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[2004-11-13-FWA-British Uprising III] Spud vs Aviv Mayan vs Ross Jordan


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And so we’ve reached British Uprising III, which if you’re into your BritWres history you may know as the biggest show the company would ever put on… but whose legacy would be part of the decline that would ultimately end up seeing the FWA go out of business in 2007.

In terms of ambition and scope, Uprising III was the first (and only) time the FWA put on an arena show, running the Skydome in Coventry. This is an ice hockey arena with a capacity of around 3,500. I know in the current climate of All In, ROH getting 6,000+ for Supercard of Honor, ICW running the Hydro, and Progress running Wembley that this might not seem a big deal, but in 2004, it would’ve been a monumental achievement for a UK indie company to attract the amount of fans required to fill the building. It was a different time. As I’ve tried to document, the FWA had been putting on a run of successful shows to a fair degree of critical acclaim for the two years prior to this, but 2004 was a world away from the indie wrestling boom currently being experienced both in the UK and across the world. In the end, the company drew just under 1,800 fans that day – still I think it needs to be said, a hugely significant achievement and the biggest attendance in the FWA’s history – but it wasn’t close to a sell out and crucially not enough to make the money back on the resources put into it. In my view, even viewed with 2018 eyes, the production – in terms of the staging and lighting and the hype videos - were all very good. It’s just a shame there wasn’t the budget to sustain this level of investment. 

As I’ve done throughout my reviews of FWA matches and shows I really want to plug Greg Lambert’s book; Holy Grail: The True Story of British Wrestling's Revival – which is both an excellent read but also an invaluable resource for this period, given his role both in front of and behind the camera. His chapter on BU3 gives you great insight into why the event ended up not being the creative and commercial success that was hoped for.

A lot of that has to do with the lack of organisational capacity of the FWA, with no real structure behind the scenes. However having re-watched almost all the FWA shows in 2004, it’s a card that in my opinion was built up excellently. Most of the matches on the show had several months of build up, with some great storytelling. 2004 was the year the FWA had a national TV deal courtesy of The Wrestling Channel and they used this as a tool to build up every match to where there was a reason for it to be happening and for you as a fan to be emotionally invested. In my eyes the show was built mainly on trying to attract fans through storylines and feuds, rather than ‘dream matches’ and big names.

Despite the excitement going in, as you’ll see through the reviews of the matches, the event never seemed to capture the hype, although I think with 14 years of hindsight when I’m writing this, it’s a show that perhaps deserves to be seen in a more positive light.

This opening match was marketed as a ‘next generation three way’ and the successor to the three way opener from British Uprising I that I’ve reviewed here:  https://prowrestlingonly.com/index.php?/topic/40001-james-tighe-vs-jack-xavier-vs-raj-ghosh-fwa-british-uprising-i-10132002/  

That match was very well received, putting the pressure on the guys to deliver here. Indeed, while some at the time didn’t think it lived up to that match, I actually think this one is better. There is certainly more going on. As with the match from 2002, this is a pure spotfest. Spud - before he was a rockstar and well before being 205 Live General Manager – had made his FWA main show debut a couple of months before this and was already winning fans over. At this stage he was a fantastic undersized babyface flyer, eliciting a lot of sympathy from crowds, given he genuinely looked like everyone’s little brother. Jordan, and Mayan in particular were two young guys who had also been impressive for the company all year.

There are far too many moves and sequences to recap here with all three busting out everything they have to try  to win over the crowd and open the card with a hot start. It’s not as smooth in the transitions as it’s predecessor, but outside of the opening exchanges which are very much straight out of mid 2000s indie wrestling, I actually think this match benefits from being rougher around the edges and not *quite* as choreographed looking as the match from 2002.

For the most part the match manages to stay away from the triple threat tropes of two men gang up on the other and then feign insult the other chooses to go for a pin, or throwing one guy to the outside so the other two can have a one on one match. As you would expect, Spud is a great sympathetic seller including one really sick looking bump when he gets wheelbarrowed head first into one of the ringside barriers

Selling, or lack thereof, is of course a criticism you could make, but I don’t think there is anything *too* egregious or unbelievable, and the beauty of a three way match is that someone can be there to break up a pin rather than it have to be a kick out. Spud ends up getting the win when Mayan hits a springboard moonsault but is unable to cover (he’d come in with taped ribs) and Spud hits a phoenix star press off the top onto Jordan. This was a really fun X Division style opener that got the crowd into the show. (*** ¼)

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