Thursday, November 19, 2015

WWCBD? ep. 38: "Adam Gambino: the Nostradamus of the SCENE...or is it Magellan?"

IN WHICH I get UFC 193 thoughts and predictions from Harley Wonderland, Mark Mercedes, Josh "The Axe" Shooter and Mr Juicy. Yes, the cream of Sydney's IWA and Melbourne's MCW told me who they thought would win the main event between women's bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey and her opponent Holly Holm. Guess which wrestler tipped the upset?
I was there live in Melbourne's Etihad Stadium to see history being made and I wrap up this short podcast (like 12 minutes) with quick thoughts on the show and the main event while rushing to catch my bus to the airport.
It's slightly late UFC wrap-up fun. Enjoy it HERE.

Monday, November 09, 2015

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY: My review of “PWA: Once Upon A Time In Casula”


SO, IT’S been over a year since I attended a PWA show, but a rare appearance in Sydney by Hartley “Jag” Jackson and Damien Slater got me to the isolated Casula Powerhouse on Saturday night.
And I was mightily impressed by what I saw – I drifted away from PWA because I’d found the cards stale and the booking nonsensical. The booking hasn’t improved that much, but the roster has gone ahead by leaps and bounds. PWA feels fresh and exciting again and I’m now motivated again to check out more cards in the future.
Let’s break down the show by three categories: the good, the bad and the ugly.

GOOD: The line-up felt fresh. There was no Madison Eagles, Mick Moretti or Bishop Sommers on the card. Normally, that might hurt a promotion’s depth, but not on this night. I enjoyed seeing more new talent - a mix of PWA regulars and rookies - along with “outsiders” such as Massive Q, Alex Titan, Harley Wonderland, Jag and Slater.
BAD: The venue is schmick but getting to the Casula Powerhouse is still a pain in the butt. One wrong turn and you’re bound to lose half an hour trying to backtrack to find the place, which appears to be situated in Bumfuck, Nowhere. I missed 1½  matches on the night because I got lost. I feel certain PWA would draw bigger crowds (they had 120-150 at the show) if it was easier for punters to find the fucking place.
UGLY: PWA has the largest fanbase in Sydney. As in, they have the LARGEST fans I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen so many Biggest Loser rejects in my life. Scary.
Also, my hairy Caveman Ugg bearhug after the show. My ribs are still recovering.

Alex Titan vs one of Bishop Sommer’s masked goons
Nah, I missed the opening bout but I heard it was fine. Surprised this sub-Bray Wyatt gimmick is still going. It seems like such a waste of Bishop’s comedic skills. As it’s now relegated to curtain-jerker status, I assume it’s time for Bish to freshen up his act and do something new.

El Honcho vs a masked rookie
I missed most of this bout but Honcho won due to shenanigans by his manager Diego Retamales. A wit in the crowd summed things up with his “This is boring!” chant.

PWWA title match: Charli Evans (co-champion) vs Harley Wonderland
GOOD: It was great to see Harley in action again. I haven’t seen her wrestle in a few years. Also, Charli is a great dickish heel – as is her manager Adam Hoffman. I like how Charli is a co-holder of a singles title along with Floozy #2 Jess Troy. Good gimmick.
BAD: A cheap DQ finish with special ref Shazza McKenzie hitting Charli was lame.
UGLY: Hoffman’s pale blue flannel shorts .

Hoffman & Sean Kustom vs Dan Wilson & Michael Spencer
GOOD: The babyfaces set up this match when Hoffman and Kustom double-teamed Shazza. It was a hard-hitting, entertaining bout. I liked big guy Wilson’s charisma and Spencer’s undeniable talent. They look to be promising top-of-the-card workers sooner rather than later.
BAD: The heels went over, which is okay, I guess (even though it was the fourth heel win in a row). Shazza then challenged the 4 Nations (Hoffman, Kustom & Charli) to a six-person bout in Camden next Friday. Except the heels WON, so what’s the incentive to wrestle the faces again? Booking 101, fellas. Like I said, it’s never been a PWA strength.
UGLY: Wilson handing me Charli’s box of doughnuts (which I assume was the match payments for all the rookies that night..?), then Charli snatching them back off me. #bitch

Reilly O'Neil vs El Honcho Jr
GOOD: O’Neil is the newly unmasked Mantis while El Honcho Jr is former babyface Bee Boy under a new mask and now evil. This was a very good match, probably the second best on the night and O’Neil really impressed me. He’s far better off without the mask. Facially, he reminds me of a more talented Rufio. The guy has potential to be a big star in PWA and even interstate.
BAD: Nothing
UGLY: Diego Retamales is a poor man’s Lord Mark Williamson as a manager. No, I take that back – he’s a poor man’s Mr Money.

Jack Bonza’s non-title open challenge:
GOOD: It turned into a four-way dance involving Robbie Eagles, Massive Q and Brian “Heat” Seeker.
BAD: Brian Seeker was in the match.
UGLY: Brian Seeker won the match.

MAIN EVENT FOR THE TAG TEAM TITLES: Harajuku Hipsters (InstaGraham & Blue Oni) vs "Jag" Hartley Jackson & Damien Slater
GOOD: This match was tremendous. I wasn’t sold on the idea of two skinny masked dudes going up against such units and being credible, but they did the enthusiastic, never-say-die little guys vs cocky monsters routine and the crowd lapped it up. The HH are over with the crowd, and Jag & Slater made them look a million dollars. That said, Jag lit up InstaGraham some savage chops, the last one splitting his chest open. Welcome to the business, kid.
BAD: After the show, I learned that InstaGraham is only 16. Everyone here knows my thoughts on people under the age of 18 wrestling. Looking back, that soured my feelings about Jag's chopfest.
UGLY: Training teenagers just doesn't sit well with me. Still, I appear to be in the minority over this issue, so I’ll move on.

When all’s said and done, I really enjoyed this PWA card. The group’s made some crucial changes in the past 12 or so months and it seems to have greatly improved the promotion.
I’ll be back to Casula sooner rather than later – even though I KNOW I’m gonna getta lost again trying to find the Powerhouse. Now, THAT is ugly.