Southside made their Birmingham debut in February with Judgement Day – here’s our take on a show that was loaded with talent.
The show at the Collingwood Centre was a co-promotion between Southside and Kamikaze Pro – a promotion based in the Midlands which also has Dunne and Robbie as a tag team, under the moniker of The Bigger Picture.
Guilty By Habit (Damian Dunne & Robbie X) vs. Hubba Bubba Lucha (El Ligero & Bubblegum)
This feels a little bit like Saturday Night’s Main Event, opening with a match that could well be the main event. For some reason, referee Joel Allen is a little late in getting to the ring, so he’s tailgating GBH.
The match starts with Bubblegum and Robbie X, and an early roll-up from Bubblegum almost ends it as Robbie kicked out at two from the very first move! Back in the ring, they trade wristlocks, as Ligero tags in with his Mario-inspired gear to fake out a running knee… then just sit down next to him for a delayed crucifix pin. Comedy!
Ligero’s quickly double-teamed by GBH, but he turns thing around by tripping Dunne then forcing Robbie into a standing moonsault on his own man before tagging in Bubblegum for a dropkick on Dunne. GBH powder to the floor for some respite, before Robbie creates a distraction so Dunne can attack him from behind, choking him in the corner.
Dunne ties up Ligero in the corner as the heels isolate the Southside champion, but he finally crawls through Dunne’s legs and tags in Bubblegum, who runs riot over Dunne and Robbie. A spinning neckbreaker from Bubblegum takes down Dunne, but Robbie returns with a shotgun dropkick and an attempt at a German suplex, but Ligero makes the save, only to watch as Robbie X breaks up a cover as Bubblegum had it won from a bridging German suplex.
GBH come back when Robbie throws Ligero into a spear by Dunne for a near-fall. Ligero comes back with an enziguiri out of the corner, whilst Dunne takes the 619 from Bubblegum, before a neckbreaker/double stomp is enough for Hubba Bubba Lucha to get the win. An entertaining opener, but a result that does no favours for GBH. ***¼
Travis Banks vs. Gabriel Kidd
On paper, this is an interesting match-up between two competitors who’ve somehow got a losing record in Southside – but clearly have the talent to be on the other side of that win/loss equation.
Kidd starts with a wristlock as the “Mechanic” forced Banks into the ropes. Banks replies with a tie-up into the corner as both men tried for an advantage, and it was a hair-pull from Banks that looked to get him a lead… only for Kidd to boot him out of the ring. They head around the ring as Banks tried to escape, but he’s caught as Kidd held up Banks for some people in the crowd to chop away at the Kiwi.
Kidd spots Eddie Kingston at the back of the room, then drags Banks over there so the Impact star could throw a chop in himself, before Joe Atherton gets himself involved, throwing a forearm into Banks on the outside! They finally return back to the ring as Banks explodes onto Kidd, laying into the youngster with chops and forearms, before a snapmare and a hard kick to the back gets a near-fall. Kidd hits another big boot to almost dislodge some teeth, before he edges the next striking exchange and drops Banks with a clothesline.
Kidd continues that comeback with a death valley driver for a near-fall, but he misses a moonsault off the middle turnbuckle and promptly gets taken down with a clothesline and a brainbuster as Banks gets a near-fall. A bunch of blocked suplexes led to Banks drilling Kidd with a superkick and a diving knee for another two-count as Kidd shifted into the role of plucky youngster.
A simple headbutt knocks down Banks, who then takes a Finlay roll as another moonsault misses… but Kidd landed on his feet, before being kicked low as Banks unsighted the referee. All that’s left is the springboard enziguiri out of the corner, and that’s a W for Travis Banks. A fun match that worked well with this audience. ***¼
Lana Austin vs. Rosemary
I’m starting to think the “Southside template” video must be a default, since Alex Gracie and now Lana Austin are sharing the same design…
Austin tries to switch places with the referee, and Joel Allen quickly dives out of the ring to leave the two ladies at it. Allen shoves Austin towards Rosemary, but she just hooks herself in the ropes before diving onto someone in the front row for cover as she refused to get involved.
They get going as Rosemary lands several clotheslines to take Austin down, following up with some ground and pound before Austin powdered to the outside. A reverse legsweep knocks Rosemary down onto the outside as Austin looks for the upper hand, with some weird video glitching obscuring some hair pulling. Rosemary stands up out of that, but she’s clubbed back down as Austin takes her into the corner for some choking.
The tables turn with Rosemary chopping Austin in the corner, following up with a figure four headscissors in the ropes. Austin comes back though, suplexing Rosemary for a two-count, before a side Russian legsweep and a running kick knocks Rosemary backwards. Rosemary Matrix’s out of a kick from her knees for her latest comeback, utilising clotheslines and a running forearm before an Exploder knocks Austin down.
Lana fights out of a fireman’s carry and hits a Northern Lights suplex for a near-fall, before pulling Joel Allen in the way of an onrushing Rosemary. That sets up for a schoolboy for another two-count, before Rosemary comes back with the Red Wedding (F5) and that’s all folks! Not a bad match behind all of the theatrics, and I can definitely see why Lana Austin’s getting rave reviews around the UK. **¾
Tyson T-Bone vs. HC Dyer
This was a weird one, a clash between two WWE UK title tournament competitors, with Dyer “already in the ring”. T-Bone launches straight into Dyer with right hands, chopping him in the corners before a big boot to the back rocks Dyer.
There’s an extended period of brawling outside, and it’s a while before they head into the ring, where T-Bone moves the ring with an Irish whip into the corner on Dyer. Most of T-Bone’s offence here is punch and kick related, and just as I type that he gets a suplex for a near-fall, then a rear chinlock.
Dyer comes back with a dropkick, but he’s quickly cut-off with a back elbow, only to come back again with a neckbreaker. A massive spinebuster knocks down T-Bone, as does a series of clotheslines, before a Samoan drop almost wins it for the traveller. T-Bone keeps up the pressure with a German suplex out of the corner, before a superkick is blocked. The end comes when Dyer hits a superkick, then a slam, before heading up top for the match-winning elbow drop. This had a rough start, but ended up being alright by the end. **½
Queen of Southside Championship: Shanna vs. Melina (c)
This was Shanna’s first in-ring appearance for Southside in almost five years – a rather eyebrow-raising stat considering the focus they’ve put on women’s wrestlers lately.
Shanna tries to end this early with a roll-up, before Melina tries one herself as both ladies pick up early two-counts. They exchange armdrags, before Melina takes Shanna into the corner for some forearms and another schoolboy for two-count, which seems to make Shanna snap as she tries to take over from there.
It’s not long before Melina comes back with clotheslines, then another roll-up after a missed charge in the corner, but despite that, we’re still somewhat even here. Shanna takes Melina into the corner from a knuckle-lock, before a second one forces the champion down to her knees, only for Melina to roll back to reverse it and score another two-count with a crucifix-like roll-up.
Melina heads outside, but she’s met out there with a baseball slide dropkick, before Shanne jumps on top of her with some axehandles as it becomes apparent that Melina’s suffering from a wardrobe malfunction, fighting to re-attach her gear around her neck to prevent some kids from getting an eyeful. Shanna punches her down for a near-fall as Melina rolled into the ropes to finally fix her gear once and for-all – needing the help of the referee to sort it out.
The match resumes with Melina rolling through Shanna into a small package, then a backslide as Melina keeps trying to get near-falls before she just dropkicks Shanna to the floor. Melina tries for a baseball slide dropkick, but she’s caught in the ropes and is dragged to the floor, clipping the side of the apron with her head before landing hard on the floor.
Melina rolled back in, then pretty much went to her finish, fighting out of a full nelson before trying for the Sunset Strip. Shanna blocks it and tries for a double underhook facebuster, eventually hitting it for a near-fall. A dragon suplex takes down Melina, but there’s no cover as the shoulders don’t stay down, so Shanna tries to do the facebuster off the top rope. It’s blocked, and Shanna misses a crossbody off the top, before the Sunset Split gets the win. This wasn’t good. Both can do so much better than this, and I have to think that it was just a case of two wrestlers unfortunately having an off day together – with the wardrobe malfunction and the bad spill not helping things. ¾*
Chris Tyler vs. Andrew Everett
Tyler’s match graphic still has him holding the Southside tag titles… Hmm.
Tyler starts by catching some headscissors on Everett, before they swapped wristlocks. A rope-running sequence sees leapfrogs and roll-throughs as Everett flips Tyler down with more headscissors, and the favour is returned as both men stand-off. A tope from Tyler knocks Everett into the crowd, before he’s thrown back in for a near-fall, with a dropkick from Tyler getting another two. He moves into a rear chinlock to keep Everett grounded as the focus shifts to the whole “keep the relative veteran down”. Tyler gets another near-fall from a floatover suplex, before shrugging off a headbutt as he hits a Miz-like clothesline in the corner.
Everett makes a comeback from there, springboarding in with a dropkick for a near-fall, before getting a similar result from a standing moonsault. Tyler tries to hit some forearms, before he catches Everett in the ropes with a superkick, allowing him to hit a Codebreaker off the middle ropes. From there, Tyler goes up top, where he misses a 450 splash, but the resulting small package is only good for a two-count as Everett tried to capitalise on the error. They exchange right hands back and forth for a spell, until Tyler hits a bicycle kick, then gets an enziguiri in return. More superkicks and enziguiri kicks take Tyler down, but he rebounds with a pump kick and a bridging German suplex for a two-count.
Tyler again tries for a top rope move, but he lands on his feet from a step-up moonsault, before he’s spiked by a reverse rana. Everett follows off the top rope with a shooting star press, and that’s enough for the win… if that reverse ‘rana hadn’t done the job already. Despite his injury, a really good outing from these guys – and despite the loss, Tyler looked good as he established himself in the singles division. ***¼
Dan Moloney vs. Ethan Page
We finally get going after a lot of pre-match jaw-jacking, and they start with a tie-up, before a headlock from Moloney leads to him being shoved off and into a shoulder tackle. Page tries some too, but neither seem to move the other man, until a big boot from Moloney just earns him a lariat that sends the match to the outside.
They brawl into the crowd, where Moloney is given a Snake Eyes into a table, before an Irish whip gets reversed as Page meets the ringpost head-on. Moloney chops Page against the ring post, which of course leads to the Trent Seven spot, before he recovers in the ring with a bicycle kick for a near-fall. Moloney whips Page into the corner again, but the favour’s returned as Page returns the “Superbeast” chants with taunts of “Super Ego”.
Page chops away at Moloney, who rolls back up to give a receipt as he boxes away on Page in the turnbuckles, but another chop from “All Ego” knocks Moloney outside again. Some cat and mouse – along with a teased run-in from a fan – doesn’t work out well for Moloney, as he’s beaten on in the corner again as a set-up for a stalling suplex. That suplex gets a near-fall as Moloney tries another comeback, shaking off a big boot to try for a Samoan Driver. They try with clotheslines, eventually taking each other down, before they exchanged strikes from their knees. A leapover sees Page avoid Moloney, en route to the Tanned Sheamus boot for another two-count.
Another Tanned Sheamus misses as Moloney hits the Samoan driver then a big boot for a near-fall. Moloney lifts up Page for a spin-out powerbomb, but he escapes it and comes back with the Spinning Dwayne for the win. A pretty good “big lad’s wrestling match” to wrap things up, as Page gets what some would call a surprising win over the local lad Dan Moloney. ***½
A decent debut show for Southside, albeit one that was lacking any killer, must-see match. Despite being disappointed at how badly the women’s title match fell apart, because on any other night that would have been quite decent, this was a decent enough show, and worth a watch if you’ve got access to it.