Soner Dursun (c) vs Pete Dunne
FutureShock Adrenaline Championship
53Two Theatre, Manchester, England, United States
(reviewed 10/27/2017) At this point, you can guess what’s going to happen in most any Pete Dunne match. Bit of vague arm work revolving mostly around finger breaking spots, bit of “awww shucks, ain’t I a stinker?” heel work, lots of junior heavyweight highspot shenanigans, at least one Triple H reference, maybe some heel interference, etc etc. We get all of that here, though thankfully most of it is kept at a minimum and we get about 90% of an actual match from these two. A few months ago I would have said that Dursun wasn’t quite ready for a Dunne spotfest just yet but he’s progressed quite a lot lately and does well to hold his own against someone who is many, many rungs above him. Dunne, to his credit, is mostly on his best behavior here, with most of his heel work revolving around the aforementioned Bugs Bunny shtick that is far more appealing than the second-tier Voodoo Kin Mafia tribute act. What’s more, he keeps his wrestling fairly low key and tight, probably due to this being a small crowd on a C level UK indie, but regardless of his reasons the end product is enjoyable all the same. Dursun sells well for his hand and arm work and bumps well for Dunne’s spots while keeping his own fairly snappy, with the only real weak move being his leaping apron neckbreaker that looks quite bad here. For a while that’s the lowest point of the match, until we get to the requisite Pedigree spot that feels better than usual here in isolation from the other Triple H antics but still doesn’t feel great in any sense. Not long after that, Xander Cooper, unaffiliated with either man but number one contender to the Adrenaline title by virtue of cheating his way through an elimination match last month, bursts into the ring and boots Dursun in the face. The referee goes to toss the match out but Dursun stops him and demands that the match continue, which the official allows. Dursun avoids a clothesline from Dunne and hits him with a dropkick that opens the challenger up for the frog splash, but Dunne’s able to get his knees up in time to block it. Dunne follows it up with the Bitter End and Dursun surprisingly kicks out in a neat little moment but Dunne wastes no time in slapping on a makeshift kimura to exploit the earlier arm work and Dursun taps out. Fun match all in all, dragged down in the obvious places by the typical shenanigans, but a solid bit of work all the same. The “Soner Dursun, world beater” story has been building for many months and has always felt not exactly annoying but still obvious, and yet it came to its fullest completion here in a match that he lost simply because he was able to kick out of one of the more protected moves in indie wrestling today. Good story, that.