PWA Black Label Colosseum N2
October 19, 2019
This is the second night of the PWA Black Label weekender from Sydney. Featuring the second night of the tournament and the big Caveman Ugg vs. Jack Bonza title match.
Colosseum Tournament 2019 Semi-Final
Matty Wahlberg vs. Orange Cassidy
I’m not convinced that Cassidy was a good choice for the tournament. He’s better placed as a comedy sideshow act. That was ably demonstrated on N1 and I’d rather he was interacting with a load of other weirdos tonight. But hey, here we are. He’s raring to go.
Wahlberg’s character is a bit of a dickhead so he quite happily mocks Orange Cassidy to try and get him out of his zone. I think this is a mistake as Matty Wahlberg was so over in the first match but he’s not here because he has to deal with Orange Cassidy’s antics and it virtually turns him heel. There’s a great bit in here where Orange Cassidy goes to tap out after taking a chop. Wahlberg knows how to play with Orange’s goofiness and when he catches the ‘superkick’ I’m in bits. Structurally it’s a lot better than Orange vs. Troy. Again though, I don’t think he should have been in the tournament and probably would have been a better opponent for Tree Hugger Luchi on N1. Just spitballing. Obviously Orange Cassidy is a really good wrestler so when they switch gears its hugely effective. Curb Stomp finishes Orange off and Matty advances to the final. I really enjoyed this but I’m not convinced they nailed the structure of the tournament. Orange Cassidy does a wonderful job here of staying down until Wahlberg has finished celebrating the win and gone to the back. Then he kicks out. Magic work.
Final Rating: ***1/2
Colosseum Tournament 2019 Semi-Final
Travis Banks vs. Ricky South
Ricky gets the dancing girls again. PWA have done a great job of making almost everyone on these shows feel special. Trav has a bit of dancing in him and that comes to the surface here.
When the match starts Trav brings a level of intensity that was absent from his first round match and South is equal to it. They murder each other with suplexes and no sell everything. It’s good shit. This is Travis Banks demonstrating his true range. The N1 work was half speed. This is everything he does from the ropes to the strikes to the resilience. Ricky South is still selling the arm, which is the kind of continuity of selling I always appreciate. I mean, it was the whole match on N1 so it makes sense that he continue it. Perhaps the only disappointing aspect of Trav’s performance is he doesn’t work the arm until the finish where the Slice of Heaven doesn’t get it done and Trav slips right into the crossface. Really good match here. Another great showing from Ricky South.
Final Rating: ***3/4
Video Control announces Jushin Liger is in PWA in December and you can see people freaking out. There are people in that building who’d written off any hope of ever seeing Liger live and that moment is special to every single one of them. It’s beautiful really.
PWWA #1 Contender’s Match
Headhunter Rig vs. Steph De Lander vs. Royce Chambers vs. BIG FUDGE
The PWWA title used to be the women’s title but now it’s open to anyone. Royce is making his debut. He’s a flippy dude. I like him.
Big Fudge is using this match as a steppingstone towards his, almost inevitable at this point, dominance of world wrestling. He’s almost certainly destined to unify every world title there is. Rig is a very hefty gentleman but Royce flips all around him. I feel like Rig would not be out of place chasing Mad Max across a desert in a dystopian future. Big Fudge butt punches his way through the opposition. I’m popping for everything in this match but Rig’s Cannonball is another level. It’s fucking unreal. The pace and the height he gets on it are fantastic. This is such a great combination of talents. Chambers nails his debut, De Lander doesn’t look out of her element, Fudge’s shtick all lands and I love Headhunter Rig. Steph pins Big Fudge to win the match but everyone looked great here. Genuinely fantastic match.
Final Rating: ***3/4
The Nations (Mick Moretti & Adam Hoffman) vs. Rory Gulak & Shazza McKenzie
For someone as high profile as Mick Moretti his matches haven’t been satisfying this weekend. Shazza isn’t as fast or slick as anyone else in this match so it doesn’t quite come together how it should with four guys operating at the same level. No offence to Shazza, who I really like, but she’s not on the same level and it shows in every sequence she’s in. Hoffman pulls a fake arm injury, which is not something I’m keen on but even worse is some of his thigh slapping. The match is clearly at its best when it’s Moretti vs. Gulak and that probably should have been a singles match. Anyway; Shazzmission finishes Hoffman and I could have lived without this derailing a sensational card.
Final Rating: **
PWA Heavyweight Championship
Caveman Ugg (c) vs. Jack Bonza
Ugg has been utterly indestructible as champion. He’s held the belt for well over a year. That said, this is only his third defence due to PWA running infrequently. I’ve never seen him challenged like he should be by Jack Bonza. They do a great establishing sequence where Ugg runs right through a chop like it’s nothing and shoulderblocks the challenger into oblivion. They quickly have the big match vibe and on top of that tear each other apart. The chops alone look brutal enough to break skin. It’s proper Japanese levels of violence. These two just straight up killing each other for my amusement. I love it. They have a good storyline beyond that with Bonza wanting the Napalm Thunder Driver, suggesting if he hits it the match is over. So he goes for it occasionally and can’t quite get there. Ugg hits his finish (Ugg Smash) though and Bonza is out at one! This match has all the stiff as fuck spots I personally love. NAPALM THUNDER DRIVER…and Ugg kicks out. Bonza felt that move was it. If he hit it, the match was over but he hit it and Ugg wouldn’t stay down. Bonza goes through a table, eats a second Ugg Smash and Ugg finishes with a motherfucking Phoenix Splash. God damn this match fucking ruled. Two guys beating the shit out of each other until one of them couldn’t stand anymore. Both guys hitting the big finishes but not getting it done and both guys then trying to find the next level move to top that and Ugg finding it off the ropes. Brilliant match.
Final Rating: ****1/2
Sam Osborne, Davis Storm, Chris Basso & Jessica Troy vs. Speed Force (Jude London, Paris De Silva, Mat Diamond & Mat Rogers)
Props to Davis Storm for coming out to Live song that I’m pretty sure no one else has chosen as entrance music, ever. Jess isn’t liked by her tag partners but she gets tagged in when everyone else is too scared to wrestle Mat Rogers. Troy and De Silva is the kind of technical contest that Shazza was trying for against everyone in her tag. Speed Force have a lot of really fun, fast-paced double and triple teams. In spite of all of them Jess Troy stars here. She has a ton of energy and the crowd love her work and character. It’s weird because I assumed the match was set up for Mat Rogers to steal the show.
But no, he’s in the background while everyone else does wacky shit. Especially Mat Diamond, who hit an insane 630 to the floor and a bunch of other stuff besides. Jess makes Storm tap out but they’re on the same team so that doesn’t count! It would in Vince Russo’s WCW baby. De Silva and Diamond finish with stereo 450/SSP’s and my word this was a shit load of fun. Mat Diamond, holy shit. He’s so good. I’ve loved VeloCities as a team for a while but Diamond is out there killing it.
Final Rating: ****
Massive Q vs. James Adultman
Adultman is the ‘pick on someone your own size’ Prefects opponent. It’s one of them standing on top of the other and wearing a raincoat.
I like that he’s a walking stereotype of what children think an adult is. Q misses a charge into the corner and gets rolled up and pinned with the School Man! Genius! Q has great difficulty arguing with the fans on the way out because he’s trying very hard not to laugh.
Final Rating: All the stars
Colosseum Tournament 2019 Final
“The Fight for Green Thunder”
Matty Wahlberg vs. Travis Banks
I may not have agreed with the tournament booking and the process of getting here but this is definitely the final I would have booked. The dancing girls are cheerleaders ahead of Big Matty’s entrance.
Wahlberg’s idea of fan interaction is to line up fans and dive over them. It’s a lawsuit waiting to happen! Wahlberg is a completely different beast here to the rest of the tournament. Like he’s switched into a different gear. Or rather a switch into different gear changed his mentality. Trav does a bang up job of bringing his A Game but ensuring the star of the match is Wahlberg because this is his tournament. Trav offers a very physical style, which allows the bigger Wahlberg to take a kicking and earn the big win. They perhaps play it a bit safer than Ugg and Bonza earlier and don’t exactly murder each other but it’s still a competitive contest.
There’s a minor flaw here and that’s Banks not winning his semi-final with the Kiwi Krusher because he does it off the top here and there’s not the same sense of urgency from the kick-out that you’d get if he’d used it as a finish beforehand. The crowd become very pro-Wahlberg with Trav kicking out at one and getting booed heavily for it. Likewise for the crossface. The match aims for epic and is mostly successful in doing so. Wahlberg hits a Curb Stomp off the top to win and the pop is enormous. Tournament wins have generally gotten great reactions when I’ve been at shows in Europe but this reaction is close to Starr/SSS16.
Final Rating: ****1/4
What a show! N1 was fine but N2 was loaded with the goods. A great show from top to bottom this is a contender for show of the year. Matty Wahlberg is a goddamn star, the entire of Speed Force fucking rule and Caveman Ugg vs. Jack Bonza is must see. Thumbs way up. Check this out!