It’s time to look back as Fight Club: PRO wrapped up their 2016 schedule with their sixth annual Infinity tournament.

Once again Wolverhampton’s Fixxion Warehouse played host as we found out who’d add their names alongside MK McKinnan, Clint Margera, Trent Seven and Pete Dunne as winners of the tournament.

It’s a five-match show – with two four-ways in the tournament, and a one-on-one final – a shorter card than usual, but knowing FC:P, there’ll be plenty of action crammed into those matches.

Infinity 2016 Semi Final: Trent Seven vs. Joe Coffey vs. Mikey Whiplash vs. Omari
Omaro is a FC:P trainee who’s making his main show debut here, and true to traditional Japanese form, he’s in black trunks and boots.

Seven and Omari started us off, with the youngster taking Trent into the ropes for an early clean break. Trent didn’t seem to take it seriously, and ended up falling to a leg trip as Omari baseball slid to the outside. Another dropkick knocks Trent down for a near-fall, and for some reason Omari tagged in Coffey from there.

Mikey Whiplash tagged in too and wore down Coffey with a wristlock to appease some of the Fixxion crowd that were taking shots at him. Coffey reversed the hold, as Whippy used the ropes to turn it back around. He tagged Trent back in, who tried to block a giant swing by pleading with Coffey that “we’re both friends”, as this match briefly broke down into a four-way war.

Coffey lit into Omari with a chop in the corner, but ducked a Black Coffey and surprised the Scotsman with a Fisherman’s suplex for a near-fall. The youngster followed up with an impressive move – a swinging side slam into Baron Corbin’s End of Days for another two-count, before Coffey caught him in a Boston Crab. Whiplash freed him, then took a dropkick, before Coffey went back to the Boston crab to force a submission. Looks like these are elimination matches…

Coffey wouldn’t let go of the hold, so Trent rolled in to chop Omari’s way to freedom. Eventually it worked, as this broke down into a three-way as Coffey leapt into Whiplash and Seven, before dropkicking Whiplash (who DDT’s Trent at the same time) for another wacky pair of near-falls. Chops aplenty came next, before Trent seemed to win that little battle with a flurry, only for a pair of headbutts to take him down.

Whiplash looked to end Coffey’s hopes with a death valley driver, and that was enough to get the Scotsman out of the match. Trent quickly returned to catch Whippy unawares, with a series of chops forcing Whiplash to rebound off the ropes, before Seven was caught with another Samoan drop – complete with a “Noo! Jesus!” sell job.

After taking a verbal shot at the crowd, Whiplash measured up Seven in the corner, but ran into a boot and some chops, then a spinning backfist. A cricket chop gets blocked, but Whiplash gets rolled onto the top rope where he takes a piledriver off the middle rope as Trent books his place in the final – a decent opener, and they worked well to establish Omari in his debut here. ***

Infinity 2016 Semi Final: Tyler Bate vs. Travis Banks vs. Chris Brookes vs. Jimmy Havoc
Well, the story of Travis Banks in Fight Club: PRO is that he can’t win… and in a four-way that involved a mystery participant who turned out to be Jimmy Havoc, the odds were certainly stacked.

Havoc went straight for Brookes, but missed as Travis Banks looked to start on offence. Banks used Havoc and Bate for another “he superkicks one guy who DDT’s the other” spot, as Chris Brookes’ luck also ran out as he tried to cheapshot the Kiwi.

Banks was on fire early on, diving off three sides of the ring, making quite a lot of the crowd an impromptu splash zone. Havoc missed a Rainmaker on Bate, who landed a dropkick before Brookes came in and dumped Bate with a big boot. Brookes almost got pinned when his swinging suplex from the ropes was turned into a small package by Banks.

Another missed Rainmaker sees Brookes eventually take a Go To Sleep from Havoc, then a back cracker in the ropes before Banks surprised Havoc with a brainbuster… but didn’t make a cover. Bate then went airborne with a moonsault off the middle rope to Havoc and Banks, before ramming Brookes into the turnbuckles from a Fireman’s carry position. Banks got the same treatment, as Bate then decked both of them with a double clothesline, before going after Havoc with the same move.

Havoc blocked a wet willie from Brookes and shoved his middle finger in Brookes’ ear, then landed a Rainmaker for the first elimination. The three men left traded chops, before Havoc ate a pair of kicks, and actually succeeded with a double Rainmaker… but Chris Brookes returned to stop the pin as he stomped over Havoc some more. The distraction saw Havoc go to the outside as he destroyed Brookes using whatever he could find around the Fixxion warehouse, and that led to a cheap count-out elimination. I thought there were no such things here?

That left us with Bate and Banks, and they started with forearms moving up to chops, before Banks swept the leg and hit a diving dropkick on the youngster. The crowd sensed a momentous victory as Banks ran into Bate with a forearm and a cannonball, before a series of counters saw Bate get back on top. A diving knee drop knocked the Kiwi down, as did a high angle brainbuster, but the crowd roared as Banks kicked out at two!

Bate keeps up with a rebound off the ropes into a Jushin Liger-esque Koppo kick, before hitting a belly-to-back piledriver as Banks again kicked out, before turning a bodyslam into a roll-up… and my God, Travis Banks won! The Fixxion Warehouse became unglued as Travis secured his inaugural win. ***½

Dan Moloney vs. Sean Kustom
A non-tournament match here, featuring the Australian Sean Kustom – who’s in the UK on tour, a la Travis Banks. Dan Moloney got the usual “shitty boots” taunts here… and someone threw in a pair of furry boots for Moloney to wear instead. They were an upgrade…

We got going with a kick to the head and some chops from Moloney, but Kustom fired back with forearms in the corner and some more chops as the two went toe-to-toe. Moloney again takes down Kustom, but the Aussie kept popping back up, all whilst the crowd continued to antagonise Moloney’s footwear. I can’t imagine this happening as much when he wrestles in the WWE UK tournament, eh?

Kustom fired back with a death valley driver, but Moloney rolled instantly to the floor, where he was in perfect place for a wild tope con hilo. Moloney returned to the ring for some more back and forth, featuring chops and slaps, and some Simpsons/Aussie comedy (“that’s not a forearm!”).

Kustom slingshots into the ring for a reverse neckbreaker for a near-fall, only for his spell on top to come to a crashing end as he was crotched on the top rope. He tried to fight back with some slaps, then a headbutt, before Moloney popped up and landed a belly to belly superplex off the middle rope. Some big boots from Moloney wind up the Aussie, who then takes a Fireman’s carry facebuster for a near-fall.

A powerbomb from Moloney was avoided as Kustom surprised Moloney with a brainbuster for a two-count, only for a missed moonsault to spell doom as a sit-out powerbomb earned the Brummie Moloney the win. Good stuff, as Moloney continues to showcase himself in FC:P – and hopefully to a wider audience in 2017! ***¼

Kay Lee Ray & Nixon Newell vs. Lee Hunter & Drew Parker
This was originally meant to be the Hunters, but a knee injury to Jim meant that Drew Parker was playing his part tonight. Kay Lee Ray disappeared to the back to grab some paper, and make up some name tags so they can tell them apart. I feel their pain!

Drew Parker runs into a straight right from Newell, as the women tried to play the “twins game, and we started with Lee and Kay Lee for a fun exchange… then Nixon Newell came in for some running forearms into the corner, complete with apologies. A neckbreaker to Lee is followed up on with an eventual hiptoss, then a dropkick, before Lee finally hit back and decked Nixon.

A ‘rana from Hunter was followed by a superkick and a four-way kip-up spot as all four decided to play DX. Yep, this is nonsense, but entertaining nonsense, as the “Hunters” worked over Newell, who fired back by kicking the rope into Lee’s groin as he tried to exit the ring. Newell fought off both “Hunters” with an enziguiri and a crossbody off the top for a near-fall, before falling into a crucifix pin which she broke up via the ropes.

Lee tagged in to knock Kay Lee off the apron, and she returned to cheapshot him, but couldn’t help as Newell remained isolated against the “Hunters”. She just about missed a tag out as she tried to leap over Lee, then decked him with an enziguiri, before finally making the hot tag to Kay Lee. Drew Parker came in and got chopped in mid-air, before throwing Kay lee hard to the outside. Newell came in and scored a roll-up after pulling her shirt up to try and confuse the referee, then had to apologise for her Scottish accent (and kiss referee Shay) as the referee figured out what was going on.

The Hunters tried to charge the women and were sent to the outside, but they landed a pair of forearms to block a pair of topes… before leaping back into the ring to take some superkicks. Newell leapt onto Kay Lee’s back and flew in with an assisted Codebreaker for a near-fall. We had another game of switcheroo – this time from the Hunters – but Drew was caught out as referee Shay again got kissed, and this time he really wasn’t falling for it!

More dives to the outside followed, before Drew took a double team Gory Bomb for another near-fall. Newell slipped as she tried to do the old Hardy Boyz springboard legdrop in the corner, as the “Hunters” again came close with a neckbreaker/sunset flip combo to Newell. Kay Lee took a double back suplex as the “Hunters” followed with a giant swing and a dropkick, before Newell backdropped Lee to the outside, then levelled Drew with a forearm and attempted the Welsh Destroyer – but for Lee to do the Ultimate Warrior/Bobby Heenan finish and hold the legs to prevent the move.

The Hunters looked to finish off Kay Lee with a superkick. But Drew missed, as Nixon ran in with a headbutt, before Drew took a Gory Bomb, Welsh Destroyer, Shining Wizard and a senton bomb as the women won. Nonsense, but really enjoyable nonsense at that! **¾

Infinity 2016 Final: Travis Banks vs. Trent Seven
They had a nice, wrestling-esque trophy in the ring (so that’s gotta get broken, right?), and Trent was a massive heel in this match… only because the crowd loved Travis.

Seven tried to run into Banks at the bell, but took a big boot and a brainbuster instead, before he was thrown outside for a tope… which Trent blocked with a forearm as he decided to deliver one instead, sending Banks into the wall. They stayed outside for a bit as Banks and Seven traded chops and forearms, including that spot that Yuji Nagata really loves – the one where Trent chops the ring post!

Banks got hurled into the wall once more, then into the fire doors, before he nonchalantly punched away Trent’s efforts at throwing a chair at him. Multiple times. Eventually Trent landed a forearm through a chair to the Kiwi, but the favour’s returned – sort of – when Travis dumps Seven with a German suplex into the corner, as a prelude for a cannonball dive for a near-fall.

The action kept on when Banks landed a superplex – one that only riled Trent, as he went on to swap forearm strikes to an increasingly disapproving crowd. We got boo/yay forearms here as Seven’s strikes were eventually blocked, only for him to drop Banks with a lariat, then a piledriver for a near-fall – yet again, the crowd hated everything apart from the kickout.

Banks was caught in a single leg crab, but he was able to break it via the ropes, and then came back with a superkick to the head after getting out of a suplex. Trent reversed another suplex and hit a Samoan driver for a two-count, then went for a superplex that Banks did his damndest to fight away from. Eventually a series of headbutts proved ineffective, as Trent hit his middle rope piledriver for a near-fall – which the crowd reacted to like a goal in a cup final! Yet again, Trent stayed on top of Travis with chops, before going for another piledriver in the middle of the ring… but Banks stood straight back up!

Banks swung and missed with a buzzsaw kick, before drilling Trent with a diving knee, only getting a two-count – as perhaps some fans thought his only chance was slipping away. Travis measured Trent for a roundhouse kick, but Seven ducked and went back to the single-leg crab, before dragging Banks back into the middle of the ring. The crowd really ate this up, chanting “please don’t tap”, before Banks turned the hold into a small package for a near-fall.

A series of near-falls came from sunset flip reversals as the two men literally threw each other in an attempt to get the win. They descended into a slapping war to try and wear the other down, but neither man budged, until Trent hit a Rainmaker for just a one-count, creating Zombie Travis Banks! A Dragon suplex and another piledriver got another two-count as Banks survived yet again.

Banks ducked another Rainmaker – then finally hit the roundhouse kick out of the corner – and secured a win that sent the Fixxion Warehouse into delirium! Sure, this could have felt one-sided, but this was a fine capper to the long-term story of Travis Banks’ career in Fight Club: PRO. ****

THIS is how you tell the losing streak story. You don’t beat it into people’s heads. You have the crowd organically grow fond of a wrestler. Then, you have them come close (and end so far) before finally getting a win against all odds, where it matters.

After the match, Trent Seven delivered a speech massively putting over Travis Banks as “the future of British independent wrestling”, before leading the crowd in a standing ovation for the winner of the Infinity tournament. Like they needed any leading!

As a show, this was memorable for one story coming to a conclusion: Travis Banks finally got his big win! The non-tournament action was take-it-or-leave-it, but as a show, you really only came for one moment… and it delivered. My God, it delivered.