Kamikaze Pro: Sky’s The Limit

elligeroKamikaze Pro – Sky’s The Limit
Hadley Stadium, Smethwick
Sunday 27th April 2014

If you read my article about the last Kamikaze Pro event Over The Top, you will know that I’m a big fan of the promotion. I’ve been lucky enough to take in three or four of their shows now and the quality just keeps improving. As I mentioned in a previous post, my memory is not really my best attribute so the order in which I get to these matches may not be the order in which they occurred, my apologies for that. Nonetheless, it was a stacked card and lived up to the moniker of being arguably the biggest independent wrestling show in Birmingham ever. With the already great roster being joined by Steve Corino, Petey Williams and AR Fox, there was some serious star power on display – but enough about Ryan Smile. Let’s get down to business.

The Hunter Brothers(c) v The Banghra Knights
(for the Kamikaze Pro Tag Team Championship)

I’m pretty sure this was the opening match. The whole show was a pretty balls-to-the-wall affair so it’s hard to put the pieces together. I remember how hard these guys went, that’s for sure. It must have been close to a 30 minute match, full of ebbs-and-flows, beatdowns and comebacks, non-stop action. It’s good to see real tag team wrestling, with actual teamwork and team manoeuvres. I’d already thoroughly enjoyed seeing these two respective teams in action, but it was a treat to see them face off against each other. At the end of a gruelling, competitive encounter, The Hunters walked out still Champions after graciously shaking hands and embracing their opponents – a touch of class that every fan likes to see.

El Ligero v Chris Brookes v Marshall X v Dan Moloney
(Winner becomes #1 Contender for the Relentless Division Championship)

This was an entertaining Fatal 4 Way Elimination Match full of different characters. With a chance to fight for the Relentless Division title at stake, these four went out there and caused mayhem. Not for the last time at this show, an elderly lady at ringside got heavily involved in the action. At one point, she was chasing Moloney around the building with her walking stick. El Ligero was the clear fan favourite and I have to say, I was marking out for him myself. When the fighting had been restored to the ring itself, the Mexican superstar ended the match as the last man standing and picked up the victory. The elderly lady seemed to be more than content with this result.

Petey Williams v Damian Dunne

For the end of the first half, we were treated to one of the three marquee names on the show, in former TNA X-Division Champion Petey Williams. He came out looking better than ever and with a confident swagger. I was therefore surprised to see him dominated for the majority of his match. Dunne did a great job of keeping him grounded for the most part, all the while teasing the crowd. Eventually, Williams rallied with the encouragement of the fans and hit his famous Canadian Destroyer finisher to get the win, almost out of nowhere. He was then kind enough to pose for some pictures with fans in the ring, including the now legendary “Super Gran”.

grannyRobbie X(c) v AR Fox
(for the Relentless Division Championship)

This was easily the match of the night. I mean, this was absolutely insane! I didn’t know much more about AR Fox, than what I’d heard from the Kamikaze Pro news feeds before the show. I could never have expected a performance like this. The guy has to be one of the best high flyers I’ve ever seen. Some of the moves he was pulling off from the top rope, and to the outside were just ridiculous. To make this truly special, we needed someone equally capable to make this a great match. That is exactly what we had in Robbie X. I’ve seen the guy wrestle a few times now, and this was the best I’ve seen from him.

Every time I thought this match was over, and that these guys were done, it was a long two count and the action continued. When it was finally all said and done, Robbie retained the title and AR Fox grabbed the microphone to congratulate him and put him over as an equal. If you are planning on getting the DVD for this show, this match is reason enough on it’s own. Do it!

Ryan Smile(c) v Eddie Dennis
(for the Kamikaze Pro Championship)

Ryan Smile came out at the very start of the show and had an altercation with the acting GM about getting more main event matches. He was told to first concern himself with defending the Kamikaze Pro Championship against “The Pride of Wales” before worrying about getting matches with overseas talent. When the match came around, the two competitors were greeted by boos. The two bad guys had a rough and tough, no thrills match for the gold. Eddie Dennis – who is one of my favourite guys on the roster – took the Champ to the limit. They brawled inside and outside the ring, but when it came down to it, The All Day Star came out on top and continued his reign of over 300 days as Champion. He then stuck a poster featuring his future opponent Juventud Guerrera down his trunks. The Champ meets the former WWE/WCW Cruiserweight Champion at Broken Down City on May 25th.

corinoSteve Corino v Pete Dunne

“The King of Old School” started out cagey against “Dynamite” Pete Dunne, not wanting to succumb to his opponent’s superior speed and agility. He did take a second to admire Pete’s skills, wishing he could dive and tangle himself in the ropes, like his younger counterpart. “Maybe next time” he said. When they really got into it, things got messy. The two brawled all over ringside and threw each other through sets of chairs numerous times. People in the crowd scrambled to get out of the way. For probably the tenth time, a “This is awesome” chant took over the building. When things accelerated back into the ring itself, Corino and Dunne both tried to get the upper hand but neither one could keep the other down for long. However, eventually it was Pete Dunne who came out on top with a hard fought victory.

The legendary former ECW Heavyweight Champion Corino congratulated his opponent and cut a heartfelt promo about his love of the business, and his connection to England and it’s people. This was a real great way to end the night.

Overall, it was another evening well spent. The next Kamikaze Pro event Broken Down City can’t come soon enough. You can get all the details on everything K-Pro here. If you live in or around the Birmingham area, and you aren’t checking these guys out, you’re just foolish. Don’t miss out on some of the best professional wrestling in the country, right on your very doorstep.

Thanks for reading,

Craig [Editor]

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Kamikaze Pro: Welcome to the Dojo

dojotings
Source: Kamikaze Pro

So last week was the opening of the Kamikaze Pro Dojo, and I went along to take part and give active pro-wrestling a second try. The last time I went to a training session like this, I literally struggled to walk for a week, so I was tentative and nervous going in to say the least. One similarity between this school and my first experience is that the two trainers were the same. Looking at my back in the mirror – without the black and blue spine – you wouldn’t have thought that was the case.

One key difference which I think helped me out a lot was that we weren’t in a ring yet. As complete beginners, we were taught how to bump on mats, lock up and apply headlocks. There was no running of the ropes until we puked. I was in a group alongside the other people starting from scratch, and that suited me. I know absolutely nothing and am by no means a premier athlete. Starting from the very bottom is the only way to learn everything on your way to the top. The more experienced guys and gals were put into another group, after we all finished opening up with some cardio. The session was well structured, organised and the segregation between the two levels of expertise was important and effective. We did have loads of fun trying to grapple and pin each other down before getting down to business, but it was good to be learning with people at the same level.

The cardio to start the session was challenging, but not needlessly gruelling. I kind of felt last time that by the end of the start, I had no energy left to do anything else. That made trying to take hip tosses that much harder. Now I’m no authority on this, and I can’t say that any method is right or wrong. I’m just saying what works for me. It was good to warm up properly and get the blood pumping, but this time around I felt much more motivated and inspired to concentrate, try to improve and try to learn from every word the trainer said.

It’s also worth adding that I was in terrible shape back then. I’m no Shawn Michaels now, but with a good six weeks of hitting the gym behind me, I have trimmed the fat and upped my game in terms of cardio a fair bit. There is still a huge amount of progress to be made – I still despise myself, which is crucial – but I found the whole thing a lot more enjoyable this time around. The trainers worked us the perfect amount, and I wasn’t going in quite as cold as I did in the past. That made it a much more productive and pleasant experience for myself.

Everybody was super nice. Ryan and Pete did a great job. We even got to try out a promo at the end of the class. The whole thing was great. Definitely not bad for a fiver, and after watching another amazing Kamikaze show yesterday,  I am very excited to get back in there tomorrow and learn some more stuff. Hopefully if I keep working hard, maybe one day I can live my dream and have a match. To anyone from Birmingham – or the surrounding areas – you can get all the info you need here. The sessions are £5 each and well, well worth it!

Training is provided by Kamikaze Pro’s own “Dynamite” Pete Dunne and Ryan Smile, two excellent performers who have wrestled some of the best in the business. You really couldn’t ask for a better pair to learn from.

Thanks for reading,

Craig [Editor]

Ryan Giggs Leads United revival with 4-0 Debut Win over Norwich

Rooney Tom Jenkins

Wayne Rooney celebrates one of his two goals – Source: The Guardian

Manchester United 4-0 Norwich City
Saturday 26th April 2014

United lifted the doom and gloom around the club by giving interim manager Ryan Giggs a perfect start with a comprehensive beating of relegation threatened Norwich City at Old Trafford. A double from Wayne Rooney (the first from the spot just before the break, and the second just after) killed the game and another double from substitute Juan Mata (continuing his good recent form in front of goal) ensured the club legend got the victory which the Theatre Of Dreams demanded.

The new boss got a rapturous welcome from the fans who are used to seeing him out on the pitch as a player. They seemed to love seeing him in a suit and tie, as he took his seat in the famous raised dugout alongside fellow class of 92 graduates Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Phil Neville. United did not have everything their own way as a determined City side fighting for their lives worked hard to keep them out early on. However, once the deadlock was broken, it could have been five, six, seven, any number you want.

As he promised in his press conference on Friday, Giggs’ United played with far more pace, tempo, passion and – above all – width that actually mattered, not just get the ball wide and toss the ball in as United did early in the season under David Moyes, during a disappointing 2-2 home draw with basement team Fulham, where they set a Premier League record for crosses during a game. This was real width, used to stretch the opposition and get the full backs pushed on the overlap. The third and fourth goals coming from crosses from Phil Jones and Patrice Evra.

Danny Welbeck had United’s best effort before they took the lead. His powerful shot was well saved by Norwich keeper John Ruddy at his near post, after a cross from the left came all the way through to him. United eventually broke down the Canaries’ resistance in the 40th minute as Welbeck was dragged down by Steven Whittaker who – for some reason only known to referee Lee Probert – did not receive a straight red card for denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity. He did not get a card of any description, amazing! Wayne Rooney dispatched the penalty with little fuss, sending Ruddy the wrong way with a confident side foot finish to open the flood gates.

Rooney extended the lead just after the break in the 48th minute with a beautiful curled effort, in off Ruddy’s far left hand post from twenty yards. He had been given the freedom of Old Trafford to cut across Norwich’s defence from the left hand side. Welbeck was denied again with Ruddy making a stunning save to keep out his powerful volley from the edge of the box, and then outgoing skipper Nemanja Vidic headed just over from a Rooney corner after a good flick on by the majestic Michael Carrick. Carrick did not give a ball away all evening.

Then it was time for sub Juan Mata to put the game well out of Norwich’s reach, as he tucked home very well from a wonderful Jones cross in the 62nd minute. United’s Domination was further enhanced as Mata nodded in an Antonio Valencia effort in the 72nd minute, after a good move lead to Evra standing up an excellent cross to the far post. United could have had several other goals. Rooney could easily have had a hat-trick as two curled efforts were well kept out by Ruddy. He also saw an audacious chip land on the roof of the net, inches away from a great goal.

Substitute Javier Hernandez missed a wonderful chance late on, when he found himself one-on-one with the Goalkeeper, but he dragged his shot wide, having been released by an excellently timed pass from Mata. Norwich had a few decent efforts from distance, a free-kick and a shot from long range were well saved by David De Gea, and another effort from well outside the area deflected onto the crossbar, but Norwich will be disappointed with their effort in a game which they needed to get something out of.

Norwich need points in their fight for survival but a crowd of 75,208 went home happy with smiles on their faces, just as Ryan Giggs had promised.

Man Of The Match: Michael Carrick gets it for me. It’s amazing what a change of manager and philosophy can do for a player who has looked lost all season. He returned to last season’s form in this game, the form that lead to him being nominated for PFA Player of the Year. He sat between Rio and Vidic all evening, and because more people were moving forward and making runs, with the fullbacks bombing on, he was left with space to conduct the game and hardly wasted a ball. The whole game revolved around him, and he set everything in motion.

Thanks for reading,

Glenn

A Wonderful Christian Eriksen Performance Leads Spurs to Victory Over Fulham

kaboulting

Younes Kaboul celebrates rare goal – Source: Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Fulham
Saturday 19th April 2014

A wonderful performance from Christian Eriksen helped Spurs to three points and kept the Cottagers in danger. Tottenham kept their faint hopes of a top four finish alive with a performance that included a bit of everything from Eriksen. The Danish playmaker produced two excellent assists, but also gave away a needless penalty. Fortunately for him, Fulham missed that penalty late in the game.

The home fans where subdued for a large portion of the first half at White Hart Lane, which gave the game a testimonial-type feel. For Spurs, this was understandable with only an outside chance of Champions League qualification to play for. That certainly wasn’t the case for Fulham and their supporters. The Londoners need every single point they can get their hands on, and after excellent back-to-back wins over Aston Villa and Norwich City, Felix Magath will be very disappointed not to continue building on that momentum.

Fulham started the game the brighter of the two sides, getting around the park and closing Spurs down,  and generally working very hard. Spurs seemed just happy to settle into the game slowly after last week’s debacle when they found themselves 2-0 down to West Brom in no time. The in-form Hugo Rodallega had the first chance, getting to the ball before Younes Kaboul, before hitting his shot well wide from twenty yards. Spurs’ first chance fell to Aaron Lennon who volleyed well over and then had another shot palmed onto the post by Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale.

Tottenham eventually got the break-through after the half hour mark, when Eriksen delivered a wonderful cross that was tucked away comfortably by the Brazilian Paulinho. This came after a dubious decision by referee Lee Probert to award a free-kick for a foul on Lennon. However, Spurs couldn’t celebrate for too long as Fulham hit back within two minutes. Steve Sidwell took advantage of some dreadful defending from centre backs Zeki Fryers and Younes Kaboul to poke beyond Hugo Lloris, leaving the Frenchman with little chance to save.

Fulham were now very much back in the game, but they will be very upset by their second half display, considering what’s on the line for them. They needed to push on but Spurs cantered to victory. First they regained the lead barely into the second period after some poor marking led to youngster Harry Kane glancing a header into the corner of the net, from a Lennon cross. He is continuing to re-pay manager Tim Sherwood’s faith in him, after scoring for the third consecutive league game.

Fulham did have a chance to equalise but Rodallega’s header was excellently parried over by Lloris. That was Fulham’s last chance really as Spurs increased their lead. Eriksen was once again at the heart of it as he produced another great dead ball and Kaboul bundled the ball into the goal at the back post, with Stockdale helpless. The game appeared safe but there was a chance for some late drama when Eriksen handled Rodallega’s touch. Referee Lee Probert had no doubt about the decision, pointing to the spot straight away. Sidwell took the kick but Lloris made a marvellous stop. If that had gone in, who knows what could have happened, but it wasn’t to be.

Fulham are still very much in the thick of the relegation battle, two points behind Norwich. However, the Canaries’ run-in will give Magath’s side some hope for beating the drop. This was a good win for Spurs as Tim Sherwood continues to stake his claim for the job long-term. That probably won’t happen but I think he should get a chance elsewhere.

Man Of The Match: Christian Eriksen continued his incredible recent form with two lovely assists. If he had produced this form for the whole season, Spurs might have had a better chance at the top-four and the Dane might have got a nomination for PFA Player of the Year. Look out for him big time next season!

Thanks for reading,

Glenn

Fulham conquer Norwich in vital relegation six-pointer

rodallega

Hugo Rodallega celebrates another vital goal – Source: EMPICS Sport

Fulham 1-0 Norwich City
Saturday 12th April 2014

Fulham won a huge three points in the scrap for survival to make it two wins in a row for Felix Magath’s men. That win lifts the Londoners to within two points of the Canaries who have a horrible run-in and look likely to struggle to add many points to their current tally. However, the great escape is well and truly on now for Fulham. They followed up last week’s big win at Villa Park with another, but it was Norwich who had the best of the first-half chances.

The game was very frantic in the early stages. Pajtim Kasami tried his luck but Norwich goalie John Ruddy was able to see the ball drift wide. Nathan Redmond then got free down the right but his effort was parred behind by David Stockdale, who excelled throughout. Martin Olsson was released by Bradley Johnson’s through-ball but Brede Hangeland cleared. Johnny Howson’s volley deflected off Jonny Heitinga. Steve Sidwell then over-hit his cross when well placed, as the frantic nature of the game showed no signs of abating.

Ruddy was then stretched to his limit but Hugo Rodallega angled his shot just wide after Kasami had flicked on well. Rodallega would have had a very good chance to score but failed to anticipate Sidwell’s touch, only eight yards out, with Norwich’s defence breached in the 19th minute. Bradley Johnson then made a timely intervention to send Kasami’s shot spiralling over Ruddy’s crossbar. The Norwich Goalkeeper spilled Keiron Richardson’s corner but was pleased to see the ball squirm across his six yard box.

Norwich then had two good chances to take the lead but found an inspired David Stockdale in their way. First with a quite brilliant one-handed reaction save from no more than six yards in the 28th minute from Ricky Van Wolfswinkel, and then his reactions were needed again from the resulting corner as he saved well from Dutchman Leroy Fer’s header, before Howson poked wide. Norwich then won a free kick when Heitinga hauled down Fer, who was cautioned by ref Mike Dean for attempting to take the set piece quickly and roll the ball into the open goal. Robert Snodgrass eventually took the free kick and drilled it against the crossbar.

Fulham then took the lead – very much against the run of play – five minutes before the break. They won a free-kick when Richardson was brought down by Stephen Whitaker, who was subsequently booked. Rodallega swept home after a wonderful delivery from Lewis Holtby and a flick on by Sidwell. Fer tried to get Norwich back in the game with an instant riposte but Sidwell threw himself in front of his strike. Fulham then nearly made it 2-0 from Richardson’s corner but Rodallega’s header at the far post was shovelled off the line by Martin Olsson for another corner.

Snodgrass was only denied by a desperate lunge from Hangeland six yards out after more good play by Johnson and Olsson. Then Askhan Dejagah’s whipped cross saw Rodallega head over. Shortly after, Johnson slipped over deep in Fulham’s half. It could have proved costly, as Sidwell led the break with support steaming up the pitch. Michael Turner just got back to divert the ball back to Ruddy, before substitute Gary Hooper swivelled onto fellow sub Wes Hoolahan’s threaded pass, but Fernando Amorebieta’s touch diverted the ball over.

Rodallega then denied Turner a certain leveller as he cleared the centre back’s header off the line. Fulham were now almost exclusively playing on the counter, as they looked to protect their one goal lead. Ruddy did well by using his lower body to keep out Sidwell on one of these occasions. Norwich strived to turn their territorial dominance into a goal but huffed and puffed and couldn’t blow Fulham’s house down. Things could have been worse for Norwich as Dejagah smashed over in stoppage time with just Ruddy to beat. Can Fulham survive? They have a manager that has the experience to do it and with Norwich’s run-in and a manager that has one game under his belt as the head man, they have to believe they have a great chance now, being just two points behind Norwich.

Man Of The Match: Hugo Rodallega worked tremendously hard all game and got the all important goal. He could have had a couple more, but that’s two huge goals in the last two weeks he has got, and six huge points for his club. He is another person who has seen it all before with Wigan, when they survived on the final day of the season at Stoke.

Thanks for reading,

Glenn

WWE: Was this year’s show the most memorable Wrestlemania! of all time?

austinhulkSource: World Wrestling Entertainment

http://www.geek-pride.co.uk/wwe-was-this-years-show-the-most-memorable-wrestlemania-of-all-time/

This is my fifth article for Geek Pride, taking a look at the success, failure and controversy of this year’s Showcase of the Immortals. Take a look and leave a comment!

Craig

Juan Mata proves his worth in a comprehensive United win over Newcastle

juanmataJuan Mata is really finding his form – Source: AP

Newcastle United 0-4 Manchester United
Saturday 5th April 2014

Juan Mata steals the show as David Moyes rested several players ahead of the Champions League second leg showdown with defending champions Bayern Munich. Mata was key to a 4-0 victory at Newcastle which moved United into the top six and into the European places. The Spainard netted twice and produced a sensational backheel for Adnan Januzaj’s goal as he is beginning to produce the form everyone knows he is capable of, playing in his favoured number 10 role in the absence of Wayne Rooney. He now looks like a player who cost £37.1 million.

David Moyes made eight changes to the team that performed so well against Munich in midweek, ahead of Wednesday night’s second leg, but that mattered not as United deserved to win as easily as the scoreline would suggest. After a bright start from The Toon, the victory was not without controversy. Referee Kevin Friend came under fire for giving a soft free-kick which led to Mata giving United the lead. The Magpies could have no complaints after that however, as Mata made it two shortly after the break.

Two wonderful team goals finished off by Javier Hernandez and substitute Adnan Januzaj sealed a routine win. The loss was the Geordies’ fourth in their last five league games, with only one goal scored. From the moment Mata gave United the lead, there was little chance of Newcastle completing a first double over United in the league since 1931. There was a bit of a testimonial feel to the game with Moyes’ eyes on Munich on Wednesday and Alan Pardew revealing before kick-off that his players where maybe struggling to get motivated with little to play for.

Newcastle started the brighter of the two sides with right back Davide Santon delivering several dangerous crosses into the box. It was from one of those crosses that Dan Gosling headed just wide in the second minute and Papiss Cisse forced a good save from Anders Lindegaard, who replaced the rested David De Gea in goal. However, the home side could not make the most of other promising moments and let the visitors off the hook. They were made to pay as controversy arose when Gosling was not impressed to be ruled against for a challenge on Darren Fletcher on the edge of the penalty area. Despite the protests, Mata curled a wonderful left footed effort up over the wall and down under the crossbar into the top corner with Newcastle keeper Rob Elliot crasping at thin air. It was an incredible piece of artistry.

The game should have been made potentially safe in the waning moments of the firstperiod. The excellent Shinji Kagawa released Hernandez and the Mexican can count himself unlucky to see his curled effort come back of the post. Any chance of a Newcastle comeback was ended within five minutes of the restart. Fabricio Coloccini attempted to chest the ball to the full back but the ball was intercepted by Kagawa who slid Hernandez in. The Little Pea squared for Mata and the diminutive Spainard cleverly dummied the defender and goalkeeper with his left foot and calmly tapped home with his right. This was a wonderful display of composure.

Hernandez could have made it 3-0 shortly after with a quick shot which went over, but the little Mexican got a well deserved goal for a hard working display when he turned the ball in at the near post after excellent approach work by Januzaj and Kagawa. Lindegaard still had a couple of saves to make from Cisse, first turning away his curling effort and then producing an incredible save to deny the Newcastle front-man from just six yards. United ended the contest with a fourth goal in stoppage time. Januzaj played a one-two with Mata and the playmaker’s wonderful backheel released the young starlet, who finished with a comfortable side foot. David Moyes will be happy with a fourth consecutive away win in the league and the ideal warm up for Wednesday night

Man Of The Match: Excellent performances from Hernandez, Kagawa and Januzaj but the vote goes to Juan Mata, for his sparkling display. Two wonderful goals and an incredible assist for Januzaj’s goal were the highlights, but he was involved in everything good about United, playing in his best position as a number 10. He looked well worth every penny of that £37.1 million when he played in this role.

Thanks for reading,

Glenn