Radical Review: Dragon Pro Wrestling Live! 05/10/14

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Well, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. Well, not doing no articles, but I mean any based on the theme of professional wrestling. Except this one isn’t focusing on the mainstream places like WWE or TNA. No, this one going to talk about a Welsh based promotion that I managed to attend recently.

You see, I’ve always wanted to go to a wrestling event since I was young. Whether it was lack of true investment when I was much younger, or nowadays where I don’t have the money to travel to these shows or because there just aren’t any in my local area, because you know, there aren’t all that many promotions based in Wales sadly, at least near where I live. Or maybe I haven’t done the research, I don’t know. But this one, I did do the research for. After listening to an interview with one of the wrestlers who took part in this event sometime prior to the actual event, I was intrigued and decided to look up the promotion they were talking about, and that was Dragon Pro Wrestling.

Based in Newport, they held a show on Sunday 5th October at the Rodney Parade and I was actually in the position where I could attend! I had the means to get a ticket due to my work volunteer with Wicid, and I was actually not too far away from the venue as I am currently staying in Cardiff halls of residence while studying for my new university degree. So I thought, well my course only just started, so why not! So I asked for tickets, and with some lovely exchanges later, I get the okay to go to this event.

Getting there was a nightmare as I had no idea of the Newport area and ended up walking a good twenty minutes in circles/squares around the actual venue because I didn’t know which building it was in, since apparently the whole street was named Rodney Parade? I don’t know, but the point is I got there in the end, and just in time before the first bell.

I won’t go through each match in detail to bore you all, but basically this show was all kinds of amazing, I mean I had a feeling it was going to be a blast, but my expectations were beaten even then, heck I even got vocal during some points. I mean not ‘vocal vocal’ as in disrupting other people around me because others were doing that anyway, so I didn’t want to add to the annoyance of smart wrestling fan chants or little kids’ screams not far from me.

Saying this, that was the only real dislike of the show, some of the crowd was a little… annoying? Is that the word? I mean they weren’t a bad crowd, if anything they were fun to be around for the most part, but maybe because there were a few annoying kids near me and it was held opposite a bar, we had a few people who had a few too many and were up to make the show their own. As well as one of those ‘smart fans’ who wanted to chant all the latest wrestling themed chants that can more often than not ruin a person’s experience. Even still, everyone at the show seemed to enjoy themselves and it didn’t hurt my time at the event.

As for me, I was just glad to see so many interesting talents in the matches that took place. Sure as the opening, which had soon to be TNA British Boot-Camp star, ‘White Lightning’ Mark Andrews. And as he is from Cardiff, he’s apparently the only Welsh participant appearing on the show along with others from the other countries in the UK. So if you want to see this Welsh wrestler on your TV screen, you can do so by watching the show which airs on 19th October on Challenge TV. So he fought against a Dragon Pro trainee by the name of Jezz Gardener, and it was a nice match that not only showed the crowd what Andrews could do before appearing on the Boot-Camp show, but also showed Jezz working well with him bringing out some quality work between the two.

Alongside him was another bigger name who they managed to bring aboard from abroad was a popular star from the CHIKARA promotion known as Ophidian The Cobra. He was a part of a comedy six man tag team match with Panda Mask and Cub who defeated the team of Scotty Essex, Ian Williams and Owen Wall. Now, I’m not much of a comedy person because I’ve seen how they’ve tried to do ‘comedy’ on the mainstream shows and lately, it hasn’t been good. This, however, was a nice bit of comedy that wasn’t overplayed, or even bad, it was truly enjoyable where we ended up seeing the most illegal move in all of professional wrestling. Just type that up on YouTube with Ophidian and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

The main event featuring All Wales Catchweight Champion, Wild Boar defeating Dragon Pro Wrestling Founder, ‘Flying’ Mike Bird, was also one of the standouts to me from the night, not just because it was the closing match, but because of how it told a story without there being any words told before it. You could tell by the way the match went on how much Bird wanted to win the championship and how the live crowd wanted him to win it as well. Of course this didn’t happen with some interference by Killer Kharan and Pariah Kahn; Killer had a match earlier in the night in which Bird appeared to help someone who Killer was attacking. But this I didn’t mind as it possibly set-up some future matches between the two which could be fun to see I’m sure.

But the true moments on the card for me were the womens matches. And, no, I don’t mean a typical sexist catcalling way, I mean because they were good to great matches that just happened to feature women. These two matches were semi-finals to crown the future All Wales Womens Champion, which had Nixon Newell (Wales) defeating the ‘Fighting Irish’ Rhia O’Reilly (Ireland), and ‘The Mother of Dragons’ Pollyanna (England) defeating ‘The All American Canadian’ Addy Starr (Canada). The action shown in both matches didn’t feel like womens matches where in mainstream, they tend to be made to look weaker than the men on purpose. These didn’t, in fact there were so many amazing moments during the second match which made me look at both Pollyanna and Starr and see them as great performers. That was my favourite match of the night by the way.

It’s also worth noting a few other things about the women. They were treated right. More often than not in wrestling as stated, women are still treated as being inferior to the men, whether this is done intentionally or not, they are more often than not made out to look lesser than them. This show had two matches, that showed all four women do some things in the ring that some of the other guys on the show couldn’t do. And to add to this, they cared enough to give them a storyline. As, after Pollyanna won her matches, she talked post-match about these same issues and called up female trainee Shannon to give her advice in making it in Dragon Pro and wrestling in general. Now I saw the signs straight away and soon after raising the girl’s arm, she turned on everyone and attacked the poor girl, and I started clapping… probably the only one doing so as well. Nixon of course made the save and scared off Polly who is now full on Heel (wrestling terms for a villain).

I clapped not to be ‘that guy who wants to be different’, if anything I felt bad for this precious looking girl being beaten up for no true reason after being told such nice things about her. I clapped because it was storytelling done right. Now, Nixon and Pollyanna aren’t just fighting to become the first ever All Wales Womens Champion, but for Nixon to beat some sense into Pollyanna for turning her back on everyone in Dragon Pro, and for Pollyanna to prove that being the first female graduate there has made her the best in Dragon Pro.

So, yeah, the show itself lasted a few hours with two parts as we had a brief intermission to get some more drinks, or talk to some of the good guy wrestlers, or ‘Faces’ if you want a technical term to call the heroes of the show and get autographs and pictures with them. This also happened after the show ended where I managed to talk to a few of them and all of them were nothing but humble to me.

Highlights from talking to some of them include talking to Mark Andrews about his experiences working in the US which he said was truly amazing and hopes he gets in with TNA to do more of it as soon as possible. He also suggested some other promotions that will be making their way to Wales that are close by to me, so he definitely wants more people to have a true interest in independent wrestling for sure, which is always a good thing at the end of the day. Very approachable, very talkative, just a truly nice guy to interact with who wasn’t offended about me asking more scoop worthy questions about his relationship with TNA, because you know I have enough sense not to ask anything too personal.

Next I talked with CHIKARA’s Ophidian, who told me this was his first time competing in Wales, which he was very honoured to have done so and enjoyed both the country and the rowdy atmosphere of the show very much. He was desperately trying to get me to buy some of his merchandise since I was constantly looking at all the stuff on offer and I felt super bad declining him because I only had £10 on me, which I needed to get back to my flat. I bought some cheap wristbands though, so I hope that makes up for it? I’ll try and buy something from him sometime, this I can promise.

I also talked with Nixon, who I actually wrote an article about for a different website on how I believe she is someone to look out for in the women’s wrestling scene, and she was very courteous about the whole thing. She’s a very sweet woman for sure who I hope continues to do well for herself.

I even talked to one of the talents who ended telling me that not only is he studying in the same university campus as me, (ATRiUM Cardiff campus), but he’s actually living in the very same halls as me. That’s all kinds of crazy that is! It goes to show that these people are just that at the end of the day… people. I feel a little bit silly for being hesitant to talk to them during the first intermission now.

Even though I didn’t go through every single match on the show, let me just say that each match had its own good point that made them stand out, whether it was strong characters in both the wrestlers and those alongside them like managers, or if they just had solid in-ring action that kept the people invested in the show, it was all great, and if you want to know the names of who competed and appeared on the show, I’ll put some quick results at the end of the article so you all can look up some of these great competitors, entertainers, wrestlers, whatever you want to call them.

So yeah, that was my first wrestling experience, which was truly amazing. Hopefully it won’t be my last, and maybe it won’t be since I’m definitely looking on going to Dragon Pro’s next show which I believe will be at the same venue on 22nd February 2015. So if anyone found this article interesting enough to check them out, please do so, you won’t regret it, I can guarantee you that.

Dragon Pro Wrestling Live! Results – 05/10/14

“White Lightning” Mark Andrews Defeated Jezz Gardener

Dragonbord Defeated Killer Kharan Alongside Pariah Kahn by disqualification after an illegal choke by Killer Kharan – Mike Bird Makes the save to dragonborn

All wales Womens title tournament Semi Final 1 –
Nixon Newell (Wales) Defeated Rhia O’ Reilly (Ireland)

6 Man Trio’s Tag Madness
Ophidian The Cobra, Panda Mask and Cub Defeated Scotty Essex, Ian Williams and Owen Wall.

Intermission

The Big Grizzy’s Open Challenge
Big Grizzy Defeated Randy Sinclair

Womens Title tournament Semi Final 2
“The Mother of Dragons” Pollyanna (England) Def “The All American Canadian” Addy Starr (Canada)

After the match – Pollyanna called trainee Shannon into the ring giving her advice before attacking her for no real reason. Nixon soon appeared to stop her and helped Shannon to the back.

Danny Jones and Sarasun Defeated Sleazy Dave Mercy and Sir Phillip Hyde.

Main Event – The All Wales Catchweight Title
Wild Boar (Champion) Defeated “Flying” Mike Bird after interference From Killer Kharan and Pariah Khan

After the match – Ophidian The Cobra, Mark Andrews, Nixon Newell and Danny Jones helped save Bird from a vicious sneak attack to end the show.

* Dragon Pro Wrestling is a professional Wrestling school based out of Newport, South Wales. Currently training between The Sunhealth Gym, and S.H.A.R.E Centre Newport. Teaching pro Wrestling presentation and wrestling skills, DragonPro are proud to showcase some of the Welsh Wrestling Scenes stars of tomorrow, with academy graduates featuring on some of the biggest wrestling events both around the UK and internationally! Want to get involved and follow your pro wrestling dreams? Contact the team Search Facebook for Dragon Pro Wrestling or email us at dragonprowrestlingacademy@hotmail.co.uk *

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