NORTH Wrestling’s third show, this past February, was a fun mix of brutality and wackiness in front of a baying Newcastle crowd…

This entire show is up on YouTube for free, and we start with a highlight package of what’s to follow later on in the show, with plenty of dives.

Dom Black vs. Bás Bán
As soon as Dom Black hits the ring, the video feed cuts out as we have an apology video from Rory Coyle, but as they’ve apparently borrowed the WhatCulture editors, I can barely hear what he’s saying. This promo is so quiet, it’s inaudible. Apparently Coyle’s going to unleash Bás Bán…

Liam Slater doesn’t emerge when he’s introduced for this match, as instead we get Bás Bán. So this advertised handicap match is now just a singles match, and our heroic babyface is trying to flee? When we do get going, Dom ducks a charge from Bán before taking him down with a dropkick as some mounted punches follow in the corner… only for Bán to switch around and biel Black across the ring.

Bán picks up Dom for a piledriver, but ends up turning it into a gutwrench suplex, then follows up by ramming him into the turnbuckles for an Oklahoma Stampede. Eventually, Dom fights back by taking Bán into the corner for some shots, but a leaping knee is caught as Bán runs across the ring and dumped him into the turnbuckles with a powerbomb.

All of a sudden, with Dom Black down, that one Romanian song we all know hits, and out comes Martin Kirby. He hits the ring and attacks Bán, which isn’t a DQ, landing an enziguiri before launching into some punches in the corner. A series of superkicks follow, but Bán doesn’t go down and in the end he tries to follow in with an avalanche. Kirby goes for a Sable bomb, but he’s distracted as Rory Coyle appears on the apron… so Martin chases him to the back, just as Don Black recovers.

Dom’s crossbody attempt is caught and turned into a fallaway slam, and that’s the win for Bás Bán. Eh, this did nothing for me, particularly since I just don’t get this whole Sons of Ulaid act. *

Amir Jordan vs. Screwface
Jordan’s intro is interrupted by a 90s-camcorder-style video of him with a water pistol. Apparently he thinks it’s a real machine gun, and his general demeanour’s giving me flashbacks to a character called Taaj Manzoor from the mock-documentary “Come Fly With Me”. Score one point if you got that reference!

Amir tries to muck around with the toy gun, and he goes through the same shtick with the live crowd as he did on the video. It doesn’t quite work… although the cheap “fuck Donald Trump” pop certainly did. Screwface gets an indifferent reaction, so I’m guessing his work on NGW hasn’t reached Newcastle? Screwface jumps Jordan at the bell, and works over him with some clubbing blows, before he telegraphed a back body drop and was low-bridged to the outside. Jordan followed him out with a tope, before a cross body back inside gets him a near-fall, only for Screwface to come back with a back body drop of his own.

A huge clothesline knocks down Jordan for a near-fall, before moving into a rear chinlock as Screwface tried to wear down his foe. He gets a near-fall out of a Blue Thunder Bomb, but that seems to spark a brief comeback… until Jordan takes a back elbow for another near-fall. The crowd get on Screwface for spamming a slam, which leads to him missing a Stinger splash as Jordan heads up top… and slips en route to a senton bomb.

That gets Jordan a two-count, but Screwface just pops back up with a ripcord big boot and a reverse Cross Rhodes for the win. A decent bout to showcase Screwface, although this crowd really do seem to be like a soundboard when it comes to digs at wrestlers. **½

HT Drake vs. Jimmy Havoc
At the bell, Havoc runs into Drake with a Shibata-like dropkick, then a running boot in the corner for a near-fall as the NORTH crowd hits track one of their “stuff we yell at guys we don’t like” album. It’s getting tiresome.

A Rainmaker’s countered with a corkscrew kick as Drake comes back with a brainbuster, before he’s sent to the outside where he manages to catch Havoc’s slipped tope. Drake throws in one of his own as Havoc has a pop at a fan, before ducking a chop as Havoc hits the ring post. They brawl towards the bar, which we barely see from the hard camera, then towards the merch tables, before we cut to the hard camera again, thereby missing Havoc being thrown into them. Yeah, I’d like to think that wasn’t intentional…

The violence increased quickly as Havoc gives Drake some papercuts with a promo pic, before taking him to the bar to spray him with lemonade, as the brawling continued around ringside, before Drake hauls him up onto the apron for a rope-hung DDT. On the apron. Ouch. Things swing around as Havoc tries for, and misses with a superplex, as Drake pushes him down… only to miss a missile dropkick as Havoc nonchalantly sidesteps. Drake boots away a Rainmaker, but takes a half nelson suplex instead as the match keeps flowing back and forth.

Drake looks to go up top, but all of a sudden the London Riots head out for a distraction. They’re heels here, because they’re from London… James Davis slides in his cricket bat to Havoc, and whilst Rob Lynch has the referee distracted, Havoc uses the bat on him for another two-count. Another Rainmaker misses a Drake dives to take out the Riots, before countering another Rainmaker into a German suplex.

The New Nation then hit the ring, with Alexander Henry and Primate taking care of the Riots, but in the middle of that the cameraman misses a Rainmaker… and that wins things for Havoc. Pretty decent stuff here, with some potential seeds sewn for gang warfare here… but the camera work was awful, missing several key moments. **¾

After the match, in lieu of a broken mic, Alexander Henry issued another challenge to the Riots “in our house”. That’s tonight’s main event, and it’s now a no-DQ affair!

Next up is Danny O’Doherty… and it seems that the new thing here is to interrupt everyone’s entrance with a video package. I don’t like it when WCPW do it with entrance videos, nor do I like it here… just put these before the entrances, rather than disjoint everything! O’Doherty mocks Martina’s act with a session of his own, which is actually pretty funny… if only for the hope that there’s an out-take of him falling in a waterlogged field!

Danny hits the ring and opens a can of Frosty Jack’s (a “cheap” cider that’s had some press for being too strong, if that’s a thing). Danny downs some, then spills his drink after going all Ric Flair on his hat. He brands himself the “King of the Session”, and then unveils the “hardest woman in Newcastle” – April Davids.

Danny’s positively thrilled at this, as he dances to her music, which includes the line “you’re going to die”. I don’t doubt that at all. He then demands that Martina comes out, which she does… and then promises that she’ll take out Danny and April, before bringing out a friend of her own.

Cue another video package, and everyone’s favourite Divinyls song… it’s Jack Sexsmith! He’s here at Martina’s backup, but Danny’s got his own backup, from Blackpool. Okay, not quite… he was at Blackpool though – it’s “Bodyguy” Roy Johnson. They start by playing his more famous music, “Look What The Cat Dragged In” by Giggs; but then O’Doherty demands that his “WWE music” plays. Or more specifically, the song they used for the whole UK Championship Tournament. The Bodyguy emerges wearing a pair of tights with the WWE logo on the arse (“WWEAVY”), whilst Danny screams some of his catchphrases. There’s nothing quite as jarring as an Irishman screaming “wavy”… Johnson rescues it and heels it up by calling himself the “most wavy guy in Sports Entertainment”, then signals for April Davids to charge at Jack, and we’re on!

Martina & Jack Sexsmith vs. April Davids & Roy Johnson
Uh-oh, the don’t-call-them-the-Shirtlifters explode! Martina pulls April off of Jack, then gets a headlock takedown on Johnson.

Johnson scurries into the corner, and can only watch as Davids takes a drop toe hold, falling head first in the Bodyguy’s, erm, Johnson. He gets a foot up to block a Bronco Buster, but can’t stop a Pearl Neckbreaker from Sexsmith, who then gets dropped onto Roy with a wheelbarrow.

Jack goes up top, but April Davids crotches him so Johnson can suplex him to the mat. From there, the Bodyguy bulls him around, and I’m guessing this is properly intergender as Davids tags in and gets slammed onto Sexsmith… then tries to return the favour. April manages to get Jack up for a fallaway slam, then brings in Johnson to continue the beatdown. Jack reverses a suplex into a small package, but promptly gets clotheslined as Roy gets a two-count. Some double-teaming sees Jack take a backbreaker from the Bodyguy, then a back suplex from Davids, before Jack flipped out of a stuff piledriver attempt, slingshotting Davids into the corner to knock the Bodyguy down.

That finally gave Jack the chance to tag in Martina – whose role in this match had until now been limited to her screaming in anguish at Jack’s beating. She makes a comeback with clotheslines and chops to Davids, before sitting on her for an eventual cover. Martina continues with a running knee, but the Bronco Buster comes up short again as she runs into a ripcord flapjack from the Bodyguy.

Sexsmith instantly hits back with a DDT, before he takes another back suplex from Davids. Martina gives April a German suplex, which prompts Danny O’Doherty to make it onto the apron, and he’s quickly knocked down too. We get a Codebreaker out of the corner from Martina… and that’s our lot! Well… this was certainly something. It’s another one of those that would have been better watching live, as on tape it came across really badly disjointed. **

After the match, Danny O’Doherty rages at how he paid good money for Roy Johnson… only to come on the wrong end. Roy reckons he wasn’t paid enough, and backs Danny into a corner, before shoving him into the ropes. April flips him off too, then Martina and Jack have their turn, and yes, we finally get that Bronco Buster! By the end, Danny fights off a Mr Cocko from Martina, but can’t defend Jack’s… and now for some reason the theme from Only Fools and Horses plays in the background. Just… bizarre!

Hardcore Match: Damian Dunne vs. Clint Margera
Damian’s entrance gets clipped out, presumably because the first NORTH show he was on was muted by YouTube because of it. We get a clip from NCL.2 where Dunne and Margera beat Liam Slater and Dom Black, only for Dunne to attack Clint from behind afterwards.

Clint’s brought some goodies with him, including a cheese grater, which prompts Damian to get scared of him having his c*** kicked in. Yep, that’s the go-to chant around these parts. Dunne doesn’t want any weapons, so of course the first thing he does is use one. A flimsy baking tray, which barely registered with Clint. A chase around the ring follows, but Damian comes out on the wrong end, getting thrown into the ringpost before a baking tray’s whacked around his head. That gets a chant of “British Bakeoff”, which raises a smile with this cynic!

Margera moves onto some forearms and uppercuts for a near-fall, before he moves onto some more weaponry with a fork on a rope! A low blow saves Dunne from “a fork in the eye” but he has no problem using that dork in Margera’s back! From there, he chokes on Margera in the corner, before using something to smash Clint’s head in for a near-fall. No idea what, it looked like some door panelling…

This time I can tell what’s next – it’s a chair – that Dunne uses to choke Margera on before he has a sit down. Wrestling is hard work! A rope-hung DDT onto a chair gets Dunne a near-fall as the crowd chanted something I couldn’t make-out… so he follows up by wedging a chair between the top and middle rope, then mouths off to the crowd. Wrestling Logic rears its head as Dunne gets thrown into that chair he’d wedged into the ropes, before turning into a series of clotheslines from Margera. After a neckbreaker, Clint reaches for a cheese grater, but a spear from Dunne cuts that off for a near-fall. Damian commandeers that grater, which he eases into the back and uses a chair to hammer it home… for just a two-count.

Damian mocks the Geordie accent after he squashed the grater with a chair… before he grabs something else and grinds it into Margera’s head. Not sure what it was – the camera never picked it up. The camera does pick up Dunne setting up a couple of chairs for a German suplex through them… but Margera blocks it and ends up giving Damian a Falcon Arrow for a near-fall. Through the chairs. Which bent wildly on impact.

The next weapon for Margera looked to be a dustpan and brush, which smashed off of Dunne’s back, before bringing in what looked to be a barbed wire bat. Wrestling Logic dictated that Margera took the bat, and of course he did, before a springboard Codebreaker gets Dunne a two-count. Damian heads under the ring and pulls out a carrier bag… oh my God they used my idea of a Duplo Death Match!

Damian does to drop Margera, but they fight back and forth until a reverse leg-sweep sees Damian land face-first in the Duplo. Other chunky toy bricks are available! A springboard Codebreaker’s caught, and turned into a death valley driver in the Duplo, and that’s all folks! Maybe not the most brutal hardcore match, but this was perfectly fine for the boundaries they’d set. ***

The playlist for this show features some promos and other stuff randomly thrown in, so we’ll skip to the main event!

No Disqualification: London Riots (Rob Lynch & James Davis) vs. New Nation (Primate & Alexander Henry)
The Riots were out-and-out heels here. Of course, they’re from London… anything from down south is automatically bad, especially when they’re facing opponents trumpeted as “the most dominant force in the UK”. Hype!

The Southerners start off on the front foot, taking the fight to the New Nation, who replied with a pair of dropkicks before Henry flew into the Riots on the floor with a tope! Primate joins them with a dive off the top turnbuckle. Henry holds Rob Lynch for a fan to chop him, but thankfully Lynch only retaliated on Henry as Primate threw James Davis into the bar.

Yeah, I don’t think this one’s going to be too familiar with the ring, especially as Henry gets choked with a cricket bat, then dumped on the ring apron as the bar area became the scene for this fight. They finally hit the ring as Davis gives Primate a belly-to-belly suplex, whilst Davis and Henry brawl on another bar, before we see Henry do a Triple H-esque beer spray as the hometown lads took over.

Davis and Henry continued to brawl around the venue, before we saw a brief glimpse of what looked to be Lynch biting Primate’s leg. Back in the ring, Henry and Davis exchange blows, before a slam and a back senton leaves Henry laying, whilst Primate needed help from some fans to get back up… to go straight back at Lynch. Primate takes over as he and Lynch exchange some blows by the bar, and I think they ended up outside the venue briefly…

Nope, they return as we get an exchange of spears from Lynch and Primate, who then windmill punches at each other until another spear from Primate takes down Lynch. Davis returns to give him a low blow… and where on earth is Alexander Henry? Oh wait, he’s still on the ramp, and gets a spike tombstone from the Riots onto the stage. Yep, that’s him done for now.

Some staffers help Henry to the back, but that just leaves Primate to take a two-on-one beating for a while. A clothesline and back senton combo helps Davis get a near-fall as the Riots mock the locals… all of a sudden, the crowd audibly gasp, and we can just about see a figure on the balcony.

Ohmygod it’s Alexander Henry – he leaps off the balcony and just about catches the Riots with a massive crossbody. He follows up with a swinging side slam to Lynch, before Davis catches him with an Air Raid Crash in response. Primate comes back with an uppercut-assisted German suplex, before a pop-up Codebreaker to James Davis gets them the win. A wild brawl for your main event – fun, and without too much of that “hard to follow” stuff that usually plagues indy brawls. ***

After their first few shows, it’s clear that NORTH a solid base to build from – but it’s clear that this isn’t a group that is to everyone’s tastes… and that’s before you figure in some of the default chants from the crowd!

There are some minor cosmetic things which do bug me, and I’m not talking about things like lighting (which are invariably hit-and-miss amongst promotions of this size)… I’m talking things like this being a distinctly underground show, yet the MC is the typical pro wrestling suited-and-booted announcer. Nothing against Stevie Aaron, but even swapping the suit trousers for a pair of jeans (a la FIP) would be less of a clash than what we have now, with his work against a blood-thirsty, expletive-happy crowd of Geordies…