Facts from Future Pro Wrestling, Wallington Hall, February 11th 2012

I live in North London, and it’s very rare that I venture south of the river Thames, particularly on freezing cold Saturday nights in February.

Still, I’m very glad that I took the risk this weekend, motivated by the card at Future Pro Wrestling’s show.

The entertainment started right from the off – even if you’d not been to an FPW show before, you picked up the history of Terry Striker aka Kidd Pride with his railing against the company and the powers-that-be, Snare (like the insane version of Sting), and Rob Cage  (who was the face in this particular match and showed this by throwing “You sound like a GIRL!” insults at his adversary. Le sigh).

I was very taken with ‘The Warden’ Phil Ward, who worked the crowd brilliantly (what a fantastic gimmick – like Mr McKay in Porridge, except younger, with more hair and with sunglasses) and, despite towering over his tiny jungle-dwelling opponent Bagheera, put on an entertaining match – one would have expected it to be a bit of a squash with the big heel destroying the pre-verbal high-flying face, but it was evenly contested with some great engagement.

The highlight of the evening for me was the LDRS (Zack Sabre Jr and Marty Scurll – for whom there were a lot of fangirls and Take Me Out-related signs) vs the Bhangra Knights (RJ Singh and Darrell Allen). Weirdly, I’ve only ever seen Zack and Marty in singles action, so even though they’ve been a tag team for ages, this was the first time I’d seen them working together, and what a joy it was. A terrific match, including much cheating and inept refereeing, plus the Bhangra Knights’ manager wielding a megaphone. You know as well as I do that having a megaphone equals immediate win points.

During the interval I got the chance to nip backstage and say hello to some of the talent, including Official Friend of TOWIS Mark Haskins, bearing a scarred nose from you-know-what. (Yes, I am a name-dropper.)

The second half began very brightly, with Haskins and Greg Burridge facing eXodus and Da Big J Dizzle, and Burridge in particular bringing the “fun and games”, mostly in the shape of thrusting his groin in people’s faces. Mid-match there was a very odd clank from the ring as someone (I can’t remember who) was running the ropes, which, unsurprisingly, seemed to change the direction of the battle (there was a lengthy interlude where three of the four corners were being covered as the referee and two of the wrestlers were discreetly checking the rope tension). It still ended with eXodus, a surprisingly nimble monster, performing a top-rope finish, even though by that stage the top rope was sagging noticeably.

As you’d hope and expect, there was then a short break as the ring was checked, and when Jimmy Havoc and Joel Masters came out for the main event I certainly got the feeling that they’d quickly thought of some alternative plans for the match that didn’t involve too much rope work. It was still a great match-up, though; Masters is a terrifying giant and Havoc is hardcore and reminds me of a lot of emo boys from indie-rock bands back in the day, if the emo boys had no fear and risked the integrity of their necks on a regular basis.

I think the thing that I enjoyed most about the show, talent notwithstanding, was the atmosphere. Call me a misery, but I have no problem with wrestling shows being PG – I’m not a fan of the hardcore stuff, I don’t enjoy seeing people bleed, I like seeing the athletic feats and the storytelling.  I loved seeing children cheering and booing and ecstatic about getting to interact with their heroes – I loved the small child Jeritrolling the crowd and then suddenly getting all starstruck about the possibility of meeting Haskins – I loved people just generally engaging with what was going on and having a great time.

For me, that’s the beauty of professional wrestling, and FPW seem to have it down to an art.

Check FPW out on Twitter – you can also click through to their website from the links on the right, and you can see their upcoming events featured on our calendar.

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4 Responses to Facts from Future Pro Wrestling, Wallington Hall, February 11th 2012

  1. Mike says:

    Had a fantastic night at the Wallington Hall last night.

    Despite the cold night, there was a big queue outside waiting for the doors to open, and it was encouraging to see so many families in attendance. It was easy to see why, as well! The atmosphere was really friendly and welcoming, and FPW did a great job of encouraging fan interaction. If you’re a wrestling fan, or have kids who can’t get enough of the larger-than-life stars and characters they watch on TV, give FPW a try!

    On to the show itself, and it was jam-packed with some of the finest British Indy stars, some of who I’ve seen before, some who were new to me, all who put on a memorable show and left a lasting impression.

    Particular highlights for me included Bagheera and The Warden Phil Ward, who had a really entertaining big man/little man bout with the Warden making an instant impression with an ongoing verbal battle with the fans in front of us.

    It was great to see the Leaders of the New School – Zack Sabre Jr and fresh from his Take Me Out date “Party” Marty Scurll in action again – these guys are being booked in events across the UK and Europe for good reason, and put on another great showing tonight. It was all the more impressive after finding out about their hectic schedule this weekend!

    Their opponents, the Bhangra Knights, were new to me but showed immense talent and promise as well. With TNA looking to India recently with Ring Ka King, you’d think the Bollywood-themed trio could be well placed to take advantage of a new market, especially if they continue to perform to this level.

    TNA star Mark Haskins was given a great reception as well along with the impressive Jimmy Havoc, and all of the stars of the second half of the show did exceptionally well in what must have been quite difficult conditions.

    All in all, Future Pro Wrestling put on a fantastic evening’s entertainment – if you’re a wrasslin’ fan in the London area, give them a look!

  2. […] I reported from FPW this weekend that I was very taken with ‘The Warden’, whom I likened to “Mr McKay in Porridge, except younger, with more hair and with sunglasses”. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a big shouty slightly crazed heel. […]

  3. […] want to create the same community atmosphere with the school as we do with our shows,” says […]

  4. […] FPW returned to their home venue after all sorts of shenanigans stopped them from hosting Futuremania there back in May, and today’s show was basically a celebration of their obstinacy and tenacity in continuing in the face of adversity.  […]

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