PWDU Review: PWA It’s Coming Home

After being lucky enough to enjoy PWA Black Label’s previous show, Requiem for a Tag Team Dream, from the live crowd, we’re back to reality this month, enjoying “It’s Coming Home” from a cold Melbourne.

The good news is that, with PWA recently moving its shows to Fite+, we’re no longer paying $15 for the show, we’re instead paying… nothing at all! (Assuming you’re already a Fite+ subscriber)

The name is a weird one, using an English catch-cry to pay tribute to the Matilda’s during the World Cup. At least do it properly with “It’s Kerrming Home!” (Seriously, go Matilda’s, I’m going to cry if we can’t get through Canada on Monday…)

We’ve got all 3 PWA titles on the line tonight, and we also have a Money in the Bank-style ladder match where 6 wrestlers compete for a future title opportunity.

Cherry Stephens w/ PPK vs Belinda Pierce

This is a really interesting story that kind of snuck up on us. Using videos from their training centre, Cherry and Bel pledged PPK before teaming up for the PWA Premiership. After accompanying Cherry to the ring for her Soul of PWA Championship title defence against Unsocial Jordan, Belinda Pierce revealed the swerve and helped Jordan win the title, revealing she’d never really left SMS.

Commentary is putting over how personal this match is after Belinda cost Cherry the title, and Cherry starts out hot. She’s dominant inside and outside the ring, including hitting a high-velocity Irish whip into the ring post, but Pierce manages to gain momentum as she scurries away from Cherry.

PIerce stops the beating to tell Cherry how dumb she is, before hitting a neckbreaker. She then rolls Cherry up with a bridge for a two-count, but Cherry kicks out, moves into the corner, and is momentarily able to counter Pierce’s charges before Pierce regains control and puts a beating on Cherry.

Nikki van Blair grabs the commentary mic and says “Belinda Pierce is a dumb bitch”, which pops me, but it doesn’t impact the destruction of Cherry. After the long heat spot Cherry ends up fighting out of the corner and hitting her springboard DDT for a long two-count. After battling with a sore back, she follows that up with a Gory Bomb into the corner and an avalanche blockbuster which is partially blocked, allowing Pierce to kick out – but Cherry follows it up with her “C-Bomb” finisher for the win. It’s a sick looking finisher.

Winner: Cherry Stephens

PPK only get a moment to celebrate in the ring with Cherry when we get a video showing us the Colosseum.

Then the now-traditional message: “You’ve been noticed… Cherry Stephens.” A Colosseum place is huge for Cherry!

Trios Match: MK+ Ultra (Kai Drake & Michael Stephens) & Tommy Dee vs Everett Connors, Shay Kassidy & Kingsley

Commentary announce this is Tommy Dee’s PWA debut – he’s out playing a guitar.

Streamer is introduced first from his team, saying he’s announcing his new business venture, the hottest and most in-demand entertainment product in the world today – Everett Connors, Shay Kassidy & Kingsley.

This came from a 6-person scramble match at the last show, where Connors, Kassidy & Kingsley (as babyfaces) shared the win after simultaneously pinning their opponents.

As the match starts, Streamer takes a commentary mic and starts explaining why he’s working with this new team, but in the ring Mk+ Ultra are taking over. As Connors endeavors to make a tag both his partners are dragged from the ring apron, and MK+ takes over again. (Commentary starts talking about PWA’s lucha rules, which makes sense – but it made Connors look a bit dumb for not just rolling out.)

Connors eventually tags out to Kassidy who is a house of fire against Drake, then her tag partners come in for the assist and all three hit dives to their opponents on the outside. 

With the ref losing control of the match, Dee manages to drop Kingsley for a long two-count. As the ring clears, Streamer jumps on the apron, Dee knocks him off, then turns into a backslide from Kingsley for the three-count.

Winners: Kingsley, Everett Conners & Shay Kassidy w/ David Streamer

Soul of PWA Championship Match: Unsocial Jordan (c) w/ SMS vs The Tuckman

The Tuckman earned this shot beating Carter Deams at the last show – although I think that was his first win on a PWA Black Label show, so I’m not sure how convincing he is as a challenger.

Turns out it might not matter. SMS’ music hits, and Jordan is on crutches.

He says “can you believe my luck, I was training for this match and I absolutely destroyed my knee. And after consulting the smartest medical provider for SMS, unfortunately I am not medically cleared tonight. But I have good news for Tuckman – I spoke to PWA management and said why not add him to the triple threat match scheduled for tonight, and if he wins, maybe we can revisit his title shot. Jordan says the bad news for Tuckman is that his first opponent is Carter Deams.”

Soul of PWA Championship Match: Unsocial Jordan (c) w/ SMS vs The Tuckman

Fatal 4-way match: The Tuckman vs Carter Deams vs Sam Osborne vs Robbie Eagles

Osbourne returned at the PWA Rumble, which is awesome – I’m a big fan! 

Tuckman grabs a beer to start the match and is quickly knocked to the outside, leaving Robbie to take on the two heels. He does so successfully, until Tuckman re-enters with two beers – Robbie takes one, but the returning heels knock Robbie to the outside, and Osborne takes over against The Tuckman and Deams.

Osborne has Deams in a standing leglock that Robbie tries to break up, but he also winds up in a submission until Tuckman breaks it up, leaving those two to face off. Tuckman gets a two-count on Robbie before Deams returns and hits his axe kick and applies a Kimura lock to Tuckman. Robbie breaks up that hold by locking in a Ron Miller Special to Deams, and Osborne puts Tuckman in a quasi-Indian death lock, causing Robbie to break his own hold.

All four men are managing hit-and-run strikes to each other before Tuckman hits a top rope cutter to Osborne, which Deams follows up with a top rope knee drop to Tuckman. Robbie breaks it up, leaving Deams and Robbie to tee off on each other. Robbie hits the 450 splash to Deams knee, but Osborne throws him to the outside before he can lock in the Ron Miller Special again.

Osborne turns around straight into a uranage from Tuckman – and The Tuckman pulls off the biggest win of his career!

Winner: The Tuckman

PWA Tag Team Championship Match: The Velocities (c) (Jude London & Paris de Silva) vs Mick Moretti & Jimmy Townsend

Following a PWA Premiership mired in miscommunications and disagreements, the Premiership winners Moretti & Townsend enter with tag team music (Wolfmother’s Joker and the Thief), a tag team video, and matching patterns on their gear. Ring announcer Diego then announces them as “The Joker and the Thief.”

Jimmy and Jude start off, but in a sign that Jimmy is willing to adopt some of Mick’s tricks, he immediately rolls to the outside, taking advantage of PWA’s lucha rules and letting Moretti make a blindside attack.

Jude tags out immediately, so we have Moretti vs de Silva, and Jimmy immediately trips up Paris from the outside, but Jude hits Moretti with a punt kick, taking him out momentarily.

We’re getting a lot of quick “tags” and fast-paced action, with the story being how well Moretti and Townsend are working together. They dominate as Jimmy wails on Paris on the corner and Moretti hits a sneak attack DDT to Jude. Paris is draped on the top rope and met with a kick, and a furious Jude enters the ring to no avail.

Following a period of keeping de Silva away from his corner, he’s able to make the hot tag to Jude, and the champs start abusing Jimmy in the corner and hitting sneak attacks to Mick to keep him untaggable. They start using the rules to their advantage, keeping Jimmy in the ring and stopping Mick from getting involved. This is the positive side of lucha rules, is allowing heat spots like this to be a little different and creative.

After a long time in the ring, Jimmy manages to hit a DDT and tags out to Moretti, who is taking on both Velocities. De Silva reverses into a standing stunner though, and all four men are down.

Townsend and de Silva are the two left in the ring, and they exchange a series of rollups before Jimmy tags out and “The Joker and the Thief” hit a sequence of real crisp tag team moves that Paris kicks out of, before delivering chops and kicks to both opponents. Jimmy & Mick are still on top though and get a very, very near fall from a weird tag team roll-up maneuver.

Mick is thrown to the outside, and the Velocities start doing Velocity things before Mick breaks up the pin. Jimmy and Mick both hit finishers to de Silva, which London breaks up by suplexing Moretti onto the pile.

As we reset, it’s Mick vs an exhausted Paris. Paris locks on an abdominal stretch, which Moretti breaks up by getting to the rope with his mouth. Paris moves Mick towards his corner, allowing London to hit a dive to both opponents, followed up with a springboard high/low to Moretti, which Jimmy breaks up by grabbing the refs arm. A prone Jimmy is hit with a Shooting Star Press from de Silva, but Jimmy kicks out at two.

With both Velocities in the ring, the Velocites charge at Jimmy in the corner, and Mick pushes the ref in the way. Mick grabs a chair from under the ring, slides it Jimmy, which is a callback to their PWA Premiership storyline – but Jimmy ends up eating the chair himself before the Velocities go back to work on Moretti. They revive the ref, but before they can finish it, they both eat a faceful of beer, allowing a tag team suplex and a double stomp from Moretti, followed by a moonsault from Townsend, and we have new champs!

That was a crazy match, and I apologise for what was likely a disjointed and confusing recap! There was a lot going on here, both in terms of storyline and athleticism. A really, really good match.

Winners and NEEEW PWA Tag Team Champions: “The Joker and the Thief” (Mick Moretti & Jimmy Townsend)

Next up is a 30-minute intermission

Key to the Card Ladder Match: Aaron Jake vs Matt Boyton vs “Big Brother” Billy Preston w/ The Menagerie vs Ben Braxton vs Jessica Troy vs Caveman Ugg

Ugg and Troy have very recent history, with Troy losing her PWA Rumble title opportunity at the last show after losing to surprise opponent Caveman Ugg.

This will be a pen-down match – I’m not sure I could recap a 6-person ladder match if I wanted to! There’s a few stories running through this match though – Ugg is the mega-heel as part of Rogue Army, Jess Troy was screwed out of her title opportunity; Braxton and Jake are trying to outdo each other’s athleticism, and Boyton is demonstrating his power.

Highlights of the match include Jess hitting a sick poisoin-rana to Braxton before eating a lariat from Ugg. And after looking at the initial ladders thinking “eh, what?” – Ugg goes and gets an enormously oversized ladder, which is much more interesting! Ugg ends up barricaded in the corner using the huge ladder, and Preston’s pals are also holding him in place. Jess and Braxton are up top, but they’re too far away from the key, and Braxton gets dumped from the top of the tall ladder.

Then we get a spot with Ugg climbing the ladder – and Billy Preston enters the ring with the green fist that used to form part of PWA’s set, jumping off the top rope and taking Ugg out with it. With Preston the only person in the ring, he invites Trevor the dinosaur into the ring, who eventually makes his way over the top rope and climbs the ladder – but his T-rex arms are too short!

Aaron Jake climbs the ladder, but Trevor knocks him down, and as Billy climbs the ladder Jake takes out Preston and the dinosaur. 

It becomes clear that we’re watching one of those multi-person matches with two people in the ring and four people resting, but it leads to a spot where Ugg dumps Braxton from the top of the ladder to the outside… where the other wrestlers don’t really catch him as well as they might’ve, it was pretty ugly.

Back in the ring, Ugg is climbing the ladder, but Jess meets him at the top and locks in a Fujiwara armbar, which causes Ugg to tap and then drop from the ladder. Jess then drops from the ladder onto Ugg for a Tornado DDT, then heads back up top to win the Key to the Card ladder match.

Winner and Key to the Card Holder: Jessica Troy

This was a fairly obviously result to get Jess some justice after losing her Rumble title opportunity, but it does feel like the story is being rushed a little. (I’m typing this live, and I suspect I’ll be coming back to this comment…)

Will Kiedis vs Charli Evans

PWA’s next show is Emomania, with these two being the biggest drivers of that show – Charli is a child of Emo, while Kiedis thinks it’s for losers/goobers.

Kiedis enters first, and Charli attacks him on the stage. They start fighting around the ring, where Kiedis misses a chop, hitting the ringpost, then takes a beating from Charli. 

They re-enter the ring, with the ref sounding the bell. Charli immediately hits a Gory bomb for a near fall, but cuts off her Saito suplex attempt with a backbreaker.  A snap vertical suplex only earns a one-count, so Kiedis steps on Evan’s leg and yells “down with emo”.

He takes too long, and he ends up slouched in the corner eating facewash boots and a dropkick, followed by a Fisherman’s suplex. Charli then starts delivering kicks, but is cut off when she goes to the ropes, and Kiedis hits an Unprettier for two.

Kiedis wastes time trying to take a turnbuckle pad off, but is caught by the ref, then by Charli, who delivers a draping neckbreaker to Keidis. Charli then goes for the Saito suplex again, but Kiedis grabs the rope, leaps over Charli with a sunset flip, and puts his feet on the rope for the win.

Winner: Will Kiedis

As Charli remonstrates with the ref, Kiedis re-enters the ring to attack her, hitting her with a Shining Wizard. DJ Bigg Fudge from Emomania enters the ring – and he’s a big dude. Kiedis turns his back on him, then kicks him in the junk and escapes as Charli begins to recover.

Charli says she’s had enough of Kiedis’ shit. So she’s going to find two other emos, and Kiedis is going to find two other dickheads, and they’re going to settle it in the main event of “Emo-f**king-mania.”

PWA Heavyweight Championship Match: Ricky South (c) vs Jack J Bonza

A bit of a weird set-up to this match. After Jessica Troy won the PWA Rumble from 30, South and (Troy’s Nations team mate) Bonza agreed that she hadn’t earned a title opportunity. The deal was made that if Jess beat Bonza at Requiem for a Tag Team Dream she’d get her title match – then Bonza bailed on the match and was replaced by Bonza’s Rogue Army team mate Caveman Ugg, who beat Jess, and apparently earned Bonza this (heel vs heel) title match in doing so.

It would make all the sense in the world for Jess to be added to this match – but one never quite knows with PWA.

South and Bonza shake hands and they lock up, they exchange tests of strength, then they tee off on each other. The two big, physical guys engaging in a hoss fight is really different to anything else we’ve seen on this show, and I’m here for it.

We get some really impressive power spots, including Ricky catching Bonza off the turnbuckle then hitting a deadlift overhead suplex. He grabs a wristlock – and then starts mocking Jessica Troy’s dancing.

This creates an opening for Bonza who hits clubbing blows and a bridge German suplex for a two-count. This is followed by an exchange of chops and smack-talk before Bonza is draped on the top rope and swallows a big boot.

Ricky goes for a draping DDT, but Bonza frees himself, hits a vertical suplex that takes them both over the top rope, and they land on their feet on the floor while still holding each other – so Bonza hits another vertical suplex on the floor.

They then start fighting through the crowd, and Bonza sets up the merch desk before hitting a cannonball from a bench near the bar. He sends Ricky back to the ring, but he takes too long and is nearly caught in a roll up. 

Bonza locks him a roll up of his own that Ricky kicks out of, before they start teeing off with chops and lariats. Bonza gets the better of the exchange, with a drop toe hold into the corner, a gator roll, and a “command and conquer” slam into the corner. Bonza follows that up with a massive lariat, but Ricky kicks out at two.

Bonza goes back to kicks and chops, and he’s starting to dominate the match, with Ricky reduced to bursts of desperation offence. He manages to roll up Bonza, but it’s countered with a deeeep ankle lock that Ricky eventually manages to break.

Out on the ring apron, and they’re delivering kicks to each other, and Bonza threatens a German suplex from the apron into the crowd, with South thankfully hanging on. He grabs hold of referee Hannah and delivers a mule kick low blow, which he follows up with a piledriver to Bonza on the apron (the hardest part of the ring!)

Ricky throws Bonza back in the ring and hits something of a poor man’s Emerald Frosion for a looong two. He hits the ropes to wind up his lariat, but Bonza cuts him off with a lariat of his own before hitting a piledriver, Ricky’s own move, for a real long two count.

Bonza grabs the arms of a prone South and starts delivering stomps, then gets in referee Hannah’s face. Ricky nearly takes her out but stops; Bonza’s follow up does wipe out Hannah. 

Ricky South grabs a chair from under the ring, but is cut off by a low blow from Bonza. He then grabs the chair and starts wailing on South. Bonza sets up the chair in the corner, but he takes too long and Ricky sends his head straight through it.

Ricky revives Hannah, and hits his Flamenko driver, but Bonza kicks out at the last possible moment. Ricky then takes way too long talking smack to the crowd and to Bonza, then elevates him to the top turnbuckle aiming to hit an avalanche piledriver. Bonza mercifully blocks it and hits a Michinoku Driver from the middle rope – but Ricky kicks out.

Both men resume teeing off on each other in the middle of the ring – Ricky hits a lariat to the back of the head, hits a piledriver, and Bonza kicks out at one.

Ricky goes straight back to the straight-jacket piledriver, and Bonza kicks out again.

South then winds up off the ropes, hits a lariat, and this time Bonza stays down.

This was an odd match, in that it was heel vs heel, which I think created an expectation that Jess might get involved. It was really physical and hard-hitting, it’s normally the type of match that I’d love – but they went overboard with the false finishes when you consider that neither is a really over babyface getting massive crowd reactions for said false finishes. I think you save those tropes for your good guys, it seems a bit cynical watching heels do it to try and pop a crowd.

Winner and STILL PWA Heavyweight Champion: Ricky South

Jess Troy’s music hits and Ricky starts freaking out in the ring.

Ricky grabs the mic and says she’s not worthy – “Take advantage of me, you’re not worthy.”

Jess replies “I’ll see you at Colosseum.”

Overall thoughts: This show felt pretty typical of PWA Black Label over the last year or so – good, fun shows, with some odd booking decisions that prevent their shows reaching the “great” threshold.

The main event of this show was a really good example. We had a heel vs heel match, with very little reason given for it, and while it was really fun, physical and hard-hitting, it was tough to buy in. Partly because no one thought Bonza was winning the title – but mainly because, given the Jessica Troy storyline and her key to the card victory, I think everyone was expecting her to become involved in the main event.

The ladder match was similar – it was really good and fun, but I thought it included a little too much comedy (and the key was much too low) for it to be great.

Match of the night for me was the tag team match, it was a crazy match with so much athleticism, storyline, and historical call-back – I thought this was a really rewarding match for ongoing fans of PWA who pay attention to the ongoing storylines.

How to watch?

Follow PWA on twitter @PWAaustralia to learn about upcoming events and view links to ticket sales.

PWA shows are now live on Fite+ – which means you can watch it live or On Demand with the basic Fite+ subscription. 

That’s an incredible deal that also gets you MCW, Renegades of Wrestling and Newy Pro here in Australia, and gets you GCW from the US, among a whole heap of other things.

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