SWE DAY OF RECKONING / NEW BEGINNINGS (FSM 107; June 2014)
Information: – DVD Region: Region Free • Distributor: Southside Wrestling • Price: £11 each • Other info: 96 mins / 141 mins • Release: Out now • Weblink: www.SouthsideWrestling.co.uk
Day of Reckoning II is the first of two Southside shows from March 9. In the opener, Joseph Conners begins his foray into singles action by facing Tommaso Ciampa. The referee gets involved towards the end, as Conners tries to introduce a leather belt into the match, but overall this is fine contest that should foreshadow Connors’ future role.
The fiery Kay Lee Ray doesn’t waste any time in attacking Martin Kirby before their bout, but Kirby soon catches her on a dive and violently launches her against the ringpost. He goes from brutal to sadistic by trying to use drawing pins, which play a part in the finish.
Tommy End versus Rich Swann follows, with the first real action being an End powerbomb onto the ring apron. Though Swann impresses with his athleticism and entertaining character, the final moments are the best of a slightly subdued affair.
Robbie X competes in the most important bout of his career, as he faces Johnny Gargano for the Open the Freedom Gate title. Although it plays to his current role in Southside, Adam Curtis’ commentary is particularly grating when he rubbishes Gargano’s title, threatening to take away from the big occasion. There’s some crazy moments on show here, with Gargano managing to block a standing moonsault by launching Robbie across the ring with his feet. Indeed, in another superior showing, it is the youngster who really showcases himself as one of the UK’s most consistent and exciting performers.
The same could also be said for Mark Andrews, who here faces Mark Haskins. It’s a short bout, but they manage to cram plenty in, while at the same time leaving enough scope to convince that an upset could occur. A four-way match concludes the first show, as El Ligero battles Stixx, Kris Travis and Trent Barreta in a battle across the arena. Even when they make it back into the ring, the action breaks down into a Tornado-style affair, before a frenetic conclusion.
WAR ON SPEED
The second show, New Beginnings, starts with Stixx declaring war on the Speed King division before wrestling Zak Northern in a squash match. Ciampa then returns to face Gargano in somewhat of an ROH versus Dragon Gate USA bout. It’s a well-worked and closely fought encounter.
The Predators’ split is recapped before their last contractually-obligated match against El Ligero and Kay Lee Ray. Conners viciously attacks Malen before the bout can begin, though, and the match is thus fought two-on-one. The post-match angle is the key segment, as Conners ties Kay Lee to the ropes and threatens to whip her with his belt, as a downtrodden Ligero tries to find the confidence to save her.
Mark Andrews then faces Rich Swann, whose All Night Long music provides an entertaining entrance. The action is entertaining for the most part, too. Tommy End versus Robbie X follows up, with Robbie’s never-say-die attitude the perfect way to play off End’s heavy-duty offence. It’s a war, but an exciting one.
Project Ego compete in the penultimate match, facing Stevie Boy and Grado. When Grado gets the hot tag and uses a Stunner, an F5 and a Rock Bottom, this comedy bout delights the crowd.
In the main event, Trent Barreta challenges Mark Haskins for the SWE heavyweight title. The champ is put under lots of pressure as the former WWE star methodically works him over, and there’s plenty of near-falls towards the end of what has to be considered a UK Match of the Year contender.
To no surprise, Southside again offers two enjoyable shows here. If you’re forced to choose, New Beginnings is the more essential viewing due to the exceptional final bout.