29th Jan2017

‘5 Star Wrestling – Dominant Wrestling: Dundee’ Review

by Chris Cummings


5 Star Wrestling dropped its name in the hat of UK wrestling promotions that are attempting to shake things up and make the British wrestling scene a bigger deal than it has been in many years. Airing a special show on SPIKE, with rumours of it going on to further regular shows in the future, 5 Star Wrestling presented us with Dominant Wresting: Dundee, a program that was promoted with the image of Scotland’s own Drew Galloway (formerly WWE’s Drew McIntyre) at the forefront. It was interesting and exciting to see a new special show in the UK, especially with the coverage to the ITV Wrestling Special on New Years Eve and the WWE produced UK Title Tournament from Blackpool a few weeks ago. Many eyes are on the UK right now when it comes to professional wrestling and this was another opportunity.

I have to admit to being a little disappointed with the way the opportunity was grasped by 5 Star. The card here featured 8 pro-wrestlers in a one-night tournament for the 5 Star Wrestling Championship, and only two of these men were from the UK, and both of them had made their name in the US for WWE and TNA. It was a shame that there weren’t a few UK talents here who fans could have been introduced to, new talent who have been bringing it on the UK indie scene. Instead we had 5 Star Champion John Morrison, Rey Mysterio, Carlito, Chris Masters, P.J Black (aka Justin Gabriel), current TNA star and Impact Grand Champion Moose, Englishman and former TNA talent Nick Aldis (Magnus) and Scottish homeland hero Drew Galloway. It felt strange, but I do understand the idea of bringing in well-known talent in order to get some attention. I do hope that moving forward the opportunities for UK wrestling talent to showcase their abilities is offered.

Dominant Wresting: Dundee began with the eight men coming to the ring, with the Champ John Morrison leading the charge. We had some verbal back and forth between each man and then we jumped into the tournament with the opening match, Morrison against Moose. The tournament itself was a real mix in the ring, but before I go into that I want to talk a little about the general production of the show.

The way the fans didn’t fill the venue was off-putting and could have been avoided if the fans had been put in sections that were seen on camera. This needs to be looked at if they get a regular show. The ring and lighting wasn’t the worst I’ve seen but some banners and a more interesting visual appearance might make it look like more than a random house show. It wasn’t a bad production, but it had plenty of issues, possibly the biggest ones being the way the show cut off while an upcoming event was still being spoken about in the ring. This was a live show and they needed to be stricter with timing so this didn’t happen. It was a big mistake, and the second major problem was how the winners music played at the end of the show before the match was over. It’s things like this that can’t happen in televised wrestling. It can really spoil things, and not just result-wise.

Now, the tournament was hit and miss in the ring. Some of the matches felt a bit slow and unpolished to me, such as the Mysterio/Aldis match. Some matches were enjoyable though, and it was kinda cool to see some of these guys again, guys who many wrestling fans might not have seen since they had runs in WWE or TNA. I enjoyed the main event featuring John Morrison and Mysterio, though I did feel like it should have been Galloway against Morrison. Morrison winning was fine too, he can still go and he is a charismatic guy to have carrying the title belt for the company. I think my main issue with the show was with the decisions and the lack of slick production. It’s early days though and 5 Star Wrestling can only learn from the mistakes they made at this show, and I’m sure the UK fans will let them know on social media too.

Dominant Wresting: Dundee was an interesting show that just adds to the hype and momentum that UK wrestling has going for it right now – and that’s only a good thing… But when you have a wide range of talent in the UK and none of them are being given a chance to be seen, it’s hard to feel positive about that aspect. Seeing guys who worked in WWE in the mid-00’s was a fun nostalgia kick but I hope heading forward we see shows that are more than just reunions between guys from US scene.

5 Responses to “‘5 Star Wrestling – Dominant Wrestling: Dundee’ Review”

  • MIke Dean

    As you can imagine, when a show gets televised there will be some problems, also the budget is x1000 less than say a WWE, so mistakes like the music and things are to be expected on the first show, the main problem was not the TV crew, they had some of the very best people working on it, it was the cross over between the promoter and production crew, both having different needs, the budget and the access to the venue. The show was fantastic if you knew anything about what was faced leading up to it. For instance WWE has four days and a full day rehearsal and a team who have done the show 20 years, this show was still being rigged over an ice rink do not forget and barely finished before the crowd arrived, most venues you go in the day before at least. You will see a vast improvement now the TV production are able to understand the shows desires.

    • Phil Wheat

      You could tell there was a decent amount of production behind the televised show – visually it looked a LOT better than the typical small-scale UK house shows I’ve seen previously. I get the fact that there’d be teething problems with a first televised event, it’s to be expected – it’s a shame that Spike couldn’t have allowed a modicum of over run just to finish the show off. Maybe something to plan for in future?

      Personally, my only issue was the crowd. As I understand it, ringside was sold out and people were sitting in the seating outside the ice rink area? It’s a shame that they couldn’t pack the crowd into the empty areas, it would have looked better on TV that’s for sure. But again, first event issues that can be worked on for the future.

      I for one am actually REALLY looking forward to seeing what comes out of this broadcast. The 128-man tournament sounds phenomenal, and if it gives men (and women) from across the UK wrestling scene a chance to shine on TV then that can only be a good thing.

  • steven

    I was at this and really enjoyed it.

    The arena holds 2,300, if you take away the seats behind the big screen, but add in ringside, the place was pretty much sold out. There was only a small number of empty seats, in the very corner up to the right of the big screen, I reckon it was a decent crowd considering they were in pretty much unknown territory,with the tv stuff, but they an only learn.

    Good attempt for first try.

    Also the “dark matches” were pretty good, they were all British wrestlers (I think) apart from Jay Lethal, his finisher was superb.

    Well done 5 star wrestling, I hope it gets the chance to continue.

    PS. Another thing about the crowd, NOBODY checked any tickets, there was no security on the doors, you could have walked in, unchallenged without paying.

  • John

    I taped the wrestling, and watched it on Sunday night i couldn’t make it on Saturday, and i loved it, yea some wee problems but it’s a start and it’ll be better next time,i thought they chose really good wrestlers, and again great entertainment,

  • Jamie Hill

    I actually liked this. Had a crowd feeling rather than studio feeling which WOS had. Had much better commentary than WOS as Joe Hendry was awesome. Some disliked the injury in a tournament story arc but I am fine with it and it was done well. Some problems with music at the end but that is really it.

    Morrison vs Moose ** Fun just too short to be any more than that.
    Mysterio vs Aldis *** Somehow Mysterio managed to carry Aldis to a decent match, simple and kept short at 8 minutes which was perfect.
    Carlito vs Black * Sloppy from both ends but a couple of decent spots. Black is overrated and Carlito has is not worthy of the spot when Lethal was at the show.
    Galloway vs Masters *1/2 Galloway tried but Masters was just bad.
    Mysterio vs Carlito *** Purely because of the selling from Mysterio.
    Morrison vs Galloway ***1/2 this was great fun and a shame it could not have been longer.
    Morrison vs Mysterio ***1/4 Have to dock points because of the music problem but fun match.

    Not sure how the 128 man tournament will work. If in singles it would take 8 weeks to do the 1st round if you did 8 matches per show so hopefully they will use multi-man matches. If they toured I would watch but 5* wrestling have yet to do a London show.