The long awaited debut of Pro-Wrestling FRONTIER is here at last. Southampton Guildhall was packed with 1,100 fans tonight, eager to witness to birth of something special in British wrestling.
The attendance was way up on the preview show and looking at the card for tonight that’s no surprise. Some great names have decided to join us in FRONTIER and we’re all hoping that once the dust is settled on tonight there will be more people clamouring to join the party.
Southampton really has been a buzz today, from the Markus Leibherr Memorial Cup contested at St. Mary’s Stadium and won by Athletic Bilbao and now the first full FRONTIER show. And in between we had the fan meet and great with all the FRONTIER stars.
Mike Blackwood vs. Veronique
Out first match of the night saw former lovers face each other in singles competition. Blackwood didn’t exactly endear himself to the fans at our preview show after claiming mental health problems due to the “you suck” chants being hurled at him. The entire building seemed to scream “you suck” at Blackwood as he made his entrance this month and the guy literally went blue in the face. But before he could make any complaints about it he was attacked from behind by Veronique. She dragged him to the ring, rolled him under the bottom rope and told referee Ed Watling to start the match.
Blackwood started off quickly and got the first near fall following an STO. Veronique walked into two arm drags and then the two hit a stalemate as they both went for a dropkick. Veronique then hit a kick followed by a chop from Blackwood and the former lovers exchanged their strikes for a good thirty seconds before Veronique floored Blackwood for a one count. Veronique then delivered a butterfly suplex that followed into an arm breaker but Blackwood got to the ropes. Blackwood then used his speed to good effect and hit a couple of kicks of his own which lead to a senton for a two count. Veronique hits several forearms but Blackwood again powers his way out followed by a big lariat. Veronique fought back and hit a bridging suplex for a near fall but Blackwood didn’t let her breathe and got a two with a small package which lead to both competitors getting two counts in quick succession. Veronique targeted the leg of Blackwood with two corkscrew leg whips as she grounded Blackwood and then locked in a triangle choke accompanied by several elbows to the head. Blackwood held on for a while but eventually he has no choice but to tap out.
The fans loved seeing Veronique back to winning ways and had good fun jeering Mike Blackwood as he made his way out of the ring.
Ole McDonald vs. Shiek Abdul-Wahid
Our second match was a real clash of cultures as two men from opposite sides of the world made their FRONTIER debuts against each other.
McDonald and Abdul-Wahid circle each other to start before going for a test of strength. McDonald gets the better of Abdul-Wahid and wrenches on the arm, but Abdul-Wahid counters into an arm wrench pinning predicament for a two count. McDonald and Abdul-Wahid again circle each other, but McDonald gets a trip into a camel clutch. Shiek didn’t like that, Ole making use of one of his signature holds!
Abdul-Wahid manages to escape but McDonald catches him with a school-boy pin for a two count, and Abdul-Wahid slides to the outside to catch a breather. McDonald gives chase, but Abdul-Wahid slides back into the ring and connects with a low drop kick to McDonald on the outside. McDonald slams into the guard rail, and Shiek follows up with a suicide dive to the outside. Abdul-Wahid rolls McDonald back into the ring and locks in a hammer lock pin for a two count. Abdul-Wahid maintains the hammer lock and floats over into a single-arm Cattle Mutilation. Abdul-Wahid continues to work on McDonald’s arm and locks in a hammer lock / key lock combination. Abdul-Wahid takes McDonald back down to the mat with a single-leg takedown and then wrenches on McDonald’s wrist. Impressive skills from both men, it has to be said.
Abdul-Wahid connects with a snap-mare takedown and follows with a stiff kick to the back. Abdul-Wahid applies an arm bar on the mat, but McDonald fights back to his feet. Abdul-Wahid regains control with a back suplex and then heads up to the top turnbuckle. Abdul-Wahid dives towards McDonald, but McDonald gets both feet up and plants them in Shiek’s face. This guy may be old but he’s wily and tough as old boots. The crowd were really starting to root for him, there was even a few “USA” chants breaking out.
McDonald goes to work with a series of strikes, but Abdul-Wahid counters with a back kick to the gut. McDonald drops Abdul-Wahid with an elbow to the head and follows up with a series of chops to the chest. McDonald charges towards Abdul-Wahid, but Abdul-Wahid stops him with a big head-butt. McDonald gets back to his feet and connects with a knee drop. Abdul-Wahid takes McDonald up to the top rope, but McDonald gets Abdul-Wahid up on his shoulders. Ole goes for a top rope powerslam, but Abdul-Wahid wriggles free, pushing McDonald away before he connects with a missile drop kick from the top rope for a two count.
It was a great couple of reversals and the crowd really getting into the match at this point. But there was one more reversal left in this one as McDonald whips Abdul-Wahid into the ropes and tilt-a-whirls him into a tombstone position. Shiek wriggles hard and forces McDonald to lean back, Abdul-Wahid gets his feet onto the mat and stands up, reversing the tombstone situation! He nails a sitout tombstone, a variant on his finisher, and picked up the pinfall victory!
WINNER: Shiek Abdul-Wahid
Both men made a good impression on the crowd here tonight and they both got a good reception. I think both could go far in FRONTIER.
Morrison Montgomery vs. Leanne Evangelista
Montgomery made his way to the ring to a chorus of jeers, much to his distaste. Here was a proud British citizen being booed in his own country, it was clear that this was enough to get under his skin. Evangelista on the other hand had a warm reception as she made her way down to ringside.
Morrison was so riled up by the fans that he was fighting angry, out to prove a point. He nails Evangelista with some big right hands before taking her down with an arm drag into an arm bar. But it was too early to get a submission
Montgomery grabs a headlock and the fans chant loudly for his opponent. Evangelista stomps Montgomery down in the corner which doesn’t last long at all. Montgomery fires off some knees to the head and a running one puts Leanne down. Evangelista comes back and gets a Filipina Legsweep for a near fall as Montgomery shoves her off.
Montgomery slams Evangelista and drops a knee. Into a front facelock and Evangelista can’t seem to reverse it. We get a “You Suck” chant as Montgomery keeps up his offense. We go out to the floor for a bit as Montgomery wants to do some real damage out there. We’re soon back into the ring and Montgomery takes Evangelista down with a dragon leg screw, following up with a spinning toe hold. Montgomery keeps spinning, and spinning and spinning. Eventually he gives up and stumbles back into the corner having made himself dizzy.
As Evangelista gets back up Montgomery tries a bulldog which is reversed into a belly to back suplex as Leanne gets herself right back into this match. The crowd switched chants at this point, no more putting Morrison down. Now it was all pro-Evangelista.
Morrison fires off some kicks but walks into and Evangelista Elbow jab to face followed by headbutt to the jaw. Montgomery drops to the canvas and Evangelista moves quickly to the top rope, hitting a Moonsault for a two count. Montgomery goes up top, only to get caught by a superplex for a long two.
Montgomery pops right back up, charges and clotheslines Evangelista. She pops back up this time and Montgomery nails another clothesline. At the third attempt Evangelista ducks the clothesline, grabs Morrison and finishes him with her single knee backbreaker into single knee headbreaker. The pin was a formality.
WINNER: Leanne Evangelista
Montgomery grabbed a microphone and, despite his loss, began to demand an opportunity at the GFC Commonwealth Championship. Morrison has been vocal in the weeks leading up to tonight about his disdain for the two American’s in tonight’s main event. He went over his arguments once more as he claimed to be the best suited wrestler for a Commonwealth match.
After a few minutes of ranting Montgomery was cut off by the arrival of Scott Mayo. Mayo stood at the entrance to the room and called down to Montgomery. He told him that he would grant Morrison a Commonwealth Rules match, a chance to prove himself as a worthy contender. Next month, at The Regal in Oxford, we’ll witness Morrison Montgomery versus Ole McDonald.
Montgomery was in conflict. He’d been given a Commonwealth match like he’d wanted, but against another American. I for one can’t wait to see these two collide next month!
Jay Pride vs. Kenchi Yamamoto
Next up was Pride and Yamamoto, both out to a good welcome from the Southampton crowd. And it was a pretty even match to start until a backdrop over the top rope on Pride was followed up by a kick to the back on the apron. Yamamoto in control on the apron after about 2 minutes (sorry for the lack of the first minute and a half. It was basic feeling out stuff and I had to take a phone call, more on that later.). Pride now has control on the outside with chops and head-butts and he rolls Yamamoto back in the ring. Dropping head-butts. Stomp. Pride locks up the legs and gets some palm strikes to the gut of Yamamoto. Yamamoto trying to fight out and then reaches for the ropes, but Pride grabs his hand so he can’t! Nicely done. He gets it with the other hand and Jay breaks before 5.
Chops in the corner and a head-butt from Jay. Yamamoto puts on the brakes for an Irish whip attempt and gets a whip of his own. He runs into the boot of Jay, but he gets a spinning back kick of his own. He’s now going to town on the arm of Pride. Arm breakers on the shoulder and Yamamoto has the arm wrapped up. Jay tries to bridge up but can’t break it. Jay finally makes the ropes. More arm work followed by some kicks to the chest with Jay on his knees. Jay masterly baits Kenchi and gets a dragon screw leg whip. He sends him to the outside and gets a tope suicida! Back in the ring and Pride only gets 2. They trade some running kicks before Jay gets a DVD! Stretch Muffler!! Yamamoto gets to the ropes. Back up and Jay catches a kick by Yamamoto but he’s then taken over into an arm breaker! Jay makes the ropes. HUGE sequence of kicks from a comeback-mounting Yamamoto. He floors Pride for a near fall.
Just as Pride was recovering Ole McDonald made an appearance, making his way slowly to the ring. Yamamoto saw him coming and stood in wait, shouting down to him in broken English. Yamamoto saw this as a lack of respect and made it known he wasn’t happy about it. To be honest he should have been more concerned about Jay Pride, who was now back to his feet and stood behind Kenchi. Pride bounces off the ropes and just as Yamamoto turns around he is taken down with a massive rebound clothesline. Shades of Les Kellett in that one!
Kenchi managed to kick out at two and three quarters, but McDonald had made his point. He leaned in and called out to Yamamoto. “Rule One: Never take your eyes off your opponent!” He then walked up the aisle backwards, keeping an eye on Yamamoto and smiling widely. After the show I tried to ask Ole what he was doing, he muttered something about helping the new generation.
Yamamoto is fired up after that, he tells Pride to bring it on and he chops him hard. HUGE combo of open palm strikes and forearm clubs from Yamamoto and Jay looks out of it! A Grand Crash gets Yamamoto a two count. Pride gets fired up and nails a series of European uppercuts and an inverted facelock backbreaker gets him a two count of his own. Now Yamamoto is the one fired up. He whips Jay into the ropes and takes him down with a massive lariat. Pride pops back up again and Kenchi grabs him. He gets a Snapmare/Chop to the Neck/ Running Knee/ Seated Senton Combo that gets him another two count. Pride is dazed but still manages to get up again. The two men charge each other and both go for a flying cross body. Both men crash to the mat and the audience are on their feet, they love this match and truth be told so do I. Amazing action from both men.
As the two men get back to their feet, amid a duelling chant of “Let’s go Jay” and “Yamamoto”, they look at each other. Neither man sure whether to make the first move or not. Yamamoto eventually does, whipping Pride into the ropes and nailing a Lariat as he bounces back. Pride stumbles back into the ropes, almost falls through the ropes but rebounds and goes for a rebound lariat. Yamamoto ducks it, Pride turns around and Yamamoto nails a massive lariat that turns Pride inside out. Yamamoto went for the pin and he gets the all important 1-2-3.
Winner: Kenchi Yamamoto
These two tore the place down, an early contender for match of the year. The fans thanked both men heartily and the two competitors shook hands as a show of mutual respect. After the match was done and dusted Jay Pride remained in the ring. He was soon joined by his partner Leanne Evangelista. They claimed to be the greatest tag-team in British wrestling, but that FRONTIER wasn’t able to provide them with the opposition they need to prove it. So the pair put out an open call for any tag-team in the world to come to Oxford next month and face them.
Benedict Auslander vs. Kevin Hardaway
Benedict Auslander was the first man out for our main event, to a chorus of boos from the Southampton crowd. The Guildhall played host to a challenge last month as August Joyce challenged Auslander to a match. Auslander refused and the crowd have been on his back for it since.
Kevin Hardaway got a good reception. He looked excited to be here and the crowd fed off that. Next Jenni Starr got on the mic and went over the rules for this match. It’s to be contested over 6 rounds of five minutes duration, with one minute’s time between rounds. You win by pin, submission, KO or DQ.
Round one saw Hardaway take the early upper hand after getting the best of a test of strength. He whips Auslander into the ropes and nails a spinebuster. Auslander writhes in pain for a brief moment. Seems like K-Hard did his homework. I’d heard rumours of Auslander’s fall from a roof earlier in the week, I’m guessing from his reaction that it was true. Hardaway tries to make the most of it with a pin, hooking the leg. Auslander kicks out at two.
Auslander uses the ropes to help himself get back to his feet, the pain still evident on his face but he’s determined to get himself back into this match. And he does pretty well on that front after taking Hardaway down with a trapped arm suplex. He locks in a Texas cloverleaf but there’s no sign of K-Hard tapping out. In fact Auslander is forced to release the hold as the bell sounds to end the first round.
Both men take to their corners for the 60 second rest period before round 2. Auslander takes offence to something a fan says while Hardaway smiles across at his opponent.
The second round started the same as the first, a test of strength that Hardaway wins. This time he goes for a whip and a decapitation lariat, but Auslander ducks and takes his opponent down with a reverse DDT. Instead of following up the move Auslander starts arguing with the fan at ringside again, allowing Hardaway time to get back up.
Hardaway grabs Auslander. Swinging neckbreaker. Elbow drop connects. Hook of the leg for a one count only. The two get into each others face before Auslander nails a big right hand. The referee calls out, warning him about opening his fist. If he does that again he’ll be disqualified. Auslander argues with the referee which allows Hardaway another change to take him down. Double arm DDT this time gets him a two count.
Hardaway continued to punish Auslander as he takes him down with another DDT, then another elbow drop. Then a backbreaker to continue the assault on his spine. He drags Auslander up, pushes him face first into the corner before tossing him back with a German suplex. Hardaway doesn’t bridge, he releases, letting his opponent land hard again on that injured back.
Hardaway steps back, letting Benedict get himself back to his feet as the bell signals the end of round two. Auslander is looking in real trouble here.
Round three and Auslander seems to get a second wind, charging for Hardaway and taking him down with a clothesline. Then another, and a third. Hardaway pops up and charges for Auslander, who sees him coming and grabs him, throwing him over with a release belly-to-belly suplex. Auslander headed to the top rope and connects with a Tornado DDT for a two count!
Auslander is fighting on through considerable pain here and manages to remain on top for the rest of the third round, keeping K-Hard grounded after a Gut-Wrench Powerbomb into Cloverleaf combo. Hardaway was trying to reach the ropes as the bell sounded to end the round.
But Auslander didn’t let go, leaning backwards as far as he could to put as much strain on Hardaway as possible. Finally the referee got Auslander to release the hold. But Auslander had accomplished his goal, he wasted the 60 seconds recovery time and round four started with Hardaway still on the canvas!
Auslander pulled Hardaway to his feet only to take him down with a Russian Legsweep. Then a leg drop. He got only a one count from the resulting pin. But he continued his assault with a series of boots to the midsection. He backed off, taunting the crowd and pointing to the downed Kevin Hardaway.
He went back to Hardaway as he was on one knee, K-Hard getting a punch to the sternum that rocks Auslander. But Benedict stops the comeback in its tracks with an elbow to the back of the head. He shoves Hardaway into the corner and takes him to the top rope. He lifts Hardaway into the air for what he calls the Soulscream, a top rope brainbuster!
Hardaway hits the canvas with a thud. Auslander sits and smiles, clapping his hands and taunting the crowd, wasting prescious time. He makes a cocky cover but Hardaway kicks out at what must have been 2.9! Before Auslander could follow up the bell sounded and round four was over.
Hardaway rolled into his corner, pulling himself up to his feet while Auslander argued with the referee about a slow count.
The bell sounded again and round five was off with a bang. Auslander still arguing with the ref and the crowd didn’t see Hardaway coming. Clothesline from behind lead to a two count. Auslander got up quickly, Hardaway was still suffering the effects of the Soulscream.
Auslander grabbed Hardaway and whipped him into the ropes. K-Hard put on the brakes as he grabbed the ropes. Auslander charges in with a clothesline but Hardaway sends him over the rope with a back body drop that sends Auslander crashing to the Guildhall floor. Hardaway spots a change, bouncing off the opposite ropes, building up speed and flying through the ropes right at Auslander.
But Auslander had the move scouted, grabbing Hardaway in mid air and nailing a belly-to-belly suplex that sent K-Hard into the front row! I cannot believe Auslander reversed a GTFO~! Neither can the crowd, a “Holy Shit” chant coming from every corner of the Guildhall.
The move took a lot out of Auslander, who rolled back into the ring as the referee began the mandatory twenty count. At seventeen a fan helps Hardaway back over the guardrail. At nineteen Hardaway collapses to a knee just outside the ring. But just before twenty he manages to slide under the bottom rope. Auslander took advantage, grabbing Hardaway and nailing the Call to Power!
Auslander covers for the 1..2.. The bell sounds to end round five! Hardaway gets saved by the bell! And boy is Auslander pissed!
The sixth and final round began as Auslander and Hardaway hooked up once more. Auslander easily overpowers Hardaway and looks set to nail an Inverted double underhook facebuster. But Hardaway manages to reverse the hold, standing up and lifting Auslander into a torture rack position!
Auslander screams out in pain as Hardaway keeps the torture rack locked in. After what must seem like an eternity to Benedict, Hardaway spins him out and takes him down hard with the Angelina’s Crossing. He makes a cover and picks up the victory!
Winner: Kevin Hardaway
After the match Hardaway, still reeling from some big moves, leant over the downed Benedict Auslander and was heard to say “You should have taken Joyce up on his challenge.”
The crowd were on their feet chanting “That was awesome”. Hardaway had a huge smile on his face as he walked out of the building with his head held high. He joined in with the crowd as they chanted “Thank you FRONTIER”. Truly an awesome end to our debut show, I can’t wait to see what we have in store when FRONTIER rides into Oxford next month!