Fight Club: Pro completed their International Tekkers shows – a month later – with another packed, yet at times underwhelming, show at the Starworks.
This was the first half of a two-show weekend for them, with Capital CockKnocker 2 in London following on the next day. But first, another Starworks show, with a new configuration – everything’s been rotated 90 degrees, but we now have a proper entrance way and a video screen. Even if it’s just throwing up the show logo and match graphics…
House Fight Club (Omari, Kyle Fletcher & Millie McKenzie) vs. Mark Davis, Fire Ant & Shane Strickland
This trios match was a warm-up for House Fight Club’s appearances at CHIKARA’s King of Trios – in the same venue – a week later. David high-fives Strickland, and sends him fleeing to the outside in pain. He’ll learn…
The crowd chanted for Davis to “high-five Shay”. Which he does. So nobody can count pins?
Everyone pairs off as Shay desperately tries to get the bell to ring, and we start with the Aussies in the ring against each other. Davis almost forearms Fletcher’s head off in the corner, before stuffing an armdrag from Omari, who then had to try and find a way past Strickland… and came up short as this became one of those constantly-cycling trios matches.
McKenzie takes down Strickland with a flying ‘rana, but ends up having to duck a Fire Ant, then take him down with an armdrag before an Octopus stretch almost forced a submission. Millie rebounds with a wheelbarrow facebuster, but it barely gets a two-count, so she starts to chop the antlers off of him.
Fire Ant takes her outside with a lucha armdrag, and then… dive! Except it wasn’t Fire Ant who gave… he received as Millie avoided him and hit a lowpe instead, before Mark Davis ended up being thrown outside to take a tope con hilo from Omari… who then ate a PK from Strickland as the moves kept coming!
A springboard flip senton from Fire Ant ensured the masked one got his aerial attack off, before returning to the ring to work over McKenzie… who had Omari to thank as he cut-off the dive to set up a Tower of Doom! Yeah, Millie pulled the trigger with a four-way powerbomb as the ropes thankfully held up!
Millie picks up a trio of two-counts as she tried to capitalise, but in the end she’s murder-ised by Mark Davis’ pull-up piledriver! Kyle Fletcher gets revenge with a Michinoku driver, before a Fire Ant DDT left him open for a leg lariat and a suplex from Omari. Yep, it’s Parade of Moves time again! A 619 from Strickland catches Millie in the midsection, before a slingshot flatliner gave way to a brainbuster for another near-fall… and there’s another revolving door/Parade of Moves, ending with Strickland again killing Millie.
FINALLY THE PARADE STOPS!
Finally things start to look a bit more organised as Fletcher eats a barrage of moves as he’s triple-teamed, but somehow Omari makes the save… a second Tower of Doom is teased, but instead it turns into a wacky circus-like act as Omari and Strickland do a chicken fight… with Fire Ant missing a double stomp through them as he aimed for McKenzie below. Two reverse ‘ranas put paid to Davis and Fletcher.
Omari and McKenzie get rid of Strickland with superkicks, before Fire Ant palm strikes Omari to oblivion. House Fight Club wipe out the Ant with a Fletcher brainbuster, a McKenzie Destroyer and finally the O-Zone from Omari as the home team got the win! This was… a match. It wasn’t bad, but had the King of Trios not been upcoming, this probably would have been the trademark Fight Club Pro six-way… and I probably would have enjoyed it more. As it was, it just felt like a random trios match that flirted with being a six-way too long for my liking. ***½
Still, let’s not be too negative. McKenzie/Omari/Fletcher worked well as a trio when they had the chance, and with any luck they’ll do well at the King of Trios. Which will have concluded when this goes up, but what can you do!
Dan Moloney vs. Martina
After being embarrassed by Martina two months ago at Stranger Than Fixxion, then getting some measure of revenge at the first half of International Tekkers last month, this is Dan’s chance to finish things.
The lights seem to go out by the time Dan spits at Martina (either that or the hard camera’s screwed up)… so she gets her own back with a mouthful of beer! Some satellite headscissors took Dan to the corner, but he avoids a Bronco buster… only for Martina’s, erm, lady parts to clench his hand as he went for a slam. Someone learned a trick from Joey!
She’s also learned from Marty as we get a Just Kidding punch to the balls, before Dan’s had enough and charges her down. Moloney (and his spray-paint jeans) get ripped into as he rips out something from Martina’s ears, before he chops her down to the mat. It’s quickly becoming one of those matches that can get really uncomfortable to watch… especially when Dan pulls Martina up from pinning attempts.
Martina lands a tope as she tries to keep Moloney at bay… but he drags her back outside and swings her into the guard rails. JESUS CHRIST.
Moloney mocks the crowd getting behind Martina, before throwing her back into the ring… only so he could throw beer on her. That angers referee Joel a little… but also acted like spinach for Martina, who fired back briefly, getting a near-fall out of a crossbody, only for Dan to get right back at her.
Joel gets in Moloney’s face, but he just ends up being thrown into the corner. Cue chants for Shay as Martina runs in with a satellite DDT… and here’s Shay to make the quick two-count! Dan tries to confront Shay, but Martina low blows Dan… who falls into a Shay Stunner… and that’s the win! More of an angle than a match, which got uncomfortable to watch for a hot minute. Except that wasn’t the finish… because Joel came back and declared the result a DQ win for Martina rather than a pinfall, so Moloney’s undefeated streak is still intact. Erm, isn’t a loss a loss? **
After the match, Dan threw Martina out of the ring again, before murderising Shay with a Ligerbomb. THAT is what we should have had all along… except Shay came back with a microphone and demanded to face Dan at Project Mayhem next month at Project Mayhem. Fair enough!
Jordan Devlin vs. David Starr
You could hear someone audibly moan when Devlin’s music hit. That’s VERY harsh!
Starr trips Devlin at the bell as he tried to keep things on the mat early… and there’s the big-head chants for Jordan! You’d think that a snug headlock would be inescapable for Jordan? Anyway, he gets one on Starr, who trips him and works into a pinning attempt ahead of landing a Thesz Press for a near-fall.
Starr keeps on top with a leg spreader… but Jordan rolls over to reverse it as the pair end up upside down before rolling into the ropes. That’s unique! The inverted slam and a superkick keeps Jordan down for a near-fall, ahead of a Violence Party in the corner… but Devlin hits back, whacking Starr with clotheslines, which get returned with gusto!
Back-and-forth right hands leave Jordan staggering, but he replies with a bicycle knee ahead of a clothesline to take him outside… for a David Starr tope! Or three… except the third one’s ducked and turned into an apron DDT instead. A Blackheart Buster gets a near-fall as Jordan’s massive head (sorry) absorbed enough of the impact, before eating a rolling elbow to the back.
A dropkick misses as Devlin sidesteps on the apron, then slingshot in with an Ace cutter for a near-fall, as the momentum continued to ebb and flow, leading to a swinging side slam from Starr getting countered into a package piledriver for the win. An enjoyable outing as Devlin continues to rack up wins in Fight Club: Pro… but as to where this heads… *Yano shrug*. ***
No-Disqualification Open Challenge: Callous Hearts (Jimmy Havoc & Clint Margera) vs. Bowl-a-Rama (Splits McPins & Lloyd Katt) vs. Hunter Brothers (Jim Hunter & Lee Hunter) vs. Anti-Fun Police (Chief Deputy Dunne & Los Federales Santos Jr.)
Yeah, the Callous Hearts had plenty of plunder as they had their warm up for next month’s no-DQ match with CCK… the first victims were… Bowl-a-Rama? Oh God, they’re desperate to save that alley in Hackney!
Bowl-a-Rama look scared when they find out what they volunteered for… but thankfully they’re not alone as the Hunters want some too. As did the Anti-Fun Police… my God, universes are colliding into each other here!
It’s insane from the off as it’s chairshots for all, before Lee Hunter gets cornered… and kicked to the outside. After the chairshots, everyone gets acquainted with baking trays before Jimmy Havoc tries to staple Santos Jr’s hand before the Callous Hearts target Bowl-a-Rama… but they’re saved from some paper cuts by the Anti-Fun Police, who decide to go after the bowlers instead.
Poor Santos gets the paper cuts instead, as did Chief Deputy Dunne, before the pair had neat alcohol poured onto those cuts. It’s vicious stuff, but it quickly gives way to the Hunters trying to get a pin on Splits… before Havoc comes back with a chair to stop that. Jimmy tries to repeat his party trick that he did with Joey Janela, teasing a monkey flip to a seated Lee Hunter… but he’s stopped by just about everyone before booting Clint, thinking he was going to interrupt him.
By the time the steel chair monkey flip could be teased, Lee’s back to his feet and kicks Havoc to the outside, before Santos throws him outside and… dear God, Santos FLIES!
This then segues into my favourite trope of recent times – the all-around-the-crowd brawl, which is made even more appealing given that the hard camera seems to be out of commission. We do get to see Havoc fighting off Bowl-a-Rama with beer cans as Joel just stands there in the knowledge he’s not able to do a damned thing here. No-DQ everyone!
We see Clint attacking Jim Hunter as Havoc uses a spanner to wrench away on Lee’s nose… somehow Jim had a brief advantage on Havoc, but he’s taken into the corner with his brother as Jimmy feels like… stapling their balls. I think that may be the end of the Hunter lineage…
Somehow, Bowl-a-Rama come back when Lloyd gives Havoc a Stunner, before sending Margera into a pop-up X-Factor… a double-team spinebuster into some open chairs may have made that move live up to its name, as Clint gets softened up for something rather more unorthodox than a bowling ball to the groin. How about a thumbtack covered bowling ball to the groin?! Yay for double-sided sticky tape… boo for Clint who had to take that!
Jim Hunter eats More Bang For Your Buck (or whatever Bowl-a-Rama call it), before Chief Deputy Dunne’s springboard lungblower puts paid to Splits, as Santos looked to fly again. Except Lee Hunter cuts him off and instead sets up for the flying neckbreaker across Jim’s knees. Santos is still up there, so Lee tries to superplex him… only for Santos to hit a Destroyer off the top!
A piggy-back chokeslam gets rid of Splits… but the Anti-Fun Police are made to pay as Havoc makes a chicken fight a bit more extreme… by bashing Dunne with a frying pan that somehow makes him give Santos a reverse ‘rana. Cue a death valley driver, double stomp, rolling elbow and an Acid Rainmaker, and Callous Hearts get the win! Live, this was probably more fun, and at least they kept the crowd brawling to a minimum… but like the opening trios match, this may have been a little better as a gauntlet match. Still, a nice warm-up for next month’s attempted murder of #CCK… **¾
After the match, Havoc suggested doing a repeat in London the next day, before wandering to the bar for the interval. Drinks!
Mark Haskins vs. Chuck Taylor
Duelling chants get us going as our hard camera is back in action! Taylor rolls out of a wristlock early, before a knuckle-lock leads to some near-falls… and still we’re no further forward in the feeling-out process.
After breaking out of a single-leg crab, Haskins drops a couple of knees on Taylor, before an attempt at an Octopus stretch is rolled out of… and met with a PK as Haskins increased the tempo gradually, throwing in a tope before working over the Kentucky Gentleman in the corner. A series of knees to the gut keep Taylor down, as does a chinlock, before capitalising on a missed moonsault by pulling Taylor into the Star armbar.
Another rope break frees Chuck, but he ends up having to duck a kick before launching a comeback, flapjacking Haskins ahead of a dropkick for a near-fall. Sole Food follows, but Haskins takes Taylor back to the corner, before rebounding off the ropes into a death valley driver! The Star armbar follows after another near-fall, but they’re still too close to the ropes as Taylor forces a break.
Haskins gets sent outside… but meets Taylor out there with a superkick, before being sent into the crowd courtesy of a backdrop. Taylor joins him there again with a flip senton that nearly wiped out a fan who didn’t move! Back inside, Haskins elbows away a charge and looks for a tornado DDT… but Taylor switches into a Falcon arrow for a two-count, before landing a pop-up powerbomb for another two.
Straight from the kick-out, Haskins is drilled with a spike piledriver, but it’s still not enough, and that allowed Haskins to spring back with a roll-up Sharpshooter that forces the submission. A fun match, and perhaps the best use of a guy who’s in for the night (or weekend in this case) against someone whom I’m guessing is heading towards a title shot. ***¾
Fight Club: Pro Championship: Travis Banks vs. Chris Brookes (c)
Travis gets his rematch… and he’s attacked from behind as Brookes nails him with the belt during the introductions, so we end up outside from the off! The bell’s not rung, which means that Travis can be Brookes’d… even over the railings!
Banks returns the favour, and for a change the crowd brawling’s actually kept track of as Banks gets a can (I guess) thrown at his face before they go through towards the merch tables. More Brookes’ing follows from both parties, and they may as well make the Starworks all standing at this point going by the seats they wreck!
Finally they wander back over the guard rails, but Banks remains on the defensive as Brookes decides he’s not done throwing him through chairs. Except Chris brings them towards the ring as Banks becomes all Terminator-like and swats some away before kicking the champion through a chair! Back inside, the bell finally sounds… but Banks’ Coast to Coast is kicked away as Brookes then tries to choke him with a CCK shirt as the champion starts to wear him down.
Yep… Trav blocks a wet willie, and forces it into Brookes ear! The fightback leads to a trip and a cannonball for a near-fall, as a bridging German gets a similar result. Brookes catches a superkick before spinning Travis into a leg-capture German, as the back-and-forth continued, to the point where they traded boots and forearms for what felt like forever.
At least until Robo-Travis returns, clotheslining Brookes to leave both men laying. Banks recovers to hit the springboard double stomp before connecting with a Coast to Coast, which is good for a two-count, only for his Slice of Heaven to get booted away. Brookes’ Whiplash neckbreaker gets him a two-count, before blasting Banks with a Michinoku driver.
Another near-fall sees Brookes try for an ankle lock instead, but Banks takes him outside with an escape… and it’s time for some barrier-destroying topes!
A back suplex onto the apron and a double stomp ends that latest fightback, before Brookes goes for a chair. Referee Shay stops Brookes from using it, so he’s shoved… and shoves back, with Banks capitalising with a diving clothesline and a Fisherman’s buster for another two-count. Shay nearly takes a Slice of Heaven, but Banks stops short… then takes a low blow as Shay inadvertently becomes Lykos for the elevated back cracker part of #CCK’s usual finish.
That’s chained to a double-underhook piledriver, but Banks still kicked out, so Brookes goes back to the chair… and again Shay stands in his way. So Brookes wipes out the ref, which is the cue for Kyle Fletcher (of all people!) to make the save… he then gets spat at, so he goes to use the chair (now minus the seat pad, for some reason), but Chris ducks and the frame of it takes out Banks!
Conveniently, Joel comes out as a back-up ref… but Banks still kicks out! He comes back with a Slice of Heaven, but this time Brookes kicks out, and rolls into the Lion’s Clutch, only to get his foot on the rope before tapping! Banks thinks he’s won, and celebrates too early, meaning he’s left himself open for a schoolboy as Brookes retains! A despicable win for the rotter, but this was a decent match in front of a crowd that surprisingly sounded indifferent at times – whether it was the new set-up or how late things ran, I don’t know… ***¾
After the match, Fletcher tried explaining himself to Banks, but they shook hands and thought nothing more of it. As to what happens next – well, at Capital CockKnocker 2 the next night in London, Banks fought Omari as his path to another title shot began again – but that’s a story for another time!
Not to harp on the point we’ve made for the last few shows, but the lack of longer-term storylines start to bite on shows like this. Sure, you’ve got warm-ups with House Fight Club and the Callous Hearts, but beyond that the only long-term story you’ve got is Martina/Shay against Dan Maloney. I enjoy Fight Club: Pro, but I also enjoy storylines – something that I hope make a comeback in the not too distant future… All-in-all this was a solid, albeit not spectacular outing from Fight Club: Pro – who managed to not miss the in-transit British Strong Style trio.