There was apprehension in the air as we approached Cumbernauld for SWA – The Next Chapter, and it wis absolutely nothing to do wae anything wrestling related. Anytime I’m in Cumbernauld I feel like the infinite greyness that surrounds the place is gonnae take my soul, but I was pleasantly surprised tae be greeted at the front door by none other than the smiling face of Jam O’Malley. That’s when ye know its gonnae be alright. He re-assuringly welcomed us at the door, and shot a knowing wink in my direction like he wis assuring us “yer souls are safe here guys” so ye know whit? maybe I misjudged you Cumbernauld. Soured by years of enduring a mind numbing education in your horrendous embrace, I saw nothing of the beauty in the place. The beauty in the fact that there are two Greggs branches in the one shopping centre. Blinded tae the fact that the Cumbernauld has the remarkable statistic of having 1 roundabout tae every 5 humans living there, and blinded to the fact that St Maurices High School wis clearly some sort of mecca for brilliant wrestling. SWA have never failed to deliver in the shows of theirs I’ve been at right enough, but this was a stoater across the board for me. Providing a diverse blend of yer classic “baddie vs goodie” dynamic for the weans and the simpletons combined with 4 of the best wrestling matches yer likely to see this year (At least in Cumbernauld anyway, although I did see a young guy gettin dragged about the toon centre by the collar a few months back, but ye couldnae ever call that one a fair fight I don’t think. She didnae have a collar for a start) for the bearded sweaty marks and pale faced lassies. When I think about it I probably have elements of all 4 of those groups in me, so that makes this the perfect show eh? Only way tae find out if it was is tae read on. Or ask someone else who was there. Ye might get a quicker answer tbh, cause I’m gonnae haver shite for a while. Ye intae it? Good.
Lewis Girvan vs Eric Canyon
Lewis fuckin Girvan mate. I mean this wasn’t the purest display of his vast array of talents, but you still got to see just why he’s so highly rated. Energetic, technically sound and he looks like Drew Mcintyres environmentally friendly wee brother. Meat is murder, and sundbeds are the devil, but being pale, lean and slinging gorgeous dropkicks is what it’s all about for Girvan. Eric Canyon was fucking hilarious as yer quintessential heel anaw. Calling folks maws baw juggling roasters and suchlike. He also done this hilarious thing where he’d loudly call his own moves. It started with a huge clothesline, before he called for “ANOTHER HUGE CLOTHESLINE” before donning a rid mask, low cut singlet and stomping aboot gaun “Its time…Its time…its Gutwrench Suplex timeeeee!” but as entertaining as Canyons shenanigans were, they didnae stop him taking a DDT flush on his permanently disgruntled coupon, and Girvan picked up the win. Entertaining start though. Good triumphing over cheeky. Cannae whack it
Nikki Storm vs Courtney
Ooft. Nikki was a right Mardy Bum here. Aw argumentative. Had the face on. Know that way? Courtney bounces out energetically and done the splits a coupla times which brought visceral joys tae aw the boys. Courtney starts out fast with a few clotheslines, before Nikki hits a Northern Lights Suplex outta the corner. More argumentative patter wae the crowd from Nikki. I think she poured a slush puppy over a weans heid at one point, but I might be imagining that. She’s quite magnificent though eh? Been far too long since I’d seen Nikki in action, but I’ve heard she had a hugely successful tour in the states so the only way is up for her and her unerring combination of technical supremacy and nippyness. Courtney gathers some momentum wae a textbook snapmare followed by a dropkick. Nikki responds wae a neckbreaker, and after a fameasser type move fae Courtney, Nikki steals the win with a sneaky wee rollup. Technical perfection, nippyness AND sneakyness aw in the one wuman. Oh my.
Grado vs Christopher Saynt
Grado comes out to his usual thunderous pop. Fae Cumbernauld tae Kuwait, the man is revered around the globe. Cause people like fun. Weans like fun. Maw n dads like fun. Yer Uncle Joe likes the dominoes. Thats where he gets his fun. He’ll no be intae Grado really. Miserable bastard is Joe. Truth be told there’s been a growing number of Uncle Joes in some of the crowds I’ve been in recently. A lot of murmurs of discontent towards oor Grado fae people who either don’t like joy, or don’t like Madonna. Either way, they’re no my kinda people. Christopher Saynt is an Uncle Joe. Christopher Saynt comes out wae his sidekick Dave Conrad and calls a wee boy fat. I immediately took leave of my senses and screamed “Leave uhm alane! He’s husky and proud! Int ye son?” He didnae respond. Grado and Saynt get intae some wristlock and waistlock absurdity, before a wee shoving match breaks oot, and Dave Conrad interferes to bring this yin to a premature end. It was a ploy the whole fuckin time. Operation gie Grado a doing in full effect. Or it was until…
Grado and Damo vs Christopher Saynt and Dave Conrad
DAAAAAAAAAAAAAMOS GONNAE GET YE. I fuckin love me a bit of Big Damo. I swear he gets bigger everytime I see the cunt. Like he spends his time between shows rippin the heids aff sheep and eating them whole. Spittin the eyeballs at any farmers who gie him jip for it. He’s out tae give Grado hauners, and suddenly we have us a tag match. Big clothesline, scoop slam, chest stand (aye Damo stood on Christopher Saynts chest, the same Christopher Saynt who weighs about as much as one of Damos hamstrings) before Grado gets in amongst some shake, rattle n rolling. After that Saynt and Conrad had a strong period of dominance, making use of referee trickery and color coordinated gear tae bamboozle the authority figure. Sleekit. Extremely fuckin sleekit. Like the Quebecers, but less Canadian, and less clothed. Damo and Grado eventually get back intae the ascendency though, and we get Rolls and Slice by the fuckin dozen. Big Damo hits a pair, before inviting Grado in to have a go himself. Grado tries the F5 on Conrad, but the big man lands on his feet gies it an attitude ridden finger wag right in Graods coupon, before booting the wind straight oot him, but Damo and Grado secured the win after Grados second F5 attempt hits. Gid fun. A wee dance at the end anaw, and Damo fired on grados hat, cause bears can dance if they want tae. They can leave their friends behind. Cause their pals don’t dance, and if they don’t dance, then they’re nae pals of his.
Ryoji Sai vs Mikey Whiplash
Its unfair. Unfair that a lot of honest, hard-working, wrestling folk will probably never know that this match happened, and how unspeakably braw it was. Its unfair. Unfair that when they were handing oot wrestling ability, they gave so fuckin much of it to Ryoji Sai and Mikey Whiplash, and they left fuck all but crumbs and a misplaced sense of accomplishment for Shane Douglas. It’s just unfair. In a good way, but unfair aw the same. Admittedly I hadn’t heard of Ryoji Sai before this, cause I’m ignorant mate. I’ve seen a countless number of matches involving Bull Buchanan, and I’ve seen that unbelievably fat guy do his thing for 5 dollar wrestling (I cannae mind his name, but he’s essentially a hoose made oota jelly) but I’d never seen a Ryoji Sai match? for shame. What a captivating individual. His match wae Whippy started with a lot of intricate exchanges on the mat. Armbars, leglocks, yon wee move where ye get the leg locked in and ye fall back. Know the one? Backwards leg snap wae a side of sare. That thing. A dropkick in the corner fae Whiplash, is followed up by a brutal exchange of forearms, before Sai gets intae the ascendency wae a dropkick of his own, followed by the SAMURAI BRAINBUSTER! which he took great pleasure in announcing tae the whole of Cumbernauld. Got tae love somedy that’s incredibly invested in shouting about his brainbuster. One of my favourite qualities in a wrestler so it is. One of my favourite qualities in a human is putting the word “Samurai” before things anaw. So yer man Sai was ticking aw sorts of boxes here, and this match wis giving me and the rest of Cumbernauld tingles in our underboxes (whit the fuck is an underbox? I mean yer private parts btw, if that wisnae obvious)
Sai comes off the ropes, but gets caught intae a sitout powerbomb as this yin started swaying back and forth. Whiplash then strings together some stiff uppercuts, before imploring Sai to “STAY DOWN!” He also responded tae a wee guy saying he sucks, by telling him “so does yer mother” and while he was probably thinking “Yeah…she does suck, I hate my maw” He’s referring tae her sookin boabies wee man. On the off-chance yer reading this, he meant that yer maw sooks boabies. A lot of them. Sometimes roon the back of chippies. Anyway…wrestling! A beauty of a briding full nelson suplex got Whiplash a 2 count, before Sai caught up going up top, and hit either a supersplex or a top rope brainbuster. I cannae mind. Followed it up wae the Firemans Carry Double Knee Gutbuster for the win anyway. A truly fucking beautiful match though. Two of the purest wrestling talents yer eyes are ever likely to be exposed tae on these shores, coming together to do beautiful things. We’re no worthy. And it’s still fuckin unfair.
Afterwards Whiplash gets on the mic, and gies it patter about how outrageous it is that he didnae get his re-match for the title. Calls out big John “The Bomb” Graham and the big man tells him he’s never getting a re-match. Whiplash reminds him that he’s retired because of Whiplash, and the big man suddenly remembers he hauf owns the company, and decides tae not be retired anymore. Cause he’s the fuckin boss, and he’ll dae what he likes. Moral of the story is that Whippy vs John The Bomb is happenin. It’ll be a TLC match and that’s aw there is tae say about it really. Smashin.
Obata vs Jack Gallagher
This wasnt quite the wrestling exhibition as the match before it, but after a cagey start it did get really fuckin good. A succession of armdrags, is followed by a cheeky dropkick exchange as they were seemingly cancelling each other out early on. Big stiff bastardin forearms, are followed by a snapmare and a dropkick fae Obata. Then we had a chop off, wae shades of forearm smashes in there. It was a feast for the fuckin eyes so it wis. I’ve seen Jack Gallagher wrestle 3 times now, and its no enough times. No even close. Billy Robinson had a hand in his training, and ye can tell where his influence comes in. That influence being that Jack Gallagher is an excellent wrestler, and so was Billy Robinson. It tends tae rub off.
We had a tiger suplex fae Obata I believe, before the two get tae battling up on the top rope, Obata gets the better of it and hits a belter of missile dropkick, but it wisnae his day. Japan 1 England 1 would be yer final scores on the doors, as Gallagher gets incredible hang time on a corner dropkick. I mean yer man nearly cleared Obatas heid wae it, before winning one for the gingers with a top rope senton. I’m no calling it the Swanton, even though that’s technically what a Swanton is, cause it looked…different. It was delivered differently. More stylish but less flashy if that makes a modicum of fuckin sense. Whit I’m trying tae say is, I liked it better. I like Jack Gallagher better anaw. You should tae. Good tae see him booked for ICW next month, hopefully every other promotion in the land follows suit, and he moves here forever.
Mark Coffey vs Kenny Williams
Joe Hendry wisnae a heel when I last saw SWA, so it was surprising tae see him come out in the pink suit, gien it the Global Hero patter. I’m no sure how effective it is to be hittin out wae that smarmy arrogance in front of aw the weans in Cumbernauld, when they cannae really pick up the subtleties of it and just assume that yer a wank in a pink suit, who’s shite feart tae put his belt on the line. But Joe Hendry has decided that it serves him no purpose to put his belt on the line tonight, as his major goal is to take home all the titles. The Laird of The Ring, and Scottish Heavyweight. Cause he knows our lives are all boring, but they eh…widnae be if he had they belts. He gets patter slung at him about being a chicken, but ask yersells this…do chickens wear pink suits? Very seldom anyway. Kenny Williams replaced him and that was exceedingly good. Exceedingly good indeed.
Shoulderblocks from Mark Coffey, are immediately followed by a wee Huricanrana, springboard back elbow, crossbody combination fae Kenny, cause Kenny is the bollocks. Mark Coffey is somethin else anaw. If he cannae be the bollocks, how about the shaft? Cause everyone enjoys workin the shaft mate. (see this works because due to his technical prowess and adaptability, that everyone enjoys working wae Mark Coffey…ye see…dick jokes that also make sense…thats the way forward)
Coffey gets back on top wae a belly to back suplex, followed by some chops and a hard irish whip intae the corner. Kenny hits back wae a dazzling array of kicks, and a standing double stomp, before his tornado ddt attempt is blocked and turned intae that bridging belly to back suplex Coffey does so brilliantly for a 2 count. The chemistry between these two is clearly quite special. I loved their exchanges in the tag match they were both involved in at ICW lately, and this was just as good, but after Kenny gets a 2 count wae the Flying Knee, Coffey ends a very sportsmanlike battle wae a wee bit of expert sleekitness. Extra cheekiness. Sly wee rollup, wae a palm full of oor Kennys tights, and that was that.
I just assumed it was a wee bit of veteran gamesmanship fae Coffey know? It was still a hard fought honest battle between two of the best out there, but Coffey was just that wee bit smarter. Nae big deal, up the road for a pretzel n pizza party tae discuss how mischievous the younger Coffey brother is. But naw, this heralded the dawn of a NEW Mark Coffey era. The one where he’s a bit of a nasty heel, and knocks Kenny Williams the fuck out after their match. I thought better of ye Mark ma man. Think of the weans ffs! They look up to you bro! I look up to you! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LIIIIIIVE ON THIS EARTH NOW!? Sorry I got lost in the moment there, but aye. Coffey turned heel. No happy about having his Laird of The Ring Title shot took away fae him cause Joe Hendry couldnae be arsed, he took it out on oor Kenny. FOR SHAME
Joe Coffey vs Jackie Polo (SWA Scottish Heavyweight Title Match)
Ah Jackie Polo. It never gets auld does it? I hate that a wee bit. Things are supposed tae get auld. Aw he does is sing his entrance, and cut about oozing charisma, surely thats GOT tae have a shelf life eh? Nah. Its Jackie Polo mate. It’ll never stop being brilliant. Neither will him selling this neck injury either. He goes from strutting about wae reckless abandon, taking the Grado hat aff a weans heid, filling it wae porridge, and putting it back on, before he gets another twinge! Oooh ya. Sare. The Iron Man emerges next, and man alive, that belt suits ye. Aw the belts would suit ye. More belts for Joe please. Thank you. Wrestling? Why not.
Fucking incredible this was. In a different way fae Sai and Whiplash, cause while I suspected it would be good, I hadn’t seen enough (or any of to be more precise) of Sai to really know what tae expect. I’ve seen a couple of Joe Coffey vs Jackie Polo matches and they’ve both been quite marvellous. This took it tae another level though. This was just…aye. It. The fact that it was the 4th match in a row that was right up my street in terms of style made it aw the better mate. We started off with a shoulderblock battle, which of course Coffey won, cause that cunt has aw the shoulder. He’s the reason ye see so many skinny wee nae stature having guys in the West of Scotland, cause he stole aw the shoulder. After some chops were exchanged outside the ring, Joe blocks a backdrop attempt, before rolling through intae the half crab. Polo gets some momentum gaun with that apron dropkick spot that big Roman Reigns does a lot, followed by a flying shoulder tackle, and a bulldog fae the corner before we get some more chop warfare. Joe seems tae be taking some right stiff yins fae Jackie with no reaction, but I spose when ye’ve been in a chop war wae BT Gunn, yer just thankful ye came out the other end with any chest at all. Polo brings the Polo Stick intae the fray, but the ref is having none of it. Takes it aff him and with his back turned..BAW HIT. Low blow fae oor Polo. Sleekit. Polo hits a pair of scoop slams after the baw hit didnae get the job done, but Joe gets back on top after a wee dose of the swings, intae the Boston Crab. An agonising crawl leads Polo to the bottom rope. Before Joe goes tonto. I might start referring to that wee combination Joe does as that actually. D’ye think he’d be awrite wae it? He’s a large man. An imposing man, so I’m a bit wary of it, but we’ll go wae it for now. JOE GOES TONTO! Uppercuts force Polo intae the corner, followed by big splashes, but he didnae get to go full tonto, cause Polo blocked the bulldog attempt. Polo goes for the Polo Plex, but has that blocked anaw, and Joe Coffeys Spinning Lariat attempt is also thwarted as this yin kicked intae breakneck speed. A northern lights suplex, followed by the middle rope elbow fae Jackie as he seemed to have full control of the match for the first time. Could we be closing in on the era of Polo? Goes for the Shoulderbreaker, but Joe reverses it and hits a stoater of a briding German Suplex for a 2 count. Another brutal exchange of chops, uppercuts and forearm smashes, finally leads Joe tae locking in the Boston Crab and Jackie clings on bravely, but eventually has tae tap. Cannae have a burst neck and a burst spine big yin. It’s no a good look.
So aye. SWA do good wrestling shows. Thats three I’ve been tae now, and each card has had a bit of something for everyone. A wee bit surprised that it wasnt more packed numbers wise. Maybe folk were scared of Cumbernauld. Maybe folk were scared that cause big Damo wisnae on the card, that there was a chance he’d ransack their hooses, deadlift the fridge freezer and shake it tae aw the red meat fell out, but yees needn’t have worried troops. Damo was on the card and he’s pals wae Grado, so he probably won’t tear yer arms off n batter ye wae them anytime soon.
I don’t usually give shows marks out of 10 anymore, cause its redundant and waste of your time and mine, but SWA in CUMBERNAULD gets a solid ELEVEN marks out TEN. Making it OUT OF THIS WORLD.
Go tae the next SWA show in yer local area. You won’t be disappointed. Seriously. Do it.