Sunday, 30 October 2011

PBW Maximum Impact 4 - DVD Review

It’s debut time here in The Two Sheds Review, and this time we’re turning our attention to Premier British Wrestling, a member of the Union of European of Wrestling Alliances, a kind of NWA for Europe if you will.

The first of hopefully many events I’ll be looking at took place just over a year ago at the Magnum Centre in Irvine. The event in question is Maximum Impact 4, and features the likes of El Ligero, Marty Scurll, Zack Sabre Junior, Johnny Moss and a few others I’ve never seen before.

The show began with title action as The Final Cut, Liam Thompson and Noam Dar, defended the Tag Team titles against High Energy, Johnny Star and C.J. Hunter.

Thompson and Dar are your typical cocky heels here, while Hunter and Star are the polar opposites. Indeed, Star kind of reminds me of Grizzly Redwood in a perennial underdog sort of way.

This was a pretty entertaining opener. Star and Hunter charged the ring and attacked the challengers before the bell. It wasn’t long before Dar and Thompson began using Star as the proverbial punching bag.

The match then went into overdrive with all four men involved, and Thompson’s sit down power bomb on Star looked absolutely brutal.

But try as they might the challengers couldn’t get the job done, as Thompson took Star down with a Carlito-like backstabber before Dar connected with a big clothesline for the winning pin.

Singles action followed as Wolfgang went up against Chaos.

Wolfgang is a biggish lad with long flowing locks who comes to the ring wearing a white werewolf Halloween mask, while Chaos is a hoody-wearing mean looking guy who spat water at the crowd as he made his entrance.

This was a short-ish match which began with one of those fan appreciation pose-down competitions, which was clearly won by Wolfgang until Chaos attacked him from behind.

From there these two big lads moved around pretty quickly, with Chaos pulling off some nice high flying moves, almost getting the win after a moonsault.

Chaos then missed the follow up big splash from the top rope, with Wolfgang taking the win himself after coming down from the top with the kind of swanton Jeff Hardy would have been proud off. Nice stuff.

The singles action continued as Andy Wild, accompanied by his manager Charles Boddington, went up against the artist formerly known as Darkside, James Scott.

Wild is another of those cocky heels with a briefcase carrying manager clad in a nice looking pinstripe suit, while Scott is, well, to use a phrase I’ve used before the polar opposite.

No popularity contest at the beginning of this one. These two began with some nice technical ground work before moving to the outside, where Scott took Wild down with a suplex from the ringside table to the floor.

When they eventually returned to the ring Wild took control, where he almost took the win after the ref had been accidentally clobbered by Scott, taking the former Darkside down with an RKO-like move onto Boddington’s briefcase.

But having taken control Scott soon took the win with what looked like a reverse piledriver-like move. Boddington then got into the ring, briefcase in hand, to try and exact some revenge, only for Scott to take him down with the same move.

The first half concluded with international action between two stars I do know as US indy star “M-Dogg 20” Matt Cross faced one of the top foreigners in Japanese wrestling, Prince Devitt.

This was a great encounter, the best match of the first half. I’d seen Cross in action before, but this was the first time I’d seen Devitt, and he impressed the hell out of me. I could see why the Irishman is held in such high esteem in Japan.

It was an exciting back and forth encounter with both men going all out to achieve victory. It was a joy to watch as they pulled off so many great moves, from the countless skin breaking chops to the various kicks and suplexes, right up to Devitt’s top rope brain buster.

In the end it was the Irishman who took the win as he took Cross out with a jumping DDT. Devitt then shook Cross’ hand in a show of great sportsmanship. Excellent work all round.

The second half began with the King of Cruisers match, featuring C.J. Banks, El Ligero, current TNA star Mark Haskins, Chris Rampage, Marty Scurll, and Zack Sabre Junior.

If you’ve been reading by recent FWA DVD reviews then you’ll probably know who the majority of these guys are.

The rules for this one saw two guys in the ring at the same time, the other four on the apron, with eliminations until one man is left. As a certain meerkat would say, simples!

Well, I think that was the idea. It began that way before quickly becoming a lucha libre kind of match, with those involved coming and going as they pleased.

It was actually quite entertaining, and early on we had the rather unique moment when Haskins applied submissions holds to four opponents at once, only for Scurll to break it up with a kick.

The eliminations came thick and fast in this one, with Ligero, Banks and Sabre the last three men. The masked man soon eliminated Banks with what looked like a variation of the Styles clash.

This left Ligero alone with Sabre, who looked like he was going to get the submission win at one point with a cross arm breaker, until Ligero managed to get to the ropes.

Ligero soon came back into the match, and after the two man exchanged several near falls Ligero took the win with a jumping DDT off the ropes. A nice match all round.

It was back to tag team action for the next match as Paul Tracey and Red Lightning faced Colin McKay and Sean South.

Tracey is doing the Lord of the Manor gimmick, complete with Steven Regal mannerisms, while Lightning is one of those dastardly heels. McKay is the proud Scotsman, complete with a proper kilt, while South is a big face painted guy with a Dan Hardy hairstyle.

This was a solid if unspectacular match with both teams giving a good account of themselves. South in particular impressed me with his effort, although I did find Tracey’s act a little annoying, especially as I’ve seen it done so many times over the past few years.

After some nice back and forth action and plenty of near falls Lightning took the win for his team, pinning McKay with a roll up with his feet on the ropes.

The main event saw Johnny Moss, B.T. Gunn and Michael Knight challenging Lionheart in a TLC match.

Again, if you’ve read my recent FWA reviews you’ll know who Johnny Moss is. Gunn came to the ring with multi-coloured flashing false teeth, while Knight is a German star, and not a David Hasselhoff tribute act. Lionheart is a tall well built guy. I’m assuming he‘s courageous, given his name.

If I’m being totally honest then I have to admit that I found this one slightly disappointing, and while I wasn’t expecting Edge and Christian levels of awesomeness the action did seem a little tepid at times.

The performances were okay, and Knight, Gunn and Lionheart did pretty well for themselves, but the man of the match was clearly the big guy, Johnny Moss.

The Vigilante was an absolute monster in the ring, and the early segment where he back suplexes the hell out of his opponents was great to watch.

However there were times when the action just didn’t grab my attention, and I really couldn’t understand why there was a referee in the ring, except when he held the ladder in place that is.

There were also a couple of embarrassing moments with some tables, such as when Lionheart didn’t go through one and Moss went through one when he simply laid on it, shaking his head as he lay on the ground in a Kayfabe breaking moment.

In the end it was the champion who emerged victorious, with Lionheart eventually seeing off his three challengers to claim the title as his own.

Afterwards Lionheart grabbed the microphone and praised Gunn as his toughest challenger in the match, promising a future title shot.

In conclusion - so how did my first experience of the PBW product go? Pretty well I’d say.

There’s some good matches on this release, with the local stars providing some entertaining encounters. The match of the night though clearly belonged to Prince Devitt and Matt Cross. Everything they did just looked so good and so much better than everyone else.

Production wise the atmosphere reminded me of the old videos the FWA used to release nine or ten years ago, in the sense that the arena is mainly dark except for the bright ring light. You couldn’t really see the fans, although you could certainly hear them.

The video production side of things looked quite good, on a par with many of the indy releases I’ve seen over the past couple of years, although I was surprised there was no commentary. In this day and age that’s kind of a sore point with me. If, like me, you’ve never seen a PBW show before and know nothing about the roster you’d find yourself a tad confused without an announcer to give you the information you need.

But apart from these grips overall PBW Maximum Impact 4 was a good show, and it’s one that I’d recommend, which is why it’s getting the thumbs up.

With thanks to the powers that be for supplying a copy of this release. PBW Maximum Impact 4 can be purchased online at www.pbwwrestling.com.