On the night of Saturday 30 November, I attended the Genesis Pro Wrestling debut show, with my wife and son (or wingman if you follow me on social media). The promotion in question, Genesis Pro Wrestling, is a young up and coming company in the South East of England. They’re roughly around 20 miles from where we live and are pretty much my local company. Genesis Pro Wrestling – or GPW if you will – have a huge upside. And if their debut show is anything to go by, the future looks bright for them.
My association with GPW is all down to my young son. He is 8 years old and has always wanted to train as a wrestler. Those that know me, know that I used to train as a wrestler. But injuries, old age, and I was really crap, all took their toll on me 🙂 So I stepped back and transitioned into a ring announcing role (which you can read about right here).
My wingman used to watch me and always wanted to step foot in the ring and do what I did. But unfortunately, the schools around us didn’t train anyone under the age of 14 (they’re missing a trick if you ask me)….until we found Genesis Pro.
My son has been attending their Junior Academy for the past 8 weeks. And not only has he come on in leaps and bounds in the ring with his training but his confidence in his everyday life and school has gone through the roof. Add to the fact that my family has been welcomed with open arms by Jon Moores (GPW owner) and Anthony English (head trainer), and you have a recipe for success.
That success has lead GPW to hold it’s debut show in Snodland, just outside of Maidstone in Kent. Held in the Snodland Community Centre on November 30th, GPW put on a great debut show.
I’ve been to more than my fair share of BritWres shows and I can safely say that the GPW management really knows what they’re doing. I’ve lost count of the number of shows that still had teething issues 10 shows into their run. Bad lighting, poor sound, you all know what I mean. GPW had everything pretty much spot on for their debut. Another piece of kudos to the management team.
The matches themselves had a mix of talent from the Gen Pro Academy and established wrestlers. The show itself had a storyline (psychology) running through it from the off. Something that helped the crowd follow the action.
There would be an eight-man tournament to crown the first-ever GPW World Champion. These eight men were selected a few weeks before the show by GPW Owner Jon Moores and GPW Commissioner William West. And at the top of the show, both men explained to the crowd that they would both make the matches there and then. Literally giving the competitors no time to prepare for their match! And just like that, the first match was announced…
Chris Wyld vs Defrain
Both of these guys have been knocking around the South East indy scene for quite some time, but this was the first time I’ve seen either of them. And from the looks of it, they must have had some matches together in the past as their chemistry was great.
Both men were throwing strikes like they were going out of fashion! Really crisp strikes with some powerful moves, especially from Defrain. Wyld definitely has the look and technique. And he sure did have some female admirers at ringside too. Abs for days was one comment that I heard.
Wyld took the win, seeing Defrain off in a high tempo, strong start. But Defrain didn’t take it too well. After the bell, he lashed out and smashed Wyld with powerbomb after powerbomb. Finishing Chris off with a tight Boston Crab, before referee Matt Howes finally stopped the carnage.
Defrain really wasn’t taking this loss well, as he struck the ref square in the face! This more than annoyed referee Howes, and he demanded that he has a match with Defrain at the next GPW show (Howes was a former wrestler). Jon Moores signed off on the match there and then and the first match for the next show was officially announced!
Winner – Chris Wyld
Edin vs The Damned
Here was a match that my wingman was looking forward to. Edin has kinda taken my son under his wing at the Gen Pro Academy. Edin has been training for a while at the Academy and this match would mark his professional wrestling debut. It’s just a shame that he was drawn against the behemoth that is The Damned.
The Damned is quite a name down here in the South East of England. And as you can see from the photo, he’s quite a big dude too! You can imagine how he hits. All of us in attendance didn’t have to imagine as we saw and heard The Damned chop the ever-loving crap outta Edin. And to Edin’s credit, he kept pushing forward.
Edin’s fast-paced athleticism against the power, strength, and experience of The Damned. But alas for the debutant, The Damned went over in dominant fashion. So much so, that Edin had to be helped to the back by his Team Enigmatic teammates. But I’m certain that it won’t be the last time Edin sets foot in a GPW ring, that’s for sure.
Winner – The Damned
Jack Toreno vs Leo Strong
Leo Strong, another Gen Pro academy student stepped up here in this match. One of the biggest and strongest students in the Academy taking on The Drifter, Jack Toreno. This was my first time seeing Jack but I had heard good things about him. And after this match, I’m a fan!
Jack was giving up a lot of height and weight in this encounter. But he more than made up for it with his quickness and tenacity (no pun intended). Oh and his sense of humor! Which was totally on point here. Aimed directly at Commissioner William West.
For some reason, Jack wanted to hug Commissioner West during the whole match, which may have affected his focus. Leo soon picked up on this and exerted his will on Jack. No matter what amount of top rope and fast-paced maneuvers Toreno hit on Leo, the big man wasn’t having it.
Strong capitalized on Toreno’s distraction with West and hit a great spear on him to gain the victory and go forward to the next round of the tournament. A great little match that kept the crowd (and myself) entertained with it’s a mix of humor and wrestling.
Winner – Leo Strong
Bully Briggs vs Cali Gray
The last two men in the tournament, Bully Briggs and Cali Gray, now faced each other for the last semi-final place. Cali gave me some Raven feels. The way he dressed and carried himself in the ring, definitely feel Raven was an input in Cali Gray somewhere down the line. Briggs on the other hand, was exactly as his name says…a bully. With help from his brother Tommy, who was giving the crowd a verbal ear-bashing throughout, Briggs didn’t waste time in asserting his dominance.
Tommy was even giving the referee and Gray some verbal abuse, doing anything he can to give his brother an edge. But Cali to his credit came back and held his own. Nearly causing an upset with a few pinning situations of his own. But again, Tommy got involved each and every time.
Briggs came out on top with a rather sickening looking TKO that really did make the ring shake. Wasn’t sure if it was the impact, the size of Briggs, or both (only joking Briggs!). But it looked great! Bully advances into the semis.
Winner – Bully Briggs
Tommy Briggs certainly looked overjoyed with the win as he jumped up onto the ring apron to celebrate. He even grabbed the live mic to berate William West. The Commissioner wasn’t having any of that and gave him a piece of his mind, as well as a slap across the younger Briggs’s face! Bully wasn’t happy with that and went to hit West.
Jon Moores stepped in the way to enforce a bit of order in the ring. Bully didn’t take the hint and hit the GWP owner with a stiff forearm that would have decked most men. He then went for West once more, but Ryan Hunter (Head Of Security for William West) helped the Commissioner out of the ring.
Jon Moores tried to stop Bully once again but was met with yet another forearm. This seemed to tip Moores over the edge! He ended up decking Bully with a sweet looking DDT! Proactive management there folks!
A visibly pissed off West then announced that as Bully still wants to fight, he can have his semi-final match right now…Against The Damned!
The Damned vs Bully Briggs
Oh dear! Briggs was not in great shape as The Damned entered the ring. Still reeling from that DDT from Jon Moores, Bully took a few wild swings and hit nothing but fresh air.
Tommy was shouting encouragement from ringside until The Damned picked up Briggs and dropped him with his Gunslinger finisher. At that point, he covered his eyes as the referee counted the three to one of the biggest pops from the crowd!
Winner – The Damned
At that point, we had reached a well-deserved intermission. The pacing of the card so far was working well. The storyline running through the event was working and easy to understand. And I also ate some of the nicest cupcakes from the food stand too. Muchly recommended 😉
Chris Wyld vs Leo Strong
Fully fed and watered, we were back from intermission with the second semi-final.
From the outset, you could see that the break hadn’t helped Chris Wyld. He was still suffering from the beatdown from Defrain at the end of their match. Selling the injured ribs and looking in pain, Chris tried to fight against the tide that was Leo Strong. But much like his name, Strong was just TOO Strong.
Taking the action to the outside on more than one occasion, Leo wore down Chris even more, working on the damaged midsection. This led to Wyld’s downfall as he couldn’t make it back into the ring and was defeated by countout, much to the fans’ dismay. A quiet hush fell over the venue as they couldn’t believe what they were seeing. A favorite to win the whole tournament defeated just one step away from the final.
With the referee raising the arm of Leo Strong, declaring him the winner, the crowd knew that they had a hard-hitting main event match to look forward to. The GPW Academy graduate Leo Strong versus The Damned…
Winner – Leo Strong
Enigmatic (Dominic King/The Banshee Vickie) vs J-Den Scarr & Furio
The first tag team match in the company’s history took place next. Enigmatic had a few problems coming into this match. Andros Jay, one half of Tenacity (with The Banshee Vickie) was meant to wrestle in this match. But just three weeks before the show, he broke his leg, forcing him out of the match. In stepped his Enigmatic teammate Dominic King to take his place, relinquishing his place in the World Championship Tournament.
This meant nothing to J-Den Scarr and Furio. They just wanted to hurt whoever was in their way. And unfortunately, it looked like it could have been Andros Jay. He had made his way out to ringside on crutches to support his brethren. More shenanigans were next as Cali Gray made his second appearance of the evening. He wanted to even up the numbers as he suspected Andros wasn’t injured at all.
I really loved the heelwork of Scarr and Furio here. They really relished being the bad guys here and took control of the match. Isolating King from Vickie for most of the match, giving him a hell of a beatdown aka kicking. But when he made the hot tag to Vickie, the place came unglued! Best hot tag I’ve sat in attendance for quite some time folks. Great stuff!
But as you could guess, Scarr and Furio were too much for the untested duo of King and Vickie. The heels walked away the victors in an enjoyable match.
Winners – J-Den Scarr & Furio
Andros Jay to his credit helped his fallen comrades to their feet after the match, gaining applause from the crowd. This incensed Grey, Furio, and Scarr, who rushed the ring and beat down all three wrestlers. Yes, even Jay and his broken leg! But as luck would have it, the fourth member of Enigmatic, Edin, raced to the ring to make the save. Hitting a beautiful picture-perfect top rope cross body onto those dastardly heels.
With the heels scurrying to the back, Enigmatic took the applause from the crowd. All the while my little wingman was losing his proverbial mind right beside me.
Genesis Pro Wrestling Championship Tournament Final
Leo Strong vs The Damned
With the crowd back in their seats and a bit calmer after that tag match, it was main event time! The Damned vs Strong for the GPW World Heavyweight Championship. And it was clear that the crowd wanted Strong to pick up the title. Booing The Damned at every possible opportunity.
This really was a big lads wrestling match. Lots of strong style strikes mixed with some strong submissions to wear each other down. A definite change of style and action from the previous contest, and something I personally liked. And as I said earlier, it seems that GPW officials know how to book a show. This really had the makings of the most important main event in GPW’s infancy.
And it seemed that the pressure of fighting for his first singles title got to Strong. For all his might and power, he couldn’t keep The Damned down. And The Damned knew it minute by minute. He knew that Leo could wilt under the pressure as long as he kept standing on his feet.
A Gunslinger followed by a fantastic Fishermanbuster Suplex (with a beautiful bridge I might add) won the gold for The Damned and sent Leo home so so close.
Winner – And NEWWWWW Genesis Pro Wrestling Champion, The Damned
After the match, The Damned was handed the championship belt by GPW Owner Jon Moores, along with a handshake…that was promptly refused by The Damed. He turned towards the crowd, title held aloft to the boos from the fans in attendance.
That was a bloody good debut show folks. It may have come across in my writing you know 😉 I try not to be biased as I know a few of the performers personally, but when my wingman is right beside me and is going bananas in each match, then I know that the company has put on a good show.
Highlights for me were Jack Toreno (ability and humor), J-Den Scarr (PG version of Paul Robinson) and Edin (one of the nicest people I have ever met). The matches were all of a good standard and had their desired effect – to get the crowd invested.
I walked away thoroughly impressed (and slightly deaf in my right ear, thanks wingman) with Genesis Pro Wrestling. I really can’t wait for February 22 next year as that is when their next event will be held. At the exact same venue too, which is good news for me. Cupcakes baby!
Please take a look at Genesis Professional Wrestling by clicking here. All the details for the company and its Academy are found on their website.