ATTACK! Pro Wrestling have been on fire as of late, and last weekend was no exception as they headed to Cardiff for a show that crowned their first champion, and led to a farewell…
“Seriously? Another PPV Tie-In Event” was a potential double-header at the Walkabout bar in Cardiff, giving fans the chance to watch some live stuff before watching Survivor Series later that night. As for the ATTACK! show, the main event featured a five-on-five elimination match between ring announcer Jim Lee’s Jim Leegion, and Pete Dunne’s Bruiserweights.
The show opened with a great promo from Mike Bird ahead of the ATTACK! title tournament final, and how he’d won matches he “wasn’t supposed to win” to get to the final. Considering how little mic time wrestlers tend to get here, this was an awesome spot that made you look at Mike Bird as more than someone making up the numbers.
“Flash” Morgan Webster was your ring announcer for this show, and he’s finally without a shoulder sling, which has to be good news for his recovery. In other good news, he seems to have borrowed one of Noel Edmonds’ shirts, which must have been hidden in the contract when he appeared on Channel 4’s “Deal or No Deal” earlier this year…
Referee Shay came out with the new ATTACK! title belt, which bears a slight resemblance to the classic WWE Winged Eagle belt. In a year when wrestling fans have soured on new belts, this was quite refreshing to see a title belt that was a) not generic, b) not a blatant rip-off and c) welcomed by the fans.
ATTACK! Pro Wrestling Championship Tournament Final: Eddie Dennis vs. Mike Bird
Dennis and Bird started off with some good ol’ fashioned wrestling, with headlocks, hammerlocks and all of that good stuff. A knuckle-lock saw Dennis catch Bird out, before the “Ginger Jesus” grabbed a headlock on the mat, eventually wrenching back enough to get a two-count on Dennis.
After scoring with a drop toe hold, Bird went back to a headlock, only for Dennis to throw him off… and get caught with another headlock takedown. They exchange shoulder blocks, before Dennis landed a kneedrop for a two-count. Eddie’s the first one to go flying with a somersault senton after Bird had gone to the outside, but Bird returned the favour with a series of topes after Dennis threw him back into the ring. They continued to fight through the crowd, before finally returning as Bird worked over Dennis with a neck crank. After escaping, Dennis took down Bird with a diving clothesline, before a swinging side slam earned him a near-fall. Bird snuck through Dennis’ legs and mounted a comeback with a Fireman’s carry gutbuster, then an Exploder slam for a near-fall, before going for a Gotch piledriver.
Dennis countered that with an Alabama Slam, but he took too long in following up via the top rope, and was caught as Bird went flying with a superplex. After the pair got back to their feet, they traded knife-edge chops back and forth, before Bird “took him to the chopper” with a series of rapid-fire chops in the corner, ending with a slap to the face. More chops followed from Bird, before Dennis landed a ripcord forearm and then a crucifix bucklebomb. That just riled Bird… for about a second until he took a superkick. A suplex from Dennis was countered into an implant DDT for just a one-count as both men traded more forearms from their knees, before finally collapsing to the mat. They got back up to trade running forearms into the ropes, before Dennis caught Bird and threw him down with a German suplex.
A Next Stop Driver saw Dennis almost win it, but Bird kicked out at two, and rolled onto the apron. An attempted Next Stop Driver on the apron was blocked as Bird hit a back suplex onto the apron, before a diving clothesline off the top rope and a Gotch piledriver saw Bird come close to victory. Bird followed up with a series of running forearms to a cornered Dennis, before he went to the well once too many and took a forearm from Dennis.
What followed next was insane: a Super Next Stop Driver for a one-count as Dennis countered another superplex. Dennis looked stunned that Bird had kicked out, let alone at one, so he went for another standard Next Stop Driver, only for Bird to roll him up for a near-fall. A series of superkicks knocked Bird out of the ring, where he took another Next Stop Driver on the apron, and then the Last Stop Driver (a high angle Next Stop Driver) to finally secure the win… and the title to boot! Weighing in at over 20 mins long, this was bloody great. Both Dennis and Bird have had sneaky good years in ATTACK!… How the hell do you top this? ****½
As he was celebrating with the belt, Wild Boar ran in and beat down Dennis. Bird pulled him away from the new champion, before slowly turning around and… joining in! Boar held down Dennis’ knee as Bird stomped on it off the top rope – and this proves that we can’t have anything nice!
Danny Jones & Love Making Demon vs. Bowl-a-Rama (Splits McPins & Lloyd Katt)
Ah, I love me some Bowl-a-Rama. They’ve suddenly crept up on ATTACK!’s last few “smaller” shows, and they’ve become a hit pairing. Even if Katt needs help climbing into the ring! We started with a dance-off, which was just a cover for Jones and the Demon to attack Bowl-a-Rama from behind as the match properly started. McPins took down the Demon and landed a rolling senton, before catching Jones in an armbar… and eventually dropped a bowling ball on him off the top rope.
Demon was knocked off the apron as he tried to knee McPins in the ropes, and things quickly turned sour as Splits took a diving headbutt to the groin whilst he was trapped in the ropes. McPins was worked on for a while, with Jones scoring a near-fall out of a suplex, before the Love Making Demon… sat on Splits’ face. Nasty.
Splits made a comeback after throwing a bowling ball into the midsection of an upside-down Jones in the corner, before making the hot tag to Katt, who slingshotted Jones into the ring for a reverse DDT, before giving the Demon a wheelbarrow suplex. McPins returned to knock the Demon onto the apron with an enziguiri, then off the apron with a bowling ball shot, as a tope into the entranceway from McPins, then a Katt plancha completed the set.
Back inside, Katt fought off Jones and the Demon before eating a double superkick. McPins did a little better, dumping Jones in a tree of woe above a seated Demon, before bowling a ball into the pair of them. Jones wriggled out of a Doomsday Device, before landing a reverse Exploder on McPins, who then fell to a Famouser as the Demon scored the win. A fun tag match between two cult favourite teams… and if the speculation is to be believed, there may well be something memorable down the line with the Bowl-a-Rama pair. ***
After the match, everyone took their, erm, “vitamins” and raved to the back.
Wild Boar vs. Tyler Bate
The match started with Boar grabbing Bate’s towel and drying himself off with it. Never besmirch another man’s towel!
Boar opened up with a wristlock on Bate, which was eventually reversed and turned into a test of strength by the youngster. That was turned into a Japanese strangle hold by Boar for a moment, before releasing Bate, and falling into a brief chop battle as Bate then regained the advantage with a series of arm-wringers. Again they went back and forth as Bate escaped a wristlock, before Boar grabbed a headlock… which Bate just escaped via a headstand. Boar tried again, this time with an armbar, then a double chickenwing, but Bate again freed himself and cartwheeled behind the Boar before a dropkick sent him scurrying.
Boar surprised Bate with a uranage before a hard slam took Bate back down, using a rear chinlock as a way to disguise biting Bate on the mat. More biting followed as the Boar kept on Bate, who eventually made a comeback with a headscissor takedown after a headstand in the corner… and then landed a Kota Ibushi-esque moonsault to Bate on the outside. Back in the ring, the pair exchanged waistlocks, before Bate finally deadlifted the Boar into a bridging German suplex for a near-fall. That turned the tide for Tyler, as he connected with a series of running uppercuts in the corner before Boar pushed him away and got a near-fall out of a back senton to a bent-over Bate.
Bate and Boar went back and forth with “yay/boo” forearms, eventually sending the Boar down to a knee, before they went to the “Newton’s Cradle” strikes, bouncing off the ropes back and forth for more of the same. A rebound spinning heel kick saw Bate take down Boar and follow-up with a brainbuster for another two-count. At this point, Mike Bird came out to distract Bate, and it worked as the Boar scored a shoulder charge before dumping Bate with an Exploder. After a cannonball, Bate ate a Trapper Keeper package piledriver for the loss. That was a bit… odd? The mere presence of another man distracted Bate for long enough to lose? Even “Flash” Morgan sounded down at the finish. A good match until then, mind you… ***¼
After the match, Bird drilled Bate with a Fireman’s carry gutbuster, before holding him over his knees as Boar landed a big splash. That can’t have been good for the Birdman’s knees…
After the “between matches” sting, we returned to see “Flash” Morgan with the ATTACK! 24:7 title belt – which I’m guessing Ryan Smile had to vacate due to injury. “Flash” had to fix the situation, which meant that Lee Construction came out (sadly his brother Jim Hunter/Jim Construction is out for the forseeable future with a knee ligament injury).
Lee Construction leant on Webster’s bad shoulder by mistake, and offered to take the 24:7 title. The crowd chanted for Chuck Mambo here, as Lee issued an open challenge for the title.
ATTACK! 24:7 Championship Gauntlet
Those Chuck Mambo chants wouldn’t die… Australian Sean Kustom came out and cut a promo declaring himself “Swagzilla”. That didn’t go down well with the crowd, who told him that his journey to the UK was a wasted one. By the way, these two promos from Construction and Kustom featured a record high number of times someone got a title’s name wrong?
Lee Construction vs. Sean Kustom
They started with a test of strength, which Kustom rolled out of and hit a bridging suplex for a near-fall, before a springboard crossbody off of the middle ropes earned a similar result. Kustom lit into Construction with chops, then scored a neckbreaker and a top rope moonsault to win the title! That was really short, but effective, I guess.
“Flash” Morgan did the “wait… a new challenger appears” line, as Kustom’s gauntlet continued against Chuck Mambo, who came out to a Reggae version of a-Ha’s “Take On Me” and his myriad of beach balls!
Sean Kustom (c) vs. Chuck Mambo
They started off by trading forearms, before a Superman forearm smash from Kustom rocked Mambo briefly. Chuck used a log roll to trip Kustom, before using him as a surfboard. Seconds later, Chuck hit a springboard Meteora, and secured what I believe was his first singles title (please correct myself and Cagematch if I’m wrong!)
Chuck had barely gotten his hands on the title when the Anti-Fun Police’s music hit, and we had another challenger!
Chuck Mambo (c) vs. Los Federales Santos Sr.
Mambo surprised Santos with a Blockbuster out of the gate, sending the Anti Fun Policeman out of the ring, and into the path of a somersault dive. Santos countered another Meteora by crotching Mambo on the top rope, before pulling him off the top rope, and attempted a Gory Bomb. Okay, it was a botch, I was trying to cover! Santos hit the Gory Bomb at the second attempt, and got the win.
The crowd chanted big time for EC-Drew after this, and as soon as Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” played, the crowd came unglued. Oh, this is why I love wrestling…
Los Federales Santos Sr. vs. The San-Drew (Drew Parker)
Coming to the ring with cartons of Capri Sun instead of beer, we have the San-Drew! Santos attacked Drew from behind and grabbed his Kendo stick… after a swing and a miss, Drew grabbed it and used it on Santos. One White Russian Legsweep later, and we had a new 24:7 champion in the form of Extremely Confused Drew!
The San-Drew left with the title, signifying the end of the gauntlet. Hey, the matches it contained may have been really short, but as a semi-main event segment, it worked, and the crowd ate it all up. What more can you ask for? ***
We’re taken to a video of Jim Lee training ahead of tonight’s main event. Apparently Lee and Dunne were friends, and Lee calls back to how Dunne changed after Mark Andrews “left” for TNA. Jim’s ready… and this brings us to our main event!
After Pete Dunne’s mob came out first – with only four men – Jim Lee’s group came out, also with four men. Before the mystery men were announced, Jim added an extra challenge: if Jim’s team loses, Jim Lee leaves ATTACK! If Jim’s team wins… Pete Dunne goes. Interesting… Now, for the mystery men: Jim picked referee Shay Purser, who came out to the WrestleMania theme for some reason, and to a massive cheer. So… who’s refereeing?
Pete Dunne got down to a knee as Jim asked for Pete’s pick… but instead Shay turned around and punted Jim in the balls! What the hell?! Eddie Dennis came out to be the “real” fifth man for the Jim Lee-gion, and we’re underway…
Elimination Match: The Bruiserweights (#CCK (Chris Brookes & Kid Lykos), Nixon Newell, Pete Dunne & Shay Purser) vs. The Jim Lee-gion (Martin Kirby, El Ligero, Mark Andrews, Jim Lee & Eddie Dennis)
Dennis clotheslined all of the Bruiserweights, before giving a double suplex to the tag champions. Pete and Nixon took the Fallaway Slam/Samoan Drop combo, before the babyfaces teased a series of dives… and holy God, Jim can flip!
Shay Purser came in – with a black shirt on – to slap Dennis. That wasn’t wise, as Eddie decked him with a forearm, before giving Shay a crucifix bomb on top of #CCK on the floor. Shay was thrown back in so he could take another crucifix bomb onto Newell and Dunne. He was thrown back in to take a stuff Next Stop Driver, with Mark Andrews providing the assist as Shay was the first man out. The hearts of the fans in Cardiff bled.
Down a man, the Bruiserweights tries a four-way chairshot, which failed as they all missed, before being sent outside and dived on. Well… that was the plan, instead, the Bruiserweights took over as Pete and Jim looked to indulge in a spot of steel chair jousting. Dunne levelled Jim with a forearm before setting up four chairs – an arrangement that never ends well. Jim immediately took a powerbomb through them, which I guess took him out of the picture.
As the Brusierweights “celebrated” in the aisle, some ring crew tended to Jim and carted him away, effectively removing both non-wrestlers. Yes, I know Shay’s had training, but in ATTACK! world, he hasn’t…
With things somewhat calming down, Brookes and Ligero worked for a spell, before Kirby tagged in and took a near-fall after the former Project Lucha pairing battered Brookes with kicks. The babyfaces pounded on Brookes in the corner, before he moved as El Ligero took a quartet of avalanches from the Bruiserweights, eventually having to kick-out at two after a cover was made.
Ligero became isolated for a while, before making a hot tag out to Kirby who took down Brookes with a Slingblade, then Lykos with an enziguiri. A somewhat contrived sequence saw Kirby set-up #CCK in position so Brookes was slingshotted into Lykos’ groin, and then we got a Zoidberg elbow attempt. Brookes avoided it and instead set-up Kirby for a Blockbuster/Gory Bomb combo as Lykos scored the pin.
Mark Andrews came in but was quickly dispatched by Dunne, who then took a swinging side slam by Dennis. Eddie was then sent packing with a German suplex from Newell, only for Ligero to slingshot in with an Ace crusher. More moves followed as I lost track of who was legal, before Dennis hit double clotheslines to #CCK, then Dunne and Newell. Ligero then looked to take advantage of Newell, only to miss a Mexican wave, before Andrews and Ligero fell to suplex stunners. They returned the favours with reverse ‘ranas on Dunne and Newell, before a Meteora from Lykos took out Andrews, only to turn around into a C4L as Ligero made the elimination… but immediately followed Lykos as a Shining Wizard from Newell earned another fall.
Andrews returned to the ring, but fell to a Fireman’s carry pop-up gutbuster, before Dennis took down Dunne and delivered a crucifix powerbomb to Newell. Brookes and Dennis worked for a spell, with Brookes using the Whiplash (spinning suplex off the rope) for a near-fall, before going for a heel hook on the new ATTACK! champion. Dennis got out of that and went for another crucifix bucklebomb, before Brookes countered out of a Next Stop Driver… and scored the surprise pin as Newell and Dunne had hold of Eddie’s feet outside the ring.
With Jim Lee still MIA, that left Mark Andrews alone against Brookes, Dunne and Newell… and spelled bad news for our regular ring announcer. Andrews was cornered – as this seemed to no longer be a tag match – but he took his opponents down with a series of superkicks, only to run into a three-way superkick. A parade of finishers saw Mandrews take a Welsh Destroyer, a Tombstone then an attempted Michinoku Driver… but Brookes messed up and was rolled up for an eliminating three-count.
Newell and Dunne double-teamed Andrews with kicks to the head, then dropped him with a double forearm before biting both of his hands at the same time. Andrews made a comeback with a DDT on Dunne, before blasting Newell with a Destroyer… only for Dunne to come back and connect the Drop Dead (at the first time) for the pin. That left us with Jim Lee returning from the dead to take on Dunne and Newell – with a rather uncomfortable “Jim’ll Fix It” chant. Google it, if you don’t know what I’m referring to…
Jim was decked with a pair of forearms, but returned with a leaping double clothesline, then a DDT to Newell. Dunne took over again though as the numbers game overwhelmed Jim, but he made another comeback with a big boot, then a massive satellite DDT. Holy crap, Jim’s surprising everyone today! A pair of headbutts knocked the ring announcer down, as Newell went to the top rope for a double stomp… followed by Dunne. Both of those connected, to the detriment of Jim Lee’s chest, no-doubt.
The Bruiserweights looked to finish him off with a Welsh Destroyer, but as Pete Dunne turned around to celebrate early, Lee countered the Welsh Destroyer with a jack-knife roll-up to eliminate Nixon… leaving us with a one-on-one staredown between the team captains. Dunne was incredulous at what had happened, so he did what any angry heel would… beat the tar out of his opponent.
One dropkick led to a Drop Dead, but it was countered into a small package for a near-fall. Jim tried for a Stunner, but Dunne bit his way free, before going for another Drop Dead. That one connected, but Jim kicked out at two! Dunne took Lee up to the top rope for a superplex, but Jim switched it up and Rolled the Dice for a near-fall as Chris Brookes and the rest of the Bruiserweight squad ran in to break it up.
The rest of the locker-room emptied out to even things up, eventually leaving us with Jim and Pete in the ring by themselves. Dunne almost won it with an old-fashioned schoolboy-with-the-feet-on-the-ropes, but the referee held up the count just before three to deny Dunne. In the ensuing argument, Dunne kicked the referee low… so Jim low blowed Pete before hitting an Ace Crusher. With no referee, “Flash” Morgan Webster slid in to make the count… but Dunne kicked out at two! After the kick-out, Lee bit Dunne’s fingers – finally getting some retribution – before tying him up in a crossface as the Bruiserweight finally tapped, sending the Cardiff crowd wild. ***¾
As a story, this was pretty similar to what WWE told with their Survivor Series match later that night, without being so damned busy. We got the heel turn of referee Shay, the against-all-odds victory of Jim Lee… and for anyone wondering if I was annoyed at others selling for him, the answer’s no. Look in the details: the “full time” wrestlers sold, but not for as long as they did when the more established guys were working. Compare it to taking a punch from a kid… versus taking a punch from a professional boxer. They would both hurt, if done right, but one would leave a more lasting effect!
The babyfaces returned to the ring to celebrate with Jim Lee as Pete Dunne was left to face the music – he was gone from the company he helped create. Dunne flipped off Jim as he made his exit to a sea of fans singing the Goodbye Song, before Jim Lee soaked in the adulation of the crowd – indulging in a spot of crowd-surfing to end the show!
Another ATTACK! show, another home run. This company is on fire, and it feels like they can’t put a foot wrong. Although the departure of long-time antagonist Pete Dunne could raise several questions about what happens next – particularly in terms of “who’s taking his spot?” – you can’t deny that this is a group that has found its groove and is excelling in its place.
If you’re not an ATTACK! fan… get on board. Their shows are available to purchase via https://vimeo.com/attackprowrestling – and I honestly cannot recall seeing a bad show from this group this year. Jump in, before it’s too late!