Pro Wrestling Australia
Call to Arms 2018
August 11, 2018
August 4, 2017: Will Ospreay came to Australia and fought Robbie Eagles in a match that created a lot of buzz for the Australian scene and might be seen as a turning point moment in the region. It was released for free on YouTube and got a lot of talk.
Fast forward to August 11, 2018 and the show that I have reviewed. PWA Call To Arms 2017 was a successful night, but let’s delve into Call To Arms 2018 with the anticipated Ospreay/Eagles rematch and other stuff.
Mikey Broderick def. Mat Diamond
Mikey Broderick use to wrestle in Osaka Pro Wrestling and is a strong lad. Thumbs up for him using the Bad Wolves cover of Zombies (RIP Dolores O’Riordan from The Cranberries who did the original). Mat Diamond is a flippy dude who looked really good in the short opener on the last show and a former tag partner to Robbie Eagles (I shouldn’t say former, they probably still sporadically tag). Both men have not been working too many shows in the last couple of years. Although, Mat Diamond seems to be working more dates this year.
Diamond is much too flippy for Mikey to start with. A backdrop on the apron changes that and the heel Broderick takes over for a bit. Diamond then gets a nice flurry of moves going, but that gets halted when Mikey uses the referee as shield and gouges Mat’s eyes. Broderick takes advantage with a combo of moves which ends with what I think is a variation of the Death Valley Driver. Very short opener but nice way to start the show with Diamond athleticism and Broderick’s strength. **¾
Got a weird but funny as heck video segment. I don’t how to describe this segment. Tree Hugger Luchi (very much the environmentalist CJ Parker gimmick) was selling celery and then gets upset at Big Fudge (Los Ice Creams’ lost Australian relative) for using his ice cream truck to make toxic liquid to pour into the ocean (rather than sell ice cream). Luchi then throws celery at him and then Big Fudge throws garbage in response because he is ‘the garbage man!’. There is then another video segment which actually shows Big Fudge pour toxic green goo into the ocean. You know what, just watch the videos and it might make some sense (probably not).
Conco and The Fudge (Big Fudge & Concrete Davidson) def. LuchiKai (Kai Drake 7 Tree Hugger Luchi)
Short comedy match. Kai and Luchi come out with matching cow onesies and a box of celery. Kai Drake being more of a no-nonsense striker seemed reluctant about it. Big Fudge and old-timey strong man Concrete Davidson (with his penny-farthing) then came out. Big Fudge also brought out a bag of garbage because he’s the ‘garbage man’. Actually got some ‘Garbage Man’ and ‘We Want Garbage’ chants. It takes a true babyface to get people to chant for waste. In fact, I’m going to give Big Fudge the biggest praise that I’ve ever given anyone on the Australian scene. He’s is the ‘Stalker Ishikawa’ of Australia. That’s how much I love him as a comedy wrestler.
Anyway, the match is mostly comedy hijinks. Luchi was being a coward for most of the match, which was bad for poor Kai Drake. LuchiKai tried to use their celery, but it was no match for Conco and The Fudge’s garbage. Kai got put away with a combination of Conco’s dick flip (something he learned from his fellow WSW tag champ Joey Ryan) and Big Fudge’s butt punch. I hate giving ratings for a comedy matches. Therefore, I will not. NR
Jessica Troy def. Bel Pierce
Bel Pierce is a novice in PWA and has a new age hippie gimmick. She has her work cut out for her against the more experience Jessica Troy who has made appearances in SHIMMER and CHIKARA. Bel immediately gets hammered with elbows and a bicycle kick. Troy takes a moment to taunt her with Bel’s meditation pose. This gives Bel a brief glimmer of hope with some offence, but Troy then begins to attack the arm. Pierce would bring a bag of glitter to fray that would blind Troy and stop the inevitable for a bit. Bel went up to the top rope for a crossbody and connected, but Troy was able to roll through with her kimura finisher to win. Practically a squash match. NR
Unsocial Jordan def. Michael Spencer, Adam Hoffman & Jax Jordan
An odd dynamic with this match as it had three heels (U. Jordan, Spencer and Hoffman) and one babyface (J. Jordan). Hmmm. Unsocial Jordan continues on his crusade to get stop swearing on PWA, but it only made the crowd chant ‘Fuck you Jordan’. Jax had Matty Wahlberg at ringside and was trying to make his case in joining the B.A.B.E.S. (A team of party boys that includes Wahlberg and Carter Deams with Harley Wonderland managing them). Jax had a sip of Matty’s beer cup to fire himself up, but resulted in two superkicks and a boot by his opponents. From then on, everyone got their spots to shine. Spencer had the spot of the match with a tope over the ring post. Eventually, it came down to the two Jordans. Unsocial Jordan would pick up the win after belting Jax with a camera tripod. This was after a miscommunication between Jax and Wahlberg. A failed audition for the B.A.B.E.S. **¾
Defiant Women’s Championship and ‘The Heart and Loins of Will Ospreay’
Bea Priestley def. Ricky South
I love Ricky South’s ‘I Will Survive’ entrance. South has a very charismatic and flamboyant bisexual gimmick (a cross between Jack Sexsmith, Danshoku Dino and a bit of Glam Rock). He grabbed the mic and made the challenge to Bea Priestley that he wanted her to defend ‘the title or the man’. Fuck it, Bea decided to put both on the line. Beneath South’s very over the top gimmick, he has a lot potential for a man who’s only less than two years into his career and seems to pick up things very well. I appreciate that Bea has some really nasty looking moves in her arsenal, especially that double stomp to head finisher which Ricky couldn’t kick out. I guess that was payback for Ricky doing a second rope powerbomb. Outside of that, it was a bit clunky at times but good fun (even though I was a bit disturbed by the fact that South was attempting to do a Dino Driver to Bea). Danshoku Dino is a bad influence and Ricky South is a ‘very naughty boy’ as Monty Python would say. **½
PWA Tag Team Championship
Four Nations (Jack Bonza and Mick Moretti) © def. The Velocities (Paris De Silva and Jude London)
Big chants for lunatic Mick Moretti, while staunch military man Bonza gets nothing but boos. Very much an odd couple tag team. They even have different looking tag belts. Challenging them are the smaller and lighter team The Velocities. Interesting fact, Ospreay had compared young Paris to Masato Yoshino and he does some glimpses of that (definitely has the same body). This is a rematch of a great contest from PWA Sold Your Soul For Rock and Robbie. Bonza tried to assert his authority early but De Silva gets a few chops in (which breaks Bonza’s military neck tag). Moretti then has some nice lucha-esque exchanges with both Velocities. Moretti tries to carry all three men (even Bonza) on his back because he’s insane, but eventually collapses under the weight. 4 Nations controlled De Silva, until Bonza accidently chopped Moretti in a tense moment. London came in with a ball of energy. Jude made a big mistake in tagging back De Silva, who got clocked with a Moretti clothesline.
4 Nations really halted De Silva’s momentum by taking out his knee. Bonza had the ankle lock on, but Silva counted with a roll up. Velocities were back in it. London made sure Moretti was out of the equation with suicide dive and De Silva jumps off the top rope with A SHOOTING STAR PRESS DDT! Bonza looked out for the count, but fellow 4 Nations teammate Adam Hoffman to save the match. Amidst the confusion, Bonza would eventually win with an assisted top rope powerbomb. Even with the crazy DDT spot, it still felt a step down from their first match on the previous show. Still, the best match on the show to this point. ***1/4
To Qualify For The SHE-1 Series Tournament
Madison Eagles def. Shazza McKenzie
This is a battle between two of the most internationally successful women’s wrestlers in Australia. Both have been champions for the SHIMMER promotion and won titles across Australia. They are fighting to get into the EVE SHE-1 Series tournament in the UK. Dammit EVE, just bring them both over. Eagles is very good at the graps. Her technique is second to none. Most of this match is just Madison doing some lovely limb work and Shazza fighting from underneath, which is good because Shazza is a natural babyface. It was nicely worked match which was under 10 minutes, with the disappointment that it left me wanting more. I don’t know, it felt like it was building to something bigger but finished before it could hit that level. To be fair, I did like the sudden finish they did. Madison did a nasty KO kick and would make Shazza pass out with a retching STF. ***
Michael Spencer then comes out to attack Madison Eagles because she had previously kicked Spencer in the balls. Jessica Troy makes the save from further damage as they are both in the 4 Nations.
Robbie Eagles def. Will Ospreay
A match that is a year in the making. Eagles and Ospreay have an intense stare down before they can lock up. They have a little technical exchange, but that soon gets thrown out the window and they pick up the pace. Ospreay does this torture rack and then drops his knees to try to break Eagles’ back. He then goes to work on him. Ospreay takes a moment to tell Eagles ‘that this is why you weren’t in the Best Of Super Juniors’. Eagles gave him some sharp kicks for that. They have a back and forth with some crazy sequences. Both guys would have a fiery chop and forearm exchange which Eagles ends with his backpack snapmare slam. Ospreay moves to the outside and Robbie goes for the tope con hilo, but OSPREAY CATCHES HIM and powerbombs him on the edge of the mat. Ospreay then decides it’s the right time for a SPRINGBOARD SHOOTING STAR to the outside. Why do you need to do this Will? You are a madman.
Uh oh, Ospreay hurt his knee and the referee comes to check on him. Ospreay decides to continue, but Eagles was waiting for him and delivered a springboard dropkick directly to his injured leg. Eagles gets a lot of boos for that and continues to aggressively target the leg. Even doing some Tanahashi-like dragon screws to Okada’s prodigy. Eagles takes a moment to soak in the crowd, then Ospreay finds a way for A RAINMAKER FROM OUTTA OF NOWHERE and then quickly follows through with an Oscutter. But it’s only a two. Ospreay goes for another Rainmaker, but Eagles counters with a German and had the grip for a second attempt but Ospreay gets his second Rainmaker. Ospreay still has hold of the wrist. Savage knees follow and Eagles give a middle finger in defiance, but it only gets Eagles another knee. Tries for the Storm Breaker but no avail. Eagles and Ospreay battled on the top rope. Ospreay goes for a powerbomb and Eagles does hurricane instead. Eagles then hits his 450 splash finish, but it’s only two. This crowd is freaking. No matter, Eagles does a TOP ROPE TIGER SUPLEX, BUT THAT ONLY GETS A TWO AS WELL!
Time to bust out a dragonrana, but Ospreay uses the momentum to roll into a pin. Both men back to their feet, Eagles runs the ropes only to fall to the SPANISH FLY. Goes for another Oscutter, Eagles kicks his leg just before Will could spring off. Ospreay is hanging and prone for ANOTHER 450, BUT OSPREAY’S LEG IS CAUGHT BETWEEN THE FIRST and SECOND ROPE. THAT’S DISGUSTING. Eagles feels the need for a third 450, but it’s not what you think. It’s a 450 to the leg. He smells blood in the water. Eagles locks in an inverted figure-four leglock and Ospreay tries to stay alive. OSPREAY TAPS OUT, EAGLES GETS HIS BIG WIN. These guys have outdone themselves and taken it to the next level. Eagles has to be the best wrestler in Australia and Ospreay might the most outstanding wrestler of 2018. This match had excellent throwbacks and top notch psychology, while showing the new areas of their game that they have added since the first match. Eagles winning made it feel so special. He got redemption against Ospreay. *****
Post-match, Ospreay gives the Japan flag from his tights to Eagles. DON’T TEASE ME! Eagles would then cut a passionate promo on the Australian scene.
PWA Heavyweight Championship – Steel Cage Match
Caveman Ugg def. Jonah Rock (c)
These guys have a hard task in following that match. It was going to much different to the previous match with these hosses. This was much slower and methodical, especially with Jonah’s control segments. It felt a bit flat. It lacked the energy and intensity that they had in their Call to Arms match from last year (which I had at ****). There were some nice hoss moment and Ugg did his usual cool spots, but it felt like Ospreay vs Eagles should have been the main event and that the show was dragging at this point. Crazy finish with Ugg doing a MOONSAULT OFF THE STEEL CAGE. He didn’t get all of it, but still, it’s ridiculous for a man of his size. Ugg wins the PWA championship. I felt bad for giving this such a low rating, because Ugg really deserves the title and it was in a tough spot after a long show. I also heard that Jonah was sick as a dog on that day (which explains why he looked a bit off). Just want to say that Caveman Ugg deserves to be among the best in Australia. People might not fully appreciate him because of his caveman gimmick, but he has all the talent. Especially with his strength and agility. **½
You could say that PWA Call to Arms 2018 was a one match show (Eagles vs. Ospreay) but that one match is one of the best you’ll see all year. PWA is one of the most fun promotions to watch for me. It’s like watching peak CHIKARA. The quirky characters, hidden gems of talent, comic book feel etc. Also, PWA’s production has improved tremendously. The video packages have been so well done. They have grown so much as a promotion in the last year. Anyway, definitely check out Robbie Eagle vs Will Ospreay. Maybe I overrated it, but dammit, it was so awesome.