Finally, it has arrived. Clan Wars! SWA’s 10th Anniversary show.
I’ve been hyped for this show for a long time. A LONG TIME. How long? 1 year, 12 months, 350 days. Ever since Mikey Whiplash weasled his way to retaining his title and ending the career of John ‘The Bomb’ Graham, when Joe Coffey drew the battle lines right here in Motherwell. However, Joe Coffey had to earn the right to challenge for the prestigious SWA Scottish Heavyweight Championship, which he duly did at last years Battlezone. So with Joe going head to head with Whiplash, that’s all I needed to see. Oh yeah, it just happens to be in a Steel Cage… with John ‘The Bomb’ as the special guest referee.
Just a small note, but Grado, Glen Dunbar, Damian O’Conner and Eric Canyon all appeared on the 1st SWA Clan Wars event ten years ago in Bellshill. Amazing that they’re all on the card tonight and one of them is arguably on his way to being a British Wrestling Superstar.
So aye, on with the show.
Since I don’t have the excess cash, I couldn’t be one of the lucky few to gain ‘VIP’ access and view the pre-show match but I’ve heard that Ryan Griffin defeated David Conrad in what was a very decent match for the 2 young guys.
After the crowd had entered and began to fill the hall, almost 700 packed in here tonight, we were treated to what was in my totally professional opinion, some really braw cheerleading/dancing/throwing shapes. As good as that was, it was really only a set-up for the only ‘Wrestlemania’ level entrance of the night. Not a word had been peeped to let anyone know the show was starting until those immortal words filled the room…
“Life is a mystery.”
After a few seconds of disbelief, the bass drum kicked in and it became reality. GRADO! Not only that, but he was trouped to the ring by the aforementioned cheerleaders and pulled off a totally perfect cartwheel. He was soon joined by DCT “The International Sex Hero”, Tornado and Celtic Arrow.
Grado & D.C.T & Tornado & Celtic Arrow
Eric Canyon & Dickie Divers & Adam Carrell & Christopher Saynt
To start things off, Divers called Grado fat. We promptly had to remind Grado that he wasn’t fat. His self esteem rebuilt, things got under way. After some back and forth between the two we were presented with the breakdown of what was once a
great team. Adam Carrell and DCT put paid to the MuayTash Experience and got into some chopping action. Adam Carrell wasn’t very happy about that though and after a swift kick to the head, DCT was gone. He’s really making a habit of these short appearances. As Carrell made sure that DCT was removed from the ring, he fell into that old wrestler trap of forgetting his surroundings, swiftly receiving a superkick courtesy of Celtic Arrow. What happened next was one of those things you just don’t ever expect to see at a local show. Celtic Arrow went to the top, only for Tornado to then climb onto his shoulders to deliver a huge splash to Carrell. I mean, that’s great and got a deserved pop. It turns out however, that Celtic Arrow is a bit special and delivers as perfect a 450 splash as I’ve ever seen. Carrell was on his way and his team mates took advantage and beat down on the Masked Avengers. This part of the match ended with Tornado and Celtic Arrow performing separate dives to the outside, taking out Divers, Canyon and DCT on two occasions.
As usual, when theres more than 2 people in the ring, I lost track of things. However, at some point Tornado dispatched with Divers after delivering his Spinning Firemans Carry Cutter. It’s as good a way to put a match to bed. I’m not saying that wrestlers are a bit daft, but Tornado fell into the trap and was dealt with swiftly after eliminating Divers. So, we’re left with Grado to fight against the odds. As swiftly as he entered the ring, Eric Canyon is dropped on that ‘stack of dimes he calls a neck’ and is on his way. Now, this is where I have to point out something, Chris Saynt has broken the hearts of me and my mates. Big Nasty even ripped up his Saynt sign in disgust at his new found ‘Baddy’ status. So with all his new found venom, he batters a few lumps out of Grado which clearly wasn’t going to last long. After signalling for the patented Roll-n-Slice and following it up with a F5 and being the sole survivor of this fantastic opening bout.
Grado by Pinfall
A lot going on in this match with some fantastic moments bookended by Grado after his recent tv success. A solid opener that had the crowd going.
Mark Coffey vs Rampage Brown
This was a match I had hyped up during the week. Brown was returning to SWA for the 2nd time and taking on a Coffey brother for the 2nd time. The match started out promisingly with Coffey getting the better of Brown. However, after a brutal Irish Whip into the corner, the top turnbuckle was dislodged. The crew were quick to get it sorted and the match continued. Now, it’s easy to put matches into words when there are notable high spots, funny moments or a bit of controversy. This was just a great wrestling match. Coffey just couldn’t put Rampage Brown away. They hit each other as hard as possible and tried their best to just tear at the very sinues and fibers that hold a man together. I know this isn’t a great review, but this was just a great watch. It was like one of those foundation matches that sets off a long term feud. Finally, Rampage got a break and laid Coffey out with a sick piledriver. It was one of those moments where you look to see that the person receiving the move is alright to continue to boo the baddy.
Rampage Brown via Pinfall
I’m not saying that there was anything dodgy about it, it was just taken so well that it looked deadly. That pays tribute to the quality of everything in this match. Also, Rampage has grown a spectacular Rick Ross-like beard, wait, naw. A Mr.T like beard. Might as well say that as I’m hearing the man talk about his mother. Have to point out that the turnbuckle incident didn’t really hamper the match, but it did distract the crowd from what was a fantastic psychological battle.
SWA Tag Team Championship
The Forgotten(c) (Glen Dunbar & Alex Kavanagh w/Jam O’Malley)
Britains Most Wanted (Scott ‘ The Butcher’ Renwick & Damian ‘Damo’ O’Conner)
I predicted that this is the match that would take place, and it was duly announced a couple of days before the event. As much as I really enjoy booing The Forgotten, they come out to ‘The Memory Remains’ which is one of my favourite Metallica songs. Anyway, They’re followed to the ring by Britains Most Wanted. Now, they’re just wearing singlets with swat vests signalling a massive reduction in their previous ring gear. However, they’re somehow even more intimidating.
The Forgotten leave the ring to plot their first move which seems to be simply trying to not look terrified of the challenge ahead of them. Renwick and Kavanagh start us off and it’s a pretty even affair, that is until Renwick takes Dunbar to the corner and BMW start to utilise some uber efficient tag team work. After some quick tags we’re met with the sight of Damo balancing his full weight on the spine of Dunbar and coming down on him with a huge senton. This is where things get a bit dirty. The Forgotten hit the ring leading to everyone getting involved in amongst this Damo seems to have the match won, but he’s not pinning the legal man. Renwick takes the tag in and swiftly delivers a double underhook facebuster to Kavanagh and looks set to add another Tag title reign for the BMW. Unfortunately, Jam O’Malley has the referee in a full on clinch. Dunbar takes this time to crack Renwick over the skull with one of the titles leaving Kavanagh to take the win.
The Forgotten via Pinfall
Damo finally gets back into the ring and is filled with pure unadulterated rage as viciously kicks Kavanagh from the ring. Unable to contain his rage, he chases The Forgotten to the back potentially setting up a future match down the road. The match was short but really put over the cunning of The Forgotten and particualrly Jam O’Malley.
I must point out that from this point on, I’m 2 weeks removed from the event while trying to review it to the best of my memory.
Kenny Williams vs Lewis Girvan
Kenny Williams is a fantastic young wrestler, I made this clear in my preview, however… He also has the appearance of the embodiment of my hate of the modern youth. I’m 24, I’m old enough to hate on the youth of today. Let’s not get away from the fact that this makes him the perfect guy for wrestling fans to love to hate. Lewis Girvan on the other hand is more of a fresh face blue chipper. By that I mean he’s not tanned and covered in tattoos. Anyway, to the match. Williams played to the crowd ensuring that everyone knew he was the one you booed. If you didn’t boo him, you have issues. Williams immediately played up that Girvan was in no uncertain terms to remain clear of his hair all while Williams took liberty with Girvans luscious locks. As Girvan got the upper hand Williams fled the ring and we were back to the start.
If you hadn’t picked it up already, SWA is focused on putting over wrestling and the British style and this was another great example of it. Both of these kickpad clad competitors threw in their fair share of kicks but their were moments of fantastic wrestling. One of my favourite spots of Girvan’s is where he plays possum to taking a volley to the chest before slipping away and getting back on top. I was convinced that Williams was about to cause me to witness my first live decapitation. This was very back and forth througout, Williams hit a fantastic double stomp before Girvan cameback with a variety of kicks, an enziguri a dropkick from the top then a dropkick into a seated Kenny Williams face. Willaims tryed to quell Girvans momentum by locking in a rear chinlock before Girvan fought out and planted Williams with his Double Arm DDT.
Girvan via Pinfall
Jack Gallagher vs Solar
The unfortunate thing about this match was that the crowd just weren’t into it. Both guys have been good guys here since I’ve been going to SWA shows, totally taking credit for Jack Gallagher being booked as a face in the ‘territory’ by the way, and the match was just a bit cold. Haha, Territory. There were times when you could feel the crowd getting into it but things fell flat again. A lot of that might have been to do with the heat and humidity inside the hall as well. I love Gallagher and gave him as much support as possible and even was a bit vocal for Solar, because he’s a bit special, again, in a good way. At times Gallagher was edging into doing some naughty things but he refrained from it. If he did, I’d have booed so hard. Anyway, it was a nice match between two good guys. Gallagher brought his usual bag of tricks with him and within a few minutes Solar was rolled up into a little ball with no where to go. As Gallagher was lining up Solar like Father Crilly did Bishop Brennan’s arse, Solar found a way out of his situation. After a short test of strength, Solar began arm-dragging Gallagher all over the place. At one point he was so ferocious he dragged him right out of the ring. Just as Gallagher had got his bearings back, Solar whipped out a roundhouse to the temple and Gallagher looked done.
That wasn’t to be the case and Gallagher began to wear Solar down with his multitude of submissions including his vaulting rear naked choke which has ended matches before. At some point after this, something wild happened. Something that I wish had happened infront of a hot crowd. I don’t remember who, I’ll assume it was solar, went for a sunset flip which was reversed and reversed again and again and… well, they basically pirouetted in what looked like some wild breakdancing for a considerable time with no one getting more than a 1 count. Finally Gallagher got up and took advantage and got the pin.
Gallagher via pinfall.
It was a nice enough match, but it just didn’t have anything to entice the crowd into it, sadly.
Laird of the Ring Championship
Jackie Polo(c) vs Joe Hendry
Jackie Polo, whatever ‘it’ is, he has it. In abundance. Unlike usual he doesn’t enter while singing his entrance music. The song has been on for a good bit of time before he emerges in a neck brace. Not to worry though folks, he’s only playing up his feud with Lionheart over in ICW, who was in attendance. After cutting a short promo about his fake troubles with his neck he was interupted by his opponent, Joe Hendry (Local Hero). This was not the Local Hero though, this was a man full of pent up aggression looking to exact revenge on Polo for disrupting his band at last years Battlezone. After a short face-off Polo took the cheap shot before they contested a bit of a slap-off. With the markings visible on Hendry’s chest, he took the initiative and planted Polo with his ‘Freak of Nature’ fallaway slam. Polo barely kicks out but gets aggressive quickly, working on Hendry’s knee.
Polo then went up for his second rope elbow drop which he proceeded to completely miss allowing Hendry back into the fold. I seem to have missed that these guys are both 6’2” beasts who’ve really been laying into each other which makes this contest all the more exciting. Polo climbs back up top before Hendry grabs him in his delicates before launching him half way across the ring. Polo fought back with a shoulderbreaker and his signature Poloplex and that looked like the match was done. Hendry however kicked out at 2.999999 and somehow found a way to sink Polo head first into the canvas and win the Laird of the Ring title, ending Polo’s 6 month reign.
Joe Hendry via pinfall
After the initial comedy, it was a fantastic but quick match. Jackie Polo should be off to Japan at somepoint after winning the Zero1 challenge last year so him losing the title made sense. It was also good to see Joe Hendry in a full match for the first time.
First Ever Woman’s Elimination Match
Bete Noire & Sami Jayne & Viper
Debbie Sharp & Courtney Stewart & Fiona Fraser
As is common in these matches, we started with a bit of a kerfuffle in the ring with the good gals coming out on top. We start off with Debbie Sharp going up against Sami Jayne. I’ve seen neither of these two before and they put in a good shift and weren’t holding back. A couple of good near falls before Debbie finds herself in the wrong corner. Bete Noire is soon in to get a shot of putting the boot in and hitting some really nice power moves including a cracking suplex. However, Sharp turned the tables and took out Noire, much to her surprise. The momentum didn’t last long as Sami Jayne pulled out a cutter in the same motion as she entered the ring and Sharp was gone. That was impressive and actually popped the crowd. Next up was Courtney, who my mate was being overly encouraging towards, who had plenty of fire and took the fight to Sami Jayne and she was also swiftly deposed of.
That just left Viper on her team, which wasn’t really an issue as she’s any match for several women. To the surprise of me and possibly everyone in the concert hall Courtney managed to get Viper off of her feet with a flying crossbody. That only served to enrage Viper further and she landed a sickening splash on Courtney as she sat on the canvas. Now it was down to the hometown girl Fiona Fraser and Viper, a matchup that was featured at the last event in Motherwell with Viper coming out the victor. Just like their previous meeting Fraser targeted Vipers left arm which had her worried. After working on the left arm, Fraser finally got an armbar locked in. It looked inevitable that Viper would tap, however, just when you thought it was over Viper got her arm back and lifted Fraser up and delivered a vicious powerbomb to take the victory.
Viper via pinfall
After the match, Fraser seemed incensed that she wasn’t able to secure the victory in her hometown and she left in a bit of a rage, hmm.
This was the longest intermission I’ve experienced at a wrestling event. However, it was for good reason. They took this time to erect the Steel Cage for the main event. The guys kept their cool as it looked like a big hassle setting the cage up, if only it could’ve been hung above the ring.
Cage Match for the SWA Zero1 Heavyweight Championship
with Special Referee John ‘The Bomb’ Graham
Mikey Whiplash(c) vs Joe Coffey
I can’t put into words how much of a spectacle this was. I’ll struggle to describe the match as it is, but it was a battle. There were times where the cage barely held together just as the competitors barely kept themselves in one piece. Like all cage matches, this started as a tense affair with both men looking to gain a significant foothold in the bout. After a bit of a posturing, they locked horns with Coffey getting the upper hand in the strength battle, taking Whiplash off of his feet with a shoulder block. They would continue to brutalise each other with vicious elbows and forearm shots before Whiplash got in a good body slam to ground Coffey.
At this point Whiplash firmly had the upper hand as Coffey was grounded, he then made his first attempt to exit the cage over the top.
When Coffey realised, he was quick to react and brought Whiplash back to the canvas. That was parlayed in to what was a Live ‘first’ for me as Coffey and Whiplash took turns at launching each other into the cage. Whiplash took the initiative once again and look to gain a swift victory as he requested that the cage door be opened, after a bit of a delay in the door opening, Whiplash looked to have the match won before Coffey managed to drag him back at the last possible second. Whiplash was so close to victory that he actually had a hand on the barricade surrounding the ring, nearly dragging part of it back in with him. Once again, Whippy used his cunning to leave Coffey on the canvas as he headed up top. This time he wasn’t just dragged back to the centre of the ring, he was delivered with a huge back suplex from the top rope. That had the crowd gasping in awe. From here, Coffey was on fire, hitting his signature comeback, Splash in the corner followed by a bulldog with a deadlift gutwrench suplex as the cherry on top. Now, at this point I can’t remember if Coffey took Whiplash for a spin with a big swing before locking him into his Coffey Break submission(Boston Crab) with the crowd egging Whiplash to tapout.
Somehow, Whiplash stayed in the match and had a small comeback of his own hitting a rolling firemans carry and securing another near fall. After this point, both guys were out on their feet but somehow Coffey hit his signature Discus Lariat and began to make his way to the top. We had a classic race to escape as Whiplash dragged himself towards to door. They were neck and neck as Coffey teetered on the top of the cage and Whiplash got an arm through the door. However, It was Coffey who dropped to the floor first to bring us the new SWA: Zero1 Scottish Heavyweight Champion. Ending Whiplash’s 673 day reign as Champion. True justice for Joe after Whiplash had screwed him out of his Laird of the Ring title a few months earlier, ending his reign at 581 days.
Coffey was presented the title by Special Ref and SWA Co-owner, John ‘The Bomb’ Graham. The fact I didn’t mention him in the the match review signals how impartial he was in his calling of the match.
Coffey via escape
However, As Coffey celebrated his win and made his way to the back with his brother Mark, Whiplash had some issues. He started getting in The Bombs face and telling him exactly what he thought of him. Graham didn’t react, until Whiplash put his hands on him. The Bomb took Whiplash out with a sickening elbow to the temple and that was that. Everyone in the venue wanted to see Whiplash on the receiving end of one of Graham’s signature powerbombs, but that elbow was enough to knock anyone out.
I can only apologise for the lack of clarity in some of the match reviews, but we’re now over 2 weeks removed from what was a smashing event. SWA have now announced their follow up event in Motherwell, The Battlezone. The Concert Hall is quickly becoming SWA’s Garden and I expect to see it packed out come the 18th of October.
All photos are courtesy of the fantastic David J Wilson and SWA.