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FWA vs. ROH Frontiers of Honor


Big Benny HG

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posterivh.jpg

 

Yep, tomorrow marks 10 years since the FWA vs. ROH 'Frontiers of Honor' show at York Hall, Bethnal Green.

 

Results from that show:

 

James Tighe beat Paul London

 

Jack Xavier beat Mikey Whipreck

 

Burchill beat Double Dragon (Ross Jordan & Raj Ghosh) in a handicap match

 

AJ Styles beat Jonny Storm

 

Samoa Joe beat Zebra Kid

 

The Family (Paul Travell, Scott Parker & Brandon Thomas) beat Alex Shane, Ulf Herman & Nikita in a hardcore match

 

Low-Ki vs. Flash Barker went to a time-limit draw

 

Christopher Daniels beat Jody Fleisch (Jonny Storm attacked Fleisch; ROH wins the series 3-2)

 

This one drew the biggest crowd of the 3 events FWA put on at York Hall, around 900 or so, and was a pretty damn great night of wrestling from what I recall. It was also FA Cup Final day. Funny what you remember. I have no idea how it has aged, since I watched it back when the video tapes(!) came out and haven't seen it since, but recall virtually all the ROH vs. FWA singles matches delivering.

 

This might actually have been Burchill's 'official' in-ring debut for the FWA, and I believe was also the only time Double Dragon ever appeared as a team in the promotion. The hardcore bout was loads of fun, culminating in Nikita leaping off the balcony onto the pile of humanity below.

 

Rob Feinstein, still in charge of ROH at that time, came over with his boys and there was supposedly a pretty big issue when he discovered Mark Petar (Strong Style Tapes usually had a video stall at FWA events) selling bootleg copies of ROH shows.

 

There was a special meet n' greet/Q&A/'Fan Fest' in some freaky-looking metal club in Islington the following afternoon, followed by one of the FWA 'pub nights' at a Star Trek bar in Victoria. Needless to say, the wrestling the day before was better.

 

I should dig out my video tapes of the show and give it a watch...

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Look at the names on that show. If that was done in 2005 that would have been a supershow line up. Pretty much was in 2003. This was at the height of the early 2000s indy wank, which we all have fond memories of. Ring of Honor and FWA seemed a perfect fit at the time. Both rosters seemed pretty similar in terms of having a stacked top half and a bunch of lads in kickpads filling up the bottom half. I have fond memories of having this on VHS. I haven't seen it in years, so maybe its of its time. I do still have to fan Q&A of the event on DVD, with Mikey Whipwreck, AJ Styles, Low Ki and Samoa Joe getting interviewed. Its funny to see opinions of the time be so off the mark. Like Whipwreck saying RVD is desperate to leave WWE to join Ring of Honor and do movies and AJ Styles being a flopping haired homophobic nerd when it comes to how he thinks WWE's wrestlers are "boring". Luckily for all of us, we didn't get the rumoured joint XPW and FWA show, following the talent agreement both feds had made.

 

I'm sure there was a load of bother regarding Steve Corino no coming to the show (even though he was plastered all over the FWA website), but my memory is fuzzy on that. Archive.org has Alex Shane's old "SHOOTIN' GALLERY!~" from around that time which is semi interesting.

 

Frontiers of Honor on May 17th was an amazing success for all involved. The show itself was full of great matches from top to bottom. The building only contained a mere 147 empty seats meaning that the attendance was in the region of just under 1100. The bad points in my mind were as follows:

 

At 5.45 the lighting rig was up and everyone was ready to go. Just as we were about to get ready for doors opening (and this was witnessed by at least 60 people) the pyro team informed us that they had not rigged up the lighting rig with their equipment. They then had to bring the whole rig down, fix their equipment to it and then re rig it! Because of this they didn’t have time to finish the stage rigging, meaning that equipment was still being put into place even when the fans were entering the building. By the time the pyro guys had finished setting up the show was now 25 minutes late in starting. This had a follow on effect to the rest of the show which was made even worse by the interval going long due once again to the rigging of a burning FWA sign which in all fairness was fairly pants! The up shot of all this was that the show (originally intended to finish at 10.30) ended at 11.15 meaning many people had a mad rush for their last train or missed some of the last match. To any one that was effected all I can say is that I am extremely sorry and the FWA is finally putting plans into action to prevent any more serious over run again (and about f’n time too!).

 

-The mind numbingly stupid actions of Strong Style Tapes Mark Petar almost putting a grinding halt to the shows mere existence, which will be covered in full later.

-The show ending on a slightly flat note due to crowd burn out.

-The Low Ki Vs Flash Barker post match angle going on for about as long as it takes to read one of my commentaries.

-The 6 person hardcore tag team match falling somewhat apart in the closing minutes of the bout after getting great heat all the way through.

-The finish of AJ Styles Vs Jonny storm screwing up did this fantastic match no credit as on second viewing of the tape it was head and shoulders above their first outing at Uprising. The third and deciding battle somewhere down the road should be amazing.

-Low Ki’s shoulder dislocation which, even though he claims really hampered his performance, really speaks volumes about this guys ability in the ring. He was awesome!

-York Hall selling us seat’s that were not actually in existence. This lead to a number of problems as you could imagine.

 

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At the time, I loved the Styles/Storm match because it featured a load of MOVEZ! and sequences I'd never seen, and that was enough to impress me at the time. Yes, the storytelling was non-existent but it was exciting and relatively smooth.

 

I also remember rating the Tighe/London match highly although I don't really know why, looking back. I still am baffled as to why London was expendable to Tighe and Flash Barker got a draw out of Low Ki. But then, when the only other ROH guy that lost was Mikey bloody Whipwreck I suppose you can't complain.

 

That write up is hilarious in hindsight.

 

-The finish of AJ Styles Vs Jonny storm screwing up did this fantastic match no credit as on second viewing of the tape it was head and shoulders above their first outing at Uprising. The third and deciding battle somewhere down the road should be amazing.

 

They never.

 

-James Tighe proving his International worth in a cracking match with the amazing Paul London and assuring himself a spot in ROH in the not so distant future.

 

He never.

 

-Flash Barker going toe to toe with Low Ki and (according to Rob Feinstein) earning his place in ROH in the process.

 

He never.

 

There is already talk of a new influx of FWA stars making the trip to ROH in the very near future just on the strength of their performances on this show.

 

They never.

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Some of my (admittedly poor) photos from the FAN SLAM the next day:

 

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Low-Ki, AJ Styles, Rob Feinstein and Samoa Joe

 

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Mikey Whipreck & Rob Feinstein

 

I also go this free t-shirt included with my second row seat, which was probably one of the best of free ringside t-shirts FWA ever did and certainly saw some re-wear at events over the years:

 

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I've also found the official video tapes of the show. They actually released it as two separate 90 min tapes (at around

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It's so strange Alex talking about how far the dodgy tape dude's cash stretched towards venue costs and flights with the inference that without the cash the show probably couldn't go ahead. And then it's revealed the guy paid circa 900 quid. That seems such a small amount. How tight were FWA's budgets if they had to bow to this guy for such a trivial amount in a business sense.

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Was this shown on TWC in its entirety?

 

I remember the Nikita balcony dive, obviously, and Storm v Styles, but was this the one where Mikey Whipwreck gave Jack Xavier severe burns during a hardcore match or something?

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Was this shown on TWC in its entirety?

 

Yeah.

 

I remember the Nikita balcony dive, obviously, and Storm v Styles, but was this the one where Mikey Whipwreck gave Jack Xavier severe burns during a hardcore match or something?

 

Nah, they had a fairly mundane straight match which Xavier won with the Xaviator.

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Fat: check. Pleather shorts: check. T-shirt wrestler: check. Did too much flippy stuff for someone of his size: check. Yeah, Jack Xavier was our Whipwreck.

 

Loved this show. The weekend before the event me and my friends watched Smackdown at the Docklands Arena. It had Brock, Rey, Benoit, Los Guerreros, Big Show, Rhyno, Tajiri and loads more. Great line-up. Poor show. Then a week later we had front row tickets for FoH- fantastic show. Probably my favourite live event, either that or the first Uprising. I enjoyed every match and the whole show told a story from start to finish throughout all the matches.

 

This match saw Samoa Joe debut the 'ole' chant & kick, following a bet he made with Low-Ki whilst watching the Arsenal VS Southampton cup final.

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My brother got into the grappling again for a few weeks after watching this show. I remember him watching it when the Wrestling Channel was testing on "Friendly TV". I remember the Tighe vs London match was a bit nifty.

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Was this shown on TWC in its entirety?

 

I think it was. Me and a friend stumbled across it one night randomly browsing Sky when he was staying over at mine, I wasn't really even aware there was life outside of WWE at that point.

 

I was much the same when I first saw TWC. I think the first bloke I saw on it was Christopher Daniels. I thought he looked a right prat. I think it was an ROH show.

 

I tried looking for the show on YouTube but I could only find Zebra Kid v Samoa Joe.

 

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