Melbourne City Wrestling
New Horizons 2018
October 5, 2018
Thornbury Theatre
Melbourne, Australia

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This was hyped up as the biggest weekend of wrestling in Australia because the WWE came to the Melbourne Cricket Ground for their Super Show-Down event. Over ’70,000’ were in attendance and it felt like Australia’s ‘WrestleMania’. Much like WrestleMania, it was a spectacle but featured a lot of annoying and underwhelming aspects of the WWE. Which brings the question, if that was ‘WrestleMania’ then what was the WrestleMania weekend shows where the indies get to make their statement. Well then, Melbourne City Wrestling presented their New Horizons 2018 show on a Friday night (the day before the WWE show). MCW has become the most well-known independent promotion in Australia and looked determined to put their best foot forward.

The Filip Bros (Tome Filip & Stevie Filip) vs The Untouchables (Damian Slater & Marcius Pitt)

A proving ground match for the Filips. Stevie Filip is riding a wave of momentum after having show stealers with the likes of Will Ospreay & Adam Brooks. He has incredible athletic ability and can get some hang time on his moves. Give him a couple of years, he will be scary good. Older brother Tome has been getting strong booking (undefeated streak) & got good reactions as a heel, but it still feels like he is missing something crucial. Last show, Tome turned face & joined forces with his brother. Putting the Filips together is a good booking move by MCW as the tag division needs fresh challengers for the titles.

Their first match as a team is against The Untouchables who are visiting from Perth and it is quite the challenge. They are considered to be the best team in Australia. For most of the contest, Pitt & Slater had cut the ring in half with the Filips having a few bursts of explosive offense. Love how The Untouchables are able to incorporate old school tag work like isolating an opponent & do it in a very slick manner that makes look like a well-oiled machine. Tome would manage to hit Slater with an inverted DDT & Stevie put the finishing touch with a Shooting Star Press. Good match to open. ***

Kellyanne vs Avary

Fellow VOW writer Kevin Chiat called this ‘the most heated feud in Australia at the moment’. I am not as high on this feud as others are, but it is a solid undercard feud and I do appreciate that. Kellyanne is the top wrestler in a women’s division that has a lack of depth (literally, there are only three or four regular female wrestlers on the roster. Not MCW’s fault as there is not much depth for a women’s division in Melbourne). On the other hand, Avary is arguably the most improved Aussie wrestler in 2018. Avary got in the face of Kellyanne & spent the last couple of shows mocking her. That is how we got this feud.

Anyway, the match was alright and felt like the first chapter of a new feud. Avary was using dirty tricks while Kellyanne was being no-nonsense. Brat Pack stablemates Nick Bury & Mitch Waterman interfered which helped Avary to get a Dead Drop DDT for the win. Was not a fan of the interferences because I wanted Avary to be presented as a stronger threat to Kellyanne, but I guess it fits into the story and characters. **1/2

Marcus Kool vs Mikey Broderick vs JXT

A fun little match. You got English soccer dickhead Marcus Kool (who is actually based in New Zealand and is co-promoter of prominent NZ promotion Southern Pro Wrestling), Canberra fitness nut Mikey Broderick and MCW’s resident babyface JXT. Kool & Broderick are not MCW regulars, but quickly got over with their respective gimmicks. Especially in a comedic moment when Broderick got a red card for supposedly ‘raking the eyes’ of Kool & JXT.

Broderick would exit the ring and do some half-kneeling exercises on his way out (only for him to back to the ring later because he realised there are no red cards in wrestling). JXT seemed to have the pin on Broderick, only for Kool to punt kick him in the head for the shock win. ***

MCW Tag Team Championship
The Brat Pack (Nick Bury & Mitch Waterman) (c) vs Helter Skelter (Jake Andrewartha & Ali) w/Julian James & Alan Payne vs Fun Time Trouble (Mike Burr & Fun Time Phil) vs Men For Hire (Campbell Crawford & Jake Lindo)

The match had elimination rules. The big Helter Skelter dudes made short work of the comedy tag teams of Fun Time Trouble & Men For Hire. They almost won the match, but fellow Helter Skelter member Alan Payne has been causing internal conflict (because umm… he is crazy and a really random dude. I know that sounds like a terrible explanation but it is the best that I got) and distracted them for Mitch Waterman to get the roll-up win. Yeah, this was pretty much a storyline device for the ongoing dysfunction within Helter Skelter. NR

Post match, Helter Skelter manager Julian James rightfully made the call to boot out Alan Payne. Ali & Andrewartha then gave Payne a beatdown. Only for Alan’s former tag partner Jonathan Preston to come out and make the save. This meant that Preston & Payne are back as a tag team in MCW. I would be lying to say that I am excited about this feud, because they are probably the four weakest in-ring wrestlers in the promotion. However, the return was very well received & maybe they might surprise me.

MCW Intercommonwealth Championship
Slex (c) vs Adam Brooks

Slex has been having an excellent reign as Intercommonwealth champion and been putting on bangers. Brooks has come back from a UK tour which has gotten mixed reviews (mainly from a RevPro run where he did not live up to his big push). Back in Australia, he looks revitalised & been better than ever. Also, he has new and improved attire.
Both are tweener/anti-hero wrestlers and that was shown in opening moments with both guys being arrogant jerks to each other. Mind games. Sure enough, the rest of the contest was an epic back and forth with both guys also getting their opportunities for showboating & underhanded tactics. For example, Slex decided to show off by wrestling with his trademark sunglasses but it wound up as a liability. Brooksy would nick his sunglasses and then hit a Swanton bomb off the top rope while wearing it. One-upmanship. The end would see both guys trading school boy pins, only for Brooks’ to get a hand on the rope & a hand of his tights that prevented Slex from kicking out. Brooks out cheated his fellow cheater. Thought that this match had a fantastic dynamic and story. The action was superb, but their charisma and aura took it to another level. ****1/4

Slex was sour about the loss and took to the mic to berate Brooks for cheating. A bit hypocritical. He also announced that he was revoking his rematch clause at MCW End Game.

Caveman Ugg vs Jonah Rock

Big lads wrestling between two guys who are over 100kg. These two have history in the PWA promotion, but this is the first time they have brought their rivalry to MCW. They lock up but it does not last long as they were just interested in clubbing each other. They hit some big chops & strikes in this match. Not to mention some big suplexes. An underrated aspect is how well that these two men can move for their size, it is freaky. Jonah tried to finish off Ugg with his brainbuster but to no avail. Which is when Rock decided to hit a powerbomb and followed through with a guillotine choke to get the surprising submission victory. ***1/2

Dowie James vs Lochy Hendricks w/Miami

Young Lochy had interfered in Dowie James’ title match to make a statement. Unfortunately, he embarrassed himself on the next show when competing in a five vs five elimination match. James eliminated him in less than thirty seconds. That changed Dowie’s outlook on this feud and now he sees him as some stupid kid who is not on his level. The fans gave Lochy a grilling by mocking his ‘NYAH’ catchphrase. The different variations of the NYAH chant by the crowd during the match was awesome and they even had NYAH signs.

Dowie was toying around with Lochy. He did a series of quick pins to annoy Lochy and then just took him to town with his mat wrestling. A few interferences from his enforcer Miami helped Lochy to get the advantage ad it looked like Lochy got the win with a spear, but he took the moment to gloat & pick James up to hit one of his opponents signature moves. However, James countered & hit his Tiger Bomb (which he calls the Dowie River Plunge) to win. This was Lochy’s best performance under his Loverboy gimmick. His dismay & frustration with the fans & Dowie was great, but then gets way overconfident when he is in control & it bites him in the ass. ***1/2

Indi Hartwell vs Shazza McKenzie

An okay match. Favourite part was when Shazza displayed some of her technical skill at the beginning. Clearly see that Madison Eagles/CHIKARA Wrestle Factory influence. Indi is still very young & someone comes across better live because her heel work is better than her in-ring work (does a lot of banter). Probably needs to work on her offence and develop her moveset. Indi gets the win with her springboard dropkick. **1/2

MCW Heavyweight Championship
Gino ‘Mr Juicy’ Gambino (c) w/Sebastian Walker vs Robbie Eagles

Huge pop for Robbie and the crowd were right behind him. Gino Gambino came out to nothing but boos. In fact, he had the Tommaso Ciampa entrance music where there was no music playing but just boos. Robbie was like a house of fire with a flurry of kicks and running knees. Juicy was off to a bad start. Gino would use his power to get himself back in the match. Hoss Gino Gambino is the best Gino Gambino. Plenty of meaty strikes and tossing around his opponent like a rag doll. Robbie would continually try to use his quickness to keep Gino at bay & get an advantage. Doing such tactics like attacking the legs and utilising a lot of fast striking combos.

Eagles would hit his 450 splash finisher but it was only a two count. Eagles would then hit a PSYCHO DRIVER but that was only a two as well. Manager Sebastian Walker would distract the referee for Gino to hit Eagles with the belt and then delivered a piledriver. But he only got one! At this point, the whole crowd believed that there was going to be a title change. However, a second piledriver proved that was a tease. Eagles had an excellent babyface performance and Gino showed that he is more talented than what people may give him credit for. People would think of his long history as comedy wrestler with the stinkface spots, but at his best, he is an entertaining hoss wrestler. ****1/4

The end of show sees Jonah Rock challenging Gino for the title & saying ‘you’re still that little bitch Mr Juicy’. They have an intense staredown, but Sebastian Walker contains Gino from doing anything stupid. Big MCW chant to end things.

Final Thoughts

Considering that there were a number of new fans at the show from interstate that the WWE brought to Melbourne, they knocked it out of the park. Probably the loudest MCW crowd that I have heard. There was not a bad match on the card and the big matches delivered. MCW continue their growth in the global independent scene. They wanted to put a strong foot forward during the weekend and succeed in doing that.