lot more of this promotion.
With thanks to Peter Staniforth for supplying a copy of this DVD. For more information on PTW and their upcoming shows, visit www.powertripwrestling.co.uk.