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The Week In British Wrestling: TK Cooper makes it a full house for SSS16

Main photo of Blue Meanie & The Tassle Tusslers by Marc Lloyd

1) IPW:UK are building towards their double century.

With their 200th show just a few weeks away, IPW:UK presented a weekend double outside their usual remit, with an over-18s show at the Tap & Tin in Chatham followed by a joint show with WrestleForce in Harlow, the only time the promotion venture north of the river Thames. The economically-titled Friday Night! was main-evented by an IPW:UK Heavyweight Championship match, with Joseph Conners once again standing in for champion Jimmy Havoc. The match, a Havoc speciality No DQ contest, came about after Conners got himself DQ'd to keep the title against Jon Ryan on the promotion's previous show, but this time he managed to defeat Ryan and keep Havoc' title.

The IPW:UK Women's title was also up for grabs, as Jetta was forced to defend it in a three-way against Pollyanna & former champion Tennessee Honey, and she came up trumps to show that she's lost none of her guile in her time away from the sport. Former IPW:UK Tag-Team champions The London Riots were in action, although in singles' competition, with James Davis pinning Clint Margera in a "No F'n Rules" match, and Rob Lynch being upset by Jack Sexsmith, making his first appearance of 2016 for the Kent outfit. The show also featured Chris Brookes & the GZRS (in their penultimate outing) and should be available on IPW On Demand soon.

Sunday's show at the Paringdon Sports Club, named Fast As Lightning in honour of special guest "White Lightning" Mark Andrews, opened with a match set up on the last Harlow show, as eXodus beat Lance Lawrence, and also featured an IPW:UK Tag-Team title match between champions DnD and local challengers The Ruckers, which the champs won by pinfall. The London Riots and Joseph Conners were in action again, teaming up as a formidable six-man outfit to lose to the Tassle Tusslers (Oliver Peace & Brad O'Brien) & former-ECW legend The Blue Meanie.

The card, which had appearances by Nixon Newell & Jonny Storm, was headlined by an IPW:UK All-England title match between Andrews and the champion, "Smooth" Sammy Smooth, and SMS retained his title by pinfall after a thrilling affair. IPW:UK return in Selsdon on June 4th, with their 200th show spectacular a day later in Tonbridge.

2) The War On The Shore showed Marty Jones has still got it.

Returning to Morecambe's Winter Gardens for their show of 2016, Alpha-Omega Wrestling presented The War On The Shore on Saturday night, and the fireworks well and truly went off with a bang! The highlight of the show, the induction of Marty Jones into the Morecambe Wrestling hall of Fame, was interrupted by heel stable The Following, who insulted the British wrestling legend and brought a challenge out of the veteran for a tag-team match against him & Ricky J Mackenzie. However, cooler heads prevailed, and Jones instead agreed to one of The Following facing McKenzie, and Andre Dekker stepped up, only to get knocked down again.

Johnny Phere comes close to pinning Stixx - photo by Tony Knox

Jones made his presence felt in the main event, too, as Greg Lambert - brandishing a manager's license, insisted on being in Johnny Phere's corner for his Alpha-Omega Championship challenge against Stixx. Lambert used to manage Phere, and seems to have made it an obsession to have someone - anyone! - end Stixx's 8-year reign as the Alpha-Omega champion, but Phere came up short in a 25-minute classic. After the match, Jones punched Lambert and threw him into the ring, where Phere laid him out.

The promotion's top heels, The Referendum, were heavily involved in the show, with tag-team champions Lewis Girvan & Bobby Roberts teaming with Jason Prime to lose the opener to Danny Hope, Cyanide & Solar, and A-O Women's champion Viper kept her title - despite attacking her scheduled opponent, Lana Austin, she was forced to fight Alexis Rose but still won. The stable's big victory came in a "Kiss The Flag" match, when Laird Grayson beat Ryan Hunter, who was made to kiss the saltire. With a tag-team title match between Girvan & Roberts and Hope & Joey Hayes already announced, Alpha-Omega return on July 16th with Vendetta.

3) There was plenty of TV drama at WAW's tapings in Norwich.

Run by the Knight family - patriarch Ricky Knight & women's veteran Sweet Saraya, the parents of WWE's Paige - the World Association of Wrestling has carved out a quiet niche for itself in East Anglia over the last two decades. Their focus this year, alongside their usual business of running 200 shows a year in Norfolk & Suffolk, has been on taping TV, which is being edited and prepared for distribution in Los Angeles.

Their latest tapings, held at the weekend at Epic Studios in Norwich, featured former WWE stars Scott Hall, Sean Waltman & Mr Anderson, as well as the usual WAW crowd & some of the UK's top talents, like Doug Williams & Nathan Cruz. The pick of day 1 of the tapings saw Williams, Waltman & Joe E Legend team up to defeat Robin Lekime, Tony Valentine & Bash, Ruffneck win the WAW British Heavyweight Championship by referee stoppage from Brad Slayer, and Bubblegum beat Roy Knight by DQ, when referee Steve Lynskey wrongfully accused Knight of attacking him.

The main event, to unify Luke Hawx's RQW Heavyweight Championship with Zak Knight's WAW version ended in drama when Zak's father, Ricky Knight, came down to the ring and hit both men with a chair before dragging Hawx on top of Zak for the pin...

Day 2 was no less action-packed and opened with Hawx defending his WAW title against Mitchell Starr, before commissioner Scott Hall demanded Ricky Knight explain his actions from the night before. Knight claimed he could make or break anybody in WAW but Hall fined & banned him from ringside for the night. The show - which again featured Bubblegum, Anderson, Waltman & Williams, as well as Nathan Cruz, Robbie Dynamite & The Essex Boys - was headlined by another unification match, this time for the RQW & WAW Tag-Team titles. The UK Hooligans team of Roy & Zak Knight defeated Special Edition (Kip Sabian & Brad Slayer) to win the titles, and then put over their opponents as one of the UK's top teams. WAW return on May 22nd in Lowestoft.

4) Bellatrix & Empress-Pro did it for the girls.

Also taped for TV last weekend was the latest show from Bellatrix, the women's arm of WAW, overseen by Sweet Saraya. She assembled some of the best of the UK's women's scene - as well as some top European women & the former Victoria, Lisa Marie Varon - for a quality show topped by controversy-filled main-event in which the Bellatrix championship was on the line in a tag-team match between champion Sammi Baynz & Sweet Saraya and Varon & former champion Destiny. The match ended in a no-contest, with Baynz keeping her title, and commissioner Scott Hall announced that Saraya & Varon would face off at Bellatrix 20.

In other news from the show - which also featured Rhia O'Reilly, Erin Angel, Carmel Jacob & Viper - Germany's Blue Nikita captured the RQW Women's title from Penelope, and Kay Lee Ray pinned the former Liberty, Alexis Windsor. Bellatrix return on July 3rd.

Xia Brookside photo by Dawn

The women were also centre stage at the Arts4Every1 Centre in High Wycombe, for the fourth outing by Empress Pro-Wrestling. Entitled Every Time I Die, the show featured a host of the UK's top female talent, and was main-evented by a "Fans Bring The Weapons" match between Rhia O'Reilly & Addy Starr, former tag-team partners turned enemies. O'Reilly won but both women embraced at the finish to end their feud. Earlier in the show, which also featured Violet O'Hara, Little Miss Roxxy & Jinny, the Queens of Wrestling (Pollyanna & Katie Harvey) beat Nadia Sapphire & Lizzy Styles, and Xia Brookside won a mini-tournament, defeating Toni Storm & Kay Lee Ray on her way to victory.

5) It was a packed weekend, up & down the country.

Intended to be a show where trainees from the ProJo could earn vital match experience, ENDVR returned to its roots a little last Sunday at the Garage in Highbury Corner for its 16th edition. Opening the show was a match by 2 debutants, as Hayden Yorke pinned Dillion D’Angelo, and there were also debuts aplenty in a Battle Royale in the second half, which TK Cooper won to earn a place in the upcoming PROGRESS Super Strong Style 16 tournament. The main talking points from the show, which also featured a 30-minute Iron Man match between the Dazzler Team & Sweet Jesus, were the feud-ending chain match between Paul Robinson & Wild Boar, and a confrontation between Jinny & her former PA, Elizabeth.

Robinson won the chain match with two brutal kerb stomps onto a chair and, as wild as that main event was, it was possibly outshined by the news that Elizabeth has finally thrown off her chains and become a women in her own right, choosing her own name - Laura di Matteo - and going very much her own way. The show should be up on Demand PROGRESS soon.

Future-Pro goes pink for Kris - photo by FPW

In attendance as fans at ENDVR were both Will Ospreay & Jimmy Havoc, and both men were involved the previous night at Future Pro-Wrestling's Crowning Glory at the Thomas Wall Centre in Sutton, where the stage was lit pink in honour of Kris Travis. Ospreay opened the show - his last before heading to Japan for the Best Of The Super Juniors tournament - by downing Pete Dunne in a super contest, while Havoc was stripped of his FPW Heavyweight title, the belt to be won in a tournament which started on the show.

RJ Singh & Jonathan Windsor advanced to the final, defeating Damon Moser & Darrell Allen, respectively. The main event of the show - which also featured Pollyanna, Katie Harvey & Rob Cage - was a 5-man elimination match for the FPW Zero-G Championship, with Terry Stryker outlasting "Blackbelt" Tom Dawkins, Sebastian, "Pastor" William Eaver & Ryan Smile to win the belt. Smile was so disgusted to have lost that he left his boots in the ring, announcing that if he couldn't beat talent like Stryker he was retiring. Future-Pro return on July 24th for a Summertime Brawl.

One of the highlights of the monthly calendar, Grand Pro-Wrestling returned to the Rose Club in Hindley, Wigan, for Friday The 13th, a spooky-themed mix of their usual antics. The show was headlined by a GPW Heavyweight title match which saw champion T-Bone beat challenger Ste "Bin" Mann, who had earlier won a Fast Track Four-Way and got to choose whether he faced T-Bone or GPW British champion Bubblegum.

Bubblegum instead had to fight both members of the GPW Tag-Team champions, The Hate League, and was rescued from a beatdown by T-Bone. The show also featured CJ Banks beating Travis Banks, and a six-man victory by The Circus over the Bad Lads. GPW return on June 10th with their annual Nate Travis Memorial show, A Night To Remember, where they will induct the second member of their Hall of Fame.

In brief news from England's far north, Michael Dante retained his Target Heavyweight Championship by defeating Rampage Brown at The Venue in Carlisle, on a show which also featured The Blue Meanie, Tommy End, Martin Kirby, T-Bone & The New Age Kliq, and his Main Event Wrestling equivalent, Jason Prime, did the same in a 4wayWar at the Innisfree Sports & Social Club, downing Sean Only, Iain Robinson & Liam Lazarus. The MEW show also featured Little Miss Roxxy, Noam Dar & Kenny Williams, and both promotions have upcoming shows planned - Target on June 10th & 11th in Lochside & Carlisle, and Main Event on June 24th, again in Innisfree.