Wednesday 20 August 2014

WQ: Weeks 4 and 5 - Upcoming Shows and Suspension Of Disbelief

Disclaimer: Something went wrong last week, so you get two lots of questions and answers this week! As ever, if you enjoy this and want to take part, send me an email at

Week 4 - What Upcoming Show(s) Are You Most Looking Forward To?


Week  5 - Which One Wrestling Match Has Most Suspended Your Disbelief?

We've got Marco Piva, writer for Italian wrestling site, to start us off this week:

"Week 4 - A simple one: Fear and Loathing VII (ICW). Fear and Loathing is always a huge deal in ICW, and it's when they raise the bar. I just can't wait to see what they will do this year.

Week 5 - Chris Renfrew vs B.T. Gunn (Mark Dallas special referee), ICW Get Yer Rat Oot, 7 April 2013. As Renfew himself said, after what happened at the end of that match we had "the loudest silence ever heard at a wrestling event" (OK, short of something that DIDN'T happen at Wrestlemania XXX, honest, that was just a misunderstanding, it was Kane in an Undertaker mask). I've been watching wrestling for a long, long time, and I was enjoying the matches but not being overly sold on the storylines. Then, that happened - and after a great match, too. I was shocked, stunned, silenced. I hadn't fallen out of love with wrestling, but I still think I fell in love with wrestling again in that very moment."

ICW fan Adam Wilson is up next:

"Week 4:
A tie between 2 ICW shows - 1.21 Gigawatts (largely for Drew Galloway vs James Scott), and Fear & Loathing, as a wrestling show at the Barrowlands (my favourite venue) is something I'm really excited about.

Week 5:
In terms of local shows, it'd probably be either Wolfgang vs Andy Wild from Tramspotting last year, or Noam Dar vs Lionheart from Kelvin Brawl. It's such a shame neither have ever been released, especially since Wolfie vs Wild was actually taped, and the atmosphere was red hot.

In terms of mainstream American stuff, it'd probably be (as an adult anyway) Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels from Wrestlemania 25. That was the first time in years that WWE had me properly on the edge of my seat, suspending my disbelief and going nuts for it. An honourable mention also has to go to CM Punk vs John Cena from Money in the Bank 2011 for the same reasons."

Time for my answers:

"Week 4 - I am hugely excited for many shows, as I've talked about recently, but I'm actually looking forward to four shows in particular. There is "doubler day" on Sunday 31st of August, as Fierce Females host a show in Walkabout at 2pm then ICW host a show in Garage at 7pm. That is going to be too amazing a day to put into words, my two favourite companies on the same day.

Secondly, there is the ICW shows in Liverpool ("I Am The Walrus") then Leeds the next day ("Lucy In The Sky With Divers"), as it is a doubler weekend and I have friends in both Cities whom I have been chewing the ear off of talking about ICW. To get to see them, go to ICW together and both in the same weekend, is wonderful.

Week 5 - Grado v Mikey Whiplash II (Terminator 2: Judgement Day), the full match can be viewed here. I was unprepared for how I would feel about this match. Grado and Mikey Whiplash had already engaged in an enthralling battle at Fear & Loathing V, a battle that did wonders to showcase Grado as a wrestler and not just a character, and Grado had already come close to tasting ICW Heavyweight success - but despite the months of build-up being centered around the concept of "respect", very few in the crowd expected fan favourite Grado to really stand a chance at taking the title from champion Whiplash.

He came out to cheers. An entertaining segment got under way. Whiplash himself even seemed to get involved, asking the crowd for some water to clean his eyes out. Despite that being my pint he borrowed, I wasn't fully drawn into the match as a real spectacle. It was still a wrestling match. I still had my disbelief. Then it happened.

The chants started. I can't remember them all, because they were relentless. One after the other they continued, never letting up. Something magical was happening. The two wrestlers in the ring were drawing us in, and we were responding in kind. Then it started. One voice, singing "Life is..". Then a handful ".. a mystery". A few dozen "I hear you call...". More ".. my ..". Even more ".. name". Hundreds now ".. and it feels. Like." An audible pause. "Home".

The clapping started. Everyone was stunned and caught up all at once. We believed. We truly believed. Grado and Whiplash made us believe. This was the night. Grado would be champion.

Remember when you were wee and your favourite wrestler had another guy down for a pin, and that guy kicked out at two and you started losing yourself and screaming at the TV in injustice. Now, we can look at wrestling and see the kick-out happen a good beat or so before 3, but back then it seemed like miniscule tiny particles of time. I felt that again. Grado almost had Mikey pinned, and although it wasn't to be, I nearly cried with outrage. How could they do this? That was a three count. Whiplash didn't grab the rope on time! Grado should be champion. Even typing about it, more than a year after the fact, I am angry that Grado didn't win. I feel personally robbed of something. Because, for those few minutes, I truly believed. This wasn't a pre-determined wrestling bout, this was real. Grado was really going to win."

Next we have the opinions of Ryan Blackwood:

"Week 4 - I’m expecting with all the hype, which is totally merited, that most people will say they’re most looking forward to ICW: Fear & Loathing in the Barras and why shouldn’t we all? It’s gonna be HUGE. I think it’ll be a turning point of sorts for UK wrestling as a whole. But I’m gonna go for something different.

Preston City Wrestling’s "Supershow Of Honor". 

This is the show that PCW are doing in partnership with Ring Of Honor in America. Like ICW's Barras show, I think this is gonna be huge for British wrestling. It proves what we all know; that we’re amongst the best in the world and not a scene to be sullied.

I’m saying this over F&L for a few reasons. The first reason being I’m a huge ROH fan and to get the opportunity to see the promotion live is amazing. I had booked a ticket before asking if anyone else was going, I’ll go on my own, I don’t care, its that big a deal. The next reason is that its not just one show, its THREE, while there’s also discussion of adding a 4th. Matches throughout the whole weekend. Who doesn’t like 4 wrestling shows on the trot? Add into that Billy Kirkwood doing ‘I am the tag team champions’ on the Friday night and it’s a damn good weekend.

The other thing is purely that it’s something different. It’ll give me the chance to not only see the best of ROH but the best of British wrestling like Dave Mastiff, Kris Travis and El Ligero who don’t ever make it up to ICW (my main promotion).

I’m not a huge fan of imports in British wrestling, as I don’t think we need them. However, I think PCW does it right (most of the time) and I think with this they’re doing it just perfectly and I look forward to experiencing it. Its going to be massive!!

Week 5 - This is a tough one. There’s so many. I’d like to cheat and say Cena/Lesnar from last night, purely because I think Lesnar still thinks he’s in UFC. But I wont go for that.

Instead I’m gonna go for Daniel Bryan's whole Wrestlemania 30 (is this a cop-out?). Maybe not necessarily the matches, well it was the matches but the most important thing to this was the build. Anyone watching that build from Summerslam 2013 up until ‘Mania probably knows what I mean.

We spent so long watching ‘the man’ put him down, everyone loves an underdog don’t they? Everyone gets behind the underdog, especially when he’s a quality wrestler. It was such a slow build that we were all getting legit pee’d off at everything going against him; we all hated the authority. That’s something that doesn’t regularly happen, with me anyway, where theres such heavy investment in a wrestler, in Bryan's case it felt more like getting behind the man and not the character.

Cut to the match and as much as there’s a bit of ‘smark’ in us all I personally thought for a while that Bryan might not actually win either match. There was the shoulder injury, the 3 massive guys standing in his way all aiming for anything but Bryan winning, the further attack from HHH after their match. It all succeeded in giving doubt and was the first time in ages that I’ve felt, ‘wait a minute, maybe the guy we all know is gonna win might not win’. I’d say that’s a pretty comprehensive description of the suspension of disbelief. Cut to the end of the triple threat match with Batista tapping, the anticipation of what would happen next was amazing. Just think how you felt when flight of the Valkyries hit, Bryan was struggling with ‘yes’ chants holding those two belts and the confetti was streaming. For a few minutes, everything was right in the world. You forgot the bigger picture and that vince decided this months ago and you went mental (particularly if you were in Walkabout).

So there ya go. The suspension of disbelief is a massive part of wrestling IMO. I chose this match because its one of the freshest in my mind. If I was allowed more than one match I could go on for pages upon pages but I cant, so you don’t have to listen (wait... read) my babbling anymore."

#CarmelCorner member Stuart Wevling is up next:

"Week 4 - It took me about 2 seconds to know the answer to this. In the next month or so I'll be attending ICW in Edinburgh and at the Garage, and travelling to Kilmarnock for BCW and Drew McIntyre's first match back in Scotland. But the show I'm most looking forward to is Fierce Females at Walkabout on the 31st August.

I have loved each Fierce Females show so far but this one has got me more interested than ever thanks to Kay Lee Ray's heel turn at the end of the last show. As if this wasn't enough now they've announced a new segment to the show named Carmel Corner. Carmel + microphone = gold. With an £8 entrance fee can you afford not to go to this?

Week 5 - Lionheart vs Noam Dar at Oran War. I was completely absorbed within the first few minutes and it just built and built. Still the best match I've seen live. It's a true shame that the event was not recorded for DVD so more people could see it."

All-around wrestling fan Bruce Mackintosh chimes in:

"Week 4 - I'm most looking forward to Fierce Females next show and ICW In November. I think there's a lot of excitement and support around these shows and the roster is always top notch to watch. Also got tickets to Discovery in October, WWE in November and TNA in January.

Week 5 - Such a difficult question and I'm unlikely to find a conclusive answer but I was going to give a cop out and say Brock Lesnar beating the Streak of recent time, but I'll probably say Bubba Ray Dudley putting Mae Young through a table. New Jack's antics in the Danbury fall incident at 'Living Dangerously' PPV (the rematch was mental) as my all time; off hand without too much thinking and Brodie Lee pulling off a hurricanrana at his height as my incredible moment that must be mentioned but kinda isn't relevant."

The incredible Lee Burton opines:

"Week 4 - The shows I’m most looking to are Southside Wrestling’s Cruel Intentions weekend in October in collaboration with Combat Zone Wrestling.  When you consider there will be four shows in three days and has CZW names like Drew Gulak, AR Fox and Kimber Lee making the trip, there’s a lot to get excited about.

Southside Wrestling may not enjoy the same mainstream coverage as something like Insane Championship Wrestling, or get the critical outpouring that something like PROGRESS may receive, but it boasts a very exciting and entertaining roster, books very intelligently and has long story lines which reach great conclusions, with Martin Kirby’s feud with Kay Lee Ray being a prime example.

I’m hoping to get to get least two of the four shows.

Week 5 - A couple of matches spring to mind, not just from days gone by but also from this month.

When I was 15, I was totally drawn in by Bret Hart against Steve Austin’s Submission Match from WrestleMania 13. At the time, I had only seen WWF programming and while the action had been getting progressively edgy over the previous 18 months or so, this match went into overdrive and told an amazing story featuring brawling, technical wrestling, blood, hate and a double turn which is still a blueprint for similar situations. The image of Austin trying to power out of the Sharpshooter with a face caked in blood is such an enduring image.

My first SHIMMER trip in April 2008 saw us watch a slew of entertaining matches though the one which grabbed me the most was Amazing Kong against Wesna Busic, where for once, Kong didn’t get all her own way. At one point, Kong was almost beaten with a German Suplex which saw me involuntarily jump out of my seat. It was a fantastic outing which did wonders for Wesna’s credibility in the promotion, considering it was her debut weekend.

Finally, there’s John Cena’s match against Brock Lesnar from SummerSlam. When you consider that Lesnar used just two wrestling holds to defeat the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, it’s a monumental feat. The sheer volume of German Suplexes started to make me feel uncomfortable as I watched, which is a great feeling to have considering how many matches I must have watched over the years. For a contest to bring out a legitimate feeling has to rank as being one of the most effective of all time."

Paul from Breaking Baws contributes:

"Week 4 - Fierce Females on August 31st. The last one was superb, top quality action and story lines. I can't wait to see what they do next. First part of a double header day too with ICW that night.

Week 5 - Taker v Michaels 1. I've always been an HBK guy and that match took my breath away, the way they told a story was something else. I thought he was going to do it at points. Completely drew me in."

Tod from has this to say:

"Week 4 - For me in the UK it will be the WAW show in September, I haven't been to as many shows as I would like to have been in recent years and having interviewed Ricky Knight recently I am really excited about seeing the show and the production as well as meeting with some of the guys back stage. The WAW crew are out and out pro's and I am very much looking forward to see how they put a show together.

I have to give an honourable mention to WWE too, in terms of PPV I am very keen to see the Summerslam production this year with the card looking strong. I believe that September and October, with Network launches and renewals on the line will be stacked cards too. They've had a great run on PPV this year in my view and they will be keen to deliver big. Having said that, they will struggle to come even close to the recent NJPW G1 series which probably had 9 match of the year contenders and multiple show of the year contenders I can't wait for September on iPPV and the January Tokyo Dome show.

Week 5 - I think in this day and age it is pretty difficult to do, but it is still possible. I think that in recent years there are a few that are contenders for me and mainly because something that genuinely mattered was on the line and the result was unpredictable so CM Punk vs John Cena MiTB 2011 is a match I still love and right up to the last moment I wasn't sure who would win and once Punk won I still thought that there would be a briefcase cash in so the moment when he escaped to the crowd after the amazing build was a moment when I was genuinely caught up in wanting a guy to win. Undertaker vs Lesnar at WM30 is obvious, like many people the not so great match was forgotten for that moment when I thought 'someone ****ed up right here' then slowly realising something genuinely huge had just happened. The NWO forming was 'a moment' rather than simply a match but Hogan turning on the fans was electric, I'm pretty sure I felt pleased and excited as his act to me was stale but even so in that moment it was stunning. Ric Flair winning the Royal Rumble in 1992 did it for me because watching a guy go and go and go for over an hour was awesome even beyond whether the outcome is arranged or not, plus Heenan on commentary took me totally into the moment. Honorable mentions to pretty much every Shawn Michaels match from WM19 onwards, Cactus Jack vs HHH street fight and Eddy Guerrero vs Rey Misterio Jr (WCW spellings!) 1997 Halloween Havoc!

But ultimately I have to choose between two matches; Michaels vs Hart Survivor Series and Undertaker vs Mankind Hell in a Cell 1998. I think if I am honest the Survivor Series match in the moment was more confusing than anything, I wasn't an 'insider' and I didn't read any of the smart publications so it was just odd. But Foley crashing off, onto, into and through that cell before knocking himself senseless and everything else was dramatic, amazing and unmissable, I already loved the guy for his work in WCW and ECW but that moment was all about two human beings putting everything on the line and shocking the shit out of me, I was totally lost in the moment and simply amazed by what I saw. Foley is... good :)"

Chikara fan Alan Reynolds provides his answers:

"Week 4 - ICW Spacebaws, ICW Fear & Loathing & SWA Battlezone. Spacebaws should be a cracker of a show with the younger talent showing why they are the future of ICW and Scottish wrestling. Fear & Loathing will be another barnstormer and marks my first year anniversary of being able to attend ICW shows. Battlezone was fantastic last year and out of the three shows it's the one I'm looking forward to the most based purely on the back of the recent match announcements of Jack Gallacher vs Mikey Whiplash in a 2 out of 3 falls match and Solar taking on Jonathan Gresham as well as the main event of the Battlezone rumble, who doesn't love a good rumble match?

Week 5 - Fergal Devitt vs Mark Coffey at ICW Still Smokin'. From the complete shock of seeing Devitt just materialise in front of us in the crowd to thinking it would be a win for Mark based on the fact Devitt and WWE were being linked all the time, Devitt winning was a complete shock and that's what I loved about the result. A close runner up is the Super Dragon & Kevin Steen vs The Young Bucks at PWG FEAR I just watched on the recently released PWG Super Dragon Destruction DVD set, the brutality in that match was off the chain and I thought The Young Bucks had proper done in Super Dragon at one point, only for Dragon to come back and dish out even more punishment to The Bucks."

Our next set of answers comes from prolific writer and podcaster Mark Moore:

"Week 4 - UK has so many great shows coming up over the summer but personally for me, I have 3 shows that stand out. 1st is the Fierce Females/ICW double header on 31/08 which is bound to deliver. Then at the end of September 27/28th we have the WAW/Bellatrix shows and PROGRESS. Not to mention EWW are back in Hastings on 18th October.............just so many coming up!!!

Week 5 - Hmmmmmm...........In terms of mainstream matches it would have to be Shawn Michaels vs HHH from Summerslam 2002 on account of no one knowing how HBK's back would hold up. Having been gone for over 4 years a lot of the moves made me wince during that match. Suspension of disbelief was not needed for the contest."

Billy Strachan from OSWtv says:

"Week 4 - Currently on my agenda I have SWE Hell for Lycra XI at the end of the month and then both nights of the Rock N Wrestle Highland Slam Tour in October. I'm looking forward to both but the SWE event just tips it as it's the closest. It will have Damian O'Connor vs Road Warrior Animal, which I am really looking forward to along with Joe Hendry vs Doug Williams. It has a very strong card and I always fanboy when I get a chance to meet wrestlers. It's also been about 4 months since I headed down to SWE so will be great to see the folk I know down there and have a lot of fun. Hopefully I'll grab a couple interviews or soundbites for upcoming projects so looking forward to anything and everything upcoming.

Week 5 - When I watch wrestling I like to switch off from the real world and believe what I see. So really, I always suspend my disbelief when the bell rings. It's the best way to enjoy the show I find. If you sit there and poke holes in everything then where's the fun in that? If I had to pick a recent match it would have to be Mike Musso vs Nathan Reynolds at a W3L show in Elgin. It was about 35 minutes of back and forth wrestling, there was a story to the match, I didn't know who would win with the momentum shifting every couple minutes it kept me guessing and I was on my feet by the end of the match. They played the crowd like a fiddle."

Finally, who better than the awesome WrestleRopes to send us off this week:

"Week 4 - I'm really looking forward to the next Fierce Females show on August 31st (Tickets at & Rufus T Fireflys). FF have a really great thing going right now. They're using a lot of people we've not seen up here before, a lot of our own talent and there are good story-lines backing it all up. Everything seems like it has a purpose rather than just a collection of matches,

The other show I'm looking forward to is SWA's Battlezone in Motherwell on October 18th. They've only announced three matches for it but they are all worth the ticket price alone. Joe Coffey vs Doug Williams will be wrestling overload, follow that with Mikey Whiplash vs Jack Gallagher in a 2 Out Of 3 Falls match, which if it is half as good as their match at Pride was earlier this year then a few hundred people are gonna be very happy and then there is Solar vs Jonathan Gresham which we'll probably all have to re-watch on DVD at half speed to just see half of it!

Week 5 - This is a hard question to be honest and one that I'll think of more answers to after I've submitted it. I think the main one I keep thinking of is Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels from WM 25. I've always been a huge 'Taker fan and he probably is my most favourite wrestler, if I'm honest. The "smart fan" in me kind of knew that he wasn't going to lose but the match was so good that I can remember being sat on the edge of my seat watching it, with my hands on my face every time a near-fall occurred."

Excellent answers all around once again. Thank you to everyone who took part.

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