PRO WRESTLING AUSTRALIA BLACK LABEL
COLOSSEUM 2019 NIGHT 2
October 19, 2019
Watch: Ovo Play
Night 2 of the PWA Black Label Colosseum Tournament features the semi-finals and final of the competition, as well as Caveman Ugg vs Jack Bonza in a PWA Heavyweight Championship match. Who will wield Green Thunder by the night’s end?
Kevin: On commentary are Andrew Rose and the leader of SMS, Unsocial Jordan subbing in for Kris Gale. They do fine, and it helps to have someone more experienced with wrestling to guide the announcing. Though as I said in the Night 1 review I continue to be baffled as to why Don Marnell isn’t being used on Black Label shows.
ScorpioCorp: Shrug. Jordan and Rose weren’t that noteworthy on commentary. It was okay.
PWA Colosseum 2019 Tournament Semi-Final
Matty Wahlberg def. Orange Cassidy
Kevin: Matty Wahlberg enters wearing tiger print shorts and to a rousing chorus of Wahlberg chants. Orange Cassidy then does his own sloth-like version of the Goldberg entrance.
I actually ended up enjoying this more than the Jessica Troy vs Orange Cassidy match in the first round. I thought that Wahlberg’s character complimented Cassidy’s gimmick well; they’re diametrically opposite in a way that works well for comedy. Wahlberg is the hyped-up jock-athlete which is an effective contract to Cassidy. Early in the match, Wahlberg tries to kick at Cassidy’s shins but finds his kicks getting very slowly checked.
I thought this was a lot of fun; Cassidy was playing his shtick but raising intensity in the right spots. Wahlberg looked strong and reacted in the right way to get over the story of the match. Wahlberg takes the win with his elevated Curb-Stomp finish. ***½
ScorpioCorp: Wahlberg getting the Goldberg-esque entrances makes him look like a megastar. The tiger print gear is a nice touch. He initially came out to different entrance music which was (uses Shazam to find out) a Public Enemy song & then went back to his regular music. I don’t know fucking rap artists. Anyway, WAHLBERG! WAHLBERG! WAHLBERG! Orange Cassidy did a lazy version of the Goldberg backstage walk. The entrances foreshadowed their battle of contrasting attitudes.
This was fine and entertaining because their opposite personalities to play off each other. It made for an amusing contest. Matty came into the match with a more serious and focused outlook because he was feeling the enormous pressure to prove himself. Cassidy is a totally laid back dude. But it’s like I said in the Night 1 article, there’s a ceiling in my enjoyment of Orange Cassidy because I’ve seen his in-ring skits many times and it’s the law of diminishing returns for me. I felt that this was the weakest tournament match that was still quite fun for what it was. ***
Colosseum 2019 Tournament Semi-Final
Travis Banks def. Ricky South
Kevin: For the semi-final, Ricky South comes out accompanied with dancers. Travis just walks to the ring intensely which is kind of his deal anyway.
I really liked this match. It starts off with a little bit of comedy where Banks breaks out the Stupid Sexy Trav gimmick he does occasionally on UK indies; but it turns out to be Banks baiting South into a striking battle.
The pair match up well, and I particularly liked their early slap battle. There are some excellent spots in the match, including Banks doing a backwards double stomp and South hitting a Northern Light Suplex off a catch. Banks is eventually able to get the submission victory to move onto the final. I really liked this match, but I thought that it didn’t hit as hot a finishing stretch as I wanted it to. ***¾
ScorpioCorp: South comes out with some retro (maybe 60s) dancers for a very playful entrance. Sexy Travis makes a brief appearance but it was a trap to lower South’s guard. The games quickly end and it got down to business. They had quite a sprint with both guys going hard & fast at each other. Banks brought out a more aggressive and desperate Ricky South. Similar to the Osborne match as it was intense & hard-hitting. I also really wanted it to go a bit longer. Banks took advantage of South’s arm which was hurt on Night 1 and wasn’t really emphasised in this match until the end. ***1/4
PWWA Championship #1 Contender
Steph De Lander def. Royce Chambers, Big Fudge and Headhunter Rig
Kevin: Jessica Troy’s PWWA Championship was announced as now being a gender-neutral title a couple months ago. Basically it’s been moved into being the PWA upper-midcard belt. The same as Night 1, we have a four-way to determine the next challenger for a singles belt.
It is an interesting mix of competitors; Steph De Lander is coming off becoming the first Melbourne City Wrestling Women’s Champion the week before and Royce Chambers broke out with his debut at the promotion on the same show. Big Fudge is PWA’s top comedy character and Headhunter Rig is one of their talents that I think has the potential to be elevated next year.
Royce Chambers impresses here in his debut for PWA and his Ultra Sasuke Special has already gone somewhat viral. I was equally impressed with how he sold Big Fudge’s deadly Butt Punch.
This is a similar match to the four-way on Night 1. After an arm-wrestle, Steph De Lander is able to hit her sit-out TKO on Fudge to get the win. ***
ScorpioCorp: Ain’t kidding about an interesting mix of characters. Royce was the highlight with his flashy offence like a fucking Ultra Sasuke Special and a 630! Got Big Fudge doing Big Fudge comedy that never gets old (yes, I love Big Fudge comedy much more than Orange Cassidy comedy). His chokeslam on Chambers was ridiculously funny. Because it was a weak ass chokeslam but Royce sold oversold the heck out of it. Up and comer Headhunter Rig looked impressive in this with some slick looking offense. Steph De Lander got the win like I figured as she was the odds on favorite and more established as a force in PWA compared to the other competitors. ***
Rory Gulak/Shazza McKenzie def. The Nations (Mick Moretti/Adam Hoffman)
Kevin: This was set up as Rory Gulak and a mystery partner vs Mick Moretti and Adam Hoffman after The Nations turned on Gulak at a Future Wrestling Australia show. The mystery partner ended up being the new Number 1 Contender to the PWA Heavyweight Championship: Shazza McKenzie.
It was noticeable to me that there was one lone Gulak fan chanting for him in this match; though I thought he got a somewhat stronger reaction here than the night before since he was paired with stronger characters.
The early part of the match is mostly Shazza doing lucha armdrags and various chain wrestling sequences between the combatants. The big spot in the match is Hoffman pretending to have hurt his arm; he went all out with playing possum to the point that I actually bought that he got injured. The Nations go to take advantage of their sneaky tactics; but pretty soon afterwards Shazza is able to corner Hoffman into a submission for the victory. This was fine, but the highlight was the fake-out injury. ***
ScorpioCorp: This was an alright filler match. Could see that whole ‘faking an arm injury’ from a mile away. Can’t fool me, except for the time when Rocky Menero screwed AJ Istria on a Wrestle Rampage show by faking a leg injury & I brought that hook, line and sinker like a mark. Back to the review, Gulak would eventually tag out after being fooled and Shazza came in to clean house. Hoffman botched a move with Shazza that took a bit away from the contest because I’m a stickler. They get back on track and yada yada, Shazza gets the tap out to build towards her PWA championship match. **3/4
PWA Heavyweight Championship
Caveman Ugg (c) def. Jack Bonza
Kevin: Jack Bonza won the PWA Rumble to get this match. This is Caveman Ugg’s first championship defense since returning from his training at Fale Dojo.
One of the interesting things I noticed from the beginning of the match is that a significant portion of the PWA fanbase has turned on Ugg. Even though Bonza is normally a mega-heel in PWA, Ugg gets more boos and plays more of the heel role in the match’s construction.
This was a war with the two men just beating the shit out of each other. In a lot of ways, it reminded me of a Walter match. It’s very heavy on chops, strikes and basic moves done in a way that comes off as impactful.
Both men hit their big moves only to find that it can’t get the job done. Then Ugg sends Bonza flying through the timekeeper table in a terrifying spot. Ugg gets the win with his Phoenix Splash. ****¼
ScorpioCorp: Two beefy lads throwing meaty strikes. It rocked and was very much a Puroresu style match. The crowd was more behind Bonza which was really telling to how much Bonza has become liked by the PWA crowd after being a perennial heel and maybe the fan disappointment of Ugg’s title run so far with a lack of title matches. Bonza managed to lift Ugg for a Napam Thunder Driver (Steiner Screwdriver) which took a superhuman amount of strength. The turning point was Ugg sending the Red Nation leader through the announcer’s table. Ugg was able to the capitalize with an Ugg Smash (Razor’s Edge) & a Phoenix Splash for the win. Just a brutal fight. ****
Speed Force (Paris De Silva/Jude London/Mat Rogers/Mat Diamond) def. Jessica Troy/Davis Storm/Chris Basso/Sam Osborne
Kevin: I really loved this match. I actually thought that it was more effective in getting Jessica Troy over as a star than anything else I’ve seen this year.
The story of this match is that Storm, Basso and Osborne are dickheads who don’t want to let Jessica Troy get any of the spotlight. They try to block her from being seen during the entrance; they don’t let her in on the Titanic pose on the turnbuckle and they refuse to tag her in. That is until the monstrous Mat Rogers is in the match, in which case the cowards leave Jessica Troy to face him.
The bad guys play their role of cowards well, whilst Troy is the valiant underdog. On a technical level she also matches up well with the Velocities. The visual highlight of the match is Mat Diamond hitting a corkscrew 630 to a sea of people on the outside.
Davis Storm finally pushes Troy too far leading to her taking him down and The Velocities hitting double 450s for the win. The work and storytelling in this match was excellent and it makes me hopeful that PWA will bring Davis Storm back for a program with the Jesstroyer. ****
ScorpioCorp: I wish that Davis Storm, Chris Basso and Sam Osborne would form an actual stable that runs roughshod in PWA as dickhead heels after this showing. Instant boys’ club chemistry. The boys tried to suppress Troy throughout with a lack of willingness to tag her in and trying to ignore her. They wanted to hog all the glory. But Troy overcame that and took matters into her own hands. She looked like a badass babyface as she fought the opposition and had to school her ignorant teammates with a few receipts. Speed Force are great. Mat Diamond was terrific with some of his spots like the corkscrew 630. After Troy locked in a couple of kimura’s on her teammates, Speed Force would take advantage to win. ***1/2
James Adultman def. Massive Q
Kevin: This is the payoff to the Tag Gauntlet from Night 1. James Adultman is The Prefects stacked on top of each other wearing a trench coat. They debuted the gimmick in the PWA Rumble match. Since I watched the Rumble match on delay and knew it was coming, the joke didn’t really land for me. Being an obsessive comedy nerd; it irritated me that The Prefects had already been in the Rumble before debuting the gimmick. The bouncers should have turned away The Prefects at first, meaning that they needed to dress up as James Adultman to get into the match. The structure of the joke was all wrong! I have graphs and diagrams to prove this hypothesis!
The return of James Adultman was telegraphed on Night 1. This time I got more into the joke. The ridiculousness of them trying to wrestle a match and then managing to catch Massive Q in the biggest schoolboy ever got me laughing. The entrance video of James Adultman going about his business is also a highlight. NR
ScorpioCorp: Ah fuck, how do I explain this? Kevin has said enough about it. James Adultman surprisingly has more agility than The Great Khali. Has Khali ever done a schoolboy rollup? NR
Colosseum 2019 Tournament Final
Matty Wahlberg def. Travis Banks
Kevin: Matty Wahlberg’s entrance is preceded by a cheerleading troupe and he comes out wearing the Apollo Creed gear that he wore for his unsuccessful PWA Championship challenge against Caveman Ugg.
I thought that this was the best match of the weekend. It wasn’t my favorite (that was Ricky South vs Davis Storm), but I thought that the tournament final was the best at capturing a modern main-event style match. It feels like the type of match you’d see main event an NXT Takeover.
Travis Banks was good all weekend, but he upped his game for this finale. Wahlberg was able to match him for intensity. To me this was Wahlberg’s best performance so far; you could see how important the match was to him and he took some crazy risks.
As a side note; I’ve been somewhat critical of the PWA announce team before but I have to make special mention of Andrew Rose’s work for this match. Since coming into the promotion, Rose and Wahlberg have been at odds and this character dynamic was well woven into the story of the match.
For the first time in the tournament, Travis Banks pulls out the Kiwi Krusher (from the top rope!) Wahlberg survives and is able to hit his own top-rope version of his Busterizer finish for the victory. Wahlberg wins in one of the promotion’s best matches of the year. ****½
ScorpioCorp: Well, the final that I predicted happened. Got the cheerleader squad doing a performance to introduce Wahlberg & he wears the big match Apollo Creed gear. Really liked how fired up Wahlberg was in this match and it really stressed the gravitas of the Green Thunder prize. They brawl outside for a bit and Matty does a big tope off the elevated stage. He jumped a fair distance. Got back into the ring & they busted out their big signature moves. Back and forth between two guys who were unloading their arsenal after a grueling tournament. A massive Busterizer was the killing blow. A fitting way to finish the show and the right man won. Great physically from both competitors. Wahlberg finally wins the ‘big one’ to prove the doubters wrong after his previous loss against Ugg. ***1/2
Kevin: I thought that Night 2 was the best PWA show of the year and one of the better shows throughout all of Australia for 2019. If you’re looking to get into Australian Wrestling; the Colosseum 2019 weekend would be an excellent starting point.
ScorpioCorp: This was a top-notch show and I would recommend watching it. But definitely watch Night 1 as well because it’s better with the context of the previous night like seeing Storm’s heel turn, the wild six-man tag to heat up Ugg/Bonza, the whole Adultman/Massive Q comedy thing etc. Like Kevin said, this is one of the better shows that you will see from the Australian scene.