EPW Collision Course 2019
May 25, 2019
Gate One Theatre
Perth, Western Australia
EPW’s Collision Course follows on from their blow-away Gold Rush show the month before. Whilst I don’t think that it was overall as strong a card as their last visit to the Gate One Theatre, it was another good showing for EPW whom I’d argue have delivered the most consistent when it comes to overall show quality of any promotion in Australia this year.
Unlike my Goldrush review, I wasn’t at this show live, so this review is purely based on the quality of the taped product.
I missed the show live because it clashed with the second night of New Horizon Pro Wrestling’s women’s tournament which was the end of the first all-female wrestling weekend in West Australian wrestling. Lena Kross (who recently debuted in Melbourne City Wrestling) won the tournament, beating Nicole Savoy and Mercedes Martinez in the finals. Most of Lena Kross’ work hasn’t made tape, which is a shame because she has the potential to be a breakout talent if more people see her perform (especially at a time when promotions all over the country are desperate for female stars).
EPW Championship Number 1 Contendership
Gorgeous Garry def. Gavin McGavin
Gavin McGavin was the EPW Champion until Goldrush where he dropped the title back to Michael Morleone. Gorgeous Garry was the surprise winner of the Invitational Tournament in February, granting him a Money in the Bank style title cash-in opportunity. This match was set up after Goldrush where Gavin McGavin berated Garry for not using his cash-in shot after the new champion Morleone was taken out by The Untouchables.
This is McGavin’s first match since Goldrush, after he was injured in his unsuccessful title defense against The Don. Gorgeous Garry is trying to prove here that he is more than just the ‘character wrestler’ label McGavin gives him.
The match begins with McGavin being more of a condescending dick than usual. Garry is able to take advantage of McGavin’s arrogance at points to get the upper hand. This is a well-laid out match with two strong personalities against each other. Whilst their in-ring styles are very different; the match is constructed in a way that highlights each other’s strengths.
The highlight of the match is Gavin trying to goad Garry into a manly face-punching competition, but Garry demonstrates ruthlessness in instead going for McGavin’s injured knee to set-up the Figure Four.
The finish comes pretty much straight afterward with Garry going for a Sunset Flip but McGavin counters for the pin. However, the referee sees that McGavin is holding onto the rope, stops his count and kicks McGavin’s arms away; leading directly to a roll-up from Gorgeous Garry for the three. A smart finish that plays into the story of the match and compliments both characters.
After the match, Gavin McGavin jumps Garry leading EPW Champion Michael Morleone to run out for the save. Garry then cuts a strong promo, saying that he doesn’t need the help and will challenge the winner of tonight’s main event for the EPW title at their next big show in July.
Tyler Jacobs/Chadwick Jackson def. Kiel Steria/David Nero
Patriarch of The Children, Tyler Jacobs is joined in this match by Chadwick Jackson and they are seconded by fellow cultists Junior Li and Stella Nyx. Kiel Steria and David Nero return to action after their loss against the Street Gang Hooligans at Goldrush.
The match starts off with Jacobs and Jackson jumping their opponents. An early highlight is Jacobs going for a hurricanrana but Steria flips through it, landing on his feet.
Interference from Junior Li and Stella Nyx proves to be the difference maker for Jacobs and Jackson; letting them get the upper hand and eventually the three count.
Post-match, Nero takes out Steria from behind to break up their team. I’m a little disappointed at the break-up since I thought that there was more mileage in them as a team. However, it’s a strong angle, where Nero comes off as a dick. A feud between the pair should lead to good stuff for the rest of EPW’s year.
Up next is a vignette hyping up Taylor King’s return to EPW after his downward spiral caused by losing the Invitational Tournament.
Jay Taylor def. Richie Quach
EPW veteran Jay Taylor takes on a graduate straight out of EPW’s School of Professional Wrestling, Richie Quach.
This is pretty much the equivalent of a Young Lions match. Taylor mostly dominates, with Quach only getting short flurries of offense. Taylor shows good viciousness, at one point just stomping on Richie after he gets to the ropes to break up a Single Leg Crab.
The match ends with Richie Quach looking for a Codebreaker, but Taylor catches him and then pushes him up in the air to set-up an Elevated Cutter.
Post-match, announcer Eric Mack comes into the ring to do a post-match interview ala Joe Rogan in UFC. He asks Taylor what he thought about Richie Quach and Taylor responds with an anti-rookie rant. Taylor’s promo sets himself up as the gatekeeper for the next generation of EPW graduates.
EPW Tag Team Championship
Street Gang Hooligans def. The Velocities (Jude London/Mat Diamond)
Street Gang Hooligans are the most over act in EPW and I think that they are having a hell of a year now that they have the EPW tag division built around them. Last month they went over to Melbourne City Wrestling for the first time for a killer match against MCW’s Brat Pack.
The Velocities are the hottest team in Sydney’s PWA at the moment. Unfortunately, Paris De Silva wasn’t able to make the trip, so the third member of the team Mat Diamond is in his place. It isn’t quite the dream match it was originally set to be (London and De Silva are really the established team in the trio, whereas Diamond recently joined the group), but it’s still four high-quality wrestlers against each other.
I’m not going to do this justice if I try to describe every move hit here. It’s a very good example of flippy, fast paced wrestling. I think the match is a good showcase for London and Diamond as well (who sometimes end up in the shadow of Paris De Silva).
I thought that this was really good, on a similar level to the Street Gang Hooligans’ defense at Goldrush. It is a face vs face, get your spots in style rather than being strong on storytelling; but it’s a match that I would recommend checking out.
Before the next match, The Untouchables’ manager Amber comes out flanked by her new recruit Julian Ward. They claim that no one wants to take on Julian Ward and introduce Marcius Pitt to the ring.
EPW Coastal Championship
Marcius Pitt def. Scotty Ryan
This ends up being more an angle than a match. Julian Ward jumps Scotty Ryan as the Coastal Champion is making his entrance. He throws Ryan into the turnbuckle post and then tosses his rival into the ring. They do a good job of giving the referee authority and having Ryan agree to the match before the bell is actually rung.
Pitt hits a big dropkick and then an F5 to start things off. Ryan kicks out; then goes for a Codebreaker and his version of the Sharpshooter. Julian Ward distracts the referee, Amber jumps into the ring and hits the Eat Defeat on Scotty Ryan setting up Pitt to hit another F5 for the win.
I thought that this angle was generally executed well, and the actual match will presumably take place at EPW’s next major show. I’m excited for what is in store now that Marcius Pitt is the Coastal Champion. I consider him one of the very best performers in Australia, and I think that if handled right then he can elevate the Coastal Championship the way that Slex’s run with the MCW Intercommonwealth Championship elevated that title.
Mikey Nicholls def. Dan Steel
This opens with Dan Steel’s promo that he cut to hype up the match.
Dan Steel is one of the talents that EPW looks to be elevating in 2019, and this match with Mikey Nicholls is his biggest test so far.
This is a good, hard-hitting match. It isn’t quite at the level of Nicholls’ match with Bobby Marshall at Goldrush, but Steel acquits himself well. He sells that he isn’t intimidated by the local hero. My favorite little thing in the match is how Mikey lifts Steel up by the beard. After kicking out of a couple sliding lariats; a big lariat is able to put Steel down for the three.
Post-match Eric Mack comes out to do the post-match interview with Nicholls. I get that they were trying to have him play that interviewer role; though this is one example where I think it might have been more effective had Nicholls just taken a microphone himself and cut this promo.
When Mack mentions Julian Ward, Nicholls takes the microphone out of his hands and challenges Ward to a match at Evolution on July 13th. This is a really intriguing match-up to me; Ward is the young WA talent I am highest on and this is going to be the biggest test for him. There’s added intrigue as Mikey Nicholls is the founder of Australian Wrestling supergroup TMDK. Ward just allied himself with TMDK members Marcius Pitt and Damian Slater; I could possibly see this match being an initiation of sorts for Ward into the club.
‘The Don’ Michael Morleone def. Damian Slater
Damian Slater enters accompanied by his Untouchable teammates; Pitt, Ward and Amber. The champion enters by himself. The match begins with Slater outwrestling the champion until Don goes for his Chokebomb finish and Slater escapes to the outside. Pretty quickly the rest of The Untouchables get sent to the back; leaving us down to a one on one contest.
If the Don vs Gavin McGavin main event at Goldrush felt like an Attitude Era style main event; this in comparison feels a lot more like an old-school championship style match. You have the superior grappler in Slater using his knowledge to try and outwrestle a valiant brawling champion.
Much of the story of the match becomes Slater working on Don’s arm to neutralize the Chokebomb. Slater really works a clinic in this match in terms of playing heel without relying on cheating or tricks. Don is eventually able to power through and hit the Chokebomb to retain the championship.
This was a really strong main event; it wasn’t able to reach the emotional highs of the Don vs McGavin match at Goldrush (my EPW MOTY so far) but a damn fine match.
Overall, EPW Collision Course 2019 was a strong show with the tag title and EPW title matches being the standouts. I didn’t think that overall it was on the same level as Goldrush, but it continued EPW’s 2019 streak of putting on a consistently high-quality product.