1PW: A Cruel Twist Of Fate, 20 Years On

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Hamish Woodward

1st October 2025 will make twenty years since One Pro Wrestling (1PW) put on their debut wrestling event.

This infamous, yet iconic event has gone down in British wrestling history. It was the birth of a promotion that would redefine professional wrestling in the UK, before going out in a blaze of glory (by scamming all the fans multiple times).

Huge stars were bussed in to their many events, including Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels (well…sort of). They had huge events with big stars from the US, although the local talent in the UK were largely neglected by the foreign stars.

This was apparent in 1PW’s first ever show. The event was run by a online merchandise seller, who traded mainly in pro-wrestling merch. However, he knew nothing about running a promotion, nor about the indie wrestling scene in the UK in 2005.

Because of this, nearly every match on the card featured exclusive American talent, flown in at great expense just for the show. Considering this was a ten-match catch that lasted nearly four hours, it must have cost him a fortune.

The DVD cover for the 1pw: A Cruel Twist of Fate DVD

Luckily, the show did draw a crowd. 1300 fans paid to see 1PW: A Cruel Twist Of Fate, drawn in by the incredible talent booked. The bulk of the talent came either from TNA, or were former ECW wrestlers. This included other stars sprinkled in, but these were what drew the house that night.

These included Raven, The Sandman, Tommy Dreamer, Jerry Lynn, D-Lo Brown, The Blue Meanie, Chris Sabin, Abyss and many others. It was a whose-who of top talent in 2005, and way beyond a random Doncaster indie federation on their first show.

However, the lack of British talent was clear. Watching the show now, you would struggle to identify it as a British wrestling show. The high production values, as well as the American wrestlers and commentators, make it look like it could’ve been filmed in any indie promotion across the US.

As you probably imagined, the show was named for one of the Hardy Boyz. You would right, as Matt Hardy was originally booked to appear. Hardy had recently been fired by the WWE, following his real-life incident with Edge and Lita.

He was a hot property at the time, and nobody was really sure if he’d be back in WWE or not. Despite this, owner Steven Gauntley threw money at Matt Hardy, building the show around him.

It was originally simply called “A Twist of Fate”. However, Matt Hardy soon re-signed with the WWE and was forced to pull out of the event. They cleverly renamed the show, referencing Hardy missing out very cleverly with the show title.

Hardy’s replacement was TNA’s AJ Styles, who already had a huge following in the UK. He competed in the main event against TNA rival Abyss, in a fantastic bout in Doncaster.

The full card for 1PW: A Cruel Twist of Fate was:

  • Jody Fleisch & Jonny Storm defeated Chris Sabin & Jerry Lynn
  • Singles Match: Tracy Smothers defeated The Blue Meanie
  • Six Man Tag Team Match: Shabazz, Spud & Stevie Lynn defeated Ice XVII, James Tighe & Ross Jordan
  • Singles Match: Sterling James Keenan defeated D-Lo Brown
  • AWA World Heavyweight Title Match: Steve Corino (c) defeated Al Snow
  • Singles Match: Low Ki defeated Iceman
  • Singles Match: Doug Williams defeated Austin Aries
  • Raven’s Rules Street Fight: Raven vs. The Sandman – No Contest
  • Raven’s Rules Triple Threat Street Fight: The Sandman defeated Raven and Tommy Dreamer
  • Singles Match: AJ Styles defeated Abyss

You can watch the entire 1PW: A Cruel Twist of Fate on YouTube by clicking this link here.

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