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IPW:UK ROYALE REWARDS 2012, June 23rd, Swanley

Daniel Edler

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TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE NOW FROM: http://www.ipwuk.com/swanley


-- Royale Rewards has been an IPW:UK tradition since 2006 - leading to inspirational moments like JC Thunder downing then evil champion Andy Boy Simmonz in 2007! Big Brother "star" Billi Lightning eliminating Martin Stone from the Battle Royale - and subsequently having to face him one-on-one the month after at Royale Rewards 2008!


This year we have another huge rivalry atop the card - former best friends and tag team partners as possibly the best tag team in IPW:UK history, The Kartel, going one-on-one for the IPW:UK title for the very first time ever!


Last time out in Swanley, Sha Samuels defeated 'The Guvnor' Martin Stone, another former friend that the champion turned his back on. In this victory, Samuels retained his IPW:UK gold and entered the evening's main event Battle Royale with a huge bullseye on his chest, as whoever was able to eliminate him would vault straight to the top of the ladder and face him for the title on June 23rd! That man was Terry Frazier!


Frazier is himself a former All-England champion, as well as being the man who came out on top of the year-long British National Championship, defeating an absolute who's who of British wrestling to come out on top: British legend Johnny Kidd, WWE bound Joel Redman, British TNA prospect Mark Haskins, IPW:UK British Tag Champion and NOAH regular Zack Sabre Jr and in a gruelling final, 'The Vigilante' Johnny Moss!


Big matches therefore are nothing new to 'The Mean Machine'. Frazier took Samuels to his limits in a series of matches in Sittingbourne before his former tag partner took the top IPW:UK gold and now he's looking to do the same and win a championship at the end of it all!


TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE NOW FROM: http://www.ipwuk.com/swanley





-- 'The Star Attraction' Mark Haskins and The Lion Kid are two men who know each other very very well. They traded matches throughout 2009 and 2010 for the British Cruiserweight Title, and came out very even at the end of it all, both holding the title during that period. This time around they're facing off for something different, the #1 contendership to the British Tag Team Titles currently held by The Leaders pairing of Scurll & Sabre.


At Battle Royale, both Skins and The Lion Kid eliminated one of the tag champs from the evening's main event, The Battle Royale itself. As a result of the stipulations laid out, this was to mean that on June 23rd they would team up for the very first time to take on The Leaders for tag team gold - but due to Zack Sabre Jr's continued success touring Japan for Pro Wrestling NOAH, this bout was unable to be signed, and it was decided that since neither man really wanted to have to tag together in the first place, they would face off one-on-one with one man walking away with sole control of their Royale Rewards!


Therefore, on June 23rd it's 'The Star Attraction' vs. The Lion Kid, and the winner becomes #1 contender to the British Tag Team Championship, with any partner of their choosing!


TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE NOW FROM: http://www.ipwuk.com/swanley




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As mentioned above...




-- Reed and Robinson are two names that have been with IPW:UK from the very beginning. Two extremely talented wrestlers that came up at the same time, and are looking to break out all over again, this time in 2012.


Both 'Mr. IPW' Ashley Reed and Paul Robinson came from the Dropkixx wrestling school in Essex, during a prime period of time where the school was producing quality talent such as Leroy Kincaide, Martin Stone, Sha Samuels, Terry Frazier and many many more.


Paul Robinson was the first to debut, coming in under a mask for a trial bout in January 2005 before making his full debut two months later taking on future IPW:UK Champion Andy Boy Simmonz amongst others. But Robinson had to wait until May 05 for his first victory in IPW - in a triple threat bout against the debuting pair of Mexican sensation El Ligero and, you guessed it, Ashley Reed.


Robinson picked up two further consecutive singles victories, while Reed was wowing fans in a thunderous series of bouts teaming with and facing off against another Dropkixx standout Tony 'Superstar' Sefton, but come January 2006 Robinson and Reed would face off one-on-one for the first time - with Reed putting a firm halt to the Robinson winning streak.


After a rematch the following month, and singles scores tied at one a piece, IPW matchmakers opted against a rubber match - instead handing the talented up and coming pair the chance to really shine for the first time against International foes, in a four-way bout against Ring of Honor stars Delirious and Matt Sydal - who you probably now know a little better as WWE's Evan Bourne. Reed and Robinson took the American's to their limit for nearly 30 minutes in a blistering bout that eventually ended with a double pinfall - Robinson and Reed still could not be separated!


Wanting to ensure that the rivalry finally got a clear winner and could end once and for all, IPW:UK booker Andy Quildan pitted both men against one another in a best 2/3 falls contest and after 30 minutes of fast-paced, all action wrestling it was Paul Robinson who came out on top... or so he thought.


Even with Robinson crowned the winner of the bout and taking the rivalry to 2-1 in his favour in singles bouts, it was 'Mr. IPW' who grabbed the bull by the horns and made a proper name for himself, carving out big victories against PWG star Scorpio Sky, Ring of Honor star Kevin Steen, and a second pinfall victory over Matt 'Evan Bourne' Sydal. The pair would face off against one another in featured multi-man matches several times, but disaster struck for the pair. Reed found himself struggling against a debilitating shoulder injury that limited 'Mr. IPW' to just two singles matches in four and a half YEARS!


Robinson had a brief run in the tag team division with Marty Scurll, but when that came to an end the previously quick rising high-flyer found himself on the end of a terrible loss of form, at one point gaining just 1 win out of 9 bouts in a horrible skid. The previously popular Paul Robinson was dropped from IPW:UK.


Fast forward a couple of years. Robinson is now back on a winning streak, picking up four victories on the spin, including his Battle Royale victory against Ashley Reed and The Lion Kid. He's fought for Dragon Gate UK, and finds himself in his best run of form since 2006.


This doesn't sit well with his nemesis. With Reed now back at 100% and ready to show a new generation of IPW:UK fan why the Orpington crowd coined him 'Mr. IPW' - and his first step in doing so comes on June 23rd in Swanley, Kent, as 'Mr. IPW' and the quick kick kid face off one-on-one in a rivalry revisited!


TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE NOW FROM: http://www.ipwuk.com/swanley




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-- Jimmy Havoc is a man on a mission - and that mission appears to be finding himself a regular tag team partner who will be able to join him on a mission of success in the IPW:UK tag team division. Lots of brand new tag teams are forming and the tag team division could start to really fill up for the rest of 2012, all gunning to be the pair that de-throne the dominant champions, The Leaders.


Havoc himself had an opportunity at Battle Royale, teaming with his former NWA Hammerlock training partner 'Dangerous' Danny Garnell, but the pair didn't mesh together as they had hoped and the tag experience of The Leaders won out. Havoc was furious at his tag-partner (even though it was him who was pinned to lose the bout...) and immediately set about finding himself a new one for June 23rd - and now we know who it is.


Returning to IPW:UK for the first time since a successful double knee surgery is former IPW:UK Champion 'Irresistible' Iestyn Rees.


The former spearhead of The Thrillers, Rees came into his own in IPW:UK in 2008, dominating in singles and tag team competition and picking up the IPW:UK Title by defeating then top dog 'The Guvnor' Martin Stone at the very first time of asking. Since then, Rees went on to hold the best win/loss record against Stone, and one of the very best win/loss records in all competitions in IPW:UK history. During this period of time, Rees went toe-to-toe with the likes of former WWE star Al Snow, and current WWE star Mason Ryan, while also destroying all of his competition in all other promotions, steamrolling through competition like a hot knife through butter.


Injury struck however, and Rees hasn't been seen in IPW:UK in coming on 18 months since the official disbanding of The Thrillers. 'Suicidal' Jimmy capturing 'Irresistible' Rees as his partner is a massive coup and one that really could help Havoc set his mark on the tag team division.


Standing in their way however are the popular Bollywood pairing of RJ Singh and Dazzlin' Darrell, collectively known as The Bhangra Knights! Another tag team looking to make their mark on IPW:UK in 2012, Singh and Allen have had much more success this year with an excellent win/loss record around the country, serving for their recall to the IPW:UK roster. Injury ruled out both Bhangra's from last month's Battle Royale event, pushing back their Swanley return to June 23rd.


RJ Singh has been with IPW:UK since the very first year - he competed in singles action on the 1st Anniversary show back in 2005. Allen, a starlet who originated from the IPW:UK training academy, went under Singh's wing back in 2009 and hasn't looked back ever since. One potential major issue is that June 23rd will be their first match as the Bhangra Knights in IPW:UK without their manager, The Director, who blamed for their previous rulebreaking ways.


The Bhangra Knights certainly have the tag team experience edge, but in Iestyn Rees, Jimmy Havoc has recruited one of the top 5 British heavyweights and a former IPW:UK Champion. This first-time match-up goes down on Saturday June 23rd, live from the White Oak Leisure Centre in Swanley, Kent!


TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE NOW FROM: http://www.ipwuk.com/swanley





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I'll be tweeting results from this tonight while also looking for news from the also fine looking but significantly further away Southside card in Nottingham. Hope the card delivers.

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Results courtesy of Gadge's Twitter:


Crowd of maybe 100 in for IPW:UK Royale Rewards. Ashley Reed beats Paul Robinson by submission in 8.31 after Donna returns!


Danny Garnell won his open challenge over EWW Champion Rage (?) in 8.55. Crappy finish involving powder and a rollup.


In by far the best match to this point, Lion Kid beat Mark Haskins by Fujiwara armbar submission in 13.13. Good stuff.


Joel Masters beat Mexican Eagle in 4.48 with a TKO. Short but reasonably fun boo/yay All Star style match.


Bhangra Knights beat Iestyn Rees and Jimmy Havoc when Rees hit Havoc and the Knights capitalized with a Bhangra buster at 13.42


STILL your IPW:UK British Heavyweight Champion, Sha Samuels after a belt shot at 12.07. Terry Frazier leaves Sha laying after..

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So, while the Progress show the following afternoon was the show I'd been looking forward to pretty much since the first Progress show, and previous shows in Swanley have been mixed at best, I decided to make the trip to the White Oak Leisure Centre this time due to three matches I thought looked worthwhile, and the fact I missed the Sittingbourne show three weeks prior and was eager to make a wrestling weekender while I had the chance.


The problem with some of the shows in Swanley has mainly been the lack of atmosphere the leisure centre venue provides compared to other regular IPW:UK venues of the past and present, in relatively nearby places like Orpington, Bromley and even Sittingbourne which, while a bit further to travel, has seen many a tremendous event in the last three years or so.


It didn't bode well, then, when I got there about ten minutes after doors had opened and the crowd was only numbering about 60. However, by the time the show kicked off, just a couple of minutes past the scheduled 6.15 start, there was in the region of 100 present, which while not Sittingbourne numbers at least meant there was a chance of some atmosphere.


The show kicked off with a reprise of the 2006 rivalry between Paul Robinson and Ashley Reed, a story told very well back in the day. Robinson looks the same as ever, while Reed has matured a bit in terms of look and physique, but both are still very much cruiserweights. Apart from a bit of rustiness from Reed, and a near-suicidal moonsault to the floor by Robinson who forgot to check Reed was even in the vicinity of where he was going to land (meaning Reed had to run at full pelt to be in position to catch him, which looked ridiculous), the match was similar to the matches they had back in the day. The image was completed by interference from a returning Donna, who hasn't been seen anywhere since the 2009 Dragon Gate UK show, and Reed capitalised, taking a submission victory.


Confusion reigned for us in the crowd for match 2, as Danny Garnell's open challenge, which I'm sure was supposed to be answered by a "former IPW:UK champion", was answered by EWW Champion The Rage. The Rage got the crowd behind him for the most part, but the match was let down by a dreadful finish involving Garnell blinding The Rage with powder and scoring the pin with a cheap roll-up.


Things picked up significantly in the first of the matches I was looking forward to, the Royale Reward vs Royale Reward match between the Lion Kid and Mark Haskins. These two know each other very well, and gave Reed and Robinson a demo of how far Cruiserweight wrestling has come in the time since 2006. Despite some loose looking ropes, Lion Kid had a fine set of springboard moves that he executed smoothly, and an arsenal of Masato Yoshino moves to set up his Lion Bar finisher. Good stuff from both guys, I wonder who Lion Kid will pick as his partner for a tag title shot.


After a somewhat extended intermission while they turned the house lights on as we moved into the evening, Joel Masters beat the Mexican Eagle. This was short and inoffensive, and warmed the crowd back up for the last two bouts well enough.


I was very impressed with the teamwork of the Bhangra Knights in the semifinal bout, who were the clear crowd favourites against the somewhat odd couple of Jimmy Havoc and Iestyn Rees. Former British Heavyweight Champion Rees is much bigger than the other three guys, and wrestled in a way to make the most of his size advantage, so it made sense when Jimmy then also started heeling it up as his partner, even though the Irresistible one didn't seem very impressed. Inevitably, Rees ended up taking out his partner, and that opened the door for the Bhangra Knights to get the win. You would think that the Bhangra Knights will become a shoe-in for tag bouts in Sittingbourne, based on this performance and the fact the LDRS are surely going to become a special attraction team as both Zack Sabre Jr and Marty Scurll advance their singles careers around the country and elsewhere. Maybe there will be a slot for them on one or both of the Anniversary shows...


Finally, Sha Samuels defended the IPW:UK title against Terry Frazier in their first encounter since Terry said "I Quit!" after destroying Sha just before Samuels moved to the top of IPW:UK cards. While at 12 minutes it was a bit short for what Sittingbourne fans would expect, they channelled the spirit of Sittingbourne and Orpington before it here, showing the grudge between them as they brawled around the ring, and also through the four rows of chairs on the side I had been sitting, which literally brought the crowd to their feet! Yeah, sorry about that. While the ref bump-visual pinfalls-belt shot finishing sequence was by the numbers, it worked pretty well in the context that I wasn't really expecting a title change here, and it did get heat. Terry made a Cena-style comeback to destroy Sha afterwards and send everyone home happy.


And, ultimately, I did go home happy. It wasn't a blowaway show, but it showed promise, and if IPW:UK ties the Sittingbourne and Swanley shows even closer together, there are signs that Swanley could become worth visiting more often.


IPW:UK Future 5 is the next show in Swanley, I forget the date, but I think there's another proper show there on September 15. I may well attend...

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