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The Week In British Wrestling: Sekimoto clashes with Keith Lee

Main image by Gary Ward

Here are five things you need to know about British wrestling this week:

1) Sekimoto vs. Lee tore the house down at the Resistance

A big weekend for both XWA and Bethnal Green's Resistance Gallery collided last Saturday when the promotion staged their latest Exclusive Series event at the east London venue. The show was built around the attraction of seeing Big Japan Pro Wrestling ace Daisuke Sekimoto, and the anticipation was only heightened by programming him against man of the hour, Keith Lee.

The two delivered in a hard-hitting, no quarter fight which wowed the crowd, and surely would have earned both men a standing ovation if the event wasn't already an all-standing affair!

Following that was impossible, but Lord Gideon Grey and Jimmy Havoc did their best by staging a Tea Party Massacre, which also involved former NXT star Bull James and Martina the Session Moth, Havoc won, after waterboarding Grey, but the real winners were anyone who managed to grab a fondant fancy cake.

The show also featured Matt Riddle, former Vaudevillain Simon Grimm, Mark Haskins, and an XWA Frontier Sports Championship match between Jody Fleisch and Jonny Storm.

Jimmy Havoc is decidedly-nonplussed ahead of the Tea Party massacre -- photo by Carlene Sanford

The next day, XWA decamped to their more traditional venue of the Colchester Arts Centre, where XWA 47 took place. Using many of the crew from the Exclusive Series, they headlined with a Frontier Sports title match featuring Sekimoto, Grimm, and Doug Williams. No Jody Fleisch? That’s because the promotion announced he was injured, although he was appearing live on FloSlam for IPW:UK.

This will have storyline consequences down the line, but in Fleisch’s absence Grimm became the new FS Champion after a series of whiplash knees and a shining wizard accounted for Sekimoto.

The show opened with Keith Lee pinning fellow big man Bull James after a leaping crossbody from the ramp into the ring, and there were also wins for Kip Sabian, Lion Kid, and Martina the Session Moth over Lord Gideon Grey in a match that was everything you’d imagine it would be.

The Congregation beat Danny Blaze & Australian visitor Josh Shooter, and afterwards James Castle laid out “Pastor” William Eaver to signal the end of that faction. XWA will be back at the Arts Centre on October 8th, with Grimm vs. Williams for the Frontier Sports title.

Either side of XWA's date at the Resistance, the building's more usual tenants ran shows, with Lucha Britannia operating their monthly cavalcade of the bizarre and spectacular last Friday -- topped by a brother vs. brother match, as Steakley Bakewell took on his sibling Jerry in the main event.

Sunday saw the trainees of the London School of Lucha Libre, based at the Resistance, present another outing for the London Lucha League, main-evented by a three-way match for the LLL Championship. Sadly, readers, I have to report that Bacon Jr. lost his title to the evil Tengu, in a match which also featured vegan activist Mauro Chaves.

Lucha Britannia are at the Resistance on the third Friday of every month, and LLL make a swift return on August 13th.

2) Banks and Dunne continued to play games before Alexandra Palace

With the main event for September's big show at Alexandra Palace already set, PROGRESS Wrestling Heavyweight Champion Pete Dunne and his ultimate opponent Travis Banks were given the opportunity to pick each other's matches for the promotion's latest Manchester outing, Vote Pies at the Ritz last Sunday.

Dunne chose Matt Riddle for Banks, who allowed himself to get distracted and was pinned by the former PROGRESS Atlas Division champ.

Banks picked Eddie Dennis to fight Dunne, with the added stipulation from PROGRESS management that if Dennis won he would be added to September's title showdown. Unfortunately for the Welshman, Dunne once again triumphed, but this Sunday's Fate Loves The Fearless repeats the experiment.

PROGRESS fans make their feelings about Pete Dunne VERY clear -- photo by Rob Brazier

With Banks and Dunne tied up lower down the card, the show was topped by a PROGRESS Tag Team title match as British Strong Style's Trent Seven & Tyler Bate put their belts on the line against the riotous War Machine. As with their BSS stablemate Dunne, Seven & Bate triumphed, but with some shenanigans to help them on their way.

PROGRESS Women's Champion -- and Mae Young Classic entrant -- Toni Storm made her second defense of the title she won at May's Super Strong Style 16, and beat Laura Di Matteo, and there were also wins for Tyson T-Bone, Jack Sexsmith (whose reward is a tilt at Dunne this Sunday), and for #CCK in something of a confusing finish.

The show will be up on Demand PROGRESS soon, and that show this Sunday is at the Electric Ballroom in Camden.

3) PWE celebrated six years with WWE UK Champion Pete Dunne

Six years is not an inconsiderable amount of time to run a wrestling promotion, and the people of Ayr, the west of Scotland, have been served since 2011 by Pro-Wrestling Elite, run by 15-year pro Adrian "Lionheart" McCallum.

They ran a double shot last Friday and Saturday, at Ayr Town Hall, and brought in WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne as a late replacement for Alberto El Patron, who was sensibly dropped while police investigated allegations of domestic battery.

Mark Coffey lays it into Pete Dunne -- photo by David J Wilson

Dunne headlined the opening night, beating the underrated Mark Coffey, and then followed that with a victory over Kenny Williams. Also brought in were the UK Hooligans, the fraternal team from Norwich, and they won the PWE Tag Team titles from the New Age Kliq of Chris Renfrew & BT Gunn on night one, before losing the belts in a three-way to Polo Promotions the next day.

That match also featured the NAK, and after another loss the team seems done, especially since Renfrew attacked Gunn after the match.

Alongside wins for Williams, Mikey Whiplash, and Davey Blaze, night one also featured a 10-man tag team match between graduates of the Glasgow Pro-Wrestling Asylum, the training school that produces much of ICW’s nascent talent, won by Team GPWA.

Night two was topped by a PWE Heavyweight title match, which saw Joe Hendry submit Joe Coffey to keep the belt, as well as wins for Jack Jester, Iestyn Rees, Grado, and Mikey Whiplash. PWE return on September 23rd.

4) Cara Noir has his sights set on Jimmy Havoc

After announcing that the company had been sold to Fight!Nation Wrestling (although the final deal doesn't go through until the autumn), IPW:UK presented their tenth supershow last Sunday, live on FloSlam from the Casino Rooms in Rochester.

The show was headlined by a unique rumble-style match, the winner of which would receive a title shot of his choice, valid for up to a year. In addition, any wrestler that eliminated one of IPW:UK's current champions would also receive a shot at the respective championship.

Cara Noir makes his entrance -- photo by Beyond Gorilla's Robyn Goding

The rumble itself was won by Jonny Storm, who is keeping his powder dry as to where, when, and who his title shot will be against, but opportunities were also earned by Cara Noir (who eliminated IPW:UK Heavyweight Champion Jimmy Havoc), by Adam Maxted & Sammy Smooth (who accounted for IPW:UK's feuding Tag Team Champions DnD), and for Sid Scala, who eliminated new IPW:UK All-England Champion Earl Black Jr.

Black Jr. had won the title in the evening's opening match, outlasting seven others -- including Scala, Canadian import El Phantasmo, and 2002 Spud -- to lift the FWA-legacy belt.

The show also featured a rare defense of his title by Havoc, who beat former WWE star Carlito, and wins for The London Riots, Danny Duggan, a strangely not-injured Jody Fleisch, and for Big Grizzly over Keith Lee in a battle of the super heavyweights.

You can catch a replay of the action on FloSlam and IPW:UK are back this Saturday in Selsdon.

5) Every match was a dark match at Tidal (and other stuff)

The world of independent wrestling is fraught with potential disasters and high up on that list has to be a building with no lights or power! That happened to Tidal Championship Wrestling last Sunday as they promoted The Battle Of LS2 at The Church in Leeds, but in the spirit of The Show Must Go On, wrestlers and fans alike just got on with having a great time.

The show was main-evented by a Tidal Championship match between two massive heavyweights as Rampage Brown beat Jeff Cobb in an eagerly-awaited battle, and the undercard was no less impressive, featuring wins for Sebb Strife & Nsereko, JD Boom, Jason Prime, and HT Drake in a “Hall Pass Match” over Tidal Open Champion Sean Only.

Soner Dursun issued an open challenge, and beat a local athlete before being upset by CJ Banks, while the Tidal Women’s Championship match between Lizzy Styles and Little Miss Roxxy turned into a tag team match as the two united to beat El Ligero & Sam Wilder.

The promotion has announced that the venue will issue a guest pass to ticket holders to any future music event as a make-good for the electricity problems, and Tidal are back in Leeds on August 12th.

Just up the road in Middlesbrough, 3 Count Wrestling threw a Midsummer Showdown last Friday, with an intriguing tag team main event which pitted 3CW Champion Alex Gracie & Rampage Brown against Jeff Cobb & Matt Riddle.

The show was heavy on tag action, and also featured two semifinals in the 3CW Tag Team title tournament, with Chris Whitton & Kid Richie and The Rogues Gallery advancing to the final. There were also wins for Ace Matthews, Martin Kirby, and Joseph Conners.

Matt Riddle collides with Jeff Cobb -- photo by Brett Hadley

Just as Tidal made the best of their issues, ATTACK! Pro-Wrestling reacted to a shambles of a festival appearance with a near-sellout show on just 24 hours’ notice!

The Amplified festival in Gloucestershire, where the promotion were due to host several showcases, was something of a washout due to the weather last Friday and, rather than waste a booking, the cast and crew behind ATTACK! announced they would host Damplified at the Frog & Fiddle in Cheltenham the next day.

They were rewarded with a big crowd, who got some incredible action which culminated in a non-title match filled with shenanigans as ATTACK! Champion Chief Deputy Dunne beat Eddie Dennis. Afterwards, Dennis announced that Dunne would defend his title at Winterslam II next month against Flash Morgan Webster.

After Bowl-A-Rama beat The Brothers of Obstruction in the opener, the brothers “confiscated” Splits McPins for “health and safety reasons” -- he’s still missing -- and there were also wins for Omari, Tyler Bate, and #CCK.

The show is already available on ATTACK!’s Vimeo service, and the big Winterslam II show is at Cardiff’s Walkabout on August 20th.