Easter for most means Easter eggs and hot cross buns, but in British wresling there has become a new custom – The Dream Tag Team Invitational.
The people at Fight Club Pro bring together some of the best tag teams in the world to create not only this tournament but a selection of dream matches at the same time and this year will be no different.
The first year in 2017 served up a literal dream match that still shocks me to this day. Reigning WWE UK champion Tyler Bate, Pete Dunne & Trent Seven taking on Kenny Omega, Nick Jackson & Matt Jackson; British Strong Style vs The Elite; WWE vs New Japan Pro Wrestling. This set the tone for the years to come. In the first incarnation we saw a triumphant and all conquering team of Chris Brookes and Kid Lykos (CCK) taking home the trophy after beating the Lucha Brothers while last year saw Moustache Mountain taking home the winner’s trophy and being crowned the first ever Fight Club Pro tag team champions after besting Aussie Open.
This year’s tournament shows no signs of not matching up to the previous year’s high bar. Let’s take a look at the eight teams in this years field.
The Besties in The World (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett)
The current defending FCP tag team champions, US standouts and the owners of one of the best entrances in all wrestling. Although current tag champs they had to earn their spot in the tournament by winning a four way at the Destiny/FCP Fight for Destiny show in New York against The Rascalz, Team WhiteWolf and Session Juice.
oVe (Dave Crist & Jake Crist)
Impact Wrestling stand-outs oVe bring their unique style back to Fight Club Pro but enter the tournament for the first time this year. The back-up of Sami Callihan and former CZW, AAW and Blackcraft tag team champions have clear credentials to go deep into this tournament.
Jody Fleisch & Jonny Storm
Two men who are British wrestling royalty and are achieving a revival which may be as impressive as the rise of British wrestling. The most experienced tag team in the tournament by quite some way as their teamwork comes off the back of many tag titles held together as far back as 2006 with the ill-fated 1PW.
Latin American Exchange (Ortiz & Santana)
The current reigning Pro Wrestling Revolver and AAW champions and potentially the best tag team on the planet right now. The Impact wrestling team have stormed the wrestling scene the last 12 months with stand-out matches against the likes of CCK and the Lucha Brothers. A must-see tag team and after what they were able to achieve with the ageing Rock n Roll Express at Joey Janela’s Spring Break 3 Part 2 one can only imagine what they will achieve against Storm & Fleisch in their first round match.
R.E.D. (Eita & PAC)
The first team announced for the tournament were representatives from Dragon Gate with R.E.D. being represented by Eita & PAC. PAC coming off outstanding matches against Will Ospreay and WALTER will be well known by most attending from his run in the WWE, while Eita will have much more intrigue to him but may have seen him at Fight Club shows in the past. The man known as ‘The King of Chop’ will undoubtedly send many people home as fans of his.
Lucha Bros (Pentagon Jr & Rey Fenix)
As with L.A.X., the current Impact tag team champions The Lucha Brothers could also be the best tag team in the world. The defeated finalists in 2017 are back for a second crack at the tournament (should have been third year but Pentagon couldn’t make 2018). With their unique mix of Fenix’s high flying and Pentagon’s brawling style could this be their year to go one step further and take the win in the tournament.
Legion of Rot (Frightmare & Hallowicked)
CHIKARA stalwarts, Hallowicked is a former two time CHIKARA grand champion and a grand slam winner (CHIKARA Grand, Young Lions Cup and Campenatos De Parejas) and Frightmare is also a former Young Lions Cup winner. These two have won CHIKARA King Of Trios as well so for a team that has pretty much done it all in one promotion, can they collect another trophy across the pond?
Schadenfreude (Chris Brookes & Kyle Fletcher)
The dominant and devious Schadenfreude are represented by a new mix of tag partners in this year’s tournament. Both Brookes and Fletcher have had strong showings in previous years, with Brookes having a tournament win in 2017 and a semi-finalist in 2018 while Fletcher came so close to winning the whole thing in 2018. How will this newly formed team fare even with all their tag team expertise?
The first day of tournament action will see R.E.D go up against The Lucha Brothers and Legion of Riot face Schadenfreude while the second day gives us oVe vs. The Besties in The World and Jody Fleisch & Jonny Storm vs. Latin American Exchange.
Now you might be thinking those are cool matches and even some dream matches but it doesn’t stop there. Day one sees us given two outstanding singles matches with Rey Horus taking on Sami Callihan & Dan Moloney comes up against Will Ospreay in what will be an interesting mesh of styles, while the Besties in the World will defend their tag titles in an open challenge. Day two sees two out of this world contests as Fenix takes on Will Ospreay, Kyle Fletcher taking on PAC and in his first title defence as Fight Club Pro Champion Mark Davis defends against. Pentagon Jr.
As it stands all we can tell for day three will be the semi-finals and finals of the tournament but previous years have delivered us such gems as Pete Dunne vs Meiko Satomura in 2018 and in 2017 served up was Travis Banks vs Zack Sabre Jr and Will Ospreay vs Jack Evans.
This weekend on paper looks set to be phenomenal, with eight of the best tag teams on the planet facing off, truly making it a Dream Tag Team Invitational.
You can find me on Twitter @MikeCMears. Thanks for reading.