PWA Black Label Colosseum N1
October 18, 2019
We’re in Sydney, Australia at Max Watts. This is a two-nighter. Diego is back doing ring announcing, which is weird because the last full show I watched was Diego leaving to live in Canada.
Davis Storm vs. Ricky South
Over the two nights we have a tournament and this is one of the first round bouts. We also have Matty Wahlberg vs. Chris Basso, Travis Banks vs. Sam Osborne and Orange Cassidy vs. Jessica Troy tonight. Semi’s and final tomorrow. Ricky South’s entrance is something else. He’s got dancing girls and all manner of shit. Ricky gets his arm worked over and does a fine job of not using it in his offence. The arm story is really well done and establishes Ricky as the plucky underdog even though he’s slightly larger. Ricky plants a kiss on Davis before dropping him with a one armed piledriver. I really enjoyed the simplicity of the storytelling here. They didn’t do a limb story and then go somewhere else, they stuck to it and incorporated it throughout. Storm, a sore loser (never trust a man with two surnames), jumps South and works him over some more. What a bastard.
Final Rating: ***3/4
PWA Heavyweight #1 Contender’s Match
Unsocial Jordan vs. Marcus Kool vs. Carter Deams vs. Shazza McKenzie
Kool’s English soccer hooligan gimmick is so over that he has an Aussie crowd singing along with Vindaloo, an English world cup song. It might be because his opening dive kills Jordan and lands somewhere around row five! I’m not as convinced that Shazza and Deams is a good pairing. The size difference is a bit awkward. Kool is the focal point of everything good. It’s a combination of the attitude and the work. Both are excellent. Shazza batters Jordan, her husband btw, with a tripod for the pin. Marcus Kool was great here. Jordan served a purpose as the token heel but Deams looked out of place.
Final Rating: **1/2
Tree Hugger Luchi vs. Rory Gulak
Gulak feels like an odd import but the technique on display between him and Luchi is well received. Apparently he’s mates with Bonza so it’s logical to get him to come to Australia and torture a tree hugger. The match struggles on the psychology front as Gulak ties Luchi in knots and then Luchi’s comeback is all flips off the ropes. Plus you can see them having a chat in the ring, which is distracting. A lot of the match is Gulak walking Luchi through mat sequences. Gulak has only half managed to get his finish on when Luchi taps to it. This was raw as fuck and they had very little chemistry.
Final Rating: **1/4
Tag Team Gauntlet
The Prefects start out. That’s Billy Preston & Jimmy Townsend. They have fake ID’s to let them in to an adults only show. They face Speed Force; Mat Diamond and Mat Rogers. Speed Force are really good. Diamond does flips. Rogers murders people with power. And of course they get beaten by a cheeky roll up. Ah, it’s a School Boy. Of course it is.
Team two is the Kelly Gang. Jackson Kelly and Will Kiedis. The Prefects beat them with a School Boy. At least this time they beat heels so there’s a big pop.
Third team is Backman and Silvio. Backman, a big hench lad, carries three people for a slam but while he’s pissing around Silvio gets rolled up. Probably should have focused on the actual team you were facing eh lads!
Fourth team is Juan Direction, the luchadore boy band. Naturally they get rolled up while dancing and the Prefects claim another scalp.
Fifth team is LUX, Kingsley and Xena. LUX try to get the perfect selfie in the corner and they get rolled up.
Sixth team is the Black Shirt Cool Group. Concrete Davidson is out here on his own with Jax Jordan deciding not to turn up. He eventually hobbles out here with a torn quad and gets rolled up.
Final team is just Massive Q on his own. He did have a tag team partner but he beats him up. Massive Q is simply too big to school boy so he splashes both Prefects to win the gauntlet. Good lord. So they had the comedy team beat absolutely every team and then lose to one guy at the finish. The one thing this did achieve was getting the school boy over huge as a finish. I hate gauntlet matches but at least this was quick, over and fun.
Final Rating: ***
Chris Basso vs. Matty Wahlberg
Basso has the Titanic entrance with interviewer Frankie B. Wahlberg has the Goldberg entrance. Matty is a great promo and potentially a huge fucking star. He’s clearly in tune with pop culture with boxing and MMA influence in his approach. He starts with the entrance but his control of the ring is very MMA and even Basso’s shots at him seem MMA influenced. I end up feeling a touch disappointed that they throw in so much normal wrestling stuff after that but Matty also gets to show off his lucha stuff. It ends up being back and forth but Basso is never winning. Wahlberg just oozes charisma. Basso reminds me a lot of Shane Douglas. He’s solid and technically sound but leans on character and old school mentality. Whether Basso wants it or not this just becomes an extended Wahlberg showcase. It ends up being a good match with Basso wearing Wahlberg down but unable to keep him down. Wahlberg ends up catching Basso in a triangle choke and that’s it. Again the MMA influence is there. The cocky nature of the submission, with Wahlberg flexing, was beautiful. I love this guy. I feel like he needs to get his entire offence in line with the persona and some of it doesn’t quite fit. He’s still a bit raw but he’s got IT. You either have it or you don’t and this is Australia’s guy.
Final Rating: ***1/2
Sam Osborne vs. Travis Banks
Sam gets another tremendous entrance. Three dancing girls singing him to the ring. I wasn’t paying close enough attention but I’m now wondering if they’re the same girls that danced before the opener. I would guess so. Trav brings his usual level of intensity but allows Osborne to look good. I’ve seen Trav wrestle a lot and there are degrees of Travis. This is him being professional but not busting a gut, which suggests he’s got a few more matches this weekend. Wink, wink. Sam tries a bit of banter by lifting Trav’s shit and deliberately doing it badly. The match is a little bit clunky but Trav’s refusal to rest, even in a match where he’s wrestling below his normal high standard, drives it. Slice of Heaven finishes and Trav is going into night two.
Final Rating: ***1/4
The Nations (Jack Bonza, Mick Moretti & Adam Hoffman) vs. Caveman Ugg & The VeloCities (Jude London & Paris De Silva)
Holy shit, what a line up this is! The Nations went to the USA to be in King of Trios and made the final. VeloCities are wonderful at tags too and Ugg is a monster. The chemistry is excellent and everything is smooth and perfectly executed. When you get this many big talents coming through in the same scene they’re likely to create a series of great matches. They have a nice storyline with Bonza trying to show Ugg he can beat him but in the process basically giving Ugg a demonstration of all his best shit and virtually guaranteeing his defeat tomorrow. They stick to lucha rules for this so people drift in and out and the match just washes over me one move at a time. It’s all beautifully executed and it flies by. There’s nothing mind blowing here but it’s all so well done that the match clicks and it’s such an easy watch. The finish is great with De Silva going for a dive and Hoffman catching him as he’s taking off and rolling him up. Great match. Everyone in this rules. All guys to watch.
Final Rating: ****
Jessica Troy vs. Orange Cassidy
This is a perfect spot for Orange Cassidy. He fits in here. Jess is dubbed the “arm collector” and has a mental issue with Orange Cassidy keeping his hands in his pockets where he can’t be submitted. Jess gets a load of balloons raining in for her entrance. PWA have done a bang up job with the entrances and making this feel special.
Jess goads Cassidy into taking his hands out of his pockets by stealing his sunglasses. Cassidy has a way to start every match, which works. Where the opponent wants to take it from there depends on how creative they’re feeling. Jess wants to do an arm match and that allows Cassidy to work from underneath by keeping one hand in his pocket as a defence mechanism. Cassidy’s strike flurry and ‘superkick’ is pure sportz entertainment. They get less creative after the initial exchanges with Cassidy having no real motivation for going back to normal speed. It does make sense for him to counter arm work with his own arm work and they keep this as the backbone but unlike the opener they also throw out a bunch of wacky high spots like the Canadian Destroyer. Then finish with a roll up for shits and giggles. This drifted in and out of the weird Orange Cassidy match structure. Sometimes that benefitted the match but not often enough.
Final Rating: ***1/4
A really solid night one for Colosseum. The trios match stole the show but the tournament was also very strong. A few guys felt like they left a bit in the tank for night two and I figure a few of those guys will be pulling double duty tomorrow so I get that.