Gloucester Wrestling Debut Show Review

The Churchdown Community centre is packed. The newly kitted out Severn Sport team arrive and take their seats. I have a cider in my hand and the show is about to begin. Let’s go.
The announcer comes down, introduces the debut show of Gloucester Wrestling and gears up the crowd for what will be a plethora of talent and a feast of wrestling. The referee heads to the ring and its looks like we are having our first match. Penno is excited. Kelsey is always excited, heck even the boss Matt Yates is excited. The music hits and out comes the Iranian, Tiger Ali, waving his Iran flag furiously. This could be interesting. Immediately Kelsey is in his corner. Ali could be squaring off against John Cena or Iestyn Rees and Kelsey would still be on board. I’ll be honest, Ali has to win me over.

His opponents comes out, Gloucester’s own Max Alexander. The crowd erupts for the local lad. This is going one way or the other. Either the Gloucester boy will conquer in his home city in a win of David vs Goliath proportions or Tiger Ali will silence the crowd and proudly sail off into the sunset with his flag waving in the wind behind him.

Max Alexander vs Tiger Ali – The match started at a slow and methodical pace. Tiger Ali dictated the early proceedings and even had time to taunt Max by pointing to the sky and shouting stuff in Iranian. This guy is slowly winning me round. Suddenly, out of no where Alexander mounts a rebuttal, he pushes Ali to the limit and teases a win. But ultimately to the joy of Kelsey and I the experience of Tiger Ali overpowers the young Alexander. The variation of the camel clutch (or as Penno described it “the standard Middle Eastern finisher” a tip of the hat to the likes of the Iron Sheik) was enough in the end to see Alexander submit. He had managed to get to the ropes twice before, but when a wrestler like Ali has that locked in, in the middle of the ring, with nowhere to go, you have to submit.

Winner by submission Tiger Ali

Tiger Ali taunted Max Alexander throughout and was a worthy winner

After the match, as Ali made his way to the back, Buzzsaw Bronson storms to the ring. Things are about to get bad to worse for Alexander. Bronson is here to teach this guy a lesson. Alexander is doomed. When suddenly, out flies Iestyn Rees to make the save. Bronson’s gone. He has head for the hills. Rees grabbed the microphone and cut a promo. He said that Bronson walks around thinking he is the man, well the main event is where he has to show it against Rees, not attacking a young man who has just gone through a tough, tough match. The crowd loves it and the main event has been set up well.

The crowd are flat. The home grown talent has been beaten in the first match by an Iranian. Politically that just can’t happen. They need a lift. They need to be involved. They need….a tag team match! The announcer comes out and announces a tag team match. Yes, get in! A good tag team match can lift a show, a great tag team match can steal the spotlight and can be the match of the night, easily.

First out we have two big, bald, scary dudes marching to the ring. They didn’t walk, they marched with authority. And experience. They were Matt Lomaxx and Gilligan Gordon. Two of the baddest men on the night’s card. This is going to be a mauling. I feel sorry for whoever has to step into the ring with these guys. Hell, Gordon is telling a kid in the audience to shut his mouth. This guy doesn’t care! But who is going to stop him? No one that’s who, these guys are going to win. They just have to. Oh my goodness, he just told another kid to shut up. What a heel! The opponents come out. Well then. The Lionhearts, Eddie Ryan & Jason Larusso. This duo might actually be able to stop them. Look at them, two young, tough guys who will push these experienced tag team players to the edge. My excitement has built up now. I am ready for a feast of tag team action. Let’s go.

Gilligan Gordon & Matt Lomaxx vs The Lionhearts – Gilligan Gordon started off with Eddie Ryan. But Gordon was scared. He wanted no part of Ryan one bit. He even yelled whilst pointing to him “I want you Larusso,” oh no. The crowd are chanting that he’s scared. Gordon isn’t happy one bit. He is telling another kid to shut up. Gordon has got this, I believe in him. Eventually Ryan tagged in his longer haired partner and this match is off and running. Gordon’s ground and pound style slowed the pace right down. Working on Larusso and almost strategically flattening the crowd. It was quite simply early dominance.

Matt Lomaxx and Gilligan Gordon make their way to the ring for their match

The match had a 30 minute time limit. The time limit that flew by Gordon and Lomax dominated most of the match, pretty much taught the crowd in attendance how to wrestle a tag team match. The Lionhearts however came back into it, with their high energy, fast pace and agility, they clawed their way back from the brink and even looked like cutting the match short with a couple of near falls. But when Gordon had Larusso in the centre of the ring, with the latter reaching a tag to Ryan it looked like the end was near. But with one swift Lomaxx pull, Ryan was off the apron and on the floor. In a matter of seconds the outcome of the match swapped favourites. Suddenly it was Lomaxx and Gordon’s for the taking. However, it proved to be false hope after the Lionhearts once again came back, taking out Lomaxx and cornering Gordon. The finish came with a simultaneous superplex from Ryan, and big splash from Larusso. 1-2-3. BALL GAME.

Winners – The Lionhearts

Quite simply, what a match. The crowd loved it. The wrestlers loved it. The finish was good. It was pretty much the textbook example of how to conduct a tag team match. Seriously, this tag match was better that some of the tag matches I have seen in WWE this year. It was exceptional. I was gripped from start to finish. We all loved it. Matt, a guy who doesn’t really like wrestling turned to us and said “Yeah. That was sick” a true sentiment on such a contest. Match of the night for sure.

What followed between matches lifted the four seats filled with Severn Sports backsides even more than the tag match had done. The announcer was back (for one of the only times where he didn’t fall victim to technical difficulties) to announce that after the next match we would have a brief intermission and that also on Sunday 28th June Gloucester Wrestling would be back at the Churchdown Community Centre for the Severn Sport Best In Gloucester trophy. An announcement that even shocked us. Yeah, that’s right. Let it sink in. The SEVERN SPORT BEST IN GLOUCESTER TROPHY. Something for which I cannot wait. Suddenly this next match could be the cherry on the icing on the cake. Out comes Mark Haskins, looking focused, looking ready. A member of the Barbel Club as his t-shirt says. With water in hand (it was pretty hot in there. Intense wrestling does that) Haskins is raring to go. Out comes Justin “Hammer” Sysum. First impression was that this was going to be a good technical match. With flair, with traditional wrestling ability and it really didn’t disappoint.

Mark Haskins vs Justin Sysum – In this match Haskins really impressed me. He dominated from the get go and really did play the part well. I thought the match was going to be cut short when Haskins had Sysum beat down on the outside and nearly had the Hammer counted out. Justin made it back in with a count of 9. The crowd thought it was over, it was so close to a ten count. One highlight of this match for me was a snap suplex that Haskins hit. I turned to Penno and simply said “It’s over.” Even now, I do not know how Sysum kicked out.

Sysum mounted a high energy comeback that culminated in him finally getting the pinfall with a flying senton. Both competitors were good though. I spent the whole match guessing who would win and it changed some many times. At one point I was so sure Haskins had won it that as a betting shop manager I would have stopped taking bets on it. Haskins was always going to win, surely? Then bang. Sysum out of nowhere hit a suplex and the face of the game changed. The diving senton wasn’t perfect but it got the job done.

Winner by pinfall – Justin Sysum

Mark Haskins came out looking very focused for his match with Justin Sysum

We head to a break. Three matches down. Two to go. The intermission is spent discussing how good the tag match was. How good the show is. And bloody hell! The Seven Sport Best in Gloucester Trophy. Let’s go with the second part.

The announcer comes out and introduces the next competitor. Out comes Antonio De Luca. A man who from first glance looks a bit like Adrian Neville and Billy Kidman merged together. The Italian stallion saunters to the ring. Shouting “DE LUCCAAAA” and laying down on his side in the middle of the ring. He’s sexy. He knows it, he is flaunting in such a way he put Val Venis to shame. His opponent, Robbie Caine. The Welshman flies out with the single most colourful jacket and trunks I have ever seen in my life. It was like “Dude, the 80s just called. They want their jacket back” but he was fun. As soon as he comes out Penno turned to me and said “Look at his package,” quite frankly a quite highly inappropriate statement but I thought he had just had a few too many. It turned out that Caine stores his elbow pads in his trunks. Weird right? Well De Luca thought so.

Antonio De Luca vs Robbie Caine – The match started with Caine taunting De Luca by following the Italians shouts of his name with the reply of “De LOSER,” De Luca was furious. The match itself was a bit of a blur. Caine took a pounding for most the contest but switched it up following a combinations of shoulder blocks and a side slam. Suddenly the man from Swansea was in control and looked like he was about to win it until De Luca goes for the roll up, feet on the rope combination. It’s over. Just like that, De Luca wins. The referee didn’t see it but there is no complaints from Caine. He is just disappointed to have lost the match. De Luca swans up the steps and lays on his side again on the stage. The Italian has almost got to the crowd with the way he’s won. The cheat! Caine was robbed. However, I would like to point out that was in De Luca’s corner from the get go. And I suspect Kelsey was too (he was for all the heels on the night).

Winner by pinfall – Antonio De Luca

“The time is upon us folks…” – Jim Ross, Wrestlemania 17 prior to The Rock vs Stone Cold. And the time is here. The main event. The Gloucester boy Iestyn Rees vs the experienced and bruiser Buzzsaw Bronson. Two men with different styles and different physiques but two men who on their day can beat anyone in the squared circle. They both come out. Rees to a rousing reception and Bronson to the inevitable boo’s. The crowd is set. The match is beginning.

Iestyn Rees vs Buzzsaw Bronson – The main event boasted two top talented wrestlers. Bronson took advantage early on with his old school ground and pound style. He soon had Rees on the floor and after a big back body drop, he was in total control. Rees was struggling to mount any serious offence early doors and Bronson looked set to stun the Gloucester faithful. The match ended up outside the ring, culminating in Rees bouncing off the wall next to the bar and this was starting to look academic. This was turning into a massacre. When suddenly, Rees hit back. A big clothesline turned the tables. Rees was fighting back. Rees was showing why he has trailed with WWE and why everyone is excited to see him wrestle. A diving cross body nearly put Bronson away.

Iestyn Rees came out in front of his hometown fans, ready to fight!

The match then switched back into Bronson’s favour when as Rees went for a big splash the wiley old Bronson pulled the ref in front of him. Rees was able to stop in time to avoid wiping the referee out but he enabled Bronson to take advantage with a poke to the eye and an atomic drop. The finish came out of nowhere really, when Bronson rebounded off the corner following a counter and fell right into an Iestyn Rees spear. The Gloucester boy picked up the victory with his Gloucester finisher (a tribute to his rugby past and friends), and had defeated his vicious rival. As Rees celebrated and showed appreciation to the crowd, the dangerous Bronson had rolled out of the ring and grabbed a chair. It looked like it was going to get really bad really quickly for Rees but thanks to notifications from the children at ringside and his wrestling knowledge, Rees stepped on the chair as Bronson rolled into the ring. Just like earlier on, Bronson fled. Rees grabbed the microphone and said that if Bronson wants to get chairs involved, then how about they go again on the 28th of June, in a no disqualification match. The crowd exploded, giving their seal of approval.

Rees thanked the crowd for coming out as the show closed. The crowd went home happy after seeing some top quality wrestling. Some stayed for the meet and greet and some stayed to soak up the atmosphere. Either way, the crowd came back hungry for more. And more they will get from Gloucester Wrestling as they react to a fantastic debut show. On Sunday 28th June, we are excited to attend and sponsor the Severn Sport Best In Gloucester Trophy. Keep an eye on Severn Sport’s website and twitter where you can find updates and information on the next exciting instalment from Gloucester Wrestling.

Here is my final assessments from the night.

Match of the Night – The Lionhearts vs Matt Lomaxx & Gilligan Gordon

Performer of the Night – Tiger Ali

Move of the Night – Mark Haskins’ snap suplex

Congratulations to Gloucester Wrestling on a successful debut and here’s to the future. We can’t wait for the Severn Sport Best in Gloucester trophy. Roll on Sunday the 28th of June.

Ryan Butler