Since it’ll be at least a few days before we get a chance to see this weekend’s shows on-demand, here’s a handful of our thoughts from a brace of shows we took in this weekend.
Saturday saw us pop our ATTACK! cherry by visiting the Cathays Community Centre in Cardiff for the first time, as the promotion hosted the first half of its Kris Travis Tag Team Invitational tournament.
Going in, only the brackets for the tag tournament were known, and in the end this was a five-match card, with a “relaxed rules” outing breaking up the flow of the show. As my first visit to Wales for any wrestling show, this was a complete break from what we were used to. Firstly, anyone who’s going to any ATTACK! shows in Cardiff needs to pay a visit to the Woodville pub – it’s barely two minutes walk away, with good food, good prices… and it also happens to be where the post-show afterparties take place.
Just make sure you can cope in an increasingly warm downstairs basement!
As for the show, this really wasn’t a “proper” ATTACK! show, with the tournament rightfully taking pride of place. Although most of the roster were ATTACK! regulars, the additions of the likes of Sam Bailey, CJ Banks, Danny Hope and Joey Hayes gave a sufficient number of guys exposure to what may have been an unfamiliar audience.
Some of the key take-aways from night one included the debut of Los Federales Santos Junior, replacing his kayfabe father, who’d “retired to Orlando”. Hmm. Junior played a comedy buffoon, constantly running into the Anti Fun Police’s leader, Chief Deputy Dunne, as they lost to the aforementioned Models of Danny Hope and Joey Hayes. Elsewhere, #CCK lost to Bowl-a-Rama, but Lloyd Katt needed a new partner for the semi-finals after Splits McPins busted his nose when he headbutted the middle rope during a tope attempt. The tandem of CJ Banks and Sam Bailey lost to Bird and Boar, whilst Project Lucha (Martin Kirby & El Ligero) defeated FSU (Eddie Dennis and Mark Andrews) in a fun main event.
The only non-tournament match saw Elijah face Extremely Confused Drew – this time in the form of Drew-y Funk – in a “relaxed rules” outing that quickly left the ring and towards the merch area, ending with Drew taking a dive from the balcony through a piled-up quartet of tables. For a handful of fans, this was a bit of a low point, since the Cathays Community Centre isn’t set up for stuff like this, particularly when many rows of fans are having to stand on their seats to see what’s going on!
We’ll cover the full tournament when the VOD is released – and given that Britwres’ most overworked editor “G-Man” was live-mixing the shows as they took place, it should be sooner, rather than later that these shows come out. We’ll also be looking to head back to Cardiff for a “proper” ATTACK! show at some point in the near future!
The next day, we hot-tailed it back up the M4 to London’s Cockpit Theatre for the latest Rev Pro “Live at the Cockpit” card. Whilst the ATTACK! crowd was raucous, this was a very different set of fans – and it told.
Over the last few Rev Pro shows, we’ve had a revolving door of voices – this time, we had Steve Lynskey as the ring announcer; a very marked change from the MC at the last Cockpit show, Theo Fraser. Meanwhile, Andy Quildan and a mystery voice provided commentary. It seems that Andy’s no longer a fan of hot footing it from the ring, up a stairwell and to the gantry throughout the show, and who can blame him?!
From the opening match – a match between Rob Lias and Kurtis Chapman that lasted less than a minute, with Lias’ DDT getting the win – the crowd were hot. Things like Eddie Dennis being his usual wacky self against Zack Gibson (whose heel act still doesn’t generate as much heat here as it does in PROGRESS), Sha Samuels (of all people) doing a top rope moonsault to the floor, and a show-stealing match between David Starr and Bubblegum.
That’s not to undersell Ryan Smile vs. Pete Dunne, or the fantastic technical affair between Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher… or the main event with a weird atmosphere where the debuting heels of CCK (this time formed of Chris Brookes and Travis Banks) beat the long-standing babyface tag champions of Charlie Sterling and Joel Redman for the Rev Pro tag titles.
The 150-or-so fans in the Cockpit switched around the good guy/bad guy divide here as they fiercely rejected the cookie-cutter champions… and those in charge seemingly knew how to handle this, as we got a Dusty finish, which usually translates into “the other team wins after the restart”. Thankfully, despite having Charlie Sterling grab a belt and tease another beltshot finish, CCK won both “matches” as the crowd went home happy that the bad guys won.
That’s three of three Cockpit shows this year for Rev Pro that have been blow-away shows – and with this card expected to be online by the end of Tuesday (so roughly 24 hours from when we post this), this’ll be a card you owe it to yourself to watch back. The next Cockpit show on April 9 already has CCK defending against Ryan Smile and Shane Strickland, plus a match made via a storyline here, with the returning Jinny taking on Rhia O’Reilly.
Tickets for April’s Cockpit show are in short supply, so if you’re thinking of going, book ahead. We’ll be there – and our reviews of this past weekend’s shows will be up in the coming days after they’ve been released.