1PW Invincible Report
From the Doncaster Dome-18th August 2007
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Greetings. I thought I’d share with you my experience of my first proper Indy show outside of the world of WWE. A short 2 hour road trip took us to the Dome in Doncaster where 1PW were putting on their latest show. I’d heard a lot of good things about 1PW particularly off of a new group of friends I have recently become acquainted with over the last few months. They sold me on 1PW pretty quickly after I viewed a couple of DVDs which showcases innovative British Wrestling with a mixture of foreign talent and a rabid loyalist crowd. (Pac vs Teddy Hart remains my favourite 1PW bout to date). It’s also not short of controversy as I’m sure you’ve all heard of the night recently where Kid Kash attacked a female photographer in an unscripted moment. Simply put it was trumpeted to me that 1PW was the place to be so yesterday I took the plunge and dipped my toe into the waters of independent wrestling. (I’m not counting the small scale shows in my hometown I’ve been to twice). Despite being smaller in size there was a heck of a lot more to do at the Doncaster Dome than the MEN Arena in Manchester (the largest arena in Europe which just possesses long corridors then the arena). After a quick trip around the town, Football stadium and the Dome’s bar I gained access into the arena. I got free front row tickets as a friend I travelled down with works security for the show and up until recently picked up the wrestlers from the airports. Wrestlers that have had the privilege have included Abyss, Heart Throb Romeo and Juventud Guerrera. I then ran into 1PW owner Stephen Gauntley who informed my friend that Abyss was unable to make the show. It was disappointing to hear but it didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for the night ahead.
Once inside and closer to show time the wrestlers arrived and were working the gimmick tables. Austin Aries was charging £5 per photo (even if you had your own camera) but was outgoing and very fan friendly. I opted for a free photo with ROH great Nigel McGuinness who despite being pre-occupied was very pleasant. Showtime arrived and the arena was around 3/4 full. Despite a slow decrease in attendance for the last few shows there was a real buzz around the place on this night.
The show started on time as advertised around 7pm. One of 1PW’s problems of late had been the shows running long and late and until past midnight which caused many fans travel problems. Tonight there was no such problems. The crowd was formally informed of Abyss’ no-show which was due to weather and flight problems on the East Coast of America. This pitted a change in the evening’s main event which was now purely a singles match between Champion Ulf Herman (The Flaming German) and the cocky young challenger Sterling James Keenan (the guy from Heat and Smackdown last week)
Match one was a three way tag match between the Iron Lions (James Tighe and Andy Boy Simmonds), another young brit team who were reminiscent of Paul London and Brian Kendrick and Pro Wrestling NOAH reps Aniki and Kashira aka the Pun * Pers. They’re named after a famous Japanese Hair Style according to the cards they were handing out during their entrance. The Lions went over here pinning Aniki following a suplex and top rope splash combo. Simmonds collected the pinfall. Good opener.
Next up was a last team standing match featuring the Chavs and Pain Inc. Pain Inc prevailed despite being outnumbered three to two when they put one chav through a guardrail and the other two (Mills and Skins) through tacks. Good heat for the Chavs. Crowd chanted you got killed to them after the match.
Third up was a comedy match which saw El Ligero deafet El Insanico Hombre (Mad Man Manson) after Hombre tied himself up in a resthold and tapped out. A step up from what you would see from Eugene in WWE with some innovative comedy. Both men started with an armdrag contest around the outside of the ring which was good and Hombre came out dressed in newspaper including a mask and sported drawn on tattoos all over his body. Post match saw both men hug.
Darkside and his bodyguard Stix then cut a heel promo on a trainer Kevin Mayor. Following a brief brawl and separation, Austin Aries came out for his match with Darkside. This was the best match of the night so far. Aries had it won following a brainbuster and was going for a 450 splash when Stix threw powder at Aries and Darkside rolled him up for the cheap victory. Post match saw Aries cut a promo calling the result bullshit. He then took a subtle swipe at TNA saying he’s lost the bullshit earrings and feather boa and is back to being himself. He then challenged Darkside and Stix to a handicap match in October.
Young locals G-Man and Brad Flash then came out for a promo. After G-Man noted the closure of Flash’s promotion, Flash ripped on G-Man and the crowd until Homicide came out to a deafening pop and laid waste to both with shots to G-Man and a Cop Killa on Flash. This brought out Iceman who was due to face the notorious 187.
Homicide and Iceman’s bout spilled all over the arena. Homicide eyeballed me and told all of us in the front row to shut up. Back inside Homicide delivered an ace crusher but couldn’t lift Iceman for a Cop Killa. Homicide got upset and yelled out FU to Iceman who came back with a full nelson slam into a backbreaker for the win.
An Intermission was called at this point but was immediately interrupted by Spud and his partner Luke. Spud heeled on the crowd a little before calling out the Damned Nation faction. The backstory to this feud is part shoot/part work. The worked part is that Damned Nation stole the 1PW tag titles at 1PW’s last show. The shoot is that basically when 1PW ran into financial difficulty the 3CW organisation and in particular Damned Nation (one of its main teams) stepped in and helped fund the 1PW show. When 1PW got back on its feet Damned Nation had a disagreement and left the company. Having now sort of returned to 1PW they’re running the rival federation war angle. When Damned Nation appeared they brawled with Spud and Luke around the arena then scarpered when the 1PW lockerroom emptied. Spud threw out an open challenge to Damned Nation anytime, anyplace. After this we got our intermission and I took the chance to buy some retro magazines and 1PW fanslam DVDs. I couldn’t get a t-shirt as apparently the order didn’t come in in time for the show and they didn’t have any shirts left in my size. I did get some more photos though, this time with NOAH’s Aniki and the Iron Lions. I unintentionally dissed Simmonds by turning away after the photo not noticing his outstretched hand. I finally turned back to shake it and Simmonds took it all in good spirits. Finally me and my mates marked the occasion by taking a group shot before settling back into our seats for the second part of the show.
The second part of the show ruled. Chris Hamrick took on the Open Weight champion James Wallace (formerly Jay Phoenix). Hamrick had control early on schooling the young Wallace and punishing his body with chops and slaps. Wallace then took over and wore Hamrick down. Hamrick recovered and nearly won it with an impressive top rope hurricanrana. Wallace eventually caught Hamrick in an armbar on the mat for the tapout victory. Post match saw the Iron Lions come out with Andy Boy Simmonds running down Hamrick telling him he should quit. Hamrick said he was in ECW while Simmonds used to order it. Simmonds said the ring was his jungle and Hamrick should leave it. Simmonds then challenged Hamrick who said he was focusing on something else. Simmonds slapped Hamrick who fought back but the Iron Lions beat him down. Hamrick recovered and announced a tag match for October. Iron Lions against him and the returning Tracy Smothers. Hamrick then led the crowd in chants of Southern Comfort, Tracy Smothers and Chris Hamrick.
The penultimate match was the match of the night and was a two out of three falls match between Nigel McGuinness and The Pukka One Darren Burridge. Match went around 30 minutes and the crowd were into both and provided some nice dualling chants. Lots of dog noises for the charismatic Burridge too who played to the crowd well. Following some crisp chain wrestling Burridge claimed the first fall following a rollup with a bridge. McGuinness then took over working over an arm and weakening Burridge with some stiff arm lariats. McGuinness then took fall two with the Tower of London (RKO from the second rope). McGuinness took the deciding fall following a wicked clothesline coming off the ropes. Both men embraced at the end and an Ironman match was suggested for the second anniversary show in October.
Finally the main event between Ulf Herman and Sterling James Keenan didn’t last too long. It spilled into the crowd (literally) as my top got covered in some of the combatants blood and the referee ended up throwing the match out. Originally billed as being Keenan’s last title shot he landed a reprieve when a rematch was set for October in a Cage Match. The first in 1PW history. The show then ended around 10:30pm and brought the curtain down on a great night of wrestling. It was nice to see the British workers get put over aswell by the Americans. I got one last picture, this time with James Wallace. He even let me hold his belt. Class guy. I then went to leave with friends and saw the Iron Lions leave with Austin Aries and Keenan who were leaving some disappointed ring rats behind. We decided to follow suit and made our way home while looking forward to our next trip. Next up is the 2nd anniversary show on 27th October with Abyss, Scorpio, Joey Matthews, Delirious, Austin Aries, Chris Hamrick, Tracy Smothers, Ulf Herman, Sterling James Keenan all scheduled to be there along with many others.
In closing, I’ll admit that while it’s sometimes hit and miss regarding the sometimes murky waters of the Independent wrestling scene I have this to say about the 1PW pool. Come on in the water’s great. Support your local independent feds. You may just enjoy yourself. I know I did. Altogether now, 1Pdub, 1Pdub, 1Pdub. See you next Sunday for Heat. Shaun.
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