Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girls! Children of all ages! (And if you’re a child reading this, I commend you on your reading ability and good taste, and please ignore any bad words in this review). We’ve just about made it. 2020 draws to a close, we are days away from school holidays here in NSW, and your writer really needs to get a start on his Christmas shopping. As the year winds down, the PWA Premiership is still going strong!
In case you’ve been living under a rock, or in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber where Billy Gunn apparently resides, 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.
Get it? Got it? Good. Today’s episode features Block A action, and the scoreboard leaders go head to head. Perhaps the two most punchable faces in PWA, Unsocial Jordan and Sam Osborne, duke it out in our main event. Also, Kingsley looks to get her first Premiership points against the ever-tough Kai Drake, Charli Evans & Paris De Silva go to war, and we’re starting proceedings with the Rapscallion, Mick Moretti, taking on William Preston, who is still looking to leave his days as a Prefect behind.
In the iconic words of Brock Lesnar, LET’S DO THIS!?!
Rose welcomes us to the show, live on OVOPlay. Gale offers a Twistie. Life’s pretty straight without them. (Please sponsor me, Twisties, I work casual and I’m about to be really poor during school holidays!)
Match 1: Mick Moretti (6) vs. William Preston (2)
Preston’s “change my mind” sign this week says, “Moretti needs to be sectioned”. Moretti looks intense and definitely unhinged. He’s also wearing a bandana around his neck- a shoutout to the currently quarantined Robbie Eagles, perhaps?
Moretti bullies Preston in the early going, pushing him into the corner and the ropes. Preston fires back with a stun gun and a rolling neckbreaker. Cross body from the second rope gets a near fall for the uni student. I did a few of those during my uni days, but there was a lot more vodka involved… Wheelbarrow bulldog gets another 2 count for Preston.
Preston goes for the Overdrive but Moretti counters with an electric chair drop into the turnbuckle. Damn, that was a rough landing! Moretti picks him up again and lawn darts him for a near fall. Moretti starts ripping Preston’s face off, and that’s only the slightest amount of hyperbole on my part. Moretti taunts Preston a bit, who responds with a Lou Thesz Press. Stone Cold William Preston lands a neckbreaker, followed by a sidewalk slam for a 2 count. Moretti comes back with his trademark headstand into the headscissors, and soon after scores with a pump kick for a 2 of his own. The Rapscallion delivers the Sweaty Moretti elbow drop for a near fall. Look, I was in the PWA Academy recently for Feats of Strength. That Sweaty Moretti may be the most devastating move in this match.
Preston on the comeback with a clothesline, and he nails a great looking bulldog out of the corner. Cover, and a close call. Full nelson facebuster- new move for Preston?- it’s a great one that gets a long 2 count. Moretti tries to get Preston with his old schoolboy pin, but he counters. A top rope seated senton gets a near fall for the young man that was previously a Prefect. Preston has an opportunity to do the schoolboy, but again the internal conflict rears its ugly head, and Moretti follows shortly after with the snapmare driver for the win!
Winner: Mick Moretti (8) (at 8:09)
Star Rating: ***1/2. This was a really fun battle. As compelling as the stories of both Moretti and Preston have been throughout the Premiership, sometimes the story took precedence over the in-ring action. Which is fine, but this had the perfect blend- Moretti trying to reconcile with the demons in his own head, as Preston deals with his own inner turmoil, and it manifested itself in a competitive bout which afforded William a nice dose of credibility, even in defeat.
Preston with a post-match interview. He said he was at a crossroads today, on whether or not to return to his schoolboy ways. He says he wants to leave the schoolyard tricks and be his own human being. He hopes Jimmy realises that some time. I mean, Jimmy Townsend has the same amount of points and a few very impressive Premiership showings to his name, so I don’t really think William has the high ground here…
Moretti with a hot mic. He sings, “Another One Bites The Dust”. This puts him at the top, but he knows other competitors are on his heels. So he needs those wins to pile up. He revs up to a manic state before leaving the interview desk.
Match 2: Charli Evans (5) vs. Paris De Silva (4)
This should be a banger! Two of the most impressive young stars in PWA. Paris has been killing it for a few years now, and Charli has been an absolute revelation since returning to PWA recently from her overseas adventures.
Quick respectful handshake, then it’s time to get to work. Rose does a nice job setting the stage here, highlighting the differences in styles between the two- De Silva being a tremendous high flier, Evans being the brutal striker. A lot of finesse and fast, flashy movement as we get underway, including Charli busting out a cartwheel- then she runs over Paris with a shoulder block. Paris plays the role of human Slinky as he kips right back up. Some more running around before De Silva blasts Evans with a picture-perfect dropkick. Only a 1 count, though.
Paris maintains control for some time until he gets caught in the ropes with a dragon screw. Charli follows with a boot upside the head for a near fall. A hard kick and a couple of body slams create another close call for Charli. Evans begins to work the leg. She applies the beginnings of a Muta Lock, but twists her body rather than bridging, and applies a bulldog choke. Looks excruciating, but De Silva makes the ropes. Gale quips that ice bag sales have gone up because of this Premiership, which honestly seems like a fair call. Charli hits a bridging fall away slam for a near fall.
We get the WrestlerMerch 5 minute warning (go cop the merch, it’s great), and Paris locks in a guillotine choke. Charli fights out of it. They trade some vicious looking strikes. I think I’d need an ice pack handy after one Charli Evans chop. Paris is in agony, especially in the leg. They trade German suplexes, and De Silva is unable to bridge due to the damaged leg. He goes for the Throne (back mount abdominal stretch), but Evans counters into an ankle lock. Paris rolls through, but Charli plants him with a spinebuster! Long 2 count. She goes back to the ankle lock, this time grapevining the leg, and this time Paris is forced to tap!
Winner: Charli Evans (7) (at 8:23)
Star Rating: ***1/2. Another week, another war for Charli Evans. She’s vicious, and while she’s taken her lumps in the process, she’s been an undeniably dominant force in this tournament. Right on the heels on the leaders of the Premiership, all it takes is one slip up and Charli could be a finalist. I feel bad for Paris in that one. He really took a beating.
Charli Evans at the interview desk. “Paris is tough as f**k.” She notes that Paris is one half of the tag champs, and she’d like a shot, noting that she could tag with Jess or “even Millie, I don’t give a f**k! I’m gonna win the tag belts, f**k off!” Okay, this is pre-taped, right? There’s no way the censors are THAT good on a 5 second delay. Love the passion though.
Match 3: Kai Drake (1) vs. Kingsley (0)
Major aggression by Drake, as he charges at Kingsley and drives shoulders in the corner. Kingsley fires back with forearms and kicks, and a Lou Thesz Press. The Tea-Drinking Rattlesnake? Basement Codebreaker gets a near fall for Kingsley. Kai charges again, but this time his shoulder meets the ringpost. Kingsley goes for another Codebreaker off the ropes, but Drake blocks it and drops her with a right hand. Kingsley might be having flashbacks to when Wahlberg decked her at Feats Of Strength.
Kai keeps up the attack, and Kingsley eventually halts it with a crucifix pin. Near fall. Inside cradle. Some call it a small package, but I don’t want to infer anything mean about Kai Drake… and it’s another near fall. Drake rallies with a flurry of kicks and a tooth-rattling forearm shot for a long 2 count of his own. He works the leg while yelling Bonza’s name. A primitive version of mind games, perhaps, but it gets the point across. Kingsley plants Drake with a floatover DDT for a close call.
They have a strike battle and amazingly, Kingsley seems to get the better of it! Wheelbarrow into a cutter scores. It looks like mometum is turning in her favour… but Drake locks in a single leg Boston crab! Kingsley makes the ropes, but Drake pulls her back to the center… and she’s got no choice but to tap out!
Winner: Kai Drake (3) (at 7:46)
Star Rating: ***1/4. That was a hotly contested match that got snuffed out pretty suddenly by Kai Drake. Our hopes were raised with Kingsley doing so well… and Dragonheart brought us right back down to Earth. Heartbreaking for Kingsley, who continues to impress more and more in every outing.
An emotional Kingsley speaks. “I know people like to laugh with or at me, but it’s not a game”. She feels like Kai Drake killed her, and she feels like a loser for having zero points. Now she just wants ONE win.
Match 4: Unsocial Jordan (7) vs. Sam Osborne (7) (w/ Don Marnell)
Marnell with another rhyming promo, referencing all the acronyms floating around in this one- SMS, MMA… and SOP. Sam Osborne’s Premiership.
This is clearly heel vs. heel, and they both play up to it wonderfully, both stalling and taunting a lot in the early going. Then they trade headlocks, both pulling hair while applying the hold. Jordan goes to the apron and Osborne pulls him back over the top rope to get back in the ring. The ref applying the 5 count with Jordan being in the ropes- so Osborne drops him, letting him crash to the mat. Shades of when Jon Jones beat Lyoto Machida in the UFC.
Osborne hits a couple of shoulder blocks and Jordan bails to the outside to take a break. Osborne chases him around the ring, and as they get back in, Jordan kicks the middle rope into the Prize Bull’s nuts. He follows up by wrapping his turtleneck around Osborne’s neck and giving him a snapmare. Jordan applies an abdominal stretch and uses the ropes for leverage, which Marnell helps point out. Osborne reverses into the same hold, but uses Marnell for leverage! Jordan reverses again and pulls on Marnell, who was looking away while offering his arm. Funny spot. This is great!
Osborne with a couple of shin breakers. Backbreaker/T-Bone suplex for a near fall. It’s a staple of just about every Osborne match at this point, and I remain impressed at how smooth he executes it every time. Jordan pulls himself to the ropes, referee Nick applies the 5 count, and has a very animated exchange with Osborne. Both guys have really pushed the limits of referee’s discretion in this one. While the argument’s happening, Marnell undoes a turnbuckle pad. Both Osborne and Jordan try to use it, but to no avail. Jordan with a roll-up and tries to use the ropes, Osborne with a roll up and pulls the tights, referee Nick catches both indiscretions. Osborne charges at Jordan but hits the exposed turnbuckle. Jordan with the cover but Marnell puts Osborne’s leg on the ropes!
Jordan goes for the tripod, Marnell stops him, there’s a tug of war. Jordan gets it and tries to use it, Osborne blocks and tries to use it himself, but Marnell gets in the ring and stops him, because a DQ means losing points in the Premiership. With all three men in the ring, Referee Nick loses his shit, screaming at them all. They all shove him down, so Nick disqualifies both wrestlers! It’s a draw!
Winner: Double DQ/Draw (at 7:08) (8) (8)
Star Rating: ***3/4. That was brilliant fun. As it got going, it reminded me of a really fun Raw match I saw in 2003, Chris Jericho vs. Christian. Both were heels, and it was a similar game of who could be the better cheater. But Osborne and Jordan may have even upped the ante from that. It was funny and smart- at least until the finish, what did they expect to happen? Never put your hands on a referee! Unless, of course, you completely run them over for a ref bump, then it’s totally fine.
Once again, we have a quality weekly episode of PWA! I’m not sure we’ve had one even close to average to this point, they’ve always delivered and then some. This week really creates some interesting stories for the final couple of rounds- Osborne, Jordan & Moretti share the lead with 8 points, but Charli Evans is right behind them on 7. And can poor Kingsley get on the board at all?
Overall Score: 8/10
CURRENT PREMIERSHIP STANDINGS
- Unsocial Jordan: 8
- Sam Osborne: 8
- Mick Moretti: 8
- Charli Evans: 7
- Paris De Silva: 4
- Kai Drake: 3
- William Preston: 2
- Kingsley: 0
- Jessica Troy: 7
- Mat Rogers: 5
- Lyrebird Luchi: 5
- Matty Wahlberg: 4
- Big Fudge: 4
- Jack J. Bonza: 3
- Jimmy Townsend: 2
- Jude London: 2
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.