OK, time for something really different as we go into the southern hemisphere. It’s the 19th October 2020 and we’re in the Pro Wrestling Academy of Ingleburn, New South Wales, Australia for Episode One of the 2020 Pro Wrestling Australia Premiership! Your main event tonight: Unsocial Jordan vs William Preston in an A-Block match of the PWA Premiership!
PWA is I suppose the biggest wrestling promotion in Australia? It’s been around for a few years, a creation of the Eagles family of wrestlers I believe, and has morphed from a family-friendly outfit into a more “adult” promotion in recent years. This Youtube available series is a G1 Climax-esque tournament of two blocks, so should be a good showcase for what PWA can offer, in terms of wrestling and roster.
Some slick opening titles for a regional indie (though a little heavy on the Kevin Dunn slow-mo zoom-ins) and we move into a video package explaining the competition, all HD, all very well put together. Quick glimpses of the 16 competitors, and good to see that this is an inter-gender event. Andrew Rose, wearing a Progress t-shirt, and Chris Gove are your commentators, welcoming us to the PWA Academy. They run down the rules of the “novel” competition (novel? Every promotion in the world has done something like this I’d say), and all you really need to know is that it’s G1 rules but each match has a ten minute time limit. The blocks are outlined and it is a bunch of men and women I have never heard of. Tonight is the turn of Block A, and we are thrown to our first contest.
Kai Drake vs Sam Osborne w/Don Marnell (PWA Premiership Block A Round One)
We are in a COVID-compliant warehouse of an arena, so no cheering crowds today. Drake is a heel who is one half of the PWA Tag Champs, in a team apparently called “MK Plus Ultra”. So what, they are pumping people full of hallucinogens? His opponents manager, OTT’s Don Marnell, out smartly dressed and with the catchphrase “Well, well, well” on the mike beforehand. He runs Drake down in rhyme, saying that Drake is the Sideshow Bob to Osbourne’s rake, which is a pretty clever put down in fairness. Osborne out with a cup of tea, and given his cocky body language I’m assuming this is heel vs heel?
Osborne dodges a roundhouse to start. Wrist-lock chain, another dodged roundhouse, and Osborne scurries out of the ring to take some advice from Marnell. Back in, more lock chains, and Osborne gets two off a crucifix pin and then a backslide. Takedown on Drake, leg-lock, but Osborne appears to just let go as we take a pause. Eight minutes left.
Lock-up, Drake taken down again and ref breaks up a pin that was being assisted by Marnell. More chains, and Drake able to hit a drop-kick. Strikes in the corner, kick to the back, but Osborne back on top after a distraction from the ref. Hammerlock, into a Bow and Arrow variation. Drake back with forearms and a chop, but his right hand is damaged. Despite this, Osborne decides to work over the left leg. Hmm. Leglock for a bit, then another, five minutes left. Big left knee smash, Osborne to the outside, looking to wrap the leg around the ringpost but Drake pulls him into it instead. Four minutes left.
Drake with forearms, corner clothesline, then a bridging German for two. Kicks to the chest with Osborne caught in the ropes, then a brainbuster for two. Looking for a Scoop Slam attempt (commentator calls it a suplex), Osbourne out of it, counter chains, awkward takedown where Drake looks like he lands on his head, and Osborne with a kneebar. Looks legitimately sore, but Drake to the ropes. Two minutes left. Drake hits a big enziguri OUTTANOWHERE, but Marnell puts Osborne’s foot on the rope on the subsequent pin. One minute left. Exchanging shots, both down to their knees. 30 seconds. More strikes, takedowns, and the clock expires.
Winner: No-one! Both get a point.
Verdict: Alright opener, Osborne was doing must of the heavy lifting for the ten minutes, but Drake got to hit the high impact stuff. Neither really set the world alight I suppose, and one bad spot, but it was perfectly passable.
Marnell on the mike again afterwards, says the most important thing is they didn’t lose. Osborne says a few more seconds in the knee bar and Drake would have tapped. Marnell adds that “the only boat that doesn’t sink is Sam Osborne’s PWA Premier-ship”. Oh dear. At least he adds a bit of character to proceedings. Moving right along.
Charli Evans vs Kingsley (PWA Premiership Block A Round One)
The ring announcer is struggling a bit with his timing, a lot of “Introducing…” followed by a long pause. Evans a rep of some faction called the “Medusa Complex”, so guessing she is a heel. Kingsley’s gimmick appears to be that she carries a tea cup around and is “Freshly Brewed” which seems like an Orange Cassidy rip-off: a sentiment not helped by the fact that there is a picture of Freshly Squeezed on the wall of the arena. Awkward moment where the ref calls for the bell, nothing happens, and it finally rings when he’s in the middle of calling for it again. It’s still an indie promotion!
Sign of respect, lock-up, and Kingsley shoved back. Test of strength, wrist-lock chains, countered into headlock chains, and Evans with a modified half-Boston Crab. Kingsley to the ropes, kicks from Evans, Kingsley back with forearms, waistlock chains, mounted punches from Kingsley, Evans dodges a PK, but not a kick to the back, and Evans back with her own kick to the back. Eight minutes left, good start to this one.
Kingsley hits a DDT for two, then flatlined into the turnbuckle off a charge, nice. Running knee from Evans, Scoop Slam, two. Some odd ringside camerawork, live Dutch angles are not to be welcomed. Evans in control, beatdown, corner chokes, snap suplex, two. Big chop, more kicks, takedown, leg-lock. All Evans for the last few minutes, and she poses in the middle of a submission, nice. A sort of Regal Stretch STF locked in, but Kingsley to the ropes. Five minutes left.
Kingsley mounting her comeback, forearms, running clothesline, two. Belly-to-back, two. Evans dodges a corner charge, running knee to Kingsley, two. Good rhythm now. Four minutes left. Evans looking for something big, Kingsley jumps up and puts in a bear hug/sleeper, but Evans counters into a modified DDT for the pin in six-and-a-half on the dot.
Winner: Charli Evans, who does seem like a complete package.
Verdict: Really good stuff from both, nice mix of technical and powerhouse styles.
Evans interviewed, says she’s “f**cking happy” about winning, not so much about being made to bleed. Kingsley, who has a bit of a ZSJ vibe in terms of responding to losses, says she is here to prove she belongs on her own merits, and not because she has relatives in the business. Onto the next one.
Paris de Silva vs Mick Moretti (PWA Premiership Block A Round 1)
Moretti a painted “rapscallion” billed as being “from somewhere in Australia”. He and de Silva were once Tag Champs, but now de Silva is with Kai Drake. Story! It can be done in brief. Circling, Moretti points to Matty Wahlberg at ringside, and then he explodes with strikes and kicks. Apparently Moretti not a big fan of the “Generation Now” faction. Springboard Senton with huge air gets Moretti two. Continues the beatdown with a hard whip into the corner, for two. Eight minutes left.
Snapmare, pump-kick, two. This is just a squash so far, but now de Silva able to come back with a kick to the head, then a rana, then a spinning heel kick, then a standing moonsault for two. Sweet sequence. Moretti avoiding a strike with a headstand, then trips de Silva off the rope. Moretti slinks out, forearm to de Silva when he follows, and Moretti with an apron leg-drop for two. Moretti looking for a fisherman’s suplex, but countered into a stunner, nice. De Silva with a frog splash, then goes for a corkscrew, but no one home. Moretti back with a fisherman’s brainbuster, sizes de Silva up and hits a modified Famouser, apparently Wahlberg’s finisher, for the win in just over five-and-a-half.
Winner: PWA’s Sting
Verdict: Good match, I’d watch more of Moretti. A few over-the-top spots I suppose, but this was good entertainment for the brevity of it.
Moretti acts like Heath Ledger’s Joker in an interview after, and says Wahlberg has poisoned de Silva’s mind. He’ll end Generation Now, and will see Wahlberg in the final.
Unsocial Jordan vs William Preston (PWA Premiership Block A Round 1)
Preston out with a sign declaring Jordan is “a simp: change my mind”. Very current. That meme appears to be Preston’s gimmick. Jordan out with 56K dial-up entrance music and holding a tripod. I need someone to explain this to me. Jordan leaves the ring straight away to grab something from underneath. It’s a turtleneck! He offers it to Preston, but as Preston considers he gets ambushed and shoved into the ring post. A bit elaborate, but OK. Preston gets a choke with the turtleneck, which gets a count from the ref instead of a DQ. Working over the left arm, Kimuru Lock, but Preston fights out of it. Eight minutes left.
Jordan with chops, kicks in the corner, but then Preston dodges a charge. Two on a roll-up, running chains, and Preston lands a jumping bulldog for two. Second rope crossbody for two, but Jordan back on top with a Driver for two right after. Kimuru again, but Preston to the ropes. Six minutes left. Preston on the apron, elbow to Jordan, Preston to the top, top-rope nothing and a roll-through, and Jordan hits an awkward looking Dragon Suplex for two. Preston grabs the tripod, ref intervenes, and odd moment where Preston is in position for a roll-up, but doesn’t go for it. Jordan makes him pay with an Electric Chair front drop, running knee, then a superkick for the 1, 2, 3 in nearly six minutes.
Winner: Heely McHeelface
Verdict: Had some strange moments that took me out of it, but I suppose it was fine.
Commentary thanks us for being here. We have time for Jordan to tell us how much he hates the current factions in PWA, and that he is the only hope for the company. Not sure I’m buying it. And that is all.
Best Match: Evans/Kingsley I suppose, no bad matches really but that one did the absolute most with the time that it had.
Best Wrestler: Sam Osborne carried the ball for most of the opener and looked like the kind of guy who could do a job somewhere bigger than this.
Worst Match: I suppose the main event by default, just had a bit of an off energy at moments and one very dodgy suplex spot.
Worst Wrestler: Hard to single anyone out. Paris de Silva didn’t really do much in his match.
Overall Verdict: I’d watch more of this, and PWA generally, looks like they have a good set-up. They could do a better job at outlining how things stand, faction wise, to new viewers, but the wrestling was decent. Give it a look, it’s all on Youtube.
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