We’re going back a few months for Fight Club: PRO’s “International Tekkers: The Beginning of the End” event.
Tyler Bate vs. Jigsaw
Fast-paced wrestling starts us off as Jigsaw tried to roll up Bate for a flash win, before Jigsaw gets a headlock takedown… only to have it reversed into some grounded headscissors. Bate quickly traps Jigsaw on the ground in a groin stretch, before falling for an obvious distraction as Jigsaw reversed the hold. After working free, Bate catches a chop and traps Jigsaw’s legs, taking him down for a one-count from an ultra-delayed drop toe-hold. Jigsaw offers a truce, but again Bate falls for it as Jigsaw locks him in the same hold… which Bate squats his way out of with ease.
Jigsaw tries a grounded arm stretch – and gets some near falls as Bate bridges up to free himself, before a sunset flip from Jigsaw sparks a series of indy-riffic near-falls. After the kick-outs, Jigsaw tries to sucker in Bate once more from the apron… but Bate’s attempt to legdrop Jigsaw in the middle of a sunset flip goes awry, as Jigsaw eventually gets that flip for a near-fall.
Bate recovers to pull off an Airplane spin, then gets a near-fall from a roll-up after the pair shake off some dizziness. Jigsaw snaps out into a brainbuster for a near-fall of his own, before he misses a double stomp and runs into a back elbow. A double underhook backbreaker sees Bate come close.
Bate takes a double stomp to the back as he was left hanging across the middle rope from the apron after an enziguiri. An attempt at the Jig ‘n’ Tonic (belly-to-back piledriver) is avoided by Batem who fights free before dropping a knee off the middle rope, and then gets the win with a deadlift belly-to-back suplex. A simple, but fun match, and one that was really enjoyable. You don’t always have to go hell-for-leather to be entertaining! ***½
I Quit, Steel Chain Match: Chris Brookes vs. Clint Margera
Brookes rushed into Margera in the corner before the two could be tied to the steel chair, and that let Brookes smash Clint outside the ring with said chain.
After tying the chain to his wrist, Brookes found himself pulled into the ring post, before Margera used the chain to pull him into a lariat. The chain’s used by Clint to choke Brookes on the apron, before one fan remarked that we were watching… chain wrestling! Brookes kept undoing the chain, which forced the referee to keep stopping and re-attaching the chain, which was a bit of an annoyance.
Margera dumped Brookes on the apron with a backdrop suplex, before a knee drop off the middle rope kept the “Calamari Catch Kid” down. Brookes made another comeback by wrapping the chain around Margera’s head and mouth, then whacking him with a plastic “wet floor” sign. More floor sign shots followed, before Brookes went outside and… grabbed what we can best describe in a safe-for-work environment as a marital aid. Which was used repeatedly on Margra, including for a not-at-all consensual bit of foreplay. Yeah… I’m not sure what I saw there.
A back elbow from Brookes took Margera down again as the crowd chanted for a “dildo chop” – to the bemusement of an old man in the front row – but instead we got Brookes grabbing a screwdriver and carving open Margera whilst keeping him restrained with the chain. With Margera now bleeding, he started making a comeback with forearms, before a chain-assisted neckbreaker… at this point, I realised, neither man had asked the referee to check on their opponent for those magic words.
Margera continued, but took a dropkick off the top rope to the floor, giving him plenty of time to sell as Brookes eventually followed him out there for… another shot with the floor sign. There’s another pause, I assume to fix those wretched chains once more, as Margera eventually takes a suplex onto the warehouse floor. Back in the ring, Brookes hits a chain-assisted elbow to Margera’s back, then rolls back outside for… a chair! Which Brookes actually hit Margera with as he threw it into the ring. It’s wedged between the top and middle rope, but Margera blocks a throw into it, before using the chain from the outside to yank Brookes into the furniture.
Margera followed that up with a chain-assisted Diamond Dust, only for Brookes to return with a Yakuza kick. After a tornado DDT, Margera sets up the chair in the ring before going to the outside yet again for another chair, thus creating a chair-bridge. Brookes moves away from them and instead goes to the outside, where he ended up taking a tope con hilo fairly quickly. Those chairs come into use as Margera takes the whiplash (swinging neckbreaker off the ropes) through one of the chairs… but he refuses to give up. So Brookes tries to set the chairs up again, only to get yanked off the middle rope and is sent through the chairs. Another elbow drop sees the referee ask if Brookes quits… and despite Chris saying no, the bell rings.
The match continued, and Brookes quickly dropped Margera with some kicks to the thighs, then a kick to the head… before again refusing to give up. Referee Shay takes a rolling chain-assisted forearm from Margera, which gives Brookes the chance to go outside for… a bottle of lemon juice? Brookes takes a mouthful and sprays it at Margera’s bloodied forehead, before wrapping the chain around Margera and the ropes.
Brookes undid the chain from him to ensure that Margera was hung and trapped between the top and middle rope, but Clint refused to quit. A series of chair shots was punctuated by the referee asking again and again, before Brookes got something else… a staple gun. After pulling up his shirt, Brookes stapled Margera’s t-shirt over his head, but Margera still refused to throw in the towel. So Brookes just rips the shirt off of his head.
As the again-bloodied Margera refused to quit from another spray of lemon juice, Brookes upped the ante by grabbing Margera’s girlfriend (I assume) and standing on her head. The threat of stamping her head through a chair was enough for Margera to give it up… but Brookes still decked her with a pump kick after the match as Margera was still tied in the ropes.
This was a mess – I’m not usually a fan of deathmatch-style wrestling, but the chain gimmick caused a lot of problems and a lot of awkward pauses that the “at home” viewer couldn’t escape from. Add in the accidental bell ringing, and you’ve got something that really didn’t translate outside of the live setting. A for effort, even if the end product was gruesome! *
Nixon Newell vs. Jessicka Havok
Billed as the promotion’s first ever women’s match, they gave us a David vs. Goliath affair. Well, I say David vs. Goliath – the pair were nearly the same height, and eagerly went at it with forearms from the off. Newell kicks out of a chokeslam attempt, before going for a neckbreaker… only to eventually get caught from a crossbody attempt. Havok’s low bridged as she’s sent out of the ring via the middle rope, but a kick off the apron is caught as Newell ends up taking an electric chair drop onto the apron.
Havok chops Newell against the ring for a while, before the favours are returned with interest! The chopping ends in amongst the crowd, as does Newell, who’s turfed into the limited seating in the warehouse with a brutal bump. Newell places Havok in a chair and takes a long run-up to chop her – which ends up breaking the chair – before a crossbody off the apron is caught, leading to Nixon getting posted.
Back in the ring, Havok kicks away at Newell, before she’s caught in a full nelson and a backbreaker for a near-fall. Undeterred, Newell invites extra shots, and she receives another backbreaker, with Havok pushing down on after the impact for a submission attempt. Newell counters with an Octopus hold, but Havok uses her strength to push Newell into the corner, before dispatching her with a fallaway slam.
A series of running knees into the corner leaves Newell dazed, but after ducking a charge, Newell fires back with an enziguiri, a shotgun dropkick, then some running back elbows. Havok ducked a Shining Wizard and went for a chokeslam, which earned her a near-fall, before some roughing up. Newell came back with a superkick before attempting a German suplex… a move she got at the second attempt, before a Shining Wizard earned her the win. A fun match, and I’m not sure if I’ve still got unfairly low expectations of Havok after her TNA run, but I’ve quite enjoyed her UK matches from this year. ***
War Machine (Rowe & Hanson) vs. Face Smashers (Wild Boar & Dan Moloney)
The Face Smashers jumped their American opponents before the bell, and the action quickly spilled to the floor where Hanson and Boar paired off. Unfortunately, we could only hear the action between Rowe and Moloney, which seemed to be more hard hitting than what we did see…
Hanson and Boar finally ended up in the ring, as a shoulder tackle sent the Boar flying. They swapped partners as Rowe and Boar were shown fighting in the merch area (again, as we heard what sounded like harder-hitting stuff between Hanson and Moloney), before Boar got posted. Eventually, War Machine started to double-team Moloney, before Rowe held him up in a 30 second hanging vertical suplex, with Hanson pounding on the apron for encouragement. Boar returned at that time to try and double-team his bigger opponents, but a tope from Hanson quickly put paid to that. War Machine obliterated Boar and Moloney with a series of running knees in the corner. There’s almost a ref bump as referee Shay just about got out of the way of Boar being charged into the corner, before Moloney pulled his partner out of the way as Hanson went for a Bronco buster.
That sparked a comeback from the Face Smashers, which featured some double-teaming… mostly in the vein of beard pulling from the Boar on Hanson. The Face Smashers stomp on Hanson in the corner, but eventually he rolls away and makes the hot tag to Rowe, who kills Moloney with an overhead belly to belly, before a normal belly to belly took down the Boar. Moloney’s crossbody is caught, as Rowe then pulls off the fallaway slam/Samoan drop combo with ease.
Rowe squashes Moloney by slamming Hanson onto him, before Boar got out of the way of Hanson’s attempt to powerbomb Rowe onto his prone body. After Hanson’s low-bridged, Boar and Moloney bumrush Rowe once more, leading to some extended double teaming.
Rowe fought back with a release German suplex to Moloney, then made another hot tag to Hanson, who cleared house with sidewalk slams and avalanche clotheslines. Poor Face Smashers. Hanson set up the Face Smashers across the top turnbuckle for some clubbing forearms, before finally giving the Boar that Bronco Buster from earlier.
The Face Smashers almost stole the win with a double-team spinebuster on Hanson, before a shotgun dropkick from Rowe cut-off a package piledriver attempt from Boar. There’s a parade of hard hitting moves for a spell, with a tiltawhirl slam on Boar by Hanson being followed up by a Moloney TKO. Sadly, Moloney took a stiff knee to the head from Rowe after that move, as all four men were left laying.
War Machine dropped Moloney with a pop-up into a powerslam, before Boar took a vicious powerbomb for his troubles. Moloney ate a springboard lariat-assisted German suplex that would have spelled the end, had Boar not stopped the referee’s count. After Boar was dispatched with a knee from Hanson, Moloney was left alone for a belly-to-back Doomsday Device style move, only to shove his way free and steal the win with a roll-up whilst grabbing a handful of Rowe’s tights.
Once we got past the hard-to-follow, chaotic crowd brawling at the start, this descended into a serviceable tag match that blossomed from there. ***¾
After the match, Wild Boar tried to give referee Shay the Trapper Keeper package piledriver… but the ref was saved as War Machine ended up sending Boar through the merch tables with a double chokeslam.
Trent Seven vs. Tommy End
This was End’s final match in Fight Club: PRO before heading to WWE, and it started out very tentatively – especially compared to what you’d expect. An early kick from End is caught as Seven goes for a single leg crab, only for a brutal kick from the ground to free the Dutchman. Trent replies with a chop, and gets a kick to the chest as a receipt, before they read each other’s mind and level each other with kicks and forearms at the same time… at least until Seven just drops Tommy with a headbutt.
End hits back with a kick, then gets dumped with a belly to back suplex, before Trent flies with a low-pe, sending End onto a chair and back several rows in the process. A flip dive from End comes next, as both men crash to the floor. They get back to their feet, only to drill each other with forearms at the same time, with End breaking the sequence courtesy of a leaping knee on the outside.
After aborting a double stomp, End gets met with a forearm as we go back to the slugfest portion of the match, with both men doing their best to make it look like they were trying to knock each other’s heads off. Trying… right? Seven followed in with a Dragon suplex and a piledriver for a near-fall, before End kicked out at one from a lariat, which Trent replied to with a very Brummy-sounding “no fucking way”.
Again Seven lays into End with a spinning backfist, befor a series of kicks from End is met with a Samoan driver from Seven for a near-fall. Another clothesline is blocked as End unloads with kicks en route to a brainbuster, then the double stomp and finally a roundhouse kick… but Trent kicked out at two once more! Trent turned Tommy inside out with a lariat, and they go back once more to the duelling forearms.
Seven went for a powerbomb, but got a knee to the head for his troubles before a series of backhand slaps was enough for him to get that powerbomb at the second time of asking. After the kick-out, Trent turned End over into a single leg crab, and that was enough to force End to submit. Holy. Crap. ****¼
This match lived up to the promotion’s name – and then some. Brutal. Hard hitting. Strong Style. A more than fitting departure for Tommy End, with these guys leaving nothing on the table with this display of violent striking. After the match, End was left alone in the ring as the crowd paid tribute to the departing End. Tommy gave a farewell promo, putting over Fight Club: PRO as part of indy wrestling’s heart and soul. I couldn’t agree more – FC:P is different, and that’s exactly what wrestling needs!
Fight Club: PRO Championship: Travis Banks vs. Sami Callihan (c)
Banks laid into Callihan with a lariat, then a brainbuster early on as he tried to get a quick win, only to get a pump kick for his troubles. Callihan kept the pace up with a knee strike off the apron as they went outside… leading to a pair of topes from Travis Banks.
The match descends into a battle of chops on the floor as the referee struggled to contain the action, with Banks getting chopped into a seat before Callihan throws in a spittle-laden chop for good measure. Sami continues the parade with a pump kick to knock Banks out of his seat. The Kiwi returned with a lap of honour that ended with Banks shoulder charging Callihan into a wall, only to end up being powerbombed as he went for a springboard dropkick back into the ring. A floatover suplex gets Callihan a near-fall, before Sami goes to a nerve hold that takes both men to the mat. After getting freed, Banks is taken down again with a headlock, then again with a back elbow off the ropes.
Banks makes a comeback with a springboard elbow out of the corner, before a cannonball dive in the corner earned him a near-fall. Callihan’s attempt at blocking a suplex got him a forearm, before Sami countered a leapfrog into a death valley driver for another two-count. Some more back and forth followed as they swapped kicks and forearms, before Banks took a Saito suplex… and replied with a bridging German for a near-fall too.
Callihan unwisely initiates another chop battle, but it’s one he wins after nailing a rolling elbow and then adds to Banks’ pain with a pair of running knees in the corner. A third one’s cut-off as Banks sends Callihan into the corner for another cannonball, which he then follows up with a Coast to Coast dropkick for another near-fall. Banks kicks out of a package tombstone piledriver after Callihan had countered a suplex, before he turned a diving clothesline into a roll-up for a near-fall. That sparked another fightback from Callihan in the form of pump kicks, something that Banks eagerly replied in kind with, before a brainbuster looked to have gotten him the win… except Callihan got his foot on the rope at the last second!
The match continued, but Callihan grabbed hold of the ref to block a German suplex – and snuck in a low blow to Banks in the process. After a knee lift, Banks took a powerbomb for a near-fall, before Callihan rolled into a crossface that ended up with Banks countering into a roll-up for another near-fall. Banks’ eagerness to end it cost him though, as he leapt over Callihan for a sunset flip, but we got the SummerSlam ‘92 finish instead, as Callihan sat down and got the pin to retain the title. Holy hell that was fun! Plenty of back and forth, with the result always in doubt from the first to the last bell. ****¼
After the match, the pair hugged it out, only for Banks to return the low blow and give Callihan a brainbuster – to a pretty mixed reaction from the crowd.
As an aside – if you’re not a fan of Travis Banks… what are you watching? Since moving to the UK at the end of 2015, he’s quickly become a major player on the British scene, and in my mind, one of the more under-rated guys at the moment.
This is definitely a show I can recommend – as long as you skip the I Quit/Chain match if you’re so much as averse to that style of wrestling. We had two matches on the card that approached the level of that blistering Zack Sabre Jr/Travis Banks from “Rage Against The Death Machine”, and (personal taste not withstanding) there wasn’t much horrible either. The look of FC:P may not be for everyone, but if you haven’t given it a go, this certainly isn’t a bad place to start!