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By Mark Worrall @Hoohoowozza
Kamikaze Pro made their return to the Cadbury Club in Birmingham for their final show of 2017. The card looked stacked and this show did not disappoint at all. These are my thoughts on a great show.
EL LIGERO defeats KIP SABIAN.
The debut of Kip Sabian to a Kamikaze Pro ring could not have gotten off to a worse start. Matched up against the veteran El Ligero, Sabian never really kept up to speed with Ligero who always seemed to be one step ahead of his opponent throughout the match. Sabian’s insistence of getting his ‘SUPERBAD’ gimmick over took over his persona and never really allowed him to get in much offence against Ligero who scouted almost anything Sabian had to throw at him. Granted Sabian spent most of the match ringside, berating the fans and unsuccessfully attempting to persuade a female sitting ringside to repeat his cries of ‘superbaddd! This is where Sabian worked better to be fair, his attempts to get his ‘superbad’ gimmick over, and his collaboration with the fans played into his heelish type persona, however, Ligero, who only really succumbed to a Sabian GTS that got a near fall planted a great looking tornado DDT to pick up the win in a good opening contest.
BRAM defeats ELLIOTT JORDAN.
Elliott Jordan was not scheduled to appear on the card, however issuing an open challenge after giving and receiving plenty of abuse from the on looking crowd, he was a little surprised to see Bram answer the call. Somewhat of a squash match Bram was too big and too much for Jordan who did execute a nice suplex during the match that saw the former TNA talent Bram kick out on one. For me, Jordan was really good tonight which I have not felt before. His objective seems to be putting over a heelish character, piss off the fans then get mauled from the bigger man, and it worked. Bram hit a pop up power bomb then nailed a pile driver that put Jordan away to everybody’s delight. Good match with some good heat from Jordan.
SHANNA defeats SHAX & XIA BROOKSIDE in a triple threat match.
I really do not like to be negative when writing a review, however this matched struggled with veteran Shanna really having to work hard to get any sort of match together here. All credit has to go to Shanna who faced a new girl in ‘Shax’ who I have not seen before, and a returning Xia Brookside. Shax kept a fair distance from the match, but I did like the character, really dark persona that could do well for her over time. Xia Brookside returning from a run in Japanese Promotion ‘Stardom’ does not look to have shown much improvement from her previous run in the UK indies except from her confidence and a really good rapport with the crowd. Shanna’s experience helped cover up a couple a botched moves from Brookside who really did not sell a couple of super kicks from Shanna during the match. Shanna playing possum with a neck injury saw Brookside come to her aid allowing Shax to hit her from behind with her cane, this would eventually enabled Shanna to execute a stunning snap dragon with a cradle on Brookside to win the match. My negativity is not to put Brookside down, she is young and I am sure it will come, my frustration lies with Shanna not receiving a match with a more high profile wrestler so we can see the best of her as we have seen in previous matches against Mickie James and Awesome Kong, both for this company. Although if Shanna’s aim is to get over the younger talent, then there is nobody better.
MARK HASKINS defeats KAY JUTLER
The first half of the show ended with a great one on one battle between the heavily intense Mark Haskins and a man who has star written all over him in the form of Kay Jutler. Apparently these two have met in other parts of the country and the south west is a familiar stomping ground for both of these superb athletes who wrestled an intense match that saw Haskins controlling large proportions of the match whilst Jutler took the punishment the Malvern veteran threw at him. The resiliency of Haskins is always at play as he pounds an opponent down, picking at body parts and worked intensely with the aim of keeping his opponent down on the mat. Haskins worked his similar style, working the arms of Jutler, never letting up or giving Jutler a breather as he transitioned into a crossface with Jutler scrambling to the protection of the ropes. Jutler’s defence was superb, never succumbing to Haskins who grew frustrated with the Swindon man and relentlessly worked as Jutler and Haskins enjoyed an elbow exchange that the crowd really appreciated. Jutler was not without his own offence that looked terrific when implied by a man the size of Jutler nailing a great back breaker as I then waited for the Falcon Arrow that only Jutler does as well as I have seen anyone do such a move, however it never came on this day as Jutler managed to stretch a foot to a rope and two occasions as Haskins held him in an arm bar before planting Jutler with a Michanoku driver that finally put this match to an end. Haskins took to the mic and paid tribute to his opponent that was truly deserved. Jutler may be losing to some big names, but he is getting the big names and he certainly is the future of Kamikaze Pro. My biased head simply loves this guy and can only see big things to come.
RELENTLESS DIVISION TITLE MATCH
GABRIEL KIDD(c) defeats SEAN KUSTOM & JOSEPH CONNORS.
Gabriel seems to be the man of Kamikaze at the moment with the Relentless title being put on his shoulders it seems this company is putting a lot of faith into the Nottingham man who has been on quite the roll in his Kamikaze debut year. Putting the promotions secondary title on Kidd puts him under pressure a little and he is certainly holding his own as he faced a match up with a debuting Sean Kustom, or so we were led to believe until this became a triple threat match with Joseph Connors being introduced into the match. Sean Kustom is a guy I have not seen before and I admit to being suitably impressed as Connors at times showed himself as the more stable wrestler with his experienced background and whether you like him or not he stood slightly above his opponents in skill and had a good deal of control with Kustom seemingly more on a par with him than the champion Kidd. In fact Kustom gained control of the match double drop kicking his opponents then executing a cutter on Connors who inadvertently nailed a DDT on Kidd. It was Kustom’s intention to throw Kidd from the ring that saw Kidd counter, rolling up Kustom for a roll up win. Good match with Kidd being the intentional focus who at times looked a little lost, however, he works really hard throughout his matches and his never quit attitude will see him continue to rise. Post match Connors put over his hometown counterpart which was a really nice compliment from the WWE signed star.
KAMIKAZE PRO CHAMPIONSHIP
CLINT MARGERA(c) defeats JOEY JANELLA
Joey Janella is a legend on the North American Indy scene and so it was with great anticipation that this mouth watering match was the match I waited for and for me did not disappoint. If the hardcore style of wrestling is not for you then your appreciation for this match may differ to mine, however as a fan of hardcore/ deathmatch wrestling call it what you will, this match had two of the best wrestlers of that particular field in the world. Kamikaze Pro is not Big Japan wrestling, and does not pretend to be, they are a family friendly promotion that currently has a hardcore match specialist as their champion, so inevitably the championship matches seem to be hardcore. With Clint Margera being champion for over 525 days, then the genre of the Championship match will almost always lean towards the hardcore dynamic as that is what Margera does best. Coming up against an opponent such as Janella, most famously known for falling off a building and facing the wrath of one James E Cornette, to which Janella made reference to at the end of the match! Or for bringing Marty Janetty to a wrestling ring in a match at Janella’s spring break show at Wrestlemania weekend. Janella would be a viable threat to Margera’s championship, although realistically I never felt the title would change hands against a one off visiting import. Ridiculously this match began with a little wrestling with Clint getting the better of Janella before the American decided enough was enough and called for some weapons. This match went ringside with Margera allowing Janella to inflict as much punishment as possible with Janella hitting an awkward Michanoku driver on Margera on the ring apron which helped Janella to control a lot of the match from here until Janella’s attempt to fly onto Margera perched upon a chair saw Margera move and Janella feeling every part of the poor chair that had been decimated by this point. The tacks were then introduced, however Margera would feel the sharpness of those tacks on two occasions, barely kicking out but somehow managing to hit his Death Valley Driver finisher on the American upon the tacks to retain his title. Great match with each wrestler taking to the mic as Margera paid tribute to Janella who himself cut a promo detailing that the art of wrestling is not just holds, submissions and spots. There is also a spot for comedy and death match wrestling too, and they are an art in themselves.
KAMIKAZE PRO TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
STAR TALENT defeat THE BIGGER PICTURE(C), SCARLET & GRAVES & THE HUNTERS BROTHERS – New Champions!
After a great title match we were treated to another, but could it better the previous match? Absolutely! My Kamikaze match of the year without anything else coming close, this was a four team elimination for the tag title belts and every part of it was simply amazing, how a main event should be and tag team wrestling at its best. All eight men worked their asses off to put on a match that just simply stole the show. The Bigger picture have been tag team champions for 373 days up until this show and are without doubt the best thing about Kamikaze Pro at the moment. Simply the promotion builds most of its storylines around this team and fellow member Damian Dunne who was absent today and the heat that both Robbie X and Marshall X produce is genuine and a great example how to gain heat with crowds done in a simple heelish way. As the match started The Bigger Picture stand alone as the other six opponents stand together as Robbie and Marshall rather stupidly push their opponents only to receive a pasting with Marshall X receiving a stunner from the referee that sent all eight men to the mat. What ensued was chaos as all eight men scrambled around the ring until my side of the ring was cleared and all eight simultaneously took it in turns to fly from the ring with poor old Robbie X taking the brunt of it all. The import team of Scarlet and Graves took the first pin fall eliminating The Hunter Brothers who themselves were eliminated when Robbie X rolled up Desmond Xavier. So we had Star Talent taking on The Bigger Picture in a one on one match as BP really looked like they were to retain the titles, however in all the confusion I have to be honest as I did not see how but the team of Star talent pulled off the shock of the night by defeating The Bigger Picture and we had new tag team champions. As I stated, the action never stopped, but I have to give a shout out to Star talent first who really stepped up tonight, winning the belts and hitting top form, especially Jack Starz who was excellent throughout and had a hunger about him throughout the night. Also I have to mention Robbie X, who by far is a superior wrestler, so underrated who is the workhorse of Kamikaze Pro and over performs at every show. His ability to give off natural heat whilst secretly having the fans like him is an absolute credit to a man that should be booked on bigger shows amongst Kamikaze Pro.
This was an amazing show, loved every second of it with a shout out to ring announcer Colin Russell-Ames who was great as always and his enthusiasm really rubs off onto the crowd. I know there maybe some negativity in my review, but it is only small, I know every wrestler performs to their best and they do a job I could never do so I have every admiration to each wrestler that performed tonight. It did not ruin my viewing and if Kamikaze continues to produce this kind of show after what has been a transitional year for them, then 2018 is going to be great.