PWA: Because Milk Is For Babies! Results & Review
By Mick Robson
(Photo Credits- PWA/New Photography Studios)
Note: Before we begin, I just want to give a quick shout-out to Rhys Angel, the cover boy front and centre on the event poster. He uploaded a video to Instagram this week talking about his history of injuries, in particular a re-occuring shoulder issue. Because of this shoulder injury, he has opted to leave PWA for the time being. Such unfortunate timing as he was really building momentum as a wrestler and character, but real life and long term health comes first. Wishing him all the best and am hopeful for a full recovery so that he can one day return and continue to kick arse!
One of the most fun elements of PWA's growth in recent years is its partnership with The Beer Shed Brewery in Leumeah. This marks Pro Wrestling Australia's third trip to the Shed in the last 12 months. Presented as breezy, light house shows, with no real bearing on the larger Black Label shows' canon, it nonetheless is a great time, and gives Australia's best pro wrestling company exposure to a new audience- every Beer Shed show has had quite a number of new fans show up who have been impressed by the action on display.
For me, I love wrestling. And beer. So it's really a match made in heaven. Me with two of my loves. The closest thing to a threesome that I may ever experience. It's also a nice buffer between the massive PWA LFG tour, and the next Black Label show, Die Hard Is A Christmas Movie, on Dec 10 at the Factory Theatre. Without it, we'd be going well over a month between shows, and I don't know if my little addict brain can handle it!
Being a smaller house show, there were actually no full matches announced for this card prior to showtime. The closest we got was a little vignette where Robbie Eagles, sipping a beer at the Shed, is confronted by Kingsley, who is sitting there with a tea set. Per the suggestion of the owner, Jye, we're going to have Team Beer vs. Team Tea as our main event! Robbie and Kingsley better find some quality partners.
Let's do this!
Diego jumps in the ring to do the introduction- welcome, don't be a dick, have fun, then he delivers the acknowledgement of country. He trips over his tongue doing so- I can only assume he's heavily on the beers already!
Match 1: SMS (Aaron Jake & Belinda Pierce) vs. Green Dingoes (Tommy Dee & Ty Thayer)
Thoughts: Unfortunately missed the second Dingoes name, will be happy to update if anyone can help. SMS denounce the idea that the Dingos are competition, and that cockiness is their undoing in the early moments. However, Belinda slips out of a slam attempt by the unnamed Dingo, and hits a chopblock. He Who Must Not Be Named plays the face in peril, before finally getting the hot tag to Tommy Dee, who comes out firing on all cylinders. It's not enough though, as the more experienced SMS take control and hit their variation of a double front slam for the win.
Star Rating: **1/2. Good outing by the Dingoes, especially the selling of the knee by Old Mate. Tommy's run once he got the tag was great, he's impressed me greatly for a long time. Keen to see what he does once he moves up from the Green Dingo program.
Match 2: Nikki Van Blair vs. Big Fudge
Thoughts: No Frankie B tonight as she has commitments up at Newy Pro, but Nikki has a Dingo bring out a cutout of Frankie on a stick, and goes through the usual PPK pre-match routine of kissing the cutout on the cheeks. And speaking of cheeks... Nikki wore a short skirt with some tiny underwear, and spent a lot of time taunting the crowd by "flashing" them. Played well for comedy- Fudge goes for the Butt Punch at one point, but Nikki strikes a seductive pose and says, "do you wanna touch THIS?" Fudge is momentarily overcome by thirst, and Nikki uses the opportunity to take advantage. A hammerlock spinebuster by Van Blair gets a near fall. Fudge comes back though, and a combo of the Butt Punch and the La Magistral cradle gets the ice cream man the win!
Star Rating: ***. Heavily character driven and great for a laugh, as are most of Fudge's performances. What made this a little more unique was the presence and character work of Nikki- normally Fudge is the only over-the-top character in the match, but Nikki is equally charismatic and more flamboyant, which really had the crowd engaged in every moment.
Match 3: Ricky South & Jimmy Townsend vs. Green Dingos (Tyran Tuckey & Victor Langaz)
Thoughts: This threw me a little bit. South definitely played the heel in recent appearances, complete with a darker remix of "I Will Survive" at the Roundhouse, but he seemed to be more the good guy here, with the old theme and teaming with the popular Jimmy. He does engage in a little trash talk, and ultimately the crowd picks the side of the Dingoes, causing both Ricky and Jimmy to play the bad guys.
Tuckey and Langaz are both very impressive Dingoes. Langaz is new to being on PWA shows, but has immediately stood out with his charisma and physicality. He's also got some family in attendance, and Ricky taunts Langaz' mum while administering a beatdown. The Dingos show some tag chemistry with double team moves, but at the end of the day, the PWA Champ hits the lariat and the piledriver on Langaz, and Jimmy puts on the finishing touch with a beautiful moonsault.
Winners: Ricky South & Jimmy Townsend
Star Rating: ***1/4. The better of the Dingo tag matches on this night. It'd be easy to say that's down to the quality of their opponents- the reigning PWA Heavyweight Champion and currrent IWA Trans-Tasman Champion- but the Dingos impressed in their own right. Some have compared Tuckey to Bob Backlund, in terms of his persona and energy, and I absolutely see it. Meanwhile, I expect Langaz to power through the Dingo program at Cherry Stephens-esque speed.
Intermission. I have a nice chat with Big Fudge. Top bloke. He mentions that a lot of people in PWA appreciate my reviews, which is touching. When I mentioned my day job as a teacher, he said, "That makes sense, you write like someone who has spent way too long studying." Which... I think is a nice compliment?
Match 4: Shazza McKenzie vs. Shay Kassidy
Thoughts: This was an intriguing match-up! Haven't seen these two go at it before, but the character alignments felt a little off at the start- Shazza is most definitely a heel these days, although is the established star with the big reputation. Shay is less established, both in terms of her experience and her character in PWA- I believe her last singles match saw her as a heel against Big Fudge. She primarily wrestles up at Newy Pro, I believe.
That said, Shazza gave shit to the crowd, and Shay did a great job showing grit and playing to the crowd in parts, which cleared things up nicely. Awesome facial expressions by Shay selling the pain she was in as well. Also, Shazza attacked Shay's teddy, Barnaby, which made her the most evil lady in the room. A fired up Kassidy came for revenge, but eventually fell victim to the Stunner.
Winner: Shazza McKenzie
Star Rating: ***. Great return to the PWA ring for Shazza, coming back from a trip State-side. Shay was impressive for the second week in a row- she held her own as a late replacement at SLAM last week, and won over a crowd that wasn't entirely sure how to take to her at the Beer Shed. After a fun appearance in the Gimmick Battle Royal at the Roundhouse as well, here's hoping for more Shay in PWA.
Up next, Billy Preston makes his entrance. In street clothes, so doesn't look like a match is happening here. He's accompanied by the Playtime Pals. Ugh. Billy gets on the mic and notes that it's a member of the crowd's birthday (Luke). He decides to play a game of Simon Says to celebrate Luke's birthday, and gets everyone involved, but before we can really get underway, he's interrupted by Xander Sullivan! Xander was handing out flyers during intermission, proclaiming that PWA is run by lizard people. I didn't know lizards could grow red beards. Anyway!
Billy gets Xander to play a game of musical chairs with the Playtime peeps. Of course, it descends into chaos and Billy wallops Xander with a chair. Harmless, light-hearted fun. We typically get a segment of this nature at Beer Shed shows, but the gold standard remains the legend of Jay Sorbet and the cream pie. This was decent.
Match 5: Team Tea (Kingsley, David Streamer & Lyrebird Luchi) vs. Team Beer (Robbie Eagles, Sk8er Boi Pidgey & Cherry Stephens)
Thoughts: Our big main event to settle the age-old debate- tea or beer? We start with a peace offering- a tea cup from Robbie! Kingsley accepts and takes a drink- psyche, it's beer! Robbie shows off his technical prowess in the early going, frustrating the opposition, before giving Pidgey a bit of a run. The terrible tea drinkers get on track following a sneak attack by Luchi, who does an excellent job mocking everyone, including imitating Pidgey writhing in pain on the floor. Robbie is down at ringside, and I ask if he wants a beer to help with the pain. "Maybe later," says the Sniper of the Skies.
Robbie makes a comeback for his team, then hits me up for the beer mid-match. Shit! I actually finished my own one, I was tongue in cheek talking about getting him one later! I make a race for the bar, but another fan steps up to provide the refreshment. Like Popeye and his spinach, the good guys get on a roll after sipping from the nectar of the gods, and we get a trio of Ron Miller Specials to seal the deal!
Winners: Team Beer
Star Rating: ***1/4. Entertaining trios match, more about fun, crowd interactions and chants of "beer" over being a wrestling classic. Kingsley and Luchi are especially loaded with character and quality quips to the crowd, while Robbie and Cherry are masters of getting the crowd behind them. Good experience for Pidgey and Streamer too- relatively new to the PWA main roster after being Dingoes, and sharing the ring with top level talent can only help them going forward.
Post-match, I get Robbie that beer. Now he's gotta chug it. An absolute win! He gets on the mic after downing it and thanks us for being there. He polls the crowd about going to New Japan Tamashii the following night- I sadly could not make it. Robbie thanks us for being there and we call it a night! I mean, it's dark and the stars are out, don't know what else to call it...
Always a quality night out when PWA and The Beer Shed meet! I felt like the other two shows were slightly stronger, maybe it's because Unsocial Jordan wasn't there on this one. No... that can't be it. But we had beers, we had burgers... and we had Bec! An absolutely lovely fan from Melbourne who made the trip up to Sydney for her birthday weekend. Always has a smile, a big hug and extremely kind words for everyone. Definitely improved the experience sitting with someone that cool and passionate about wrestling.
The nature of the Beer Shed shows means that more people than the usual Black Label crew get opportunities to shine. A few of the Dingoes really impressed, and a special mention to Nikki Van Blair, who really shone with the singles opportunity against Fudge. Or maybe I'm just overcome with thirst like Fudge was. But seriously, well worth the time and money. Absolutely recommend the Beer Shed, especially when PWA is there.
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Until next time, take care.