Bristol’s Trinity Centre was the home for the July’s slice of ATTACK! action – RaffleMania 2: Stripwrecked!
We’re straight in with the action here, with Bayside High in their first match here since they won the ATTACK! tag titles in June, but the belts aren’t on the line here. The Boogie Knights were announced as their opponents, but instead the crowd’s singalong was interrupted by Damian Dunne and the Anti-Fun Police!
Dunne gets drowned out by the crowd as he tried to address them, saying that he’s been banned from ATTACK! after he’d turned on the Anti-Fun Police. Apparently the Boogie Knights – Danny Jones and the Love Making Demon – were arrested after an illegal rave, and have now been enlisted as part of the Anti-Fun Police. This is an extremely corny gimmick, but I kinda like it!
Bayside High (Mark Andrews & Nixon Newell) vs. Damian Dunne & Danny Jones
It looks like Dunne has replaced the Demon, and the Boogie Knights are no more. Dunne kicks Nixon in the midsection, then whips her across into the other corner, but her leap misses Dunne. Those back elbows didn’t, though!
Newell’s brief offence was punctuated by Dunne, but once he took a flying headscissors, Dunne tagged out to Danny Jones who was goaded into having fun. The Love Making Demon at ringside successfully got the fan to stop chanting “fun”, but Jones undid all the good work by stopping Newell by putting his hand up, and then broke out into a rendition of the Spice Girls’ “Stop”. Dunne enters the ring and admonishes Jones, begging him to enforce the law, but instead he chases him off with the whistle.
Mark Andrews tags in and flips out of a wristlock, before an armdrag gets Jones into an armbar. Jones scores a two-count from a roll-up after they ran around the ring, before Dunne again yells at Jones for having too much fun whilst doing the Dusty punches. Andrews drops Jones with a low dropkick after the released Northern Lights suplex, and again Jones gets himself in trouble after doing a headstand in the corner.
Dunne pulls Jones back onto his feet, then orders Jones to leave the ring. Dunne immediately gets wheelbarrowed and stomped by Andrews, who gets kneed in the back by the Demon as the heels tried to work together. Jones looked conflicted at the idea of not having fun, and even more so when the Demon threatened to attack Andrews behind the referee’s back.
Jones tags in and kicks Andrews, then does the John Cena Five Knuckle Shuffle for a two-count. Andrews drops Jones with a jaw breaker, but Dunne gets the tag to prevent Newell from making a hot tag, only for Andrews to drop him with the suplex stunner. Newell finally makes the hot tag, dropping the Anti-Fun Police with forearms, then drills Dunne with a tornado DDT out of the corner that sends him to the floor. So you can guess… Newell tries for a dive, but the Love Making Demon slides in to stop her, and “pulls” a baton from her, and then proceeds to do the most awkward pat-down ever. Mark Andrews takes advantage of that distraction by diving over the pair with a tope con hilo to Dunne and Jones on the floor, before Newell adds in a senton dive to the Anti-Fun Police for good measure.
Dunne takes a superkick-assisted Dragon suplex from Andrews, with another superkick and a standing shooting star press almost getting the win. Jones slid in to break up the count, then did the Dusty punches on Bayside High, before spending way too long on the Bionic Elbow wind-up. Jones slipped out of a Dragon suplex, as Newell superkicked Andrews by mistake, before Jones took her down with an inverted Michinoku driver.
After Newell kicked out, Dunne and Jones took a missile dropkick from Andrews, who then fell for the “freeze!” hands-up into an enziguiri from Dunne. Jones got ordered away from the ring again, with the Love Making Demon apparently replacing him… but the Demon instead ran in to kiss Dunne.
Dunne freaked out so much, he pushed the Demon into the corner, and knocked Newell off the apron… and that prompted Jones to turn on Dunne. A headscissors into a DDT from Andrews, then the Welsh Destroyer from Newell was enough to put away the Anti-Fun Police following a fun, but farcical match. Hey, this gimmick works in a company like ATTACK, but it’d die on its backside elsewhere. ***
Tyler Bate vs. Travis Banks
Seeing Travis Banks come out to “Rappers Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang is so… weird. I’m guessing he’s a babyface here, as is Tyler Bate. Banks actually gets “take your shirt off” chants from the crowd, as the referee ends up doing it for him, whilst Banks does the Val Venis gyrations. And of course, once it’s off, a lone voice chants “put your shirt on…” Touche!
Banks grabs a chinlock, which gets a massive cheer from one kid in the audience. This is a really easy crowd! They build up to another lock-up, and Banks takes Bate down into a front facelock, which Bate just headstands out of. Banks takes down Bate again, then tries for an armbar, only for Bate to force him into the ropes for a break.
Bate works Banks to the mat with a knuckle-lock, but Banks bridges back up and takes Bate down, before Tyler powers back and goes back to the wristlock. They end up in the ropes, and we get another clean break, before Bate scores another takedown and goes for some grounded headscissors.. Banks bridges up and tries for a surfboard, but they end up back-to-back and in the ropes once more.
Banks grabs an armbar, but Bate gets into the ropes and doesn’t break cleanly, with some near-falls following for both men in one of those “we’ll roll back and forth a lot” predicaments. An enziguiri takes Banks into the corner, but he rebounds with a roundhouse out of the opposite corner for a near-fall, before the pair resort to trading forearms from their knees. Back to their feet, they upgrade to chops, with Banks throwing in some pump kicks, and eventually sweeping Bate’s leg en route to a Shining Wizard.
A running uppercut into the corner rocks Bate, as Banks follows in with a cannonball dive, then a Fisherman’s buster for a two-count. Bate fights out of a torture rack with a rear naked choke, which is broken up with a judo-style throw, only for Banks to dive off the middle rope into an uppercut. The end followed when Bate scores a knee-drop off the middle rope, then a stalling brainbuster for the win. As short as this was, this was really entertaining – the pair figured out early that this was an easy crowd, and so worked a match to suit. No point doing all of that flippy stuff if the crowd’s going to go wild for a chinlock! ***½
ATTACK! Title Tournament – First Round: Mike Bird vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
This is the first of a “series of matches” (in WWE speak) to crown the first ever ATTACK! champion, which’ll be a step higher than their 24:7 title.
They start by trying to grab for each other’s wrist, with Sabre getting taken down first, before he pops up and goes for a chinlock, only for Bird to wrench him down again. Bird keeps hold of the wrist, but Sabre finally reverses it and goes for an armbar, before Bird trips him up and grabs a toehold. Sabre kicks free of the hold, and we get another stand-off.
Sabre catches Bird in a cravat, and keeps hold of it despite Bird’s attempts to throw him off. A shoulder block knocks Bird down after he’d freed himself, and Sabre keeps him on the mat with some headscissors, with Sabre trying to pull back on his own feet for extra torque. I must say, I can’t really envision Sabre watching Carmella matches…
Bird finally headstands out of those leg scissors, but gets taken to the ropes by Sabre, and we get a clean break surprisingly. Sabre gets a front facelock, and tries to transition into an armbar, but Bird just shoves him to the mat with a waistlock takedown. Sabre gets an armbar, before he twists Bird’s arm between his feet and spins around.
Bird charges into Sabre, but falls into a drop toe-hold with extra torque added on the foot, as Sabre goes back to the armbar briefly. Bird tries to stay away from Sabre, but falls into a front facelock and another armbar, this time with wrist manipulation to seemingly try and make the referee throw up. Sabre kicks away at Bird, mocking the so-called “Ginger Jesus” by saying that he’s an atheist, and Bird falls to the floor. Bird beats the count, but Sabre just wrings his arm and whips it to the mat. It’d be nice if Bird actually got some offence in, as this is well past the point of the “Ricky Steamboat rule”…
Finally! Bird gets a couple of forearms in to counter an arm wringer, but some rope running and misdirection led to Sabre going for… yeah, another armbar, and for some inane reason, rolls up Bird for a pin in the ropes. Sabre takes a seat on the bottom turnbuckle, before he attempted a PK – which missed – as Bird finally scores a dropkick.
Bird follows up with an avalanche forearm, then a back elbow into the corner, before Sabre hit back with an overhead kick to the arm. Bird replied with a German suplex and a big boot for a two-count, then tried for a Crucifix Powerbomb, only for Sabre to slip out and get a near-fall with a bridging backslide. Sabre got caught again with a Fireman’s carry, but he turned it into a guillotine/armbar, which Bird escaped by switching the hold and dropping Sabre with a brainbuster.
Another forearm in the corner from Bird riles Sabre, and this descends into a slapping battle, with back and forth avalanche forearms. Sabre’s back elbow drops Bird, who takes a PK for a near-fall, before a lariat from Bird drops him. Sabre goes back to the armbar with body scissors, but switches around into a Tiger suplex for a near-fall.
Again, Sabre sits in the corner, then bursts out as he takes a big boot, before he catches Bird off the top rope and goes for a Triangle armbar. Sabre barks at the referee to ask for a submission, rather than check to see if his shoulders are down, but that doesn’t matter as Bird picks him up into a Fireman’s carry, then drops him for a gutbuster, before a second attempt at the Crucifix powerbomb gets Bird the surprise win!
This was a bit of an odd one, the opening part of this match was overly one-sided, almost to the point of boredom. Once Bird got back into things, the match picked up, but this isn’t exactly the match you’d want to show someone who wasn’t already a Zack Sabre Jr. fan. If Bird was going over, this wasn’t exactly how I’d have booked the match, let’s just leave it at that. ***½
ATTACK! Title Tournament – First Round: Charlie Garrett vs. Super Santos Sr.
After watching Garrett in OTT, I feel his entrance should just be him carrying a photo of himself with his name stamped over it… or maybe that only works in Ireland?
Garrett and Santos start with a lock-up, that sees them spill out of the ring before a not-so-clean break by the apron. A second lock-up goes the same way, but with Garrett slapping Santos in the chest instead of breaking cleanly, before a third one sees them leave the ring but keep the tie-up in place as they go around the ring and through the crowd, by the bar, and apparently to the back…
The referee stopped his count for some reason, and the two men returned on the stage, still locked-up with each other. Garrett prods Santos as they negotiate their way down the steps on the ramp, then back up the steps, and back into the ring before they break the lock-up. That was two minutes of making the absolute most out of the first hold trainees should be learning. This was minimalist wrestling, and it was great!
Then they turned it up a gear with lucha style roll throughs, before Garrett threw Santos to the outside, and teased a dive… instead baseball sliding to the outside, where Santos followed him, only for Garrett to hold up the ring apron, to trap his masked opponent. Santos got out by crawling under the ring, then popped up on the apron, and eventually landed a flying forearm, then an Ace crusher for just a one-count.
Santos dropped a knee and a leg, before falling to an Ace crusher from Garrett for a one-count. They then blocked each other’s Ace crusher, before Garrett got a two-count from a pop-up Ace crusher. Garrett teased a standing moonsault onto Santos, as the crowd chanted “do a flip”. Problem was, by the time he’d worked himself up for it, Santos had rolled away, gotten into the corner and was cheering on for Garrett to do the standing moonsault onto the mat.
Santos went up top, but Garrett rolled away… so he climbed down and went to the other corner. So Garrett log rolled to the opposite corner instead, where Santos followed him, but got caught on the top rope as Garrett kipped up, and eventually was brought down into the ring with a superplex. Garrett rolled the suplex, but Santos switched it into an overhead belly to belly. From their knees, Santos and Garrett traded forearms, then chops, before a leaping forearm from Garrett stunned the masked man.
Garrett shrugged off an O’Connor roll attempt, but fell to a bridging German suplex for a near-fall, before Garrett’s blocked O’Connor roll turned into a superkick on Santos. Charlie went for another Ace crusher, but got shoved into the referee, allowing Santos to go for a Samoan drop.
Santos then climbed the top rope and flew… but was caught with a mid-air Ace crusher (look, I know they’re going for the RKO out of nowhere thing, but CGO and SSSO don’t work!), and after a visual pin, Damian Dunne runs out to attack the former Anti-Fun Police member Garrett. After some kicks and truncheon shots, Dunne gives Santos the truncheon, and orders him to attack Garrett “or I’ll deport you”.
Ramses slides in to stop Santos, but he gets kicked low as Santos turned heel and attacks Garrett, before the referee woke up in time to make the cover. Ah, this was ridiculously basic – in a good way – and the storyline I guess made some sense if you’d followed ATTACK! storylines. ***
After the match, Santos pulls off his mask and reveals a black one underneath, cementing the heel turn, as he now becomes Sergeant Santos Sr… I quite like Damian Dunne’s revolving roster of Anti-Fun Police.
#CCK (Chris Brookes & Kid Lykos) & Wild Boar vs. Eddie Dennis & The Brothers Of Construction (Jim Construction & Lee Construction)
The Brothers of Construction, by the way, are the Hunter Brothers. But they’ve got Tugboat’s old sweet music, so I’m not going to complain that I’ll be fighting to tell these two apart, particularly as they have slightly different gear here, with Jim Construction – currently the 24:7 champion – in a yellow high-visibility vest, whilst Lee Construction is in an orange hi-vis. Please don’t take them off… And of course, the first thing they did, was take off their hi-vis. At least Jim’s trousers are red, and Lee’s are green. Which sucks because I have red/green colour-blindness!
The littlest guy in the match tries to shove the biggest… which wasn’t the brightest idea that the Wild Boar’s ever had. Dennis starts in the ring with Lykos, and immediately Dennis shoves down the masked man from a tie-up. That sends Lykos out of the ring as Eddie Dennis dances to the crowd’s chant of “Kid Lykos is terrified, Eddie’s on fire”.
Lykos returns to the ring and gets slapped down, before Dennis, Jim, then Lee swap ownership of Lykos’ wrung arm around themselves. A chop sent Lykos to the floor again, and when he returns to the ring, he ill-advisedly tries for a suplex, which Dennis easily reverses and turns into a one handed stalling suplex for a near-fall. Jim Construction tags in and snapmares Lykos, before Lee tags in to hit a slingshot senton. Lee’s quickly taken into the heels’ corner, as Chris Brookes comes in, but quickly gets overwhelmed… and then Jim tags back in. An uppercut gets him a one-count over his fellow Tiptonian (is that even a word?), before Brookes dropkicks him in the head as Jim’d gone for a back body drop.
Lykos tags in as #CCK double-team Jim, but after outsmarting the pair, he tags in Eddie Dennis who clears house with some clotheslines. Some European uppercuts in the corner floors #CCK, before Boar comes in to try and square off against Dennis, but it leads to more double-teaming as Brookes ordered Boar out of the ring.
Dennis kicks away a back body drop from Brookes, before a double clothesline drops both of #CCK, as a back suplex gets him a near-fall on Brookes. Lee Construction tags in, and preps Brookes for the old Dudley Boyz’ “Wassap” headbutt to the groin, with Jim wearing a hard hat as he gave the headbutt whilst Eddie Dennis distracted the ref in the most contrived way possible.
Lee picks up Brookes, but takes a jawbreaker as Boar comes in… and takes a drop toe hold. Boar surprises Lee with a Fireman’s carry into a flapjack, then a back senton, before Lee takes a short-arm clothesline. Brookes and Boar choke Lee in the ropes whilst Lykos, then the babyfaces caused a distraction, before a simple bodyslam gets Boar a two-count.
Boar grounds Lee with a modified chinlock, before Brookes gets the tag back into the match, as he then works a camel clutch, so he can give Lee a wet willie by shoving some used gum in his ear. Lee continues as the babyface in peril, as Boar grabs another chinlock, before he misses another back senton, which finally gives Lee an opening to make the hot tag to Eddie Dennis.
Eddie cleans house on #CCK, sending Brookes’ into the corner, before a diving clothesline takes out Lykos. We see the impressive Samoan Drop/Fallaway Slam combo on #CCK, which gets him a two-count on Brookes. Dennis goes for a powerbomb, but Brookes slips out and after some double-teaming, a leg sweep gets him a two-count of his own.
Jim tags in and clears out #CCK, before Boar rushes in and clotheslines him out of the ring. Lee comes in and takes Boar out of the ring and seemingly into the tripod the camera was resting on, as the ring empties. Dennis has Brookes by the merch table, before he’s sent into the men’s room. The cameraman takes us back to the ring where Boar misses a dive into a seated Jim Construction, whilst Kid Lykos has Lee Construction on the floor.
The mobile camera makes a trip to see Eddie Dennis hurl Chris Brookes through several rows of seats not once, but twice, as the Brothers of Construction brawl with Lykos and Boar on the stage. Once everyone makes it back to the ring, it turns into a spot parade of sorts, with Jim Construction dropping the Boar with a modified back cracker, before Brookes nails Jim with a spinning rope-hung DDT for a near-fall.
Brookes tries to spit more water at Dennis, but Eddie catches him and holds his mouth shut, slapping Brookes to the outside then follows up with a tope con hilo as the referee remains the only man in the ring… and he decides to go up and do a dive? The hell? Kid Lykos does the decent thing and pulls him down, then boots the referee low, before Dennis throws him to the mat. Shay (the referee) pulls Lykos out of a crucifix powerbomb so he can get a receipt, and kick Lykos low, before he throws him to the outside and demands that Dennis powerbombs HIM over the outside and into the pile. Okay, this is getting ridiculous.
Brookes re-enters the ring, but walks straight into a Next Stop Driver, and the referee returns to make the count, only for Boar to pull him out. Boar and Dennis butt heads in the ring, but Dennis makes a comeback, and even countered an interfering Lykos, before Boar powerbombed him. A cannonball dive into the corner allows Boar to go for the Trapper Keeper package piledriver, but the Brothers of Construction run in to hit the combo neckbreaker/back cracker.
Lykos runs in and waffles Brookes with a baking tray, as the Brothers hit their giant swing/dropkick combo, before Lykos takes a Next Stop Driver as the babyfaces pick up the win. Decent enough main event, but I could have lived without that referee spot! ***½
ATTACK! are a weird group to watch, in a fun way. The crowds they perform in front of vary a lot, and this show had an extremely easy audience – when they pop for a tie-up and a chinlock, you know you’ve got an easy night! The ongoing storyline with the Anti-Fun Police helps keep this kid-friendly without the group overtly marketing themselves in that way.
Sadly, we didn’t get to see the star of RaffleMania II – the raffle itself – but as a show, I heartily endorse this as a fun distraction, and definitely something that’s more than a guilty pleasure! This show can be purchased via the ATTACK! Vimeo channel at https://vimeo.com/attackprowrestling – and can be watched via PC/Macs, and pretty much any connected device… or offline, if you’d rather download it!