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GPW: "Diamonds Are Forever" March 7th, Hindley, Wigan


Mr. Noble

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  • 2 weeks later...

As "Diamonds Are Forever" nears closer, here are the final additions to the card:

 

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RJM Money In The Bank Interview:

 

Last month's Money In The Bank winner, Ricky J. McKenzie has agreed to an exclusive interview with GPW ring announcer, Bobby Cash at "Diamonds Are Forever"! Don't miss this chance to see if Bobby can find out what RJM's plans for the contract are.

 

 

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Non Title Tag Match:

The Island Brothers v. The Proven

 

The undefeated Tag Champs, The Island Brothers have won plaudits and left a trial of destruction in their wake but as they have mowed down all challengers, the NGW team of Sam Wilder and Caz Crash, The Proven are brought in to test their metal. Can they make a mark on the GPW roster as they had the NGW one? The Island Brothers along with Simon R. Valour stand in their way.

 

 

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JC Thunder's Homecoming:

JC Thunder v. DDL

 

Since announcing his intention to return to British wrestling, and in particular, return to where it all started for him, at GPW there has been a queue of names wanting to greet JC Thunder. However, the man granted a the match is a man who has also been involved in the promotion since day one, that man is "Dangerous" Damon Leigh. This match promises to be unmissabley intriguing!

 

 

Tickets selling fast!! Get yours now on http://www.grandprowrestling.co.uk/shop

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On my way to this now.

 

With no Kirby, Joey, Ligero, DDL etc. tonight it really is going to be a chance for new and developing names to take the spotlight.

 

Looking a good show. Smith looked great last month against Hayes and will surely have another cracker with Gallagher. Banks looks set to hear the cheers for the second show in a row. JC THUNDER (baby) makes his return, and that big story tag main looks delicious. Plus, with the big 'Only The Strong Survive' (Survivor Series) next month, I'm guessing there's going to be plenty of little things to set up interest in that too.

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So, any results from this?

 

Bad lads tbone maguire beat nastic thunderfoot vega sexy kev(Tbone battered sexy kev for chatting up lana)

Noah beat mike track

Cj banks beat dylan roberts

Island bros bt the proven by dq to keep the tag trophy

 

Jc thunder beat axel rage of the cause

a video of the midnightdreamconnection aired

Ashton smith beat jack gallagher

Toxic waste beat the cause.

Should have been there shouldnt you...

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Team T-Bone def Team Sexy Kev when Maguire pinned Thunderfoot

 

Noah def Mike Track

 

CJ Banks def Dylan Roberts

 

RJM revealed his plans only to be interrupted by Nick Maguire...

 

Tag Team Trophy

The Proven (Caz Crash and Sam Wilder) def The Island Bros (ch) w/Si Valour via dq. Island Bros retain.

 

JC Thunder def James Drake w/Axl Rage

 

Ashton Smith def Jack Gallagher

 

Bin Mann and Cyanide def Dave Rayne and Zach Gibson when Bin Mann pinned Rayne

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Next Month (April 4th "Only The Strong Survive")

 

Survivor Series Match

Joey Hayes and Track "n" Field vs Martin Kirby/Noah and The Bad Lads

 

"No Disqualification" Match for the British Championship

El Ligero vs Zach Gibson (ch)

 

Johnnie Brannigan announced that DDL, Bubblegum, Cyanide and Bin Mann would challenge The Cause for the Heavyweight title. Format TBC

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As has become tradition, the first Friday of the month means the regular trip to Grand Pro Wrestling in Hindley, Greater Manchester. I should say, that as a result of various raffles, prize draws etc. this was actually the first GPW event I had had to actually purchase a ticket for since November 2012(!).

 

On the surface, one would have been forgiven for thinking ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ looked to be one of the more ‘skippable’ (is that a word?) efforts GPW had presented of late. Established headline stars like Joey Hayes, Martin Kirby, El Ligero and Damon Leigh were all absent due to other bookings or (in the case of Leigh) family reasons, and it had already been revealed last month that the April show (as in the one after this) would be ‘Only The Strong Survive’, one of the promotion’s special signature annual cards. Indeed, much of the storyline on ‘Back With A Bang’ last month was actually to build ‘OTSS’ rather than this. To sleep on this card, however, would be a risk, since this was a chance for the new and developing GPW names to step up and take more of a lead role. As it turned out,

 

It wasn’t lost on me that this show was being held in the suburbs of Wigan, just days after legendary wrestling figure Billy Robinson was confirmed as having passed away. Robinson, of course, trained in under Billy Riley at the infamous ‘Snake Pit’ in the town, known the world over as the home of ‘catch-as-catch-can’ wrestling. That same ‘catch’ tradition is maintained on GPW shows in the town to this day through Jack Gallagher, who actually bills himself as hailing from the Snake Pit and performs his interpretation of the style. In tribute to one of the Wigan grap game’s most famous sons, the show began with a minute’s applause for Robinson.

 

During this, and throughout the entire show, in fact, GPW newcomer Alex The Student was stood on balcony with anti-GPW, anti-violence banners, shouting abuse. Dirty student scum. The deal with this is that Alex (or ‘Alice’ as fans now like to call him) was one of those short-listed for the position of new GPW DVD commentator in an angle last month, before the position was filled by the surprise return of Dirk Feelgood. He’s a decent character and, just 2 months in, he’s already generating the right kind of heat from the audience who can’t wait to see him get smacked. Surely that will come…

 

The in-ring action kicked off with an 8-man tag of Sexy Kev, Chief Wahoo Thunderfoot, Joe Vega & Jim Nastic vs. T-Bone, Nick McGuire, Micky Barnes & Drill. This had not previously been announced, and I’m not ashamed to say I was rather giddy with joy as all the various characters came out to join the match. You see, I love this type of thing – a big match just chock-full of strong, defined, colourful cartoon gimmicks. For me, it absolutely defines what pro wrestling is supposed to be. I’d much, much rather watch this type of thing than shows rammed end-to-end with WORKRATE wrestling. I’m definitely a sucker for the characters over the actual physical action. As expected, this was colourful fun and kept everyone entertained from bell-to-bell (**1/4). The 8-man nature of the contest allowed the match to be kept at a fairly fast pace and didn’t ask too much of the more inexperienced wrestlers who are still finding their feet in front of paying audiences. Barnes and Drill are the tag team now known as ‘The Bad Lads’. Before they were given that name, I used to jokingly refer to them as ‘Double Denim’ due to their ring outfits, but that wasn’t the case here as Micky’s shirt on this occasion disappointingly did not meet the denim criteria. Speaking of which, the idea that ‘Micky Wears A Blouse’ is catching on with the GPW audience, and is pretty hilarious really. It’s also pretty funny watching T-Bone ham it up and go along with all the fun since the other promotions where I see him he is usually a non-nonsense hardcase nutter. The heels got the win when McGuire scored the pin on the Chief with a Dean Ambrose (or Dragon Aisu, if you prefer a British example…)-style Headlock Driver. One point of note, which presumably sets up something going forward, was Kev hitting on T-Bone’s missus at ringside, which ‘Bone obviously took exception to and the pair brawled to the back before the closing moments of the bout.

 

Unfortunately, Noah vs. Mike Track wasn’t much to get excited about, and fell completely flat with this audience (*1/2). I do like the Noah gimmick of insane creepy little weirdo, seemingly taking his instruction from a shabby teddy bear (which Track & Field used in a game of ‘Keepaway’ to start the match), and he plays the role fantastically. Really, really well. However, to date he has only ever really been presented as the side-kick of Martin Kirby, with Kirby appearing to be pulling his strings and controlling him through the aforementioned teddy. Without the established star power of Kirby tonight, Noah was left to carry the act on his own and it was clear that the audience isn’t yet ready to accept him in his own right without that manipulating force being present. I’m assuming that eventually Noah will break free from Kirby’s spell, which will be the spark for punters to accept him in his own right and he’ll be fine from there. If anything, though, this match really revealed to me how far the ‘Track & Field’ gimmick has fallen in the fans’ eyes. They were the breakout popular cult act of the last year (in the same way that Binman had been the year before that, and Sexy Kev seems like becoming currently) with their outrageous athletics-inspired comedy gimmick, but it unfortunately seems to has outstayed its shelf life. Ian Field was jumping around ringside desperately trying to get the fans to get behind his partner, but he was met with absolutely no response. I felt for them a bit, actually, since Track & Field were a great gimmick when they started and their antics have genuinely provided some hilarious moments. They really were getting massive reactions this time last year when they were fresh, but it seems the regular GPW audience has grown bored of them. The match ended when Noah locked in a version of a sleeper hold and Mike Track went out.

 

Out next was Dylan “You Son Of A Bitch!” Roberts, accompanied as always by his manager Alan Alan Alan Tasker. Tasker actually started by taking the microphone and running down the returning JC Thunder, who would be making his first GPW appearance in over five years (and that itself was a one-off after a long absence) later on. That’s one to watch. Roberts’ scheduled opponent on this occasion, though, was the increasingly-popular CJ Banks. Now this is a really interesting storyline that does have me gripped at the moment. It started last month, when Banks was matched with recent returnee Jack Gallagher, seemingly in a heel vs. heel match. That match had progressed with subtle factors (and Gallagher’s not-so-subtle pre-match heel promo) to get the fans to pick Banks as the one they wanted to see win, and that support grew organically as the bout went on. Banks isn’t actually doing anything to turn himself babyface, and still doesn’t act like that in the way he carries himself (for example, he doesn’t even acknowledge or interact with the audience in any outward way), but the whole scenario is clearly being set up to end with him in that role. Here, he was originally supposed to fight the returning William Gaylord in another all-baddie battle which would obviously have had the same result (given Gaylord’s overtly natural heel persona), but when Gaylord became unavailable the same intended effect was easily achieved with Roberts. So, the fans again got well behind Banks and by the end they were cheering him all the way. This was actually a really good match (***), a see-saw battle that was full of action. Banks beat Roberts with the Busaiku Knee which has quickly become his finisher of choice. Afterwards, with the fans applauding him, there was the slightest look of recognition in his face. Great stuff.

 

Last month saw Ricky J McKenzie win the 2014 version of GPW’s Money In The Bank briefcase, and ring announcer Bobby Cash invited him out next for a quick interview. With a guaranteed title shot at a time of his choosing, RJM put The Cause on notice (Cause member Zack Gibson is the current British Champion, while all 6 of the group are jointly recognised as Heavyweight Champion). Cash then asked him about GPW’s training school, of which RJM was a product, with Ricky saying how proud he was to have risen through that system. Cutting him off, ‘Lone Wolf’ Nick McGuire came back out and stood in the entrance way, making mean faces at him. And that was that. I guess there’s another feud set up, then. I’ve said it before, but one of the things GPW does so well is to have these little situations up and down the card, so nearly every match on a show has some meaning.

 

The final match before the interval was The Island Brothers (Rio & Tabu) vs. The Proven (Caz Crash & Sam Wilder), supposedly in a non-title match. The Proven, a regular tag team from NGW, were making their GPW debuts. One of the things with GPW is that they do such a great job of getting their regulars over as stars to the repeat audience, but that same audience then often reacts coldly at first to newcomers that they don’t know. As expected, that was also the case here, and the fans offered zero reaction to The Proven at first. Cleverly, though, they actually played on this and used it to make the story of the match much more effective. Since no-one knew The Proven, the fans just expected them to be the latest jobber cannon fodder for the GPW Tag Team Champions. That certainly seemed to be the case as Rio and Tabu laid out such an easy, one-sided beating on Crash and Wilder for the first few minutes that the Islanders’ manager Simon R. Valour publicly decided to officially make this a title contest. From there, however, The Proven started coming back into it and, in looking good against the champions, gradually started getting the audience into what they were doing. Having put forth a decent effort, it looked as though it was all over when the Islanders started hitting all their trademark double-teams finishers that have always resulted in victory… only for The Proven to kick out! Big reaction to this now, as the audience sensed the now-real possibility of a title change. Indeed, Crash and Wilder even looked to have the championship won, at which point Valour attacked the referee for the immediate disqualification which saved the title for his team. This was an enjoyable, impressive match (**3/4). The Proven looked good on my first time seeing them and I’d like to see more of them, but I guess that’s a certainty given the match and, in particular, the ending. A good job by all in introducing a new, credible force in the tag division.

 

After the half-time break and my complete raffle failure (as a certain wrestler who happened to be making his return on this show used to say: next time, the Streak. Will. Start. Here!), a video played on the big screen where ‘Chrissy’ from New York promised that new tag team the Midnight Dream Connection will be coming soon. #MidnightDreamConnection.

 

Up next JC Thunder (baby) beat James Drake of The Cause. This was fine (**), though the GPW audience has almost completely changed since the days Thunder was around, so only a few reacted to him and the rest naturally gave him the ‘newcomer’ silence mentioned above. The already-developing situation with Tasker and Roberts, though, seems to give Thunder an immediate feud with a current established star, which should soon bring him right back into the fold. I've got THE JC THUNDER T-SHIRT at home, so debating wearing that next time he's on...

 

Match of the night was Jack Gallagher vs. Ashton Smith. An excellent bout (***1/2). Smith came in as another unknown last month, then put on a terrific all-babyface match with Joey Hayes to immediately make a mark. As such, he was given quite the warm welcome here against not only one of GPW’s top antagonists, but also one of their finest in-ring performers. I first saw Ashton back in 2006 as a regular part of Triple-X Wrestling in Coventry, before he went on to do the Derice Coffey bobsleigh gimmick in SAS and others. He was good then, but now, starting to make more appearances after a few years away, he’s looking tremendous and has great potential. He’s put on some size, got ripped, got some ink (and looks a bit like Ricochet) and is looking better than ever in the ring. This was a very slick, smooth, exciting back-and-forth match where Smith constantly showed fire in battling back from Gallagher’s signature focused and sustained assault. In what you have to deem an upset (and indicates GPW must have Ashton in their plans), Smith beat Gallagher with a superkick as Gallagher came off top. As I said, an excellent match and the reactions show that Smith is earning a following here.

 

The headline tag match of Toxic Waste (Binman & Cyanide) vs. The Cause (Dave Rayne & Zack Gibson) had so many stipulations and conditions attached it was pretty difficult to keep track. The idea as I understood it last month, I think, was that if The Cause (who, remember, are jointly recognised as GPW Heavyweight Champion) won, then leader Dave Rayne had his wish granted that no former GPW Champion would ever receive a shot at their title. If Binman & Cyanide won, then Rayne would have to defend the Heavyweight Title against a selection of multiple former champions in a Scramble match and Gibson would have to defend his own British Title against El Ligero (who wasn’t here). This was a good, fun main event nonetheless and provided ample entertainment (**1/2). The Cause storyline has been booked really well in that this invading force looked absolutely dominant for nearly an entire year, winning everything in sight and seemingly looking unstoppable against the best GPW had to offer. That meant that when GPW babyfaces did eventually manage to score a win over a Cause member (El Ligero beating Zack Gibson in the ‘Crazy Cruiser 8’ final), it became a massive deal and gave a glimmer of hope for GPW coming into a new year. GPW scored another massive win here too, which was played up as being a huge, significant moment and a potential turning point in the war against The Cause. This was emphasised with GPW owner Johnny ‘Heresy’ Brannigan coming out at the end to congratulate his team and give up his former-champion spot in next month’s now-Heavyweight Title match to Binman. That match, from the impression I got when they announced things at the close, could actually be 4 members of The Cause defending the title against 4 GPW stars in a ‘Survivor Series’-style elimination tag match, but I’ll wait to see what gets announced. Whichever way it ends up playing out, I’ll be there for certain since there has been plenty on show the last 2 shows to make you believe this is going to be one worth seeing.

 

The show ended with Alex The Student still yelling things from the balcony, until ring announcer Bobby Cash told him to ‘shut his mouth’…

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