This past Friday, I was finally treated to my first experience of live wrestling this calendar year in the Middle East.
No, Super Showdown didn’t move forward a week, but instead, Qatar Pro Wrestling (QPW) presented SuperSlam 2. Taking place at the Lusail Sports Arena – which holds nearly 15,000 people -6,000 spectators helped set a live audience record for Qatar, while presenting a show that was slightly better than it may have had the right to be.
To start things off, we had a pre-show triple threat match featuring talent from the QPW Academy in the form of Rage, Classy Ali and Tito Hatem. This was a great platform to get experience in front of such a large crowd, and the effort from each man was apparent. One thing I can say is that each man’s characters were on point; Classy Ali portrayed the brass heel and Rage was a solid crowd favorite with a no-nonsense attitude. They have a solid base to start from and it will be interesting to see where their talent goes from here.
We kicked off the main show with an opening promo from Eric Bischoff and Kevin Nash. There was a lot of pandering to the crowd, plus a bit of back and forth about the forming of the nWo. There were a lot of children in the crowd here, so There was an understandably muffled reaction, especially with there being a lot of children in the crowd and the fact that Nash elected to stay at the top of the ramp. Quick note: when Bischoff tried to exit, the sliding door entrance didn’t open and it led to an awkward moment of him being stuck on stage. Live entertainment, huh?
Our first main card match featured a trip to the twilight zone, where Brian Pillman Jr. took on the over as hell, nZo. You read that correctly, nZo, who is despised by 99% of wrestling audiences, garnered some of the loudest reactions of the night. This one felt like your typical sports entertainment match, with a small bit of boxing mixed in for good measure. This wasn’t a wrestling classic by any means, and nZo won with a JawdonZo. However, it’s fair to say that Pillman carried most of this match.
We followed that with a backstage segment with Mark Henry, announcing that he will be ringside as a guest commentator. Then came the first title match of the night, a bout for the QPW Tag Team Titles. Road Warrior Animal brought the title to ringside, and we had a triple threat (you’ll sense a theme soon) between The Apolos, Johnny Storm & Jody Fleisch, and Carlito & Chris Masters. The action was a step up from the opening contest, especially with Fleisch and Storm impressing the crowd with their quick offence and high-flying moves. The action slowed down when Carlito and Masters were in the ring, but this could be expected with the styles involved. They ended up winning the titles with the MasterLock and afterwards ran down the crowd, prompting Animal to beat up Carlito.
Next, we had Michael Kovac and a segment called ‘Kovac’s Corner’ with special guest, The Great Khali, who received a deafening reaction. Kovac proceeded to bury Qatar as an ugly country, garnering some good heat from the locals. Khali–showing more mic skills than he did in over a decade with the WWE–introduced his nephew, Ali Al Naimi, who is based out of Qatar. Naimi proceeded to beat Kovac out of the ring and challenged him to a match, even putting his car on the line. However, Kovac declined the challenge. It was a nice segment to help introduce a new wrestler to the locals’ eyes.
We then moved on to our next match, and it’s another triple threat (the final one, I promise) between France’s White Eagle, Matt Cross, and Matt Sydal. This was the high-flying, adrenaline-filled spectacle that you would expect from this trio. With the fast-paced action in the ring, the crowd (and this reviewer) were kept on the edge of their seats as the men put on quite a show. White Eagle went on to pick up a pretty unexpected win.
The high-octane action continued with a 6-way match for the King of the Ladders title, involving Dos Caras, Tristan Archer, Mil Muertes, Caprice Coleman, Davey Boy Smith Jr., and PJ Black. The crowd ate this match up and were hanging on every punch, kick, and dive these guys delivered. Over the top rope jumps were utilized brilliantly, while the ladder wasn’t heavily relied on and didn’t detract from the match itself. We even had a dive from the scaffolding from about 20 feet in the air, which easily was the spot of the night. Caprice Coleman captured the title from atop the ladder to become a 3-time champion.
We were then shown a brief segment backstage with Brian Cage, who is informed that he will need to remove his cast in order to compete for the Middle Eastern Championship. Then Michael Elgin made his way to the ring and waited for Cage, who is shown to be knocked out on the screen. Eddie Edwards then made an unexpected appearance and took Cage’s place in the hard-hitting affair. This match would not have been out of place on an episode of Impact, as both guys left it all in the ring. The finish came when Cage came out to confront Edwards, allowing Elgin to pick up the three count. Something tells me we haven’t seen the end of these three in the ring together in QPW. I look forward to seeing a triple threat between them, since the company seemed to love the match.
Finally, we had our main event for the QPW World Title. But before that, Mark Henry made his way to the ring in a traditional thobe, much to the delight of the crowd. They enjoyed it so much that the children down by the ramp jumped over the rails to help him with his headdress. This is something I haven’t seen at an event of this size before, and was quite amused with security’s inability to deal with a horde of small children.
Anyway, carrying on with our main event, we had a fatal four-way between defending champion, Alberto El Patrone, Rob Van Dam, Chris Rabber, and Alofa. This one had a much slower pace than the previous match, and did leave me wanting a lot more. The crowd was firmly behind RVD here, so when Alofa got the pin after a devastating Samoan Drop, you could feel the excitement drain from the room. There really isn’t much more I can say about this match apart from honestly feeling as if it was a let down from what was becoming a quite entertaining affair.
So, there you have it, my review of QPWs SuperSlam 2. If this was in the UK, would I go again? Probably not, but for the wrestling starved fan that I am, it served a purpose. The main takeaway from this show was the reaction of the locals, those who don’t get to attend these events often enough, and the enjoyment from the children, which was a sight to behold. Another show is going to be announced in October, so we’ll look at bringing more coverage of the event.
You can find me on Twitter @TDWalton. Thanks for reading.