Thursday, 23 June 2011

FWA Hotwired 2009 - DVD Review

It’s time to delve into the Frontier Wrestling Alliance Season One box set once again, and this time we’re going back to Nottingham in 2009 and the continuation of the World title tournament in the two disc Hotwired set.

Disc one began with tag team action as C.J. Banks and Rock Star Spud faced Marty Scurrll and Jonny Storm.

An interesting mix of two feuds here made for a very entertaining opener. Early on Spud did everything he could to avoid Storm. The two did eventually meet in the ring, but before that we were treated to a quality encounter.

Despite being without their regular tag team partners Banks and Scurrll managed to gel with their temps extremely well. Storm, as always, put in a great effort, while Spud’s character change is starting to grow on me, even if his butchering of rock classics isn’t.

Our baby faces took the win in this one, with Storm pinning Spud after his Wonderwhirl finisher.

After the arrival of Jon Ryan in his ringside seat (apparently he’d been attacked backstage during the Unsigned portion of the last show, meaning he couldn’t compete in the battle royal) it was on to the next match, the final Flyweight tournament qualifier with Dorice Coffie taking on the masked El Ligero.

In case you didn’t know, Coffie’s gimmick is that he’s Jamaica’s leading bobsleighing wrestler. Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Despite the stature of this match things were played strictly for laughs early on. Well, I say laughs. But anyway, at one point Coffie disappeared under the ring and came back out wearing a mask himself.

The laughs were few and far between as Coffie tried to emulate Ligero, discarding the mask when things didn’t go his way.

Eventually things took a more serious turn, and it was still a little lacklustre until Ligero got the win after a spinning DDT.

It was then that R.J. Singh and his Bollywood cronies appeared on the scene, and when Ligero refused to shake his hand the wolves attacked, desecrating Ligero’s mask by cutting off it’s horns. Things would have been a lot worse had Coffie not returned to the ring with a chair in hand. The sad things is that the post-match beat down was better than the match itself.

It was back to tag team action for the next match as Joel Redman and Sykes (didn’t he use to be a punk?), accompanied by Gilligan Gordon (cue commentator Greg Lambert with his island jokes) took on the Kartel, Sha Samuels and Terry Frazier.

A couple of stipulations for this one. If the Kartel won they’d be allowed to destroy the footage of who played their music during Redman’s World title tournament match against Bubblegum. If Redman and Sykes won they’d get a hold of the footage to see what went on.

This was a pretty good encounter. Redman and Sykes put in some good team work as they doubled up first on Frazier and then on Samuels.

But just when the Kartel looked like they were going for the win Gordon grabbed Samuels’ foot. Samuels then chased the manager around the ring until Redman took him out with a suicide dive.

Seconds later the bell rang, and after a brief moment of confusion it was announced that Sykes and Redman had won by count out because Samuels was the legal man.

This didn’t exactly please the Kartel, with Frazier taking Sykes out as Redman and Gordon made their way back to the dressing room. They didn’t care about Sykes, because they had the footage they wanted.

With British great Robbie Brookside (he was William Regal’s tag team partner you know) acting as guest time keeper it was on to the first semi-final in the World title tournament as Andrew Simmonz, accompanied by Ricky Hype, went up against Bubblegum.

Lots of jaw jacking at the beginning here as Hype offered Bubblegum the chance of backing out of the match because of his stomach muscle injury. Needless to say that Bubblegum declined the offer.

Simmonz then attacked Bubblegum before the bell, focusing his attack on the youngster’s injury, with periodic help from Hype.

But try as they might they just couldn’t put Bubblegum away, and he soon came back with a couple of high flying moves. The only problem was that they injured him even further.

So with Bubblegum clutching his mid-section Simmonz went in for the kill, locking in a Boston crab for the submission win as he advanced to the tournament final.

Disc two began with four way tag action between Retro Pop, Stixx & Malen, the Daredevil Dragons and Project Ego.

Contested under elimination rules this one was joined in progress and proved to be an interesting affair in which the FWA’s card system came into play once again.

Stixx and Malen dominated the early stages, taking out the Dragons and Retro Pop with their newly-named critical condition finisher. But in doing so both of them had earned yellow and red cards from the referee for various rule infractions.

Things started to go downhill for them with Retro Pop guy Dave Rayne returned to the ring for some revenge before Stixx and Malen took him down with another critical countdown. This earned Stixx a disqualification, leaving Malen alone against Kris Travis and Martin Kirby of Project Ego.

But just when Kirby was about to put Malen away Stixx returned to the ring and clobbered him with his chain, earning Malen the immediate disqualification and giving the Ego boys the win over their rivals.

The “special challenge match” saw Northern Xposure’s Joey Hayes taking on one of the Leaders of the New School, Zack Sabre Jr.

This was a really enjoyable match. Both guys matched up evenly in every department, age-wise, size-wise and skill-wise.

Sabre did a good job of working over Hayes’ left arm before the NX guy came back strongly, eventually taking him down with the teenage kick.

But after Sabre rolled out of the ring Hayes wasn’t content to take the count out win, going outside himself and rolling Sabre back in.

Big mistake. It wasn’t long before Sabre made his comeback and turned his attention back to Hayes’ left arm, locking in a cross arm breaker for the submission win, which meant there would be another encounter between their respective teams.

The main event was the last semi-final in the World title tournament as Johnny Moss took on Martin Stone.

They save the best for last with this show. The Vigilante and the Guv’nor beat the hell out of each other in a no nonsense hard hitting battle, with great performances from both men.

It may not have been pretty but it was highly effective. Both guys pulled out all of their big moves, and both became increasingly frustrated at their own inability to put the other away.

Even when Moss took Stone down with his trio of German suplexes - twice - Stone still managed to get back to his feet to beat the referee’s count.

So Moss took him down with a third trio of German suplexes, but as the referee was making his count Jon Ryan left his seat at ringside and jumped up on to the ring apron to confront Moss, claiming it was the Vigilante who’d attacked him before.

As security dragged Ryan away the referee began his count again, with Stone getting to his feet once more. Moss then went on the attack again, only for Stone to take him down for the pin with a small package.

The night ended with Stone’s opponent in the final, Andrew Simmonz, coming down to the ring with his crony Ricky Hype for a confrontation.

In conclusion - apart from the somewhat perplexing El Ligero match Hotwired was a pretty good show.

The various feuds continued to be played out very well, as was the drama surrounding the ongoing World title tournament, where Martin Stone impressed the hell out of me once again.

So it’s for these reasons that Hotwired 2009 gets the thumbs up from this writer as another fine example of 21st century British wrestling.

With thanks to the powers that be for supplying a copy of this release. Hotwired 2009 can be purchased online, either on it’s own or as part of the FWA Season One box set from www.fwauk.com.