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Rock and Roll Wrestling Friday Night Fights 1 Review (22/03/2024)

By Mick Robson

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Back on the Aussie wrestling scene with a review! Apologies for the relative quietness lately. My health hasn't been too great. Between the flare ups in pain and fatigue that my Cerebral Palsy has had the last couple of months, plus getting "normal sick" with a cold this week, it hasn't been a great time for a while. Thank you for your patience and sticking around.

Rock and Roll Wrestling is my local promotion, and I was all set to go until I was struck down with the sickness (ooh wah ah ah) on Thursday. Thankfully, Ross The Cameraman set up a live stream, enabling me to watch the show from home while under the weather, and allowing me to bring you this review. They put on a great show, and I'm occasionally involved with them doing a little training and ring crew. They're all excellent people, so the shows are close to my heart, especially these smaller Academy shows.

I really like the "Friday Night Fights" branding they've used here. A simple, but effective approach, and labelling it "Friday Night Fights 1" suggests that there will be future Academy shows under this umbrella. We've got the main stars of Rock and Roll in action, along with a couple of debuts, so a lot to look forward to. We've also got some high stakes in the main event, as Lee Morrow and Morgan Rose clash. The winner gets #30 in the upcoming Rumble, the loser enters at #1.

Let's do this!


New ring announcer! I'm not familiar with him, so apologies for the lack of a name. The sound quality is not great on this stream, so it's hard to clearly make out what's been said, but he seems to have great energy and presents well, so good on him.

Match 1: The Bachelor vs. Andrew Vega

Vega is one of our debuting wrestlers on the show tonight, and he's not welcomed kindly. Some "who are you" chants can be heard. The Wollongong faithful not loving the Fale Dojo graduate! They are, however, loving the Bachelor. Especially Dicko's mum.

Vega aggressively rushes at Bachelor to start the contest. Bachelor comes back with a clothesline and the fight spills to ringside. Back in the ring, Bach hits Vega with Old School. An impressive display of power follows as Bach hits a stalling vertical suplex for a near fall.

Vega takes control with an eye rake, then a big double leg takedown. A beat down ensues, with the aggression continuing to be on display from Vega. Lots of working the back with hard whips into the turnbuckles. Vega looks for an exploder suplex, but Bach fights out of it and makes his comeback. Sidewalk slam gets a long 2 count. A sunset flip leads to a series of rapid fire near falls, then Bachelor busts out the Pedigree from out of nowhere for the win!

Winner: The Bachelor (at 7:45)

Star Rating: ***1/4. Fun opening match. The popularity of Bachelor went a long way, as there was support and sympathy from the crowd as Vega was beating him down. Vega was confident in his debut and got under the skin of the crowd well. I liked the counters and the back and forth nature through parts of the match, especially the finish. Nice way to set the tone for the show with an engaged crowd.

Bachelor's music didn't play, a couple of guys in the crowd tried to sing George Michael's Careless Whisper, but it didn't carry. Look, as much as I love karaoke, I don't know the lyrics either.

Match 2: Michael Spencer vs. Dicko

Dicko is fired up, but Spencer backs off, wanting to set his own pace here. Eventually, Dicko gets a hold of Spencer and hits a couple of arm drags, followed by a scoop powerslam. A running elbow drop, ala Stone Cold, is next. Oh hell yeah!

Dicko looks for his finisher- I believe he calls it the DKO?- but Spencer scrambles to the ropes and hits a hangman. Follow up neckbreaker gets a 2 count for Spencer. Spencer lays the boots in to maintain the advantage. Dicko fights his way out of a chinlock and scores with a nice sunset flip for a 2 count, but Spencer pops up and hits another neckbreaker to a seated Dicko. 2 count.

Dicko ducks under another Spencer attack and comes back with a Spear! Running cross body follows for a 2 count. Powerslam gets a close near fall. Dicko looks for the spinebuster but it appears Spencer counters with a DDT, then hits a Buckshot Lariat- out of the corner rather than the middle of the ropes- for the win!

Winner: Michael Spencer (at 7:55)

Star Rating: ***. More good action. Dicko is very fun on offense with all that Big Dicko Energy, although things did slow down a bit in the middle with the crowd not being as fired up waiting for the comeback. Always a treat to see Spencer, and I hope we get him on more Rock N Roll shows in more prominent rivalries rather than one-off spots here and there.

Match 3: 6 Man Tag- Moses, Eric Fisher & Maxx Damage vs. Ross The Cameraman, Lachy The Tradie, and Jay Sorbet

Big time support for The Cameraman, who is crazy over with the RNR crowd! The heels bail to ringside as the crowd roars during his entrance.

Ross starts the match for his team, and it initially looks like Fisher on the other team, but RNR Champion Moses tags himself in. Moses pretends to offer a handshake and then swats at Ross with a slap. He then scurries to his corner and Maxx tags in. Really selling the threat of the Cameraman without having to actually do a lot, nicely done.

Lachy tags in and brings the sledge down off the middle rope as Ross wrenches the arm. Jay tags in and hits a back elbow. Tag back to Tradie, who hits a ripcord Bossman Slam for a good near fall. Then Sorbet shares his signature scoop slam as Tradie hits the first, Cameraman hits the second, and Sorbet comes in for the third one, punctuated with the elbow drop for a 2 count. Poor Maxx Damage is copping, well, max damage here!

Sorbet looks for the 450 Splash but Moses shoves him off the top rope. The champ tags in and takes control of the match. Fisher tags in to continue the punishment while taunting the opponents on the apron. Maxx tags in but misses an elbow drop, allowing Sorbet to tag Tradie! Tradie hits an Air Raid Crash but a distraction from Moses and Fisher prevents him from following up, giving Maxx an opportunity to hit an Angle Slam for a 2 count.

The heels take turns beating down Tradie, but things break down after Fisher accidentally blasts Moses with a Claymore! Hot tag is made to the Cameraman for a big pop, who comes in guns blazing! Running bulldog, followed by the "camera click" motion to rub salt in the wound on Damage. Near fall. Things break down as the illegal men get involved to fight each other. The heels bail to the outside- and then Moses & Fisher throw Damage to the wolves, walking off on the match. Stunner by Lachy, Samoan Drop by Ross, Lionsault by Jay- it's all over!

Winners: Ross The Cameraman, Lachy The Tradie, & Jay Sorbet (at 11:20)

Star Rating: ***1/2. This was a lot of fun, and seemed set up to make The Cameraman a big deal (like he wasn't already, based on the crowd's reaction before the match). More action, and less down time overall given the match format. It's hard to make everyone shine in a six-man, and I'm not sure everyone did here, but they got their shit in for the finish, and Ross looks like a star, so job well done. Also will be interesting to see the fallout with Maxx Damage and his partners abandoning him in the moment of need.

Intermission. Time to fast forward on YouTube! I didn't have that luxury live, but I do on the second watch to write this review!

Match 4: Otis Invitational- Otis vs. Killa Kye

Brief pre-match promo, where Otis promises to end Kye's career before it starts. Kye comes out to an absolutely deafening response from the crowd! It seems he has a lot of family and friends here for this official debut. I mentioned earlier the sound quality not being great, well the volume and distortion here almost blew out my ear drums!

Kye is fired up and plays to the crowd. Then, in a nice callback to his handicap match last year, where it was the RNR Academy vs. Otis, he blocks the big boot that previously took his head off, and goes on the attack. A massive dropkick has Otis sprawling!

Otis offers a handshake after taking a breather, but of course, it's a trap. Kye drops Otis with a clothesline after escaping the GTS. Flying headscissors and a second rope sledge gets a near fall. Kye looks for his own GTS, but Otis escapes by raking the eyes. Repeated knees to the gut stop Kye's momentum. Hammerlock lariat gets a near fall.

Chops are on the menu as Otis blasts Kye in the corner. Kye turns the tables briefly, but soon after cops that big boot. Near fall. Backbreaker by Otis gets another 2 count. Otis is getting frustrated at the lack of a 3 count. Kye gets a couple of flash pins- the inside cradle and crucifix pin- to almost end this one! A huge clothesline puts the rookie down again. Otis looks for the cannonball, but misses big time!

It's comeback time for Kye. Back elbow. Dropkick. Flapjack. 2 count. Kye goes up top but Otis kicks the ref into the ropes. Kye fights out of a superplex, goes for a Swanton, but misses! Otis hits the GTS- and retains the Otis Invitational Cup!

Winner: Otis (at 9:40)

Star Rating: ***1/2. Damn! What a debut for Killa Kye! I'm a big believer that crowd support adds so much to the atmosphere and can enhance a match a lot. There was definitely a lot of that here, but also the athleticism and intensity was on point here from both guys. Kye was fired up for sure and performed like it every step of the way, offense, defence etc. As for Otis- he responded to a crowd taunt saying "I'm the best in the world". That remains to be seen, but I do believe he's one of Australia's best kept secrets. Absolutely excellent stuff, loved this.

Post-match, Otis comes back with a trash can lid to attack Kye. The ref steps between them and Otis shoves him- which somehow KOs him?- and Kye defends himself and referee Ben. He hits a dropkick and then smacks him with the lid to stand tall. Hunter Hayes- who is also filming the show- grabs the mic and asks the crowd to give it up for Kye. The crowd chant "Killa Kye". I'm not entirely sure what's said after that- sound quality- but I think Kye got put in the Rumble? Kye gets the mic and starts a "Rock N Roll" chant. More excellence!

Main Event: Winner Gets #30, Loser Gets #1 in the Rumble- Morgan Rose vs. Lee Morrow

Still trying to get used to Lee with short hair. He says something to the crowd about Kye's awesome match, then rips his shirt off. We get some shenanigans where someone yells out for referee Ben to take his shirt off. So they do a funny bit where Lee puts on the ref shirt and acts like Ben is the wrestler.

To start the actual match between Rose and Morrow, Lee goes for a test of strength then fakes him out with a "suck it". They briefly lock up and a shoulder block sends Rose out of the ring. Someone in the crowd had a gun that blew bubbles, so Lee grabs it and uses it on Morgan. Alright. Immediate 5 stars!

They trade wristlocks and roll throughs then Lee pokes Morgan in the eye. Classic. Morgan goes for a cross body but is caught with a fall away slam. A clothesline knocks Morgan to the floor again. Lee puts a kid on his shoulder and uses them as a battering ram on Rose. Vintage Lee Morrow!

On the return to the ring, Morgan kicks the middle rope into Lee's balls and takes control of the match. He delivers an awesome running blockbuster. He teases a top rope move but just gets down and stomps Lee instead. Soon after though, he hits a top rope Fameasser for a good near fall. Rose dropkicks Morrow to the outside and follows up with a plancha. They fight on the outside- and it's a little hard to see on here, but I think Lee clotheslined the lighting rig instead of Rose?

Lee makes it back to the ring and starts his comeback. He hits a military press then a big top rope elbow drop for a near fall. Rose fights back and hits a flying knee, followed by a unique running frog splash for a near fall of his own. He locks in a slepper, causing the Australian Hero to fade. Morrow powers up and hits the Widowmaker, but he's fatigued and can't follow up. Then, Eric Fisher makes his way out, distracting the ref... and Moses is in the ring! He smashes Lee with the title belt, giving the win to Morgan Rose!

Winner: Morgan Rose (at 17:32)

Star Rating: ***3/4. On a show packed with great action, the best was still saved for last. Two pros taking us on a journey, from the comedic shenanigans of the opening, to a serious battle that sold the high stakes in play, and an ending that saw our hero robbed... top tier pro wrestling from start to finish.

Post-match, Lee cuts a promo to end the show. "Well, that kinda sucked", he said. Can't make out all of it, but he did say repeatedly that the Rumble would be June 1st, telling everyone to save the date. He's got a tough road ahead at #1!

Overall Thoughts

I feel like these Academy shows overachieve for what they are, and this was another great example. A small show, only 120 or so in attendance, tickets $15 a pop, but damn, they were treated to some quality pro wrestling, and the crowd gave as good as they got by cheering their hearts out for the wrestlers working their asses off to entertain everyone watching. Seeing stars like Ross The Cameraman and Killa Kye emerge to join the RNR mainstays is really cool to see, speaks to how well the Academy is run and how hard everyone works. The end result is more positive additions to the Australian pro wrestling scene.

Do yourself a favour, even if you don't live in the Wollongong area, make the trip for a Rock and Roll Wrestling show. Whether it's an Academy show, a larger event at City Diggers, or even next month's big return to Campbelltown RSL on April 27, you're sure to get a pro wrestling show well worth your time and money.

Overall Score: 8.5/10

Until next time, take care.


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Who's Behind The Blog
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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