What a Sunday it’s been, after spending my afternoon in front of the TV watching the South Coast Derby it was a short walk from my hotel to the Liverpool Olympia, a great venue and we’re very excited about being here. There have been some great matches in this old theatre over the years, including the modern classic McGuinness vs. Danielson and McGuinness vs. Joe clashes which I was fortunate enough to witness first hand. The pre-show meet and greet was a great success and the fans were in fine form vocally as the show was about to start, all looking forward to another modern classic; Jones vs. Hardaway II!
But the night started on a sour note as both Jay Pride and Leanne Evangelista were taken to A&E after being found unconscious backstage. This isn’t the first time a FRONTIER star has been found knocked out backstage, numerous times over the past few months we’ve had to rejig matches due to these increasingly brutal attacks.
With Pride & Evangelista out we had to make more changes tonight, the triple threat match was now set to be Robbie Stein vs. Jackson Rose vs. Josh Hawthorne. Scott Mayo announced the change to the crowd as the show started and the announcement that Leanne Evangelista wouldn’t be performing here, just a few miles from her hometown, didn’t sit well with the locals.
Robbie Stein vs. Jackson Rose vs. Josh Hawthorne
The three men came out to get the show underway. Hawthorne was victorious over Rose last month and with the rejig he suddenly found himself with a shot at payback, poor newcomer Robbie Stein found himself caught in the crossfire as Josh & Jackson went hell for leather in the early stages of this one.
Hawthorne clotheslined Stein hard and, not to be out-done, Rose took Stein down with a clothesline of his own. Suplex from Hawthorne on Stein. Suplex from Rose on Stein. DDT from Hawthorne on Stein. DDT from Rose on Stein!
Hawthorne and Rose stare at each other, concentration etched on their faces and they stand chest to chest. After a long stand off the two finally launch into a brutal exchange of chops, right hands and kicks. Stein is recovering in the corner, watching the other two men go at it for a while.
Eventually, with Hawthorne and Rose still going toe-to-toe, Stein takes an opportunity. He connects with a jumping roundhouse kick to the head of Rose, when Rose drops Stein looks out at the crowd and shouts “ROADHOUSE!” He then turns his attentions to Hawthorne and repeats the move, shouting “ROADHOUSE!” again to the delight of the fans.
Stein continues to stay on top in this match until Rose nails a Suicide Cutter out of nowhere for a two count. Rose then battled away with Hawthorne once more and the big man took Jackson down with a leg lariat and follows up with a Sitout Powerbomb. He looks to go for the Lambeau Leap but Stein is back up and jumps up onto the turnbuckle, taking Hawthorne down with a Frankensteiner. He tries for a cover but Rose breaks up the count at two.
Stein manages to get the advantage over Rose but a T-Bone Suplex turns the tide. Rose turns his attentions back to Hawthorne again and attempts the Suicide Cutter once more, Hawthorne pushes Rose away and nails a boot to the gut. Hawthorne gets Rose up and nails the NGN Driver. A cover is made… but Robbie Stein pulls Hawthorne off at two!
Hawthorne is furious and charges at Stein. Stein holds his hand out and yells “STOP!” Hawthorne stop and Stein smacks him in the face and shouts “BITCH!” Hawthorne charges again, Stein ducks down and hits the ropes before nailing a roaring lariat. Stein had the momentum as he nailed a series of massive moves; Backdrop Suplex. Backbreaker. German Suplex. Jumping Spike Piledriver. An amazing combo he calls the Ballad of Zangief!
Robbie Stein goes for a cover but Jackson Rose is back to his feet having shaken off the NGN Driver. He charges at Stein and nails The Brain Cracker at the count of two! Stein rolls off Hawthorn and Rose hooks the leg of Stein for the pinfall victory!
Your winner, Jackson Rose!
A great opening match here, Rose breaking up that pin with a vicious looking punt to the head. Any one of these three men could have won that match, and each will be looking to push on and make a name for themselves in 2012. With these men on board the future looks bright for Pro-Wrestling FRONTIER!
After the three men left the ring we were graced with the presence of Hanna Fox, owner of FRONTIER. It was only the second time she has appeared at one of our shows and she looked like she meant business as she made her way to the ring.
Fox talked about the attack on Pride and Evangelista tonight. She talked about the attacks on other FRONTIER stars over the past few months, some of whom have refused to appear for FRONTIER again due to these brutal assaults. Fox said enough is enough, she promised that 2012 would see an end to these attacks and that the person responsible will be found and dealt with in true FRONTIER style, whatever she means by that.
She went on to say that next month, Sunday January 29th, FRONTIER returns to the Southampton Guildhall and she was offering an open invitation to any wrestler to come to FRONTIER to try out. She wants to build FRONTIER into a true wrestling force in 2012 and it all begins in Southampton with a very special announcement!
Kenchi Yamamoto vs. Zak Wake
Zak started off quickly and got the first near fall following an STO. Yamamoto walked into two arm drags and then the two hit a stalemate as they both went for a clothesline. Kenchi then hit a kick followed by a chop from Zak and the two exchanged their strikes for a good thirty seconds before Yamamoto floored Wake for a one count. Kenchi then delivered a belly to belly suplex that followed into an arm breaker but Zak got to the ropes. Wake then used his speed advantage to good effect and hit a couple of kicks of his own which lead to a senton for a two count. Kenchi hits several forearms but Zak again slips his way out followed by a lariat. Kenchi fought back and hit a bridging suplex for a near fall but Wake didn’t let him breathe and got a two with a small package which lead to both competitors getting two counts in quick succession. Yamamoto was beginning to get frustrated and suddenly seemed to move up through the gears.
Sit out powerbomb got him a one count only, Blue Thunder bomb got him a two. Wake tried to fight back but the Grand Crash stopped him in his tracks. A Giant Driver followed for what turned out to be an easy victory for the big Japanese star!
Your winner, Kenchi Yamamoto!
I have to say, I’m impressed with Kenchi’s performance here tonight. Dominant at the end there. That’s got to put him in contention for a big match next month!
Kevin Hardaway (c) vs. Alex Jones: GFC Heavyweight Championship Match
And then it was time for our main event of the evening, the match that the whole show is named after. Jones vs. Hardaway II!!!
Jones was out first, a decent reception from the crowd here in Liverpool. Jones has a big support in FRONTIER and there’s a lot of people who are expecting, or wanting, him to win tonight. Hardaway came out to a true champions reception from the crowd, his fans getting behind him to get revenge on Jones’ win in their first match and come out of Liverpool with two title defences under his belt.
They start off with a slow feeling out process. Jones goes after the arm and takes it down to the canvas. Hardaway headscissors out to show he can wrestle too. They go to standing counters and Jones takes him down again with a headlock this time but Hardaway headscissors out again. Jones backs up and Hardaway smiles. Jones goes back to the arm and demonstrates persistence and patience. He takes Hardaway back down and quickly pins for two. Hardaway switches out looking for a submission move but Jones gets away from him with his speed. Jones goes back to the headlock, Hardaway throws him off and gets a drop toehold looking for an ankle lock. Jones gets away from him again. Hardaway takes a moment to assess the crowd and taps his head suggesting he thinks he’s got Jones’ game down. Jones with a waistlock and he holds on blocking the usual reversal and making Hardaway earn it. Hardaway gets out and picks off Jones’s leg looking again for the ankle lock, a new strategy from Hardaway here, maybe he’s trying to throw AJ off?
Jones says something that we couldn’t hear and Hardaway punches him onto his ass. Jones looks riled and is ready to fist fight! But they lock up instead. Hardaway uses the headlock to get control and Jones can’t counter out. Interesting little psychological battle going on here. Jones gets it back to standing but can’t throw Hardaway off because he’s too strong. So it’s back to the mat and Hardaway leans in to pin for one only. Now Jones is having to waste energy kicking out of a headlock. He gets back to standing but gets whipped back over. Jones tries the headscissors but can’t get anywhere near to it. Back to standing and Jones opts for striking kicks into the ribs to break it up. Hardaway runs through him with a shoulderblock and goes back to the headlock.
Crowd gets the duelling chants going, to be honest I think the crowd is more pro Jones here in Liverpool. Jones tries to wristlock out. Hardaway counters it and headlocks Jones back down. Jones realises striking is the way to go and kicks his way out but Hardaway cuts him down with a short clothesline for two. Back to the headlock. Jones elbows Hardaway in the jaw and finally gets some distance away from Hardaway’s control. Jones forces Hardaway into the corner and chops at him. Jones runs into a boot though and Hardaway powers up into the Decapitation Lariat for a good two count.
Back to the headlock again and Hardaway takes him down with it. Hardaway with a few shoulderblocks and he nearly runs into an AJ-guri but dodges it. Hardaway hauls AJ up looking for the Angelina’s Crossing but Jones grabs the ropes to escape and bails to the ring apron. An interesting opening to this match, a slower paced affair than I was expecting. Maybe these two know it’s going to be a long night?
Alex is back in and Hardaway is working the headlock again. Jones gets out with kicks again and chops at Hardaway in the corner. He back elbows him as well so show he means business, it was a vicious looking elbow. Hardaway is rattled and drops to a knee. Jones snap mares him over and stamps on his face. Crowd reacts positively suggesting that they’re wanting to see a brutal fight here tonight. He chops away some more but Hardaway punches his way out. Jones gets caught and Hardaway nails a Spinebuster for two. Hardaway then busts out the Tiger suplex for another two count. The pace is quickening. The crowd is getting hotter too, this match is building nicely!
Hardaway stalks Jones wanting something. He nails the German Suplex for two. Jones chops away but gets backdropped. Jones counters out and hits a swinging neckbreaker. Both guys stay down for some time. Jones comes back with kicks but Hardaway battles back with punches. Jones’s kicks win out. Spear! Both guys down. Hardaway up first, Jones pulls off the nip up ‘rana!
Jones heads up top. Spiral Tap! Jones seems energised after connecting with that one. He plays to the crowd, thinking this is his chance to finish it. Hardaway is up, Jones moves him into a backslide for a two count. Hardaway charges but misses with a flying elbow and slides out under the ropes. He’s down and hurt. Jones is tired and beat up. He doesn’t want the count out though and goes for a summersault plancha over the top rope. Hardaway catches him and goes to run him into the post. Jones squirms out and runs Hardaway into the steps. Both guys down again as we approach the half hour mark!
After a few moments of recovery Jones is in better shape and the two move back into the ring. Hardaway is holding his arm after sliding out of the ring and that’s now Jones’ focus. Hardaway gets thrown into the turnbuckle. Jones looks to be happier now, he has a target. Jones hangs up the arm on the ropes and then takes it out by pulling down on the shoulder. Hammerlock and Hardaway is grounded. Hardaway retorts to pulling hair. Jones rolls K-Hard up for two. He keeps rolling Hardaway into a pin but can’t get it so he resorts to knees into the arm. Much more focus from Alex now, the crowd getting behind him.
Hardaway manages to power out and slams Jones with his good arm. Elbow drop misses and Hardaway landed on his bad arm. Why the hell did he do that? Jones kicks him in the shoulder but Hardaway uses his good arm for several clotheslines. Shoulderblocks. KTFO~! Hardaway tries to shake it out while Jones can’t see him. Lionstomp! Hardaway shakes the arm out again. He goes for the Angelina’s Crossing but Jones gets out and looks for the Time to Burn, Hardaway avoids and gets Alex up for the Angelina’s Crossing…for a two count only!
Hardaway begins working the back of the challenger and he tosses Jones outside. Hardaway follows out and ring-posts Jones, back first. Back inside Hardaway pins for a casual looking two. Hardaway clubs away and Jones arches his back in pain. Hardaway clubs at the back more as Jones blocks a suplex attempt. Hardaway tries again and powers him up into a suplex for another two count. Jones looks in pain big time after the impact. Hardaway sees it as a huge target and hooks up for a German. Jones battles back and elbows out. Jones with kicks, again, as desperation. Not much on these now though, he’s tiring. Jones gets reversed on a whip though and takes a huge corner bump to the floor at speed. Hardaway doesn’t follow out intially but then realises this might end in a count out and goes to get Jones. He goes up top and hits an elbow …for ANOTHER two count. Lots of pins here, but not enough damage done yet.
Hardaway looks bewildered after that didn’t get the job done. He has to power Jones up and goes to the ropes looking for a superplex. He switches to an Angelina’s Crossing from off the top but Jones fights out into a A hiptoss from the top rope, followed by a jumping fist drop, a nip up and a stiff kick to the Champ’s back as he sits up. Both guys worn out after that Xtreme Combo. Jones gets moving first. Hardaway trips him up looking for the ankle lock again but Jones turns quickly in it and kicks him off. Hardaway ends up on the apron and Jones charges him off. Hardaway bounces off the guard rail as fans get to their feet, slapping the champ on his back. Jones hasn’t done enough damage for his liking though and goes for a piledriver on the arena floor! Hardaway realises what’s going on though and backdrops Jones off. Jones lands hard and has a lot of back pain. Both men take a moment to recover as we have passed the 45 minute mark!
After a moment of recovery we have a brawl at ringside! Hardaway gets on top and wails away on Jones. After much discussion with the referee the two men are persuaded to take it back inside the ring. As soon as they’re in Hardaway trips Jones, AJ Lock! Hardaway trying to end this with one of Jones’ own moves. Hardaway looks tired though and doesn’t have it all that well because of his injured arm. Jones is able to bend his arm, holding it with his other hand, thus denying Hardaway a lot of his torque. Jones is able to turn and get the ropes. Big cheer from the crowd for that.
Hardaway is slow to break though. He knows that took a lot out of Jones and stalks him. Jones is barely moving. Hardaway thinks he has this, the confidence is evident. He nearly gets caught with a superkick, goes for the Angelina’s Crossing again but Jones slips out and connects with the TIME TO BURN! Hardaway is down. Jones is slow into the cover but drapes an arm over. Hardaway KICKS OUT at two!!
They’ve been out there for 55 minutes now. Jones pulls Hardaway back up for some kicks. Hardaway fights back with punches. None of the strikes have anything on them due to fatigue. Jones takes a corner bump again but rolls back into the ring. Hardaway charges for the Decapitation Lariat but Jones moves quickly to grab the arm and drag him to the mat. AJ-LOCK!! On Hardaway’s already injured arm!
The crowd have been whipped into a frenzy and the roof is about to come off this place. Hardaway is in a world of pain and surely couldn’t last long in this hold. He tries not to tap, his face bright red as a primal scream comes from deep within him. With his free arm he’s trying to reach the ropes, just a few inches away from him. His fingertips are agonizingly close to the rope but he can’t grab them. And then AJ manages to find an extra something and pulls back even harder! A few short moments later Kevin Hardaway taps out!
Your winner, and NEW GFC Heavyweight Champion, Alex Jones!
Wow, what can I say. I thought that the 60 minute time limit was about to expire. Having checked with the timekeeper the end came at 58:30!! That was a match that shows the very best that FRONTIER has to offer and while Hardaway may have dropped the belt here tonight he’s shown just how much he can go through.
But it’s Alex Jones who takes over the reigns as the new GFC Heavyweight Champion. His celebrations will go on long into the night here in Liverpool and I’m sure he’ll be quick to point out this is his second FRONTIER win over Hardaway and his second submission victory to boot.
With this one in the books our attention turns to January and our return “home” to the Southampton Guildhall. What is in store for our new champ? Will he head to the MWA and accomplish what Hardaway couldn’t? Will we get to the bottom of these mystery attacks? Only one way to find out, get your tickets now and come down to Southampton on the 29th January!