We’re back to Newcastle for another slice of NORTH Wrestling – with their fourth show from this past March.
As ever, the show’s up in full on their YouTube channel for free – and we start with Stevie Aaron geeing up the crowd ahead of the opening match. The Riverside in Newcastle is lit in a way that can best be described as either “delightfully dingy” or “unique”, depending on how you want to take that first comment!
Amir Jordan vs. Erin Jacobs
At least for this match, they’ve moved away from the template they had on the last show of inserting vignettes during entrances. Jordan had a decent match against Screwface last time out, and this time he’s facing a debutant in Erin Jacobs… but not before he buried a fan who tried to put down his hometown.
Jacobs’ gimmick – at least from the separate promo video – seemed to be that or a well-dressed savant. Unfortunately his ring gear was just black boots and trunks, but let’s see where this one-gloved warrior is going! The answer… is straight in with a cravat that Jordan flips out of!
Jacobs powers Jordan to the mat and stomps on him, before Amir returned the favour with an overhead throw as Erin reached for the ropes. Jacobs manages to catch Amir’s crossbody and turn it into a slam as he started to dominate “Your Naan’s Favourite Wrestler”. Eventually Amir dropkicked free, before squashing Jacobs with a senton bomb for a near-fall.
After getting back to his feet, Erin started asking about someone called Shabazz. I’m pretty sure BritWres fans of a certain vintage had a cold sweat when that name came up. That confused Amir, who was then taken into a neck crank, and that’s enough for a submission. A bit of a strange match, but what they did was fine – I’m certainly curious to see more of Erin Jacobs, if only to get a proper handle on the act! **½
Jacobs continued the beatdown after the match, threatening to snap Amir’s neck. It takes several ring crew members to come out to restrain Jacobs and cart him to the back as the camera focused on a business card he’d thrown down, reading simply: “Go Fuck Yourself”.
Cans on a Pole Match: Danny O’Doherty vs. Martina
It’s nice to see Vince Russo made it to Tyneside! The only way to win is to grab a bag of cans (of beer) off the pole – and this came around after several incidents between Martina and Danny O’Doherty… the most recent being at NCL.3 when Danny’s hired guns of Roy Johnson and April Davids came up short.
Martina’s jumped as she’s listening for Sandstorm to kick out of it’s lull, and she quickly mounts Danny with some punches. A back senton squishes him, but not for enough for her to go for the bag of cans, as she’s pulled down into a compromising position. Not that she minded!
A sunset flip gives more of the same as Danny gets a face full of the Session Moth, but he comes back with a backbreaker off the ropes. Martina tries to fight out of the camel clutch as they both trash talked about the bag of cans, and I think both these guys may have a booze problem? Martina makes use of the no-DQ rule by mule kicking Danny, then headbutting him before she goes for a drink from the crowd as Danny’s trying to get the referee to help him win.
Instead, Danny gets a Bronco Buster, before his attempt to powerbomb Martina away from the cans led to a ‘rana. She climbs up for the cans, I think, but comes down with a crossbody onto the referee. As she tended to the ref, O’Doherty hits her from behind and then heads up for the bag… but Martina powerbombs him off the top rope before securing the cans… and finishing off Danny with a stunner. Not much of a match, but plenty of character work – and hell, if Martina rolling on the referee makes the crowd happy, then what more do you want?! **
From one end of the spectrum to the other now…
Travis Banks vs. Mark Haskins
Good lord, it sounds like they used the LP version of “Little Pills” for Travis’ entrance. I say it a lot, but this match can’t NOT be good…
Haskins takes it to the mat early as he tried to force a headlock, before the grappling took Haskins into a jack-knife roll-up for a near-fall, only for him to give up his back to Travis. The slick grappling continued in this vein as both men tried to find a body part to work on without the other man being able to get to a rope break easily. It’s a style that really fits this atmosphere, even if some of the early crowd interaction was limited to the “kick his c*** in” chant that someone tries to start every show.
Banks nearly wins it with a La Magistral, only for Haskins to rock him with a dropkick, giving him the opportunity to work a body part – namely, the Kiwi’s leg. Banks hits back, but he charges himself to the outside, before launching into his trademark high-speed tope into Haskins. The favour’s eventually returned, but the two-camera set-up barely does this sequence justice.
Haskins cracks Banks with a dropkick from the floor as the Kiwi was sitting on the apron, and the two just go back to leathering each other with kicks in the ring. A grounded chinlock sees Haskins try for a submission, before he moved to some headscissors that looked to be legitimately turning Banks blue… either that or the colour on the mobile camera was a bit off here! The kicks keep coming as Haskins chops away on Banks, before connecting with a superkick that sparked a comeback by way of a diving knee from the Kiwi Buzzsaw. Banks takes Haskins to the corner for the cannonball for a near-fall, before Haskins is only able to delay a buzzsaw kick.
A roundhouse from Haskins gets him a near-fall, before he rolled up Banks into the Star armbar that’s broken via the ropes, so Haskins goes for the armbreaker, then a scoop slam off the ropes for a near-fall. From that kick-out, he slips in a crossface, then twists it into a double armbar, but again, Banks manages to reach the ropes! So Haskins kicks him in the chest some more, before Banks trips him… but that just sent Haskins into the ropes for a rolled-up death valley driver!
That gets Haskins a near-fall, but he can’t capitalise as Banks dives in with a clothesline, then a Fisherman’s driver as he came close, before giving him a Slice of Heaven for another near-fall. In the end though, Haskins catches Banks in the corner and rolls him into a Sharpshooter, before giving up and going for the roll-up death valley driver that Banks countered into a small package… and from there the Gargano Escape (which Travis probably has another name for) forces the submission. Cracking stuff from two guys who I swear could steal most shows with a match they have in their sleep! ****
“Earlier that night” follows next as a talking bit with HT Drake and Primate is interrupted by Screwface. Primate gets sprayed with some blinding mist, whilst Drake just has a face-off as Screwy left. “Later” but still earlier in the night, Primate returned to the ring and challenged Screwface – despite having a shoulder injury. Yes, that guy got the catchphrase in. So we have our match!
HT Drake vs. Screwface vs. Primate
Drake and Primate are probably better known on a bigger stage through WCPW, where they’ve had somewhat spotty win/loss records, whilst Screwface has recently started to appear on NGW’s TV show.
Primate hit the ring and made a beeline for Screwface, charging him into the corner before having a pop at Drake for just watching! For some reason Primate looked to trip Drake, although the camera missed, before pulling Screwy to the outside so the two could lay into each other. Drake dives, which is barely caught on tape, and they continue to brawl in an area that is much much smaller than the *however big* ring that someone spent time building earlier in the day!
They finally return to the ring, where Drake lands a back suplex out of Screwface’s ripcord-knee strike attempt, and then the cameraman takes a dive as Drake took a spill. Staying in the ring, Primate took a Blue Thunder Bomb before replying with a spinebuster for a near-fall… and then we had Drake and Primate going at each other. Primate kipped up impressively before running into a duelling big boot as all three men were left laying. Screwface got back into the match with a double clothesline, but it was Drake and Primate who went for each other again, with Primate (and his magnificent beard) getting Drake up for some rolling Germans.
Drake replied with a spinning heel kick that sent Primate to the outside… Screwface returned and eventually misted Primate again, triggering Primate into a spear, which hit Drake by mistake, as Screwface eventually landed the Cross Rhodes onto the Primate for the win. Pretty decent given the time they had, but this is one that would have been better live… or without a mobile camera playing catch-up! ***
Part five comes in with a random “let’s hear it for women’s wrestling” cry from Stevie Aaron. I guess something was cut?
Little Miss Roxxy vs. Ruby Summers
Like the last match, this is another local outing (although we are sorta stretching it with Ruby, that still counts!) Roxxy, who’s a fire-eater and a pole dancer away from the ring, is a baddie here, and she gets in the faces of several fans and gleefully flips off everyone.
On the other side of the spectrum, we have Ruby Summers, who has the Kaiser Chiefs’ “Ruby” as her ring music… because of course she does! I was going to avoid anything personal, but hell, they announced Ruby as being “from El Ligero’s House”. Perhaps we’ll see “El Ligera” on the scene sometime soon?
Since this is a women’s match, of course we get those chants of “kick her c***” in. Yeah, I’m not sure how well that meshes… especially when the same guy who led those chants dismissed Roxxy as a “pint sized shite”. Once everyone’s done mocking each other, we finally get underway, with a tie-up that ended for… reasons. Ruby suckers Roxxy into various pinning attempts, before catching a kick and turning it into a faceplant… for a La Magistral! Another kick looked to be caught, but it actually connected… only for Ruby to come back with a dropkick that took Roxxy to the floor.
Roxxy took over after brief spell of crowd brawling, utilising the Kevin Nash boot choke – which was impressive given someone’d called her “pint sized” earlier! The mobile cameraman does a slow-mo 360 as Roxxy has a headlock on, and we’re getting so many wandering crowd shots I’m actively wondering if someone broke the hard cam..
Ruby’s shoved to the floor as Roxxy tries to get a count-out win, but she easily beat the count, only to get caught with a suplex as Roxxy came close to victory. An old school rope burn to the eyes keeps Roxxy in charge, but Ruby rebounds out of the corner with a series of clotheslines, before going for some running elbows into the corner. Another dropkick gets Ruby a two, before she caught Roxxy off the top rope with a Fisherman’s suplex for another near-fall.
Just like that though, Roxxy comes back with an eye rake, then a back cracker for a two-count, before getting a leg onto the rope to save herself after an Air Raid Crash. Roxxy crawled under the ring and snuck up on Ruby from behind, tripping her then flipping into a version of the Muta lock for the submission. This was alright in parts – Ruby’s strikes were very much hit and miss, but for two women who are relatively inexperienced, I’ve seen a lot worse. **
Ahead of the main event, we get a video package from the Sons of Ulaid – Rory Coyle and Bás Bán. They’d targeted Liam Slater and Dom Black in prior shows, whilst Coyle had knocked down a fan. There’s creepy footage of Bás Bán dancing with a mannequin whilst Coyle goes on about “sexy boys”, which is unsettling to say the least.
No Disqualification: Sons of Ulaid (Bás Bán & Rory Coyle) vs. Dom Black & Liam Slater
I’ve otten stick for calling Bás Bán something along the lines of a Poundland Horror Movie Villain. It’s the mask that goes it… although to be fair I still don’t “get” the whole Sons of Ulaid act apart from them being creepy gits. Slater and Black come out to the Vengaboy’s “We Like To Party”, so you can guess what their act is… although only Dom Black comes out at first as Liam Slater’s apparently MIA.
This starts as a handicap match as Bán and Coyle take on Black, and it’s the masked man who goes in first, knocking down Dom with a back elbow. Black finds the collage of him and Slater that Coyle’d brought to the ring, then smashed it over Bán’s head… and Bán continued to wrestle for a bit with it still around his neck.
Black tries a crossbody, but it’s turned into a picture frame-removing fallaway slam just in time for Liam Slater to emerge with a steel chair! He clears house with a wild chairshot to the head of Bán as the crowd sing the melody to the Vengabus song. That’s not gonna get annoying!
Slater and Black double-team Bán, before the Sons of Ulaid caught a pair of crossbodies… only to get shoved into each other. The Sons ended up outside, where Slater dove onto them, as did Black, before all four men brawled around ringside. Despite being the good guys, Slater and Black chained Bás Bán to the ring post so they could work over the hitherto quiet Rory Coyle. By smashing a bunch of flowers over his back. Eh, if it works…
The good guys then used other weapons on Coyle, including the mannequin that Bán dances with… speaking of, the big guy had managed to free himself, ashe returned to the ring and took out the party boys with that chain. Black’s choked with it, at least until Slater tried to make the save, only to get caught with an Oklahoma Stampede… complete with Bán’s yells of agony! Speaking of agony, Rory Coyle pulls out some car battery jump leads and chokes Slater with them, throwing him over the top rope to hang him. Bán takes his shots on a hanging Slater until Black used a chair to take out Coyle – and free Slater in the process – and yes, we’re back to the crowd brawling!
The camera eventually picked up Bán and Slater by the bar, before being forced to part the sea of fans as Rory Coyle’s dragging Dom Black around towards the merch tables. Somehow Coyle’s caught with a 3D on the floor as he charged at Black… and missed, leading Slater free to beat Bás Bán with some books… then with kicks as the party boys took their shots on the masked weirdo in the ring.
The Leatherface lookalike popped up for a chokeslam, but that’s fought out of as they went for a pair of crossbodies… Bán caught Slater, but dropped him as Slater had to leap onto him again so they could do the double-team crossbody spot to take the big man down. Slater’s swandive headbutt only gets a one-count as the crowd are coerced into that “kick his c*** in” chant.
We get a long shot of the turnbuckles as Dom Black is dragged to the outside, before the Sons of Ulaid hit a double team chokeslam on Slater… who’s then suffocated with a carrier bag for the victory via ref stoppage. Well that was shocking, and had a few people in the crowd screaming in horror. As a main event it was fine, but another match which likely worked better for the live crowd than those watching on YouTube. Given that result, I don’t think this issue is anywhere near settled, but I don’t know where you can go with this after a no-DQ outing. **¾
Something’s happening because we get the end-of-the-show sign-off from Stevie Aaron, and sure enough a falling out between Slater and Black explodes as Liam Slater kicks Dom low as he went to hug it out. So THAT’S where you go – you turn the partners on each other!
I’ve been a little harsh on NORTH in the past, but this product is evolving through time. Sure, there’s issues with the lighting which means that their penchant for crowd brawling makes those things hard to watch, as they frequently veer on the wrong side of the “chaotic/hard to watch” divide. Nevertheless, this is a group that’s filling a niche – providing a more adult-oriented style of wrestling in a city that could easily have been saturated by the graps.
NORTH are back in action on July 1, with NCL.5 – Head Over Heels – again at Newcastle’s Riverside. Booked so far is Primate vs. Nathan Cruz, Little Miss Roxxy vs. Nina Samuels and HT Drake vs. Spike Trivet. I wonder how that Tory’s going to get treated in Newcastle…