ATTACK!’s final show of a hectic month proved to be a milestone, as Bristol saw the unthinkable…

A year after their last experiment, ATTACK! are back to doing commentary for their shows, with Eddie Dennis on the headset as he’s injured.

Mike Bird vs. Brendan White
Not counting shows where he played dress-up, this was White’s first main ATTACK! show since the second half of the Kris Travis Tag Team Invitational back in April…

Bird goes in with a headlock early as I think Eddie pokes fun at his weight… which helped a little as a flip senton gets a two-count. White mounts a comeback with a forearm smash before flattening Bird with a crossbody and an overhead release belly-to-belly, as he gets a near-fall out of that – and the crowd on his side. White kept up with a back elbow for a rather lacking two-count, before he switches up into a front facelock, only for Bird to corner him for some machine gun-ish chops. Bird comes back with a Made in Newport pumphandle driver, as he then threatened to fly… but White rolls away… but not far enough as a flying headbutt connects for a two-count.

White snaps Bird with a German suplex as he tried to fight back, following up with some whips into the buckles then a shotgun dropkick… but Bird catches him running in, only for a missile dropkick to get countered into a blistering powerbomb as the relative rookie picked up another near-fall.

A Bossman Slam from White keeps him ahead, but Bird comes back with a fireman’s carry gutbuster and a clothesline, only for White to almost nick the win with a modified Angle slam. Bird’s next effort is a middle rope piledriver, but White fights free, only to eat an “Ultimo Dragon” top rope rana before the Gotch piledriver gets the Birdman the win. Pretty fun stuff to get us going, with Bird breaking out some stuff outside of his comfort zone, albeit to a rather muted crowd… **¾

Jim Lee can’t help himself, can he? He drops an F bomb (fun), which brings out… not the Anti-Fun Police, but the Anti-Anti-Fun Police. Okay, I dig that swerve.

Travis Banks vs. Jack Sexsmith vs. Mark Andrews vs. Chuck Mambo
We’ve got more string vest fun, with Travis Banks bringing three spares with him… Eddie Dennis was meant to be in this match, but despite leaving his commentary position, his “owwie” (which turned out to be a torn pectoral) meant that he was replaced by a man whom Eddie picked as a break-out star for this year: Mambo!

Travis gets very defensive early as everyone else’s ring gear is apparently “sexier than mine”, including Mambo’s “sexy balls”…so everyone gets stringers and some RIght Said Fred! That just angers Travis as this is straight out of Zoolander, apart from the superkick part. It quickly goes into the multi-man template, with Andrews dumping his string vest early as Jack Sexsmith gives him some atomic drops and neckbreakers. Jealous Banks kicks away at Jack, who gets enamoured with Trav’s stripping, only for Chuck Mambo to complete the revolving door stuff with a surfboard.

Andrews chains that submission with some body scissors to Chuck, while Sexsmith completed the Human Centipede of submissions with a bunch of kisses. Dives follow as Andrews’ tope takes out Banks, before the pair of them take a Sexsmith cannonball, then a Mambo somersault plancha. Back in the ring, we’re back to the big moves as Sexsmith lands his BDSM, only for Mambo to come in with the Reefbreak and the Bad Burrito (fireman’s carry gutbuster) for the win. This felt a little on the short side, with not much to it aside from the comedy stuff… but another win for Mambo, whom ATTACK! (or at least Eddie Dennis) seem to be getting behind. **¾

Wild Boar vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Wild Boar is having a quietly good year – earlier this month he had a stormer of a match with Will Ospreay, and just the prior night he tore it up with Big Grizzly at GOOD Wrestling (we’ll be reviewing that soon!). So against Zack Sabre Jr, this is a no-brainer, right?

Needless to say, Bristol came unglued for Zack’s appearance, and it was Sabre who was on the defensive early as Boar took him into the corner, then into the ropes as he tried to restrain Jeremy Corbyn’s favourite. It didn’t work as Sabre quickly tripped Boar into a submission attempt, but it’s escaped, only for Sabre to come back with a bow-and-arrow hold.

Boar escapes and comes back with a forearm as he tried to trap Sabre with his own arm. That too is escaped as an early attempt at an Octopus saw Boar fall into the ropes as their submission attempts became pretty scrappy. It’s back to the ground game from Boar, but Zack’s more than even to it, despite not being able to find a way through. More from Zack’s Rolodex of submissions leads him around Boar’s body, but it also rolled him into the ropes as the proverbial game of human chess continued, eventually firing up Boar into a series of strikes as he pulled Sabre down into a brief armbar before he tried to mount the back. Sabre just floats over, and we’re back into the ropes.

Good God, both these guys are so fluid, you’d think they worked regularly with each other… as opposed to this being their first singles encounter in nearly SIX YEARS.

Sabre eventually snuck ahead after a stomp to Boar’s forearm, but a series of strikes just riled up the Boar, whose clothesline barely gets him a one-count as Sabre was forced to defend from the bottom again. Of course, Zack easily floats over onto an arm snap between the legs, but Boar’s good arm’s used to fire off a series of European uppercuts, which were returned in kind. A couple of kicks to the bad arm has Sabre ahead, but Boar’s headbutt quickly knocks him down as the Welshman fired back and took Sabre into the corner for a cannonball for a near-fall. Just like that though, Sabre’s back with a mounted Kimura, but Boar counters into a spin-out brainbuster, before being forced to kick out from a Euro clutch.

Sabre comes back with a PK for a one-count… then a second as he’s able to scrape a near-fall out of it as Boar had plenty left in him. Problem was, Sabre’s just peppering him with kicks to the limbs, before a huge pop up powerbomb and a lariat put the Boar right back in it… but the Trapper Keeper’s not happening, as Sabre countered out into an Octopus stretch in the middle of the ring.

Somehow Boar escapes and turns it into a sit-out piledriver that nearly put Sabre away, before calling for that Trapper Keeper again… but instead of the package piledriver, the crossed arms allowed Sabre to flip out into a triangle armbar… a hold that Boar powerbombed out of! Then it’s a Trapper Keeper… and Boar gets the upset! Bloody hell that was good – a shock result too, and it looks like Boar’s in for a big 2018 if the first month is anything to go by! ****¼

Ryan Smile vs. Mark Davis
One night removed from that war at Rev Pro against EVIL & SANADA, Mark Davis had a rather different challenge in ATTACK!

Smile tried to goad Davis into a high five, leading to instant regret as he headed backstage to scream it out. An instant return with a dive back into the ring is caught, but Smile tries to keep up with a headlock… which doesn’t even budge Dunkzilla. Yeah, I think it’s time for a Plan C… Smile does flip out of an armdrag, before Davis’ lucha roll over him and a cartwheel out of a ‘rana confounded Ryan, as I think he was flipping through to perhaps plan F? A leg lariat works as Davis rolled to the outside, and you can probably guess what’s next… dive! Except Smile lands on his feet before eating a tope suicida!

Chops follow on the outside as Davis looked fairly comfortable, taking the match back inside as he Beel threw Smile with ease, before dragging the limp body into the middle of the ring for a two-count. The Smile comeback begins in earnest as he lands a ‘rana and a wheelbarrow roll-up for a two-count… but Ryan’s attempt at chopping a kneeling Davis just led to another painful chop. Yeah, perhaps “don’t chop Dunkzilla” is a good plan?

A Benny Hill chase does give Smile a chance to sweep out Davis’ legs in the ring, but Dunkzilla’s back to the strikes, before he’s caught with a tiltawhirl DDT… then replies with a monstrous lariat to leave Ryan not-exactly smiling. Smile does make another comeback with a dropkick and some clotheslines into the corner, before a gamengiri from the apron set up for a missile dropkick back into the ring.

Davis’ right hand just knocks Smile down and out again, and into the corner for a sliding lariat… but Smile avoids a pull-up piledriver and instead takes Davis outside for an eventual PK off the apron, setting up for the across-the-ring post tope con giro! Rolling Davis back in, Smile goes for a double stomp, but it’s not enough to put the Aussie away, nor was the running double knees, and somehow Davis has enough left to catch Smile up top… but he’s knocked down for a frog splash that seemed to take as much out of Smile as it did Davis! He follows up with a big splash, cracking Davis on the edge of the apron, but it’s still not enough!

Smile tries to put the finishing touches on with a 450 splash, but Davis avoids it and uses his power to just kill him with a powerbomb and the pull-up piledriver… and that’s all folks! A hell of a contest, with Smile showing plenty of heart… only to be outdone by size and strength. ***½

After the match, Davis helps Smile up to his feet, before Ryan did the “bow to all sides of the ring” deal that some interpreted as a farewell.

ATTACK! Tag Team Championship: Nothing To Prove (ELIJAH & Drew Parker) vs. Bowl-a-Rama (Splits McPins & Lloyd Katt) (c)
I initially laughed, but I suppose Nothing To Prove do have a winning record in tag matches, even though they’ve been made to look utterly toothless so far in ATTACK!

Katt mistakes ELIJAH’s bald bonce for a bowling ball, and a poke to the eye leads to a jump as the challengers tried to get an early start. That didn’t work out well as Splits came in and stomped all over Drew Parker, before a double hiptoss put paid to ELIJAH as the champions were in firm control.

Nothing to Prove have to resort to – I guess cheating – as Drew Parker slid in to take down McPins as Katt protested… well, he would, there was no bleeding tag! ELIJAH tags back in quickly now they have Splits on the back foot, as the sound guy forgot to mute his laptop as a notification played all over the sound system. Needless to say, the Rev Pro Cockpit sound guy found new work quickly!

Parker continues to wear down Splits as they tried to isolate him from a tag… a neckbreaker from ELIJAH helped, as he then dragged Splits back into the corner. A ‘rana from Splits helped him get away for the tag as Katt cleared house, dumping ELIJAH with a slingshot slam before sending Parker stratospheric with a back body drop.

ELIJAH tries a comeback, but he accidentally blasts Parker with a forearm before Splits heads outside with a trio of dives into Nothing To Prove, ending with a Golden Triangle moonsault! Back inside, ELIJAH countered a Katt chokeslam into a crucifix driver as a Parade of Moves broke out, ending with Katt finally chokeslamming Parker, then ELIJAH, before a powerbomb and reverse ‘rana left the champs back on top.

Nothing To Prove rebound as ELIJAH hits an Electric Chair Facebuster to Splits for a near-fall… an Implant DDT pretty soon after gets another two-count on Splits, before Katt came in with a missile dropkick and a twisting brainbuster as the champs worked into More Bowl For Your Buck, and once again, Nothing to Prove come up short. At least they weren’t made to look as foolish as they have previously, but man… they need to shake something up pretty quickly otherwise they’ll be dead in the water. ***¼

Your main event, since Flash Morgan Webster doesn’t really have a feud to speak of (or for some reason, the title belt…), is an eight man tag!

Anti-Fun Police (Chief Deputy Dunne, Los Federales Santos Jr. & Brothers of Obstruction (Leigh Obstruction & James Obstruction) vs. Flash Morgan Webster, Chris Brookes & Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate)
The howls of derision from Santos Jr were an audio treat for us during Moustache Mountain’s entrance. Apparently removing jackets is too much fun.

There’s over half an hour left in the video when the bell goes, so we’re in for a long main event here… once Santos is done sulking on the stage over his missing Sheriff’s badge. A badge that somehow found its way to Chris Roberts, as the Anti-Fun Police lament the departed Shay Purser. We have a fairly basic open as Webster backflipped away from Santos, who then caught a ‘rana and tried for a powerbomb, only for Webster to again escape into the corner for a Rude Boy moonsault press and a Special Brew flip for an early two-count. Tags take us to Trent and Dunne, as the crowd launched into a delightfully cleaned-up version of “he’s got no fun on his pants”.

Trent stops Dunne from his “freeze!” enziguiri to throw a chop… but eventually the false alarm’s spread as Trent falls like a tree. Then gets lifted up… and falls like a tree onto his face. Oh dear. Chris Brookes tags in to be a little more useful, except the Brothers of Obstruction gang up on him, leaving Eddie Dennis clueless as to who was who. He wasn’t alone in that one…

Brookes takes the sunset flip/neckbreaker combo, before using the Brothers against each other for a slingshot to the groin. I howl as the Health and Safety officers put up the perfect response to the Chris Brookes wet willie – by placing a wet floor sign up in the ring. Everyone corpses… so send for the man! Tyler Bate’s in for a one-inch punch as Dunne pleads for mercy… but the punch eventually connects as everyone’s blown off the apron! Santos returns with the “No Fun Gun”, but Tyler disarms him as another plea for mercy. Except it was a ruse… it wasn’t a real gun! Of course… Next to the party is Brookes, who lays into Santos with chops before that Wet Floor sign’s used on his head by the Brothers of Obstruction… who promptly march away from the scene of the crime.

The Brothers of Obstruction try to give Brookes a brainbuster, but it’s Lykos’d as Brookes hits it himself, before he tags in Trent… who misses his trademark crossbody. As is customary. That put the Anti-Fun Police back in front, as the crowd forget to clean up the Dunne chant while Santos skulks after Seven ahead of something that didn’t look like it was as planned.

Trent finally fires back with some chops and a DDT, before Tyler throws one of the Brothers with an Exploder suplex. Some knees from Tyler and a German suplex keep the match going slowly into a near-fall, before Webster’s in to lay into Dunne with clotheslines and knees, eventually knocking Dunne to the outside for a dive attempt… but the Anti-Fun Police pull him outside as the front row gets an up-close-and-personal view.

Dives follow from Bate and Brooke, before Webster’s taken into the ring for four-on-one offence, ending with a spike sit-out tombstone for a near-fall. Webster gets lifted up for a Doomsday something-of-other, but Trent cuts it off and turns it into something of a chicken fight, as everyone gets stacked up for a wacky punch exchange, ending with Tyler becoming a Lykos for the flying lungblower/back senton combo.

Things break down a little bit more as Roberts does his usual “what are tags?” routine, leading to a Parade of Moves, ending with Tyler’s shoulder-rebound lariat to leave just about everyone on the mat. There’s shenanigans as Dunne feigned injury so one of the Brothers of Obstruction could headbutt Tyler with a hard hat on… that hat saved him from a piledriver, but not once Trent disarmed him as we start another Parade.

Santos barges away from a Seven Stars lariat, then pulls of a handspring kick off the ropes as the crowd watched in shock. Webster’s back with a reverse ‘rana, but Santos no-sells and replies with a clothesline, only for Bate to take him down with a German suplex. Yep, yet another parade! Eventually Dunne’s left laying as the Parade is targeted on him, but he kicks out from the Shadows over Malice senton bomb from Webster, before Brookes’ Praying Mantis Bomb and the Eton Rifles from Webster get… another near-fall?!

Dunne’s inhuman! Ah nevermind, he taps seconds later to the Strangler as the Anti-Fun Police fall again. A really enjoyable main event, with perhaps a little on the side of comedy for padding, but this was exactly what you expect out of ATTACK! main events. ***½

Why have we got ten minutes left on the VOD? The good guys leave for the back as Chief Deputy Dunne was left on his own in the ring. For some reason, ELIJAH’s music hits… and oh God, Nothing to Prove are back. They’ve got a chair, but they’ve not joined the Anti-Fun Police… instead, they’re jumping the Chief of Police as Dunne takes a three-on-one beating. The Brothers of Obstruction return… but they’re beaten down, as was Santos.

With the rest of the force gone, ELIJAH rips off Dunne’s shirt, then smashes Dunne’s megaphone as Santos gets unmasked! Dunne covers him with his shirt, but that left him open for a lashing with Drew Parker’s belt, eventually left laying as Nothing to Prove left, presumably having robbed the Anti-Fun Police of what they perceived was their gimmick… and also left them to some cheers from the crowd as the show came to an awkward ending.

Well then. For show after show after show, we’ve complained about how toothless the Nothing to Prove faction has been made to look. Sure, there’s been some wins here and there, but during matches especially they’ve looked like incompetent goons… so does the end-of-show beating turn things around? Well, one show doesn’t make or break a story, but I do have to wonder if the set-up for this took a little too long? Should Nothing to Prove have burst in with this, rather than a series of matches that got their name out there but did little else?

Only time will tell, but needless to say, if Nothing to Prove are going to remain proverbial killers, then we’re in for an intriguing new war within ATTACK! As for the rest of “Failure’s Not Flattering”, this you’ll not go wrong with this show. Eddie Dennis was solid in his first stint on commentary, although like most small indys, it’s very much a take-it-or-leave-it proposition – I’d much rather he be wrestling, but it’s a perfectly fine way to use him while he’s on the shelf. Sabre vs. Boar is worth your VOD money alone, and there’s nothing on this show that falls flat – but it is very definitely a flagpole event for the months ahead in ATTACK!-land.