Pride Promotions : Heroes & Legends 5

After two days of shows Pride finally set up camp in Plymouth for their big Heroes & Legends 5 show. So many of the names advertised for the show didn’t make it for various reasons but they managed to pull one of the best nights of wrestling out of the bag anyway.

LOMAXX & MAD DOG VINNIE CLAY & DOUG WILLIAMS vs EDDIE DENNIS & KELLY SIXX & EDDIE RYAN
Winners : Eddie Dennis & Kelly Sixx & Eddie Ryan
Photo Album : Match 1

Really great opening match, getting Eddie Ryan out first thing really fired the crowd up but it was just a match full of absolutely amazing wrestlers.

What made it such a good opening match though was that it was fun. It was just the bad guys being naughty and the good guys overcoming the odds and it helped that one of those good guys is just a hero in Plymouth. Doug Williams and Lomaxx are just so easy to boo, they don’t even have to be up to any kind of shenanigans to annoy the crowd because they are just cocky and wind up the crowd whilst beating up their opponent. When the fight did go to the outside Williams used the space in the Guildhall to not just attack Eddie Dennis, who was the poor guy who had been taken out of the ring, but parade him around so everyone could see what was happening.

For me Kelly Sixx stole the match. He’s never in these matches for long enough in my, very biased, opinion but he doesn’t need to be because he’s so fluid in everything he does its just real fun to watch. I mean I was impressed with Hard Flyer, I mean who couldn’t be, on the Friday and again in this show but at times it feels like you’re watching a acrobat or something whereas whilst Sixx is much slower then Hard Flyer his moves never feel contrived or take you out of the match. They both have the ability to make you hold your breath in awe but for me Kelly never takes you out of the match and it just naturally joins the rest of the action around him.

In the end the good guys triumphed which made the crowd go crazy and it was Eddie Ryan that picked up the victory which probably made us crazier. It started the night off on the highest of notes but was full of absolute top class wrestlers, some of the best Pride and Britain have to offer, and you knew it was going to be a special night after that.

ADAM MAXTED vs JOEY RYAN
Winner : Joey Ryan
Photo Album : Match 2

First off I have to say I absolutely love Adam’s new cocky attitude. He performed his promo perfectly and for the first time he didn’t look lost as a character. His promo plus his entrance music and the way he swaggers to the ring just worked so well. It was also such a different match from the one on the Friday against Eddie Ryan, whilst that highlighted just how far he’d come as a wrestler this one showed how much he’s improved at just reacting and including the audience.

When you pull back the humour and dick jokes from Joey Ryan he is such a incredible performer. People love him because he makes us laugh but just talking to people at ringside on the night and I don’t think they realised how much they enjoyed his actual wrestling too, it always came back to the dick jokes and lollipops. I loved this match more then the tag team match on the Friday and one reason was because Joey Ryan made Adam look absolutely amazing. His character in the ring means that the majority of the match he can be on the back foot because he’s too busy trying to get people to touch his dick or something but Adam really needs that because as I’ve said before he tends to naturally as a match goes on get focused on what he’s doing and whilst his wrestling is always impressive you can get bored watching him, being in the ring with someone so charismatic and who uses humour the way Ryan does means that Adam never went back into his shell which is great because as I said his new cocky attitude is amazing.

Of course there has to be a shout out to the beautiful drop kick from the second rope whilst Joey Ryan was kinda lying over the top one. What can I say? I love Adam’s drop kicks as much as I love Eddie Ryan’s suplexes.

Unfortunately in the end Adam did have to touch parts of Joey Ryan he didn’t want to AND get a lollipop from the inside of Joey Ryan’s trunks in the mouth, he also lost…. Not sure what one of those three was worse for him. The match left everyone with a smile on their faces and me very positive over what the future holds for Adam Maxted.

ANGELINA LOVE vs LAURA JAMES vs BOBBI TYLER
PRIDE WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Winner : Bobbi Tyler
Photo Album : Match 3

First thing first. Bobbi Tyler’s finisher is just a blink and you miss it move, I ONCE MORE kinda saw the ending but didn’t because it was over in a flash. Bobbi was completely outclassed in the match which I guess can’t be helped when you are in the ring with the people she was in the match with. It was a good match nonetheless but I feel like I’m never going to be a fan of Bobbi the wrestler, I love her as a person though which is why it breaks my heart to find her so bland in the ring.

Then again I’m no real fan of Angelina Love either and whilst I was impressed to a point with her, because I remember her being even worse and haven’t really seen her wrestle in the last 5 years, it was mainly Laura James that I loved. She really is something else in the ring.

I’d quite like to see a singles match against Bobbi and Laura at some point in the future because I think that would be interesting. I liked the big powerbomb in the corner from Bobbi that send Angelina and Laura flying.

I don’t know, its probably my own fault for not enjoying the match as much as I should but I kinda guessed that Bobbi was winning her title back and just hope that Pride bring in more female wrestlers that are actually going to stay around. It was a OK match.

THE PROFESSIONALS vs TYLER HAWKE & CARLITO
PRIDE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Winners : The Professionals
Photo Album : Match 4

I don’t get why John Harding, one half of the tag team champions, should have been the ref in this match but to be absolutely fair on the guy he did call it down the middle. It seemed odd to decide to put him as ref for it but there you go.

It wasn’t that great of a match. Dominated by the Professionals who did end up walking away new tag team champions but it just felt a little off. The Professional’s are a great tag team, they look like they could dominate quite easily and they cheat very well together. Knott and Redman do work well together, like two sulky kids, but they are so dangerous in the ring. Tyler Hawke was amazing and he’s fast becoming the big face for Pride, people are just instantly behind him and he’s getting his confidence in the ring back. I don’t mind Carlito but I don’t think seeing two matches with him basically doing the same thing in one weekend helped me enjoy this match which was a shame because the other three I could probably watch every day of the week.

Yes…. Even Redman as long as he’s with Josh Knott.

I didn’t see the ending of the match because the fight split into two and we had Carlito on the outside with Redman. Before I knew it the bell had rung and the results were being read out, after the match both Knott and Redman had apple spit in their faces which again kind of ruined it a tiny bit… Like maybe ruined is the wrong word but I feel like the Professionals could actually be a threatening team for Pride, better in some ways then the House of Bones were, and in the end their title run began with no real victory. Some people, like me, would have missed how Knott won the match and the image we are left with is still Carlito and Hawke standing over them in some kind of victory.

When Carlito wasn’t in the ring though it was a great match between three of the best Pride have to offer. Really enjoying Tyler Hawke getting back to his best.

KENNY KILBAINE w/ DOMINA vs CHRIS ANDREWS
Winner : Chris Andrews
Photo Album : Match 5

It was kind of a very one sided match, it wasn’t surprising it ended up that way though. Kenny Kilbaine used Domina perfectly to keep his advantage during the match and it actually surprised me that Andrews won in the end.

Domina was the highlight of the match though. You didn’t want to keep your eyes off her because she did her job perfectly at ringside. Distracting the ref, attacking Andrews… Her cannonball was absolutely beautiful and if she can actually wrestle and isn’t just a manager with a few tricks up her sleeve then I’d LOVE for Pride to bring her down to face off against Bobbi in the future… Or you know, even though the two companies don’t get on, for PWA to bring her down to fight Adira.

I really liked Kenny Kilbaine though, he replaced a hole in my heart that Big Grizzly left even though they are so very different. He was the first person that could just beat up Andrews the way he did and I was like “yep, Andrews is in trouble now.” Even without Domina to help I think he would have been able to dominate the match pretty easy once he got the upper hand.

The running tackle that ended the match was a little boring though, prefer Andrews to use his big moves to finish matches. For what had happened the spear just didn’t seem to be impactful enough. Then again I guess it was nice to see something a little different in a Chris Andrews match. Really enjoyable match.

GIDEON vs HELLMER vs HARD FLYER vs JEFF COBB
Winner : Gideon
Photo Album : Match 6

One of the best matches Pride have ever had, probably my favourite of the whole weekend.

First up I was so happy that Keizer got to be the guest MC for the match, his little speech about Gideon made me cry with happiness. I do miss Keizer when he isn’t around.

Secondly all four of these guys are amazing in their own way.

Gideon I’ve always been a fan of and I loved that he was back to his Red Emperor stuff, the man is seriously underrated in my opinion ESPECIALLY by fans. His character is so good and you can see the slight differences in the way he moves when he’s just House of Bones Gideon and Red Emperor Gideon, its the small differences that make both those characters so very different and shows the man has a lot to give.

Not seen much of Hellmer but he gets more impressive every time, he really held his own in the match which is saying something because he isn’t as big a character as Gideon or anywhere near as impressive as Hard Flyer when it comes to high flying stuff and couldn’t touch Jeff Cobb in any way but he didn’t fade into the background and was just as important as the other three.

Hard Flyer continued to be his impressive high flying self, absolutely breathless at the majority of his stuff.

Never heard of Jeff Cobb until Pride announced him for the show and oh my goodness is he great. I wasn’t too sure what to make of him when he came down as he was such a cool looking guy but he did just about anything and everything. It just looked like he was a robot created to wrestle and he couldn’t be outmatched in any department… Well maybe speed but I’m not sure Hard Flyer whizzing around made much difference. When he picked up Gideon and just waved him from side to side upside down I was honestly on the edge of my seat (thankfully the 8 year old was taking photos) and then he just plucks Hard Flyer out of the air as if he didn’t weigh anything (OK its debatable whether Hard Flyer weighs anything) which was just amazing.

Its a match you’ll never be able to describe with any real detail to tell you just how great it was. Gideon won but he won a war. I’d never think that four such different wrestlers could tear the house down the way they did but they managed to put on a match that its going to be difficult to beat. If it wasn’t for the fact the main event had two of my absolute favourite people in the world in it, so again I’m biased, I would be scratching my head over why Pride didn’t end the night with this one.

ULTIMO TIGER vs SIMON GRIMM
Winner : Simon Grimm
Photo Album : Match 7

I said that Doug Williams vs Simon Grimm was a dream match I never knew I wanted. Well Tiger vs Grimm was a match I wanted and I never thought I’d see.

It was better then I could ever dream.

Being a Simon Gotch fan in WWE I always heard people talk about his lack of talent compared to just about everyone else in NXT, I mean it ain’t really fair to compare anyone to Finn Balor or Kevin Owens let alone someone in a bloody tag team, or on SmackDown and I never understood it. Honestly you NEED to see Simon Grimm on the indies because he will prove every single one of you wrong. The two matches I saw this weekend were so different from each other its like he was two completely different people. From the more technical bout against a absolute legend to this one which was much faster and more fun.

Still probably prefer Friday’s match, because who doesn’t love a top class Doug Williams match? but I loved that usual Tiger takes on the world’s best feeling you got from this one. I loved when he sprung up into a fighting stance meant to intimidate Grimm just for Grimm to jump into a identical one and make Tiger jump back a little, it was a great little comedy moment that Tiger always puts in his matches which makes him just such a delight to watch.

Ultimo Tiger once more steps up to the plate and looks absolutely world class against someone who is fresh out of the biggest wrestling company in the universe, the man has proved time and time again that he’s ready to tackle just about anything you could throw at him. Simon Grimm might be a big name straight out of WWE but Tiger really controlled the match. The pacing, the storytelling the direction of it all, he probably kind of needed too as well. So many people just weren’t interesting in Grimm, sadly, and Pride needed the absolute face of wrestling spirit in the West Country to draw people in. If he cuts back on the Haribo he might actually be able to lift his legs as high as Simon Grimm as well.

Absolute epic bout that goes straight into my top 10 of Tiger’s matches. Great way to end a great night.

FINAL THOUGHTS…

I loved the whole night. Even when I wasn’t into the match that much I still had a fantastic time. Taunton and Plymouth are two of my favourite crowds at any wrestling show, they do attract a lot of the same people at times but that’s good because its always the loud ones and that is what truly makes the shows.

The Four Way Elimination match just couldn’t be topped, I doubt Pride will put on a better match for the rest of the year, though I’m sure they’ll try. Jeff Cobb is just amazing which makes the win for Gideon even sweeter.

It was littered with so many of my favourite wrestlers though. Kelly Sixx just stole his match like he always does, was so impressed by Mad Dog who was in the ring with so many talented people but looked like he belonged there, Adam Maxted has come such a long way in the last however many months since the first time I saw him that you just have to believe he was born to wrestle, Tyler Hawke and Ultimo Tiger are the absolute future both of them make everyone in the crowd just fall in love with wrestling every time they are in the ring and both deserve to be found and catapulted off into bigger and better things though selfishly I never want them to leave either. Eddie Ryan and Chris Andrews did what they always do, which might sound like a negative but trust me if you haven’t seen them then what they do is usually 100x more impressive then anything you’ll ever see anywhere else. Even just Doug William’s music sends goosebumps up my arms, watching him is like I’m watching a wrestling match in a dream bubble or something he’s just so great to watch. Then for the second time in one weekend I got to see Simon Grimm perform and fall in love with him all over again, the man really could be something huge in the future.

Talking about music though I noticed this weekend how epic so many of the wrestlers entrances were. I don’t think it can be said enough how important a first impression to a match can be, at UPW some of the song choices were very bland and wrestlers took forever to come out to them and when they did come out it was bizarre when in relation to the music they were coming out too, Pride have never had that problem and from the moment the music hits for the first person in every match you are hooked on that match.

The whole presentation of Pride shows is always the absolute best it could be.

Its sad that so much went wrong for them this weekend though, I feel a great deal of people were left with a sour taste in their mouth. Anyone who did make the shows that were put on left happy with said shows, some upset that the wrestler they came to see hadn’t appeared but having at least got to see some decent wrestling. Things happen and Pride can’t always control them, things happen and its absolutely Pride’s fault as well like the mix up with so many of the front row seating, but at the end of the day the staff they have really do try their hardest and I honestly don’t have a negative to say about the guys.

As always go and give them a follow…

Website : ProWrestlingPride.com
Facebook : @PridePromotions
Twitter : @ProPWP

Their next show is their October special in Plymouth. Two days, three shows, 16 competitors in their Catch Division Tournament. I’m hoping to make it to all three shows. Still looking for someone to go with me to Exeter for Big League this month so doubting I’ll make it to that. Not sure if I’ll make it to the next PWA show, not even sure when that one is, so for now I think Pride is the only show I’ll be reviewing. Go support the guys, they work hard and deserve it even when shit goes against them.

I also apologise if some of this makes no sense. I’ve unfortunately been called into work nearly every day this week and the days I was always meant to work I worked extremely long hours. I didn’t want it stuck in my drafts forever so have worked on it when I’m not at my very best.

So….

It was a fantastic night.

Pride are a absolutely amazing company filled with some of the best wrestlers in the West-Country and the UK as a whole.

EVERYONE should hire Ultimo Tiger, Tyler Hawke, Kelly Sixx and Eddie Ryan. Those guys are too good for more people not to see them.

Simon Grimm is amazing and if you ever doubted him in WWE go see him live because he’s so very good.

Keizer needs to be left to talk more often because like… I mean why wouldn’t people want to listen to him?

Heroes & Legends 5 was absolutely one of my favourite Pride shows I’ve been too.

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