Sunday, 16 September 2007

Universal Uproar - DVD Review

Following on from the success of TWC’s International Showdown, promoter Alex Shane struck out on his own second time round, returning to the Coventry Skydome for Universal Uproar, boasting a host of talent from around the world to supplement the strong British contingent. Our hosts for the evening are regular FWA commentators Nick London and Dan Read.
Disc one kicks off the show with six man action, as Jody Fleisch, Aviv Mayaan and James Tighe take on Jonny Storm, Spud and Amazing Red. It’s a fast-paced bout to open the show, with everyone breaking out all of the high risk, high flying moves, which saw everyone earn a few frequent flyer miles. There was really way too much action to describe, as Storm got the win for his team by taking Tighe down with the wonder whirl. Afterwards, Tighe attacked Fleisch, remembering their FWA rivalry.

Moving on to singles action as the Celebrity Wrestling captains, Joe Legend and D’Lo Brown try to settle their differences. The match starts off as a rather friendly encounter, but the tension rises moments later as both men begin to unload with the heavy stuff, with Legend unleashing his hospital shock finisher after countering Brown’s frog splash. Afterwards, D’Lo grabs the mic, and in a good show of sportsmanship announces that Legend was the better man.

Backstage, Nick London talks to Colt Cabana about his upcoming match with Nigel McGuiness, with Cabana saying it will be a great bout.

Then it’s on to the aforementioned match, fought under World of Sport rules, as Nigel McGuiness takes on Colt Cabana. I really can’t speak too highly about this one. Two great wrestlers put on a clinic, with some great moves and counter moves, and some nice comedy moments from Cabana, as always, which only served to enrage McGuiness as the match went on, and after three great rounds, Cabana got the only pin required after a dropkick from the top rope.

Next up, a match that promises to be a hard hitting affair, as Homicide faces Low-Ki. These two know each other so well it would be difficult for them not to have a good match with each other. Neither man held anything back, with some good wrestling moves, including punches, kicks, and chops that looked as stiff as hell, and after over fifteen minutes of action, as both men grappled on the top rope. Ki got the win as he came down from the top rope with a vicious two footed stomp. I’ve never seen a bout like this before, and I doubt if I’ll see it’s like again.

Backstage, Nick London catches up with the prince of punk, Shannon Moore, who tells us he hopes to have a great bout.

The final match on disc one sees Bombay’s favourite son, Sonjay Dutt, against former boy band member Shannon Moore. This one started very slowly, which came as something of a surprise from these two, and the long stalling from Dutt as he expressed annoyance at the fan’s reaction to him got really tiresome after a while. Thankfully, things got a lot better whey they started to break out the fast paced stuff, with Moore showing how sadly wasted he was as a WWE jobber, and after Dutt missed his Hindu press finisher, Moore hit the moore-gasm to get the win.

The extras on disc one feature the World of Sport Hall of Fame induction ceremony, featuring the great Kendo Nagasaki, and backstage interviews with Paul Travell, Stixx and Martin Stone.

On to disc two, and we begin with our eight man hardcore elimination match, with Alex Shane, Stixx, Martin Stone and Iceman taking on Mick Foley, the Sandman, Steve Corino and Paul Travell. Shane’s team have none other than American female star Simply Luscious watching their backs, as well as Britain’s self proclaimed greatest wrestling journalist Greg Lambert, while Foley’s team have Bill Apter as their guest manager. It starts off as a relatively normal tag-team match, until all hell eventually breaks loose, as the Sandman was the first man out following a Stone-assisted DDT by Stixx. Moments later, after a brawl through the crowd, which saw a twenty foot dive off a balcony, Travell and Iceman were unable to continue, while back in the ring Foley pinned Stixx after a piledriver. Then, while trying to stop Shane and Foley brawling, Shane accidentally knocked the ref over another balcony, while Stone and Corino beat the hell out of each other. When a replacement referee finally arrived, Foley sent Stone packing after the mandible claw, only for Shane to pin Foley seconds later, leaving old rivals Shane and Corino against each other. But not even the interference of Simply Luscious could stop Corino, as he soon pinned Shane after a lariat clothesline. Afterwards, the Sandman dished out the beer to lead the celebrations, a great way to end a great match.

On to the main event, more tag-team action with Kenta Kobashi and Go Shiozaki facing Jun Akiyama and Doug Williams. After the organised chaos of the previous bout, style-wise this match was the polar opposite. This is a perfect example of the Japanese strong-style, and yet another advertisement for the Pro Wrestling NOAH product, with all four men putting on a great bout that started off well, built up to a great storyline, with tons of false finishes, and Williams getting the pin on Shiozaki after a chaos theory German suplex. A perfect way to end the show.

Disc two extras include a music video, Nick London asking the fans what they thought of the show, and a bonus match, Stevie Lynn and Low-Ki against Ice XVII and Amazing Red.

In conclusion - after the tremendous success of International Showdown, you knew that Alex Shane would have a hard job putting on a show of the same quality, and although Shane succeeded in putting on a good show with some good matches, when compared to the original it falls short a little. Production-wise, Red Church did a good job of filming the show, especially during the hardcore match. On commentary, Nick London again proved to be one of the best in Britain at the moment, and although Dan Read was passable behind the microphone, he would perhaps be more suited to presenting or backstage interviewing.

With thanks to Mark Sloan and A-Merchandise for supplying a copy of this release. To purchase your copy, visit the A-Merchandise website at www.a-merchandise.co.uk.