Best in the World

Well what a day it was here in St. Ives, wrestlers from all over the planet descending on Burgess Hall for the 10th Pro-Wrestling FRONTIER show. This was a night of only three matches, but undoubted quality throughout that card.

Our day started early with a series of meetings which ended in several good outcomes for FRONTIER. First we secured a return to St. Ives which we’re very excited about. Then we persuaded Jason Talbot to stick around beyond his original one night deal and we officially tied up deals to bring in Aaron Arcadian and Jackson. Personally I don’t know anything about Arcadian but the others are known names around here and bringing all three of them in to FRONTIER full time is a definite signal of intent!

Then we had our meet and greet where all the FRONTIER stars, and some visitors, signed autographs for the fans. And a lot of fans there were too, more than could fit into Burgess Hall which means some people came specifically for the fan event. And with stars like Tim Worthington and Kacy Knight joining the FRONTIER guys it’s no surprise. Plus there was a first FRONTIER sighting of Tomas Driver, who was slightly more with it than when I interviewed him a few days ago. By the way, I’m still healing up after that little incident!

And then, when the guys were all autographed out, it was time to start the show!

Vincenzo Massaro vs. Josh Hawthorne

Our first match of the night was a chance for Josh Hawthorne to redeem himself after the defeat at the hands of Kenchi Yamamoto at Humbled. And for Massaro it was a chance to build on his own success at Humbled where he picked up a debut win.

This match started high tempo as Massaro went on the attack, Hawthorne walking right into a fist to face pump which dazes him long enough for Vincenzo to take him down with the Grenade Drop for a two count. Hawthorne pops back up straight into a lariat from Massaro and then a spinebuster. Massaro connects with an elbow from the middle turnbuckle and again gets a two count.

Hawthorne is struggling with the speed of Massaro’s attack and again kicks out at two after a big suplex. Massaro pumps his fist in the air and then nails a series of big right hands that rock his opponent. DDT. Two count. Piledriver. Two count. Pumphandle Slam. Two Count. Massaro is in the ascendancy but Hawthorne keeps kicking out at two, much to his opponents chagrin.

Hawthorne attempts to get back into the match with a series of knife edge chops and a nicely executed DDT, but Massaro kicks out at one. Hawthorne catches him with a big clothesline and then a powerslam but again Massaro kicks out at one. DDT. One count. Piledriver. One count. Pumphandle Slam. One Count. Hawthorne is getting agitated that he’s unable to get more than a one count and begins to put the boot to his opponent, stomping him hard.

Massaro catches the boot of Hawthorne and pushes him away. He leaps up, grabs Hawthorne and boots him in the gut. While he’s doubled over he nails the Juice Box Special and covers, Hawthorne again kicking out at two. Massaro pulls his opponent up, lifts him up onto his shoulders and connects with the GTLS for the three count!

Your winner, Vincenzo Massaro!

Another solid win for Massaro and another resounding defeat for Josh Hawthorne, these two really are men heading in opposite directions right now. It’ll be interesting to see where both men go from here!

Now before I continue with the show report, here’s a little video exclusive from Spike Kane…

— VIDEO —

The feed cuts to a hand held camera, it’s a pre-recorded video that opens up on the grinning face of a man who is slowly becoming familiar within the FRONTIER world. The grinning face of all around wrestling legend, hall of famer, and pretty much just a bad ass….Spike Kane. He cracks his neck before stepping back into the frame donning an Aston Villa Football Club shirt.

Spike: Hello to all of you out there in FRONTIER! Damn is it good to be back in Merry Old England. I’m sure a few of you are quite aware now that in a couple of weeks I will be going one on one with an old friend of mine, and an old friend of yours in Kevin Hardaway. You see, Kevin and I go way back to before we both hit the big time….and when he mentioned in passing a match with me….it just burrowed deeper and deeper. You see I am officially retired…

Spike nods his head a little as if accepting that he had made a bad judgement.

Spike: That’s right I retired on the first of January this year after beating another long time friend and rival in one of the most brutal matches ever created, the Dragon’s Den….that man? Alex Jones. That’s right kiddies….old Spike here has his tendrils in pretty much anyone who matters in this business’ affairs. I’ve been a pro wrestler since my debut in October ’96. So when I thought my career was over…I was content, happy to take a back seat and a decent paying desk job. But that itch….it never goes away, and someone like Kevin drops the slightest of hints about a comeback match….I just couldn’t resist.

Spike grins as he cracks his knuckles and leans in to the camera.

Spike: So I got in touch with the good folks down in Southampton and look what happened….it’s not quite the best of five series, but you folks are going to be treated to something that hasn’t happened for like five years, when Kevin Hardaway goes one on one with The Spiked One! It’s going to be epic people, and I’m just giving you advanced notice….it won’t be flash in the pan….it will be the best thing to hit FRONTIER since its doors opened. So check it peeps, and remember….ALL HAIL!

Spike chuckles as he raises his arms either side of his head and arches them backwards before thrusting them into an X across his chest and the feed cuts.

— / VIDEO —

You know what; it’s great to have another Brit in FRONTIER. And Spike looks like the sort of guy that’s going to thrive here. I for one cannot wait to see him and Hardaway go at it in Oxford on March 18th!

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s get back to tonight’s show and the big mixed-promotional tag team match.

 

Cody Williams & Jason Talbot vs. Kenchi Yamamoto & CJ Osborne

Talbot and Williams out first for this one, they seemed very chatty and friendly as they made their way to the ring, despite never meeting before it did appear that they’re on the same page. Osborne and Yamamoto out next to a great reception from the packed Burgess Hall. These two weren’t so chatty, maybe something to do with that language barrier.

Williams watched intently as his opponents stepped into the ring. He pointed to Kenchi and yelled out something about winning his title away from him. Kenchi just shook his head before turning to his partner to decide who was going to start this one.

Talbot and Osborne start the match off with a traditional collar-and-elbow lock-up. Hiptoss by Osborne. Talbot reverses, clothesline misses and Osborne connects with a Harley Race style knee. Osborne hits the ropes and Talbot to take the offense with a big clothesline. Talbot stomps a mud hole in Osborne in the corner as his partner Cody Williams watches on.

Williams gets tagged in and he leaps up onto the top turnbuckle as Osborne gets back to his feet. Cody connects with a diving cross body before quickly getting back to his feet and nailing a seated senton for a near fall. He drags CJ back to the corner and tags his partner back in again. Good quick tags here.

Talbot in and he continues to go to work on Osborne. Suplex gets two. Waist lock by the MWA star keeps him in control of his MWA colleague. Talbot goes for a German Suplex but Osborne blocks. Osborne escapes, nails a forearm and then a neckbreaker which leaves both men flat out in the middle of the ring. The crowd are chanting for Kenchi, yet to make his entrance into this match. And CJ is up and… Williams takes him down with an STO!

The referee tells Williams to get out of the ring, Talbot is still the legal man here. Despite breaking the rules, it’s a good tactic to stop the tag and keep the offence on CJ Osborne. The two men continued their assault on CJ with several quick tags while Kenchi was getting visibly frustrated in his corner.

Williams connects with a series of big kicks and chops before taking CJ down with a big roaring elbow. Williams charges in for Osborne but the former MWA World Champion sees him coming and takes him down with a big powerslam for a two count! CJ is still down and starts crawling to the corner. Williams is up and grabs a foot of Osborne, who spins round and nails an enziguri! Osborne leaps forward and tags in Yamamoto as Burgess Hall erupts!

Kenchi comes in, takes out Williams with a massive lariat before connecting with a forearm on Talbot which knocks him off the ring apron. Kenchi turns his attentions back to Williams and takes him down with a dead-lift German Suplex. Williams gets up, slightly dazed, and swings wildly at Kenchi. Yamamoto ducks, grabs Williams again and nails the Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count!

Williams staggers back to his feet and Yamamoto charges in. Cody ducks and when Kenchi bounces back off the ropes Williams rocks him with a Yakuza kick. But somehow the big man is still on his feet so Williams runs up the nearest turnbuckle and flies, connecting with a diving forearm smash. Kenchi is down and Williams makes a cover but only gets two.

Both men make tags as Jason Talbot and CJ Osborne clash in the middle of the ring. Talbot pushes Osborne back and nails the Last Call out of nowhere! Kenchi comes in and connects with a huge lariat that takes Talbot down. Williams then comes in and connects with the PERFECT rush, ending with the single leg dropkick which takes down the champ. Osborne is back up and grabs Williams, connecting with a superkick from nowhere!

All four men are down in the middle of the ring as the crowd chant “This is Wrestling!” It takes a while but eventually the ref works out who’s legal and gets Kenchi and Williams out of the ring so the match can continue. Talbot and Osborne hook up once more, Osborne getting the upper hand with a scoop slam before heading to the top rope. He’s looking for his big elbow but he picked the wrong corner because Williams shakes the rope and makes him drop crotch first onto the turnbuckle. Talbot rolls to the corner and tags in Williams who leaps up to the top rope, grabs Osborne and takes him down with a DDT from the top rope.

Williams heads to the top now and launches himself high into the air for a Frog Splash. But Osborne gets his knees up just in time and Cody lands hard, holding his ribs. Osborne makes the tag and Kenchi Yamamoto comes back in, picking up Williams and getting him into a hammerlock before spinning him round for a lariat. Williams ducks and kicks the back of the champs knee. Yamamoto down to a knee and Williams connects with several forearms and kicks to his rocked opponent.

But Kenchi Yamamoto just yells at Williams, gets back to his feet and grabs “The Reflection of Perfection”. Kenchi looks for the Giant Driver and pulls it off, pinning Williams and hooking his leg.

At the count of two Talbot jumps in and breaks up the count. This brings Osborne back in who clotheslines Talbot over the top rope before heading out after him. The two men brawl outside the ring as Kenchi grabs Williams again.

Yamamoto signals for the end but Williams gets a boot into the gut of the champ and DDT’s him to the canvas. He climbs out onto the ring apron and jumps up onto the top rope, springboarding himself back in. But Yamamoto catches him into the Grand Impact and a count of three later this one’s all over!

Your winners, Kenchi Yamamoto & CJ Osborne!

A great example of tag-team wrestling there from two teams who’ve never worked together before! As Osborne and Yamamoto celebrated in the ring Jason Talbot made his way to the back, but Cody Williams stuck around.

— VIDEO —

Osborne and Yamamoto have their hands raised by the referee while Cody Williams watches at ringside. CJ and Kenchi shake hands and both head off in their separate directions. Williams sees his opportunity as he grabs a steel chair from ringside, unseating our timekeeper in the process.

DW: “Watch out, Williams is stalking the champ!”

He slides into the ring and charges for Kenchi. He catches him unawares and connects hard on the back of the head. Williams is shouting something at Kenchi who is clearly dazed from the attack.

DW: “A cheap shot here from Cody Williams. He’s out to soften up the champ, hoping he’ll get himself a match for the GFC Championship!”

CJ Osborne is back out and slides into the ring as Cody Williams makes a quick getaway. Osborne checks on Kenchi, calling for medical support.

— / VIDEO —

A despicable cheap shot from behind. That’s the kind of guy who wants to challenge for the GFC Heavyweight Championship? Well he may have bitten off more than he can chew now, he’s angered the big Japanese star and he’s ticked off a few people in the back too. Apparently Kenchi confronted the GFC Committee after the show and demanded a one-on-one match with Cody Williams!

After Kenchi had been checked out and left the ringside area we were about set for our main event. But there was an unexpected appearance…

— VIDEO —

The arena goes quiet as the lights go out. The sound of bagpipes fill the arena. Flower of Scotland begins to play as one single spot light enlightens the entrance curtain. The fans boo at the song and the boos only get louder when a man appears from behind the curtain wearing a spirit of Bannockburn kilt and a Scotland football top. The man with long ginger hair and a long beard inhales, taking in all the boos as he has a look around before making his way down to the ring.

DW: Who is this guy? Doesn’t he know this is England?

As the man approaches the ring he walks around taking a microphone before rolling under the bottom rope. After a few moments the music dies down but the chants from the fans intensify. The classic “You Suck” brings a smile to the mans face as he stands in the ring with the microphone in one hand and rubbing his beard with another.

DW: With a bit of luck he will make this quick.

The fans die down enough allowing the man to speak. He slowly brings the mic to his lips and begins to speak in a thick Scottish accent.

Man: Pro-Wrestling FRONTIER…I am William Wallace!

The boos once again ring out, echoing through the Burgess Hall. “Wallace Sucks” begins to be chanted as Wallace has a little chuckle to himself. After a few moments the chants die down and Wallace continues.

Wallace: What a bunch of miscreants, don’t you know you are supposed to show some respect when a man of ma stature is in your presence? Typical English, ungrateful for everything.

The fans are really getting on Wallace’s back with constant booing now as he speaks.

Wallace: That’s right boo me, see if a care, you are all just provin ma point. Now a am out here, interrupting your night pretty much because a have been hangin around recently an a don’t like what a see. This is supposed to be the best of British wrestling, an what do a see? a bunch a yanks that couldn’t make it in their own country an some random Asian guy thrown in. I might have guessed the only Brit was Scottish, lets be honest, it is the best of the four nations, an soon enough you lot won’t have that crutch to support you, we will become independent.

The fans begin a “Fuck of Scotland” chant in reply to Wallace’s last remarks.

Wallace: Now a could stand out here all night and tell you everythin that is wrong with this country and everythin that is wrong with all a you, but a have more important things to tend to. See a have been to America, a have made it over there. A am a former Heavyweight Champion and a Hall of Famer so a decided, it is time to come back to the UK an show these foreign fuckers what a true British wrestler is all about. So here it is, the open challenge to the best Pro-Wrestling FRONTIER has to offer. You boys think you have what it takes to step into the ring with me, you bring your arse on down to the ring in two weeks in Oxford an we will see if any of you have what it takes to survive in the ring with a Scottish Legend.

The boos once again ring out harder and louder than before as Flower of Scotland begins to play again and William Wallace hands the mic back before dropping to the mat and rolling out of the ring under the bottom rope. He makes his way back down the entrance way and to the back.

— / VIDEO —

Yes that’s right, William Wallace, the current WARPED Evolution Champion has signed a deal to appear here in FRONTIER! Wallace is set to make his in-ring debut in two weeks in Oxford where the patriotic Scot will be out to prove a point to FRONTIER’s foreign stars!

Now before we get to our main event there’s one other order of business to discuss. You may have seen the website or seen the videos that proclaim “the revolution will soon be upon us”. Well I’ve been told that a “revolutionary” announcement will be made in Oxford on the 18th. I don’t know anything else about this, before any of you ask, and I couldn’t even begin to guess what it could be. I guess we’ll find out in two short weeks!

Onto our main event! Commonwealth Rules matches are a FRONTIER speciality and a bit of a rarity too. In fact the only current FRONTIER star to have competed in one is Kevin Hardaway. So would this give him an advantage here tonight?

Just to remind you all, Commonwealth Rules matches are fought over 6 rounds of five minutes duration. You can win by pin fall, submission or knock out or DQ and there is a 20 count in effect on the floor. If there is no winner after the 6 scheduled rounds then we will continue with no time limit or rounds until a winner is decided!

 

Kevin Hardaway vs. Gabriel Gambino: Commonwealth Rules Match

Gabriel Gambino was out first, making his entrance to Slash’s Godfather theme solo. The self proclaimed Best Wrestler on the Planet had MWA Hall of Famer Kacy Knight with him as he confidently strode to the ring.

Hardaway was out next wearing a newly designed T-Shirt with “#BestWrestlerInTheSolarSystem” emblazoned on it. Gambino didn’t look impressed with the shirt but Hardaway was grinning from ear to ear as he took it off and tossed it at Gabe prior to the match starting. When things were ready to get underway the two shook hands, sticking to the code of respect. And then the bell sounded.

Round one started with Gambino charging in for Hardaway several times, only for Hardaway to dodge or roll out of the way. Gambino was getting frustrated but to be honest I think it could be a wise tactic from Hardaway, get your opponent to exert more energy early on. He’s been in this position before, he knows how long this match could potentially turn out to be and he’s saving his energy.

When the two finally locked up Gambino got K-Hard into a waist lock before taking him to the mat and locking in front facelock. Maybe he cottoned on to the game plan of Hardaway and has followed suit, starting the match at a slow pace. Hardaway wriggled his way free and then got Gabe into a side headlock. Gabe pushed Hardaway into the ropes but was taken down by a shoulder barge on the rebound from the former GFC Champion.

Collar end elbow lock up again, Gambino getting Hardaway into a wrist lock which Hardaway rolls his way out of before reversing the hold. Gambino spins out to reverse before taking his opponent down with an arm drag.

The two stand off. A slow, technical opening to the match, the fans seem to be enjoying this, they know that a slow start usually equals an amazing finish and with the best wrestler in the solar system against the best wrestler on the planet? Who knows where this will lead.

Round one ended after a few more tentative exchanges and both men returned to their corners. Kacy Knight offering words of support to Gambino while Hardaway exchanged words with some fans in the front row. Then after their minutes rest we began round two!

Round two started in the same vein as the first, until Gambino catches Hardaway off guard with a left jab, right forearm and then spinning left arm lariat that takes Hardaway down. Gambino stomps away on Hardaway’s leg before going for a Texas Cloverleaf submission move, but Hardaway’s ring position is good and he’s able to reach the ropes. Gambino instantly releases the hold and steps away, allowing Hardaway to get back to his feet.

The two lock up once more, Hardaway getting into a waist lock and then taking Gabe down with a gutbuster. Hardaway now stomps away on the right arm of his opponent, trying to take away some of his strength. He follows up with an arm bar but Gabe grasps his hands together to stop the full effects of the hold and manages to get a foot on the ropes too.

Stalemate at this point in the match and the crowd are warming more to Gambino, seeing that he actually does have some talent to back up his words. But does he have enough to win the match?

Round two continued in the same basic alternating pattern of hold, stomp, submission until right before the bell went when Hardaway escaped from a Russian Legsweep attempt and connected with a diving chop to the back of Gabe’s left knee. Gabe went down hard, clutching his knee as the bell sounded to end the round. Gambino’s knee problems are well documented and Hardaway is making use of that here.

Round three started with Gambino hobbling out of his corner, trying to shake off his knee pain. Hardaway grabbed him and nailed a knee breaker which had Gambino stumble back into the ropes. Hardaway went to grab him again but Gambino got his other leg up and kicked him in the gut. He went for a kick again but Hardaway caught it and dragon whipped Gambino to the canvas before applying a Figure Four submission with Gambino punching the mat in pain, but not submitting.

Gambino managed to turn over, reversing the leverage and causing pain to Hardaway now. But Hardaway made the ropes and the hold is released. Both men back up and Hardaway goes to grab Gabe, who catches him with the Pele kick! Hardaway stumbles back and gets hung up on the top rope. Gambino up and connects with a running lariat that sends K-Hard over the top rope and to the arena floor.

Kacy Knight is stood on the outside and backs away from Hardaway with her arms in the air, showing the ref that she’s not getting involved. Gambino is charging across the ring as Hardaway gets back up. Gambino leaps over the top rope and connects with a big suicide dive!

The referee starts counting as both men are down on the outside. Gambino tries to whip Hardaway into the ring apron but K-Hard puts the brakes on and nails Gambino with a big right hand. Gambino fires back with one of his own. The ref shouts out at both men, warning them against closed fists. But both men ignore the ref and continue to trade massive blows out on the floor. The referee warns them a second time, which is one more than the rules usually allow for, but still they ignore him and continue to brawl.

The crowd are loving this exchange, although it is against the rules for this type of match. The referee looks set to call for the bell and end the match but Kacy Knight jumps up onto the ring apron and persuades him not to disqualify both men. Kacy gets between both men, pushing them away from each other and motions for them to get back in the ring and settle this properly.

They do get back into the ring just as the bell sounds to end round three. Both men take a moment to calm down before we continue the match. The fans are really getting into this contest now, which seems like it’s hitting its peak. Round four could see either man take this match!

The bell sounds and both men come out again, hooking up once more. Gambino powers Hardaway up and over with a snap suplex and covers for a two count only. Hardaway gets whipped into the ropes but as Gambino looks for a spinebuster K-Hard manages to get a boot up to the head of his opponent, following up with a spinning elbow… the KTFO~! Hardaway makes a cover but Gambino kicks out at two. Both men lay out on the canvas for a while as the fans cheer them both on.

Gambino eventually gets back up and gets Hardaway into a waist lock, taking him over with a German Suplex. But Hardaway rolls backwards and up to his feet, dazed a little but with it enough to surprise Gambino with a massive decapitation lariat! He makes the cover but again Gambino kicks out at two!

Again both men are flat out on the canvas, the energy expelled in the past two rounds catching up with them now. They eventually get back up to a vertical base and Gambino gets a boot into the midsection of K-Hard before nailing The Fongul! He takes a moment before turning Hardaway over and making a cover… and the bell sounds to end round four!

Gambino can’t believe it, the round is over when he had Hardaway prone for the three count. He slaps the mat and argues with the referee briefly before realising it’s futile. He heads back to his corner to talk to Kacy Knight as Hardaway gets back up to his feet, leaning on the turnbuckle in his corner.

The penultimate round starts and Gambino charges for Hardaway right away, connecting with a big knee lift while he’s still in the corner. He takes K-Hard out of the corner with a fireman’s carry before leaping onto the ropes for a springboard moonsault. But in the brief moment before he leaped up to the top rope Hardaway had started to stand up and, with Gambino flying though the air, Hardaway manages to catch him on his shoulders. From seemingly nowhere Hardaway nails the Angelina’s Crossing!

“HOLY SHIT!” chants emanating from around Burgess Hall. Myself included. That was amazing, catching Gambino in mid air and having the speed of thought to turn it into his finisher so quickly, quite a sight. Kacy Knight couldn’t believe it either and starts pounding the ring apron and calling out support to Gambino.

Hardaway is still out of it so takes a moment before making the cover, hooking the leg. Three seconds later it’s all over and Kevin Hardaway picks up the win!

Your winner, Kevin Hardaway!

A fantastic match and a great effort from both men. Gambino could have had it in round four but for the time expiring but in the end it was K-Hard, who remained in the ring long after the match was over, who triumphed.

Hardaway looked to the skies after the win, pointing upwards and then slapping his chest with pride. It was two years ago this month that saw the passing of his wife, Angelina. How fitting that now, with his career rejuvenated, he used the move named after her to win this match tonight.

Well that’s us done for the night, hopefully you join us in Oxford for our eleventh show. Debuts for Thomas Driver, Spike Kane, William Wallace, Aaron Arcadian and a return to FRONTIER for Jackson Rose will make our next show, on March 18th, probably the biggest yet. And with a “revolutionary” announcement from Hanna Fox, will FRONTIER ever be the same again?