Sunday, 17 July 2011

FWA Battle Lines - DVD Review

Once again it’s time to delve into the Frontier Wrestling Alliance Season One box set, and this time where going back to the city of Wolverhampton in March 2010 when Leroy Kincaide challenged new World Champion Martin Stone in the main event of Battle Lines, the fifth show of their comeback.

The show began with the special challenge match between Stixx, accompanied by Malen, faced Zack Sabre Junior, accompanied by Marty Scurll.

Well that was how it was meant to be, because before the match began the referee sent both Malen and Scurll back to the dressing rooms, signalling that he wanted a 1-on-1 encounter.

This was a very entertaining opener, an intriguing speed versus power battle. Sabre put in a good showing with his hit and run tactics early on, but it wasn’t long before the heavyweight house of pain was throwing him around like the proverbial cuddly toy.

Later, Sabre went for a couple of cross arm breakers, having worked over Stixx’s arm for quite a while, but the big man put on a tremendous show of strength by taking Sabre down with two one handed power bombs.

It was the second of these that ended the match. With Sabre laying motionless in the ring the referee called for the bell, giving Stixx the highly impressive knockout win.

The Flyweight round robin title tournament continued next as regular tag team partners Bubblegum and El Ligero faced each other.

Fast paced action was the order of the day in this match. These two put together some great sequences, although there were a few messy moments at time with slightly botched moves and the like.

But apart form that this was an entertaining encounter, with plenty of near falls before Ligero was able to reverse a backslide attempt to get the pin with a backslide of his own.

No celebrations at the end though as R.J. Singh, surprisingly without his entourage, came down to the ring and challenged his old foe Ligero to a straight up fight without any inside help. Despite Bubblegum’s concerns Ligero agreed to the fight, but moments later big Dave Moralez came down to the ring and took Bubblegum apart as Singh dealt with Ligero. Singh then grabbed the microphone again to gloat over his achievements.

After it was announced that “The Vigilante” Johnny Moss was still injured winner of the first British Wrestling Council scholarship Ben Rage came out with his tag team partner J.D. Sassoon to announce that they wanted to enter into the FWA’s tag division.

This brought Jon Ryan and his manager Richie West to the ring, revealing that Rage and Sassoon were answering West’s challenge, that challenge being that if they could beat Ryan in five minutes he’d give them £5,000 of “his daddy’s” money.

This was basically Ryan taking the two rookies apart. They got in a bit of offence, but they really didn’t have much to offer. Ryan took Rage with three back suplexes. Then he did the same with Sassoon, and with the youngster failing to beat the count out Ryan took the win with just thirty seconds left of the thirty minute time limit.

Six man tag action followed as Joe Redman, Dave Moralez and Iestyn Rees went up against Darren Burridge and the Kartel, Sha Samuels and Terry Frazier. No appearance by the heel’s manager Gilligan Gordon though, who, according to an on-screen graphic, had been fired by the company, although he did say that his little group would be getting a new leader.

This was a really enjoyable encounter. Redman, Moralez and Rees looked great as a unit as first they dominated Samuels, then Frazier, before getting Burridge, injured knee and all, into the ring. “Da Pukka One” fought bravely at first, but after Redman took him down with a chop block it was all over bar the shouting.

Moralez then came back into the match to work over the knee before applying a half Boston crab. Burridge fought the hold for as long as he could, but eventually the pain was too much for him as he passed out and the referee called for the bell. The heels the celebrated, with Moralez getting in some more cheap shots before they returned to the stage and gave a one fisted salute to the crowd.

After former FWA great Jack Xavier was announced as the guest time keeper it was on to more tag team action as Retro Pop, Dave Rayne and Sam Bailey, took on Project Ego, Martin Kirby and Kris Travis.

A rather peculiar affair saw one member of each team, Rayne and Travis, treat this like a comedy match, while the other two, Bailey and Travis took this far more seriously.

But while the exchanges between Travis and Bailey were great to see the comedy moments just weren’t that funny, and what could have been a great match by two teams with tremendous prospects was ruined by this.

In the end the win went to the Ego boys when they took Rayne down with their ego trip finisher.

The penultimate match saw R.J. Singh teaming with Rockstar Spud against Jonny Storm and Derice Coffie.

Thankfully Coffee didn’t come out with an egg for a mascot this time, but sadly Spud continued to butcher a certain Bon Jovi classic.

Singh and Spud began this match by attacking Coffie before Storm had made his entrance, but once the Wonderkid made his appearance the momentum shifted, but only for a few seconds.

Despite constantly arguing Spud and Singh did a good job of using Coffie as a punching bag, The arguments weren’t confined to the ring though, with Spud’s female body building security guard spurning the advances of Singh’s director.

Storm eventually tagged into the match and pulled off his usual impressive array of moves, but once Coffie came back in it was soon over, with Singh taking him down with his Bollywood dream finisher.

Even though they’d won the arguments between Singh and Spud continued, with the rock star upset because Singh had accidentally clobbered him. Storm came back into the ring and clobbered his rival Spud himself before clobbering Singh when the Bollywood star tried to congratulate him. The scenes ended with the various entourages squaring up to each other.

The main event saw Leroy Kincaide challenging Martin Stone for the World title.

The villainous Martin Stone is a much more aggressive beast, and it showed in this match as he took it to Kincaide big time, dominating for the most part with his impressive array of moves and stopping Kincaide from building any sort of momentum.

But when Kincaide made his comeback and was about to take Stone down with a second spear Iestyn Rees came down to the ring to try and interfere. Kincaide dealt with him easily, but he couldn’t fight off the attack of Joel Redman and Dave Moralez. The referee immediately called for the bell, giving Kincaide the disqualification win, but not the title.

Stone and his new henchmen proceeded to take Kincaide apart until various members of the roster came down to help. When the numbers were evening Stone and his men retreated to the stage, and it became clear that Stone had replaced Gilligan Gordon as the new leader of the group, saying that Redman, Moralez and Rees shared his vision of how British wrestling should be used as a stepping stone to the more lucrative American scene.

In conclusion - this was another very enjoyable show from FWA version 2.0, and while the Project Ego/Retro Pop left a little to be desired the rest of the card covered for this disappointment and was topped off nicely by the drama surrounding the World title match.

So in all FWA Battle Lines gets the thumbs up from me, and even though I know most of what happens on the following shows it will be interesting to see how they played out.

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