Rock N Roll Wrestling- Badstreet Rules Review (26/08/2023)
By Mick Robson
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I almost didn't go to this show. My failing body almost overcame my love of wrestling. I've been struggling for a few weeks with Cerebral Palsy related pain and fatigue, exacerbated by a trip up to Sydney the night before for GCW vs. Renegades at the UNSW Roundhouse. So I recorded a quick little promo for the show as my way to support local wrestling and figured that was it.
But following an afternoon nap and a long, hot shower, I got myself feeling just well enough to get moving. And good thing I did! The main event for this show was a match that Rock N Roll Wrestling have not held in 6 years- a Badstreet Rules match! Basically, an Extreme Rules/hardcore match, but it's got Hunter PS Hayes in it. Badstreet Baby!
Hunter is continuing his highly personal feud with his student and current Rock N Roll Champion, Moses. The former Captain Keato has shown a dark side- and an even darker mo- in 2023, but it has served him well as he's climbed to the top of the Rock N Roll mountain. Last show, Moses ran from an enraged Hayes, but there's no running when it's Badstreet Rules!
Elsewhere on the card, the fledgling RNR women's division continues to grow, as a debuting Kingsley faces the popular Gym Bro Jessie. We have a battle royal dedicated to Kyle Eade, a hoss fight between Lee Morrow and Robbie Zucco, and last but not least, the Otis Invitational.
Let's do this!
Got in late, because, like I said, my body hates me at the moment. Got in about halfway through the first match, which was the Otis Invitational!
Match 1: Otis Invitational- Otis vs. The Tuckman
I came in to see Tuckman drinking from the Invitational Cup, enraging the Grub, Otis. Tuckman shows off some great athleticism with a dropkick followed by a kip up. There's a TON of heat on Otis as usual, but Tuckman is winning the people over in his own right with a "OOH THE TUCKMAN" call. Tuckman goes for the Rock Bottom, it's blocked. Otis goes for the GTS, Tuckman escapes. Tuckman looks to take control with a waistlock but Otis hits a low blow- undetected by the ref- followed by a roll-up and grabbing the ropes for the win.
Good action from what I saw, will have to wait for it to be uploaded to the Rock N Roll YouTube channel. Had the crowd involved though and both guys are extremely talented- Tuckman won PWA Rookie of the Year last year and Otis has been one of the best kept secrets in Aussie wrestling for a few years. The Otis Invitational is shaping up to be something of a secondary title in RNR in the absence of the old Elite Championship, and Otis is the perfect person to anchor that around. An absolute workhorse!
Ring announcer Lili Edea asks the crowd what they thought of the Otis Invitational (mostly boos) before Jack Harlow's "First Class" hits to announce the arrival of the champ, Moses. He's dressed in a nice little suit- obviously not prepared to wrestle yet. After some fans call him "Captain Keato", he demands that Lili reintroduce him as Moses. She does so with the appropriate mix of professionalism, intimidation, and the expression of "this guy's a bit of a dick, hey".
Moses shits on the crowd for a bit, then says he's not putting the belt on the line against Hayes in the main event. He stokes the personal fires again, saying that unfortunately, Hunter's wife and kids aren't here, but Hunter's mum is. Moses locks eyes with Mrs. Hayes and promises to break her son. He leaves to more boos than he arrived to. Job done.
Match 2: Fundraiser Battle Royal- Morgan Rose vs. Jay Sorbet vs. Dicko vs. Lachie The Tradie vs. Parker Tomas vs. The Bachelor vs. Shelston vs. Scott Green
This is one time where "card subject to change" really worked out well. Originally, Hydro was scheduled for this match- a mysterious masked wrestler who bears a strong resemblance to a member of the RNR roster. Instead, we had the debut of Shelston, my favourite fiery Zinger mate, and Scott Green, fresh off his triumphant return at Newy Pro the other week. Also, an absolute banger of an entrance theme- The Next Episode by Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg. I rapped the whole thing from the back of the room- children be damned!
Green comes out with two packets of chips and polls the crowd on which he should eat- salt and vinegar or Burger Rings. Burger Rings are over, but Parker Tomas dumps him out before he can chow down. Easy night's work! Morgan Rose had wisely bailed to the outside to avoid a ton of punishment. Lachie has a fun spot where he wipes out everyone with a corkscrew moonsault. Dicko had a nice moment saving himself from elimination and throwing Rose out. The Bachelor stayed out of trouble before running into Sorbet and falling out of the ring. Final two of Sorbet and PT. PT thinks he has it in the bag after landing a leaping kick that stuns the Scooperman, but Sorbet low bridges a charging Tomas to be the last man standing!
Winner: Jay Sorbet
Nice mix of characters, not the most exciting battle royal that's ever gone down, but I like that RNR continues to add new faces. I think if we keep adding roster members, a 6th match on RNR cards wouldn't be the worst idea in the world. Outside of the two newcomers, the other 6 in this battle royal are prominent roster members, and they didn't have a lot to do in this one.
After this match, I decide to quickly head to the bar and grab a drink. Except my foot misses a step and I crash HARD into the wooden barricade. I'm not even on the show and I'm taking bumps like a champ! Pretty sore today as I write this, my back's a bit bloody and bruised up.
Match 3: Robbie Zucco vs. Lee Morrow
Lee Morrow put out one of the funniest promos I've seen in a while to hype this match, claiming that Zucco's voice actually sounds like Super Mario. The Original Greaser isn't too happy about that, taking the fight aggressively to the Australian Hero. Morrow slows down Zucco and hits his contractually obligated "attack my opponent using a child as a weapon" spot. My friend Bec would like to be the next to take that spot, even though she's not a child.
Zucco looks for some high risk and misses a top rope elbow drop, allowing Morrow to firmly take control. He hits a Cody Cutter then goes up top himself to nail a cross body... but Zucco rolls through- I couldn't see it but I'm going to assume he grabbed the tights- and got the pin!
Winner: Robbie Zucco
A somewhat surprising outcome with the tag team champion gaining a little singles credibility in the absence of Tristan Slade. Good match, Zucco knows how to work a crowd and so does Morrow. Honestly, I wasn't as locked in on this match as I perhaps should have been, I was hurting a lot from my fall at the time.
Post-match, a few rowdy fans serenade Morrow with the "na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye" song. He tells them to kiss his arse with a laugh and waves to the crowd on his way out. He's winning me over as a face, which is funny because he was such an effective heel in his early RNR days. A great talent overall.
Intermission. I catch up with an old uni mate at the show and we talk about how our careers are going. Gotta love wrestling for always bringing people together!
Match 4: Kingsley vs. Gym Bro Jessie
Jessie looks to have a drink of her pre-workout to start the match but Kingsley attacks her from behind. She hits some sharp kicks, punctuated with some nasally "oh no"s to taunt the crowd. Kingsley looks for her signature Codebreaker, but the Gym Bro continually blocks it with her superior strength. One time in particular sees Kingsley get dropped in perfect position for the Giant Swing, and she gets swung with some serious velocity! Shortly after, Jessie hits the Death Valley Driver for the clear cut victory! Big reaction for that!
Winner: Gym Bro Jessie
An impressive showcase for the Gym Bro. She feels like a shoe-in for RNR Women's Champion when that belt eventually gets brought in. Since coming back to the Diggers, Jessie has mowed through Bel Pierce, Frankie B and Kingsley. Now someone needs to be built up as a viable challenger for a title match. Does one of these ladies go on a tear? Unfortunately, Jessie is the only babyface so far in the women's division. Flame did beat Gym Bro last year, so maybe she could be a challenger, but who does Flame face to build her up for a title shot against Jessie? Does one of the aforementioned ladies turn face, or do they bring someone else in?
Before the main event, a few (probably drunk) guys in the crowd are doing their best LA Knight impression with "YEAH"s. I throw in a couple, because, hey, who doesn't love LA Knight? Lili takes it in her stride by dropping a "Let me talk to ya" before introducing the main event. So good! As I said to her after the show, it makes the show experience so much better by interacting and reacting to some of that stuff instead of just robotically doing the announcements.
Main Event: Badstreet Rules- Hunter PS Hayes vs. Moses
They waste little time throwing hands and brawling around the arena. Hunter knocks Moses onto the table in front of me then throws him into the wall, before the action spills back into the ring. It doesn't take long for the weapons to come out, with chairs, tables and even a kendo stick! The stick splinters quickly as they use it on each other, and a piece even flies way out into the crowd!
Hunter sets up a chair in the corner and winds up taking it to the head. A trash can gets introduced, and Hunter puts it over Moses' head and smacks it with a steel chair! Awesome, violent visual. He sets up Moses in the corner with the trash can and I joke to my friend, "oh, Hunter's going to do a Coast To Coast"- tongue in cheek, because he's not exactly a high flying wrestler. Then he went and pulled it off! Excellent.
Moses fights back, going for a powerbomb out of the corner, but loses his legs and they both fall awkwardly. They recover well though, and there's a little extra venom in the powerbomb by Moses as they work back to it for a nice near fall.
The table gets set up near the corner and it looks like Moses is setting up for a superplex through it, but Hunter pushes him off the top rope straight through it! A leaping DDT from the top rope follows- and it's good for the 3!
Winner: Hunter PS Hayes
As soon as it became non-title, it was clear Hunter was winning without the title needing to change hands. That said, it was still a great main event. Far more physical and violent than I was expecting. Rock N Roll Wrestling has always been family entertainment, but they went about as hardcore as they could have without blood- in fact I would say it was more hardcore than the action at the GCW vs. ROW show in Sydney the night before- review of that show coming next. A really heated battle that gave the people of Wollongong a hell of a show!
Post show, I said hi to a few of the Rock N Roll guys. Tuckman greeted me with a hearty, "ROBBO!" and Scott Green said, "Hey Mick, nice to meet you man!" before I even introduced myself. It's still pretty cool to me that some of these guys and girls know of me before we've actually met- I guess it shows that the writing and content I put out there is getting some reach? I just want to help the Aussie wrestling scene grow, but it's a good feeling for sure.
At this point, Rock N Roll Wrestling is on their game, back at the City Diggers in Wollongong on a regular basis. The matches are top-notch, the presentation has really elevated in the past couple of years, and the atmosphere was just awesome- not quite as packed as it has been in the past, but the 200 or so fans in attendance were invested. More shows like this, and word of mouth spreading, and Rock N Roll will continue to go from strength to strength to end 2023 and going into 2024!
Until next time, keep killing it as always!