Hitting the relaunch button, ATTACK! used WrestleMania weekend to crown a new champion… we take a look!
Connor Mills pinned Mark Haskins in 18:43 (***¼)
Dani Luna pinned Emersyn Jayne in 14:55 (***)
ATTACK! Championship Tournament Semi-Final: Nico Angelo pinned Jay Joshua in 14:21 (***)
James Ellis pinned Shane Hooker, ELIJAH and Rayne Leverkusen in 11:33 (***)
Danny Jones & Brendan White pinned Kid Lykos & Kid Lykos in 15:56 (***¼)
ATTACK! Championship Tournament Semi-Final: Wild Boar pinned Flash Morgan Webster in 21:54 (***)
It’s been a while since I’ve sat down and reviewed an ATTACK! show. Nearly five years, according to my own archives. Having closed their doors in 2020, ATTACK burst back to life earlier this year, announced as a surprise at the start of a Mark Andrews Birthday Bash show in January.
ATTACK pressed restart on things, seemingly vacating their titles (although Man Like Dereiss still has his half of the tag titles, having been champions with Dan Moloney when ATTACK shut up shop.) So, we’re looking for a new champion at least, with Cara Noir having been champion when the promotion closed… so the finishing stretches tournament over WrestleMania weekend was perhaps the way to go as ATTACK got back on track.
We’re coming live-on-tape from Pryzm in Cardiff, and holy balls the production values on hand here… with ATTACK having moved away from Vimeo, and onto Your Fight Site, with VOD subscriptions coming in at £5.99 a month. They do have a lot of back catalogue content on there, but perhaps scan the cards in advance if you’re looking to dodge names from the past.
We open with promo pieces to hype up the two semi-finals, before we’re taken to Cardiff. Commentary comes from Steve Andrew and Sean Thorne.
Connor Mills vs. Mark Haskins
It’s a first time singles match, with Mills and Haskins having been opposite each other in tag matches in PROGRESS previously… and if you remember anything about ATTACK!, it’s that they don’t have a ring bell.
Mills powders to the outside to avoid an early head kick, before he returned as the pair went back-and-forth on the mat. A side headlock from Haskins keeps Mills restrained, but it’s pushed off in the ropes as Haskins came back in with a backslide for a quick two-count… then a folding pin for another two-count. Mills knocks Haskins into the corner for some mudhole stomping, before a Kitchen Sink knee cut off Haskins’ attempted fightback. Haskins fires back with a low dropkick after he’d absorbed a bunch of kicks, then with a stomp to the elbow and wrist of Mills as he began to pick him apart. Mills goes to the eyes to stop things, then hung Haskins in the ropes before taking him outside for a tope. Back inside, Mills stays on Haskins, taking him into the buckles for a two-count, following up with an uppercut and a kick for a cocky two-count.
A leg lariat from Haskins manages to take Mills outside as he followed up with a trio of topes, with the last one being the old misdirection dive. Haskins gets caught up top… but chops Mills down to the mat ahead of a double stomp that landed square on Mills for a near-fall. A kick from Haskins just triggers the rebound lariat from Mills, who adds a Burning Hammer for a near-fall, then an Orange Crush Bomb for another two-count. Mills pulls up his kick pad as he measures up for a kick, but a lariat from Haskins finds its mark, before a second Burning hammer’s blocked. Haskins returned with a roll-through death valley driver, then a head kick for a pair of twos as the pair began to trade haymakers. Dualling kicks left the pair loopy, then dualling lariats, as a double KO ended with the pair getting back up in the nick of time.
More strikes from Mills lead to him blocking Haskins’ attempt at a roll-through into a Sharpshooter… as he ultimately rolled up Haskins with some feet on the ropes for the win. This felt a little long by the end, with Mills stealing a win to put one over the veteran. ***¼
Post-match, Connor Mills attacked a member of the ring crew – who was tending to Mark Haskins.
Emersyn Jayne vs. Dani Luna
Dani Luna had been in the quarter-finals of the title tournament on the last show, but fell to Wild Boar…
It’s pretty even to start with Jayne and Luna throwing the other aside from lock-ups before the pair went for pinning attempts as neither seemingly wanted this to go long. Luna’s Magistral gets a two-count as they went back-and-forth, leading to bridging pins before Luna’s short crossbody earned her a one-count. Clotheslines from Luna pick up a two-count, as Jayne fought back with headscissors out of the corner, while a springboard crossbody added a two-count for the Scotswoman. Heading outside, a ‘rana from Jayne took Luna into the ring post, before Luna retaliated by swivelling Jayne on the apron into a knee strike.
Back inside, Luna goes for the Three Amigos, landing the hattrick for a near-fall, before a back suplex dumped Jayne in the middle of the ring. Jayne manages to pull ahead, knocking Luna to the floor for a tope, but throwing Dani back in just earned her a low-pe in return before the pair went for a suplex back inside… leading to Jayne getting suplexed to the floor while Luna got hung up on the ropes. Resuming strikes, Jayne manages to break out with an enziguiri, before Luna retaliated with an Exploder. Jayne’s answer is a Dragon suplex, before she springboarded into a German suplex as the pair traded throws.
Jayne pulls ahead with a crossbody splash into the corner, then a missile dropkick, before a one-woman Spanish Fly out of the corner almost took the win. A backfist from Jayne has Luna down, but Dani’s quickly back with a clothesline and a folding powerbomb… while another lariat almost put Jayne down for the count. From there, Jayne ‘rana’s out of a Luna Landing attempt, then took Dani into the ropes for the Shadowfax baseball slide German suplex. Luna kicks out of a slingshot cutter, then got lifted to the top rope… but another Spanish Fly’s pushed away as Luna instead opted to bring Jayne back into the ring with an elevated German suplex from the outside in. The Luna Landing follows, and that’s all folks! They recovered well after that inside-out suplex, but it’s a big win for Dani Luna back in Cardiff. ***
ATTACK! Championship Tournament Semi-Final: Jay Joshua vs. Nico Angelo
This is the breakout half of the bracket, with Joshua and Angelo seemingly being primed for bigger things.
Joshua shoves Angelo aside early on, but then had to absorb some shoulder tackles before Angelo charged the big man down. Chops from Angelo take things into the corner, before a gunshot-like chop from Joshua sent Angelo flying back to the corner. Heading outside, Angelo couldn’t avoid an apron PK, but had more luck back inside as a low dropkick and some cradles picked up two-counts. Angelo’s low dropkick takes Joshua back outside, but the big man kicks away Angelo’s telegraphed dive, only for Angelo to return with a big rolling death valley driver on the floor. Joshua narrowly beats the count-out, but Angelo stayed on him back inside with a series of kicks, following up with an arm whip for a two-count.
More kicks from Angelo are eventually caught, with Joshua returning with a release German suplex and a pull-up into a spinning back suplex for a near-fall. Joshua’s shots in the corner keep Angelo down, forcing the referee to separate the pair as Angelo looked to return fire, eventually hitting a discus lariat for a near-fall. Angelo hauls up Joshua for a delayed Jackhammer, but it’s not enough for the win, nor was a bridging strait-jacket German, as Joshua had a shoulder up early. We’ve a headbutt from the big man in return, as a sit-out Last Ride almost put him into the final. They head up top as Joshua searched for a superplex, but Angelo threw him down and joined him with a flying cutter for a near-fall.
Kicks from Angelo just earn him chops, but some back-and-forth ends with a spinning heel kick from Joshua. He doesn’t go for the cover though, instead opting for a Gotch piledriver… but Angelo kicks out at two. Joshua goes for a rear naked choke, but Angelo takes it to the corner… and we’ve got the Bret Hart finish as he pushes back on the corner, taking Joshua down and rolling back to force the pin as Nico booked his spot in the finals. I’d have liked to have seen a little more here, but Angelo and Joshua looked good in this spot. ***
Backstage, Nico Angelo crows over having beaten Eddie Dennis and Jay Joshua to make it to the finals… but Lykos Gym interrupt to take the spotlight as they say they have to get themselves on track.
ELIJAH vs. Rayne Leverkusen vs. James Ellis vs. Shane Hooker
Leverkusen’s been getting a little buzz lately, having just made her debut for DDT in Japan on their delightfully-named “Shibushi Fish Meat Decisive Battle.” Meanwhile, I’m cackling at James Ellis going full Local Sports Villain by wearing a Swansea shirt on the same day Swansea had beaten Cardiff late on in the South Wales derby…
Shane Hooker’s apparently a surprise addition… he was knocked sparko by Connor Mills earlier. Ellis is sent outside early on as he tried to charge at Hooker… which leaves us with Leverkusen, ELIJAH and Hooker in there. Rayne’s tripped and pulled outside, but she throws Ellis into the stage as Hooker and ELIJAH took over in the ring, with Hooker landing a leaping clothesline. A spinning enziguiri from Hooker takes ELIJAH outside… Ellis slides in and scores with a dropkick, before Hooker took him for a rope-walk. Ellis has watched his Undertaker though, sweeping the legs to knock hooker down as Leverkusen came back in. She Matrix’s past Ellis, then took Ellis into the corner with an enziguiri, where she followed with some rhythmic chops.
A pumphandle suplex takes Ellis out as the revolving door brings back ELIJAH, who nails a dropkick. Out goes Rayne, in comes Ellis, but “the Brilliance” takes his eye off the ball and almost lost to a springboard crossbody. See-saw pins lead to two-counts as Ellis chucks ELIJAH into Leverkusen on the outside… while a lofty missile dropkick from Hooker takes Ellis out too. Hooker flies some more with a Golden Triangle moonsault to ELIJAH and Ellis. Back inside, Hooker’s caught by ELIJAH’s headlock takedown after he’d caught ELIJAH unawares… Ellis is back in, but gets caught in headscissors, before Leverkusen completed the chain of grounded headscissors. Ellis tries to steal wins with pokes to the eyes, but Leverkusen blocks one and cracks Ellis with a head kick… then a springboard back elbow for a near-fall.
Ellis tries to wind up the crowd, but gets German suplexed out of the corner as a Parade of Moves broke out, featuring an Electric Chair facebuster from ELIJAH, a wicked spinebuster from Ellis, before we built up to a Tower of Doom on Ellis. Leverkusen tries to put away Hooker with a Boston crab, but instead gets met with a springboard Codebreaker… before Hooker aborted a 450 splash and found himself in the high-angle Boston crab. Leverkusen switches it into a slingshot into the corner, before ELIJAH came back in with a German suplex. ELIJAH hits a Dominator-gutbuster move on Hooker, but Ellis sneaks back in to steal the pin – as that seems to be his gimmick here. I’m a grumpy old man when it comes to scrambles these days, but this served its role as James Ellis managed to upset Cardiff once more. ***
Backstage, James Ellis gets a to-camera piece bragging about his winning run over ELIJAH…
Greedy Souls (Brendan White & Danny Jones) vs. Lykos Gym (Kid Lykos & Kid Lykos II)
On the surprise ATTACK reboot show back in January, Greedy Souls beat Bowl-a-Rama – while Lykos Gym lost in singles matches…
White and Lykos II start us off, with Brendan chucking the young wolf aside with ease. An attempted crossbody from Lykos II sees him bounce off Brendan, but he has more luck with a tijeras after White misses a back senton… and just as I typed that, Brendan barges though with a shoulder tackle. Kid Lykos and Danny Jones tag in to trade shots, but it’s Lykos’ overhead kick that lands… before he telegraphed a brainbuster and got suplexed away. Lykos managed to make a blind tag out as the Lykii sandwich Jones with PKs, while Lykos II plancha’d into White on the outside. Another telegraphed brainbuster led to Lykos II getting double-teamed, before a Lasso from El Paso from Jones led to him stretching out Lykos II as the Greedy Souls seemed to have his number. A double-team pop-up slam gets a two-count for Brendan, as commentary bemoaned the amount of time Lykos II was getting double-teamed for.
The Greedy Souls keep Lykos II in their corner, but another slingshot slam’s countered with an inside cradle as Lykos II finally got out… and tagged in Lykos. White’s sent outside as Lykos followed in with topes to both White and Jones, before a senton bomb back inside almost put Brendan away. Lykos calls for another brainbuster and ended up taking a Samoan drop in return for a near-fall. Brendan’s sent packing as the Lykii double-team Danny Jones for a near-fall, before a turnaround led to a spinning back suplex as all four men stayed in the ring. Things stay tornado-ey amid a Parade of Moves, with Lykos II taking a sleeper suplex from Jones, while a shotgun dropkick from White sent Lykos flipping into the referee in the corner.
A pop-up uppercut from Danny Jones leaves Lykos II laying, but Lykos II counters a slingshot Bossman slam into an Octopus stretch, as a pair of the Octopi restrained the Greedy Souls briefly. The ropes save White, but he’s met with a flurry of offence leading to a double stomp for a near-fall. Lykos heads up top, but gets thrown into the crowd by the Greedy Souls, who are then able to properly isolate Lykos II for another spell, landing the slingshot Bossman slam for a near-fall. Lykos returns with a moonsault off the top rope, having escaped the VIP area, before a pair of brainbusters almost put the Greedy Souls away. Double-teaming from the wolves almost wins it, before Brendan got the knees up to block a back senton off the top from Lykos. Danny Jones takes care of him on the outside, hitting an apron piledriver before returning to help with his half of the Soul Destroyer for the win. ***¼
Backstage, the Greedy Souls express their annoyance at ATTACK taking credit for their work rebuilding the Welsh scene…
ATTACK! Championship Tournament Semi-Final: Wild Boar vs. Flash Morgan Webster
I’m old enough to remember these guys as the 198… and them buying their own promotion. The winner of this takes on Nico Angelo for the vacant title on night two.
Boar dominated early on, taking Webster down with a chinbar before they see-sawed on pins as commentary painted a picture of Webster not being able to get a win over Boar in ATTACK. Flash bridges up after a knuckle lock, and finds his way in with a side headlock… then with an armdrag and a Special Brew Flip that took Boar to the outside. Webster goes for a dive, but Boar ends up getting caught with a swinging ‘rana off the ring post. Heading into the crowd, Webster followed in with a flip into Boar, who headed back inside, only to take a Rude Boy moonsault press as Webster picked up a two-count. Boar manages to find a way back in with some clotheslines, while a back senton took Webster outside, where he’s popped up onto the side of the ring.
Returning to the ring again, Boar’s back senton took Webster down for a two-count. A sit-down splash followed from Boar after Webster had gone for a sunset flip… and it’s all Boar from there as a back suplex forces Webster outside after he kicked out. Webster’s able to hang up Boar in the ropes to get some separation, then returned to the ring with a dropkick… only for another Boar clothesline to leave Webster on the defensive. Boar keeps Webster grounded once more, but Flash is able to hit another clothesline to cut off Boar… and chop him into the corner to boot. Webster’s able to wheelbarrow Boar into the corner for a near-fall, before he took Boar up top for a top rope ‘rana. Spilling outside, Boar can’t avoid another tope, but was able to nail a pop-up powerbomb as he sought to turn it around.
A headbutt stuns Webster, who returned with a Cross Rhodes… but couldn’t finish the story as Boar kicked out at two. Boar’s able to return with a snap DDT and a wild clothesline, but Flash is up at two as we’re back on the top rope, where Boar nibbles away on Webster as a struggle for a superplex ended with Webster headbutting Boar down to the mat. Webster couldn’t follow-up though, and finally gets taken down with a superplex… with Webster quickly hitting back with an Eton Rifle for a near-fall. The Shadows Over Malice is next from Webster, but it’s not quite enough, as Boar’s able to chain together a pop-up powerbomb and a cannonball… then a sit-out powerbomb for another couple of near-falls.
A frog splash off the top from Boar keeps those two-counts coming as the crowd seemed to cool off. Webster refuses to stay down, eventually firing back on Boar with some palm strikes, before Boar used the referee to mask a low blow. From there, the Fire Thunder Driver gets a near-fall on Webster, who’s taken outside for a couple of powerbombs onto the edge of the ring, then one on the floor as they teased a ref stoppage. Instead, Boar rolled Webster back inside and picked him up for a Trapper Keeper package piledriver as the crowd began to boo ahead of the three-count. As a match, this went way too long – with the crowd seemingly being ready for the finish after the pop-up powerbomb/cannonball combination, but extra aggression from Boar after that I guess delineates him as a bad guy ahead of the final against the fan-favourite Angelo. ***
Post-match, Boar booted Webster out of the ring before Nico Angelo and Lykos Gym came out for the obligatory show-closing staredown.
Based on this evidence, this sure as heck isn’t the ATTACK! of old – the DIY aesthetic of the first go around has been set aside in favour of a sharper look, with ATTACK! 2.0 gunning for the best-produced indie in the UK these days. Whether that’s a good or bad thing will depend on your connection to the old ATTACK – who look to have a different enough roster to the rest of the “big boys” to be worth your time.