Sunday 14 September 2014

Pride - We Love It When A Plan Comes Together preview

Disclaimer: As with PWE, this will be my very first Pride Wrestling live show, so this isn't an especially in-depth preview. But it is what it is. Here is the card so far, and my thoughts on it.

Pride Wrestling - We Love It When A Plan Comes Together
Saturday 20th September, 6.30pm
Bridgeton Community Centre, 68 Dale Street, Bridgeton, G40 4TL
Tickets: Still available either via or at the door on the night of the event. Priced at £10 each (£8 Concession, £28 for Family Of Four) you can also use this promo code from our friends at Breaking Baws for 25% off if you purchase online.
Pride Wrestling - Website | Facebook | Twitter

So, Pride Wrestling. What do I know about Pride? Formed in 2012 to support the very excellent Source Wrestling School, Pride boasts two very excellent champions - Pride Champion Glen Dunbar, and N7 Champion Joe Hendry. That's about the extent of my knowledge of Pride, so let's get on with the card.

The Gatecrashers (Christopher Saynt & Dave Conrad) vs Bobby Roberts & James St James
I recently attended the Source Wrestling School Showcase and was heavily impressed by The Gatecrashers. While Christopher Saynt has a ton of charisma, talent and flamboyancy, Dave Conrad is there backing it all up with level-headed strength. I've seen these two wrestle live twice now and am thoroughly looking forward to a third, even if I don't quite agree with some of their tactics and attitudes.

Bobby Roberts I've seen wrestle a few times and in each setting the man carries himself with a self-assured attitude and a natural charisma. James St James is new to me. I know who he is as the boss of Pride, and I know who he is as a wrestler with several years experience, but I have never seen him live.

To say I'm looking forward to this one is a huge understatement. Four guys I haven't seen wrestle a lot, each one I have a massive amount of respect for.

N7 Championship
Joe Hendry (c) vs Lewis Girvan
I'm a huge fan of Joe Hendry, he has supreme confidence in himself which instantly rubs off on all around him. It will be a delight to see him as N7 Champion no doubt. But with that confidence comes a certain cocky air also. His achievements in the realms of eating burgers, wearing pink suits and coming up with very catchy songs may have gone to his head, and sometimes, only sometimes, I like to see him get his comeuppance.

If anyone were to give Joe Hendry his comeuppance and dethrone him as N7 Champion, I wouldn't mind it being Lewis Girvan. Young, agile and having the ability to finish the match with a DDT, Lewis Girvan has "it", that type of talent that screams championship material. Indeed as I understand it, Lewis Girvan is a former N7 Champion himself.

This will be a match of two of the best fresh talent on the Scottish scene, another one to just sit back and enjoy.

Damo vs Chris Renfrew
Both of these guys are absolutely terrifying, for two totally different reasons. Chris Renfrew and a microphone are all that is needed to reduce any man to a quivering mess of tears and sweat. Put him in the vicinity of any sort of violence, and he'll easily add blood to that mix too.

Damo meanwhile seems a bit more friendly, until he decides to step on another man's chest. This match has some personal history for Damo. Having recently been aligned with Glen Dunbar and his cronies, Damo has seemed to see the error of his ways, turned his back on Dunbar and is now forging his own path towards Dunbar's Pride championship.

Glen Dunbar however is not ready to face Damo and will do anything he can to keep that showdown from happening. Enter Chris Renfrew. Like I said before, the man sniffs out violence like a shark hunting for prey. If Damo needs to be stopped, Renfrew will happily do the stopping.

What will happen when a force of calculated violence like Renfrew comes up against a force of natural violence in Damo? Probably a lot of destruction. You can find me hiding behind something tall and sturdy as these two set out to destroy each other.

Viper & DCT vs Mr Byers & Fiona Fraser
What's there not to love here? Mr Byers is relatively new to me, having only seen him once at the Source Showcase. Fiona Fraser is someone I really admire. Her attitude of putting her all into her matches, be it through technical grappling or simply trying to break her opponent's arms, is something awe-inspiring. No doubt these two will combine to try and get the victory here at all costs.

Standing in their way however is a combo that do not know the meaning of quit. I've seen Viper stand up to simply anyone in her way. Trying to intimidate Viper is an exercise in futility. DCT meanwhile has a happy-go-luck attitude that is both intoxicating and never-ending.

With all four competitors known for never giving an inch, this will be a very interesting match-up indeed. The wildcard for me here is Mr Byers. If he can get on the same page as Fiona then I reckon they will get the win, but if not, the duo of Viper and DCT may prevail. From what I understand, this match came about due to some very sexist remarks from Byers towards Viper at a previous show. Needless to say, Fiona Fraser doesn't stand for any nonsense, so perhaps these two gelling together is a task easier said than done.

(For more from Fiona, check out this Article and Interview with Fiona by AWBA)

Jam O'Malley's House Of Horrors
As this is my first Pride show I'm not 100% familiar with the backstory here, but from what I can gather Jam has been playing tricks and violent games with the Pride Wrestling roster in the form of his House Of Horrors.

His last victim, with the backing of Alex Cavanagh, was one half of The Gatecrashers, Dave Conrad. With Jam scheduled to be on the show, will he make an attempt to attack the other Gatecrasher, Christopher Saynt? Or does he have a brand new victim in mind?

I, for one, am bloody terrified.

Update: The name of Jam's next victim is revealed:

Daihlan Hendry responds:

Pride Championship
Glen Dunbar (c) vs Mikey Whiplash
So we arrive at the Main Event. Glen Dunbar, Pride Wrestling's champion, is a wrestler I haven't seen live enough. Although I haven't witnessed what he is capable of a lot, his reputation sure precedes him. From his in-ring prowess to his callous disregard for his opponents, it seems that Dunbar is the epitome of an amoral champion, putting any kind of respect to the side and focusing only on the goal of retaining his title.

Mikey Whiplash is surely a man that needs no introduction to AWBA readers. A wrestling marvel, having held multiple titles in a variety of promotions during the course of a career spanning more than a decade, his capabilities cannot be overstated. Dunbar may have defended his title against the likes of Joe Coffey and Mike Musso since becoming champion, but I note those defenses were by DQ losses. I doubt Mikey would be goaded into a pyrrhic victory and walk away without the belt.

This match was meant to have taken place previously, but on that show, Glen Dunbar was suffering an injury and instead Mikey faced off against Jack Gallagher, giving the fans an excellent stand-in bout - and Glen Dunbar a chance to scout his opponent ahead of time. Make no mistake, Glen Dunbar is a veteran himself, with a lengthy career and a glowing reputation. He will have taken that extra time to formulate the perfect plan to counteract Whiplash's attacks.

While it was unfortunate for everyone else that this match got postponed, it has worked out well for me as I am stoked to be getting to see these icons of the UK wrestling scene do battle for the Pride Championship.

... and more
As if all that wasn't enough, Pride have promised that there is more coming on the night. All they have announced is the hashtag #changeiscoming - read into that however you will.

I've secured my tickets, and if you want to see the best of British wrestling you would be wise to do so too. Take advantage of the Breaking Baws code up above for 25% online while you have the chance, or pop along to Bridgeton on Saturday and pay on the door. It's your choice. Either way, you should be there if you're a fan of great wrestling.

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