WrestleWatch- PWA Get On The Beershed
Back with another PWA review, and for one of the more fun wrinkles in PWA's expansion in different areas, we have the return of PWA to a brewery! The Beer Shed in Leumeah, NSW, plays host to Pro Wrestling Australia for the second time. The first show took place at the tail end of 2021, after first being scheduled in July, then being delayed due to COVID. For my thoughts on that first show, click here.
Like the first show, PWA Get On The Beershed is a house show, meaning it's not being recorded or broadcast in any manner. I guess it might be tricky getting PWA's production equipment into the Beer Shed, which isn't a particularly large venue. No complaints though- it's nice to have something purely for the fans in attendance. Same reason I often enjoy the post-show shenanigans at Black Label shows. You haven't lived until you've heard Robbie Eagles do karaoke on Creed at Max Watts. But I digress.
This show takes place one week before the monumental King of the Metro show at the Metro Theatre in Sydney. So, this serves as a nice appetiser for the destruction to come. I drove up to Leumeah with my mate Brent, otherwise known as Pirate. Like me, he games and streams a little, check out his Twitch: twitch.tv/pirateWDFC . We stopped at the Lone Star steakhouse to grab some nice juicy steaks before the show- it's a long standing tradition that we always have steak dinners before the wrestling. Perfect combination.
Then we got into the Beer Shed a good 45 minutes early for some pre-show beers. We got talking to a nice gentlemen who beared a striking resemblance to the funniest wrestler in PWA, Big Fudge. He was wearing a very similar mask, but he was also sporting a lush beard- which kept slipping off his face. He informed us that his name was Foodge. Silly me. Good bloke though.
Let's do this!
Party Boy Jax Jordan is our host for the evening! I could have sworn I saw Diego there, and 100% saw JT Robinson, but I like that they're trying out Jax in the role. He's a super likeable guy and brought good energy. Jax is a former PWA wrestler and now works on the production side of things- he's responsible for the epic hype videos you may see for PWA events. He gives a brief intro before telling us to get on the beers, and throwing to the first match!
Match 1: PWA Champion Ricky South vs. Rhys Angel
I believe this was a non-title match, but still, a big opportunity for Angel, who showed out big in a losing effort to Robbie Eagles at the last PWA Academy event, Graduation Day. He also received a big seal of approval the other day from NXT 2.0 Superstar, Grayson Waller, who predicted Rhys to win the 30 person Rumble at the King of the Metro.
Angel comes out preening as usual, and this crowd is great, right on him with chants of "dickhead". I've been at a few Academy shows and Newy Pro recently, it's nice to be able to let the more off-colour language fly. Ricky encourages it by grounding Angel and counting down from 3 for us to yell "DICKHEAD!" as loud as we can. Both men hit hard, even battling around ringside for a spell, and while a Superman Punch drops the champ for a near fall, Ricky is able to catch Angel out of the sky with a powerslam, and soon after connects with the lariat and a piledriver for the win.
Winner: Ricky South (***1/2). Great action and excellent crowd energy. The only thing stopping me from rating this higher is that Ricky got a lot of offense and Angel never completely seemed like a serious threat to win, but I think the story is that he's getting there, getting more experience and continuing to acquit himself well against these champions and veterans of PWA. Could see him as a Soul of PWA Champion in the not too distant future at the rate he's going. And Ricky was his usual outstanding self. He's so good, he could probably carry my disabled arse to a compelling match.
Match 2: PWA Tag Team Champions MK Plus Ultra (Michael Spencer and Kai Drake) vs. Green Dingoes (Dom Walker & Josh Ryan)
The crowd got right on the case of MK, particularly Kai Drake with the random noises that he makes. Unfortunately, they took all their aggression out on the poor Dingoes, laying in their chops and kicks with venom. First, these two debuted against Backpain at Graduation Day, now here they are being fed to the tag champs.
A nice build to the hot tag garnered a nice reaction, and the larger of the Dingoes, Josh Ryan, came in to clean house. Unfortunately, the savvy MK Plus were too quick, savvy and experienced, later isolating Dom and nailing the combo kick/knee for the victory. Nice little warm-up for the Velocities at King of the Metro.
Winners: MK Plus Ultra (**). Very little to this one, but it got the newer Dingoes some ring time and featured the tag champs looking strong.
SMS made their entrance to talk down on all of us horrible beer drinkers. Unsocial Jordan tried to get this place shut down at the last PWA Beer Shed show, but was obviously highly unsuccessful. Good to see Belinda Pierce there too- she was very recently in America for Mania weekend, I believe they got back either the day before the show or the morning of. What a trooper.
Backpain interrupt and challenge SMS to a match. There were meant to be some stakes involved, but someone kept yelling "free beer!" as the stipulation if Backpain won. If Jordan wins, we all have to drink non-alcoholic beer for the rest of the night. I think there was a reference made to the Beer Shed owner, Jye, being a special guest referee or something. The shouts for "free beer!" kind of took over though. Fun times.
Match 3: Jack "The Hammer" Bonza vs. Silvio Milano
Silvio was another one of the crew who were in Dallas, but you wouldn't know it, same energy as usual. As is the theme of the night, crowd participation was a highlight in this, and I'm a bit proud to have played a part in this one. There was a poster on the wall for a beer called a "Spicy Ranga", and Bonza has a red beard. So I pointed at the wall and yelled, "Hey Bonza have a Spicy Ranga!" and a few people joined in on yelling, "Spicy Ranga". We almost got the man to break character before he said, "I got your Spicy Ranga right here" and pointed at his junk. Greatness.
As for the actual match, Bonza can always be relied on for a smashmouth afffair, and Silvio has been wrestling with more intensity since his recent return. He makes a nice comeback flying around the ring, and hits the double underhook slam for a near fall, but ultimately, Uncle Jack's submission game prevails, as he applies the ankle lock and transitions into the STF seamlessly for the tap-out victory!
Winner: Jack Bonza (***1/4). Good stuff, and builds Bonza up for his marquee match at the Metro- a singles battle with Robbie Eagles, winner gets #25 in the Rumble. Why #25, I'm not exactly sure, but it's interesting that they don't get #30 on a silver platter. Maybe it's reserved for a surprise entrant?
Jax cocks up the next announcement, as he says it's a 5 way match. Cherry Stephens makes her entrance, and credit to her for working the botch into her character, as she points at her notebook while correcting Jax. He then says it's a singles match and says he's had too many beers. Haven't we all...
Match 4: Cherry Stephens vs. "The Executive" David Streamer
Pretty much a comedy match here with Streamer's new character. He says that Cherry being a student and bringing her exercise book to the ring is "cheating", so it gets put in the corner. It's a closed book exam. He invites Cherry to lock up, but she keeps freaking out. Streamer gets the advantage in the match as Cherry is too pre-occupied with trying to get the book in the corner.
Cherry eventually gains some confidence and starts pulling moves off, including some nice arm drags. Of note, Foodge comes out and sits in the crowd during this match but doesn't get involved. Also, Will Kiedis is nowhere in sight as he's at a Newy Pro show running at the same time. He's missed terribly. Streamer gets a bit too angry, much like he did against Ricky South at Graduation Day. He tells Cherry that he won't tolerate insubordination, but gets promptly dropped with a Tiger Bomb for the 3 count!
Winner: Cherry Stephens (***). Really good work. Cherry Stephens is improving at a scarily rapid rate, it wasn't too long ago that she was a Dingo herself, but she carries herself like a well-seasoned pro (the dorkiness of her character aside, and I say that with love).
Match 5: Skater Boi Pidgey vs. Nikki Van Blair vs. Jessica Troy vs. Tommy Dee vs. Robbie Eagles
Cool to see the bigger stars in PWA, Eagles vs Troy, mixing it up with both each other and the midcard talent in this unique match. Green Dingo Tommy, who honestly looks ready for prime time to me, got right in Robbie's face. Go son! Nikki Van Blair was great with the outfit and the over the top character, using a high pitched scream to top Robbie in his tracks at one point.
Robbie and Jess had a humorous exchange, as Jess wanted to do arm submissions, and Robbie wanted to do leg submissions. They fought each other for a minute, which had me conflicted as they're my two favourites. I wore a Robbie Eagles shirt, but I may have worn a Jess shirt if I knew she was going to be there. Another one of the PWA Dallas crew soldiering on. The finish saw stereo submissions applied by Robbie and Jess, and getting tap out on both sides. So Robbie and Jess were declared... joint winners? The joints of their opponents didn't appreciate it, and Robbie didn't seem happy either, although Jess said, "I'll take it as a win."
Winners: Robbie Eagles & Jessica Troy (***1/4) Interesting choice to have a non-finish in a way like that. The two big stars both get wins, but I was under the impression that the Beer Shed shows weren't really canon. It's the kind of finish that I would otherwise imagine leads to a story development. Maybe it was just for the purpose of making them both look strong heading to the Metro.
Lyrebird Luchi comes out to shit-talk Campbelltown. I always find these local heat promos funny, because I'm never actually from the city/town they're insulting. It's been close to a year without wrestling shows in Wollongong, and PWA's never made that trip- please do, guys. Anyway, Luchi challenges any one of us idiots to get into the ring with him, and before I can turn back the clock to my backyard wrestling days- which no doubt worsened my already disabled body- Foodge accepts the challenge! Wait, wait... it's actually Big Fudge! Well, I never... I trusted that man!
Match 6: Lyrebird Luchi vs. Big Fudge
Luchi cops the babooshka at ringside to kick things off, and then they have a fun cat and mouse game where they crawl under the ring looking for each other, and find themselves trapped in the apron battling each other. A more comedic spin on the genesis of Luchi's Lyrebird character, where he used the apron to help secure him wins in the Premiership.
At one point, the ref's shirt gets pulled over his head, and Fudge takes advantage to hit a low blow. Luchi complains, but to no avail. The ref gets trapped in the corner again- and Luchi takes advantage to hit a low blow of his own, followed by the Skull Crushing Finale/Stroke for the win.
Winner: Lyrebird Luchi (**1/2). I always enjoy watching Fudge, even if he did deceive me with his excellent disguise. I fear that Luchi may be a front-runner to win the Rumble, but I'm Team Jess Troy all the way in that one. Hope Jess kicks his teeth in, I hear that they really don't like each other.
Match 7: Trios Match- Backpain (Backman & Jack Pain) & Gym Bro Jessie vs. SMS (Unsocial Jordan, Aaron Jake & Belinda Pierce)
The big boys call SMS simps, and Unsocial Jordan sends Aaron Jake to get battered in the early going, avoiding conflict himself, but Backpain eventually get hold of Jordan by the turtleneck. Belinda picks her opportunity to come in for a massive Spear, and chaos reigns as Jessie gets involved and the pace speeds up to suit PWA's lucha tag rules.
Referee Nick gets blasted by a kick from Jordan, and with this, SMS go outside the ring to get a keg to bash Backpain with. Beer Shed owner Jye stops them, and back in the ring, Jack Pain hits his incredible spinebuster, and Backman hits the Sonny Bill (Pounce). We finish with a triple powerbomb, Shield-style, from Backpain and Jessie, and Jye gets in the ring to count the 3!
Winners: Backpain & Gym Bro Jessie (***) Backpain have surprisingly emerged as an awesome babyface act. Anyone looks like the good guys against SMS, but there's something fun about the whole act that make them really easy to support. Bloody SMS. The Super Mega Simps...
Jax closes the show by reminding us to get on the beers! If you say so, my good sir!
For the second show in a row, PWA and the Beer Shed is a match made in heaven. A unique setting, slightly larger than the Academy, but retains that good Academy vibe of a small but passionate group of people who just want to watch good wrestling. Saw quite a few people I didn't recognise, and when Jax polled the audience, a fair few said that this was their first PWA show, so it seems to be good business all around. Hopefully we get another one soon!
Overall Score: 8/10
Until next time, take care.