Wrestling is lovely. Thing’s were pretty unpleasant in Glesga in the wake of the referendum. People were rioting (kinda). I saw a guy snatch a flag off a lassie while she was having a sleep on the ground. I seen a guy throw a chair at a Starbucks. I seen that Starbucks psychoanalyse the guy’s reasons for doing so, cause even the shop itself is a pretentious wank. Everyone was waving flags and shouting at each other, and thats no what Glasgow is. Glasgow is togetherness. Glasgow is comradery. Glasgow is pouring alcoholic beverages into soft drink containers, so ye can get steamin whilst stoating about Primark looking for Size 12 slippers. Glasgow is also about wrestling these days. Sometimes. Usually its City Centre. The glitz and the glamour the spew sodden Garage nightclub, but Pride do it a bit differently. Pride do it in a wee community centre in Bridgeton (correct pronunciation is “Brigg-tin” btw…Simon Cassidy, take note 😉 ) a stones throw from a wee playpark. As soon as the doors opened, a tribe of about 400-500 weans scurried towards it as if they were handing out free iPads, or playdough or suhin weans might like. I dunno. Point is, Pride ran a show while Glasgow was under the same black cloud of intolerance that’s hung over it for decades of Old Firm shite, and the show was a fucking rousing success. A sell out, packed with an eclectic mixture of auld yins, young yins and middle yins. All the yins, all the enjoyment. According to my pal the wee shop they had on the go also had “great, efficient service” and d’ye something else? That wrestling malarkey wisnae bad either…
Damian O’Connor vs Chris Renfrew (w/Sweeney)
When an unstoppable force meets a immovable object, what do you get? You get big fuckin Damo thats whit. He’s both. He’s the bear wae the fuzzy hair. He’s the guy who’s forgot more about leathering dafties than you could ever know. He’s the guy that Chris Renfrew tried to rock with mere jabs. Fucking punches Renfrew? I know Damo’s a different sort of challenge from the one he used to be these days, but they jabs wouldnt have even rocked auld school Damo. Heid in the game. The Street Justice gimmick is a belter though. Strange seeing guys like Renfrew and Sweeney who you’re used tae seeing playing fairly serious, and mildly terrifying characters in ICW, still being bad bastards, but with a more light hearted edge. Being funny cunts basically. Bad, but boisterous. Renfrew rolls out and takes some advice fae Sweeney. “Kick uhm in the baws and fuckin run” comes fae Sweeney, so Renfrew tried switching it up wae some kicks. Nut. That just made the cunt mad. Big yin slung Renfrew to the outside where he looked for a tag. Might’ve looked in my direction, but I was too busy trembling n muttering “please don’t look in my direction…he’ll probably rip my arm aff and choke me wae it” tae comprehend what was happening. Renfrew eventually decided his best bet was tae face the big man in the ring, after Damo throwing him intae the wall like a lawn dart. Renfrew did get some joy in using the mic cord tae choke the big bruiser, mixing that up wae some classic “mere ref, I’ve got a skelf on ma finger, mon n pick it oot wae yer teeth” patter, as Sweeney stuck his thumbs in Damo’s eyes, and whispered a famine based limerick in the poor cunts ear when the ref’s back was turned. Attacking the feelings and the physical. Street Justice have got it all on the go.
You’d have been forgiven for forgetting just how much of a beltin spinebuster Renfrew’s got on him, he disnae dae it much in ICW anymore. No sure if its cause it always gets a big pop. Surprised the ring didnae fuckin disintegrate when he hit the big man with a cracking spinebuster, but the bear was not to be deterred. Fused his spine back together wae some honey and a few more bear related cliches, before leathering Renfrew wae some forearms and doing that chest stand/senton thing, that I like tae refer to as the “chest stand followed by the senton” or eh….suhin catchy. Renfrew hit a DDT anaw if I recall correctly. Although if thats shite, dont blame me. Blame the post traumatic jake roberts syndrome. That’s when a traumatising event in yer life leads to a mental condition where you splice together actual memories, wae folk getting DDT’d. Ruined my last package holiday tae Kavos so it did. Every photie. All I seen wis aw my favourite local traders gettin DDT’d tae fuck. New holiday pals delivered face first intae the canvas. Nae idea where this angle’s gaun. Ye’d think I was setting up a Jake The Snake run in or something eh? I’m no btw. It was more of a tale of two boots (and I’m no talking aboot The Bella Twins..tee hee) as Renfrew once again called upon his street justice brother for hauners, but the distraction led tae a stramash. Damo ducked the attack, and WHAM took Renfrews heid clean aff for the win. Balancing the sare heid out wae a huge boot up the arse for good measure, before departing a triumphant, hairy, scary big unit of a man.
Wrestling’s supposed tae be fuckin fun. This was fun, engaging and didnae take itself too seriously. The perfect pacesetter for the show that was in store. This being my first Pride show, it was definitely the right way to draw ye in. Two wrestlers folk will definitely be familiar with, having a combative, hilarious rammy. Besta gear. Renfrew and Sweeney limped up the road. Sare arsed. Bashing weans wae inflatable hammers. I’m sure Sweeney asked somedy giving him jip for his name, only tae shut him the fuck down by saying “dont care”. Early doors and already swinging fae the ceiling fan, wae yer pants round yer heid shouting “Pride’s really good n that!” at the top of yer voice. Seriously though…more wrestling.
Jam O’Malley and Alex Cavanaugh vs Dailan Hendry
They never let Jam cut his fuckin promos. He’s out there teaching lessons to lippy wee bastards, and they keep shutting him down. It’s no fuckin fair. It’s no gonnae be Jam O’Malley vs Dailan Hendry either. Jam’s rules. If Jam wants his pal for legal hauners, his pal he shall have. For those who don’t know who Dailan Hendry is, he wears amatuer wrestling gear, a snazzy helmet, and looks a bit like a guy who might put “takes a gid wedgie” on his CV. Jam’s good in the vaguely threatening oddball role, but the match took a wee while to get intae the swing of it, as Jam spent a fair whack of the early portion filling one of they inflatable hammers full of dug pish, and leathering Simon Cassidy wae it. I jest, that didnae really happen. Nae pets allowed in the venue. Logistics are a bastard sometimes.
A match happened, and Jam hit some double sledges. Jam hit some chops. Jam hit play on his personal tape player and listened tae Play That Funky Music while Cavanaugh got in there wae the bold Daihlan Hendry. Daihlan went a bit tonto. Technical tonto to be precise, with some northern lights suplex action, and a beautiful double snapmare. Snapmare so good, yer man should exclusively work handicap matches and use it as his finish. I’m telling ye. Jam and Cavanaugh do their level best to keep the helmet immobilised, but the the gallus Hendry kept coming back for more. Flying double clotheslines and a whole repertoire of “come ahead!” faces were pulled, and Jam decided enough was enough. Lets shake on it sport. Ye outwitted a couple of vets. Daihlan showed a bit of naivety in accepting the handshakes right enough, considering was clearly seen bathing the offered hand in baw and foreheid sweat beforehand, and they of course attacked the poor lad fae behind. One pumphandle slam type thing fae Cavanaugh, and a the finishing touches applied by Jam himself, and that was that. Jam had taken another poor soul down tae poundtown. Then we all got naked and touched each others fun parts in celebration, before emerging from our collective acid induced haze in the middle of Mardi Gras. Shootin each other wae pellet guns with nae recollection of how we all got there. I mean whit? Jam and Cav won, a sterling effort from the helmet though. Boy’s got skills.
Viper and DCT vs Mr Byers and Fiona Fraser
Are Viper and DCT the most likeable team in pro wrasslin mate? I’m seriously asking. I’d put a poll here if I knew how. Nae idea how anyone could disagree with this viewpoint though. They’re a tremendous pair of bouncy haired, charismatic, tashy bastards. Both of them btw. Viper vanished during their entrance, only tae re-emerge with a fake tash on, meaning they were matching in all departments. Gid cunts, sweet cabooses, double tash. Byers plays a school teacher, with an unhealthy obsession fir battering Viper wae a clipboard, and gives it some patter about Fiona Fraser being the best female wrestler in Scotland. There’s shenanigans aplenty. Byers seems keen to mix it up wae the Vipester, but chickens out at the last second like a baby back beyatch. Viper gets in amongst the scoop slams, the lariats, and low crossbody splashes as per usual. She’s been doing the Earthquake style larynx bursting bum splash thing lately anaw. Busted that out. As much as I’m DCT daft (and believe me, I’m fuckin as daft on DCT as a human male can get without having to go on some sorta tashaholics register) I’ve no seen him do a great deal of actual wrestling, so it was pretty cool tae see him busting out some sexy armdrags. A lariat or two. Some crisp neckbreaker action. Byers and Fraser had the upper hand for large spells. Fraser getting a few dunts in on DCT tae. My favourite thing about mixed tag matches in Scottish Wrestling (probably indies in general, but I’m gonnae claim it as Scotland exclusive, cause I’ll dae whit I want mate) is that its actually mixed. Some intergender jaw tapping never hurt anyone in the good natured controlled environment of a wrestling ring. Don’t dae that shit in the street though. In fact…don’t hit anyone. At any time. Unless its in wrestling, at the wrestling, or at any point in the day where you’re thinking about wrestling.
Speaking of wrestling, there was a fair bit of it here, but it was the aforementioned intergender jaw scuddin that set the scene for the finish. Byers ready to knock Viper the fuck out wae that clipboard, before the International Sex Hero intervened in typically heroic fashion. Any cunt with the gall to stoat about in pants wae a moustache on the front of them is clearly not a man who’s manhood can be called intae question.
Viper put the bold Byers away with the Viper driver, and the musthachioed duo went up that toon tae dish out some indescriminate Dirty Sanchez’s. Not before Viper scudded Byers with the very same clipboard he had designs on leathering her with. Even Fiona Fraser was fuckin sick of him and his nonsense. Dragging him through to the back by the lug. Lesson learned Mr Byers. Safety first, then teamwork. You were a let down in both departments and ye’ve got a severly stretched earlobe for yer troubles. Stop bringing clipboards to the ring if folk keep hitting ye wae them btw. Admittedly it was my first Pride show, so I can’t be 100% sure, but it seemed like something that’s happened to him before. Certainly gives the impression of a guy who’s been scudded with a lot of blunt objects in his time anyway
Joe Hendry vs Lewis Girvan (N7 Title Match)
This type of match is where yer sit down show has the edge over standing at the wrestling. The other way it has the edge is being irreparably sare knee’d and sare knees not reacting will to standing up for long periods, but its mainly this. Being able to see EVERYTHING. When a match like this is at full pelt is cracking stuff. Being a dweeb, I enjoy seeing all the hold exchanges on the mat and all that intricate shite. There was plenty of that here, and for me it just edged the main event for match of the night. A well paced, athletic match riddled wae storytelling. Riddled wae Joe Hendry kicking Lewis Girvan really hard. There’s a theory floating about that Joe Hendry is weirdly good at everything he does. Considering how far he’s come in wrestling, singing, synchronized escalator high fives and competitive eating in such a short period of time, you’d imagine he took tae kicking folk’s spleens clean oot with the same vigour. Joe Hendry disnae fuck aboot. An inflatable hammer derails proceedings briefly, causing hitting folk wae giant hammers is kinda illegal n that, before some stiff European Uppercuts, and a Vertical Suplex fae Joe kept him on top. Joe’s a big bit of a lad anaw, so its always a wee buzz tae see him spring up wae a dropkick. The whole thing was fluid as fuck. Girvan rallied with flying knees and forearm smashes. A standing double stomp saw Lewis bounce aff Joes, Sammartino-esque chest, toward the general direction of the sun. We he came back doon, he dodged a DDT and hit a high arcing dropkick, before missing with another double stomp attempt. AW the moves mate. Stoater of a battle. The kind of vibrant, technically sound, high energy shit that’s going on in the mid-card of pretty much every company in Scotland right now. The top guys of the future giving you a wee glimpse of them being ballsy bastards.
Hendry looked to have it in the bag when he hit the Freak Of Nature, but Girvan’s wily beyond his years so he is. They flowing Galloway-esque locks sit atop a brain filled wae wisdom, and great advice on whit conditioners gie yer do the best shine, as he rolled out the ring tae stop Hendry from getting the pin. The end was nigh though. Girvan hit a codebreaker type thing, before shenanigans led to the classic baw hit, DDT combo for Joe to retain. Wisnae yer bog standard DDT either, it was that Randy Orton/Carmel effort when the opponents feet are hanging aff the top rope.
Plain and simple, a fucking stoater of a match. The talent pool is just too much man. Lewis Girvan is an example of it maybe even a wee bit over populated, cause he’s that fuckin good, and still not booked everywhere. On planet earth. Ye can never have too much of a good thing though, unless its cake. Or heroin. Or cakes wae heroin in the icing. Talent n that though eh. This is yer future, and its shining bright. As long as Pride are sticking matches like this, and Whiplash vs Gallagher on, wrestling fans will flock. Ready for some mutual mast……..I mean eh. Watching the wrestling. Of course.
The Gatecrashers (Christopher Saynt and Dave Conrad) vs Bobby Roberts and James St James
Nut. Unconventional. I’m no huvin it. If one half of your team enters via the tuck shop, and the other comes through a bloody SIDE DOOR, they’re up tae no good. The Gatecrashers were not fucking invited to this party ta very much. Not like they were announced on the card in advance or anything. Team of trouble making, high vis trunk wearing roughians. They seemed a jovial enough pair though. Couple of total sour faced meanies in SWA, so it was nice to see them smiley. There’s another characteristic of Pride. Pretty much everyone is wean friendly. The heroes are easy tae like, and the villains are still villainous, but there’s a non threatening vibe about it all. Easy as fuck tae enjoy. This match had nae villains whatsoever though, so that patter isnae in any way relevant here. Forget I said that. James St James is the boss. The Vince Mcmahon of this piece. If only he had someone resembling Stone Cold to form an unholy alliance with eh. A shame that. St James gets intae some wristlocking madcap action early on, constantly claiming he isnae very good at this wrestling malarkey, before leaving Bobby to batter both gatecrashers on his own. The Gatecrashers managed to regain the upper hand with a slick wee droptoehold/elbow drop double team, leading to Sayn going for a Suicide Dive, before decided it probably wouldn’t be the smartest move tae dive heid first intae a wall. Instead he caused friction in the St James/Boaby Roberts camp, convincing them that they hit each other when it was actually him! The scamp!
Bobby Roberts hit a plethora of scoop slams, before St James hit a splash in the corner. Teamwork making the dreamwork. It never fuckin fails. Chris Saynt proved Time Magazine rated him in the top 200 for daein bulldogs in pro wrestling, by daein a really good bulldog. Nae better way to prove your worth in an imaginary poll by doing the very move that got ye that recognition in the first place. Cracker of big ol spinebuster fae Bobby followed soon after that. An atomic drop/dropkick double team happened seemingly anaw. I put seemingly wae that like, cause I have a note of it, but nae recollection of it tbh. It sounds like right good wrestling though, so lets fire it in. Jam O’Malley and Alex Cavanaugh were sitting at ringside watching this btw. Forgot to mention that earlier. Sitting taking the action in, whilst setting toothpicks on fire and flicking them at children like the venomous bastards they are. The Gatecrashers put Bobby and St James away with a Dave Conrad powerslam followed by a Saynt flying elbow and that was indeed that. For the wrestling match anyway, but ya’ll know Jam and Cav done suhin. I’m pretty sure they battered Bobby, and a whole lot of commotion led to James St James dwelling in that ring on his lonesome. Not where you want tae be Jamesie san.
Out strolled DA BAAAAD GUYS. Street Justice aren’t fucking about anymore. They like a giggle. A healthy amount of hijinks to compliment their skull cracking credentials, but this was all business. Sweeney assures St James its aw good. Nae worries. Him and Renfrew come in peace. All he needed to say is that there’s been word fae the gaffer, and James St James no longer has a role in Pride. He’s obsolete. Ownership subject to change. Ownership subject to getting double chokeslammed THRICE, cause quite early on the youngsters in the audience developed a right thirst for seeing things twice, and even sometimes thrice. Everything was “one more time” and maybe the wee cunts are on tae something tbf, cause three double armed chokeslams makes six chokeslams if yer intae stats n shit. Which is a lot of fuckin chokeslams. Hefty impressive. James St James is deid, and Street Justice are the joint commissioners now. Wrestling shows will no longer be what Pride’s about. Instead it’ll be Renfrew and Sweeney battering trainees for 3 hours, before dropping their battered corpses in the middle of Bridgeton under a pile of Celtic scarves, and anti monarchy propaganda. Issuing them an open challenge tae SEE IF YOU CAN MAKE IT OUT ALIIIIIVE! (I jest, Briggtin is about as lovely as a place can be when its 90% populated by Union Jacks and abandoned micro scooters)
Glen Dunbar vs Mikey Whiplash (PRIDE Title Match)
Mikey Whiplash is a hero in Pride. Mikey Whiplash is loved by the weans in Pride. Mikey Whiplash SMILES whilst shaking his arse in Pride. Mikey Whiplash LAUGHS. The most evil thing Whiplash done was suggest that Dunbar needs tae lay aff the pies. If you have an understanding of Mikey Whiplash fae other promotions, and the nasty as fuck character he portrays in other places, that gives ye a fair idea the kind of show Pride gives ye. Something fucking DIFFERENT. A family friendly show with colour. Wee touches that make ye feel part of the show. Like you’re seeing something exclusive if that makes sense. Its wee touches like getting to see different sides of the likes of Renfrew and Whiplash that made this such an entertaining show, and its main event was the icing the nourishing wrasslin cake that this show wis. Arse sooky patter aside. Wrestling match. Lets talk about that.
Intricate shit kicked us off. The stuff for the wee wrestling dweebs, sitting there stiff nipped at the sight of someone properly applying a chinlock. Cunts like…everyone I know. A gaggle of elbow drops to the arm had Dunbar feelin sare armed and sare hearted. Could his monstrous reign be coming to an end? Weans were chanting “Mikey” man. Children were on Mikey Whiplash’s side. I saw a wean shoot him through the heart wae a bow and arrow at SWA one time, and its only taken two shows for every wean in Bridgeton tae think he’s a god. That’s the different kind of shit Pride’s bringing tae ye. Dunbar continued to evade Whiplash, as the bigger, decidedly more toned man dominated. Dunbar’s a wily bastard though. He weaseled his way into the ascendency for a bit, sending him flying clean oot the ring with a hard irish whip, after Whippy had battered fuck out his arm for a bit. Kneedrops, elbowdrops, fuckin slut drops. All the drops. Definitely brimming wae chemistry these two. Girvan and Hendry probably edged MOTN for the cracking pace it had, but this was two guys who knew exactly how to highlight each other’s strengths. Dunbar locked in a half crab, that Whiplash was in for what seemed like an eternity, but he fought oot and got tae flying about with about 20-30 flying uppercuts. Near uppercutted Dunbar’s whispy goatee clean aff his coupon, before hitting the rolling senton, and going up top for a narrowly missed double stomp. Neckbreaker, into that spin out powerbomb thing Sami Zayn does. Scintillating stuff. Feels like I’m just listing moves, but its that or talking about how I was weirdly intae Whiplash shaking his arse, so we’ll stick tae the wrestling. Whiplash looked to get the job done wae the Texas Cloverleaf, but Dunbar wriggled his legs oot their sockets, and launched his upper torso towards Whippys bread basket. Well, that or he got tae the ropes, but his eyes were aff the prize, and Whiplash rolled him up soon after to become your NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEW PRIDE WRESTLING CHAMPION.
Picked a decent first show to come to I reckon, seeing a belt change hands that had been held by the one guy for over a year. A truly momentous moment in the history of this young company, fuckin RUINED by a sare loser. As Whiplash was daein that strange smiling thing he’s made a habit in Pride, his smile was replaced by a Chelsea Smile….well no really, naecunt slashed him, but he did get scudded good and proper wae the belt, before Dunbar departed on the back of a horse, cept he was standing up on it like it was a surfboard. An animal cruelty grey area ye could call it, but it facilitated something brilliant, so we’ll let it slide cause THERE’S JACKIE FUCKIN POLO.
Aye. Jackie Polo has a 24/7 contract for a shot at the belt. I mind hearing he won that match, but I forgot clean all about it, and there he was. Daein a Ziggler. Uniting the building (well…some of the building…aboot 60-62%) in simultaneous stauner. BAH GAWD HE’S CASHIN IN. Whiplash makes it tae his feet, and as soon as he does he’s put straight back down on his dancing erse. Polo stick to the gub. Lights out. 1,2,3. JACKIE POLO IS YOUR EVEN NEEEEEEEEEEEWER PRIDE WRESTLING CHAMPION. Scotlands BEEEEEEEST wrestler finally finding a way to combine his aptitude for patter, scudding people in the mouth, and leaving a building in the air with his nose in the air, intae a formula that leads tae BELTS.
Pride was an excellent time. As good an atmosphere as I’ve experienced at a family show, and I reckon a lot of that is the venue. Just big enough for a noisy, diverse crowd, but small enough to keep that noise resonating. Crackin stuff. Pride showed a different side to a lot of yer regular faces, and the fact that none of it felt wrong (apart fae Whiplash smiling so fuckin much) shows how much range a lot of these cunts have. Goan see Pride. It’ll be a laugh. Dae it.