Live Thoughts: Fight Club: Pro Dream Tag Team Invitational (London) (April 16, 2017)

This past weekend, Fight Club: Pro completed their first tour of the UK – a bit of a milestone in the current landscape of promotions whose regular runs usually limit them to monthly shows.

Since the promotion started posting their shows on Vimeo last year, Fight Club: Pro have slowly gotten more and more coverage – no more are they “that group who Nigel McGuinness wrestled for on his farewell tour, on that show where someone mistook him for the house DJ”. This is a promotion that has routinely packed the Fixxion Warehouse in Wolverhampton one Friday a month, with nary a bad word about their shows – which is a rarity given how much some quarters love sniping!

Friday’s show in Wolverhampton may have had issues with going long (although that trend accompanied the Elite on all of their UK shows this weekend), whilst Saturday’s card in Manchester was more like a regular Fight Club Pro show… however, Easter Sunday was the first time they’d run a “proper” show in London, and it was a home run from all involved.

Yes, FCP ran Shepherds Bush’s Bush Hall last year as part of the cross-promoted shows with CHIKARA – however, their first solo foray there well and truly packed out the venue with only the finals of the group’s Dream Tag Team Invitational being advertised. The night before, a rematch of one of, if not the match of the year from Fight Club: Pro’s 2016 was added, with Travis Banks defending his title against Zack Sabre Jr.

From the start, the crowd were on fire – as you would be, crammed into a building the size of Bush Hall! A pre-show dark match saw Omari win a five-way featuring surprise appearances from Splits McPins and Chuck Mambo, before the show got going with a sort-of WrestleHouse six-man tag.

We’ll hold off the full results until we do our reviews from when the VOD from the weekend drops – but remember, Friday night’s main event featuring British Strong Style vs. The Elite isn’t going to be released, so adjust your expectations.

The opening match from London was a six-man tag with British Strong Style taking on Sami Callihan and two partners of his choosing… who turned out to be Marty Scurll and Jimmy Havoc. This was all kinds of nonsense, with Trent Seven getting booted in the face by a kid (granted, with Scurll lifting and charging the kid his way!), whilst a fan’s shoes also were used as impromptu hand protectors… of course, there was a LOT of ringpost chopping. Because Wrestling!

Elsewhere on the card, our mystery matches gave us a dream match of sorts, pitting Will Ospreay against Jack Evans. Will, whose back has to be shot after some of the bumps he’s taken in the last seven days alone, won the match, before treating us to a taste of Ireland (or OTT, to be specific) as we had an Uptown Funk dance off. With a conga line. And a very confused and disgusted-in-himself Pete Dunne.

The main event of the show ended up being the Dream Tag Team Invitational, won by #CCK who beat out Rey Fenix and Penta el 0 M (and his sparkly gold t-shirt). Having seen the former Pentagon Jr (or whatever AAA are copyrighting to annoy the hell out of him) once before, on a random lucha show at the Royal Albert Hall two years ago, I was sad that we didn’t get to see Penta el Sousaphone… but we did get to see Penta chop the holy crap out of anyone that moved. Even Mark Andrews, whose chest I feared was going to trouble the Dragunov Scale (but thankfully did not).

Having left the Rev Pro show on Thursday night in a baffled mood, this card really took me out of the funk that I’d gotten into for live wrestling. Yes, bigger shows can be a necessary evil, but FCP was a timely reminder that wrestling doesn’t have to be stuffy, staid and one-note. It can be, and should be fun. Fun to watch, fun to take part in, and best of all, memorable. Fight Club Pro already have the rest of their 2017 dates on-sale via their Big Cartel website (along with a pre-order of the DVDs for this past weekend), and whilst I’m selfishly hoping they return to London before next year, it really is a show that you should try and get to live, at least once… even if it is in Wolverhampton!