Following the wildly-misguided actions of Yorghos and Hakan in pilfering the Sword of Excellence from Kendo Nagasaki at Grays in July, the match to settle the score took place on Saturday 20th September at Hanley's Victoria Hall. As many would have seen on LDN Wrestling's news features, Yorghos and Hakan had chosen a ladder match to decide who should claim the Sword, and the resulting match was unbelievable and violent mayhem!
All the action is brilliantly described in Eric Holmes' gripping Match Report:
MATCH REPORT – VICTORIA HALL, HANLEY, 20th SEPTEMBER 2008
Ever since Kendo Nagasaki’s last live appearance at Grays, Essex, in May, I’ve eagerly awaited the next opportunity to him see live again. As usual, controversial and strange events have surrounded Nagasaki since his last match, adding even more heat to his feud with his opponents.
Firstly, as reported on the Kendo Nagasaki website, the Sword of Excellence was taken from Kendo Nagasaki by Yorghos and Hakan during a book signing at Grays on 19th July. Yorghos stated that he felt it should be returned to Robbie Brookside, as Brookside had previously won it fair and square. However, as we know, Nagasaki had previously felt that Brookside simply didn’t measure-up, and this prompted Brookside to mount his 3-man tag team challenge to Nagasaki at Grays in May, the team including himself, Phil Powers, and, after Nagasaki had rejected Yorghos’s presence in the team, Hakan.
Brookside’s team was completely demolished at the Grays match; this was supposed to be their opportunity to re-claim the Sword of Excellence, and their complete failure must have motivated Hakan to team up with Yorghos and steal the Sword at Nagasaki’s book-signing in July. This event was caught on LDN’s cameras, and subsequently shown on the LDN Capital Wrestling show, and Atlantis Chronos Goth issued a chilling warning to Hakan and Yorghos that their actions would be very dangerous for them.
It later emerged on LDN Capital TV that Yorghos and Hakan had decided to challenge Nagasaki to a ladder match. I felt this was extremely ambitious of them – not only would they have to defeat Nagasaki’s team, but they would also have to successfully avoid any foul play by Nagasaki, who is, of course, notorious for bending the rules to impossible degrees. This looked like it would be a fascinating match, and I bought my ticket.
On the night, the hall was full – clearly, a great many people wanted to witness this spectacle. There were a couple of very vocal groups of wrestling fans who made their dislike for Nagasaki very clear by chanting “Kendo sucks, Kendo sucks!” as they waited for his bout to begin.
There was an additional feature staged that evening – early in the evening, a large video screen showed a history of Nagasaki’s career, and just before Nagasaki’s bout, a trailer for a forthcoming film was also shown, called Kendo Nagasaki: Genesis In Portrait. The trailer was very interesting, showing clips of Nagasaki’s life and development, shown in animation, as painted by local artist Rob Pointon, who was introduced before the screening. The animation was very good, and there was a musical soundtrack and a by Atlantis Chronos Goth; I’m really looking forward to more news of the release of the film.
Then Nagasaki’s entrance music played, and the show began. Once they were all in the ring, as usual, Atlantis Chronos Goth snatched the microphone from the MC and welcomed the disciples of Kendo Nagasaki, and then she belittled Yorghos and Hakan, ridiculing them for stealing the Sword of Excellence for Robbie Brookside because he hadn’t even turned up for the bout. Atlantis taunted them, saying they were misguided. Atlantis then demanded silence, as usual, for the Ceremony of the Salt, where Nagasaki performs his mystical eastern blessing of the ring, during which the fired-up crowd didn’t give Nagasaki the silence that Atlantis had asked for.
It would be a 2-man tag-team match, with Nagasaki partnered by Blondie Barrett versus Yorghos and Hakan. The Sword of Excellence was suspended above the ring, and the winners of the match would have to retrieve a ladder from the back of the hall and take it down, but with Nagasaki’s reputation, I knew it wouldn’t be that simple.
Then the match itself began – and almost immediately all hell broke loose. The referee never really had a chance of enforcing the rules of a tag match, and again and again, the action spilled out of the ring onto the hall’s stage. Even the normally law-abiding Yorghos frequently double-teamed with Hakan against either Barratt or Nagasaki, fighting fire with fire, and repaying rule-bending in the same way. Then the ladder was brought into play…
It almost seemed as if Hakan panicked, perhaps fearing that he would receive a beating like that which Nagasaki had given him at Grays in May, and he went for the ladder in the hope of seizing the Sword of Excellence and ending the chaotic match as early as possible – but it was not to be. The presence of the ladder just raised the stakes much higher, and there was some truly extreme violence. From my vantage point near the ring I heard Atlantis yelling at Hakan, “I told you that stealing the sword would be dangerous for you!”, as he writhed in agony whilst being brutally beaten by Nagasaki on the Victoria Hall’s stage…
I won’t go into too much detail before the match is screened on the LDN Capital Wrestling show on The Fight Network (Sky channel 427), but I can’t wait to see how the cameras captured it all. It was a stunning match – there were, of course, winners and losers, but everyone involved fought really hard, and sometimes even savagely, and, as to be expected in any match involving Kendo Nagasaki, the rules were bent as far as they possibly could be. This match was unlike any other match I have seen for many years, and for that we have to thank Kendo Nagasaki once again, for showing us yet again why he is genuinely legendary, for good reasons and bad.
I noticed that by the end of the match, no-one was chanting any silly taunts at Nagasaki – the entire audience was riveted by the action, and quickly seemed to take sides, either for Nagasaki/Barratt or Yorghos/Hakan. It was probably about an equal split, but at the end of the evening there was a very long queue at the stage door for autographs from Kendo Nagasaki, before he was chauffeured away in his Rolls Royce limousine. Every time I see Nagasaki he surpasses himself, reinforcing his status as legendary, and I can’t wait for his next match.
Match Write-up in "The Sentinel" as Kendo Nagasaki Returns to the
Victoria Hall, Hanley, on 20th September 2008