Abyss, SJK, Team Supreme and Matt Hyson vs Steve Corino, Southern Comfort, Spud and Teddy Hart
Like most sports, there is always an argument to suggest that wrestling is better served up live than on TV, DVD or streamed into your living room. If ever there was a match that summed up this necessity to be somewhere live, it is the ten man elimination match that headlined 1PW Invincible. Admittedly, I barely knew what the hell was going on watching it with a commentary team; I can only imagine the confusion of a lot of the fans in attendance.
It is fitting, as I attempt to further develop my modern interest in UK wrestling to be taken back, through a randomiser, to one of the bigger players in the Indy scene of the mid 2000s. 1PW were well known for having some of the best UK talent, but also bringing in talent from the US, and this is perfectly highlighted in this most random of elimination tag team matches.
The match actually begins as a tag team encounter: Spud and Teddy Hart vs SJK (Corey Graves) and Matt Hyson (Spike Dudley). It is told to us that Hyson was due to be Spud’s partner in a tilt at the Tag Team Titles, only for SJK to pay him off. In return, Spud hired the walking oven glove Teddy Hart (seriously, his outfit is hideous) to get revenge. The match sees Spud worked over before a spinning DDT allows him to tag Hart. Hart hits the obligatory flying moves (a pretty looking springboard moonsault wiping out both men) before Team Supreme hit the ring. This is followed by Southern Discomfort, then Abyss, and finally by Steve Corino (looking a little on the chunky side). At this point, the smoke in the ring makes it literally impossible to make out what is going on, the referees have no idea what to do and the commentators can’t work it out either.
As the smoke clears, it is decided that this would be an elimination match, with falls counting anywhere. This might as well have been the point where the cameras switch off, as the action is impossible to follow. Luckily for Spud, the highlight of the match is caught as he hit a somersault plancha off of the top of the balcony – a very impressive move in a match that felt too bitty to bring any real quality.
To add to the confusion, Hyson and Abyss start beating each other up, overspill from a TNA feud, and Hyson is eventually pinned off camera after being hit with a Black Hole Slam. We can only guess it is Tracy Smothers who gets the pin, as he then allows himself some time to dance as his music hits. Unsurprisingly, Smothers walks into an Abyss chokeslam to even the match up at 4-4.
Poor Jack Storm. The next elimination has the most painful and cringeworthy move of the night – one that looks like it could have been a lot worse than it seemingly ended up. Chris Hamrick struggled to lift up Jack Storm whilst on the second turnbuckle, but seemingly jumps anyway, planting Storm with a piledriver. It looked rough as hell, and is the end of Storm’s evening. Hamrick doesn’t last much longer, an SJK lungblower followed by an Abyss torture rack bomb doing for him.
Dave Mastiff, in a former life as Dave Moralez, is the next to be defeated, as Hart hits a Sky Twister Press-esque move, before Spud drops the Five Stone frogsplash (great pun) to eliminate both members of Team Supreme. Hart is a little too arrogant though, and instead of pinning SJK after a bearhug into a DDT, he heads to the top ropes. A shooting star press gets nothing but knees, and SJK pins him. To add one last confusing footnote to this match, Corino knocks Harts foot off of the rope during the pinfall.
The world’s biggest Black Hole Slam is enough to pin Spud, Abyss swinging him around a good 7 or 8 times before dropping him. Abyss then seems to disappear, leaving SJK and Corino to duke it out in the middle of the ring. Corino has the upper hand, nailing SJK with a nice suplex and a lariat. As he sets up for another lariat, Abyss returns with a steel chair wrapped in barbed wire. Corino takes a strong chairshot and is busted wide open. A chokeslam onto the steel chair is enough, and almost in a form of poetic justice, we actually miss out on the three count, just to gift wrap the overall confusion of this match for all.
In terms of an interesting line-up, this match has it all. Looking into the future, you have WWE announcers, TNA alumni, some of the cream of UK talent…and Teddy Hart. Yet, as a spectacle, I can only hope that it was better live. It became a rush to eliminate everyone before the end, with no real opportunity to develop anything. There were a few holy shit type spots, but other than that, it was just a confusing mess, that was never really helped by the guys commentating either.
This has always been a match I’d seen on paper and wanted to watch, for many years. Now, I realise that I’d never really missed anything.