Fight Club Pro Project Mayhem VI Night 2
September 23 2017
We’re in Wolverhampton at the Starworks Warehouse for night two of Project Mayhem. I was at night one in person but had to work and missed night two. The opening night was highlighted by an insane tag team death match main event. If anything comes close to that from night two it’ll be a surprise. You can get both from Fight Club Pro’s Vimeo for ten quid a pop.
Chris Brookes (c) vs. Eita
Brookes did something similar on night one, pointing out he had no challengers so he wasn’t defending the title. Only for FCP promoter Martin Zaki to order him to defend against three challengers. It’s a bit more simplified here. The crowd have got their “shut up Lykos” down pat. Lykos has a broken wrist but draws no sympathy whatsoever. Which is the mark of good heels, albeit ones that lean toward comedy crowd interaction. Here Brookes issues and open challenge and gets Eita alone. Eita is concerned that Lykos might start chewing on his injured arm, being a wolf and all, and puts him in the CONE OF SHAME! Oh shit!
— Toucan Dan (@GolazoDan) September 30, 2017
I’m informed he didn’t remove the cone of shame even while working the merch table. It’s interesting to note there’s a much smaller crowd for Saturday’s show than Friday’s. On Friday the entire building was cramped. On Saturday there is visible standing space.
Eita brings some fine energy here, particularly in the dive stakes. They’re also quite adept at telling a tale of fatigue in a short match, which is good stuff. They work out some decent spots and Brookes sells enough to convince the crowd that he needs Lyko’s helps to retain. Eita’s “shut up Lykos” cookie tray shot is great but it leads right into Brookes getting the win via cheeky roll up. Brookes hasn’t had the FCP belt long but he’s already done a fine job of being a devious shit in his title defences. Part of me is itching to see him get beaten and he’s only had three defences.
Final Rating: ***1/4
Callous Hearts vs. Scarlet & Graves
Every match on this fucking show is potentially a main event. Callous Hearts headlined last night in an insane death match so their reaction is suitably strong. There’s not many tag teams who turn up for the second match on a card and get a standing ovation before anything has happened. Then Dezmond Xavier turns up dressed like Jimmy Havoc and shit gets real.
Whatever Callous Hearts do in the ring here it’ll be underwhelming compared to last night. The emphasis is on Scarlet & Graves to turn up the volume on their own stuff to compensate. Which they do. They hit the ‘building-wide brawl’ that I anticipated the previous night and predictably it’s almost impossible to capture on camera. When they bring a ladder into the ring it starts to get wackier. And that’s after Wentz has climbed up a support strut and jumped off. After the ladder comes the chairs and we’re on our way to a TLC. No tables though and Callous Hearts score the win that their pre-match reaction deserved. This was all a bit disjointed but it was exciting.
Final Rating: ***
Omari vs. Shane Strickland
I love Omari’s push in FCP and how he’s been gradually working his way up through the system. He’s gone from losing all the time, to mixing it up and now he’s being given a series of high profile challenges. Strickland is a great opponent for him because they have similar strengths. They’re both big but athletic with it and Shane has had huge success his way. It’s interesting to see the similarities here, rather than the differences in terms of experience. Omari is still raw but he’s getting there. Strickland is the finished article. So Shane dictates a lot of the content but Omari is able to hang with him. Shane’s excess of skill comes across as cocky, which is the difference between the USA and the UK. In the USA the winners, braggards and jackasses are cheered. In the UK, they’re soundly hated. Shane knows this and deliberates works in a style that allows Omari to be cheered to the rafters without actually being a heel. Subtlety is underrated. Omari looks great on his comebacks and Strickland always brings solid game to his appearances for FCP. He looked really good putting Dan Moloney over last year and this is even better. Omari’s super rana gives me kittens! Omari puts together a streak of moves after that only for Shane to kick out of his finish. Omari goes after it again and Shane counters into an cross armbar. It’s fantastic wrestling. For them to be busting out the 2nd match stuff in a first time meeting is awesome. Strickland comes up with the win, which is for the best. Omari can’t keep beating top level talent consistently. It has to be a natural learning curve. Good performance here though. They did good work throughout and Strickland might be the most underrated wrestler in the world at the moment.
Final Rating: ****
Travis Banks vs. Masaaki Mochizuki
Oh my! This is somewhat of a dream match. A surly kicker from New Zealand vs. a surly old kicker from Japan. There are plenty of promotions worldwide booking ‘dream matches’ but this is not a match that’s occurring anywhere else right now. It’s thinking outside the box a bit. The match itself takes time to get going. They’re particularly gentle with each other and working soft makes it feel like an exhibition, rather than intense. Which is how they both usually work. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a perfectly fine match but it lacks that spark the two usually have. For a match so highly anticipated it’s a bit of a let down. Even the finish is completely flat with Mochizuki hitting Travis’ Slice of Heaven (Sankakugeri) finish but mistiming the jump onto the ropes at the start of it. This was a crushing disappointment. Travis looks really upset afterwards and presumably this was truncated for some reason.
Final Rating: **3/4
Promo Time: Chief Deputy Dunne
He’s pissed off that everyone had too much fun(-ah) during intermission. Especially Martina, who is the latest celebrity bartender at the Starworks.
Martina enjoys being taken into custody too much so Damian stomps her. This leads to a bizarre finger snap spot using…alternative methods to Marty Scurll. Shay Pursor runs in for the save but eats a spear (Shay’s Kryptonite) and Jack Sexsmith runs in for the real save. This is the Fun Collective. All the babyfaces pull out Mr Cockos and Damian eats a load of finishers. This wasn’t a match, just a load of fun. Bit weird to bring Sexsmith up from London for a segment rather than a match but I’m sure he got paid for dancing so it’s all good.
Mark Davis vs. Millie McKenzie vs. Kyle Fletcher vs. Jordan Devlin vs. David Starr vs. Mark Haskins vs. CIMA
Dunkzilla’s high fives are devastating. He’s found a way to mutilate fans and they love him for it. I’d be fall for FCP doing one batshit scramble match per show to try and keep the multi-man matches to a minimum. That’s a common complaint about FCP as a promotion; that they can’t lay off the multi-person bouts. This is one is particularly intriguing. You’ve got wrestlers from everywhere here. Japan, Australia, Ireland, USA and the Midlands! The best of the world in one match. Some of my favourite bits: Mark Haskins renewing his acquaintance with CIMA, how over CIMA’s taunt gets, CIMA putting Millie through the ringer but not wanting to hurt her, Jordan Devlin super heeling it up, Devlin incorporating more moves that utilise his massive head, Mark Davis not wanting to murder Kyle Fletcher, “Look at it”,
— Toucan Dan (@GolazoDan) September 30, 2017
— Toucan Dan (@GolazoDan) September 30, 2017
Millie vs. Mark Davis is, at all times, ridiculous. Millie herself has gotten so good in such a short space of time that it staggers me. She’s just a kid and she already looks like a stand-out for European women’s wrestling. I’m almost sad that Nixon Newell isn’t around to pass the torch to her before leaving. Millie has basically taken over Nixon’s role in the promotion. Devlin does a fine job of playing spoilsport and avoiding big spots; until he’s killed with the Dunzilla pull up piledriver. CIMA gets the win via Meteora on Haskins but everyone in this looked good. Especially Millie McKenzie. Keep this in mind:
Remember when Triple H beat the Rock in an Ironman match?
Millie McKenzie hadn't been born at that point.
— Arnold Furious (@ArnoldFurious) October 1, 2017
Final Rating: ***3/4
Kay Lee Ray vs. Jessicka Havok
KLR was a surprise on night one, joining the Havok-McKenzie bout. Jess promised to kill KLR for her appearance there so this match is happening.
Havok has a decent look but I don’t rate her as a worker. With 12 years experience she isn’t going to improve at this juncture. The match sees a lot of Havok power stuff with KLR working from underneath. It’s ok but the difference between this and KLR versus any of the British workers she normally wrestles is palpable. They try and make it feel important. The last gasps kick-outs from both are pretty good but the general indifference from the crowd, matched with Havok’s dominance makes for a middling experience. Havok wins it with a top rope Tombstone piledriver, which is easily the best thing about the entire match.
Final Rating: **1/4
Team Wrestling Revolver (Sami Callihan & The Crist Brothers) vs. British Strong Style
Last night BSS faced a trio from Dragon Gate in Japan. Now they face Sami and his boys. Sami has been here since day one, flying in to wrestle Trent Seven six years ago. Sami heels it up by saying there wouldn’t be a Fight Club Pro without Callihan. Ha. It is a smart move from Sami because BSS tend to get conflicted crowd responses, due to Pete Dunne being an asshole. BSS come out to Love Is Blindness. Holy shit, I missed that tune.
FCP, not known for their editing, come up trumps here with picture in picture to show all the action. Pete Dunne gets all fired up as a mega babyface. He’s still the Bruiserweight but his flashy stuff comes to the forefront. There are no tags here, with the usual FCP Scramble rules in effect. This means it’s relentless mayhem. One sequence after another with “oohs” and “aahs” where appropriate. BSS have gotten very adept at the trios match (well, they are King of Trios). It helps immensely that Trent and Sami have the relationship that they have. It means limited ego and a determination to do some cool shit. The crowd chanting “Fight Club Pro” in appreciation of the action. It’s not a sprint either, with twenty minutes of madness greeting the Wolverhampton faithful. They don’t stick to the ring either with Dave Crist hitting a dive off the entranceway. That’s unexplored territory. Not even Jimmy Havoc’s death matches have considered that area. Jake Crist tries to one-up his brother by hitting a flying mid-air cutter on Tyler Bate. It’s quite sensational.
— BSS GIFS. (@BSSgifs) September 30, 2017
Trent then kills off poor Jakey with a piledriver off the top for the win. Cue another standing ovation. Lots of cool shit here. Not the memorable main event that night one was but a still striking in other ways. The Revolver boys tried harder than they do in their own promotion and there’s something special about BSS standing tall right now. How much longer can it last?
Final Rating: ****
Post Match: Sami Callihan announces the re-match is booked for WrestleMania weekend at Pancakes & Piledrivers II.
A couple of matches didn’t quite connect as I would have hoped. Banks-Mochizuki is one of the most disappointing matches of 2017. A real failure. In general the show was highly entertaining though and Strickland vs. Omari was a real highlight. The two scramble bouts, either side of Havok-Ray, were both huge fun. There is a worry that FCP is drifting further from it’s grimy roots and into spotfests with each passing show but those multi-person matches have always been a highlight for FCP. It’s tough to get a balance and they’re clearly out to please the fans that keep turning up. With a promotion that’s growing like FCP it’s a tough balance to achieve. At the start of the year they were running a 200 person capacity building. That’s a big leap from where they are now. It’s a hot ticket and it’s happened very quickly.