Well, what a start to 2018 Back With A Bang was! Action packed, drama filled and sold out! Don’t worry, if you missed it, it is available to view on our Vimeo channel available from just £3.99 per month at https://vimeo.com/ondemand/grandprowrestling
But for now, in this blog we will talk you through exactly what happened!
Fast Track 4-Way: Ligero def. Cyanide, Rio & Dursun by pin fall
Our traditional show to open the year, opened with our traditional match to start the year! The Fast Track 4-Way was back, and so was El Ligero. Ligero, who had not been seen in GPW for over 2 years was once one of the most recognisable faces on the roster. The former British Champion returned here with renewed vigour and with his eyes fixed on recapturing gold in the promotion where he started his career.
Formidable opponents in the form of former Heavyweight Champion, Cyanide, former 2 time tag champion, Rio and one of the UK’s rising stars – Soner Dursun all stood in his way. An explosive start to the match where Ligero didn’t wait for the bell to ring and leaped off the top rope with a double drop kick taking out both Cyanide and Rio. Soners’ attempt to slow down the masked Mexican Luchador didn’t work and when the bell finally rung, the intense fast pace didn’t slow down once!
All 4 men during the course of the match had chance to put the win away, with strong displays from Cyanide and am impressive outing by Dursun, one of the his in a GPW ring. It looked like Rio had done that when he pinned Ligero for a 2 and 3/4 count, but it wasn’t to be. The two went onto trade pin attempts before Ligero was able to steal one from under Rio’s nose in a closely fought back and forth.
Whilst Rio was visibly upset at losing the match, Ligero was quick to signal of his intentions to the crowd as he motioned with his hands round his waist that he wanted the big one. He wanted the Heavyweight Title. After all, if he was going to come back home, there was no other title to challenge for. As the announcer confirmed to the crowd that Ligero was to cash in his title win that night against Heavyweight Champion, Dylan Roberts – the curtains burst open and out came the champ, flanked by his attorney and law, Alan Alan Alan Tasker.
As Tasker and Roberts hit the ring, they made sure Ligero’s head hit the belt. The high flying veteran’s joyful return went from ecstasy to tragedy within seconds.as he laid vulnerably in the middle of the ring, Dylan took advantage again, hooking him up in the deadly ‘Son of a Clutch” finisher that has maimed dozens before him as Tasker yelled Roberts’ introduction as the longest ever reigning Heavyweight Champion in GPW history, and proclaiming that “no one will ever take the title off him”.
Then, from the back came help in the form one of Dylan’s opponents later that night – Joey Hayes! There is a deep seeded history between these two and Joey could not stand back and watch Dylan a minute longer. However, Dylan’s partners for the night, The Bad Lads rushed from the back to swing favour back into the champs’ favour. As the 4 men set out to injure Joey. the rest of the main event team ran to the rescue as Ashton Smith, Martin Kirby and Matthew Brooks chased off the Bad Lads and Roberts. All 8 men had their appetite whet for what would be an almighty main event later in the night.
It was announced shortly after the match that El Ligero would not be able to use his Fast Track as he had been taken to a nearby medical facility, Ligero did not get cleared to come back that evening. I am sure we haven’t see the last of that situation.
Singles Match: The Sheikh def. The Ringmaster by pin fall
Two men with something to prove fought each other for the first time one on one. Having both trained together, Nicholas Cartier and the Sheikh knew each other very well before the bell rung. But it was Khan here who bettered Cartier with his Pedigree finisher for the 1,2,3. Cartier had struggled to find his way into the match and Khan had his number this time. But rest assured, The Ringmaster will be back!
British Title Match: Sam Gradwell (c) def. Sexy “Kevin” Lloyd by pin fall
In the first half main event, another man returned “home” as “Sexy” Kevin Lloyd, absent from the GPW roster for 12 months “Secy” Kev returned hot on the heels of not only his appearance in movie “Walk Like a Panther” but also from his high profile WWE try out returned to challenge WWE contracted star and GPW British Champion, Sam Gradwell.
In the early going, Lloyd was given little to no opportunity to get in the match by Gradwell who smothered him in an impressive display of technical and power wrestling which often saw him taking things too far at Lloyd’s expense when the referee’s back was turned. However, Gradwell did not have things his own way all the time, Sexy Kev came back into the match with impressive hip throws, strikes and knees raising the energy levels of his loyal fanbase who desperately willed him on to take the title from a dominant Gradwell.
The crowd reached fever pitch when Lloyd lured Gradwell into a false sense of security then snatched him into his signature (seemingly inescapable) armbar! As he ripped and teared and fought to keep Gradwell in the hold, he couldn’t contain the champion who fought out and caught Sexy Kev with a signature slam followed up with the trademark diving headbutt to put Sexy Kev away for the 1,2,3.
After Gradwell’s hand was raised, he had some choice words for Kev, the fans and GPW. He proclaimed that he was “not going to be returning to GPW to defend the British Championship unless he is given some real competition instead of being pitted against another one of Johnnie Brannigan’s silly gimmicks”. Strong words, let’s see what happens here.
A disappointing result for Sexy Kev in his attempt to win his first singles gold in GPW, but his night wasn’t over. Here comes Sandy Beach. Beach, who has been on GPW shows for 11 months has yet to win a match. He introduced himself to Sexy Kev then proceeded to laugh at him for losing on the first show of the year. The fans heckled that he hadn’t won a single match, to which he responded that it was a “new year, new me” and he was going to start 2018 but beating Sexy Kev. Well, in short – he didn’t. 1 minute 27 seconds later, he’d lost again. Will he ever win!?
Tag Team Match: Midnight Bin Collection def. Kollins and Bone by pin fall
After the interval, a bruising tag team battle for divisional supremacy was next up. Former tag champs, The Midnight Bin Collection went one on one with the pairing of Kollins and Bone.
This was the best outing we’ve seen Kollins and Bone in, Here, they looked more cohesive than ever before, gelling as a unit and eventually singling out “2 Shades” focusing on dismantling his vertebrae piece by piece. But, the MBC fans are loud, proud and firmly behind their guys! Urging their Jet Fashion onto make the tag to Hindley’s favourite Bin Man, Fashion rose like a phoenix from the flames, fended off his adversaries long enough to reach a long arm out and tag in his partner.
Bin Man came in with a house of fire throwing lefts, rights and everything else he could at both Kollins and former Heavyweight Champion, T-Bone. Himself a former, British Champion, Bin Man was able to keep his opponents at bay long enough for Fashion to regain his composure and get back into theI fight. The fight went on, Kollins showing the fans a new mean streak and T-Bone a renewed amount of menace but it was the man whose back they had tried to break earlier, Jet Fashion who caught Bone unawares in the Crucifix Bomb Pin Combo for a win that came out of nowhere.
Whilst MBC celebrated, Bone and Kollins scowled. On another day, this match could’ve gone either way and i don’t think we’ve seen the last between these two teams!
Singles Match: “Jumpin” Jimmy Jackson def. L.A Austin by pin fall
In the battle of high flyers the crowds loyalties were split between two favourites as former British Champion, Jumpin Jimmy Jackson took on the come back kid, LA Austin.
Fans were treated to a frantic start to the match, both men jockeyed for position at a blistering pace, but fans were robbed of seeing a competitive match go the full distance as LA and Jackson had company. Just as Melanie Price and Dirk Feelgood of Feelgood Media Limited made their way to the ring, Austin hit his awe inspiring finisher, Austintatious but couldn’t keep Jackson down due to FML interference. Unbeknown to Jackson the inference gave him enough time to put LA away for a hollow victory, even Jackson seemed embarrassed to celebrate once he realised the match had company.
Following his loss, Austin was joined in the ring by two thirds of FML as Feelgood and Price both wasted no time to stick the boots to a bewildered Austin. As the beating continued, it was Austun’s sister and inaugural GPW Women’s Tournament winner, Lana Austin (who had defeated Melanie Price in the finals of the tournament) raced to the ring to even up the odds and chase off the blood thirsty FML before they beat her brother up even more.
After laying into Price, Lana’s house of fire was enough to rescue her brother and send FML packing. But, on the outside of the ring and now with a microphone in hand, FML made their intentions clear as they challenged both Austin’s to a GPW first ever Intergender Tag Team Match at Northern Soul, February 23rd. The Austin’s gladly accepted! Match signed for next show!
Main Event 8 Man: Smith, Kirby, Hayes, Brooks w/ DDL def. Roberts & The Bad Lads w/ AAA Tasker by pin fall
In one of the most wild and crazy main events in living memory, 8 of the most popular names on the GPW roster came together in a huge treat for fans. The fuse between these men had been lit earlier in the evening and now it came time to settle the score.
Suffering from his usual delusions of grandeur, Big Joe attempted to pick off the fan favourites one by one starting with Ashton Smith. As Big Joe realised he had an uphill battle, he had to bring in some help! Quick tags within both teams, especially tags between Smith and Kirby, kept onlookers wondering just where the match would settle down! As Hall of Famer enforcer, DDL looked on there was little he could do to prevent the match spilling out of the match and literally ALL OVER the arena!!
Eventually, the match settled back down to an in ring competition as one by one. Feeling cocky, even Alan Alan Alan Tasker felt like he could contribute, taking to the ring to gee up for a dive before DDL cut him off and gave him his signature Death Valley Driver. However, at the sight of his manager floored by DDL, Dylan Roberts had a receipt for the Grand Slam Champ as he pulled him out of the ring and rattled his brains with an unforgiving right hand, flooring DDL. This then brought Isiah Quinn out to (who before the match had called for DDL to retire) to yell in the fallen enforcers face “I TOLD YOU SO, GIVE IT UP” As the undefeated Quinn reached back and slapped DDL square across the jaw, he could take it no more and chased off the interrupter for good.
Meanwhile, back in the ring the action still went back and forth with no one team gaining the advantage. Hayes and Roberts paired off with one another as there is still so many unresolved issues here, the two men tried to beat it out of one another. And it was the team work of Kirby and Smith, but in particular, Smith that lead to the upper hand gained over the Bad Lads Drill and Barnes. Efforts to disperse the team were successful and Kirby hit Drill with the move that had won him a Heavyweight Title a few years ago, “Kirby’s Dreamland”, just as he looked to go for the pin, it was his partner Ashton Smith who slid in and secured the win for his team.
A truly fantastic win here for the fan favourites in what was a well deserving match of the night.
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Don’t miss our next live event, Northern Soul on Feb 23rd where you’ll see our first ever Intergender Tag Team Match and much, much more!! Tickets on sale now for just £8.