Lucha Forever’s second Birmingham show was a show that started out well and ended up being quite memorable as the H Suite played host to all sorts of wackiness!
A month after their debut, Lucha Forever returned to Birmingham for their latest mega-show – Catch Me Outside. In the meantime, the promotion’s been to Manchester and Southampton, whilst seeing a London show cancelled… quite the ride for a debut month! We’ll get to the Southampton show eventually, since FloSlam casually debuted it on tape-delay barely 24 hours before this!
On the pre-show we didn’t see the Hunter Bothers win a four-way over Ashley Dunn & Kelly Sixx, Jimmy Havoc and Clint Margera, and Bowl-a-Rama (Splits McPins & Lloyd Katt). One day they’ll appear on YouTube I hope! It’s your usual crew on duty here – Rob Maltman ring announcing, with “Magic” Mark Adams and Harvey Dale on commentary.
We start with DELL! Sorry, the Anti-Fun Police, in the form of the injured Chief Deputy Dunne and from the Northern Division of the Anti-Fun Police… Vice Officer Viper, who really fits in nicely with the Anti-Fun Police “uniform”. Dunne’s got his loudhailer/siren mash-up as he introduces Viper, who’s replacing him in our opener…
Vice Officer Viper vs. Bea Priestley
Bea’s out with her sais as she’s keeping up the Mortal Kombat-inspired look… and it seems that our commentary team has been turned off. Which is a shame because Chief Deputy Dunne’s taken over a headset.
Instead, we see Viper take a PK off the apron after originally resisting some shoulder tackles, before Viper turned a tornado DDT into an overhead suplex. A roll-up gets Bea a near-fall, but she’s quickly chopped in the corner as the Scotswoman took her time and landed a crossbody for a near-fall. There’s a lot of Bea struggling to lift up Viper, so she resorts to trips, one of them sending her across the middle ropes as a diving European uppercut to the back gets a near-fall. Unfortunately, Viper easily came back into it with a back senton for a near-fall, only to get caught with a tornado DDT that turned into a Kimura… but Chief Deputy Dunne gets involved from ringside and provides a distraction.
Bea rebounds with a Saito suplex, but she takes too long getting to the top rope, allowing Viper to distract the ref so Dunne can hit her with a crutch. A fireman’s carry takedown follows, before a Michinoku driver gets Viper the win. This was alright, and told a good story of Bea struggling against a larger, cheating opponent. They seemed to eschew the usual format of heat and comebacks, but I don’t mind change like that once in a while! **½
An open challenge came next, featuring That Guy! He’s out in a referee’s shirt as the man who may or may not be Connor Mills did a lap of honour. It actually turned out that That Guy is the special guest ref, as the open challenge was coming from “Superbad” Kip Sabian, who threw a fit at That Guy being assigned as the referee. Rob Maltman made a funny, then went all Tony Chimel on us…
Sabian claims that Angelico cheated to beat him in Southampton, so he’s still undefeated. Kip mocks that the Superbad challenge was given away because the whole card was revealed… and one man who said he was going to be there wasn’t in a match. So by process of elimination, here’s El Ligero! But then the lights go off again, and here comes ANOTHER Ligero, with more hair! And a third… then a fourth, floppy-horned Ligero! Where’s Fat Ligero…
Kip Sabian vs. El Ligero vs. El Ligero II vs. El Ligero III vs. El Ligero IV vs. Cara Noir
So THIS is how Ligero does as many shows as he does! This is going to be a pain to write… but before we get going, a sixth man comes out… Cara Noir! Complete with the long entrance and fancy mirrored mask, and it seems that the four Ligeros are just intent to cheerlead as Kip Sabian negotiates with Noir…
Sabian tries to work with Noir against the real Ligero, and that includes taking a double missile dropkick before they turn their sights on Ligero. All four of them. The real one plays a bit of not-quite-twin magic, and lands a double clothesline before Real Ligero subs back in to throw out Noir, before all the Ligeros charge at Sabian in the corner. Noir gets ditched again as Sabian and Real Ligero go at it, before the four Ligeros do a headstand in each corner. Wrestling!
Kip decides to drag the real Ligero outside and throw him into the seats as Noir chopped away at Ligeros 2 through 4. Floppy Horned Ligero gets shouted at and licked, just in time for someone to find the mixing slide for the commentary team. Noir and Sabian work over original-gear Ligero, but Real Ligero climbs up as they pose and watches as Kip gets kissed by Noir.
Ligero then flew in with a cross body, before dropping Sabian with an Ace crusher onto Noir. Floppy Ligero gives onto the pile, before Original Gear and more Recent Gear Ligero do their topes. Real Ligero finishes it off with a tope con hilo, but it’s Sabian and Noir who go at it next, until Real Ligero takes a kick to the head and a Fisherman’s driver by Sabian for a near-fall.
Sabian starts shoving Referee That Guy, and that earns him a clothesline to the outside, before Ligero escaped Noir’s package piledriver and returns with a Shiranui! The Ligeros unite for four Mexican Waves, ending with the real deal off the top rope… but Sabian pulled out the referee and decked him. A Destroyer on the outside fails as That Guy backdrops out whilst Noir finished off Real Ligero with a package piledriver for the win. I really enjoyed this wackiness – and the match itself was pretty good too! ***¼
Jinny vs. Toni Storm
The latest chapter of this rivalry came to Lucha Forever, where Storm started by working the arm, only to get caught with a headscissor takedown and some punches from Jinny.
Storm rebounded with some double-handed chops, which led to the trademark hip attacks, only for Jinny to take her into the corner with a Japanese armdrag, sparking a comeback. And some mocking chants from Jinny as well! We get the seated surfboard with some kicks to the back of the head as Toni was forced to bite the bottom rope to free herself.
Storm keeps taking a beating as Jinny rushes in with a high knee and a diving dropkick for a near-fall, but Jinny’s mockery fires up Storm into a comeback, using a bunch of forearms before a trapped-leg German suplex sent Jinny flying into the corner. Another hip attack follows, before Storm dumps Jinny with a neckbreaker slam a la Okada for a near-fall.
From there, Jinny looked to have gotten the win with the Makeover – middle rope X-Factor – after kicking Storm off the top rope… but Toni kicked out just in time, before ducking a punch with a necklace and snapping in with a piledriver for the win. This was alright for the time they were out there – it felt a little on the short side, but these two always put on a good match against each other. ***¼
Chris Ridgeway vs. Bubblegum vs. Mark Haskins vs. Dan Moloney
This is a number one contender’s match – with Dan Moloney’s entrance video throwing in the “DAN!” call-outs for the crowd. Yes, this is a WWE UK guy on FloSlam… I’ll stop shrugging my shoulders as I gave up trying to figure out those deals ages ago!
The opening stages saw everyone try stuff and fail, before Ridgeway and Moloney targeted Bubblegum… and came out worse. Bubblegum kept the tempo high, utilising the ropes for a springboard headscissors takedown before getting caught with a pop-up flapjack by… Dan! Mark Haskins comes in to tie up Bubblegum in a Boston crab and Moloney in a camel clutch… at the same time!
We then go to hard kicks back and forth between Haskins and Ridgeway, before my feed stuttered and recovered in time for some topes from Haskins to Ridgeway, then to Bubblegum and Moloney! Some chairs end up in the ring as Bubblegum and Ridgeway look to renew acquaintances, featuring more kicks before a pair of pump kicks left both men down.
Haskins and Moloney bring in some more chairs, and yes, we get a four-way seated slug-out! Those chairs finally disappear as Bubblegum cartwheels over Moloney and leaps up into a ‘rana for a near-fall! Moloney recovers to hit a fireman’s carry facebuster, before Haskins broke up a German suplex pin to land rolling death valley drivers. After getting a near-fall from a Samoan driver, Haskins catches Ridgeway in the Star Bar, only for Moloney to break it up and deliver a buckle bomb to him. Bubblegum breaks THAT up and lays into Moloney with some strikes before landing an X-Factor that led to him going outside… but a tope to Dan’s caught…and turned into an electric chair apron powerbomb.
Back inside, Haskins and Ridgeway leather each other some more, before Ridgeway rolls out of a pumphandle driver and delivers a brainbuster for a near-fall. A series of kicks to the downed Haskins head eventually earn some receipts, before a pumphandle driver snatched the win for Haskins. Pretty good stuff here, with some good, smooth exchanges from all men. It’s always nice to see some of Britain’s more underrated guys showing how good they are! ***¾
We head to interval here, which means FloSlam live gets PJ Black vs. Timothy Thatcher from FIGHT! Nation. We’ll skip that one… especially as the live crowd got Spud vs. Trent Seven… of course, the taped match ended early, so we had a holding graphic for a spell.
David Starr vs. Omari
Another debut here for Starr, who rebounded from an early big boot from the corner, Starr dumped Omari to the outside for a tope, but he threw the rookie back in and was met with a diving dropkick through the ropes as they exchanged dives, ending with a tope con hilo from Omari!
A reverse gutwrench suple takes down Omari back in the ring, before Starr’s invited to chop away at Omari… and just rakes the eyes instead. Starr follows up with a groin thrust to knock down Omari, but that just angers the local lad and he fires back with forearms only to get rocked with one from the “Product”.
Omari’s leg lariat surprises Starr, as does a nice Fisherman’s suplex, but Starr slips out of the O-Zone swinging side slam and manages to land a DDT onto the apron as he picked up another near-fall. A back body drop into the corner and a Blackheart Buster get Starr another near-fall as he kept trying for the Product Placement, but he fell into the O-Zone as Omari picked up perhaps the biggest win of his career in a good, short outing. Omari sold really well when Starr was pushing the issue, and whilst he’s a Fight Club: Pro “guy”, it’s nice to see someone different getting pushed… something Lucha Forever are making a habit of in their undercards. ***¼
Alex Windsor vs. Kay Lee Ray
Windsor’s now known as “The Beacon”. I’m not sure if I’d call her inconspicuous, but we’ll work with that nickname… Speaking of inconspicuous, good luck trying to avoid the swear on Kay Lee Ray’s new t-shirt! Windsor attacks Kay Lee from behind as she was posing in the crowd and they try and fling each other into the lighting rig as they do spots on the floor for whatever reason. Windsor responds by charging her into the ring apron, then putting Kay Lee in a chair and booting her out of it.
Eventually Kay Lee uses the ring post to 619 herself into Windsor, before they fight backstage… and since they’re fighting in front of the projector, we get silhouette wrestling! A shadowy superkick takes down Windsor, but she replies with a backdrop onto the apron, then a cannonball off it, and apparently we’re not officially underway as Windsor locks in a Sharpshooter on the floor.
Finally they enter the ring, and Windsor gets… just a one count!
From there, a single-legged surfboard leads to a curb stomp as Windsor remained on top, grabbing Ray’s ears to take her into the corner. Kay Lee escaped but quickly gets knocked off as she went to the top rope, before rebounding with a Gory Bomb attempt on the apron… which Windsor countered into a Tarantula in the ropes.
Windsor teases throwing Kay Lee into the chairs, but ends up just suplexing her into a scattered front row. Ray rebounds with a Gory Bomb onto the apron, but Windsor lands a tornado DDT as they seemed to be resolute in not using the ring!
They narrowly avoid a double count-out, and exchange forearms back inside, before Kay Lee slides into a Flatliner, then a Koji Clutch… but Windsor powerbombs her way free! From there, Windsor tries to kick away, but Kay Lee catches the kick and turns it into a Gory Bomb for a near-fall as the back and forth continued with both women trading near-falls.
In the end though, a headbutt leads Kay Lee into a Gory Bomb, before adding the exclamation mark with a senton bomb… but Windsor somehow kicked out, and found her wall in another Koji clutch for the eventual submission. This was quite an unusual outing, starting in the crowd before eventually settling down into a decent bit of give-and-take in the ring. ***¼
Lucha Forever Championship: Matt Riddle vs. Travis Banks (c)
This is going to be special, isn’t it?
Riddle goes straight for Banks at the off, forcing the Kiwi to grab the ropes as Riddle tried to grapple his way to a win… but Banks was matching him move-for-move. An armbar attempt from Riddle is quickly broken via the ropes, so the pair of them decide to exchange chops and forearms whilst the commentary team butchered names all over the shop.
Banks kicks Riddle in the back… and gets a chop for his troubles as Riddle looked to tenderise Travis’ chest, before throwing the Kiwi around with some rolling gutwrench suplexes. A capture suplex throws Banks down for a back senton that gets a near-fall, before the pair roll outside for a kick exchange.
Riddle makes a mistake in throwing Banks inside, allowing the champion to launch himself back outside with a low-pe, before peppering Riddle with forearms in the corner. Banks kicks away an on-rushing Riddle, sending him careering into the corner for a cannonball that gets him a two-count. From there, Riddle popped up from a German suplex as the pair leathered each other some more, before a caught kick led to a powerbomb from Riddle for another near-fall.
Banks tries to force a submission with a triangle choke, but Riddle lifts up and turns it into a Fisherman’s buster. They go back to the chest tenderizing chops, before Banks caught a Pele kick and fell into a Bro to Sleep, followed by a bridging German suplex for a near-fall. Riddle throws in more kicks to Banks’ shoulder blades, which prompts a fightback, but Riddle avoids a Slice of Heaven and catches him with an ankle lock.
Banks quickly makes the ropes and comes back with a Fisherman’s driver for a near-fall, but Riddle kicks out and dumps him with a German suplex then a tombstone slam that almost won him the match. Another back senton squashes Banks, but this time he stands back up from a German suplex as Zombie Banks kicks in with a Slice of Heaven for a near-fall. A second one’s caught and turned into a Bromission, but Banks slips out for another Slice of Heaven, then a Fisherman driver as he collected another near-fall! From there, Banks locks in the Gargano escape, and Matt Riddle taps! A hell of an outing, with high expectations too… but this one is definitely better off watching in mute than with the generic as hell commentary. ****
After the match, Matt Riddle made a beeline for the back as Mark Haskins (and his new music) came out to eyeball the champion ahead of their eventual collision.
We get the Lucha Forever Raffle… live on FloSlam!
CZW Tag Team Championship: #CCK (Chris Brookes & Mondai Lykos) vs. Scarlet & Graves (Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz) (c)
On paper, the placing of this match may have been a giveaway…
#CCK ambushed the champions at the bell, but Wentz recovered to kick Lykos to the outside… where the Dirty Wolf suplexes Xavier right in front of Matt Riddle. Brookes chops the ring post when he was aiming for Wentz, and that just puts the champions ahead as they superkick their challengers.
Back in the ring, Wentz goes all weird as he armdrags Brookes for a standing moonsault, before Lykos’ attempt at offence ends with a corner enziguiri from Xavier and a Wentz Bronco Buster for a near-fall. Wentz eats a Lo Mein Pain as #CCK took over with a 619 and a dropkick in the ropes.
Brookes comes in and does the disgusting mouth stuff as he dishes out a wet willie to Wentz, before Lykos comes in and forces Wentz to flip off his partner. Zachary takes a beating in the ropes as #CCK isolated him, but he’s still smart enough to counter Lykos’ ever successful brainbusters.
Xavier gets the tag in and drops Brookes with an STO before kicking his head off… in comes Lykos for more of the same treatment, before Brookes takes a stomp as he was placed over Wentz’s knees. A ripcord high knee by Wentz, then a shoved-away standing moonsault would have won the match, but Chris Brookes comes in and breaks up the count… before obliterating referee Shay Purser with a rope hung swinging neckbreaker!
With no ref, Brookes takes a Destroyer before Lykos uses two belt shots as substitute referee counts a near-fall. A springboard knee from Lykos rocks Wentz, before Xavier takes a pair of superkicks as he then hits a handspring into a pair of overhead kicks on the challengers. Wentz keeps up with a Space Flying Tiger Drop to the outside, whilst Xavier dives too.
Back inside, Wentz crashes and burns as the shoved-in standing moonsault fails, allowing #CCK to hit the elevated lungblower/back senton combo. The end comes pretty soon after, when Wentz gets low bridged to the outside for a corkscrew plancha by Lykos, who quickly returned to hit Xavier with an Ink Bomb as #CCK earned the win! A heck of a main event, and I for one hope that the dirty wolf has a pet passport as he’s likely going to need to go to the USA to defend those belts for CZW! ***¾
This was a really good outing from Lucha Forever, which offered a bit of something for everyone… and it’s saying something that by show two, the only gripe for the at-home audience (aside from the commentary, which I hear improved on the Southampton show as Dave Bradshaw flies solo) is that for these live shows on Flo, the format for the intervals needs to change. Having a secret match for the live crowd, then the real intermission just makes those of us watching at home have an overly long break which is just plain odd to sit through.