Review: Pro Wrestling Innovation ‘Live In Burnhead’ February 2020

Over the last couple of weeks, Pro Wrestling Innovation (thanks to ABZ Media) have released the matches from their most recent event taking place at Burnhead Community Centre. A show that featured six hotly anticipated matches including the finals of the first PWI Young Lions Tournament. Pro Wrestling Innovation are a relatively new company, making their debut less than 12 months ago in May 2019.

Promoted by current ICW Tag Team Champion Krieger, from what I’ve read he is passionate to provide a platform for the young wrestlers in the country along with value for money family entertainment with six highly praised shows, including a joined venture with Pro Wrestling Scotland, coming into this event it will be interesting to see if the trend continues.

So let’s take our minds back to February 21st, when coronavirius was just the outcome of a heavy sesh.

Kid Fite defeated Alex Parker by pinfall.

We kicked off with famed ring announcer Simon Cassidy bellowing out the participants. Kid Fite immediately was on form, bullying Simon into asking the crowd to give him the ovation he deserved which the crowd booed shockingly. Fite attempted to bully referee Sean McLaughlin into giving him a cheer who refused deadpan.

Parker entered with all the energy but fell foul to an attack from behind by the wily veteran but fought back, running and ducking and dodging before knocking Fite down with a dropkick followed by a dive to outside. Fite cut off the comeback by shoving McLaughlin into the ropes as Parker was poised to dive from the top rope before mauling the youngster with boots and quick leg drops, plus his vintage knee to the midsection and snap suplex but couldn’t put Parker away. It didn’t stop him from goading the crowd at any opportunity.

The crowd got behind Parker as he finally got some momentum, running Fite ragged, finishing the sequence with a cracking second rope European uppercut. Fito almost stole the win by countering a headscissor into a sit out powerbomb but somehow Alex kicked out. The match continued with Parker almost knocking Fite out with a knee to the face but missed a frog splash which left him open for a hammerlock DDT to give Kid Fite the win.

A lovely opener, it’s very difficult to have a bad match when you are up against Kid Fite. He reads a crowd like very few can and can build up so much hatred for him and it makes his opponent looks like a superhero, like Spider-Man saving the day from Kingpin (I didn’t just pick Kingpin because Fito is bald). Alex Parker though, for the first time seeing him, he looked really talented, was smooth in the ring and was able to hold his own against the veteran. Great start to the show.

Lucha DS defeated Dean Ford by pinfall.

When this match was announced, the added stipulation was if Lucha DS defeated Dean Ford then Ford (any Matt Tyson) would be barred from ringside for the Young Lions Tournament final. Ford and Tyson had been pally with Danny Edwards and in turn making Daz Black’s road in the Young Lions Tournament a bit more difficult with sneak attacks at previous show.

Dean Ford entered carrying two kickboxing belts as he smugly showed them off. The sharp dressed Matt Tyson was close behind. After the Luchador Lucha DS entered Matt Tyson tried to get Lucha to take a shot but it was a ruse to let Ford get a sneaky kick to the back of the masked mans head to start with an advantage. Lucha was able to fight back, leaving Ford prone for the 619 but Tyson grabbed the leg of Lucha to stop the move. A handspring back elbow soon put Lucha back into the drivers seat.

It wasn’t long before Matt Tyson was back with shenanigans, finding any short cut and taking any referee distraction to inflict some further damage. Somehow Ford found himself in a tree of woe before suffering a corner dropkick, Vader bomb and moonsault to give Lucha DS the win as Matt Tyson looked on.

Ford and Tyson tried to attack Lucha after the match but Tyson found himself getting hit with some Shattered Dreams.

The match itself was good but I would’ve liked a little more the story, the urgency of Tyson needing his charge to win would’ve added so much to the bout. The way he stood there just watching the final sequence and the pinfall could have been enhanced with him being knocked down beforehand so he couldn’t physically get involved to help Ford as he had all the opportunity to pull the referee out of the ring, or just do something. Like I said, good match and the actual in ring action couldn’t be faulted but there was potential to make it better.

PWI Young Lions Tournament – Final – Danny Edwards defeated Daz Black by pinfall to win the PWI Young Lions Tournament.

Edwards was champing at the bit to get into Black before the match started but McLaughlin held him back. “The Proof of Perfection” was like a rabid dog, looking to get an early advantage. Black got the better of Edwards in the early exchanges with Black having a size advantage over the cocky Danny Edwards. Black busted out a stunning back roll hurricurana and standing moonsault but his follow up top rope ideas were stopped thanks to an old fashioned hair pull to find the back of his head slammed to the mat by Edwards.

Edwards took over, targeting the left knee of the high flyer as well as scrapping and, just plain and simply, fighting Black – nothing fancy. A dragon screw and constant knee twists from Edwards had Black reeling but he somehow spun Edwards around for a blue thunder bomb to create some space and begin a comeback. Edwards almost nabbed it by countering a standing shooting star press into a small package for two then a neck twist for another near fall.

The match broke down into a fight with forearms and chops exchanged before Edwards opted for biting. A second rope curb stomp should’ve had it for Black but Matt Tyson ran out to knock down McLaughlin but he ate a curb stomp for his effort. Dean Ford ran out and was met with a superkick but all of this gave Edwards time to low blow Daz Black and plant a DDT to get the win.

Danny Edwards has this Lou King Sharp quality about him. He’s not as big as others but he has this scrappy intensity and follows it up with being able to be sneaky and dirty to boot. Daz Black is something very special. These two put on a great match.

Just Uz (BT Gunn & Stevie Boy Xavier) defeated TJ Rage & Hal Rayner by pinfall.

Rage and Rayner, as a team, look absolutely monstrous. They cornered Xavier to start the match before trading quick tags to overpower and run through Stevie. Xavier eventually escaped to get BT Gunn in who ran riot before unleashing his infamous chops on Hal Rayner. Rayner eye gouged his way out of avoiding a third chop but found himself slapped in the chest by Rage thanks to some quick dodging from Gunn.

Just Uz got a head of steam, double teaming Rage before Stevie landed a lovely top rope elbow drop. Rage eventually powered up to ram Gunn into his corner to bring back Rayner to the match as they took turns hammering BT, tying him into the ropes and using an irate Stevie distracting the referee to double team Gunn. Gunn fought back but just as he was about to get the tag, Rage appeared from under the ring to pulled Stevie off the apron to leave Gunn stranded. Gunn almost had Rage with a small package that was countered and re-countered thanks to their respective tag team partners.

Frustration was the emotion with Rayner and Rage almost throwing hand which allowed Stevie to get back in to the match as it started to break down with Gunn and Rayner battling outside. It was almost over with Rage hitting Xavier with an F-5 and a Rayner senton to follow up but BT Gunn smacked Rayner in the face to break up a pinfall and it might’ve been the loudest slap I’ve ever heard. Rayner ran into a double superkick for a Just Uz victory.

Got a bit chaotic but another really good match. Stevie Boy Xavier, in every match I’ve seen him in for family friendly shows, always looks like he is having the absolute best time ever, cracking wee jokes and just having a blast. This was my first time seeing Hal Rayner and he’s another that is going to be one to watch. Scottish wrestling is sometimes missing monsters, yes there are a few around the country but there’s always room for more monster to barrel through opponents. A continued team with TJ Rage wouldn’t be a bad thing, sitting underneath the learning tree of a beast. Just Uz, one of the premier teams in the country, I’m waiting for them to appear on NXT UK in the future as they are ready made for it.

Dylan Angel defeated Lou King Sharp by pinfall.

Angel came in to a hometown hero reaction, Sharp shouted that he wasn’t here to face a criminal and he would’ve made Angel his b… we never found out what Angel would’ve been before Sharp felt Angel’s boots in his face with a dropkick. Angel started hot but found himself sliding under the apron and Sharp pummeled him. Sharp continued to throw Angel out of the ring and take the chance to fire in some extra shots when Angel tried to re-enter. Lou King Sharp shouted at the crowd before rubbing his backside in the face of Angel. He celebration was cut short with a roll up but Sharp kicked out.

Angel started to getting the engine going with kicks cracking off the body, back and skull of the ‘Blood Tourist’ but Sharp found ways to cut off the momentum, rolling away from a running shooting star press and hitting a Finlay Roll. He couldn’t avoid a double foot stomp which ultimately finished the match with victory for Dylan Angel.

Sharp attacked Angel quickly after the match and hit Shattered Dreams, the second time we saw the move during a post-match attack.

What I’ve noticed from Lou King Sharp’s matches recently, there is little to no downtime. It’s balls to the wall for the duration but it’s not spot after spot, there is a logical progression. If that’s the aim then it’s very clever. I like this way of things, so it’s perfect for my viewing pleasure. I’m surprised we haven’t seen more of Angel in the likes of ICW, I think he’s made one or maybe two appearances in the past. Fun match, lots of action and an enjoyable match.

Brian Frank vs Davey Blaze w/Charles Boddington

“Wandering his way to the ring”, Brian Frank received a heroes welcome as he high fived everyone before making into the ring. Boddington got on the microphone to rile up the crowd. As per tradition of a match with Boddington at ringside we got a baldy chant before the bell. This was a battle of speed versus power with Frank picking up the pace to knock down Blaze before Blaze would stop it dead in its tracks. Frank had Blaze on the back foot until Boddington “slipped” and hung up Frank’s neck on the second rope which had the match spill out to the crowd where Blaze manhandled Frank, leaving Boddington to get some boots in whilst Blaze had a chat with McLaughlin. For some reason Boddington put on Frank’s snazzy jacket which he would remove later on to choke the youngster.

Blaze followed up with a boot to the head before slamming Frank down hard with big vertical suplex and a tilt-a-whirl back breaker to stop Frank from building any momentum. Blaze grabbed Frank from a top rope double axe handle attempt into a belly to belly overhead throw which was really nice, for me to watch – probably wasn’t for Brian Frank.

Frank once again got a head of steam with corner uppercuts, landing a cross body from the top rope for two, Blaze hit a TKO which got two which just seemed to annoy Blaze as he swiftly slammed Frank down with a scoop slam. Blaze started to get cocky, scaling the top rope even with Boddington protesting, missing a top rope splash and finding himself the wrong end of a ripcord lariat. Boddington swiped the leg of the referee to break the count allowing Blaze to low blow Frank. Blaze attempted to ram Frank’s face into an exposed turnbuckle but found his own face colliding with the metal. Frank knocked out Boddington from the apron, a fisherman’s neck breaker and frog splash sealed the win for The Wanderer.

Blaze got on the microphone after the match to give props to Frank as he and Boddington both gave him a deserved handshake.

A really entertaining main event. Plenty of noise and the in-ring content was plentiful.

Overall a really great show, the Shattered Dreams spot being repeated after two matches was a bit weird but it didn’t detract from the offering from Pro Wrestling Innovation. All the matches were delivered to a high standard. The crowd didn’t look particularly large but they made up for it with plenty of noise and chanting throughout the show. There were new faces, for me any way that I would want to see more of. The follow up fallout with Matt Tyson’s stable will be curious watching. A show worth watching.

I’ve put the matches in a handy YouTube playlist below to check out this highly enjoyable show.

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