On Friday 28 April I was lucky enough to head along to the Whitehorse Club in the Melbourne suburb of Burwood for Battle Championship Wrestling’s 51st show – the creatively titled BCW 51.
I’m not a regular at BCW – the location is a bit of a bummer to get to from my place – so I can’t help a lot with storylines. But I will always spend 2 hours on PT or hire a car to see AAA Megachampion and sometimes AEW/ROH/GCW wrestler el Hijo del Vikingo in my city of Melbourne!
The big matches are Vikingo challenging Mick Moretti for the BCW Title, and The Parea challenging the Natural Classics for the Tag Team titles in a steel cage match.
Mad Dog vs Gabriel Wolfe
Mad Dog is mostly a hardcore wrestler, and is super over in BCW. He’s up against Gabriel Wolfe who… is not super over. He works really hard jaw-jacking with the crowd and working some submissions and an exposed turnbuckle, but it’s hard going in the first match of the show.
Mad Dog wins it with a spike piledriver, and while both worked hard, this struggled from being the opening match I think.
Winner: Mad Dog
Sam Yannis vs The Parea (Gabriel Aeros & Eli Theseus)
Sam Yannis is representing the Sexy Greek Boys, with his partner Levi Nixon still “hospitalised” after an attack by The Parea on the previous show. The Sexy Greek Boys have been a constant annoyance to The Parea in recent months, costing them in title matches on a number of occasions.
The Parea enter first, and Yannis enters through the crowd for a sneak attack.
It’s momentary though, as The Parea subsequently murder him. They hit him with their finisher – I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s basically Hart Attack with a big boot/drop kick. They lift him up before 3 though and continue the assault. Yannis is lifeless in the ring, they hit their finisher again, and it’s over. Aeros didn’t even take his bumbag off.
Winners: The Parea (Gabriel Aeros & Eli Theseus)
Battle Express Championship Match: Jonathan Preston (c) v Gore w/ Krackerjack
The Battle Express title is contested under a 10-minute title, which can make it a bit of a frustrating belt. It naturally becomes a heel belt, and unless you have a really great, creative heel, it ends up relying on a lot of time-wasting tropes.
Preston has held the title since mid-2022. Gore is challenging after winning a weird 7-man “Battle Jumble match” at the last show.
Preston relies a lot on time-wasting – two and a half minutes into the match and they’ve barely touched. Mercifully we have Krackerjack providing his own running commentary to keep us entertained.
As the match gets going, Preston weirdly dons a poncho – as I said, I don’t follow closely enough to know BCW storylines, so let me know if you can tell me what this is about! Gore takes over and has Preston in a submission, with a submission seemingly imminent.
At that moment we get a masked, hooded man interrupt and weakly attack Preston, and ref waves it off – the official decision is Preston winning by DQ. The masked man hides under the ring waiting for Krackerjack and Gore to leave, then enters the ring and reveals himself to be Preston’s returning brother, Sean. Gore and Krackers are back, but the Preston Kindred bolts.
Winner by disqualification and STILL Battle Express Champion: Jonathan Preston
BCW Tag Team Title Steel Cage Match: The Natural Classics (Tome & Stevie Filip) (c) vs The Parea (Gabriel Aeros & Eli Theseus)
The steel cage is being held up by 4 occy straps, which terrifies me, but the wrestlers seemed ok with it.
This is The Parea’s fourth shot at The Classics, taking place in a steel cage because of previous interference by the Sexy Greek Boys costing The Parea the titles.
I would imagine that having 4 guys confined to such a small space is a huge challenge. What I enjoyed about this match – what felt unique about it – is that there were very few segments of two guys lying down while two guys fought. Instead they were pairing off, beating the snot out of each other, then when one had the upper hand in his pairing, he’d go murder the other member of the opposing tag team and they’d switch up. It was “go go go” as a result of this, and resulted in a lot of really creative stuff.
We get a fun spot with Stevie and Aeros chasing each other on the top ropes, then the finishing stretch sees Theseus hit both Classics with the gold chain, before The Parea hits a Magic Killer to Stevie for a looong 2. Aeros goes to hit Stevie with the chain, but Stevie ducks and Aeros hits Theseus.
The Classics then hit an assisted powerbomb to Aeros for 2, then almost escape before they’re cut off. As The Parea focus on Tome, Stevie is on top of the cage, but has to return to break up a 3-count on Tome. The Parea take advantage, hit Stevie with their drop kick/Hart Attack finisher, and they’ve finally conquered the Natural Classics and won the gold!
Post-match we get a really sweet curtain call with all 4 men embracing, before The Parea try and retain some heat by pushing them off.
This was a really great tag team steel cage match. It flowed, it was hard hitting, it was athletic – this was everything I hoped it would be.
Winners and NEEEW BCW Tag Team Champions: The Parea (Gabriel Aeros & Eli Theseus)
Battle Express Championship #1 Contender Match: Carlo Cannon vs Emman Azman vs Zhan Wen vs Cletus
Carlo Cannon enters to “Ain’t no mountain high enough” which rules, and the crowd is into it! He takes on the role of veteran in this match, trying to establish alliances with various opponents to take out the most dangerous man.
It’s one of those four-ways I dislike that sees two men wrestling and two men resting, but this wasn’t here to steal the show, it was here to tell a story after the match.
Carlo hits a pump-handle piledriver to Emman, but Cletus returns to the ring and rolls Carlo up for a 3-count.
Winner and #1 contender to the Battle Express Championship: Cletus
As Cletus celebrates, Carlo loses his cool and attacks him. As Emman gets between them, Carlo tries convincing Emman to join him, arguing they should be achieving more in BCW. He gets through to Emman, who also turns heel and attacks Cletus.
Zhan returns to the ring and after some words from Carlo, the bad guys bail. Cletus wants to challenge Carlo and Emman to a tag team match against him and Zhan – then Zhan attacks him.
So we have a new heel faction of Carlo, Emman and Zhan that looks amazing. Sadly, there was some casual racism here as well, with a couple of people chanting “Aussie Aussie Aussie” at the white guy being attacked by three wrestlers of Asian heritage.
If this is you, don’t ever do this again. It’s garbage behaviour.
BCW Women’s Championship Match: Caity Luxe (c) vs Vixsin
Caity finally won the belt at the last show after an 8(ish) month feud with Vixsin. I was really looking forward to this, I’m a fan of both wrestlers.
I really wanted to love it too – Caity was the first person on this show to dial it back to heel 101, target a body part (Vixsin’s knee), and really exploit it. Unfortunately something was just a bit off on the night – I’m not sure what it was. It just seemed slow, and didn’t seem like it clicked.
This was probably demonstrated by the finish. Vixsin hit Caity with a chokebomb, but there’s too much damage to the knee for her to capitalise. Caity escapes to the floor, climbs under the ring, then reappeared on the other side of the ring to KO Vixsin with a weapon (I didn’t see what it was.)
It was just a rough spot – the weapon went nowhere near Vixsin’s head, Vixsin kind of fell in slow motion after appearing to take a moment to decide whether to sell it, then Caity pinned Vixsin with her feet on the ropes, and referee Dave (who, from a fan perspective, I generally find a really good ref) was just in an unfortunate position to sell that he “didn’t see it.”
One of those matches unfortunately, summarised by that finishing sequence – two immensely talented wrestlers, but it just seemed to go wrong on the night.
Winner and STILL BCW Women’s Champion: Caity Luxe
BCW Heavyweight Championship Match: Mick Moretti (c) vs el Hijo del Vikingo
Moretti has been BCW champ since BCW 46 in June last year, and has quietly been putting together a great body of work at the Whitehorse Club, with an amazing match against PJ Black that I was lucky enough to see, and defences against Slex and TAKA Michonoku.
This is Vikingo’s second appearance with BCW, after his successful defence of the AAA title against Adam Brooks in October last year. For me he is the best wrestler in the world, and I will go anywhere in Melbourne to see him wrestle.
We start out, and it’s very much a Moretti match with the stalling and the mind games – and Vikingo seems to be enjoying working a different style of match in an untelevised setting.
Following some of Moretti’s tricks, Vikingo plays a lot of the hits including a rope walk, the running moonsault from the apron to the floor, and the corkscrew 450 splash from the outside of the middle rope.
As we head towards the finish, they’re beating the shit out of each other, and they’ve genuinely sold me on not knowing who was going to win this match. Both men come close, with Mick trying everything – in the end, it takes a top rope Canadian Destroyer through a table for Moretti to retain the title. A genuinely thrilling, terrifying and exhilarating moment all at once.
This was an incredible match, and I hope BCW upload it to their facebook in the coming weeks, cos I’d love to see it again. It might be the best live match I’ve seen this year – which, when you consider that Melbourne has already seen Robbie Eagles vs Kyle Fletcher and Robbie vs SHINGO this year, is a massive statement.
Winner and STILL BCW Heavyweight Champion: Mick Moretti
“GRACIAS! GRACIAS! GRACIAS!”
Final thoughts: This show was exactly what I thought/hoped it would be – a two-match show with two absolute bangers, and enough happening on the periphery to maintain interest. I particularly liked the Carlo Cannon stuff.
Sans some casual racism, it was also a really good crowd at Burwood, which hasn’t always been my experience with BCW, and wasn’t something to be taken for granted given the curious choice of opener.
BCW is a very good local promotion if you’re located in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, and their commitment to bringing out international stars makes them worth following on social media – hopefully they’ll bring out a star that you love soon, in which case the venue is accessible from across Melbourne, just time-consuming. (They announced during this show that there will be two internationals at their next show in June, but they didn’t name them.)
For me? Doesn’t matter how many times they bring Vikingo, I’ll go every time. I don’t expect him to be a regular – but Robbie Eagles is a semi-regular in BCW, and that’s the dream match for me. I hope we get it soon!
How to watch: The biggest bummer with BCW is that they don’t stream their shows. I don’t know why – they record the shows, they record commentary, they release individual matches on their facebook page, but they don’t stream their shows. So all I can suggest is that you follow Battle Championship Wrestling on social media.
In the hours after I posted this review BCW announced the two internationals for their next show: