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  1. Me again, setting up another new dedicated thread I think we could do with, this time for one of the north-west’s leading and longest-running promotions. They used to post their own threads for advertising/discussing each individual event on here, but since they stopped doing that a few years ago we haven’t really had anywhere to discuss their shows. A bit of background. FutureShock started in 2004 as an outlet for the trainees of their Manchester wrestling school to appear on shows. At that time they were closely aligned to Alex Shane and the FWA (to the point the gym was actually christened ‘FWA Manchester’ for a while), and those early shows would typically feature Alex and a handful of established FWA stars mixed in with all the new guys. Of course, as intended, it was the home-grown FutureShock guys that eventually became the stars in their own right, with the promotion’s strength being in its clear-cut good-guy/bad-guy divide and the wonderfully colourful, over-the-top cartoon characters that fell either side of that distinction. Heroic favourites like Retro Pop (Dave Rayne, Chris Egan & Sam Bailey), Simon Valour, ‘Housewive’s Favourite’ Damon Leigh, ‘Mr. Metros**ual’ Matt Taylor, 100% Proof (Jimmy O’Shea & Twissie Romanov), ‘Man of the Match’ Raynaldo, the Sisters of Virtue (later known as the Blossom Twins), Declan O’Connor, Jamal Lewis, Jermaine Eventer and the Gambian Invader would do battle with the nefarious Dom Travis, Domino’s Death Squad (Jack Domino, Jack ‘Toxic’ Gallagher & Cyanide), ‘Man of Steel’ Clinton ‘Real Deal’ Steel, ‘Cobra’ Carl Richards, the never-aging ’15 Year Old Powerhouse’ Jamie Flynt, G-Man, Joey Hayes, Ben Rage and the evil masked accountant William Lovejoy McBarnaby IV. The regular schedule in their comparatively luxurious home of the Stockport Masonic Guildhall increased to every couple of months, with occasional other events in places like Irlam, Macclesfield and Swinton. The shows were tremendous fun, struck a chord with what I look for in pro wrestling and quickly became a firm favourite with me. Booking was simple but incredibly logical, with tremendous feuds like Valour vs. Domino, Rayne vs. Egan and Travis vs. Bailey building, peaking and rewarding to perfection. Starting from their second-ever show, I attended almost all of their events from 2004 to 2009, by which time the ever-imposing ‘real-life’ restricted my ability to get over to FutureShock as often, and sadly once I fell out of the loop it became all-too-easy to let the promotion pass me by over the following few years. It wasn’t until 2013 that I started making the effort to come back again as and when I could to a promotion that deserved more of my attention. At first glance, the FutureShock of recent years is a million miles from that which I left in 2009. Where once the entranceway consisted of a cheap bed sheet crudely pinned over a door and they’d get around 50 punters in, there are now big entrance rigs, video screens and capacity-busting attendances. As well as the continuing regular Stockport Guildhall cards, they added a series of shows in Prestwich (north Manchester) from 2013. These ‘Underground’ shows were initially conceived as additional, supporting ‘house show’ events, that would feature the usual wrestlers of FutureShock but not necessarily the main angles, turns, title switches or storyline that would you get in Stockport. However, given that the Longfield Suite is a tremendous venue with bigger capacity, perfect set-up and ease of access (just inside the M60 and on the Bury Metrolink line), it wasn’t long before the Prestwich shows were routinely outdrawing the Stockport cards (now habitually doing advance sell-outs of around 500) and it made sense for it to start hosting the organisation’s ‘big’ events. The traditional Stockport Guildhall events (‘Uproar’) continue to be the meat-and-bones of the promotion in terms of storyline development, but the key matches at the culmination of feuds or programmes will now typically occur in Prestwich. They have also fairly recently added a regular schedule of events in Warrington (‘Slam’), which do fit that ‘house show’ bill. In addition to this, after previously making their content available digitally through the BWC/WrestleTalk website on a PPV basis, FutureShock are following the example of ICW and PROGRESS with the imminent launch of their own Vimeo-powered subscription-based on-demand service. With them running so many more shows now than at any time in their history (21 events in 2015), there will be no shortage of constant new content. While everything about the promotion has been upgraded, expanded and polished, I’m so please that at the core of the shows are the same principles that made the promotion so attractive in the early days. They are still bringing up and showcasing new talent from their school at the same time as having the established stars on top. They are still building patiently and logically to important matches and events in a logical way. And best of all, they still have the wide range of super-colourful characters up-and-down the cards that make it so much fun. FutureShock as a whole is a very rewarding and impressive product, and the only real reason I don’t attend more of their shows is because, well, you sadly can’t go to everything... ******************************** Anyway, the timing of starting this thread was really to coincide with one of their biggest ever shows. Tomorrow night in the Longfield Suite in Prestwich is ‘Underground #12’, which also simultaneously serves as both FutureShock’s ‘11th Anniversary Show’ and their ‘100th Show’. I’ll be there, and it’s quite the line-up: FutureShock Title vs. Career: ’The Man For All Seasons’ Xander Cooper © vs. Dave Rayne What a match. Everything on the line. Cooper is FutureShock’s lead villain and head of the evil ‘Uprising’ gang. He’s been Champion a full year now, having opportunistically used his FutureShock Trophy guaranteed title-shot to win the belt from Jack Gallagher just minutes after he had won it at last year’s Tenth Anniversary Show. Dave Rayne has been Champion before a few years back, when he himself was cast as the lead villain, but is now absolutely the people’s choice. He has undoubtedly been MR. FUTURESHOCK since Day One, but now if he wants to reward everyone’s faith in him and become champion again he’s going to have to put his FutureShock career on the line. ARRRGGHHH! EPIC. Never have I so desperately wanted to see something as much as I want to see Dave risk everything but come through and unseat Xander Pooper. You want a lucky omen? Despite me only managing to get to 6 live FutureShock events from 2013 onwards, I’ve actually happened to be in attendance to see every single one of the last five FutureShock Title changes (vacant to Gibson... to Cyanide... to Gibson... to Gallagher... to Cooper)... Oooooooooo. FutureShock Tag Titles; Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match: The Models ©(‘Delicious’ Danny Hope & Joey ‘Hotstuff’ Hayes) vs. The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) The Models are the tag team champions, but the Wolves apparently stole the belts. They are therefore up-for-grabs in a TLC match. Should be a great spectacle. Submission Match: Jack Gallagher vs. Zack Gibson This should be nothing short of outstanding. These two have been somewhat tied together throughout their careers and just produce magic. Their GPW series over the British Title produced numerous crackers, but their storied FutureShock rivalry has much greater history and build to it, including a genuine British Match of the Year candidate in the main event of the ‘10th Anniversary Show’ last year. That was where Jack beat Zack to lift the belt in a cleanly fought contest between friends, only for jealous Gibson to turn on him immediately after, leaving Gallagher easy prey for Xander Cooper as described above. They been feuding for the entire year since then, building to this moment. Adrenaline Championship; 4-way Match: Soner Durson © vs. Ashton Smith vs. James Drake vs. Mark Massa I’m obviously expecting fast-paced action and excitement. I rate both Smith and Drake, and Massa is certainly capable (and should be great as the big, power guy here around which the others will fly), but I’ve never been too high on Durson. That said, the occasions I’ve seen him have been sporadic, and he’s obviously got something for a promotion like FutureShock to put their ‘up-and-comers’/’X-Division’ title on him. Can’t see this being bad. FutureShock Women’s Title; Gauntlet Series: Lana Austin © vs. Toni Storm vs. Danielle Hunter vs. Violet Vendetta Winner stays on, just like a session of Streetfighter II between friends. Lana is someone who I happen to have seen quite a bit this year, and the improvement she is making is really noticeable. She was also involved in a humorous instance at the last TIDAL show when the audience worked out her name spelt backwards. Storm and Hunter are both pretty decent, but I’ve never seen Violet before. Singles Match: Bubblegum vs. ‘Deadly’ Damon Leigh Their 2012 feud and series of matches over in GPW was very good, culminating in a brilliant streetfight. This should be equally strong, but has the added interest of reversing the goodie/baddie roles. I also believe this is the first ever time they have fought in FutureShock. Tag Team Match: Wonderland vs. Sexy Kev & John McGregor This is the debut of the circus-like Wonderland. They are comprised of Noah (who has been around FutureShock in various guises since the early years), one of the ex-merchandise girls, and another guy whose identity I’m not able to conclude from the match graphic. Kev is another of those great characters I was talking about, but I’m unfamiliar with newcomer McGregor. With his surname, beard and hairstyle you can obviously see what they are going for. I’m thinking this will be really entertaining, with just the right amount of daft. There’s a webisode of their ‘FutureShock Access’ series available on YouTube which previews the card, explains the backstory and features clips and interviews to build to this. I haven’t seen it yet, but plan on watchingtomorrow before setting off for Manchester. Anyone else coming along to this one? I know “Raiders” will be there... Really excited for this; can’t wait!
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