Shropshire Wrestling Alliance held their traditional year-end event, GoldRush, on Saturday 2nd December in Dawley Town Hall. Tim Ricketts ran his beady eye over the festive action to discern the top ‘Five Things We Learned’.
5. It was a night of big returns.
‘Number One’ Damian Dunne made a fuss about being replaced on commentary in the short absence since his defeat to brother Pete (at ‘When It’s All Said And Dunne’ back in September) during his entrance. In contrast, ‘The Pride of Wales’ Eddie Dennis made his welcome SWA comeback after a gap of years to tag with Drew Parker, and kicked-off a recurring theme of returns in process.
‘Smashmouth’ Chris Ridgeway lived up to his moniker as he teamed with the entertaining and nuanced Dunne against the Welsh pair, in a rapidly paced and crisply executed to-and-fro match. Dennis was polished and powerful, as ever, and Parker lived up to his reckless but spectacular reputation with a notably full-throttle dive. Their heroics came to nothing though, as Dunne and Ridgeway picked up the pin-fall victory.
4. Toilet Brushes are dangerous things
‘Session Moth’ Martina has set the British Isles alight over the past year or so with her own particular brand of near-the-knuckle nymphomania, but the lager-powered lass met a superb foil here in the form of ‘Filthy Gorgeous’ Robert Sharpe. Sharpe’s high-camp antics proved to be the near-perfect antithesis to Moth’s usual, but obviously ineffectual, tactics.
Whilst this bout, held under ‘Session Rules’, was executionally very good, its overriding quality was in the innuendo-laden comedy gold it produced. Sharpe may have regretted introducing a toilet-brush to proceedings however, as Martina managed to turn it on him, stuff it down his trunks and give him several hard landings on it before he got the win.
3. Feuds collide in the Miracle on 34th Street-fight.
In consecutive shows, Ashley Dunn and Kat Von Kaige have screwed ‘Mr Massive’ Chuck Cyrus out of the SWA championship and a clean revenge victory over Dunn. The ‘Happy Place’ allies of champion Ash Draven faced Cyrus and partner Jayde; out for revenge herself after being forced into unconsciousness by Von Kaige earlier in the year.
The Christmas-themed hardcore was inventive, entertaining and commendably pulled no punches due to its inter-gender status. Baubles flew, the venue’s beautifully decorated tree was teasingly threatened, and both women crashed spectacularly through tables, their pain evident. It was Cyrus who gained a modicum of vindication though, as he bombed Dunn through a pair of chairs to obtain victory.
2. Bubblegum is back.
The theme of returns continued in the championship match as ‘Antisocial’ Ash Draven’s mystery opponent was revealed to be the previously injured Bubblegum. He was well received by the crowd, and thanked them for their benefit raffle during his recovery. His high-flying all-action style clashed interestingly with the champion’s calculated psych-outs and methodical approach, so may have seen him take the title if it wasn’t for yet another return. Von Kaige and Dunn are not the only allies Draven has at his disposal however, Joe Mezinger and Elijah of The Brotherhood made their presence known to help the King of SWA keep his belt.
1. The huge nugget at the end of the GoldRush.
The final fight of the night, and 2017, was the eponymous GoldRush Rumble, a 20-wrestler staged-entry battle royale for a future shot at the championship. It showed plenty of reasons why 2018 should be another vintage year: from regular SWA prospects such as Damo Scorpio, Connor Clyne and Shogun J to debutants like Hazza Sefton and Bishop, there were plenty who put in a claim-staking performance. The Brotherhood put in a shift and demonstrated how well they work as a unit, plus plenty of the stars from earlier matches gave effective cameos too.
Joey Ozbourne, making an emotional surprise appearance before heading to the USA, had been battling with the disrespectful Hustle Malone since the beginning of the bout, even going so far as to wrap the loose second rope around Malone’s neck before Ozbourne eliminated him. Thinking he was the last man standing, the SWA corner-stone began celebrating, only to be hijacked by Ridgeway. The 20th entrant (thanks to winning a triple-threat last show) had made himself inconspicuous at ring-side in the last few moments, and chose the perfect time to strike for another SWA championship opportunity.
With so much to look forward to next year, it’s no surprise that SWA have already sold out their front-row for the first show of 2018… and it doesn’t even have a name yet.