Pre-show, we’re treated to a few old highlights packages on the big screen, as in from last year. Disappointing and at least one person sitting near me in the crowd asked why they bothered. Large crowd, but not a full house. Josh Armour and Todd Eastman are the announcers. They come out and introduce Luke Santamaria, who has an announcement to make. He tells the crowd that due to a neck and shoulder injury he has been forced to retire from wrestling, and as such he has joined the commentary team to make up the 3-man booth. So we still have Tony and Mike, and now joining them is Mongo? (WCW references, love them.)
They run down the card. The women’s match is falls count anywhere for the number 1 contendership. The Key to the City match 2 (after match 1 ended in a DCOR) is referenced. Del Taurino and Marvel are facing Cannon and Rollins – what happened to Brooks and Silva, set up at the last show? Odd.
Video package from the last house show is shown, setting up the first match.
Match 1: Brad Smyth Challenge – Brad Smyth v Big Brodie Marshall
Smyth comes out alone. Brad starts with a dropkick, then works the leg of Marshall. Marshall with some clotheslines and a back drop. Hulk Hogan boot from Marshall and Brad goes to the floor. Some really awkward looking spots in there. Outside Marshall clotheslines the corner post when Smyth moves. He’s in pain. Back in the ring. Marshall pushes Brad off, but he works the shoulder. Good use of the ropes by Smyth. The shoulder is the target. Marshall tries to punch back with the other arm, but Smyth goes for the shoulder again. Double stomp on the shoulder. Smyth ties the shoulder up. Brodie back with punches, side slam, then a clothesline that turns Brad inside out. Slam. Elbow drop, 2 count. Brodie is only using the right arm – nice selling. Misses a corner charge and Smyth gets the shoulder again. Brodie hits a sort of Rock Bottom. Then he gets Brad up in the torture rack and hits his Marshall Law, the arm (and selling) forgotten briefly, and that’s it.
Winner: Big Brodie Marshall (pinfall)
The announcers follow this up by all three of them hanging crap on Smyth. Odd dynamic.
Match 2: MCW v RCW – Adam Brooks v Shannon Jarvis
So why isn’t Brooks in the tag match? Brooks slap to start off. Match starts with chain and mat wrestling. Bit of a run and Shannon knocks Brooks out with a knee. Awkward landing and now Shannon ginger on his injured knee. Some back and forth mat wrestling again. Different sort of match. Brooks with snake eyes in the corner, then clothesline for 2. Some awkward spots happening here as well. Suplex from Brooks. Jarvis tries to fight back, but to no avail. Slam by Brooks. Arrogant pin gets 2. Jarvis comes back, but drop-kick to the knee drops him. Chop in the corner by Brooks. All the commentators are hanging crap on Brooks now. Shannon reverses to chop Brooks. Brooks misses a corner charge, roll up for 2 by Jarvis. Jarvis makes the come back, boot to the face stops him. Jarvis goes for top rope dropkick, but Brooks hits a dropkick on him in mid-air, and gets the 3-count.
Winner: Adam Brooks
Out comes Carlo Cannon and Ryan Rollins from Victoria and they start to attack Jarvis as well until the Rude Ones run out and make the save to a HUGE pop. But instead of checking on Jarvis, they just play intimidation games with the Victorians. No-one says anything on a mic, they’re just… there. Odd.
Match 3: Falls Count Anywhere, Number 1 Contenders Match – Eliza Sway v Miami
Miami doesn’t dance when she comes out, giving this match already a more intense feel. Sway takes a mic and runs down Miami, then demands that the match be not only a number 1 contenders match, but that the loser leaves RCW for good. Miami agrees, and adds that should Sway lose Voodoo is gone as well. Sway agrees. So this is ALSO a loser leaves RCW match! A WCW multi-stipulation match! Starts as a hard-hitting brawl. Miami outside, and so she grabs Sway’s feet and pulls her out and her head slams on the floor. Miami goes for a hurricanrana and Sway blocks it to hit a pendulum swing into the railing. Sway with a chair, but it doesn’t hit. Miami gets a roll-up for 2 on the floor. Miami into a ring post. Back elbow from Miami. Miami goes for a kick, but Sway pulls her down into the splits. Sway with a snap suplex on the floor. Both girls down. Holy crap, what a match already! Into the crowd, and Sway into the merchandise area. She sets up a chair but Miami counters. They fight over moves until Miami hits a spinebuster on the floor. Ouch! Trading blows. Crowd is into this big time. Sway’s head slammed into the wall. Sway with a bin to Miami’s head. Still in the crowd. Back over the guardrail. Miami throws Sway into the ring and follows her. Miami with forearms, Sway counters, Miami counters, Sway with a spinebuster for 2. Both ladies look exhausted. Out onto the entrance ramp. Miami hits the bridged Samoan drop on Sway on the ramp, but Voodoo is out to break up the pin! He hits Miami with the Key. Onto the stage and, in front of everyone, Sway hits a DDT on a chair. For 2! The crowd explodes. Sway throws the chair to Miami she catches it and Sway kicks it into her face. Miami is down and Sway lies on top. 1… 2…3? Crowd is shocked, stunned and cannot believe it.
Winner: Eliza Sway (pinfall)
And so Miami is gone from RCW. Well, if she is really gone, what a way to go out – one of the best RCW matches of the year, and one of the best women’s matches of the year from any promotion. RCW is kicking arse in the women’s division in 2012. Miami is struggling to hold back tears as she goes backstage, and some of the crowd is crying as well. My only complaint is – why wasn’t this higher on the card?
So well done. Just superb. Match Of The Night.
Match 4: Fuzion & Josh Shooter v Nick & Jett Armstrong
What happened to Curt Chaos? There’s a lot of that going on tonight. Shooter is an MCW wrestler that I’ve seen wrestle for a rival South Australian promotion. The pop for the Armstrongs is massive. Nick and Josh start with some smooth chain wrestling. Back and forth until Shooter gets him in a corner. Nick cartwheels out of a monkey flip and then hits one of his own on Shooter, and Shooter tags in Fuzion. Fuzion demands Jett and the tag is made. Fuzion teases a test of strength until Jett grabs him by the goatee. Jett with a drop kick out of nowhere and takes control. Beard assisted snap-mare into a dropkick for 2 by Jett. Jett holds the beard and Nick double stomps it. Nick now in control. Jett tagged in. Fast (and occasionally awkward) back and forth on Fuzion by the Armstrongs until Jett gets a 2. Poke to the eyes lets Fuzion tag in Shooter. Jett with an enziguri to take over. Shooter with a lariat to take over again. Back and forth match. Fuzion back in. He works Jett over in the corner. Jett back with a tornado DDT. Tag to Nick, lariat on Fuzion. Neckbreaker by Nick. Timely interference by Shooter turns the tide. Fuzion uses the 5-count to its fullest as he chokes Nick down. Kick to Nick’s back. Another, this one to Nick’s face. Tag to Shooter. Referee distraction lets them double team Nick. Slam by Shooter and then a crotch cover. Crowd loves it. Tag to Fuzion. Nick fights back but is crotched in the corner by Fuzion. Modified Demolition Decapitation gets 2 for Shooter. A few 2 counts for Shooter. Nick fights back, Shooter catches him in a sleeper. Nick elbows out, hair pull gets Shooter back in control. Nick dropkicks Shooter into Fuzion and then gets the tag. Jett in. Dropkicks galore, and then a double-spin hurricanrana on Shooter, then bulldog to Fuzion for 2. Fuzion spinebuster gets 2. Crowd is into this one! Double team by the heels backfires as Shooter hits Fuzion. And then Jett hits a reverse ‘rana on Shooter!! That looked sick! Nick knocks Shooter out of the ring, and then flies onto him. Jett knocks down Fuzion, then goes up top for the top rope moonsault and the three count.
Winners: The Armstrongs (Jett pins Fuzion)
Best match I’ve seen Josh Shooter in. And the reverse rana – Jett sat on Shooter’s shoulders, both facing forward, then whipped backwards, and Shooter flipped over backwards to land on his head. Kudos to both men for pulling that one off.
They show highlights of the Key to the City first match from the house show, which ended in a DCOR. Good use of the video for these, especially with a house show that has bearing on what we’re seeing.
Match 5: Key To The City, Match 2: Hammer (with Brad Smyth) v Matt “Grimm” Basso
Hammer demands a test of strength to start off. Both men jockey for position. Kick from Hammer, punches from Grimm. Shoulder block does nothing, second shoulder block drops Hammer. Atomic drop by Grimm. Three clotheslines by Hammer eventually puts Grimm down. Grimm shot to the corner, Hammer follows with a clothesline. Hammer runs Grimm’s face along the ropes. Kidney punch by Hammer. Shoulder blocks in the corner by Hammer. Grimm throws Hammer into the corner and punches him; Hammer reverses and does the same to Grimm; Grimm reverses to punch Hammer again. Into the centre of the ring and neither man can get a move on the other. Right hand by Hammer drops Grimm. Slam by Hammer, elbow drop. Cover with the forearm across the face by Hammer (that’s a nice touch). Punches by Grimm, Hammer returns. Hammer runs into an elbow and then rams Grimm’s midsection into the corner. Hammer sits Grimm on top and then drops him into a tree of woe. He’s there for a long time. Smyth runs interference so Hammer can choke him with the wrist tape. Grimm falls from the tree. Smyth tries to crotch Grimm, but Grimm pulls him into the corner post and then kicks him. Hammer now works Grimm over. This has been a surprisingly long beat-down. Hammer works the midsection – especially the ribs – again. Hammer tries to splash Grimm, but Grimm gets the knees up. Grimm with chops. Grimm runs the ropes but Smyth trips him and Hammer drops an elbow on his back. Crowd is right into this. Grimm punches back, Hammer with a head-butt. Hammer punching Grimm, then chokes him in the corner. Grimm back with the punches, but Hammer gets him against the ropes and chokes him. Hammer now kicks the back of the knee. Grimm lifts Hammer for a slam, but falls back so Hammer gets a 2-count. Hammer drops an elbow, but Grimm rolls out the way. Yay-boo punches until Hammer goes for the eyes. Hammer uses the rope again. Hammer stands on Grimm’s lower back and ribs. A choke in the corner by Hammer. Smyth chokes Grimm in the corner after the ref warned Hammer off. Hammer working over Grimm in the corner. Slam by Hammer for a 2-count. Hammer now intimidates the ref. Lots of talk about the time by Smyth and the commentators – three minutes to go before the 15 minute time limit is reached. Hammer tries for another pin, gets 2. Hammer lifts Grimm, but Grimm elbows out. Hammer back drops Grimm to the apron, then punches Grimm to the floor. Hammer tries to keep Grimm out. But Grimm with a slingshot shoulder-block… for 2! That was a big move from a big man. Now Grimm in control. He fires Hammer into the corner, gets 2. 30 seconds left. Hammer catches Grimm with the devastator (black hole slam). Hammer goes up top, but Grimm slams him down. Grimm with a big boot for only 2. There is some confusion, then the bell rings. Time is up. It’s a draw!
Winner: Tie (time limit expired)
So after two matches, the result is still nil-all. Post-match Grimm goes for a curb stomp but the ref stops him. Grimm is not happy. He has a mic. He complains that twice now the rules have stopped him from winning. He references his heel days (! Why don’t more people who turn face do that?) and then demands more time. Luke now comes out and announces next month there must be a winner and it will be a last man standing match.
Match 6: Damo v Andy ‘Voodoo’ Roy
Voodoo attacks Damo before he even reaches the ring and then completely destroys him. Knees and elbows and punches. He throws the ref out of the way, then he throws Damo out of the ring like garbage. Eliza Sway now joins him with microphones. Voodoo runs down RCW as Damo makes his way to the back. Was there actually even a match? The bell never rang. Odd. Anyway, Voodoo complains about being overlooked by the crowd in favour of Mimic… and on cue Mimic’s music starts and out he comes. “What the hell is wrong with you?” he starts, then runs down Sway, blaming her for being the poison between them. He brings up their past friendship, how they were like brothers, and Voodoo brings up Mimic running back to his real brother Grimm, then mentions how he helped Mimic win and keep the title, and a lot of other stuff that actually sort of makes sense. And Mimic looks like it’s struck a chord with him as well. Voodoo gets on his knees and tells Mimic to hit him. But Mimic can’t. Voodoo laughs at him and says he doesn’t have the balls. That was an effective promo from both these guys. Mimic throws a sort of tantrum after Voodoo and Sway leave, and then leaves through the crowd to leave the building through the front door. That was good work from all involved.
Match 7: MCW v RCW – BFFs (Carlo Cannon & Ryan Rollins with Adam Brooks) v The Rude Ones (Del Taurino and RCW champion Marvel with El Presidente)
Brooks looks out of place with the flamboyant BFFs. The crowd is all over the Victorians. The pop for the Rude Ones is huge. This crowd has been awesome all night. Their “Melbourne sucks” chant is just really loud. Victorians play stall-a-go-go for a loooong time, but this gives the crowd more time to cheer and abuse them. Now “Carlo’s a wanker!” echoes everywhere. The introduction Carlo makes the ring announcer read is so over the top it’s ridiculous. Crowd is still hot, even 10 minutes after the first team entered. The BBFs play hide the foreign object from the ref. Carlo hides it in his mouth, Rollins slaps him on the back and he swallowed it. Finally, after 13 minutes, the bell rings. Del Taurino and Rollins start out. Taurino overpowers Rollins. Test of strength leads to a Rollins kick. Rollins tries to shoulder-block him down but fails. He catches a leapfrog into a Samoan and does the Ultimate Warrior gorilla slam. Tag to Marvel and double team on Rollins until Carlo breaks up the tag. Double team on Rollins leads to a high back body drop until Cannon again saves the pin. Marvel knocks down Cannon. Finally a tag to Carlo, but Marvel catches him and drops a huge elbow for 2. Rollins kicks him in the back, so Marvel drags him in and a series of doubles teams on both BFFs. Blind tag to Rollins and now Marvel is your face in peril (TM Scott Keith). They work over Marvel with quick tags and their slow offence. Standard heel tactics and then a rest hold. The crowd is still hot, however. More slow offence, and the crowd is becoming quieter. Rollins goes for a move and misses as Marvel rolls out the way, but can’t get the tag. Now Rollins works Marvel over in the corner. Finally a hot tag to Taurino. Shoulder tackle by Taurino puts down Carlo for 2. Del Taurino catches a kick and drops a DDT on Cannon. Rollins runs interference allowing Cannon to get (eventually) a double stomp on Taurino’s back. Now they work Taurino over on the outside while the ref is distracted. Now we have the heel beat-down on Taurino. Rollins with a dropkick to the back of Taurino’s head for 2. Cannon in, gets a 2-count. Taurino tries to fight back, but is cut off. Tag to Rollins. Crowd has lost some of its edge. It is really quiet now. This offence is so slow. The group next to me have started looking at something on their iPhones. Some weak punches from Rollins. Carlo chants “MCW” and the crowd finally wakes up and responds with a “Melbourne Sucks” chant. They want to get into it. A two-count for Cannon. Taurino trying to get the crowd back into this match. Yay-boo punches. Carlo rolls into a single leg crab. Hot tag to Marvel and he’s a house of fire. Finally the crowd is awake as the tempo picks up markedly. Superkick from Cannon only gets 2. Cannon up but is crotched by Taurino. Then the Rude Ones hit the Tequila sunrise on Rollins but Carlo breaks up the pin. Taurino pulls Rollins out, Brooks goes up and hits a senton on Marvel for a Rollins 2! Brooks up on the apron, Marvel goes to him, but moves aside as Rollins hits a spear, dropping Brooks. Outside the ring El Presidente rams Brooks into a Taurino lariat while Marvel locks in the dragon sleeper until Rollins taps.
Winners: The Rude Ones (submission, Marvel on Ryan Rollins)
Interesting show. Match of the night was definitely the Women’s match, and the promo by Mimic and Voodoo was one of the best delivered in an RCW ring.