Being a massive wrestling nerd, I absolutely adore these kind of weekends. I’ve had a busy week with work and real life, but this weekend was just about completely free for me. Speaking of free… last night’s PWA event was FREE to view on FITE! So that’s good news for people watching from locations far from the PWA Academy. Your writer though, lives approximately 50 minutes away from Ingleburn, NSW, so I made the trip up to be there live. I had a great time, and I’m ready to put my reviewer hat on and review the broadcast from FITE TV!
As the title of the show suggests, the theme of this show is rookies vs. coaches. In PWA, the rookies are known as Green Dingoes, a play on the NJPW dojo system of “young lions”. The rookies wear generic green gear and have a pretty basic wrestling arsenal until they graduate to the main roster. At PWA Always Bring Your Gear, Nathan Pidgeon did the unthinkable- beating coach Shazza McKenzie in a match. Shazza is one of the most prolific Aussie wrestling stars we have, previously appearing on AEW and NXT, and she was beat by a virtual unknown. The shock of that event led to the formation of this particular Academy Showcase, featuring several matches where the Dingoes will try their luck against established PWA stars.
We begin with the night’s commentary team, JT Robinson & PWA Heavyweight Champion Ricky South. Ricky delivers the acknowledgement of country, before the usual PWA opening video airs.
Back to JT and Ricky to welcome us to the show. They run through the top matches on the card before giving a shoutout to Melbourne, who have been affected by another outbreak of COVID and a subsequent lockdown. Ricky wishes them well, as do I- most of the Snap Mayors team is based in Melbourne, and it’s awful that this damn pandemic is still rearing its head. Here’s to getting through it and coming out the other side stronger. Now, to the action!
Match 1: Newy Pro Trios Match- Headhunter Rig, Carter Deams & Dazza vs. Ben Braxton, Rita Stone & Shay Kassidy
This match is a showcase of the Newcastle Pro Wrestling training school, the House of Free Fighting. Rig, Deams & Dazza represent the coaching team, while Braxton, Stone and Kassidy are the rookies. I’ve seen Braxton a few times now between PWA and Rock & Roll, but this is my first viewing of Stone & Kassidy. Kassidy seems like a disturbed individual, clutching at a teddy bear as she enters the ring.
Deams and Kassidy begin, and Carter snatches the teddy and gives it a Liger Bomb. This send Shay into a rage, and she takes down her coach and starts firing away with rights and lefts. Carter bails from the ring and Dazza enters under PWA lucha rules. Ricky notes that Charli Evans was meant to be in Dazza’s place, and JT says that she was unable to make it to the event. Dazza drops Shay with a shoulder block but she comes back with a wheelbarrow arm drag. Dazza gets Shay in a fireman’s carry but she escapes and makes a tag to Braxton.
Braxton squares off with Rig. Braxton gets a brief moment of control after an impressive dropkick and a kip up, but Rig sends him to the heavens soon after with a massive back body drop. The coaches all get a moment to get their shit in, culminating with Dazza hitting the Rolling Tumbleweed (Rolling Thunder into a leg drop) for a near fall. Rita Stone tags in and the pace immediately hits warp speed, as she hits a couple of hurricanranas and a shotgun dropkick on the coaches! She goes for a crossbody on Rig, but is caught and planted with a Black Hole Slam for a close 2 count.
Deams wipes out Braxton & Kassidy on the apron, allowing the coaches to isolate Stone. Seeing a potential threat, perhaps? Dazza, the Bogan Hogan, hits the running leg drop for a near fall on Stone. Stone tries to rally moments later with a satellite DDT on Rig, who reverses into a deadlift suplex for another close call. Stone fights out of the enemy corner and gets the hot tag to Braxton. Kassidy comes in too because rules are just suggestions, anyway. Kassidy hits a DDT and leaves the rest to Braxton. He launches Rig with an incredible belly to belly, followed by a spinebuster and Lionsault on Deams for a convincing near fall for the rookies!
A trio of dives to the outside by the rookies on the coaches, and my, how the tables are turning! Braxton and Stone work together to hit Deams with an assisted satellite DDT in the ring, before Stone goes up top. 450 Splash gets Rita a razor-close near fall! The action breaks down as the other coaches make the save. Rig and Dazza with a huge 3D on Braxton. Dazza with the Wagon Wheel (cartwheel Death Valley Driver) on Kassidy. Cannonball by Rig on Braxton as Deams hits a top rope splash on Kassidy… and it’s all over!
Winners: Headhunter Rig, Dazza & Carter Deams (at 10:04)
Star Rating: ***1/2. That was a hell of a match to kick off proceedings. The rookies got a ton of moments to shine against their coaches, and it really kicked into another gear down the stretch. Interesting how different the Newy Pro rookies are in presentation to PWA’s rookies, the Green Dingos. The Dingos are modelled after the NJPW system with the young lions, with no real character and more basic movesets, but the Newy Pro crew featured fully fleshed out characters and some dazzling moves. Also, while this was a feature for Newy Pro, it’ll be interesting to see how this features into Carter’s PWA story arc- during his entrance, he touched Ricky’s PWA title belt, signifying his intentions. But while he did get the win here, he also nearly lost to the rookies. Intriguing…
Post-match, the coaches give respect to the rookies for a hard-fought match, and they all walk backstage together.
A hype video airs for PWA Prize Bulls On Parade, June 13 at the Factory Theatre in Sydney. It’s headlined by Sam Osborne challenging Jessica Troy for the PWWA Championship. Unfortunately there’s an audio issue and the video plays in silence. At least it looks really cool.
Sam Osborne joins JT & Ricky to do guest commentary on the next match. That can only mean we’re about to see one of my favourite Aussie wrestlers! Not Will Kiedis. He comes out first and is all buddy-buddy with the Prize Bull. But then we are graced by the presence of the PWWA Champion!
Match 2: Jessica Troy (w/ Charli Evans) vs. Will Kiedis (w/ Cherry Stephens)
Hey, I thought they said Charli Evans couldn’t make this event, but here we are. Charli’s carrying a potted plant, presumably from the Goober Report set. Word on the street is that it’s Mitch’s cousin.
Technical start with a lock-up and go behind by Kiedis, and Jess is already looking for the arm. Will escapes but Jess soon dives for the Fujiwara armbar, and Cherry saves Kiedis by pulling him out of the ring. She has a clipboard with a game plan that hilariously just reads “no armbars”. Simple, but effective. Back in the ring, Troy blasts Kiedis with body shots in the corner. Jess Tyson. Jess works the arm some more and gets momentum on her side with a springboard arm drag. Cherry gets up on the apron to remind Will of the game plan and Jess sends the Goober Killer face-first into the clipboard. The champ goes up top and nails a beautiful diving hurricanrana. They go into a series of rapid fire pin attempts with victory roll reversals. I’m convinced these spots exist purely to troll referees, and I love it!
Jess eventually stops the rolls with an armbar counter. Will executes a stack pin to break the hold, then turns momentum in his favour with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Running powerslam out of the corner gets Kiedis a near fall! Undeterred, Kiedis continues to work the back with a backbreaker stretch. Troy eventually counters with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors then hits her patented parade of running elbow strikes in the corner. Kiedis manages to cut her off with a brutal looking dropkick, and damn, he’s really taking it to the champ! Near fall. Goober elbow drop follows, and the Goober Killer is in firm control at this point.
Kiedis goes for the Unprettier, but Troy counters with an armbreaker using her knees. Like a Codebreaker to the arm. It’s like two of my favourite wrestlers did a Fusion Dance. Jess proceeds to kick Will’s arm out of his arm, just in case we forgot how vicious she can be. Double knees in the corner by Troy, but Kiedis avoids the follow up kick. Jess changes plans and comes in from the apron with a tornado DDT, gaining a close 2 count. Jess looks for a brainbuster, and Kiedis reverses into an inside cradle for 2.9. That would have been a huge upset!
They trade a series of crucifix pins, and poor referee Hannah is earning her money tonight! Jess goes for the running Meteora on a seated Kiedis, but he rolls through and hits a bucklebomb! He follows up with Sky High, but Troy kicks out at the last moment! He goes for Osborne’s Mosman Driver, but Jess escapes. Shining Wizard- misses. Rewind kick- misses. Troy avoids all Kiedis’ best shots, and locks in the Fujiwara armbar! The Goober Killer taps to the Arm Collector!
Winner: Jessica Troy (at 10:15)
Star Rating: ***1/2. Surprisingly competitive, and a great deal of fun. Commentary sold that Kiedis has been training hard through the pandemic, and maybe that increased focus is what we can attribute this excellent showing to. Kiedis took the PWWA Champion to the limit, but ultimately Jess prevails yet again. Could this be the fate that awaits Sam Osborne at the Factory Theatre?
After the match, Osborne and Troy have a stare down. Big fight feel there. Intense!
A promo airs for the next big PWA event after Prize Bulls On Parade. Ricky South and Jack Bonza are arguing at a brewery, until the bartender says, “Oi! There’s no ring in here!” Don Marnell pops up with a crazy idea… Don Marnell’s Beer Bash, July 10. Okay, I need to be at that one!
Match 3: Backpain (Backman & Jack Pain) (w/ Jessie Wilde) vs. SMS (Belinda Pierce & Aaron Jake) (w/ Unsocial Jordan)
Backman backs Belinda into the corner and delivers a right hand that is basically absorbed. He goes for a delayed vertical suplex but Pierce lands on her feet. Backman hits a backbreaker and repeats the feat after Jessie says “one more rep!” A massive fall away slam follows. Tag to Aaron Jake, no longer AJ. Jack Pain in as well. Aaron slaps Pain- and let me say, the FITE TV audio did not do that one justice. It was so loud the people over at Ingleburn KFC probably heard it! An enraged Pain charges with shoulder blocks, followed by some blistering chops.
A scary moment as Belinda tags back in, and falls off the apron in a very much unplanned moment, as she collides with the first row. She appears fine, as she leaps back in the ring and resumes immediately. Backpain take control, knocking Belinda down then launching Aaron with a dizzying double back body drop. They set up for a double chokslam on Belinda but Aaron saves her. Low bridge sends Backman out and the new SMS duo wipe out Pain with a cross body/kick combo. Near fall. SMS isolate and beat down Pain for a stretch of time. JT suggests that we’ve seen a positive change in Unsocial Jordan lately. Ricky, formerly in SMS himself, disagrees with that assessment.
Backman gets the hot tag and runs through both SMS members with shoulder blocks. Flapjack on Aaron gets a close 2 count. Belinda avoids the attacks of Backman and Jack Pain and sets up for a spear, but Backman wipes her out with the Sonny Bill Williams (Pounce), sending her crashing into Aaron as well. Aaron tries to fight back against Backman, but is clubbed to the mat with a single shot. He gets back up and continues the flurry, but Jack Pain gets back in and levels him with a lariat. Belinda gets back in and evens things up with a spear on Backman. Aaron charges at Pain and takes a lethal spinebuster! One of the best ones I’ve seen in a long time. Belinda spears Pain, which allows Aaron to recover and hit a spin out slam for the 3 count!
Winners: SMS (at 10:28)
Star Rating: ***. Good action. A little hard to invest at times with murky characters. Backpain have been heels in the past, but have been winning over crowds with their hard-hitting offense. Which should leave established heel team SMS as, well, the established heels here, but they’ve been telling a story of their leader, Unsocial Jordan, perhaps having a change of heart. With neither side established one way or another, the crowd didn’t fully know to react, which hurt the atmosphere a bit. Can’t fault the work between the ropes though.
Ricky South is in the ring, mic in hand. He points out that the PWA Champion is here, and he’s not going to be like “champions of the past”. He wants to lead PWA into the future, better than ever. He’s issuing an open challenge for June 13th. Prize Bulls On Parade. A little kid in the crowd wants to accept it- he was great quality all night with his reactions. Ricky acknowledges him before saying that PWA is worldwide on FITE, and Tuff Stuff will lead with “flamboyant aggression”.
Will Kiedis is at the commentary desk to help call the next match.
Match 4: Jimmy Townsend vs. Jay Sorbet vs. Big Fudge vs. Mitch Ryder
Three of my favourite wrestlers in PWA… and Ryder, from Queensland, who I’ve never heard of. But one thing I’ve learnt over the years- if PWA are going to use a wrestler, they’re going to be of good quality at the very least. Jimmy starts the match by showing Sorbet and Fudge some cool things in his backpack. Ryder is upset at being left out and throws Jimmy’s bag out of the ring. He cops an enziguri by Jimmy, a superkick by Jay, and a front kick by Fudge. “Welcome to Sydney,” says JT. With Ryder cleared out of the ring, the PWA regulars exchange a variety of pinning attempts to no avail.
Ryder rips Jimmy off the apron and goes on the attack inside the ring. He takes out Fudge with a dropkick before Sorbet takes his head off with a clothesline. Time to dish out the slams. One scoop on Ryder. Second scoop on Jimmy. Fudge reverses the third scoop and goes for one of his own, but he can’t handle the super-heavyweight Scooperman and almost gets pinned. Jimmy back in to hit a flapjack on Sorbet. He takes down Ryder then hits both with a simultaneous senton. Townsend with the hip toss into a neckbreaker on Fudge but Ryder breaks up the count. Woo woo woo. Gutbuster followed by a kick on Jimmy gets Ryder a near fall.
The action is fast and furious in this one as Fudge hits the babooshka on Ryder. He hits everyone with the Butt Punch. Yes, this is entertainment, but the hazards are real. Sugar Rush on all 3 opponents. All 4 men then have the same idea and go to the top rope. They make a gentlemen’s agreement to get down at the same time, which Ryder does not follow. He goes for a cross body, but everyone dodges and he eats the canvas. They argue over who pins him before a “stack’s on!”, but Ryder kicks out. Who would get the win in that case? The person on bottom or the person on top? Or would we have 3 winners declared?
Ryder has a great moment with a slingshot into a German Suplex on Jimmy, but Sorbet takes advantage and hits Ryder with a Lionsault. Kick out. Fudge back in and takes out Sorbet with a chokeslam. Tornado butterfly suplex by Jimmy on Fudge- rough landing but Fudge kicks out. Ryder tries to get Jimmy with the schoolboy, but is caught trying to use the ropes. Jimmy hits his own schoolboy, pulls the tights but doesn’t get caught- and gets the win!
Winner: Jimmy Townsend (at 8:40)
Star Rating: ***1/4. Solid blend of comedy and action. Mitch Ryder was impressive in his first PWA outing, but it made sense for Jimmy to get the win here. No longer a school boy, but the fact remains that NO ONE KICKS OUT OF THE SCHOOLBOY! Also, Sorbet to answer Ricky’s open challenge. We need Sorbet as PWA Champion, the puns need to go worldwide on FITE!
The video of Moretti being the devil on everyone’s shoulder plays. It’s a good one. “You off your chops, mate?!?”
Kyle Fletcher joins the commentary team.
Match 5: David Streamer & Marshall Luke vs. The Rivalry (Mick Moretti & Robbie Eagles)
Moretti comes out shooting a Nerf gun, Robbie’s got facepaint. This is going to be a good time. Commentary talk about Robbie reigniting his old tag team with Moretti here, and also Robbie teaming with Mat Diamond to challenge Aussie Open at the next event. Fletcher notes that Aussie Open vs. Velocities is the highest rated match in Australia in Wrestling Observer history- Meltzer gave it 4.75, I went the full 5. Bet Meltzer would have bumped it up if it was in the Tokyo Dome.
Moretti starts the match in a playful mood, taking off his coach jacket to reveal several more coach shirts. Robbie has a shirt under his coach shirt that reads “Dingo Dad”. Moretti feints punching Streamer then scolds him, saying that he always needs to be ready. Headlock, shoulder tackle but the girthy Streamer does not drop down! Streamer instead wipes out Moretti with a series of shoulder blocks, and the Rapscallion is on the back foot. Headstand into a headscissors evens it up. Classic Moretti. Moretti hits a running leg drop across the apron on Streamer. Eagles in to blast Streamer with a spinning heel kick. A couple of extra hard kicks result in a 2 count for the Sniper Of The Skies. Streamer leaves the ring, bringing in Marshall via lucha tag rules.
Marshall reverses a hip toss into an arm drag as commentary notes he’s only been training about a year, and he’s in the ring with NJPW star Robbie Eagles. Big dropkick follows, but it only gets a 1 count for the Dingo. Moretti blind tags in, and the Rivalry hit a great blitz of moves on Marshall resulting in a near fall. Moretti applies a keylock and makes Marshall slap himself with his own hand. Master of the mind games. Eagles back in to dish out some brutal chops that echo through the Academy. Snap suplex gets Eagles a 2 count.
Robbie goes for the Turbo Backpack, but Marshall rolls through to the Dingo Stretch (inverted Boston crab). Moretti comes in and Streamer puts him in the Stretch as well! Moretti escapes first and saves Eagles, before cracking Streamer with a high knee. He follows up with the Sweaty Moretti elbow drop as JT drops a Manscaped reference. Hey, they seem to sponsor everywhere now. Streamer fights back and looks to make a tag but Robbie cuts him off. Robbie looks for the Ron Miller Special but Streamer kicks out of it. He responds with a huge chokebomb on Eagles but is unable to follow up. He does get the tag to Marshall, who comes in and launches Eagles and Moretti to the rafters with exploder suplexes! He sends them outside the ring and wipes them both out with a plancha! Back in the ring, a missile dropkick on Eagles gets a 2 count. Robbie fights back with the Turbo Backpack, and then tags Moretti. Assisted wheelbarrow suplex is good for the win!
Winners: The Rivalry (at 12:18)
Star Rating: ***1/4. Eagles and Moretti led the way well, and the Dingos brought a great effort. It looked like they were getting pretty blown up down the stretch but held it together, and I appreciate the more realistic approach where the veterans were mostly in control, and the rookies had their moments through sheer willpower and heart.
We go to intermission here, but a special treat on FITE- we get Slex vs. Royce Chambers from MCW New Horizons 2021. I’m just going to enjoy this one. Slex wins with the Close Of Business submission. Excellent high-octane battle- a Google search tells me it was the opener of the show, and in that respect, it was perfectly done. Also great to hear Snap Mayor’s own Lord Andy Coyne on the call!
The Prize Bulls On Parade video package replays, now with sound. Good, good…
Match 6: Unsocial Jordan (w/ SMS) vs. Jack Bonza (w/ Kingsley)
Jordan is wearing a white turtleneck, rather than his usual black one, which could be a little symbolism. He ties up with Bonza but it’s a stalemate to start. Test of strength, and Bonza uses a back heel trip to take advantage and instigate some early pin attempts. A neat monkey flip sequence eventually leads to separation, and we’re back to square one. A bit of back and forth, and Bonza counters an elbow drop into a crucifix pin for a near fall. Jordan soon turns the tables with a back body drop for a 2 count of his own.
Bonza tries to knock Jordan off the apron, but SMS catch him. So Bonza slides through and takes Jordan’s legs out, sending him face-first into the apron. S-m-r-t. Back in the ring, Bonza breaks Jordan’s back and makes him humble. Elevated Muta lock puts more pressure on the back and legs of Jordan. Jordan elbows his way out and locks in a sleeper, but Bonza drives him into the corner and fires off some chops. He locks in a modified Stretch Muffler, and I feel like that would tear every muscle in my body. Jordan returns fire with a half and half suplex, followed by a Falcon Arrow for a near fall. Shining Wizard gets an even closer 2 count.
Jordan sets up for a superplex, but Bonza fights out and does a sunset flip into an attempted bucklebomb, but Jordan counters with a rana! Great sequence! Jordan charges, looking to take advantage, but Bonza just slings him into the corner with a hip toss. Bonza goes for a powerbomb, but Jordan lands on his feet and connects with a superkick. He hits the Air Raid Crash for a near fall moments later. Jordan plays to the crowd (wow) and goes for another superkick, but Bonza catches it and applies the ankle lock! Jordan crawls under the ropes, forcing the hold to be broken, instead of his ankle.
They fight on the apron and it looks like Bonza is setting up for the Napalm Thunder Driver, but Jordan shoves him head-first into the ring post instead. It looks like Jordan is setting up for a dive, but Kingsley hobbles in front of Bonza, forcing the Unsocial one to put the brakes on. Belinda clears the way by spearing Kingsley, and Jordan runs from the entrance way to hit Bonza with a Shining Wizard against the apron. Back in the ring, Bonza kicks out, but just barely. SMS pass Jordan the tripod but he refuses to use it! Behind the referee’s back, Kingsley (kinda) hits Jordan with the crutch, allowing Bonza to get a near fall off an inside cradle. A discus lariat follows, then a huge Liger Bomb- but Jordan kicks out at the last second! Bonza sets up for the Napalm Thunder Driver, but Jordan escapes and hits another Shining Wizard… and it’s all over!
Winner: Unsocial Jordan (at 14:21)
Star Rating: ***1/2. This had some of the same problems as the Backpain/SMS match, but a few things made this better- it cleared up a bit of Jordan’s ambiguity, plus people cared more given the history of both Jordan and Bonza- even if the character alignment isn’t concrete one way or another, PWA fans have opinions of both men regardless of where the story is at. Plus the action was better here, and it ended with a definite upset. Maybe Unsocial Jordan’s biggest win in PWA to date- and he did it clean.
Match 7: MK Plus Ultra & Lyrebird Luchi vs. Mat Diamond, CJ Phoenix & Mat Rogers
Rogers starts, and Luchi pretends like he’s going to start, but quickly gets Spencer in instead. Rogers immediately destroys “The Prince” with a big boot. Maybe he should have gotten a Krillin tattoo instead of a Majin Buu one. Kai Drake drags his lifeless body out of the ring to force a lucha tag. Big boot for Drake. Lucha tag again makes Luchi legal (try saying that 10 times fast), but he throws the corpse of Michael Spencer back in the ring. A merciful Rogers tags in CJ. Spinning heel kick takes down Spencer. Diamond in to hit Drake with a dropkick. Rogers back legal and Luchi runs away outside the Academy. Rogers follows. Those boys better not go near my car!
Back in the ring, Diamond takes out MK Plus Ultra with a double Pele kick. Stereo standing moonsaults by Diamond and Phoenix. CJ goes for a dive but Luchi trips him up and drags him out of the ring. How did he get back in the building alive? He throws Phoenix into the ring post. Luchi in the ring as the legal man against CJ. Rogers is back but referee Hannah maintains order. Luchi mocks Full Force and goes for the pumphandle slam, but CJ escapes it. Disaster Kick allows CJ to tag Diamond in. He cleans house and sets Luchi up for Shattered Dreams (a callback to the last show), but the ref stops it. MK Plus Ultra isolate Diamond. He starts to fight back with chops but MK drop him with a tandem Codebreaker for a near fall.
A DDT on Drake and a spiking Diamond Cutter on Spencer finally provide an opening for Diamond. Tag to Rogers and Luchi literally throws his partners in the way as human shields. MK try and work together but Rogers kills them with a double clothesline. Somehow they come back to life and he scores with a diving shoulder tackle. Rogers grabs Luchi but MK take him down with a tandem powerbomb. Bodies flying everywhere. CJ hits a Gory Bomb on Spencer. A Ki Crusher follows, then a middle rope Spiral Tap! This man had his first pro match back in November last year, I believe. Unreal. Luchi barely gets the shoulder up.
CJ tags Rogers in then takes out MK with an Asai moonsault. Rogers goes for a big boot on Luchi, who low bridges. MK drag him out of the ring and hit him with a steel chair behind the ref’s back. In the ring, CJ goes for a Shining Wizard on Luchi, but he ducks, hits a sneaky low blow, and stacks him up for the 3 count!
Winners: MK Plus Ultra & Lyrebird Luchi (at 11:39)
Star Rating: ***1/4. MK and Luchi at their bastard best here. Good job building anticipation for Luchi vs. Rogers at Prize Bulls On Parade.
The coaches and the Dingoes come to ringside to watch the main event.
Match 8: Shazza McKenzie vs. Nathan Pidgeon
Shazza does not look happy, and even less so when her music gets messed with- it loops in the middle of her entrance, which is very noticeable as there’s a heartbeat added to the intro. I really like that musical change as it reminds me of Taz, and gives that element of danger to Shazza’s presentation. Announcer Nick Wray does formal, championship-style introductions for this big main event. Chatted to Nick a bit during intermission too. Great guy!
Shazza tries to kick Pidgey before the bell even rings, but he’s ready for it and starts firing off strikes of his own. Shazza quickly drops him with a Saito suplex, and the opening pace to start this does not suggest a 30 minute epic. Shazza with the Overdrive- could it be over in the first minute?- but Pidgey kicks out at 2.99. He responds with an O’Connor roll, but Shazza escapes at 2 and rolls into a submission, but Pidgey makes the ropes.
McKenzie grabs Pidgey from the apron and hits a draping DDT. She’s seemingly more aggressive than usual, does she hear voices in her head too? It gets another early near fall. Shazza locks in a bow and arrow hold, but Pidgey rolls into a pin for a 2 count. Shazza delivers a Northern Lights suplex, perfect bridge, gets another long 2 count. Everything here done with intent to end the match as soon as possible. Just as Shazza was starting to maintain control, Pidgey comes back with a backslide for a very close call! He fires off a hurricanrana outta nowhere but Shazza cuts him off by ramming him face-first into the middle turnbuckle. She goes for the patented 10 kicks in the ropes, but stops after 3 and slaps the rookie. She’s almost mocking the crowd too. Don’t do us like that, Shazza!
Back in the ring, a bulldog gets a near fall. Pidgey starts to fight back, and pinballs Shazza around a little with some running forearms. Half and half suplex gets a near fall for the Dingo. No sleep for Pidgey as he goes right into the Dingo Stretch! After a struggle, McKenzie makes the ropes. She gets up and scores with a couple more Saitos, followed by a Heart Punch and the Shazztastic Stunner for the clear-cut victory!
Winner: Shazza McKenzie (at 5:25)
Star Rating: **1/2. Fine short match, seemed more about Shazza getting her groove back- and maybe a new attitude- more than making a star out of Pidgey at this stage. He’s still a Dingo, and while he’s had a taste of the spotlight, he’s gotta keep grinding for a lot longer to get to Shazza’s level. Coaches rule, and rookies drool on this show.
As a show that aired free on FITE TV, and likely to a lot of new viewers thanks to that generous price tag- this was a quality introduction to PWA. A clear snapshot of what the product is all about, and a look at the majority of the top players in the promotion. Also, it was a great look at the future, as the PWA rookies, the Green Dingos, had impressive showings. That said, the Newy Pro crew almost stole the show, and with MCW featuring on the FITE TV broadcast, and a small role from Queensland’s Mitch Ryder, it showed what Australian wrestling as a whole is to a worldwide audience. I feel and hope that this Academy Showcase will attract a lot of new viewers to the next Black Label show, PWA Prize Bulls On Parade.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a wrestling show at a brewery to prepare for…
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Until next time, take care.