Surprise debuts were the order of the day – as was a rare title defence – as ATTACK! made their return to Cheltenham in March.

There’s no video interruption weirdness here, as we’ve got a switch on commentary with Eddie Dennis and G-Man behind the mics. Double duty for G-Man, eh?

Sex On The Beach (Chuck Mambo & Jack Sexsmith) vs. Chris Brookes & Millie McKenzie
I’m guessing that Brookes and McKenzie is like a trainee version of CCK, given how often they’re pairing up in places these days?

Chris Brookes broke Mambo’s heart by refusing a high five before the bell, and it’s those two who start us off once Brookes again shows that he’s no longer wholesome by ripping up one of Mambo’s beachballs. Brookes continued to troll by showing he can easily make the ropes from a headlock, before he was forced to answer the Mambo Phone! Brookes didn’t take kindly to that, chopping him, before Mambo pulled the tall boy into a surfboard so Jack could tag in and give him a kiss. Millie McKenzie tagged herself in not long after that, but commentary talked over whatever Jack was telling her, which seemed to be along the lines of “make love, not war”. Except Millie wasn’t quite as reluctant to fight…

A low blow and a Pearl Neckbreaker from Sexsmith gets him back in it, before Brookes tagged himself back in to hit some sick effin’ tag moves, and then pull Jack into a wet willie. Yeah, Jack didn’t like it, not when Millie got the other ear for “double penetration”. Ooh err…

Jack fought back and tried to get free, but Millie knocked Mambo off the apron, only to get caught in an accidental DDT as Brookes ate a Sliced Bread on the way! Finally Mambo gets that tag in, clearing house on Millie and landing a Blockbuster on Brookes, following up with a nasty-looking Reef Break to Millie.

The Bad Burrito firemans carry gutbuster almost gets the win for Mambo, but Millie breaks it up and takes Sexsmith to the outside, before landing a dive and a series of Germans to Mambo, including a stacked-up German to Mambo and Sexsmith at the same time! From there, Brookes somehow became legal as he dumped Mambo with a brainbuster for a near-fall, but Sexsmith begins the fight back as we burst into a Parade of Moves, ending with a slingshot cutter from Brookes for a near-fall… but it’s not enough, as a BDSM and a springboard frog splash earned Sex on the Beach the upset win! Wacky fun to get us underway here, and hopefully this isn’t one-and-done for Chuck and Jack! ***

They teased a mystery ATTACK! title defence later on as the perma-mystery cards continued…

Wild Boar vs. David Starr
Surprise number one here, as David Starr appeared in the Frog & Fiddle… but it seemed a lot of folks in Cheltenham didn’t recognise the music… still, at least Jim Lee got the nicknames down!

Yeah, Starr didn’t get the whole “crowd sourced ring bell” deal!

They keep it on the mat in the early going, with Starr getting a near-fall out of a Thesz press and a backslide, as the Product rattled through some pinning attempts. Commentary used this match to further Mike Bird’s belief that he “wasn’t getting the opportunities” since it was Boar who got another crack against a big name. Boar did start to fight back, taking Starr into the corners for clotheslines as the referee tried to separate the pair… which only led to a uranage from Boar as Starr was sent to the outside. Dives followed, as Boar had to abort his ahead of a tope from Starr, but Boar’s back with some biting, only to get dumped onto the apron as the momentum kept swinging.

A Cherry Mint DDT from Starr’s met with a pop-up powerbomb from Boar, who then got taken down by a Han Stansen lariat as the pair went tit for tat, trading shots as well as moves, ending when Boar caught a leap and dropped Starr with a Fire Thunder driver for a solid two-count. The Trapper Keeper looked to follow, but Starr elbowed free and countered with the Pretty Pumped and the Blackheart Driver for a near-fall as Boar refused to stay down!

Another pop-up powerbomb’s escaped as Starr leapt over Boar, but he took the powerbomb anyway as Boar worked up into a cannonball… just as Mike Bird appeared at ringside. That distraction ended up being key, as Starr quickly hits him with the Product Placement for the win. A rather sudden end to Boar’s hot streak, but this was a pretty good match as we continued to build that Bird/Boar feud. ***½

ATTACK! Championship: Flash Morgan Webster vs. WALTER
This is not a typo. Nor is it a drill. WALTER made the surprising trip to the barn in Cheltenham!

Unlike David Starr, the crowd let out an audible gasp when the opening bars of Allegro con fuoco hit, with that one guy being really glad he wore his RINGKAMPF scarf to the show!

“Flash Morgan Webster’s gonna die in a matter of moments,” swore G-Man on commentary, as the crowd gleefully chanted “Flash is gonna die, gonna die…”

The mismatch was obvious from the start, with WALTER easily shoving away a headlock from Webster, before using a Jim Breaks-style arm lift as things looked way too easy, with WALTER wrenching on Webster’s arm as commentary were perhaps a little too enthusiastic in giving Flash no chance. Although their reaction when Webster threw a chop was much like everyone else’s – “that’s not gonna work Flash”… and yes, when WALTER blocks a ‘rana from Flash, with one arm, you could tell the big guns weren’t too far away.

CHOP!

Flash looked like he was about to cry from that one, and it was far from the last chop the big Austrian brought to the table. Webster was able to flip out of a butterfly suplex as he began the fight back, ending swiftly as he flew into the path of a WALTER chop as, save for a few fleeting moments, this match resembled that sports analogy of men against boys.

ALL. THE. CHOPS. Now you know why Flash’s chest looked like it did at PROGRESS…

The Webster comeback resumes, but the Rude Boy moonsault misses as WALTER grabs the Gojira clutch instead, then turns it into a release German that almost flew Webster across the ring and onto the top rope on the opposite corner. Holy hell!

WALTER stuffs a headbutt and slings Webster into the ring for yet more chops, before he blocked a super butterfly suplex, shoving WALTER down for the Shadows over Malice senton that just about got a two-count. The Strangler follows, but WALTER nonchalantly escapes, turning it into the butterfly suplex.

Webster again tries to fight back, throwing chops and forearms as if his life depended on it, but WALTER’s receipts were too much, as were his responses as Flash flipped out of another German suplex, only to get squashed by a lariat for a near-fall. To their credit, the home crowd backed Webster throughout, and they earned their reward as Flash rolled up WALTER with a wheelbarrow to somehow escape with his belt.

Make no mistake, this was a mauling with a banana peel finish, which begs the question – save of trying to establish Flash as a champion who can be away for a while and return without any ring rust, why book a “respect-earning” beating for your champion? It’s odd, but I’d hope there are plans for Webster after such a big win. ***¾

ATTACK! Tag Team Championship: Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) vs. Bowl-a-Rama (Lloyd Katt & Splits McPins) (c)
The last time these teams met in a straight-up tag match, the Aussies won the tag titles (back in Bristol last July)… can lightning strike twice?

The Cheltenham crowd were on fire long before the teams even considered locking up… almost to the point where the crowd were nearly robbed when Splits scored a roll-up to start the match! Fortunately Kyle had his wits about him to kick out, all while Mark Davis grinned like a Cheshire cat from the apron.

Speaking of Davis, he’s in with a high five to the overly-celebrating Katt, who gets a right hand for his troubles as the Aussies looked to isolate the Bowling Daddy, all while G-Man’s voice went a little funny on commentary. Frequent tags and chops had Katt reeling, but he’s able to sneak out a tag to Splits McPins, who quickly gets caught in a pendulum swing by Dunkzilla, who holds him there for a mock Bowl-a-Rama pose… which annoyed the Fat Katt so much, he comes in and slams the Aussies, just so they could to the pose right.

The response to that was for Splits McPns to land a triangle moonsault to the outside, before getting powerbombed onto the apron by Davis, while Fletcher killed Katt with a Destroyer off the middle rope as commentary couldn’t stop screaming. A superkick-assisted Alphamare Waterslide followed, then a wheelbarrow into a murderous double stomp as Aussie Open seemed hell-bent on killing the bowlers.

Bowl-a-Rama quickly hit back with a neat pop-up facebuster on Davis for a near-fall, but More Bowl for your Buck is cut-off as Splits ran into a series of back-and-forth lariats from Dunkzilla, who continued his reign of terror with a powerbomb and a punch for good measure. Katt’s back with a sliding lariat as the referee had long since lost control, and was just about on-hand to count a near-fall on a spiked Jig ‘n’ Tonic on Fletcher.

More punches from Davis led to a double-team cutter on Katt, as the pull-up piledriver and a Fidget Spinner looked to be enough to give us new champions… but Katt makes the save as the loud crowd found their voices again, just as McPins got up to dump Fletcher with a modified burning hammer for a near-fall, before More Bowl For Your Buck followed onto the stacked-up Aussies for the win! An ATTACK! special, with plenty of moves and a whole lotta fun – how nobody got killed with some of these strikes is mystery to me, but this’ll be a match you’ll probably want to go back and see down the line. ****

Mike Bird vs. El Phantasmo
The miserable Mike Bird train continued here, as his no-frills approach to wrestling proved to be a bit of a clash against El Phantasmo’s stylings. Bird wanted no part of ELP’s test of strength shenanigans, nor the slow-motion graps, as Bird’s response to a half-speed chop was… punch Phantasmo in the face. Just like you’d expect!

When Bird was on the defensive, he went to the outside, eventually suckering Phantasmo into his path as he opted to propel the Canadian into the ringpost – taking one of the cameras out in the process! More no-nonsense offence followed, such as a slingshot into the bottom rope. Phantasmo was able to fire back into action with a quebrada for a near-fall, following up with a big enziguiri and a whirlibird neckbreaker for another two-count.

The match gets a little more even as Bird nails a crucifix bomb before he blocks a top rope ‘rana from ELP… who managed to wriggle free of a piledriver and instead get the ‘rana in anyway. A top rope splash comes next as Bird just about stayed in it, fighting back with a lariat and a Gotch piledriver… but he chose not to make the cover, for… reasons. Instead, Bird decided to do something “for my own amusement”… a screwdriver?! Hey, it’s a shoutout to Scott Steiner, and it wins! I eagerly await the Tongan Death Grip finishing his next match, especially if it’s as even as this one which saw ELP put up a bit of a fight before falling to the focused Bird. ***

After the match, Bird picked up ELP for a Trapper Keeper… only to get attacked by Wild Boar after hitting the move. Bird scarpered, as you’d expect, as their collision course continued.

Nothing To Prove (ELIJAH, Drew Parker & Bishop) vs. Anti-Fun Police (Chief Deputy Dunne & Brothers of Obstruction (Leigh Obstruction & Jim Obstruction)
Oh hey, another main event, another mix of Nothing To Prove vs. Anti-Fun Police. ELIJAH’s mob are due a win anytime soon, right? ELIJAH bullies Santos by threatening to unmask him again, but Santos refuses to go… only to get ejected.

So we started with Nothing To Prove trying to jump start the match, but the AFP were wise to it as the match quickly spilled to the outside, which was a little tricky to follow on the two mobile cameras. Fortunately, they’re back in the ring quickly, with Dunne dropping a knee on ELIJAH, only for Drew Parker to come in and take over as of course Chris Roberts had no semblance of control in this.

A trio of enziguiris left Nothing to Prove laying, and finally the bell goes as this turned into more of a match and less of a brawl, with Dunne dumping Parker with a backbreaker, but the match ebbed and flowed as both teams made use of double-teams, but it was Nothing to Prove who effectively cut the ring in half, keeping one of the Brothers of Obstruction well away from his team mates.

A swinging neckbreaker from ELIJAH earns a rather nonchalant two-count, before Bishop went to work on James Obstruction, stomping on the knee before shoving him out of the ring. Unlike with, say, Mike Bird earlier, the usual cheating tactics didn’t seem to draw too much of a reaction for Nothing To Prove… perhaps that’s because they’ve been beaten like a drum? Bishop’s in next as the rest of the Anti-Fun Police were drawn into the ring, allowing for some triple-teaming, before James finally nailed a satellite DDT. A tag out to Leigh nearly followed, but Drew Parker came in, only to delay things as Dunne got the tag instead, unloading on ELIJAH with a series of right hands.

A front suplex and a running knee kept ELIJAH down, as did a slingshot back cracker, but Parker breaks up the cover just in time. Not to worry, as spears follow from Dunne, until ELIJAH rushes in with a Slingblade and an implant DDT as the covers keep on coming. Bishop cuts off a double-team superplex by giving the Brothers of Obstruction a double back suplex.

Bishop whiffs on a dropkick, taking out ELIJAH by mistake, as he’s then taken up into the corner for a back cracker and a pair of stomps as the Anti-Fun Police tried to stomp their way through Nothing To Prove’s big man, before a double-team pop-up knee led to Parker getting wiped out too. A pair of topes from the Brothers left Parker and Bishop out, leaving us with just Dunne and ELIJAH… with the latter using Chris Roberts as a human shield to save himself from a springboard lungblower, before rolling up Dunne for the win. Hey, a cheap win, but eh… it’s not a good sign when your lead “anarchistic” faction don’t generate much response, but what do I know? I just watch this stuff! ***½

There’s something about this feud that’s doing absolutely nothing for me – it may be boring, but they’re going to need to have do obscenely obvious with Nothing to Prove to have them really considered a threat. Sneak wins and “dissension” between the Anti Fun Police isn’t making anyone fear Nothing to Prove – and the longer it’s left that way, the more I fear for the traditional year-long storyline in ATTACK.

ATTACK’s shows at the Frog & Fiddle in Cheltenham are always a little cosier than their other venues – and with some nice surprises this time, it made this show stick out a little more than it otherwise would have. Their next show’s already happened by the time you read this, with their “My Sacrifice II” WrestleMania-theme show, so it’ll be interesting to see what they actually ran with – considering their champion was once again unavailable!