It’s PWA, one of the top two promotions in Australia. It’s a rumble, featuring 30 of New South Wales’ and Australia’s best wrestlers.
What’s not to love? Of course this was worth 15 bucks to watch it live on Fite TV.
PWA Premiership Semi-Final: BackPain (Backman & Jack Pain) vs MK Plus Ultra (Michael Spencer and Kai Drake)
Despite the fancy name, the PWA Premiership is really just a tag team tournament. There were a few interesting, thrown together teams initially in the tourney, but these are two of the long standing PWA teams
MK Plus Ultra are former PWA Tag Champs, yet still feel somewhat underrated. BackPain have massive pockets of support in the crowd and online – I’m not that big on them, but it might be to do with my personal back issues.
Backman and Spencer start out and after a slow start BackPain are bringing the power and dominating their smaller opponents. MK Plus Ultra then turn it around, attacking the knees of Backman before he manages to tag out.
Spencer and Drake retain the same strategy against Jack Pain, attacking the legs and utilising frequent tags. Spencer does this weird spot where he hoists the ref into a fireman’s carry and drops the knees into Pain – then thanks the ref. So he’s just used the refs weight in addition to his own for the knee drop.
Pain eventually gets the tag out, and Backman comes in and wrecks both opponents. Backman gets a real close nearfall on Drake, but Drake kicks out, momentarily recovers to take on both his opponents, but then gets smacked down.
BackPain then hit an assisted Pounce to Drake, knocking him out of the ring, followed by an assisted spinebuster to Spencer for the three-count. BackPain move onto the PWA Premiership Final after a fun little match.
Winners: BackPain (Jack Pain & Backman)
PPK (Frankie B & Nikki van Blair) are in the ring, including their newest pledges, Cherry Stephens and Bel Pierce. Frankie is promoting one of the drink sponsors and suggests everyone go get one.
Nikki then welcomes the new PPK pledges. Cherry’s interruption goes fine, but Bel’s is interrupted by SMS’ music, and out comes Unsocial Jordan.
The crowd shouts down Jordan, before he questions if this is what has become of the Soul of PWA Championship and telling Cherry that she disgusts him. He tells Bel that he doesn’t know how she got involved with PPK, but she stands with SMS and they’re leaving. She doesn’t immediately leave, so Jordan drags her by the arm and she eventually leaves with him.
We then get a video promoting Colosseum 2023 on October 21-22. It’s showing the sights of Sydney, and the obvious implication is that Colosseum is returning to Sydney (which commentary then confirms.)
Will Kieids vs Jessica Troy
Commentary explains that Will Kiedis has been annoying Jess, involving himself in her business and her matches since she lost the Soul of PWA Championship (which is almost two years ago).
Jess Troy gets the better of the early exchanges, with both of them fighting on the ring apron. Kiedis flips it though as Jess attempts a tope suicida, and Kiedis catches Troy and runs her into the ringpost.
Kiedis starts working on the arm of Jess, which has a target on it with a bandage on her elbow. Kiedis almost wins with a sunset flip powerbomb that I thought might’ve legit knocked Jess out. She kicks at 2 though, and Kiedis locks in a version of the Money Clip which almost chokes out Troy. She ends up rolling up Kiedis with the hold still locked in and he has to break it, and Troy then attempts to follow up with the armbar, but she’s in too much pain.
Kiedis gets knocked to the outside where he mouths off with Home & Away’s Ethan Brown, who pushes Kiedis into the path of a tope suicida.
Back in the ring, Kiedis is attempting to lock in the Money Clip again but Jess mounts him with strikes. Kiedis then reverses it, locking in an armbar which Troy escapes from before locking in her own armbar. She’s struggling to hold it with the injured arm though, and Kiedis eases the pressure and powers his way to his feet – where Troy immediately hits him with a poison rana and locks in the Fujiwara armbar for the win.
It started out slow, but this was a really good Jessica Troy showcase down the stretch. A good enough showcase that I wonder if there’s more to come from Jess tonight…
Winner: Jessica Troy
We then get a weird little film preview that apparently has nothing to do with wrestling, for a movie that is part of the Sydney Film Festival. I have no idea what this was doing here! I think the movie was called Birdcage?
PWA Premiership Semi-final: Rogue Army (Jack J Bonza & Lyrebird Luchi) vs Mick Moretti & Jimmy Townsend
Bonza initially started this tournament with Bad Luck Fale before Luchi took his place. Luchi has a fresh haircut for this show, and it’s wild how different he looks.
Commentary puts over The Nations partnership between Bonza and Moretti, who have both now taken on new proteges. Bonza takes the mic and comments how sexy Luchi looks, but he wants to address Moretti. He references the domination of The Nations, and notes them going in different directions, including Adam Hoffman and Jessica Troy. But Bonza wants The Nations to know that when push comes to shove he still has their back.
Luchi and Bonza use the lucha tag rules to attack Jimmy from behind and immediately take advantage. After a prolonged beating Jimmy momentarily flips it and goes for the tag, but Luchi (the illegal man) pulls Moretti from the apron, and the Rogue Army duo retain control over Townsend, including a Bonza Blue Thunder Bomb for a nearfall.
Moretti finally enters the ring for the first time, and it’s the face off with his Nations brother Bonza. Moretti gets the better of the exchange but Luchi quickly tags himself in. Moretti gets the better of Luchi as well and he hits a double team neckbreaker with Townsend for a nearfall.
Bonza and Moretti exchange pinning combinations before Moretti is levelled by a huge Bonza lariat. Bonza hoists Moretti for a delayed vertical suplex, but Moretti reverses it into a tombstone piledriver. They cover each other with a double nearfall.
Both manage to tag their proteges. Jimmy gets the better of Luchi and hits Bonza with a superkick, before missing a moonsault. Commentary emphasises that Moretti was telling Jimmy not to hit the moonsault, but he does it anyway.
Townsend cops a Luchi monkey flip into a Bonza powerbomb for a looong 2. The ref ends up being knocked down, so Moretti hands Jimmy a chair – but he refuses to listen to Moretti and throws the chair down. Moretti grabs it and tells Jimmy to use it, and Mick and Jimmy are arguing midmatch. As they argue in the corner, Moretti moves and Bonza hits Townsend with the chair that Moretti introduced – but the referee is revived enough to see it, and disqualifies the Rogue Army. Moretti leaves without Jimmy.
A really good match, with an interesting story between Moretti and Jimmy heading into the final.
Winners by disqualification: Mick Moretti & Jimmy Townsend
We get a promo for PWA’s next show, Requiem for a Tag Team Dream, at Liberty Hall on 24 June.
Then we get an eating competition between Kai Drake and a competition winner. Given this was an ad for a burger place next door to the venue, this didn’t need to be on the stream. (Kai Drake wins when the competition winner pathetically taps out in an eating competition. Weak AF.)
PWA Heavyweight Championship: “The Example” Ricky South vs “Sweet Dreams” Carter Deams
Deams is part of the SMS faction, so this is a bit of a weird heel vs heel match. Deams is, in storyline, the guy who is given “credit” for South’s neck injury last year.
We start out hot, though commentary are focussing on South de-masking Big Fudge at the last show.
Deams takes control early on, with a double stomp and a frog splash for a two-count. He has another nearfall from an axe kick, before Deams locks in a Kimura which is broken up in the ropes.
Deams delivers another axe kick to the back of South’s head, and they fight around the ring to the stage. Deams grabs a guitar to hit South, but a member of the house band comes to rescue the guitar, with the distraction allowing South to throw Deams off the stage through the timekeeper’s table.
South immediately grabs referee Hannah by the hair and demands she return to the ring to count Deams out. The slowest count ever lets Deams return at 9, where he’s met with a lariat and a two count.
South starts brutally attacking the neck of Deams, telling a retribution story following his injury of last year. Deams manages to explode into a stunner, ala Grayson Waller/Matty Wahlberg, then hits South’s own pildedriver, but it’s only enough for two. A package piledriver from Deams also only gets a two-count. He tries for another, but South reverses it into a piledriver of his own. He’s too hurt to cover Deams though, and referee Hannah starts a double count out.
Both men are back on their feet and trading shots, before Deams again takes advantage. He attempts a Yakuza kick in the corner, but Ricky collapses to avoid it. Still in the corner, both men end up on the second rope, and South delivers an avalanche piledriver for 3.
A really good match that managed to tell a good story between two heels. The ending perhaps came a little out of nowhere, but man Deams looks strong coming out of this.
Winner and STILL PWA Heavyweight Champion: Ricky South
Carter Deams punches out a guy from the house band as he leaves… and he completely no-sells it.
Ricky then takes the mic and says that Deams was an honorable challenger, but Ricky is an honorable champion, he is our champion. Whoever wins the rumble, “must make sure that you damn well earn it, not by luck, or by a fluke” – and he then mentions Big Fudge. He says if anyone manages to fluke an opportunity, he will say no.
Next is the intermission and house band. They’re called Big Red Fire Truck, and they’re pretty good – the problem is when you have a house band at intermission, it generally means you’re looking at a 30 minute intermission.
30 people, standard rumble over the top rope eliminations.
#1 Everett Connors
#2 Jimmy Townsend
Jimmy is making his second appearance of the night and gets a couple of near-eliminations on Connors before Everett takes control and gets a near-elimination of his own. Connors hits a big neckbreaker and then struggles to eliminate Townsend as the clock hits zero.
#3 Lena Kross
The first of the great surprises in Perth’s Lena Kross, who is bigger than both opponents. She starts with a cool sliding German suplex and goes onto eliminate Connors.
First eliminated: Everett Connors
Townsend immediately eats a boot after a springboard in Kross’ direction.
#4 ‘Big Brother’ Billy Preston
Preston is out with the Menagerie. Kross goes for a big boot but hangs herself up on the top rope. Billy hands something to Jimmy, the lights go out, and they’re doing the “James Adultman” bit with Jimmy on Billy’s shoulders with the trench coat. They eliminate Kross, before Preston tries to eliminate Townsend.
Second eliminated: Lena Kross
#5 Aaron Jake
SMS’ Aaron Jake immediately attacks Preston and the Menagerie start making their way to ringside (finally!) Jake hits the best dropkick you’ve ever seen to Jimmy here!
Jake tries to throw out Preston, but he’s saved from elimination by the Menagerie. Jake tries to throw him out the other side of the ring, but he’s too slow and the Menagerie rescue Preston again.
Jake retrieves a chair from under the ring and attacks Preston’s Menagerie, wiping them all out. He then eliminates Preston.
Third eliminated: Billy Preston
#6 Lachy McIntyre
He’s out with Rhys Angel, who stops him entering the ring. Jake goes to eliminate Jimmy, but McIntyre runs up behind Jake to eliminate him. Angel also enters the ring to film McIntyre, then joins McIntyre in putting the boots to Jimmy.
Fourth eliminated: Aaron Jake
McIntyre takes a mic and thanks people for leaving their basements to come out tonight, mentions that the crowd’s wives and girlfriends are inflatable, and says the video they’ve just filmed is worth more than anyone can comprehend.
Kinglsey faces up to McIntyre, who continues talking on the mic but I can’t really hear it. Kingsley steals the phone and asks what would happen if she deleted the video, and demands that McIntyre beg. He does, and Kingsley deletes the video anyway.
She drops the phone outside the ring, as he chases it, Kingsley hits McIntyre with a low blow and a stunner before wailing on him in the corner.
#8 Tough Juan
Jaun Direction’s representative is out by himself. He hits the worm to McIntyre then hoists Townsend into an airplane spin. Jimmy pulls his sleeping bag over Tough Juan, but fails to eliminate him.
#9 “King Rich” Richard Mulu
Mulu is from the NZ Dojo, and is my absolute favourite of the TAMASHII guys.
He attacks McIntyre, faces off with KIngsley, then hits Tough Juan with a choke bomb.
#10 Matt Boyton
The former Matt Rogers enters to a big boy face off with Mulu. They trade heavy shots as the commentators discuss Mulu’s Campbelltown/Samoan heritage. Boyton gets the best of the exchange, then McIntyre faces up to Boyton who immediately dumps him.
Fifth eliminated: Lachy McIntyre
Kingsley unsuccessfully faces off against Boyton, then decides to eliminate himself.
Boyton also dumps Tough Juan.
Sixth & Seventh eliminated: Kingsley & Tough Juan
We get Big Fudge’s music… but it’s clearly David Streamer in a Big Fudge mask.
#11 David Streamer
He takes off the mask and Boyton immediately hits him with a big boot and throws him out.
Eight eliminated: David Streamer
Townsend immediately attacks Boyton but eats a big boot. Boyton hoists Townsend into the pumphandle and goes to dump him, but Jimmy escapes and throws Boyton over.
Ninth eliminated: Matt Boyton
We’re momentarily down to Townsend and Mulu, then
#12 Mick Moretti
We’re fresh off the dissension between Moretti and Townsend earlier tonight, although they did progress to the PWA Premiership final.
Jimmy and Mick do the Moretti schtick where he stalls to remove his gear. They duck an attack from Mulu and double team him.
#13 Cherry Stephens
PWDU favourite and Soul of PWA Champion Cherry Stephens enters to attack Jimmy and Moretti, but she hits a really great head scissors and two armdrags to Moretti. She then hits a dragon screw followed by a seated blockbuster, and Cherry is a house of fire before Mick and Jimmy team up to take her down.
#14 Jack Bonza
Bonza is out to face the two men that he faced earlier tonight – as Moretti and Jimmy face off with Bonza waiting for his entry, Mick eliminates Jimmy from behind before telling him to use his head.
Tenth eliminated: Jimmy Townsend
The former Nations partners team up against Mulu, then Stephens, who manages to fight her way out of it.
#15 Belinda Pierce
Pierce teamed with Stephens as part of the PWA Premiership, when they both pledged PPK. She attacks Bonza and Moretti briefly before the Nations duo take control. They go to eliminate Pierce, but Cherry rescues her and they team up. Cherry and Bel hit stereo 619s to the Nations and hug, before Mulu steamrolls both of them.
#16 Concrete Davidson
Conc is the next of the fun rumble surprises! Representing the Black Shirt Cool Group, he does his entrance, removes his shirt to reveal the second shirt… and is immediately eliminated by Bonza.
Eleventh eliminated: Concrete Davidson
#17 Nikki van Blair
Nikki informs the commentators that she’ll be waiting for Frankie.
Moretti and Bonza are in the ring teaming against Mulu, but he reverses it into a double vertical suplex.
#18 Frankie B
PPK are now entering the rumble together, and still have their pledges Cherry and Bel in the ring.
They enter the ring and face off with Mulu, taking him down. They struggle to eliminate Mulu, and eventually get the job done with the help of Pierce and Stephens.
Twelfth Eliminated: Richard Mulu
#19 Will Kiedis
Kiedis is holding his arm after his earlier loss to Jess Troy, and he faces off against the PPK alignment. He takes down van Blair, Frankie and Pierce before facing off with Cherry. As they talk though, PPK recover and all four attack Kiedis. He’s thrown over the top rope but holds on until Cherry hits him with a running knee.
Thirteenth eliminated: Will Kiedis
#20 Unsocial Jordan
Jordan enters through the crowd and uses his camera tripod to eliminate Frankie B and Nikki van Blair before anyone else knows what’s happening. Jordan then demands that Pierce stand alongside him, which she eventually does.
Fourteenth & fifteenth eliminated: Frankie B & Nikki van Blair
Jordan gives Pierce a verbal dressing down and is demanding PIerce attack Stephens as he holds her – but Pierce hits the spear to Jordan. As Cherry looks on stunned, Pierce eliminates Jordan.
Sixteenth eliminated: Unsocial Jordan
#21 Sam Osborne
SAM OSBORNE IS BACK IN PWA! I’m such a fan of Osborne, he just does everything well – I was heartbroken when he stepped away from wrestling, I’d only just discovered him. The former Soul of PWA champ takes his time entering the match before facing off with Bonza. He hits a backbreaker and a judo slam to Bonza, and he looks great.
He does his pose before Moretti faces off with him, but Osborne gets the better of that exchange and is telling Pierce to spear Moretti. He outsmarts her though, throwing Moretti away and using Pierce’s momentum to eliminate her. He then gives Cherry an eyepoke to knock her over the top rope.
Seventeenth & eighteenth eliminated: Bel Pierce & Cherry Stephens
#22 Charli Evans
Commentary puts over the history between Evans and Osborne as they face off and start trading shots. Charlie hits a sick release German suplex.
#23 Paris da Silva
One half of the Velocities is a house of fire, knocking down Evans and Osborne before Moretti and Bonza resume working together. Da Silva hits Moretti with a huge DDT to Moretti before Osbore attacks. Da Silva attempts to eliminate Osborne, then Evans tries to eliminate da Silva, but da Silva and Evans work together to eliminate Evans with a head scissors. Evans delivers chops to both of them as she leaves.
Nineteenth Eliminated: Charli Evans
#24 Carter Deams
Deams immediately attacks da Silva with a couple of near eliminations, until
#25 Jude London
London hits a 619 and a huge springboard elbow to Deams, then the VeloCities start working together with tag team moves to Deams. As they work on Deams in the corner, Osborne attacks, but he is ultimately eliminated by the VeloCities.
Twentieth eliminated: Sam Osborne
With Da Silva on the top rope ready to attack a prone Moretti, Bonza arrives from outside the ring and dumps Da Silva.
Twenty-first eliminated: Paris da Silva
#26 ‘Big Red Fire Trucks” Digby
He delivers a clothesline and a powerslam before facing off with Deams after Deams punched Digby in the face before. Digby hits Deams with a Famouser before he eats a chop and big boot from Deams. He then hits an axe kick, mocks Digby, and throws him to the outside – but Digby holds on.
#27 The Tuckman
Tuckman enters with a beer in each hand, attacking Deams. He and Digby share a drink, and Deams thrones Tuckman out, but he holds on. As Deams goes to attack, Digby stands in his way, beckons for Deams to charge at him – Digby then moves, Tuckman pulls the rope down, and Deams is eliminated.
Twenty-second eliminated: Carter Deams
#28 Adam Hoffman
Another member of the Nations enters, and after working with Moretti, Hoffman eliminates Digby.
Twenty-third eliminated: Digby
The three Nations members work together to attack and eliminate The Tuckman.
Twenty-fourth eliminated: The Tuckman
We’re down to three members of the Nations who work together to eliminate London, and they then wait for the next entrant.
Twenty-fifth eliminated: Jude London
#29 Ben Braxton
Braxton manages to hold his own against the Nations team, hitting some really sweet looking athletic stuff. Doesn’t last long though as the Nations work together to savage Braxton before eliminating him.
Twenty-sixth eliminated: Ben Braxton
#30 Jessica Troy
Completing the current iteration of The Nations is Jess Troy, which means no Lyrebird Luchi and no Big Fudge (who was my pick to win it.)
We start out with a Nations pose, which strikes me as odd given Bonza’s current Rogue Army affiliation. Bonza tries to eliminate Troy, then Moretti and Hoffman try and eliminate Bonza before going to work on each other. They’re telling a story of knowing what each other is going to do before Bonza and Troy return.
We get a really good, elongated exchange between all four, and after some near-eliminations Moretti is eventually taken out, quickly followed by Hoffman. We’re down to Bonza and Jessica Troy.
Twenty-seventh & twenty-eighth eliminated: Mick Moretti & Adam Hoffman
Bonza uses his strength to take over, then shows the Too Sweet. Jess manages a near elimination followed by a big boot and a drop kick sending Bonza into the second turnbuckle. Troy attempts a Meteora which Bonza attempts to reverse, but she rescues herself, sends Bonza to the outside with a headscissors, then repeated forearms and a dropkick to the knee gets it done for Jessica Troy!
Twenty-ninth eliminated: Jack Bonza
PWA RUMBLE WINNER: Jessica Troy!
Jess says every PWA Rumble winner has made us wait to find out which title they’d be challenging for. She says “not me – Ricky South, that PWA Heavyweight Championship is mine!”
Ricky South is straight out in his street clothes, he grabs a mic, and he says “No. You won from number 30, that’s luck. You have earned nothing.”
Bonza enters the ring, grabs South’s mic, and says he meant it when he says he has the Nations’ back, and you don’t get to refuse the Rumble winner. Bonza says Troy won from 30, but deserves it more than anyone, and he is proud to be associated with her.
“Just because you (Ricky) and I (Bonza) both know she has know chance of beating you, and she would be a joke if she won. She’s too small, too weak, too pathetic…”
Jess cuts him off and says that at the next show, after she taps Bonza out, South has to give her a title shot.
Overall thoughts: I really liked the Rumble match, I thought they did an amazing job of telling a lot of stories throughout the match. I was stunned that there was no Big Fudge – as I mentioned, he was my pick to win. I’m also curious about the continued telling of The Nations storyline, when 1) Bonza is now with Rogue Army, 2) Mick is doing the thing with his protege Jimmy Townsend, 3) Hoffman is only a part-timer in PWA and 4) Jess most recently challenged for tag team accolades with Charli Evans who, as I understand it, fell out with The Nations years ago.
I’m sure it’s telling a longterm story – PWA may be looking at some sort of Nations vs Rogue Army feud, which would be interesting – but in the meantime it feels a little like they’re holding onto this old faction that doesn’t have a bunch of bearing on current PWA as a foursome.
There were some good matches earlier in the show too – storytelling isn’t always a strength of PWA, but the South/Deams match and both PWA Premiership matches did a good job of in-ring storytelling, creating better matches than I was anticipating.
Despite what I thought were a couple of curious booking choices, this was an excellent way to spend a Saturday night/spend 15 bucks.
How do I watch it? PWA streams its events on Fite TV. They are available live and On Demand.