Kamikaze Pro: Dojo Blog #2

kpro7So I’m finally getting around to putting down my thoughts on this week’s training session. I’ll be tracking my progress on here as I try to make my way into the wrestling business. I do this mostly for my own recollection and perspective, but if you’re reading, I hope you find it mildly interesting.

After another inspirationally good Kamikaze Pro event in Birmingham – which featured a match between the legendary Steve Corino and the man training us Pete Dunne – I was very excited to get back onto the mats and try to improve. For the first time in my budding career, I would be undertaking my second consecutive wrestling lesson. I’m hoping to keep that weekly streak going for as long as I possibly can.

I very much enjoyed the session. Ryan Smile – who also leads the training – couldn’t be there, so Pete had to try to bounce between the experienced class and the beginners. I’m sure you can guess which group I am a part of. The cardio stepped up a little bit, but I just about managed to keep up. I’ve been trying to get in the gym at least three times a week for the last two months, and hopefully that’s paying off. There is still a helluva lot of hard work to be done, and progress to be made, but I’m feeling as good as I have for many years.

As for the actual techniques, I felt we learned so much more than last week. It was a big jump from Week One to Week Two in terms of what we got to try out. I absolutely loved it, and I could tell that all the guys felt the same. It’s hard to speak for the experienced guys/girls and what they were doing, but on our side of the room, we all seemed to be having fun. It was so cool to be doing vertical and back suplexes after only one week. I didn’t exactly perfect all of mine – both in giving and taking – but it felt amazing to be working on that stuff.

We also worked hard drilling some of the more core manoeuvres, like basic forward and back rolls, shoulder tackles and clotheslines. We all bumped the mat countless times, and it’s starting to feel better each time. I really, really need to start tucking my head on the back bumps though, or I’m going to fuck my neck up. It’s already giving me quite a bit of pain. I tend to pick up on things slow. I wasn’t always that way. From what I’m told, I was a “fast learner” as a child. Not so much now, but I’ll get there. You can only snap your head back on the mat so many times before you instinctively tuck it. At least I hope that’s the case.

Pete put us to work and it was by no means a cakewalk, but I left the building with a huge grin on my face once again. I really, really want to make something of this. It’s been my fantasy since I was eight years old. I’m very late to get started, but I’m still no DDP. I think there is time for me, if I put in the hard work and keep showing up. No pain, no gain.

I certainly can’t wait to get back in there on Tuesday for Week 3. Everybody there – the trainers, the students, the organisers – is super nice and I would really recommend this school to anybody in the West Midlands wanting to try out professional wrestling. I’ll be back through with Blog #3 next week.

Thanks for reading,

Craig [Editor]

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]

Kamikaze Pro: Over The Top

rumblekamikazeKamikaze Pro – Over The Top
Meadway Sports & Social, Birmingham
Sunday 30th March 2014

I had the pleasure of attending another great independent show this past weekend. It was my second experience of Kamikaze Pro and again it eclipsed what I’d seen before from these type of shows. The in-ring quality was superb again, but I actually found this event more entertaining generally. It had the perfect balance between great athleticism and good, plain fun. Every seat was taken but the beauty of smaller shows like this is the intimacy of it. You can’t get that in an arena. The guys in the ring can really interact with the crowd. It was great to hear Ryan Smile yelling “Oh shit, again” as he took another big bump. It was a family friendly show on a Sunday afternoon, but a few expletives crept through in there. No harm done though I don’t think. Good times at the wrestling show!

My overall impression of the event and the promotion was very positive again. I’m going to take a look at each of the six matches on the card. Forgive me if I accidentally jumble the order up, or make some other mistakes. This show got pretty wild and crazy. Lots of shit went down and it’s hard to keep track of it all. That’s definitely a good sign.

Damian Dunne(c) v Pete Dunne v Robbie X
(Triple Threat Match for the Relentless Division Championship)

This was an excellent way to start the show. I was quite surprised to see it on so early, but then I guessed it was because all of these guys would be pivotal to the rumble match at the end. Nonetheless, these guys didn’t disappoint. I don’t think I’d seen Damian before, but I knew all about Pete and Robbie. I was expecting to see some exciting work and that’s exactly what we all got. The crowd were into it from the get go and that’s the perfect way to begin a show. The Champ retained his title but not without being taken to the limit. This wouldn’t be the end of the night for these guys, not by a long shot.

T-Bone v Charlie Garrett

Now this may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that Charlie Garrett stepped in for Chris Andrews, who himself went on to work in another match on the card – more on that later. Whether or not I botched the names, these were two big guys and they had a very good match. I’d seen T-Bone last time and was very impressed. Charlie was new to me, but he did really well. Interacting with the crowd one minute, and beating the crap out of each other the next – can’t complain.

The Hunter Brothers v The Magnums
(Tag Team Tournamnent Final for the Tag Team Championships)

Again, I may have the order wrong. I’m not completely sure. What I am certain of is that this match was great. The show really started to heat up here, and the crowd were wild for this one. It was a combination of high octane, classic tag team wrestling and hysterical comedy. I loved seeing both of these teams for the first time, but I have to say The Magnums blew me away! They were just so entertaining in the way they played to the crowd. This match was fun for everyone in the room. The people really took to The Hunter’s and continuously showed it with chants about the team’s native Tipton. The Brothers picked up the win and became the first ever Kamikaze Pro Tag Team Champions. The two teams shook hands at the end of the match – a touch of class that always goes over well when it’s done right – and that was the first half done.

newkliqMarshall X v Justin Sysum

After the break, the show became a complete roller-coaster. Marshall X was fighting for his career. A victory would get him re-hired, a defeat would see him exiled forever. He took his time coming out, and then played a great game of cat and mouse with his opponent around the ring. This broke out into a street fight which got his head smashed off of the bar, among other places. When the action got back to the ring, Marshall managed to turn it around and slither his way out of the situation. He did it with the help of Van Damage, who now seems to be the muscle of his operation. I guess that means the man is back and here to stay. The crazy excitement of this match wasn’t the end of the party.

Ryan Smile(c) v Chris Andrews
(for the Kamikaze Pro Championship)

Before the match, General Manager Harvey Dale came out to tell Ryan Smile that he would no longer be facing his scheduled opponent MVK Valkabious. I believe it was Chris Andrews who stood in there, but I may have got the names wrong. He was a big guy either way, and it showed. For a lot of the match, the Champ was reeling. He tried to run away from the fight several times and got pummeled whenever he got too close. Nonetheless, the man who doesn’t lack for confidence retained his title and continued his long title reign. He needed to use a wrench behind the referees back a couple of times, but it’s all about getting that big W.

rumblelucha20 Man Over The Top Rope Battle Royal
Winner to face Petey Williams at Sky’s The Limit

This was the highlight of the show, and believe me I’ve seen plenty of battle royals. They can sometimes be tiresome, but that wasn’t the case here. It was like a melting pot containing all the matches and stories that had come before it. People were screwed, guys ran in and got involved, and shit got crazy! There was too much mayhem going on to get deep into, but the most important moment came at the end.

Robbie X made his way into the match towards the end, with only Damian Dunne in the ring at the time. He cashed in his briefcase for a title match and won the Relentless strap during the rumble match. I thought that was innovative. Nobody saw that coming! Unfortunately for him, and Pete Dunne – the three of them ended the show, just as they had started – Ryan Smile helped Damian win the battle royal and the chance to face former TNA star Petey Williams at the next event.

corinotingYou win some, you lose some. Robbie X openly proclaimed to the crowd the fact that he didn’t care about being eliminated, because he had just won the title. It was insane stuff! Damian Dunne seemed equally happy to win the battle royal and know that he would be facing the Canadian Destroyer at the end of April. I can’t wait to see that!

The whole show kept me on the edge of my seat throughout, particularly the second half. You should get the DVD when it comes out because I really can’t do it justice. So much stuff went down. It was non-stop action! For a local independent show on a Sunday afternoon, this was a very impressive event. All of the kids in the room seemed to have a good time. All of the adults were cracking up and loving it too – everybody was happy.

I even managed to pick up a couple of treats from the merch stand for my collection.

figuresThanks for reading, and check out the Kamikaze Pro shows out on Facebook!

Craig [Editor]

Ring of Honor: The Weekly Review

The following is a review of the latest episode of Ring of Honor. It was written by Ring of Honor Correspondent Steven Forrester. Enjoy reading. Follow, comment and like! Also check out the wrestling talk series Unsanctioned Wrestling on YouTube.

Ring of Honor – 08/06/13 – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

With the Best In The World Internet Pay-Per-View only two weeks away we join Ring of Honor again from the Ted Reeve Arena. I guess they taped a bunch of shows there.

The show kicks off with Truth Martini and the Hoopla Hotties accompanying the ROH Television Champion to the ring. I just have to say here that the Hotties live up to the promise in the name.

Image 1 - What An Ass

What An Ass – Source: Ring Of Honor

Truth Martini cuts a promo on Jay Lethal in the ring. Lethal won a TV Title shot on the last episode so Truth just ran him down a little, bigging up his compatriot Matt Taven. Lethal gets his title shot at Best In The World. Truth says that Taven is a fighting champion and to prove it he offers an open challenge to anyone in the back.

The challenge is answered by Pepper Parks. If Parks wins the match then he will get a TV Title shot. Big stakes. This was a cool little match in my opinion. Some cool wrestling and strikes. A highlight was a running knee from Parks. The match went back and forth before Taven hit an awesome finisher and got the three count. I’m not sure what it’s called but it looked awesome.

After a commercial break we come to Rip Impact coming down to the ring for a match with Tommasso Ciampa. Ciampa returned on the last television show. This match was also Rip Impact’s debut in Ring of Honor. The match opened with the Code of Honor being respected with the handshake between the two.

Image 2 - Code of Honor

Code Of Honor – Source: Ring Of Honor

The match opened with Ciampa dominating Impact. Little cool bits of wrestling and some awesome strikes. ‘Unbreakable’ Mike Elgin came down to ringside and had a stare down with Ciampa that distracted him enough for Impact to get some offense in. Ciampa won the match by hitting Project Ciampa from the top rope. I think that both his finisher and Ciampa himself are awesome. He has a cool persona.

After the match Mike Elgin cut a promo. He announced that he will face Ciampa at Best In The World. This is something that I’m looking forward to. Both Elgin and Ciampa are great. I’m not quite sure what the beef is here but I think they’ll have a great match.

Inside ROH began by reiterating the newly booked match for the iPPV. It will be the first time they’ve had a match. I’m pretty pumped for the match. There was then a video promo of some highlights of Adam Cole. Cole then cut a promo on Roderick Strong, who I think he will be facing at BITW (awesome name for a pay-Per-View by the way, surprised WWE haven’t jumped on board what with the former ROH Champion CM Punk making that saying a huge part of his gimmick) but I’m not quite sure. To be honest I wasn’t really paying attention to this part.

Kevin Steen then cut a promo on Matt Hardy and the rest of S.C.U.M . I was really surprised when Matt turned up in Ring of Honor. I saw an awesome promo that he made called his “ROH Anti-Bullying Video” that really made me laugh. It’s a far cry from his appearance in his brother Jeff Hardy’s crack influened video shoot on CM Punk. Steen basically hyped up his match with Hardy at Best In The World. Another match that I’m looking forward to.

Steve Corino then came out to the ring with most of S.C.U.M. He said that people would just love to see the veteran Nigel McGuinness step in the ring with him. I agree with Steve, but I thought Nigel was like Edge, absolutely retired due to injuries. Maybe he’s got better somehow? There was a staredown between Corino and McGuinness and loads of wrestlers came down. Corino made a racist comment to Jay Lethal and the crowd made a hilarious “That was racist!” chant. ROH fans are awesome. There was loads of brawling between S.C.U.M. and the ROH guys, it was a pretty cool segment.

Time for the Main Event. A classic showdown between the American Wolves and the Briscoe Brothers. This match has happened loads of times and it’s always awesome no matter the stipulation. Ring of Honor has always had awesome tag team wrestling. From the time I’ve been watching it, I would say that they’ve had the best tag team matches in America. This match was no different. Two friends who watched this show with me and saw ROH for the first time were both really impressed with this match and I was too.

Image 3 - Redneck Kung Fu

Redneck Kung Fu – Source: Ring Of Honor

The crowd was really hot for this match and it definitely lived up to the promise. There was plenty of great spots in this and great brawling, whether it was the redneck kung fu of Mark Briscoe or the MMA inspired offense of the American Wolves. Great stuff in my opinion. A highlight for me was a really cool tag team spot between the Wolves where Davey Richards hit a sick kick on Mark Briscoe and Eddie Edwards followed it up with a wicked dive to Jay Briscoe on the outside. Classic Ring of Honor tag action.

In the melee Mark accidentally hit Jay in the face. The finish was an amazing Tombstone Piledriver from Eddie Edwards to Mark Briscoe. Before Edwards dropped the Tombstone, Davey hit a wicked kick to the head.

This was a great episode of ROH in my opinion. Lots of great wrestling with some great hyping up for Best In The World. The highlight was surely the main event. Great tag team match.

We hope you enjoyed the piece. Be sure to Follow for plenty more work about Ring of Honor, WWE and pretty soon TNA! Give the article a like and leave a comment to get involved. Thanks for checking out The Real Mid Card. We appreciate your support.

Thoughts on the Latest Episode of Ring of Honor

The following is a review of the latest episode of Ring of Honor. It was written by Ring of Honor Correspondent Steven Forrester. Enjoy it!

Ring of Honor – 25 / 05 / 2013 – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This week’s Ring of Honor kicked off with a cool little match between the returning Colin Delaney and Mark Briscoe. Due to the victory in the tag match at Border Wars, Steve Corino has joined the Ring of Honor commentary team alongside Nigel McGuinness and Kevin Kelly.

Colin Delaney v Mark Briscoe

Being built around the ‘Redneck Kung Fu’ of Mark Briscoe, this was a pretty physical opening match. However, a suplex from Briscoe to Delaney on the ring apron was really the only thing that stood out about the match. Mark Briscoe picked up the win after an elbow drop from the top rope.

Image 1 Mark vs Colin

Mark Briscoe v Colin Delaney – Source: Ring of Honor

After the commercial break we find ROH commissioner Nigel McGuinness in the ring with the Ring of Honor World Champion Jay Briscoe and his victorious brother Mark. Nigel announced that the main event for Best in the World will indeed be Brother vs. Brother for the World Championship. This was then interrupted by the American Wolves, with Roderick Strong having a title shot they felt it was a little premature to announce the main event. This was then interrupted by the guy you love to hate, Steve Corino. The SCUMM leader reminded McGuinness that a SCUMM member has a title shot at a forthcoming pay per view and revealed that the “Jesus Christ of Professional Wrestling” Matt Hardy will have that shot. Jay tried to hit Corino, Steve ducked out of the way and a brawl broke out between the Brothers and the American Wolves. Mike Elgin watched from ring side.

Honestly this segment felt a little confusing. It seemed like there were five different Number One Contenders for the World Title, and even after re-watching I still can’t really be sure what the main event of Best in the World actually is.

After a quick commercial break we come to Ring of Honor Correspondent Veda Scott with a microphone. She wants to fight MsChif and wants Nigel McGuinness to let her prove that she can be more than an announcer. This was a cool little promo in my opinion. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing that match.

As a hardened fan of Monday Night Raw and WWE in general, I guess I’m a little pre-conditioned to know what to expect when I see two women and a referee standing in the ring. Luckily this isn’t WWE and these aren’t Divas. The Women of Honor are practically the polar opposite of the WWE Divas and the image that they present. These are professional wrestlers, not super models with a bit of stunt training.

Cherry Bomb v MsChif

Honestly, this was a really cool match! The veteran MsChif controlled the majority of the match. Cherry Bomb hung in there and hit some really cool offense, including a shout out to the American Dragon when she rolled MsChif into the Cattle Mutilation. It seems Veda Scott is taking matters into her own hands. She distracted MsChif long enough for Cherry Bomb to hit a missile dropkick and then a Death Valley Driver for the win. This was MsChif’s first loss on Ring of Honor television. A significant moment for sure.

Image 2 Cherry vs MsChif

Not Divas, Women’s wrestling! – Source: Ring of Honor

That match was followed by Inside ROH. Kevin Kelly reminded us of the Brother vs. Brother match at Best in the World, and also talked about an event in San Antonio, Texas. On June 1st, Davey Richards will face Jay Briscoe for the ROH World Championship. Kevin Steen came along and said he would love to know when he’s getting his rematch (that must be at least the 3rd wrestler I’ve seen this broadcast who has a shot at the World Championship). Unfortunately Nigel has his doubts as to whether Steen really has cut all ties with SCUMM. Steen proposed a challenge. If he can beat all members of SCUMM one on one, he gets his rematch. Nigel agreed.

Taiji Ishimori v Roderick Strong

This was a really good match and a great way to end the show. The American TV debut of Taiji Ishimori was a perfect advertisement for both Ring of Honor and NOAH. The match started with some very slick and fast paced chain wrestling between the two before Strong claimed control for most of the match, continuing to zero in on the back and midsection of the Japanese wrestler after a brutal looking back body drop on the ring apron.

Image 3 Strong vs TaijiTaiji Ishimori and Roderick Strong – Source: Ring of Honor

After the amazing match with Eddie Edwards at Border Wars, I was really looking forward to seeing more of Taiji Ishimori and was happy to see that he was involved in this show. A particular highlight from him in this match was an insanely cool handspring-to-enziguri. The crowd was very hot for Taiji, not surprisingly with him displaying such athleticism. Ishimori won via pinfall following the 450 Splash.

All in all I really can’t complain about this show. I saw some great wrestling. The only negative was the slightly confusing segment with the Briscoe Brothers, American Wolves, Steve Corino, Mike Elgin and Nigel McGuinness. I couldn’t really keep track of what was going on here and it seemed like a lot of time was spent to say something that could have been done in a few minutes.