Tuesday, November 29, 2016

SHOW REVIEW: Wrestling GO! Friends4Ever (Marayong Community Centre, Sunday, November 27)

ATTENDING Wrestling GO! last Sunday afternoon felt surreal. The previous night I’d watched parts of the live streaming feed of Wide Bay Pro Wrestling’s debut show in Gympie, Qld. It was a complete debacle watched by 12 bemused fans. Far more people saw the streaming feed on YouTube in bemusement and horror, including myself. The inept organisation, the terrible booking, the shitty wrestling and an unnecessary over-abundance of pleather all contributed in making this arguably the WORST SHOW I’VE EVER SEEN. EVER.
The following afternoon I drove to Marayong in western Sydney and saw a fantastic card, Friends4Ever, that featured some of Australia’s best wrestlers and promising up’n’comers PLUS a bona fide international superstar.
And yet less than 50 punters – half of them non-paying family and friends of the workers – bothered to turn up. It hardly seemed fair. Shit event draws fuck-all. Great event barely out-draws them.
Promoter John “Bee Boy” Whelan has clearly put a lot of effort into the show itself. He pays for top talent. He puts together entertaining promotional clips and entrance videos. His booking is fine. The in-ring action is an entertaining mix of comedy lucha and serious strong-style wrestling.
So it must be frustrating for him and everyone involved to see all that good work go to waste.
Before I continue I have to digress and discuss one minor subject. The ring announcer is good – he’s confident and projects his voice well – so why does he adopt a fake US redneck accent? It sounds stupid. Besides which, he does a SHITTY, half-arsed job anyway – by the end of the show, he could barely keep up the accent. Listen, Foghorn Leghorn, either believe in your character and go hard 100% or pack it away and use your regular voice.
That rant aside, let’s look at how the card went down.
The show began with Riley O’Neil coming out to address the crowd about his injury, a “slipping disc” is what he told us. Mick Moretti then came out to threaten him and hurt him in their GO For Gold tourney match, but former AAA superstar Australian Suicide – which remains the most UNFORTUNATE name in the wrestling biz today – came out to make the save and set up the main event. Ryan Eagles was advertised as AS’s opponent but no-showed. Honestly, as much as I love Eagles’ shtick, the match-up was improved by the switch to Moretti.
The opening bout was a classic ROH Scramble-style eight-man tag spot-fest. It was cool to see lil’ Josh Shooter (only NOT so little anymore) up from Melbourne and having a blast in this bout. Ugg impressed as always with his incredible feats of strength. He was suplexing and ragdolling people all over the place. Who’s the strongest man in Aussie wrestling right now: Ugg or Gatt? It’d be a toss-up, I suggest. Lots of funny bits and high spots – a great way to kick off the afternoon.
Next came a GO For Gold tourney bout that saw the impressive Kai Drake beat Bee Boy half to death before getting a KO win. This was a very different style of match from Bee Boy – far more serious than I’ve usually seen him – and it kinda worked. I admire how Bee Boy doesn’t put himself over just ’cos he’s the promoter. That’s admirable.
The third bout was a tag match with two sets of BFFs going at it. Now, normally, I hate inter-gender bouts, but as the Floozies and VIP are roughly the same size it didn’t bother me. This was a solid tag match that saw the dudes steal the win. I love VIP’s gimmick – they are tremendous as cocky, cowardly heels.
After intermission came a handicap bout with the at-odds combo of Big Fudge and Turkish Delight taking on the sinister threesome from Wrestling NO, Liam Rudge, Gatt and Alcover Vyse. This was a really fun – there’s that word again – bout. Who knew Gatt did comedy? Anyway, the trio won the 24/7 watermelon plushie (don’t ask), then immediately lost it back to Fudge and Turkish because...y’know...it has to be defended 24/7.
Finally, came the main event and this was a really cool bout – some comedy, some lucha, some high spots and AS went over with a moonsault on a bent-over Moretti. My only bugbear? I wish it had gone longer than 12 minutes. Still, it was fantastic to see AS in action again in this country and Moretti is always good value.
So there you have it. Wrestling Go! Friends4Ever was a very enjoyable show. So why did virtually nobody go see it? Well, I guess advertising on the internet and via social media just DOESN’T cut it with casual fans in 2016.
Bee Boy has to go back to the drawing board and find other ways to make fans aware and get them interested enough to attend his events. Otherwise, this promising promotion is gonna vanish and I would hate to see that happen.
There’s one thing I can tell you, however, and it’s that *I* will be in attendance at the next Wrestling GO! show on January 29.
Well.....I HAVE to attend – I won two free tix in the raffle. :)

RESULTS: Wrestling GO! Friends4Ever (Marayong Community Centre, Sunday, November 27): Caveman Ugg/Luciano DaVinci b SMS, Paris/Keegan and Kasai/Josh Shooter (Four Corners Elimination Match); Kai Drake b Bee Boy (GO For Gold Round Robin Tournament Match); VIP b The Floozies; Wrestling NO b Big Fudge/Turkish Delight; Big Fudge/Turkish Delight b Wrestling NO; Australian Suicide b Mick Moretti

The ring announcer for Wrestling GO!