Welcome one and all to the first of many SEW show reviews, hosted by yours truly.
I’ve had the honour and privilege to attend a few SEW shows in the past and enjoyed every single one of them, my favourite being last years Halloween show that had Doug Williams and Eric Young (yes, THE Eric Young of TNA and NXT fame) main eventing the card. Even getting the chance to talk to them, and the rest of the performers, after the event in a little meet and greet.
This won’t be your usual show review that you’ve seen online where the reporter can go one of two ways (C’mon, I know 75% of you have read Raw/Smackdown/Impact spoilers before, don’t be shy). The first and most common online reviews will be an in-depth review that is practically a play by play match analysis, and the second is the one small paragraph match review that tells you who was in the match, who won and how.
Nope not me, I don’t do things in the perceived normal way, I put my own spin everything I do (ask the wife, who doesn’t have a bedroom oasis of calm, but a total geekfest of wrestling memorabilia, Marvel comics, and a shed load of Funko Pop Vinyls). My reviews will be more in line with my blog (and if you haven’t read my blogs yet, then A) Go back and read them to appreciate the literary feast you have in front of you now and B) How the hell did you find my site if you haven’t?), it’s more of a personal take on the event. How I was feeling, the mood of the crowd, the match itself. As I said, it’s a more personal take on the event, and it’s easier for me to write the same way otherwise my tiny little brain won’t cope and the result will be a hot mess.
South East Wrestling always strive to put on family friendly shows. You won’t find any foul language, use of weapons (hardcore wrestling) or overly long winded promo’s on an SEW show. Just great, entertaining family orientated shows for all ages to enjoy.
Since debuting in 2013, the promotion has called the Hawkinge Community Centre in Kent it’s home and puts on events there every three to four months. Today’s event is a special one. To coincide with the annual Hawking Summer Fun Day that was being held right outside the Centre that very day, SEW management and officials decided to put on a free four match mini show for the masses. Only proviso was that you had to pre-register through the South East Wrestling website to get the free tickets. Another great marketing ploy there by the company, as you had to access the site to get the tickets, therefore opening up the site to newcomers. Good promotion!
With the open training session completed (read my last blog entry here if you already haven’t), SEW staff and academy students had the arduous task of cleaning down the ring and the hall where the afternoons event would be held.
I’d like to point out that the hall where the free show was taking place, isn’t the usual hall where events took place. As it was the Summer Fun Day, the main hall that holds roughly 350 people, was booked out for other events, hence why the training session and free event would be in the smaller hall, tha holds about 175 people. Sounds quite a drop but let me tell you, the noise that the 175 folks made sounded a lot more than it’s numbers!
Being an academy student myself, I did as I was asked (along with my eldest son Luke who attended training with me, and my step daughter Tasha, but as you’ve read my last blog entry, you already know this!). Setting up the chairs, going out into the Fun Day itself with flyers to promote the afternoon’s show, trying to get as much air into the hall as possible, being as it was a very hot summer’s day and coincide that with the crowd, equals one very very hot hall. I even helped out on the SEW stall for a little bit…..Yup, I am a jack of all trades.
Now this show would mean a lot for me personally. I started training at the Academy with one of my closest friends, Dan Conroy. He was just as big a wrestling nut as me and had dipped his toes into training before about ten years ago. He trained with BritWres icons like…..
and even trained with the two-time PWI Bryan Danielson Award winner, and current WWE Cruiserweight Classic competitor, Zack Sabre Jr. Some amazing talent to learn with I’m sure you’ll agree.
Dan had picked up the SEW training like a fish to water, and in recognition of that, South East Wrestling management had decided that he would make his pro wrestling debut today against “The English Lion” Eddie Ryan, in the King Of The Summer Spectacular four man tournament. The other two competitors involved in the tournament were SEW roster regular The Saint, who would face off local lad and fellow academy member Jonny D. Also on the match card was an SEW Championship match between the talented SEW hero Van Wicked or the devilish SEW Champion JD Knight.
After my decision from earlier in the day (last blog post) I was now living vicariously though Dan! Seeing him later in the day, fulfil his dream made me all sorts of proud…..and upset that I had to call it time before I even laced a pair of boots. But whatever the outcome of the match, I would still be able to call Dan not only my friend, but my friend that also happens to be a professional wrestler.
With the hall and ring now clean, the chairs set out, flyers handed around, bell time was soon approaching. While Dan and the rest of the talent were preparing themselves for the afternoon’s events, the hall began to fill up, quickly! Luckily I had already reserved a section of seating for myself, my family, Dan’s family and friends. All in all, I think we took up around 30 seats. Not a bad little entourage for Dan’s pro debut!
Soon enough, the hall was packed out and it was only standing room available. With the fire exit doors open fully it was still a very hot hall, but the crowd didn’t seem to mind. Small chatter soon turned to big cheers and chants when the MC (Master of Ceremonies, not a rapper, I told you, a family friendly promotion) hit the ring and went through the card of the afternoons event.
Summer Spectacular Semi Final One – Conroy vs Eddie Ryan
I have to admit, I was a nervous wreck right before Conroy walked into the hall. You see he had asked myself and another close friend of ours Lee, our help on an entrance theme for him. I was drawing a blank for quite a few hours and then Lee popped up with a golden song choice. “How about Come With Me Now by the Kongos?” A quick Google search and I was convinced that was the song for him. In case you don’t know below is a video of the song. I’m sure you do know it, you just don’t know it by it’s proper title. Anyway enjoy the vid…..
As soon as the song started the crowd (led by us Academy students, family and friends) started clapping or stamping our feet in time with the music. And when the lead singer screamed “WHOA come with me now”, Conroy walked into the hall to a rapturous ovation! I kid you not, I was nearly crying with joy as he walked around the ring, high fiving kids hands, holding his two young children, even kissing my little dude Logan on the forehead! It’s a moment that, much like Dan, I’ll never ever forget.
With the crowd still on a high from Conroy’s entrance, crowd favourite Eddie Ryan made his way to the ring to much applause.
The MC introduced both competitors and referee Dan H to the fans, and then the action was underway….
A quick collar and elbow tie up and both men were in the corner. Referee begins to count and Eddie releases the tie up and walks away. Wow, it looks like it’s a baby face vs baby face match (good guy vs good guy), don’t see them often.
Another quick exchange sees Eddie Ryan knock down Conroy with a stiff looking shoulder tackle. After collecting his thoughts, Conroy got to his feet and shook hands with Ryan, after Eddie extended his hand as an act of good faith. I could hear fellow academy student Ollie (who apparently has taught me eveything I know) starting a “Let’s Go Conroy!” chant on the other side of the hall, so I copied him and got my side of the hall to get involved. Now I’ve started chants at wrestling shows before, some I’m proud of (“You Suck” chant at Kurt Angle on a TNA tour, and watching it spread like wildfire across the arena) and some I’m not so proud of (Telling Jon Ryan to kiss my derriere and then watch Jon’s reaction of actually about to leave the ring and possibly take me up on my offer), but hearing all these people cheer on one of our own Academy students like crazy, is hands down the best.
A few minutes into the match now, and after some superb chain wrestling from both men the pace picked up. Eddie had just given Conroy a Hammerlock Suplex when Dan got up and delivered the sweetest dropkick to Eddie, forcing him out the ring to compose himself. Seriously that dropkick was awesome, look at this if you don’t believe me!
The crowd erupted and got behind the SEW academy boy with chants of “Conroy! Conroy!” echoing around the hall. Eddie rolled back into the ring and once again offered Dan the hand of friendship, and like a fool Dan accepted…..and was treated to a vicious clothesline that felled him while Ryan stood tall, telling the crowd that he’s got to do what he’s got to do to get the win. The crowd showered him back with boos and hisses but it didn’t phase him at all.
The next six or seven minutes of the match was now Eddie Ryan wearing down Conroy, with the occasional pin. Dan was taking a beating in there, being put into a camel clutch, multiple knockdowns, sleeper holds, it was all taking it toll on him. But he wasn’t giving up, he kept on fighting and pushing forward.
Another failed headlock attempt from Eddie, and Conroy didn’t hesitate. Two running clotheslines knocked Ryan to the mat and crawling to a corner, where as he stood, he was met with a Stinger Splash into a DDT in the centre of the ring from the Academy student. Conroy was gaining the upper hand and Eddie was looking in a bad way. Conroy went for the cover and only gained a two count with the crowd convinced that he has done enough to secure his first win on his debut.
Undeterred, Dan went for his finisher as soon as Ryan stood to his feet, The Cutter (an RKO or Diamond Cutter move), but Eddie countered by pushing Conroy away and picking him up into a Firemans Carry. On top of Ryan’s shoulders, Dan did the only thing he could, and elbowed Eddie in the face until he dropped him, and then delivered The Cutter finisher! Quick float over into the cover ……1…..2…..????
Eddie had put his foot onto the rope at the last possible second, halting the count. Myself and the entire hall thought he had won the match right there and then! I have to admit, I was in the process of marking out (wrestling talk for going batshit crazy) and was told by the wife that it was only a two!
Dan protested to the referee Dan H (too many Dan’s in my life, I get confused), picked up Eddie, and was greeted with an awesome superkick that wouldn’t have looked amiss from HBK, Shawn Michaels himself. Quick cover by Eddie, and he had done enough to secure the victory and continue on into the final later this afternoon!
Eddie extended his hand again to Conroy after the match to prove that he isn’t a bad guy after all, to which Dan accepted. Eddie paraded Conroy around the ring telling all who would listen that Dan had a great match and took him to the limit.
Summer Spectacular Semi Final Two – The Saint vs Jonny D
This match also had an Academy flavour to it too with the crowd favourite Jonny D involved. Jonny lives in nearby Dover and has wrestled for quite a few other companies, but this was his debut for SEW. His opponent was The Saint who made his entrance first to a large chorus of boos. Can definitely see who the heel (bad guy) is in this matchup.
Jonny D entered the hall with more energy than Mojo Rawley after three cans of Red Bull! He was slapping high fives and playing air guitar like it was going out of fashion! Quite an entrance for another debut guy!
With Jonny D playing up to the crowd, showing us his air guitar and air drum moves, The Saint was getting agitated. So much so that it wasn’t long into the match that The Saint resorted to nasty underhand tactics to get the upper hand in the match.
With a sizeable weight advantage, The Saint took control and bullied Jonny around the ring, only stopping to berate the children ringside, as all good heels should!
With three quarters of the match gone, and The Saint in total control, Jonny mounted a comeback following a missed corner turnbuckle splash from Saint. Jonny grabbed this opportunity to pepper his opponent with head and body shots, and after hitting a Running Bulldog from the corner, went to cover the Saint but could only garner a two count.
Visibly shocked that he had let Jonny back into the match, Saint again took control with a reverse back elbow that was quickly followed by a snap suplex. Float over cover and again another two. Saint was getting into referee Dan H’s face, convinced that it was a three and the referee was counting too slow. Sneakily, Jonny D rolled The Saint up into a schoolboy as he was arguing with the referee! A very close two count followed and upon getting to his feet, The Saint hit Jonny with a hard clothesline, picked him up for the finish of the match, a Side Slam/Suplex combo. The referee called the inevitable three count and this match was over. The Saint advances into the final where he will face Eddie Ryan for the title of Summer Spectacular.
After two solid matches and two debuts, it was time for a quick 15 minute intermission
Just a quick break in proceedings to shill some social media bits and bobs. I actually have a page on Facebook totally dedicated to this blog. It’s cunningly called “Diary Of A 30 Something Trainee Wrestler”, and you can find it at this link right here. I’d also like to plug mine and South East Wrestling social media too as I have your undivided attention. Click the links, have a gander and if you’re feeling particularly nice, maybe gives us a like and a follow too 😉
South East Wrestling website – http://www.southeastwrestling.co.uk
South East Wrestling Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SouthEastWres
South East Wrestling Twitter – https://twitter.com/SouthEastWres
My Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ski101
My Twitter – https://twitter.com/ski101
I’ll now hand you back over to your regularly scheduled reading material…..
SEW Heavyweight Championship Match – Van Wicked vs JD Knight (c)
In something that wouldn’t look amiss from the WCW era, there was a massive swerve (storyline change to the uninitiated) to begin this match. It seemed that traveling down to Kent to defend his title was beneath JD Knight, so he sent his good buddy Lomaxx instead to defend the title for him.
Lomaxx entered the ring (after scaring a few kids ringside, including Logan who gripped onto me for dear life!), grabbed the mic from the MC and proclaimed that his good buddy JD said he could defend the title for him, against anyone in the back, anyone that dared to set foot inside the ring with him.
A silence fell the room when all of a sudden the all too familiar tune of Van Wicked’s entrance theme rang around the hall (sorry, but I don’t know the name of the tune, banging as it is) and out he came to answer the challenge. A few words were said when Van Wicked took the offensive and hit Lomaxx around the head with the mic, followed by a few right hands and a dropkick to make Lomaxx fall out the ring to collect his thoughts. All the while I have Logan in my ear saying that Lomax deserves it for scaring him.
After some ringside action, Lomaxx gained the upper hand rolled Wicked into the ring, and began to beat him down with clotheslines, back elbows and hard whips into the corner turnbuckles. A few covers from Lomaxx to win the match but no joy, only two counts.
A turn of fortunes came for Van Wicked, when Lomaxx went for a big splash in the corner but came up empty when Wicked moved out of the way at the last minute. Lomaxx hit the turnbuckles at speed and was visibly winded. Seeing his opportunity, Wicked scaled the corner turnbuckle and hit Lomaxx with a flying cross body block, but again, he could only get a two count too. After protesting with the referee a bit too much, Van Wicked turned around to be faced with a quite awesome chokeslam from Lomaxx, but even after such a high impact move, Lomaxx could only garner a two from referee Dan H.
Following a missed leg drop from Lomaxx, Van Wicked gained control of the match…..for a few seconds until his running bulldog was reversed and Lomaxx threw Wicked halfway across the ring. Upon picking up of Wicked, Lomaxx went to throw his opponent across the ring but this too was reversed into a rather sweet DDT (ala The Rock back in his prime. Look it up).
Sensing this was his moment, Van Wicked, with the help from the roaring crowd, once again climbed onto the top turnbuckle and delivered a Randy Savage-esque diving elbow deep into the heart of Lomaxx. The referee made the count, and this time it stuck. We had a winner, and a NEWWWWWW South East Wrestling Champion………Vaaaaaaan Wicked! (Google Tony Chimel doing Edge’s entrance and you’ll see why I wrote it like that)
Overcome with emotion, an overjoyed Van Wicked celebrated the win with his adoring fans at ringside, before leaving with his newly acquired championship.
The crowd were intense after that match, and with only the final of the Summer Spectacular Tournament left, it certainly seemed that the intensity would continue.
Summer Spectacular Tournament Final – The Saint vs Eddie Ryan
Would the extra 20 minute rest help Eddie or not, that was the question I heard around the crowd where I was sat.
Ok, I gotta hold my hands up here and show you why this is a blog/report rather than an actual report. You see the video I took of this match, didn’t actually save to my phone, so I have no reference to write about this match, apart from my memory. Which we all know (hello regular readers) isn’t as reliable as it used to be.
So what I’m gonna do, is tell you how the crowd were, what I was thinking, and the finish of the match. I remember that as it was, in the words of Mr Orton, outta nowhere! Now I may lose loyal readers, even fans (wow I hope I do have fans, that’ll be super awesome!) for the way I finish this report, but I’d rather be true to myself and you folks than to write some rubbish up and be told down the line that it didn’t happen.
Now, back to the action (or lack of action as the case may be)…..
The feeling around the hall was one of joy. Not long after seeing Van Wicked pick the SEW Championship, they were looking forward to seeing Eddie Ryan pick up the win in this tournament final.
Throughout the match, The Saint resorted to underhanded tactics to pick up the win. But with the eagle-eyed referee Dan H, the indomitable spirit of Eddie Ryan, and possibly the most raucous crowd I’ve been in for quite a while, The Saint came up short.
Eddie picked up the win (via his superkick), the title of Summer Spectacular Tournament Winner!
Eddie was awarded his trophy in the middle of the ring, as The Saint skulked his way to the back, angry that after trying every trick in the book, he still came up short.
The crowd gave Eddie Ryan a tremendous ovation as he ran around the ring before going to the back for a well deserved shower and rest.
And with that, the afternoon’s event was over. The entire hall left in joyous spirits, Dan’s family were proud as punch for witnessing his debut match, and Logan left happy as he exclaimed, in his own words folks “Now that Dan is a wrestler, I can’t wait to see him against Kane”……Balls in your court now Dan, don’t let Logan down!
Now I know this is a bit of a wordy column, and I truly hope that you’ve made it this far and I’ve kept you entertained. The only way i can get better is by getting feedback from you, my loyal fans! (Look, now that I’ve written it, I want it. Even if you’re not a fan, I will start calling you that, so in the words of one of my heroes Ric Flair, learn to like it and learn to love it!……Now I need a name for you all……hmmmmm answers on a postcard). So please, let me know what you did or didn’t like. You can leave a comment here on the blog, or click the social media buttons at the top to talk to me on Facebook or Twitter.
Again, I can’t thank you enough for reading my work. Muchos Lovos x
Photos from the event courtesy of Claire Prescott Photography