If nothing else, Pro Wrestling Australia (PWA) always bring out the epic event names. We’ve had Sold Our Soul For Rock And Robbie, All Eyez On Troy, and Break Their Back And Make Them Rumble to name a few. I mean, Deathmatch Downunder (DMDU) might be in the lead right now with Not Here To F**k Spiders, but let it be known that PWA were the OGs of this shit. The legacy of legendary labels continues here with PWA It Started Out With A Kiss (itself a replacement of sorts for last year’s Coming Out My Cave And I’ve Been Doing Just Fine, canceled due to COVID). It’s a loaded show for PWA’s sophomore major event on FITE TV, so let’s get into the how, the why, the what, the who of all the GOOD SHIT that’s about to go down!
In other words… Let’s. Do. This!
PWA Heavyweight Championship- Caveman Ugg (c) vs. Ricky South
Such is the depth of this card, I can’t say with absolute certainty that this is the main event. They may go with the Rumble to close the show. Or the grudge match between Jess Troy and Charli Evans for the PWWA Championship. But the heavyweight championship match, over a year in the making, should probably be it.
Caveman Ugg has had a death grip on the PWA title. He won the championship in a cage match with Jonah Rock, long before he was the Colossal force we know today in NXT. For context, the event was Call To Arms 2018. In the co-main event, Robbie Eagles defeated Will Ospreay– and post-match, Ospreay gave Eagles the Japanese flag off his tights, symbolically putting into motion Robbie’s debut in NJPW later that year. And it was only PWA’s second show ever at Max Watts. Ugg’s PWA schedule was already a little light pre-pandemic, as he split his time between Sydney and Melbourne, but COVID really took the champ away from the promotion he ruled for over a year now.
As for Ricky South, he’s been there in PWA every step of the way. On the aforementioned Call To Arms card, Ricky lost to Bea Priestley. In the years that have followed, he’s been a workhorse for PWA. His matches are often the highlight of any card he’s on, and he may be the most genuinely loved performer on the PWA roster. His steady rise up the card has made him undeniable. Following a turn where he wore black turtlenecks and was known as “Richard South” in the villainous SMS faction, Ricky rose from the ashes like a phoenix, winning a No. 1 Contender’s Gauntlet Match at PWA Rick South For The Boys, surviving and prevailing against Mat Diamond, Headhunter Rig, and Ugg himself in his last PWA appearance.
Over the past year, Ricky has maintained his contendership status by besting the likes of Jack Bonza and Kyle Fletcher. His recent decimatiom of Xander Sullivan at PWA Just Happy To Be Here shows that Tuff Stuff is dialed in and ready for the opportunity of a lifetime.
Caveman Ugg didn’t wrestle for 11 months, and when he did return at DMDU Out Come The Wolves, he lost to Jake Andrewartha. Will ring rust be a factor for Ugg for his first match back in a PWA ring in over a year?
PWWA Championship- No Disqualification- Jessica Troy (c) vs. Charli Evans
These two best friends are no strangers to each other. They’ve wrestled each other plenty of times since their debuts in 2014. I was fortunate enough to see several of those early matches at Rock And Roll Wrestling, and while Troy and Evans had some spirited contests back then, they are two completely different monsters now.
Something that has always been prevalent in their matches is a level of respect. It’s no secret how close they are. They even wrestled pretty recently in PWA, as Jess and Charli engaged in technical warfare at Call To Arms 2020. In my humble opinion, it was the match of the night, and while it was definitely hard hitting and aggressive, there was no real bad blood there. Then, at PWA Movember to Remember, they went to battle in an epic Triple Threat that also featured Steph De Lander. Again, they held nothing back in terms of physicality, but they were fueled by competitive spirit rather than malice.
That all seems to have changed now. At PWA Back In Black Label, Jessica Troy had the opportunity of a lifetime. PWA was roaring onto the worldwide platform of FITE TV. Jess was given the ultimate featured spot- defending her PWWA Championship against Robbie Eagles- perhaps the biggest star in Aussie wrestling today, representing the scene over in NJPW. Not only was it a massive dream match, it was actually scheduled as the opener, meaning that Jess vs. Robbie would set the tone for what PWA was all about to a global audience.
During the match, Charli came out to cheer on her longtime best friend and tag partner against the Ace of PWA. It was an incredible, competitive match… then Eagles started to pull away with it a bit. He went up top for the 450 Splash… and Charli pushed him off the top rope to the floor, directly in front of the referee, causing the match to end in a DQ. It was a letdown for everyone- Jess, Robbie and the fans. Post-match, Charli gets into the ring to comfort her bestie… and then blasts her with a superkick! She raises the PWWA title to a chorus of boos, while also raising the middle fingers to all the fans in attendance at the Factory Theatre and those watching on FITE.
As Charli Evans tells it, she went away and made a name for herself overseas, only for the pandemic to force her to come home and start from step one. And when she returned to PWA, it was “the Jess Troy Show”. Troy had become a superstar in her absence, beating Shazza McKenzie in the main event at Max Watts to win the title, beating SDL in a Steel Cage match, and generally being the top star in PWA. Charli says it’s time to put herself first- well, a hurt and angry Jessica Troy is sure to put all of her attention squarely on her as they fight over the PWWA Championship! And this is no regular match, it’s no disqualification, meaning that any form of brutality is not only allowed, but practically encouraged. And given Charli’s proficiency in these kind of matches, it’s going to be an uphill battle for the Arm Collector.
30 Person PWA Rumble
The last time PWA held a Rumble Match was at Break Their Back And Make Them Rumble. I was there live to see Jack Bonza win the thing- and go on to have the hoss battle to end all hoss battles with Caveman Ugg, but that’s another story. The Rumble was so good that my friends and I were raving about it during the entire 1.5 hour drive home. The funny thing was, I’m the wrestling-obsessed guy in my group of mates. They basically decided to give wrestling, and PWA specifically, a go because I was always talking about it. I believe that 2019 Rumble was what hooked them completely.
You couldn’t watch that Rumble and not be captivated. The Ironman performance of Sam Osborne. The hilarity of seeing James Adultman get in there. The presence of wrestlers who weren’t necessarily PWA regulars, like Massive Q and AJ Istria. I’ve seen many promotions try their hand at Rumble matches- hell, WWE themselves often don’t get it right- but PWA knocked it out of the park back in 2019.
All that to say, I’m very keen for what’s to come on Friday night in another huge Rumble. PWA have a strong enough roster that they could easily fill 30 spots based on their core group, but nevertheless I feel like there will probably be a few surprises. Whether we’ve got another inter-state presence, or a returning star (cough Madison Eagles cough) or even a Green Dingo– a bunch of them were super impressive at the last Academy showcase. I’m excited!
AJ Istria vs. Sam Osborne (w/ Don Marnell)
Sam Osborne has been on a tear since aligning with Don Marnell. Always a tremendous talent, but perhaps lacking the results that you would expect from a man of his skill level, the mentorship of the man who turns “can’ts into cans” has been a godsend for the Prize Bull.
The best example of Osborne’s changing fortunes may well be the PWA Premiership tournament. He was the only person to make it through the tournament undefeated, with only a draw in the final round against Kingsley preventing him from reaching the Grand Final. At Back In Black Label, we saw Don Marnell prove his worth as a manager, with his involvement in the match allowing Osborne to steal a victory over Steph De Lander.
Enter AJ Istria. Istria is apparently SDL’s housemate, which adds another level of personal animosity to this high-level singles match. Honestly, though, “Punch-Drunk” Istria brings the fight no matter the circumstances. His last appearance for PWA was in the 2019 Rumble, but perhaps his most memorable was a masterclass in the 2018 Colosseum tournament against Jack Bonza. Can Osborne survive the onslaught of Istria? Can Istria overcome the shenanigans of Marnell at ringside? Find out this Friday night on FITE TV!
Aussie Open vs. The Nations
I mean, shit. This card would have been sued by WWE’s lawyers in the year 2000, because this show is fully loaded. This could have been a main event on a PWA show and no one would have been upset.
Aussie Open- Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis– made their presence known in PWA at Back In Black Label, by answering the open challenge of Generation Now- Matty Wahlberg and Ricky South. Fletcher has recently worked some great matches in PWA as a singles wrestler, but returned to the tag team that brought him international notoriety with the veteran “Dunk-zilla” Mark Davis. Davis was returning from knee surgery and looked as if he hadn’t missed a step, throwing bombs and killshots with Gen Now for almost 20 minutes of beautiful violence.
Speaking of Gen Now… the announcement of this match was met with disdain by self-appointed leader of the group, Matty Wahlberg. Wahlberg was serving as guest commentator on Just Happy To Be Here when the announcement was made. While he briefly bit his tongue, he soon labelled Mick Moretti a coward for not accepting a one-on-one match with him, after Wahlberg cost Moretti the PWA Premiership at Back In Black Label. It also falls in line with the criticism that Gen Now have put towards the Old Guard- putting themselves in featured spots at the expense of the younger talent. So it will be interesting to see if Wahlberg factors himself into this tag team match in any way.
Regardless of any outside shenanigans, Aussie Open vs. Bonza & Moretti of the Nations should be another outstanding bout. I expect nothing to be held back on either side. Aussie Open are looking to continue to establish themselves in PWA, but Bonza and Moretti aren’t the type of guys that are going to be used as stepping stones without a fight. We’ve got a war on our hands, ladies and gentlemen!
Tickets are sold out for PWA It Started Out With A Kiss- I only just got a ticket in the additional seating that was released last minute- but the show can still be seen live on FITE TV!
Until next time, take care.