Show Reviews

WrestleGate Pro – Open Gate Review

Peter Barnes reviews WrestleGate Pro’s debut show in Nottingham, Open Gate.

On 26th January, Wrestle Gate Pro opened their doors for Open Gate, at Rushcliffe Arena.

For me, this represents another company that’s within easy travelling distance, so already it’s on a winner there. The card featured a massive 9 matches, and this is what went down.

WAW Television Championship: Ricky Knight Jr. (C) defeated El Phantasmo

I’ve seen Mr Phantasmo only twice, once at Fight Club: Pro and once on a PROGRESS Chapter, each time he has astounded me with his high quality aerial skills. Other than his family ties, I know literally nothing about Ricky Knight Jr., so this will be an exciting introduction for me to him.

A compelling match up to kick things off. E L P did lots of flippy moves, which is news that would surprise no one. RKJ was a brilliant foil and stayed largely grounded apart from the occasional foray to the top rope. Both of these wrestlers worked well with one another and I would love to see them go one on one again. Ricky looks like a star for the future and I hope his genetics help him become a leading figure in the britwres scene as I could easily and happily watch him have plenty more matches.

Grade: B

Session Moth Martina vs Ringmistress Shax

Coming into this match, I know that these two are tremendous talents and it’s of interest to see how they mesh together with their differing styles. However, the match doesn’t begin as Rory Coyle attacks Martina to set up the following:

Ringmistress Shax and Rory Coyle def. Session Moth Martina and Terry Isit, Jack Sexsmith and Visage and the Anti-Fun Police

I love how Shax stayed in character throughout all of Martina’s bants before the match began. This was a frenetic match and competed under Lucha rules, which I presume will be the case going forward for all tag matches. It’s easy for multi-person matches to be constrained by there being too many people and not enough time to showcase them. However, this match showed a little bit of everyone’s character and was brilliant. Jack’s turn on Visage raises lots of questions, especially as it was so abrupt and seemingly not as a cause of any mid-match miscommunication. It’s also worth noting that Sexsmith, Visage and Dunne all pulled double duty and showed up at Wrestling Resurgence later that evening.

Grade: B+

Danny Duggan def. James Mason

In a match that, from my perspective, sees the unknown quantity in James Mason take on the barely known Danny Duggan. Both seem like they will have quite a power-based moveset and the match will be decided by whose power can win out.

This match was not how I foresaw, sure there were power struggles and heavy-hitting elements, but this also featured many technical exchanges. This was an old-school British wrestling masterclass which is no surprise given the length of career that James Mason has had. Duggan more than held his own but had to resort to shenanigans for the win. This could develop a more extended program of matches between the two, which would be just lovely.

Grade: B

Ayesha Raymond def. Yuu

Japan takes on the UK in this female contest, and both competitors have that strong style edge that will fare them well.

This was a good back and forth match between these two, with the rangier Ayesha taking on the judoka Yuu. It was as heavy-hitting as the previous match, and I am all here for it. Both fought hard and either of them could have taken the win. I also enjoyed a couple of moments from before the match began, firstly the guest-of-honour Gisele Shaw, who was there before her in-ring debut on the March 16th show, presumably to get a few pointers on her future opponent which I am guessing will be Ayesha. I also enjoyed Ayesha’s predator style laser for her entrance, which let it be said, there’s not enough of in BritWres – we need more lasers.

Grade: C

Sean Kustom def. NIWA

Boy this is turning out to be a learning experience for me, as this bout sees two more wrestlers I have previously never seen take one another on.

Both are strong wrestlers and the match had a good energy underneath. It was an antipodean clash that featured less flippy moves than I expected, so that was a surprise. The two worked well together and Kustom picked up a solid victory. Given Kustom was also in the debut Wrestle Gate Pro match as an exhibition at Frontline, it would seem that he’s looking to cement himself as a regular on this roster. After the match there was a video from Eita, who seems to be Kustom’s next opponent at Enter the Dragons.

Grade: C

Millie McKenzie def. MK McKinnan

There’s so many Mc’s here that I thought the ring would turn into a fast food restaurant. All jokes aside, this is a brilliant match for both, Millie McKenzie is a tremendous talent who’s bound to go far in this industry in news that shocks no-one. MK will be tough opposition but can Millie take him show him Suplex Millie or not.

MK is quite brutal towards Mille, but then Millie fires up and both get good offence in. There’s the standard Suplex Millie spot and every match she has just confirms, and then builds on the hype that everyone has for her. I really hope that she has more matches at Wrestle Gate Pro, mainly so I can see more of her matches in person as she’s truly a world superstar waiting to happen. Millie takes win with a prone octopus stretch submission.

Grade: B

Maverick Mayhew def. Harrison Bourne, Callum Newman and Joe Lando

This match was to showcase the Young Lions has got astounding flippy bois involved and their styles will surely work well with one another. Since his run in Progress, I’ve never ceased to be impressed by Maverick so I expect him to show well, and I’ve heard many a good thing about Harrison from notable names within the BritWres scene.

As predicted, this match was both high-paced and awesome. These four work incredibly well together and I hadn’t realised beforehand that Joe and Harrison are a tag-team usually. They clearly saw the match as friendly competition and there was a wonderful section where they worked on one opponent together. This really showed off their tag-team ability and I must say, Addicted 2 Adrenaline are good, please give me more. How about, A2A vs CCK, or Aussie Open, or even Swords of Essex. Also notable from the match was how brutal Maverick’s finisher is. After the final bell, Lukas Steele attacked the four young lions from this match and set himself up as a big heel to aim for.

Grade: A-

“Bad Bones” John Klinger def. Mil Muertes

The Puerto Rican taking on a German in a trans-atlantic clash of the big lads will always colour me intrigued.

This was an archetypal match of two heavyweights and is easily described as big lads wrestling. The pace was understandably slower than the previous match, but it served its purpose. There was lots of leniency shown by the referee as the two brawled on the outside and chairs may or may not have been involved. Mil took a visual pin, so he may have reason to take Bad Bones on again later down the line. After the match, John attacked some of the young lion ring crew, and he threatened the owner Gary Ward, for which he was suspended for 3 months.

Just as an aside, I was disappointed that Mil didn’t win, not out of any favouritism towards the man of a thousand deaths, but mainly because if he had won, it would have been 3 victors with the initials MM in a row.

Grade: C

Chris Ridgeway def. Jake McCluskey

Jake McCluskey gets to see what it means to be ‘Hard as Fuck’ when he takes on Ridgeway. Expect strikes ahoy and a real showcase match of what Wrestle Gate Pro is truly about.

Coming into this, it was initially scheduled to be Ridgeway vs Devlin, so the change could have potentially hurt this match. However, this worked really well and I was slightly shocked that the smaller man in Ridgeway had the upper-hand, but that’s my own expectations being subverted there. It was a hard-hitting (no way!) unexpected main event,  which could have hurt it, but I think it advanced the show.

Jake was certainly unique and some of his offence looked brutal, speaking of which, Ridgeway’s axe-kick looks like murder, and if this match is indicative of the style of Wrestle Gate, then I am here for it.

Grade: B+


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