We head up to Tyneside for NORTH Wrestling’s latest effort, featuring Liam Slater defending the NORTH title against Joe Hendry, while Sunshine Machine go after Boisterous Behaviour’s NORTH tag titles.
Warhorse submitted Jet Martial in 10:42 (**¾)
Rory Coyle, Conor Renshaw, Jack Bandicoot & Jake Silver pinned Benji, Big Lou Nixon, Screwface Ahmed & Zeo Knox in 6:09 (**)
Lana Austin pinned Kasey Owens in 7:30 (**½)
Leon Slater & Man Like DeReiss pinned Chuck Mambo & TK Cooper in 14:08 to retain the NORTH Tag Team Championships (***½)
Will Kroos pinned Kidd Bandit in 13:25 (***¼)
Millie McKenzie pinned Lizzy Evo in 9:00 (***¼)
HT Drake pinned Gene Munny in 10:25 (***)
Liam Slater pinned Joe Hendry in 14:05 to retain the NORTH Championship (***¼)
It’s been a while since I’ve taken a look at NORTH Wrestling – since returning in August 2021, they’ve been (not so) quietly running sell-out shows in Newcastle, England every other month at the Anarchy Brew Company. They’ve also started posting their shows over in IWTV, in addition to their Patreon (which is a model a fair number of promotions in the UK are moving towards). We open with some voxpops… and had on a minute, that’s Cultaholic’s Jack alongside Botchamania’s Maffew. If you’re new to NORTH, it’s a nice intro to get you feeling like the crowd are organically hyped up. Commentary comes from Tom Campbell… who happened to be back from retirement to do ring announcing too.
WARHORSE vs. Jet Martial
You know, if you’re from the north east, WARHORSE could mean “your horse.” Local accents and dialogues, eh? I don’t think I’ve seen Jet Martial before, who was replacing Amir Jordan at short notice.
WARHORSE kicks away a handshake as he opened with a shoulder tackle to Martial… see-saw shoulder tackles take Jet down again, before a springboard from Jet led to nothing. Martial scurries to the ropes as WARHORSE teased a Boston crab, but Martial fought back with a shotgun dropkick, while chops and a seated dropkick had the former IWTV champion in trouble. A Dragon screw from WARHORSE put Martial back on the defensive, as he’s tied up in the ropes for a dropkick to the leg, while a shinbreaker bounced Martial down to the mat for a deathlock. The ropes save Martial, but then hurt him as WARHORSE tied up a leg in the ropes then pulled Martial down into a trip for a two-count.
Martial’s chucked outside, then into the bar… but he picks himself up and made it back inside, only to get punched by WARHORSE. Its back outside for Martial, who’s chucked onto the side of the ring with a back suplex, while a wild tope con giro sent Martial and WARHORSE into the second row. Bloody hell, lads. Back inside, Martial finds a second wind, cracking WARHORSE with a Pele kick, then a springboard enziguiri for a near-fall, then a Saito suplex as WARHORSE spilled back to the outside. Martial tries to follow up with an apron PK, but it’s turned into a leg sweep as his face met the side of the ring, before an inside cradle back inside nearly got Martial the upset.
WARHORSE walloped Martial with a clothesline after the kick-out, then added an over-the-knee brainbuster (the Tomorrow Driver, as it was once known) for a near-fall. A top rope elbow drop follows, but again Martial kicks out, before he was forced to submit to a Sharpshooter. A good opener with Martial being the underdog against a WARHORSE who was getting booed quite a bit here. **¾
Vignette time – it’s for Rory Coyle, who won the new Ultraviolent Championship (which, in true recycling fashion, is the old NORTH title belt with some cosmetic changes) last time NORTH ran back in September. There’s wacky clips of the match, filmed from a perspective you’d be familiar with in some promotions, along with a post-match beatdown from Clint Margera to Rory Coyle.
Coyle heads to the ring after that video… he’s cheered, which is a far cry from what was happening last time I watched. Coyle took the mic to call out Margera for next time he’s at NORTH. Rory’s upset he doesn’t have a match tonight, which was the cue for an interruption at the hands of the Landed Gentry – Zeo Knox and Benji. I’ve said this before, but them having Prokofiev’s Dance of the Knights is a masterstroke to get them booed. If you know, you know. Benji’s got a rather nice plate, which I suspect might have been on his grandma’s wall at one point. Knox’s intro is interrupted by Benji, who was marking his return here, and was still a little sour over having his arse set alight in 2019. I’d be too. Especially if it led to the Jim Cornette retweets…
Anyway, this leads to Coyle calling out Conor Renshaw, who’s attacked in the aisle, one thing leads to another, and we’ve got an impromptu eight-man tag.
Rory Coyle, Conor Renshaw & Crashboat (Jake Silver & Jack Bandicoot) vs. Landed Gentry (Benji & Zeo Knox), Screwface Ahmed & Big Lou Nixon
We start with dives from Crashboat to the outside to set the tone, where we had a tonne of brawling.
Hitting the ring, Renshaw goes all kick-wham stunner crazy, stopping short of hitting his own partner Coyle. That allowed Knox and Benji in to attack them, as the “Conservative Party-sympathisers” tried to take over. A ‘rana from Benji took Renshaw into the corner ahead of a wheelbarrow stunner for a near-fall, while Jack Bandicoot came in… and hit Zeo with a slingshot neckbreaker after some help from Jake Silver. Jack Bandicoot knocked out the lights as he leapt off the top rope, going over Lou Nixon… and they “did it with the lights off” as Screwface hit a side slam onto the top turnbuckle. Coyle’s cornered, then swarmed by the Landed Gentry… who had issues with a double hiptoss as Renshaw made the save… by biting a Tory.
Dives follow to the outside as Renshaw hit a tope, before Benji used a croquet mallet to stop a Coyle dive before it got going. A Busaiku knee’s next from Benji, who then had to use his commemorative plate to shield himself from a Coyle fireball, only to go down to a DDT seconds later. This was all over the place – in a good way – but the lighting malfunction seemed to derail things briefly. **
We’re backstage as the camera crew were prepping to shoot something with Crashboat… but instead Screwface and Lou Nixon walk by with a chair in hand, having presumably laid out Jake Silver & Jack Bandicoot…
Lana Austin vs. Kasey Owens
Lana’s got a manager in NORTH – the “Guiding Light” Isaiah Quinn… who has his own chat show, it seems. He interviews his charge, with questions like “do you think Kasey Owens wears face paint to detract from the fact she’s not very good at wrestling?”
Kasey storms out, as you’d expect, and we get going with clotheslines from Kasey, who then tripped Austin into the ropes. A splash to the back, then a kick to Lana followed, along with a slingshot dropkick from the outside back in. Austin puts the boots to Kasey, who’s left in the corner for some forearms, while a snapmare and a seated dropkick earned Lana a two-count. An inside cradle from Kasey gets a two-count, but Austin’s back for a snap suplex for a two-count of her own. She’s booted out of the corner as Kasey pulls her back in for a hanging armbar in the ropes, only for Kasey to miss a follow-up missile dropkick as a slam earned Lana a two-count.
Austin’s chinlock leads to some more clubbing forearms, before slaps from Lana fired up Kasey. A uranage lands from Kasey for a near-fall, while a low dropkick earned a similar result, before a death valley driver kept Austin on the back foot. Austin caught Kasey in the corner, hanging her up for a Codebreaker in the buckles… but it’s still not enough. Owens gets back in with knees in the corner, then a Meteora to the back of the head, before Quinn tripped Kasey in the ropes. He’s pulled onto the apron by Kasey, who asked him to take a shot… and then met him with a headbutt. Austin capitalises on the distraction with a rolling elbow, before she dragged Kasey through the ropes for a draping DDT for the win. **½
Backstage, Benji’s pouring water on his hands after they’d been set on fire. The interviewer had a little chuckle at that, while Zeo Knox was similarly unsympathetic because the team’d lost again. Zeo’s also upset that Benji chipped their plate, as he then stormed off. At least Benji’s self aware of the Tory cuts affecting NHS waiting times….
NORTH Tag Team Championship: Sunshine Machine (Chuck Mambo & TK Cooper) vs. Boisterous Behaviour (Leon Slater & Man Like DeReiss) (c)
Commentary references the Rugby (League) World Cup that was happening at around the same time – although I think TK’s shirt is more rugby union than rugby league. Man Like DeReiss has gotten himself a nice pullover, to counter the cold of the North-East… and I think I’m duty bound to reference that fella who’s always seen topless at Newcastle games…
This was Boisterous Behaviour’s first defence, and we start with Chuck Mambo taking on DeReiss in a sweater. Mambo pulls it off, but DeReiss has a NORTH hoodie on underneath. Layering it up, I see. DeReiss does some push-ups to warm up as Mambo then went in for a side headlock, which gets escaped as some World of Sport-y stuff led to DeReiss losing his hoodie… revealing a self-promoting t-shirt. Standing switches finally see Mambo take of the shirt, except DeReiss has a vest on underneath. DeReiss’ dropkick gets him free of the striptease as Leon Slater ran wild on Mambo in the corner, taking him down for a standing frog splash for a two-count. TK Cooper comes in to shut down Slater with a dropkick, before DeReiss caught a crossbody and threw Cooper with a fallaway slam.
Which just left him exposed as Mambo came in to pull off the vest, then chop DeReiss ahead of a springboard armdrag. TK tags in for a stomp-assisted reverse DDT to DeReiss, while a low dropkick keeps DeReiss grounded as Mambo returned to help with double kneedrops to the arms. Mambo’s neck crank forced DeReiss to free himself, but the Electric Chair’s escaped as Mambo landed a clothesline. Staying on DeReiss, Mambo takes him into the corner before TK tagged in to hit his part of the Romero special into a Flatliner… but they couldn’t keep DeReiss down as he caught Mambo with an enziguiri ahead of a tag back out to Slater. Leon ran wild with dropkicks, following with a handspring back elbow to TK, but Sunshine Machine managed to turn it around, trapping Leon in their corner ahead of a German Suplex Turbo Charged by the Power of Friendship.
The B-Roll’s next for Slater as a title change looked to be looming, but DeReiss breaks up the cover. A Meteora from Mambo kept Slater down, as a frog splash and senton bomb combo added another near-fall for the challengers, before TK headed back up top for a shooting star press… which the champions turned into a cutter for a near-fall. A 3D followed on TK, but Mambo breaks up the pin with a quick frog splash, only to get met with a superkick from Slater. Leon can’t follow up as Mambo caught him up top, with DeReiss making the save with a powerbomb. Mambo got the knees up on a swanton 450 though, allowing TK in with a double stomp, while DeReiss hit a Destroyer off the middle rope as I think everyone but the ref lost track of who was legal.
Tags bring us to DeReiss and TK, with the latter’s German suplex being flipped out of. DeReiss goes for a head kick, but TK’s immune, and returned with a headbutt as Sunshine Machine went for their circus trick to the outside. Slater cuts it off with a doomsday crossbody though, before DeReiss capitalised as he and Slater went up top for 450 splashes for the win. ***½
Backstage, Fraser Porter’s throwing back to Isaiah Quinn and his Guiding Light TV awards. He’s doing an awards ceremony-like reveal of who won the Lana Austin/Kasey Owens match, which led to Lana doing an appreciation speech… omitting Quinn from it all. Cough.
Kidd Bandit vs. Will Kroos
Kidd Bandit’s gotten a lot of hype since they broke out of the Nightmare Factory in the summer of 2021… with their antics making them very much a Marmite character to some.
Bandit calls out the size and height difference at the start, then went for a drink. They do know that beer in the UK’s typically stronger than the American stuff, right? The Newcastle crowd demanded they down it, which they eventually did, before Will Kroos got in on the act, downing his in one. Opening with a lock-up, Bandit’s thrown into the corner before their attempt at a waistlock saw Kroos just march them into the corner. Kroos has to lean down on a side headlock, because of the size difference, but Bandit takes Kroos down to a knee, then cartwheeled out to reverse the hold. Problem was, an attempt to take Will into the ropes didn’t work, as Bandit’s pulled into the big man instead.
Tom Campbell “leaves commentary” to help Bandit out, but instead downed a pint himself – leaving a little for Bandit to finish off before Bandit came back in with kicks to Kroos’ legs. Kroos is taken into the ropes, but avoids a charge from Bandit, who slipped back in for a tijeras into the corner, then a spinning roundhouse. Heading up top, Bandit’s crossbody is effortlessly caught by Kroos, who turned it into sit-out swinging side slam. Chops wreck Bandit in the corner, who’s then Biel’d across the ring, as a splash and a clothesline left Bandit down for a two-count. Bandit escapes a second charge into the corner, hitting a Boomerang (Tiger feint kick), only to get caught up top as Kroos press slammed them… which Bandit countered into a DDT on their way down.
Bandit’s comeback sees them hit a Capoeira-style kick, then some headscissors into the ropes for another Boomerang. A missile dropkick is next, then a Kamigoye… but Kroos kicks out at two, then caught Bandit up top for a superplex. It’s escaped as Bandit sweeps the leg and scored a hurricane kick to the downed Kroos, then went back up for a Spiral Tap… which landed for a near-fall. Kicks from Bandit just seemed to piss off Kroos, who caught a roundhouse, only to get ‘rana’d back into the ropes. A lariat stopped yet another Boomerang kick, as Kroos almost put away Bandit with a sit-out powerbomb… Bandit countered a Kroos-ifiction into a flip stunner, following up with a second kick-wham stunner, before a moonsault was caught and turned into the Kroos-ifiction, with the sit-out tombstone proving to be too much for Kidd Bandit to overcome. A really good David vs. Goliath match, with Bandit more than frustrating Kroos at times here – but in the end, it’s the sudden death for Kroos that got the win. ***¼
Backstage again, Boisterous Behaviour celebrate as Man Like DeReiss is layering up again. Leon Slater’s in a forklift. They put over Sunshine Machine, then called NORTH their home… and issued a challenge to anyone in the UK, US or Australia for the tag titles. Good to see them ducking Europe and Japan (I kid…)
Lizzy Evo vs. Millie McKenzie
A battle of former NXT UK stars here, with McKenzie making her NORTH debut here…
Commentary puts over Millie’s accomplishments to date as we open with a lock-up into the corner. Wash, rinse, repeat, and then again with Evo taking McKenzie into the corner in a testy opening sequence.
A spinning neckbreaker from McKenzie gets just a one-count, prompting Evo to roll outside for a breather. Millie gives chase, but got charged into the side of the ring as things turned around. Back inside though, a small package from McKenzie nearly nicked a win as Evo threw her into the turnbuckle, following up with some body shots in the corner. Evo’s snap suplex follows, but McKenzie fires back with shoulder charges into the corner, only to get swatted down. A clothesline from Evo gets her a near-fall, as she then pulled McKenzie up by the hair into a camel clutch. McKenzie backs into the corner to break the hold, then mounted a comeback with clotheslines and German suplexes, taking Evo down before a rebound German off the ropes left the Liverpudlian laying.
McKenzie’s able to get a two-count out of that, but she eats a headbutt and a Northern Lights suplex seconds later as Evo nearly won out. A trip up top from Evo’s stopped as McKenzie brings her down with a superplex, before a follow-up spear was sidestepped. Evo’s able to return fire with a DDT, but it’s only good for a near-fall, before McKenzie sidestepped a knee strike… and scored the win with a spear. ***¼
Video package time as we recap Gene Munny filling in paper work to “become a bad boy,” while HT Drake’s been trying to win cleanly… and finds himself losing to cheaters time and again. There’s a lot of ball talk here, with HT Drake wanting to avoid being hit in the balls again. Call it a birthday present…
Gene Munny vs. HT Drake
Drake’s got a pointy cap on his head, because it’s birthday… which means he eventually gets sung the birthday song. Which Gene tried to end with a low blow, but Drake blocks it before the bell and went for a finger snapper.
Instead, Munny takes a back suplex, then a spinning heel kick, before things spilled outside with Munny posting Drake. He stopped himself from chopping the post, but Drake’s thrown onto the side of the ring as Munny went for a suplex… then a ball shot… before he had to make do with a headbutt. Drake sidesteps as Munny ran into the turnbuckles, following up with a clothesline to take Gene back inside, while a spinning heel kick off the top took Gene down. Munny shoved the referee into the corner as Drake went up top, allowing Gene to throw Drake into the ropes for a boot to the head, before a Jackhammer back into the ring nearly got Gene the win.
Munny tries to push on, whipping Drake upside down into the corner for a near-fall, but another shot at the balls gets pushed away as Drake ends up cradling him for a near-fall. A superkick from Munny’s good for a two-count, before Drake caught Gene on the top rope. The superplex is avoided, but Munny can’t avoid a German suplex on the mat, nor a death valley driver or a crossbody that almost won it for the local lad. Munny flips off Drake as he was on the top rope, so Drake jumps down and goes for the fingers again, only for Gene to fight out. Munny comes back with a Fireman’s carry into a sit-out powerbomb for a near-fall as Darkness Falls, before Gene called for the Ainsley Lariat… only to head backstage.
Returning, Munny’s got his Gene Munny Championship of Gene Munny title belt, but it’s to distract the referee as Gene instead went for a low blow. It’s blocked again as Drake twisted the ankle then hit a butterfly suplex, before Gene went to crack Drake with his collar. That too is blocked, as Drake grabbed the collar… but it allows Gene to go back for the belt, which he cracked Drake with. Ainsley Lariat follows, but Drake kicks out at two, then got stomped on in the corner. Clubbering in the corner from Gene leads to the referee’s intervention… Munny swats the referee away, before a low blow hurt Gene’s hand. Yep, Drake’s wearing a cup, as he then snapped the fingers of Munny, then punted him in the balls. The cup smothers Munny after that, knocking Gene out for the pin as Drake had to go a little dirty to get back in the winning column. ***
Post-match, Munny’s punted in the bollocks again…
We then get a video package of Liam Slater berating Joe Hendry for always going back to the wacky entrances rather than being a wrestler. He tells Hendry to decide – is he a wrestler, or an entertainer?
NORTH Championship: Liam Slater (c) vs. Joe Hendry
Slater entered first, per his request, as he wanted to see what road Hendry was going to go down. This being Joe Hendry, of course we got a custom entrance, set to Lady Gaga’s Poker Face, mocking Slater for buying his gear from Sports Direct. Yep, he picked the latter…
That entrance led to a split crowd at the start, with Hendry taking Slater into the corners to start as they headed into the corner, while Slater’s attempt at a chinbar was powered away. Hendry goes for a wristlock, then a roll-up as Slater came in with a side headlock. A Corning hold from Slater allowed him to trip down Hendry into a STF, but that’s broken as the pair continued to go hold for hold. A chinlock on the mat from Hendry is rolled out of, but Hendry’s back with a wristlock, a snapmare… and more of the same as Slater went back to the wristlock. Hendry comes back with shoulder tackles, which Slater eventually stopped going down from, before his retorts ended up with Hendry barging him back down.
The pair trade European uppercuts from there, while a knee lift from Hendry propelled Slater across the ring. A kick followed as Slater remained on the back foot, with a suplex adding a near-fall as Hendry again grounded Slater with a chinbar. Hendry turns it into a cobra clutch as Slater looked to be in trouble, before he broke free, taking Hendry into the corner for uppercuts and a missile dropkick to boot. A back suplex is next for a near-fall, before Hendry came back with a press slam that knocked the lights out again. They’re quickly back on as Slater ate a tiltawhirl slam for a near-fall, before an ankle lock forced a counter into a half crab from Slater. A pinning attempt from Slater gets a two-count as he goes back to the half crab, which ended in the ropes as Hendry reached out for the break.
Slater countered a pop-up with an uppercut and a folding powerbomb for a near-fall, before a pumphandle powerbomb also forced a near-fall. Another trip up top is stopped as Hendry met Slater on the top rope for a superplex, which eventually comes off. Slater’s right back up to eat a lariat, then a pop-up powerbomb for a near-fall… A knee to the ribs from Hendry looked to set up for a chokeslam, but Slater slips out for a Euro clutch, and that’s enough to snatch the win in a good match that I felt was just about to kick into a higher gear. I’d love to see this one again, with a little more behind it… ***¼
NORTH Wrestling has developed a reputation for being a wild show to attend live – and some of that came across on tape here, in spite of the audio mix that hampered things on the VOD. NORTH’s got a good thing going up in Newcastle – not running too often as to burn out the area, putting on a consistent product that fits the fanbase, while working with a lot of local names… that’s the sort of thing that makes you stand out from the pack, whether the market is crowded or not.