All-Star Wrestling Christmas Carnage (17/12/2022)- Results & Thoughts
By Mick Robson
One of the cool things about seeing Aussie wrestling grow, is the whole concept of "a rising tide lifts all ships". As powerhouses like PWA and MCW get on FITE TV, putting on world-class productions featuring world-class talent, it stands to reason that everyone's level is going to start going up with it.
That is, if they put the work in. And it certainly seems like All-Star Wrestling have done that. I went to their second ever show in 2018, the Battle of Bomaderry. It was honestly a let-down, I counted less than 20 people in the crowd, the music didn't work, the ring had some issues, and the workers understandably seemed put off by the whole thing.
Fast-forward 4 and a half years, and I've noticed through social media that All-Star seem to have built their brand up quite a lot, with a mix of great talent on the show, including top level talent from PWA for this Christmas special. PWA Champion Ricky South, world-travelled Shazza McKenzie, and a big selling point- former NXT star Steph De Lander (fka Persia Pirotta). So figured it was about time to see what All-Star Wrestling was up to these days.
Let's do this!
(Note: Analysis won't be as detailed as a normal PWA or MCW review. One, because I don't have the luxury of watching it back, and two, the kids around my area were nuts... added to the atmosphere, but definitely made it harder to focus and break down the matches.)
Match 1: Vinnie Vain (w/ Piers Austin) vs. Bee Boy
My first time seeing Vain wrestle, although I have followed him on social media for a while. I really enjoyed seeing Piers Austin work as his manager- Piers is a mate of mine, but this is the first time I've seen him as a performer on a show. I felt like Vain did well riling up the crowd with his arrogant demeanour, frequently cutting off Bee Boy's attempts at a comeback. The finish came when Vinnie and Piers posed to the crowd, and Bee Boy got a roll-up for the win!
Quality opener that the crowd was into, which counts for a lot. I talked to Vinnie after the show and he was apologetic for his performance. Thought for a second that he might have been kayfabing me since he took the L, but I also overheard him saying to someone else that Bee Boy was great, but he wasn't clicking in the match. I didn't see too much wrong with it, wasn't an absolute classic of an opener, but I felt it was a job well done. It's a credit to Vinnie Vain how seriously he takes this, though, and the high standard he holds for himself. Keen to see him wrestle again!
Winner: Bee Boy
Commissioner Keegan Brettle has an announcement. A former wrestler who now has the commish role due to a shoulder injury, I believe, his arm is working well enough to down a VB and grab a microphone. Before he can get out his big announcement, he's interrupted by the All-Star Heavyweight Champion Ryan Eagles. He's accompanied by a young man and young lady who are dressed in formal attire. Eagles introduces them as his legal team. The guy especially barely looks old enough to drink a beer, let alone be a lawyer. I can't make out what legal issue that Ryan has with Keegan and All-Star- the feisty kids next to me are really going off at him with insults- but it ends with Keegan punching the young lawyer man, and the lady then boots him in the nuts! Geez, that looked right up main street there, no inner thigh on that one! Keegan drops, no more kids in his immediate future, it seems like!
Match 2: Eastern States Championship- Xander Sullivan vs. Jack Dullahan (c)
Always interesting seeing Xander's "conspiracy theorist" gimmick as a babyface, which is what we got here. Dullahan was very impressive- a bit of a monster, hard hitting with great power moves. Xander had heart, making a comeback with a UFO spin before going for some high-risk off the ropes, but Dullahan speared him out of the air, before hitting a fireman's carry into a spinebuster to end things. An imposing force to be sure. Xander was fun in his interactions with the crowd. Dyl, the kid next to me, kept yelling that Dullahan was a government spy, to which Xander responded, "That's right, random little kid!" This had a lot of entertainment value.
Winner: Jack Dullahan
Match 3: Hell Yeah vs Hoyo, Grant Linstrom & Massive Q
Before the match, Hell Yeah cuts a promo, saying that his name is fun to say, but if he loses, Hell Yeah is gone and his more serious alter-ego comes back. This handicap match seems like sure fire disaster for Mr. Yeah, but Q quickly goes to ringside, declaring he's had enough of this. Hell Yeah dives onto all 3 opponents, and miscommunication back in the ring sees things unravel, as the giant Q accidentally splashs Hoyo. In amongst the chaos, Hell Yeah's eccentric manager throws a fireball- and Hell Yeah wins!
Winner: Hell Yeah
Match 4: Aries vs. Ricky South
So this match reminded me heavily of Michael Spencer vs. Ricky South from the Wollongong PWA show. Minus the hilarious chanting about socks. First time seeing Aries, and I was impressed by his high flying ability, with perhaps his closest moment to beating South coming off a springboard Spanish Fly. Ricky was by far the bigger man, and they played into that nicely, with Aries needing to be quick and evasive to score offense. Eventually, there was a ref bump, and interference by Jack Dullahan, who speared Aries! Ricky followed up with the piledriver and it was good for the win!
Not doing star ratings or anything for this show, but along those lines, this was a clear Match of the Night. Not doing the stars, because, well distracting kids and the inability to watch back and analyse. Speaking of kids, young Dyl took it too far by slapping Ricky in the face during the match. He was quality with the trash talk through the show, but you don't touch the wrestlers.
Winner: Ricky South
We get an appearance by Santa! He's got a sack full of lollies. The kids swoop on them like seagulls. Johnny Starr comes out and challenges Santa to a match, if Santa can beat him, then Johnny will buy everyone in the room a drink!
Match 5: Santa vs. Johnny Starr
Santa tries with a couple of punches, but Starr really dominates this thing, making Santa tap to a leg submission- like a modified ankle lock, in a couple of minutes. Weirdly, the energy was completely gone from the crowd after intermission. I hope Santa got paid in more than a hot dog and a handshake for that beating!
Winner: Johnny Starr
Johnny continues the beating on Santa after the match and Bee Boy makes the save. Commissioner Keegan (holding a cold VB can on his nuts) comes out and books a Flag Match for the next show.
Match 6: Shazza McKenzie vs. Steph De Lander vs. Jasmin Brettle
Steph's entrance music doesn't play, so she storms out PISSED and does her own intro. She's now the "Powerhouse Predator" rather than "The Python Powerhouse". Jasmin takes a bit of a beating from Steph. SDL taunts the crowd and is definitely the force in this match. They fight over my ringside table and through the crowd- then Jasmine dives off the rails with a cross body! Wild. Back in the ring, Shazza locks Steph in a crucifix submission, then Jasmine puts Shazza in a hold in a cool moment. Ultimately, Jasmin escapes with the win, pinning Shazza with Steph out of the picture. Fun match, and it was great to see Steph De Lander in an Aussie ring for the first time in a couple of years.
Winner: Jasmin Brettle
Main Event: All-Star Heavyweight Championship- Luke Watts vs. Ryan Eagles (c)
Eagles has his legal team with him, and they constantly interfere behind the referee's back, cutting off any atttempts at mometum by Luke Watts. Eagles goes through a stretch of stealing famous finishers, connecting with the People's Elbow but missing on the Hogan Leg Drop. Watts finally knocks out the lawyer kid, but just gets the woman to back off because he's a gentleman and won't hit a lady. Manners may have been his undoing though, as he goes up top for the Shooting Star and the lady crotches him on the top turnbuckle! Nobody's nuts are safe! Eagles hits a brainbuster to end it! Good match, if a little formulaic.
Winner: Ryan Eagles
Post-match, Eagles grabs a mic and addressed a taunt from the crowd from the match- Kyle yelling that 'Robbie is the better Eagles". He says that he'll give Robbie one chance- he'll count to 10 and if Robbie's music plays and he comes out to the ring, he'll give the Sniper of the Skies a title shot. Instead, Commissioner Keegan enters, and makes the match for the next All-Stars show on Jan 14- it'll be Eagles vs. Eagles, Ryan vs. Robbie! Ryan is besides himself.
And that's the show... wait, Aries and Jack Dullahan are brawling through the crowd! It goes all over the room before eventually getting back to the ring, where other All-Star staff and wrestlers separated them. Whoa!
A far more positive impression of All-Star Wrestling than when I first attended all those years ago. The crowds were bigger, the production was better (although old habits die hard on the SDL entrance), and the roster seems quite strong now as well. Obviously, they won't have the likes of Steph De Lander, Shazza McKenzie and Ricky South on every card, but I thought their "home-grown" talent did a great job for the most part as well. The crowd energy did drop off a little in the second half which was a shame, but the top two matches were both really strong, and the use of brawling through the crowd did pick their spirits up a bit.
For my part, I went from checking this out on a whim- and largely for the return of SDL- to being disappointed that I can't make their next show on Jan 14- I'm double booked with Slam Pro League in Canberra. But I'll certainly be back, and definitely recommend anyone to check All-Star out if you're able. They're not the powerhouse (pardon the pun) of a PWA or MCW, but they're a viable part of the scene, and with front row tickets being just $25 for this show, great value for money! I was highly entertained and keen for more of the same next time.
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Until next time, take care.