It's time to enter the realm of British professional wrestling once more as we take a second look at the Hull-based New Generation Wrestling. This time around we're heading back to last December, with four teams vying for the Tag Team titles in a ladder match in the main event of Eternal Glory 2012.
The show began with Stixx taking on Bam Bam Barton.
This was a pretty decent opener. I swear Stixx seems to get better every time I see him. It doesn't matter if he's a babyface (as he was in this match) or a heel his mixture of speed and power always makes for a good performance.
As for Barton, he did a good job of controlling the action. He came out with the usual heel mannerisms, and was most annoyed when one of the crowd offered him a wig to cover up his bald head, but overall I was quite impressed with his performance.
The end came when Stixx applied a hold I don't think I've seen him use before, the sharpshooter. Barton tapped out almost immediately to give Stixx the submission win.
After the match ended commentator James McGeechy got into the ring to confront him about his loss to NGW Champion Rampage Brown, and Brown's promise never to defend the title again because of what Stixx had done to him, and while the fans wanted Stixx to clobber the annoying heel the Heavyweight House of Pain remained silent before he went backstage.
The second match of the evening saw Caz Crash, accompanied by his fellow Proven members Sam Wilder and Scott Adams, taking on Martin Kirby.
Before the match began the referee told the other two members of the Proven to head for the hills. It was then that Crash grabbed the microphone and announced that because of a NGW cock-up Kirby had actually signed to face the entire Proven faction, turning this into a three-on-one handicap match.
So basically what we had here was a mugging of sorts. Kirby tried to put up a good fight at first, but it wasn't long before the Proven began to take him apart piece by piece, with Crash spending most of his time on the ring apron while his minions did all the hard work.
Kirby made a spirited comeback, and at one point he looked like he could come out on top when he managed to clean house, but the Proven quickly regained control, with Crash finishing the job with an ace crusher for the winning pin.
With Richie West as the special referee, the next match saw Nathan Cruz, accompanied by Melanie Price and his water boy, taking on Colossus Kennedy.
What we had here was a great piece of storytelling. You had two former friends turned bitter enemies battling against each other, a third friend acting as the special referee, and nearly thirty minutes of tense action.
In the run-up to the match West had announced that there would be a clear winner, and he let things slide a little when Kennedy used Cruz as his personal crash test dummy, brutalising him as he threw him around ringside and up to the stage, and it was only when the water boy tried to interfere that West made his presence known when he threw him out of the arena.
The big man continued to attack Cruz, and it was only when the Showstealer clobbered Kennedy in the head with a chair that he gained any sort of control. Numerous chair shots followed as Kennedy begged West to disqualify him, and although the official was concerned for Kennedy's safety he let the match go on.
Eventually the big man came back into the match as it developed into a riveting back and forth encounter. Cruz threw everything he had at the big man, but no matter what he did he couldn't put the big man down.
Finally Kennedy managed to get hold of the chair, and after a couple of shots West tried to stop him from using it. He then walked away and shielded his eyes as Kennedy smashed the chair into Cruz's skull. One choke slam later it was all over as West counted Kennedy's pin.
Afterwards, as the water boy helped revive Cruz, the Showstealer held out his hand as Price entered the ring. Price basically welcomed him as the latest occupant of Dumpsville before heading backstage.
The second half of the show began with former TNA star Mark Haskins going up against Matt Myers.
Now this was good, and I mean good. It began with Haskins insisting that they partake in a spot of good old fashioned wrestling. This was all fine and dandy until he decided to spit on Myers, a compliment that was returned to him just a few moments later.
From there it developed into a very heated back and forth encounter. Both guys put in great performances, especially Haskins. It was great to see him doing on a British stage what he wasn't allowed to do in the Impact Zone. Myers wasn't that far behind him performance-wise, and he was perfect as Haskin's foil.
We had plenty of false finishes in this one, but just when it looked like Haskins was going to put his man away with his favoured shooting star press he decided against going for that particular move so he could take Myers down with his own finisher, his version of the ace crusher.
When that attempt failed a frantic few moments followed, and when Haskins shoved Myers into the referee the official's temporary incapacitation meant that he failed to see Haskins kick Myers south of the border. A pump handle slam-like move later (I have no bloody idea what it's called!), and the now-recovered referee made the three count to give Haskins the win.
Then it was the turn of long-time NGW star Dave Rayne to come out and have a good old moan before he challenged a newer member of the roster to a match. This led to the appearance of Ireland's second favourite wrestler Mad Man Manson as he answered the challenge.
What followed was one of the most bizarre things I've ever seen in a wrestling ring. The match began in the normal way with a sequence involving the running of the ropes and a couple of shoulder barges. They then took it into Bizarro World as they re-enacted everything they'd just done.....in slow motion, making me think that they were inspired by my all-time favourite Tommy Cooper sketch. (Look it up on Google folks. It's a classic.)
They then pulled each other's tights down and wrestled for the next few moments with their tights around their ankles, which as you can imagine really restricted their movement.
But towards the end they pulled their tights back up and things returned to normal, with Rayne launching himself off the middle rope and connecting with a back stabber for the winning pin.
That wasn't the last of it though. As Rayne made his way back to the stage Manson appeared again, spanking his man before dragging him backstage, saying that he was going to take him to the showers.
The main event was the four team ladder match, with Paul Malen and Joseph Connors of the Predators, Robbie X and Dean Allmark, and El Ligero and Dara Diablo of Los Amigos challenging Team GB's Zack Diamond Gibson and Sam Bailey for the Tag Team titles.
Well, it wasn't long before the bodies were flying around the ring in this one, because what we basically had here was eight men and a whole load of high impact moves. And you know what? It was pretty entertaining. Okay, this match won't appeal to the wrestling purists out there, but you have to commend the performances of all involved for the way they put their bodies on the line.
It would probably take way, way too long to list all of my favourite high spots here, so let's just give the commemorative Joey Styles OMG award to the spot where Ligero took Gibson with a hurricanrana-like move, with both men going straight through the commentary table at ringside.
As for the finish, it was Bailey who succeeded where so many had failed before when he climbed the ladder and claimed the belts, retaining the titles for his team. Afterwards the faithful showed their appreciation to all involved by giving them a standing ovation.
As there's no special features on this disc, let's get straight to the matter at hand.
In conclusion - my second experience of the NGW product is a very favourable one. In fact this show was pretty good.
From top to bottom it was filled with great action throughout, and although the Manson/Rayne match left me scratching my bald head a little overall I was very pleased with what I had seen.
As for my match of the night you're probably thinking that the no-prize is going to the ladder match. You'd be way off if you had. Nope, the no-prize is going to the very enjoyable Matt Myers/Mark Haskins encounter. Now that was quality.
So with all of that out of the way there's only one thing left to do, and that's to give this release the thumbs up. It would have been a big thumbs up had it not been for that comedy match, but then again you can't have everything.
With thanks to the powers that be for supplying a copy of this release. NGW Eternal Glory 2012 is available to buy online at www.hullwrestling.com.