As we enter 2023, Australian wrestling appears on the cusp of something
great, and I encourage you to jump on board. With the scene as a whole
starting to regain its momentum in the second half of 2022, we’re now
looking at a re-birth that I believe is akin to BritWres rebirth of a
This has been recognised by New Japan Pro Wrestling, with the new NJPW
TAMASHII brand based in Australia and New Zealand, and with New Japan’s
“Oceania Cup” already announced for October 2023 in the regional city of
Wagga, NSW, which is roughly half-way between Melbourne and Sydney.
Before I commence with local news and reviews over the coming weeks, I
wanted to provide an introduction to the Australian scene, including some
of our best promotions and wrestlers.
Unfortunately the tyranny of distance in Australia, along with some
companies not providing streaming, makes it difficult to follow and watch
NJPW TAMASHII – having already mentioned it, Oceania’s newest promotion is
a great place to start. The promotion ran its first shows in Sydney,
Australia and Christchurch, New Zealand in November 2022, with a slow but
steady introduction to the scene. Working closely with PWA Black Label, the
talent from those first shows mainly involved PWA talent and New Zealand
dojo talent, most of whom are new to Australian audiences.
They ran their second “mini-tour” recently, running shows in Sydney and a
debut show in Melbourne. Despite the lack of Japanese NJPW talent, this
tour seems to have won a lot of fans, particularly in Melbourne, and it
will be interesting to watch the brand develop, especially with that
impending Oceania Cup.
How do I watch it? The first TAMASHII shows have not been streamed live.
Expect them to hit NJPW World around 3-4 weeks after the event.
Where to jump on? It’s a brand new promotion, so now is a great time!
PWA Black Label – Sydney’s biggest promotion, and one of Australia’s top 3,
it’s one of the big shows in town if you’re getting into Aussie wrestling.
Running consistently for around 15 years now, much of Australia’s best
talent have come through PWA – Aussie Open, the former Iconics, Grayson
Waller and Robbie Eagles, to name just a few. More recently the booking of
the shows has been somewhat inconsistent, but their level of talent is
amazing. Shows immediately following the pandemic included a pair of
phenomenal matches between The VeloCities and Aussie Open (the trilogy of
which was later completed with RevPro.)
PWA is making itself the epicentre of Australian wrestling. In addition to
the relationship with TAMASHII, it also recently ran it’s major Colosseum
tournament in Melbourne, co-promoting with Melbourne City Wrestling, and
working closely with Newcastle Pro Wrestling (which won’t be covered here,
as they don’t live stream their shows.)
How do I watch it? PWA Black Label live streams its shows as PPVs on Fite.
Where to jump on? PWA had an incredibly hot period across September and
October 2022, with Cherry’s All That and the Colosseum tournament.
Melbourne City Wrestling – Melbourne’s biggest promotion, and another one
of Australia’s top 3, this is currently the big show in town. Regularly
selling out a good sized building, the MCW talent and production are as
good as any indy show in the world. Running consistently for over a decade,
MCW produced AEW’s Buddy Matthews, and heavily featured other current stars
including Rhea Ripley, Dakota Kai, Indi Hartwell, Bronson Reed, Duke
Hudson, and many others.
How do I watch it? MCW live streams its shows as PPVs on Fite.
Where to jump on? MCW came back from COVID like a house on fire. You could
start from any show in 2022 and be thoroughly entertained. Right of Passage
featured a new champ and a couple of significant storyline developments, so
I would start from there.
Explosive Pro Wrestling – capping off Australia’s “big 3” is EPW out of
Perth. Unfortunately, with Perth being far away, and with EPW being a little inconsistent with streaming, it’s not a promotion that I am likely to cover a lot.
But the level of talent it has produced in over 20 years of operation is
immense. Perhaps EPW’s biggest claim to fame is that it was the original
home of the TMDK stable. The Japanese version is the result of Shane Haste
and Mikey Nicholls representing the stable overseas, however its birth was
in EPW, and also included Bronson Reed and Duke Hudson.
How do I watch it? Edit – EPW now hosts its shows on
WrestleRampage – One of two major promotions out of Adelaide, the Wrestle
Rampage brand has existed for over 7 years, but the promotion existed in
previous guises dating back almost 20 years. An original home of Bronson
Reed and Rhea Ripley, the talent out of a city as relatively small as
Adelaide is incredible. While their product looks “indy” it is very good
quality, and Adelaide continues to develop incredible pro wrestlers.
How do I watch it? Wrestle Rampage posts shows to YouTube around a month
after the show.
When to jump on? October’s Redemption show is a great jumping on point. It
has a phenomenal main event, and includes a rumble and a couple of other
matches that are great introductions to storylines and talent.
Riot City Wrestling – Adelaide’s other big promotion, RCW is a personal
favourite of mine. Almost 20 years old, RCW and WR both demonstrate the
enduring strength of wrestling in Adelaide. RCW has been undergoing a minor
rebuild since the pandemic, but their shows are just extremely watchable.
The production is great, the shows run quickly, and it’s a great place to
see who is going to be making a name for themselves in MCW and PWA Black
Label in the coming years.
How do I watch it? RCW posts shows to YouTube around a month after the show.
When to jump on? You could watch any RCW show and be thoroughly
entertained, but from a storyline perspective I would probably suggest the Riot
City Rumble 2022.
Deathmatch Down Under – Australia’s first dedicated death match promotion,
DMDU hit the scene as hard as any indy ever has… and then the world shut
down. Undeterred, DMDU came back with a bang going hard at death matches.
Providing a mix of “variety shows” and death match heavy shows, DMDU won’t
be everyone’s cup of tea, but it books a lot of underutilized talent, and
its clear that everyone gets a chance to show out. I really enjoy DMDU for
the opportunities it provides to younger wrestlers, and it’s created buzz
for itself by running shows across Melbourne before now settling on its own
venue. After a hot start to 2022, the promotion stuttered a bit towards the
end of the year, focusing heavily on the co-promoted ICW tour, but it has
announced a hot start to 2023 with the opening of their new venue, and the
promotion is committed to bringing us overseas deathmatch wrestlers that no
one else would consider.
How do I watch it? DMDU streams its shows through IWTV, however the time
frames can be inconsistent. Shows will generally be available after about a
When to jump on? Watch everything from Not Here 2 F**k Spiders up to the
2022 DREAM tournament, then skip to present day.
Renegades of Wrestling – ROW is a new promotion, running its first show in
May 2022. But with a former MCW owner now pulling the strings, and with ROW
bringing in incredible talent from interstate that no one else in Melbourne
is using, it deserves attention. Production values are outstanding, and the
emphasis on telling interesting stories is clear. Following an elongated
break to finish 2022, they have already announced their first show for
2023, and I expect Renegades to become a big deal in Aussie wrestling in
the coming year or two.
How do I watch it? ROW’s shows to date have been uploaded free for Fite+
subscribers around a month after the show.
When to jump on? With Renegades having only run a handful of shows, you
could watch all of them. But the recent Ecstacy of Gold show, featuring
tournaments for their inaugural men’s and women’s champions, is a really
fun, recent event.
Other promotions I will cover semi-regularly
Battle Championship Wrestling runs out of Melbourne, and regularly books
overseas names for one off appearances. Recent talent includes El Hijo del
Vikingo, Tajiri, PJ Black, Nick Aldis and the former Mexicools.
Unfortunately they don’t stream their shows, they just upload random
matches to their facebook page.
SLAM! Wrestling is a new player out of Canberra, but is booking a lot of
Australia’s best talent and running great shows. Production seems great,
but at this stage they aren’t streaming full shows – you will find random
matches uploaded to YouTube.
Newcastle Pro Wrestling runs out of Newcastle, a city around 2 hours
drive to the north of Sydney. Using a lot of PWA talent, but enough of its
own talent to be unique, “Newy Pro” gets great reviews across the board,
but access to its shows has always been a shortcoming. (Fact check: Newy Pro streams on IWTV.)
World Series Wrestling is a local promotion running tours across
Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, with the aim appearing to be two tours a
year. It heavily features overseas talent, with last year’s tour including
Matt Cardona, John Morrisson/Superstar, Taya Valkerie, Trey Miguel and Joey
Janela, to name just a few.
In the coming days I’ll provide a review of Melbourne City Wrestling’s first show of the year, featuring
AEW’s Buddy Murphy returning to the house that he built to challenge Mitch
Waterman for the title.