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The Week In British Wrestling: Marty Scurll & Nikki Storm are making great waves

Nikki Storm

Here's 5 things you need to know about British wrestling this week:

1) Wrestlers from over here are doing well over there.

While there's plenty of action to keep us occupied in the UK every single week of the year, 2016 also looks like being a breakout year for a trio of homegrown stars overseas. While much has been written (and will be written!) about Will Ospreay and New Japan - the most recent developments being the offer, and acceptance, of a 2 year contract, and his inclusion in the 2016 Best of the Super Juniors tournament, Marty Scurll & Nikki Storm are also making waves in two very different environments.

Scurll, the yin to Ospreay's yang, made his debut for Evolve over WrestleMania weekend, picking up 2 victories to go along with his WrestleCon win over Ospreay. He appeared for the company again this past weekend, losing to Johnny Gargano and beating Zack Sabre Jr, and he's been named the number one contender to Timothy Thatcher's title - Thatcher being one of those he beat in Dallas. On the same Evolve shows, Drew Gulak & TJ Perkins qualified for the Global Cruiserweight Classic, joining Brits Noam Dar, Jack Gallagher, and Sabre Jr.

Storm, meanwhile, reported for duty at WWE's performance centre last month and made her NXT house show debut in double quick time. She joins fellow Brit Hugo Knox (a former goalkeeper with Port Vale) and Finn Bálor, who was no stranger to the halls of the UK in his pre-NXT days. The success of our home-grown boys and girls is not only proof of the quality of the scene lately but has to be a fillip for any youngsters coming into the sport. You can now make it big even if you are not 6' 6" or a bleached blonde bikini model, and we're all the better for it.

2) Swindon played host to a Wrestle-1 title match.

For the second time in 2016, 4-Front Wrestling pitched up at the MECA Centre in Swindon for a supershow, enhancing their regular talent with some more unusual - if not unique - fly-ins. Last time out, they played host to talent from New Japan, AAA & the joshi puroresu scene, and this time they favoured Pro-Wrestling NOAH, All-Japan, Wrestle-1, and Puerto Rico's World Wrestling Council. Heading up the show, a 12th anniversary affair titled Global Takeover, was a 4FW Heavyweight title match, featuring the surprise winner at January's New Year's Wrestleution - Saime Sahin - against the man he beat for the title on that occasion, Tiger Ali. Sahin, an effervescent rookie with an outstanding afro, came out on top again, despite interference from Ali's stablemates in the Three Kings.

Photo of Haskins & Suzuki by BlueGodzilla

That wasn't the only title on the line in Swindon, however, as Kotaro Suzuki put his Wrestle-1 World Cruiserweight championship up against the challenge of Mark Haskins, who holds the 4FW Junior Heavyweight title. Despite a valiant effort, Haskins couldn't quite beat the former NOAH trainee, but still keeps his own belt and will face off against Mark Andrews, the winner of a 6-man number one contenders' match which also featured Ultimo Dragon, Pete Dunne, Wild Boar, Bubblegum & Mega Pegasus.

Also on the card, Shelton Benjamin beat Carlito Colon, Doug Williams won a handicap match against Crusher Lomaxx & Saul Adams, and JD Knight beat The Saint to become the number on contender to Sahin's heavyweight title. The show should be able to watch soon on 4FW On Demand, and the company returns to Swindon in July for Ultimate Supremacy. Next up, though, is Thatcham on May 14th, with Ultimo Dragon.

3) It was champion versus champion at NGW this week.

With Ultimate Showdown under 3 weeks away at the end of May, there were still a few twists and turns at New Generation Wrestling's latest show, in Pudsey, West Yorkshire, on Sunday. Main-eventing the show was a champion versus champion affair, as Undisputed title holder Nathan Cruz took on Gen-X League top man Bubblegum. As you'd expect, although after no little difficulty, Cruz came out on top, but will still have on eye on the upcoming Northallerton show before he can fully concentrate on his title triple threat match at Ultimate Showdown against Rampage Brown & Zack Gibson.

While Gibson was north of the border for ICW, Brown did appear for NGW, taking down one half of the Tag-Team champions, Stixx, in the show's opener. Next up was Joseph Conners, turning into one of UK wrestling's busiest men of late, who pinned Matt Myers in a decent contest. Conners wasn't finished there, however - he and his valet, Lilith, interfered in Dara Diablo's match with Ace Matthews, causing Matthews to be counted out and then throwing Matthews back into the ring for a beating. Matthews was saved by Liam Slater, who challenged either Diablo or Conners to a match on May 28th.

Slater had earlier teamed with the undoubted busiest man in the UK wrestling, el Ligero, to defeat The Proven, and the whole gang will do it again in Northallerton in May 27th, before the big show in Hull the day after. NGW action can be seen in various UK cities on local TV.

4) Joe Coffey fought for his ICW life at Friday Night Fight Club.

The regular TV tapings for Insane Championship Wrestling's Friday Night Fight Club have become must-see fixtures in the Glasgow wrestling calendar this year, with a packed & stacked evening of the trademark ICW entertainment on offer for the price of a few pints. Opening the doors of the Garage again on Sunday night a few hours after announcing that Kurt Angle would be wrestling at November's huge Fear & Loathing IX, the company once again presented a top class card, with ICW regulars mixing it with some of the best of the UK's rest.

Headlining the show was a gamble for Joe Coffey as he took on Jack Jester. If Coffey won, he got a shot at Big Damo's ICW Heavyweight title at Shug's Hoose Party 3 later this summer, but if he lost he would have to leave ICW forever. With memories of Nikki Storm having to do just that fresh in the mind, few ICW fans were willing to make a bet either way, but Coffey came out on top and will face Damo (or whoever is champion) on July 31st. Jester's Black Label stablemate Drew Galloway was not in attendance - he was over in New York, making trouble at Evolve 61 - but the Black Label made themselves known throughout the night, and later fired Chris Renfrew & commentator Billy Kirkwood, much to the chagrin of promoter Mark Dallas.

Elsewhere on the card, there was a Zero-G championship win for Lionheart over Zack Gibson, a successful defense of the heavyweight title by Damo over DCT, and the first two quarter-finals of a tournament to decide the new ICW Tag-Team champions were held, with The 55 (Sha Samuels & Kid Fite) beating The New Nation (Jason Prime & Alexander Henry) and The Local Fire (Davey Boy & Joe Hendry) defeating The Rich Kids Of Instagram (Austin Osiris & Kyle Khaos) to advance into the semi-finals.

Photo of Grado by RantsByRichard

Also on the show - which featured Wolfgang, Kenny Williams, BT Gunn, Kay Lee Ray, Johnny Moss & Mikey Whiplash - was a match between Grado & Renfrew, with the winner becoming the number one contender and the loser never getting a title shot ever again, which Grado won. Presumably his title shot won't come at Shug's Hoose Party 3... or will it? The show will be available to view on ICW On Demand soon, and will be free to air without a subscription for the first 24 hours. Next up for ICW is another taping, again at the Garage, on May 29th.

5) Will Ospreay fought on home turf, and more.

Despite being the (very much deserved) flavour of the month, Will Ospreay fought 3 times over the weekend in front of a COMBINED 400 fans at the smaller shows he is still happy to do despite his New Japan success. Half of those crammed into the Rainham Methodist Hall on Saturday night for the Reloaded Championship Wrestling Alliance's latest event, which saw Ospreay & Paul Robinson once more reunite the Swords of Essex, losing an RCWA Tag-Team title match to the champions, Ash Draven & Sean Wilson. Also on the show, which is held in Ospreay's home town and also featured Malik & Scotty Essex, Chuck Cyrus defeated RCWA British champion Joel Masters to win the title. RCWA are back on June 11th, with Mark Haskins.

Much further north, in the Scottish new town of Livingston, Reckless Intent presented Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now at Murieston Scout Hall, and brought in Rampage Brown to face RI champion Michael Chase at the top of the card. Chase escaped with his title and more than a few bruises, which is also how Jam O'Malley & Rob Mills must have felt after their RI Hardcore Championship match. O'Malley kept his title in a "Nursery Krymes" match which doesn't bear thinking about. The show also featured DCT & Jason Prime, and Reckless Intent return on May 22nd.

Photo of Iestyn Rees by David J Wilson

Also in Scotland, which has a thriving scene worthy of an almost independent nation, Pro-Wrestling Elite promoted Are You Ready? at Ayr Town Hall. The show was main-evented by a PWE Heavyweight title match between Iestyn Rees & Joe Coffey, which saw Rees retain after Coffey's brother Mark distracted his sibling. The brothers will face off on PWE's 5th anniversary show in July in a 2 out of 3 falls match, and things are heating up already. Earlier in the show - which also featured Grado, Kay Lee Ray & Noam Dar - Kenny Williams defeated Joe Hendry, Dave Mastiff pinned Mikey Whiplash (following interference by Mikey Whiplash), and the New Age Kliq team of Chris Renfrew & BT Gunn beat Wolfgang & Stevie Boy, Following that match, commissioner Lionheart announced that Renfrew would face Billy Gunn at the anniversary show. That show is part of a weekend double-shot, with both shows at the Ayr Citadel Centre.