Pride Promotions : Ultimate Prizefighters

Finally I managed to drag my backside to a Pride show this year and it just so happened to be a belter of a show.

GIDEON vs JOHN HARDING
FIRST ROUND MATCH
WINNER : Gideon

So the tournament started off with a strange duo. Gideon in his full crazy gear and Harding his usual Rocker self.

John did the absolute right thing and started off trying to out pace Gideon using fast moves to gain the upper hand but as his new, very cool, get up kinda pointed to this is a new and much more violently minded Gideon. Any chance he got he was throwing Harding around like Harding weighed nothing but he couldn’t put the Rocker down.

Some really good moves in the match, always love seeing Harding pull out the Fameasser and I’m sure I didn’t imagine some cool spinny shit out of the corner, unfortunately at the time I was distracted and looked back to see the end connecting but the little I did see looked really cool which isn’t always a word I use to describe John Harding especially when he comes off of the ropes. Then again I can’t even remember if I saw it so we’ll move on.

Gideon had to pull down deep and pull out the very simple and very useful distraction tactic to cheat to win. Distracted Martin Longley with the Kendo stick he had something stuffed in his mouth and spat it out over Harding’s face leaving the Rocker wide open and gaining Gideon the three count.

I wasn’t too upset with the result as I really wanted to see Gideon vs Eddie Ryan at some point in the evening. Started off the tournament well. Great opener, you can always trust Harding to be a good opener guy though as its just in his nature to get the whole crowd behind him. On the other hand Gideon especially with this get up is so easy to boo because he just looks creepy.

 

GRAYSON REEVES vs EDDIE RYAN
FIRST ROUND MATCH
WINNER : Eddie Ryan

There are only a few select times I won’t cheer for Eddie Ryan and at this moment one of those times is if he ever faces Grayson Reeves. Even though, as I just said, I was rooting for Ryan vs Gideon at some point I’d have happily have missed that match up if it meant getting to see Grayson win.

Unfortunately he was completely manhandled by Eddie Ryan. I mean he had some good moments in places but Eddie Ryan looked like he was just out there having fun, which he was having and did have most of the night.

I’ve said it a million times but Eddie Ryan is a phenomenal wrestler, the guy makes things look so simple all the time. Whatever Grayson sent flying at him he had a reversal and he made it look easy. In fact whilst Gideon looked like he had a fight on his hands in round one Eddie looked like he was having a friendly warm up.

Really enjoyed the match though, first round matches aren’t going to be the greatest matches of the evening but it was a good showing between the two. Really once more showed just how much Grayson improves every time he gets in the ring.

Fun match with Ryan moving into the second round, never thought it would happen any differently. You ain’t going to build up the home town boy just for him to go out in the first round, sad times though because it meant no more Grayson for the night.

BUDDAINE vs ADAM MAXTED
FIRST ROUND MATCH
WINNER : Adam Maxted

It was meant to be the UK Dominator vs Adam Maxted but in a twist like last year with Keizer and Kelly Sixx, Dom came out and announced some kind of weird savage like thing called Buddaine as his replacement who would win the tournament for him.

Buddaine’s character is absolutely crazy. It seemed so odd watching it but you instantly liked it. Its unique down this way I guess, up until now everyone was either just a badass, a Superhero or a anime character so now we also have Gideon who has gone crazy and a savage.

I was no fan of Adam’s Pride debut last year but I have to say in three months the guy has gotten a lot better, or else December was just a off night. He looked much more confident being in the ring and was the guy who held the match together. I don’t know much about Buddaine so in relation to Adam and his experience I don’t really know who has the most experience but Adam looked brilliant out there whilst Buddaine not so much at times.

Loved Dom at ringside too, he kept it ticking along and broke up the match enough that any failings Buddaine might have we didn’t really notice. Adam took the challenge of basically a handicap match like a champ and managed to beat Buddaine. Throwing Dom over the top rope onto Buddaine to get the three count was hilarious but I have to praise Adam’s drop kicks because they are gorgeous. Absolutely stunning drop kicks.

Big improvement from Adam and another fun match. I mean the UK Dominator is always fun to see at ringside no matter what he’s doing but him letting his pet idiot out was fun. Best part of the night was at the Meet & Greet when Prides own anime character was telling Buddaine to stop grunting and talk. Ultimo Tiger was the most normal person in the duo and I’m still sure he isn’t a real person.

JOSHUA KNOTT vs GRADO
FIRST ROUND MATCH
WINNER : Grado

Joshua Knott is extremely underappreciated. The guy is such a good wrestler but he’s also so entertaining. Out of all the guys that give long ass speeches down this way he is only beaten by Keizer in how good he delivers sneering messages to us. His character is so simple yet he plays it so well and when he has to do silly things he does it really well. I loved watching him being chased around the ring by Grado and his reaction as Grado did his thing in the ring was priceless.

It wasn’t as good as the match against Chuckie C last time Grado was down here in Plymouth but it was a fun match. Josh is a great sport and every time he tried to get the match on a serious path Grado just did what Grado does. The best bit was when Josh tried to lift Grado and he couldn’t, whilst I actually think Josh could lift him it was just a funny moment and Grado’s reaction to it all, even though I was watching from behind, was priceless.

Can’t help but love Grado though and he had the whole room in fits of giggles the whole time and pretty much everyone on their feet dancing with him when he won too.

GIDEON vs GRADO
SECOND ROUND MATCH
WINNER : Gideon

There wasn’t a match. Whilst Grado danced his way into the ring (there had been a five minute interval between his match with Josh and this one) Knott attacked from behind, when he was finished he rolled Grado into the ring, the bell rang, Gideon pinned him and it was all over.

Gideon goes to the final.

Afterwards though Grado gets the upper hand on Josh AGAIN and he challenges Josh to a Catch Division Championship match in Exeter, Darren also tells Josh that he can only retain the trophy if he pins Grado in the middle of the ring, if he gets counted out or disqualified then Grado gets the trophy.

Really happy to see this match though as it probably will be a tad more serious then the match we saw tonight seeing as Grado is pissed as hell with Knott. Should be a good re-match.

ADAM MAXTED vs EDDIE RYAN
SECOND ROUND MATCH
WINNER : Eddie Ryan

Probably my favourite match of the night and made me a complete fan of Adam’s.

The thing with Adam is I think he’s meant to be like a cool character so he doesn’t really interact. He just marches to the ring, does his stuff and marches out again. Compare that to Andrews or even Ryan who get the crowd behind them and have a similar in ring style for me Adam comes across as boring and/or not confident. He seemed to let his guard down in the match though where Eddie Ryan managed to squeeze in his usual masterclass with some messing around for the home town crowd. I would kinda like to see Adam let his guard down more, he seems like he’s totally focused on one thing and forgets he’s performing so it becomes very insular whilst Eddie Ryan always has one eye on performing and one eye on what the crowd are doing.

It was a good match up though and really brought out the strengths in Adam Maxted. It was very different from both of their first round matches and is actually a match I’d like to see again sometime in the future.

Ryan looked unstoppable though, even when he was on the defensive he didn’t look like he was ever going to lose to Adam. He goes on to face Gideon in the final which is the match I wanted to see.

TYLER HAWKE vs ULTIMO TIGER (c) vs LOMAX
PRIDE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
WINNER : Ultimo Tiger

It was originally going to be a tag team match, turned into a one-on-one match against Hawke and Tiger and when Lomax came out angry at how the two guys in the ring could be fighting for a Heavyweight championship it became a triple threat.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve been moaning and bitching about not being able to go to Pride shows and see Tiger perform. Out of all my favourites Tiger is the one that I can only see at Pride, the others tend to at some point show up at PWA, so it will pain you all to know I was kinda disappointed with the match.

With these three guys you think we’d have a real great match on our hands but it didn’t have that spark that any of their matches tend to have. Lomax was by far the saving grace of the match, his agility is mind blowing and him throwing himself around the ring is something you won’t believe he could do so beautifully till you see it. His inclusion though was what made it so bland which is the funny thing. Hawke vs Tiger would no doubt have been a great match but it never really got off the ground. With these kind of matches you tend to see the big guy being eliminated for large periods of the time and then the smaller guys going at it, or like the great triple threat I saw the other month the annoying one eliminated and the other two going at it. They would eliminate Lomax though, show off a little, then go straight back to Lomax.

They never really managed to put Lomax out long enough to fight each other and Lomax was just too big for either of them to really face in a triple threat. Their double teaming on him was great, as was the double chokeslam on them. But everything in between was kind of bland.

Don’t really know if the ending was planned or improvised because it was poor. If it was improvised because Hawke was injured it would have made more sense for Lomax not to have kicked out when Tiger pinned him, specially as he crawled out of ringside afterwards, if it was planned then it was just a boring end.

Hope Tyler gets better soon.

GIDEON vs EDDIE RYAN
FINAL ROUND
WINNER : Eddie Ryan

It was a great match. Perfect way to end the tournament and saw two of the best Pride have to offer going face-to-face.

Loved the bad blood at the beginning when Ryan stood up for his home crowd, it turned into a bit of a brawl which isn’t Ryan’s strong point. It went out of the ring and saw refs flying everywhere. Poor Owen was stripped, Ed came out just to be taken out and after two Superkicks Gideon finally fell.

It had a little bit of everything for everyone.

The ending was especially good. I don’t know why I’m a sucker for this kind of ending but I loved that Gideon didn’t go down to the original kick so called for Ryan to give him another. I mean on one hand it is a bit pointless but I like it, specially because Gideon is building himself to be a bit of a monster. Showing just how much Ryan had to do to knock him out for a really long three count was good.

Eddie becomes the first double winner, back to back winner as well, of the Ultimate Prizefighters and will face either Tiger or Joel Redman who is the number one contender, for the championship when they come back to Plymouth later in the year. Everyone will know I’d prefer it to be Tiger vs Eddie, not only are they two of my three favourite wrestlers down here at the moment but I don’t like Joel Redman at all. One of my very unpopular opinions but I just don’t like him but I have a feeling we might be seeing Ryan vs Redman. Either way tonight, in front of his home fans, Eddie Ryan was victorious.

MEET & GREET

Once more I shall scar you all for life with photos of myself! Just because he’s one of the wrestlers I’ve enjoyed watching ever since I first saw him (in a match against Darren Saviour surprisingly for anyone who can’t remember me ever saying so) and my niece’s favourite wrestler in the world I got a photo with Josh Knott.

Seriously my niece loves him to pieces, thinks he’s the greatest and we have no idea why. She stole all my DVDs just to watch Josh. Whilst her love for Eddie Ryan, JD Knight and Ultimo Tiger can be brought back to me and her love for Tyler Hawke is half because she thinks he’s the prettiest man in the world no one knows why she’s a Josh Knott fan she just is. So this one was for her…

Ha ha, I beat you seven year old Pickled Onion Face.

Sadly I once again looked like absolute shit, this time though I have a hard day of work to blame for it and a haircut that is long overdue still not having happened. Therefore my quest to get a nice photo with Grayson Reeves failed miserably and I’m just going to give up because he’s obviously too pretty for me ever to have a nice photo with (seriously because of the swelling in my neck at the moment I looked like Jabba the Hut in a funny wig. Its disgusting even if I did then make it my Facebook picture) so yeah I won’t make you all hate me and upload that piece of crap.

I did get a photo with John Harding, mainly because the dude has been a positive force in my life recently and I always talk shit about him on here but he takes what I say in, which he doesn’t need to because I talk a lot of bollocks, and still is a top bloke when I see him. His motivational speeches at PWA to me about life in general are things I do remember and when I have bad times in my life, which are plenty seeing that I can’t go a day without my depression playing up badly, his words come back to me and I pull myself out of it. Not always a fan of his wrestling but a absolute fan of him as a human being. You do get to see this photo though because I didn’t look too bad in it.

As always I got a photo with Tiger but again I look terrible in it so you get a pass there, also get a pass for my photo with the Ultimate Prizefighter because again I looked terrible and my mum cut the top of his head off anyway in them so they are kinda crappy photos. BUT you do get a photo with me and Adam Maxted who is the sweetest guy in the world at Meet & Greets but I never hear what he says to me so end up smiling and nodding a lot.

Oh and on my way out I saw Darren so decided to get a photo with him too. As I said above he was in the first match I ever saw Josh Knott in (good old blurry blue pants) and I was a fan of his before he gave up wrestling. He puts the shows on and I’ve always loved Pride shows, him and Naomi absolutely rock as humans as well and always doing their best for the fans at their shows. So why the hell not get a photo with him?

FINAL THOUGHTS

It was really nice to be back at a Pride show. The New Continental Ballroom is a interesting venue for the wrestling, rather low ceiling but it didn’t stop the action. Really enjoyed the venue and will be nice to go back see Pride there again, the Guild Hall is something special but I kinda liked the new place the best out of the three venue’s Pride have been to here in Plymouth.

As always the guys and girls at Pride put on one heck of a show, from top to bottom it was amazing.

Last years event was the first time I saw Kelly Sixx and that guy went on to be one of my wrestlers of the year this time out it was the first time we’d seen — and whilst his character is a bit strange the guy was pretty decent in the ring. Hope to see him again and hopefully like Sixx he grows stronger as the year progresses.

All the matches were crazy good, loved the tournament and they did a good job of pairing them up, I’m probably also the only person in the world that was kinda happy that Grado didn’t really face Gideon because I love when Grado is crazy fun and Gideon crazy crazy and I don’t think it would have worked if they had gone against each other. Gideon vs Ryan was the absolute best main event though, really feel for poor Owen who had his shirt ripped off by Gideon and feel Ed Dyer had his superhero moment cut short unfairly. He was like a badass out there taking none of Gideon’s crap just to get attacked horribly by Gideon. Was nice to see Ed again after he missed PWA’s first show of the year, sad to see him get beat up. Also Owen did a good job as a ref, do love Owen and for a change he didn’t do anything to get told off by Darren.

Match of the night for me was actually Ryan vs Maxted. I just really enjoyed it. Mixed a really serious match with some fun moments, Eddie Ryan was really enjoying himself playing up to the crowd and its the best match (out of three) I’ve seen Adam in and made me excited about him being part of the Pride Money in the Bank match in Exeter.

Wrestler of the night is very obviously Eddie Ryan becoming the only two time Prizefighters winner. Think this tournament win was better then the last one and the last one was pretty impressive. Guy is one of the best every time he goes out to wrestle but he’s just that much more impressive when he’s got his home crowd behind him. You also know he’s focused and about to kick ass when he comes out in his Argyle shirt.

A great night.

As always follow Pride online…

Website :Β http://www.prowrestlingpride.com/

Facebook : Pro Wrestling Pride UK
Twitter : @ProPWPΒ 

OnDemand :Β https://vimeo.com/ondemand/pwpfl

Also as I posted here Grayson Reeves has a new t-shirt available for pre-orders so give him a shout to buy this lovely t-shirt over on Facebook : Grayson Reeves

With the way our rota’s are and my inability to ask in plenty of time for the days I need off (and my luck in general) I don’t know when I will next get a chance to go to Pride but brought tickets for Taunton so hoping I will defo make it then.

I apologise to anyone who tried to talk to me and got a grunt in response, those who were there and I didn’t say hi to. I had a hard day at work, got shouted at by my taxi driver because I lost track of time and didn’t leave work on time, and had a growing migraine the whole night long. My phone was also not happy as it was low battery all night so the photos didn’t come out great but the ones I was able to salvage are below.

 

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