THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne – now in it’s 10th year!
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June 19th, 2010 is the tenth anniversary of The Two Sheds Review, so to mark this momentous occasion I’m going back in time to take another look at a few “firsts”. Coming up will be another look at the first pay-per-view I ever reviewed (WWF Summerslam 2000), the first MMA show I saw (UFC 38), and the first Supercard Sunday show I saw on the now defunct Wrestling Channel (MLW Reload).
But to kick things off I’m taking another look at the first ever wrestling video I reviewed, and for that I must return to my old stomping ground, the World Association of Wrestling. October Outrage 1999 was the title, headline by “Rowdy” Ricky Knight taking on “Big” Dave Waters in a hardcore match for the British title, with Sweet Saraya and Michael Mann handling commentary duties.
The show began with Bask taking on “Kickboxer” Kevin Kelly for the Youth title. For me Bash was always one of the most underrated wrestlers in WAW, and this match was a good advertisement for his talents. Kelly looked okay, but because there were only brief highlights I couldn’t really get into this match. The face painted one emerged victorious here, taking down Kelly with a sit down face buster.
The title action continued with the masked Enigma facing Tiger McGuigan for the Eastern Counties title. Another highlights package saw both men fighting outside the ring, hitting each other with a chair before former front row regular Doris told McGuigan what she thought of him. Enigma took home the trophy in this one when McGuigan was disqualified. Again, I couldn’t get into this match because so little of it was shown.
Then it was on to the battle of the veterans as Skull Murphy went up against Danny Collins in a cage match. Well, I say cage match, but it’s not a cage match in the sense you may know it. The cage is actually one of those you’d find on a building site, and it surrounds the ringside area as well. No referee in this one, with the man leaving the cage first the winner. As for the match, Collins and Murphy are two of the best wrestlers Britain has ever produced, and thankfully there’s more than a couple of minutes of highlights here. It’s a hard hitting affair with the cage almost collapsing when both men go crashing into it at various points. It’s enjoyable, but with something of an anti-climatic finish with Murphy simply walking out of the cage to claim the win. These two had apparently been feuding for months beforehand, so surely a better and more dramatic finish was called for.
Normal action was resumed when Ballistic faced another masked wrestler, Battlecat, for the Open title. There were actually two Battlecats in WAW, but this one was the first one. How do I know? The pre-match interview gave it away. I’d recognise that voice anywhere. I would tell you who it was, but I’d be accused of breaking kayfabe. It’s your basic speed versus power battle, mainly good but sadly let down a couple of times by Ballistic, whereas the masked man looked good throughout. The Cat went home with the title in this one, taking the big guy down with a top rope hurricanrana, finishing him off with a top rope splash.
The speed versus power action continued with the Zebra Kid going up against one half of the U.K. Pitbulls, the Bulk, accompanied here by G-Force. Two of the biggest stars WAW has ever produced put on a very good, if somewhat overbooked match, with G-Force and the biased referee doing all they can to stop Zebra from winning, including halting the count after Zebra had taken Bulk out with a top rope splash. The Kid soon dispatched the ref, with another referee making the count after Zebra delivered a top rope flying head butt to the Bulk’s family jewels for the winning pin.
The main event saw Ricky Knight and the other half of the U.K. Pitbulls, Dave Waters, facing each other in a submissions only hardcore rules match for the British title. Now this was a good enough match, but it was spoiled by one thing – it was fought over the rounds system. Yep, you read correctly. Kudos to WAW for keeping some of the British traditions , but three minute rounds and hardcore rules just don’t mix. As for the action, Knight was as solid as always, while Waters put in his usual kind of performance, unspectacular and a little haphazard at times. There was a ton of interference from the various entourages, with Knight getting the win after Waters tapped out to a single leg Boston crab.
In conclusion – well, it’s been almost ten years since I first saw this video (which I’ve since transferred to DVD), and I have to admit that my opinion of it hasn’t really changed. At just under an hour long it felt about thirty minutes too short. The action ranged from average to good, with some aspects once again leaving me scratching my head.
Production-wise it was a bit hit and miss. The camera work of NRG Films left a little to be desired, out of focus on quite a few occasions. Some of the pre-match interviews were simply not that good, the commentary of messrs Mann and Saraya was awful to say the least. It was obvious, judging by their comments, that they had recorded their part some time after the show was originally filmed, and their style left me again contemplating shouting “show some bloody passion” at my television.
So in all, this is not a good advertisement for the WAW product. It’s not a patch on some of the DVDs they released five or six years later, although I can’t compare it to more recent releases, as I no longer get any screener DVDs from them. So my advice would be avoid this one and go for something from 2004-05.