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The Week In British Wrestling: Women's wrestling history made in London

Main photo by Tony Knox

1) There was Mayhem in Morecambe.

Over 300 packed into Morecambe's Winter Gardens on Saturday for Alpha-Omega Wrestling's latest show, Morecambe Mayhem. AOW run the seaside town with continuous storylines as if it were an outpost of the old territory system and recent shows have been lit up by a feud between Craig Kollins and Chris Ridgeway, both from the outpost of Barrow-in-Furness. Their matches have become increasingly intense & hard-hitting, with Saturday's encounter - which Ridgeway won by submission after Kollins passed out in the bear Tooth Clutch - no exception.

The show was main-evented by a number on contender's three-way, between Johnny Phere, Big Damo & Mikey Whiplash, and it was Phere who triumphed to earn a shot at Stixx's title at AOW's next show, War On The Shore on May 14th. Phere can consider himself fortunate - the show was initially supposed to feature Stixx versus Damo for the title, and Phere versus Whiplash for the shot in May. Stixx withdrew through injury and the addition of Damo could have been a problem, but it was obviously not one Phere couldn't overcome.

Elsewhere on the show, Nikki Storm, standing in for Viper, failed to dethrone the AOW Women's champion Lana Austin, the pro-Scot (but absolutely DESPISED in Morecambe) Referendum retained their tag-team titles against Solar & Cyanide, and James Drake brutalised Ricky J McKenzie with the aid of a steel chain passed to him by a steward. With all this set to explode, War On The Shore seems a very appropriate name!

2) Fight Club:Pro Rise Again(st) in Wolverhampton.

From the unique, cage-bound environs of Wolverhampton’s Planet nightclub, Fight Club:PRO presented Rise Against last Friday, and the show was every bit as intense and hardcore as the band it took its name from. Headlined by home favourite Clint Margera facing US independent bleeder Ricky Shane in a death match, the card was stacked with the top Midlands talent, supplemented by a UK-based Kiwi, a Welsh girl who fights men, and Kentucky’s Chuck Taylor, engaging in an advance sortie before his Chikara-Pro colleagues join Fight Club for a UK tour in May.

Aside from Margera and Page smashing seven shades of you know what out of each other, the show was marked by the Facesmashers – Wild Boar & Dan Moloney, with help from MK McKinnan – running wild, defeating Nixon Newell & Mike Bird, and then attacking the Hunter Brothers after the latter had won the semi-main against McKinnan & Damian Dunne.

The show opened with a triple threat which saw Tyler Bate triumph against Chris Brookes & Taylor, and also featured Pete Dunne, Dave Mastiff, and Travis Banks. Fight Club: PRO return on April 15th with Planet Terror, and you can buy Rise Against on DVD soon here.

3) Women’s history was made in east London.

If you think women wrestlers have it tough these days, what with luddites insisting they should only fight each other and troglodytes regarding them as sex objects rather than athletes, it was a lot worse back in the day. There was a time when, within the confines of the Greater London Council, women were not even allowed to wrestle, a rule challenged and eventually broken in 1987. On Sunday, Pro Wrestling EVE promoted what they claimed was the first EVER all-women's show in the capital, at the Cre8 Lifestyle Centre in trendy Hackney, aptly titled Let's Make History.

The show was main-evented by a 2 out of 3 falls, no DQ match for the Pro-Wrestling EVE championship, and saw champion Nikki Storm fall, two falls to one, to "The Fighting Irish" Rhia O'Reilly, when special ringside enforcer Jenny Sjodin stopped the final fall in the interests of Storm's health & safety. Barring a few omissions - some of whom were appearing at the nearby Resistance Gallery for the London Lucha Libre League - the show featured a who's who of the UK women's wrestling scene, along with a few select imports.

Rhia O'Reilly from Pro-Wrestling EVE's Facebook page

Also on the card, Pollyanna defeated Addy Starr, IPW:UK Women's champion Tennessee Honey beat Dahlia Black, and Kay Lee Ray pinned Nixon Newell in a bout described to this reporter as "incredible." The show also featured Dragonita, Jetta, the Owen Twins, and Revolution Pro-Wrestling trainee Zoe Lucas, which might be the first fruits of a tie-up between the two promotions, which will see EVE matches on RevPro cards, and EVE events added to RevPro's on-demand service. Expect this card to pop up there soon.

4) There are quite big things on the horizon.

I don't usually reserve one of my five slots for upcoming shows unless they are REALLY BIG SHOWS, but there are a few on the horizon that, while not massive, are cumulative enough to warrant a slot in the weekly 5. Some of the biggest news of late has emerged from Revolution Pro-Wrestling, who launched their On Demand service through Pivotshare a couple of weeks ago.

This is an ideal chance for people to get up to date on the promotion before their next big show, Epic Encounter, in just over 3 weeks at Reading's Riverside Centre, which features Michael Elgin versus Will Ospreay, Zack Sabre Jr & Marty Scurll versus IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag-Team champions Matt Sydal & Ricochet, appearances from Dalton Castle, Roderick Strong & ACH, and a rematch of the Josh Bodom-Donovan Dijak WAR which tore down the Cockpit in February. RevPro have also teased a bonus event with a "dream match" at the York Hall in June.

Over in the West Country, Pro-Wrestling Chaos reacted to the disappointment of losing the Young Bucks for their big show in Bristol on April 9th by booking Jay Lethal and Drew Galloway as replacements. They offered refunds to those who had already bought tickets but few took them up on the offer, such is the trust in their product. Furthermore, Chaos have negotiated a WORLDWIDE first, with Lethal defending his Ring Of Honor World title and Galloway putting *his* World Impact World Championship on the line against Mark Andrews and Eddie Dennis, respectively.

Also in that part of the world, ATTACK! Pro-Wrestling sold out their biggest ever show, at Cardiff's Walkabout on April 3rd, which includes a post-show Wrestlemania party. Earlier that day, Exposure Entertainment bring some of the stars of Lucha Britannia to Wales, also at the Walkabout, and it's a great time to be a wrestling fan in that part of the country.

The Easter weekend sees two big events in the south east, too, with PROGRESS and IPW:UK promoting shows on Sunday & Monday, respectively. PROGRESS's chapter 27, The Lost Art Of Suffering, is main-evented by the third Thunderbastard match, and sees PROGRESS champion Marty Scurll take on the top EIGHT contenders to his title in a gauntlet match. Also on the show are Zack Sabre Jr, Tomasso Ciampa, the PROGRESS debut of British legend Johnny Kidd, and a mystery in the form of Roy Johnson's "Wasteman Challenge", which could see anyone in the world answer that summons. My money's on Jack Sexsmith.

IPW:UK are holding their third annual Supershow, headlined by a match between Team Artemis (The London Riots & Mr Anderson) versus Team Ayass (Jon Ryan, Clint Margera & former IPW:UK champion Bad Bones), with the future of Jimmy Havoc's IPW:UK title on the line. The show also features a Loser Leaves Town match between Tom Dawkins and Will Ospreay, and I'll have the scoop from both shows in next week's column.

5) Hartlepool, Hereford & the Highlands all got shows.

New Generation Wrestling continued a very regular run of shows on Saturday with Collision Course, at the Borough hall in Hartlepool. Main-evented by a successful NGW Undisputed Championship defence by champion Nathan Cruz over the ever-aggressive Rampage Brown, the show also featured a second title bout, which saw Bubblegum overcoming the challenge of Wild Boar & Martin Kirby to retain his GEN:X League Championship.

Also on the show were the impressive Justin Sysum, who defeated Zack Gibson and had his hand raised by the Scouser after the match, and Joseph Conners, whose valet Lilith was instrumental in a victory over Liam Slater, while el Ligero, Matt Myers & The Proven tussled in the tag-team division. You can watch the British Wrestling Weekly show on local TV stations in the UK, and also on NGW's YouTube channel.

In Hereford, a historical city on the border between England & Wales, Ironfist Wrestling promoted the King of The Ironfist tournament, and attracted a quality field to the Richmond Place Club. Xander Cooper, who defeated the Calamari Catch King Chris Brookes, came out on top in the final of the titular tournament, which also included Dan Moloney & Chuck Taylor.

Headlining the show was a match for the vacant Ironfist British Championship, which was won by Mark Haskins over perennial opponent Marty Scurll. This wasn't the only title decided on the night, as Alex Gracie downed Jake McCluskey to retain his Ironfist Flyweight title. Ironfist return this Saturday in Evesham, at the Bengeworth Social Club.

Mark Haskins from Ironfist Wrestling's Facebook page

In the far north of the UK, in the highlands of Scotland, Rock N Wrestle opened the doors of the Ironworks in Inverness for Wrestlefest, and attracted much of Scotland's top talent out of the central corridor for a top show. The card was main-evented by a Highland Championship match between Liam Thomson and TJ Rage (who had won a shot at the title earlier in the show), with former-WWE star Chris Masters as special enforcer.

Thomson emerged with his title intact but will face stiff competition from a roster which - on this show - also included Joe Coffey, Red Lighting, Kid Fite, and Lou King Sharp. In his immediate future, though, is Jack Jester, and the two will collide at the Ironworks in June.