Next week is one of the biggest weekends in wrestling. WWE Survivor Series is being talked about internationally and closer to home ICW Fear & Loathing IX is the talk of British wrestling. Although both of the aforementioned shows will undoubtedly have some water cooler moments (if such things exist in 2016) there are other wrestling events running that weekend that have potential to be absolute classics. Up and down the UK companies like Fight! Nation, New Generation Wrestling, Preston City Wrestling and WrestleZone will be putting on show but the one that has caught my eye is Target Wrestling at The Venue in Carlisle.
Now before I am accused of being hiased towards a local company please let me defend myself by stating that Target Wrestling’s own Facebook page states they are a Cumbria and Borders based company and I live in Wallsend (a town outside Newcastle). Geographically Target Wrestling is as much my local wrestling company as Carlisle United are my local football team. Even if I was inclined to favour a nearby company Target are hardly on my doorstep.
Now that is out the way and I have explained what Target Wrestling is NOT let’s briefly cover what they are. Target Wrestling is the biggest and most successful wrestling promotion in Cumbria and have a history of using the best talent from Scotland and Northern England. A quick look at the info section on their Facebook page will show their history of champions which reads like a who’s who of British wrestling with Jackie Polo, T-Bone and my personal favourite BT Gunn
This is the third preview in four weeks where I have written about James Scott, aka Darkside, (the first was PBW and the second was 3CW) and once again the well respected veteran finds himself involved in an important matchup for a major UK promotion. This time he is teamed up with his Guest List partner, Martin Kirby (who due to his recent WCPW run is possibly the most popular man currently in British wrestling), and they and their leader ‘Superstar DJ & Internet Sensation’ Marc Allan have issued an open challenge for the Tag Team Titles that they won last month from The New Age Kliq. Their opponents are yet to be announced by Target management (or perhaps noone daft enough to wrestle these two can be found) but hopefully it will be a duo tough enough to prevent Allan fulfilling his promise of “Destroying Target Wrestling from the inside”.
The Henchmen had issued an open challenge to any tag team in Target Wrestling but just before this preview was completed the newly formed team of Medallion and Coyote answered the challenge with this impressive video. Whether the two former rivals can form a cohesive enough unit to defeat the combined 600+ lbs of monstrous humanity that is The Henchmen remains to be seen but what is guaranteed is that this match will not be for the faint if heart.
Shady Nattrass vs The World, open challenge
The final open challenge of the night is from ‘British Wrestling’s Dirty Little Secret’ Shady Nattrass. The current High Octane Division champion released this video explaining his reasoning and issued a challenge to anyone whether they be from “on his doorstep” or “from the other side of the world”. Given that he has recently fought new WWE superstar Tommy End and international sensations Jay Lethal and Ricochet it is fair to say that literally anyone from the independent wrestling scene could walk through that curtain to answer the challenge.
Former partners, former best friends, torn apart by Marc Allan’s Guest List and his goal of taking over Target Wrestling. It’s a match announcement that Target Wrestling management never thought they’d make, but at The Venue, two former partners, former best friends will go to war for the first time ever when Karnage get’s his match against The Guest List’s Havok! Last month Havok and Karnage lost to Dean Allmark & Robbie Dynamite and after the match Karnage’s name was scratched from The Guest List (pun intended) and Marc Allan set Havok on him. Since then the duo have been frothing at the mouth to get hold of one another and this could be the most brutal match of 2016.
Two of the hardest hitting wrestlers anywhere in the world ‘The Vigilante’ Johnny Moss and ‘Iron Man’ Joe Coffey take on each other in a match that was unfortunately postponed earlier this year when Coffey debuted in Evolve in the US. Thankfully the match was able to be rescheduled and the fans fortunate enough to be in attendance should be in for a hell of a match between two of the very best this country has to offer.
During the 90’s I was a huge fan of WCW (and to a lesser degree ECW) and I would be willing to argue with anyone that Shane Douglas is one of the Top 10 wrestlers of that era due to his importance in Eastern Championship Wrestling being renamed Extreme Championship Wrestling and for his overall brilliant in-ring ability. Yes the man did not have the charisma of The Rock or Steve Austin (but realistically who did or does?) but behind those two, the original three NWO members and possibly Goldberg and Sting whoelse can claim to have been as important to the boom period of The Attitude Era? Anyway, enough of me being a ‘Franchise’ fanboy…
Target Wrestling management have described this as “a once in a lifetime dream match’ as the team of the Target Wrestling Heavyweight Champion Jackie Polo and his partner Mark Coffey (collectively known as Polo Promotions) take on the dream team of Mikey Whiplash and The Franchise. I’d love to try to build this up to the epic proportions that it is deserves but I think TW management have already done so when they wrote this…
“This past September at The Venue in Carlisle, Mikey Whiplash came up short in his debut tag match when he teamed with the franchise player of Target Wrestling Shady Nattrass against Mark Coffey & DCT, and since that day it’s ate away at him that he didn’t get that big win in his Target debut! But this time, he’s found himself another franchise, ‘The Franchise’, Shane Douglas to be his tag team partner for one night only to take on the Target Wrestling Heavyweight Champion Jackie Polo & Mark Coffey, Polo Promotions! This is a match you can’t afford to miss!”
Limited tickets are still available (although front row seats have sold out) so if you want to be certain to avoid disappointment on the night I’d recommend you book in advance here.
Written by Neil ‘The Franchise’ Rogers