The Shropshire-based VII Pro Wrestling returned on July 15 for their Summer Blowout card, and once again they’ve placed the whole event on YouTube for your viewing pleasure!
Ethan Silver vs Pete Dunne
Dunne heels on a fan at the match gets underway, and he starts by grabbing Silver’s nose and taking him into the corner. From the break, Dunne does the same again, but Silver ducks a chop and fires back, only to get taken down with a series of punches from Dunne. A leapover from Silver sees him take down Dunne with a flying armdrag, before using some satellite headscissors to send Dunne out to the floor.
Dunne slides back in and immediately takes a leg sweep, then a senton flip, before he goes to the outside… where he catches Silver mid-tope and slaps him down to the floor. Silver comes back in and gets caught in a double-underhook guillotine, which Dunne flips up onto a suplex for just a two-count.
Dunne bites at Silver’s hand as he set up for the knee-stomp, and then took him into the corner for some face-washing boots, before he tried to finish it early with the Drop Dead (pumphandle facebuster), but Silver rolled him up for a near-fall.
A hurricanrana saw Silver take down Dunne, then roll through into a knee strike, knocking both men down. Eventually, Silver got up and took down Dunne with a springboard into a DDT for a near-fall, but Dunne quickly fought back with a Fireman’s carry into an uppercut, before tossing Silver onto the outside. A draping neckbreaker off the middle rope got Dunne another near-fall, before he stomped away at Silver in the middle of the ring.
Silver made a comeback by climbing to the top and sending Dunne outside with a Dragonrana, before he just about connected with a springboard into a hurricanrana on the outside, after slipping on the top rope. The end was almost nigh for Silver, when his crossbody back into the ring was caught and turned into a tombstone piledriver by Dunne, whose second attempt at the Drop Dead was awkwardly turned into a Code Red-style roll-up for a near-fall.
From their knees, Dunne and Silver traded blows, before Dunne exploded on Silver with shots sending him into the ropes. Silver fired back with a forearm, but ran into an enziguiri. He retaliated with a knee strike, then a rope walk into a reverse rana, but his attempt at a superkick was blocked as Dunne landed a pumphandle into a powerbomb, then the Drop Dead for the win. For an opener, this was pretty good – Silver tried some stuff that just about came off, but Dunne’s one of those guys on the cusp of breaking through to the next level. ***½
Nixon Newell vs. Alex Windsor
Windsor – the former Liberty, from our last VII Pro review – starts by taking Newell into a corner, and they reverse the lock-up for a while before Windsor breaks free.
A second lock-up sees Newell grab a wristlock, which gets reversed back and forth, before they trade hammerlocks, and then back to the wristlocks. Windsor drops Newell with a forearm, then she clubs and kicks away at her, before Newell’s whipped into the turnbuckles repeatedly. Newell leaps over Windsor at the third attempt, then armdrags her a couple of times, before a dropkick sends Windsor rolling to the outside.
Newell tries for a tope, but Windsor cuts her off with a forearm in mid-air, before connecting with a knee as Newell was selling by the ring post. Newell countered by sending Windsor into the opposite ring post, and then landed a running PK off the apron, but missed a second and took a leg sweep onto the apron.
Windsor throws Newell back inside, but Newell popped up and launched herself back outside, taking down Windsor with a tope. Serves her right for taking her time! Newell rolls WIndsor in, and gets a two-count, before a headbutt rocks Windsor. The favour’s returned back and forth, before Newell’s superkick is replied with a clothesline from Windsor.
The pair trade forearms as they work to their feet, with Windsor winning out, before she misses an avalanche in the corner. Newell capitalises with an enziguiri on the apron, then a couple of back elbows in the corner, before she drills Windsor with a Shining Wizard for a two-count. Newell signals for the Welsh Destroyer, but Windsor backdrops free and follows with a Shining Wizard of her own for a bunch of near-falls.
A nonchalant back kick from Newell sets up for a rear neckbreaker for a two-count, but she takes too long on the top rope as she looked to follow-up, and got crotched by Newell, who picked the bones with an Air Raid Crash for the win. Not too bad, but at around 8 minutes long, it felt a little on the short side. **¾
British Lions Number One Contender’s Match: Dan Moloney vs. Chris Ridgeway vs. Damian Dunne vs. Drew Parker
The winner of this gets a shot at Chris Brookes’ title down the line… for the sake of following along here, Chris Ridgeway’s in green, Dan Moloney’s helpfully got his name on his gear, Damian Dunne’s the “Jack Whitehall lookalike”, whilst Drew Parker seems to be in pink trunks.
Thank God this wasn’t a New Japan “everyone’s in black” otherwise I’d just be throwing my hands up right now at this!
Moloney tries for a back bodydrop on Parker, but instead takes a hurricanrana, then a dropkick to the outside, before Parker gets cut off by Dunne. Damian knocks Parker to the outside with an uppercut, but Ridgeway sweeps the leg then kicks away at Dunne, and then does the same to a returning Moloney, with an enziguiri in the corner. Ridgeway drops Parker with a running PK on the apron, and then continues his tour around the apron, dropping someone else that the fixed camera missed (I guess Dunne), before completing his run with a tope to Moloney on the outside.
Drew Parker slides into the ring and prepares for a dive, but the camera misses a tope con hilo into the pile, before he rolls Dunne back inside for a step-up knee strike in the corner. Dan Moloney runs in to clothesline the pair of them, but Ridgeway runs in to start a chopping and kicking battle with Moloney. Ridgeway drops Dunne with a kick, but falls to a backfist from Moloney, who was then dropped by a high kick from Parker.
Dunne drops Parker with a back cracker, and all four men are down. Briefly. Parker picks up Ridgeway for Ricochet’s Benadryller, then gets taken down with an overhead belly-to-belly from Moloney. A spear from Dunne drops him, before Ridgeway counters with a kick and a high-angle back suplex. Parker and Ridgeway trade shots in the ring, but get interrupted again by Moloney.
Moloney gives an Exploder to Parker into a seated Ridgeway in the turnbuckles, whilst Dunne returned to send Moloney to the outside with a springboard stunner. Dunne waited for Ridgeway, and took a ripcord high knee for a near-fall. Ridgeway lands an enziguiri as Dunne was on the top rope, before Parker snuck up from behind with a rolling forearm and a reverse rana to take Ridgeway out of the equation. Parker then took the win with a crucifix facebuster onto Dunne off the top. I watched this three times, and still none of this sunk in. It’s not that the guys involved were bad, but it was just “indyriffic”, and not in a good sense…
This… was awful. It was bad enough on the last show with a five-way ladder match – constantly doing spots meant that absolutely sank in. This was remniscent of the “bad old days” of indy wrestling, and indeed, the kind of stuff that Jim Cornette et al ranted about back then. Yes, it was fast-paced, but it didn’t even seem to work for the live crowd. **
Tyler Bate vs. Wild Boar
Thank God, a singles match! We fade in with Boar shoving the referee, all whilst Tyler Bate nonchalantly circles around the ring, with a towel in hand.
Boar motions at someone in the crowd and invites him into the ring… and Bate even holds the ropes for the fan. In the end, Bate just shakes his hand, and we finally get underway as Boar grabs a waistlock, but Bate takes him down and works a toe-hold, then sits-down into a leg-spreader that could have put the future of any Future Little Boars at risk. They do a row-your-boat back and forth motion from here, which got a much bigger reaction than almost anything from the prior four-way.
Bate broke the hold as both men went into opposing corners to stretch out their groins (not like that), and after breaking free from a headlock, Boar took him down with a shoulder tackle. Another waistlock sees Bate break free by smashing his own boot into Boar’s head, before a dropkick sent the Boar to the floor.
Boar drags Bate to the outside, and smashes his head into the apron, but Bate made a comeback, chopping away at the Boar, and then ducking one as Boar made contact with the ringpost. Bate makes Boar familiar with the ringpost again, but then gets dropped onto the apron with a back suplex, as Boar ran wild with a snapmare in the ring, then a sliding dropkick… just for a one count.
Boar elbows Bate in the corner, but Tyler makes a comeback with a crossbody to take the Boar down, then lands an European uppercut and a springboard elbow drop for another one count. Bate connects with a big boot, but gets dropped from a Fireman’s carry, as Boar squashes him with a back senton for a near-fall. Someone from the crowd chants “wash your hair” at Boar (hey, it’s better than the “Boar-ing” chants), and Boar jumps on Bate when he climbed back into the ring, taking him down into the corner.
Bate fights out of the corner, but is overwhelmed and takes a shoulder tackle into the corner for a two-count from the Boar, who kept him grounded with a chinlock. Again, Bate gets taken into a corner where Boar worked over him with punches, but he finally overcame him with a big boot, a back elbow, and then a simple side-step, before lifting Boar to the top rope. Boar bites his way out of a superplex, but misses a back senton after Bate’d gone to the mat, and the comeback continues for Tyler with a couple of forearms, then a double-underhook suplex into a backbreaker.
Bate picks up Boar for an airplane spin, but it’s brief as Boar fights out and crushes him with a cannonball in the corner. Boar picks up Bate, but he’s reversed and Bate almost snatches the win with a cradle for a near-fall. Boar absolutely sends Bate sailing into the corner with a T-bone suplex, before a spear’s cut off with a knee-lift, allowing Bate to drill him with a knee to the back of the head, then a brainbuster for the win. This took a while to get going, but it quickly turned into a good, basic outing. ***½
#CCK (Chris Brookes & Kid Lykos) vs. The Uptown Funkers (Ryan Smile & Will Ospreay)
This is the billed main event, and we have Brookes starting off with Smile, but instead Brooks rolls out of the ring so he can sit on the apron and have it out with a fan. That seems to be a theme here… Smile and Ospreay join them in a chase around the ring, and the crowd even sing along the Benny Hill theme.
Brookes grabs Smile’s arm, but the wristlock is reversed and Smile whips Brookes to the mat. Brookes tries again, but Smile does the see-saw kick ups as Ospreay tries his best to Damian Sandow him on the apron, and Smile ends with a stomp to Brookes to end the exchange.
Kid Lykos comes in and demands to face Ospreay, so Will obliges, and immediately gets clubbed on the back by Lykos. Ospreay takes him down with some headscissors, then a handspring armdrag, then a dropkick. Will keeps on top of him in the corner, then goes for the Octopus hold, and rolls Lykos forward into a roll-up for a near-fall. Smile tags in, and after Lykos flipped out of a back suplex attempt, they were able to combine to pull off a double-hiptoss to the newly-tagged-in Brookes.
Smile and Ospreay do their dancing kicks to knock down Brookes for a near-fall, but the heels came back, with Lykos getting a one count on Smile, as #CCK exchanged fairly frequent tags. A suplex gets Brookes a two count, before Smile fights out of a rear chinlock, only to spin himself up in the air and take what looked like a phantom armdrag.
Lykos tags in again and drops Smile with a back senton for a near-fall, before Smile reverses a suplex into a sheer-drop brainbuster, and tags in Ospreay again, who lights up Lykos and Brookes with the Kobashi chops. Brookes fights free, but quickly gets taken into the corner and dropped with a hurricanrana, with Lykos taking a Yakuza kick for good measure.
A headbutt from Ospreay drops Lykos like a stone, but Brookes tripped Will as he went into the ropes, and left Lykos free for a pinning attempt, getting a near-fall. #CCK cycled tags again, with Brookes’ back suplex getting him a two-count on Ospreay, before Brookes locks Will in a camel clutch and forces him to eat some used chewing gum. I guess Will’s missus was watching this one too!
Lykos returns and takes Ospreay into the corner with some stomps, and barely gets a one-count out of it all, as Will fires back with a jaw breaker, only for Brookes to run in and knock Smile off the apron. Smile tries to slide in, but the referee gets distracted as the heels work over Ospreay, taking their sweet time in… just stomping the guy. Ospreay drops both members of #CCK with a handspring overhead kick from the ropes, and tags in Smile, who kicks away at Brookes, and unloads with running elbows into the corner. Complete with the Norman Smiley shrieks.
A moonsault press gets Smile a near-fall, before he blocks an O’Connor roll from Brooks and comes back with a dropkick. Lykos ran in to forearm Smile to death, and then hold him up for a double-team, but Smile overcomes it, as Ospreay came in to even things up with a springboard forearm. Smile dumps Brookes with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a near-fall, only to be caught out in a double-team as #CCK dropped him with a superkick for a two-count as Ospreay makes the save.
Lykos dispatches Will to the outside, as the heels set up Smile for a double suplex, but Will catches him safely, and forces Brookes to “kick” Lykos after he grabbed a kick and redirected it… except Lykos then dropped him with a bicycle kick. Smile returns for a shrieking kip-up into a kick on Lykos, and then gets dumped by a pump kick from Brookes, who in turn is dropped by Ospreay’s corkscrew diving kick.
Ospreay gets to his feet first, followed by Brookes, who he starts exchanging forearms with. Brookes gets sent into the ropes, but Ospreay’s low-bridged to the outside by Lykos as he went for the OsCutter. Smile ends up in there with Brookes, and he’s held in a Gory stretch, with Lykos coming off the top rope with a neckbreaker to complete the double-team Gory bomb in an innovative double-team I’ve not seen before.
Smile got his hand on the ropes to stop the count at two, but was able to fight free of another double team attempt, before he and Ospreay combined for a double helping of Cheeky Nandos on Brookes. One reverse ‘rana from Ospreay turned Brookes around, and back onto his feet for another pump kick from Smile. Brookes rolled to the outside, where Ospreay met him with a tope con hilo, whilst Lykos ran in to trip up Smile’s attempt at a dive.
A tornado DDT from Lykos takes Smile down, before he misses a moonsault and falls into the path of an OsCutter, then a frog splash as the Uptown Funkers get the win! That was a fun main event, but they kinda lost their way towards the end with the “everyone in the ring, don’t care who’s legal” stuff. ***¾
Ospreay and Smile celebrate after the match, and for some reason Will motions for Smile to get his belt back. #CCK attack Smile and Ospreay with weapons afterwards, and out runs… Drew Parker to make the save. Everyone bar Smile brawls to the back, and as Smile pulls himself to his feet, Bring Me The Horizon’s “Can You Feel My Heart?” plays. At VII’s last show, Pete Dunne won the VIIth Heaven (Seventh Heaven), their equivalent of Money in the Bank. As Smile was watching the entrance way, Dunne slides into the ring and smashes the briefcase from behind into Smile’s head. It’s cash-in time!
VII Pro Championship: Ryan Smile (c) vs. Pete Dunne
Pretty elementary this – Dunne rolls Smile over, but he kicked out at two from a lateral press. Dunne slaps Smile and stomps away at him on the mat, but Smile slaps him from the ground.
Dunne stomps away some more, and then drills him with the Drop Dead, and we have a new champion! Pete Dunne’s cashed in, and ends the night as the VII Pro champion!
As a top to bottom show, this was really good value, and I’m not being facetious because VII Pro made this available for free! Tickets to this card topped out at £10, and although the “live show” was an hour long after stripping out entrances, you got some really good workers and some fine action in here.
Personally, I didn’t like the four-way match, largely because it was a non-stop spot fest which contained very little in the way of selling, and next to no chances for anything to sink in. In my eyes, it did little for anyone involved, and if they were limited on time, they’d have been better off stripping out half of the match and not present it as the trainwreck it was.
Likewise, I’m not sure how often VII have done, or plan to do these VIIth Heaven matches, but it would have been nice to have seen a tease of a cash-in first. Still, it got the VIIth Heaven gimmick over, and you’re not about to hear me complain about Pete Dunne getting some silverware!
VII Pro’s next show is on September 16th back in Telford, England, headlined by Tyler Bate challenging Pete Dunne for the VII Pro title, as well as Travis Banks vs. Wild Boar, and some women’s action as Nixon Newell teams up with Dahlia Black to face Jinny and Sierra Loxton. Tickets, and further details, can be found at http://www.viiprowrestling.com/