On 2nd October 2015 myself and the rest of the Calling Spots Northeast branch were in attendance at Northumbria University for the celebration of Main Event Wrestling’s ten year anniversary. The show, named Northern Bash, was scheduled to include some of the biggest stars of the UK scene and over 300 fans were in attendance eager for some top quality grappling.
I have been fortunate enough to attend all of MEW’s shows over the last 18 months or so but upon entering the venue I was immediately impressed. The lighting gave a room the feeling of a professional wrestling show and the atmosphere amongst fans was starting to build to top it off alcoholic drinks were also available which instantly won over the members of our group that weren’t particularly fans of the sport. I tried to educate the newcomers on the level of talent that would be on display but as their eyes started to glaze over I may as well have been speaking double dutch, that was until I mentioned possibly the greatest stipulation match of all time Grado versus Alex Kavero in a bum bag versus top knot match. I had to repeat the stipulation four or five times before they seemed to fully understand what I was saying and eventually I was met with varying reactions from slightly bemused all the way to wtf bewilderment. As we took to our seats in the second row I was still being asked if I was for real.
After ring announcer Michael Brown was greeted with, the now standard, chants of “Sexual Chocolate” the show started with “The Primate” Jason Prime taking in the Prince Ameen. This was the first meeting of the two since had left his role as Ameen’s bodyguard at the last MEW event when he had refused to dish out additional punishment to the already flattened Luchadored. This alone would probably have been enough to fire up the competitors but as the winner would also be granted a title shot at a time of their choosing this match appeared set to be a short violent affair. Prime made short work of his former employer with several hard hitting suplexes before hitting his signature spear for the victory.
Next up was Lana Austin taking on Little Miss Roxy. Austin had originally been scheduled to take on Kay Lee Ray but due to KLR being given the opportunity to appear for the WWE on NXT (where she was unfortunately squashed by the gargantuan Nia Jax), this meant that Roxy was drafted in as a replacement and was able to make her professional debut against the popular Austin. The match itself was far more impressive than any women’s wrestling match seen on NXT (well, any including Eva Marie anyway) and included some offensive maneuvers that I had never witnessed, imagine standard leg drop combined with the splits and that is basically what Roxy was able to hit on a prone Austin during the bout. The rest of the bout was evenly contested with both performers getting shots in before Roxy was able to pin Austin with added leverage from the ropes. Little Mix Roxy, one match, one win, zero defeats, watch out Goldberg your 173 match winning streak in Roxy’s sights.
Unfortunately the next match also had to be changed on short notice as MEW Tag Team Champions The New Age Kliq were unable to attend the show due to car trouble on their way to the show. Was this due to the dastardly behaviour of their would-be opponents The Drake & Dragon? Who knows? I’m certainly not implying that the former champions or their manager Mr D were involved but I don’t believe they have given an explanation of their whereabouts or an alibi for the previous evening. Coincidence? Again, who knows.
Michael Brown announced that The NAK had confirmed that they did not want the Newcastle crowd to be denied a tag team title match and they had renounced the title so that it could still be defended on the card. Their replacement were the two masked combos of the Death Dealers and Luchadores. As usual the combination of Jainus Centurion and Loco Ryder showed off their high flying repertoires which brought the crowd to their feet. The mysterious Death Dealers (who were managed by Mr Hollywood) displayed a stiff looking ground and pound offense that fit their large imposing physiques. The contest ended with The Drake and Dragon regaining their titles after interference from Mr D.
Following two heel wins the crowd seemed to want to see a good guy win and they were not disappointed as Liam Lazarus was able to beat El Ligero, Rampage Brown, Iain Robinson and Noam Dar in a fatal five way match that I am reliably informed was match of the night. I had to ask about the match as I was graciously offered the chance to speak to Jason Prime during Lazarus’ entrance. As a massive fan of Lazarus (and the Venga Boys) this was somewhat disheartening but given how friendly and well spoken “The Primate” was during our chat I was quickly able to put this disappointment behind me. Plus Prime is a very scary man and he could legitimately end my existence if I expressed anything other than gratitude about the whole thing. Our interview is available elsewhere on the Calling Spots website so check it out if you want to get to know more about one of the UK’s top up and coming talent.
After the interval it was MEW stalwart Adam Christ against former ICW champion Jack Jester. Although the bout was a good contest with plenty of brutal looking shots being delivered by both wrestlers the match was somewhat spoilt by a numpty in the crowd thinking it’d be a good idea to shout abuse at Jester and then offer to get in the ring with the menacing member of Black Label. As a man who has been known to be afraid of his own shadow I’m probably not the best person to offer my “real” fighting but I can think of many people I’d rather fight than Jester. In fact the list of whom I would like to avoid a bout of fisticuffs with probably goes my mam, Brock Lesnar, Jack Jester and then everyone else. Seriously, the man is a scary looking mofo AND he carries around a massive screwdrivery looking thing! Leave him alone, he’ll kill ya and probably enjoy doing it! Anyway, Christ was able to take what looked like Jester’s best shots before eventually gaining the victory in what would have to be classed as an upset.
Next up was the match that I’d been hyping up all day (if not a lot, LOT longer). Grado vs Kavero. Bum bag vs top knot. Scotland vs England. Like a Prayer vs something that isn’t Like a Prayer. The match itself had a lot of history and had been successfully built up over several months. Grado had beat Kavero when they first met and then Kavero had left the TNA superstar (sorry Renfrew) lying in a puddle of diet Irn Bru when he attacked him after the match. MEW management then tried to help the pair get over their differences by putting them together, in a team probably called Irn Top Knot, against The NAK for the tag team championships, unfortunately the two egos couldn’t coexist and they lost the match, again Kavero attacked Grado afterwards. Grado proposed this stipulation to end their feud and hopefully put the bad blood (and very colourful language) behind them. In the days before the match and I’d spoken to Kavero and he assured me that he would be keeping his beloved top knot and he would be taking Grado’s famous bum bag. He also refused to give me the bag when he won meaning I was even more on Grado’s side than I had been.
The crowd went wild for Grado’s entrance whilst Kavero was met with a chorus of boos and chants of “Top knot w*nker”. With the exception of one fan holding a “Kavero, super kick me” sign everyone was very much on Grado’s side when the match got underway. There were several near-falls as the contest went to and fro before Grado was able to pin “The Nightmare” Kavero meaning that he would be able to continue carrying his unflattering, if extremely practical bum bag (which if our American readers are wondering is a “fanny pack”) and Alex Kavero was due a haircut. For a moment someone forgot what they were told in primary school when they ran to the ring with scissors and then threw (yes THREW) Grado a pair of scissors for him to remove 2015’s worst hair style from his defeated opponent. After the man bun was removed Kavero seemed to renounce all ill feelings towards Grado and the two were able to share a handshake, embrace and then a cold drink. Thus proving once and for all that top knots are evil.
The show’s main event was former champion AJ Anderson trying to regain his belt from current title holder Assassin. This match had originally been billed as a triple threat match but the unfortunate retirement of Dave Carbon had led to this becoming a singles bout. Both men hit their trademark spots with Assassin launching himself over the top rope to hit a splash and AJ Anderson hit his Superman punch before claiming the win. However as his music was playing and he was recovering from the contest Anderson was brutally attacked by a group of comprising of The Drake and Dragon, Little Miss Roxy, Mr D and Jason Prime. The Primate called for his title match to commence and he quickly annihilated a depleted Anderson to gain the MEW heavyweight title and leave the crowd in shock at what they had just witnessed. The sight of the five in the ring while Mr D ushered in a new era of dominance over MEW will go down as the lasting image from a fantastic show.
To last ten years in any industry is impressive but to do it in the unpredictable world of professional wrestling deserves a special mention. On its first show a decade ago a young Geordie going by the name PAC performed. That young man has since gone on to travel the world before finding a home on WWE television as “The Man Gravity Forgot” Neville. Since that first show MEW has welcomed WWE alumni such as Sheamus, Christian and Sabu amongst others and have established themselves as one of the most reliable companies in the Northeast if not the whole of the UK.
Their next show is due to be held back at their spiritual home of The Innisfree in Longbenton on Friday 29th January 2016 and I invite anyone in the area to come and check out what promises to be a great show featuring stars from around the country. In the words of MEW co-owner Dan Fitch “MEW is going to have a huge 2016 and we intend to start with a bang this Friday at the Innisfree, Longbenton. See a mix of the best talent in the North East, alongside Noam Dar, El Ligero, BT Gunn, Chris Renfrew, Martin Kirby and more and all for just £8!”
What more do you need to know?
Neil ‘Social Club’ Rogers