AWE No Mercy Results & Review (14/07/2023)
By Mick Robson
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The FITE platform makes it easier than ever to consume wrestling content at a reasonable price. While larger promotions like AEW and Impact Wrestling have their own subscription model built into FITE, many smaller promotions are covered with one FITE+ subscription. That has become the case for many Aussie indies, with PWA and MCW jumping on board, and Sydney-based AWE has joined the fray with No Mercy.
The further beautiful thing about FITE is that if you miss it live, you can catch it back instantly on VOD. I went to see School of Rock: The Musical on this lovely Friday night, and as I started watching the show and writing this review, it's 11:45pm. Don't say I don't do anything for you guys...
The main event is a championship match between Scott Magnum, who is new to me, defending against a man I'm quite familiar with, Jay Sorbet. This whole card is a mix of wrestlers I've never seen before facing some I know quite well, which will make for an interesting review. In my quest for journalistic integrity, I'll do my best to remain unbiased.
Let's do this!
The FITE video kicks in with Piers Austin mid-hyping up the show, with a man I believe Piers calls the commissioner. (EDIT: On commentary later, Piers calls him Mr. Money). In any event, the video and audio is far ahead of many Aussie promotions I've seen trying to stream on FITE. There's a little echo/distortion, but nothing too awful.
Match 1: Vinnie Vain vs. Nightmare Cat
This was originally advertised as Albie vs. Nightmare Cat, but Albie went down with a knee injury at last week's EWA show. The Cat is new to me, and this is my 4th time seeing Vinnie. 3 of those 4 times, he's been the opening match, showing he's a trusted performer to set the tone.
Nightmare Cat plays into his gimmick well, scratching and clawing his way through a Lou Thesz press and some chops. Big splash gets a near fall, and Vain returns fire with a slingblade and a 2 count of his own. Vinnie goes high risk with a cross body from the top, but takes a backbreaker. Vinnie turns to his submission game with an Anaconda Vice (dubbed the Vain Lock), but Cat fights out and starts a comeback with clotheslines and a big sidewalk slam. Cat goes for a gutwrench powerbomb, but Vinnie fights out and hits the Rough Ryder for the 3 count!
Winner: Vinnie Vain (at 6:20)
Enjoyable opening match, Nightmare Cat was an unusual character, and as the larger man, was a good foil for Vinnie to play off wth Vain's speed and finesse.
AWE Champion Scott Magnum makes his entrance with the eye-catching Nikki Poteet. He gets a microphone in hand and wants to talk to ya. YEAH! Okay, he didn't say that. He calls himself the Mac Daddy, and Nikki "America's Sweetheart". Last time he was here, everyone wanted a piece of him.
He turns his attention to "Menai's own, Jay Sorbet". Sorbet is the best Menai has to offer, but in a town of good for nothing hicks, that's not saying much. Magnum's words, not mine, don't shoot the messenger. Magnum is "too sweet to beat, and too fly to die". Look, I'm somebody that likes to live life on the cob, but that was too corny even for me. Good, confident promo otherwise though.
Match 2: The Puppeteer vs. Corruption
The Puppeteer comes out with his puppet- of course- and uses the puppet to high-five the ringside fans. That's a unique way of being COVID-safe. Corruption's music is Sad But True by Metallica (banger), but he enters by way of a sneak attack! He goes for a chokeslam but the Puppeteer escapes to the outside.
Puppeteer cautiously gets back in the ring, talks to his puppet for a moment (not a euphemism), then shakes hands with Corruption. He gets a big body slam for his troubles. He tries to fight back with strikes but takes a World's Strongest Slam for a near fall.
Corruption misses a big splash in the corner, allowing Puppeteer to unload with a flurry. A hangman on the ropes halts the momentum, followed by a shoulderbreaker. Puppeteer fights back and manages to hit a top rope splash- but is seized by the throat anyway and hit with a rough looking chokeslam. Score one for the big guy!
Winner: Corruption (at 5:35)
Pretty standard big man/little man fare. Not the best chokeslam you'll ever see, but otherwise this was okay.
Match 3: E10 vs. Luke Watts
Battle of the Canberra boys in this one! Watts is playing it up as a heel, which is interesting to see from the high flier. We start with competitive chain wrestling before E10 clotheslines Watts to the outside and follows him out. They briefly brawl before E10 throws Watts back in and goes for a top rope elbow drop, but eats the canvas. Watts with a basement clothesline for a near fall. Watts sets up E10 for the 10 punches but bites his face instead. Savage!
E10 goes for a sunset flip but Watts blocks it and holds the ropes. Watts utilises his size advantage again with a big vertical suplex. He wears down E10 with a rear chinlock as the Menai crowd tries to will the young man on. E10 slowly fights back and they trade strikes, with Watts going down off a discus clothesline! The crowd is rocking, and E10 nails a top rope leg drop for a 2.99 count!
E10 looks for a German suplex, but Watts grabs the ropes and hits a low blow- undetected by the referee. An airplane spin drop follows, and a corkscrew senton (ala the Floating Bro) hits for the win!
Winner: Luke Watts (at 11:20)
A great match with a hot crowd, and it was the work of these gentlemen that got them to fever pitch. Watts seemed to revel in playing the bad guy, and E10 is a guy I need to see more of. Impressive stuff!
Intermission. Abrupt cut to black with the event poster on FITE. Some kind of acknowledgement that an intermission was happening, as well as possibly a timer, would help in the future for the FITE audience. Wasn't sure how long the intermission was supposed to be and started skipping forward on the VOD- it was around the 20 minute mark.
Match 4: "Birdman" Phil Picasso vs. Jack Leggor
Birdman fires up the crowd and takes an early advantage with some impactful shoulder blocks. Leggor turns things around with an Implant DDT for a near fall, but Birdman pops right back up and stomps the mat. It's a battle of youth vs. experience here.
Birdman asks for chops and absorbs some pretty good ones from Leggor, but gets dropped with a right hand. Awful looking clothesline follows. The beatdown continues until Leggor misses a corner splash. Birdman takes the opportunity to repeatedly ram Leggor's head into the turnbuckles. A series of overhand chops follow, then a double underhook suplex gains a near fall.
Birdman with some shoulder barges in the corner which Jack basically no-sells, so he cops some more chops. Splashes in the corner followed by a rough looking bulldog. Big splash on the mat by the Birdman ends it.
Winner: "Birdman" Phil Picasso (at 5:22)
Definitely a rough match. You had the elder statesman in Birdman, who can't move around all that well, and the young Legorr, who had issues with selling and making things look good. That said, the charisma and crowd interaction of Birdman did save it a little. This won't be in match of the night contention. Moving on!
Match 5: The Balkans (Bruza The Serb & Goran Nikolov) (w/ Niki Nitro) vs. The Psyko Ward (Banisher & Psykotic) (w/ Miami)
The valets Niki and Miami get in each other's faces as we get going, and the crowd shows their allegiance with a big "Psyko Ward" chant. Banisher starts and hurts both Balkans with a simple handshake, so they call for the smaller Psykotic to tag in. Goran tries to kick him, but is countered with a dragon screw. Balkans in shambles.
Banisher tags in and we get a battle of the big men for a moment with Bruza, but then Goran tags back in and Balkans take control with a double clothesline. Psyko Ward return the favour soon after, with Psykotic punctuating it with a leg drop for a near fall.
Goran with a cheap shot as the illegal man, and the Balkans take the advantage. Niki and Miami get into it again but Bruza keeps them apart. Awkward spot with Psykotic waits on the ring apron while Niki distracts the ref... and time stands still as nothing happens. Someone missed their cue! We work our way back to the Balkans and Nitro taking turns choking Psykotic on the ropes. After an extended beatdown, Psykotic makes the hot tag to Banisher- but the ref didn't see it!
A double team elbow/splash in the corner gets the Balkans a near fall. Psykotic creates separation with a Dudley Dog, He drops Bruza with a huge right hand and finally, officially, tags in Banisher! He's a house of fire, running through Bruza with a spinebuster, spears Goran out of his boots, and Psykotic tags back in to end it with a top rope elbow!
Winners: The Psyko Ward (at 19:30)
Really good tag action, with the valets adding to the mix nicely- Niki in particular was great in adding heat to her Valkans. Great tag psychology as the crowd was dying to see Banisher get in there for that ending sequence. This is my first time watching AWE, so I don't know if they have tag titles, but this was definitely championship match worthy!
Post-match, a bunch of fans get in the ring to celebrate- it was mostly kids, and I think a couple of drunk adults. Same-same, I guess. We then do a raffle. Seems like that could have been an intermission deal.
Main Event: AWE Championship- Scott Magnum (c) (w/ Nikki Poteet) vs. Jay Sorbet
Sorbet forces Magnum back to the corner on a lock up, and Magnum claims that Jay pulled the hair. A chain wrestling sequence ensues that culminates in a Sorbet backslide (almost sounds like something you could get from Cold Rock) for a near fall. Magnum returns fire with a schoolboy that also gets a 2.
Scoop slam and a Sorbet elbow gets another 2 count. Giant swing, followed by the Lionsault. The challenger is rolling in his hometown! Jay goes for the cover, but Nikki Poteet distracts the ref. Look, ref, I'm not going to condone it, but I understand it. The distraction allows Magnum to get a cheap shot, and he starts laying the boots in. Big time backbreaker gets a near fall for the champ.
Nikki gets in a choke undetected by the ref, and Magnum grinds Sorbet's face and eyes across the top rope. Whatever it takes! The crowd gets behind Sorbet and he starts to come back. Magnum rakes the eyes and hits a suplex for a near fall. Magnum knocks Jay to the outside, but he comes back in with a rolling lariat for a super close near fall! Awesome move.
Sorbet sets up for the Wasteland, but Scott rakes the eyes and hits a neckbreaker. They trade strikes and Magnum gets another thumb to the eye. Rolling Codebreaker for a great near fall. Magnum goes up top but Sorbet cuts him off and hits a superplex. Piers Austin loses his mind on commentary, screaming, "That's it! New champion!" They slowly get up and trade strikes. Sorbet unloads with a comeback sequence, and a big cross body gets another heart-stopping near fall.
Sorbet looks for the 450- it misses, but he re-gathers himself and gets a suplex. He goes for another 450, but Nikki jumps up on the apron. Sorbet shoves her down and hits it! Sorbet covers Magnum.. but Nikki puts his foot on the ropes. Sorbet goes up top, Nikki interferes, and it gives Magnum enough time to get up and crotch him on the turnbuckle. Top rope AA ends the night for Sorbet.
Winner: Scott Magnum (at 13:52)
This was a tremendous main event. I've mentioned in previous reviews for Rock N Roll Wrestling that I think Jay Sorbet is a hell of a talent, but that could be up there as the best singles match I've seen from him. Maybe spurred on by his hometown crowd, but he was fired up and on point every step of the way. I believe this is the first time I've seen Scott Magnum, but I appreciated him and his commitment to his heel work- I don't think he got the upper hand once in that match without some kind of low down shenanigans, which made Jay look so much better in defeat.
A strong first impression for AWE for me. One of the best parts was the presentation of the broadcast- the ring announcing audio was slightly shaky at times, but the video and audio for the rest was great. Commentary, ring, music, crowd- way ahead of most other Aussie indies that I've seen trying to stream on FITE, and I believe that was their first run at it. Some of the undercard wasn't the greatest stuff you'll ever see, but Watts vs. E10 sent us into intermission on a high note, Sorbet vs. Magnum ended things on a high note- besides our boy not winning- and the tag match was quality as well. I'll definitely be back for more.
Overall Score: 7/10
Until next time, take care.