Review: Target Wrestling ‘9th Anniversary Show’

Since the restart of the world in late 2021 we added Target Wrestling to our featured promotions. Previously it was just their Scottish events reported like their visits to Dumfries or Lockerbie.

So with that new-feature…ness, it’s about time I sat down and watched some Target Wrestling.

Starting off with their 9th Anniversary event that took place back in April, it seemed like it was a good place to start.

Carlisle is the home of Target Wrestling with monthly events taking place there so it’s a good jumping off point to get an invested crowd that know what’s happening.

Jonny Storm defeated Sheikh El Sham by pinfall.

The name Jonny Storm harbours two flashbacks, those wholly underrated Fantastic 4 films featuring everyone’s early 00’s crush Jessica Alba, and also those adverts on The Wrestling Channel where it was declared every 45 minutes that Jonny Storm was here and the main attraction.

Sheikh El Sham is your stereotypical Middle Eastern billionaire playboy character, riling up the crowd before the match with his better than you bravado that was lapped up.

In a fairly even match, Jonny Storm hit a second rope Moonsault on the second time of asking.

The in-ring was good which is the very least you’d expect when there’s someone of Storm’s reputation in the ring. There wasn’t anything particularly flashy outside of a nice wheelbarrow into a DDT from Storm. He might not be as fast as he was back in t’day but there’s plenty gas in the tank.

This was the first time seeing El Sham wrestle and he was solid, again there wasn’t anything out of this world but serviceable to provide an entertaining opening match. A highlight was his spear through Storm and a Death Valley Driver that both got near falls.

The match got plenty time and had no lulls in action plus the crowd were providing energy throughout. Can’t ask for more than that.

The Spawn of Target (Owen Ozzy Michaels & Fulton King) defeated Tommy Oliver & Martin Kirby by pinfall.

Into some tag team action next with veteran Martin Kirby making an appearance. Kirby and Michaels started off the match and they worked incredibly well together. Once Oliver got in it was The Spawn that had the majority of control, cutting off the ring.

A nice little plot point was Oliver reaching for a tag but Michaels swept Kirby off the apron so he couldn’t reach. A few minutes later Michaels tried it again but Kirby evaded and got the hot tag. A very nice callback.

The match eventually broke down as all tag team matches inevitably do, Michaels ducked a Kirby superkick that cracked Oliver in the skull which gave The Spawn the win. Oliver refused a handshake from Kirby after the match.

I really liked what I saw from Owen Ozzy Michaels and Fulton King, they were bursting with charisma and polar opposites when it comes to in-ring with Michaels being quick footed and agile whereas Fulton King was this untamed bear, nothing fancy just impact. They hit a very pretty Uranage/Blockbuster combo that got a near fall.

I don’t know if it’s Tommy Oliver’s “thing” but he did the blow into his thumb inflation action way too many times in the early stages that it just had diminishing returns. He was solid in the ring but seemed to lack any defining character, quite bland and that stood out when he was in a match with three wrestlers that were very loud and expressive.

Another good match.

Shreddybrek defeated Jody Fleisch by submission.

What if Scott Steiner and Rusev spliced their DNA in the North of England to produce a wrestler? Welcome Shreddybrek.

Jody Fleisch is timeless, he was flipping around effortlessly like it was 2004. Shreddy eventually swatted him down to slow down the match but kept making eye contact with the crowd, a little thing to keep people invested. Fleisch hit a big Fisherman’s Buster that looked brutal.

Shreddy pushed the referee into the ropes to send Fleisch split legged on the turnbuckle, a TKO and a Steiner Recliner later and Shreddybrek was the victor.

This was one of the matches that the length was felt and may’ve benefited with a couple minutes shaved off in the middle but that might be more down to the slower pace during the Shreddybrek offence portion. There was some less than smooth moments but still an entertaining match.

Before the next match Buddy Roller hit Medallion with a chair while the latter was finishing up in-ring photos during the interval while the rest of The Spawn watched on at ringside.

Target Wrestling Tag Team Championships – Triple Threat – Soldato & Sami Sparx defeated Damien Havok & Roy Storey and Tribal & Jimmy T by pinfall to win the Target Wrestling Tag Team Championships.

In the penultimate match, new Target Wrestling Tag Team Champions were to be crowned in a triple threat tag match with a Lucha element thrown in of if a wrestler exits the ring then someone can enter as the legal man.

The match was a bit all over the place, lending to the chaos of the tag rule perhaps but from watching the match didn’t have much of a flow. Some moves then someone rolled out of the ring.

Damon Havok hit Jimmy T with a sit out choke bomb but Soldato ran in to hit a Shining Wizard on Havok while Jimmy T rolled out of the ring for the win.

The match wasn’t for me, the in-ring wasn’t up to par compared to the matches before it. It felt too lackadaisical and like they were just going through the motions at times. The highlight of the match was Damon Havok, when he was in the ring it stepped up and he brought some intensity that his opponents had to match. Otherwise it was sloppy, slow, and had very little by way of a story just move after move.

Target Wrestling Heavyweight Championship – Medallion defeated Buddy Roller by pinfall to retain the Target Wrestling Heavyweight Championship.

Before the main event officially started Buddy Rollered in and out of the ring to evade Medallion before the masked man eventually has enough a dived through the ropes to have a good old fashioned brawl around the hall.

They eventually made it back to ringside only for Roller to his Medallion with a drawing pinned infused croc. Who uses a shoe, honestly?

The match eventually started and these two leathered each other with chops and heavy hits. Medallion went for his medallion but the referee stopped him which allowed Medallion to pick up the croc and bash Roller in the face with it for a near fall.

The rest of The Spawn turned up to attack Medallion while Roller had the referee preoccupied. Ivy Mist appeared to take out King and Michaels which gave Medallion time to hit Roller with a lariat and pin to retain.

Now this was chaotic but in a good way, the set up was made earlier for new eyes and they had a fight. This was exactly what it should’ve been. The crowd were hot for it and were 100% behind Medallion.

A feel good end to the show with the champion overcoming the big baddies of The Spawn.

This was a really fun show, all bar one match made this event worth watching. Even if I didn’t enjoy the tag team title match I found some positives with the performance of Damon Havok.

I really liked that there were some through line stories not only in the matches but using the interval to get some extra heat on the main event.

This was my first time seeing the majority of the wrestlers in this one but special mention to Owen Ozzy Michaels, Damon Havok, and Fulton King who impressed in their matches especially.

The full show is available on YouTube:

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