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  1. In other posts on the site I’ve reviewed the main (and best) matches from the show, but just to touch briefly on some of the ones I haven’t mentioned, before we get to the main event… Zebra Kid vs Hade Vansen – this is for the All England Title. Zebra Kid is one of Paige’s older brothers while Vansen is known for being a guy that got a one week push to be an Undertaker Wrestlemania opponent before being mysteriously released the week after. This match is pretty nuts with no transitions to speak of, but all the moves they pull off, they throw themselves into 100% and the recklessness and chaotic nature of it actually makes for a pretty fun match. I’ve always enjoyed the work of Roy Knight (The Zebra Kid) and his brother Zack as they bring an air of chaos to their matches where a lack of polish actually helps them. UK Pitbulls vs The New Breed – this is for the FWA Tag Titles but isn’t really a match, more an angle. Before the match starts, future pirate Paul Burchill wipes out the New Breed who then get squashed by the Pitbulls who even by big man wrestling standards are absolutely huge. Will be interesting to chart the development of Burchill in the FWA, as at the time he was doing mind blowing stuff for a guy his size (although he was benefitting from being a ‘big’ guy in a UK scene where he stood out more). Robbie Brookside vs Drew McDonald – this is pretty boring with largely uninspiring brawling and lots of choking from McDonald. Brookside shows good fire, but it’s not a match where he gets to utilise his technical skills. You also feel that the crowd wasn’t very receptive to seeing these two veteran guys when everyone else on the card is working much more modern spot-orientated matches. Nikita vs Paul Travell – Nikita is the future Katie Lee Burchill, and actually someone that seemed to regress as she got more experience, as at this stage she looked really good, in terms of her execution of moves being crisp and being a great sympathetic babyface for the crowd to get behind. She’s always someone that had a great look – and her run in OVW is actually lots of fun – but for whatever reason it never seemed to click in ring in WWE on the main roster or in TNA. This is well worked in terms of Nikita being the underdog and getting in her hope spots, but maybe the match on the card that would go over better today given the prevalence of inter gender matches on the indy circuit. Ulf Herman vs Balls Mahoney – this is your standard ECW/hardcore/plunderfest with plenty of weapon shots and crowd brawling. Hard to really get invested in – even in 2002 this was tired – although both guys work hard and take some nasty bumps into tacks and with a barbwire baseball bat. At 20 mins it’s way too long but Ulf was a pretty important character in the FWA who became a cult favourite through his fire breathing entrance and copious amounts of swearing in his promos. Finally onto the main event, and a match that I actually found the most divisive and hard to nail down an opinion on. This is a ladder match, and going in the title was vacant due to a title change where Fleisch won the belt not being recognised. Most people probably know Jody – he was the rising star of the UK scene at the time and had won the King of England Tournament at Revival earlier in the year. Flash Barker is not as well known, and was a powerhouse guy with a really hard hitting style. Going into Uprising a key storyline for the year had been the rivalry between the ‘Old School’ who were veterans who didn’t like the new way the UK scene was going – and who Barker was representing – and younger guys like Jody, Jonny Storm and Alex Shane. I guess a bit like the New Blood/Millionaires Club feud from WCW but with the old guys as the heels in this case. It’s a good match up for the main event, with Fleisch being one of the guys the FWA wanted to build around, the linked Old School/New School feud to bring the heat and for being two British guys when there must have been the temptation to use one of the imports. The size difference and the way Jody sells Flash’s big moves like death also gives the match a natural storyline to follow for large parts with Barker absolutely brutalising him with some of the moves. In particular the suplex Fleisch takes on an upright guardrail had me wincing. I really enjoyed the intensity in the match and happily there’s little of the clichéd slow climbing, with the ladder – which takes a while to come into play – mainly being used as a weapon. On the downside however, and this is where I find it hard to rate a match that I enjoyed, higher, but at multiple times there are chances to go for the belt that aren’t taken in order to do big highspots. Until it gets right to the end there’s no urgency to actually climb to get the belt and you wonder if it might have worked better as a NO DQ match, where all the tables and chairs they do use could come into play, and allow them to work a more natural match around the sequences they were doing. Which leads onto the biggest and most famous spot of the match and arguably one of the most famous spots in BritWres history. This is where Jody vaults and springboards from the balcony at the York Hall into a moonsault to the floor below. It’s insane and perfectly hit and even now, having seen it dozens and dozens of times down the years still amazes me. However, it’s set up by Flesich going into the crowd to set up the ladder to climb up, while Barker follows him and stands there waiting. It’s such an amazing spot but the sad critic in me just wishes they could have found a more organic way of getting there. That really sums up my feelings for the match as a whole – there’s plenty of big bumps, excitement and drama, with some runs in that fit with the bigger companywide feud, but at times you get taken out of the moment by the big spots not feeling organic and people giving up the opportunity to go for the belt when they have clear openings. (*** ¼)