1PW DVD review with Ian Hamilton

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1PW A Cruel Twist of Fate1PW – A Cruel Twist of Fate DVD Review
October 1, 2005
The Dome in Doncaster, England

The first show from the Doncaster-based 1 Pro Wrestling smashed onto DVD late in 2005, and the two-disk effort is now available in the USA via Ring of Honor’s website. Originally billed as “A Twist of Fate”, the show was to feature Abyss vs Matt Hardy in the main event – although Matt Hardy’s WWE-enforced withdrawal forced a change in the main event.

Still, nobody complained about the addition of AJ Styles to the nine-match card.

(1) Jody Fleisch & Jonny Storm beat Jerry Lynn & Chris Sabin
This was the first match in 1PW, with the British high fliers overcoming their American counterparts. The commentary for this show was taped after the event, with Joe Dombrowski doing play-by-play alongside Anthony “Kingdom” James. Lynn and Storm start off, with some good spots, including some slapping while both men were doing headstands. The pace quickens when Fleisch and Sabin tag in to trade huracanranas, only for it to slow down again when Lynn returns to the fray. Lynn eats a Rewind Huracanrana and a Spanish Fly from Storm for a two-count.

Sabin gets tagged in but looks hesitant with his offence, but it’s not long before they spill out to the floor. Fleisch tries a ‘rana off the apron onto Lynn, but Lynn catches him and does the Giant Swing of Death… into the ring post. Inside the ring, the action goes back and forth, only for Fleisch’s comeback to end with a missed moonsault, allowing Chris Sabin to stumble into a dropkick on a hung up Fleisch. Both of the Americans try to hit their finishers, and miss, only for Storm’s second Rewind Huracanrana attempt to get countered into a TKO by Lynn.

Up comes the dives to the floor, as Storm hits a twisting pescado, Sabin a tope, while Fleisch tops it off with a shooting star press. Inside again, Sabin gets a two count from a running Ligerbomb on Storm, while Fleisch gets a two count from his 720 Phoenix DDT. It’s spot-a-mania time as Lynn lands the Cradle Piledriver on Fleisch, only for Jonny Storm to get the win with the Wonderwhirl. Not a bad opener, but not the high-flying action you’d expect from Fleisch and Storm. Everyone shakes hands afterwards, and way too much of the post-match celebrations is shown for the opening match.

Paging Elix Skipper...(2) Dave Meltzer’s Favourite Wrestler (Tracy Smothers) beat The Blue Meanie
With a bodyguard from “Northampton, Italy”, the “Nashville, Italy”-billed Smothers comes out to the old FBI/N-Trance music, dancing as only he can while trying his best to get booed. The Blue Meany (hey, that’s what the video wall says) gets a decent pop. The commentators build this up as a personal rivalry, between the goings on at the ECW One Night Stand PPV (although they don’t refer to it as such, just "the incident with JBL”).

A lot of stalling/comedy, depending on how you view it, as Smothers shoves the referee. Somehow, this evolved into the ref connecting with a drop toe hold on the old Freddie Joe Floyd, before doing an Elix Skipper and botching a body slam. During the match, Smothers cuts his “if I hear the words ‘Tracy sucks’, everyone dies” promo over the mic, while admonishing the referee for his shitty bodyslam.

The match now turns into a dancing contest with each men’s entrance music… you can kinda tell where this goes as the Meanie’s fat wobbles for the rest of the bout. I wrote way too much already about this. Smothers gets the win with a chain-assisted punch, and we can all forget this ever happened.

(3) Spud, Shabazz and Stevie Lynn beat James Tighe, Ross Jordan and Ice XVII
If you want to see current-day British wrestling on this show, then this is the closest you’ll get to it. For the uninitiated, Spud is a bit like Spike Dudley in a full-body suit, minus the goatee, a few inches, and a few pounds. Spud hits an old-school Mysterio spinning satellite headscissors on Jordan early on, while Lynn and Ice XVII trade chops to little reaction. Ice takes a back bump for no reason, and they have a stand-off.

Spud gets the best reactions out of anyone in the match, which isn’t saying much, but nearly gets pinned by Ross Jordan’s Rolling Thunder and Standing Moonsault combo. Ice dumps Spud on his head with a Michinoku driver for a two count, which leads to the heels triple teaming Spud with a powerbomb, only to get a near-fall. Everyone goes to the floor, and Stevie Lynn connects with a hilo, while Tighe connects with a twisting pescado. Spud goes up top and pulls off the old Molly Go Round (had to get that one in!)

Spud throws Jordan back inside, but misses with a frog splash. Jordan gets a two count from a twisting inverted DDT, as Lynn runs in and lands a Burning Hammer for two. Time for more finishers as Ice gets two on a release Tazmission plex, Shabazz gets the Overdrive, Tighe pulls off a brainbuster, and this match truly goes to shit. Spud gets the win out of nowhere with a headscissors into a spinning DDT. Average match at best, as all six guys were clearly missing something.

Straight away, Sterling James Keenan comes out with “his pet monster” Abyss, as Abyss wipes out Lynn with a Black Hole Slam. Spud gets killed by Abyss’ Shock Treatment, which is greeted with the commentary of “SPUD IS DEAD!”, and the Abyss Song too. Keenan cuts a promo on AJ Styles, causing a brief brawl between AJ and Abyss (ohhh!), then calls out D’Lo Brown, taking us to our next match.

(4) Sterling James Keenan beat D’Lo Brown
For some reason, D’Lo flashes the Mattitude sign to the crowd, and starts the match with the Big Show’s “shh” chops out on the floor. D’Lo throws a few more chops before a couple of punches. A chop block opens the door for Keenan, who focuses on D’Lo left leg.

Nobody seemed to know who Keenan was, and the crowd response seemed to be non existent when Keenan kicked out of D’Lo’s swinging urinage. The crowd woke up when D’Lo went up for a frog splash, but he misses, allowing Keenan to plant D’Lo with an STO for two. D’Lo goes Sky High for another two, then pulls a page out of Eddie Guerrero’s playbook, with the Three Amigos, only for Keenan to block the third suplex into a small package for the win. It was a solid match, but again, nothing really stood out here.

D’Lo sold being shocked for ages, and we see all of it as 1PW apparently employed a policy of “no cuts” on this DVD. Time to hit the fast-forward button, I think… although you may want to stop when D’Lo gets in the face of a fan who calls him a jobber.

(5) Steve Corino beat Al Snow
This was apparently for the AWA World Heavyweight Title, and this was a match I was dreading, as it killed the show for the live crowd. The fly-in referee falls on his ass as Al waves Head in his direction. We go for ages after the opening bell before a move (other than a tie-up) is performed, which gives the commentators plenty of time to run through the AWA title history.

At this point, I’m getting flashbacks of Goldberg vs Lesnar, as Snow and Corino do a little bit of mat wrestling. Both guys looked to have blown up early on, and the pace decreases as Dombrowski calls this an “AWA-style match”. Insert punchline here… Eventually, Corino starts assembling something that resembles a match, but I decide to hit fast forward as this is wandering well into negative-stars territory.

Corino sells a knee injury on the floor, yada yada ya, Al Snow goes to the floor to check on Corino, and gets attacked by Tracy Smothers. This portion dragged forever, even on fast forward. Match resumes, but it’s too late, and not even the Japanese “let’s do all of the big star’s spots” routine could save it. Corino wins it with a lariat, and if this tape had been released earlier, we’d have had a contender for worst match of 2005.

Onto disk two now…

(6) Low Ki beat Iceman
Ever wanted to see a British wrestler come out to “Born In The USA”? Watch Iceman… This was stiff as hell, as Iceman lived up to his tough-man reputation against a man he outweighed by 100lbs. Unfortunately, Low Ki’s kicks elicited nothing more than a polite reaction from a crowd left brain dead by the previous contest. Come to think of it, the crowd sound may have been turned down all night, as they did the old TNA trick of moving a lot but not making any noise.

A spinning sidewalk slam handed Iceman a near fall, but Low Ki rebounds with a Kobashi-like series of chops. Iceman powered back, only for Low Ki to roll through a release German suplex and connect with a double stomp. A Ki Krusher attempt fails on the first try, but Low Ki switches it into a short-lived guillotine on the second go, only to be turned inside out by a lariat as he tried to build momentum.

The finish finally came just shy of the 20 minute mark, when Low Ki drilled Iceman with the Ki Krusher from the top rope. Ki rolled it through into the Dragon Clutch, forcing the referee to stop the fight when Iceman “passed out”. Decent strong-style match, but there were periods when it started to drag.

(7) Doug Williams beat Austin Aries
Williams and Aries pulled off the technical-style match you’d expect from these guys, with the Anarchist outwitting Aries on two handshakes in a row, before tying up Aries like a pretzel.

Aries connects with his Heat Seeking Missile/tope, but wastes time by winding up the fans, before pulling off some old-school heel moves, including the dreaded “raking the eye across the rope”. Unfortunately, Aries switched from the 80s into the 2000s too quickly, and he ended up crotching himself on the top rope while aiming for Williams.

Aries gets a bunch of near falls, but Williams starts his comeback with a wicked lariat to the back of the head, then lands his top rope knee drop for a near fall. It all looks to be building towards Williams’ Chaos Theory finisher, but Aries avoids it with his running dropkick and a flying forearm for a two count. Williams blocks the brainbuster, then rolls away from the 450 Splash, giving him opportunity to land the Chaos Victory rolling German suplexes for the win. Best match of the night so far.

(8) The Sandman beat Raven and Tommy Dreamer
The ring announcer reads out a “statement from Raven” designed to turn him into a heel, but the fans cheer everything – even the really blatant anti-England stuff. For some reason, the fans cheer when he mentions Doncaster Rovers (the local football team, whose home ground is about a block away from the Doncaster Dome) losing. Raven then gets on the mic himself and gets the fans to cheer for everything, from the colour blue, to the ring announcer (zit face) and his valet (slutty whore). Raven kinda gave up at this point, as Sandman comes out with dubbed-in, not-Metallica-sounding-at-all music.

The match starts, but within minutes, “Man in the Box” hits, and Tommy Dreamer comes out with a shopping cart full of weapons – turning this into a triple threat match. Dreamer hits Raven with a framed picture of Matt Hardy (the irony!), then clocks Raven with two replica ECW title belts. The ref helps Dreamer get the shopping cart into the ring, and a guard rail (what the hell?!), and it’s weapon shots ahoy!

Sandman rubs some frozen pizza into Raven’s face, but turns around into a shopping cart shot from Dreamer. Out on a floor, Sandman eats a load of shots from cookie sheets, and you can probably guess that this isn’t a five star classic. Raven gets a two count with an Evenflow DDT on Dreamer. Sandman tries it, but Raven’s valet interferes… leading to a tower of sleeperholds on everyone involved. The valet (Scrumptious, I believe she was called) was taken out by a Heineken-rana, before Sandman landed a Rolling Rock onto a guard rail laid over Raven and Dreamer. Well, chiropractors everywhere will be loving this match…

The “this is awesome” chants break out for the first time tonight as Sandman gets thrown through a table in the corner. Scrumptious interferes again, and Dreamer delivers a thong wedgie piledriver to eliminate her again. Sandman gets the win when Dreamer places Raven on the table, allowing Sandman to land the Rolling Rock again for the pin (and to replay the dubbed-in replacement for Metallica).

Post-match, Dreamer tosses the weapons into the crowd, including the rubber edging from the table… Raven awakes from his slumber to get on the mic again to thank the fans while the ring crew do their jobs.

(9) AJ Styles beat Abyss (ohhh!)
The Abyss Song gets another airing in Doncaster here, as the commentators hype up the 1PW title tournament. They follow the big man vs small man formula, with Sterling James Keenan being ejected early on. AJ lands a hilo on the heels, and it’s down to one-on-one action.

Styles lands his usual spots, including a springboard rana off of Abyss’ shoulder, before a monkey flip was aborted and turned into a powerbomb. Abyss looks under the ring for (you guessed it) the thumb tacks, but can only find a chair. Abyss wedges the chair between the ‘buckles, which eventually gets used as AJ’s head is slingshotted into the chair.

Abyss attempts to hit an Avalanche on a steel chair placed over AJ, but the chair gets turned around and Abyss crotches himself, but it seems Abyss has no balls, as this barely affects him. AJ tries the Styles Clash, obviously to no success, but manages to roll through a chokeslam into a roll up for two. There’s a ref bump, and AJ hits a modified version of the Styles Clash, but there’s no count.

Keenan runs out and smashed AJ with his own X title belt, but AJ kicks out of a delayed count. Abyss rolls to the floor and finally finds the thumb tacks. Thousands of tacks are spread onto the mat as Abyss tries to chokeslam AJ into them. No luck though, and Abyss eventually ends up being driven into the tacks via a sunset flip bomb for a two count. Styles slams Abyss, and goes up for the Spiral Tap to pick up the win in a good main event.

Al Snow vs The Mascot - More exciting than Snow/CorinoExtras on the DVD include the “Proving Ground Battle Royal”, clips from the Q&A session, and some promotion work that 1PW did at half time with Al Snow and Tommy Dreamer during the Doncaster Rovers (football) game earlier that afternoon. Guess what: wrestling didn’t get over among the hardcore football fans. Even Al Snow’s “let’s go Rovers” didn’t stop the “who are ya?” chants… although his “fight” with the Doncaster team mascot won the fans over in the end (and a few of the Doncaster players who visibly crack up on the substitute’s bench).

Overall, for their debut show, this was a good offering from 1PW, with only one really offensive match (Al Snow vs Steve Corino). As with any first attempts, there’s a lot of improvement to be done, mainly on the sound, lighting and camera work, as the crowd barely came across on the DVD.

- 1PW’s “A Cruel Twist of Fate” can be purchased via ROHwrestling.com (for delivery in North America and worldwide), or via the 1upgames.co.uk website. The company's last two shows, No Turning Back, will be released as two separate DVDs in mid-February, along with the Fan Slam event .

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For the most in-depth and detailed news and analysis on pro-wrestling and MMA, always turn to the Figure Four Weekly newsletter and Figure Four Daily radio show! Become a member of F4Wonline.com and get the absolute latest insider news and commentary from WWE, TNA, UFC, PRIDE, ROH, K-1, all the independents, Japan, Mexico and so much more, all for as little as $1.05 per week. Members get complete newsletter, radio show, Mike Coughlin and Derek Burgan Archives. For your convenience, we offer secure online payments using your VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Discover card or PayPal account. Don't miss out on the fun, sign up now!

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