FCP Stranger Than Fixxion
June 23 2017
We’re in the Starworks Warehouse, Wolverhampton, for Fight Club Pro’s second show from their new venue. Hence the title of this show; Stranger Than Fixxion, referencing their previous home…and also a slightly obscure Wil Ferrell film from 2006.
Kyle Fletcher vs. Mark Davis
Both these lads are Australian and are over here to train and fight, like Travis Banks and TK Cooper did. This is both good news for the UK scene and good news for antipodean imports in general. Europe can be a place for people to work. It’s a strong scene and there’s room for talent to move in if they’ve got the right attitude. I’ve seen Fletcher before, impersonating Nixon Newell in Attack. Davis is new on me and he’s a big lad. These two set their stalls out early, working a Fight Club Pro underground violent in-your-face style that quickly gets over. It helps that they’re in against each other as they can confidently execute dives and lamp each other. The timing on everything is good and both guys impress through their efforts. They could have pre-planned some pretty sequences but they realise that’s not FCP. They need to beat the shit out of each other if they want to earn respect in the wrestlehouse and that’s what they do. Fletcher really impresses me but Davis isn’t far behind. Fair play to both these guys for coming out in front of this crowd and working this hard. FCP is a place where there are easy wins but they don’t take those at all. It’s all about the hard work. Some of their stuff is overdone, like Kyle being released and falling but when they throw in a meaningless Canadian Destroyer it actually drops my jaw because it’s so violent. Davis gets the win and the crowd are suitably impressed because they worked their asses off here. There are rough edges to be smoothed, there’s no doubt about that, but if they’re prepared to make this UK trip a profitable one (both financially and in terms of learning) they’re going to kill it. Very excited for both.
Final Rating: ***3/4
Wolfgang & BT Gunn vs. Extra Talented (Aaron Solo & Ricky Starks) vs. The Hunter Brothers
Solo is famous for being Bayley’s boyfriend. That may change soon. Extra Talented are American imports with a disingenuous gimmick. The pre-match promo where they mistake BT Gunn for Billy Gunn, which concludes with “I love you all…buy my merch”, is great stuff. No wonder Progress picked them up. It’s interesting to see new talent mixing it up in Fight Club Pro. They’re in a position where they need to scout and find new people as the bigger promotions have taken to using all their normal guys. This has involved them reaching out to Scotland and Australia! And also in this case the United States. But the Wrestlehouse is looking full so they’re doing something right. The action is decent here although there’s a bit too much thigh slapping from the likes of Starks and BT. Wolfgang is having a breakout year. I never saw anything in him until 2017 and it’s like the WWE tournament flicked a switch in his head. He can’t have another top match here though as there are too many differing ideologies involved and not enough familiarity. The Hunters crush Solo with a double stomp to the back of his head for the win. This was a bit messy due to these boys not having wrestled each other before. There was potential in all corners.
Final Rating: **1/2
Dan Moloney vs. Clint Margera
If you’ve never seen Dan Moloney before you could be forgiven for thinking he’s a massive babyface as the crowd yell his name repeatedly during his entrance, now in time with his music. He gets a pre-match promo, via the proxy of Matt Taylor-Richards saying he hasn’t lost in “a thousand years”. He also claims to be the hardest motherfucker in FCP so he’ll fight anyone. Cue Clint Margera, deathmatch specialist and outright strongstyle badass. If there was a “toughest motherfucker in FCP” tournament he’d probably win it. These two could have a banging match in the middle of the ring but this one is booked to traverse the new Starworks building, one that Jimmy Havoc explored last month. The camera really struggles to keep up with them, as they don’t have a roving cameraman and instead try to cover it from the ring apron. This is only a partial success. At times we’re left looking at an empty ring, listening out for noises from the back of the building. This is one of those ‘for the live crowd’ bouts. Poor Clint lands badly on chairs a few times. Once outside and once off the top rope in a weak finish. This was all crowd brawl so it’s impossible to rate.
Final Rating: NR
Post Match: Moloney continues to brag about his thousand year undefeated streak and is greeted by Martina the Session Moth.
I remember the first time she did this entrance and it was to virtual silence but now it’s over huge. It’s an example of giving something a few chances to get over. Martina successfully comes on to Joel Allen but Dan Moloney is less impressed with her rump-shaking ways. When he boots her in the face that winds up Shay Pursor, who storms out to Steve Austin’s music to confront Moloney. This goes as well as expected for poor Shay until Martina helps and they drop Dan with a double Stunner. Handicap match at the next show? What happened to little Shay? He’s all grown up!
Jordan Devlin vs. Mark Haskins vs. Will Ospreay vs. Omari
This was booked as a three-way but Omari wanted in so it’s another last gasp match change from Fight Club Pro. They do like to be unpredictable. The talent in this thing! Omari is one of the next stars to come out of BritWres, Devlin is breaking out and both Haskins and Ospreay are globally famous as the best in their respective styles.
Omari is not only the biggest man in the match but also the biggest babyface. People literally jeer Haspreay for double teaming him. Ospreay brought himself a Dragon Gate elastic gimmick, which gets over nicely.
This one ended up hitting Jordan Devlin in the nards. The match has loads of cool little sequences. I’m still waiting on that Ospreay-Haskins tag run/massive singles match in this company but until then I’ll take interactions in multi-man matches. Ospreay does some sickeningly hard spots in between everyone else’s moderately tough stuff. Omari doesn’t look out of place at all and Devlin looks every bit the guy ready to step up to fill some big spots in the UK scene whenever people want him to. I remain impressed throughout this match, despite the odd little flub, as the action is unrelenting. Ospreay is so entertaining he’s on form, and he’s always on form. The Spanish Fly counter with Devlin is every bit as incredible as when he did it in Japan. Sometimes the lads attempt things that make sense on paper but in reality they look weird. More often than not it’s Ospreay and Haskins attempting something ridiculous and coming up short. The match is hugely significant though as it represents FCP pulling the trigger on Omari and having him pin Ospreay clean, countering the Oscutter into the End of Days. The timing is perfect and the crowd love it. I’m willing to overlook the flaws here because a) what worked was fantastic and b) the booking was on point.
Final Rating: ****
Millie McKenzie vs. Kay Lee Ray
That last match was a tough act to follow. Taking a shot at it is debuting Millie McKenzie. FCP is a great place to cut your teeth in the business because the crowd are always receptive to newcomers and the promotion are willing to take big risks with new talent. That’s never more evident during the course of these two matches; Omari pinning Will Ospreay and debuting Millie going toe to toe with KLR. Millie has a few little timing issues although she hits an array of good looking spots and never looks out of her league. Kay Lee Ray’s current role is bringing the general standard of British womens wrestling up to her level. While it is currently slim pickings, that will change. Millie shows good fire and doesn’t forget to include plenty of facial expressions to sell the story while putting together the match. A lot of newcomers tend to focus on either character or basics. Millie shows some veteran behaviour in trying to tie everything together. Millie survives the Gorybomb but quickly submits to the Koji Clutch moments later. Kay Lee didn’t have to carry the newcomer here. Millie is a definite ‘one to watch’.
Final Rating: ***1/4
Tangent: The main event was booked as CCK vs. Moustache Mountain. Fight Club Pro have a habit of changing such things. Especially with Progress running the same main event the same weekend with the heel/face alignment the other way around. However Pete Dunne and Travis Banks show up to make this, logically, a trios tag; British Strong Style vs. the full CCK. Only Travis is a babyface and Pete a WWE UK loving heel. So we don’t do that. Instead this is now a six-way for the FCP title.
Fight Club Pro Championship
Travis Banks (c) vs. Chris Brookes vs. Kid Lykos vs. Trent Seven vs. Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne
Travis has held the title for three months but we’re all aware he’ll eventually have to drop it as his visa will, at some point this year, expire. The individuals split off into pairs and Tyler vs. Lykos provides the biggest laughs by having a flip-off. Also good for chuckles is everyone getting poked in the eyes, Three Stooges style. Not that I’d encourage such behaviour at home. The match has a lot of the usual British Strong Style tropes like the Triple H water spit but it’s not limited to that with the ‘every man for himself’ mentality keeping things fresh. The concept of British Strong Style has made a buggery of FCP’s heel/face alignments all year, although you could argue Pete sort-of turned face/tweener. The biggest problem with this match is that Travis Banks, who’s felt special in FCP since the beginning, feels like just another guy. He’s lost in the mix. It’s only when he fires up against Pete Dunne that he shows that FCP fire. I love that while Moustache Mountain miscue, there’s never any doubt that Brookes and Lykos are firmly on the same page. Which is the benefit of having a pet wolf. The match features some absolutely frantic sequences including a lengthy ‘everyone hits moves’ sequence that lasts about a minute. Travis does get to look fairly dominant toward the conclusion but Pete kicks him in the balls and then gets carried away, punting everyone in the nuts…including Joel Allen. This leads to MK McKinnan, who’s returning to the ring in August (scoop!) to run in and take him out. He also laid out Dunne during Travis Banks’ title win three months ago. It’s a slow burn return. After that Tyler Bate looks to be the dominant force, taking on all of CCK by himself. Tyler is surely due a FCP title at some point. CCK take over but Brookes turns on Travis, who’s he’s not associated with in FCP normally and CCK double team for the pin. The reaction is sensational. You know you’ve caught a crowd cold when the reaction is “oh shit” instead of the expected cheer. Brookes certainly deserves the FCP title. He’s been one of their leading lights for ages.
The match was exciting, unexpected and well put together. The title change was one of the few genuine upsets in BritWres so far this year. I can’t think of something more shocking coming from another promotion. Maybe Bodom beating Ospreay in Rev Pro. But this was completely out of left field.
Final Rating: ****
Fight Club Pro is a trendsetter in BritWres. Make no mistake about that. They pushed Travis Banks before anyone else. Now he’s everywhere. They pushed the Brookes/Wolf version of CCK as big stars before anyone else. Now everyone is doing it. They had Omari get his first massive win here. Watch this space. Also Brookes winning a major singles title. Others will inevitably follow. You know why? Because they have their finger on the pulse. They notice what’s getting slyly over on the undercards and use it. There’s a possible complaint that they don’t run as many storylines as they used to but there’s plenty going on here. Brookes vs. Banks. Dunne vs. MK. Moloney vs. Shay. I’m looking forward to the second half of the year from FCP.