Here is my run-down of the Kamikaze Pro: 1st Anniversary Show from this last weekend at the Meadway Sports and Social Club. I was very happy to be able to attend another excellent independent wrestling show. The bill looked promising for obvious reasons, and none of the guys on the card failed to deliver. It was a quality show from top to bottom, with a 5 star main event – a terrific way to finish the year for this fledgling Midlands promotion.
Jim Hunter v Chris Brookes v Ethan Silver
I think Chris Ridgeway was supposed to be the third man in this three way dance, but Ethan Silver stepped up and helped provide a terrific match. I’d never seen this kid work, and I don’t think he is local (he could be, I don’t know) but he was wicked entertaining. He flew and bumped all over the ring and kept me on the edge of my seat. His two opponents are no slouches either. I saw Brookes have the best match I’ve ever seen in person against Zack Sabre Jr in Wolverhampton on Friday. Jim Hunter never disappoints, be it in singles competition or alongside his brother.
These three guys combined to produce some fantastic sequences of chain wrestling and high flying impact. What else could you expect from this match? It was awesome spot after awesome spot, until the leggy Chris Brookes picked up the win and made all the Tiptonites in the audience happy.
Mad Man Manson v Marshall X
This was a revelation. I’d never heard of Manson before a week ago, but it only took him five minutes to captivate me. I had been invited to a seminar he was putting on before the show, but I knew I wouldn’t be up before midday (England game hangover) – boy did I miss out! I’d like to learn a thing or two from this man. He was hilarious! The man bounded around with wrestling boots drew onto his legs with pen, he interacted with the audience like nobody I’d ever seen, and he worked circles around Marshall.
The Black Messiah did not take kindly to all the fun and games. He kept getting so worked up! At one point he took it too far by putting his hands on a young fan who was revelling in his demise. The heroic Mad Man did not let him get away with it. He picked up the kid and used him as a battering ram against Marshall. That sounds a lot worse for the kid than it was. He freakin’ loved it, as did I! Unfortunately, the bad guy cheated to win by using the tights on a cover. It wasn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last time that a cheater has prospered.
Uhaa Nation v Bubblegum
A terrific first half was polished off by none other than Dragon Gate USA sensation Uhaa Nation. I recently participated in an in-ring seminar with the big Georgian and got the chance to marvel at his talents close up. I was extremely excited to see him in action again. His opponent Bubblegum proudly wears the beautiful blue of my own Manchester City, so I have to mark out for him. The heat he gets for reppin’ the Champions is so funny to watch.
In true Bubblegum fashion, the Brit used underhanded, dirty (often literally) tactics to get the advantage over his adversary for most of the contest. He ducked and dived, he used tricks and he survived. However, it always seemed that it couldn’t last forever. Big Uhaa made a furious comeback and put down his lowly opponent with that insane standing moonsault/shooting star press combination. The victor posed for pictures in the ring, and so he should. He looked and wrestled like a true star! Hello WWE!?
Pete Dunne v Damien Dunne
This brother versus brother match kicked off with some brawling outside the ring. It was intense and vicious in the early going, with some serious built-up animosity pouring out of these two great wrestlers. It did go on to become more of a mat contest, which seemed to favour the bigger brother Pete. Despite the tenacious struggling of Damien, it was “Dynamite” who got the win fair and square, to end a very solid match with no wasted time or wasted motion.
The Bhangra Knights v Moustache & Lariats v The Magnums
It seems that every indy show I go to now has a triple threat tag team match on the card. Does that sound like the start of a complaint? It isn’t. I’d like to see a show with six of these matches. I knew that – given the six guys involved – this was going to be priceless entertainment. The match had a bit of everything to please everyone: speed, power, comedy. Everyone performed great and I don’t think there can be any complaints. Like the rest of the card, the tag teams gave the fans everything they had. Moustache and Lariats secured the victory and are now Number One Contenders for the Tag Team Championship. I can’t wait to see them take on The Hunters!
Ryan Smile(c) v Robbie X(c)
– Unification Ladder Match –
When Relentless Division Champion Robbie X and Kamikaze Pro Champion Ryan Smile stepped past a waiting ladder and into the ring, the crowd knew they were set to see something special. The expectations for this main event were high. The atmosphere was at fever pitch. BBC Three reporters were interviewing people. There were cameramen everywhere (both professional and amateur – that’s me) filming every bit of action they could get, and there was a lot.
I’ve never seen a ladder match in person and I don’t know when I’ll see another one better than this. Ryan Smile didn’t want his mammoth title reign to end, and Robbie X is an equally proud Champion and valiant competitor. Something or somebody had to give. It turned out that both of these guys gave an abundance, in terms of risk and pain. The fans could not complain about any half-arsed efforts here.
These guys were flying onto each other off the ladder, they were being slammed onto the ladder, they were diving to the outside. Fans were consistently told to make room so these guys could use chairs, tables and whatever else was around to hurt each other. At the end of a truly gruelling mixture of brawling and athletic endeavour, Ryan Smile just about had enough to clamber to the top of the ladder and collect both Championships, which were hanging above the ring throughout.
The now unified Kamikaze Pro Champion sat at the top of the mountain (so to speak) and savoured his moment. Not many in the crowd were impressed with seeing their hero be left broken and strapless. That changed when Ryan (who was visibly emotional, and rightly so) cut a heartfelt promo to end the night. He spoke about giving everything, trying his best and being there from the beginning. I’m not even going to attempt to say how many days he has held the gold, but I think it’s over a year now! What will be next for Ryan Smile in Kamikaze Pro? I guess we will find out at Born and Raised on July 27.
The two guys shook hands and hugged at the end of a really tremendous match. The entire room applauded both individuals, and I felt that was the perfect way to end the night. The announcer thanked everyone who helped make the promotion a success over the last year, all of us fans for coming, and encouraged everyone to look forward to a bright future.
It’s been a fantastic year for Kamikaze Pro, which was topped off by an outstanding 1st Anniversary Show. I will continue to attend their shows and I hope they can grow in strength and stature in the coming months. If you’re in the West Midlands and still missing out on some of the best independent wrestling in the country, click this link and start knowing!
Thanks for reading,