Held last weekend, ATTACK! held their traditional Halloween show… a few days late, as Bristol played host to GooseBUMPS IV. Four days later, the promotion posted the show on their Vimeo channel – perhaps the quickest turnaround to date for this style of event!

With this being a Halloween show, the gag was that most of the crew were in costume, much like ATTACK!’s Press Start shows… and they also had a spooky-themed set. The show started with our ring announcer, Jim Lee dressed as an evil bunny, whilst referee Shay Purser… came as himself. There’s always one, isn’t there?

Splits McPins came out first with his second, Lloyd Katt, neither of whom were dressed up outside of their usual gimmick. McPins’ opponent… was Bart Simpson?! Or best known to us all as Mark Andrews! Extra points for the blue shorts, red shirt and the yellow face to Mr Andrews… but before our advertised match can get going, Chris Brookes and Kid Lykos stormed the ring and attacked both men.

#CCK weren’t happy at not being booked, and after Lloyd Katt tried to bang their heads together, the fun well and truly stopped with the arrival of Chief Deputy Dunn. Thankfully, the Anti Fun Police were quickly cut-off though, as Ryan Smile hit the ring, painted up like Jigsaw (from the Saw movie franchise, not the masked wrestler), and wearing a Chris Brookes-like shoulder strap. So our advertised singles match is now a six-man tag!

Splits McPins, Mark Andrews & Ryan Smile vs. Chief Deputy Dunne & #CCK (Chris Brookes & Kid Lykos)
The match started with Andrews hitting a flip dive over Smile to the heel trio. As everyone got back in the ring, Lykos took an arm wringer, before a dropkick from McPins knocked him into the corner for a bowling uppercut. Katt got involved by handing Splits a bowling ball, which was then viciously dropped onto Lykos from the top rope. Lykos tagged out to Dunne, before McPins tagged in Andrews who busted out some Bart-isms and a bunch of armdrags. Dunne blocks a wheelbarrow bulldog, but gets chopped into the corner before eventually taking that bulldog as Brookes snuck in a tag. Ryan Smile came in to give us a battle of the shoulder straps, featuring a couple of leapfrogs and a dropkick.

Brookes continued to be worked over as the faces swapped frequent tags, whilst McPins dropped a bowling ball over Brookes’ arm a la a double axehandle smash. The comeback started for Brookes as he worked over McPins as the ATTACK! tag champions kept the referee distracted. Dunne teased a move off the ropes, before scurrying to cover McPins for a “no fun” pin… getting just a two-count out of it.

McPins’ night went from bad to worse as he took a wet willy from Brookes – but with no ear-holes, he ended up taking it in the mouth instead. The barrage continued, at least until McPins connected with the rolling thunder on Lykos, before tagging in Smile to clear house on ATTACK!’s wolf. A Blue Thunder bomb got him a near-fall, before a blind tag to Andrews saw Brookes take a tornado DDT.

Dunne cut-off Andrews’ offence with a spear, before McPins dropped Dunne with a Dominator into a Facebuster. Brookes returned to boot McPins, then deliver a Whiplash, only for Smile to drill him with a brainbuster. Lykos crotches Smile on the top rope, then connected with a rope-hanging Ace crusher for a near-fall. A forearm smash from Dunne took out Smile, but earned him a kick to the midsection from “Bart” Andrews, as the match descended into a series of forearm exchanges. Smile outsmarted the heels with a double OsCutter to the tag champs, before flying over the top turnbuckle with a tope con hilo onto Brookes. With Lykos alone in the ring, the masked cat took a bowling ball to the groin, before a frog splash from Smile earned the babyfaces the win. A solid, and entertaining opening match, which seemed to build up something between Smile and Dunne down the road. ***½

Before the next match, Lee Construction (nee Hunter) came out… and thankfully there was only one of them, so I don’t have to worry about telling those Hunters apart. Lee “fixed” the broken microphone, but was cut-off by the Wild Boar, who ran out and knocked him down with a clothesline. The ring announcer, Jim Lee, was bemused as this was meant to be a four way match, but we kept going as Boar tried to give Construction the Trapper Keeper package piledriver.

Danny Jones comes out – with cat-like face paint – and dropped Boar with some Dusty punches. Boar dispatched Jones with ease though, and looked to stand alone until… Natural Born Killaz played across the sound system, signalling the arrival of the Extremely Confused Drew Parker, here tonight as… Drew Jack!

Lee Construction vs. Wild Boar vs. Danny Jones vs. “Drew Jack”
Drew Jack invited Boar onto the stage for a brawl, and out came the plunder, in the form of a cooking sheet. Sadly, the New Jack music didn’t play throughout, as we saw Drew hit Construction with a crutch, before Danny Jones had a plastic scythe smashed across his back.

Boar returned to smash Drew in the rear end with the cooking sheet, before throwing him to the outside for some chops in the crowd. Boar and Drew fight by the bar, then on it, before they recreate the New Jack scaffold spot by diving off of the bar. I don’t think many people “got” that live… Drew Jack dives again, this time with a flip senton off the top rope, before throwing Boar back into the ring to use a common-or-garden office stapler on him. Boar blocked it by kicking him low, as Jones returned to knock down the Boar with a Falcon arrow for a near-fall. Jones tried again with Construction, but the move was blocked as Lee rolled him up for a near-fall, then hit a crossbody block out of the corner.

Construction got felled by a shot to the throat by Drew Jack, but the stapler came into play as Drew caught Danny Jones’ headstand in the corner… and stapled him in the nether regions. Fed up with this, Boar returned to dump Drew Jack with a pop-up powerbomb, before going back to work on Jones, a tactic that backfired as Danny and Lee formed a sudden alliance and combined for a double superkick, then a 3D to the Wild Boar. However, “Lee-Von” wasn’t asked to get any tables… because there weren’t any.

Boar again hit back by dragging Lee and Danny into each other, then dumped Lee into a Tree of Woe above a seated Danny, giving him a perfect landing area for a cannonball dive. Drew returned with his weapons, including a cheese grater, which he and Boar fought over. Eventually, it was Drew who took the grater, which led to referee Shay openly drawing a blood capsule to drop some blood onto the grated-forehead of Drew. Quality satire!

Boar found some scissors in Drew Jack’s rubbish bin, and used them on the Extremely Confused one’s forehead, before dumping him with the Trapper Keeper for the win. That was a fun match for what it was; something that was there more for comedy than anything else though. ***

The cosplay returned for the next match, as we had Jack Nicholson’s “Here’s Johnny” line from the Shining to signal the arrival of Eddie Dennis, complete with a cardboard “door” and an axe. Eddie owned up to it being a last minute costume, before saying that there was “no greater villain than that dude from the Stanley Kubrick movie”.

Can you see what that was a trigger for?

Out came two women in white, followed by some familiar music, as a real villain came out… Marty Scurll proved to be Eddie’s surprise opponent, as he came dressed as Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange.

Eddie Dennis vs. Marty Scurll
Marty attacks Dennis with an umbrella at the bell, before an apron superkick and a tornado DDT knocked the Welshman down for a two-count as the match got going. Scurll kept his bowler hat on for a series of chops in the rope, but he ended up being turfed to the outside by Dennis, who followed with a flip dive.

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but a clean-shaven Eddie Dennis looks really odd.

Back in the ring, Dennis hoists up Scurll for a hanging suplex, but Marty drops down and gets an arm whip instead. A Dragon Screw followed from Scurll, who threw Dennis back outside, and then greeted him back in the ring with a rope-hung DDT for a two-count. For some reason, the ATTACK! crowd serenaded Marty with a rendition of “Singing in the Rain” before Dennis landed a shoulder block, only to be low bridged back outside as Marty’s next apron superkick went awry… as instead, Dennis dropped him on the apron with a swinging side slam from the floor.

A back suplex back in the ring earned Dennis a two-count, before he went for a Next Stop Driver, only for Marty to roll him up for a near-fall. A knee lift followed from the Villain, as did a piledriver, again for a two-count. From there, they traded forearms, at least until Scurll popped up for a superkick, only to get another forearm in return. Dennis fell for the “Just Kidding” superkick, before taking a brainbuster as both men crashed to the mat.

After going back and forth with chops and forearms, Scurll called for the chicken wing, only for Dennis to elbow his way free. Instead, Marty did the finger snap, which upset some of the kids in the crowd. Thankfully, Dennis hit back with a big boot, then a crucifix bucklebomb, before powerbombing referee Shay into Scurll. The Next Stop Driver followed, but Scurll flipped out and into another chicken wing… but yet again Dennis rolled out, and finally landed the Next Stop Driver for the win. A good match, but a lot shorter than I expected, but this match looked to have been curtailed as Marty’s eye got busted open. ***½

Tyler Bate vs. Mike Bird
Bird kept up the cosplay by dressing as Freddie Krueger – those talons are going to be a bugger to wrestle with!

Of course, Bird removed the claws and his red and black jumper, before signalling to a kid in the crowd, who’d come dressed up as… referee Shay?! He even got to ring the bell, and that was just weird. ATTACK!’s gone meta! Once the match started, Bird worked a wristlock with Bate, taking him to the mat, before the youngster popped up and switched it into a headlock takedown. Bird escaped a wristlock by stamping on Bate’s hand, before putting the hold back on, and watching it reversed yet again. The grappling continued as Bird grounded Bate and went back to the wristlock, only for Tyler to work his way back up and trap the “Ginger Jesus” in a toe hold.

Bird spins out from his head, but Bate cartwheels along and the pair shake hands as they stood off, before picking up where they left off. Bate gets out of a headlock and wrings Bird’s arm repeatedly, then worked into an Indian deathlock, snapping back on Bird’s knees, before finally bridging all the way back into a submission attempt. After crawling across the ring, Bird finally makes the rope to force the break, but quickly ended up in another headlock. After freeing himself, Bird decided to trade chops with Bate, who channeled Pastor William Eaver for a brief moment, before chopping Bird in the thigh instead. “Ginger Jesus” mounted a comeback by running the ropes and… slapping Bate in the corner. That leads us to a shoving match, before a back suplex takes Bate back down.

Bate faked out a dive a la Chris Hero after a dropkick had sent Bird to the outside, but Tyler actually followed up with a moonsault to the floor from the second turnbuckle, then scored with a diving knee to the head back in the ring. A deadlift German suplex follows, with Bate bridging back from his knees for a near-fall, only for Bird to make another comeback, with an elbow-assisted reverse DDT for a near-fall.

Regardless, Bate came back with an Airplane Spin, sending Bird flying to the mat with a flapjack, before a lariat turned him inside out for another two-count. After going back and forth, Bate dropped Bird with a German suplex out of the corner, then landed a knee strike, before a deadlift brainbuster… jesus, Tyler Bate’s impressive. That got another near-fall, before Bate ran into a series of stiff chops from his Welsh foe.

The sequence ended with Bate’s backslide attempt getting countered into a sit-out crucifix powerbomb for a near-fall from Bird, before Bate countered the “Made In Newport” (pumphandle driver) into a roll-up for another two. A Superman punch from Bird only angered Bate, but Tyler took the Made in Newport anyway, as Mike Bird took the win. An impressive match, and a bit of a surprise result in my mind. Bate continues to shine in just about every promotion he’s setting foot in – he’s got a long future ahead of him, that’s for sure. ***¾

Now for our main event, an intergender tag match… featuring the debut of the Nixon Newell/Pete Dunne partnership. But first, Kevin Owens’ WWE music hit, as the dress up continued with… Martin Kirby as Kevin Owens! The only thing that was missing was the hair, as Kirby had even gone as far as to do Owens’ tattoo. His partner? A familiar masked luchador by the name of El Generico, complete with his “Ole!” ring music.

This might have appealed to a niche group, but damnit, I’m in that niche, and I loved it.

Their opponents came in the form of Pete Dunne and Nixon Newell, who heeled it up by dressing in the most typical Halloween gear possible: the Joker and Harley Quinn respectively.

Martin Kirby & El Ligero vs. Nixon Newell & Pete Dunne
At the bell, Nixon and Pete laid into their opponents with forearms, then back suplexes, before quickly spilling out into the crowd. All four traded shots back and forth with each other, before we got the Owens/Generico fight-off… at least until Nixon and Pete broke it up.

Dunne got his ringpost chop in early, as we were treated to a brief shot of an empty ring as Newell flipped off the referee whilst she brawled with Kirby in the crowd. Dunne and Ligero headed the same way, with a chair being used on, then by Ligero. Kirby and Dunne fought by the ring as Ligero and Newell went onto the stage… which we missed out on as the camera showed Martin Kirby shoving a thumb up Pete Dunne’s bum. Aah, memories of BOLA…

Dunne grabbed some of the tinsel that had been around the ringpost as decoration, and used it to choke Kirby with, before we go back to the fixed camera as everyone seemed to disappear. We return to see Newell kick Kirby at ringside, before they finally get back into the ring, with Kirby getting a back elbow and a Kevin Owens-esque back senton. Ligero/Generico returned to chop away at Dunne, before scoring a hattrick of armdrags. Nixon came back to rake Ligero’s eyes as a set up for a shot with her baseball bat, which she ended up taking after some miscommunication from the heels. They ended up outside, where Kirby hit a cannonball dive from the apron onto them, before Ligero went airborne with a flip dive to the outside.

Back inside, Kirby and Ligero worked over Newell, then Dunne again, as the pair combined for a double-team back senton for just a one-count, as “Owens” started to get annoyed with his partner. A C4L attempt from Ligero gets met with the forearm of Dunne, who followed up by raking Ligero’s eyes through the mask.

A blinded Ligero gets cornered again, before Newell repeats the trick by raking his eyes through the mask. Dunne keeps Ligero trapped as he and Newell trap the leg and join in by biting his hands together. Newell knocks Kirby off the apron, prompting the usual babyface heel distraction, before a judo-style throw from Dunne gives him an opening to tweak at Ligero’s fingers once more.

Kirby breaks it up again, before Dunne plays to the crowd after stamping on Ligero’s hand… and that pause gave the masked man a chance to give Dunne a German suplex, then make a hot tag to Kirby. Clotheslines a-plenty follow from Kirby, who dumped Dunne with a sleeper suplex, before giving cannonball sentons in the corner to both heels. Newell countered a pop-up powerbomb with a rana, before she ran into an enziguiri. Well, she did say “stop!”

The second time they tried the “stop!” distraction, Newell and Dunne levelled Kirby with a pair of headbutts, before Ligero took down Dunne with a flying rana off the top rope. A tiltawhirl backbreaker downs Newell, before Dunne gets a springboard Ace crusher from Ligero, landing on Newell in the process. A half-and-half suplex from Ligero’s blocked as Dunne nibbles away, but instead gets caught in a Blue Thunder Bomb for a near-fall.

Dunne gets his kicks by biting Ligero’s foot, but that earns him an enziguiri, as Ligero… spoke?! He called for a brainbuster, but he’s blocked by Newell who hit a German suplex, then a release suplex, before Kirby dropped her with a pumphandle into an over-the-knee neckbreaker. Dunne rushes in with a sit-out powerbomb that needed a superkick from Ligero to break up, before a reverse ‘rana from Ligero took Dunne down again.

Ligero followed by going up for a Mexican Wave – which would have won had Newell not broken the cover. Newell bites her way out of a package piledriver attempt from Kirby, but he countered with pop-up powerbombs for all… even Ligero! A fireman’s carry facebuster gets Kirby a near-fall on Newell, before Kirby goes up for a senton bomb… which just gets Newell’s knees. Ligero gets thrown to the outside, but he returns in with an Exploder into the turnbuckles, before we get a parade of superkicks all round. A Yakuza kick knocked Newell out, before Ligero gets a suplex on Dunne for a close two-count.

Kirby tried for the package piledriver on Dunne, but Newell ran in and schoolboyed him for a near-fall, before a pop-up powerbomb attempt went a little wonky, with Kirby throwing Newell onto his own head. Thankfully, he shrugged it off, only to take a low blow, then the Drop Dead, before Newell’s Shining Wizard earned the heels the win. A fun match, enhanced by the cosplay element, with Kirby and Ligero liberally borrowing from others’ playbooks. ***¾

We almost had the match restarted as ring announcer Jim Lee interjected himself and told referee Shay how the match ended, with the low blow and all. Shay shoved down Newell and flipped them off (in a PG-ish way), only to get his fingers bitten… and then beaten down by Newell and Dunne.

Still in the rabbit costume, Jim jumped the ring and beat down Dunne, before #CCK rushed in to “make the save”. Dunne, Newell, Brookes and Lykos laid waste to Ligero, Kirby, Shay and Jim, before Mark Andrews made the save – still somewhat dressed as Bart Simpson. A tope con hilo took out the heels on the floor, sending the heels scurrying. The show ended with Jim Lee chastising Pete Dunne for his constant cheating… and this is going to lead to team warfare. On November 20, ATTACK! is doing a show on the same day as WWE’s Survivor Series… and we’re going to have a 5-on-5 “Team Bruiserweight vs. the “JimLeegion” – a name that may need some work!

As a themed show, this was a home run. A little more restrained than the Press Start shows, GooseBumps IV didn’t smash you over the head with the cosplay stuff, whilst they undoubtedly saved the best stuff for last in the main event.

Weighing in at a little under two hours, this show was pure, unadulterated fun in a wrestling ring. Some of it would undoubtedly have been better live (such as the crowd brawls), but this was a fun atmosphere that largely translated well on video. Given the state of the world right now (as we write this), isn’t that what we all need?? (Anti-Fun Police, please… no comment!)