The inaugural Kris Travis Tag Team Invitational wrapped up with a fitting set of finals in Cardiff.
We’re back at the Cathays Community Centre, where earlier in the day at “Flash” Morgan Webster’s live taping of his Wrestling Friends podcast, it was revealed that Splits McPins broke his nose when he headbutted the middle rope during a dive attempt on the first night. Other stuff happened on that podcast that led to Webster challenging Elijah to a match, based on the stuff with Drew Parker the previous night.
Kris Travis Tag Team Invitational Semi-Final: Wild Boar & Mike Bird vs. Project Lucha (Martin Kirby & El Ligero)
Bird and Boar jump their opponents at the “bell”, and focused their attentions early on Kirby, keeping him away from Ligero whilst bearing down on him. Bird and Boar do the comedy “run him into your boot” spot, with Boar struggling to lift his foot up to the top turnbuckle in a bid to prove the fans wrong. In the end, Boar did it, but slipped, before Bird was whipped into it. He quickly recovered to drop an elbow on Kirby as he then admonished his partner for “spending so long dicking around”.
Ah, I love this sort of stuff. It’s up there with angrily disappointed partners in New Japan tags stamping on their team-mates for being rotten.
Kirby mounted a comeback by suplexing Bird, before tagging in Ligero who landed some springboard armdrags en route to a roll-up for a near-fall. Bird misses a charge into the corner, then takes a slingshot cutter for a near-fall, before an assisted ‘rana helps Kirby get a two-count of his own. Bird hot-shots Ligero into the top rope, then brings in Boar who keeps up the offence with a short-arm lariat and a wristlock onto the masked man. A choke in the ropes gets a slow count from the evil referee Shay, who quickly admonishes Martin Kirby when he breaks it up. Ligero leaps over a charging Boar, then brings in Kirby who goes to town with clotheslines, then shoves Bird and Boar into each other, before sidestepping a dropkick.
Project Lucha go flying next, with Ligero hitting a flip plancha before Kirby called for a Sable Bomb on Bird. He gets a superkick instead, then an X-Factor for a near-fall, just as I thought Shay’s shoulder would act up. Boar breaks up a pin after a double-team suspended Mexican wave, but he quickly takes an enziguiri, only to drop Ligero with a pop-up powerbomb.
Kirby fires back with an enziguiri and forearms, but a diving shoulder tackle from Boar is only good enough for a two-count. A double-team wheelbarrow bulldog gets a near-fall on Kirby, who then takes a cannonball in the corner from the Boar, before the gutbuster/frog splash combo gets another two-count with Ligero breaking that up.
Bird calls for Kirby to be thrown at him, but whatever designs “Ginger Jesus” quickly had went out of the window when Kirby dispatched of Boar, then scored with a backslide to progress into the finals! A perfect choice of an opening match – plenty of action and stuff to keep the crowd involved without doing too much to tire out either team ahead of the finals. ***½
They held a raffle to replace Splits McPins in the second semi-final – because he “broke his face”. Fans in the front row got a ticket apparently, but it wasn’t 24/7 champion Warren who was picked, despite having a ticket that almost won it for him… instead the winning ticket was 316. Nobody in the crowd had it… but CJ Banks – who this time had been to Lidl – did!
Kris Travis Tag Team Invitational Semi-Final: The Models (Danny Hope & Joey Hayes) vs. Lloyd Katt & CJ Banks
Billed as “Booze-a-rama” for this match, the makeshift pairing of Katt and Banks got going with a lot of taunting and posing, before Hope found himself caught in an armbar.
After reversing it, Banks swears to quit drinking, before tripping Hope and going back to that armbar. CJ goes all Stone Cold with a Thesz press and a forearm drop, before he stomps a mudhole on Danny in the corner, then onto Hayes as he tried to break it up. That leaves Lloyd Katt to come in to teach CJ a trick with a bowling ball on the Models… you know what’s coming. Well…
Lloyd forgets to let go, and he throws himself to the mat as he meant to bowl a ball into Danny Hope. The Models try to use the ball themselves, but they struggle to move it, as does CJ, as the hammer of Thor stumped everyone, before Katt picked it up like it were nothing. He throws it at the Models, but they side-step as Banks gets killed with the ball, and that’s where the Models take over.
A diving uppercut from Hope gets a near-fall, before a snap suplex from Hayes goes the same way. Katt gets the tag and takes down Hayes with elbows, then a Stinger splash, before slingshotting Hope into a slam. More power moves take down Hayes as Katt misses a springboard moonsault, before a superkick-assisted neckbreaker collected a near-fall. Banks tries a comeback, but eats a scoop slam off the ropes before surprising both of the Models with Stunners. Katt gets one too as he tried to celebrate, forcing Shay to cower away as he expected one too.
Banks goes full Austin with the cheers, before walking into an RKO for a near-fall. Hayes corners Shay after the kick-out, then turns around and falls into a small package for the pin! For some reason it was from Sam Bailey, who was playing possum, so of course it doesn’t count. The Models berate Shay for his inability to tell a bald CJ Banks apart from a bearded Sam Bailey, but the crowd play along with Sam’s protests.
The match restarts, and we instantly go to a 3D from the Models, and that gets their place in the finals. Well, much like a lot of attack, this was a good match with a healthy dose of beautiful nonsense! The comedy stuff worked since this was already a somewhat disposable affair after the injury to McPins. ***
After the match, the Models looked to give CPR to Banks… but he arose from the semi-dead to a can of beer, as everyone cracked up at him going full Undertaker. More beautiful nonsense!
“Flash” Morgan Webster vs. Elijah
This was Flash’s return to ATTACK! after his injury – and his first match here since last year’s WrestleMania show. He’d challenged Elijah after an attack at the end of his podcast taping earlier in the day, and it was Elijah who started with the upper hand, coming through the crowd and catching Webster from behind, starting with some ground and pound.
Flash comes back with some punches of his own, then drills Elijah with forearms in the corner, before scoring with some armdrags and dropkicks. Morgan gets a disappointed “ah” when he baseball slides to the outside to keep up with the forearm smashes, before Elijah grabs his hair and rakes the eyes.
A backdrop suplex onto the apron follows, as they head back into the ring, where a butterfly suplex forced a two-count out of Webster, who started to take a beating as Elijah dominated for a while. Webster catches a big boot and uses it to whip Elijah to the mat, then followed up with a charge that saw him crotch himself in the corner, as Elijah capitalised with a lungblower.
Elijah berates the crowd for the lack of passion, as he goes back to clubbing away on Webster, before a springboard crossbody got cut-off with a dropkick from Flash. Another barrage of offence was avoided as Webster flipped over Elijah before dropping him with a clothesline, leading to some forearms in the corner and finally a top rope ‘rana that spiked Elijah.
A fisherman’s buster does the same for a near-fall, but Elijah got back into it with a series of forearms, only to take a knee in the ropes. He rebounded with a ripcord Slingblade, then a big German suplex to take a two-count, before reaching for his trophy belt… only to put it down and lay into Flash with some more shots, declaring him “a gimmick”. Webster powers up and replies with some of his own, before he’s dropped with an enziguiri.
After a squat, Webster dumps Elijah with an ushigoroshi for a near-fall, before he leaps into a guillotine choke. Webster re-applies it after being charged into the corner, before Elijah escapes a bicycle knee and heads out… only to be confronted by EC-Drew in the aisle. That distraction leaves Flash with enough time to land a couple of topes, then a running crossbody into the other side of the crowd as Elijah tried to escape.
Another bicycle knee rocks Elijah, who kicked out after a Sliced Bread, only to get caught in the guillotine again as this time he tapped. A fine comeback for Webster, and a much better outing from Elijah than the previous night. ***¼
After the match, Webster gave Drew Parker the trophy belt before the pair hugged and went to the back.
It seems that we had interval here, as we come back to the Anti-Fun Police in the form of Chief Deputy Dunne – and his portly sidekick Los Federales Santos Junior – interrupting the raffle. Again, Dunne declares that as long as the Anti-Fun Police hold the ATTACK! championship, there’ll be no fun… then he says that there isn’t “a single man in the locker room that’ll take the title from me”.
Ah, C’est la vie! Out comes Nixon Newell, and it looks like this is going to be for the title…
ATTACK! Championship: Chief Deputy Dunne (c) vs. Nixon Newell
Nixon asks who Dunne’s partner is… “Los Federales Santos Junior” is the reply. To which the crowd chants “you’re not a junior”. Harsh!
Nixon flies in with a Shining Wizard almost immediately for a near-fall, before landing in the front row – sitting down, mind you – from a tope! Back inside, a ‘rana and a kick stun Dunne, who falls to a leaping neckbreaker for a two-count, only to trick Newell with an enziguiri after stopping her in her tracks.
We get a slow count as Dunne chokes away on Nixon in the corner, then again as Dunne hooked her nose in the middle of the ring. Dunne stands on Newell’s face as he looks to end this early, getting a near-fall from a pendulum backbreaker. An apron enziguiri sees Dunne try to suplex Newell out of the ring, but instead they trade shots on the apron before another eye rake gives way to an enziguiri that sends Dunne into Santos, before she flung herself into them with a crossbody off the top.
Nixon nicks a Pringle from a fan as she returned to the ring to launch into Dunne with some knees, then another apron enziguiri and another crossbody off the top. A diving knee from the top rope gets a near-fall as I swore that Shay was going to do the frozen shoulder gimmick again, only for Dunne to kick out and follow in with a headbutt.
Newell replied with a tornado DDT for a near-fall – again, teasing the frozen shoulder gimmick – before Dunne ducked a shining wizard and followed through with a knee of his own. A rope-hung DDT followed, again for a near-fall, before a springboard Codebreaker prompted Nixon to kick out… at one! The fightback continued with a superkick and an attempted Destroyer… but Dunne landed a German suplex that was immediately reciprocated, before finally landing a spear.
From there, Newell slipped out of a Sister Abigail by giving Dunne a headbutt, then a Destroyer that would have won the match… but Santos put Dunne’s foot on the ropes! She replies by kicking him from the apron before heading up top, where she takes a Shane McMahon spear, then a Sister Abigail for the win. Yeah, intergender isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but this was a pretty good match – continuing the trend on this show. ***½
Danny Jones vs. Sam Bailey vs. “Drewbeast” Rhino (Drew Parker) vs. Brendan White
Billed as the “Shooting Star Four Way”, we started with Danny Jones coming out with a sign saying “The Rave is Over” after Elijah stole his whistle at the Bristol show last month. Drew Parker today came as the Drew-beast Rhino, complete with classic ECW music.
The Drew-beast starts with a load of Gores, finishing off Bailey with a Shane McMahon-esque spea, before going for a tope con hilo as the crowd willed Drew to “gore Shay”. Back in the ring, White dumps Parker with a version of Pete Dunne’s Bitter End, before Danny Jones returned and delivered a hiptoss knee strike. A top rope DDT from Danny knocks Brendan to the outside, before a crossbody off the top gets Bailey a near-fall too.
Bailey and White exchange waistlocks, but they get cut-off as Drew comes in with a sunset flip attempt for a near-fall. Jones comes back with a Chaos Theory-esque German suplex for a near-fall, and somewhere in here – possibly the sunset flip spot – Parker seemed to injure his foot as he rolled to the corner, grabbing his foot.
White drops Bailey with a clothesline, before a bad-foot enziquiri knocked down “Bronco”. We get a four way spot that ends with White landing a forearm, before Parker hits a reverse ‘rana, only for Bailey to get a Dudley Dog and a Codebreaker as well. Bailey misses a springboard moonsault, then gets caught with a Go to Sleep from Jones, before blocking a Bossman Slam from White. Second time was lucky though for Brendan though, as he snatched the win with a Bossman slam in the end. A fun four-way, plenty of action and not too much in the way of awkwardness… shame about the injury to Drew though! ***
Before the main event, they announced that the weekend’s shows had raised £4,990 for Cavendish Cancer Care in memory of Kris Travis – a figure that quickly went over £5,000 after they sold a couple of Defend Indy Wrestling wristbands. That worked out as enough money to cover 15 people’s counselling – which was enough to bring a tear to an eye, even knowing all of this…
Kris Travis Tag Team Invitational Final: The Models (Danny Hope & Joey Hayes) vs. Project Lucha (El Ligero & Martin Kirby)
Project Lucha get pink streamers, because of course they would! Shay clears the ring, which sees someone in the crowd tell him off for “having fun”.
At the start, Kirby complains of a hair pull by Joey Hayes, so he slaps his wrist. Shay doesn’t know what to do with himself as everyone tries to slap him too, and we move onto an endless chain of wristlock reversals. Kirby complains of some more hair pulling in a headlock, before the two – who team up else where as “Two Lads Pissing About” – mirrored each other’s stuff.
Kirby suckers Hayes into a crucifix for a near-fall, and if you didn’t realise by now, this is being done in a rather befitting spirit. Referee Shay’s sitting in the corner, which somehow gets the crowd to chant “squat Shay”, and Joey delivers, picking up Shay in a fireman’s carry and then squatting him against his will. Hayes lets go, sending Shay into the corner in disgust after this spot of ATTACK! Pro Squatting. Danny Hope tags in and squats Shay, before he needs some help to stretch out his over-worked quads… ah, Shay’s not that big! More pissing around comes as Ligero and Hayes trade taunts – throat slits, thumbs up/thumbs down, crotch chops, the lot, and this crowd are eating it up!
Hope mocks Ligero’s horns to keep this going, so Ligero does the worm… and falls flat on his face! We move to Kirby and Hayes reversing sunset flips, with the help of their partners, for an endless series of one-counts that has Shay corpsing in the corner. Kirby tries to pull Hope’s hair, which is ineffective, so he goes for a tassle-andear-pull… which gets broken by Hayes disappearing to the back and returning with… a plunger!
Ah, a callback to Martin Kirby’s match with Travis in ATTACK… that’s all broken up when Shay says so. Hayes gets the plunger again, and this time Kirby is really struggling to get it off his head. That seems to make Kirby snap into something else… a chicken fight! It ends up with Ligero and Hayes up top for some slow-mo chicken-fight shoulder tackles! THey drop down when Hayes hurt himself, to the cue of “Joey hurt his willie” chants.
Yeah, Shay is corpsing big time at the “rub it better” chants – to the point where he leaves the ring and declares this as “stupid”, and disqualifies everyone. Shay declares himself the winner, but then some glass shatters, and out comes CJ Banks. Kick, wham, Stunner! Bye-bye Shay!
CJ’s got a very cropped women’s referee shirt, which he puts on and duly restarts the match, which is where the wrestling starts. They all head to the outside, where the crowd wills CJ to do a dive, then to down a drink… so we get a mixture of the two – a drink and a mn Adam Rose dive off the apron after some hammy fighting. Eventually they head into the crowd, where Danny Hope disappears onto the balcony for our second dive of the weekend: a plancha onto a pile below!
They eventually head back into the ring, where Ligero leaps over Hope, only to run into a slam, before a superkick was countered with a Codebreaker. Hayes takes out Ligero, then lands an RKO to Kirby for a near-fall and this has gone from being silly to breakneck speed at the drop of Danny Hope’s cowboy hat.
A flatliner from Hope gets a near-fall on Ligero, before a series of kicks and boots leaves everyone laying. We come back with Project Lucha trying to superplex Hope, but that’s broken up by Hayes, before Hope dumps Kirby and lands a tornado suplex. More superkicks give way to a 3D on Ligero for a near-fall – with stand-in referee CJ Banks going a little quick on his counts too!
A step-up superplex from Kirby sends Hayes flying as Project Lucha get that suspended Mexican wave, then a Sable bomb for a near-fall, before Kirby eked out a win with an endless sunset flip reversal! Project Lucha win the inaugural Kris Travis Tag Team Invitational – and are immediately surrounding by the rest of the locker room. A fitting tribute to a great man. ***¼
All four wrestlers, and the ref, hug in the ring afterward as Kris Travis’ theme – CKY’s 96 Quite Bitter Beings played during the trophy presentation before we faded to black…
As a show, night two was easily head and shoulders above the opening night – with a wider spread of matches that allowed for a better layout of action. From being there live on night one, my main criticism was that with only one non-tournament match, the card felt too “samey” in terms of the matches. Yeah, it’s a daft criticism to have from a tag team tournament show, but night two had three singles matches (plus a Mark Andrews/Kid Lykos match that was edited out on Vimeo), whereas the first night was only broken up by the Elijah/Drew Parker brawl.
Looking at the show as a tournament, this delivered everything that was asked for and then some. Raising over £5,000 for charity was the big takeaway, whilst providing fans and wrestlers with an atmosphere that was perfect for paying tribute to one of the scene’s leading lights who was taken away from us way too early.