Sunday, 26 February 2012

XWA War on the Shore 7 - DVD Review

It’s time to step into the world of British professional wrestling once again, and this time we’re going to take a second look at the XWA, the best wrestling promotion in the north-west of England, so I’ve been told. This time around we’re going to take a look at the DVD release of War on the Shore 7, held at the Carleton in Morecambe last June.

The show begins with singles action with Ricky J. McKenzie taking on the face-painted Jynkz.

A short and sweet encounter to open the show with. RJM was looking to finally get the pin over his rival at the third time of asking and took the fight to his man right from the beginning. However, Jynkz soon made his comeback, pulling off some good moves before RJM re-established control.

Some nice sequences followed, with both men coming close on a number of occasions before Jynkz took the win with a roll-up. Needless to say that Mr. McKenzie was none too pleased with the result judging by his attack after the bell, an attack which saw masked man El Ligero storming the ring to make the save.

The singles action continued with Johnny Phere going up against Joel Redman, accompanied by evil XWA co-owner Greg Lambert.

Lots of jaw jacking at the beginning of this one as Lambert proclaimed how great he was before proclaiming how great Redman was. He then returned to the back to watch the match on the monitor, content that his hired gun could get the job done.

When the match finally began in earnest it proved to be an engaging and hard hitting back and forth affair. Redman looked like he was trying to take Phere apart, but the Psychotic Warrior kicked out of Redman’s pins time and time again.

Phere’s never say die attitude soon led to his comeback, and even though he took a hard superplex from Redman he eventually took the pin with a spinning spine buster.

Lambert was none too pleased, coming out to ringside with his henchman Inferno, distracting Phere as XWA Champion Alex Shane, who was meant to be suffering from a shoulder injury, attacked Phere from beyond. Shane was quickly joined by Redman and Inferno as they left Phere lying in the ring.

After an in-ring segment which saw Rockstar Spud telling his former manager Stallion where to go it was on to the next match as the XWA’s other owner and my old buddy Sam Slam faced the massive Cyanide.

This match began just as Sam was about to beat the hell out of Stallion when the manager inadvertently revealed to Spud that he was the man who’d got Sam banned from the XWA. It was then that Cyanide made his appearance, saving Stallion’s bacon.

Sam certainly put in an impressive performance here. He’s come on a long way since I first saw him as a skinny kid during my early days in the British wrestling business back in 2002. Now he’s a powerhouse, and is as agile as hell as well.

This was basically one big guy and one even bigger guy beating on each other, and even though it didn’t last long it was very entertaining, with Sam taking the win after lifting the 400 pound-plus Cyanide onto his shoulders and taking him out with his S-5 finisher. The best way to describe the move? Think of a fall away slam, but in reverse.

And before you ask, no, I wasn’t the one who came up with the Sam Slam name. I know who did though, and he’s one of the most unimaginative and boring men I’ve ever met, as well as being the 10th worst wrestler I’ve seen since the year 2000.

The first title match of the evening followed as Jenny Sjodin challenged Britani Knight for the Pro Wrestling EVE title.

Sadly I will be unable to review this particular match. Britani, currently working in WWE’s developmental system, is the youngest daughter of Ricky and Saraya Knight, the owners of the World Association of Wrestling, and given my prior history with them I am unable to provide an unbiased review of this match.

The only tag match of the show saw the Blackpool Blonds, Axel Rage and J.D. Sassoon, taking on Joey Hayes and El Ligero.

The story at the beginning of this one was the Blonds asking where Hayes’ on/off partner Declan O’Connor was, the two having reconciled during the Goldrush rumble. It was then that Ligero appeared with Hayes, and the match began.

Hayes and Ligero attacked their opponents as soon as they entered the ring, taking the Blonds down with a series of fast-paced moves. But it wasn’t long before Rage and Sassoon took control, pulling off some quite impressive double team moves as they used Hayes as their proverbial punching bag.

But after Ligero made the hot tag the masked man really took it to the Blonds, until Ricky J. McKenzie made his second appearance of the evening, distracting Ligero in retaliation for Ligero’s actions earlier in the evening.

Moments later it was all over as the Blonds pressed Ligero above their heads and slammed him to the mat with their Blackpool Tower finisher. Nice stuff.

The main event saw Stixx, winner of the Goldrush rumble, challenging David Deville, accompanied by Alex Shane and Scarlett Black, for both the FWA World and XWA British titles, with co-owner Sam Slam as the ringside enforcer.

Originally Stixx was meant to be challenging Shane for the title, but as I mentioned before the champ was meant to be suffering from a serious shoulder injury, although that didn’t look to be the case when he was attacking Johnny Phere earlier.

So with Shane getting a ruling that any member of the Authority faction could defend the title the honour went to Deville. But then co-owner Slam stepped in and ruled that Deville’s FWA World title would be on the line as well.

Slam never actually made it to the ring. Just after he was introduced he was attacked by Cyanide, Stallion and Joel Redman, an attack that was orchestrated by the evil genius Greg Lambert.

What followed to be a highly charged and eventful affair. Both protagonists put on a great contest, with Stixx having to take on Shane and Black as they tried to interfere on a number of occasions.

Despite all of the interference Stixx put up a good fight, and it looked like he was going to get the win when he took Deville down with Shane’s old One Night Stand finisher. But just as the referee was about to count three Shane pulled him out of the ring, and as the official confronted the champion at ringside Shane took him out with the big boot.

It was then that Lambert, along with Inferno and Redman introduced a second official into the equation, but after Deville took Stixx out with a frog splash Stixx, amazingly, kicked out on two.

Then, just as Deville was about to hit Stixx with one of the title belts came the big surprise as a stunned Sam Slam appeared on the scene. After taking out Inferno and Redman he got into the ring, dismissing the new official before taking Deville down with a jackhammer suplex.

Sensing victory, Stixx got to his feet and took Deville down with a sit-down powerbomb just as the original referee came back into the ring. As Stixx went for the cover the referee called for the bell without making the count, awarding the victory to Stixx by disqualification because of Shane’s attack, which meant that although he’d won the match he hadn’t won the titles, ending this very dramatic encounter.

In conclusion - my second look at the XWA product proved to be a very entertaining experience.

Although some of the matches seemed a tad too short time-wise, and the main event seemed a tad overbooked, the matches I reviewed all delivered what they set out to do, making this a very good show.

So if you’re looking for another good example of modern day British wrestling then War on the Shore 7 comes highly recommended with the thumbs up from me, and despite what some people might say this is not me kissing the XWA’s proverbial backside, it’s me being honest.

With thanks to the powers that be for supplying a copy of this release. XWA War on the Shore 7 is available to buy online at www.xwawrestling.com.