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PWA Summer Of Fudge Results & Review (04/03/2023)


By Mick Robson


Photo Credit: PWA & New Photography Studios


Last weekend, Pro Wrestling Australia continued to build their momentum with another big Black Label (18+) show at Liberty Hall (fka Max Watts). Their first show back, Stories From Liberty Hall was a smash hit, boasting a rowdy atmosphere at PWA's spiritual home (review here). It was headlined by a PWA Heavyweight Championship match between The Example, Ricky South, and the uber-athletic newcomer from Newcastle, Ben Braxton. They tore the house down, but in the end, the reigning champ left victorious.


Elsewhere on the card, there was a Gauntlet Match to crown the next no. 1 contender. The match boasted top-tier talent like Shazza McKenzie, Jessica Troy & Charli Evans, and Carter Deams was the MVP of the whole thing, but the winner was definitely a shocker- the final entrant, Big Fudge, who was colour commentating for the night. He got up from the announce position and won with relative ease! Fudge is loved by the PWA audience, but Ricky doesn't share those sentiments, saying "no" to the challenge. So Fudge proposes that he proves himself- they have a non-title match at this show, and if Fudge wins, THEN Ricky will defend the title. So I guess Fudge winning the Gauntlet meant nothing essentially, but we're here. Fudge vs. South. High stakes.


I attended the show in person and had a great time, but let's attempt to be a little more analytical as we look back at the broadcast on FITE TV.


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After a minute and a half of dead air on FITE, Diego opens with an acknowledgement of country.


The PWA intro video airs.


Andrew Rose welcomes us back to Liberty Hall, as he missed the last show, and introduces "New Knees" Kris Gale. High energy in his voice, and the crowd is giving that energy too!

Match 1: PWA Premiership- Mick Moretti & Jimmy Townsend vs. SMS (Carter Deams & Aaron Jake)


Mick stalls to start the match, slowly removing items of clothing and accessories, much to the chagrin of Aaron Jake. As soon as the bell rings, Moretti blasts Carter off the apron and it is on! As Carter tries to enter the ring and the ref stops him, Mick takes advantage with an eye poke to AJ. The story here is that the veteran Rapscallion is trying to teach his partner Jimmy to work smarter.


Jimmy and Carter in, and we pick up the pace. Townsend gets the better of it with a low dropkick then a nip up, sending Deams sprawling. AJ in and he takes a butterfly suplex from Jimmy. He goes up top- perhaps for the moonsault?- but Deams stops him and lands a double stomp. SMS isolate Jimmy and proceed to beat him down. The commentators talk about Jimmy's run of bad luck in PWA as he's attempted to "find himself". Jimmy creates separation, sending AJ to the outside. He looks for the tag, but Deams is in to hit a scissors kick to the outstretched arm! I've never seen that before! Another scissors kick, scoring the traditional way, but Moretti is in to break up the count.


SMS continue their attack on Jimmy, in particular his arm, but a Carter kick meant for Townsend cracks AJ, allowing the hot tag to Moretti! Moretti comes in with rapid fire jabs (if you will...) followed by a powerful dragon suplex. Moretti throws AJ into Carter, and the former Soul of PWA Champion is on fire! Mick hits the Sweaty Moretti (ugh) on Aaron for a near fall. Jimmy tags in, and they hit stereo German suplexes on SMS! SMS get Moretti out of the ring, enabling Carter to hit End of Days. AJ follows up with a leaping kick, and it gets a solid near fall.


SMS continue to beat up Jimmy until he connects with a springboard cross body! Moretti slides a chair to Jimmy then distracts the ref. Will Jimmy start "playing smart"? Nope, he throws the chair to the ground. Carter takes the opportunity to pull guard and apply the kimura! Shit! Moretti distracts the ref again, and Jimmy taps to the hold, but the match continues! Carter grabs the chair to use behind the referee's back, but he turns around and busts him! That's a DQ!


Winners: Mick Moretti & Jimmy Townsend (via DQ) (at 12:15)


Star Rating: ***1/2. Fun opener building this story of mentor and protege between Moretti and Townsend. SMS were great at building the heat on their end too. I've said it before, but Carter is such a great addition to SMS. His character isn't quite as buttoned-up, I guess, as Aaron & Belinda. He's a little more loose with taunting everyone around him, whether it's his opponents or the crowd, and it's really engaging. Curious to see where the story goes, and top notch action. Excellent.

Match 2: Unsocial Jordan vs. The Tuckman


Tuckman grabs the mic and says that he wants to have a beer. Not surprising. He wants to have a beer with Unsocial Jordan! Okay, that's slightly more surprising. Jordan feigns like he's going to drink it and then attacks Tuckman.


Tuckman hits an arm drag and grabs the beer can back. Big back body drop, giving Tuckman the opportunity to crack the beer and drink some, much to the crowd's delight. Jordan sweeps the leg- thankfully Referee Hannah grabs the beer- and beats Tuckman up on the outside a bit. Back in the ring, Tuckman almost steals the win with a sneaky backslide. Don't let the character fool you- man's got skills! Tuckman charges Jordan in the corner, but his shoulder meets the ring post instead. Jordan hits the half and half suplex for a near fall. Jordan mockingly offers Tuckman a beer and superkicks it into his mouth... but wait! Tuckman is on his back, can in mouth... and he's actually drinking the beer! Like Popeye and his spinach, this energises The Tuckman, and it is on!


Tuckman nips up and starts his comeback. Clothesline, back elbow. Splash in the corner, then a bicycle kick for a 2 count! Tuckman looks to follow up... but the beer isn't sitting right, he needs his bucket for a tactical vom! Jordan takes the opportunity to use his tripod, but the ref stops it. His back up plan is to get a beer can... but Tuckman blocks it! He cracks the can and forces Jordan to drink it!


Jordan takes a clothesline to the outside. Tuckman looks for a baseball slide but Jordan wisely pulls the apron up, then hits a trapped Tuckman with the Shining Wizard! Back in the ring, Jordan delivers the Ki Crusher for the win!


Winner: Unsocial Jordan (at 6:15)


Star Rating: ***1/2. The Tuckman is amazing. His character was the perfect foil for Jordan. The SMS leader may have scored the 3 count, but Tuckman made him drink a beer, so who really won? ...It was Jordan. Jordan definitely won. But still, this was a blast. Comedy wrestling at its best.


The PPK auditions video airs. Speaking of comedy at its finest... even JT Robinson tried to get in the sorority! In the end, Frankie B & Nikki Van Blair gave Cherry Stephens & Bel Pierce the nod.

Match 3: PWA Premiership- PPK (Belinda Pierce & Cherry Stephens) vs. MK Plus Ultra (Michael Spencer & Kai Drake)


MK Plus try to talk Belinda out of being with PPK, and when Cherry intervenes, Spencer yanks her hair, and it's time to fight! Cherry arm drags Spencer and they throw down on the outside, while Kai and Belinda battle in the ring. Belinda hits a massive tilt a whirl headscissors, and all of a sudden they're out and Cherry and Spencer are legal. PWA's lucha tag rules are coming into effect early and often in this one. Cazadora into an arm drag by the Soul of PWA Champion.


PPK get quite animated, jumping up on the apron and screaming... and Referee James kicks them out! Booooooooooo! Spencer & Drake isolate and beat down Belinda. Belinda creates a gap and there's an opportunity for the tag, but Belinda does the SMS pose and doesn't tag Cherry in. Kai hits Belinda with a DDT for a 2 count. MK Plus beat up Belinda some more, so the next time she gained separation, she tagged in Cherry, who takes it to the former tag team champions! 619 to the gut of Drake, high kick to the skull of Spencer, and she drops them both with a double slingshot DDT! Wow! Excellent near fall on Drake.


Spencer becomes legal, and takes a Gory Bomb for his troubles for a 2 count. Cherry sets up for the Shining Wizard, and Belinda blind tags back in. Spencer doesn't realise and hits Cherry with a gutbuster, followed by a cover, but the ref waves it off. Belinda comes in with a top rope cross body on both members of MK Plus Ultra! Near fall. Cherry yells at Belinda "we're partners, we need to work together" in a very clear bit of exposition, just in case we weren't sure what the story was. Belinda is resistant, and the slight bit of bickering allows Kai to wipe out Cherry with a superkick, followed by tandem strikes on Belinda... and it's all over!


Winners: MK Plus Ultra (at 8:52)


Star Rating: ***1/4. Well worked stuff, although it definitely felt odd seeing a good chunk of the match be heel vs. heel, with MK isolating Belinda. Things picked up considerably when Cherry tagged in, with that clear character divide and the energy in her wrestling style, and it told a logical story of the cohesive, experienced team triumphing over the new, thrown-together duo.


Post-match, Cherry hugs Belinda, who goes stiff as a board. Cherry then takes Belinda by the hand and leads her out of the ring. Pierce seems shook by this display of affection.


A video package featuring the Arm Collector, Jessica Troy, plays. I believe the song playing in the background is Fleetwood Mac or something, it's light and breezy, anyway. As the names get revealed, you can hear a faint sinister beat behind the music. Luchi. Shazza. Kiedis. Jordan. PWA... Intriguing.


Shazza McKenzie makes her entrance. She grabs the mic and reminds us that she said last year that she was going to "end the Nations". She feels she's done a pretty good job of it. "But if Bonza feels like another ass-kicking, who am I to deny him that honour?"


Bonza makes his entrance with Lyrebird Luchi. Bonza says he doesn't want another ass-kicking, let's call the match off. He claims that the things Shazza's been saying about him and The Nations has really hurt his feelings. He praises Shazza for being such a huge part of Aussie wrestling history in PWA, from 60 people at Maryong Community Centre, to 600 at the Roundhouse, to the 10,000 at the Hordern Pavillion in the future (god, I hope so!). What she's done for women's wrestling- from "a complete joke" to main eventing a Black Label show (Shazza vs. Jess, All Eyez On Troy, an incredible match!).


This is all incredibly nice and heart-warming from Bonza, and then he drops, "with all those stories, I think we can all agree that the chapter of Shazza McKenzie is finished". He lays down a match challenge- win, and you can say you destroyed the Nations. Lose, and you're never seen in PWA again. High stakes, but McKenzie doesn't hesitate. "Let's fucking go!" Bonza ends by saying that if Shazza loses, she can keep the Nations' name out of her mouth- in far more vulgar terms.


Match 4: Shazza McKenzie vs. Lyrebird Luchi


Luchi attacks Shazza from behind as Bonza exits the ring, and out of nowhere, it's on! Luchi stomps down Shazza, exits the ring to "Too Sweet" Bonza, then resumes the attack on Shazza. On commentary, Rose & Gale are reeling over the language Bonza used to describe Shazza, noting that even though it's Black Label and adult content, that was a step too far. Luchi stomps on Shazza's ankle and taunts the crowd, revelling in the boos as always.


Shazza avoids a stomp to the arm and comes back with a series of Saito suplexes! She bridges on the third one for a near fall. She sets up for her patented series of kicks in the ropes, but Luchi blocks it and grabs her for a suplex on the apron. Shazza blocks that and rams Luchi into the ring post, and this time is able to hit her furious flurry of feet strikes! Forced alliteration, you gotta love it, right? A suicide dive follows, and Shazza is on fire!


Shazza makes the fans move out of the seats, so she can throw Luchi through rows of chairs! Wild. Luchi comes back by driving McKenzie into the wall of Liberty Hall, then scurries to the ring, looking for a countout victory. Shazza looks like she's going to make it in, but Bonza stands between her and the ring... Shazza loses by countout!


Winner: Lyrebird Luchi (via countout) (at 6:05)


Star Rating: **1/2. Wow! Action-wise, this was good, and the use of Liberty Hall definitely enhanced the fight, but it was the story that was the real standout here. I could critique the heel vs. heel thing again, but I'm not going to, because the pre-match thing gave Shazza some sympathy, and Luchi is the defacto heel no matter who he wrestles. Ending by countout with those stakes adds another layer of injustice, especially after they set the table by waxing lyrical about how amazing Shazza's career has been, to boot her out of PWA like that is an emotional gut punch.


Post-match, PWA stuff carry a screaming Shazza out, ala Chris Jericho leaving WWE in 2005. No dignity at all!


In writing this review late, we can add some context here- I initially thought this was the start of some outsider angle where Shazza works her way back into PWA, but she's since announced that she's moving to America to pursue her wrestling dream! Guessing it all came about a lot sooner than she was expecting, because this whole deal felt really thrown together out of nowhere. Especially when you consider that she became champion pretty recently at All-Star Wrestling & Renegades of Wrestling.


Wishing you all the best, Shazza! I'm sure you'll make Australia proud.


A promo video plays for the next PWA show, Rumble IV on May 20. Just when I thought I might try and save some money and just watch shows on FITE for a little while... but I can't miss seeing a Rumble live in-person!

Match 5: Everett Connors vs. Robbie Eagles


Some chain wrestling to start, wristlocks and headlocks aplenty, before Robbie gets a little personal by calling Connors "Charil's fiance", y'know, real "Nattie's husband" vibes. Everett responds by dropkicking the Sniper out of the ring and hitting a suicide dive. Rose and Gale with a salient point that blindsided me- Robbie hasn't held the PWA Championship since the first show that the duo called back in 2018. Wow!


Slingshot DDT by Connors gets the first near fall of the contest. Robbie turns things around with some blistering chops and kicks. Everett comes back with a O'Connor roll for a quick 2 count, only for Eagles to kick the soul out of his body immediately after. Connors eventually fires up and fights back, nipping up after a particularly hard chop and unloading with a flurry of offense. They fight to the outside and Everett scores with a springboard Coffin Drop!


Back in the ring, Connors hits a top rope corkscrew splash for a near fall. Torture rack into a cutter (holy shit, that was cool!) by Connors for another long 2 count. Everett keeps up the attack with a springboard Stunner, but Eagles absorbs it and blasts him with a running elbow to the back of the head. They both take a while to get up, but when they do, Robbie kicks Everett's leg out of his leg. Everett catches a charging Robbie with a superkick. They trade Sliced Bread attempts. Robbie goes for the Turbo Backpack but Connors lands on his feet! Connors goes for a Pele kick but Robbie catches him in the Ron Miller Special! Connors makes the ropes. Amazing sequence!


Robbie goes for the 450 after more leg attacks, lands on his feet to avoid taking the waiting knees of Everett, but eats an up kick instead. Eagles responds with a rapid fire kick combo. Connors returns fire with a front flip DDT, followed by the Heatseeker (piledriver in the ropes) for a convincing near fall. Connors sets up for a superplex but Robbie kicks his legs out, then hits the 450 Splash! Everett reverses the Ron Miller Special into an inside cradle for another great near fall. Robbie hits the Turbo Backpack, followed by another Ron Miller Special, and that's all she wrote!


Winner: Robbie Eagles (at 15:54)


Star Rating: ****1/4. I enjoyed this more on a second watch, particularly with the soundtrack provided by Rose & Gale. They filled in the story gaps in a match that was otherwise announced cold. They sold Robbie's desire to gun for the PWA Championship, and how that focus could actually cost him against a talent like Everett Connors. Connors showed great heart, and really sold the leg pain like a champ... all in all, another fantastic Robbie Eagles match at Liberty Hall, and Everett's stock rises as well. I'm liking him more and more every time I see him.


Intermission. 30 minutes long. I'm sure it's normally around 15, strange. Anyway, this gave me the time to have a good chat with my mate Jay Sorbet, as well as getting to see the lovely Hanna & Kimi. An absolute win all around! No intermission match on FITE either, just ads plastered over a live shot of the venue with a countdown that read "WERE ON AN INTERMISSION". You guys forgot the apostrophe in "WE'RE"!

Match 6: Backman (w/ Jack Pain & Gym Bro Jessie) vs. Ben Braxton


Braxton goes for an early shoulder block to no avail, but is knocked for a loop when the 130kg Backman does the same. Backman goes for a suplex but Braxton lands on his feet. Bit of a power vs. speed battle, although as Rose and Gale point out, Braxton isn't exactly small in his own right.


Braxton avoids a charging Backman with an up and over and hits a Superman punch. A couple of dropkicks manage to send Backman to the outside. Braxton pulled off an awesome move where it looked like he was going to do a suicide dive, but landed on the apron and took Backpain out with a moonsault in one fluid motion! Unreal athleticism. Soon after, Braxton avoids a charging Backman again and he smacks the ring post.


Back in the ring, Gym Bro grabs the leg of Braxton, allowing Backman to hit a snake eyes. Then Backman hits a dropkick for a near fall. Nice hops from the big man. A flapjack by Backman gets another 2. Huge clothesline that turns Braxton inside out... gets a 2.99. Backman continues to wear Braxton down with some impressive throws. Eventually Braxton blocks some right hands and answers with strikes of his own, followed by a huge overhead belly to belly... and a nip up! A spinebuster, a spinning suplex and the Lionsault... only gets Braxton 2.


Braxton goes for a Superman punch again, but Backman blocks it and hits the SBW! It sends Braxton out of the ring and Backman has to retrieve him, and all the time that takes meant he only gets 2. Braxton comes back with a superkick, a Claymore, and finally the spinning flatliner to end it!


Winner: Ben Braxton (at 11:24)


Star Rating: ***1/4. An interesting clash of styles, with Backman being quite the physical threat. As Gale notes, we don't often see Backman as a singles competitor, which cut out a large sense of mystery on who was going to win- the tag team wrestler, or the most recent no. 1 contender? Still a lot of fun to see them trade feats of strength, and the win makes Braxton look strong for future bigger matches. As for Backman, I'm definitely not opposed to seeing him take a run in the singles ranks, but I think there's more legs in Backpain as a team yet.

Match 7: ASCA Tag Team Championship- Jessica Troy & Charli Evans vs. The Velocities (Jude London & Paris De Silva) (c)


Jess & Charli come out to a mash-up theme, making Jess' light, breezy them a hell of a lot darker, and matching gear. Love to see it. We get some trading of holds as Paris and Jessica take turns wrenching the arms, and the Velocities are the first team to fly around the ring with tandem offense. I believe we'll see that on both sides before this is all said and done.


Jude gets a little aggressive with a European uppercut on Chevs- fitting as these are European tag titles on the line. Jess tags herself in and hits a neckbreaker on Jude right onto the knees of Charli. That looked brutal! Velocities fire back with a drop toe hold/low dropkick combo on Troy. Lots of chemistry all around in this tag match.


The Velocities isolate and beat down Jess for a while, then she kicks her way free and drops them both with a double cross body! Hot tag to Evans! She launches them both with a double German suplex! Violence Artist, indeed! Bridging fisherman suplex on Paris gets a near fall. Velocities come back with a double superkick and a high/low but Troy blind tags in and lands a Meteora! She attacks the arm of Jude, and we're seeing an increased vicious streak in the Arm Collector as of late. Brainbuster gets a great near fall.


Troy looks for the Fujiwara armbar but Paris counters into a single leg crab. Charli comes in to break it up with a boot to the face, but De Silva doesn't let go! London in and we gets dueling submissions as Paris and Charli exchange slaps while still applying the holds! Amazing. For a moment, Charli and Paris are in the ring fighting alone, but Jude and Jess come flying in with vicious looking dropkicks. A physical war here. Jude avoids a Meteora from Troy, so she takes him down with a Canadian Jess-Troyer instead! Brilliant. Charli levels Paris with a clothesline. These two great teams are giving us everything they have!


They slowly get up. Charli and Jess puts the boots to Paris, then Troy scores with a tornado DDT for a near fall. A sort of Glam Slam/Meteora combo gets another 2 count. Gory Bomb into the Fujiwara armbar... and Jude breaks it up with a springboard stomp. Rapid fire tandem moves by the Velocities, punctuated by a Jude top rope stomp... and Jess somehow kicks out!


Paris goes for the Shooting Star Press, but Jess moves and applies the Fujiwara armbar! Jude locks Charli in the Koji Clutch! This is madness! All of a sudden, Will Kiedis runs down and puts the boots to Jessica Troy. This match is over, but not the way anyone would like!


Winner: No Contest (at 19:30)


Star Rating: ****1/4. Lack of a finish aside, I loved this match. Bell to bell, my favourite thing on the show. All 4 wrestlers are among my favourites in the company, and they showed exactly why here with a display of unrivalled innovation and aggression. And Will Kiedis is an absolute bastard for ruining what was damn near a classic. I questioned why Jessica had so much animosity toward Kiedis at the last show... but nah, I get it. Kill him, Jess!


A video package plays hyping our main event between Fudge & South.

Main Event: Ricky South vs. Big Fudge


This crowd is completely pro-Fudge. Fudge immediately goes for the chokeslam and Ricky immediately drops him with a forearm. Will we get a Hurricane/Rock-esque upset here? Scoop slam by the champ with absolute ease. Quick schoolboy by Fudge, but he's not a Prefect so it only gets a 1. Ricky goes for a suplex but Fudge turns it into a Stunner. Could this be an opportunity for Fudge? Headscissors into the corner by Fudge. Sugar Rush by Fudge. A short-arm clothesline... which has zero effect.


Ricky gains wrist control and drops Fudge with chops. He hits the Flowsion and gets a 2 count. He goes for the piledriver... but Fudge spins out and hits the chokeslam! 1... 2... no! A seatbelt pin... and it gets 2.99! Fudge hits the Butt Punch... but South apparently has buns of steel. Ricky drops Fudge with a lariat, and it's Fudge's turn to kick out. South hits the Flamingo Driver... and the kick out is later, a little more laboured... but it's there. The dream is alive.


Another lariat.. and Fudge kicks out at 1! He fires up and so does the crowd at Liberty Hall! A frustrated South stomps him down to the mat. Piledriver. 1...2... 3.


Winner: Ricky South (at 5:50)


Star Rating: ***. We can't always have happy endings. A couple of moments of hope, but no Cinderella story here. Domination by the champ.


Post-match, Fudge slowly gets to his feet. Ricky raises the title in Fudge's face. Fudge says, "Show me some fucking respect. Respect me!" He offers his hand to shake. Ricky puts a hand on his shoulder... and then rips his mask off! The crowd gasps in shock. The identity of Big Fudge has been revealed in the ultimate show of disrespect. Chants of "you sick fuck" ring through Liberty Hall.


Ricky drops the mask on the mat and leaves. Fudge stares down at his mask as we fade to black.


Wow. What an emotional gut punch. Shazza's segment earlier, also a gut punch, but it was out of nowhere. This had all the build, all the stakes, the main event of the show... and then to end in such a crushing way. We thought we were either going to see the unlikely challenger rise to the top and claim his championship match, or put on the fight of his life in trying to do so. Instead, Fudge got pretty much steamrolled in the actual match... which interestingly felt like the crowd wasn't biting on as hard, but man, did we all get in our feels about the post-match! Big Fudge is one of the most loved characters in PWA history, and to end on that cliffhanger of sorts... what happens now? You can't just put the mask back on like nothing happened... does the character change? Evolve? Is Big Fudge done with wrestling? (God, I hope not). These are all things we need answers to.


Overall Thoughts


Pro wrestling is all about emotional investment. If it was just about the moves and the matches, MMA would have us covered most of the way. We care about these characters. They make us cheer, boo, laugh... and sometimes cry. Big Fudge, for all the laughs he's given us over the years, may have made some grown adults shed a tear or two on this night.


A memorable night of wrestling. The undercard and other featured matches on the card gave us a variety of characters and wrestling styles. Highlights include Robbie vs. Everett and Velocities vs. Charli/Jess, but it's all worth your time, especially the Shazza and Fudge stuff if you feel like going on an emotional rollercoaster. Although it didn't always give us solid conclusions, it's provided the cliffhangers and questions, reasons to come back for the next show. See you on May 20 for the Rumble!


Overall Score: 8.5/10


Until next time, take care.









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Image of Mick Robson, founder of The Arena Media

Mick Robson is a freelance writer from Australia. A lifelong fan of pro wrestling and MMA, he endeavours to bring that passion through his coverage in news, reviews and opinion pieces.

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