- Nathan Gough
The Academy Wrestling - New Year’s Resolution
Well, what a week it has been from watching wrestling live in Madeley, Telford last week to plan for our exclusive interview with UKWFZ this weekend. In between that, the normality that usually comes has hindered my week. This is why this Review has been delayed but exciting news ahead, personally which will hopefully generate into positives for the Broadcast in the future.
Me and "The Funk Soul Brother" headed to Telford last weekend with an invite to go to view a promising young promotion. While Matt knows some of the workers, I generally didn't know what to expect and can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised. We got there early, yes folks Matt Burns actually got us somewhere early. We were greeted by UKWFZ and introduced to the talent and owner who couldn't have welcomed us any better than they did. They gave us the best seats in the house to view the show for the evening, so we would like to give a big thank you for that.
The production and set up for the show was spot on. There were railings at ringside, were a nice touch and I’ve got to say, I wish the British Wrestling scene would use more, as I've only been to one other production, who use them for house shows in the UK. Quality entrance set up for the talent to use and finally ring in the right place so everybody gets a fair view from all different angles.
My early thoughts on what I had witnessed before the show was how close this group of individuals were and that they were there for the long run this was more than a paycheck to these individuals, which any wrestling fan could personally appreciate.
Onto the show
Lord Graham Thomas Vs Big Mike Wyld
Firstly, can I say, that LGT knows how to work his gimmick. He can play on it at the right time and whoever faces him is going to benefit from being in the ring with him.
The match started off with Wyld trying to go on the offensive early and using the size game to get LGT off guard but being the vet that he is LGT didn’t take long to take control of the match by use of a few eye rakes and slow the match down to a methodical pace which suited him.
As the match progress on Wyld eventually got the counter in on LGT with the Big boot which led to the first near fall of the night. Wyld was able to manage to hit some short offense bursts before LGT cut the big man down and gained the advantage yet again in the match.
Wyld goes for the first finish attempt by trying to lock in the Celtic Cross but LGT has this scouted and comes back with the Sick Kick.
LGT then heads for the promised land but is met by the boot of Wyld who again tries to lock in the Celtic Cross, LGT counters out but misses with his dropkick as Wyld senses it and steps out the way and then locks in the Cesaro Swing to cheers from the Crowd.
As the match is progressing towards the end of it span we see both men going for broke, LGT hits a Gargano style Spear movement through the ropes but it was modified into more of a splash and linked into an illegal pin attempt by leaving his feet on the ropes, which is a great heel move and shows ring awareness. However, as LGT argues with the ref, it gave Wyld enough time to recover and he finally catches LGT with the Celtic Cross and that’s the first match in the book.
The Ring announcer then introduces Luke Basham, one of the Local Heroes of the company, who comes out to a home crowd cheer. He graciously thanked the fans for their support and announces that there will be an upcoming Academy Championship Belt which he states that he will aim to be the very first owner of, with the support of the fans.
However, there is always someone who will disagree with any statement that is put out. The Purge comes out and states that as long as they are around, Luke will never hold any Championship Belt and in fact, that they will be taking over The Academy by any means necessary.
This in turn leads The Purge to challenged Luke Basham to a Tag team match in the Main Event of the Show against them using any partner of his choice, if he can find one, which Luke Basham quickly accepted to show that he wasn’t going to back down.
Djin Vs Ajax
A very different start to this match as it starts with chain wrestling from both guys, Ajax gets control early on in the match with a wristlock. Moments later we have a chain wrestling section again which sees a hammerlock countered into a full nelson and finishes with Ajax slipping out of that and locking in a head-scissors submission on the canvas.
Ajax still on the offense in the early going hits 2 arm drags which is then followed up by a Japanese arm drag. How underused is that move in today’s wrestling, so nice to see it performed brilliantly.
Djin finally takes control of the match with a kick to the gut and starts to work on the mid-section of Ajax. Not long after Ajax starts to power back in the match hitting a sequence of rights and then connects with a powerslam.
Still coming on the offensive here he hits a European uppercut in the corner. Djin gets the upper hand back in the match by hitting a low dropkick and follows up with a suplex and then a nice double underhook suplex or as Matt Burns wanted it called a Butterfly Suplex.
Djin moment later in the match hits a splash in the corner and follows it up with an Inverted cannonball/ senton. Ajax comes fighting back to the delight of the crowd and hits another European uppercut which is followed by a backstabber and a top rope elbow drop, which earns Ajax a well-deserved 3 count.
Joe Black Vs Ricky Rowley
Just a pre-match note, can I say that I enjoyed seeing Joe Black doing a standing leap to the apron, there not many guys that can do that but Joe Black makes it look effortless.
The fast pace starts with Ricky who tried to take Joe Black out early due to the numbers game on the outside with the Purge hanging around. Nice series of body slams to Joe but a little distraction by the purge on the outside allows Joe to gain the upper hand and he hits a stiff clothesline that JBL would be proud of.
The Purge are doing a great job on the outside using interference to help Joe gain the upper hand. But Ricky on the comeback hits the Fame Asser but is stopped short by yes you guessed it the Purge. Joe hits the spear in the corner and is back on top gets a long 2 count. On the ground is working Rick by locking in a Rear Naked Choke.
What seems the norm in this match every time Ricky tries to gain the upper hand he is met by resistance and Joe with a wheelbarrow into a German Suplex. The two go on to trade big time Spinebusters.
After yet another distraction on the outside, Ricky manages to hit a Cradle Shock Driver on Joe but the Purge hit Ricky with the Hockey Stick and Joe gets a 3 count.
Post-match the 3 on 1 beat down commences and the purge ends up Kidnapping and dragging out Ricky with a chain around the neck.
Eddie Cobain Vs Toxxik
Eddie tries coming out with the big offense straight away but Toxxik ducks the Clothesline attempt and hits Eddie with a few Chops to get this match started. Eddie tries to grab a breather on the outside, but Toxxik isn’t going to let him rest and leads the chase on the outside. Eddie catches Toxxik on the roll back into the ring and hits some chops of his own.
Out of the corner, we see a European uppercut straight into a snapmare takeover. Eddie goes for the Irish whip but is countered which a neckbreaker by Toxxik. Eddie comes back with the suplex for a 2 count. But soon gets distracted by the crowd and he is met by a Toxxik chop fest.
Toxxik on the offense hits a head-scissor takeover and then goes on to counter a whip into a big DDT. Toxxik to the top rope and hits a big splash for a two count.
Out of nowhere there, we see a superkick by Eddie on a kneeling Toxxik which looked brutal for the win.
During post-match Eddie teased the crowd by raising Toxxik’s hand after the match to only turn on him by hitting Toxxik with a Sister Abigail and concluded by issuing an open challenge to anyone at the next show.
Evelyn w/ Tommy Gun Vs Drake Wynter w/ Gareth D Holloway
The Cards only intergender match and again something we don’t get to see on the British Wrestling scene that much.
Evelyn starts the match with some low leg kicks trying to knock the big man off-balance, but she is soon caught by Wynter who hits a scoop slam, once back to her feet she tries to fire back with some forearm smashes and a discus forearm in the corner.
We see the Trading pin combo which goes on for quite a good while, Wynter then gains the upper hand with a stiff clothesline and then hits his own forearm to the back of Evelyn.
My highlight of the night came in this match as a chant I never thought I’d hear at a family show, which was “You tough slut” chant breaks out the crowd to try and motivate Evelyn, which could possibly have been miss-heard. The crowd getting behind Evelyn seemed to start to work as she fires back with some hits followed by a crossbody.
This offense is short-lived as Drake Wynter hits the Uranage slam into a backbreaker, shortly after we see Gareth D Holloway take a fall after Wynter collides with him.
Wynter tries to finish it off with a Top Rope Suplex but gets hit with the Tornado DDT and Evelyn gets the upset win.
Match 6 - Main Event
The Purge Vs Luke Basham & “The Blue Arrow” Damo Scorpio
Purge tries the sneak attack on Scorpio and Basham but they duck and send The Purge to the outside, Once the action settle on the inside The Purge is working the arm of Basham. Following this up with a shoulder tackle but Basham not to be outdone hits the hip-toss.
The Purge once again tries to regroup on the outside. Once back in the ring the team of Basham and Scorpio get the early tag offense in. Scorpio then shows us a feat of strength by suplexing one member of The Purge, but this only angers The Purge member as he explodes tackling Scorpio to the corner and hits some corner thrust tackles.
In the next stage of the match, we see The Purge take control of the match and slowing the pace down cutting off several tag attempts. Scorpio then gets hit with an over castle neckbreaker. This follows on with more tag work by The Purge to keep Scorpio isolated.
Scorpio however manages to gain the upper hand after a missed moonsault attempt by The Purge. We then see the tag made to Basham, who goes on the attack to the take out both members of The Purge tag team with a dive over the top rope to the ground.
Moments later we get a sequence of everyone hitting trademarks or finishing moves on each other, Basham then goes and hits the springboard RKO, leading the crowd to break out into the first "This is awesome!" chant. Scorpio then Clotheslines one of the members of The Purge to the outside and goes up top to hit a cross body to the outside.
Basham and the remaining Purge member trade punches on the inside of the ring. The Referee then gets hit with a Bicycle Kick, which allows The Purge to hit Basham with the hockey stick and hit the Magic Killer, followed by a top rope Swanton Bomb for victory.
After the match, The Purge was far from finished dishing out their punishment as they began their rampage by attacking Basham, Scorpio, The Referees, and anyone who tried to come out to stop them. It was almost stopped by Big Mike Wyld, but The Purge showed that they would be willing to do anything by any means, by using cheap shots and a low-blow to gain the upper hand.
The Purge then decided to leave once they finished their handy work and just pointed at The Academy sign as if they were making the statement, that they are taking over. Once the Purge had left, all of the Academy heroes, slowly managed to get back on their feet. They showed each other support by banding together with the crowd behind them. However, they knew that taking on The Purge wasn’t going to be a walk in the park as it won’t be a small accomplishment but an uphill task that will test their fortitude.
All ringside & action images are copyrighted by The Academy Wrestling & UK Wrestling Media