Thursday, 9 June 2011

FWA Carpe Diem 2009 - DVD Review

It’s time to once again delve into the Frontier Wrestling Alliance Season One box set, and this time we’re taking a look at their second comeback show, and the continuation of their World title tournament at Carpe Diem 2009.

The show began with the first of the quarter finals, a three way encounter featuring Lionheart, Johnny Midnight and Martin Stone.

Lionheart and Midnight had qualified for this match as joint runners-up of the pre-show Unsigned Rumble, while Stone, if you recall, beat TNA’s Doug Williams to get through.

This was a very good way to start the show. Midnight and Lionheart put together some great sequences but once again Stone was the stand out with his no nonsense office, especially when he took both of his opponents down with the tree of woe.

It was after this that Stone applied a cross-face to Midnight, getting the submission win just seconds later.

The second quarter-final saw Dave Rayne taking on the powerhouse Johnny Moss.

This was literally a squash. Rayne began with a few elbows and had the Cumbrian monster on the back foot, for all of two seconds.

Moss then proceeded to take Rayne apart with a series of suplexes. Moss didn’t bother going for a pin, getting the win when Rayne failed to beat the referee’s ten count.

After an in-ring confrontation between Rock Star Spud and Leroy Kincaide, in which Spud revealed to the world that he’d stolen Jonny Storm’s car battery in an attempt to sabotage his spot in the main event it was on to tag team action and a re-match from New Frontiers as Northern Exposure, C.J. Banks and Joey Hayes, faced the Leaders of the New School, Marty Scurll and Zack Sabre Junior.

This proved to be a highly entertaining encounter. Banks and Hayes had a lot more chemistry in this one than they did in the previous match, with Scurll and Sabre matching up to them pretty well.

The Leaders looked like they were going to get the win after they took Banks out with their see you later finisher. The only problem was that Banks wasn’t the legal man when Sabre went for the pin.

That was when Hayes, the legal man, came back in and took Sabre down with the teenage kick. A three counter later and NX had the win.

Then it was back to the World title tournament quarter-finals as Bubblegum went up against Joel Redman, accompanied by his manager Gilligan Gordon.

Before the match began Gordon, sporting a Cody Rhodes-like mask because of a broken nose suffered at the hands of the Kartel’s Sha Samuels, offered Bubblegum the chance to walk away and save himself from a beating. Bubblegum responded by pinging Gordon’s mask, causing the manager even more pain.

This was a pretty good power versus speed battle. Redman did a good job of grounding the high flyer, working over his back with a series of holds. Bubblegum made his comeback, but it wasn’t long before Redman regained control.

But just as Redman was about to put his man away the entrance music of his enemies the Kartel played. Redman stood in the entranceway, expecting them to appear, despite the fact that they’d been suspended.

It was then that Bubblegum came off the top rope and took Redman out with a flying cross body block. The referee began his count, with Bubblegum just making it back into the ring before the count got to ten.

Then it was time for Rock Star Spud to murder…..I mean sing Bon Jovi’s “Keep the Faith” for his latest concert.

But just as he was finishing his set none other than Jonny Storm appeared, attacking the rock star and his band for sabotaging his car in their attempt to stop him from getting to the show. It’s a pity the Wonderkid didn’t turn up earlier to stop this butchering of a rock classic.

It was back to tag team action for the next match as Stixx and Malen went up against Project Ego, Martin Kirby and Kris Travis.

This was a rather strange encounter. Both teams seemed to be heels in this one. Early on we had some comedy moments from the Ego boys which weren’t particularly funny, before it settled down into a regular match.

All four would fall foul of the FWA’s cards system (yellow for a first warning, red for a second, third a disqualification). Kirby had already been shown two cards before he was disqualified for spiting water into Stixx’s eyes, which meant that Travis would have to finish the match on his own.

It was all over a couple of minutes later, when Stixx and Malen took Travis down with their power bomb/reverse DDT finisher. A little confusing, but the action was okay.

It was back to singles action for the penultimate match, a qualifier for the Flyweight title tournament as Paul Robinson (no, this wasn’t either of the current Premier League footballers, or the bad guy from Aussie soap Neighbours) took on the Bollywood star himself, R.J. Singh.

Fast paced action was the order of the day in this one, mixed in with some great high flying action.

Both guys gave a good account of themselves, especially Robinson with his dive off the top rope to take out Singh’s entourage on the outside. Sing took the win here, taking Robinson down with his Bollywood dream finisher.

Singh then promised to show his latest film on the big screens. But as the lights lowered nothing happened, and when they came back on Singh’s foe El Ligero appeared in the ring, now recovered from his shoulder injury. It was then that Singh bolted.

The main event was the final quarter final in the World title tournament as Andrew Simmonz, accompanied by Ricky Hype, faced Jonny Storm.

Simmonz certainly has come a long way since I first saw him as the Duke of Danger’s butler back in 2002, ironically at the very first Carpe Diem show.

This match was certainly worthy of it’s main event status, a highly entertaining affair. Hype was sent to the back early on after his attempted interference, and from there Storm and Simmonz put on a pretty decent encounter, with further cameos from Spud and guest time keeper Leroy Kincaide, before Simmonz finally got the win when Storm tapped out to his Boston crab.

DVD extras come in the form of post-show interviews, the aforementioned Unsigned Rumble, as well as a music video.

In conclusion - the FWA certainly seized the day with this show. From start to finish it was pretty damn good, another fine example of 21st century British wrestling at it’s best, with the Storm/Simmonz battle the match of the night for me.

So in all Carpe Diem 2009 gets the thumbs up, and I’m looking forward to reviewing the next DVD in this set.

With thanks to the powers that be for supplying a copy of this release. Carpe Diem 2009 is available to buy online, either on it’s own or as part of the Season One box set at www.fwauk.com.