WrestleWatch- Newy Pro Brawl At City Hall 2022
By Mick Robson
I love pro wrestling. More specifically, in the last few years, I've grown to love Aussie pro wrestling. So, it's damn near a crime that it's taken me this long, but on Friday night, I attended my first Newy Pro show. Newcastle Pro Wrestling began in 2011, and I do have knowledge of some of the roster members due to them also working in PWA. Overall, it seemed to be a bit of a different beast to what Sydney's PWA offers, so I was keen to check it out. I had purchased tickets a couple of times previously, but couldn't actually make the trip for one reason or another.
This trip came about last minute. I checked my e-mails late on Thursday, and one read "Important information about Brawl At City Hall II". I went, "hang on, I didn't buy tickets to this, did I?" Turns out I bought tickets to Rumble In The Jungle last year before the COVID lockdown hit, and that ticket was valid for this show. So I made the long drive from Wollongong to Newcastle.
Tell you what, Newcastle City Hall looks beautiful. Very classy and unique venue. There was a large balcony packed with people, while I was on the floor level, and the atmosphere was crazy, very loud and enthusiastic. My mate Kyle described it as "like ECW", and while we didn't have that level of profanity, we definitely had that level of energy.
Also, fun little side note, I found myself sitting next to Harley Wonderland, a staple of Newy Pro who managed the tag team of the BABES- Carter Deams and Matty Wahlberg (now known as Grayson Waller in WWE/NXT). She's now out of the ring as she's pregnant with her first child, a baby girl! Wishing her all the best, she was lovely.
Onto the show... let's do this!
Match 1: The Velo-Cities (Jude London & Paris De Silva) def. The Blue Nation (Adam Hoffman & Rita Stone) (w/ Albie Anne Troska)
Thoughts: This was a really high energy start to the show! As someone used to PWA, it was jarring seeing the Velo-Cities play heel when I've only ever seen them as uber babyfaces, but they pulled it off well with their sneering mannerisms and body language. Meanwhile, Hoff showed great fire with some big spots as a face, including press slamming Paris De Silva to the outside onto Jude London, and nailing the spinebuster to end all spinebusters in the ring. Ultimately, the Velo-Cities were able to isolate the younger and smaller Rita Stone, and London hit the Excommunicado kick for the win. Excellent! (***1/2)
Match 2: Jack Bonza def. Shayne Sheffield Sinclair
Thoughts: Nice bit of trash-talk by Bonza pre-match, saying that they hadn't gone one-on-one before because Sinclair was "pathetic". Big boys hitting hard here, with some brutal chops being dished out- Bonza even hit some from his knees! Sinclair mounted a comeback, with a frying pan sized chop from the 7 footer. He hit a nasty looking powerbomb that appeared to spike Bonza badly, but he recovered enough to apply his patented ankle lock. Sinclair survived that, but he could not survive a massive Napalm Thunder Driver moments later. High impact stuff, different style and tone than the opener. Gotta love a show that has something for everyone. (***)
Match 3: North Shore Wrestling (Jackson Kelly, Will Kiedis & Lyrebird Luchi) def. The Nations (Jessica Troy, Kingsley & Mick Moretti)
Thoughts: Pre-match, Jess and Kingsley are looking for Mick Moretti, but can't find him, so this starts as a 2 on 3 handicap match. The crowd chant "where's Mick?" and I offered to join, but Kingsley said, "you're not Mick!" But I am though! One of the better moments of the night for me.
The North Shore boys delight in beating down the ladies from the Nations, especially Jessica Troy, who they isolate for a long time. Troy eventually creates separation with some spectacular moves, including a flying rana and a double tilt-a-whirl DDT, getting the hot tag to Kingsley. Kingsley comes out blazing, but the numbers advantage overwhelms her too. The music of Mick Moretti hits and he staggers out- presumably attacked backstage by North Shore Wrestling. He has some nice moments- including kicking both Kiedis and Kelly while doing a headstand- but he falls victim to the numbers game too. Eventually, it's the smarmy Luchi that gets the tainted win over the Arm Collector. Score one for the bad guys! (***1/4)
Match 4: Handicap Match- Mat Rogers def. Parker Tomas and Scott Green
Thoughts: Essentially two handicap matches in a row here, but this was a quick and painful demolition job. Not familiar with Scott Green, but he seems to be a bit of a stoner character without explicitly saying- Newy Pro is more family friendly than PWA. Green offers Rogers some salt and vinegar chips, which is briefly accepted before Full Force smashes 'em and stacks 'em (*1/2)
Match 5: Newy Pro Heavyweight Championship- Carter Deams (c) def. Headhunter Rig & Robbie Eagles
Thoughts: Was really torn in this one as I like all three guys, and it seemed that Newcastle City Hall shared similar sentiments. All three guys hit their biggest moves and didn't hold back, particularly in a strong battle of chops. The end came a bit abruptly as Deams rolled up Rig following a cannonball attempt for the 3 count. Looked a bit like Rig went for a late kickout and Robbie was a milimetre off making the save. Awkward ending which confused most that I talked to, but otherwise tremendous action. Would love to see more of Rig too- dude has a great physical presence and even had his own cheering section there! (***3/4)
INTERMISSION. Was super quick at barely 5 minutes, had just enough time to go over and say hi to a few friends before music hit to get me back to my seat. Had to vault over the entrance ramp to get to my mates and I couldn't see that going down well if I crossed over while the show was actually running!
Match 6: Ben Braxton def. Tyson Reed
Thoughts: Bit of a grudge match between former teammates here is my understanding. Braxton ran up the ramp to attack Reed during his entrance, but soon got blasted by a flying knee. They brawled around ringside and Braxton even hit an Asai moonsault all before the match officially started. I've seen Braxton a number of times now and I'll never get over his sheer athleticism. Dude pulled off a Lionsault with no hands! Eat your heart out, Chris Jericho! The end came with a sneaky Superman punch using a chain. Fun while it lasted, and again a different style of match to the technical stuff and power battles from earlier. (***1/4)
The ring crew set up the cage for the main event. Shout-out to the guy who put the cage together while standing inside it, forcing him to climb out of it. Instead of trying to climb down the side, the guy just leapt from the top to the floor, and definitely fucked his ankle. That's in contention for spot of the night. Wild!
Match 7: Newy Pro Middleweight Championship- Steel Cage- Dazza def. Mat Diamond (c)
Thoughts: I've only seen Dazza a handful of times in PWA Rumbles and Academy shows, but he's clearly a big deal here, with the crowd going nuts as he danced his way out to Cotton Eye Joe. He won a gauntlet, I believe, to get this title shot? Meanwhile, we have Diamond, apparently the top heel of Newy Pro, flanked by a stable called the Diamond Standard- the Velocities and Mat Rogers. Diamond has been champion for something like 1000 days. Something's gotta give here!
Dazza gets the early advantage pinballing Diamond into the cage, but the momentum is stopped with a low blow. The Diamond Standard get involved after many big moves don't put Dazza away, and Diamond has taken some heavy shots himself along the way. Jude and Paris get a chair and a table into the cage, but it's Dazza who ultimately puts them to use, and after a top rope powerbomb through the table, we have a new champion! And the crowd goes banana! Amazing match, finishing the show on the highest of notes! (****1/4)
Post-match, Carter Deams and Headhunter Rig put their beef to the side as they come to the ring and embrace Dazza. The emotion in this building is off the charts! I know that they all started training together, but it's a total love-fest from the Newy Pro regulars who have been here since day dot, including Harley Wonderland sitting next to me. Hard to not get swept up in it!
For me, a fantastic first impression of Newy Pro. The only thing I could possibly complain about is wishing the show went a little longer. We wrapped up around 10:30. I'm guessing we had some constraints from the venue, as some of the City Hall staff were ushering us out shortly after. I did get to stop at the merch table and chat to Carter Deams, Jessica Troy, Kingsley, Robbie Eagles and The Velo-Cities, would have liked photos with them all but we had to exit stage left. It was so much fun, and even though it was more family-friendly wrestling, it never felt tame or sanitised. The energy in the venue reminded me heavily of Max Watts, which if you've ever been there for a wrestling show, you know I couldn't pay a much higher compliment to the overall vibe than that!
The next City Hall show will feature the crowning of Newy Pro Tag Team Champions. It's in July, and based on this, I plan on being there for the next one!
Overall Score: 9/10
Until next time, take care.