World Series Wrestling – Unleash Hell Tour (Night 2: Melbourne)

We’re welcomed to the show by Lord Andy Coyne and his amazing green jacket and red pocket square. He runs down the card, including Jordynne Grace vs Jessica Troy, TJP vs Josh Alexander and Matt Cardona challenging WSW Champion Johnny DownUnder.

The Major Players enter the ring and “The Indy God” Matt Cardona says that while the crowd don’t deserve to see them, tonight he’ll be winning the title and taking it home to the USA. Bryan Myers tells Cardona it’s a big night for him and sends him to the back. Myers calls for a local Australian job boy, cos he feels like squashing someone.

“The Most Professional Wrestler” Bryan Myers vs “The Bad Boy” Joey Janela

Myers teamed up with Cardona last night in a losing effort against Redbeard and Matt Basso. Janela teamed with Effy in a loss to the Parea. As the match is about to start, Effy’s music plays.

Effy says he and Janela used to be a tag team (after last night) but now the Mega Powers have to explode because Janela should’ve been there to save him last night.

“The Most Professional Wrestler” Bryan Myers vs “The Bad Boy” Joey Janela vs Effy

Myers bails to the outside and it’s Effy vs Janela with some back and forth leading to a kiss. They team up against Myers, who rolls out of the ring. Effy with five consecutive Atomic Drops to Janela. Effy hits a d DDT out of the corner for a nearfall the Myers breaks up.

Janela takes a real long nap while Effy and Myers tee off before Janela re-enters and cleans house with chops and uppercuts. Janela hits Effy with a tope suicida before Myers hits him with a Michunoku Driver for 2.

Janela inadvertently assists Effy with Cardona’s Radio Silence – a leaping leg lariat – and Effy pins Myers before Janela can recover.

Winner: Effy

Blake Christian vs Bandido

Christian was the odd man out last night when TJP pinned Flip Gordon in their triple threat. The former ROH and PWG Champ Bandido lost a WSW title match last night to Johnny DownUnder. Both men are billed as currently being from AEW.

I expect this will be quick!

It’s hot right off the start with mat work before Bandido hits his delayed vertical suplex. They each fly off the ropes before Christian halts the action with a Saito suplex and an abdominal stretch.

Bandido hits his one-arm military press followed by a frogsplash for two, but he’s too slow to capitalise and Christian hits an amazing springboard crossbody. We go to a “boo/yeah” spot as they trade punches. Bandido comes out on top and hits a pop-up stunner, then a Spanish fly from Christian keeps both men down. Christian with more of his indy-riffic no-selling from last night…

We nearly get a double count out before Christian hits a spear to Bandido on the apron, then a Fosbury flop to the outside, then a 450 splash back in the ring, and Bandido barely kicks out. 

After some more back and forth Bandido seizes the advantage, and with Chrstian in the ropes Bandido hits a rope-assisted springboard German suplex, which he bridges for the 3 count.

They shake hands after the match.

This was a really good, fast-paced match that the crowd was into. I’m not big on Christian’s no-selling, but the “fight forever” crew didn’t care. Bandido is always incredible.

Winner: Bandido.

Shazza McKenzie vs Steph de Lander

Shazza McKenzie lost the WSW Women’s title last night to Jordynne Grace. De Lander lost her number 1 contender opportunity last night to Jessica Troy, but the winner of this match probably gets the next title shot.

Shazza enters the ring first bringing a chair. As SdL poses Shazza attacks her. The story of the match is Shazza trying underhanded tactics to get ahead and de Lander’s power overwhelming her. They told this story really well with de Lander dominating for long periods, Shazza getting in a burst of offence, then SdL getting in a cool power move to stop her.

Out of ideas, Shazza goes for the chair before the ref stops her. She turns back to SdL who hits a big boot and a Death Adder for the 3-count.

I really enjoyed this, it told a clear story that was easy to understand before the powerful babyface ultimately got the upper hand.

Winner: Steph de Lander

TJP vs “The Walking Weapon” Josh Alexander

Representing United Empire, and half of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, TJP opened the tour by beating Flip Gordon last night in a triple threat that also included Blake Christian. Current Impact Champion Josh Alexander had a banger last night against Brian Cage, but it was somewhat spoiled by a no contest finish when The Parea interfered. Both men are currently working with Impact, and are both former X-Division Champions.

Lots of mat wrestling early on, with Alexander using his strength and wrestling prowess to ground the faster man. The story is that TJP is no slouch on the mat, and while Alexander dominates the wrestling, TJP is able to use his standing octopus stretch to escape twice, and he uses his scrambling to escape an ankle lock.

TJP exposes a weak spot and starts attacking Alexander’s arm. Alexander escapes to the outside and locks in the Figure-4 leg lock around the ring rope, and now he’s targeting TJP’s leg. We’re in the midst of a potentially great match, then TJP disappointingly starts using the legs that Alexander has just been attacking.

We get pins and counter-pins before simultaneous clotheslines take out both men. TJP recovers quicker, he goes up top for his Mamba splash, but Alexander kicks out. TJP goes straight into an arm bar, Alexander counters into an ankle lock, and TJP reverses that into an armbar. Alexander then manages to counter into an armbar of his own and TJP turns that into an STF. 

A rope break separates them, but they go back to holds and counter-holds before Alexander lands TJP in a grapevine ankle lock, and TJP has to tap.

Awesome match. Give me more of that – it told a simple story of a bigger, stronger wrestler vs faster, more athletic guy who can handle himself on the mat. While there were some nitpicky things around the selling, they worked body parts, they stuck to them, and it played into a really fun finishing sequence of counterholds. My match of the tour so far.

Winner: Josh Alexander

It’s the second night in a row that the intermission has gone well over 20 minutes. I understand the financial realities of booking internationals who make a lot of money by selling merch, especially when you’ve sold pre-show meet-and-greets that have stopped most people getting an autograph or a photo beforehand – but it’s a problem when the show is being streamed live.

They run the promo video for October’s Full Throttle tour, which is running Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne, with tickets on sale on the 29th of March. Running 5 cities is a massive undertaking, so best of luck to them!

WSW World Tag Team Championship Match: Flipping Machines (Flip Gordon & Brian Cage) (c) vs The Parea (Eli Theseus & Gabriel Aeros) vs WarBeard (Redbeard & Matt Basso)

This had been promoted pre-tour and last night as the Flipping Machines vs The Parea, which was a re-match from last year’s Adelaide show. This was one of the matches of the tour and is likely what resulted in this opportunity for The Parea. They warmed up by beating Effy and Joey Janela last night.

The mystery team is… WarBeard, the team of Redbeard (the former Eric Rowan) and Matt Basso. They debuted together last night beating the Major Players.

The Flipping Machines have been WSW Tag Team champs since mid 2019, holding the titles for almost 4 years. Flip Gordon was pinned last night in his triple threat match, while Cage went to a no contest in his banger against Josh Alexander.

I’m a bit flat with the additional team. The Flipping Machines vs The Parea last year was incredible, and this match didn’t need an additional team. (In other news, one of the commentators has been saying “The Parerra” for two nights and it’s driving me insane.)

It’s slow to get going as all teams/wrestlers take turns getting in the ring for some offence. They end up working towards a face-off between Redbeard and Cage, but The Parea tag themselves in. The Parea get a really good chance to shine, and we get a long stretch of the tag match we should’ve had.

Once all men get involved again it starts to break down a bit, and Redbeard breaks up a Cage pin on Aeros. Flip comes in to help out Redbeard, then it’s Basso taking out Flip, and the Parea are in to take out Basso and they’re the last ones standing. They wrap their fists in their chains, but have to take out Redbeard on the apron. Gordon returns to the ring, he and Cage hit their F5/cutter finisher, and Aeros is down for the 3 count.

This match wasn’t as good as the original match might have been. Rowan’s size means he has to be the focus of the match, which didn’t help the story of this match when he wasn’t involved in the finish. The match looked like it fell apart in the middle, and the ending was flat. Maybe we’ll get the Flipping Machines vs The Parea (with new commentary) in Adelaide or Sydney.

(By the end of the match it’s the “Piyerra”.)

Winners and STILL WSW Tag Team Champions: The Flipping Machines (Flip Gordon and Brian Cage)

WSW Women’s World Title Match: “The Juggernaut” Jordynn Grace (c) vs Jessica Troy

Jordynn Grace is now a two-time champion after beating Shazza McKenzie in rapid time last night. She looks amazing – she somehow looks fitter and more jakked than yesterday. Troy won a tough first contender match last night against Steph de Lander.

This is stiff work to begin with – it’s stiff lockups, shoulder charges and kicks. Troy does the elbow stomp, and I love ruthless badass Jess. They start slapping, elbowing, kicking and slamming each other. Jess locks in a kimura but Grace incredibly suplexes her out of it, so Jess goes back to attacking the arm.

Jess locks in a deep armbar, but Grace reverses it. She hits a huge spinebuster to Troy and goes for the Grace Driver before Shazza interrupts with a chair. The match is thrown out as Troy and Shaz attack Jordynne, and Steph de Lander comes out for the save. I guess we get a tag match involving all four women tomorrow night.

This was half of a really good match. It was hard hitting, Jess and Jordynn had great chemistry, but sadly we never got to a finishing sequence.

Result: No Contest

WSW World Heavyweight Title Match: Johnny DownUnder (c) vs “Alwayz Ready” Matt Cardona

Johnny DownUnder has been champ since the last tour, and successfully defended the title last night against Bandido. Cardona and Myers lost last night to WarBeard, but Cardona has been  owed this opportunity since the last tour, when he suffered a serious arm injury immediately beforehand.

Cardona spends a stupid amount of time powdering at the start of the match, and when he says “I’m not here for the marks, I’m here for the money” he might be telling the truth. Cardona fails at the nutbush dance so Morisson goes to do it, and Cardona predictably attacks him from behind. DownUnder uses his athleticism to take advantage before Cardona again bails to the outside.

Cardona rips up some padding, which Johnny ultimately uses to do a running slide under the railing before hitting Cardona with some popcorn. They fight through the crowd with Cardona getting hand sanitizer in his eyes before sitting in a fan’s lap.

As they return to the ring, DownUnder goes up top, Cardona grabs the ref, and then when DownUnder comes off the rope he pushes the ref and kicks DownUnder… well, down under.

Cardona takes over until his hubris costs him, and we end up with both men trading shots. After a couple of facewash boots, Cardona is thrown to the outside and manages to crotch DownUnder on the ring rope. He hits the Radio Silence, but Johnny kicks out at 2. Cardona grabs the belt, misses Johnny and hits the ref. DownUnder hits his finisher but there’s no ref, Myers interferes, Cardona hits his finisher, and the replacement ref is too late. Myers attacks the replacement ref, and Myers and Cardona are beating up DownUnder – including using some bread.

Johnny manages to take out Myers, hits a Starship Pain, and calls for another ref. WSW owner/promoter Adrian Manera comes out, counts to 2 – then stops and flips Morrison the bird. Manera kicks Johnny down under, Myers hits him with the belt, they pull Cardona on top of Johnny, and Manera counts the 3.

I don’t know what this match was. It started out with pandering and some dumb comedy. We got some decent stuff in the middle. Then we got a rubbish, horribly overbooked finish involving an owner that no one needs to see on television. Myers was more than enough of an advantage for Cardona to win. That finishing beatdown also involved… bread. What was this?

Winner and NEEEW WSW World Heavyweight Champion: “The Death Match King” Matt Cardona

Commentators promote tomorrow’s show from Adelaide without telling us any of the matches.

Overall thoughts: I want to be a positive voice on wrestling, so it took me a while to come up with my overall thoughts.

Suffice to say, there was a lot on this show that I didn’t like, namely the main event. In fact the whole second half was poor.

But there was a lot to love on the first half of the show. In particular, Alexander vs TJP is match of the tour so far in my opinion, and Bandido vs Christian was also really good.

How to watch it: The current World Series Wrestling tour can be streamed live and on demand through Fite+.

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