Saturday, 15 September 2007

WZW March Showcase - DVD Review

Another first for The Two Sheds Review here as I get my first look at Wrestle Zone Wrestling, a company based in the north-east of England, with their new triple DVD set, March Showcase, featuring their three shows from March of this very year!
We begin with Meltdown 2006. The first bout sees Full Pack taking on Jack Jester and Lion Heart. There’s tons of stalling at the beginning of the bout, with anti-Scottish vibes sent in the direction of Jester and Heart. When the action did finally begin, it was fast paced stuff, with Jester and Heart doubling up on Iain Robinson to good effect, before he eventually got the tag to Mickey L, who proceeded to clean house. However, the appearance of Pac, wearing the Cruiserweight title he stole from Robinson, drew him away from the ring as Jester took out L with a DDT for the win.

Before out second match, Tony Spitfire and Anthony McIntyre make their way to the ring. Spitfire proceeds to insult the locals, as most heels are want to do, before calling out Iceman and challenging him to a tag match. Iceman turns the tables by challenging his foes to a handicap match, only to get attacked from behind for his troubles, before being saved by Drew Galloway, who offers his services as Iceman’s tag partner, an offer that the hardcore icon agrees to.

On to our second bout, singles action as Max Heat takes on Dale “Kid” Ritchie. A good, but not a great match, which sees quite a few high-flying moves as well as each wrestler working over the other’s left arm. Despite an injured limb, Ritchie was able to get the pin after reversing Heat’s side-slam attempt into a DDT.

Sticking with singles action as Pac goes up against local boy Carbon. Both Carbon and Pac, a man I’ve heard quite a lot about recently, really impressed me with their efforts here, a mixture of good mat wrestling and striking, and good high spots. After the referee took a snooze and missed a count as Pac pinned Carbon, Iain Robinson came out and attacked Pac in full view of the referee, who had no choice but to disqualify Carbon, awarding the victory to Pac. Carbon wasn’t too happy with Robinson’s interference here.

Out fourth match sees “Bad Boy” Liam Thompson against A.J. Anderson, who came down to the ring to the old Four Horsemen entrance theme. Anderson controlled the early part of the bout until Thompson started a brawl on the floor. Brief comebacks didn’t stop Thompson until he missed a diving head butt off the top rope. As the referee took another snooze, he missed Anderson’s pin after a spine buster. Moments later Thompson threw powder into Anderson’s eyes, and the ref turned round to administer the three count.

On to our main event, and tag-team action as Spitfire and Anthony McIntyre take on Iceman and Drew Galloway. After Spitfire and McIntyre spent what seemed like an age doubling up on Galloway, the Scotsman eventually made the hot tag to Iceman, and all hell broke loose. The ending did seem a bit convoluted though. As McIntyre tried to flip Galloway over his shoulders, Galloway went with the flow and caught Spitfire with a sunset flip for the win. After the bout Iceman attacked the referee for being short sighted, much to the pleasure of the crowd.

Then it’s on the second disc of the set, Aftershock 2006. We begin with the ever talkative Tony Spitfire against Dale “Kid” Ritchie. The footage here is of very poor quality, but at least there’s an on-screen apology for this. The smaller Ritchie plays the plucky underdog in this one, a bout dominated by Spitfire, until Ritchie makes a comeback with a series of quick moves, eventually getting the win with a roll-up. It could have been a great match, but the lax execution of a couple of moves meant it was only good.

The second bout sees Full Pack’s Mickey L take on Max Heat. Lots of stalling and a pretty slow start to the match until Heat began to work over L’s left leg, eventually applying a figure four. L eventually fought back, scoring with a yakuza kick, but missed the splash off the top roe. L soon scored with a fireman’s carry slam for the pinfall victory. Not a bad little match here.

Title action follows as Pac and Iain Robinson continued their feud over the Cruiserweight title. It started out as a slugfest between the two hated rivals before they moved on to the fast paced stuff, which was great to watch. With the referee taking a snooze, Robinson missed a moonsault and Pac almost got the win after a senton, but the groggy referee made a very slow count before going back to sleep. There was then a great deal of confusion. Max Heat came out and grabbed the title belt, and was about to clobber Robinson until his tag partner Mickey L grabbed the belt from Heat, so the first thing Robinson saw was his partner apparently trying to hit him with the title belt. This was just the distraction Pac needed as he quickly scored with a roll-up for the pin and title victory. After the bout Robinson attacked L for the deception that never was, until it was broken up by Pac. Robinson then challenged his now former partner to a match.

On to tag-team action, as Iceman and Carbon take on Anthony McIntyre and “Bad Boy” Liam Thompson. An entertaining bout here, with McIntyre and Thompson spending a great deal of time doubling up on Carbon, until he managed to make the tag to Iceman, who got the winning pinfall on Thompson after a back suplex.

On to the main event, as Drew Galloway challenges Lance Thunder for the Heavyweight title. Tons of stalling at the beginning of this one, as Thunder jaw jacked with the crowd and with anyone else who would pay attention to him. When the action finally began, Thunder used all the underhanded tricks in the book to keep control. Galloway made a few fleeting offensive moves, but Thunder got the win by stopping Galloway’s sunset flip attempt by holding onto the ropes. A good match which would have been better it if wasn’t for all the stalling and stuff at the beginning.

The extra on this disc features Stevie Lynn against Anthony McIntyre in a TLC match from 2004.

Then it’s on to the final disc of the collection, New Heights 2006. It begins with the confrontation between former tag-team partners Mickey L and Iain Robinsons, with Robinson still angry after what happened during the Cruiserweight title match the week before. The fans then got the chance to choose the stipulation for their match later in the show - the loser must wear a dress. After the stipulation is chosen an impromptu brawl breaks out between the two.

Then it’s on to the first match, tag-team action, which sees “Bad Boy” Liam Thompson and Lion Heart against Carbon and A.J. Anderson. A good way to open the show, with Thompson and Heart double teaming Anderson until Heart fouled up a top rope attack, hitting his partner. Moments later Carbon got the tag, cleaned house, and finished off Heart with a spinning urinage.

Sound problems greet us at the beginning of the next contest, the loser wears a dress match between Iain Robinson and Mickey L. The problems only last for a few seconds thankfully. The former partners put on a good showing here, with Robinson impressing as the angry heel hell bent on revenge. But in the end it wasn’t enough. As Robinson lifted his opponent onto his shoulders, L countered with a sunset flip for the winning pin. After Robinson refused to adhere to the match stipulations, L took him out with a sit-down power bomb before putting the dress on him while he was out cold. The look on Robinson’s face afterwards was priceless.

More singles action followed, with Anthony McIntyre taking on Jack Jester. Before the match begins, McIntyre endears himself to the crowd by telling everyone how great he is. Jester certainly lives up to his name at the beginning of the bout, winning the round of playground games, before McIntyre eventually takes control. However, when things went against him. McIntyre went backstage, only for Jester to drag him back out to the ring. It wasn’t long before McIntyre rolled Jester up with his feet on the ropes for the win.

Then it was on to our main event, as Iceman challenged Lance Thunder for the Heavyweight title in a lumberjack/ladder match. And before you ask, yes, Iain Robinson was still wearing the dress. A hard-hitting affair here, with both men making good use of the toys, and bleeding for their art, and a controversial ending. After the referee got accidentally clobbered by an Iceman ladder shot, the hardcore icon climbed to the top of the ladder and grabbed the belt for what looked like a title winning victory. However, Anthony McIntyre came into the ring, took the belt off Iceman and gave it to the dazed Thunder. As the referee came to the first thing he saw was Thunder with the belt, so as far as he was concerned Thunder was the winner, retaining his title.

The extra on this disc comes in the form of a match from 2003, with “Flying” Phil Powers taking on Jake “The Snake” Roberts, in one of Roberts’ better outings during his time in Britain.

In conclusion - an entertaining series of shows from WZW, which had their good points and their bad points. For the most part the wrestling was great, apart from a few times when the wrestlers looked a bit lost in the ring, but the good points far outweighed the bad points here. Releasing the three DVDs in a set like this is also a good way of following on-going storylines.

Production wise, no commentary, which was a bit disappointing. The film quality on Meltdown and New Heights was good, although the hand held shots were very shaky at times. Aftershock though wasn’t up to the standard of the other two discs, and although the wrestling was good, the awkward editing made it difficult to follow the action at times.

But overall, a good collection from WZW here, and at a very good price considering you’re getting three wrestling shows for just £10. WZW must also be commended for the quick release of this collection as well. It’s a good way to see WZW for the first time.

With thanks to Gary Graham for supplying a copy of this collection. For more information on WZW, including information on ordering this and other WZW DVD releases, log onto www.wzwuk.com.