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Grand Pro Wrestling "Back With A Bang" Feb 20th / Wigan

Mr. Noble

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Our traditional year opener is back to start our 12th year! Back With A Bang 2015 features debuts, returns, announcements and a cant miss, incredible looking main event, plus much, much more!


Here are the announcements!




8 Man All Stars Main Event Tag:

Feelgood / Ligero / Midnight Bin Collection v. McKenzie / Smith / Bailey / Travis


The Heavyweight Champ joins forces with the British Champ and the new Tag Champs to take on 4 of the most popular wrestlers on the roster: RJM, the undefeated Ashton Smith, Sam Bailey and Nate Travis! Fans loyalty will be tested but this intriguing main event will be nothing but fantastic fun! 




Alex Jones Casey's Political Campaign Ft, The Bad Lads


Anti Violence protester and perpetual student, Alex Jones Casey will start his political campaign at Back With A Bang with the help of The Bad Lads, Drill and Micky Barnes. What will this mean for the roster and the fans?




4-Way Heavyweight No.1 Contendership:

Bone v. Hayes v Ridgeway v Roberts w/ Tasker


The highly rated Chris Ridgeway debuts in a match to determine who will be crowned the No.1 Contender to Dirk Feelgood's Heavyweight Title. The Grand Pro new comer will have his work cut out for him as he shares the ring with 3 seasoned names, all of whom have never held the coveted Heavyweight Championship.


Dylan Roberts and T-Bone are as hungry as each other as both still search of their first singles titles in GPW, and both will come with ring side assistance! The final man making up the 4 has had his taste of Grand Pro gold and will be coming along, he is the former British Champion, Tag Champion and CC8 tournament Winner, Joey Hayes. All he's missing from his collection is the Heavyweight Championship! Can Ridgeway mark his debut with a memorable win? Can Bone or Roberts start their 2015 campaign with a title shot? Or can Joey Hayes get one step closer to the missing gold?




Pick Your Poison, Match I

"The Juice" CJ Banks v. "The One Man Riot" Craig Kollins:


As part of the Pick Your Poison theme for both Banks and Gallagher at Back With A Bang, Jack Gallagher chooses first and has brought the man known as "The One Man Riot" Craig Kollins to Grand Pro for the first time. Kollins will look to derail Banks on Gallagher's behalf before their showdown on March 27th and in the meantime, making a name for himself on the roster. Can Kollins beat Banks, or will Banks get the better of the highly rated youngster?




More announcements to come, buy your tickets now from http://www.grandprowrestling.co.uk/shop



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More announcements for Feb 20th feature some big returns!!




Pick Your Poison, Match 2:

Jack Gallagher v. Bubblegum


In the second Pick Your Poison match, CJ Banks has chosen former GPW Heavyweight Champion, Bubblegum to return and take on Jack Gallagher in a singles match that has the potential to be one of the best this year!


Can Bubblegum derail Gallagher before his match against Banks in March? Or will it be Jack Gallagher who is victorious, and if so - at what cost? Do not miss this must see match!





The North West Rookie League


In 2011 we ran a highly successful tournament, exclusive to Grand Pro Wrestling and to wrestling rookies in the North West region. After the tournament was over it gave birth to the incredible career of Ste Bin Man. This year, it's back with a whole load of new characters and new rules! At Back With A Bang, GPW boss, Johnnie Brannigan will officially announce the tournament and its rules.





Cyanide Returns!


Cyanide was robbed of his chance to run for the tag titles at the end of 2014 due to an attack at the hands of The Bad Lads. Healed up and looking for revenge, at Back With A Bang, the former Heavyweight Champ is set to return bigger and better than ever!

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I'll be setting off shortly for what looks to be an intriguing show. It looks to be one of those GPW 'set-up/storyline' shows rather than a 'resolution/payoff' event, but it's potentially one of the most interesting GPW has had for a while.


Firstly, lead heel team The Cause has been vanquished, and that storyline was the main thread of GPW shows for the past 2 years, so I'm expecting some big pointers towards the direction for the new season tonight.


That all-babyface 'Champions vs. All-Stars' 8-man tag main event looks fascinating, and is surely going to set several new scenarios running by the end of the evening. Fresh new situations for all going into this year's shows.


There's new faces in Chris Ridgeway and Kraig Kollinzz, some kind of angle involving Alex The Student and his 2015 programme, and something looking to be set up with Cyanide.


I do like that the Banks vs. Gallagher feud is continuing to grow, with the return of an all-time GPW favourite in Bubblegum. 'Gum vs. Gallagher should be superb.


So, a fascinating-looking fresh start. Keep your eyes on @BenPCorrigan on Twitter as I'm likely to be reporting how it goes down...


EDIT: and the North West Rookie League too! Yes! Here's to a load more ridiculously colourful set of newcomers!!

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So, long-established North-West wrestling promotion Grand Pro Wrestling held the first event of their 2015 season last Friday, once again in their Hindley, Greater Manchester home where they will typically hold 8 events a year.  Hindley itself is a funny little place, essentially a residential area located between Wigan, Bolton and Leigh on the Manchester-to-Southport railway line.  If it wasn’t for the wrestling, I can’t imagine I would ever end up here in ‘real life’, let alone the what must be close to 50 times I have actually ended up visiting the town over the years.

What was apparent right from the start was that they seemed to have done great business on this show – the ballroom of the Rose Club (a lovely typically-northern music hall) filled up nicely with one of the biggest crowds I’ve seen in there in a good while.  With no competition from the Super League tonight (which genuinely is a big deal around these parts) the first show in 3-months seemed to draw the people out.  Inside the building, the new year was also greeted with a brand new fancy GPW-branded entrance set and what appeared to be new lighting over the ring.  I will always tell people the Rose Club is a perfect pro wrestling venue, with plenty of space for floor seating, then a raised mezzanine level in front of the bar, offering a perfect view from tabled seating for those not wanting to wander too far from their next £3 pint.  Above that is a balcony, which these days is typically closed off to the public, but is available for expansion if required.

‘Back With A Bang 2015’ was in many ways a new start for GPW.  Their main dominant storyline of the past 2 years, GPW vs. The Cause, came to a conclusion at the end of 2014 with the expulsion of The Cause, including the likes of Dave Rayne, Zack Gibson and the Blackpool Blondes, who have been the key antagonists here for years.  So, with the story having been told, the bad guys vanquished and each of the 3 championships now solidly in the possession of the goodies, all indications were that this night was going to be one of new faces, new storylines and new developments to set the direction for the rest of the year.

It started with GPW owner/promoter Johnnie ‘Heresy’ Brannigan out to address the audience.  I do like Brannigan’s character on the shows these days – he’s the fan-friendly voice of authority, but also still able to get back in the ring when called upon and kick sufficient arse to stand up for GPW.  Brannigan announced that, following their time-limit draw at the end of 2014 (in what was shaping up to be a terrific bout), Jack Gallagher and CJ Banks would settle their long-running rivalry in a ‘No Time Limit’ match next month.  Tonight, however both had been afforded the opportunity to choose each other’s opponent; the old ‘Pick Your Poison’ dealy.

Brannigan’s second announcement was confirmation that the 2015 ‘North-West Rookie League’ would see 6 newcomers compete in a round-robin league series, each wrestling each other once.  So that’s, what, 15 individual contests?  So, we’re looking at 2-3 league matches on each of the 7 shows for the rest of the year.  The last NWRL, some 4 years ago(!), was a competition between two teams of rookies, with one League match on each event.  This will be more than double that, meaning it’s obviously going to be quite a significant chunk and focus of GPW’s in-ring action in 2015.  The twist this year is that each of the 6 rookies in the league will have a ‘mentor’ of at least 5 years’ experience, so it’s a bit like the early seasons of WWE NXT.  None of the mentors/pros were revealed here, but Brannigan did confirm that the first entrant in the League would be Bobby Cash, in the GPW in-ring debut of the guy known as the ring announcer here for the past 2 years.  What that meant is that we needed a new GPW Master of Ceremonies going forward, and out came Mini Magic Mark.  That may or may not have been his real name.

I have to admit to being excited at the prospect of this tournament.  The 2011 version provided a year’s worth of brilliantly over-the-top colourful cartoon characters, including Jason Logan, Skullcrusher, Ken Zen, Action Jackson, Jynkz, LA Austin and the incredible rise in popularity of eventual winner BINMAN, who just caught on with this crowd and rode a wave of momentum.  Such was its impact that the tournament final actually main evented that month’s GPW show.  It’s a great concept.  If they just brought a load of news guys in and chucked them on the show, no-one would care.  By giving them these super colourful gimmicks and the meaningful direction of a tournament, they stand a much better chance of gaining recognition month-to-month with the punters, in a storyline scenario people can follow.

No sooner had Johnnie Brannigan left the ring, than Mini Magic Mark was interrupted by a dishevelled-looking Martin Kirby, emerging from underneath the ring with his sleeping bag.  You see, Kirby supposedly lost his Hindley home when he came out the wrong end of a stipulation bout to Ashton Smith at the end of the last season, and the story goes that he has been made homeless and has been sleeping rough under the ring in the Rose Club since then.  Ha!  It’s completely and utterly ridiculous, but just perfectly ridiculous for the completely and utterly ridiculous wacky world of pro wrestling.  The scenario has shades of when Prince Ameen supposedly lost his fortune in 3CW some years back, and turned up at shows down-and-out and begging for change.  Kirby is absolutely the perfect guy to pull off what could be a ludicrously entertaining storyline.  Anyway, Kirby wanted to get back on the up, so issued a challenge to anyone in the back.  Slayer came over the sound system and out stormed Cyanide, who hadn’t been seen for a good while after unexpectedly missing the last few GPW events.  Kirby immediately launched himself at the ‘Toxic Terror’ but literally bounced right off him, allowing Cyanide to splat Kirby and pin him in seconds.  Not wanting to make a Big Issue of the situation, poor Kirby grabbed his sleeping bag and scurried out, while Mini Magic Mark tried to interview Cyanide.  You see, last year Cyanide was part of the popular ‘Toxic Waste’ team with BINMAN, with the pair rising to tag title contention.  When Cyanide went missing, BINMAN formed a last-minute makeshift team with Jett Fashion of the Midnight Dream Connection (whose own partner Joe Vega had been side-lined with a long-term injury, as seen on TNA ‘British Bootcamp’), and BINMAN and Fashion ended up toppling the Island Brothers to take the gold.  Markcito asked where he had been and pointed out that Cyanide could well have become a tag champion himself, at which point the big man angrily marched out without saying a word.

There was a lot going on in these opening stages of the show, with a lot to take in, but it was executed well enough that each key point was addressed separately and allowed to make its own impact.  The stuff with Cyanide completely telegraphed what was to come later in the show, but I felt all this did leave me interested in what was to come with Banks vs. Gallagher, the NWRL, Homeless Kirby and Narked Cyanide.

The first ‘proper’ match of the show was part one of ‘Pick Your Poison’, with CJ Banks taking on Jack Gallagher’s choice of opponent, the ‘One Man Riot’ Kraig Kollinzz.  Kollinzz, from Kumbria, presumably, came through the XWA/PAID system and is someone I’ve seen bits and pieces of in XWA and PCW, though this was the first time I could really get a good read on him.  I though he looked decent here in his GPW debut, and clearly has something to offer.  A bit like former north-west regular Juggernaut, he also has the advantage that he can get away with being presented as a ‘big guy’ in this type of setting.  They had a good match, the end coming when Gallagher came out to distract Banks, but it didn’t work and Banks pinned Kollinzz with the Busaiku Knee.

Up next was a one-fall 4-way to decide the Number One Contender to either the Heavyweight Title or the British Title.  I forget.  So it was Joey Hayes vs. T-Bone vs. Dylan “You Son Of A Bitch!” Roberts vs. Chris Ridgeway.  No Alan Alan Alan Alan Alan Tasker with Roberts.  I say it nearly every time I review a GPW show, but the improvement in Roberts is incredible.  He’s actually a really decent talent, and has been for some years now (ever since his heel turn, in fact).  T-Bone was wearing this amazing 1980s shiny silver singlet.  He was accompanied by Lana, who was getting abused by (former?) UKFF member HitmanNumbers in the front row.  She put her hand out in a “Talk to the hand!” motion, and Hitman HI-FIVED HER, to her complete look of both shock and bewilderment.  Tremendous.  Funniest thing Hitman’s ever done.  Ridgeway was another Cumbrian debutant, who I know has been doing stuff for PAID and Target Wrestling recently.  It’s clear to see that he is very much inspired by Prince Devitt/Finn Balor, considering his appearance, his movement, his mannerisms and his actual moves.  Roberts even called him on it at one point.  There was a moment when he completely blew one sequence, then had an awkward exchange with Hayes later on, but there were other times when he looked good.  Hayes was the big crowd favourite.  Overall, this was another decent match.  It started as the two good guys (Hayes & Ridgeway) against the two bad guys (Bone & Roberts), but then the heels first fell out, then the faces decided to go at it in search of the win.  It was frantic and action-packed, with people taking it in turns to come and do stuff at full pace, and moments when it was touching on brilliance.  Hayes eventually caught Dylan in the crossface for the tap-out win.

With that, it was already time for the interval, and time to stock up on raffle tickets.  I didn’t manage to win anything with my usual £2’s worth (I’m on the coolest of cool streaks) but, more hilariously, neither did HitmanNumbers, who had apparently spent £10 (*T*E*N*) on the raffle.  I am not lying to you.

The second half opened with the other ‘Pick Your Poison’ match, with ‘The Grappler’ Jack Gallagher matched with the returning Bubblegum.  ‘Gum has made the odd one-off appearance here since leaving a couple of years ago, but this was presented as the big hero’s homecoming.  This man is ADORED here in Hindley.  This may not come as a surprise, but they had a BRILLIANT match.  Smooth, crisp and exciting, they gelled perfectly.  They must have done, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen these two wrestle each other before.  I love the way that he doesn’t outwardly break the rules all the time, but that Gallagher is a BAD GUY simply through being a flawless catch wrestler who is arrogant in displaying his flawless catch wrestling skills.  It’s like you hate him because he’s so good, he knows he’s so good and you know he’s so good.  As much praise as Bubblegum has had for his own heel persona in recent years, this match more than proved that as a sympathy-drawing babyface in peril he is still the top class performer he was across the country in that role some five years ago.  After such a great match, the finish was fantastic: Bubblegum went up for a shooting star press, missed it, and Gallagher simply immediately rolled him up with a handful of tights for the pin.  That was that – no extra move, no finisher or anything, he just beat him because of his own missed move (and the tights, obv.).  I’d love to see a rematch of this one somewhere down the line.  ***3/4.

Before the main event, Alex The Student came out with his hired goons the Bad Lads (Micky Barnes & Drill) for his ‘political statement’.  He got the usual calls of “ALICE”, obviously.  You should have seen this guy, wearing black leather trousers and a black leather jacket.  Like a shit biker.  He’s a tremendous heel on these shows, naturally drawing complete anger and hatred.  His point was to repeatedly ask the audience if they have “heard the Good News?”.  I never actually found out what the Good News was, since I went to the toilet and missed it.  When I came back to the bar, Alex and the Bad Lads were walking through the audience, deciding who to pick on.  They grabbed three guys, dragged them into the ring and gave them a bit of a beating.  This was until GPW Tag Team Champions Jett Fashion & Ste ‘Bin’ Mann ran them off.  Fashion’s previously part of Chrisy From New York’s ‘Midnight Dream Connection’ tag team, so what is their new championship alliance with BINMAN called?  MIDNIGHT BIN COLLECTION.  So, so, so much yes.

With the tag champs already out, it was time for the main event.  This was a special Champions vs. All-Stars 8-man tag team encounter, with Midnight Bin Collection joined by GPW Heavyweight Champion Dirk Feelgood and GPW British Champion El Ligero to battle the team of Ashton Smith, Ricky J McKenzie, Sam Bailey and Nate Travis.  The other unique thing about this match was the fact that all 8 were recognised fan favourites.  GPW audiences are so into their good vs. evil set-ups that babyface vs. babyface matches have sometimes struggled to elicit a vocal response.  This wasn’t the case here, though, and it seemed everyone was cheering everyone when they did something cool, rather than getting behind a certain team or individual.  Much like the earlier 4-way, this was a fast-paced, all-action affair with rapid changeovers and people constantly coming in to take a turn in doing something good.  As a showcase of the athletic skill of the GPW headliners, this certainly lived up to its billing.  There was loads going on, both in and out of the ring.  Ashton hit a picture perfect tope dive through the ropes, followed soon after by BINMAN, who isn’t exactly a small lad, doing a flip dive off the top rope onto the assembled masses below (that hilariously caused his manager Chrissy From New York to pass out with excitement at ringside).  ‘Lone Wolf’ Nick McGuire was spotted watching the action from way up on high from various vantage points throughout the match, disappearing and then reappearing ever closer to the ring but without ever making a move or revealing his intent.  He did have business last year with RJM, but that had looked finished so he’s potentially interested in someone else.  Those with a keen eye would also have spotted partners RJM and Bailey bickering on the apron throughout the match, and it’s fair to say they’ve had business in the past too.  Referee Mike Fitzgerald was bumped, which brought out the Bad Lads looking to get back at the tag champs.  Cyanide came out for the save, sending the Bad Lads scarpering, but of course turned and laid out BINMAN instead.  With all this going on, Ligero rolled Nate Travis up with an inside cradle for the three-count to give the win to the championship team.

In the close, all 8 men shook hands and shared respect.  That was a really good main.  I think I was expecting the way the match was set up to be the kick-off of the next major angle/storyline for GPW’s year.  We certainly did get a few new threads, but nothing earth shattering.  I’m fine with that, since the match itself was very good indeed, and it more than created interest in multiple things for the next month or so.  Let’s not forget there was plenty on the undercard to set things up nicely too.

Show finished around 9:45pm, which is the earliest finish in a long time, and some 30-40 minutes earlier than had been the norm here a year or so ago.  I was fine with the shorter show, with only 4 real matches and a few angles.  On these ‘storyline’/set-up shows in the past, GPW has on occasion had a tendency to try to cram too much story development, too many twists and too many angles into a single show or short space of time, rushing everything and making you forget half of what you’ve seen.  This wasn’t like that.  While there was a lot going on, it was more restricted and I felt like it was a good balance between the night as a one-off show itself and stuff to build for the future.

I was caught in the mother of all hailstorms on the walk back up the hill to the station.  If ever you find yourself Hindley way, in need of shelter and are tempted by the Edington Arms’ promise of cheap beer and karaoke, whatever you do don’t opt for the Crystal Lager.  Even at £2.30 a pint.  It’s fucking rank.

So, that was the first GPW of 2015, and it looks like we now have the following situations going on:

- CJ Banks’ and Jack Gallagher’s rivalry over who is the country’s ‘pound-for-pound best technical wrestler’ looks to be coming to an end
- Martin Kirby is homeless
- Joey Hayes is the top contender to the singles belt
- Midnight Bin Collection vs. The Bad Lads for the tag title
- Cyanide’s new direction and his own issues with the Midnight Bin Collection, or specifically BINMAN
- Nick McGuire is creepy

Next show is ‘Saved By The Bell’ on Friday 27 March, and you can guess the style/theme for the poster of that one.  Announced for that is the Banks vs. Gallagher No Time Limit match, plus the start of the NWRL.  See you there...



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Thanks for the review HG! Glad you're back on board for 2015. We love the reviews! 


A great night had by all on Friday to a near sell out Rose Club. 


After the show, we filmed a post show wrap up with hosts Jiggy Walker and our new ring announcer, "The Real Deal" Neil Steele, who does have a resemblance to Magic Mark....! It's very much a pilot, we're aware of improvements that need to be made, but here's the link.



We appreciate any feedback you can give us! 


Whilst i'm here, join our next show, Saved By The Bell on Facebook. The date is March 27th and as Benny has already eluded to, holds a mouth watering main event with plenty else going on too!



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