Pete Dunne returned to action, but it turned out that Nothing to Prove had more than one ATTACK! original to contend with…
We open with a vignette backstage of “Macho Man” and “Hulk Hogan”… Hulk’s feeling it now as he’s now got three 24-inch pythons (don’t ask!). Except Macho Mambo’s got another plan, so Jack’s not Hulk Hogan tonight. BOO! We’re inside the Cathays Community Centre, and 8-bit music greets our opening match…
Besties in the World (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett) vs. Brothers Of Obstruction (Jim Obstruction & Leigh Obstruction)
AWESOME. The Besties are here with bloodied, torn-up gear, like they’ve already been in a fight… Speaking of Awesome, the Brothers are Lego?! Everything is awesome…
We start with a problematic tie-up, since Lego figures can’t really raise their arms high, but that quickly sorts itself out… and holy God, that ring is wobbly. Mat Fitchett drew the proverbial first blood with a dropkick as the Double Dragon crew were about to get going… but then the game’s paused as someone found a way to resume things, this time with the Lego Brothers gaining the advantage.
The Brothers try to cheat behind the referee’s back, but it backfires as Vega avoids it and brings Fitchett back in to clear house. A roundhouse from Fitchett and an overhead kick on the apron keeps the Besties ahead, only for James Obstruction to break up the cover. Frankly, how Mark Andrews could tell the two apart was beyond me! Those Lego heads come back into things, but the Brothers’ blocks are quickly knocked off as a death valley driver onto the knees nearly saw the Besties win with some double-teaming. Instead, Fitchett’s blinded with a Lego head and is left stumbling around as Davey Vega eats a double-team DDT for the win. Pretty entertaining, and I did like how commentary mentioned that the Anti-Fun Police were a little lax without Chief Deputy Dunne being around… **¾
El Phantasmo vs. Mike Bird vs. Travis Banks vs. Millie McKenzie
A Fortnite four-way, eh? I’m sure someone would call this a Fortnite fatal… There’s a lot of rakes, plastic bags and references I’m missing here.
So apparently everyone’s “spread over the map of the Cathays Bingo Hall”, which led to them finding weapons before Bird and Banks thought they’d bond over a shared love of eye patches… and eye pokes. Which the live edit helpfully cut away from. Still, to make up for it we get a back rake, with an actual rake, which popped me. Eventually everyone’s forced into the ring as the “safe zone” shrunk, but not before Millie busted out a dive, as did ELP, before Travis Banks slithered into a dive, because he’s Solid Snake… and then we get a “Sexy Fortnite Dance-Off.” Of course we do. At least ELP lived up to Guile and threw a Sonic Boom, before Mike Bird – as Sagat – joined in with a spot of StreetFighter, and damnit G-Man, we need those energy bars!
The StreetFighter stuff breaks down as Travis Banks interjects himself… ELP hits a whirlibird neckbreaker to Millie as he then sets up a crash pad with boxes, and of course he lands into what he set up as Millie hiptosses him off the top rope for the win! I have no freaking idea how to rate this – I feel it’ll be something you’ll absolutely adore if you’re into Fortnite and the relevant shtick. If you’re not, you’ll probably feel really let down. **½
Martin Kirby & Naoki Tanizaki vs. CCK (Chris Brookes & Kid Lykos)
Moving away from the video game motif for good reason, this had to be something of a dream match for the CCK boys. Eh, it’s a decent warm-up match for Kid Lykos to return to!
We started with Martin Kirby eventually shaking hands with Lykos and Brookes, before Kirby and Brookes enjoyed a brief sequence that saw them attempting near-falls. They tease a tag out to Lykos, and of course we get it as the wolf returned to face Tanizaki, instantly teasing a brainbuster, which doesn’t come off, but Lykos recovers and takes Tanizaki down anyway with ease.
The tables turn a little when Tanizaki wrenched Lykos down in a side Russian legsweep, as Martin Kirby came in for a spell, wearing down Lykos with an elbow before laying into the wolf with some forearms, almost sending him flying outside. A blind tag from Brookes opened up the door for some double-teaming from CCK, including a release backdrop suplex with a kick on the way down for a near-fall on Kirby. Lykos controls Kirby with some uppercuts, before taking him into a Tree of Woe to show off a new move… The home run dropkick!
A kneedrop followed as Brookes came in for a near-fall, as he used Kirby’s hand to flip off Tanizaki on the apron. Yeah, Naoki didn’t take that too well… Lykos is back to try a brainbuster, but Kirby turned it into a roll-up for a near-fall. Another attempt, another escape, before Kirby rolls up Lykos into a neckbreaker! Tanizaki’s in, but Brookes quickly jumps him as we get some double-teaming, with Tanizaki landing a suplex onto Brookes as he was almost the victim of a brainbuster. Dives are next as Tanizaki’s tope con giro sent him into the crowd, before we returned to the ring as Tanizaki caught Brookes in an Octopus stretch. Lykos breaks it up and is made to pay for it as he takes a knee to the face… but Brookes makes the save as Kirby nearly gets put away with a wheelbarrow facebuster/dropkick combo. Tags are pretty much thrown out at this point, because Chris Roberts is your ref, and it makes for a wild tornado-style affair and a Parade of Moves, ending with a knee from Brookes to Tanizaki.
Both teams tee off on each other, but it’s Kirby and Tanizaki who edge ahead, setting up Lykos for a backbreaker/knee drop combo for a near-fall, with Brookes somehow breaking it up from the outside. A knee from Lykos to Kirby sets up a brainbuster… but that’s blocked as Kirby comes back with a Sable Bomb, then the Scrappy Doo shoulder charge… only for an enziguiri from Lykos to turn it around as CCK hit their elevated lungblower/back senton combo for a near-fall.
Tanizaki returns with a double clothesline to CCK before he’s caught up top with the Full Moon from Lykos… a slingshot cutter from Brookes accidentally lays out Lykos, which was the beginning of the end as Tanizaki quickly knees Brookes and followed up with the Implant (Jig ‘n’ Tonic) for the win. Really fun stuff, and it throws up the question mark: do CCK need to start from the bottom or can they shrug off this upset? ***¼
Mega Flowers (Chuck Mambo & Jack Sexsmith) vs. Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher)
After originally telling Jack Sexsmith in the opening vignette that he didn’t need him to be Hulk Hogan… we find out what Jack was needed as tonight. He’s the unlocked character: “Mister Elizabeth”. I’ll let you all judge your own thoughts on this…
Aussie Open reprised their Banjo Kazooie cosplay from the prior night, except it was Dunkzilla as Kazooie, complete with feathers! Poor Kyle, having to piggyback Dunkzilla into the ring…
We started with Banjo Kyle trying to get a peek under Mr Elizabeth’s dress, before the crowd chanted for former 24/7 champion Warren to get involved. He’d turned up dressed as Elizabeth as well, and to be fair, probably would have been more mobile than Jack was here! Eventually both tag out, prompting Mambo to bust into his Macho Man impression… costing him his voice in the process. Mambo rocks Davis with some elbows, eventually taking down the billed Davis, before he bust out the Macho Man stun gun and flying axehandle… only to land in an atomic drop! Fletcher returns for some double-team Banjo Kazooie charges into the corner, before they swap places as Kazooie gave Banjo a backpack charge into the corner… before collapsing. Oops!
Fletcher kicks away a double back body drop attempt, which somehow turned into a proposal as Macho offered his hand to Elizabeth… which was interrupted by Mark Davis. He just wants to ruin true love, eh? Kyle takes advantage, allowing Davis to get a near-fall out of an elbow drop as Mambo eventually gets free and tags in Sexsmith… using him as a weapon – kinda like Terry Funk with the ladder. Which then gets ripcorded into a superkick and helped up for some headscissors as Sexsmith found some mobility in that dress!
Except they then get whacked with a Doomsday Device from Davis… Mambo mounts a comeback as he knocks Davis off the apron before almost crashing and burning as he leapt off the middle rope to the floor. Second time was the charm with the double axehandle, before a CCK-like assisted lungblower gave way to a wheelbarrow German suplex to Fletcher… who’s then wiped out with the Rainbow Road destroyer for a near-fall! It was so shocking, Jack even lost his hair!
Double elbow drops off the top just led to an embrace between Macho Man and Elizabeth, which was broken up by the Aussies as they quickly worked their way into the double-team spinebuster… before Kyle passed Sexsmith over to Mark Davis for the pull-up piledriver for the win. Post-match, Jack continued to look annoyed with Mambo for keeping up the Macho Man gimmick, but they kissed and made up. Not a euphemism. ***
Los Federales Santos Jr. vs. Space Monkey
Hey, Santos’ Little Helper is back! Meanwhile, Space Monkey was out in a Zorb, playing as Space Monkey Ball. I popped… although that’s going to be a hard man to beat.
Santos figures out he can throw down Space Monkey, but the ball prevents any sort of pinning attempt… so Santos tries for a bear hug… which is about as effective as you figure. As were the punches. Space Monkey trips Santos off the ropes, so we’re into the back-and-forth shoulder tackles, and a leaping shoulder block as Space Monkey put the ball to use! A Super Monkey Cannonball is next, taking Santos to the outside, before his attempt at a dive goes awry as the ball gets caught in the ropes. Santos is back in with a shotgun dropkick… but the ball protects him as Space Monkey is making good use of his extra padding. Eventually Space Monkey lets his guard down, and Santos gets hold of the tail, splashing it before pulling up Space Monkey for a powerbomb… except it’s rebounded into some headscissors!
Space Monkey decides to stop for a banana, but gets caught with a spinning heel kick as Santos takes him up top… and runs into him before a crossbody off the top takes the big man down! Instead, Space Monkey climbs up himself, but he struggles with balance before finding his feet for a nice moonsault for a near-fall! Eventually having enough, Santos pulls out an enziguiri, taking Space Monkey onto his knees… but the loose banana peel sees Santos slip badly. Angered, Santos pulls out the No Fun Guns, and shoots Space Monkey… deflating the ball in the process… but there’s still too much padding, and Santos can’t go for the pin. SO he goes for a tail lock instead, and that’s the submission! This is the kind of lunacy I expect from ATTACK! – especially on their Press Start shows. How the heck do you rate this – it’ll be a love it or hate it match for you, and since I “got” the references, I loved it. **½
Our main event takes us out of the video game universe, as Jim Lee announced to the crowd that Pete Dunne was back to lead a gang of ATTACK! originals against Nothing To Prove. Mark Andrews wasn’t able to take part due to a staph infection, so this became a six-man tag… except Eddie Dennis got involved from the start.
Nothing To Prove (ELIJAH, Eddie Dennis, Drew Parker & LK Mezinger) vs. Pete Dunne, Shay Purser, Flash Morgan Webster & Wild Boar
Flash was in his WrestleMania weekend gear – in that I mean “black jeans and jacket”. Him and Boar were introduced first for the ATTACK! team, with the crowd chanting for the 198 – a team that’s not been established here…
Oh hey, Pete Dunne’s brought the 24/7 title with him! I genuinely forgot that was a thing… This match technically marked Eddie’s return to action as he took off his shorts and joined the match… so the ATTACK! crew were a man down. Until Creed’s “My Sacrifice” hit… marking the return of Shay Purser! Well, Cathays came unglued for his return, that’s for sure!
The ring cleared as Purser and Eddie stared each other down… but Shay needed the go ahead from former rival Chris Roberts to get involved, and my God, Shay can go! Headscissors to Eddie, then a tope, as the action got underway properly with the ATTACK! team isolating Drew Parker early for a barrage of offence. Dunne’s in to kick away Parker’s arm, but when Boar comes in the tables turn, with Eddie Dennis catching him with a cravat and some knees, before Mezinger keeps up… only to miss a charge into the corner as the ATTACK! crew took over again.
Dunne leads the charge over Parker, scoring an X-plex into a cross armbreaker, before tweaking away on the wrist and fingers of the Urchin Prince. Shay Purser’s still fan-boying over Dunne, which is dismissively waved off by Dunne, who’s quickly taken down and grounded by Eddie Dennis, who grabbed an armbar and an armpit rake for good measure as Nothing To Prove tries to wear down on Dunne. A hot tag to Shay Purser allows the former referee to charge into ELIJAH and Mezinger as he went corner-to-corner on them with forearms and dropkicks, before forcing Eddie to back off as the Pride of Wales seemed to tease a sneak attack. Instead Eddie just decked him with a forearm as we seemed to be entering lucha rules, which quickly gave way to Flash going for the Pinball Wizard senton into the crowd!
The sometimes 198 combine as Boar powerbombed ELIJAH onto Webster’s knees, leading to a bit of a Parade of Moves as Eddie dumped Dunne with a uranage, before wiping out Shay with a lariat. Shay’s made to pay even more as Eddie sent him into Boar and Webster on the outside with a Severn Bridge powerbomb… and Webster takes something similar too as ELIJAH and Mezinger hiptoss him into the crowd. Pete Dunne looked to be isolated 1 on 4, but Shay’s back to help as they go back-to-back… but end up taking forearms from Eddie and LK, only to respond in kind. Yes, Shay’s imitating his idol, and even gets to bite Drew Parker’s fingers before Webster hit back with a reverse ‘rana. A top rope splash from Boar nearly puts away Parker, but Nothing To Prove breaks up the cover
Flash should have gotten the win when Parker tapped to the Strangler, but the referee was distracted… so Boar goes one step further with a Fire Thunder driver to Webster, only for ELIJAH to pull out the referee. Shay’s up with an elbow drop, but Eddie completes the set as he grabs the ref’s hand to stop the count as this gets out of control and too quick to call. An errant forearm from Dunne decks the referee, which means nobody can call the submission as Eddie tapped to the Strangler… which was eventually broken up by a Kendo stick shot from Mezinger.
Another fightback from Shay gets the crowd on fire as Chris Roberts was still down… but Shay falls to the numbers game as Eddie cracked him in the head with the Kendo stick, just as Roberts starts to stir. One Next Stop Driver later… the match is won, but Chris Roberts flips off Eddie as her refused to count the pin. He’s learned from Shay, he has…
Eddie gets into a shoving match, and nearly gets rolled up by Shay… only to come back with another forearm, before another Parade of Moves breaks out. Eton Rifles! Bitter End! Whiffed leap off the top into a Trapper Keeper… and if Shay had a finisher, we’d see that here, but instead LK’s cornered four-on-one… make that five-on-one as Chris Roberts cracked Mezinger with a Kendo stick before Shay Purser wins with a Destroyer! As a match, it was certainly frenetic and full of action, from Eddie Dennis’ surprise return, and the even bigger surprise of Shay Purser marking the end of his “banished forever” after six months. ***½
So… are Nothing to Prove gone? Once again they took a decisive loss, and left with their tails between their legs as Shay Purser took his bow and the plaudits from the crowd. Hey, there was even a hug with Chris Roberts in there… who showed his true colours with a Stunner, just for old times sake. What, no Destroyer?!
Perhaps a little harshly, the Press Start weekender was an event that felt like one card stretched across two shows. In hindsight, this may well have been better served keeping the video game stuff on one show, rather than spread across two with the show slipping in and out of the wackiness. In past years, ATTACK! were able to keep the video game nonsense going in spite of wider storylines, even down to last year when the Anti-Fun Police were threatening to ruin the show… eventually sacrificing themselves to restore order.
As for this year’s story in ATTACK!, for my liking the Nothing To Prove storyline is moving along far too slowly. Although there’s parts where Nothing To Prove are getting small victories, far too often they are on the wrong end of things, with the main event here being a bit of a microcosm. Small victories with Eddie Dennis returning to give his side a numerical advantage, but then they’re suddenly having to deal with a rogue referee. With Nothing to Prove now at full strength, maybe we’ll get a little consistency, but right now this is feeling like we’re watching the polar opposite of the Anti-Fun Police story, but without the feel good moments that come with watching buzzkillers failing.