wrestling / Video Reviews

The Furious Flashbacks: TWC International Showdown

June 13, 2005 | Posted by Arnold Furious

For those reading outside of the UK this might come as a surprise. A few months ago (March 19th 2005 to be precise) we had ourselves a supercard over in jolly old England. TWC is The Wrestling Channel. They shelled out a HUGE amount of money to assemble the best talent they could for one big ass monster night. The very mention of Misawa was enough for me to cough up a tenner and get myself seated on the floor. The show was remarkable in person so no doubt it comes off well on DVD. My ballpark snowflake ratings were posted somewhere at the time but I don’t remember where, nor do I clearly remember what I gave each match. Suffice to say it was good. Not just good but best card of 2005 good. Anyway, that’s enough building this up. On with the action!

We’re in Coventry at the Skydome. 3,500 fans in attendance. We have to put up with the FWA’s tiny ring but that aside we’re set for a killer show. Hosts are Dean Ayass and Eamon Darcy. The latter doesn’t know what a Blue Thunder Driver is but apart from that I’d say it was about the best they could do with the commentators available.

BACKSTAGE Jonny Storm cuts a promo saying he always takes down the American’s and he’ll do it to Sabin and Petey Williams tonight as well.

I hate John Atkins. True story.

Spud v Chris Sabin v Petey Williams v Jonny Storm

Sabin is making his European debut (or so sayeth the commentary). For those not familiar with him – Spud is a borderline half pint. He’s probably the lightest wrestler, outside of midgets, I’ve seen. Spud-Sabin to start. They counter at speed. Sabin has the obvious power advantage. Spud armdrags away and rolls up Sabin for 2. Spud goes after a double leg but Sabin rolls through for 2. Crowd loves that. Storm-Petey. Crowd chants “Jonny”. He’s a popular lad over here. Duelling chants follow as they counter away. Nice rana from Storm. Petey dropkicks Storm and he backs off into the corner. Sabin tags in blind but Petey sees him. Sabin still nearly gets Cradleshock on him. They counter and Sabin sees Storm outside – TOPE SUICIDAAAAAAAA. Petey follows out – SLINGSHOT RANA! Spud goes up – SOMERSAULT PLANCHAAAAAA! Storm is back inside and he gets a run up for a back flip over the ropes. Back inside its Spud-Storm. To the ropes and Storm Japanese armdrags Spud off the top. Counters into the whirl stuff and Storm hits a DDT. Petey comes in blind but Sabin tags in on him. Sabin powerslams Spud for 2. Running SWANTON BOMB gets 2. Storm in with a Michinoku Driver on Spud and the Moonsault off the second gets 2. Petey makes the save. Spud hits Storm with an Ensiguri and a neckbreaker for 2. Spud runs right into a superkick though. Petey in with the Rolling Suplexes. The second is a back suplex, which gets 2. Petey calls for the Canadian Destroyer but Spud backdrops out. Spud hits an inverted DDT and tags out to Sabin. He clotheslines Petey a lot but Storm tags in and hits a flying rana. Wonderwhirl gets 2. Spud saves there. They go to a FOUR WAY NEAR FALLS SEQUENCE. Oh, that’s so pretty. Storm goes after a superplex on Spud but the North Americans grab him – DOUBLE BACK SUPERPLEX WITH A SUPERPLEX OVER THE TOP ON SPUD! Spud and Storm fall outside. Sabin clocks Petey with a whip around kick and a running powerbomb for 2. Storm back in and he KILLS Sabin with an INVERTED SUPER RANA!!! Spud has to make the save. That was gorgeous. Storm uses his own boot to club Spud but misses the Ensiguri. Spud does his multiple whirl DDT for 2. Sabin in with a springboard dropkick on Spud. Petey is in though – CANADIAN DESTROYER!!!!! It’s over! ***3/4. Awesome spotfest. If you’re going to do a spotfest then make sure you hit everything clean and these guys did. Fantastic.

BACKSTAGE Tony Giles gets a word with Spud. He says he’ll meet Storm down the line and one day he’ll make it to the USA and meet up with the other guys again too.

Steve Grey v Mal Sanders

This is a World of Sport match. Both these guys are getting on a touch but they’ve been selected because they can still go. I’d have gone with Johnny Kidd v Steve Grey personally but I’m told these guys have a history. I don’t really remember too much about the World of Sport matches I watched as a nipper. Referee is Tony Scarlo.

R1 – Sanders works a headlock but Grey shuffles backwards out of it. I love that. Traditional British wrestling. I wish more UK workers used a more traditional British style. Grey forward rolls his way out of trouble while Sanders tries to work his leg. To the arm and Grey does a handstand out of it into an armlock of his own. Sanders does a cartwheel to avoid contact on the next exchange and I’m loving this. Sanders gets a double arm stretch. Grey kicks his arms away and gets out. Sanders gets an arm but quickly adjusts into a sunset flip for 2. End of round 1.

R2 – Sanders goes after the arm again. Grey misses a dropkick and that puts him in a bit of trouble. Grey tries for a slam but Sanders falls on top for 2. Bodyscissors and Sanders utilises the ‘old’ piledriver before wrestling got more violent. Grey grabs an arm and they counter back and forth on the arm. Oh, that’s nice. Grey comes up on top after 6 or 7 counters. Grey tries for a crossbody but gets caught only for Sanders to keel over and get pinned for 2. Bit of a slower second round.

R3 – Sanders overpowers and holds Grey’s shoulders down for repeated kickouts. Grey gets a monkey flip, which is reversed into a pin for 2. Sunset flip from Grey but Sanders stops that with a kick to the head. Both men get trapped in a double pin out of that. Seeing as that’s no good to anyone the referee stands them up. Sanders gets Grey up in the, er, buttocks exposed hold. Sanders thankfully doesn’t do anything dirty. Grey gets his legs after the break and Sanders tries to bearhug his way out of the leglock. Grey has the mount though so shoves him off with ease. Sanders escapes and we get a criss cross. Hip toss from Grey gets 2. He lands on Scarlo. Heh. Sanders goes back to the arm again. They do a near falls sequence except it’s done at such speed that no one gets a 1 count. Sanders leans on the shoulders and looks to have it done but Grey slides out the back somehow. Lots of good shit in the third.

R4 – Crowd is starting to get a bit restless. I wasn’t but there’s no accounting for the attention span of folks. Sanders hasn’t even started to heel it up yet people! He uses the ropes on a pin and now he’s cheating. Sanders jabs Grey right between the eyes and punches at him. Sanders hits the buckles but the double axe handle misses. Grey comes back with the atomic drop and he tries a chinlock but Sanders comes straight out on the arm he’s been after all match. The ropes are a little tight for Sanders liking. I think he was wanting to tie Grey up in the ropes. Grey throws Sanders out of the ring but coming back in Grey hits a crossbody for the win. ***1/4. Psychologically tasty but not everyone’s cup of tea. And THAT was the match people shat all over.

Apter’s Alley

Bill Apter comes out here to present a lifetime achievement award. He sets it up as being for Mick Foley and the fans get it with a “Foley” chant. But out comes…Greg Lambert. JOURNALIST SHOWDOWN! Crowd isn’t thrilled with a journalist showdown, they want Foley. Bill Apter suggests that Lambert looks like Harry Potter. Lambert ribs on Apter for his lack of height. Crowd doesn’t care much for this. “Shut the fuck up”. Lambert calls Apter a has been and points out his last magazine went bust. Apter threatens to knock him out. “Fuck him up Apter, fuck him up”. Lambert wants to give the award to Alex Shane. Some fans feel the need to scream “DIIIIIIIE” at Shane. Now that’s just uncalled for. Crowd has no interest in seeing Shane. He points out he’s making more money off tonight’s crowd than any of “you retards” make stacking shelves in a supermarket. Hey! I tell other people to stack shelves, there’s a difference. Shane demands that Apter gives him the award. Crowd wants Foley. Shane finally figures out that the award is for Mick Foley and out comes the Hardcore Legend. He acknowledges the Foley chants and absorbs them. Foley takes his little award off Apter. Bill breaks out a cookie monster impression. Well, now I’ve seen everything. Mick cheap pops his way to more cheers. Alex Shane gets in his face and calls him an “old, washed up, fat, crippled piece of shit”. Foley says Shane is telling the truth. He says he is old. He’s retired so he’s washed up. He puts over CM Punk and Samoa Joe in the process and says he had the decency to step to one side so they could be in the spotlight. “Can we send this tape to Kevin Nash” – Ayass. ZING! He takes offence to Shane trying to cut off his cheap pop…right here in Coventry, UK. “Foley, Foley, Foley”. He says he’s going to kick Shane’s ass unless he gets the hell out his ring, now. Shane leaves because he’s a PUSSY. Crowd gets on his case. You can see Duggi jumping around shouting “DIE” at Shane as he leaves. HAHAHA. Awesome. Foley reflects on his career and mentions his 5 straight cheap pops. Foley struts up the ramp and gets LOVE from the fans. Shane sneaks back into the ring to beat Bill Apter down. That brings Foley right back out here to run him off. Foley says Shane hasn’t seen the last of Mick Foley tonight.

CM Punk v Samoa Joe

How about this as a first half headliner? Punk has never beaten Joe. Punk has an excellent record in England though. Commentators mention Joe’s 31 title defences in ROH when he held that belt for nearly 2 years. Straight into the corner as the duelling chants kick off. We were in a Joe section! Joe gets control on the mat but Punk knows where the ropes are. No advantage there. Punk slaps Joe but he looks pissed off so Punk bails to enjoy the “you got bitchslapped” chant. Knucklelock and Joe BITCHSLAPS Punk. He falls out of the ring. Now he REALLY got bitchslapped. Punk is pissed off and gets in Joe’s face. HEADLOCK! Joe has way too much power for Punk to get anything on him this early. Joe bridges and Punk finds it really hard to break him down. Punk runs the ropes and hip tosses Joe. He comes back with an armdrag and they trade until Joe goes to kick Punk in the head. Punk leans back and gets a roll up for 2. AWESOME. Punk kicks at Joe but he ignores them. Joe kicks back and Punks gets laid out with an Ensiguri. Joe tries his trifecta but Punk cuts him off at the kick and goes to the headlock. PSYCHOLOGY THAT SHIT DOWN! Joe rolls out of it but Punk hooks it back on again. Joe switches to a headscissors but Punk gets out and dropkicks Joe in the face. Punk tries his own trifecta but that pisses Joe off. CHOP, KICK, KNEE DROP for 2.

Joe signals for the boot scrapes and does so. Love the crowd reaction on that. They want one more and Joe does the boot before flying out to the floor. Joe gets 2. Joe chops away for another 2. Joe tries for the S.T.JOE but Punk hip tosses out into the headlock. Joe takes great exception to that and KILLS Punk with an STO. Punk hangs Joe up on the ropes and hits a slingshot hilo. Swinging neckbreaker gets 1. Back suplex and Joe rolls into the ropes to avoid a pin. Punk chops Joe in the neck a lot and dropkicks the back of the head for 2. Russian legsweep from Punk gets 2. Punk tries a shoulder charge again but this time Joe just kicks him off the apron. Punk outside, Joe takes a run up – TOPE SUICIDAAAAAAAAAAA! Joe has a chair! It’s Ole, Ole Kick time! OLE, OLE, OLE, OLE, GOOOOOOOAAAAAAL! Joe celebrates the goal by running around the ring. Back inside Joe pins for 2. Punk reverses into a legsweep DDT for 2. PEPSI TWIST! Punk heads up – MOONSAULT gets 2. Mule Kick scores but Joe just powerslams Punk for 2. POWERBOMB INTO THE STF from Joe the fans love that. Punk has to drag himself into the ropes but Joe sees the ropes getting closer and just DROPS on Punk with a senton for 2. Punk is screwed but manages a tornado DDT for 2. Punk calls for the Pepsi Plunge! Joe is having none of that. He tries for a sunset flip instead and Joe counters into a rana. LARIATOOOOOOOOOOO! That gets 2. Duelling chants again. Punk fights out into an Ensiguri. SHINING WIZARDOOO. Punk has to drag Joe out of the ropes for a 2 count. Punk goes for the Pepsi Plunge again. Joe is too strong still and Punk can’t get it. Joe jumps off and dropkicks Punk’s legs away. MUSCLEBUSTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! It’s OVER. Punk loses to Joe again. ****1/4. While it’s not as psychologically good as the ROH matches it’s one HELL of a match.

BACKSTAGE Punk looks exhausted. He says he hurts all over. He says the thing that hurts the worst is his pride. He talks about how he keeps getting up but he still can’t beat Joe. He bitches about the size of the ring. Anaconda Vice is the name of Punk’s submission finisher. I’m writing that down because I can NEVER remember that. He desperately wants to comeback and beat Joe. He wants one more match and he’ll keep wanting one more match until he beats Joe. Hey, a promo on a show that’s connected to nothing really in terms of continuity and Punk STILL cuts an awesome promo.

Mitsuhara Misawa/Yoshinari Ogawa/Tiger Emperor v Doug Williams/Scorpio/James Tighe

It is WEIRD seeing Misawa in an FWA ring. “MI-SA-WA” – Coventry. Tiger Emperor used to wrestle as Kotaro Suzuki before the new gimmick. Ayass talks about the pressure being on James Tighe in his biggest high profile match to date. Doug and Scorpio are the GHC tag team champions. The ring announcer is Mo Chatra (the voice of Japanese wrestling on TWC). Streamers for Misawa. “MI-SA-WA”. Loving the puro love. The crowd goes all puro with its quietness and occasional “MISAWA” shout. Lots of applause. Doug-Tiger to start. They hit the mat and counter fast. In comes Tighe and we have the two weakest links in there. They exchange armdrags. Both men nip up to round of applause. Tighe goes up top and hits a missile dropkick. Tiger bails and Tighe hits a corkscrew PLANCHAAAAA. That gets 2. Tiger is getting himself isolated here and Scorpio works a chinlock but Tiger pushes him back and tags MISAWA. “MI-SA-WA”. Misawa backs Scorpio into the corner and ELLLLLBOOOOOWS him. Scorpio makes the mistake of trading elbows and gets knocked on his ass. Ogawa comes in with a jawbreaker but Scorpio superkicks him. Ogawa thumbs him in the eye. Doug gets a tag and Ogawa shows his fear. Doug gets a lot of hometown support. These guys exchange hammerlocks and this is all done at tremendous speed. Doug escapes a leglock by using the British escape into the headlock. I love that. Doug headstands out of a headscissors and then bridges out of another. Ogawa focuses more on the shoulder. He tries to get the ropes but Ogawa forces him back down so Doug gets out into a headlock. Ogawa looks outdone so tags are made. Tiger-Scorpio. The latter uses a headscissors and a suplex for 2. Tiger uses the ropes and hits an armdrag. Dropkick sends Scorpio outside. Tighe comes back in with a dropkick for 2. Tighe thinks he has the better of Tiger already. Tiger brings the Tiger Mask kicks and now Tighe is on the wrong end of Misawa. He elbows away at Tighe’s back and puts him in a Camel Clutch. Doug heads in to break that up. Ogawa in and they double team with an elbow drop/stomp. Russian legsweep gets 2. Tighe is in a world of trouble.

Dean Ayass is doing an awesome job of conveying the puro psychology here. Ogawa controls and hits a suplex and a double stomp. Tiger comes back in with a running senton for 2. Tighe gets a quick backslide for 2 but can’t tag out. Tighe discovers he has way more power than Tiger and suplexes him. Doug tags in and knee drops Tiger repeatedly for 2. Scorpio assaults Tiger on the floor as the GHC tag champs go all PURO STYLE tag teaming on his ass. Doug grabs him for a back suplex. Headbutt off the second rope gets 2. Tiger decides to trade strikes so Doug suplexes him. Scorpio in with a somersault legdrop for 2. Standing moonsault gets 2. Powerbomb and they clear out the Japanese team PURO STYLE while Scorpio hits a legdrop off the ropes for 2. Tiger had to kick out because no one was going to save him. He hits a rana and dropkick. In comes Misawa with the flying clothesline and the senton. FROG SPLASH gets 2. Scorpio nearly falls on his head and tags in Doug. Knee in the corner and a gutwrench suplex gets 2. Knee lift gets 2. Misawa comes back with a DIVING ELBOW. In comes Ogawa as Misawa is a little tired. He hits a DDT for 2. Doug overpowers and hits a snap suplex. Up he goes for the Bomb Scare but Ogawa cuts him off. Doug shoves him off – BOMB SCARE! Tighe in with a high crossbody for 2. Tighe bounces off the ropes with a reverse elbow for 2. Ogawa misses in the corner and posts his shoulder. Tighe heads up but the moonsault misses. That was pretty. Ogawa hits an Ensiguri and tags Tiger back in. He goes handspring, Tighe sees it coming but Tiger sees the clothesline coming and rolls through it. Tighe with a snapmare but Tiger lands on his feet and dropkicks Tighe in the face. Oh it’s all so pretty. That gets 2. Tiger with a whirl into a standing Octopus. Scorpio strolls in to make the save. Tighe takes advantage with the urinage for 2. Tighe is bleeding from the ear. Tiger finds himself totally isolated and beaten down by all the other team. TIGHETANIC. MOONSAULT FROM SCORPIO. BOMB SCARE but Misawa and Ogawa make the save. Doug with a sit out powerbomb…for 2. Handspring again from Tiger but Doug knows that’s coming and grabs him RIGHT INTO A GERMAN SUPLEX for 2. Tiger is screwed. In come the Japanese and Doug gets worked over. Tiger hits a diving rana but Doug’s teammates make the save. Tiger with an Ensiguri and the 619 scores to a healthy ovation. That gets 2. Doug misses a knee in the corner. Tiger goes up top but Doug rolls through a crossbody for 2. CHAOS THEORY! It’s OVER! ****1/4. What a great match. It’s tremendous seeing NOAH action in a UK ring but what a fantastic match they put on!

BACKSTAGE Tighe says he’s shown what British wrestling has to show the world. Doug says he’s really happy with how the match went. He puts over his partners and said they meshed well.

Raven’s Rules – Raven v Alex Shane

This isn’t for Shane’s FWA title. You can see Rage running around the back to abuse Shane. That red shirt shows up a mile away. “Raven” chant kicks off. He gets on the mic to say he likes England apart from Shane, who’s an embarrassment to the English people. “Fuck him up, Raven, fuck him up”. This is just a brawl. Shane exposes the buckle and bashes Raven’s head off it for the early bladejob. Raven goes for a DDT regardless and Shane bails. Raven dropkicks him through the ropes. Shane gets whipped into the rails a few times. Ayass talks about how productive Raven is on the floor. He always seems to have an offensive advantage there. Raven grabs a chair and heads back inside. Shane gets a chair in the throat. Raven boot scrapes at Shane and sets up the chair. Shane bails on the drop toehold but that gets him thrown into the crowd. Now the fight is going into the people. Shane gets introduced to the tape stand before they head up into the higher up seats. “Isn’t it nice of Raven to show those in the cheap seats such good action”. Raven with a Russian legsweep into the hockey boards. Raven heads up to another balcony and a load of fans gather underneath. I WOULDN’T if I were you. I’m off to the right watching this, thus not likely to get injured if someone falls. Shane suggests he’s going to throw Raven off but Raven punches him and throws Shane off. Off the balcony. It’s around 15 feet STRAIGHT DOWN and I watched as Shane landed feet first into a dozen fans…looking up. SICK! Loving Raven’s pose after that. More brawling follows on the floor. To the ramp where Shane gets backdropped. Back inside Shane goes low and sets the chair up again. Shane runs right into the chair drop toehold. Raven wails away and hits a bulldog for 2. Shane steals the chair drop toehold and Raven REALLY knows how to sell that. Raven comes back with a superkick. They reverse standing and Shane hits the Diamond Cutter. Raven gets right back up but gets big booted back down for 2. Chair is set up again and Raven drop toehold’s Shane into the chair again. Ok, that seems a little excessive. The referee prevents a Raven chair shot for some unknown reason and that gets him knocked out. Raven hits the DDT but in comes Shane’s security guys. Crowd gets the booking right away and out comes Mick Foley to clean house. Foley beats Shane down and the fans are doing NUTS. He hits a running knee. Mr Socko! DDT from Raven and the ref is dragged over by Foley for the 3 count. **1/2. Lots of hard work and one insane bump but not a lot of good wrestling. Still marks for effort.

POST MATCH Foley gets some more mic time. Socks are being thrown into the ring. Raven puts two on and starts talking to himself, the nutball. Mick cheap pops his way out there again. Raven cheap pops right back at him. Raven gets the crowd chanting “one more time” for another cheap pop. Foley cheap pop count – seven.

BACKSTAGE Chris Daniels gets promo time. He talks about how long he’s been in wrestling and how long he’s been in TNA. He says after 12 years he’s not come all the way over to England just to lose his title back to AJ Styles. He says it doesn’t matter what AJ does to him he’s leaving with the title and that’s GOSPEL!

NWA X Division title – Christopher Daniels (c) v AJ Styles

This is our main event of the evening. Daniels slaps AJ ahead of the bell and we brawl to start. Leg lariat from Daniels and he’s started fast. AJ misses a dropkick once but LEVELS Daniels with the dropsault. Knee drop gets 2. Everything AJ does looks breath taking. Duelling chants at great volume. AJ lifts Daniels up for a delayed vertical suplex for 2. “Fallen Angel”, “AJ Styles”. The crowd is SO loud. To the ropes and Daniels hooks AJ UP only for AJ to fight out. He dives off after Daniels but gets caught in an EXPLOIDAAAAA! Crowd is still deafening. Daniels works over AJ’s neck to set up one of his finishers. Back suplex gets 2. Daniels with a stalling brainbuster for 2. AJ’s neck has taken quite the beating already. AJ comes back with a crossbody for 2. Daniels with a double leg but he gets pinned in it for 2. AJ does his sweet fucking nip up rana. Daniels gets pissed off with that and Hot Shot’s AJ into a clothesline for 2. AJ landed on his neck again. Daniels is loving the “Fallen Angel” chants, which haven’t stopped since the match started. Suplex from Daniels and the ARABIAN PRESS into an awesome stretch crossface. AJ is getting his neck murdered. AJ gets his foot on the rope. Daniels hangs AJ up on the rope and follows to the floor with elbows. AJ fires back with chops so Daniels pokes him in the eye. Back inside Daniels cranks at the neck. AJ comes back with a backbreaker into a gutbuster. AJ runs right into a Downward Spiral into that leg choke with necklock. AJ gets the rope. “Let’s Go Daniels”, “Let’s Go AJ”. Daniels with a German suplex for 2. AJ throws Daniels off on another waistlock and hits the DISCUS LARIAT.

I love that move. AJ fires up and hits some more clotheslines into the spin kick. AJ has his second wind. He goes up top for that awesome flying elbow smash. Daniels gets knocked clean out of the ring so AJ gets a run up – SOMERSAULT SUICIDE DIVE! Back inside AJ gets a 2 count. AJ flips to avoid a backbreaker but gets caught in the STO. BLUE THUNDER gets 2. AJ kicks Daniels off and goes for the quebrada inverted DDT. Daniels throws him off the first time so AJ hits it perfectly clean two times in a row and nails it the second time for 2. AJ goes the discus lariat again but gets caught in the urinage slam. BEST. MOONSAULT. EVER. That gets 2. Daniels is stunned. What does he have to do? AJ breaks out the backflip Ensiguri. That looks so cool. “This is awesome” – Coventry. Slugfest from the two competitors and AJ really opens up on Daniels. That gets him a backslide for 2. AJ comes back with a crucifix for 2. Styles Clash! No, Daniels gets into the ropes. AJ mercilessly kicks him in the back to get him to let go. Daniels flips up – ANGELS WINGS! That gets…TWO! “This is awesome”. Last Rites is blocked into a sunset flip into the STYLES CLASH! It’s over! NOOOO, it’s not. Daniels kicks out at 2 and 9/10ths. AJ goes for a clothesline but Daniels ducks it and the LAST RITES finishes this off for the champ. ****1/2. Usual awesome match from these two as you’d expect with Daniels busting the shit out of AJ’s neck until AJ was never going to kick out of the Last Rites. Yes, that’d be THREE ****+ matches on one show. That WAS the best match I’d seen live until the recent Stevie Lynn-Ice XVII war in Middlesbrough.

That’s not all though. We have ourselves extra stuff on this Wrestling Channel DVD release.

Disc One Extras

Jack Xavier/Aviv Mayaan/Ross Jordan v Mark Sloan/Stevie Knight/Stixx

This was the dark match before the Showdown show. Watched only by the people with expensive ringside seats. That wasn’t us. Xavier gets Sloan’s arm to start but Sloan gets into the ropes. Stixx comes in blind and jumps Xavier from behind. Jack fires away with chops and in comes Jordan. He’s at a size disadvantage so Stixx has no trouble with him. He misses an elbow drop though because Jordan moves out of the way too quickly. Jordan with the rarely used flying snapmare. Xavier comes back in and works at Stixx’s arm. Stixx knees to the midsection though and in comes Knight. They work his arm over as well while he squeals like a girl. Stevie Knight – genius heel. Mayaan and Knight work some great counters on the arm. Knight cheats and Sloan comes in to work over his former pupil. Sloan with a sweet looking armdrag. Mayaan with a tornado Japanese armdrag. Stixx cheats with a knee to the spine. Knight in with an awesome girly chop. “Argh, me hand”. Vertical suplex gets 2. GREETINGS FROM ASBURY PARK from Knight but he doesn’t bother with a cover. Mayaan takes more of a shoeing in the corner. Knight bites in the corner while the ref is keeping the faces out of the ring. Mayaan dives off the top with a rana on Stixx. So Stixx just murders him with the BLACK HOLE SLAM for 2. Jack made the save there. Sloan in with a double stomp for 2. Side Driver from Sloan into the double arm stretch. Knight in with a backbreaker. Stixx in but he sets too early on an Irish whip and takes an inverted DDT. That didn’t quite go right. Stixx dropped too early. Hot tag to Jack. Well, it would be hot if there were any fans in there. Seriously, I know you paid top money for those seats but that doesn’t mean you can’t cheer the dark match. Knight gets crotched but Stixx cuts Xavier off with a powerbomb. Jordan wipes out Stixx with a diving DDT. Sloan holds him up for a while into the TOMORROW DRIVER. Mayaan flies at Sloan with a DDT. He dives outside and takes Stixx over with a rana out there. They all fight on the floor to set up Xavier hitting them all with a SUICIDE DIVE. Knight heads up but thinks it’s too high up and dives off the apron instead missing everyone. Ho, ho, ho. Sloan and Mayaan go back in and Mayaan hits a rana straight into a pin for the victory. **3/4. Not a bad little formula tag match at all.

Q+A with Mick Foley

This is from the Fanslam event hosted by Bill Apter. I would have gone but I was hungover. “Finally, The Rock….’s tag team partner has come back to Coventry”. Some gap-toothed girl gets her photo taken with Foley. Mick says his 4 year old thinks every Dad has his own action figure. He gets asked about the Shawn Michaels match. Foley puts over the match with Randy Orton as well. He calls the Shawn match a personal triumph to go toe to toe with Shawn for 27 minutes. He talks about the Orton match being like Rocky getting the Eye of the Tiger back. He gets asked if he’s going to knock out Flair. He takes a vote. The fans in the UK want to see Foley v Flair. He talks about how bad that match would probably be especially with expectations being so high. He says he wants his last matches to be with people who respect him. He hopes Flair will call him one day and apologise but he doesn’t think it’ll happen. Foley gets asked which cola he prefers. He goes with the “cheap store brands”. “I have been longing for Dolly Parton for so long” – Foley after seeing a Dolly cut out floating around. Heh. He talks about stressing the education thing to his kids rather than following him. He wants them to go to college first. “Don’t do the things I did”. He gets asked if he has a favourite scar. He says the one from under his lip in the Hell in a Cell. No one else can see it. It’s his own personal little scar. He says being worshipped is a little weird and a “Foley” chant kicks off. He says wrestling tattoos are a little weird. He says Stevie Richards has a Motley Crue tattoo on his shoulder. He says Stevie regrets getting it done, every single day. He says if he had a tattoo done it’d say “Apter”. Apter does cookie monster impressions. That’s a little weird. Then he does the Jerry Lewis impression.

He gets asked what he thinks about Beyond the Mat. “What a hatchet job Barry Blaustein did on me. Oh wait, I’m not Jake Roberts”. ZING! He says it caused trouble with the WWE. He says Barry got in touch with him when he was in ECW and was supposed to be the “wrestler who never made it”. He talks about how depressing the Mania Behind Wrestlemania was. Foley gets asked who does the best promo right now. He mentions JBL, Kurt Angle (although he prefers the goofy Angle promos), Jericho, Al Snow. HAHAHAHA. Rib. He says they have to stop scripting interviews because it’s hurting them now that they have nothing with feeling. Mick gets asked about ECW. He says he loved his time there but he’s not sure if he’ll do the ECW reunion show. He says he’d need an explanation as to why it’s a good idea why he should do it. Mick says he’s excited about this whole TWC thing as it’ll be a great show and it’s sold out.

Q+A with CM Punk

Again from Fanslam. He says he has 6 piercings and a lot of tattoos. First question is “what’s your favourite alcoholic drink?” Punk calls him a douchebag. He gets asked about TNA but he’s not interested in looking for it at the moment. If they contact him he’d consider it. Punk says he’s been wrestling for around 7 years and it’s all he ever wanted to do. He says he used to work in a comic shop in Chicago so if he lost his legs that what he’d do.

“You’re probably going to hate me for asking this question” – fan
“Do you hate him in advance?” – Apter.
“Yes” – Punk.

Awesome. He asks about Teddy Hart. He says he worked with Teddy back in October and it’s no big deal anymore. Water under the bridge. Punk says he doesn’t think he’s better than everyone who drinks, gimmick aside. He’s happy as long as he’s generating a response. He doesn’t think he’s better than anyone. Except the guy who asked the first question. Punk says he’s his worst critic. He has a huge list of what he has to improve on particularly his body. He says he’s good at telling a story and he prefers longer matches because of that. He’s rubbish in short matches. Punk says the straightedge thing isn’t a gimmick as much as extension of himself. He says he doesn’t have time for people who don’t like him. Punk gets asked about Heidenreich. He says he’s funny but he’s not seen him wrestle a lot. He says he saw him in Zero-One as Heidenreich and Nathan Jones and Heidenreich came off looking quite good in that considering his partner. He talks about the SS Nazi gimmick that Heidenreich nearly got. He got frozen in 1937 so he sees nothing wrong with his Nazi gimmick. “I think it would have been fucking brilliant”. Punk says he would keep doing the Pepsi Plunge even if HHH told him not to. Punk says most his favourites are already in ROH but he’d like to see more of Matt Sydal. Delirious and Daisee Haze too. He says they all remind him of him and Colt Cabana back in the day. They’ll go anywhere. Punk says his first inspiration for being a wrestler was Roddy Piper and him coconutting Jimmy Snuka. “I wanted to hit people and wanted to get paid for it”. Punk says he’s not looking to top his first match with Joe. He says the re-match, the first one, was because Corino got cancelled and they just went out there on 3 days preparation. Awesome. He says he’s never trying to beat what he did before. He’s just trying to do his best, every match. Punk talks about how hard it is to not crack during Cabana’s stuff. Cabana tries to break him all the time and quite easily cracked Corino up.

Exclusive Backstage Footage

We see the queue from early in the day and some signing sessions. Joe welcomes us. We see Petey just after his match. He says the crowd is awesome and he wants a wrestling channel in the Northern Americas. Sabin says it was really cool and he loved the fans. Foley says he’s enjoying himself and he says it’s nice to see fans turning out to see an alternative product to the WWE. Punk’s back looked painful. Joe says he was thrilled with the match and cuts a quick promo. Watching Misawa just stand around has me marking out. I notice the Japanese have a separate locker room. Scorpio says it doesn’t matter where he goes in the world there’s talent everywhere and he’s thrilled to be here. Doug says he was happy the fans were into the match and smart to the Japanese style. Tighe looks over the moon. Nice to see Mick and Raven hanging out after the match. Nice also to see AJ getting himself focused. Joe is first to greet AJ when he goes backstage after his match. AJ thanks the fans. Daniels says the crowd was fantastic. Apter puts the Figure Four on Storm. “Tap Jonny tap”. HEHEHEHE.

Disc Two Extras

Christopher Daniels v AJ Styles

This is from the Irish Whip Wresting supercard that followed the very next night. Daniels asks the crowd who wants to see him defend the title here tonight! He says he’s not going to because he defended it the night before in Coventry (see above). He says he only defends the title in “great countries like the USA and Great Britain”. HEEEL! I’m reminded their first match was back in 2001 (APW King of the Indies **** in case anyone was interested). Daniels bails to fully establish himself as the heel. Crowd chants for him anyway and we get the duelling chants. Collar and elbow tie up is very intense but no one wins out. AJ is so fired up that Daniels decides to bail again. Now the crowd goes full on for AJ in their support. Daniels controls with a headlock but loses out in a battle of the armdrags. AJ clotheslines Daniels outside to a huge roar. I want to go to an Irish show. Well, I’ve been invited to one once Blake Norton gets running. Now AJ gets in control with a headlock. When you’re this good it almost doesn’t matter what the move is – it all looks good. Daniels gets an arm to get out but AJ legsweeps him and goes back to the headlock. Daniels headscissors out but AJ nips up out of it and gets the headlock again. Daniels rolls him up for 2. Daniels gets out into an armlock. Hammerlock with knees. AJ counters out and gets that headlock again. Daniels powers up but AJ kicks at his legs and goes back to the headlock. Daniels counters out with a chinlock and switches to his focus – the arm. AJ hangs his foot over the rope and Daniels has to break but goes right back onto the arm. AJ goes for a nip up but Daniels leans in and pulls him back down. This has been much different to the match the night before.

Daniels sees the dropsault coming and just moves out of the way. That gets him planted with a dropsault! Daniels bails and AJ has had enough of that shit – PESCADO! See, it makes sense because Daniels kept running away! It wasn’t just a dive for the sake of it. AJ drops a knee for 2. Daniels really hasn’t worn down AJ like he did last night. As a result he’s still full of energy. AJ pulls out a vicious Ensiguri for 2. Snap suplex from AJ gets 2. AJ goes to pull the hair but there’s isn’t any. Crowd finds this chucklesome. AJ busts out the Mutalock and Daniels is in a world of hurt. AJ switches into a seated version of it. Daniels breaks loose but the damage has been done. AJ misses the discus lariat and falls out to the floor. Outside and Daniels busts out the HATEBREAKER. Daniels slams AJ and he’s been working the back a little now. A few more slams and Daniels poses before pinning for 2. Daniels with a stalling vertical suplex. That gets 2. AJ hits a victory roll while Daniels is jawing with the fans. That gets 2. Daniels lays him out with a spinebuster into a Boston crab. AJ gets the ropes so Daniels gives him the gutwrench suplex for 2. ARABIAN PRESS to the back from Daniels and he hooks his crossface. AJ is taking some serious crank on that. AJ gets the ropes to save himself again. Daniels spits on that ringside fan again and then rips his sign up. Hehehehe. AJ lands on his feet off a German suplex and hits a backbreaker. Whirl backbreaker from Daniels who has FOCUS and gets 2. Duelling chants again. Daniels thumbs AJ in the eye to stop another comeback. AJ catches him in a crossbody into a wind up backbreaker. AJ with a few clotheslines and a spinning heel kick. QUEBRADA INVERTED DDT gets 2. Daniels knows JUST where to go for that. Vertical suplex into a neckbreaker from AJ gets 2. Looks like tonight is his night to get all his trademark stuff in. Daniels escapes the Styles Clash into BLUE THUNDER…for 2. Snap powerslam gets 2. Daniels sets AJ up. BME misses but Daniels lands on his feet. To the ropes but AJ blocks a superplex and throws Daniels off. AJ flies off with the ELBOW SMASH for 2. AJ goes after a rana to follow up but Daniels powerbombs him and uses the ropes for 2. Daniels distracts the ref and gets the title belt. He misses and AJ breaks out the backflips Ensiguri. STYLES CLASH and tonight, with the belt not on the line, AJ takes the win. ****1/4. Almost as good as the night before. These guys are just awesome. It was also a different match to the night before, which I like. AJ cuts a promo post match saying he’s going after the NWA title so Daniels can keep his X title.

FWA title – Alex Shane (c) v Raven

Shane says he’s putting his title on the line but also his pride and reputation. He needs to beat Raven after losing the week before. Raven got himself this title shot at Morecambe (FWA War On The Shore) thanks to his win over the champ at International Showdown. I’ve already seen this match but this would be my first time reviewing it. I met Raven and Alex Shane the night before this, incidentally, at a 3CW show. Raven puts over the promoters and the people of England pre-match. Raven’s rules, again.

Shane is too busy singing along to his music to notice Raven knocking him off the apron. They fight outside to start. Shane gets bounced off a few doors. Raven does the Russian legsweep into the wall as well. Shane gets a bin smacked into his head while Nick London blames Mick Foley for Shane’s defeat the week before. Shane tries for a piledriver on the floor but Raven backdrops him on the floor for 2. Shane gets thrown down a flight of stairs. Onto the stage with Raven well in control. Shane goes low to prevent the DDT. Shane gets the mic and bashes Raven with it. Shane jaws on the mic and kicks at Raven to keep him down. Raven fights back with plunder but Shane big boots him for 2. They finally decide to hit the ring. Shane sets up a steel chair in the corner and Raven is whipped into it. Cobra Clutch from Shane and he wears Raven down. Raven fires up but runs into a knee. Yikes, that didn’t look good. Shane gets his chair again and sets it up. Shane tries for the drop toehold onto the chair but Raven skips over it, picks the chair up and bashes it into Shane’s face. Raven fires back with rights and a discus clothesline. Raven is on fire. He sets the chair up for the drop toehold. That gets 2. Shane avoids the bulldog and hits a big boot for 2. Raven superkicks Shane for 2. Shane pulls the ref in the way in the corner and he gets squashed. Stixx runs out here but Shane gets the powder in the eyes. The blinded Shane lays out Stixx with the Diamond Cutter. DDT from Raven and it’s over but Stixx stops the pinfall. Raven throws him out but the distraction is enough for Shane to big boot Raven for 3. A big boot? He has a finisher yanno. **. Decent brawl but nothing to write home about. Post match Raven lays out Stixx with a DDT and puts the crowd over.

Overall DVD thoughts – A-

Oh it’s one of those rare A awards and a thumbs WAY the fuck up for one of the best cards I’ve seen anywhere. Certainly the best card of 2005. Three ****+ matches is always well worth it and this is no exception. The opening spotfest was pushing the **** barrier too. What else can I say about this show. It was a great show and this a great DVD. Available from www.thewrestlingchannel.tv. I think they ship worldwide but they definitely ship to anyone in the UK. Seeing as TWC put out a HUGE outlay of cash on this show with little returns you should buy their DVD so they do it again. Everyone in the UK should get this. Now. Go on!

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