Pro Wrestling Australia
PWA Colosseum 2019
Max Watts
October 18 & 19, 2019
Sydney, Australia

Watch: Ovo Play

Pro Wrestling Australia’s biggest shows of the year are coming up. They have done a terrific job with promoting this event as their major event and have been building it for months. PWA brought in special guests like WWE UK’s Travis Banks & AEW’s Orange Cassidy. They organized a fan fest especially for the event with various activities including a FUCKING DINGO PUPPY PETTING ZOO which is the most Aussie thing ever. PWA even corrected me on social media when I said Call To Arms was their biggest show for 2019 (it’s historically been their major show). There will be an eight-person, two-night tournament where the winner will receive the Green Thunder blade. Looks like it could cut a whole cow in half.

Night 1
October 18

PWA Colosseum Quarter Final
Orange Cassidy vs Jessica Troy

Cassidy is someone who has been getting divisive opinions. When he got signed to AEW, there were those who complained about his low effort shtick and that Cassidy’s comedy was a terrible fit for the company. He will be welcomed with open arms in PWA as it’s a promotion with their fair share of wacky, cartoony characters. My opinion on Cassidy is that he is one of the better comedy wrestlers that are out there and he has more skill than people might realize (great luchador in his own right, wink wink), but the gimmick is starting to wear on me.

Which brings us to his match with Troy. 

‘The Destroyer’ Jessica Troy is the current PWWA champion which has now become an intergender title. She is the best female wrestler based in Australia and a submission specialist. The match is likely to center around Troy trying to get her kimura finisher on Cassidy, a guy who always has his hands in his pockets. I’m interested to see just how much they push the comedy element in this match. Anyway, it should be a fun match that the crowd will appreciate. I was going to go with Cassidy as he’s the bigger name and PWA might want to do a PWWA championship match on Night 2. But Troy is an over commodity and she’s probably getting the tap out for a big pop. Winner: Orange Cassidy

PWA Colosseum Quarter Final
Matty Wahlberg vs Chris Basso

Wahlberg is a man who feels red hot in the Australian scene at the moment. He started off as a heel but he had the cool heel vibe and got super over with his jock persona and smack-talking attitude. Not to mention that he is a natural athlete with the stuff that he can do in the ring. Just came off a stint on the reality show Australian Survivor which has only helped his popularity & is currently the favourite to win in the eyes of most PWA fans. However, there has been the story that Wahlberg can’t win the big one after losing to Caveman Ugg in a PWA championship match.

Basso is the wildcard. A left-field choice for this tournament. Chris Basso is arguably one of the most unappreciated wrestlers in the Australian scene. To be fair, he has been the cornerstone of the Riot City Wrestling promotion in South Australia and a seventeen-year veteran. But RCW & the SA scene hasn’t had as much spotlight or talk about them compared to other promotions & scenes in Australia. I think that it’s pretty nice that he’s getting this spotlight & PWA picked the best possible representative for both RCW & the SA scene in this tournament. Can’t envision crowd favorite Wahlberg losing to Basso who is likely going to be an unknown to the PWA crowd. Winner: Matty Wahlberg

PWA Colosseum Quarter Final
Ricky South vs Davis Storm

Ricky South is back as a flamboyant babyface after turning after a very short heel turn as ‘Richard South’ & aligning with Unsocial Jordan in SMS. I was disappointed that his heel run was so short because he and Jordan had something interesting going. They were producing unique promos & South had newfound aggression which I appreciated. Not to mention that I liked that they would wear the Steve Jobs turtlenecks for that evil look (no offense to the late Steve Jobs). However, the babyface turn got a huge pop & I can’t argue with the results. He is the brightest young star in PWA & a workhorse in the ring.

‘The Godfather of Australian Wrestling’ Davis Storm is a heavily respected & influential figure in the Australian scene by being one of the best wrestlers in the darkest days of Aussie wrestling & helping to bring it up as a driving force of the Explosive Pro Wrestling promotion (if you have read Kevin Chiat’s articles on this site, you would know that it’s one of the best promotions in Australia). Despite this, he lacks success outside his home state of Perth. Last time that he wrestled in PWA, he received a nasty beating by the monstrous Caveman Ugg at Once Upon a Time in Max Watts. He has just reached the age of forty but is still on top of his game from what I’ve seen. For example, he had an excellent match with Michael Morleone on a recent EPW show that high emotion and top-notch storytelling. Anyway, Storm is looking for some interstate success that has neglected him to bring back home to Perth but I think South will get the win. PWA would want to build up South after the strong babyface turn. Winner: Richar… fuck, I mean Ricky South

PWA Colosseum Quarter Final
Travis Banks vs Sam Osborne

Bringing out the big guns by having Travis Banks for the weekend. Banks use to be one of my favorite wrestlers when he was in the South Pacific Power Trip with TK Cooper & Dahlia Black. An extremely enigmatic act. However, when Banks was having a strong singles push, Progress ruined it by turning him into the ‘Terminator’ who punched chairs and went on a ‘Super Cena’ championship run which annoyed people. Then they turned him heel and it just wasn’t the same. Now, he’s in NXT UK which I don’t care about because of that ‘corporatized the indies’ shit. And I guess he’s still in Progress & whatever. Bitter rant aside, I’m very excited about Banks being in this tournament and seeing him compete outside of the mess that is UK wrestling.

Sam Osborne is a breakout star in PWA. Been a highlight on the PWA Green Label shows (designed to showcase younger talent) and had the ironman push in their recent battle royal as he lasted 72 minutes to be runner-up. He had trained at the Battle Arts Academy in Canada by the legendary Yuki Ishikawa & the surprisingly MMA proficient Anthony Carelli (the little kid in me still remembers him as Santino Marella). It shows in his work as he is a very handy grappler. Has a dangerous combo power & speed that is almost reminiscent of Shingo Takagi at times. Banks & Osborne will have a tough, hard-hitting affair. No way that Travis loses this early in the tournament but Osborne stock will go up by just having the opportunity to face Banks. He will make the most of it. Prediction: Travis Banks 

PWA Heavyweight Championship #1 Contendership
Unsocial Jordan vs Carter Deams vs Marcus Kool vs Shazza McKenzie

Unsocial Jordan is all alone now. His SMS stable is completely gone with South turning on him, Facebrooke leaving to unmasked as Steph De Lander and Tyler Payne had suddenly vanished. Like completely dropped off the face of the earth. But Jordan is still the most hated man in PWA and gets that heat with his douche face. Southern Pro Wrestling’s Marcus Kool making another trip to Sydney from New Zealand and had a fun, comedic match with Mick Moretti in his last appearance at PWA. Carter Deams is very much second fiddle to his BABES partner Matty Wahlberg and very similar to him as a tall, athletic wrestler. Shazza is just coming off losing her PWWA title to Jessica Troy.

I reckon that Shazza is going to win but I hope she doesn’t. I don’t think her & Ugg will have good chemistry. Ugg is at his best when he’s monstering people & Shazza is at her best when she can show off her technical skill. Awkward envisioning Ugg tossing around Shazza or McKenzie mat wrestling Ugg to the ground. They won’t gel. However, Jack Bonza could have the title at the end of Night 2. That would be better as I can see them working to each other’s technical strengths. Wouldn’t mind Unsocial Jordan winning & then get destroyed by Ugg on the next show. However, there has been backstory than Shazza wasn’t respected by the champions of PWA & they could go back to that. Prediction: Shazza McKenzie

Rory Gulak vs Tree Hugger Luchi

Great spot for Tree Hugger Luchi. Not that I’m a big Rory Gulak fan. He comes across as the Chavo Guerrero to Drew Gulak’s Eddie, which is either a compliment or sledge depending on your perspective of Chavo. Anyway, the fact is that Luchi has a match with a special guest from overseas that PWA highly regards & it’s on their biggest show. He just came back from training at the Fale Dojo & it will be interesting to see his improvements. Because I’m already high on Luchi. He’s a very charismatic and flashy wrestler. Like his new attire with the Captain Planet colours as he is an eco-warrior. Going with my blind love for Luchi to get the unexpected win. Prediction: Tree Hugger Luchi

Caveman Ugg & The Velocities (Paris De Silva & Jude London) vs The 4 Nations (Jack Bonza, Mick Moretti & Adam Hoffman)

The Velocities & 4 Nations are coming back after impressive performances at Chikara’s King of Trios shows. In particular, the 4 Nations were the CHIKARA King of Trios runner-ups for the second year in a row. Not to mention that Moretti, Ugg & De Silva had impressive showings at the Battle of Los Angeles shows from the reports that I have heard. So it’s pretty much a PWA All-Star match & should be a fantastic tag match that will help build Bonza/Ugg on Night 2. The Velocities are very exciting high-flyers and the 4 Nations are tremendous bases. Then you add Ugg to mix. 4 Nations will concur for Bonza to get one over Ugg before his big match. Could also set up a tag title rematch down the line with The Velocities vs 4 Nations (Velocities are the current champs). Prediction: The 4 Nations

Night 2
October 19

Mick Moretti & Adam Hoffman vs Rory Gulak & ???

Set up after a post-match attack on Rory Gulak by the 4 Nations from some Future Wrestling Australia show, which is another New South Wales promotion. Betting that Cassidy is the partner after losing on night one. It should be a fun exhibition, filler match. Home team to go over. Prediction: The 4 Nations

PWWA Heavyweight Championship #1 Contendership
Steph De Lander vs Big Fudge vs Royce Chambers vs Headhunter Rig

We’ve got the ‘Python Powerhouse’ Steph De Lander, my favorite comedy wrestler Big Fudge, immerging youngster Royce Chambers and the unhinged Headhunter Rig. Royce is a Melbourne wrestler who is beginning to break out and getting a lot of praise as an aerialist. Headhunter Rig has risen up from Newcastle Pro and has very unique vibe with his outback hunter look. Also has the very best corner cannonball in the business, I can’t emphasis this enough. Big Fudge is Big Fudge, he’s just awesome. I feel that De Lander will win, even though I’m less high on her compared to the other wrestlers in the match. She is quite green and awkward with her transitions and moves. Steph is over with the crowd though. Australian crowds are quite supportive & proud of their women’s scene. Even with faults like a clear lack of depth. In saying that, I think there’s a clear lack of depth with quality women’s wrestlers in the western indies. Back to the match, SDL vs Troy is the direction that I can see them going. Prediction: Steph De Lander

PWA Championship Match
Caveman Ugg (c) vs Jack Bonza

Bonza won the 30 Man Rumble at Break Their Backs, And Make Them Rumble! (incredible show name) to get an opportunity to face Caveman Ugg for the PWA Championship at the grand stage of Colosseum. Jack Bonza has lifted his game to another level during this year. He has always been great but it feels like that he ain’t taking a backseat anymore and going full throttle to prove himself as one of the best in Australia. Especially considering that more footage of PWA is available & it’s become more convenient to watch. I mean, he’s an incredible base, incredible technician, has an incredible moveset etc. Did suffer a speed bump by having neck surgery but seems to be alright after his showing at King of Trios.

Caveman Ugg has been having a dominant title run so far with convincing wins over Matty Wahlberg, Adam Hoffman and Davis Storm. Wait, the Davis Storm match was non-title and that means he has only had two defenses in his title reign for over an entire year. And the Hoffman match was just an unremarkable squash that happened a year ago. Damn PWA! As much as I love Ugg, this title reign has been underwhelming. He was training at the Fale Dojo for a couple of months and was missing for a couple of shows. Did a bunch of non-title squashes that PWA overdid because we already know that Ugg is a monster & that’s been long established. Even in the Ugg/Wahlberg match, Ugg got booed against Wahlberg in a big way.

After writing all that, I’m being to lean towards Bonza winning the title but I’m still not feeling it. The Ugg reign will continue & that someone else is going to get the big win over him. Maybe the super over Moretti or Wahlberg. P.S. This is my pick to be the match of the weekend. Prediction: Caveman Ugg

Tournament Predictions:

I think the semi-finals will be Wahlberg/Troy & Banks/South. Wahlberg is too over to not make the finals. Banks is likely to be protected, but South will likely make the most of his opportunity against Banks because Ricky is a prodigious talent like Osborne. Unless alter ego Sexy Travis Banks makes an appearance to counter South’s flamboyant style, which I hope not because that sounds too cringe. Which brings me to my predicted finals between Wahlberg/Banks. It depends on whether the deal with Travis Banks is that he can’t lose during this tournament as requested by the WWE. But I got a gut feeling that isn’t the case and I think WWE will play nice. 

The other thought is that PWA might go with Travis Banks as the winner for the Colosseum tournament to gain some international credibility. In the sense that a notable UK star won this tournament & it might attract overseas viewers. However, this is Wahlberg’s tournament to win. PWA has been playing up that he can’t win the big one & Colosseum is the right time to pull the trigger. Especially after the tremendous, heartfelt promo that he cut on their Colosseum Countdown video. Prediction: Matty Wahlberg

If there’s any Australian wrestling shows that I recommend for you to go out of your way to check out, these are the shows.

 It’s not just the biggest shows for PWA, but the biggest Aus wrestling shows for 2019. Check them out on OVO Play. Lastly, their Colosseum Countdown hype videos are sensational. Reminded me of the Ten Pounds of Gold videos that the NWA did. It’s a 40-minute video with four profile segments on Wahlberg, South, Troy & Osborne. It does a great job of humanizing the competitors & making them relatable. Definitely watch the Wahlberg one.