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Big Benny HG

The FutureShock Wrestling Thread

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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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I will be there for the show tomorrow, should be a great show with the line up above.

 

Just to add to the identity of the 3rd man in the tag team match it is Henry T Grodd who is from the Futureshock School who has been on shows for the past year or so he is a bit like Don Meacho in size and movement.

 

Title vs Career - I think Rayne is winning this but i am expecting T-Bone to interfere as he has been banished for the last couple of shows since he got arrested by a police officer at one of the Stockport shows on behalf of Xander Cooper. But one little gripe that has been turning up in the Main event of the last few shows at Prestwich is the "referee gets knocked down TNA" finish and always with the same ref - Mike from the Council he is as bad as Des at PCW for getting knocked over.

 

4 way match (Adrenaline Title) - Durson apart from Xander Cooper has been the MVP of the Futureshock shows this year including winning the Lotto Thunder tournament beating Rampage Brown and Jack Gallagher, plus coming close to beating Xander for the title. 

 

Mark Massa has never won in the 3 years i have been going, Drake and Smith are good hands so should be a fun match.

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Ah, yes, thanks. I remember Grodd from the Past, Present & Future Battle Royal on the Anniversary show last year. Shamefully I've only been to one FutureShock event since then :-(

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Me and my lad went to our first Futureshock show in Warrington and had a blast. Will definitely make the Warrington shows a regular and looking into the Stockport shows. 

 

Went to the last one on a whim. Was supposed to be going to watch Chester (1st game of the season), lad asked to see some wrestling and the cost was less than the price of one match ticket. There were some guys who he's familiar with (Hope, Hayes, Gallagher, Lana Austin) and he saw some new guys he was very impressed with (Ashton Smith most notably, and Rayne, Cooper). He even bought a DVD of the last Stockport show and watched it in one sitting.

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The other fella in the circus stable is the awesomely named 'Henry T. Grodd'. I was genuinely thinking of seeing this, but I'm meeting a friend for Summerslam in the city center so I'll have to give the subscription service a go.

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The other fella in the circus stable is the awesomely named 'Henry T. Grodd'. I was genuinely thinking of seeing this, but I'm meeting a friend for Summerslam in the city center so I'll have to give the subscription service a go.

Chilli! Summerslam's on Sunday! FutureShock's tomorrow!!

Edited by Big Benny HG
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I'm massively looking forward to this show. Arguably three main-event worthy matches with Rayne/Cooper, Gallagher/Gibson and the TLC tag match and not a single match of the seven doesn't stand out as something that doesn't belong on the biggest show of the year.

 

 

I get a sneaky feeling the TLC match is going to be absolutely insane. Really, truly insane. I can only assume that the submission match will be wrestling joy. Those two are amazing in a ring together.

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Here are the last few episodes of FutureShock Access, recapping everything from the last few events, and getting you up to speed on everything you need to know about tonight's big one:

 

Episode 13 (recapping last Prestwich show, including the set-up angles for both Cooper vs. Rayne and Models vs. Wolves):

 

 

Episode 14 (including interviews with Ashton Smith, Soner Durson, Jack Gallagher and a superb one from "CHINA'S NUMBER ONE" Zack Gibson to set up the Submission match):

 

 

Episode 15 (recapping the last Stockport show, including the Pick Your Poison scenario between Cooper and Rayne, then a BRILLIANT video package building their Title vs. Career match):

 

 

Episode 16  (recapping the last Warrington show, Cooper talks Rayne, Sexy Kev finds a partner to fight Wonderland, then an AWESOME video to build Gibson vs. Gallagher):

 

 

They're less than 10 minutes each and well worth watching (although actual show footage isn't that great in quality, which doesn't exactly sell me on their new digital service).  I spent about an hour this morning catching up and have got myself stupidly excited about it all...

 

... but if you don't have time to do that, at least check out these two videos building Cooper vs. Rayne and Gibson vs. Gallagher, as they are truly great stuff:

 

 

 

See you there!

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I watched the most recent one of the Access videos earlier in the week. I really liked the promos, the hype for the show tonight was good, and the vibe of the storylines appealed to me.

 

The biggest problem at this point was the footage from the actual shows themselves. They could use a camera upgrade for the matches, based on this.

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I'm massively looking forward to this show.

 

I didn't realize you were reffing until last night!

 

Great show. Every match had something I loved. Although in a moment of weakness in the Wonderland match I quipped "There's a Penny I'd like to polish." Terrible.

 

One thing I really hated though. was Jack going for a pin early in the submission match. Making the wrestlers look like gormless twats and forgetting the rules for the match is something I've never liked, but the BABYFACE being made to look stupid is unforgivable.

Edited by air_raid
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It was a belter of a show last night!

 

Got to admit i had Dave Rayne winning hands down last night, so that finish was shocking plus the crowd were as shocked as well.

 

Gallagher vs Gibson was another good one in their mini series of matches.

 

As for the TLC match, i liked that they didn't use the ladder a lot (going up for the belts), brawl went all over the building and the Wolves and The Models had their working boots on.

 

Only down-point was the women's match, would like to see some different matches now not just Dani Hunter Vs Lana again.

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Fantastic show on Saturday.  Given what had been announced and my previous experiences with the promotion it’s fair to say my expectations going in were pretty high, and I’m pleased to say the show easily lived up to them.

 

The 3 matches you expected to be awesome were all, in fact, awesome, and the 4-way and opening singles match were both really good too.  The tag and women’s matches were clearly the weakest on offer, but there was still plenty to enjoy about them.

 

To run-down the show:

 

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Bubblegum beat ‘Deadly’ Damon Leigh.  This was so much fun.  Damon was getting outwrestled (and out-CHOPPED – you should’ve seen the big red hand-print on his chest) during the early going, and constantly bailing out of the ring and stalling when he could, getting into it with kids on the front row.  The presence of his wonderfully-wacky manager Chris Egan then allowed him to gain the unfair advantage, interfering again and again.  Damon is so good as the pantomime villain, and since Bubblegum mainly appears as the annoying baddie most places now you forget that he is still one of the best classic good guys around.  Finish saw ‘Gum finally neutralise Egan when he took him out on a 6-1-9, then rolled-up DDL for the win.  We’d just got started, but the crowd was already super-hot.

 

Wonderland (Henry T Grodd & Noah w/ Penny Dreadful) beat Sexy Kev & John McGregor with an elevated double-team DDT.  Penny blew RED MIST in Kev’s face to directly set-up the finish.  Not much to this, but an effective in-ring debut (as a unit, at least) for the Wonderland gimmick.  They have this creepy fairground thing going on, with videos of masks and dolls and shadows and birds and other spooky stuff.  Kev & John showed plenty of energy but were easily beaten.

 

Lana Austin won the 4-woman Gauntlet to retain her title.  It actually played out as 2 separate singles matches.  Fine for what it was, but this suffered from the usual gauntlet/elimination match/Survivor Series issue that they tried to cram in what really should be multiple matches into the timespan of just one ‘normal’ match.  What they did do wasn’t bad.  It started with Toni Storm’s Hair Extensions vs. Violet Vendetta, who had some pretty good exchanges before Toni quickly eliminated her with a sneaky schoolyard-style, erm, schoolgirl.  Lana was out next to face Toni, but was immediately attacked on entry by Danielle Hunter.  This had the effect of eliminating the unimpressed Storm by disqualification, meaning Hunter (the lone baddie in the match) entered officially and faced Austin in the final 2 for the title.  Quite clever that, actually.  Hunter isn’t that big, but is always presented as the big, powerful ‘monster’ on these shows, and can get away with it since her opponents are always so small.  Basic stuff with Hunter beating on Lana for a while then Lana making a quick comeback and winning with a DDT.  There are logical possibilities with the boking here, with Storm vs. Hunter after causing her to be DQed, as well as the Lana vs. Storm match that didn’t happen.

 

Jack Gallagher beat Zack Gibson via submission to the crab to win the Submission Match and their latest trilogy.  Gallagher is now ‘The Extraordinary’, since the similarly-haired-and-moustached John McGregor is now ‘The Gentleman’.  These two just work so well together.  They played that brilliant hype video posted above immediately beforehand which had the effect of making this come over as a big deal.  The match was just superb.  There is always the danger with long matches, with no near-falls, built around working body-parts and going for submissions, that you are asking too much for a crowd (especially youngsters) to keep attention, but that absolutely wasn’t the case here and the ridiculously hot audience was with them all the way.  Zack was targeting Jack’s arm (for the Shankley Gate) while Gallagher went after the leg.  It built to some great near-submissions at the end, where Jack pulled Gibson to the middle of the ring in the crab for the tap-out and be met with a standing ovation.

 

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It was the interval next, where you could get in-ring photos with Gallagher and an old-timey Victorian barbell.  That was so tremendously wacky I wished I’d taken the opportunity, but the interval itself was very quick indeed and I didn’t even get chance to buy raffle tickets.

 

James Drake won the Adrenaline Title in the 4-way over champion Soner Durson, Mark Massa & Ashton Smith.  I’d mentioned being previously unimpressed by Durson, but he looked really good here.  In terms of timing and execution he’s improved immeasurably and might have something.  Everyone else looked decent too, and this was a good match based around fast action.  Drake scored the winning fall with, yes, a roll-up on Ashton, which makes the obvious match against unpinned former champion Soner.

 

‘The Man For All Seasons’ Xander Cooper beat Dave Rayne with his double-arm-capture backstabber to retain the FutureShock Title.  As per the stipulation Dave had to agree to to secure the title match whilst on a losing streak, Rayne must retire from FutureShock.  They did a ‘Dave Rayne through The Years’ extended special entrance with fake Dave Raynes (not hiding the fact they were being played by other FutureShock babyfaces in tribute – Nordic Warrior even had his helmet on) in all the different versions of his gear to all his various entrance themes.  Fuck me that was great.  At that point I realised there were kids in attendance here that WEREN’T EVEN BORN when I started watching Dave Rayne in FutureShock in 2004.  He really is MR. FUTURESHOCK.  Exactly as I expected and hoped it to be, this was just tremendous emotional drama, with everyone living and dying with every twist, turn and false-finish.  Yes, they did the ref bumps, the run-ins and all that, but that’s what I wanted from this contest since that had been the story of Pooper’s reign and it all added to the tension.  Pete The Ref was taken out!  Dave had the pin!  And then the tap!  But no referee!  And then here came The Uprising!  Argh!  Dave made his own comeback and took out Uprising with a dive over the ropes!  While replacement ref Mikey Fitz was sorting all that out, he missed Cooper hitting Rayne with low blow which looked for all the world to be the finish... but Rayne kicked out!  Moments later Xander Pooper finally scored the win for real.  There was a real, genuine shocked silence at the finish, lasting for a good couple of minutes, like a mini-Undertaker-streak-break.  Dave got a standing ovation as he acknowledged his defeat and walked out.

 

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The Models (‘Delicious’ Danny Hope & Joey ‘Hotstuff’ Hayes w/ Melanie Price) beat The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) in the Tables, Ladders and Chairs match to retain the FutureShock Tag Team Championship.  This was a mental match; a tremendous spectacle.  Davey has spent many tours over here on all kinds of show and knows how to work UK crowds, and looked like he was having the time of his life whipping up a storm with over-the-top heel antics.  Just a non-stop, all-out crazy fight.  At one point the Wolves hit the reDRagon finisher Chasing the Dragon on a steel chair, which was insane.  Several wallpaper pasting tables made an appearance and were destroyed in spectacular, satisfying fashion.  Edwards’ reaction at seeing these tables was hilarious.  Crowd reactions to everything they did were huge, and (despite earlier warnings to stay out of the way) people rushed to follow them around the room.  They fought all around ringside, around the bar area and at merchandise corner, including DVD table getting destroyed.  Finally, the Models hit a 3D through a table then climbed simultaneously to grab the belts and score the win.  The Wolves showed respect afterwards, strongly putting over the Models and FutureShock in general.

 

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So, a great show, featuring three of the best British matches you’ll see this year, but all for different reasons – Gibson/Gallagher for hold-for-hold wrestling, Cooper/Rayne for sheer emotional drama and the TLC for action.  A definite must-buy on DVD (or OnDemand...).

 

... and the shenanigans didn’t stop there.  At Prestwich tram station everyone was treated to the sight of the police wrestling two uncooperative chavs to the ground, who resisted to the point the  policeman was repeatedly smacking them in the face.  After that, my train home from Manchester broke down between Leeds and York, and was plunged into pitch darkness to the extent the conductor had to hand out the emergency glo-sticks.  That meant I got home an hour late, but just in time for NXT Takeover, and no regrets about making the journey to a fabulous show.

 

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