Thank you, Futureshock Wrestling. I was jaded; I’d seen it all in the ring, on the apron, just outside the ring and in the car park (who remembers Jerry Lawler going over the roof of the car?), and although I love wrestling and the theatre of it, I thought I knew what was always going to happen and why.
That changed last night. At Futureshock Uproar. I never saw it coming.
But first, a little history. Futureshock Wrestling has been grunting and groaning since 2004, and I saw some of those early matches: who could forget the Showstealer Alex Shane telling the crowd that if they booed him, he would smack his opponent’s head into the rail? He paused. We booed; he sighed and said ‘you’re hurting him!’ Those events were warm and friendly. But then I stopped going. Don’t know why.
But I’m back. Since they’ve been back, so am I. OK, it’s only 3 events, but I’m here to stay at the Stockport Masonic Hall (yep, it is a little odd), and the shows remain warm, fun and packed with kids, all of us enjoying wrestling action that’s now but also a bit of UK wrestling then.
Last night was no different, a really fine event with a huge surprise. First up, Sinergy, Troy Ryan and Anderson Daniels are big men; Oscar Byron and John McKinnie are not. In fact, Oscar throws rose petals and has a Morrissey fixation; the fans don’t generally take him to their heart, so we’re glad to see him being thrown around by Daniels and then asking for ‘the small one’. Troy wasn’t happy about that and hit a tilt a whirl ‘rana to prove it. He then lifted both his opponents, who were on each others’ shoulders, just to dump them to the mat, answered by a Byron double DDT and McKinnie getting Daniels up and then not knowing what to do with him. The end came with a Sinergy Driveby. So, this event started with a comedy match but one which got hot. Sinergy are over but not with me yet; you see, you can grow muscle quickly but charisma takes a bit longer…
The Futureshock trophy is being contested! I don’t know what the rules are or how ornate the cup is, but I’m willing to see the tournament. First up, Tu Byt vs. Jack Baron; the former is the Rat King, not ‘rat boy’ as the crowd enjoy chanting. He has a good sneering shtick and some good moves, including a muscled-up fisherman suplex, a nasty dropkick to the back and a sat-back single leg Boston crab. Baron was no slouch either; he walked the ropes and hit a sweet blockbuster for a long 2 count, but in the end, the Rat King wins it by rear-naked choke and soaks up the ‘rat boy’ shouts.
Last month, at the anniversary event, Dangerous (or is it Deadly?) Damon Leigh won the Heavyweight Championship. It had been 17 years. He’s been there from the start. And we stood to applaud him as he took Soner Durson to his limit and fulfilled his destiny. We stood again tonight in celebration, until Sam Bailey foolishly challenged him and had the challenge accepted; of course, the first part of the match was Mr B running away, but he eventually took it to DDL, even though he screamed whenever he was hit. DDL gives him a wristlock suplex, a pop-up superplex throw and a tilt-a-whirl slam for a long 2, but he almost lost that belt when he was only just able to kick out of a cross arm breaker after a crucifix bomb. Did I tell you about DDL’s finisher? It’s a thing of beauty: a sort of twisting package DDT/Slam/Powerbomb which never fails. And still!..
After meeting mates at the interval (hello Patrick, Katie, Nick) and telling my mate Dave that the Ridgeway vs. JJ Webb match would surely be the main event, we settled back down to…
JJ Webb v Chris Ridgeway. This was for the Adrenaline Championship and JJ, along with his distracting mate Danny Proper, was surely about to be marmalised by North West Strong’s kicking machine, Chris Ridgeway. JJ is the best heel Futureshock have; the crowd love to hate him. I rather like him, and he’s going through a rough old time with kicks to the back (the crowd chant ‘one more time’, Ridgeway obliges, they chant ‘2 more times’, he spares Webb who is carrying large welts on his back already). He then continues the kicks on the outside, places him on a chair next to me and kicks him off it so hard I swear I see Webb’s soul leaving his body. Webb doesn’t get much in, apart from a very nice backpack stunner and eventually throws Proper in, who tries a kick, which is caught and then offers a wry smile which says, ‘I’m in big trouble, aren’t I?’ Then the bell rings. Ridgeway was so concerned with Danny that JJ is counted out. And the belts can’t change hands like that. Not a Dusty finish at all, this was JJ outsmarting him. I’d like to think so, anyway.
I was unhappy last month to see Lana Austin lose her title to Aurora Teves via a distraction. So this was surely a chance for her to win it back! Nope. And the match was a little flat, even though Austin grabs Teves and powerbombs her whilst she was still saying hello. Teves steadies things with a nice slingblade and modified crossface, which sees Lana struggle to the ropes. And then she goes for a draping DDT, Teves rolls her up and it’s over. The crowd like Aurora, but she isn’t a patch on Lana.
The second 1st round tournament match sees Joe Kessler, who had such a good match with Chris Ridgeway last month that he was invited into North West Strong, not gelling with debuting Declan Mccarthy. There was little action after jockeying and the end comes after a clumsy tilt-a-whirl sit-down slam from Joe. Better luck next time…
The main event should be something special. It is. Jacob North and Dynamite Lee Dawson, that odd couple, versus The Models, the coming together of Joey Hayes and Danny Hope, who were ballyhooed when they joined Futureshock again two months ago, now reviled as they had the temerity to show their egos. North and Dawson should win this to send us home happy. Shouldn’t they? Well, the calls of ‘light the fuse’ are everywhere as Dawson tussles with Hayes and Hope, coming up short and leaving North to serve a T-bone buffet. They time it beautifully, slowly ramping the near falls up and trading enziguris and cutters; the crowd are so into it.
But…what’s DDL doing here? Why has he done that? Dawson is sprawled on the mat and the Models win with their assisted cutter. Why did he do it? He points to us; ‘I can’t trust people like you. But I do trust people like me.’ And that would be Hayes and Hope; after all, they’ve been there since the start. He even has a name for them. The Originals.
I never expected that. I can see t-shirts, special chants, and an NWO-type storyline. This is going to be very interesting. That Dirty Deadly Dangerous Damon Leigh..