Not that long ago it felt like every other week I was going to a Pride show, I haven’t been to one now in bloody ages and I’ve missed their events a lot. So it was great to go to Penzance to see them again.
Before any review though I have to say thank you to Karla Bowden for organising the minibus down to Penzance from Plymouth. She was a complete life saver and it was all so wonderfully organised. So thank you Karla!
Eddie Ryan vs Big Grizzly Steve Griffiths (c)
PRO WRESTLING PRIDE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Winner : Big Grizzly Steve Griffiths
When we all heard that the title match was the opening match we all were all a bit shocked but they couldn’t have had a better match to open with.
A real clash of two of the best in their company and it was a great way to get the crowd pumped for the night. The whole crowd were behind Eddie, which does not come as a surprise at all, and he took the fight to Grizzly, who has been a one man destruction crew as champion.
They played up to Grizzly’s size advantage a lot. Not sure after the first time you can’t flip him over why you’d try again but that was the way it went. Grizzly just stomped a hole into Ryan a lot of the match, even taking it outside the ring and up round the bar area. When Ryan did get control it was through his speed and very mean looking kicks. Dude has one mean super kick. Unfortunately it takes more then that to take down a Grizzly bear.
Last part of the match had me on the edge of my seat. Waiting for either Eddie to finally throw Grizzly or Grizzly to finally Chokeslam Eddie made me realised how torn I was over who I wanted to win. Another real near fall for Eddie means my mum now actually could murder Ed Dyer, because of course its all his fault, one day he’ll actually get a three count. A nice and long match but it never felt like it dragged, it was the perfect length really.
With Grizzly winning it kind of leaves you asking the question just who the hell can beat him? I’m sad, as you’d guess, that Eddie didn’t get the win. Another tough and brilliant match to add to his 2016, I’m sure he’ll be facing Grizzly, or indeed whoever the champion might be by the time he gets another shot, soon for the belt. You can’t deny though that Griffiths is the man and if I’m honest with you I’m happy he’s still champ because he’s just awesome. I wonder who his next challenger will be and whether they’ll be able to take him down.
House of Bones & Chris Walker (w/ Vixxen) vs Chris Andrews / Adam da Silva / Ultimo Dragon
Winners : House of Bones & Chris Walker
I am sad. Adam got all beat up again. It is always sad news to tell you that Adam got beat up. The heart he has though, he never gives up and that is what matters!
No need to tell you how much I love House of Bones, Andrews or da Silva and you might have guessed from the first time I ever saw Chris Walker at Prizefighters that I love him too so this match was already a winner in my eyes before Ultimo Dragon walked out.
The opening round of tags was good, getting everyone involved and keeping the pace steady. Walker vs Dragon was great, though I did keep giggling whenever Walker did something stupid. Yeah I get that I say he’s funny a lot but he is very funny AND extremely talented. Then Adam got tagged in and it all went a little wrong for his side. House of Bones spent the vast majority of the rest of the match dominating, keeping Adam in their corner. Walker actually worked well with Lomax and Gideon, in so far as they are all gits and like picking on small people.
Ultimo Dragon is just someone you need to witness live in your life once. I’m amazed that even the photos I took of him turned out pretty much perfect and sparkling. Loved seeing him go up against House of Bones but it was his bit with Walker, as I said above, that I loved. Andrews throwing people around like they weigh nothing, as always, is my thing. Never attempt to double team Chris Andrews because he will just end up throwing you both.
Lomax once more stole the match though. I don’t know what it is about him but he’s just great fun to watch. He’s cocky and funny but just basically destroys whoever he’s in the ring with. He’s obviously stumbled at the last hurdle getting his own number one contenders spot (being eliminated by Sami at Christmas and beaten by Eddie at Prizefighters) and I think him up against Grizzly is a match I REALLY wanna see now.
The match ended with poor Adam getting pinned by Lomax. It was a great match though, you are kinda guaranteed a great match when House of Bones or Andrews comes down. Adding Walker and Ultimo Dragon just made it even better.
Kelly Sixx vs Shelton Benjamin
Winner : Shelton Benjamin
What can I say?
Was never a huge fan of Shelton Benjamin’s if I’m honest with you but sometimes it just doesn’t matter at all. Its kinda a completely different thing seeing them on TV and then seeing them live, regardless of whether you liked them or not you can feel that its something special.
For some reason I was so happy it was Kelly that got the chance to face him too. The guy was seriously impressive up against Eddie Ryan at Prizefighters and he impressed again tonight. In fact the match went his way for a good majority of it, one thing I like about him is that he can spring one attack out of nowhere when the match turns against him and it swings back in his favour but he does it so naturally that it just amazes you.
With the Soul Society actually making its presence felt now its nice to see Kelly get a match like this one.
I guess the match was a little slow in places but it was exciting nonetheless. Keizer kinda got involved at the last moment, being pulled into the ring by Kelly as he tried to help him get to the ropes when Benjamin put him in a ankle lock and then distracting the ref as Kelly tapped out. It gave Kelly the chance to low below Benjamin and attempt to go for a cheap win, it backfired. Great end to the match though.
Benjamin got the win which proves that cheaters don’t always prosper, it was a brilliant match for Sixx though who is very talented and a lot of fun to watch.
I also must apologise to Keizer… As he was telling us to turn our phones off I was filming him on mine… Then he had a rant about uploading things to the internet and in the interval I uploaded his speech to the internet…. My only point being how am I meant to spread the word of the Soul Society if I don’t let people see his wonderful speech? My bad.
(You can probably see the video if you click onto my Facebook page, I made it public… I lose track of what is and isn’t public on my page though. In trying to keep some people from being able to see what I’m doing I did have restrictions of all sorts on there… Its worth giving the link a go though IF you want to see what Keizer said.)
Kotaro Suzuki (c) vs Ultimo Tiger
WRESTLE 1 CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Winner : Kotaro Suzuki
Match of the night easily. That isn’t even coming from a biased Tiger fan (in my Tiger t-shirt), in the Meet and Greet line and on the minibus home there was little argument that it was the match of the night.
It was breathtaking. There aren’t words to describe seeing Suzuki in action but holy heck did Tiger step up his game AGAIN to bring the fight to him. When you think he can’t get any better he rises to the occasion and blows the roof off the building. It is not the first time I was left speechless by just how well he stood toe to toe with someone like Suzuki. I should really stop being surprised by now, I should probably stop SAYING I’m surprised because it sounds like I have no actual faith in his talent.
It was a match that really built up to the explosion at the end. Tiger threw everything at him, lots of high energy attacks. Loved seeing Tiger get riled up in the middle of the match, the snap of the head to glare at Suzuki was amazing and just that one moment you could see in the match itself Tiger taking it up another gear.
Seriously though… When the DVD comes out if you can get it get it. If you don’t live close enough to a show send someone you know close enough to a show to go get it because it was just a phenomenal match.
OK so it was obvious that Suzuki would win it but like the Omega match yeah Tiger didn’t get the victory but he matched up to his opponent and will only use the loss to further improve. I am gonna call it now that the end of the year will see a much stronger, much more confident and completely in control Tiger taking over. I’d say that he’d set the world on fire but he’s already done that, he just needs that one little thing to connect it altogether and get the winning streak going.
What a match though. What. A. Match. Very proud to have been wearing my Tiger t-shirt to the event. Always a proud fan no matter the result.
Soul Society vs Johnny Kidd & Danny Jones
Winners : Soul Society
Keizer was back out, this time for a actual fight which made me smile as I haven’t seen him wrestle for a while now and I do like seeing him in the ring. He was with Charlie Garrett who I had never seen before but loved him from the moment he got in the ring. The Soul Society is looking mighty at the moment with Garrett and Sixx flanking Keizer.
It was Johnny Kidds final match in Cornwall and the match was good. Kidd and Jones worked well together, Keizer and Garrett were a bit messy at times but a lot of fun to watch. There is something about Danny Jones I just don’t like, he’s like one of those good guys that are just too good guy-ish you want to slap him…. Or maybe I just like the bad guys too much? They are usually much more entertaining and funny. You just look at Jones and imagine the sound effects…
Really liked Garrett when he was in the ring. Honestly stole the match for me, specially when he was in there against Kidd.
Things got a bit messy near the end, Soul Society got the win but it was a fun match, nice to see Kiezer wrestling, for me a great introduction to Garrett and also brilliant to see a growing Soul Society. After the match Darren got in the ring to say thanks to Kidd who got a great round of applause. You could feel the match was special.
Scotty Essex (c) vs Carlito
PRO WRESTLING PRIDE CATCH DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Winner : Scotty Essex
When Darren announced that Scotty was main eventing I nearly jumped out of my chair in happiness. Like I could honestly not be happier if I tried.
The match was a show stopper. Essex was classified as uncool by Carlito, you all know what happens to people that aren’t cool in Carlito’s mind. He got over the apple spitting though. Its not like its the first time this year someone has spat something in Essex’s face (lets not forget the green mist from Tajiri…) and knowing him it probably won’t be the last time.
OK so the match wasn’t as good as Suzuki/Tiger but it was one hell of a main event. There was a lot of touching of Carlito’s hair to begin with which to be honest I can’t blame Scotty because he has lovely hair.
It wasn’t until I got home and looked through my photos that I realised they spent a lot of their match in one of the four corners, or at least I took a lot of photos when they were in the corners. Scotty controlled the match and kept it at his pace, even when his moves didn’t connect (dude has seriously awesome top rope skills) he was able to out manouver Carlito to take control of the match.
Then it went a bit wrong when he went for a chop on the outside of the ring and Carlito dodged. I heard the whack of Scotty’s hand into the corner of the ring from the other side of the arena and it sounded like it hurt. A very close call for Carlito came soon after.
In the end Scotty got his trophy, distracted the ref and Carlito enough to get the victory. Smart win by Scotty but what a match up?
With Scotty winning I was extremely happy though, and I do apologise for admitting it, I did find Carlito’s “I’m a sore loser” bit very funny. Scotty continues to shine though and you have to love the guy. He puts on a great show all the time.
MEET AND GREET
The best one yet. Not just because we got rushed to the front of the queue to get us out but it was great. I love watching Scotty walk around the place, he stays in character up until the point you actually get to talk to him.
I got to meet everyone. Got a photo with Carlito but that was mainly just so I could show it to a friend who loves Carlito.
On the merchandise table Suzuki and Dragon were signing. They were really nice though Suzuki’s signature goes on forever, I was mesmerised watching him sign my poster. Dragon was very cheerful, I liked him.
Then my mum got into a long winded conversation about growing up with wrestling in Plymouth with Johnny Kidd as Charlie Garrett got bored waiting. He did make me laugh but my mum and Kidd weren’t paying the slightest bit of attention to him. I was going to ask for a photo with him but kinda just threw my poster at him as he moaned and then turned around and saw Scotty!
Scotty was given his own Swampy. Little Swampy Essex seemed happy enough with his new owner. As always I got to talk for a while with Scotty, I love talking to him, and he let me take a load of selfies with him which made my day, specially as around lunch time I was determined I didn’t want to go and was very close to not going, I’m happy I forced myself to get over my strange mood because that just made me so happy. He said he might bring Swampy Essex with him next time, I can’t go to Bideford as I’m working but I’m going to Teignmouth now as part of my birthday weekend celebration (along with Total Chaos in Yate on the Saturday!) so I’ll let you know if there is a Swampy there. (And yes I’m going to post most of them just not the really blurry ones….)
I finally got a photo with Grizzly which was just as great as my photo with Sami. Have I mentioned how much I love these guys?
Vixxen actually took our selfie for me this time and it is why it turned out really well. She’s lovely, she’s always lovely. I wasn’t aware I could take nice pictures though I think its more her then me.
Then Tiger called Swampy a lizard, or a Essex supporting lizard to be exact. Swampy wanted me to burn my Tiger t-shirt when I got home. I didn’t but I can’t leave him alone in the same room with it. Always love my photos with Tiger though. Ain’t he the best?
Plus I got one with Eddie. Because why not? Plus I loved his t-shirt.
FINAL THOUGHTS ….
I loved it. I think I say that at the end of every Pride show. I can’t fault them.
Darren was great on the mic all night. Then again how he forgot to give Ed Dyer his proper introduction I don’t know, that was nearly a sad moment, thankfully he was reminded in time that we all need to know that he’s the only referee with a degree to count to three.
I liked that they tried to split the meet and greet with Carlito and Shelton Benjamin up from the other one by having it in the interval, I wasn’t too bothered about it so didn’t go up and it was only because too many people wanted to see them that I ended up meeting them at the end. They apologised for it being a little badly organised but I think it was pretty well organised if I’m honest, I don’t mind standing around waiting and Naomi and crew are always really helpful.
Match of the night was Suzuki vs Tiger by a huge margin. It was just a match you will have to buy the DVD to watch. Even though he called Swampy a lizard Tiger was the man of the evening too, honestly ask me anything you want about the night and I’ll turn the conversation back to either how lovely Scotty Essex was at the meet and greet (which I actually did cry through Messenger and text to Fiona about and was actually holding back tears on the minibus so people I didn’t know didn’t see me crying over someone being nice, its always a hard one to explain that) or how amazing Tiger was in his match.
It was like a show full of main events. Every single one of them could have headlined the show.
The only bad thing I have to say about the evening, even though it had nothing to do with Pride, was one child who was sat somewhere behind me who had to stand on me EVERY SINGLE TIME he pushed through to stand by the ring. None of the other kids went out of their way to stand on me (my foot wasn’t even in the walk way, he literally had to reach his foot out behind the chair in front of mine to stand on me) but that is the only bad thing. I don’t know what I did to upset this one kid but obviously I’ve made myself a enemy down in Penzance. My foot is very sore, I hope he’s happy.
Loved my seats at the end of a row, it was weird having reserved seats, its the first time I’d been in the first or second row. We’re in second for RVD in Taunton but moved to front row for Teignmouth and Paignton. Why the heck not?
Top quality matches from beginning to end. Great match ups too, really they were on top of their game with this one. I’ve been keeping notes just in case we do a end of the year thing this year (my memory is so bad I need notes in my life) and just the entirety of this event went down for candidates for favourite matches. It was just amazing how after every match you felt like the next one couldn’t be better, it could be as good but not better, and then they went on to be better… Well until Suzuki/Tiger.
Main event was awesome. Scotty is a natural Main Eventer. Was on my feet cheering him. Someone make a Scotty Essex t-shirt I will buy 7, one for every day of the week.
Really well organised too. Even when they were struggling to fit people in Darren could be seen running around the place looking as calm as anything sorting it all out. Him, Naomi and their whole crew are as always helpful and friendly. As I said, can’t fault them at all.
So thank you to Pride once more. I did come home and instantly spend all my spare money on tickets for more shows! You guys absolutely rock. You are always so professional but also appear so laid back. When things do go wrong you are always open with the crowd about it and its just always a great atmosphere. Best night out you could possibly ask for and well worth the travel sickness that follows!
Give them a follow all over social media :
For me the next time I’m going to (breath) be at a wrestling show is after a long ass bus journey to Bristol, followed by another one to Yate for Pro Wrestling Chaos on May 21st. I will be getting back to Plymouth at a ungodly hour just to then have to get up and train it to Teignmouth for Pride’s show on the 22nd, that is now all part of my birthday present to myself (and I am working 10 out of the next 11 days INCLUDING my birthday on the 20th). Fanboy number 1 (James) I shall see you in Bristol hopefully for birthday fun! I’m apparently going somewhere for pizza and cider with my mum and aunt before the show so…. I’m sorry my first impressions are probably going to be me giggling a lot and more then likely telling you how you need to COME AND SEE TIGER AND SCOTTY OMG WHY GO TO YATE WHEN YOU COULD GO TO TAUNTON NEXT MONTH?! Damn you…..
We will now resume our normal anime filled blogging. Until next time.
Plus, obviously, lots of photos being posted on Instagram so go check out my account (@Awerka because it ain’t like it isn’t my username EVERYWHERE) for various different photos (and some the same) edited. It takes me a while to load them (I get bored and my mind wanders) or else I load helluva lot at one point so its worth checking it out if you wanna see my terrible photos. Plus there will be at least one video loaded on there (not the Keizer one as its too long though I might cut some of it and post two or three parts of it) so yeah… Check that out.