I arrive early to the really schmick looking Melbourne Pavillion for the meet & greet. A couple of notes from that:
- Maki Itoh was clearly the most popular! Her line was huge all night, it didn’t shorten.
- El Hijo del Vikingo was probably number 2 in terms of popularity, although his line died down towards the end of the meet and greet.
- Effy & Allie Katch were also super popular, and the most friendly wrestlers I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I ended up just throwing money at them for merch because I was already a fan, and when they were the coolest people ever I couldn’t help it!
- As suspected, everything costs money, and everyone is converting from US dollars, so it’s expensive too.
The room was fairly well set up – it was a big L-shape of tables, and people were very chilled when waiting in lines to meet people. I’m not someone who attends a lot of meet & greets, but this was a good one.
Wrestlerock Scramble: Murdoch vs Jarvis vs Levi Nixon vs “Absolute Excellence” Anth Cava vs Fun Time Phil vs Hector Jones w/ Dominion of Violence (Tom Crowe & Chanel Phoenix)
This was initially announced as being a Wrestlerock Title match involving champ Jake Andrewartha. We weren’t given any explanation for his absence, he was just quietly replaced by Dominion of Violence underling Hector Jones.
Murdoch and Jarvis are both representing the Ambush and are out together, while Fun Time Phil is enormously over, throwing chips to the crowd.
It’s pretty standard fare for a GCW 6-person opener, where everyone gets a chance to shine and hit a dive or a few moves, and the babyfaces (Nixon and Phil) get a bit of added focus to liven up the crowd. The Nixon “Opa!” will always be over!
Anth Cava in particular looks super impressive as he’s now leaning into power moves that align with his physique, while Nixon hits an awesome 450 splash to Crowe that would’ve finished it, but for interference from Crowe and Phoenix.
Phil ends up pinning Crowe after a legdrop. It was a bit of a sloppy finish with Phil and Crowe not quite on the same page, but it was a fun, fast paced opener with a babyface winner, so it was a good start to the show.
Winner: Fun Time Phil
Charli Evans vs Steph de Lander vs Allie Katch
This is a genuinely exciting match in the GCW context, with all three women performing regularly with GCW at stages of their career. SDL and Allie have been feuding on-off alongside Matt Cardona and Effy, so there’s some recent history as well.
SDL precedes the match with a promo to establish herself as the heel, holding up the Women’s Internet Title. Evans steals the mic and calls the belt fake. Allie then takes the mic and says she misses Chelsea, she was way better than Steph, leading to a “we want Chelsea” chant.
SDL takes the belt and starts to leave before her opponents chase her down and bring her back to the ring, and start the match working together. From there it turns into a bit of a WWE-style triple threat with two in the ring and the third resting on the outside.
With all three women in the ring we get a spot with Charli and Allie Making out, which SDL breaks up with clotheslines and attempted covers (which I point out because of what was to come.) Allie hits Charli with a pile driver, but SDL pulls the referee from the ring. She brings her belt into the ring and eats an unprettier on top of it from Evans, which is broken up by Allie.
As SDL escapes the ring, Evans follows up with a Saito suplex and a lariat to Allie for the win. This match got really good down the stretch, make sure you check this one out.
Winner: Charli Evans
“The Aspirationalist” Lochy Hendricks vs Effy
We see a pre-match promo from Lochy – “good” Effy” and “evil” Effy – talking about their love/hate for Effy, and their trouble with being booed for the unapologeticness for which Effy was cheered. This was an outstanding video that fed into the match really well.
The story of the match begins with a lot of holds – but it appears aimed at telling the story of their increased bodily contact, before Effy does the spot where Lochy bounces off the ropes and Effy… drops to his knees. Lochy obviously doesn’t pull out his junk, despite teasing it.
Lochy ends up getting in a lot of offence, including a really nice moonsault to the outside, and a crossface chickenwing that is in deep until Effy climbs the turnbuckle and falls back to break the fall.
The highlight of the match comes when they’re on their knees trading shots… then Lochy stops, and both men kiss as “Kiss from a Rose” comes on the speaker. They passionately embrace, hold each other and dance… before Lochy hits a mule kick low blow which ends the music. Feeding into the pre-match promo.
Effy follows up immediately with two mic drops for the win, before caressing Lochy and carrying him out with him.
A really fun, different match, made so much better by Lochy’s pre-match video.
Renegades of Wrestling Heavyweight Championship: Caveman Ugg (c) vs Gringo Loco
Sadly there wasn’t much to write about here. Both men were extraordinarily over, but early in the match we had a terrifying spot where Gringo Loco slipped or tripped on the top rope attempting a dive to the outside, landing on the floor head first.
It was a horrible moment that immediately ended the match, and it was fortunate timing that it was immediately followed by the intermission, which allowed people to comprehend what they’d seen move on from it.
Result: No Contest (Referee Stoppage)
Update: Gringo Loco was able to travel to Brisbane on Sunday morning, but did not perform on the Brisbane show. On Wednesday 30 August GCW tweeted that Gringo Loco would be in action this weekend, indicating no serious injury.
Renegades of Wrestling Women’s Championship: Aysha (c) vs Maki Itoh
The match starts with back and forth mat-wrestling, designed to give some “cheer spots” for Maki, who is so stupidly over it’s ridiculous!
Aysha meanwhile, is getting better with her mannerisms and her heel work every time she wrestles. She absolutely looked like she belonged in this match with one of the world’s most popular independent wrestlers, and even stylistically I thought this was a really different Aysha match that focused on Maki’s strengths rather than Ayshas.
Maki does the “iron head” spot in the corner before delivering a headbutt and punches in the corner, followed by a facewash boot and a draping DDT – which is notable, cos as well as wrestling a different style to normal, I think Aysha is also taking the best beating of her life.
A flash First Class DDT isn’t enough to finish the match, then they go back to trading strikes before Itoh hits another headbutt, which brings out Murdoch and Jarvis from The Ambush.
Jarvis distracts the ref, Murdoch holds Itoh, but she moves when Aysha goes to smash her with a champagne bottle, causing Aysha to smash the bottle on Murdoch’s head.
Back in the ring, Itoh rolls up Aysha for a single-leg crab, and Jarvis is again on the apron. Itoh transitions into the Itoh Special which causes Aysha to tap, but the ref is still distracted. As Itoh goes to remove Jarvis, she turns into a First Class DDT, and Aysha pins Itoh for three with her feet on the ropes.
I really enjoyed this match, Aysha played a tremendous heel while working to Maki’s strengths, while the crowd support for Itoh put the match really over the top. I’ll watch this again on the stream, cos it might be one of Aysha’s top couple of matches.
Winner and STILL Renegades of Wrestling Women’s Champion: Aysha
AAA Megachampionship Match: el Hijo del Vikingo (c) vs Emman Azman w/ The Ambush (Jarvis & Murdoch)
We get a super arrogant pre-match promo from Emman, who recently spoke with PWDU about this match with Vikingo.
I don’t remember this being announced as being for the AAA Title beforehand – in any case, I think it’s a bit unnecessary, cos it means the result is beyond doubt.
The match starts out pretty typical for both these guys, fast-paced, with flips, dives and reversals. The Ambush briefly get involved on the outside while the ref is distracted, and Emman manages to take over briefly, before Vikingo hits his first “bouncy move” – a double springboard armdrag.
Emman gets a nearfall with a tornado DDT followed by a standing sliced bread – I love that he’s still doing callbacks to the Robbie Eagles feud while wrestling Vikingo!
Following the “double rest” spot, Emman explodes with a hurricanrana off the top rope, with Vikingo landing on his feet (kind of). Emman then hits a destroyer off the middle rope, followed by his lariat finishing move, but he’s too slow to cover and Vikingo kicks out at two.
On the top turnbuckle, Vikingo hits a spinning side slam, which he follows up with a meteora and the outside-in corkscrew 450 splash for the three count.
Vikingo was amazing, but he missed a couple of spots and limited his rope work, and I wonder if the Gringo Loco accident earlier in the night stopped him from wanting to do too much off the ropes. This wasn’t really the Vikingo that people have seen on AEW; to be honest, I’m not sure this match was as good as either of his previous BCW matches.
For Emman? It’s probably one of the better matches of his career, but I don’t think it usurps March’s match against Robbie Eagles on the December re-watch list.
Winner and STILL AAA Megachampion: el Hijo del Vikingo
Joey Janela and JXT vs The Bastard Brothers (Krackerjak and Gore)
We get a short pre-match promo about JXT’s injury, and this being his return match.
This was a bit of a surprise choice for main event, but as soon as I realised it was going on last I knew to expect a wild, hardcore brawl, which was exciting because it was different to anything else on the show, and perhaps more in line with the GCW that we watch on Fite.
Krackerjak cuts a pre-match promo about his dick, and about being an Australian wrestling legend, while Gore is a Snuff King. Krackers hopes Joey’s plane crashes on the way home, while JXT, the “nauseating c*nt”…
And with that, he eats a chair from Janela, and the war is underway, with Krackers bleeding from that first chair shot. As Janela is taken out, Krackers wraps his arm in barbed wire, attacks JXT, and just continues the match with the barbed wire around his arm.
They fight through the crowd two-on-one, before Janela returns with part of the door that he was put through, and wails on both opponents – I’m pretty sure Gore’s head went through the door.
Back in the ring, JXT is powerbombed through a doorbridge, and Krackers and Gore start attacking his surgically repaired knee. Janela then returns via the top rope to take over. It’s momentary though, with the story of the match being hit & runs to take out Janela, allowing the Bastards to attack JXT and his knee.
JXT continues to overcome though, holding Gore in a sharpshooter – which is only broken up when Krackers attacks him with a fork. He then grabs his staple gun and starts stapling fliers for the next show to both opponents.
Janela and JXT power out and start delivering drop toe-holds in tribute to Terry Funk. As the Bastards fight out, Janela and JXT hit them with stereo Sister Abigails in tribute to Bray Wyatt. We’ve still got a way to go though, as they follow up with top rope elbows that the Bastards block by getting their knees up.
Janela then eats a T-bone suplex through a 6-chair bridge, but JXT breaks up the cover, and we end up with all four men trading shots, and Krackerjak taking his shirt off to reveal the best physique he’s had for 20 years – why were you wearing a shirt Krackers?!
The war continues with a Britney Spear, a chair shot, and a Janela double stomp to Gore through a door bridge, before Krackers introduces a sledge hammer, cinder block and bed of nails. Janela prevents Krackers attacking JXT’s knee, superkicks him onto the bed of nails, superkicks Gore, then he hands JXT the sledge hammer, allowing him to smash the cinder block across Krackerjak’s chest, with the finish coming immediately following a Janela Death Valley Driver and a JXT top rope elbow.
This was a really, really fun war to witness live. Not sure it’ll come across as well on the stream, but there was so much going on here, the sense of chaos added to a really fun match.
Winners: JXT & Joey Janela
Final thoughts: Great show, with every match delivering. I didn’t think it had that standout 9/10 match to really put it over the top, but we got 6 good-to-very good matches here, which is as much as you can ask for on any show.
I’m not sure whether Melbourne Pavillion is a brand new venue from a wrestling perspective, but it was perfect – it was big, well located, and it looked great for wrestling.
I’d love to see any future GCW tours continue to partner with Renegades, because the Renegades wrestlers all worked incredibly hard with additional eyes on them, and will hopefully earn more opportunities as a result.
How to watch it? All three of the GCW vs Renegades of Wrestling shows are available to watch with a Fite+ subscription. This show is highly recommended!