WrestleWatch- PWA Welcome To The Black Label Parade
By Mick Robson
I firmly believe that if it wasn't for that damn pandemic, Aussie wrestling would have a very prominent place in the worldwide wrestling scene right now. And despite the lockdowns and hiatuses, we're still making our presence felt. A big factor in that is actually WWE. NXT's Grayson Waller (FKA Matty Wahlberg, PWA alumni) has quickly become one of WWE's heavily pushed young talent, entering a feud with perennial main event star AJ Styles, even making a couple of appearances on the flagship show to hype the big showdown, which took place on this week's episode of NXT 2.0. Although Waller didn't defeat AJ Styles, he gave an effort that PWA and Aus wrestling fans can be proud of, and his stock absolutely rose.
Buoyed by one of their own making a major splash overseas, PWA began putting together a stacked card to come out guns blazing in 2022. And in doing so, they played one of their biggest aces. Some might say the Ace of PWA- Robbie Eagles.
Eagles is another star who has made an impact overseas, with a prominent role in New Japan Pro Wrestling. While still waving the PWA flag as a veteran of some 14 years in the business, he spent the last year raising his own international profile- competing in the Best of the Super Jrs and capturing gold- first, the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship, and he is the current holder of the Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship alongside the legendary Tiger Mask. But before all that, he's Head Coach at the PWA Academy, and he was a main selling point for the first Black Label show of the year.
We're coming up on a year of PWA on FITE TV. They've put on some excellent, well-received shows, but we also had about six months off the grid a little thanks to damn lockdowns. So here we go with PWA Welcome To The Black Label Parade! The My Chemical Romance inspired show hit our inner emo kid right in the nostalgia. The stars of PWA are carrying on to bring us some of the best pro wrestling in the world- in addition to Eagles, we've got Mick Moretti, Jessica Troy, Ricky South, The Velocities-
Oh yeah, before we start the review proper, I probably need to talk about the Velocities. Paris De Silva & Jude London. They only went and had the Aussie MOTY- arguably the worldwide best- at a PWA Black Label show last June. They took on Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) for the Tag Team Championship, and it was a beautiful war. If you feel like watching a little wrestling before reading about it, PWA kindly uploaded the match- which received 4.75 stars from Dave Meltzer- to their YouTube channel.
Anyway, we'll carry on. Welcome To The Black Label Parade, let's do this!
Commentators Andrew Rose & Kris Gale open the show with the acknowledgement of country. Rose is rocking an awesome new Robbie Eagles shirt. I have the same one! I wear it a lot, mostly because it's blue. A girl told me once that she really liked my blue shirt because it brought out my eyes, so I proceeded to wear that shirt every single time I saw her for months. But I digress.
The PWA opening video airs. The clips along with the SETMEONFIRE song never fail to get me hyped!
Ring announcer Diego Retamales introduces the opener as an interpromotional match. Starting off hot!
Match 1: MCW Champion Adam Brooks vs. PWA Champion Ricky South
Brooksy blindsides Ricky with a shotgun dropkick in the corner to kick things off. Bit of a cheap shot, but hey, typical Melbourne tactics, really. Flurry of kicks, punctuated with an enziguri, follows. Ricky goes for a powerslam but Brooks wriggles free. Another leaping kick by Brooks knocks South to ringside early. As Ricky tries to get his bearings on the floor, Brooks flies at him with a Fosbury Flop! Unreal.
Back in the ring, Ricky avoids a dive and pancakes Brooksy with a version of a flapjack, but it only gets a 1 count. A front suplex by South drapes Brooksy over the ropes, and a boot by the PWA champ sends the MCW champ to ringside. Brooks avoids a potential dive and delivers a penalty kick as Rose says, "Levels, Jerry". I think they're dropping a few Seinfeld references because of the design of Ricky's tights, but I never watched the show so I guess I can't fully appreciate the brilliance there.
Back between the ropes, Brooks goes for a springboard move but Ricky catches him with a northern lights suplex for our first near fall of the contest. Ricky takes control for a few moments and tries to set up for the patented piledriver, but Brooksy reverses into a jackknife pin to get on the board with a near fall of his own. Incredible strength by Brooks a second later to hit South with a gutbuster! Brooks starts taunting, saying "this is your house, huh?" High knee in the corner, followed by a low dropkick earns Brooks another solid 2 count.
The pressure continues to be put on the PWA Champion with a decent beating by Brooks. South tries to mount a comeback but Brooksy kicks his leg out of his leg. He then hits the Waller elbow from the second rope, before breaking into Grayson's signature taunt to draw more boos from the PWA crowd. Ricky returns fire with a massive clothesline. Take the boy's head clean off his shoulders! I normally like Brooksy, but he's in enemy territory here.
Brooksy tries to lands with a superplex but Ricky kicks him off the ropes. Undettered, the Loose Ledge races back with a Spanish Fly from the top! Both men down. As they battle to their feet, Brooksy drops South with a superkick, followed by a leaping forearm shot for a near fall. Brooks locks in the crossface immediately after the kickout. Tenacious! Ricky rolls through the hold into a huge gutwrench powerbomb. Brooksy somehow fires right back with strikes and hits the Dudley Dog! Shoutout to Spike.
Brooks sets up for a top rope rana but South counters from the top with a powerbomb, followed immediately by an alley oop bomb into the corner. The MCW Champion getting absolutely rag-dolled here! Brooksy somehow kicks out! They battle to the apron briefly, until Brooks slingshots the middle rope into Ricky's, uhh, South parts! Innovative nut shot by the Ledge. He follows up with a slingshot DDT on the apron to the outside, and DAMN was that a nasty landing. Ricky is thankfully able to continue in the match after that nasty spill. Top rope Codebreaker by Brooks gets a long two count.
A frustrated Brooks rolls to ringside and grabs a steel chain. Not like this! Referee Hannah disarms him. South takes advantage with a massive lariat, followed by the piledriver! 1, 2... and Hannah gets pulled out of the ring by Carter Deams! While Hannah ejects Deams, Brooks uses the chain! The Swantom Bomb follows, and it's all over!
Winner: Adam Brooks (at 15:20)
Star Rating: ****. I think I prefer the MCW match by the slimmest of margins, but considering this was a much shorter match, you probably got more bang for your buck with this one. Brooksy wasn't afraid to heel it up to the max, but both champs showed heart and kept a furious pace. Setting an extremely high bar to start the show!
Post-match, Brooks gets a tube of lipstick and writes "FLOG" on Ricky's forehead. Truly adding insult to injury. Deams hits the ring to add injury to the insult to injury. He lays the boots in then grabs a ringside chair. He blasts South in the head with the chair and it absolutely explodes, the seat of the chair is GONE. Carter uses the steel frame of the chair to wallop South some more, then leaves, very satisfied with himself. The man wants a title shot, and he'll use any means necessary to get it! Someone in the crowd yelled that Deams looks like a "train station drug dealer", which popped our group at ringside.
Rose & Gale talk about the stacked card that we have here, especially the Velocities/Aussie Open main event. They remind the audience of the stipulation- if the Velocities lose, they can never team together again. A couple of years ago, that stipulation might have been a really obvious tell that the high-fliers are winning, but we've seen the waters tested with Paris and Jude as singles guys, especially in the PWA Premiership tournament, and I think they could make it work.
In the ring, it's time for the second live Goober Report! Hosted by Will Kiedis, with his intern, Cherry Stephens. Kiedis is- what's the politically correct term?... an insufferable douche. Kiedis addresses the rumours- yes, the MMA- Sam Osborne & Don Marnell- are no more in PWA. Osborne has decided to leave professional wrestling after losing the Soul Of PWA Championship to Mick Moretti. Chants for Cherry rise, and after a little back and forth with a rowdy fan, Kiedis gives Cherry a gift. It's a referee's shirt. because, in Kiedis' words, "you're not a very good wrestler." Cherry is hurt and confused, but Will says he's organised a match for her to referee right now!
Match 2: Will Kiedis vs. Green Dingo Tommy Dee
Cherry is very thrown off by the whole situation, but calls for the bell. Commentary note that Cherry and Tommy are mates from training together at the Academy. A Green Dingo is the PWA term for "rookie", almost their take on the "young lions" in Japan.
Kiedis starts very cocky, rubbing his forearms in Tommy's face. Tommy catches him with a crucifix pin, and Will is trapped for about a 20 count, but Kiedis tells Cherry not to count. As his intern, she obliges, but she's very conflicted. As Tommy questions Cherry, Kiedis attacks the Dingo from behind and lays the boots in. He hits the Unprettier, followed by the Shining Wizard, and Cherry reluctantly counts the pin.
Winner: Will Kiedis (at 2:10)
Star Rating: *1/2. More about the story than the action, but the story was well done. The more Kiedis acts like a prick to Cherry, the more we want her to stand up for herself and beat the hell out of him. And that day will be glorious!
Backstage, Nikki Brown interviews Robbie Eagles. Nikki welcomes him back and Robbie says he's always keeping one eye on PWA. He talks about his history with Moretti and says there's no trick that the Rapscallion can pull that he hasn't seen. He says that Moretti has never felt the Ron Miller Special, and he's going to make Moretti tap. Sets the scene well for the Soul Of PWA Championship match. And Robbie, I love ya mate, but please sort out that hair!
Match 3: Kai Drake vs. Jimmy Townsend vs. Caveman Ugg
Ugg is announced as from Melbourne. So that's where the caves are! Kai and Ugg are trying to fight each other, simply pushing Jimmy out of the way when he tries to get involved. He finally gets their attention with chops, so Kai and Ugg level Townsend with a double chop. Kai and Ugg trade chops, and Drake's chest immediately welts up as the Caveman gets the better of things. Jimmy tries to get involved with a sleeper hold- with the hint of a noogie thrown in- but Ugg just slings him off his back.
Kai goes to slam Ugg and briefly gets him in the air, but Ugg fights out and goes for the Fire Thunder Driver, but Kai slips out. Dragonheart holding his own here! Jimmy back in and he goes for a springboard crossbody on Ugg, but the Caveman just catches him and hurls him at Drake. It counts as a pin for Jimmy, but Ugg breaks it up with a senton. Ugg grabs both men, and Jimmy tries to use the "free shot" circle game on him, but he doesn't understand that and just pushes him away. Kai takes advantage of the distraction by dropping Ugg.
Jimmy comes in with the nipple cripple into the... nipple drag? on Drake. Jimmy avoids the charging attacks from both opponents and drops Ugg with a tornado DDT. Jimmy starts to build momentum, but Ugg stomps him down. Ugg sets up for a crucifix powerbomb, but Kai dropkicks him mid-move. Everyone's down! Kai gets up first and lands some heavy kicks to Ugg, followed by the Michinoku Driver! Awesome move and near fall. Townsend with a series of forearms, but Drake locks in the single leg Boston Crab. Ugg rips Drake off the hold and nails him with a clothesline. Jimmy goes for the schoolboy on Ugg but he's too powerful. Fire Thunder Driver and another win for another Melbourne wrestler!
Winner: Caveman Ugg (at 7:44)
Star Rating: ***. Fun dose of action for its spot on the card. Rose & Gale make the point that we could see Townsend and Drake fight for a title in a couple of years, and they are certainly the future of PWA. Kai Drake has impressed me for a long time with his hard-hitting style, and Jimmy Townsend continues to shine in a post-Prefects world. As for Ugg, who knows what's next?
A promo video airs for Big Brother Billy Preston. He's got a Blue's Clues kinda thing going. He talks about drugs, and knowing the difference between good and bad drugs. Donnie Mako calls into the show and says that "there's no one more cooked than Donnie Mako" and that Black Label sounds like "an excellent sesh".
Jessica Troy makes her entrance for the No. 1 Contender's Match with Unsocial Jordan. Jess is rocking Jeff Hardy style armbands, nothing but respect for that. The music of SMS hits (a significant upgrade) and Belinda Pierce and Aaron Jake walk out, but no Jordan. Pierce says that Jordan is a close contact and can't be here tonight, so Jess says "fuck that shit" (whoa!) and calls for a handicap match with them both.
Match 4: Jessica Troy vs. SMS (Belinda Pierce & Aaron Jake)
Jess starts with a pump kick on Belinda and right hands to the face of AJ. Troy goes for the tilt-a-while into an early armbar, but Aaron blocks it. Seemingly no tags here as Belinda stays in the ring to attack. Chops for both members of SMS, but then they drop the Arm Collector with a double back elbow. Assisted splash onto Troy earns Pierce a 2 count. They take control for some time, but eventually Jess kicks Belinda away and hits Aaron with a brainbuster!
Jess starts kicking Belinda's arm out of her arm. Vicious attack! Belinda's struggling against the onslaught but Aaron comes in and levels Jess with a dropkick! Jess soon turns the tide with a tilt a whirl into the Fujiwara armbar, Belinda tries to break it up and gets caught in the hold as well. Two for one special for the Arm Collector!
Winner: Jessica Troy (at 4:18)
Star Rating: **. Always love seeing a Jess Troy victory. Or just seeing Jess in general, she's an absolute ray of sunshine when she's not trying to rip your arm off. But this was definitely a disappointment given that we were expecting a big No. 1 Contender's Match. Given the length and simple nature of the match, I would guess that the news of Jordan being a close contact was fairly last minute. It sucks, but what can we do in the current climate?
Match 5: Soul Of PWA Championship- Robbie Eagles vs. Mick Moretti (c)
Both guys rocking amazing main event level outfits here. Moretti's also got his Colosseum sword with him! Bit of a throwback. Tons of history here, I remember watching these guys wrestle each other a good 6/7 years ago when I first discovered Aussie wrestling. Rose is split in his fandom here, and so am I.
Robbie immediately hits his trademark kick combo for a surprising near fall. Robbie goes up top for the 450 Splash but Moretti rolls away. The Rapscallion fires some chops and sets up for the leg trip Irish whip, but Eagles blocks it. Arm drag, snap rana, and Robbie goes for a dropkick, but Moretti avoids it, causing the Sniper to crash and burn. Big sequence where they try a series of their signature moves, but every one gets countered. Both go for a dropkick, miss, double nip up and stare down.
Dueling chants of "Mick Moretti" and "Robbie Eagles". I was chanting both sides. Eagles looks for a "Robbie Robbie Robbie, Oi Oi Oi" chant, and Mick punches him in the face. Mick Togo senton follows for a near fall. He goes for the Sweaty Moretti but Robbie avoids it and unloads some chops. We get some showmanship with the Moretti headstand, and some great athleticism a moment later with a springboard clothesline for another close call.
Moretti goes to the well once too often with another headstand, earning a kick to the guts, followed by a low dropkick for a Robbie near fall. Eagles goes for an up and over but Moretti kicks him out of the ring. Moretti scores with a massive flip dive, and sets up for a powerbomb on the outside, but Robbie catches him with a rana into the ring apron! Amazing. They fight against the lighting rig, and Robbie fires off the works- chops, forearms, knees, I think he snuck in a couple of headbutts, and Moretti slumps down against the rig. Eagles then nails a running Meteora, bouncing Mick's head off the steel! The whole thing shook a lot, it was kinda scary live.
Back in the squared circle, a near fall for Eagles after that barrage. We get another excellent series of counters, punctuated with Moretti hitting a top rope reverse Meteora for a long 2 count! Robbie comes back with a low dropkick to the knee, followed by the springboard version that really took Moretti's wheel out. 450 splash is attempted, Mick gets the knees up- but it still hurts him with the damaged legs!
Moretti rolls to the outside, grabs a wrench and loosens the top rope! Genius move to take away Eagles' high flying moves. Moretti unloads a series of suplexes- a German followed by a dragon... and does Rose call that move as A Series Of Unfortunate Events? That is a fantastic move name! Grinning Dragon sleeper locked in by the Rapscallion. Robbie escapes, Moretti looks for the snapmare driver, Robbie counters into a backslide for a great near fall. Right into the Ron Miller Special, but Moretti makes the ropes. A Sliced Bread into the Turbo Backpack for another near fall. These guys are throwing everything at each other!
With the top rope un-usable, Eagles needs to adjust- so he hits the 450 from the second rope! Incredible. He goes for the Ron Miller Special, but Moretti reverses into an inside cradle for a 2 count. Victory roll by Mick almost gets it as well. "This is awesome" chants from the crowd. They trade heavy strikes until both men fall down. It's desperate times, so Moretti grabs the Colosseum sword. Referee Nick stops him (thank goodness). Moretti tries to Eddie Guerrero it by tossing the scabbard to Eagles, and then rolls him up for the victory!
Winner: Mick Moretti (at 18:10)
Star Rating: ****1/2. That was action-packed, inventive and true to the history and the characters involved. Eagles' pre-match promo set the stage nicely- ultimately, the Rapscallion actually was able to use some new tricks that he hadn't seen. If we consider the Soul Of PWA Championship as a brand new championship independent of the PWWA Championship, matches like this epic do a lot for the prestige of such a new title. Incredible work by two pioneers of the brilliant Aussie wrestling scene we know and love today.
Post-match, a big show of respect as Robbie offers the handshake and then straps the Soul of PWA Championship around Moretti's waist. You love to see it.
Intermission. They broadcast the pre-show match from the last PWA Academy show. Shay Kassidy vs. Big Fudge. Fudge wins in a good effort from both.
Match 6: Backpain vs. Bad Bitch Nation vs. Carter Deams & Ben Braxton vs. Juan Direction
This was chaos. Colt Cabana joins in for Juan Direction's entrance! Great little surprise to see the AEW star on Black Label. Hopefully we get a few more down the line. We did get Orange Cassidy in the Colosseum tournament a couple of years ago. Anyway, Colt's really got the choreography down for the Juan Direction dance!
Four way lucha tag rules. God help me. Backman and Bonza square off. Backman drops Bonza with a shoulder block and then faces off with Giant Juan. Ben Braxton gets involved but the team of Backpain yeet him into the rafters at Factory Theatre. Carter boots Backman, Bonza hits Carter with a German, Giant Juan hits a Samoan Drop on Backman. Kingsley and Bonza hit an assisted Codebrekaer on Giant Juan. Let the bodies hit the floor!
Bonza hits Romantic Juan with a discus lariat, followed by a powerbomb to the outside! Hey, he almost landed on me! Kingsley sets up for the Code Red Nation on Braxton, but Deams hits her with a superkick. Braxton nails Bonza with a slick spinebuster, and then wipes out everyone on the outside with a flip dive! Braxton landed HARD next to me but seems to be okay.
Back in the ring, Giant Juan takes out both Deams & Braxton with a double clothesline. Moments later, Backpain are back in and go for the double spinebuster on Braxton, but he backflips out of it and wipes them both out with a dropkick! Bitter End by Braxton on Backman, followed by a Deams scissors kick- but Kingsley breaks up the pin! Deams and Braxton take out Kingsley with a double superkick, infuriating Bonza. Bonza suplexes Braxton into the turnbuckle, but Deams catches Uncle Jack with a half and half suplex from behind. Braxton goes for the Lionsault, but Bonza avoids it and snatches an inside cradle for the win!
Winners: The Bad Bitch Nation (at 6:57)
Star Rating: ***1/4. Absolute chaos, but in a really good way. Everyone got a moment to shine, and it makes sense for the veteran Bonza to use his smarts to overcome the frankly ridiculous athleticism of Ben Braxton. That guy's gonna be a star!
Match 7: Donnie Mako vs. Big Brother Billy Preston
Lots of drug references in this one, as Mako wrestled with a joint in his mouth to start the match, then pulled out a bong (made with a Gatorade bottle, of course) and finally a big bag of white powder that was apparently "cocaine"- I put it in quotation marks because of the quantity. If it was legit, then PWA are way more prosperous than I ever imagined! Also legalities blah blah blah.
On a serious note... nah, there's nothing serious about this match. We amused ourselves by chanting "drugs" to everything, punches in the corner, pin falls, any occasion we could, really. Bunch of deviants, we are. The joys of a Black Label (18+) show! The match ends with an Overdrive by Preston in the cocaine covered ring.
Winner: Big Brother Billy Preston (at 6:12)
Star Rating: *****. 5 stars for drugs! This was hilarious. Rose & Gale seemed to be having as much fun as the crowd was calling these shenanigans. I think my favourite line was the speculation of what Moretti's face paint was made out of. Sensational.
The music of Lyrebird Luchi hits as Preston's crew exits stage left. Luchi calls us "ungrateful emos" and instead of giving us wrestling, he wants to give us poetry. It's called, "Mat Rogers, The Coward". "Mat Rogers, the coward, always running away. That's why Lyrebird Luchi is the best in PWA." He tells the crowd to shut up, then decides to give us wrestling, and calls out Mat Rogers.
Match 8: Lyrebird Luchi vs. "Mat Rogers"
It's a fake Rogers. Shorter, with a big belly, fake beard and fake tattoos. Rose calls him "Mot Ragers". Nice. Luchi boots him down to start the match. Pumphandle Slam and a 3 count. I mean, a bell rang to start the match, but there was no ref or anything. Eh.
Winner: Lyrebird Luchi (at 0:25)
Star Rating: N/A
The lights go out, and then the real Mat Rogers appears. Luchi ducks a big boot and runs for the hills. Rogers gets a mic and calls him out for a steel cage match at the next Black Label show on February 25th! Take my money!
Match 9: PWA Tag Team Championship- Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark "Dunkzilla" Davis) (c) vs. Velocities (Jude London & Paris De SIlva)- If The Velocities lose, they can never team again
Jude and Paris hug to start the match. Aussie Open jump them to start the match in hyper-aggressive fashion. They hurl Paris to the outside and isolate Jude. Big scoop slam by Dunkzilla Davis and he lays the boots in. Fletcher in with more boots, body shots and forearms. Fletcher slams Jude and knocks Paris off the apron. Clear gameplan here.
Aussie Open go for a double back suplex, but Jude lands on his feet and tags in Paris. The Velocities hit the champs with a double dropkick and a double hurricanrana in sync. Double dropkicks in the corner, and the challengers are on fire! Stereo suicide dives, but Aussie Open catch them and slam them on the apron. High level synchronisation on both sides!
Back in the ring, Aussie Open take turns holding Paris in a delay vertical suplex before finally letting him crash to the mat. Big time power that gets a near fall. Velocities manage to battle back and hit stereo flip dives to the outside that are on the money. Jude follows up with a Code Red on Fletcher for a near fall. Jude goes for a cross body but Davis catches him and throws him into a Fletcher kick, immediately followed by a tandem cutter for a near fall. Jude tries to fight back but Davis makes him crumple with a single chop.
Aussie Open are revelling in being physically dominant here. Fletcher suplexes Jude on the outside, but back in the ring London is able to kick out. Davis applies a Boston crab and Paris comes in to break it, earning himself a chop as well. When Aussie Open are on offense, there's almost a hush from the crowd at the beating Jude and Paris are taking. Out of nowhere, Jude hits a moonsault, allowing him to tag in Paris! He kicks off Fletcher into a tornado DDT on Davis for a near fall. De Silva tries to take Davis down with clotheslines, but he's too big and it's Paris that ends up meeting the mat.
Davis nails a German suplex on Paris from the apron back into the ring. Tag to Fletcher and they hit an assisted spinebuster for a great near fall. Every move Aussie Open hits looks so painful with the small frames of the Velo-cities. Davis beats down Paris some more, lifting him in a torture rack with ease- but Paris reverses into a crucifix pin for 2.75! Paris goes up top and goes for the shooting star press- but Davis gets the knees up!
Tags on both sides, bringing in Fletcher & London. They trade strikes, then Jude goes for a springboard, but is caught with a powerbomb, then picked up again for a sit down bomb for a razor close 2 count! Moments later, Jude comes back with a highlight as they run the ropes, scoring with a Spanish Fly! Fletcher looks to come back with a slam, but Jude hits him with a poison rana! Jude hits a bridging tiger suplex for another very close pinfall. Paris in for a leg sweep/blockbuster combo for yet another close pin. The tides seem to be turning here...
Paris briefly locks Fletcher in the Throne submission, but when Fletcher gets free, Paris switches to a guillotine choke. Davis comes into to chop him and break the hold, but he sits up and re-applies it! Balls of steel. Paris ranas Fletcher into Davis, then it's Davis' turn to get locked in the choke! Fletcher looks to break it up, but London intervenes and applies the Koji Clutch! Fletcher slams Jude onto Paris and everyone's down. More "this is awesome!" chants.
Everyone's slow to get up, but the Velo-cities nail stereo superkicks and stereo satellite DDTs! The big men are down again! Double dragonrana looks spectacular, but Fletcher kicks out. Paris goes up top again, but Fletcher catches him with a kick. Davis in to pick up Paris on his shoulders- and launches him into a flying Fletcher kick! That's the same move that legitimately KOed Paris in the last match. Paris sells being out as Frankie B checks on him, and Aussie Open turn to beat down Jude before returning to give the seemingly unconscious Paris a kicking. Bastards!
Aussie Open hit an assisted Blackout on Jude, but he kicks out. He's all alone in this match now. Fletcher & Davis set up for the Coriolis, but Jude counters with a destroyer on Fletcher and a victory roll on Davis- but Davis kicks out. Aussie Open try and set up a Coriolis from the top rope, but Jude reverses it into a double top rope rana! Incredible! Jude goes for a handspring, but it's 3rd time lucky as AO hit the Coriolis! 1, 2... and Paris makes the save! Fletcher and Davis boot him in the face, but he kicks out at the last moment! Jude flies back in with a double blockbuster! Paris hits Fletcher with his insane shooting star DDT and pins- but Davis drags Referee Nick out of the ring. Nick gets in Davis' face about it... and gets powerbombed on the apron! Holy shit!
Fletcher brings in the title belt to use as a weapon but gets dropkicked by Jude. Jude thinks about using the belt himself, but has an attack of conscience. Fletcher spits in Jude's face- that's not COVID safe!- so Jude goes to use the belt, but accidentally belts Paris instead! Fletcher with a low blow on Jude! Another Coriolis lands... but there's no ref! Referee Hannah runs in, 1, 2... and a kickout! Fletcher goes for a Tombstone but Jude counters with an inverted rana! Paris gets back in to deal out some kicks. Jude hits Davis with the Excommunicado spin kick! They get Fletcher on the top rope and hit a... powerbomb into a slingblade to win!!!
Winners: The Velo-Cities (at 38:50)
Star Rating: ****3/4. I really can't decide if this match is better or worse than the original. Part of me wants to say I like the original more, but I don't know if that's just bias in regards to sequels. This was, without a doubt, phenomenal. Fletcher and Davis were outstanding as bully pricks, and the Velo-Cities had their underdog role down to a science. Everyone played to their strengths and we had the emotional undercurrent of the stipulation. As much as I think Jude and Paris could succeed individually, I'm glad they're staying together.
This was one of the best PWA shows I've seen in the 4 years I've been attending. I'd put the Rumble and Colosseum events ahead of this one, but that still sits it comfortably in the top 5. Might have been a top 3 event if the Jessica Troy/Unsocial Jordan match happened. The opener, Soul of PWA Championship match, and tag title match all would have been top tier main events on a show by themselves, so the fact that we got all 3- you can't fault that. Plus, a nod to the card structure- the stuff following intermission was somewhat light and breezy, allowing us to save the real emotion and intensity for that hellacious main event. Tag team wrestling, and Aussie wrestling at its best.
Overall Score: 9/10
Until next time, take care.