Kamikaze Pro: Bank On It 2

Kamikaze Pro
Bank On It 2
Meadway Sports & Social, Birmingham

kami2I’m dusting off my fingertips to unleash hell on WordPress again, at least on a one-off basis. The latest instalment from the wonderful Kamikaze Pro promotion from Birmingham was just too good to simply watch – I had to have my say. Just looking at the card going in I knew this wasn’t going to leave me short for words and I wasn’t one bit disappointed. I came for the legendary Hardcore Holly but came away with that and so much more. I don’t like to overegg the pudding and so will try to keep it short and swift, as all good blogging should be. That being said, the sheer carnage of this event would be difficult for anyone to sum up in few words.

T-Bone v Eddie Dennis

The opening contest saw two of the country’s top heels going face-to-face. Something had to give. I’m a huge mark for “The Pride of Wales” and so knew that I would be rooting for the latter. As it turned out, the majority of the crowd felt the same way. Maybe it was out of respect for his work, or perhaps those people just hated the Welshman a bit less than they did T-Bone. Nonetheless, they were firmly behind Dennis. We were all left happy and content when Eddie got the win after a predictably physical and intense contest. These two never pull any punches and this encounter was no different. This was a great way to kick off the show. As Eddie Dennis stood tall and received a very generous applause from the crowd, I had a feeling this would be a strong show.

The Hunter Brothers v Miracle Violence Connection(c)
for the Kamikaze Pro Tag Team Championships

The stalwarts versus the up-and-comers. What a contest this was set to be! The crowd were heavily into this, throwing out the usual “Tipton!” and “Tash!” chants at their respective heroes. The in-ring work itself certainly didn’t disappoint. The opening stages consisted of a lot of great chain work. Tyler Bate has to be the best prospect in the region. For me, he barely has an equal. Great look, excellent work, top kami1guy. He showed off all of those qualities but was eventually cut short by some well executed logical tag team work from The Hunters.

As things looked to be going against his team, Dan Moloney encouraged Tyler to use the title belt to get a cheap win. The man with the moustache was having none of it and so Dan took matters into his own hands. Behind the referees back, he used the belt to knock down his opponent and pick up the pinfall victory. The discension between MVC continued after the bell. Moloney looked very pleased with himself as he held both the titles up in the air as his own. As excited as I am by them as a tag team, I’m looking forward to seeing how this rift develops.

Leah Von Dutch v Nixon Newell

Crowd favourite Nixon Newell put up a great fight against her international counterpart LVD, who was trained by WWE Hall of Famer “Edge”. She was on top for most of the match, but in the end she fell victim to a devastating spear – just one of the tricks the Canadian picked up from her legendary trainer. The two shared a classy embrace after the bell and should be proud of putting on a great match and continuing to both further legitimise womens wrestling.

Money in the Bank Ladder Match
“Dynamite” Pete Dunne v “Number One” Damien Dunne v Chris Brookes v Robbie X v “Flash” Morgan Webster v Ethan Silver

This match was just ridiculous… ridiculously good. You just have to see it (search Kamikaze Pro online and get the DVD) If you haven’t seen the match, there is nothing I can really say to efficiently describe it to you, but I will do my best. There were so many epic dives, the best of which was probably when Nixon Newell returned to the ring to dive off a ladder to the outside on to all six men. That was just one of many highlights. The strikes were brutal, the use of the ladder was both innovative and shocking. Rarely have I seen a match which was more deserving of the “Holy shit” chant.

After an unbelievable performance from everyone in the match, and even those who weren’t in the match, it ended rather controversially. After a herculean effort, my trainer and personal favourite Pete Dunne looked set to capture the briefcase, only to be low blowed kami3and screwed by Robbie X. The latest member of the Church of Ryan Smile (that’s not a real faction name, but maybe it should be) grabbed the case from the top of the ladder and was declared the winner.

The blow was softened somewhat when the suit came to the ring and informed us that Pete Dunne will get a one-on-one match with Robbie at the next show, with the briefcase on the line. The whole crowd knew that Pete deserved the win and were very happy to receive such good news.

The World’s First Ever “Scat Monkey on a Pole Match”
Marshall X v Sebastian Radclaw

This match lived up to it’s title. It was unique, insane and quite unlike anything I’ve seen before. Whenever Radclaw is involved you know you’re going kami4to be entertained and Marshall X is one of the best talkers on the independent scene without a doubt. The two of them made us all laugh in the early going but that quickly transcended into brutal chaos. As they brawled around the venue, a precarious tension filled the air. Marshall threw his opponent into a wall, and almost straight through it, leaving a visible dent. He then tried to perform a vertical suplex on the whimsical Radclaw on the floor next to the bar, but unfortunately suffered that fate himself.

A battle which involved both a ladder and a pole (both of which looked unstable) was topped off when Chris Brookes ran in to cost the “Black Messiah” the match. His interruption allowed Radclaw to climb up and retrieve his beloved monkey from the top of the pole and any fear that one of these guys may end up getting seriously hurt in a bid to entertain us thankfully evaporated. A celebratory gremlin dance in the ring from Radclaw, Scat Monkey and a horde of delighted little ones followed.kami5

I was both surprised and impressed with the level of quality in this match. I expected it to be funny, but I didn’t expect it to be as athletic, brutal and downright scary at times. This was just another example of this show outdoing its own billing.

Hardcore Holly v Ryan Smile(c)
For the Kamikaze Pro Championship

The main event was as solid and stiff as I expected. Everybody in wrestling knows that Bob Holly doesn’t pull any punches and he doesn’t hold back. The man who won several Championships in WWE is now in his 50s but that didn’t show. He looked the part and he produced the goods. The All Day Star more than held his own though. By all accounts, he completely endeared himself to the legend with his effort and I’m not surprised.

These two went back-and-forth for some time and produced a main event worthy of such kami6an entertaining and chaotic show. To my absolute shock, Holly caught Smile in a spinning Alabama Slam and captured the Kamikaze Pro title, ending the now epic reign of everybody’s favourite bad guy. The drama didn’t stop there. Robbie X – famous for stealing Money in the Bank from Birmingham hero Pete Dunne earlier in the night – surged to the ring and demanded they cash in his opportunity. He was quick to take advantage of an exhausted and beleaguered Hardcore Holly and become Kamikaze Pro Champion himself for the first time.kami7

This was a show you really shouldn’t have missed. Pretty much everything important that could have happened did. All the guys and gals had top matches. The big title changed hands twice. It was just immense! Hardcore Holly topped off the show by giving an emotional speech to a sold out crowd who were clearly in love with the man.

To take things to a new echelon of greatness, I even got to meet the man himself and express my love for his book (previously kami8reviewed on this site). He was a top performer and a top pro but by no means the only shining light from this show – one of the best independent wrestling shows I’ve ever had the joy to watch.

Onwards and upwards for Kamikaze Pro!

Craig [Editor]


The Wrestling Review Corner: The Hardcore Truth[BOOK]

hollyBob “Hardcore” Holly – Source: YouTube

I’ve broken my long run of documentary reviews, by throwing in a book review. I hope you’re not too surprised, but I can indeed read. I love wrestling books, which is hardly surprising. My most recent expedition into the world of pro wrestling was flicking through The Hardcore Truth: The Bob Holly Story. Some of you may remember Bob as Hardcore Holly, a very long term WWF/E superstar. He started working for Vince before the Attitude Era, and besides a few injury lay-offs, was a consistent performer all the way through until the mid-2000s when he won the tag team title with Cody Rhodes before retirement. I’ve never known too much about Holly, but always had fond memories of him from the late 90s and most notably his work in the hardcore division. I’ve learned a lot about him, the business and people’s misconceptions. Let’s delve.

With the help of English writer Ross Williams, Bob justifiably puts himself over as a loyal company man. He also talks up his ability to put in consistently solid performances, an attribute which few would deny him. I could have guessed this much myself. What I didn’t know is that the IWC has had a long running problem with Holly. He has been labelled a bully by many people who probably think they know more than they do. A particular instance on Tough Enough caused a stir. I’m sure you already know about this stuff, if not do look it up. My take on it is that he was a stiff, solid worker, who didn’t take shit or disrespect lightly. I commend that.

The book is very honest, brutally so in some cases, and I found that endearing. It also educated me a lot. I’d rather spend my time submerged in new discoveries and thought provoking insights, than read a huge book about a load of accomplishments. I already know how many times these characters have won gold. A wrestling book doesn’t need to be wrote by a top guy to be informative and entertaining, and this proves that more than any other. Bob never really reached the top, but he certainly went everywhere else. He has a great story to tell, and a lot of dirt to dish out.

I also found this to be a delightful trip down memory lane at times. The passing references to stars I’d forgotten existed, the reminders of moments I’d overlooked, the behind-the-scenes reality of many events I’d only previously half understood. It did a lot to take my mind back. The opening chapters about his childhood, adulthood and all that other bullshit dragged on, but it always does. Chris Jericho is the only exception. Everyone else needs to shut up about all that, and get to the point: the wrestling business. Okay, that’s a little harsh, but you get my point.

Some would say that Hardcore Bob is a little bitter, but I just found him to be straight shooting. He really didn’t hold back when it came time to condemn people. He also showed a great deal of respect and humility to people who probably don’t deserve it. The man put his body and mind into the McMahon machine for most of his adult life, and didn’t get the recognition he deserved. He earned a good living, put on some great matches and made some terrific memories. All he was missing was a moment of true recognition. That eluded him, but if anything, he still exercised respect and understanding. That takes a lot of courage.

I would definitely recommend this book. This hasn’t been the most extensively detailed review, but that’s because I don’t want to spoil the book for you. What I will say is that whatever idea or perception you have about this man will change after you read this. I guarantee it! Go read it, come back here, and post a comment. You won’t regret it!

Thanks for reading,