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Renegades of Wrestling- We Are Renegades 2024 Review (25/01/2024)




By Mick Robson


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Back with another Aussie wrestling review! We've got a massive week in Australian pro wrestling coming next week, with WWE bringing the Elimination Chamber PLE to Perth, and a lot of Aussie talent working around that massive week, including most notably EPW's Super Show, but before we get to that- Renegades of Wrestling were kind enough to drop their latest event for free on YouTube, so let's see what the fuss is about!


I was fortunate enough to attend the first Renegades show in 2022, also titled We Are Renegades. Headlined by JONAH (now back in WWE as Bronson Reed) against Caveman Ugg, ROW has been a more than welcome addition to the Aussie wrestling scene. Review of that show here: We Are Renegades 2022. In addition, I also saw part of a great tour as Renegades invaded the Knotfest music festival last year- a great time and also perhaps my most positively received and widely shared review to date, so very grateful for that: Knotfest Sydney Review. And most recently, I saw Renegades when they did a little cross-promotion with GCW in an excellent event at Sydney's Roundhouse: GCW vs. ROW Sydney Review.


All that in the above little rundown just to say- I think very highly of the Renegades product from what I've seen of it. This show went down live in Melbourne on Australia Day Eve, and I couldn't really spare the funds on a Melbourne trip right after spending obscene amounts on the upcoming week in Perth. But I've heard very positive comments from friends who did attend, so I'm looking forward to this one here.


Let's do this!


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The intro video looks at the top matches on the show, along with some highlights of past shows, cool music, and little snippets of promos from various wrestlers. Of note, Aysha calls herself the face of Renegades- and look, fair, she's that good!


Announcer Julian James welcomes us to the Northcote Theatre- a change from the originally scheduled Melbourne Pavillion- which looks very professional all around.


Match 1: Tyson Reed (w/ Chloe) vs. Levi Nixon vs. Edward Dusk vs. JXT


The winner of this Fatal 4 Way gets the #20 spot in tonight's Rumble match. Reed gets in everyone's face, makes out with Chloe, then gets dropkicked damn near out of his boots by Nixon. Nice start. I believe this is my first time seeing Nixon, while I'm fairly familiar with the rest, but he's extremely quick- the smaller man in there, but using it to his advantage.


JXT drops Nixon with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, and it's great to see the Jaystick back at it after a long injury layoff. Dusk comes in but gets dropped with an axe kick. I can dig it. Our resident eshay, Tyson Reed, takes over with some cheap shots. He German Suplexes Nixon into the corner. Nasty landing there! 


Dusk builds some momentum, sending Nixon out of the ring and dropping both Reed and JXT with suplexes. Nixon comes back in with a flashy flurry before JXT drops him with a brutal spinebuster. Bodies start flying around the ring, and Nixon gets another opening. He looks for a moonsault but Dusk makes him crash and burn, before hitting the Wicked End (like a twisting One Winged Angel) for the win!


Winner: Edward Dusk (at 8:56)


Star Rating: ***1/2. In my quest to go beyond NSW when looking at the Aussie wrestling scene, I've taken notice of Edward Dusk. He really stood out in his main event Sacrament match with Adam Brooks at MCW End Game, and while his role was much different here, he still made the most of it. Great work from everyone involved. Love a snappy all-action multi-man opener, sets the energy level high!


Promo with Jarvis and Murdoch, who mockingly applaud the Velocities. They're the Ambush, they've already got Aysha in their ranks as women's champion, and all they want now is the gold that the Velocities hold. Jarvis is suitably obnoxious, and in fact does this whole promo solo, while Murdoch just kinda poses and grunts.


Julian James tries to get the crowd to sing happy birthday to our beloved referee Edwin, but the music of the Ambush interrupts. Those bastards! I hope Edwin fast-counts them.


Match 2: Renegades Tag Team Championship- The Ambush (Murdoch & Jarvis) vs. The Velocities (Jude London & Paris De Silva) (c)


The crowd gets on Murdoch's case, chanting 'Meatball" at him. Paris leads the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday" to Edwin. Velocities do well in the early going with their speed and technique, but an Ambush double team stops them in their tracks, as Jarvis hits a double stomp and Murdoch comes in with a game-changing senton! They isolate Jude and beat him down for a while.


Finally, a shit-talking Jarvis cops an enziguri and the hot tag is made to Paris! Paris plants Jarvis with a dropkick then hits a deadlift German for an impressive near fall. Paris nails a satellite DDT, but Jarvis bounces into his own corner and Murdoch tags in, again being a difference maker with his running senton. Paris gets to Jude and the pace quickens again. Velocities hit Total Elimination on Jarvis but Murdoch breaks up the pin. 


Ambush take over battering the Velocities in opposite corners. They hit a backbreaker/dropkick combo for a near fall. Strike exchange between Jarvis and Jude. Jude locks in a submission but Jarvis rakes the eyes to escape. Jude gets back on top after a Paris assist and hits the top rope double stomp. It looks like it's over... but Murdoch pulls the ref out of the ring. Jarvis looks to use the title belt as a weapon but Jude stops him. He looks to smash Jarvis with the belt himself- but Jarvis hits a well-timed low blow. Paris comes in but takes the belt to the head. Spin kick by Jarvis to Jude... and we have new champions!


Winners: The Ambush (at 17:00)


Star Rating: ****. So well done! Velocities were the plucky champions, with all the speed and technique. Jarvis was the ultimate antagonist, willing to do anything to get the job done. And Murdoch was a wrecking ball, making his presence felt at the right moments. Top tier tag wrestling. I also appreciated that this wasn't lucha tag rules- that style is a lot of fun to watch, but is a pain to cover when I take a play-by-play approach to writing. This was excellent.


We go to a promo with Lochy Hendricks. He tries to cut a promo but stumbles over his words. Someone behind the camera says, "maybe that's why he's not a champion". Cut to Lochy talking with Krackerjak where he asks the question. Krackerjak grabs him by the throat and yells "I TOLD YOU, YOU'RE TOO SMALL! LIFT SOME F**KING WEIGHTS, IT'S A BIG MAN'S SPORT!" His delivery of this was so intense, yet somehow still hilarious. Cuts to various other people giving Lochy reasons why he's not champion. Poor guy. 


It's time for our first ever Renegades Rumble! 20 men, the winner gets a title shot whenever they want. So, like Money In The Bank? Each entrant can also bring a weapon with them. That was the draw for me. EWA did a Hardcore Rumble last year and it was a ton of fun.


Match 3: The Renegades Rumble


Entrant #1 is James Bolton. He's got a Kendo Stick. Entrant #2 is Fun Time Phil, who has a packet of chips? Bolton grabs the mic and gives him shit about it. Phil says, "that's not my weapon- that is". He points to the stage and Gore explodes out of a box! The packet of chips has a crack pipe in it, which Gore inhales before eliminating Bolton. Okay, I'm not covering every moment of this Rumble, but that starting sequence is insanity! 


Entrant #3 is Lochy. We get the smallest bit of seriousness until #4, Rickie Gilmore, who brings a cardboard cutout of his partner Dave to hit a Wassup on Lochy. Wow. Lochy gets the upper hand after a moment, eliminates everyone, then declares his weapon of choice to be- a microphone. Borrowing from the CM Punk playbook.


The Musketeer debuts at #5 and takes the fight to Lochy. GINO GAMBINO at #6! He's in amazing shape, dropped a ton of weight! He piledrives Lochy and throws him out. What a moment! He goes backstage to continue to batter Lochy.


The Dominion of Violence, led by Jake Andrewartha are the next 4 entrants at once, with the rest of the Dominion serving as Andrewartha's "weapon". They take care of business until Cousin Ali (#13) barrels them out of the Rumble. Krackerjak in next to cause some chaos with a showbag filled with staple guns and pictures of cocks. Wrestling! 


Our final 4 is JXT, Levi Nixon, Tarlee and Edward Dusk. Dusk dumps out Tarlee while JXT hangs on. Dusk slingshots him to the outside moments later though. Dusk clotheslines the hell out of Nixon. After a bit of a beatdown, Nixon rallies with a Canadian Destroyer! They fight to the apron, and Nixon superkicks Dusk out! 


Winner: Levi Nixon (at approx 45:00)


Star Rating: ***3/4. I didn't know how I felt about the comedy in this match for a lot of it. Definitely a lot of funny, entertaining stuff, but at times it felt like it undercut the high stakes at play here. Thankfully, that was fixed with an excellent final 2 between Dusk and Nixon, where it was dead serious, epic and dramatic. In the end, all the bases were covered for a unique, fun and meaningful Rumble. 


After the intermission-thankfully cut out on YouTube, it's time for the heavyweight championship match!


Match 4: Renegades Heavyweight Championship- Jake Taylor vs. Robbie Thorpe vs. Caveman Ugg (c)


Three absolute monsters here. Specimens of human beings. They trade hard strikes and shoulder blocks. Ugg launches Taylor into the skies with a monkey flip. The fight spills to the outside and they crash into the steel guard rail. Back in the ring, Thorpe hits a Curb Stomp but Ugg kicks out with authority!


Thorpe and Ugg trade chops. Quite literally, big meaty men slapping meat! Great technique from Thorpe as well as he turns a Tour of the Caves into a Fujiwara armbar. Taylor gets back involved and all three throw strikes to the point of exhaustion. We get the most simple but accurate call on commentary- "they are beating the shit out of each other."


Jake Taylor comes off the top with a cross body, wiping out the other two. Again, let me stress, these are not small men! They slowly get back up and Ugg gets the better of the strike throwing- until Taylor absolutely blasts him with a single leg dropkick! Thorpe drops Taylor with a brainbuster and goes for the cover- but Ugg lifts him out of it into the Tour of the Caves!  Taylor goes for a chokeslam but Ugg headbutts out of it and hits the Fire Thunder Driver for the win!


Winner: Caveman Ugg (at 12:00)


Star Rating: ****. What a battle. What a war. Just three huge dudes belting each other about as hard as they could for our entertainment. Lots of toughness shown by the welts on their bodies, some great athleticism too, and amazing feats of strength at different points. That was modern heavyweight wrestling at its blistering best!


Match 5: Renegades Women's Championship- Aysha (c) vs. Miki Fortune


It speaks to the kind of star Aysha has become, that she gets a higher billing than Caveman Ugg on this show. Commentary cover her big wins over the past year or so- Shazza McKenzie, Lil Marz, Maki Itoh. I'm a huge fan of Aysha's work- especially her character stuff. It's my first time seeing Miki Fortune at all, so curious what she brings to the table. Apparently she's a former champion from Riot City Wrestling in Adelaide, which also produced perhaps the biggest star in Australian wrestling today- WWE Women's World Champion, Rhea Ripley.


They start technical, trading side headlocks, although it wouldn't surprise me at all to see Aysha take a shortcut or two- whatever it takes to get ahead. Miki gets a headlock takeover and gives a wet willy- highly technical indeed! 


They fight at ringside and MIki dishes out a few chops. Back in the ring, Aysha rakes the eyes and rams Miki's head into the turnbuckle. There we go. Miki fires back with a gutbuster. STO gets a near fall for the challenger. Aysha gets back on top, and whenever that happens in this match, she's constantly talking trash, with a look of disdain on her face, living up to her self-professed moniker of being a First Class Bitch. She embraces the role with gusto.


Miki comes back with a couple of back suplexes that completely fold Aysha up! Sit down powerbomb gets Miki a near fall. Top rope cross body for another long two count, and the champ is reeling. She comes back with a neckbreaker/backstabber combo though, and lets out a primal scream when Miki is able to kick out. Miki comes back and goes for her top rope double stomp, but Aysha shoves the ref into the ropes. Miki's neck whiplashes, and the immediate follow up with the First Class DDT gets the 3.


Winner: Aysha (at 9:45)


Star Rating: ***1/2. Great work on both sides. An excellent first impression of Miki Fortune. Aysha is such a total package- character, promo, look, ring work- in such a short space of time, she's someone I can easily see making a huge splash internationally given the chance.


Main Event: Emman Azman vs. Robbie Eagles


A big time grudge match here, featuring one of the best young guns in Emman Azman, against perhaps the very best Australia has to offer in Robbie Eagles. These two teamed on the Renegades debut show as the Golden Eagles, and it all comes to a head now. Emman's shown a bit of a darker side as of late, but he's gonna need to be on his A game against the Sniper of the Skies.


Just as we saw in the co-main, the Ambush support Emman on the stage before letting the Golden Tiger walk in to this epic match solo. They trade boots right out of the gate, then forearms, then slaps! High intensity level here. Emman slows it down with a thumb to the eye. Despite his passionate pre-match words, does he not believe he can beat Robbie Eagles with pure skill?


Robbie sends Emman to the outside with a spinning kick then wipes him down with a flip dive, getting a rise out of the crowd. Back in the ring, Robbie starts to target the leg, but Emman smartly scrambles to the ropes. The familarity, along with the skills, will be a factor here. After some back and forth strikes, Emman sends Robbie to the outside with a triangle dropkick, then hits a suicide dive into a DDT! Unreal. 


They get back to the ring and Emman keeps the pressure on. The crowd starts to get behind Robbie, who starts to absorb Emman's kicks and fight back. He blocks a tornado DDT attempt and hits what I would describe as a running shinbuster? The surgical attack on Emman's legs is underway from Eagles. Any time Emman looks to find an opening, Robbie cuts him off by going to the legs. Finally, Emman scores with the tornado DDT, and applies Robbie's own Ron Miller Special! Insult to injury! Robbie makes the ropes.


Emman and Robbie go back and forth, with Emman's leg buckling at key points to stop him from building too much sustained offense, and Robbie, the veteran, attacks the leg wherever possible. Emman's getting his share of shots in, and because of that, after Robbie hits his patented Turbo Backpack, he's unable to immediately follow up. After a brief strike exchange, Robbie hits the springboard dropkick to the knee, followed by the Ron Miller Special again! He sees Emman getting towards the ropes, so he lets the hold go, hits a Sliced Bread- which repositions Emman's body- and locks on the Ron Miller once again! Brilliant ring awareness by Eagles! After a hell of a struggle, Emman makes the ropes.


Robbie goes for the 450, but Emman pulls referee Edwin into it! With the ref down, the Ambush make their presence known. The Velocities run in to fend the Ambush off. Aysha runs to ringside and passes Emman her title belt to use as a weapon. Emman clocks Robbie with it,  then hits a frog splash. The ref is revived, but Robbie kicks out at 2! Emman sets up for his KL Gold elbow, but Robbie counters with a kick combo. Emman comes back with a spin kick, and after both men spend some time down, Emman hits a Michinoku Driver. Another attempt at KL Gold- and Robbie clotheslines his head off! Another quick exchange, and Emman explodes into KL Gold! He collapses into the cover... and gets the biggest win of his career.


Winner: Emman Azman (at 26:00)


Star Rating: *****. That was outstanding. An absolute classic at Renegades. Robbie Eagles is always excellent, but he seemed to elevate his game even more opposite his protege, who stepped up immensely in this spot. There's always a debate on whether title matches or big grudge matches should main event a show- this was the right call. As great as a lot of this show was, I don't think any of it could have followed that. The last time I was that locked into a match was probably Aussie Open vs. Velocities. And while Meltzer didn't give that the full 5, I did, and I gotta do the same here.


Overall Thoughts


As I said at the outset, I really enjoy the Renegades product, and it seemed to elevate even more here. The Renegades Rumble was really fun, a very good first Rumble by the promotion. All the championship matches delivered at a high level. And that main event... I haven't seen a match anything like that in a couple of years at least. I have nothing to criticise, to nitpick- they nailed it. I just about never give 10/10 for a show, because that means it's the total utopia of wrestling that could never been topped... but this is a very high 9. Highly recommend watching, and that main event... it's a must.


Overall Score: 9/10

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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