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TonyPulis'Cap posted a topic in August 2003This is part 727 in the never-ending Alex Shane (plus friends) vs. The Family feud that takes up much of 2003 in the FWA. I’m not going to lie I feel like I see versions of this match in my sleep these days. The thing that I do enjoy though, is that a bit like Dreamer vs. Raven in ECW in that it involve lots of different players circling in and out. In this match the Family are represented by stalwart Paul Travell and then Ian DaSciple, who wasn’t very good at all, and would be pretty much gone from the company a year later as they were looking to up standards. This is very much a small show, at a small venue, in front of a small crowd – set up ‘theatre style’ with the ring on the stage and then the fans all on one side. Even though this was a ‘blood’ feud, with escalating violence on the FWA main card shows, here it’s very much ‘yay/boo’ type stuff, particularly early on, given the holiday maker type crowd. The match takes the same structure as most of the ones in this feud do – Shane dominates physically, but The Family take over when they can isolate Nikita. There’s a very basic and uninspiring heat segment, and I should note that as always in these matches, this is NO DQ. So its one of those strange matches where you can use weapons etc. but there’s cheating behind the refs back and early on, adhering to tags. If it’s going to be a ‘hardcore’ match, make it a crazy brawl! Nikita and Travell faced each other at British Uprising the year before and have good chemistry, but pretty soon the match breaks down and we get all the standard walk and brawl/plunder shots stuff. The ring being on the stage does help with the optics though. There’s some enjoyable stooging from The Family members taking the weapons shots, but it is a bit jarring when on others shows there has been blood and violence between the teams. Another (good) constant in these matches, is that the sequences between Shane and Travell are the highlights, as Shane was trying to get Travell over and he gives him a lot. There’s a really crappy ref bump as we hit the closing stretch as the faces get a visual pin, but I did bite on the nearfall where The Family do a switcheroo and Nikita kicks out of a belt shot. Travell then gets to kick out of Shane’s One Night Stand finisher, which I’m not sure was planned as the ref is just randomly staring at the floor, before he counters a second one into a tornado DDT on a tag belt for the 3. It’s pretty mindless, and fun at times, but as I mentioned at the start, if you’ve seen one of these matches, then you’ve seen most of them, and you do feel there’s a sense of diminishing returns as the rivalry goes on. (** ½)
TonyPulis'Cap posted a topic in October 2003Due to the relative lack of women’s wrestling options on the British scene at the beginning of the 2000s, Nikita continues to be booked in intergender contests. Because of this it’s almost to the point that she is playing a standard underdog baby face in her matches, rather than a female wrestling a man. A recent storyline had just been started whereby a £10,000 bounty had been put on her head. Given her popularity it was important to get Nikita on the card for the biggest show of the year, with Mark Sloan being the first person to try and earn the bounty. Another little note is that recent FWA arrival – loud mouth Northern wrestler Stevie Knight acts as misogynist ring announcer running Nikita down, although he makes it clear, he isn’t the person who has put the bounty on. The match plays very similarly to a lot of Nikita’s other singles contests in the FWA, with her getting an initial shine through some fast paced arm drags, head scissors and reversals before it settles into her being worked over to build sympathy with the crowd. It’s a formula that works well, and was effective for most of the year when she was a big part of the Showswearers/Family feud, however this match suffers from the common knock that I, and many others had against Sloan’s rather robotic in-ring style. He was not a bad wrestler per se – technically competent, and as in this match, he throws in a few cool looking moves - but nothing seemed to have any emotion, just moving between sequences as if he was a video game wrestler. Compared to Nikita’s match with Paul Travell at Uprising I the previous year, structure wise they are very similar, but in that match Travell was more vicious and brought character and personality. This feels rather soulless, and doesn’t have that sense of urgency to get over that a bounty is involved. As that storyline is just beginning, and being the more pushed and over person, Nikita picks up the win and we’ll see how her storyline progresses in 2004. (**)