By the time I got there around 3 o'clock or so, the queue was full o'people stretching all the way back to the pathway leading to the arena! There was a large limo, but it turned out to be some Hulk Hogan impressionist doing 'autographs' and doling out free Legends Of Wrestling demo's. The doors opened not long before 4, and virtually everyone who was going to turn up arrived at that time.
Checking out the stalls, Strongstyle (the Frontier Wrestling Alliance official video distributor) was represented (selling Frontier Wrestling Volumes 1-4, and later Pure Dynamite; all of which I bought natch!) Dunno if it was the man himself, is he a ginge like me?
Tommy Boyd, the host, came out first doing his 'Mr. Clean' spiel to boos. Alex Shane comes out (to massive applause, 'cause there's a VERY large FWA crowd here) and runs him down, before taking a good 15 minutes' worth of questions. Noticeable by his presence was Bill Apter (!) doing photography, and radio commentary was done by Dean Ayass and Mark Priest. Tommy runs the ropes and 'bumps' like a total dipshit, before a ringside plant does it properly.
Later, Grand Master Sexay comes out and talks a little, before Eddy Guerrero enters to a BITCHING ovation. Q & A follows for aboot 45 minutes, with only one "killer"- "Why did you leave the WWF?" The crowd (who already KNEW why) responded "ooooooooooooooooooooooo!" Eddy laughed it off and put it down to Personal Problems (© WWFE 2001), while Brian adds "I was set up!".
The segment was almost completely ruined by a annoying Yankee ditz (who used to be on a British videogame show called "Bits") who took a photo in GMS' arms. Following some more Q & A, including someone asking about Art Barr (to applause), they both leave. Naturally, Eddy got the lion's share of the applause.
A Pyro test followed, followed by a 45-minute Autograph session which I didn't manage to get into. On my travels, though, I passed Apter buying a burger, Doug Williams doing nothing in particular, and Drew McDonald jumping the queue for a tea.
Well... would YOU stop him??
THE SHOW ITSELF
Firstly, GMS worked a quick dark match against Guy Thunder (I say 'dark', but it was being filmed, so I assume it'll make the video but not the upcoming show on the UK Bravo network next month). Sexay won, natch. GMS played up to the female MC beforehand. Afterward, he danced with some ringside fans/plants. There's a wait-on afterwards, then Boyd comes out to start the show proper.
(NOTE: Everything from 7pm-8pm does not appear on the Radio Broadcast (done live on TalkSPORT 1089/1053AM from 8-10pm). I also gather that the last half-hour didn't make the broadcast either but do correct me if I'm wrong)
Boyd is still 'Mr. Clean' and even introduces the "Fake Blood Man" (LOL!) and he assures that nothing remotely violent will happen. Alex Shane, in full "ShowStealer" mode, comes out and assures us that mass violence WILL happen, starting with Boyd. He goes to chokeslam him, but Fake Blood Man attacks. Shane does his finisher, the One Night Stand (Fireman's Carry - Michinoku Driver) and departs after Boyd runs like buggery.
5 minutes later, Tommy returns and draws the tournament lots:
DREW MCDONALD vs ROBBIE BROOKSIDE; JONNY STORM vs JODIE FLEISCH; "SOLID GOLD" SCOTT PARKER vs ALEX S... nope, Tommy announces EDDY GUERRERO; FLASH BARKER vs DOUG "ANARCHIST" WILLIAMS. In the order the bouts are fought, winner of 1
will face the winner of match 3, and the victor of match 2 will take on 4's winner.
NOTE: Match ratings in Alphabet rather than stars.
KING OF ENGLAND QUARTERFINAL 1: WILLIAMS vs BARKER
Nothing special here. Flash exhibited some decent Martial Art skillz, but Doug got the duke with a DDT (10 minutes, GRADE B+) to advance. It was noted in the program that Williams was the highest entry into the PS50, and he showed us just why.
KING OF ENGLAND QUARTERFINAL 2: MCDONALD vs BROOKSIDE
Gawd, I haven't seen Brookside in YEARS. He got some nice face heat in the form of 'Edge' chants ('cause he looks like Edge, see?) Drew came out with his Old Skool manager,Dino Scarlo, but without his FWA tag title belt. WAZZUPWIDAT? Drew dominated most of the bout, but Ed..'scuse me, Rob, shone pretty well. He scored a sitout 'flip-slam'. Dino stuck his nose in but got clocked. Robbie then walked into a Drew stunner; 1-2-3. (15 minutes, GRADE C)
WOMEN'S CHALLENGE MATCH: LEXIE FYFE vs NIKITA
Lexie gets huge heat from the ECW/FWA-inspired crowd here. Pretty even until Nikita slips from the mat (cue "YOU F***ED UP" chant) Then the match plays out the 'biased ref' issue, where the ref does quick counts for Lex but doesn't for Nik, even
though Nik scores a sweet Tornado DDT). Nikita's partner, who's wearing a "Gladiators" shirt, gets increasingly miffed; up to the point where he joins in and clocks the referee upside his bonce. Nikita rolls lexie up, where Partner forces a 3 out of the referee (15 minutes, GRADE B-)
(NOTE: it's 8pm now, so the Radio coverage starts)
KING OF ENGLAND QUARTERFINAL 3: PARKER vs GUERRERO
Matwork starts out this neat little affair, with Eddy getting loud pops, and Scott getting some neat moves in, including a Regal double-underhook suplex and a power slam. Later on, the referee gets bumped, and your choice of run-in is Alex Shane,
sporting a steel chair. He aims for Eddy but ends up nailing "Solid Gold" with the implement. Eddy then shoves the chair into Alex's face and the Army Of Referees (© WWFE 2001) come out, just in time for Parker to taste a frogsplash to do the
J-O-B, to rapturous applause. (10 minutes, Grade B+)
KING OF ENGLAND QUARTERFINAL 4: STORM vs FLEISCH
HERE WE GO! (as Bobby Heenan would say) The best fliers in Britain start their aerobatics early, alongside a neat 2-count-reversal series. They both elect to take it to the streets, and this is also the point where the fans rush up to the barriers.
Storm & Fleisch go straight for the ladder- Jonny gets there first and rams it into Jody's guts, setting a trend for the night.
They both exchange SWEET moonsaults from the ladder (whereupon Crystal Palace is renamed Holy Shit City), and Jonny hits a 'noku Driver onto the stage! DAMN! He uses the ladder to Jodie's guts again and sets the ladder up in the ring.
Jonny ascends, but Jodie springboard-dropkicks him off. He's rallying at this point as he returns to the apron to set him up again.... but he promptly springboards into a Storm sitout-powerbomb!!! AIYAIYIAIYIAIYIAIYIAIYIAIYIAIYIE! Jody Stunner of the
ladder!! Storm armbar slam off the ladder!! The crowd is JACKED man, absoultely bananas. Storm Jumping Hurricanrana!!! and finally, to win the match, Jodie scores a SPRINGBOARD SOMERSAULT TORNADO DDT!! JESUS H. CHRIST!!! (10 minutes, GRADE A+)
Afterwards, Jodie & Jonny shake hands and the people are on their feet; and rightly so. They leave to an "FWA! FWA! FWA!" chant.
We then cut to a 20-minute interval, followed by some pretty dancers doing a nice little number in the ring.
KING OF ENGLAND SEMIFINAL 1: DREW MCDONALD vs JODIE FLEISCH
Drew is accompanied not only by Dino Scarlo again, but also a pretty woman dressed like a devil who looks like she'd rather be somewhere else. Jodie is still selling the barn burner he finished no more than half-an-hour ago. The Highlander From Hell
dominates early, but Fleisch recovers to hit a Springboard Headscissors, a 450 Splash, and a Missed Charge to screw up his elbow and put Drew back in charge.
Moments later, he tosses him out for Dino Scarlo to get his kicks. Later, Drew has him back in the ring and does an armbar slam. Fleisch clears the cobwebs... goes to springboard Drew... BUT ASAI-MOONSAULTS DINO INSTEAD! In a Random Act Of Violence
(© BADMOVIES.ORG 2001), Drew kayoes the referee; and joins a thoroughly annoyed Dino for an assault with a chair. Jodie gets a trip over the guard rail, the first for the night, as well.
Even their unnamed female charge gets some shit in, with a chest rake. Assorted Heel Shit (no © needed) happens for a while. The end plays out a classic route as Dino goes for a table, setting it up in the ring. Drew holds Jodie in position for a
Dino moonsault... when Rob Brookside runs in, grabs Fleisch, and Dino eats wood (and blades as well) Jodie rolls Drew up as the ref regains consciousness to win the match (15 minutes, GRADE A-)
Drew & a bloody Dino beat on Jody's tender belly/ribs for a while, and they both leave, not before their woman gets a "She's a crack-whore" chant. Perhaps ECW will never die in that respect.
KING OF ENGLAND SEMIFINAL 2: DOUG WILLIAMS vs EDDY GUERRERO
They hit the mat to start and Eddy busts out his old Cheat To Win material... but the crowd REFUSE to boo him! I love loyalty! Ed then surfboards him, and performs a chinlock whilst in the same position. Into the corner as Eddy works on Doug's
back and a belly-2-back suplex. Doug rallies with some flying knees, but he fluffs one and Ed applies an Indian Deathlock Variant.
Now they start slugging it out. Eddy gets a handful of 2-counts but Doug stops it with a knee to his neck! Doug misses a flying elbow moments later and Eddy gets a 2 from this error. Eddy sets him up for a powerbomb and converts it into a
backbreaker (! ), and gets some 2's of it. He goes for a front-on sleeper but "the Anarchist" reverses it into an Aurora Borealis Suplex! (Northern Lights to the commoners)
They exchange 2-counts and Eddy performs 'The Stroke' but holds on for a facelock to rest up. The crowd starts clapping. Eddy scores a pair of facebusters, and heads to the top floor. He screws the moonsault up, and Doug gets a 2 off it.
Eddy immediatly goes for something else but Doug gets the shock win off a reversal that I don't even see! (15 minutes, GRADE A) This was a very nice slow-burner that the crowd was WELL into. It goes to show that us Brits can appreciate almost
ANYTHING after the 1980s/1990s British Wrestling Drought.
TIME-KILLER BOUT: ULF HERMANN vs GRAND MASTER SEXAY
Ulf comes out wielding a torch. He spits fire and DESTROYS a plant at ringside with some piledrivers and evil shit before GMS comes out. This was a scrappy comedy bout mostly, but Ulf dominated before GMS got all 'bite-the-fingers' on him. They head
out ringside and into the crowd, before Brian gets a chair and everyone is back in the ring.
He charges Ulf but kayoes the ref as well. Sexay hits a superkick but there's no referee to count it. He retrieves the official, but gets LAMPED by Hermann. This is enough for a win as the referee covers (15 minutes, GRADE C). Worst match of the night- and it was STILL pretty good! Brian kills the ref afterwards. The soft shite.
Minutes later, Scott Parker returns and grabs the mic. He challenges Alex Shane because he cost him the Guerrero match earlier. Alex comes out to "SHOW" chants in time with his music, and accepts....
SPECIAL FALLS-COUNT-ANYWHERE CHALLENGE MATCH: SCOTT PARKER vs ALEX SHANE
Armwork, aerobatics, reversals OH MY! (to start with.) They take it to the streets after a while when Parker scores a Rolling Baseball Slide and then a Tope! He gets a 2 off it and both go back in, Alex scores a Baldobomb for 2, followed by... a
Pumphandle Stunner! And it STILL only gets 2! Scott rallies with a Tornado DDT and goes up. Alex doesn't do a rope crotch, but a ROLLING rope crotch (f***in' show off! ) and follows with a ShaneSation (spin kick to outside)! If you would
ever find a British equivalent of Awesome vs Tanaka, this is a scale model of such a fight!
Throughout the early stages of the bout, the crowd got on Scott's case with a "Solid Shit" chant. Alex gets a 2-count outside, then "Solid Gold" performs a post-assisted hurricanrana! STILL only good enough for 2. They then head over the
guardrail and take it up into the bleachers (as the Yanks call them) with an arena-wide brawl. All the way up near the window, Alex goes for a piledriver but Scott worms out of it...... And throws him over the balcony! "Holy Shit! Holy Shit!
etc." If that wasn't enough, Parker follows with a CROSS-BODY BLOCK OFF THE BALCONY! "HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT! etc." Back over my side of the ring, Scott tries another post-assised 'rana but Alex -wise to this- hotshots him on the rail!!!
Parker comes back, but misses a moonsault. Alex scores a vanilla slam and follows this with a springboard legdrop for 2! Scott rallies and scores a Diamond Dust! After a couple of minutes, the referee gets bumped AGAIN. Scott scores HIS
finisher, The Golden Arrow (a suplex-into-Michinoku-Driver) but there's no ref for the cover! Alex does the One-Night Stand for a pair of 2-counts!!! Parker Piledriver-2!!! and finally... Shane's One-Night-Stand-3!!!!! (20 minutes, GRADE A*) That ruled every much
as Storm/Fleisch earlier, but it WASN'T a spotfest. It was a BITCHFEST!!!! AHHAHAH!!!
Afterwards, they shake and make up, the crowd goes batshit, and they both leave...
which leaves US with...
wait for it..
KING OF ENGLAND 2002 FINAL: DOUG WILLIAMS vs JODIE FLEISCH
Jodie's ribs are still screwed, but Doug (glaringly) ignores that fact. Williams is in control for a little while but it's neutral for the first 5 minutes or so. Doug steps up with an enzugiri and a spin-kick and both go outside. Jodie hotshots Doug on the rail as the crowd goes mad again (they've been like it through the entire night). Inside, they simmer the match with some matwork. "The Anarchist" gets 2 off a gutwrench suplex and gloats whilst in control. He gets quite a lot of
heat for that.
Jodie steps up to the challenge though; but when he goes up top Doug KILLS the momentum with a Release German from the 2nd buckle! OWWW! This sends the plucky Londoner outside and the crowd is all "ooh, he's in trouble now!". Fleisch returns to the ring with a vengeance, scoring a 'rana and an Asai Moonsault! Doug is like "F*** You, I don't work spotfests" by scoring a sitout powerbomb... from the apron to the floor! "Holy Shit! Holy Shit! etc."
The match rolls along and Jodie gets the Hulkamania Comeback (© Titansports 1984) with a Springboard Tornado DDT. Not a SOMERSAULT springboard, but a springboard none-the-less. Doug is pretty much f***ed here. He counters a victory roll but
FINALLY gives up the ghost, AND the KoE title, to a flying sunset flip!! (15 minutes, GRADE A) The final was a little anti-climatic IMNSHO, but it was a SUPERB end to a SUPERB night of wrestling.
And the Big Surprise?.... THE DYNAMITE KID, IN PERSON, TO PRESENT THE CHEESY-LOOKING MEDAL TO THE WINNER!
We have confetti flying, a 5-minute Standing Ovation, and the female MC thanks everyone and reminds us all that the show will
be on Bravo on the 3rd of March.
The program states that the show will be available to buy, complete and uncut, later in the year. I damn well hope so.
National Express Return Tickets: £28
Train from London Victoria to Crystal Palace: £3.80
Hotel Stay due to Missed Last Bus: £30
Watching the Best F***Iing British Show I have EVER seen:
This is Sephiroth Junior, over & out.
Mail the Author
Comment about this article in Wienerville