Fight Club Pro Wrestlehouse ’19 live review
February 1 2019
The year doesn’t feel like it’s started until the first Fight Club Pro of the year. We kicked things off in beautiful fashion with Wrestlehouse ’19. Although it has massively deprived me of sleep I was thrilled to be there for the first FCP show of 2019.
SHOW #4: FIGHT CLUB PRO WRESTLEHOUSE ‘19
I’ve been going to Wolverhampton for FCP since the days of the Fixxion. How the scene has transformed in the time since then. From a show in front of 100 people, which didn’t always sell out, to a packed warehouse in the back streets of Wolves. Fight Club Pro has definitely seen an increase in business during the UK wrestling boom. More importantly it still seems to exist as a vibrant, exciting alternative to WWE or New Japan. It’s not affiliated with anyone and as a result you get to see a huge range of talent in the company. This was their first show since losing British Strong Style, although all three of them were in the building backstage. I commented that you could have put together a decent card with all the talent in the building who didn’t wrestle! Dunne, Seven, Tyler, Toni Storm, Bea Priestley, Jimmy Havoc, Martina etc.
My Wolves roots go way back. I started going there in the late 90’s when I was at uni in the city. I started going back a few years ago and while it’s not the prettiest of cities (it seems to have a million warehouses) it is nicely central and provides me with a lot of entertainment. I was definitely down on FCP at the end of last year so when the card was released for this, in itself a rarity, it got my blood pumping and I was all fired up. My usual trip up to Wolves is to get there plenty early so I can relax and not travel during rush hour. Usually meeting people in the Moon Under Water, the local Spoons. Change of plan yesterday where I deliberately went up late. Almost after rush hour and got into Wolves at 6.10pm.
This allowed me more time at home, on a rare day off, and it was fairly relaxing. Plus I didn’t get day drunk before the show started, which is a plus. There are plenty of hotel options in Wolves and they’re all pretty cheap. My personal preference is the Brit, aka the Britannia, aka the Murder Hotel, opposite Spoons due to its close proximity to the train station and it’s not far from either the venue or the Giffard (more on that later). This time I got a room very deep into the hotel to the point where I could hear the announcements from the bus station out the back of the building. One of the cons of turning up late, I guess but the room was better than usual and I slept well.
My good friend Joey P (Joao @thekingofboom) was also staying at the Murder Hotel so we made the sensible decision to go and get food at Nandos and turned up at the venue about ten minutes before show time. It was already packed.
— Arn (@ArnoldFurious) February 1, 2019
Some changes, again, in the Hangar for this show. The toilets are now inside. They still have temporary toilets for the ladies and the gents is not terribly impressive but it’s an improvement. Indoor plumbing is a start. Especially with it being this cold (like -2 for this show). The food is also back indoors. The toilets also had a queue during down times, which I am not cool with. Clearly there’s still work to be done there.
The show didn’t start on time but it was only six minutes late, which for FCP is virtually on time. Especially for a Friday. Also because LK Mezinger was ring announcer and there was no Trent Seven pre-show chat we went straight into the action. So the show started by 8.10pm, which has probably never happened before.
Omari def. Connor Mills
Chris Brookes, Tim Thatcher & Lucky Kid def. Jordan Devlin, Travis Banks & Dan Moloney
Millie McKenzie def. Yuu
Will Ospreay def. Kyle Fletcher
Shigehiro Irie def. Shane Strickland, El Phantasmo & Mike Bailey
The Hunter Brothers (c) def. Team Whitewolf
Mark Davis def. WALTER
It was a very consistently good night of wrestling. None of the matches were bad, or even middling. It was all positive. Plus FCP got in some nice callbacks to previous shows. Tim Thatcher getting a receipt on G-Man for the way FCP’s production guy took him out during a mass brawl at Weltschmerz last year. Chris Brookes did some incredible mic work before several matches. His anti-WWE character is subtle enough that it resonates and he’s not lying at any point. It’s cutting stuff. The “HHH’s barmy army” remarks at “Team WWF” were wonderful. Also his assertion that WALTER “sold out” ahead of the main event was tonally perfect. Jordan Devlin had another outstanding performance. He’s brimming with confidence right now and is a ‘can’t miss’ talent.
Charlie Evans inserted herself into Millie McKenzie’s business after her match, no doubt setting up a feud to replace the Millie/Jinny program that never really got started thanks to WWE contractual situations. Will Ospreay was not on his best form. A toe injury slowed him down and at times it looked as if he wouldn’t make it through his match with Kyle Fletcher. The result was a tonally uneven contest but at times it was blowaway good. At one point Kyle went to run the ropes, got two steps in and Will hook kicked him in mid-pace. Kyle slumping face first into the ropes thanks to his momentum. Wonderful spot. Perfectly executed. Had the whole match existed at that level I’d be talking MOTYC.
I am mortified that parts of the crowd still came in early on “Ain’t Nobody”. I talked to Shane Strickland about it after the show, and congratulated him on his excellent choice of entrance music. How can people still be getting this wrong? Beautiful moment though when FCP faded the sound out on the second chorus and the crowd sang it. Ah, that’s the stuff! The four-way dance was possibly my MOYN although the main event ran it close. WALTER turning Davis’ chest into hamburger meat again. One spot that slightly took me out of the main event was the eye rake/choke Joel Allen spot. Did WALTER not notice Davis was suddenly a different size and wearing a t-shirt?
Excellent first show of the year from FCP. It felt fresh as fuck and if they can iron out their venue issues (particularly the toilets) they’ll be fantastic value for money in 2019. The timing of British Strong Style, and now WALTER, departing has allowed some other talent to step up and the storyline has been driven by Brookes and his contempt for WWE contracted talent. It could be the backbone of a long-term storyline with a perfect out for whoever signs with the E. Had a great time and I’m looking forward to FCP shows this year after a slightly shaky finish to 2018.
Post show in Wolves is at a pub called the Giffard Arms. It’s the choice of venue for a lot of fans and a lot of the wrestlers. You will see some famous faces in there. The trouble with it being a destination for everyone is that when it’s busy at the show, which it was last night, the Giffard is heaving. It was absolutely packed. The bar upstairs is usually quieter but there was only one guy serving so I found myself going downstairs to get served. If anyone from the Giffard is reading; get another member of staff on when FCP run!
— Arn (@ArnoldFurious) February 2, 2019
Even when I don’t enjoy the show in Wolves, which to be fair is a rarity, I have a nice time afterwards. The downside is having to go to work the next day. I could have gotten an extra hour in bed in the Murder Hotel but you wouldn’t be reading this right now if I did. I’ll take 4.5 hours sleep over the zero hours I got in London the week before though. Next show is Breed in Sheffield. I hope to see you there, Northern graps fans who I rarely ever see!