Wrestling League ‘East Anglia Anarchy’ Reaction
The Wrestling League presented their first ever Ipswich card this past Sunday. Turnbuckle Daily where in attendance for this historic event…
UK Independent wrestling has completely transformed over the past 5 years. It’s quite rare to find a successful promotion that relies purely on ‘import’ talent such as ex-WWE stars to push their shows. Now there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with stars coming over to our shores and plying their trade for established companies, a great example of this is how Simon Gotch has been portrayed for XWA. However what has really ignited the British scene has been rise of homegrown/younger talent.
East Anglia’s Wrestling League promotion definitely understand the importance of creating new stars, their School of Slam based in Harwich has been extremely successful and produced some of the names that appeared on the Anarchy card. So, let’s get into the matches:
- Jonny Storm vs Arron Warnes – This was the WL debut performance for Arron Warnes, who himself is a product the School of Slam. He faced an icon of British Wrestling in ‘The Wonderkid’ Jonny Storm. It was apparent from the outset of the night that the SOS guys had brought fans in great numbers, and fans that aren’t necessarily judging headlocks and bemoaning ‘work rate.’ It added a rabid enthusiasm for the homegrown heroes that elevated what could have been a quieter atmosphere elsewhere. Saying that even without an already established fan base Warnes has a TON of potential, he has a natural charisma, a good ground base in the ring (although some minor mistakes where made) and he worked a good pace with the veteran Storm. The two embraced after Storm took the win only for the Wonderkid to assault Warnes, this angered the fans and most notably the elderly fan who sat just in front of me, I’ll be mentioning her more because she absolutely made my night.
- G&L vs Chapman and McGee – Kurtis Chapman is an anomaly, he has a physique akin to Zack Sabre Jr except….smaller. But in all honesty he is mesmerising, charismatic and exudes all the calmness of a grizzled vet. It wasn’t till later in the bout that I noticed the ferocity of his partner McGee, who seemed to have mistaken the phrase ‘Hot Tag’ for I’M GOING TO FUCKING KILL YOU, it was awesome. G&L actually had the same dynamic as a team as their opponents and it gave this match quite a unique twist, the two smaller performers would be controlled until a tag was eventually made, solid tag bout.
- Gideon Gray vs Joseph Conners – I fully expected to spend 100 or so words talking about Joseph Conners, who I am absolutely a fan of and have been extremely impressed with his recent performances in the WWE UK division and the WCPW World Cup…however, Lord Gideon Gray blew me away. I’ve enjoyed Gideon’s comedic schtick for a while through his performances with XWA and Rev Pro, but on this night he decided to show an ability that I have not seen from his previously, the bastard. The bout started in the usual comedic way with both performers hitting shoulder tackles and Gideon using general shenanigans to hinder Conner’s progression but the flip happened fairly early on and Gray took control and SHOCKINGLY he won the bout….to be fair it was a good decision from the Wrestling League brass.
- Viking Warfare – Alexander Hyde vs HOOCH – Match of the Night? YES….These two brutalised each other, I have already seen a fair amount of Hooch and this was my first ever exposure to Alexander Hyde. Two things, 1. Hyde sounds just like Tyres from Spaced and this confused me greatly, 2. Hyde has some of the best one-liners on the Indie scene, one of the better highlights came when he told a young fan that he would hit him when ‘he hit puberty.’ The aforementioned Hooch is another star who has built a hell of a following in Anglia, I’ve seen him previously for XWA and been majorly impressed at the athleticism from a man of his stature and he just carries himself like a top tier performer. Another revelation was Hooch’s manager Louie, who worked perfectly as a mouth piece for the grunty Hooch. The finish came after Louie hit a spear on Hyde into a corner table, after the bout the two rivals shook hands and Louie declared that the two men where his ‘new army.’ HINT to the Wrestling League bookers….If you can get War Machine on a show you’ve already got their opponents lined up.
- Kobre vs Lion Kid – First off, I love Lion Kid, what a perfectly solid character for the kid friendly indie scene but it also helps that the man under the mask is a hell of a wrestler and can hold his own on the more ‘hardcore’ cards as well. This was again my first time seeing Kobre and this unique match (the ref wore a Zookeeper shirt) felt very different from the rest of the show. This is the first time that I get to talk about the setting for the night, the Ipswich Hotel in Copdock seems TAILOR MADE for Pro Wrestling, and the ‘Sin Cara’ styled lighting with that blue tinge gave this match a mystical feel. There were some issues with timing but all in all it was another solid match on this highly entertaining card.
- Chris Ridgeway vs Dexter – Ridgeway is proper good at being a dick isn’t he? The Fight Nation/IPW UK star took the SOS performer Dexter to an extremely physical bout and it again showed how credible the School of Slam truly is.
- Candyfloss and Josh Shooter vs Harley Rae and Sid Scala – I get ten points for every Only Fools pun I fit in here…lovely jubbly. Incidentally the elderly fan in front of my HATED Candyfloss, maybe it was her hair? This was a solid match designed to cool us down before the main event and worked well as such. Josh Shooter has a great look and carries himself as a consummate professional, Sid Scala carries himself as a loveable plonker and he even had fidget spinners at the merch table….hero of our time that man. The HATED Candyfloss has a great mean streak and worked the crowd well, she has a lot of Alexa Bliss about her performance and it showed. Harley Rae was another new face for me and she is a great baby face performer.
- Wrestling League Championship Match – Pastor William Eaver vs James Castle vs Jimmy Havoc – So here we are, the Main Event. As a fan of all three of these men I could NOT WAIT for this to get started. Couple of odd things, the main one being in a crowd chanting for Jimmy Havoc without the word FUCKING felt odd….The action went outside quickly and all three men found themselves piling into the bar area and all over the room, hope you got that deposit back guys. This match felt a notch above in terms of quality compared to the rest of the card but that is to be expected and the three stars here gave us a memorable main event after a long evening. Castle eventually took the win and captured the Wrestling League title, a good move to establish Castle and you couldn’t pick a better man to build your main event scene around (Black Flag for life).
Great matches, great venue, great night. Make sure you get down to Overboard on November 12th
— WRESTLING LEAGUE (@WrestlingLeague) September 4, 2017