ATTACK! returned to Cardiff for the first time this year for the inaugural Kris Travis Tag Team Invitational tournament. Here’s our take on night one’s action…

The two-night event at the Cathays Community Centre, held in honour of the late Kris Travis, raised over £5,000 for Cavendish Cancer Care. As for the in-ring stuff, we saw an eight-team tournament, with night one giving way to quarter-final action that left us with our four semi-finalists… and some injuries to boot. We open with the introduction of the competing teams, and the pairing of referees for this tournament: Shay Purser and Chris Roberts.

Kris Travis Tag Team Invitational Quarter-Final: #CCK (Chris Brookes & Kid Lykos) vs. Bowlarama (Splits McPins & Lloyd Katt)
The match got off to a hot start with Brookes taking out Splits with a tope, whilst a moonsault from Lykos left Katt laying. Shay Purser’s face after the traditional “we hate Shay” bell-ringing is never not funny, in a cruel way…

#CCK hit Splits with the Ink Bomb, but this isn’t a quick squash for the champions as McPins kicked out at two, before a pair of back sentons got another near-fall for the eviltons. Brookes goes for the wet willie, which ends up being him shoving his finger into McPins’ mouth, since the mask has no ear holes.

The crowd loves to hate #CCK, and the intentionally-misguided/trolling advice from Chris Brookes just plays into it, as he tells Lykos to “give them a howl… they’ll love it” just gets him booed. It’s all #CCK early on, even in terms of playing to the crowd as Lykos repeatedly yells at the crowd to “shut up”, before he calls for a brainbuster. And fails. Multiple times. Despite referee Shay’s encouragement.

That third attempt was reversed by McPins, who finally tagged out to Katt. “Fat Cat” slung Lykos into a slam, but #CCK cut him off and earned themselves a double shoulder tackle. We get the Codebreaker/back senton combo for a near-fall as Katt was left to take a beating, before finally mounting a comeback with forearms… and then taking a back elbow.

Lykos looked to go up top, but he misses a big splash before crawling over to Brookes, just as McPins tagged in. Splits headbutts Brookes in the chest before a series of running uppercuts in the corner to Brookes and a German suplex to Lykos left both men laying. They try the Codebreaker/back senton thing again, but it ends with Katt just blowing the Dirty Wolf backwards off of Brookes, giving him a Poison ‘rana in the process.

#CCK head to the outside, and McPins tries for a tope, but he misjudges and headbutts the middle rope, breaking his nose in the process, before hitting it second time around. A double team pop-up facebuster gets Bowlarama a near-fall, before Katt’s slingshot slam and to Brookes, then a powerbomb on Lykos onto Brookes should have won it, only for Shay’s bad shoulder to act up.

Splits superkicked Shay out of disgust, before Brookes waffled Katt with the #CCK baking tray. Lykos looked to have won it with the Lo Mein Pain on McPins, but a replacement ref in Chris Roberts arrived just in time for McPins to kick out at two. #CCK nailed Splits with the Codebreaker/back senton combo off the top rope, but that too was only good for a near-fall, so Lykos took out Katt with a tope.

We get a superkick party from everyone, ending with Katt rebounding off the ropes with a double clothesline, then giving the fans what they wanted: a flip! Okay, it was a tope, if you want to complain about the lack of a flip… the end came not long after when Bowl-a-Rama went all Young Bucks on it, with a Finlay roll, senton bomb and a moonsault earned the bowling buddies their semi-final place with, erm, More Bowl for Your Buck? A brilliant opener that breezed by. ***½

Before our next match, Chief Deputy Dunne came out with his ATTACK! (Anti-Fun) Championship belt, to announce his tag partner for today. Los Federales Santos Senior has retired from the Anti-Fun Police, “and sun it up in Orlando”, so instead his son is taking over

Kris Travis Tag Team Invitational Quarter-Final: Anti-Fun Police (Chief Deputy Dunne & Los Federales Santos Junior) vs. The Models (“Delicious” Danny Hope & Joey Hayes)
The Models were jumped at the bell by the Police, settling into Joey Hayes taking several shoulder tackles from Dunne, before replying with a cross-body.

They target Dunne’s arm with axehandles off the top rope, with Danny Hope scoring the first near-fall of the match from a dropkick. A series of avalanches ends when Santos Junior accidentally charges into his partner, starting the theme of him being the comically incompetent tag partner. Santos Junior pulls off a fun sequence where he and Dunne are back to back, but Santos keeps turning around to avoid getting chopped – meaning that poor Dunne gets all the shots. The Models tease a dive, but instead they just strut before heading to the floor, where they poke Chief Deputy Dunne in the eyes as Junior hits a tope into all three of them.

Junior finally pulls off something right – an avalanche into Hayes, before Dunne uses him as a springboard for another double axehandle as the Police looked to take over. A knee drop gets Dunne a two-count, before Santos Junior came in and stomped away on Hayes some more, before he slammed Dunne onto Hayes for another two-count.

An Okada-like flapjack from Hayes gets him enough space to bring in Danny Hope, who lays into Dunne with some Dusty Punches before forcing Dunne to headbutt Santos in the groin. Santos gets thrown to the outside, prompting a skittish front row to disperse, before returning to hit a back suplex on Hayes for a near-fall. The Models came back again as they knocked Santos into the ropes, before finishing him off with the 3D for the win. A perfectly acceptable match, perhaps hurt by the Models being new to this group – meaning that the crowd weren’t overly familiar with their act. **¾

Elijah vs. Drew-y Funk (Drew Parker)
Our sole piece of non-tournament action here saw Elijah come out with his “trophy belt” – made up of Old Poppa Sunflower’s head and Danny Jones’ whistle. Jim Lee’s announcement that this would be under “relaxed rules” was perhaps a tip-off to something bigger going on…

Elijah jumped Drew-y to start us off, with Parker hitting a Drew-y-can-rana to take his foe into the corner not long after. A side Russian legsweep takes Elijah down, as does a Benadryller (Ben-a-Drew-er?), before Elijah fought back with a crucifix bomb. After some back and forth, Elijah nearly wins it with a cravat driver, only for Drew to come back with a suplex for another near-fall. Drew dropkicks away a leap off the top rope from Elijah, who rolls to the outside, where he’s joined by Drew who leaps over the ring post to take down his foe. Out comes a Singapore cane, which lasts much longer than another one did at PROGRESS… Elijah takes a couple of cane shots to the back, before they duel it out with chairshots, ending with Drew taking one to the back.

They wander through the crowd, where more chairshots follow, and out of sight of the hard camera – and a number of the crowd too. We can barely see stuff as Elijah does a chin up on the mezzanine to avoid a chairshot – then took it eventually. “Wrestling, over there” was the cry from the part of the crowd that I was in. On the VOD, we just about see Drew dumping Elijah with a Northern Lights Suplex (cue chants of “that sounds awesome” and “can’t see stuff”).

Through the crowd, we see Drew setting up a couple of tables, but he’s knocked down by Elijah, who decides to add a second tier of tables to the structure. With the set-up complete, Elijah takes Drew up to the balcony where they trade blows, before Drew’s kicked off the balcony and through the tables. That leads to Chris Roberts throwing out the match as a no-contest, to a chorus of boos.

Live, I really didn’t like this match… primarily because I couldn’t see most of it! On VOD, it was a little bit better – but something that perhaps would have benefited from a dry-run, if only for the sake of getting camera angles ready. (Not Rating)

After the match, Elijah came down from the balcony and laid waste to the crew who were trying to shield Parker. Danny Jones had to be restrained from the man who took his rave whistle, as Elijah laid into Drew some more before a returning Flash Morgan Webster came from the back to make the save.

Kris Travis Tag Team Invitational Quarter-Final: Wild Boar & Mike Bird vs. CJ Banks & Sam Bailey
CJ finishes his drink and asks Shay if he was a bad person after he was shocked by the “we hate Shay” bell ring. When the wrestling starts, Banks and Bird work back and forth around wristlocks in an entertaining, if not overly technical open.

Headlock takedowns follow between the two, as Bird was shocked that Banks could do anything after the amount he’d had to drink, before a running uppercut sent the “Ginger Jesus” flying. Banks misses a standing moonsault, but that just suckers Wild Boar into the path of an armdrag as Bailey tagged in and went to work on the Boar’s arm.

Boar frees himself and slams Bailey as Banks finished his drink. Bailey lands a crossbody out of the corner for a near-fall, before Boar took over, throwing him into Bird’s punch on the apron. From there, it was all Bird and Boar for a spell, as Bailey was thrown into Bird’s boot, then eventually Boar’s (after much coaxing) for a two-count. The crowd tried to get behind Bailey by cycling through the song used for a similarly-named women’s wrestler, but he fell into a rear chinlock from Bird before doing the Homer Simpson spin on the mat to reach the ropes, which led to the predictable slow count from Shay, who stopped to admire the hold rather than count to five.

Well, he is young, they’ve probably not reached that number yet in his class.

Boar tags in and continues the assault on Bailey, who finally fights back out of the bad guys’ corner, only to run into a uranage for a near-fall. Another comeback sees Bailey kick away from the corner before avoiding a dive of the Boar to make a hot tag to Banks, who cleared house with uppercuts. Shay gets CJ’s beer can and is urged to down it… of course he doesn’t, because he’s not old enough!

Banks misses a big boot, but succeeds with a diving uppercut to Bird – which results in a slow count, of course. The twitchy front row reacts to Boar being thrown outside, as Bailey pulls himself to the top rope as CJ and Sam go for the old Wazzap headbutt, only for Boar to pull Sam down. A double-team wheelbarrow/bulldog combo gets a near-fall over Banks, before Banks and Bailey reverse a wheelbarrow and shoved the Boar as they finally did the Wazzap.

Bailey keeps up the comeback with a bulldog out of the corner, before ordering CJ to get the cans… so he heads to the back in search of booze. Unfortunately, that left Bailey alone to take a pop-up powerbomb from the Boar, before Bird ran like a lunatic into a diving uppercut. Boar gets thrown into the corner with a cannonball, and all that’s left is for Bird and Boar to hit their fireman’s carry gutbuster/frog splash combo for the win. Another good match – CJ and Sam’s antics helped them get past the hurdle of unfamiliarity that the Models had earlier, but this was an expected result given the two teams’ experience here. ***¼

CJ returned after Bird and Boar had left, cans in hand. Bailey quizzed Banks on what took him so long… prompting the crowd to chant “CJ went to Lidl” (which would have been interesting, seeing a wrestler in trunks and boots run across the street to the supermarket). Instead, he told the crowd “I went to Sainsburys”, which not only was further away, but earned him a chant of “CJ’s too posh for us”.

Great comedy at the end of a match to keep the crowd on side after a heel win.

Kris Travis Tag Team Invitational Quarter-Final: FSU (Mark Andrews & Eddie Dennis) vs. Project Lucha (Martin Kirby & El Ligero)
When the brackets for the tournament were announced, this was a clear pick for the main event of night one… and so it came to pass!

We started with an impromptu dance-off, complete with a dizzying array of camera cuts in-time to “Party Hard” (cheers G-Man), before things finally got underway with Ligero and Andrews neutralising each other off the ropes, ending with a pair of armdrags and Andrews’ rolling Northern Lights suplex.

Eddie Dennis comes in and hits a legdrop instead of a standing moonsault, before holding Ligero’s arm for a double stomp from Andrews. Dennis repeats the trick, this time just blasting Ligero with a forearm off the top rope, only to get suckered in by a blind tag as Kirby came in and landed a tiltawhirl headscissors to the giant Welshman. Ligero gets a standing moonsault for a near-fall on Dennis after that, before Kirby aborted another standing moonsault by trying for a Sable Bomb.

Of course, Eddie backdropped free.

FSU came back with a stalling suplex/cross body combo for a near-fall on Ligero, who’s then trapped in a surfboard stretch before being pulled up into a swinging backbreaker from Dennis. Project Lucha took over when Kirby held up Andrews in a stalling suplex… for an eye poke, then scored a two-count from a running pendulum backbreaker as well. A back elbow from Ligero gets a similar result before Andrews mounted a comeback with a wheelbarrow takedown and a double stomp.

Finally Eddie tagged back in and cleared house on Project Lucha, running into them with corner uppercuts as a set-up for “that thing that always happens”, the fallway slam/Samoan drop combo, with the fallaway slam seeing Ligero land on his face rather than his back. Another forearm from Dennis sends down Ligero as he looked to follow up with a dual Next Stop Driver, only Ligero and Kirby to backdrop free.

Dennis then acted as a base for Andrews to propel himself into a double dropkick as the twitchy front row returned… this time being saved by Chris Roberts blocking a dive. Instead, Andrews just stands on Eddie’s shoulders and leaps off them with a senton dive to the floor. Whatever works!

FSU kept up the offence with a crucifix bucklebomb and an enziguiri, before Ligero pulled away Andrews from a Last Stop Driver. Dennis countered the “stop!” appeal by blasting Kirby with a forearm, before falling into a Code Red from Ligero for a near-fall. Andrews turned the tables again with a wheelbarrow facebuster to Ligero, only to miss a dropkick on Kirby, who rolled him up for a neckbreaker instead.

Another exchange saw Eddie accidentally superkick Andrews, before he recovered to hit a neckbreaker that ended with an inadvertent DDT from Kirby to Ligero. Back-and-forth forearms follow as we get a “violence party”, ending with a double Stundog Millionaire from Andrews. An enziguiri from Kirby knocks down Dennis, before a C4L from Ligero gets a near-fall as Kirby’s backdropped onto the cover as he tried for another Sable bomb.

Project Lucha look to maintain the advantage, as Ligero set up Kirby for a top rope Sable bomb, instead having to settle for a sunset flip after a ‘rana from Andrews. Kirby looked to end things by going up top, only to be met with a forearm from Dennis, who was joined by Ligero for another Samoan drop/fallaway slam combo. Yep, Ligero landed on his face again, this time off the top rope.

Ligero works out of a Next Stop Driver, before he’s given a top rope ‘rana from Andrews, landing in a Dennis powerbomb for a near-fall, before more forearms from Kirby led to a fightback that ended in an accidental standing Shiranui to Dennis by Andrews. Kirby followed up with a Sable Bomb, and that was enough! Wacky and silly at times, but this was a really solid back-and-forth main event that befit the entire weekend. Easily the match of the night for me. ****¼

We’ll save our overall analysis until the night two review… but this was a fun show live and on tape, with the second evening looking to be even better. A massive thumbs-up goes to Britwres video editor extraordinaire “G-Man” for the quick turnaround, aided no doubt by the live mixing of the show. Both nights of the tournament will be available to purchase on ATTACK!’s Vimeo channel – with £9.99 getting you both nights’ action via