It’s been an interesting few weeks for DMDU. After a fundraiser to rent and operate their building, their first show at the building, scheduled for Sunday 26 February, was cancelled two days prior, and this show was relocated from its 3011 Arena in Footscray to the Kindred Bandroom.
(In a side-note, the show was named #DMDUFootscray, the event was in Yarraville, and the train nearest train station is in Seddon. That was odd!)
Another significant story coming out of DMDU was original DMDU Deathmatch Champion Callen Butcher stepping away due to mental health issues, and his partner Erin – who had acted as commentator and quasi-on-screen commissioner – also stepped away from the company.
Which all brought us to this event on Sunday 5 March, with DMDU promoting the event as its second anniversary celebration.
We open the show with a promo from DMDU owner Joel Bateman, who begins by noting the 2-year anniversary and thanking those who had helped DMDU get to this point. Names included Callen Butcher, Erin Dick and Jay Stephens.
Bateman then goes on to say that at the next show, April’s “Not Here to F**k Spid3rs” (the third version of the annual show), DMDU will be hosting deathmatch legend John Wayne Murdoch, and will be hosting wrestler’s from New Zealand’s Heathen Combat promotion for a deathmatch tournament. Names I caught were Horus, Vic Craig, JT Hollow and Charli Evans.
Bateman then introduces Scottish wrestler DCT, who randomly cuts a promo to hype up the crowd and introduce the first match.
Murdoch vs Everett Connors
Murdoch is one of our original DMDU Tag Team Champs alongside Aysha as Misspent Youth. Everett Connors is the partner of Charli Evans, and has started appearing on more and more shows in Australia in recent times.
We get a really fun, competitive match with Connors in particular hitting some great looking moves off the turnbuckle and off the ropes. We get an accidental bell ring when Murdoch misses a moonsault and Connors catches him in a Magistral cradle for a loooong 2 count, but Murdoch kicks out, bounces up and hits Connors with a running boot for the 3-count.
This was a really fun match, where Murdoch got to demonstrate some increased emphasis on his character, and Connors got to show just how crisp almost everything he does is.
Kid Valiant vs ‘BLAK Excellence’ Rochelle Rogue
This has been a long term story in DMDU, with Kid Valiant winning the DMDU Heavyweight Title from Royce Chambers before Australian Wrestling Legend and self-confessed “raging dickhead” Krackerjak used his powers to give his brother, “The Snuff King” Gore, an immediate title opportunity, where he subsequently murdered Valiant and took his title.
In the coming months Gore and Krackers continued to bully Valiant, as Valiant’s partner Rochelle Rogue became involved and subsequently received some brutal beatings and staples to the forehead. At September’s Panic! in the Palais show, Rogue became sick of Valiant being a loser and turned on him, and this match was set up when Rogue attacked Valiant at the recent CKWHY2K show.
Valiant comes to the ring in street clothes, indicating to the referee and to the crowd that he doesn’t want this match. Rochelle Rogue comes out looking like a boss – and wearing a Kid Valiant t-shirt, which was an amazing touch!
Valiant says he doesn’t want to fight and lays down for Rogue to pin him, but Rochelle is having none of it. “FIGHT ME YOU PUSSY!”
Rogue proceeds to dominate the match with Valiant refusing to fight her, although he does kick out of a fisherman buster pinning attempt. Rogue continues to talk smack at Valiant for the whole match, and ends up winning the match with a Gory Bomb through a chair and a cocky knee across the chest for 3.
I’m such a big fan of who I’m now calling “BLAK BOSS Excellence” – I think Rogue is immensely talented, and I can see her getting better every match. As I mentioned, the Valiant t-shirt was a great touch, as was Valiant refusing to follow Rogue to the back, instead leaving through the crowd. Great intensity, and great storytelling.
Winner: “BLAK Excellence” Rochelle Rogue
We get York cutting a promo, but he is immediately interrupted by Jay Hunter, who York beat at the previous CKWHY2K show. They talk about Hunter’s impressive performance in his first deathmatch and agree to a re-match at next month’s Not Here to F**k Spid3rs.
Three-way Tag Team Match: Broderick & Natasha Valentine vs The West Melbourne Rednecks vs B2
We get a short match with all three teams getting a chance to fly and to demonstrate some offence. However the match is interrupted by Damien Rivers, who wipes everyone out with a chair.
Damo is unhappy that he’s not on the show, saying he main evented DMDU’s first show and he’s now without a match on the 2nd anniversary show. He lists the names he’s beaten without receiving a title match, and says he’s not leaving until he’s granted a match.
Krackerjak enters the fray, and says not being booked today is Damo’s fault. Krackers says he’s not on the card either, and asks Rivers if he thinks he’s more deserving than Krackerjak. As Damo goes to reply, Krackers draws a staple gun from his waistband, shoots Damo in the balls, and then gives him a few in the back. They brawl on one side of the ring to the merch table, then brawl to the other side of the ring through the crowd. As they enter the ring we hear the ring bell, but there’s no match. Krackerjak hits Damo with the Brittany Spear, gives him an eye poke and goes to hit him with a chair when two hooded, masked figures enter the ring and attack Krakerjak.
As they unmask, one is revealed as Damo’s former Anti-Deathmatch Party colleague in Hector Jones. I believe the other guy was Hector’s regular tag-team partner in Melbourne, Tom Crowe, but apologies for being uncertain on that.
They put a beating on Krackerjak before Gore comes out to make the save.
Tag Team Match: BloodFighter (Joel Bateman & Charli Evans) w/ Jordan Samson vs BlackRoach Reserve (Xavier Black & Scotty Roach)
The ring is full of weapons, including a kiddie pool full of barbed wire. Before the match, all four competitors pull out bags of salt, with kilograms of salt dumped into the kiddie pool.
This match was a fun, brutal war. The teams pair off, and we get violence through the crowd. We get the BloodFighter duo ramming gusset plates into their own foreheads to headbutt their opponents, so BlackRoach Reserve reply by doing the same.
They eventually make their way back into the ring where Charli and Joel deliver a double chokeslam to Roach into the kiddie pool, the barbed wire, and the salt. Roach incredibly kicks out.
We then see a horrific looking bed of nails brought into the ring, with Bateman laying on top of it before receiving a moonsault. Charli breaks it up, but is met with a bunch of bamboo skewers to the head, followed by a bunch of salt. (Cringe!)
BlackRoach miss a doomsday device attempt (with a nice “Reach for the Sky Boy!” tribute included), Bateman wipes out Black, and then he dumps the contents of the kiddie pool on the mat. Bateman is slammed into the barbed wire and salt, and is pinned for the three, and as they recover Bateman is cutting the barbed wire off Charli.
This was an awesome match featuring four super-talented wrestlers that give 110% every time they’re in the ring. I loved this.
But I loved what happened next even more…
WInners: BlackRoach Reserve (Xavier Black & Scotty Roach)
What happened next is the sweetest crossover of pro-wrestling and real life I’ve ever seen!
As all four competitors remain, Xavier Black brings his partner Stacey to the ring for a birthday celebration. He gets the crowd to sing happy birthday, then…
In a perfect moment of wrestling timing meeting real life, Stacey gives the crowd a wave of appreciation. Black shuffles behind Stacey and drops to one knee. Stacey turns around to see Xavier on bended knee with a ring.
He says “nothing lasts forever, so let’s do nothing together”, and he asks Stacey to marry him.
Stacey says yes to a huge pop and I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING!!!
I don’t care that this wasn’t strictly wrestling. I love love, and this was the sweetest, most beautiful thing you will ever see in a deathmatch setting.
Congratulations to Xavier and Stacey!
DMDU Tag Team Title Match: Big Dude Energy (c) (Big Dave & Ricky Gilmore) vs Matt Hayter and Tarlee
BDE are a relatively new team on the scene, but hit Melbourne as hard as any new tag team ever has. A great, high energy babyface team, they are over with every crowd they perform for, and they are developing to the point they can do any type of match they want. At last year’s co-promoted DMDU vs ICW show they had a tag team deathmatch with Callen Butcher and Akira that was probably my favourite DMDU match of the year.
Tarlee developed a crush on Matt Hayter early last year and had an opportunity to win a date with Hayter in a match at the “Great Emu War Games” event (which, by the way, was an incredible show with an main event so wildly different to anything else you’ll see in Australia.) Despite losing, Hayter and Tarlee became an odd-couple tag team, and Tarlee won a tag title opportunity by beating former champ Murdoch at CKWHY2K.
As we start the match, BDE want to see Hayter and Tarlee kiss. After some teasing, they go to do it, before BDE push them apart and kiss each other instead. Hayter has his trunks pulled down early in the match, so he does the same to Ricky, and both are wrestling with their whole arses out.
Tarlee makes her way in as Hayter pulls up his pants, but he decides he prefers them down when he re-enters the match. Tarlee and Hayter deliver a double hip thrust – Hayter’s “dick to the face spot” that slays me every time.
As momentum switches, BDE pick up Tarlee and ram her butt-first into Hayter, and Tarlee gives us the seminal line – “MY HOLE!”
As we reach the end of the match, Tarlee and Hayter are setting up for a double superkick, but Ricky moves and Tarlee eats Hayter’s superkick. She’s pinned for the 3-count, and it’s over.
This was such a fun match. It had some athleticism, it had comedy, and it told a great story. I will go out of my way to see any of these competitors.
Winners and STILL DMDU Tag Team Champions: Big Dude Energy
All four congratulate each other post match, and Tarlee and Hayter finally share a kiss. As BDE leave, Hayter drops to one knee.
He alludes to Xavier Black’s proposal earlier in the night, and starts to say “if I’m going to spend my life with someone…”
Tarlee is overwhelmed, turns to the crowd, and starts fanning herself with her hands.
Hayter continues – “if I’m going to spend my life with someone, I want it to be with ANYONE BUT YOU!”
As Tarlee turns to face him, he delivers another superkick, and the crowd hates him! The crowd shouts him down all the way to the back, and a distressed Tarlee recovers and runs to the back.
DMDU Heavyweight Title Match: “The Snuff King” Gore vs “The Eshay” Tyson Reed
Krackerjak hobbles to the commentary area and says he won’t be accompanying his brother Gore tonight, and would instead be doing commentary.
We start off hot with Reed hitting Gore with a tope, so Gore beats him up. He fireman’s carries the Eshay up the stairs towards commentary where he beats him up and Krackers gets in a shot.
As they return to the ring, the story of the match is Reed managing to get in quick bursts of offence, before the strength and power of Gore overcame him. Reed managed to get in more offence than I expected, including a spot where Gore sends him into the corner where the ref is standing. Reed manages to stop himself, but then decks the ref and attacks Gore with a chair, including position Gore’s arm inside the folded chair and stomping on it. Reed locks in a deep armbar, but Gore manages to power up, lift Reed without breaking the armbar, and then powerbomb him.
Reed manages a piledriver and another near-fall before Gore’s power again takes over, and he finishes the match with a powerbomb followed by the Dominator.
Reed is still making his way in Melbourne wrestling having come down from NSW, but this was the best match of his that I’d seen. He looked like he absolutely belonged in a title match with Gore.
Winner and STILL DMDU Heavyweight Champion: “The Snuff King” Gore
Edward Dusk arrives through the crowd, introducing himself as “The Wicked King”, which might be the coolest gimmick name in wrestling. Dusk recently set up a feud with Callen Butcher, but his predominant story since last year has been random attacks of Tyson Baxter, who has spent much of the last year on DMDU commentary recovering from a severe knee injury.
Dusk demands that we bow before him. He says he was supposed to face Butcher today in a coffin match that Butcher asked for. But Butcher ran away, the “Somebody” (Callen Butcher) abandoned the fans, he ran away because he was afraid of Edward Dusk.
Dusk says he’s been unstoppable for over a year and lists his wins. He says he finished Tyson Baxter, and Baxter is now afraid of him.
Baxter’s music plays, but no one comes out, and Dusk laughs, saying he made the crowd look foolish and stupid.
But Tyson Baxter then does come out, he says he’s back in DMDU, and he wants to fight Dusk now. They brawl, with Dusk attacking Baxter, but Baxter then hits a running knee. He takes Dusk down with a double-leg takedown and ground and pounds. Two refs isn’t enough to break up the fight, so we get wrestlers from the back to break it up and Dusk disappears.
Baxter says he’s been waiting for 8 months and at “Not Here to F**k Spid3rs” he’s coming for Dusk’s head.
This has been an really well built story despite Baxter’s inability to be involved physically. It’s hard to recall anyone else who has been made to feel so important while out injured, and who is more ready for breakout stardom. I’m really excited for this match – on a smaller, local-wrestling scale, Baxter’s arc during his injury probably compares to Randy Orton’s “Randy News Network” gimmick that got him over while injured as a rookie talent. And I love how convincingly dark Edward Dusk’s whole demeanour is.
We have a small break as we set up for the main event, then it’s
DMDU World Deathmatch Title – Kaiju Death Match: Vixsin (c) vs Jordan Samson w/ Joel Bateman and Charli Evans
Vixsin is one of the all-time GOATS of Melbourne wrestling, and of the Australian hardcore/deathmatch scene. She has been champ since beating Joel Bateman in his first title defence at “Rolling with the Punches.”
Now representing BloodFighter, Jordan Samson is on his way to becoming an all-timer on the Australian deathmatch scene. PWDownunder.com will have a feature on Jordan Samson in the coming week, but his impact on DMDU and his rapid development as a wrestler (not just a deathmatch wrestler) has me really excited to watch him in the coming years. He is also a certified madman, wrestling deathmatches in bare feet.
We’re set up with weapons surrounding the ring, including “mystery boxes”, a board of cans on the outside, and various f**kery in the ring ropes. They immediately start beating the hell of each other outside the ring, before brawling up the stairs. Samson finds a random drink, takes a swig, hits Vixsin with the can, and unfortunately sprays alcohol across one very unimpressed looking crowd member!
As they make their way back to the ring, Vixsin throws Samson from the apron through the can board, and when Samson makes the grave error of re-entering the ring, Vixsin staples him multiple times in the forehead. She wraps Samson’s neck in barbed wire and then uses the staple gun to staple the barbed wire to his back (while still around his neck.) She hits her running crossbody off the ropes for a 2-count.
As Vixsin proceeds to set up more destruction, Samson hits a brutal spear to Vixsin as she holds a bunch of light tubes. Following this the ominous bag appears from a mystery box, and we now have thumbtacks to join the destruction. Vixsin delivers a backdrop suplex through the tacks, then starts inserting tacks into Samson’s face and feet – gruesome!
We get another mystery bag, and it looks like crushed up concrete? Vixsin delivers a senton to Samson as he lies across the concrete, then in a move even more sickening than the thumbtacks, she grabs a bag of lemons and starts squeezing them into the myriad of cuts on Samsons back, neck and head.
When Samson recovers – sort of – he kicks Vixsin into a barbed wire board, which she needs cutting out of, and then Samson introduces a board full of plastic forks pointing upwards. He attempts a double stomp to Vixin through the cutlery, but she moves and Samson stomps the cutlery feet-first, and this time I am crying!
Vixsin wraps her arm in barbed wire, hits some clotheslines, then delivers a chokebomb into the rubble of glass, barbed wire, thumbtacks and concrete, and Jordan mercifully stays down for 3 to end an incredible war between two incredible talents.
Both competitors showed out, we got a good variety of moves and weapons throughout the match so it never became repetitive, and we got a physical, brutal war which is what deathmatch is about. DMDU might go a long way to give us a better main event this year, this match was that good. Amazing match by two out-and-out stars of deathmatch wrestling.
Winner and STILL DMDU World Deathmatch Champion: Vixsin
Vixsin takes the mic and says she won, but Samson put on an absolute war. The crowd agrees vociferously!
Vixsin says to Jordan that she wants to face him again – “Anywhere, anytime. Let’s f**king go!” The crowd again roars its approval.
Vixsin goes on to say that we’ve lost some really important people in DMDU and she thanks them. She says DMDU wouldn’t be the same without them, before saying “they always come back!” This leads to a chant for Callen Butcher.
Vixsin then goes on to challenge John Wayne Murdoch at “Not Here to F**k Spid3rs”, and we’re done for the day.
Overall thoughts: After what has no doubt been a really challenging couple of weeks for DMDU, they did an amazing job of setting that aside and putting on a phenomenal show at #DMDUFootscray.
In my opinion, shows like this are the very best of DMDU, for a few reasons:
- Variety across the card – sometimes I find DMDU shows to be a little deathmatch heavy, which can lead to them being disjointed and repetitive. But this show had a bit of everything – it had a couple of brutal wars, it had some comedy, it had athleticism, it had some memorably intensity from Rochelle Rogue, and everything felt different.
- Run time – this show started just after 3pm, and it finished around 6.20pm. Perfect! I have never once felt short changed by a local wrestling show running under 3 hours, but I’ve been to a few that went over 4 hours that were too long. DMDU itself has done this on occasion, especially on the deathmatch heavy shows like the DREAM tournament where extensive clean ups are required between matches. Give me 3 to 3.5 hours every show, and I’ll be stoked.
- Talent – the one element of DMDU shows that you could never, ever question is the commitment of the talent. There isn’t another show in Melbourne that so consistently features everyone on the show giving 110%. The talent’s obvious love for this promotion shines through in their work.
- Venue – this was my first visit to the Kindred Bandroom. I understand that DMDU and a number of its fans would have been disappointed that this show had to be moved from the 3011 Arena, but I thought this was an outstanding venue. It’s cosy, it’s beautifully lit, it looks great in photos, and it was accessible from public transport. I very much regretted not going to previous shows at the Kindred.
This was a great show, and I highly recommend you check it out when it becomes available.
How to watch? Follow DMDU on twitter @dmdownunder to learn about upcoming shows. April’s “Not Here to F**k Spid3rs” show is already looking amazing, and I can’t wait for it.
You can also watch DMDU’s shows on IWTV, usually around 3-4 weeks after the event.