Sunday, 3 July 2011

FWA British Uproar - DVD Review

It’s time to delve into the Frontier Wrestling Alliance Season One box set again, and this time we’re going back to February 2010, where Martin Stone faced Andrew Simmonz in the final of the World title tournament at British Uproar.

After the initial introductions it was on to the first match, a three way encounter between Jonny Storm, Bubblegum and Leroy Kincaide.

This was billed as a “last chance saloon” match, with the winner getting a shot at the World title and the losers not getting a title shot for the remainder of the year.

Fast paced action was the order of the day here as Storm and Bubblegum tried to double up on the bigger Kincaide early on. But as the action progressed they broke out all their big moves, putting together some tremendous sequences before Kincaide speared Bubblegum for the winning pin.

Oh, and can someone tell me why Bubblegum was dressed as Peter Pan?

Then it was on to tag team action as Northern Xposure, C.J. Banks and Joey Hayes, continued their rivalry with the Leaders of the New School, Marty Scurll and Zack Sabre Junior.

This proved to be a very interesting affair. The Leaders attacked NX during their entrance and actually took Hayes down early on with their see you later finisher. But after Hayes rolled out of the ring Scurll and Sabre argued about taking the count out win.

So after Hayes was rolled back into the ring NX began their comeback, and it made for a very exciting contest.

Later, the Leaders took Hayes down with a second see you later. They were completely surprised when Hayes kicked out of the pin.

Moments later it was all over, with Banks getting the pin after the teenage kick, giving Northern Xposure the series win.

After Scarlo Scholarship winner Gil Elkin declined the offer to join the Bangra Knights it was on to the first match in the round robin Flyweight title tournament between R.J. Singh and El Ligero.

A very heated affair saw both guys putting on a very good showing. Singh is really starting to grow on me as a heel, taking his rival down with a little help from his friends.

But even though Ligero put in a spirited performance it was underhanded tactics that took Singh to victory, with Singh’s director (that’s all he’s known as) clobbering Ligero with his megaphone so the Bollywood Dream could get the pin.

Afterwards Singh planned to repeat his actions at Hotwired, but before they could defile another of Ligero’s masks the Mexican fought back, taking Singh down with a variety of moves before standing triumphantly over his fallen foe.

The grudge match action continued with Gilligan Gordon’s charge Joel Redman and yet another partner in the form of Dave Moralez taking on the Kartel, Sha Samuels and Terry Frazier, accompanied by “Da Pukka One” Darren Burridge.

A couple of stipulations for this one. If Gordon’s men win they’ll get five minutes alone with Burridge. If the Kartel win they’ll get five minutes alone with Gordon.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering it was Burridge who played the Kartel’s music during Redman’s World title tournament match at Carpe Diem. Hey, read my previous reviews. They’re on this site somewhere.

This was a really enjoyable match. Redman and Moralez looked a more polished unit than Redman and Sykes, and they did a good job of taking Frazier’s knee out early on. But the Kartel were more than up to the task and put up a spirited fight back.

Once again the match ended in a count out. As Moralez held Samuels at ringside Redman went for a suicide dive. But Samuels moved out of the way and Redman flew into Moralez. The referee then began his count, giving Samuels and Frazier the win.

Naturally Gordon was reluctant to keep his end of the bargain and had to be dragged back into the ring by Samuels and Frazier. Burridge then made fun of the manager before taking him apart.

That was until Gordon’s other protégé, Iestyn Rees, jumped the barrier and attacked Burridge’s previously injured knee until Samuels returned to the ring to make the save.

After FWA founding father Mark Sloan received an award from the British Wrestling Council for his outstanding contribution to British wrestling it was on to the bonus match between Dorice Coffie and Nathan Cruz, with the winner getting a shot at the Flyweight title.

Before the match began Cruz grabbed the microphone and told Coffie that he deserved to be in a title match and not a number one contenders match. He then revealed that someone had paid him handsomely to take his place, and that someone was none other than Rock Star Spud, which meant that a man who was already in the Flyweight title tournament was now competing for a future shot at the title.

Oh, and let’s not forget that Coffie, Jamaica’s bobsleighing wrestler, came to the ring with his new mascot, an egg. Yep, that’s what I thought as well.

Cue loads of egg-based puns from commentators Greg Lambert and Dave Bradshaw as Spud went to work on Coffie, who spent most of the match trying to get to his egg.

Thankfully Spud smashed the egg by throwing it up the entrance, and while Coffie was mourning his loss Spud pulled him down from the top rope and took the pin after taking him out with an ace crusher.

Well, it was what it was, and it wasn’t eggs-actly the most enthralling match I’ve seen. Blast, I’ve been infected by Lambert and Bradshaw!

More tag team action followed as Stixx and Malen faced Project Ego, Martin Kirby and Kris Travis, in a no disqualification match.

Before the match began (yeah, I know) Stixx put forward a wager. Accusing the Ego boys of always cheating Stixx bet them £500 that they’d break the rules before his team did. The wager was readily accepted. Yep, you read that correctly. A wager was made about breaking the rules in a match that had no rules.

These two teams began with some good natured exchanges, obeying all the rules until Stixx brought his chain into the equation, losing £500 in the process.

Thus began the wild brawling, with several shots against various brick walls and two fights through the crowd before the action eventually returned to the ring.

Later Retro Pop and the Daredevil Dragons, two other teams who had issues with Stixx and Malen, came down to lend a hand, eventually chaining Stixx to the entrance way, leaving Malen alone in the ring with the Ego boys.

Moments later it was all over. Having taken him down with a series of double team moves Travis and Kirby took Malen down with his team’s own critical condition move. Three seconds later and Project Ego had the winning pin.

After former British Champion Flash Barker was announced as the special guest time keeper it was on to the main event, the World title tournament final between Andrew Simmonz, accompanied by Ricky Hype (one of the many who fell in the water on Total Wipeout) and Martin Stone.

This was one of those intriguing knockdown drag out affairs. Slow and methodical at times it was full of great storytelling. Hype tried to interfere early on but found himself on the receiving end of a Barker fight hand, a warning to keep out of the rest of the match.

As the action progressed Simmonz worked over Stone’s back, applying a Boston crab three times, with Stone managing to survive each time.

But when Simmonz moved out of the way of a shoulder Barge Stone accidentally hit the referee, and as the official tried to recover Simmonz applied the crab for the fourth time. It was too much for Stone as he tapped out.

The only problem was that the referee was still out of it, so Simmonz sent Hype backstage to get another referee.

By the time he came back Stone had taken control, and moments later Stone locked in a cross face, with Simmonz tapping out to give the Guv’nor the title win.

Then, as Barker put the belt on the new champion and the roster gathered on the stage Stone shocked everyone, declaring war on British wrestling and saying that like others before him he was going to use the FWA as a stepping stone to greater things. Stone ended the show by backing out of Leroy Kincaide’s challenge.

In conclusion - despite a couple of things that left me scratching my head this was another strong showing from the FWA, with some impressive action throughout, topped off nicely by the main event.

And although I was left slightly unimpressed by a couple of things my biggest gripe is with the length of this show, which came in a shade under three and a half hours. But then again that’s probably because of all the video highlight packages used to remind viewers of the lead up to the matches. I’m left to wonder though if these couldn’t have been removed from the box set edition.

But in all this is another good advertisement for British wrestling, and it gets the thumbs up from me.

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