PWE – Gradomania Review

graaad

Life used to be a mystery. Every now and again, people did have tae stand alone. But when Simon Cassidy uttered the words “and you’re NEWWWWWW Pro Wrestling ELite Heavyweight Champion….GRAAAAAADO” It felt like………….

Home.

It felt right didn’t? I dont mean tae sound like a pure cheeseball, but the Ayr Toon Hall hasn’t been as electrified as that since The Singing Kettle rolled intae toon back in 1996. Weans screamin, adults greetin, a wee boy in a Grado singlet burst intae flames I think. Cause wur boay done it. Sorry if thats a spoiler like, I assume ye know. It was a few days ago, but he done it. And the hauners he utilised to help get the job done were of the highest order. Good times wae good pals, and shiny belts. I’m no gonnae say too much disparaging stuff about the champion he dethroned, because he may well be the most frightening man on planet earth, but aye. Grados got a shiny belt. Before we got to that, we were treated to quite possibly my favourite of the family friendly shows I’ve been to. Admittedly I haven’t been to a huge amount, but for the quality of wrestling and the wee memorable moments that happened on the night, this was the most one of these shows has absorbed me.

Lou King Sharp and Lucy Cole vs Dave Conrad and Courtney 

Had no idea this was happening, so it was a pleasant wee surprise. Big fan of yer Lou King Sharp, so any chance to see him doing his thing is a good time tae me. He seems set as a good guy in PWE, so that meant him and fellow PBW trainee Lucy Cole were the goodies, and the big bruiser Dave Conrad assumed the rule as bad muhfucka, alongside Courtney. It was my first time seeing Courtney in any role other than the nice lassie that does the splits a lot, and I dunno if it’s my own preference for lassies being a bit nasty, but her as a heel worked for me. I felt like her slapping me across the chops would be a mutually enjoyable experience. The match started out with some armdrags, and a dropkick, before we had a few intergender exchanges. None of yer shitey WWE rules, where if you tag out, the other team have to aswell. This mixed tag match was actually fuckin MIXED. Courtney cleaning Lou King Sharp out with a big clothesline that yer mothers favourite shagger seemed tae enjoy a wee bit. We saw a codebreaker at some point tae, I’m pretty sure that was from Lucy Cole, but I cannae mind. Lou King Sharp took some hard shoulderblocks from Dave Conrad tae, as the big man laughed off Sharps attempts to tak him off his feet. He was laughing oot the other side of his face when Sharp busted out the 0141 (Its like the 619, but there’s a bottle of Bucky and 10 mayfair hingin oot yer back pocket as ye dae it) before Lucy Cole secured the win for the team with a sneaky wee rollup.

Good wee pace setter for the show. Nice tae see all involved stepping out of their comfort zones. I think everyone aside fae Dave Conrad was playing a different role fae their regular ones in their usual promotions, and they all adapted well. Especially Courtney, who scalded Conrad after the match, and probably toed his baws for him anaw. Nae doing the splits. Nae big smile. Just her being a properly mean, braw lassie. I mean whit? Wrestling

Red Lightning vs Damian O’Connor

He’s fuckin back! And it was magnificent. We’re getting ready to kick off the main card, when that music hit. Out comes the bold yin. FINALLY…OOR RID…HAS COME BACK..TO THE AYR …TOWN…HALL. Magnificent to see the man in action, as he strolled out to bemoan his non-inclusion on the card. Why would one of the most hotly anticipated shows in the country this year not have one of Scotlands best on it? It makes nae fuckin sense does it. So he demands an opponent. Open challenge. He’s no feart of anyone. Bring it on. I reckon when he issued the challenge he was probably looking for a human being to face him right enough, and well. Damian O’Connor is no longer a human being. Not fully anyway. Half man, half bigfoot. Half bear. Cunts so big, he’s got three halves. Red surveys the mammoth task which lies before him, and with a light trickle of pish running dow his right leg he starts throwing hard jabs at Damo. Big yin didnae flinch. Red decides its time tae fuckin hightail it out of there man. Grabs the mic and bellows “DONT YOU RING THAT BELL! I DIDNAE SIGN UP FOR THIS…DONT YOU DARE!” at the ref Eddie Sideburns, but he rung it anyway, cause in fairness. This is exactly what Red signed up for. Ye cannae pick and choose yer opponent when its an open challenge chief. If a bear-man-bigfoot comes out tae tear yer limbs off and stick them up yer arse, thats something ye just need to accept. Damo fires some uppercuts in, followed by a missed splash, but he was back in the ascendency soon after. Standing on Reds chest and urging the ref no tae bother starting a count, cause he was about tae Senton Reds chest tae smithereens. Red did get a wee bit of momentum though, pulling Damos neck across the middle rope, before pulling the straps doon and signifying that its time. Its time. Its Michinoku Driver tiiiiime. It wisnae though. It never is. Unless Godzillas cuttin aboot, theres nothing of Japanese origin thats fuckin touching big Damo. Well Kenta Kobashi could probably hurt him wae a chop, but thats about it. Of course he couldnae lift the big fella, and Damo hit the Electric Chair Drop for the win.

I popped hard for a bit of surprise Red Lightning. In case ye hadn’t gathered from the article and interview that’s appeared on the site lately, I’m a huge fan personally, and it was brilliant tae see him back something close tae his best. Hopefully this is the start of a new and exciting chapter for Red. Damo looking dominant again making his PWE debut as well. For such a man mountain of a guy, his matches are always diverse. All this shit gone down already and we’ve no even said a word about the card that was actually announced for the show. We’ll get tae that now but. Dinnae you worry.

Joey Hayes vs Wolfgang

Its rare that ye see a wrestling match start with a good old fashioned game of chasies, but that’s what occurred here when Wolfgang attempted to get revenge on the bold Joey Hayes for his heinous steel chair attack at the last show. Clearly a wee bit worried about the wrath of Wolfie, Joey jumped in and out the ring in rapid fashion, before Wolfie got wise tae the issue here. If he stands still, and Hayes jumps back oot, they’ll wind up toe tae toe. Cheek tae cheek. Wolfie lining up tae heider that preek. He eventually outsmarts him and they get intae the battle. Wolfie asking the crowd if he should splash uhm? The crowd co-signed the invitation to splash, and with splash completed, Wolfgang unleashed a barrage of jabs and clotheslines. Hayes looked dazed. Joey Dayez. But Hayes is one of the most intelligent wrestlers in the UK. Eventually his fleet footed nimbleness, and aptitude for dancing around big guys tae they fall doon got him into the ascendency, and all of a sudden he found himself near snapping Wolfies neck with the crossface. The big yin is a deadlift maestro though. He deadlifted Hayes from the crossface position while screaming “I FEEL ALIIIIIIIIIIIIVE” and beatin his beast like Tarzan, before dropping him down wae a backbreaker. We had some forearm warfare, before Hayes somehow got Wolfie down intae the Crossface again, and this time it was too much for the big man as he tapped out to give the sleekit one a hard earned win.

Johnny Moss vs Liam Thomson (European Title Match)

I enjoyed the wee dynamic between these two early on, as Thomson got on the mic and demanded that if he was gonnae be putting his body on the line against a BRUTE like Mossy, then Mossy should be putting his prestigious European Title on the line as well. Thats the thing about Mossy, ye could probably cut any promo on him, saying any words ye like. The nastiest, most deplorable shit. He does not hear your words. He does not give a modicum of a fuck. Anything you say, will be met with a nod that says “aye nae bother mate, just get fuckin in this ring so I can knock fuck out ye!” He agrees to Thomsons request if it means that he shuts the fuck up and gets in the ring for a bit of a wrestle, so there we have it. An impromptu title match between one of the most accomplished wrestlers in Europe….and Johnny Moss. (That’s 100% a joke btw, I love Mossy, and as soon as I typed it I feared for my life, even though I’ve no even put this shit on the site yet, that gives ye an indication of the kind of presence Mossy has, and by ‘presence’ I mean ‘that cunts a fuckin tank….ruuuuuuuun!’)

A wrestling match broke out and it was cagey to begin with. Both men not giving much away, after a tie up and some armbar action, Thomson managed to take the big yin off his feet and twisted his ankle right in front of his very eyes, while mouthing “I’m gonnae stick this up your arse” in Mossys direction. A brave man is yer Liam Thomson. He’s also on fire right now. Or at least more folk are giving him the respect his undoubted talent deserves. Mossy of course regained his vertical base though, cause ye’d need tae be Big Show wae Daddy Haystacks strapped to his back tae hold enough wait tae keep the big man down. A shoulderblock and a clothesline took Thomson to the outside, where Mossy unleashed some stinging chops. Mind when Liam Thomson had a chest? Past tense mate. Mossy killed him deid. Briefly anyway, but he rose like a Pheonix from the ashes of his deid ribcage to catch Mossy flush on the jaw with a missile dropkick. A running knee followed, before Mossy flung Thomson haufway back to Edinburgh with an eye catching Belly to Belly throw. Then he dropped aw sorts of bombs on Thomson. Bombs in the form of lariats. Bombs in the forms Gutwrench Suplexes. Bombs in the form of backdrops. But Thomson almost snuck the win when he hit the Backcracker out of nowhere for a two count. That’s my favourite thing about Thomson, apart fae that constant look of disapproval at the world he’s got on his face, he’s a scrapped. Ye could put him in there wae God himself, and God’s daein a bunch of seriously godlike shit. A quintuple Canadian Destroyer followed by an ebow drop aff the moon, and Thomson still sticks in.
I’m not saying Liam Thomson is better than god really. I’m no sure if I even believe in god, but I do believe I seen Mossy roll through a crossbody attempt to hit a thunderous Tombstone tae retain his belt, and send Thomson a wee bit closer to meeting god. I don’t think he’s actually deid, but he sold it like he was. Two PWE shows in a row I’ve been tae in a row where Thomsons been the perfect foil for an intimidating, surprisingly agile big man. Liam Thomson is for real.

Project Ego vs The NAK vs Kid Fite and TJ Rage vs The Coffey Brothers

I’m fucking raging, cause this was easily up there with some of the best tag matches I’ve seen all year, and I’ve seen some stoaters, but the notes I took are gone. Fuck knows what happened. I must’ve deleted them by mistake, so this is all from memory. It was one of those multi team tag matches that got frantic quickly. Firstly, with all three scheduled teams in the ring, raring tae go, “CARD SUBJECT TO CHANGE” appeared on the screen. Considering the fact that the NAK were one of the teams already oot, the mind wandered. Whit the fuck was happening here? Wis it a SECOND NAK team, comprised of Divers and James Scott? Were Kid Fite and TJ Rage gonnae pull the singlets down tae reveal big “NAK 4 LIFE TATOOS” across their chests, turning it intae a 4 on 2 beat down? A quick glance at Renfrew and BT suggested that they wurnae in on it, and then it happened. SURPRISE COFFEYS! It wasn’t quite up there wae Surprise Devitt right enough. Surprise Devitt will probably never be topped, but it was certainly in the same bracket as Surprise Red Lightning. Ye cannae have a best of British tag match and not have any Coffeys in the mix. It just disnae make any sense. The match itself was brilliant. Having Project Ego in the mix with some of Scotland best brought some intriguing matchups. Seeing Chris Renfrew and Martin Kirby scrap is something you’d probably never have anticipated seeing. Two very different shades of baldy, and two of my favourite cunts in very different ways. Kris Travis and BT Gunn anaw. Two of the very best in Europe firing all sorts of flippy shit at each other. BT slung some thunderous superkicks tae go with his usual selection of life altering chops. I’m sure Renfrew hit the stoner at some point tae. Fito definitely snap suplexed someone. Martin Kirby if I recall correctly.

Wis there suicide dives? I feel like I seen suicide dives. Awwww aye, Mark had face paint on anaw, so the Coffeys were road warrior’ed oot their nuts. A big bastardin lariat fae Joe on Renfrew aswell. The swings into the Boston Crab on BT Gunn as those two relived their battle from ICWs last Edinburgh show. The Coffeys and Project Ego were eliminated simultaneously after some apron shenanigans from Charles Boddington led to a double rollup. That’s us down to The NAK vs Rage and Fito. A bit of an odd dynamic considering they’re all proper heel, Grado hating bastards but it led to a belter of a scrab. Kid Fite literally bounced a bin aff BT Gunns napper. I’m sure big TJ hit a spear, but again, this is from memory, so I may be remembering another spear he’s done. He’s spear daft after all. At one point I can clearly remember thinking Fito and TJ had it in the bag. After they hit a certain move in particular. Might’ve been than phantom spear I’m on about, but they didnae. NAK secured the win with Killer Boots and that was that.

Another belter of a multi team tag match (I know every tag match is multi team, but ye know whit I mean…3 teams…4 teams. Its multi…fuckin…aye) In another different indie promotion. The amount of top quality tag teams in Britain right now gies me a warm glow in the testicular area. I think it was Chris Brooker that suggested in a tweet that they should start a league. How fucking good would that be? A cross promotional league, and everyone shares talent. All the best tag teams having fucking astounding matches together up and down the UK. For now I’m content to have seen the likes of the Buckys, NAK, Fight Club, The Hunter Brothers, Ryoji Sai and Obata (not British I know, but how good were they?) Project Ego, The London Riots, The Sumerian Death Squad (Holland is basically Britain + legal weed and clogs) The Coffeys, Polo Promotions, Just Uz etc wrestling each other in different promotions all over the shop, but imagine even one supercard. Filled with aw the best tag teams. One night only. Fucking havering now eh? Wrestling just grabs ye like that sometimes. Captures the imagination in the best possible way. Its a feeling I get quite often when watching British Wrestling shows lately. Either live, or online. A special feeling that something properly fucking good is happening on our doorstep right now. A wrestling hot bed. Get intae it, or get tae fuck. Contribute positively, or don’t contribute at all. Don’t drag the product down because you’re an egotistical hare brained halfwit with a vendetta, naming nae names like (except I am…. fuck Craig Jarrett)

Andy Wild vs Noam Dar

Simply fucking stunning. If there are two wrestlers with better chemistry than Noam Dar and Andy Wild in the U.K, I’m yet tae see them. Every single time these two never miss a beat. The slight wildcard in this one wis Andy Wilds new body shape. Would they still be able to engage in the gorgeously paced technically astute battle that we’d come to expect with Andy packing so much more….girth? Of course they could. Andy Wild isnae fat ye see. He may or may not have welded a few extra thighs on tae his existing ones, but he’s no sitting in the Blue Lagoon wae a drip filled wae gravy getting pumped intae his veins, his gain in girth is more down tae eating 15-20 steaks on an hourly basis, and deadlifting Jeeps. So the match was has marvellously paced as ever. Probably my favourite match I’ve seen of theirs.

Waistlocks tae start. Armbars. Andy Wild gently easing his pal intae a bit of surfboard action. Everybody was surfin ye see. Surfing Andy Wild (a wee Beach Boys reference fur the troops! Don’t say I’m no good to yees) Noam reversed the surfboard intae a sexy pin. 1..2…3. Over after 2 minutes. Nah I jest. This shit went on for ages and ages still wisnae enough. Its never enough. I see this move a lot, but I’m never sure what it’s called. I ask folk all the time but naecunts got an answer, but see that move where ye cross yer opponents arms on his chest and pull? That one. That happened. Then we had an exchange of strikes between them, uppercuts…forearms, sare hits. Two best pals knocking fuck out each other in a majestic fashion. Ye cannae beat it. A backslide from Noam, led to a succession of pinning combinations from both, before they near knocked each other out with a bit of a head on collision. Time for a breather. Make sure yer hearts still beating eh. I know I did at the time.

Andy Wild went German daft after that, stringing together two cracking German Suplexes before Noam blocked his attempt at a third Dar used the momentum he gained from that tae bust out a dropkick, and I believe a Samoan Drop. I mind turning to my pal and going “wis that a Samoan Drop?” and he went “I dunno” and I went “I’m gonnae call it the Star of David Drop!” and he went “Oh” and I went “Oh indeed” Except that conversation didnae happen, cause I’ve got nae pals. I wisnae even at this show, I was in the house watching Family Fortunes repeats and scranning pot noodles wae my fingers. Don’t even fuckin like wrestling anyway, its for geeks. I only go tae make fun of all the nerds that go tae the wrestling. Jesting aside, Wild nearly took Noams heid clean aff with a beauty of a lariat, which was followed by a huge Gutwrench Powerbomb. Noam replies with a big kick to the back of the dome, followed by a firemans carry takedown. Everything seemed tae be happening all at once. It was like staring intae a Kaleidoscope of pro wrestling goodness, and we weren’t even close tae finished. They exchange brutal headbutts as both make their way tae their feet, before Andy Wild hit out wae a pair of ace crushers. The second one coming from the top rope, which Noam sold magnificently. Not an easy move tae get the timing right in my (irrelevant) opinion, and Wild must’ve thought he had the job done. He did not, and he couldnae fuckin believe it. Noam kicked out. Andy Wild decided enough was enough. If he couldnae beat Noam by throwing a bunch of incredible wrestling moves at him, he was gonnae need tae resort to very ungentlemanly ways of getting it done. He calmly grabbed a wee chair fae ringside, assumedly tae sit on while he describes to Noam that “I’m gonnae torture you right now, and I’m gonnae fuckin enjoy it!” I might be getting my English dudes mixed up there like, but he needn’t have bothered fetching the chair cause Noam put him on his arse anyway. Champagne Super-kneebar. Game, set and match.

Too…fuckin…gid. I’m so glad I took notes that at least vaguely resemble how brilliant that match was in my heid, and the fatal 4 tag match was of similar brilliance, so it saddens me that I couldnae paint the same vivid picture for that yin, but aye. Andy Wild and Noam Dar. Every time. Solid gold.

After the match Noam was announced as Christopher Daniels opponent in September and I spontaneously combusted with joy. 

Viper vs Carmel Jacob vs Kay Lee Ray vs Nikki Storm 

Loved this for a variety of reasons. Mainly the fact that it was hugely entertaining without stealing the show. When a show has such a hot main event, the match before it has an important role to play. Get the crowd hot, but not TOO HOT, don’t exhaust folk. Especially after the wrestling exhibition that took place before it. These four are more than capable of putting on a match that gets ye standing on yer seat, wide eyed and slack jawed, but what they served up was slightly more low key than that. It was more of a gentle reminder that we have four of the best (five including Bete Noire) female wrestlers in the world working in Scotland right now. Such a refreshing sight tae see when the vast majority of mainstream womens wrestling isnae uptae much. It isnae considered something to be taken seriously, with half trained models stumbling their way through half arsed matches, but in Scotland its dead serious. There’s talented females working all across Britain like, but colour me fuckin biased when I tell ye Scotland does it better.

They start off with a wee 4 burd argument. Some shoves and pushes. Kay Lee catches Nikki with a dropkick, before Viper and Nikki Storm form a brief but powerful alliance. Viper in particular laying in tae Kay Lee, before she took the unholy pair out with a double dropkick. Kay Lee and Carmel have a glorious exchange after that, with Carmel evading some clotheslines Matrix style, before we had our first elimination of the contest, with Kay Lee surprisingly going out first thanks to the Viper driver. It seemed to be a two on one beatdown after that, with Nikki and Viper still seemingly content to team up. Nikki leading the way, only for her tae betray her new found ally by hitting her with a sneaky rollup to send her packing. Then we had two. I’d say both Carmel and Nikki Storm are easily in my top 10 wrestlers in the world right now to watch. For two homegrown lassies to capture the imagination so much every time ye see them is something quite special in my eyes. Kay Lee and Viper aren’t far behind either. We are blessed with some naturally gifted burds in this country, but theres something about Carmel and Nikki that grabs me. Captivating every time I see them, no matter what they’re doing. Carmel was spear daft in this match, and hit Nikki with one early on in their exchange, followed by a fishermans suplex. Nikki hit back with a Firemans Carry Sitout Slam, before Carmel hit yon DDT with her opponents feet suspended on the ropes. Sealing the win shortly after with a spear.

Dave Mastiff vs Grado (PWE Title Match)

He heard them call his name, and it felt like home. Know why? Cause it was home. Grado was in Ayrshire. Amongst his people. Amongst family, friends and heroes. Amongst a certain cunt who runs a wrestling blog that he may or may not have been sending steaming DMs tae 😉 The point is, he was amongst people who craved that moment. That moment where time would feel like it stood still. That moment where the guy who’s always been overcoming the odds, to do it one more time. This time it had to be big. This time it had to be something resembling a miracle. This time it was David against Goliath. If goliath had a big beard, a frightening West Country accent, and huge set of scary baws. Baws wae mean faces drawn on them. Mean faces for a mean motherfucker. Dave Mastiff is a super heavyweight, and Dave Mastiff scares the fucking shite outta me. He’s part of an elite group of pro wrestlers that make my baws jump back up intae my body, n tuck themselves behind my vital organs for safety. Mastiff, Tommy End and Saraya Knight all make me question if I’m really human or not. If I am, its not the same way these folk are human. I could never envisage a situation where I could strike such instant fear intae someones heart like they do. No unless I showed them the birthmark shaped liked a scream mask on my left erse cheek. We kicked off by breaking the walls down, as Grado got a Jericho-esque countdown before the place erupted to Like a Prayer. Grado fired intae his usual high energy routine, lapping up the acclaim from the red hot crowd, but Dave Mastiff isnae the type tae just kick back and chill in this situation. Dave Mastiff is the type tae smash fuck out ye and enjoy it, cause this is HIS ring. He’s the fuckin champ, and he’ll slap, jab and heider ye all he fuckin wants.

An eye rake and more jabs in the corner was followed by Grados first attempt at a rally in this match. His first of many, and a few died on their arse. This yin did. The jabs were flicked away, in the same manner i imagine Mastiff flicks stray Coco Pops oot his beard when he has his morning cereal. Hard scoop slams on the outside fae Mastiff, followed by a rolling senton, and a run of the mill senton after that (cept its not really run of the mill, cause Mastiff is fuckin HUGE in case it escaped yer attention) Mastiff gets mega cheeky after that and goes for the Roll and Slice only for Grado to dodge. Finally he wis in the game. Shake rattle and roll, Bionic Elbow to the coupon…WEE BOOT? Not this time, as Mastiff blocked it, only tae turn roon and catch a STEVENSTON STUNNER. Lights oot. 1…2…NAW

Thwarted by shenanigans as those pesky NAK bastards came burstin oot tae deny their nemesis the moment he craved. The moment everyone was thirsting for. Not them. This wisnae Gradomania in their eyes, it was NAKMANIA. Card subject to BURN. Project Ego burst oot tae chase the Kliq up the road, but the damage was done. With the ref incapacitated, Mastiff picked up that shiny belt of his and WALLOPED Grado upside the napper with it. Not once, but twice.
The ref stirred and got tae counting the three, but sometimes even heroes need a hero of their own. Or more specifically a Hearto, as the PWE owner climbed intae the ring, and for the first time since breaking his neck 4 months earlier…LIONHEART PERFORMED A WRESTING MOVE. Rock Bottom! ROCK BOTTOM! My god King….Lionheart just hit the Rock Bottom. Wee Boot! Wee Boot! Bah gawd, is he gonna do it? Cover him kid. Make yourself famous.

1…..
2…..
3…..

HE DID IT! HE DID IT! The lifelong dream becomes a reality. Mrs Stevelys baby boy has done it. This crowd are ELECTRIFIED. The whole of Ayrshire is on fire. Bah Gawd. Grado is the Pro Wrestling Elite Heavyweight Champion of the world.

All credit to the incomparable David J Wilson for the photie

All credit to the incomparable David J Wilson for the photie

Tremendous show. 10 outta 10. Send it.

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One thought on “PWE – Gradomania Review

  1. Another amazing PWE show. I can’t believe I can see such great wrestling on a semi-regular basis barely two miles from my own house. That Rock Bottom was phenomenal!

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