Sunday, 21 May saw Renegades of Wrestling present its Brewery Brawl event as part of Melbourne’s Good Beer Week. Held at The Industrique, we were delving deep into the industrial area of Coburg North in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, to a big a concrete warehouse that, visually, looked great for wrestling.
I had a few issues with the venue – it was cold, the toilets were a bit yuck, and the smoking area sucked – but it looked and sounded great, which is the main thing.
Six-person Tag Team Match: The Ambush (Emman Azman, Jarvis & Murdoch) vs Big Dude Energy (Big Dave & Ricky Gilmore) & Santiago Silva
The Ambush are young, hungry talents who came together at the end of last year. Emman has been embroiled in a feud with his former tag partner Robbie Eagles, but has also been on a bit of a losing streak – he lost a one-on-one match to Robbie at the last show.
BDE are Melbourne’s most fun, most over tag team, while Santiago made his Renegades at the previous show, but already looks a supremely talented guy.
We got a really fun, fast paced match here with a lot of high flying. The Ambush largely dominated the match, and the final stretch saw Emman attacking Santiago’s leg before locking in Robbie’s Ron Miller Special for the tap out.
As The Ambush celebrate they mock Robbie Eagles – awesome, the match between Emman and Robbie at the last show was tremendous, and with Robbie vs The Ambush continuing I would love to see Robbie vs Jarvis as well. Jarvis just comes across as a savage in his attitude and with his striking.
A really good, fast-paced opener.
Winners: The Ambush (Emman Azman, Jarvis & Murdoch)
Singles match: “The Hooligan” Marcus Kool vs “Absolute Excellence” Anth Cava
Cava is breathtakingly good-looking…
I’m fairly sure this is Kool’s first appearance in Renegades, but he’s appeared across Melbourne a few times, and his schtick is engaging enough to always be over.
As well as being mad hot, Cava is really starting to understand this narcissist, pretty boy “Absolute Excellence” character, and it makes him great to watch. It’s also a character that gives him a bit of variety on the spectrum of comedy to serious wrestling.
This was a good, back and forth match that saw a little bit of comedy, as the Hooligan received a yellow card from the ref before Cava received a red card.
Of course, in the context of wrestling it doesn’t mean a whole lot! Cava ends up tapping out Kool to the Master Lock, and he continues to look super impressive in Renegades.
Winner: “Absolute Excellence” Anth Cava
Renegades of Wrestling Women’s Title Match: Aysha (c) vs Delta
PWDownunder favourite Aysha won the Renegades title from Shazza McKenzie at the previous show.
Delta earns this opportunity after beating Chanel Phoenix in a brutal war at the previous show, avenging the double count-out that eliminated both Delta and Chanel from the title tournament.
We continue to witness Aysha’s character development early in this match, and while it’s funny, it comes off a bit strange in this case – Aysha is mocking Delta’s size which, given Delta’s size is about to result in Aysha getting the snot beat out of her, is a little weird. Additionally, Delta is a muscular beast, her’s is the furthest thing from a “mockable” body.
After some early mind games and stalling from Aysha, Delta uses her size and power to largely dominate the match – all the while though, Aysha manages to execute a bunch of really slick counters, once again it’s fun seeing her pull things off with a crispness that I don’t believe she possessed a year ago.
The finish comes when Aysha attempts a crossbody off the top rope, but is caught by Delta who hoists her up and delivers an F5. As she covers Aysha, The Ambush interferes, knocking out the ref and attacking Delta, before Aysha smashes the champagne bottle across Delta’s head, the ref is revived, and he counts the 3.
This turned into a really good match down the stretch, despite Aysha’s mocking of Delta at the start being a little confusing (albeit very funny.)
Winner and STILL Renegades of Wrestling Women’s Champion: Aysha
Inaugural Renegades of Wrestling Tag Team Championship Three Stages of Hell Match: The Bastard Brothers (Krackerjak & Gore) vs The VeloCities (Paris De Silva & Jude London)
The Bastards beat The Velocities late last year, then announced the re-match at the last show, saying it would be for the inaugural tag titles, and it would be a three stages of hell match with a normal match, a street fight, and a “Bed of F**king Nails Match.”
As the start out the match, Krackerjack loudly notes that the Bastards appear to be the babyfaces today – this was a really interesting little detail for later on…
The first fall was a pretty quick back and forth match with De Silva rolling up Gore for a quick 3-count.
Then the weapons came out, and both teams paired off and just started beating the hell out of each other. It was a level of brutality you don’t often see from The VeloCities. The second fall came with Gore and De Silva fighting around the turnbuckle with a table in the ring – Gore ends up powerbombing Paris through the table for three, as Krackers holds back Jude on the outside.
Then we get the third fall, which looked a little contrived for the first couple of minutes as the beds of nails’ were introduced, but it quickly became a war with The VeloCities leaning into the crowd reaction and not so subtly performing as bad guys. Very much a Krackerjack style of match that allowed The VeloCities to show more creativity and brutality as the match went on.
The finish came when Gore was cable-tied to the barrier on the outside, and Krackers cops a double superkick, which leaves him prone on a bed of nails. De Silva lays a cinder block across Krackers’ chest, he goes to attack Gore, London uses a sledge hammer to break the cinder block across Krackers’, and we have our inaugural champs.
This kind of became a “pen down” review, because the more the match went on, the better it got, the more engrossed I became. The crescendo it built at the end was phenomenal, the variety, the violence and heelish tendencies that The VeloCities showed in this match was so different… I don’t know where this will sit among Melbourne’s matches of the year come December, cos it was so unlike any of the other great matches I’ve seen this year – but it absolutely goes on the December re-watch list, and you should go out of your way to see this match. This is a really fun, different, brutal match for The Velocities to put on their show reel, I haven’t seen them have a match like this before.
Winners and NEEEW Renegades of Wrestling Tag Team Champions: The VeloCities (Jude London & Paris De Silva)
The Moon Dog Cup Battle Royal: Chanel Phoenix vs Tarlee vs Caity Luxe vs Leah Lovegrove vs Elaine Hope
The beer/brewery sponsor gets their moment in the sun as five competitors face off in an over the top rope battle royal.
Chanel eliminates Lovegrove, Caity eliminates Elaine Hope, Tarlee eliminates Caity, and Chanel eliminates Tarlee for the win.
It was pretty standard battle royal fare here – it was fine, but there was nothing too exciting or spectacular.
Winner: Chanel Phoenix
Singles match: Fun Time Phil vs “The Aspirationalist” Lochie Hendricks
We get a really strange pre-match video from Lochie, where he puts over his preferred choice of chips. I’m probably missing something, but I don’t know what this was. This is Lochie’s re-debut after the funeral of “Loverboy” and the birth of “The Aspirationalist” at the previous show.
The crowd starts with a “Phil! Phil! Phil!” chant – which Lochie responds to by asking “are you chanting Phil? Or Aspirationalist?” This killed me, The Aspirationalist character is leaning into that delusional heel thing, and I’m here for it!
This was a good match, with Phil getting in a lot more offence than I expected – I think most of us just thought this would be a showcase for Lochie and, while it was a showcase in terms of him getting his stuff in, Phil got quite a bit of his stuff in too.
Lochie wins it with what looks like a version of the crossface chicken-wing.
Winner: “The Aspirationalist” Lochie Hendricks
Renegades of Wrestling Heavyweight Title Match: Rat Daddy (c) vs Caveman Ugg
Rat Daddy won the inaugural title tournament and has held the belt since then. Ugg won a first contender match at the previous show to earn this opportunity.
I found this a really odd match. I think I expected something really overtly creative between two guys with prominent characters that I believe compliment each other – but apart from a spot where both wrestlers were biting each others feet, then biting the feet of the referee, they didn’t really lean into the congruence of their respective characters in a way that I thought they might.
The match also felt quite short, and didn’t feel like it really got out of second gear. I love Rat Daddy’s gimmick, I love the videos he does, I love pretty much everything about the character – except what happens in the ring, cos it’s the second main event in the row that I’ve felt didn’t really kick into a high gear. Given the immense standard of wrestling we’re witnessing in Melbourne this year, I think everyone is there hoping for a banger main event – we didn’t get it at this show.
That’s not to say it was bad – it wasn’t bad by any stretch, it just wasn’t a “main event style” match, in that it felt short and it didn’t quite escalate.
Winner and STILL Renegades of Wrestling Heavyweight Champion: Rat Daddy
Overall thoughts: This was another really excellent live show delivered by Renegades of wrestling. The strength of this show was the variety of it – everything on the first half of the show in particular was so different to each other, capped off with the tag title match that I loved, and that you should go out of your way to see.
The second half wasn’t as must see, but watching the character stuff from Lochie and from Rat Daddy is fun, so it’s absolutely still worth a watch.
From a live attendee perspective, I’m not quite sure about the venue – but Renegades seems to have a pretty good feel for its audience, so if people are happy to go back to The Industrique I certainly didn’t hate it, I would probably go back again.
How to watch? Renegades has already announced on twitter that this show will be available to stream on Fite+ from Friday 2 June – the show is absolutely worth watching, and you should go out of your way to watch the tag title match.
I don’t believe Renegades announced a future show, so keep an eye on their twitter page @ROWrestlingAU