January 11, 2020
We’re in Melbourne (duh), Australia. Lindsay Howarth and Krackerjak are on commentary. Andy Coyne is your host in the ring. Coyne’s guest to start the show is Adam Brooks.
He claims he could have been a “heart surgeon”. “Why are you laughing, that’s fair dinkum”. He says Jeff Hardy diving off a ladder made him want to be a wrestler. He jokes about not having a match so he might grab a “froth” and join commentary. However…
MCW World Heavyweight Championship
Adam Brooks (c) vs. Slex
Slex lost the title on the last show in a three-way without being pinned by Brooks. He’s off to ROH. Hell, Brooks is off to ROH too. The scene being openly plundered at the moment. The good news is that’s way overdue! These guys have been grafting in Oz for years and are only now getting the breaks. This isn’t two guys taking it easy before moving to the States. This is full on ‘going out with a bang’ stuff. Both guys going all out on the pacing. Brooks is phenomenal when he lets it all hang out. He’s often criticized for his UK run where he adopted a heel persona that doesn’t fit him at all. This match takes place at a breakneck pace. It fucking rules. They don’t slow up at all. I have very minor complaints. There are some very obvious thigh slaps. The selling is wildly inconsistent. They have a horrible little miscommunication issue before a slingshot DDT. But really, who cares about that shit when you’ve got two guys throwing everything into the opening match. They’re killing each other with high spots and both guys have a contract in ROH in the bank. They don’t need to do this, they chose to. They create an insane sense of drama too and every near fall has the crowd biting. They end with a near falls sequence where Brooks finally gets enough leverage to get the pin. Absolutely tremendous professional wrestling here. Watch this.
Final Rating: ****1/2
Leo Pratt vs. Jett Rouka
Rouka is accompanied by his tag team partner Tyson Baxter (“his close personal friend”) and if he doesn’t turn on him here I’ll be shocked. When it comes to “friends” in wrestling 30 years of watching it has made me extremely cynical. Rouka is a hybrid wrestler with healthy lucha influence. Pratt is a big lad (6’5”, probably about 210lbs). Jett is inexperienced and Pratt has to actually position him for a few spots. It feels like they’ve not worked each other before and are trying to figure it out on the fly. The set up for a Northern Lights completely falls apart and they have to re-do it. That’s the lead in to the finish. This wasn’t very good. A lack of chemistry and familiarity hurt everything.
Final Rating: **
Video Control gives us a great package on Jake Andrewartha. An Olympian at judo turned wrestling powerhouse. There’s money written all over this guy. I hope the Australian promotions get a shot at making some with him before WWE move in and sign him up.
Last of a Dying Breed (Ritchie Taylor & Mike Burr) vs. The Natural Classics (Stevie & Tome Filip)
The Filips do flips. Last of a Dying Breed are, perhaps predictably given their name, brawlers who keep it basic. It’s a good contrast. I like how the Filip’s do a sequence to establish it but then the LoaDB learn from that and when they attempt it again it’s countered. It’s so simple but it works and draws you in. Makes you want to pay attention to every little thing. There are moments where this is a bit awkward, including the finish, which has a noticeable pause, but it’s generally very solid. The Filip lads pick up the win with a double team powerbomb over the knee.
Final Rating: ***1/2
Video Control gives us…
The weirdest fucking thing I’ve ever seen on a wrestling show. A nurse pulling blood from Krackerjak’s arm and then they spray each other with it.
MCW Intercommonwealth Championship
Danny Psycho (c) vs. Royce Chambers
Danny is covered in tattoos. Chambers has none. It’s another nice contrast. Both guys work a similar style though. Some of the work is absolutely ridiculous. There’s a Sasuke Special into a rana on the floor, countered into a cartwheel into a lariat. That’s some next level shit lads. I literally had to pause to digest it. Initially entering into a match where one of the wrestlers is called “Psycho” you’re usually in for a bad time but this is a delight. The match is a bit movesy. Showreel material designed to look cool in a music video package. There’s a general lack of underlying narrative. If there is one it’s about one-upmanship. Chambers in particular has this habit of doing springboard moves off the middle rope…outside of the ring. Chambers also takes some sickening bumps from Danny’s power offence. Instead of flatbacking powerbomb spots he’s landing on his shoulders and neck and bouncing awkwardly. Chambers attempts some insane flippydo but lands right into the Psycho Cutter and that’s it. A fantastic introduction to both. Australian wrestling has a load of talented high fliers right now. Add Chambers to that list and catch him in DDT next month.
Final Rating: ****
Post Match: we get another video, this one from someone stalking Danny Psycho’s daughter and it’s bit noncey.
Avary vs. Kellyanne
Avary worked a Stardom tour last year and you could visibly see her improve over the course of it.
Kellyanne has been to Europe (EVE, Rev Pro, wXw) and I’ve seen her on tape a few times. This is a number one contender’s match for the MCW women’s title, currently around the waist of the first MCW women’s champion Steph De Lander. It’s a decent match with Kellyanne trying to bully Avary on the mat but Avary, who’s storyline improved as well as actually improved, keeps finding ways out and hooking unexpected submissions of her own.
This, in turn, leads to Kellyanne getting frustrated. Kellyanne has a few weapons in her bag and there’s a sensational piggyback cannonball into the corner that makes me sharply draw in breath. Avary baits Kellyanne into hitting another cannonball, it misses and Daddy Issues (a DDT cradle variant) finishes. This was a well put together story and the work was almost all good. Avary has gotten better since the Stardom tour and had great chemistry with Kellyanne.
Final Rating: ***1/2
Caveman Ugg vs. Hartley Jackson
This is a big old hoss fight. Jackson knows he’s in trouble and jumps Ugg with a chair before the match starts. Hartley knows he needs that advantage before we get started. I enjoyed watching Hartley in Zero1 but he’s got a few miles on the clock now. That doesn’t stop him trying to match Ugg here, even when Ugg is hurling him over the ropes into the ring and following with a dive off the stage. Ugg is a freak of nature. Two very strong, agile men here doing daft things for our amusement. If a real donnybrook. Good Ol’ JR would be fully erect watching this. They kill each other with power spots in a wonderful little fight until Ugg just steals the announce table. Splash Mountain through the table finishes. A lovely big man battle. Ugg continues to impress.
Final Rating: ***1/2
“Loverboy” Lochy Hendricks comes out to cut a promo. It’s part cult leader/part hippy. I think I’m into it.
Will Ospreay vs. Dowie James
This has a very strong defined heel/face dynamic with Will, the pom, the mega-babyface.
Ospreay has this innate desire to wrestle different guys and find people who can keep up with him. Dowie has great ideas and some of the stuff they do here is so out there that if I parachuted into it from watching in the 90s or some shit I would have my mind blown. It is a little bit dancey at times and I struggle to justify why a spot is happening other than it looks cool. However they do establish a backbone of the match where Ospreay has a bad leg and has to wrestle around it. There’s a couple of nice secondary stories like Ospreay demonstrating his new found power as a second source of offence and Dowie clearly having researched Ospreay’s array of high flying moves. The trip on Will’s handspring pose is really nice and subtle.
Obviously there’s a bunch of crazy high spots but its all held together by a sense of hate and some genuine viciousness. Dowie comes across as a jerk who only wants to beat Will so he can rub everyone’s face in it. They do some cool near fall sequences that actually feel competitive. Like battling over the pin rather than a bunch of two counts. I like how Ospreay draws from Kazuchika Okada’s playbook too. Using the mentors ideas to help to control Dowie. The wrist control lariat is particularly obvious for this.
Will looks momentarily in trouble with the Rings of Dowie but Will just powers out, using his new found strength, and finishes with Stormbreaker. This was great! A little more epic than the fast-paced opener but on a par for quality.
Final Rating: ****1/2
Post Match: Will cuts one of his trademark weird promos. He points out he has a broken heel but doesn’t like resting so he’s here wrestling.
Will challenges Bullet Club to a fight with CHAOS next time he’s here, implying he’ll “bring his friends”.
Australian wrestling is really fun right now. It’s been good for a few years but a lot of the guys who were heavily touted have now gotten opportunities elsewhere (Robbie Eagles, Adam Brooks, Slex) and the hunger of the up and comers to get that is palpable. For the first time in a long time Australian wrestlers have the opportunity to become global stars. This happened in BritWres and European wrestling a few years ago and created a wonderful boom period. Well, it looks like Australia’s is well and truly underway. Better jump on now and get caught up!