ATTACK!’s latest visit to Cardiff’s Walkabout was a high-stakes affair for Flash Morgan Webster – as he put his career on the line in his bid to end Chief Deputy Dunne’s reign as ATTACK! champion.
We join the show as Jim Lee says the F-word – and that draws out the Anti-Fun Police. Those rotters. Well, actually, just one of them, in the form of Sergeant Banks…
Sergeant Banks vs. Eddie Dennis
Cardiff is in fine voice here… whilst Banks isn’t so keen to play Eddie’s games.
When we got going, Banks struggled with Dennis’ power game as the “Pride of Wales” was finding things rather easy-going. Banks powdered to the floor after an early pinning attempt, and confiscates a fan’s beer… holding it to (finger) gun point before Eddie retrieved the pint and went to drink it. Only for Banks to make him spray it courtesy of a forearm to the face!
That’s not fun!
Eddie gets retribution for the fallen booze, pulling Banks out of the corner before ignoring his pleas to be put down… unless you count an Explorer as a handy way of doing so! Banks’ tour de force of comedy continued when he whimpered “I know” when Eddie told him he’d put him “right on your dick, son” following an inverted atomic drop.
Banks escapes a swinging side slam and takes Eddie to the outside for a PK… then a tope that drew some chants of “that was fun”. He didn’t deny it… and went again, only to get caught with the swinging side slam onto the apron instead.
Back inside, Banks looked helpless as a crucifix bomb drew a near-fall, before flipping out of a Next Stop Driver to blast Dennis with a superkick. Uppercuts give way to a Kiwi cannonball and a springboard double-stomp as the ways of fun held on… and rebounded with a crucifix bomb out of the corner, which got countered into a ‘rana and a diving corner dropkick!
The Sergeant tries to go Coast to Coast, but just eats a forearm instead as Eddie follows in with a Next Stop Driver… but it’s only good for a two-count! Some back-and-forth strikes left both men worse for wear, especially after a clothesline from Eddie, but Banks is able to throw in a Slice of Heaven and a Fisherman’s drive, before trapping Eddie in the Lion’s clutch. Eddie rolls free and manages to hoist Banks into the Next Stop Driver – and that’s enough for the win!
My word, Travis Banks was at his comedic best here. The sheer range of characters he’s playing right now is astounding – from the underdog coming good in Fight Club: Pro (and later PROGRESS), to the Anti-Fun Police’s needy recruit, to whatever-the-Prestige-is… there’s a lot to be said for having a well rounded set of attributes both bell-to-bell and in terms of performance. ***½
After the match, Eddie offers a handshake to Banks, but of course he refuses it and heads to the back.
Brendan White vs. Beano vs. Posada vs. Charlie Sterling vs. Drew Parker vs. Charli Evans
A rare appearance for “Bronco” Brendan White, who last made a “proper” ATTACK! card during the Kris Travis Tag Team Invitational. Unless you believe he was one of the fake EC-Drews… Posada is a Dragon Pro trainee, and there’s a very pleasant whiff of new blood in this one!
Drew Parker’s now getting booed in ATTACK!, and he’s gone straight for Posada… presumably because he thought there was a monopoly on face paint in this match? The two Charli/es wrap up the pack – Sterling (with his weird shorts) and the debuting Evans – and we’ve got ourselves an intergender six-way!
Evans dumps Parker at the bell with a back suplex as everyone goes for each other, settling down to Beano and Posada, with Beano hitting a dropkick to the skeletal Posada, whom unbelievably is in his first MONTH of shows. Beano decks him with a right hand before dumping him with a Ki Krusher… and that’s the cue for Charlie Sterling to come and play. Except Brendan White’s rolling German suplexes put paid to the Bristolian’s efforts. At least until Sterling gets off a spinning brainbuster before missing miserably with a standing moonsault, thanks to Charli Evans rolling Brendan out of the ring… so she could lay there with her knees up to add extra pain to the humiliation.
“Good Charli” takes “Bad Charlie” outside, before Parker tries to intervene. That doesn’t go well for the Urchin Prince, as he’s taken into the corner and booted, before her dive gets cut-off. We get a flipping Bronco instead, as White’s moonsault takes out the pile on the floor, as does Beano’s tope and Posada’s step-up tope con hilo!
Evans goes back to the drawing board for her dive, and things work out for the best as Sterling clubs her off the turnbuckles… into a dive that went well, before Sterling’s much-vaunted axehandle to the floor misses. His second try, a tope con hilo, went much better as Parker completes the set with a corkscrew Asai moonsault.
Back inside, Posada escapes from a Tree of Woe to crotch Drew, but he loses balance and takes a Beano dropkick as a Tower of Doom ensues, with Charli Evans completing the set! Evans tries to powerbomb Parker… but he low blows her. Erm… does someone want to tell him about biology? Nevermind, that sparks a superkick-off, then a series of RKOs, before White hits a butterfly suplex to take Parker into a pile in the corner. This is nuts, and it keeps on going!
White obliterates Parker with a Bossman slam, before Posada gets yanked down as he went for a lucha armdrag, and takes a spinning neckbreaker for his troubles. A rope-hung uranage follows from Beano as we get the Parade of Moves, featuring a Styles Clash from Sterling, who followed up with a… Codebreaker from Parker! A springboard 450 from Dew comes up short, as Evans gets the last word with a pop-up powerbomb for the win! This was an incredibly hectic, but fun outing for all involved. ***¼
The Hostage Trade!
At the Damplified show the prior month, Splits McPins was kidnapped by the Anti-Fun Police. In retaliation, Lloyd Katt kidnapped Los Federales Santos Jr… and that led to the agreed returns of both men here at WinterSlam. Once we had a chant of “fun burrito”, of course!
Katt comes out first with a heavily-tied up Santos Jr. (my God, how thick was that rope?!), before the Brothers of Obstruction came out with Splits, who was still in the sack he’d been taken in. Except… he’d been brain-washed! Splits McPins was no more… he was now… Code McSafety! With a snazzy lucha mask!
McSafety stomps away on Katt in the corner as the Brothers announce him as the new member of the Anti-Fun Police. How could you, Splits?! The four-on-one beatdown’s stopped as the ATTACK! tag champs hit the ring, and we have an impromptu trios match!
Anti-Fun Police (Brothers of Obstruction (James Obstruction & Leigh Obstruction) & Code McSafety) vs. Lloyd Katt & Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher)
Thanks to the Anti-Fun Police’s swish-but-not-fun-at-all new t-shirt, I’ve found that it’s actually “Leigh Obstruction”, as opposed to “Lee”. Edit time!
Fletcher goes straight for McSafety at the bell, laying into him with forearms as he clearly feels let down by the bowler. So did Mark Davis, who came in for a double hiptoss as the former Splits was worn down in the opening stages before tagging out to the Brothers.
Things changed from there as Lloyd Katt tagged in and found himself on the receiving end… or at least he would have been as the Brothers struggled to pick him up for a slam… so Katt slams the Brothers and Shay onto each other. Unfortunately, he tried to reason with Code, and that sparked a fightback from the Anti-Fun Police trio.
The Neighbours song inspires Fletcher some more, but he’s quickly distracted and beaten on, with Santos Jr. throwing in some kicks as well as Shay proved to be as useless as ever in the face of cheating. Regardless, Katt’s able to overcome it, slingshotting one of the brothers into a slam before cannonballing into the other, before Code comes in and starts laying into his former mentor.
Eventually Aussie Open return to take out their foes, with Code taking a double stomp to the back from Fletcher, then a diving forearm from Davis as we moved into the dive section… flip senton from Fletcher, and a moonsault from Davis leaves the bad guys down, before one of the Brothers falls to the Fidget Spinner for a near-fall.
Code lays out Fletcher with a spin-out Dominator as Bowl-a-Rama went face-to-face again, with McSafety shoving Katt… only for the Brothers to lay him out with a neckbreaker/backbreaker combo, before Code’s double stomp almost earned the Anti-Fun Police the win. Instead, Mark Davis’ forearms left everyone laying… including Lloyd Katt, who took a dive in fear of getting an accidental shot!
The match descends into a Parade of Moves before one of the brothers headbutted Katt with a safety helmet. Sadly, Davis didn’t realise that, and so his piledriver was for nought! Fletcher superkicks it away as a pull-up-by-the-feet into another piledriver proved more effective, before Santos gets involved again, this time with a No Fun Dive!
We’re back to Code and Lloyd, with the former Splits standing on the bowling ball that Katt was about to use. Instead, Code threatens to bowl it into Katt’s, erm, Katt, before giving a thumbs up… and a thumbs down! SPLITS IS BACK!
The shiny hood comes off, and reveals the original Splits McPins mask as Bowl-a-Rama unleash More Bang For Your Buck on the Brothers, before obliterating some with dives as Mark Davis’ Awful Waffle gets the win! So many feels in one match, I cannot comprehend! You never lose the urge to bowl, and Splits McPins proved it! ***½
The reunited Bowl-a-Rama celebrate afterwards, and that takes us nearly into interval… except ring announcer Jim Lee wants a word with Mark Davis, because it’s his birthday! Cue the birthday song, and a big tray of Oreos instead of a cake!
After interval is where things got a little weird… so the advertised singles match between Wild Boar and Chris Brookes was mashed-up with the Mike Bird/Ryan Smile match. That came about when Mike Bird attacked Chris Brookes – who was seemingly less of a rotter than usual, as he wasn’t giving half of Cardiff an unexpected shower. Problem was, the crowd hadn’t twigged, and were mocking him with chants of “Where’s your Lykos gone?” when Bird came out for the attack.
Ryan Smile makes the save, coming through the crowd as Bird and Boar looked to the entranceway as Smile’s music got little reaction. Eventually, he takes down Bird with a Meteora off the top, then Boar with a diving knees… as the crowd reacted by chanting “fuck you Ryan”. Whether it was folks thinking he’d turned and joined a villainous Brookes, or a reaction to some of his tweets… this was just awkward.
The crowd chanted “We Want Lykos” when Smile suggested that they do the “All Day CCK” instead… and Brookes just walks away. Bird and Boar return to pound away on Smile, who managed to outsmart them (to some boos) before eventually getting back-up in the form of a returning Brookes.
Wild Boar & Mike Bird vs. Ryan Smile & Chris Brookes
No sooner had he returned, Brookes was tagged in (and booed), before dropping Bird and Boar with a double Dragon screw. The Octopus hold with a wet willie follows for the Boar, but Bird broke that up, only to get low bridged to the outside.
Smile returns to kick Boar in the gut ahead of some charges into the corner, and there’s very loud “fuck you Ryan” chants. Wow. Spoiling the match much? A leapfrog sees Bird crash to the outside as Brookes, then Smile joined them outside with dives, before an enziguiri to Bird and a brainbuster followed.
Yeah, if you’re going to do Lykos’ move, you’re going to get booed. Boar replies with a pop-up powerbomb and a sit-out tombstone as the match became a bit of a Parade of Moves, ending with Bird’s “Jackie Chan” flying punch. The makeshift “All Day CCK” gets off the #CCK-ish tag moves as Brookes threw Boar onto Bird with the elevated Codebreaker, before Brookes’ back senton and Smile’s double stomp off the top proved to be enough… for just a two-count!
Bird and Boar rebound with a cannonball into Smile, before a pumphandle driver from Bird secures another near-fall on the “All Day Star” as more double-teaming gets the former tag champs closer to the win… but by this point this match had become a trainwreck … and it wasn’t because of anything that’d happened bell-to-bell.
The end almost came when Bird hit a gutbuster on Brookes, before Boar’s frogsplash gets a near-fall as Smile broke it up (yeah, to boos). Ryan’s obliterated with a pop-up powerbomb from Boar, a Gotch piledriver from Bird, and then a Trapper Keeper from Boar as the end mercifully came. Mute the crowd, and this was fine, but for a multitude of reasons, this was a trainwreck that cannot have been what was originally planned. **
As an aside here, I’m well aware as to what Ryan Smile tweeted in the days and weeks prior to this show. If you disagree with his comments, be it on LGBTQ issues, mental health, or heck, even his daft “Black Dives Matter” shirt, then that’s fine. But when it comes to wrecking a match by booing his every move, and worse (there were reports of one person in the crowd telling him to kill himself…), then that’s too far. If you didn’t want to see him, then turn your back. Don’t make a noise. Or just don’t buy a ticket. Apathy hurts more.
ELIJAH vs. Omari
From the bell, ELIJAH tries to ground Omari, but it doesn’t work out well as the pair exchange headlock takedowns in the opening stages.
There’s a lot of swinging and missing with kicks as both men squared-off, before ELIJAH ran at Omari with a forearm, then a dropkick as the Fight Club: Pro trainee struggled to really get going. A running knee on the apron keeps Omari down, but an imploding corkscrew splash is caught and turned into a powerbomb as Omari stopped… whatever it was ELIJAH had designs on.
Omari’s moonsault misses as they keep crashing and burning, before unloading with a series of forearms that met their mark. ELIJAH countered a swinging side slam into a crucifix bomb, before hauling him up for an eventual Slingblade and German suplex combination. That gets a near-fall, but Omari fires back with a suplex to take ELIJAH into the corner for some shoulder charges and leg lariats.
A sit-out gutwrench powerbomb nearly wins it for Omari, who has to shrug off another crucifix bomb attempt as ELIJAH hits a springboard roundhouse instead, before a Fisherman’s slam gets him the win. Surprisingly short (around ten minutes long), but a pretty decent match to get rid of whatever ill feeling was there after the prior cluster… ***
ATTACK! Championship: Flash Morgan Webster vs. Chief Deputy Dunne (c)
If Webster loses, he’s done in ATTACK!… and given that he lost his title in a similar stipulation match for Pro Wrestling Chaos the prior night, there were some expecting a similar fate here.
Dunne was accompanied by the rest of the Anti-Fun Police, including the Brothers of Obstruction (with riot shields), but Sergeant Banks was extremely conspicuous by his absence.
Flash launches into Dunne at the bell, sending him flying with a ‘rana before landing a Special Brew Flip as the challenger looked to end this early… with the Strangler! But the Brothers of Obstruction and Los Federales Santos Jr. run in to break it up as Shay willingly turned his back on the mugging that was threatening to unfold.
The Brothers look to smash Webster with their helmets, but he ducks before giving Santos a reverse ‘rana and a tope con hilo! Now we’re back to one-on-one! Dunne quickly hits the false alarm enziguiri, and now we’re on the outside as Dunne hooks away on Webster, who replies by leaping onto a raised area and moonsaulting off it as Dunne tried to throw him into a staircase.
The walk around Walkabout continues as Dunne’s thrown towards the merch tables, before he takes a crossbody onto them. The table didn’t give way… must have been Japanese… as they headed to the bar before an eventual ‘rana on the pub floor. Eventually they had back into the ringside area, but Dunne takes over with a massive backdrop suplex onto the apron as Webster’s ATTACK! career looked to be at risk.
Even more so when Dunne whipped him hard into a wall! Webster manages to hit back with a tiltawhirl into a DDT in the entrance way, but then Shay the useless ref emerges to randomly stop Webster’s comeback… and turn a blind eye to an obvious low blow. Dunne stomps away some more as a set-up for a rope-hung DDT… but Webster fights free and hits another tornado DDT instead!
A Brit Pop Drop comes next from Flash, who then pancakes Dunne for a near-fall, but the back-and-forth continues when Dunne stops him up top, only to get knocked down and then spear Webster for a near-fall. The springboard lungblower dumps Webster awkwardly, but again only gets a near-fall, before a hand’s up headbutt produces a sickening clonk from Webster.
Another springboard lungblower is blocked as Webster throws in a reverse ‘rana out of the corner, then an Angel’s Wings… but Shay’s got a frozen shoulder again! He flips off Webster, who threatens him… only for Shay to hit a low blow instead! Out of nowhere, Warren jumps the barrier and gets in the ring to put his old nemesis in his place… SPEAR!
Okay Warren, you’ve watched too much British Strong Style, and now Chief Deputy Dunne makes him pay for the crotch chopping. With no ref around, Webster hits whatever-he-calls-Destino, but there’s nobody to make the count… apart from the mystery back-up ref that ATTACK! stopped using ages ago. He makes a two-count, only for Santos Jr. to cart him away to the back. Fair enough!
The Brothers of Obstruction return as Webster tried in vain to fight them off, before they brought in the No Fun Table. The good guys in the locker room empty out to make the save as Aussie Open and Bowl-a-Rama head out… but Bird and Boar try to even things up as we then see Chris Brookes (for the good guys) and ELIJAH (the bad) flood the ring. Eventually the ring clears as Santos is left standing… but here comes Eddie Dennis! The former champion isn’t interested in Junior’s garbage, and just drops him with a forearm before sending him flying with a Severn Bridge crucifix bomb! Shay’s back… but his crossbody is caught and met with a press slam into the pile outside, where Webster’s senton off the top rope adds to the mess!
As everyone celebrated, Dunne snuck in to spear Eddie through the No Fun Table… but Webster’s able to come back in and capitalise, dropping Dunne with another Hand’s Up headbutt… only for Sergeant Banks to interfere. Webster shrugs it off, but Dunne uses the megaphone as Mystery Back-up Referee counts the near-fall! Cue sighs of relief and raised heartbeats all round! Banks returns to the ring and grabs the megaphone again… but Jim Lee gets involved to stop things. A forearm from Dunne stops that, but Banks accidentally wipes out Dunne with the annoying thing… only for Banks to stomp away the referee to prevent a pin from being made. This may be getting a little overbooked now…
Dunne shoves off Banks in anger for the accident, but the Sergeant tries to smooth things over. He’s slapped, then spat on… and that’s where things turn for the worse. Off comes the shirt, and Sergeant Banks is no more! A Slice of Heaven dumps Dunne, and all that’s left is for Webster to hit a senton bomb to the back… but Mystery Back-up Ref only counts two! So Flash goes to the Strangler… and Dunne’s left with no choice but to tap as the Walkabout erupts! Flash is the new champion, and his first order of business is to rip off the tape and all that crap that covered the old belt! ***¾
So… as a main event, this was one that you could easily argue was over-booked with way too many run-ins… yet it still an absorbing match that kept you invested in the final result. The Anti-Fun Police’s reign is done (aaah), and the powers of fun have won supreme!
The only question now… what next for the title? Save for the rematches, there’s no obvious contender for the ATTACK! title, nor is there any top-line antagonist… but that’s a discussion for another time.
As one of ATTACK!’s focal points, WinterSlam was a good show, albeit one without that “killer match” to tip it over the boundary. The moment of Flash finally dethroning the Anti-Fun Police was enough to replace that as a defining moment. As for the rest of the card, well, it’s your usual array of wacky nonsense that plays well bell-to-bell (save for that one match), and the exact fare that makes us all love ATTACK!