Review: Target Wrestling ‘Live In Carlisle’ (August 2022)

I’ve been following the Carlisle events from Target Wrestling on the YouTube since their 9th Anniversary event that took place in April 2022. All of those events have taken place at the Station Hotel in said Carlisle. Now, from what I have gathered, The Venue was Target Wrestling’s Carlisle base up until 2019 before it closed in early 2020 with the pandemic cited as one of the reasons.

That means it would have been three years since Target Wrestling performed at The Venue, so there would be plenty of anticipation and hype coming back there. Five matches were announced featuring Target Wrestling favourites, along with established UK wrestlers with late change that I will get into.

Last time out The Spawn of Target imploded, Shreddy continued his Target Wrestling Heavyweight Championship run, and The Lawless won the Target Wrestling Tag Team Championships. A lot happened back in July, so let’s take a look at August!

Sami Sparx defeated Sheikh El Sham w/Melissa Fierce by pinfall.

Last time out Sami Sparx was a house on fire in the main event, throwing caution to the wind in a wild brawl with The Lawless. He didn’t come out with the victory but put in an impressive performance.

Sheikh and Melissa Fierce dominated Sparx for the majority, El Sham would do the damage with Fierce adding insult to injury behind the referee’s back. Sheikh El Sham leapt into the ring with an incredible standing dropkick to the head of Sami Sparx.

Melissa was finally sent to the back after tripping Sami in front of the referee. Sparx hit El Sham with a running knee and finished the match with a 450 splash.

A nice opener, El Sham was arrogantly athletic with Sami Sparx being a sympatric figure to cheer. The inclusion of Melissa Fierce was excellent as she made sure to be involved at any opportunity before finally overplaying her hand and being ejected from the match. It wasn’t as balls to the wall from Sami as it was the previous month but they told a great story.

I could’ve done without the commentary laughing, and making it very clear that it was recorded after the event. His talking about Sheikh El Sham “selling” and “playing his role to the end” were terrible calls. It wasn’t wrestling commentary and it takes away from the immersive nature that wrestling should be, in my opinion. It also made it so I couldn’t hear the crowd reaction very well which I do enjoy to gauge if the wrestlers are engaging with the audience. It’s not for me.

Damon Havok w/Roy Storey defeated Jimmy T w/Tribal by pinfall.

In a match not announced prior to the show, unless I’ve failed to find the match graphic, we got Damon Havok against Jimmy T. I had been fairly critical of everyone involved in this match in the past, bar Havok who has been one of highlights every show, so to see this match pop up had me intrigued.

In what must be a novelty for him, Damon Havok overpowered Jimmy T in the early going, with Jimmy having moments of hope that were dashed by Havok. At some point, I think, Tribal marched Roy Storey to the back but the cameras didn’t catch any of that bar Tribal walking towards Storey at ringside.

The referee got knocked down, Roy Storey interfered with a nice Flatliner and showed a lot of flair, maybe his calling is being a physical manager ala MVP, Tribal got involved by throwing out Storey and hitting Havok with a spear, but it ended with Havok hitting a Sky High on Jimmy T for the win.

The match was good, nothing really mind blowing about it but solid in action. Havok and Jimmy T had some great chemistry, very smooth in transitions and kept the action going.

Anything Goes Match – Tim Strange defeated Medallion by knockout.

Tim Strange declared this a no holds barred match before Medallion entered as they brawled in and out of the ring. The match spilled into the crowd.

Back in the ring Medallion jumped on the back of Strange but Strange threw himself onto his back, bringing back memories of Big Show v Mankind from WrestleMania XV, an underrated gem.

Plunder arrived in the form of a Singapore cane, a steel chair, a chain, with Strange using them but unable to keep Medallion down. Tim Strange had to bring in the big guns, revealing a box of Lego by pouring it in the centre of the ring. Unfortunately he found himself being powerbombed on the tiny bricks of death which only got a two count. Strange launched Medallion off the top rope into the Lego before choking him out with his chain.

Ivy Mist arrived to stop Strange choking Medallion out further by smashing him with a chair.

As you would expect with the rules in place it was a brawl with weapons involved. Though fairly tame overall, I can’t not wince at the sight of anyone falling onto a pile of Lego. Medallion took everything but didn’t technically give up which maintains his mystique and it kick starts The Lawless’ next tag team challengers with Ivy Mist appearing to save her partner after the match.

A fun match, just the right enough of wild if this is the first of many clashes.

Target Wrestling High Octane Division Championship – Martin Kirby defeated Mad Man Mathews by pinfall to retain the Target Wrestling High Octane Division Championship.

Mathews jumped Kirby before the bell but it wasn’t long before Kirby was battering his head against the top turnbuckle. Mathews slowed the pace down.

Eventually Mathews got frustrated and started pushing the referee, the referee pushed back and Kirby rolled up Mathews to retain.

There wasn’t a whole lot to the match, last time I saw Mad Man Mathews he was part of The Spawn but wasn’t there when the implosion happened so I’ve missed something there about why he wasn’t apart of The Spawn’s demise.

For about 10 minutes it was nothing offensive but not really exciting. I had no feeling that Kirby had any chance of losing. They had a solid match, Mathews looked fine, and there’s always a dependability that you expect from a Martin Kirby match.

Kris Kendal & Fulton King defeated Buddy Roller & Owen Ozzy Michaels by pinfall.

The big grudge match of the evening started hot with Kris Kendal dragging Buddy Roller under the apron to batter him. The brawl continued up the entrance way before Owen Ozzy Michaels appeared from the heavens… and seemed to fall head first to the ground.

Once the match settled and officially began, King and Kendal showed some nice teamwork before Roller and Michaels found a way to gain the advantage and target Kris Kendal’s left knee.

Roller and Michaels continued to get quick tags, extinguishing the fire when Kendal found away to get some breathing room. Fulton King entered while Kendal was being attended to at ringside and started throwing bodies before the numbers caught up with him.

Fulton continued like a Juggernaut, battling with every fibre, he pushed out of a double team move and suddenly Kris Kendal appeared out of nowhere, diving over the top rope onto Roller and Michaels. The match broke down with bodies and moves everywhere. Kendal hit a GTS on Roller, Michaels hit a Buckshot Lariat onto Kendal, King hit a Fallaway Slam on Michaels, Roller hit a Piledriver onto Fulton King. The action was thick and fast.

Kendal hoisted up Roller onto his shoulder for King to dive down to hit an aided Big Ending onto Buddy Roller for the win.

This was a war, both teams were moving non-stop, there wasn’t any lock ups or “wrestling”, this was the desolation of a faction that were now doing battle. A lot happened, but to sidebar onto something I just liked and that was Fulton King and Kris Kendal wearing matching gear. I’ve pointed it out in the past but I do like a tag team that dresses similar so you know they are a tag team, a little thing.

Fulton King, as mentioned, was a Juggernaut in this one, an absolute highlight was him picking up Owen Ozzy Michaels and throwing him on top of Buddy Roller to break up a pinfall, pure chaos. Kendal’s out of nowhere appearance diving into the ring was an epic moment that had me audibly saying “wow”. There was some dodgy camera work in this match, and in some of the other matches, but stuff like this was captured perfectly.

Target Wrestling Heavyweight Championship – Shreddybrek defeated Jackie PoloJack Jester by pinfall to retain the Target Wrestling Heavyweight Championship.

In a late change to the scheduled match, Jackie Polo couldn’t attend due to injury so was replaced by Jack Jester, not a bad trade.

The crowd threw all manner of insults at Shreddy which Jester was all too happy to egg on the noise. Both men tried to out muscle the other in the early going.

Jester was on his fine family friendly form, rocking and rolling with the apron leg drop but Shreddy escaped a double underhook and delivered a meaty lariat to swing control back into the champions favour.

Jester fought back to hit the double underhook facebuster for a nearfall, Shreddy wriggled out of a Tombstone attempt, grabbed the referee and swung his leg behind him to low blow Jester. Spear, 1, 2, 3 for a Shreddybrek retention.

A solid main event, Shreddy has been a dominate champion so far and coming in against a fellow powerhouse offered a different challenge that Shreddy found a way to get around, continuing to have the crowd bay for his title reign to end. You know what you get with Jack Jester who can play an audience as the reactions require so to pair these two up was a great combination.

It wasn’t anything too fancy in the ring but when it’s two brutes smashing at each other it doesn’t have to be as long as you continue to be engaged which I was. Good stuff.

One of those shows were all the matches were good to great, with the tag team match being the absolute highlight. This would be your standard level of Target Wrestling shows I’ve found were there’s good action in the ring with overarching stories being told like the demise of The Spawn of Target, along with moments that want you to come back next month like seeing what happens between The Lawless and Medallion/Ivy Mist. It’s a high standard to uphold.

I turned down the volume a little bit after the first match so the commentary could just be in the background. I still picked up on bits and pieces but it didn’t do it for me, but that’s not to say it won’t grow on me in future releases. I think it was too outside the bubble and, as mentioned in the first match, it broke some of the façade of wrestling. There was also some poor research, like it was mentioned that Fulton King and Kris Kendal are two friends teaming to battle The Spawn, which isn’t the story, it’s The Spawn attacking and kicking out the duo and now they are out for revenge. Moves getting called wrong I can forgive more down to it being so fast paced that mistakes like that can happen but at least the recent history should be acknowledged. I say all this as someone who has never done it so it could be the case I’ll get the headset on and be absolutely woeful but for now it’s Schrödinger’s commentary. The commentator did note that it was his first full event to commentate so after all my moaning above I’ll reserve any further judgement for future videos.

The full show is available on YouTube which I have compiled in this handy little playlist:

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