Although I cannot speak for the rest of the staffers at Calling Spots HQ, I for one was excited when the owner of Australian wresting promotion Melbourne City Wrestling (MCW) contacted us asking us to review the product that his promotion offers. My excitement was two-fold, firstly it was incredibly cool to know that people on literally the other side of the world are fans of our work here at Calling Spots and secondly it is a rarity for me to be given the chance to view a product that I know little (or in this case nothing) about. So here goes…
Before taking in any of their product I decided to do a quick Google search and see what I could find. What I learned is that MCW was formed in 2010 and aims to provide entertainment for the whole family with children being welcome to all of their shows. I also learned that, despite their relatively short existence, MCW have been home to some of the best talent that Australia has to offer which is evidenced by the fact that three of former stars are now signed to the world’s largest wrestling organisation, WWE:
– Tenille Averil Dashwood wrestled for MCW as Valentine up until 2011 when she left for the WWE. You will now know her as Emma.
– Another former MCW alum Matthew Adams is now known in WWE as Murphy and is currently one half of the former NXT Tag Team champions Blake and Murphy. Adam’s wrestled in MCW under the moniker Matt Silva and held the MCW Heavyweight Title.
– Murphy and Emma were joined by another two former MCW competitor when Jessica McKay joined NXT in April 2015. McKay now wrestles as Billie Kay and was joined by KC Cassidy who now wrestles as Peyton Royce.
Finally, before I checked out one of the company’s biggest ever shows, Ballroom Brawl 2015, I wanted to know if there was any way that I could be brought up to speed on any key storylines. Thankfully, our friend at MCW was able to send me a link to their YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzAdXe3uAfU) which was able to help prepare me for the big show.
Held at Thornbury Theatre on 23rd May 2015 in front of a packed crowd the show starts off with a six man tag match between The Estate (Emanuelle, Gabriel Wolfe and Slade Mercer) accompanied by the massive Cousin Ali against The World’s Friendliest Tag Team (TD and Lochy Hendricks) and BJ Hudson. I’ll be honest, I have never heard of any of these guys before but if you dress in a light blue rabbit onesie like Hudson and your entrance music is Larger Than Life by Backstreet Boys like the World’s Friendliest Tag Team (who I will now refer to as WFTT to try to avoid carpel tunnel) do then I am going to pay attention. Coming down as a threesome The WFTT and Hudson are clearly the good guys as they perform awesome/silly dance moves and snap selfies while making their entrance. There is also an impressive amount of pyro going off which I can’t recall ever seeing at a venue with a carpeted floor. Hudson looks like a young Brian Kendrick and he is my favourite, after all he is wearing a rabbit onesie! Unfortunately he takes off the onesie and reveals what I assume is his actual wrestling attire meaning he is no longer my favourite. After a competitive but somewhat sloppy bout The Estate hit an impressive double team manoeuvre which I can only describe as a 3D but instead of a neckbreaker the fallen opponent is hit with a knee to the face.
First match down and I have to say I very much enjoyed the opener. Despite losing Hudson is once again my favourite after he was described as the “King of #SmartCasual”. What. A. Guy!!! A close second to Hudson is hulking brute Cousin Ali. I’m not sure who’s cousin he is but he looks hard as nails and continually gets himself involved in the match which brings an old school element missing in much of today’s wrestling. I also enjoy the crowd participation as they shout “ahahahaha” after the ref counts, it takes a few minutes to realise what they are doing but then I realise they are replicating The Count from Sesame Street. Absolutely brilliant! I am going to try that at the next show I attend.
Next up is singles bout between two of MCW’s impressive female wrestlers as Siren Monroe takes on Shazza McKenzie. I can only assume that as McKenzie is sporting the most Australian name possible, she will be the fan favourite. Monroe enters and immediately shakes her bottom with a scowl on her face while McKenzie enters with a massive smile and upbeat theme music so I think I’m right. Also, Monroe is booed and McKenzie is cheered so that probably gives the game away. As most of the women’s wrestling I have seen is from WWE I was very happy to see such a high quality match, presented in the right way. The bout included several picture perfect moves including a hurricanrana that could have been lifted from the pages of any wrestling textbook. Great stuff here.
Following the impressive women’s match is a bout between Mr Juicy and Sebastian Walker. A short video is played which shows that Walker is the architect/manager behind The Estate who have recently subjected Mr Juicy to a vicious beating then showed his face into the anus of Walker. You know, as you do. This isn’t a random occurrence though as a commentator informs us that Mr Juicy normally does this to his opponents. The video package then shows that Mr Juicy and his family had been able to beat The Estate recently to get five minutes alone with Walker in the ring (not that ring, the wrestling ring) so that he could extract his revenge. This seems like a well planned out angle that has not only been implemented well but has also been given adequate time to develop. Again, this is something that is missing from a lot of modern wrestling. As Mr Juicy looks like an less-athletic Colt Cabana and Sebastian Walker looks like a skinny substitute geography teacher so I’m not expecting a fast paced contest. The match starts as Mr Juicy is attacked from behind by a hooded assailant with a chair, that assailant turns out to be Walker himself. Walker then removes his hoodie to reveal a homemade Walker 3:16 t-shirt with “You just smelled my anus” on the back and then pulls down his pants to give Mr Juicy another whiff. The rest if the bout is thoroughly enjoyable but I don’t think I have the vocabulary necessary to do it justice so rather than try I urge you to check this out. Without meaning to spoil anything I would say that if you are a fan of skinny pale men’s bottoms or chubby tanned men’s bottoms this really is the match for you. It easily contains more male arse then I have ever seen (or wanted to see) in one wrestling match, and this is coming from a man who followed Ric Flair throughout the nineties and noughties.
After what that “experience” we are told that the annual Ballroom Rumble is next. I’m not 100% sure but I believe this is pretty much a 20 man Royal Rumble which offers the winner a shot at the MCW Heavyweight championship which they can cash in at any point. The first two men down are tag partners from the opening bout TD from The WFTT and BJ Hudson, who is now wearing a white unicorn onesie. TD helps Hudson remove the onesie before they start to go at it, obviously nobody wants to hit a man dressed as a unicorn. After 90 seconds the theme music from Power Rangers plays and a man dressed as the Pound Stretcher version of the Green Power Ranger emerges. Apparently he is called Green Smash with Smash standing for Super Mega Action Super Hero. Wow! I have seen it all. There is talk from the commentators of Smash using his robot droid thing to help him win; please let this happen. I have literally never wanted anything more in all my life. Next in is “The Hardcore Bitch” Vixsin followed by the Big Lewbowski lookalike Percy. Percy is the first person eliminated as Vixsin sends him flying over the top rope after he had grabbed her breast.
The rest of the participants (in order they appeared) are:
Tommy Hellfire (accompanied with Siren Monroe)
The battle royal was filled with memorable moments but my favourites were the crowd chanting “That was bullshit” when Sexton was eliminated, the commentator stating that since Josh Shooter returned from a successful tour of Japan and the UK he has had an “un-cravable craving for fish, real fish!” and Senior Dragon (who apparently has 80 years worth of in ring experience) taking his “heart medication” before running over and helping eliminate Cousin Ali. Tommy Hellfire was very impressive and seemed to eliminate over half of the participants.
Following the battle royal was tag team match between the South Australian Serial Killers (Hartley Jackson and Jonah Rock) vs Hard Way Inc (Jay Andrews and Mike Burr) for the MCW Tag Team titles. The champion Serial Killers entered the ring first and I was struck by how genuinely intimidating they looked as the challengers made their way down. Although not a technical classic what followed was a fairly even back and forth contest that contained several stiff shots.
Home-grown star Dowie James was up next against Chavo Guerrero. Guerrero who has a wrestled for WCW, WWE, TNa and, most recently, Lucha Underground and appeared to be the favourite against the much younger opponent. Guerrero, who still looks in fantastic shape for a 44 year old man with as many miles on the clock as he has, was on top for the early portion of the match using an unfamiliar ground attack. James then got the upper-hand with some high flying moves. Guerrero was able to regain the upper hand after the pair both attempted to hit “Three Amigos” as the crowd chanted “Eddie, Eddie, Eddie” in tribute to Chavo’s legendary uncle Eddie Guerrero. James was able to get his foot onto the bottom rope to avoid defeat after Guerrero hit a Frog Splash from the top rope. After the match Guerrero grabbed a microphone and announced that he is glad that indie wrestling is alive, criticised the standard of wrestling in the WWE, then thanked MCW for bringing him over and allowing him to play in their ring and then paid tribute to Eddie Guerrero while the crowd hung in his every word.
Before the main event we were shown a video package showing the rivalry that had led to it. From what I can tell KrackerJak (that’s legitimately his name) is a nasty man and he beat up poor Carlos Cannon, his girlfriend KC Cassidy and then took his World Title. Then to make matters worse he bragged about it and mocked Cannon not only about the beating but also about Cassidy abandoning her to go to the WWE (as mentioned earlier she now wrestles on NXT). Cannon then fell off the map for a while until he recently made his comeback. Again, this looked like a great angle that had been executed well.
Cannon was announced first but he was brutally attacked by a chair wielding KrackerJak. KrackerJak called Cannon a “stupid bastard” before powerbombing him off the entrance ramp onto the floor. Due to the injuries inflicted by the attack Cannon was not able to compete with the ringside doctor refusing to allow him to wrestle. Thankfully the crowd were not left short changed as Elliot Sexton answered KrackerJak’s open challenge in a match for his title.
As Sexton made his way to the ring he was greeted by great applause from the audience but KrackerJak did not appear to be overly concerned as he did not show any reaction when Sexton’s music hit. This lack of concern turned out to be a mistake as Sexton blocked a Britney Spears (a spear to you and me) attempt and hit a Goldberg-esque Jackhammer in approximately 30 seconds.
Overall I enjoyed the show and definitely intend to check out MCW in the future.
My rating 7/10
Neil ‘Oz’ Rogers
If you would like to view any MCW show they can be rented or purchased online @ https://vimeo.com/melbcitywrestling/vod_pages