Welcome back to the PWA coverage on Snap Mayors! I’m Mick and I’ll be your tour guide. If you’ll just direct your attention this way you’ll see Generation Now. Led by the 21st Century Success Story, Matty Wahlberg, Gen Now are all about the new crop of talent who believe they deserve more opportunities. And just around this corner, you’ll see The Old Guard. Comprised of established veterans in the Australian wrestling scene, they believe that opportunities are earned and not given. This faction warfare is taking place in a prominent location in Aussie wrestling- the PWA Academy in Ingleburn, NSW. This venue is host to a compelling new tournament- the PWA Premiership.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s the gist of what the PWA Premiership is all about:
- It is a round-robin tournament, similar in style to NJPW’s G1 tournament.
- There are two blocks- Block A and Block B- consisting of 8 wrestlers each.
- Matches have a strict 10 minute time limit.
- All wrestlers in each block will face each other, and the winner of Block A will face the winner of Block B in the finals.
- Points are awarded as follows- 2 for a win, 1 for a draw and 0 for a loss.
- If there is a tie after all wrestlers in a block have faced each other, both/all of those wrestlers advance to the finals.
This week’s action features Round 3 of the Block B participants, who are as follows:
- Big Fudge
- Mat Rogers
- Lyrebird Luchi
- Jude London
- Jack J Bonza
- Jimmy Townsend
- Matty Wahlberg
- Jessica Troy
Leading Block B is the unstoppable juggernaut, undefeated in 2020, it’s Big Fudge, baby! Hot on his heels is the PWWA Champion, the Arm Collector, Jessica Troy. Tied in points and facing Troy in the main event is the aformentioned Matty Wahlberg. High stakes.
Let’s do this.
Match 1: Big Fudge (4) vs. Mat Rogers (3)
We see a Tale of the Tape. Fudge is “allegedly” 213cm tall, weighing 178kg, with a reach of 215cm. I’m gonna need MMA Fudge back to fight Jon Jones, pronto!
Battle of the heavyweights here. The unstoppable force meets the immovable object. Big Fudge is fired up! … And he runs into a big boot from Rogers! Pumphandle slam! This one’s done-ski.
Winner: Mat Rogers (5) (at 0:27)
Star Rating: *1/2. A bit of a boost from the standard squash because of the shock factor. Really thought Fudge was going to continue his undefeated streak in more zany ways, so to have him utterly destroyed like this definitely subverted my expectations.
Post-match, they throw streamers in the ring on Fudge’s prone body. Streamers are for winners, guys!
A distraught Fudge finds his way to the interview set. He says, “maybe next time, no more streamers. And no more cake.” His cake this week has 4-1 candles. At least his cake minions came prepared.
I think this Tweet from this handsome, funny, single man sums it up best:
Match 2: Lyrebird Luchi vs. Jude “The Dude” London
Luchi immediately slides out of the ring and grabs a mic. “Oh Jude, it must be so hard to be you. To see your superior counterpart plastered on the walls” (referring to the Colosseum poster of Paris De Silva). He calls Jude an afterthought to his family, PWA, his girlfriend, and his own tag partner. Jude responds with a slap and it is on!
Jude starts beating Luchi down in the corner and the ref holds him back. Handspring elbow by Jude drops Luchi in the early going. Luchi bails to the outside, takes a seat in one of the empty chairs at ringside… and Jude wipes him out with a suicide dive! Jude is FIRED UP.
Back in the ring, Jude hits a springboard double stomp. The Lyrebird takes a few moments to get his bearings and London calls him a “coward”. Luchi simply glances up at the Paris poster. An incensed Jude blasts him with a dropkick in the corner. Once again, referee Xander has to restrain London as he pelts Luchi with kicks. Luchi grabs a chair and hands it to Jude, knowing that if he uses it, he gets the 2 points via DQ in the Premiership. Jude almosts uses it, but eventually gives it up. The indecision and the mind games is enough for Jude to take his eye off the proverbial ball, and Luchi yanks the hair and snatches a cradle pin for the win!
Winner: Lyrebird Luchi (4) (at 5:32)
Star Rating: ***. This new “Lyrebird” incarnation of Luchi is proving to be quite the cerebral competitor. It’s all about the game and how you play it. It’s all about control, and if you can take it, and Luchi may be taking control of this Premiership!
At the interview desk, Luchi casually lounges in the chair. He starts singing. “This is the end, my only friend…” Not a bad voice in all honesty. Rose and Gale sell it as a cryptic message from the Lyrebird.
Match 3: Jimmy Townsend (0) vs. Jack J. Bonza (1)
Bonza can’t be in the best mood given his current Premiership points- only 1 to his credit, although it did come in a draw in a phenomenal match with Jessica Troy, probably my favourite match of the tournament to date. But Bonza doesn’t like the Prefects at the best of times, so this should be interesting.
Bonza orders Jimmy to take his Gen Now shirt off. Jimmy refuses, so Bonza literally rips the shirt off him and blisters him with a savage chop. A hard clothesline follows, as Kris notes that the “kinder, gentler Bonza” they’ve been speculating on is long gone. We get a gutwrench into the Gory Special- by Bonza, although it’d be quite a sight if Townsend was doing it! Bonza separates Townsend’s shoulders like they’re my parents. He transitions to a pin attempt, and then lifts him into a devastating powerbomb! Foot on the chest for the cover but Jimmy kicks out.
Bonza- after ripping on Jimmy’s haircut- goes for the Napalm Thunder Driver, but Townsend reverses into a DDT! That hair must be the source of his strength. Tornado butterfly suplex gets a near fall for Jimmy. Jimmy goes for the schoolboy but Jack is wise to it, squatting to give Townsend less leverage for the pin attempt. Soon after, we get a tilt-a-whirl into another schoolboy attempt, but nothing doing. Stepover into a stack pinfall by Bonza garners a two count. Jimmy goes for a superkick, Bonza counters with the ankle lock but Jimmy rolls through! These two have definitely scouted each other!
Jimmy goes for the Overdrive, but Bonza reverses out of it and catches him out of a double wrist clutch into a jumping Tombstone! Damn! Jimmy kicks out and you’ve gotta be impressed by that! Bonza sets up for a superplex but Jimmy blocks and hits a sunset flip into the schoolboy… and it gets the 3 count! No kicking out of a SUUUUUUPER schoolboy!
Winner: Jimmy Townsend (2) (at 5:03)
Star Rating: ***1/4. It continues to blow me away how much awesomeness PWA are able to pack into very short timeframes. Lots of action, but still true to the characters. We didn’t see Jimmy throwing Bonza around, but we did see Bonza play the bully and Townsend show incredible heart in kicking out of some major moves- while finding a new way to execute the single most dangerous move in PWA!
Post-match, an excited Jimmy has got something to say. He talks about the Gen Now shirt having meaning, and takes a shot at Bonza for underestimating him. He acknowledges that he attempted Billy’s move (I keep telling you guys the Overdrive is shit), but nobody kicks out of the schoolboy.
Bonza’s up. He can’t believe he lost. He’s only got one point, but at least he’s ahead of Kingsley- “she can’t f**king win without me”. Mat Rogers walks up and shits on him for not being able to pin a school boy. “I’ll pin you, you big f**khead,” responds Bonza.
Match 4: Jessica Troy (3) vs. Matty Wahlberg (3)
Two tournament favourites here. As the commentators acknowledge, if these two were in opposite brackets, this could easily be the Premiership finals.
Wahlberg offers Troy a Gen Now shirt. She says, “It’s not my colour.” And here we go. Wahlberg offers a fist bump, but Jess just sees an arm that she wants to collect. She goes to snatch it but Matty gets to the ropes. He wisely puts his arms behind his back and starts throwing leg kicks out there. He also drops to his back, inviting Jess to engage in a grappling exchange. Kris Gale makes an Antonio Inoki reference, and holy shit, I was not expecting that. The respect that Rose and Gale have gained for pro wrestling is so apparent over their time in PWA, I really appreciate that as a long time fan.
Jess decks Matty in the face- I guess that’s what you get for keeping your hands down- and the PWWA Champion goes to work. Victory roll gets her a near fall. Hammerlock and she throws him into the turnbuckle. Meteora to the back. Running pump kick across the apron. Wahlberg is reeling! He manages to use his quickness though, and creates some separation by landing a Capoeira kick, sending Troy to the outside. Wahlberg sets up a couple of chairs at ringside, vaulting over Frankie B to hit Jess… but Jess moves and catches him in a Fujiwara armbar- using the chair for the assist! Can’t get a submission outside the ring but that’ll definitely do a lot of damage.
Back in the ring, Matty drives Jess into the corner but can only use one arm, because the other’s been turned into mince meat. Troy hits a top rope stomp to the compromised arm! She continues the beatdown but Wahlberg comes back with a leg lariat! It gets a near fall. He starts attacking using his good arm, and sets Troy up in the Tree of Woe. He does his patented rolling stomp to the groin. It doesn’t seem to affect Jess as badly- I mean, I’m no expert on female anatomy, I’m a wrestling mega-nerd- but Jess quickly wrenches his left arm to put a halt to that attack. Wahlberg briefly rolls on the mat looking for a submission, but Troy gets to the ropes.
Wahlberg goes for a Stinger Splash but Troy evades. She comes back with a corner attack of her own but Wahlberg catches her in an electric chair, which is converted into a high back suplex. 2 count. Wahlberg attempts the Posterize but is unable to use his arm to post and Jess takes advantage, immediately looking for the armbar. Wahlberg turns things around by leaning on his MMA background with some Muay Thai knees. He looks for a rolling Flatliner but Troy counters with a Codebreaker to the arm! Jess on the comeback and she hits a hammerlock STO, followed by a seated Meteora for a long 2 count. Armbar attempted again, but Wahlberg fights out. He gets Troy up in a Death Valley Driver, but she counters with a Canadian Destroyer! Matty staggers around the ring like me after too much JD, and the PWWA champ is looking good here. Submission battle commences! Jess goes for the armbar but Wahlberg reverses into the triangle choke. VERY high drama down the stretch with a minute left. Wahlberg blasting Troy with elbows! Suddenly, Troy rolls through with a jackknife pin- and gets the 3 count!
Winner: Jessica Troy (5) (at 9:38)
Star Rating: ****. New favourite match in the Premiership? Maaaaaybe. It was tremendous. While both Wahlberg and Troy had equity to play with here as major stars in PWA, they also had the added benefit of the story elements introduced throughout this Premiership. There was zero obvious outcome here, that final minute was some of the most tense action you will see anywhere. What a match. And this is only Round 3!
Wahlberg on the mic. “Usually when I lose, I’m not a happy guy. But if you’re going to lose, you may as well lose to someone like Jess Troy.” He puts over Jess as the best wrestler in the Nations, and she’d be a great fit in Gen Now. Wahlberg refers to himself as “MJ Game 6” and says he’s got time.
Andrew Rose starts to sign off on the show, but is interrupted by Unsocial Jordan. He questions how he can take a year off, come back and have the most points in the Premiership. He says it’s because Gen Now and the Old Guard are “too distracted with their nonsense”. He’s proven he’ll do what it takes to win. He’s got Charli Evans next. You can fall with any of the factions- including the Medusa Complex- or you can Stand With SMS.
Damn. Just when you think PWA has reached the highest of heights, they go and put another level on the building. They are absolutely nailing the presentation of this tournament. They’ve taken the serious nature and prestige of tournaments like NJPW’s G1 and the Best of the Super Juniors, and infused it with a little of the fun of acts like Big Fudge and Jimmy Townsend, while continuing to tell numerous stories- such as Old Guard vs. Gen Now, the evolution of the Prefects, Jude London being the “afterthought”, Kingsley’s battle to get into the Nations, Bonza seeming to question himself a tad, but trying to maintain his Red Nation Commander bravado. As good as the action is, PWA makes you care about the characters and stories as well, and that’s what separates good pro wrestling from the truly great. Kudos to everyone involved in this!
Overall Score: 9/10
Now if you’ll excuse me, I must bid you adieu. The Premiership awesomeness aside, it’s a tough day for me. The Undertaker retired, Big Fudge lost, Robbie Eagles fell to Bushi in BOSJ tonight, and most importantly- I missed out on PWA tickets to their year-end show. They only went on sale last night, there’s no matches announced and they still sold out. That goes to show the strength of the PWA product, that they can sell out on the mere fact that they’re running a show. Super bummed that I won’t be there in person, but I’ll be enjoying it on OVOPlay, December 5. You should too! PWA Feats of Strength!
CURRENT PREMIERSHIP STANDINGS
- Unsocial Jordan: 6
- Sam Osborne: 5
- Mick Moretti: 4
- Charli Evans: 4
- Paris De Silva: 2
- William Preston: 2
- Kai Drake: 1
- Kingsley: 0
- Jessica Troy: 5
- Mat Rogers: 5
- Big Fudge: 4
- Lyrebird Luchi: 4
- Matty Wahlberg: 3
- Jimmy Townsend: 2
- Jack J. Bonza: 1
- Jude London: 0
I’ll be back next week with my coverage of the PWA Premiership! Hope you all have a great week!
Until next time, take care.