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What is "Civil War"? (Originally written January 25th, 1996)

      You are holding in your hand Book One of the saga that is known as “Civil War”, although the war doesn’t actually start until Book Two...

Friday, 18 January 2008

NCW Cut The F'N Music - DVD Review

Over the past few years I reviewed quite a number of shows and DVDs from wrestling promotions all around the UK, so for this issue we’re going to take a look at National Championship Wrestling, and their show, Cut The F’N Music, headlined by Shane Douglas taking on Robbie Brookside for the vacant NCW World title, and released through the now defunct Shooting Star Video.
The show begins with the European Heavyweight title on the line, featuring Drew McDonald challenging Flatliner. Drew cuts the usual anti-hometown promo before Flatliner makes his usual comedic entrance. Now I’ve never really been a fan of Flatliner, and watching this match reminded me why that is. Although he has a good image, the comedy act is really annoying, and as a wrestler he leaves a lot to be desired. Drew, being Drew, looked good, but it was not so good to see Flatliner taking the pin in this one, with Drew taking a Flair-bump off the tope rope, before Flatliner finished him off with a leg drop. This one certainly won’t go down as one of the best matches I’ve seen.
Triple threat action follows, with Five Star Flash, aka Mark “5 Star” Belton, Andy Simmonz, when he wasn’t acting as a butler, and Eamon O’Neil. Now this was much better. Three guys at the top of their game putting on a match filled with fast-paced action throughout. Belton, in particular, looked tremendous, especially with his high-flying moves over and off the top rope. The action was soon good, it was a shame it had to come to an end, and it did when Simmonz took O’Neil down with a flying neck breaker off the top rope. Great stuff here.
After an in-ring confrontation between Shane Douglas and Robbie Brookside, in which the king of the promos questions Prince Charles’ choice of women, it’s back to the action, three-on-two handicap action, with my old buddies (and I use that term very loosely) the U.K. Pitbulls, Big Dave and the Bulk, taking on Keith Myatt, Ryan Johnson and Mike Weaver. It’s the usual kind of Pitbulls match here. The smaller guys try all they can to take the big guys down, failing more often than not, while the Pitbulls do the most damage to Johnson, the smallest of their opponents, before they eventually take Johnson out with their Pitbull Powerbomb. I don’t really know how to rate this one because I’ve seen it so often from the Pitbulls over the years. It’s entertaining in it’s own way, but after a while the act does get a little stale and boring.
Then it’s a return to singles action, with Jonny Storm taking on the American, Eric Priest. This was a definite improvement on the earlier singles match. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen Jonny Storm wrestle, but he impresses me with his performances each and every time, and the American lad wasn’t that bad either. Together they put on a great match, with Storm using his aerial moves to good effect, countered by some of Priest’s power game. Sadly, his interpretation of the People’s Elbow didn’t quite work. So after plenty of great action, and tons of false finishes, and what seemed like an eternity, Storm got the pin with the simplest of moves, reversing a Priest sunset flip attempt. Did I mention how good this match was by the way?
Next sees the battle of the perennial foes, as Charlie Rage takes on “Da Pukka One” himself, Darren Burridge, although he’s going by his old ring name Baxter Burridge here. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen these two against each other, but this is the first time I’ve seen Burridge as the villain in their encounters. After the excitement of the previous match, this one had a lot to live up to, and frankly, it didn’t. The crowd were almost silent as Rage and Burridge went about their business, and I couldn’t help but think that this wasn’t one of the best matches I’ve seen between these two. Rage is much better off as a heel, because he loses the intensity he displays as a villain when he works as a blue eye, while Burridge works better as a fun-loving face. It just doesn’t seem right to see him any other way. Rage came out on top in this one, reversing a Burridge suplex attempt, and scoring with a suplex of his own to get the winning pin. A little disappointing.
Main event time, as Robbie Brookside and Shane Douglas go at it for the vacant NCW World title. Now this was the one I was really looking forward to, especially given the calibre on those involved. It starts off with a nice exchange of moves, before it breaks down into an all-out brawl that goes throughout the hall, and sees Brookside getting battered by the ringside railing and Douglas getting choked out with a chair. When the action eventually gets back to the ring, they engage in a slugfest, before Eric Priest tries to interfere, only to get stopped by his opponent for the evening, Jonny Storm. But as the referee ushers Storm away, Priest gets into the ring and attacks Brookside from behind, and when the referee returns to the ring Douglas locks in what looks like a cross between a camel clutch and a full nelson, which Brookside taps out to within seconds, giving Douglas the win and the title. Afterwards Brookside grabs the microphone to complain about the result as various insults and challenges are thrown about, before the show comes to an end.
In conclusion - a hit and miss affair from NCW. While there were three excellent matches here, the other three were a little bit of a let down, entertaining in their own way, but lacking that certain something that makes a good wrestling match, so I really can’t give my wholehearted approval to this one, although some may want to get this for the Douglas/Brookside match alone.
There is one ironic thing about this release though. Before the show begins, there’s an on-screen graphic asking people not to make illegal copies of this show, which is a bit of a laugh considering it was made by Shooting Star Video, a company who sold illegal copies of American wrestling shows all over the country, and who almost caused the cancellation of the FWA/ROH Frontiers of Honor show a few years ago because of this, when then-ROH owner Rob Feinstein found out what was going on. The old pot and kettle analogy would certainly apply here.
Now this is the bit where I tell you where you can get a copy of this show. Well, you might have a problem there. As I mentioned at the beginning of this piece, NCW don’t hold shows that often at the moment, and when I visited their website, www.ncwuk.com, the site was undergoing maintenance, and as I haven’t heard much on the newswires about them, there is the possibility that they might not be promoting anymore. So all I can suggest is that you keep a look on the website address, and if it does return, try and contact them then.

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