JANUARY 11, 2020

Watch: MCW Encore

On January 11, the two top Australian promotions had their first show of 2020. I watched PWA Sword Fight live on iPPV and it was a disappointing start to their year with the exception of a solid main event between the BABES vs 4 Nations (in particular, Carter Deams shone and looks set to hit the next level). However, the undercard wasn’t good with some awkward matchups and booking. It was quite a flat show.

On the other hand, Melbourne City Wrestling hit a home run with Vendetta with an excellent opener and main event with a solid undercard. Here’s the breakdown.

Opened with a promo from new MCW heavyweight champion Adam Brooks. He talked about his journey and how proud he is to hold the title. He wants to properly represent the company and be a fighting champ. Out comes ‘The Business’ Slex with a flash new entrance video. Just an absolute star from his entrance alone. He says that he has unfinished business (no pun intended) with Brooks as he was never pinned by Brooks to lose the title (lost in a triple threat) and wants a proper one-on-one for the belt. So, we got an impromptu match to kick things off.


They went a million miles an hour to start and it had a real sense of urgency from both men.  This opener was done like a main event, but condensed into about ten minutes. It rocked. Tightly worked and didn’t let up on the big moves. Adam Brooks actually got the win during a back and forth pin exchange, which is surprising because that normally doesn’t normally end in a three-count and it was sudden. I loved it because of that and they did it without making it feel like a weak finish. That’s how you execute a hot opener. ****1/4

Slex cuts his farewell/thankyou speech as he’s heading to ROH. Big ‘Thank you Slex’ chant from the audience. Nicely done Slex, now kill it in ROH.

Then we went to a video of EPW’s Davis Storm making the challenge for the MCW title on the next show. Storm is a veteran who can go in the big matches and it should be great.


Pratt is a scrappy looking wrestler who is making his MCW debut against rising star Rouka. It was a good little match that didn’t overstay its welcome. Leo came across as a dirty bastard and hit some tough-looking offense. But this was rightfully a match for Rouka to win and get his spurts of flashy offense in. ***

Jett announced that his Mile High Club tag partner Tyson Baxter has come back from injury and Baxter took the mic to claim that they are coming for the tag belts. Big boost for MCW’s tag division as those two work best as a tag team.

Great vignette of Jake Andrewartha which goes through his Judo accomplishments and his disappointments in his MCW career so far. He then basically claims that he’s more focus and dangerous than ever before. MCW has done a top job of rehabilitating Andrewartha after the Helter Skelter team folded.


The hard-hitting style of Taylor/Burr vs the quickness of the Filips. The Last of a Dying Breed (yes, they both have an Eddie Kingston vibe to them) have got really good chemistry for a relatively new team. They do have that student/mentor relationship (Burr trained Taylor) which probably helps. I enjoyed them beating down the Filips because they have that stiff-looking offense. Tome had a nice hot run of moves to get things back on track for his team and the explosiveness from the brothers would prove too much for their opponents. The Filips would get the advantage to connect with the Mother of All Bombs finisher. Fine showing from both teams. ***1/2

Another return announcement. Australian indy wrestling legend/madman KrackerJak is coming back for in-ring competition. There was a really weird video package (fucking brilliant though) where a nurse took KrackerJak’s blood and they begin to squirt it at each other in a playful, sexual way with romantic music playing in the background. Then a graphic appeared which said ‘KrackerJak, Returning in 2020’. I can’t do it justice, so just watch instead:


This was very much a spotfest. Royce Chambers is the type of guy that CIMA would fly over, if you know what I mean. An eye-catching talent with a highlight reel moveset. Psycho was the base guy in this match but also showed his agility. I popped when he caught Chambers’ Sasuke Special. It’s not flawless, but there were really creative and athletic spots. The ending was Royce doing a flippy and Psycho getting a cutter from out of nowhere. ***3/4

Footage was shown of a creepy mask guy who is stalking Psycho’s daughter. Plans to reveal himself on the next show. Please don’t be Jonathan Preston or Alan Payne. That silly ‘creepy’ shit is their MO.


A match with two differing personalities. Avary likes to be playful to get in her opponent’s mind and quite a lively character who likes to have naughty fun. Kellyanne has a more stern and vicious approach to her wrestling. She tried to get into Kellyanne’s mind, which didn’t necessarily work at times but paid off in the end. Kellyanne felt like the more dominant competitor and Avary was fighting from underneath to get that opportunity. Kellyanne was goated by Avary for the corner cannonball and the trick was a success. The opportunist then went for the Daddy Issues DDT for the victory. Avary’s character work was wonderful. Such a rascal. ***1/2


‘Jag’ Hartley Jackson sneaked attacked Ugg with a chair before the bell. Wasn’t that effective as Ugg came straight back at him. Streetfighter Hartley Jackson is the best Hartley Jackson. He has that rugged aura and charisma to be a convincing brawler. He is also a pretty effective dickhead. Ugg’s back takes a beating from chairs, the stage floor and a steel girder. Both of these guys are quite beefy, so we get a few nice hoss exchanges mixed in. Hartley kicked out of Ugg’s big move, Ugg Smash. So Jag gets the Ugg Smash through a table for the exclamation point. Ugg has just moved to Melbourne and looks to be a prominent act for MCW in 2020. Enjoyable street fight. ***1/2

‘Loverboy’ Lochy Hendricks comes out with a new gimmick for 2020 and looks like he’s going to be a babyface going forward. Was very hippie.


The big main event that I was extremely hyped for. Top heel ‘Inimitable’ Dowie James vs the megastar Will Ospreay.

‘Fuck you Dowie’ cried the fans. Quick start with the two trading counters. Dowie decided to slow things by going outside the ring for a moment. James played with him on the mat and that worked to his strengths. But then he played into Ospreay’s game by running the ropes and received a huge monkey flip. Fight on the outside and Ospreay brutalized Dowie. A huge cartwheel DDT onto the floor was a game-changer. James grounded him with the smuggest, shit-eating grin on his face. Ospreay powered his way back. Terrific moment when Ospreay wanted to trade shots with Dowie and when it was Will’s turn, Dowie went for a cheap jab. That resulted in a big chop to Dowie’s chest that left him sucking wind.

Another thing that I liked was Dowie using the Red Alert and commentator Lord Andy Coyne noted that’s Amazing Red’s (a man who Ospreay idolizes) move. I liked that little detail. Dowie gave Ospreay a few kicks and tells him it’s his ring. That appeared to fire up Ospreay. James did an amazing sell of Ospreay’s Liger bomb. Both men sold the fatigue of the war as they traded strikes.  Found the energy to have a big flurry as they traded pins and big offense. Dowie found an opportunity to kick Ospreay in the balls behind the referee’s back. Hit a tiger bomb and then a spinal tap. Only a two! Desperate kicks and knees from Dowie. RAINMAKER CLOTHESLINE FROM OUT OF NOWHERE! Then there was some fantastic counter wrestling which includes the Hidden Blade counter into a submission which has gotten a bit of attention as a gif on Twitter. However, Ospreay would eventually wipe out Dowie with a Hidden Blade and then the Stormbreaker.

Exceptional pro wrestling as those two men had a clinic. The cherry on top was Dowie’s heel mannerisms throughout the contest with his arrogance and his bursts of smooth technical transitions. Both seemed to have come into this match with niggling injuries (Ospreay’s heel and Dowie’s knee) but that didn’t stop them from going all out. ****3/4

Final Thoughts

One of the best Australian wrestling shows that I have ever seen and probably the best stuff that you would see from an independent promotion in 2020. Seek this show out. Also, big shoutout to the commentary team of Lord Andy Coyne, Lindsey ‘Uncle Beej’ Howarth and KrackerJak. Indie commentary normally sucks, but those guys do a tremendous job and are excellent at calling the action.