There is no doubting that the Midlands Wrestling Scene is one of the hottest properties in all of the business at the moment. With an abundance of young and hungry talent making waves throughout numerous promotions, and with TNA British Bootcamp 2 Winner Mark Andrews making his name in the region, the future bodes well for an already hot UK scene. One of the many promotions giving youngsters that chance to make a name for themselves, and more importantly, giving them time to develop characters and gimmicks is ATTACK! Pro Wrestling. Normally based in Bristol and Cardiff, the ATTACK! bandwagon headed North to Middlewich Town Hall on a chilly Valentines Day evening for 'Wrestling To Make Love To', their debut show in the Cheshire town. And the crowd in attendance were treated to an eclectic night of young talent aiming to prove that they have what it takes to fill the void left by White Lightning, Mark Andrews.
The first match of the evening saw one of the UK's fastest rising talents, Pete Dunne, take on Daft Bump in a match for the ATTACK! 24/7 Championship, a belt that can be defended anytime, anywhere, 24/7, 365 days a year. Although Bump entered the match as the champion, Dunne looked ready for business, and you could argue that he was the favourite for victory in this opening contest of the evening. And that proved to be the case. Dunne immediately went to work on grinding down Daft Bump, despite the Champion's best efforts to disrupt his opponents momentum with a gimmick revolving around the mysterious behaviour of Dance duo, Daft Punk. As Dunne continued the hard hitting offense, it appeared as though Bump would have to be resigned to losing his belt in quick fire fashion. But the champion fought back, and after Dunne found himself caught on the second rope, Bump hit an impressive modified Broncobuster from the Top Rope, with Dunne barely managing to kick out at 2. With the champion on the rise, he went for the killer blow. But after numerous reversals from both men, Pete Dunne caught Daft Bump with an Alabama Slam, followed quickly by a devastating Pumphandle slam, sending the champ face first into the mat, and getting the 3 count to win the 24/7 Championship.
This match was followed by the Elimination Rotation Valentines Day Invitation. Six competitors would come to ring, with two people starting in the ring. After an entrant is eliminated by pinfall or submission, another entrant would enter, with the cycle continuing there is only 1 athlete remaining. It was Drew Parker, an up and coming youngster from North Wales, who started off the match against the surreal character of Old Poppa Sunflower. With an obvious size and height advantage, the Sunflower immediately set to work on his opponent, and quickly eliminated Parker in next to no time. Parker's elimination saw the introduction of The Panda Cub into the match, who aimed to use his obvious speed advantage to his benefit. After avoiding a number of attacks, The Cub hit a huge dropkick to the temple of the Old Poppa Sunflower, eliminating the biggest man in the match. Panda Cub was soon joined by the high flyer Super Octane. As both men tried to out do one another's high flying offense, it was Octane who took the advantage, gaining a number of close falls. But as frustration set in, at his inability to finish his opponent off, Panda Cub became the first entrant to eliminate more than one opponent, leading to the introduction of The Love Making Demon. With surreal behaviour, it appeared as though The Love Making Demon confused his opponent, something he was quick to take advantage of. Not allowing himself to become frustrated after several near falls, LMD hit a devastating Famouser, and eliminated a highly impressive Panda Cub. The final entrant to the match was Lucha-Dora The Explorer, who made an immediate impact. Climbing to the top rope, the only female entrant in the match hit a huge crossbody on an unsuspecting Love Making Demon. And although LMD tried to make a comeback, the end was always coming, especially after a Canadian Destroyer which rendered the LMD unconscious.
Our final match before the interval was a first round contest in the fourth annual Elderstein Tournament. In the past, names such as Mark Andrews, Sebastian Radclaw and Pete Dunne have all claimed victories in this tournament, and Super Santos Sr. and Flash Morgan Webster were hoping to follow in their footsteps. Santos, accompanied by his manager Ramses, had all of the early running, using his size and strength advantage to slow down Webster. But as the match wore on, it was clear that the speed and agility of Webster would cause problems for his masked opponent. There was no doubting that Webster was the one who had the ability to draw something out of nothing, including a flying senton onto both Santos and Ramses on the floor below. It was clear that Morgan was on top, and Ramses, a constant threat on the outside of the ring, knew that, attempting to halt his momentum at every possible opportunity. The man from A Town Called Malice would not be stopped though, and after a superb 450 Splash, got the 3 count on Santos, and rightfully progressed in the Elderstein Tournament.
The first match after the interval saw The Elephant Man take on Kid Lykos in a battle between two masked competitors. And both men impressed a great deal during this match. Lykos, despite being considerably smaller than his opponent, immediately tried to use his pace to outwit The Elephant Man. The undoubted highlight of the match saw Kid Lykos, hit standing moonsault on The Elephant Man whilst stood on the back of his opponent. However, that is as good as it got for Lykos, as The Elephant Man hit an emphatic Pumphandle Sit Down Powerbomb, for a hard fought victory.
The Penultimate match of the evening was a contest for the Great Bear Promotions Grand Championship. With GBP making their return next month after a near long absence, this gave the crowd the opportunity to see of the promotions established stars battle in an ATTACK ring. It was champion, Axel Dieter Jr., who had travelled over from Hamburg, Germany, taking on former ATTACK 24/7 Champion, Chris Brookes. Brookes, who had challenged previous GBP Grand Champion, Damon Leigh, on numerous occasions throughout 2013 and early 2014, was looking to claim the title for the first time, whilst Dieter Jr. was making his first defense of the belt he won back in June last year. And with both men familiar with each other's style, a cagey start to the match was to be expected, with neither competitor wanting to make a mistake. However, this led to both men showing off their impressive ground games, and the crowd were engrossed by both men showing off what they can do, and proving why they are 2 of Europe's top young prospects. But Brookes showed his ruthless side, methodically targetting the left knee of Axel. But Dieter proved why he is definitely one to watch, and fought through the pain, using a variety of suplexes to try and take the wind out of his opponent's sails. With it appearing only a matter of time before Dieter would claim victory, Brookes pulled out one final attempt to claim the title, locking in a devastating leg lock on the Champion, leaving his stranded in the middle of the ring. With Dieter reaching the ropes before the pain too much, it appeared as though Brookes lost belief that he could finish Axel off, and after another Suplex into a bridge, the German claimed a hard earned victory, and ensured he would be GBP Grand Champion for the company's return next month.
And with that, we reached the Main Event of the evening. In another first round match in the Elderstein Tournament, a hard hitting encounter was guaranteed as 'Flying' Mike Bird took on The Wild Boar. There was no time for any classic wrestling start ups, as both men tried to inflict as much punishment as they could on each other. With the fight taking place both in and out of the ring, it was seemed to be heading to a finish, where it would come down to one man just couldn't continue. With numerous near falls, both men were beginning to become frustrated, with Bird taking his frustrations out on a crowd who didn't warm to the Welshman. And those frustrations boiling over were the opportunity that Wild Boar needed. With Bird slowing down, Boar lifted him up and hit a devastating Package Piledriver, and claiming a hard fought victory, sending the Middlewich crowd home happy.
With this being my first time at an ATTACK show, I have to say that I was extremely impressed. Some may look at some of the gimmicks, and think they are daft or low quality. But I look at them and think that these are young guys and girls who are gaining experience in front of a paying crowd. Common sense will tell you that not every gimmick that you come up with will be a great idea, but until you try it out, how will anyone know? And yes, not all of the wrestling was flawless. But again, these are young performers being given a chance to hone their skills.
Pete Dunne, who I have seen on a number of occasions now is one of the best talents this country has to offer in terms of mat based wrestling and pure intensity, and with years on his side, can only get better. Flash Morgan Webster has tweaked his Mod gimmick, and from the first time I saw him 12 months ago, has improved beyond belief. His gimmick is unique, and fits his personality superbly well, with his in-ring work, especially his storytelling, making him the natural fit to follow in the footsteps of Mark Andrews as Wales' next great Cruiserweight.
The opportunities he has been given by numerous promotions around the UK have not been wasted, and he is surely one to look out for in your local promotions in upcoming months. Nixon Newell is another who has benefitted from the exposure of working all over the UK. Her Lucha-Dora The Explorer gimmick was fun, and with ATTACK being a family friendly promotion, it fits well for her audience. But more importantly, her in-ring work was excellent, and she was comfortably the most impressive performer in the 6 person match at the start of the show.
I could write even more about so many on the card, but there is one thing I must add. This was a brave move by ATTACK. Their usual market is a good 3 hours away by car, and they have put on a successful show that will make it hard for them to not come back to Middlewich in future. ATTACK Pro Wrestling are definitely part of a very exciting 2015 for the UK Wrestling.