Aniversario: The Two Towers


North Shields, England – 5.29.2016

Championship Rundown
Grand Champion: Princess Kimberlee
Campeones de Parejas: N_R_G (Race Jaxon & Hype Rockwell)
Young Lions Cup Champion: The Estonian Thunderfrog

Commentary is provided by Mike Quackenbush, Leonard F. Chikarason, and Dasher Hatfield.

Lucas Calhoun says Manchester was kind to him, even if that dirty heel Icarus was not. Tonight he faces Heidi Lovelace. He knows she’s tough as nails and that he has an uphill climb ahead of him in their match, but the new Calhoun doesn’t focus on negativity. That said, nobody can stand up to the power of his karate.

Heidi Lovelace vs. Lucas Calhoun

Calhoun ducks a lock-up. Lovelace knees him in the face out of his crane stance. Calhoun does a little swing dancing when he catches Lovelace coming off the ropes. She armdrags him twice and comes off the middle turnbuckle with an alita. Calhoun stops her double knee attack and drops her with a Samoan Drop. He stomps on her in the corner. Lovelace fights back with uppercuts. He muscles her up into a pumphandle backbreaker for two. Calhoun whips her chest first into the corner, then follows in with a running splash when she turns around. He puts on an abdominal stretch. When Lovelace begins to escape, he throws her head first to the mat. She gets in some shots. He blocks a kick and gives Lovelace another Samoan Drop. Lovelace avoids another corner attack, sending Calhoun shoulder first into the ring post. She unloads a barrage of running kicks to the face and rolls Calhoun out mid-ring for two. He tries a haymaker, but Lovelace ducks and drops him with an STO for two. She tries a Saito suplex but Calhoun remains standing. He throws her down in a gutwrench suplex for two. She blocks a punch but Calhoun drills her with a knee strike. She superkicks Calhoun and successfully pulls off the Saito suplex on her second try. He catches her charging, potentially for a third Samoan drop. Instead she counters with a crucifix pin for the victory at 7:04. I liked the story of Calhoun working over Lovelace’s midsection and her catching Calhoun off guard for the win, although having him use the Samoan Drop as a set up for more Samoan Drops when it’s a finisher for him is questionable, although this could be a way to lead to Calhoun establishing a new finisher. That said, this was a fun opener with solid character work and the crowd was into it. **¼

Officer Warren Barksdale vs. Slim Perkins

Slim Perkins is the former Rich Mahogany who is the former Stewie Scrivens who is the former Karate Durling who is the former Trent Baretta who is the former Benny Figg who is the former Touch Phillips who is the former Bugg Nevans who is the former Rick Beanbag who is the former Scoot Tatum who is the former Chuck Taylor.

Apparently new Chuck stole former Chuck’s theme music as he came up to a generic song instead of his usual song. Barksdale searches both Perkins and Bryce Remsburg and they found a wrench in Remsburg’s pocket! He claims he uses it to fix the ring. As he’s demonstrating this, Barksdale finds a dinner knife if Remsburg’s pocket. Remsburg tries to explain that away, but then rings the bell to avoid further questions. Barksdale gets a side headlock. Perkins escapes and shoulder tackles Barksdale down in the corner to stomp him silly. Barksdale snaps off a pair of armdrags. Perkins avoids a dropkick. Barksdale avoids a armdrag with one of his own, sending Perkins outside. Perkins claims Barksdale pulled his hair and touched his butt. Remsburg demonstrated when questioning Barksdale about it. Perkins pummels on Barksdale with forearms to the back. He digs his knee into Barksdale’s neck and throws him over in a butterfly suplex. Barksdale catches him off the ropes with a flapjack. He knee strikes Perkins in the corner and takes him down with a leaping lariat. He hits Cease & Desist for two. Perkins almost weaves Barksdale into the Sole Food, but remembers he can’t use it. This gives Barksdale time to turn it into an Olympic Slam for two. Perkins however catches Barksdale with the Brodie Knee and DDT’s him for two. Perkins grabs a Border City Stretch. Barksdale backs to the ropes. When Perkins asks Bryce what he will do if he doesn’t break the hold, Bryce tells him he is the law and order in the ring. Barksdale takes umbrage with this statement and shows Bryce his badge to show who the law is. Bryce uses his referee shirt to disagree. Perkins then sends Remsburg into Barksdale, who headscissors Barksdale! Perkins wraps up Barksdale in a Magistral cradle for the pin at 7:18. This was the comedic affair it should have been. Getting Bryce involved added a fun dynamic and the crowd was into the humorous aspects of the bout. Even the straight wrestling between the competitors was good. I feel Barksdale has a bright future, though he could use a boost in his energy. **½

Soldier Ant {C} vs. Chuck Taylor™

Soldier Ant doesn’t understand why Chuck Taylor looks so different. Bryce explains it’s the beard. Soldier Ant goes for a side headlock to start. Taylor™ escapes the first one with a headscissors. The second time Soldier Ant gives him a quesadora armdrag, a regular armdrag, and dropkicks Taylor™ to the floor. Taylor™ tries baiting him into a double axe handle. Soldier Ant avoids it, but Taylor™ slams him. Taylor™ wants a Boston Crab but instead punches Soldier Ant and delivers a falling headbutt to the shoulder. Taylor™ headbutts Soldier Ant twice and whips him into different corners thrice. He then lands a running back elbow for two. They switch headlocks. Soldier Ant’s running crossbody gets a two count. He kicks Taylor™ to the ropes. Taylor™ hits a rebound chop and a German suplex for two. Three successive vertical suplexes yield the same result. He grabs a Camel Clutch. Soldier Ant stands up and drops back, causing Taylor™ to crash into the canvas under his body weight. Soldier Ant throws a flurry of strikes. Taylor™ ducks a discuss forearm and spins Soldier Ant into a neckbreaker for two. He says he’s going to do something for the ladies. He stomps Soldier Ant while singing “My, My, My” by the Whispers. All that did was give Soldier Ant enough to recover and trip Taylor™. He trips Taylor™ into the cross military kneebar. Taylor™ immediately taps out, giving Soldier Ant the win at 6:23. I’m not sure if this particular crowd “got” what Taylor™ was all about, but that didn’t stop him from leaning into his character. This was probably the most wrestling heavy of Taylor™’s matches thus far, and you could see he is talented in that respect, but maybe a little more character work and a more understanding audience would have helped this achieved more than it did. **

Eddie Kingston says he should be focused on the BDK and getting back the Grand Championship. He should overlook Hermit Crab, but he can’t. Crab may be young to the game, but he doesn’t sleep on anybody, because sleep is the cousin of death. He knows what it takes to get through the Wrestle Factory so he has an idea of what kind of character Crab possesses. Tonight he will go through Crab, then Jaka and Jakob, then finally reclaim his Grand Championship.

Eddie Kingston vs. Hermit Crab

Kingston puts Maffew of Botchamania in a sleeper hold before entering the ring. Crab revs up and crab walks across the ring. Kingston simply walks around the ring. Crab changes his trajectory and eventually just dropkicks Kingston. He digs his pincers into Kingston’s neck, bringing him to the mat. Crab goes for a Boston Crab. Kingston kicks him away, drops him with an STO, and unloads with punches. He lights up Crab with machine gun chops in the corner. Kingston brings him out with a release belly-to-belly suplex. Kingston teases a pedigree, opting for a release powerbomb instead. Crab gets his shoulder up on Kingston’s pin attempts. He throws Crab out of the ring and playfully tries to start a with with Bryce. Bryce decides to throw the Crab back in the ring. Surprisingly, the Crab blocks the Backfist and chokeslams Kingston! He gets a close nearfall on Kingston from it. He crab walks across the ropes and nails an elbow. He’s too excited about the move that he delays his pin attempt, but still gets a two count. Crab gets on a half crab, dragging Kingston away from the ropes. Kingston is able to grab the ropes. Crab picks him up. Kingston clobbers him with the Backfist to the Future upon being picked up and gets the pin at 6:11. Kingston’s playful approach to the match was endearing, adding some levity you don’t see in some of his matches these days. In turn, Crab got a few hopeful moments, which were nice, but ultimately they were more contrived than actual moments of glory. Like the previous bout, this was fun, but the winner was never in question and the rookie could have come out of the match with more than they did. *½

Ophidian goes into his match with Fire Ant tonight with 3 points and a Grand Championship opportunity. He knows how great Fire Ant is and sees him as a hurdle between his presumed title shot. He will not let Fire Ant stop him. He won’t lose because he can’t lose. He will win today.

Fire Ant {C} vs. Ophidian {OP}

The opening sequence sees a lot of fast strikes and kicks from Ophidian that Fire Ant evades. Fire Ant catapults Ophidian into a Tornado clutch which Ophidian counters into a crucifix. Ophidian maneuvers his way into the Death Grip. Fire Ant switches him around, looking for a suplex or brainbuster. Ophidian reapplies the Death Grip. Fire Ant switches him around again, but this time Ophidian small packages him for two. He also gets two with a Gedo clutch. Fire Ant tries a backslide. Ophidian rolls out and backslides Fire Ant with a back bridge for two. Ophidian cracks him in the face with a bicycle kick for two. A second bicycle kick has the same effect. Fire Ant takes to the corner. Ophidian drives his knees into Fire Ant’s chest twice. He comes off the top with Meteora, and Fire Ant gets his shoulder up. Ophidian looks for his Egyptian Destroyer. Fire Ant escapes. Ophidian enzuigiri’s Fire Ant to the floor and follows with a headscissors from a headstand off the ring apron. Ophidian headstands on the apron again. Fire Ant knocks him down with a tiger feint kick. He reenters the ring and suicide dives onto Ophidian. Back in the ring Fire Ant lands a high crossbody. A running forearm leads to a tornado DDT for two. He forearms Ophidian in opposite corners. He strings some chest strikes and a knee strike to the face together. He goes to the corner, where Ophidian follows in with a yakuza kick. In the opposite corner Fire Ant catches Ophidian with a Yoshi Tonic for two. Ophidian rolls to the apron. He and Fire Ant trade shots on the apron. Ophidian ducks a knee strike. He grabs a nerve hold and pulls Fire Ant up to the middle turnbuckle. He goes for a super Egyptian Destroyer but Fire Ant stops Ophidian with an antzuigiri. He brings down Ophidian with a super Frankensteiner. Ophidian fires up. He ducks a clothesline and grabs a grounded Death Grip. Fire Ant makes it to his feet and drives Ophidian head first into the corner to free himself. He baits Ophidian into the Yahtzee Kick and spikes him with a Frankensteiner. A brainbuster gets Fire Ant a close nearfall. The Beach Break puts Ophidian away at 12:32, erasing Ophidian’s points and giving Fire Ant his second. The Colony and Osirian Portal always worked well in the past so it’s no surprise that these two would have a great singles match altogether. Ophidian fought hard right from the get go knowing he had a tough opponent to beat to keep his three points, and it made for a really entertaining back-and-forth match where the stakes felt high. The early brainbuster tease coming around in the end after Ophidian got the Death Grip locked on was a great way to bring the match full circle. This was excellent, as expected. ***¼

Princess Kimberlee, Race Jaxon {NRG}, Hype Rockwell {NRG}, El Hijo del Ice Cream {IC} & Ice Cream Jr. {IC} vs. Hallowicked, Frightmare, Icarus, Obariyon {B} & Kodama {B}

Kimberlee and Hallowicked start out. Hallowicked quickly tags out to Frightmare when Kimberlee takes him down in a single leg trip. She avoids Frightmare targeting her leg, but ends up taking a yakuza kick in the corner. Jr. dropkicks him out. He sends Icarus out with a toreador. Hallowicked gets in some shots to Jaxon, but he takes down Hallowicked with a back elbow. Frightmare brings Jaxon to his corner where all the Nightmare Warriors maul Jaxon and throw him outside. This leads to a ten person stand off where Bryce is forced to restore order. Hijo cracks Icarus with a punch to the chin after a fanny pinch. Icarus Jon Woo dropkicks Hijo and twists on his neck. Hijo backdrops and hip attacks Icarus to the floor. Hijo follows with a seated senton off the apron. Hallowicked twists on Jr.’s cone on the top of his head before throwing him to the floor. Hijo gives some headbutts to Hallowicked’s stomach. Frightmare enters and Hijo sends him and Hallowicked into one another. Hijo gets on a abdominal stretch. Obariyon tries to save Hallowicked but Jaxon crossbody’s onto him upon entry. Jaxon however finds himself in the Nightmare Warriors corner upon recovering. The Batiri do some double team work on Jaxon. Rockwell jumps in to help, and while he’s initially cut off, he does manage a double shoulder tackle. N_R_G double team the Batiri in a corner. Jaxon lands a moonsault block onto both of them and pins Kodama for two. Frightmare escapes Rockwell’s military press and gives Rockwell the Deja vu headscissors. Frightmare cuts off Kimberlee when she enters and passes her off to Hallowicked. Los Ice Creams help Kimberlee take him down with a headscissors. He kicks Kimberlee’s bad leg and she instantly bails. Jaxon jumps in but is cut off with a tandem Go 2 Sleepy Hollow. They also tandem clothesline Jr. Rockwell tries to save but accidentally splashes Jr. Hallowicked super snapmares Rockwell into a diving elbow drop from Frightmare. Hijo makes the save. He takes the Sidewinder from Hallowicked and Frightmare for two and elbow drops from the entire Nightmare Warrior contingent. They have a seance before clearing the other Tecnicos off the apron and going back to work on Hijo. He escapes the Nightmare Warriors grasp by avoiding a corner attack from Obariyon (causing his arm to smack into the ring post). and giving Frightmare the Cold Stone Stunner. Kimberlee tosses Frightmare out and armdrags Obariyon. She holds onto his arm which just hit the ring post, and the Tecnicos turn the tables by isolating Obariyon and working over that arm.

As they’re jamming Obariyon’s arm over their shoulders, Hijo doesn’t realize that he’s fed Jr.’s arm and does damage to his own brother. This lapse of judgment allows Icarus to jump in. He gives Hijo a facebreaker. Rockwell lariats Icarus. Frightmare dives in and immediately takes a Hyperwheel! Kodama breaks the pin attempt. Kimberlee German suplexes both Batiri members and Icarus. She tries for one on Hallowicked, who kicks out her bad leg. This leads to the Nightmare Warriors confining Kimberlee to their half of the ring and wearing down her bad leg. Kimberlee kicks Hallowicked to the floor after he clears the apron. Kimberlee musters a suicide dive onto Hallowicked, and the other eight competitors enter into a fracas. The Warriors send all four Tecnicos crashing into one another. Icarus and Obariyon suplex N_R_G into a diving headbutt from Kodama (onto Rockwell) and double stomp from Frightmare (onto Jaxon). The Batiri hit Jaxon with the Seventh Circle. Frightmare gives him the Friggin’ Sweet Driver for two. Kimberlee gives Frightmare a Ganso Bomb, hurting her knee in the process. Icarus sets her up for a barrage of kicks from Hallowicked and the Batiri in the corner. Kodama finds himself getting assaulted in another corner, ending with a cannonball senton from Rockwell for two. Kodama comes back with a springback Ace Crusher. Jr. gives Kodama the Jack and Jill Hammer. Icarus gives Jr. the Shiranui and Jaxon missile dropkicks Icarus afterwards. Obariyon drop toe holds Jaxon onto the ropes and cracks him with a knee to the back of the head. Hijo chokeslams Obariyon. Hallowicked drops Jaxon with the Rydeen Bomb. Kimberlee and Hallowicked big boot one another simultaneously, leaving everyone laying. Rockwell wipes out Frightmare and Hallowicked with double clotheslines. Kimberlee fights off the Batiri on her own until they lock her in a tandem crab. Hijo pulls them off in a double facelock. They push him to the corner and Icarus goes for his mask. Jaxon and Jr. double hip toss Icarus off the top. Kimberlee folds Icarus up in the Alligator Clutch for the pin at 27:43.

This was like a Dragon Gate style main event, where the action goes a mile a minute, all the competitors look great, and they layered the stories between in the action. There was minimal friendly fire between N_R_G and Los Ice Creams, but just enough to build slight tension between the current Campeones de Parejas and the team with a Golden Opportunity, who just so happen to be in a match against each other tomorrow night. Kimberlee’s bad leg is in even worse shape going into her title defense with Hallowicked tomorrow, but she pinned a former Grand Champion to get a win for her team, despite not being at her best. This is a really fun match and one worth seeking out. ****

Hallowicked says his team may not have been victorious tonight, but they took with them Kimberlee’s knee, which was destroyed in the name of Nazmaldun. He will tear whatever is left of it apart tomorrow night and his “brothers” will be there to laugh and mock her. All glory Nazmaldun.

Encore Match; Fight Club Pro Showcase
Drew Gulak vs. Daniel Moloney vs. Travis Banks

Moloney immediately attacks Gulak as he comes into the ring. He gets in some shots to Banks as well. Banks and Gulak take turns chopping Moloney until he hits the floor. Banks takes down Gulak with a running shoulder block for wo. He does it again after a leapfrog from Gulak. Gulak trips him into a lateral crab. Banks gets the ropes. He and Gulak trade chops. Moloney comes back in and Saito suplexes them simultaneously. He throws both of them around with suplexes. Hi bicycle kicks Banks before German suplexing him. Gulak breaks the bridge. Moloney takes Gulak down with a punch and a suplex, Banks Jon Woo dropkicks Moloney. Gulak is there again to break the pin. He headbutts Banks in the stomach. He resists a uranage from Moloney and takes him down with a rolling lariat. Banks breaks the cover. Gulak and Banks trade forearms. Moloney jumps in for a three man chop battle. He bicycle kicks Banks. Gulak brings down Moloney in the Gu-Lock, and Moloney submits at 3:35. The action was a bit repetitive, but it’s biggest strength was that it felt different from just about everything on the tour so far. In the short time allotted, all three showed you what they were all about and impressed. *½


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