PWA Ultimate Team 2- Die Hard Edition
By Adam Pokrajac & Mick Robson
Back with a little treat, the day before my real Australia Day, the massive return of PWA to Liberty Hall (fka as Max Watts). There's only been one show at Liberty Hall since 2020, and that was the epic Aussie Open vs. Velocities classic. I didn't attend the show, as there was a COVID outbreak the week before the show and it was during that time when the pandemic was still a big concern, especially with me having a mum who is high risk. So it's been about 3 years since I've been to PWA's old stomping grounds, and I'm very excited.
Anyways! We're here on this one to look at PWA's last Black Label show at the tail end of 2022, titled Die Hard Is A Christmas Movie (review here). It was a fun show filled with a lot of hijinxs, and I evaluated the show based on not only the matches, but also the build to the show, the storytelling, and the atmosphere of the crowd (which can really make or break a show).
This, however, is PWA Ultimate Team. A bit like the PWI 500, we take a more "in-universe" look at the wrestlers, their accomplishments, their motivations, their growth as they look to climb the PWA ladder. From the brilliant mind of Alcoholic Adam, it's a play off FIFA Ultimate Team. If you'd like to take a look at the first Ultimate Team, and how Adam placed all the PWA wrestlers as a starting point, along with both Adam and myself's picks of the big winners from the monumental LFG show at the Roundhouse, click here.
Without any further ado... let's do this!
Shazza McKenzie & Mick Moretti
Shazza looks to have finally completed her self-appointed mission to end The Nations, causing them to implode with lots of handbags between Bonza & Moretti. Now to talk about the match itself- it was an excellent bout full of a lot of counters as there should with Shazza being part of The Nations for a brief period in her career. As for Moretti, he had his own type of mind games to get Shazza off her game, such as impersonating Shazza by doing her pose. On top of that, he immediately grabbed a chair demanding Shazza to hit him with it because of Shazza's previous encounters with The Nations ending in DQs.
Can’t wait to see what comes for these two competitors! Will this catapult Shazza into title contention? And what will happen to The Nations?
For while we all believe that Ben is going to be a serious player in PWA, for him it was about "once he gets momentum, can he be stopped?" He has as much flair and athleticism as you could want, highlighted in this particular match with several high spots and getting the crowd off their feet on several occasions.
If I were Ricky, I would not take Braxton lightly!
Bonza builds on his stellar performance against Shingo Takagi and his shocking move to the Bullet Club with an even stronger showing at PWA Die Hard. Besting his longtime rival Punchdrunk Istria in the trilogy main event, Bonza seemed to have even more of an edge as a member of Bullet Club than he did as Red Commander in The Nations- which begs the question- is he still in The Nations? In addition to his main event victory, Bonza was a deciding factor in the Moretti vs. Shazza match earlier in the night, "helping" the Rapscallion. Bonza appears to be more dangerous than ever, and perhaps playing some mind games with his frenemy Moretti.
When the six pack challenge was put together shortly before the Die Hard show, I don't know how many people expected Braxton to win. Clearly, he's an incredible athlete, but he's not proven himself at that top level. Someone like Charli Evans may have been a good choice to bet on. A dark horse pick might have been the human highlight reel, Paris De Silva. Or hell, maybe the reigning champ Ricky South would win the whole challenge and be able to name his own next challenger, or take the night off.
Unfortunately for Ricky, Ben Braxton had other ideas. Displaying some of his other-worldly athleticism, but more importantly picking his spot and nailing a spinning flatliner to get the 3 count right in the centre of the ring. Ricky was a second too late to stop it, and the look in The Example's eyes told the story- he's not sure how to handle the unique threat that Braxton poses. A post-match attack will only fuel Braxton's fire, as he gets his first shot at PWA gold tomorrow night at Liberty Hall!
Shazza seemed obsessed with "ending The Nations". She spoke about it at length for months. Importantly, it was never about "beating The Nations". She tried hurting them with weapons, perhaps looking to weaken The Nation's foundations by having them succumb to injury. But it was here, at PWA Die Hard, where Shazza may have accomplished her goal. She uses the steel chair to beat down Moretti, and although Moretti fights back and looks set to claim victory- Jack Bonza storms out and stomps Shazza, causing a DQ. As the Nations argue and seem to be in disarray, Shazza slithers away cackling. Did she achieve her goal of ending The Nations after all?
Thanks for reading along! I'll be back with a review of both PWA Black Label: Stories From Liberty Hall, and WWE Royal Rumble 2023 in the coming week. Adam and I will both be back for the 3rd PWA Ultimate Team not long after!
Until next time, take care.