RIOT CITY WRESTLING – RITES OF PASSAGE 2012 [MAY 26]

After a week of local mainstream media attention due to the women’s match, we have a near capacity house. And considering it was up against the local top-of-the-ladder football team, a good showing by those who attended. Before the show, they play last month’s recap on the big screen – nice touch and helps everyone with the continuing storylines. Commentator Kurt Powers is not here (as a pretty cool apology video informs us all), but Brad Smyth joins us for commentary along with Todd Eastman and Josh Armour. They run down the card, and the crowd is pumped. For the record, Brad does a great heel commentator.

 

Match 1: Adam Hoffman (with Harley Wonderland) v Chris ‘Mimic’ Basso.
Hoffman’s RCW debut, coming from New South Wales. Interesting choice for opener, with your champion. Oh, and a nice touch – they now have intro videos for the regular wrestlers coming up on the screen. Mimic’s is awesome and a great one to showcase this. The embracing of new technologies in this way is making RCW look more and more professional. They just need a bigger venue. Feeling out process to start, Hoffman gets the better of it. Mimic wrestled in Melbourne last night, and looks a little off. But he soon unloads on Hoffman. Wonderland interferes, Hoffman goes for a slingshot inside-out cross body, Mimic moves, Hoffman crashes. Back in the ring. Mimic moonsault hits knees, and Hoffman follows it with a spinebuster. Hoffman lays in the boots. His punches and kicks are light on, they need more weight behind them. Back and forth for a bit. Hoffman works the ribs and midsection. Hoffman stuffs up an enziguri, then hits a shooting star press for a 2-count. Hoffman argues with the ref, the ref pushed him down, Mimic goes for the pin, Wonderland distracts, heel miscommunication sees Hoffman hit her, Mimic hits the driver for the pin and the three-count. Odd opener. They didn’t quite mesh.

Hoffman in mid-SSP

 

Match 2: Hammer v Damo.
Brad Smyth announces this as a part of the Brad Smyth challenge, but Hammer wants him. Brad gives Damo to him. Damo sends Shannon to the back because of his knee injury. Damo pumps up the audience (he has to be one of the most over wrestlers ever!), and Hammer just kills him with one blow. Ref applies a count. Hammer stops it and throws him into a corner, then into the other, following with a corner clothesline. Another count applied. Damo up at nine. Some punches from Damo stopped by a head-butt. Damo up. Hammer can’t believe it. Hammer misses a corner charge. Double knees from Damo, and again. Damo up top. Cross-body caught into a strong-arm slam. Three count, it’s over. Extended squash. I hope this Damo storyline is going somewhere. The crowd are starting to get bummed out by him being obliterated all the time. I mean, they deflated completely. Good to showcase Hammer, though.

Hammer catches Damo's cross-body

 

 

Smyth out again for his challenge. And music hits we have not heard in a long time. Former RCW champion Jacko Lantern answers the call. That peps up the crowd. And we will finally see Hammer against legitimate opposition.

 

Match 3: Brad Smyth v Jacko Lantern.
Hammer stays at ringside. Mind games to start. Jacko with punches, finger to the eye stops him. Hammer plays distraction, allowing Smyth to get the upper hand. They play the same ref distraction game they and the Rude Ones play every month. Smyth takes control, Jacko back with a modified curb stomp, Hammer interferes again. This is becoming almost two-on-one, and is making the ref look even more useless than normal. Smyth unloads with the kicks. Until a running kick puts Jacko down for the 2. Smyth up top, misses, Hammer takes a few minutes to take a turnbuckle pad off. Seriously? The guy’s like 140 kg, it’s not like a midget sneaking around the place. Jacko hits a sit-out chokeslam and the ref chooses this moment to put the pad back on? Another distraction by Hammer, but a big boot from Jacko barely makes Hammer flinch. Smyth takes the opportunity to roll Jacko up with a handful of tights and Smyth gets the three-count. Hammer in after to lay Jacko out. Odd match again.

Brad in control

 

 

Jacko on the mic. He challenges Smyth and Hammer to a tag team match next month – Smyth and Hammer v Jacko and a partner of his choice. Smyth accepts. Could be interesting.

 

Cool video package showing the Fuzion/Grimm feud going back to 2011. So much good set up stuff over the past six months, with Fuzion in the audience, previous matches, etc. Again, another string to the RCW bow.

 

Match 4: Semi-main Event: Fuzion v Matt ‘Grimm’ Basso, Riot City Street Fight.
Apparently this is different to any other street fight in that they won’t actually go into the street. Or something. Fuzion tries to start, but Grimm quickly takes over. Grimm with three powerful elbow drops, and Fuzion rolls out. Fuzion through the crowd, Grimm chases. Thumb to the eye by Fuzion, then clothesline. Grimm back in, then kicks Fuzion out. Grimm goes for a tope, but Fuzion slams a chair into his head in mid-air. Chair to Grimm’s back. Second chair shot makes the crowd wince. Damn that was hard! Choke out with the chair. Crowd is on Fuzion, but he doesn’t care. Chair to the ribs. 2-count. Fuzion throws in chairs and a garbage can. Can in the corner. Grimm avoids it, Fuzion avoids it, so Grimm grabs it and slams it against Fuzion’s head. Nasty head shot. Grimm goes for a table. Slippery when wet sign, unprotected head shot on Fuzion, it shatters.

The sign is shattered

Grimm with a hair removal strip on Fuzion’s back. Low blow by Fuzion stops Grimm. Fuzion realises what Grimm’s put on his back and he lays into Grimm. He uncovers a turnbuckle, then kicks Grimm in the face. Fuzion sets up 2 chairs. Grimm fights back. Fuzion rams his head into the exposed turnbuckle, then a spinebuster through the chairs for 2! Fuzion can’t believe it; he grows frustrated. Chokes Grimm, throws him out. Chair to the ribs. Grimm dodges a chair shot, punches away, kicks chair into Fuzion’s face. Grimm puts table into ring. Crowd is buzzing. Fuzion interrupts the table set up, puts it in the corner. Huge chop from Fuzion. Grimm returns the favour, rips off the hair removal strap, then hits a powerbomb through the table for the three count and the win. Another intense match from these two – they have insane chemistry together. And because these “hardcore” matches happen so rarely in RCW, when they do happen, they stand out as something different.

Fuzion chairs Grimm

 

 

Match 5: Matt Silva (MCW champion) v Andy ‘Voodoo’ Roy.
Silva has a mic, and he explains that he has been forced to come back to RCW against his will. He runs down RCW, MCW, Chris Basso (who attacked him last night in Melbourne), South Australia, and everyone else. At least he kept it short this time. This is non-title. Silva plays stall-a-go-go to start, as usual. Chain wrestling to start into an amateur take-down by Silva. Back and forth until a Voodoo clothesline sends him to the floor. Somersault senton by Voodoo wipes Silva out. They fight outside until Silva slams him on the apron. Silva takes control. Voodoo starts to come back, but Silva stops him with a drop kick. Silva’s skills have definitely improved since last time he was here. They are cleaner and faster. Silva fires Voodoo into the corner, then chops him hard. Another whip and Voodoo is down. Jumping knee drop, 2-count. Again, another 2-count. Two knee drops this time, 2-count. Silva not happy. He hits an F-5 but when it lands Silva locks in a cross-face. Great combination, so smooth. Voodoo rolls him up for 2. Voodoo tries for a cannibal destroyer, but Silva powers out of it. Twice. Kick to the back of the head by Silva. Silva up top, kick to the head by Voodoo fells him. Superplex by Voodoo, both men are down. Voodoo with forearms, clothesline, knee, but Silva comes back, Voodoo with a drop kick for 2. Voodoo with the stalling elbow. Voodoo goes for something off the top rope, but Silva kicks him on the way down for 2. Silva goes for the brainbuster, but Voodoo rolls him up for 2. An elbow gets 2 for Silva. Silva grabs the title belt and heads for the ring. Mimic comes out and makes sure he can’t use it. Voodoo tells Mimic to go away, he doesn’t want help. Silva uses this as a distraction and kicks Voodoo in the head, then hits the brainbuster for the 3-count. Probably the best match of Silva I’ve seen.

Silva has Voodoo up

 

 

Silva with the mic. He runs down Adelaide again. Then he promotes MCW’s FaceBook page. All we were missing was a Twitter reference to be completely “down with the kids”.

 

Match 6: The Rude Ones (Marvel & Del Taurino) (with El Presidente) v Luke Santamaria & Adam Brooks.
Luke and Taurino start out with some chain wrestling. Marvel tagged in and he wants Brooks, and gets him. Brooks takes Marvel with a headlock, things slow down. Del Taurino back in, Luke tagged back in. Fast back and forth, Luke hits an RKO out of nowhere (I like that), but Marvel breaks up the pin. Brooks with a senton from the top on Taurino, but Presidente distracts to prevent a pin. Brooks takes him out. Brooks in control. Presidente turns the tide with a shot to Brooks’ leg. Marvel in, working on the leg. Marvel works the leg expertly. This guy needs to be in the main event scene now. Presidente prevents Luke from making the tag. Marvel still on the leg. Taurino hits a guillotine leg drop on Brooks draped over the rope. Brooks comes back suddenly, forgetting all the pain. But Marvel goes back to the leg, and Taurino is tagged in to continue it. Brooks sells the leg, then kicks Taurino with it? Marvel takes Luke out to prevent the tag. Marvel back on the leg. Brooks hits an enziguri, but Marvel prevents the tag. Marvel back to the leg – this guy is a superb wrestler. A kick to the leg by Marvel spins Brooks around in a Curt Hennig sell. The Rude Ones have kept the ring cut in half. Odd missed moves section, Taurino in. Works on Brooks, takes out Luke. Brooks manages to hit a codebreaker (with a damaged leg). Finally Brooks makes the hot tag Luke in – fameasser on Taurino, but Brooks gets a blind tag. The Rude Ones hit a tequila sunrise on Luke, then Luke takes Taurino out of the ring and Brooks hits a sunset flip on Marvel for the win, jumping off two feet from the top rope and holding him down with his injured leg? The ending made no sense, especially with an established team going down to a makeshift one, and the leg work that took place. Selling is  more than saying, “Ow, it hurts.” Look at Grimm last month who could not complete his moves because of the leg. Not do them, and then scream in pain afterwards. Odd.

 

Tequila Sunrise on Luke

 

Match 7: Main Event, for the first ever RCW Women’s Champion – Savannah Summers v Miami.
They needed the video hype package beforehand like Fuzion/Grimm, even if it was the same one that’s been online for a week now. Crowd is hot for this one even in the entrances. And before we begin – kudos to RCW for not only saying the women are important enough to have a title, but to make it the main event of this show. Nice looking belt as well. Trash talk to start, and we have the bell. Shoves, slaps, Miami grabs a headlock and the crowd screams. Leapfrog misses, crash against the ropes, fast back and forth to a Miami Thesz press, then a sideslam. Awkward opening. Savannah takes a breather on the outside. They look nervous. Savannah back in slowly, then back out. That seems to be all they need to settle, because from here on it, the match is flawless. Miami follows her out and rams her head into the apron, then back into the ring. Miami with knee strikes into a snap suplex. She starts to go up, but Savannah pulls her down and takes over. Snapmare into a headlock. Wear down move. Miami stands with Savannah on her back, backs her into the corner. Miami charges, head-first into the corner. Savannah with shoulder blocks in the corner. Into another corner, and again. Now they’re into their groove. Monkey flip by Savannah for 2. Knees by Savannah, and big boot gets 2.

Savannah's big boot

Slam and leg drop by Savannah, loose pin gets 2. Rear headlock by Savannah again. Crowd gets behind Miami. Rear naked choke by Savannah. Elbows by Miami breaks it, both women are down. Up at 5. Savannah gets the first attack. Miami with a sunset flip for 1, schoolboy for 1. Hard clothesline, back elbow, spinebuster for 2 for Miami. Savannah up, but Miami locks in a Gory stretch, into a Gory bomb. For 2. Nice. Goes for a suplex, Savannah gets out, but Miami hits the drop it like it’s hot, the bridged Samoan drop. For 2! Miami looks frustrated. Cartwheel splash hits knees. Savannah hits her own pure arrogance finisher… for 2! Crowed is now pumped. Back and forth and Savannah hits Miami’s DILIH for 2.

Savannah steals Miami's finisher

Now Savannah is frustrated.  Summers to the top rope. Top rope leg drop  misses. Crowd is screaming. Miami hits the pure arrogance (one footed jaw breaker), for 2! Wow! Crowd is losing it. Now Miami goes up. Crowd is screaming for her. Miami goes for a moonsault, and misses! Crowd winces with her. Savannah hits the pure arrogance, for 3!! Even the commentators are losing it, and Brad, the heel, congratulates both women, which is a really strong and classy way to put over the match and the title. Savannah didn’t cheat – she outwrestled Miami, which also helps legitimise the new title. And the crowd cheers them both. The first RCW Women’s Champion – Savannah Summers! Crowd cheers the heel Savannah because, really, the match was that good. Savannah helps Miami up and they shake hands in a show of respect. Eliza Sway comes out and clotheslines Summers down, then punches Miami when she tries to break it up. (With this, and Voodoo’s beating Brooks last month plus a disagreement with Mimic this month, are the RCW power couple slowly turning? If so, it is a really well done, subtle and logical turn. Again, kudos for the slow burn.) Summers and Miami embrace. Match was slow to start, but then they hit it and it ended up putting anything in WWE or TNA to shame. Summers thanks the crowd as they leave.

Savannah and Miami post-match

 

 

Interesting show. Some really strong matches – and the women’s match showed just what female wrestlers can do and how much a crowd can be invested in the ladies with the proper build – but some stuff that didn’t quite gel. Still, I’ll take RCW at the moment over TNA or WWE. Yes, the big marquee matches from the big two might be better, but the undercard really has nothing on RCW. The company’s production is looking more and more professional, the video production is leaping forward, and even the range of merchandise they have for sale is expansive. RCW – Real Wrestling.

 

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