I was an avid IPW:UK fan from the first event I went to, which incidentally was the second show they ever put on. I’m talking back in the day, when IPW:UK called the Orpington Halls its home. Myself and Brad were there month after month in those early days of IPW, hooked on everything it did; from bringing in Samoa Joe to face off against Super Dragon (in the infamously lost Return Of The Dragon event) to introducing me to El Generico, Martin Stone’s domination and even Andy Boy Simmonz heel turn. We were there.
That was also the year that I started University. Now that I was, in wrestling speak: ‘residing’ in North London, I fell away from attending IPW:UK shows. In truth, I fell away from British Wrestling as a whole. Sure, I kept up to date now and then by infrequently checking their website or by reading about them in FSM but, overall, I fell away.
But with IPW:UK Revolution, I felt that something could be great happening here. The IPW want to revolutionise the British Wrestling industry, to elevate it and make it more than what it is. I admire what they are doing, especially considering their roots, but have they done enough? Have they cracked the code and redefined an industry?
When I enter the London Troxy, first time I’ve ever been here incidentally, the first thing we see are the merchandise tables they have laid out. Well, that’s a lie. The first thing I noticed was the kick ass art deco style through out the building. Seriously, it looks like something out of Bioshock or Batman: The Animated Series.
The merch tables themselves look a little paltry, regular tables with no dressing or logos adorning them. Instead, the tables have the merchandise simply…on them. I know this sounds a little dumb, but it looked a little ‘car boot sale’-esque.
Thankfully, the actual ring area looked great. Like, really, REALLY, good. At least in comparison to the Orpington Halls, which is my only point of comparison. The use of a lighting rig, with advertising, a stage and, hell, even a titantron of sorts all helped towards making this look like a big deal. I’m sure it’ll look amazing on DVD! If redefining the industry boils down to better production values, then IPW:UK are on the right path. A few issues here and there that are easily fixed stood out: audio levels in promo videos were seemingly all over the place, spiking and dropping. The lights of the rig were too bright to watch anything on the main titantron, which almost defeated the purpose of it. Surely bringing the lights down for any promo video, to ensure audience attention, would benefit it too. In reality, these are all easily fixed.
But what about the card itself?! Let’s go.
High Stakes Ladder Match
I only recognised a few of the wrestlers involved in this match. Thankfully, this being professional wrestling after all, it wasn’t too hard to figure out who I liked and didn’t like.
There was some great spots in and out of the ring, plenty of high flying from the likes of Lion Kid, et al and some nice use of the ladder. The ladder being the potential highlight of this match. Not in a positive away, I’ve gotta add. In short, that ladder got fucked up pretty much instantly. Like, from when it was first opened. It didn’t open right, it got bent and suddenly became pretty dangerous to climb. The fact a huge event like this only had the forethought to provide two ladders is, to be truthful, shortsighted. You would’ve thought they may have been at least a back up out the back? I guess IPW:UK put way too much stock into B+Q.
Kris Travis won the match up with the assist from his tag partner, Martin Kirby. These guys played great heels throughout, being vocal with a crowd that had yet to warm up properly.
Amazing this match was on first.
Mark Haskins vs Joel Redman
I am familiar with Mark Haskins. I am not familiar with Joel Redman.
There was a lot of (drunk) fan support for both these guys from certain pockets of fans (read: 2 vs 3, pretty much). My first thoughts when seeing Joel Redman was that he could definitely be utilised as a WWE guy if the calling came, and from what I hear he might be heading to Florida very soon.
Blossom Twins vs Perfect Storm
I’ve never seen EVE, but I’ve read some positive things about them. This was a solid match with women who are more than capable of wrestling in an environment that, refreshingly, allows them to do so.
That being said the Blossom Twins coming out to S Club 7 was fucking retarded. They shouldn’t do that. Seriously.
Carlito vs Leroy Kincaide
I remember Leroy Kincaide from way back in the day. His gimmick hasn’t seem to have changed at all. Then again, neither has Carlito’s.
An okay match that didn’t go anywhere near reflecting what either of these guys can do. Carlito coasted on this one and, despite some humble comments on the mic, it was kind’ve disappointing considering where he once was in the WWE scene. This could’ve been longer and been better for both guys. That being said, it wasn’t bad. Just…kind’ve…middle of the road.
Nice to see Carlito do the job for the British talent though.
Chris Masters vs Stixx
In a surprise to me, Chris Masters was the total opposite of the Carlito match. I’ve never seen Stixx wrestle before, but he put on a great show putting over Masters. Masters, in turn, put on a great match after a slow start. The crowd was way into Masters (a few guys, I’m pretty sure, did not stop chanting from beginning to end of the match) and it was clear Masters appreciated it. Masters went in and delivered. I was expecting him to coast through, not Carlito, and I got the opposite! Who’s booking this thing?!
Either which way, a great showing.
Also, Chris Master’s theme music kicks ass.
Dave Mastiff/Martin Stone/Terry Frazier vs Sha Samuels/T-Bone/Rockstar Spud
FINALLY, some names/faces I recognise. Moralez is now Mastiff, right on. He’s also double the size since I last saw him, the dude literally looks like a fleshy wall. On the flip side, Martin Stone is fucking phenomenal shape looking almost like a cut Michael Bisping. Also, Rockstar Spud is amazing. I remember him having a great ladder match against Jack Storm back in the day when he was a big time baby face.
This was a fun match that spilled all around the floor of the arena, taking in a lot of beatings for all involved. Fun stuff and great match filled with faces that I instantly recognised. Stone went out of the match a bit too quick for my liking, with Mastiff eventually picking up the win by eating Spud.
Marty Scrull vs Sami Callihan
I’m going to throw this down on front street: Party Marty is the most retarded name for anyone ever. It sounds like a second rate birthday clown. Party Marty? Seriously.
I’ve heard nothing but positive things about Sami Callihan coming into this match, and the hype paid off. These guys wrestled a fantastic back and forth match with a few near falls, all building up to a quick finish. What really stood out to me was that this match was a great technical, psychological, wrestling match. Callihan worked the leg throughout the match, which really paid off in the closing moments of the match up. Great ring work, great psychology, great fan engagement…great main event.
Additionally, it doesn’t make sense having an American winning the British title. Was never going to happen, and would never really make sense.
So, did Revolution revolutionise the industry? It certainly had amazing production values, in a fantastic looking building. I heard there were seating issues for some people, the ring being angled too sharply to the point that they couldn’t see. Surely if you are going to revolutionise British Wrestling the first thing you want to do is make sure people can SEE British Wrestling? Right?
The card was fun from beginning to end, but it certainly wasn’t the best wrestling I’ve ever seen. In fairness, Wrestlemania 28 and the proceeding Raw would always be difficult to follow. I admire what IPW:UK are trying to do; I support what they are trying to do, hence why I wanted to be at the show, but there wasn’t as many people there as I thought there would be, with plenty of empty chairs near the back. If they were to fix their seating plan and adjust a few tiny technical aspects, the product will continue to improve without a doubt.
Will it revolutionise British Wrestling? I don’t think it has done that, despite being a great card and a great night throughout. But has it made an old IPW:UK fan interested in its product once again?
To quote Daniel Bryan, and every person chanting throughout the night: Yes. Yes. Yes.