THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne
Following on from my recent review of Herts & Essex Wrestling’s “Forever Joe” DVD, we once again take a look at Sam Knee’s promotion and their latest DVD release, a fan-cam recording of “The Devil’s Temptation” show.
The show begins with Ricky Knight confronting Steve Lynskey out front before the show begins. Knight complains about how Lynskey disrespected him, reminding Lynskey that he’s a legend and an icon. He then tells him he’s going to demand a loser leaves HEW match for their bout later, a stipulation that Lynskey agrees to.
It’s then on to the first match of the show, with Dave Frasier taking on Danny Blaze, another graduate of the WAW academy system. Blaze is going with his new gimmick here, really camping it up, which he does quite a bit during the actual match itself. A match which is a bit hit and miss at times, and this is because Blaze, as good as he was, perhaps should have spent a bit more time wrestling and a bit less time with the innuendos. In the end, Blaze won after a great looking frog splash from the top rope, but the jury is still out on the new gimmick at the moment.
Next up, it’s the street fight between Ricky Knight and Steve Lynskey, with the loser having to leave HEW forever. After the rowdy man once again endears himself to the locals, there’s some concern for Lynskey as he fails to show, until Dean Ayass appears from the front door, helping a bloodied and groggy Lynskey to the ring, having obviously been attacked before the match. Knight proceeds to take Lynskey apart, despite a brief comeback, Lynskey is unable to mount any sort of a comeback, leaving the referee no choice but to stop the match, despite protests from Lynskey, awarding the victory to Knight, meaning that Lynskey’s out of HEW. Not a bad match here, certainly better than their previous encounter.
Outside, Sam Knee and Ricky Relentless enjoy a moment together, until he’s congratulated on his title win by Zak Zodiac. Zodiac then challenges Sam Knee to a no-holds barred fight. Knee is reluctant to give an answer at first, saying he’ll give Zak his reply later.
On to the second half of the show, as Stixx, accompanied by Stephanie Scope, faces Paul Malen. Not a bad match here, with Stixx once again showing just how much he’s improved over the past couple of years with a very good performance. Malen’s performance wasn’t that bad either. Of course, young Miss Scope put in her fair share here. It’s a back and forth encounter, with both men almost getting the victory several times, with Stixx getting a tainted victory. With Stixx standing on the ring apron, Malen tried to suplex him back into the ring, but as the move took place, Scope tripped Malen, and held his feet down as Stixx got the winning pin. Mmmm…..me thinks someone’s been watching Wrestlemania V recently.
Time for the first title match of the evening, as Tiger X challenges Ricky Relentless for the HEW title. Relentless “won the title from Hade Vansen during Vansen’s tour of Puerto Rico”, if you know what I mean, nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more. Relentless, as always, is accompanied by Sam Knee. This one was kind of a hit-and-miss affair. While Tiger looked like he could have a good career ahead of him, Relentless seemed to have a sort of Jekyll and Hyde kind of match, sloppy at times but great at others. In the end, Relentless retained his title by taking Tiger out with a DDT. Not a good one here.
Main event time, and the second title match of the evening as The Kraft defends his WAW British Heavyweight title against Zak Zodiac, fought under WAW championship match rules, ten rounds, best of three falls. This match is a great example of the WAW product, and of their training system, as what we have here is a great wrestling match, full of action, between two of the best in the business at the moment, both of them looking like they were giving one hundred percent in there. With the score at one fall apiece in round nine, the referee got accidentally hit by Zodiac coming off the top rope, and as Kraft went to check on his condition, Ricky Relentless and Sam Knee returned to the ring and did a number on the masked guy. A short time later Kraft returned to the ring and took the fallen Zodiac out with the Essex Bomb to get the winning fall.
But that wasn’t the end of it as Knee and Relentless attacked Zodiac after the bell. Kraft returned to the ring, and revealed that he had been in cahoots with Knee and Relentless all along. Knee then grabbed the microphone and revealed that Kraft was the latest member of his Devil’s Playboys faction, and that he accepted Zodiac’s challenge for the match at the march show.
In conclusion – like a couple of the matches on this release, The Devil’s Temptation is a hit-and-miss affair. Knight v Lynskey had a good storyline behind it, Stixx v Malen was good, and the WAW British title bout was excellent, but the other two bouts just lacked something. Ricky Relentless seemed to be having an off night, and personally, I think Tiger X should wrestle with his mask on. But then again, maybe that’s because I’ve got a soft sport for masked wrestlers because they have a sort of mystique about them.
Production wise, during the first half the fan-cam footage was okay, but there were a few moments during the second half of the show where things could have been a bit better editing-wise.
With thanks to Sam Knee for supplying a copy of this DVD. For more information on HEW, visit their website at www.hewwrestling.com.
Now it’s time to plug a few of items;
Visit A-Merchandise, the official sponsor of The Two Sheds Review, by logging onto www.a-merchandise.co.uk. They stock a wide array of DVDs from all over the world, including FWA, Premier Promotions and IPW: UK from Britain, ROH, Shimmer and PWG from America, as well as merchandise from WWE, UFC, Pro Wrestling NOAH and much more.
And finally, some of my work has made it into book form, with the first two stories of my 1990 Anglo-Force series, co-written with my brother Paul, The Two Sheds Review: Wrestling Pulp Fiction, featuring three wrestling-based fictional stories, and A Cornish Adventure, an account, complete with my photos, of my trip to the Cornwall in May 2001. All three books are now available to buy in either book form or via download in PDF format via www.lulu.com/twosheds316.
And don’t forget to keep an eye on my website, www.twoshedsreview.com, where you can the entire Two Sheds Review archive, including articles on other sports such as boxing and football, and in the new and re-designed News and Entertainment section.