This show was the cultivation of all the fresh faces of Dragon Pro Wrestling making a bigger impact than ever, as well as a few crowning moments taking place, literally. We had the finals of the Celtic Crown Women’s Tournament, the finals of the annual Rookie of the Year Tournament, and both the Tag Team Championship AND All Wales Championships were on the line!
While the Dragon Pro shows have always been at Rodney Parade in Newport, they have always been inside the actual pub-like venue. But recently they made the move to a larger marquee by the field area. While the space was much more welcome than inside the building, being there in an icy cold December night… OH THAT WASN’T FUN! I can only imagine what everyone else was like getting ready for the show.
I’ll also say that the crowd during this show was… mixed? I’ll put it down to the weather possibly draining most of them from being as active, as well as me not sitting in the most crowded part of the audience, so maybe it came across as much more vocal to the other side of the marquee. But one thing that will be a recurring theme for this review as a head up: kids… OH. THOSE. KIDS!
Mike Bird & Wild Boar defeats Joe Mezinger & Elijah Dahl
Small backstory, for the past few shows, Big Grizzly has been the focus of his path of domination in Dragon Pro and when he seemed to be on the losing end against the likes of Danny Jones and Panda Cub, who we’ll get to later, he enlisted the help of Joe Mezinger and Elijah Dahl, who the latter was formerly known as Jon Doe. They’ve been on a wrecking path alongside their mentor, but have come into a roadblock in the form of Dragon Pro’s former head coach and their current head coach respectively, Mike Bird and Wild Boar.
The match itself was pretty nice. You had Bird doing his typical smug like offensive alongside with his vicious strikes and power moves, and Boar had his usual wild aggression… you know, Wild Boar/wild aggression, it makes sense. There was a humorous moment where they did a double team sequence with Boar hitting one of the guys into Mike’s boot in the turnbuckle. Mike tried to do the same thing, but Boar’s legs couldn’t reach the top rope because, well, he isn’t exactly the most, how can I say this without getting further death stares from him in the future… elevated of wrestlers. Bird had to go outside and stretch Boar’s leg on their himself to a loud ‘OW!’ from his partner. Both teams still showed very nice chemistry, Bird & Boar for being veterans of the wrestling scene, and Mezinger and Dahl for their general viciousness and mixture of strength (Joe) and agileness (Elijah).
In the end through it was the devasting double team finisher known as “Mrs Pattersons Revenge” (Don’t ask me, that’s what it’s called on the Facebook page), which is a Double Knee Gutbuster by Bird followed by a Tope rope splash from Boar, that got them the pinfall victory. Before they could celebrate, Joe kept attacking, making Messy Joe’s number one fan behind me extremely happy, no one else, just him, there has to be that one guy, right? But the veterans managed to scare them off as they stood tall in this bout.
Celtic Crown Women’s Championship Tournament Finals
Jetta defeats Kat Von Kaige to become the FIRST EVER Celtic Crown Women’s Champion
Since the start of 2016, there have been many qualifying matches in this yearlong tournament to crowd a champion for Dragon Pro’s ever growing women’s division. It has come down between ‘The Vintage Villainess’ Kat Von Kaige, and the ‘Coventry’s Loudest’ Jetta.
Dragon pro’s backstage correspondent Jaida came out to announce the competitors for this women’s bout. This match, honestly, ended before I realised what happened, even the crowd didn’t have much time to react to anything. Kat tried to show as much viciousness as she could, but Jetta managed to get the better of her during most moments of the match. In the end, the much more established Jetta made quick work of her opponent with a Straight Jacket Backstabber into a submission that got the victory. We have our first ever Celtic Crown Champion! Jetta celebrated in the ring with a young girl from the crowd had the people happy.
Gideon VS Cal Adams ends in a no contest
No backstory in this one, this is just a David VS Goliath type match where the ‘wonderboy’ Cal Adams hopes to get a huge upset over the established Gideon. The match itself seemed to be going well, with Cal bringing out his quick offence, though Gideon seemed to have the advantage over him with size and power on his side. It seemed towards the end Gideon would win with a Package Powerbomb, however before he could make the pin, Dean Winter appeared and got himself involved, attacking both Cal and Gideon. Dean shouldn’t have been at Dragon Pro at this show as I BELIEVE he was suspended for attacking a referee at a previous show, so needless to say, people weren’t too pleased to see him. Gideon got back up and egged Dean on to have a go at him, but he merely teased it before heading to the back yelling, “WINTER! IS! HERE!” … Well I mean it IS December now, so he’s not wrong. Gideon makes sure to check on the beat down Cal, however a shocking moment came when Cal pushed away a handshake from him. Could we be seeing a different side to Cal Adams? Hmmm…
Dragon Pro Tag Team Championship
Oliver Satchwell and Brendan White w/ Liv Turner defeats The Pure Breed (Matt Horgan & Owen Wall) w/ Merlin Obadiah Cambridge to become the NEW Dragon Pro Tag Team Champions!
Small backstory though not as much since this is a fairly new rivalry. The Dragon Pro Tag Team Champions, The Pure Breed have been using as many sneaky tactics and dirty tricks to retain their championship titles as much as they can, but they have new challengers in Oliver Satchwell and Brendan White, backed up by Liv Turner. This was by far my favourite match of the night.
It could have gone either way; The Pure breed seemed to have the edge over their challengers with generally more experience as a team, their arsenal of moves and the help of ever so vocal Merlin. On the topic of him, he kept making sure to yell at everyone in the crowd that got on his nerves, which didn’t take much. I did hear him saying something about ‘someone’s mother’ at one point, which got a large ‘OH DANG!’ like response from everyone. Quite uhhh, quite risqué there aren’t we Cambridge? The people REALLY wanted his voice to cut out like it did when he tried to talk about the champions on the mic before the match began, which happened on purpose as a goof mind you.
The challengers didn’t let any of this get them down. Brendan and Satchwell both had the drive to push through all the assault they were taking, both showing nice displays of power and catch style maneuvers respectively. Liv was also there getting the crowd to support her boys whenever she could. Towards the end though, while the ref was knocked down at one point, Liv got in a bit of trouble as Merlin grabbed her at one point and threw her into the ring to the hands of Matt Horgan. But when he threw her into the ropes, she countered back with a huge tilt-a-whirl DDT that took him and everyone in the crowd off guard. A finishing move later by the challenger, and 1, 2, 3! We have NEW Tag Team Champions!! The crowd was ecstatic over this while The Pure Breed was scared off, running away with their metaphorical tails between their legs as the new champions celebrated in the ring.
Rookie of the Year 2016 Tournament Finals
Karambre Jr. defeats Oliver Sudden
This tournament also came to an end after many of Dragon Pro’s up and comers climbing the ranks in hopes of being crowned the 2016 Rookie of the Year. This year it is between Dragon Pro’s resident punster, Oliver Sudden, and the mysterious masked Karambre Jr, not to be confused with another similar sounding name that may or may not be a meme, which should not be a meme anymore since it’s completely irrelevant to anything ever… but I digress. #BitsOutForKarambre
The masked junior was not well liked by the crowd and he returned that distaste to everyone by SPITTING AT THEM whenever he could. I mean some of them aren’t the nicest lot, but come on buddy, spitting? Gross… Oli was much the laugh that he always is, trying to do some comedic things with his arsenal. Though he did get serious towards the end after one too many disrespectful slaps to the face. Oli had some nice bits of power we don’t normally see from him on the lighter Karambre, but it all didn’t plan well for the pun-master. The referee Huw accidentally got in the way from some type of maneuver by Sudden, which Karambre took the advantage of, attacked him and finished Oliver off with a Superkick to the head while the former Sudden was kneeling for the pinfall victory. The crowd weren’t pleased that the Rookie of the Year trophy went to someone as cruel as Karambre Jr, but it’s not like he cared since he won at the end of the day.
A newer face in the scene of Dragon Pro, the man known as Reg seems to have gone through a weird transition from a humble beginner to some sort of emasculated enigma (don’t tell him I called him that, or maybe he’ll be into it, I don’t know, no judge). He along with his squad known as the ‘REG-IMENT’ (I see what you did there) are looking to make it big in Dragon Pro with an open challenge to ANYONE who’s willing to take the opportunity.
Reg and his entourage of pink-clad warriors appeared with party poppers for #AllRegEverything followed by a Christmas jingle, which soon turned into the ever-familiar beats of the ‘Man Like BEANO’ and his mucka Sparky!
Beano w/ Sparky defeats #Reg w/ The Reg-iment
The two enter as chavved up versions of Santa Clause and an elf respectively, clad with cardboard box pressies! The two then got on the mic to say some things to the Reg trio, ‘WHA EW SAYIN’!’ and soon turned the invitational turned into a dance contest! Everyone stretches and then Beano and Sparky busted a move to the crowd’s delight. The Reg-iment also do some moves, but Reg wasn’t impressed and called for different music as ‘Beano’s is horrible!’. But before he can, Beano rolls him up and gets the victory!
Beano seemed a little shocked he managed to fool the trio and attacked the Reg-iment by hitting them with the Christmas present, making them hit into each other as the Man Like Beano and Sparky went to the back. Reg wasn’t at all pleased by this and wanted to have another open challenge, wanting a second chance.
Bishop defeats Reg defeats #Reg w/ The Reg-iment
This is fill with immediate regret as the incredibly violent Bishop appeared to answer the call.
A few non-effective elbows to Bishop and a Death Valley Driver to Reg later, we Bishop wins within seconds… tonight was NOT a good night for #AlLRegEverything it seemed.
Sierra Loxton defeats Lady Kathrine Darcy w/ Savoy
Jaida appears once again to call another women’s match before she is interrupted by a dapper looking chap named ‘Savoy’. He came out to introduce ‘true royalty’ in Lade Cathrine Darcy. The lady formerly known as Chardonnay seems to have taken a more regal and elegant demeanour from her past promotions. I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing her, but damn is her act entertaining. They instantly won me over when she noticed the grabbling children while over to the railing near her, SHIRTLESS! Yes, the little monsters were shirtless at this point, in a freezing cold marquee… they need to fix the water problems in Newport clearly. Kathrine made the most appropriate faces at these little heathens in response to them yelling at her. Girl… my lady, or m’lady *tips fedora*, I feel your pain. Also, quite ill after that AWFUL reference. Savoy even suggested for ‘their parents to take them home’. I’m officially in love with these two.
Though she had a challenger as she wasn’t the only form of royalty in Dragon, enter the Freaky Princess, Sierra Loxton. The match itself was fine, with the lady seeming elegant to start, but soon showing a much more aggressive and dirty like tactics unfitting for royalty. Her servant Savoy also tried to help her once or twice. Sierra came back strong through with even heavier strikes and moves. Savoy tried to help once more, but Sierra slapped him away. She then hit a DDT on Darcy and pinned her to show she was the true form of royalty in Dragon Pro.
Main Event – All Wales Championship
Danny Jones defeats Big Grizzly and Edwin Ricci to become the NEW All Wales Champion!
A bit of backstory for this match. Big Grizzly has been dominating the scene in Dragon Pro for well over a year now. During one championship match against Panda Cub, he retained, resulting in Panda Cub forcing to unmask, and he now competes as Edwin Ricci. At the last Dragon Pro show during a Battle Royal to determine a new number one contender, Danny and Ed both hit the ground at the same time, and thus, both were included into this main event, making it a triple threat.
This match was a fine way to close the show, but you could kind of tell some people were frozen to the bone and just wanted to go home. Though they did warm up as it went on with the children firmly behind Danny Jones mostly. The two youngsters did everything they could to fight away the much more intimidating champion, though he was able to out-power them many times during the match with massive moves that had people thinking he’d retain many times. Ed was able to pull off his known high-risk and hard hitting offence. Despite not being a Panda anymore, he’s still the same guy through and through. Danny also had his mixed arsenal of tech style with bits of high risk and strikes.
They were many, MANY close calls during the match, but the end got a little crazy as Grizzly’s lackys, Joe Mezinger (cue the guy behind me the cheer like crazy) and Elijah Dalh to appear and attack Danny and Edwin. This brought out Mike Bird and Wild Boar who chased them off real quick. By this point, Big Grizzly has his championship and hits Danny with it. Not too long after this, Ed takes advantage of the situation and hits Griz with his own championship. Straight after this though, Danny caught Ricci off-guard and hit him with a Pumphandle Facebuster. 1.. 2… 3! WE HAVE A NEW ALL WALES CHAMPION!! People are over the on that Danny has won the championship for a second time. While Grizz heads to the back, Ed seems upset over coming so close to getting his first All Wales title win, but the two raises arms and he heads to the back. Bird and Boar are them out to also praise the new champion as the show comes to a happy end.
So, there you have it, a very nice way for Dragon Pro’s last show of 2016 to come to an end. I’m sure things will only prove to be much more interesting and exciting as 2017 rolls on. Hopefully it will be less cold so people can react and be a part of the show more, but they were still there in support and that’s the important thing.
*Image credits go to Dragon Pro Wrestling/Turning Face Photography*