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TonyPulis'Cap

[2004-11-28-FWA-Goldrush 2004] Goldrush Rumble

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This was the FWA’s attempt to put together a Royal Rumble, with the prize on offer a shot at the FWA British Heavyweight Title. Rather than 30 men, this is a 15 man rumble, as I’m not sure the FWA’s small roster could’ve coped with making it any bigger. This was also at a time when the depth of the talent pool in the UK was far shallower than it is now. It also means that pretty much everyone in the match is pulling double duty from wrestling earlier on the show.

As with most rumble type matches, they are different to judging regular bouts, and while I wouldn’t say this is particularly remarkable in terms of its sequences or the action, it works very well in terms of interweaving a series of different storylines, setting up future matches and having nice call back spots to previous matches and angles in the company’s history.

Some of the examples of the storylines that weave through the match includes the first three entrants being the guys that wrestled in the next generation three way at British Uprising III the couple of weeks prior to this. The next entrant is then James Tighe who has issues with all three guys.

There’s a nice moment with the fifth guy in being Mark Sloan who trained Tighe and them teaming up for a series of double teams. This then segues to his current partner Stevie Knight entering with the nice comedy touch of playing up him being jealous about his partner working with his former pupil until he then eliminates Sloan ‘accidentally’.

As I mentioned, the match works for also setting up future storylines and we get a classic underdog eliminates a cocky heel spot, with Spud eliminating Hade Vansen, who he has a future All England Title match with.

Ulf Herman gets to play the monster role in the match eliminating several people when he enters, including comedy heel Knight who jumps over the top rather than face him. Herman then has to face all of Alex Shane’s security Martin Stone (NXT’s Danny Burch), Stixx and Leroy Kincaide who enter successively and who’ve all been tasked with making sure Herman doesn’t win and get to face Shane, the guy who stabbed him in the back.

Earlier in the show Tighe had beaten Aviv Mayan via ref stoppage and then assaulted him again in the back, and while I question him being recovered enough to be in the Goldrush and instantly get some heat back by eliminating Tighe, I can see in storyline terms why they wanted to do it. It also leads to a good moment where in his frustration at being eliminated, Tighe takes out the next entrant Jonny Storm with a chair…Storm being the guy who Tighe forced to leave the company in a loser leaves town match earlier in the year and who had just embarrassed him at BU3. As I say, I think the multi-layered stories in the match are very well done.

The last man in is Doug Williams, who having just had his near two year title reign ended weeks before and losing a tag match earlier on the show, is increasingly showing frustration at what he perceives to be fates conspiring against him. In the last few eliminations there’s a tease of tension between Stone and Kincaide, which is interesting as those two would go onto feud in IPW:UK over the years following this and also be the key rivalry during the FWA’s ill-fated comeback in 2010.

The final two are Herman and Williams, each with their desire to get back at Shane but also with the tension hanging over them of Herman’s interference at BU3 having contributed to William’s defeat. With the two fighting on the ropes we then get Jonny Storm, having never been eliminated after being taken out by Tighe to re-enter and eliminate them both to a good pop.

As I mentioned during the review, as a match it’s not got amazing action but weaves lots of stories throughout it, which is what I want from a rumble. It’s a great snapshot of everything that was good about the company during 2002-04 as we come to the end of that period and will see how the quality of the shows starts to decline in 2005. (***)

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