There is huge anticipation for this show, with Sonjay Dutt making his Adelaide debut. He spent last weekend in Melbourne with Melbourne City Wrestling, and during this week he held two nights of training seminars for the RCW crew.
We start with a 3-man commentary team. Josh Armour, as usual; Kurt Power’s back (and looking pumped) after over a year away; and newcomer Todd Eastman rounds us out. Kurt establishes himself as a heel right off the bat (much better than TJ Anderson did, for what it’s worth). The problem was, where I was sitting, I could hardly hear them, so I really don’t know how well they did.
Announcements: With Jonah Rock having left the promotion, there will be a 4-way tonight for the now-vacant Key To The City, and the main event is now billed as an International Challenge. Capacity crowd (as in sell-out, people turned away, the place is packed), and they are loud from the get go. A few interstaters and international wrestlers make tonight a real event.
Match 1: Josh Shooter (Vic) v Luke Santamaria
Back and forth to start until Shooter gets caught in the ropes and Luke dropkicks him out. Luke follows him. Back in Shooter gets the upper hand. Nice delayed vertical suplex by Shooter. Shooter takes over. Some weak punches. Luke comes back briefly, Shooter again in control. Shooter with a few near falls. Shooter with a sleeper. Crowd gets behind Luke, who counters with a jawbreaker. Some sloppy offense from both guys. Luke gets a 2 from a splash. Shooter starts to dominate again, but Luke with a diamond cutter out of nowhere for the 3. Well, that was an interesting choice for opener.
Brad Smyth comes out alone. He whines about Hammer costing him last month. Hammer comes out, threatens to hit him and the crowd is almost demanding it! To stop him, Brad makes this month’s Brad Smyth challenge a tag team match, and they embrace. Crowd is not happy. So any tag team can come out. Damo comes out with Shannon Jarvis – the Benchwarmers. But Shannon’s on crutches. (He cracked his patella at a house show; I was there – it looked nasty.) Crowd is behind Damo. So Damo has no partner, but he calls out Ty Evans, RCW rookie, to make his debut. Crowd is hot for Damo!
Match 2: Brad Smyth and Hammer v Damo and Ty Evans
Brad demands he start with Damo. One kick to the head, Damo’s down. Brad goes to pin, but a roll up by Damo gets 2. Tag to Ty. Drop kick sends Brad down. Hammer interference kills Ty. Tag to Hammer. Hammer kills Ty for a while. Hammer’s facials are very Zeus (No Holds Barred? Anyone?)… but without the crossed eyes. Tag to Brad. Ty continues to be killed. Tag to Hammer, belt Damo on the apron, keep killing Ty. Throw Ty to a corner, crush him, for 2. Tag to Brad. Kick to head by Brad gets 2. Brad and Hammer are playing with Ty now. Crowd is hot for a tag. Ty with a brief flurry, including a Stinger splash. Tag to Damo. Damo plays up to crowd, gets a crossbody on Brad for 2. Tag to Hammer. One bossman slam, tag to Brad, 3 count, goodnight. Ty then killed for fun. Not a bad debut for Ty; I also believe this was the official in-ring debut for Hammer, and he did well, but it will be interesting to see how he goes against some one his own size, when he has to take some moves. But the match itself wasn’t sure if it wanted to be comedy or sympathy or serious. Odd feeling to it.
Match 3: Harley Wonderland (NSW) v Eliza Sway (Vic) (with Voodoo)
Miami joins us on commentary, and a relationship between Sway and Voodoo is acknowledged in South Australia (it’s been known in Victoria for a while). Wonderland controls from the start with some nice chain wrestling. Sway finally takes over. Voodoo gets in the way and Wonderland back in control. Nice hip toss to the corner by Wonderland. That was a nasty bump for Sway to take and she did well. Crowd a little dead, which is a shame because this is not a bad match. Becomes bit more of a brawl until a resthold by Wonderland slows things down. A few 2 counts for Wonderland. To the corner, both down and out. Sway with chops, but Wonderland outpowers her and gets the 3 count for the upset. Strong women’s match, and something different. Screw you, WWE, TNA – RCW is women’s wrestling.
Match 4: 4 corner match for the Key to the City: Andy ‘Voodoo’ Roy (Vic) v Del Taurino v Adam Brooks (Vic) v Marvel
The Rude Ones are not a team, but competing as individuals here. All 4 men in the ring and it starts fast and furious. They all pair off, but keep changing who is fighting who. Too fast to call. Rude Ones out, Voodoo with a somersault plancha onto them, then Brooks with a splash onto all of them. Crowd is hot for this one; they are freakin’ loud! Voodoo and Brooks at each other and the crowd is torn. Huge DDT from Brooks. Voodoo back with a flipping arm drag. Rude Ones waiting their turn. Now Rude Ones in, but they don’t fight one another. They take on Brooks, keeping Voodoo out. Brooks comes back. Down to Brooks and Marvel. Marvel wraps Brooks up in a nasty submission. Voodoo in, saves a pin on Brooks, backcracker for Marvel. Del Taurino and Voodoo at each other. Marvel in to add punishment. Brooks back, and then punched into next week by Del Taurino. Tequila sunrise attempt broken up. Brooks and Voodoo work together. Voodoo breaks up a Brooks pin. Fast series of 2 counts by everyone on everyone. These guys look exhausted. Stalling elbow by Voodoo on Marvel leads to a 2 count. Tequila sunrise on Voodoo, Del Taurino goes for a pin. Brooks then goes for a senton splash, but Del Taurino moves and he hits Voodoo. Then there’s a series of high impact moves, one after the other, and Voodoo finally hits the cannibal destroyer on Brooks for the win! Surprise winner, with a surprise pin. Great match! New Key To The City holder – Voodoo.
Match 5: Fuzion v Matt ‘Grimm’ Basso
Fuzion jumpstarts the match before the bell. Fuzion is all over Grimm. Grimm escapes to the outside, Fuzion follows, but Grimm takes over. Back in Grimm gets a quick 2 but Fuzion takes over again. Intense match. Fuzion’s ring rust of the past couple of months has gone. Grimm comes back. This is nasty (in a good way). Fuzion works on Grimm’s knee. The ref has to break his ropes moves a few times, close to a DQ. Nice methodical work by Fuzion. Grimm tries to come back, but Fuzion stops that with a kick to the knee. Grimm again tries, this time to get a leg lock, but Fuzion reverses into his own. Grimm reaches the ropes, but Fuzion refuses to let go. Fuzion is DQed. Fuzion throws the ref, then goes back to Grimm’s knee. But too late – Grimm wins by DQ. Wow, that was a good match as well.
Out comes commissioner Matthews. He manages to send Fuzion to the back, but not before another shot is laid in. Grimm has the mic. He calls Fuzion out and challenges him to a street fight at the next show. The commish agrees, and makes it the co-main with the finals of the women’s title tournament.
Match 6: International Challenge: Tama Williams (NZ) v Sonjay Dutt (India) v Chris ‘Mimic’ Basso (Australia)
This is for the RCW title. For some reason Tama has developed some cowardly tactics. Most odd. Tama with the first blows. The others then take Tama out. Slow start. Some nice, sweet chain between Mimic and Dutt – first time I think I’ve heard cheering for chain wrestling. Tama then acts the coward again. Tama and Mimic go at it. Dutt in, and he takes control. All out in a bit of a spotfest. Mimic dropped on guardrail, hurting ribs. Tama takes control. Dutt and Tama with Dutt taking quick control. He makes a mistake and Tama takes over. Tama in control, slowing it all down. Mimic back in. He takes it to Tama with Dutt being dumped, but he gets over confident and Tama capitalises. Nice work there. Hard shots exchanged. Awesome DDT back drop move by Mimic on the other 2. Dutt and Mimic at it. Crowd appreciates this instead of popping for everything; they are watching in open-eyed fascination. Very respectful. Dutt locks a half camel clutch on Tama. Tama escapes, gets a Samoan drop on Dutt for 2. Dutt hits a top rope rana on Tama, but Mimic breaks up the 3 count. Mimic dumps Dutt, reverses a Tama Samoan drop to a release F5. Move after move ending with a tornado DDT by Dutt on Mimic. Wow! Crowd now loudly into this. Dutt up, Tama takes him down with a reverse Samoan drop. Mimic up top. Tama follows. Headbutts, Tama falls. Mimic hits the 450, Dutt breaks it up. Crowd loses it! Mimic and Dutt exchange set ups until Mimic hits Dutt with the Sega Mega Driver for the pin. Still champion – Chris ‘Mimic’ Basso! Another great match, but there were times when it felt like Tama was half a step too slow. It’s a small criticism, but a number of people noticed it.
After the match, Dutt gets on the mic. He says he will always remember RCW, and he thanks the crowd and the company. Nice and very classy. Dutt has made a very positive impression on everyone here in Adelaide.
That was quite a show, probably best RCW show of the year so far. Match of the night – 4 way.
Now, Sonjay Dutt. He held two seminars for the RCW wrestlers, which went down really well with the wrestlers. The impression he made on everyone, his openness, his friendliness and his positive attitude really had a huge impact on all the guys. He was also very complimentary of the way RCW runs shows, the look and feel of them, the size and passion of the crowd and the skill level of the RCW crew.
I asked him for an interview; he said he’d give me 5 minutes, and after 3 he called it.
What made you start wrestling? What got you into it in the first place?
I was always a big fan. My father was the one who got me to watch it, it was always on in the house, so, yeah, I grew up with it.
What was the first match or wrestler who made you think, “Yeah, I wanna do that.”?
Oh, yeah, I don’t know, man. I know when I was growing up I was into stuff from Japan, ECW and stuff. We used to trade tapes and stuff and you’d always see something you liked.
How does wrestling in the indies compare to the big time, on TV?
There is no comparison, man. One’s on TV, you know?… But in the indies, the crowds are closer and the interactions with the crowd are better, I think.
You wrestled with AWF a couple of years ago, and now you’re here. How does Australian wrestling compare to the independent scene in the States?
Very similar, man. No one’s really making the big money, everyone’s working hard to make the common goal of coming together to make this thing work. One more question, man.
Okay, parochial question: What do you think of RCW as a promotion?
They really got their stuff together. They got the whole package, man. The way they work, their set up, everything, it’s top-notch. It looks professional, it’s really happening here.
Thanks for your time.
Yeah, thanks, man.
Again, thanks to RCW and Nathan for the photos.