Last night, Rock N Roll Wrestling brought their family-friendly brand of entertainment back to the people of Wollongong. Emanating from the RNR Academy, this show featured some of the best established NSW talent, along with some promising up-and-comers. In a bit of a blast from the past, Shazza McKenzie returned to Rock N Roll to re-form her Choc Blockers tag team with Big Fudge. That brings things full circle for me- if it wasn’t for seeing talent like Shazza and Fudge at RNR years ago, maybe I wouldn’t have discovered PWA (Pro Wrestling Australia), at least not for a long time later. Also, more local talent get their opportunity to shine, as Ya Boy Dicko returns to action, teaming with the debuting Bachelor.
It was a freezing cold night in Wollongong, but that didn’t stop the crowd from turning up to see some fiery wrestling action! Let’s do this!
Match 1: Unsocial Jordan (w/ SMS) def. Jay Sorbet
As far as I’m aware, this was the RNR debut for Jordan, along with his SMS teammates Aaron Jake and Belinda Pierce. All three frequently ply their trade in PWA, but based on the reaction they got on their entrance, they were largely unknown to the Rock N Roll audience. However, Jay Sorbet is a major fan favourite, bringing the crowd to life.
Jordan got some heat by wearing down the uber-popular Scooperman. Belinda and Aaron were effective nuisances at ringside too. Eventually, Sorbet made his comeback, and after a spine-jarring scoop-lex, went up top and scored with the moonsault. Belinda distracted the ref before Sorbet could get the pin, allowing Aaron to enter the ring and blast Sorbet with his own Gold Rush (MITB) briefcase! After this dastardly deed, Jordan picks up the (tainted) victory. As SMS leave, they take Sorbet’s briefcase with them.
Star Rating: **1/2. Nice way to open the show. SMS effectively got under the crowd’s skin and built sympathy for Sorbet. The shenanigans and post-match suggest a return to Rock N Roll for SMS, which is welcome as all three are extremely talented.
Match 2: Choc Blockers (Shazza McKenzie & Big Fudge) def. SMS (Belinda Pierce & Aaron Jake)
The arrival of Shazza & Fudge gets one of the biggest pops of the night. Shaz kindly helps Fudge enter the ring- the super heavyweight always struggles with those damn ropes! Fudge gets things going with a little audience participation and his classic comedy- almost tapping after an ineffective shoulder block, hitting the old ba-boosh-ka and finally doing a great spot where Shazza calls him in for a double suplex, but he gets it wrong and almost suplexes Shazza AND the referee before eventually getting it right.
SMS aren’t having this foolishness, though, and isolate and beat down the former Sanitation Commissioner. After first falling about half a metre short on a hot tag attempt, Fudge gets Shazza in and she cleans house. Great tandem spot where Shazza connects with her 10 kicks in the ropes while Fudge executes a flurry of Butt Punches. The end comes when Shazza takes out Belinda with the Shazztastic Stunner, allowing Fudge to nail the chokeslam (with great air) on Aaron for the 1-2-3!
Star Rating: ***1/4. Quality tag work, and cool to see a couple of spots I hadn’t seen before. Plus, it’s only right for Fudge to avenge the loss of his mate Sorbet.
Match 3: Super 8 Qualifier- Eric Fisher def. Otis
This was originally announced as a Super 8 qualifier, but RNR’s results on their FB page don’t mention that detail. Basically couldn’t hear the ring announcer during entrances either, so it could have still been, or maybe it was a “card subject to change” thing. Either way, this was a cracker of a match.
Otis unfortunately didn’t have his manager, Wayne Pickford, at ringside. Fortunately though, he does a tremendous job riling the crowd up on his own. Fisher gets a good reaction, but he’s all taped up nursing a triceps injury, so this will be an uphill battle. Otis brings his usual physical style, and nearly ends the match after a solid cannonball, but ultimately Fisher prevails following a spin kick and a fisherman suplex.
Star Rating: ***1/2. The usual top quality effort from these two. Two of the best home-grown talents Rock N Roll has. Both have bright futures, I believe.
Intermission. I went outside for a brief moment, hoping to chat with some wrestlers and maybe get a few pictures, but it was way too cold for me, and I didn’t see anyone immediately. So I spent the next 15 minutes on my phone looking at memes and Instagram hotties.
Back to the show, The Tradie’s music faintly plays. Even he acknowledges that he can’t hear it. He gets a mic, which works after a moment, and he start to talk about his rival, Lucas Parker. Parker has been suspended from Rock N Roll, but he gets in by buying a ticket. Tradie says that Parker is scared to fight him, and calls him a “little bitch”. Those are fighting words, and Parker storms the ring. They have a brief, but very physical-looking brawl before referees and other wrestlers hit the ring to break it up. That’ll be a fun showdown when it happens.
Match 4: The Zuccos (Robbie, Donnie & Otis) def. Hunter Hayes, Dicko & The Bachelor
This originally scheduled two on two tag match becomes a six-man after some mic work from Robbie Zucco, mocking Dicko & The Bachelor for being students of Hunter Hayes. Hunter hits the ring wearing Bachelor merch, and this brings back out Otis, wearing greaser style gear to be part of the Zucco family for one night- including some god-awful Daisy Duke style trunks. Jessica Simpson, he is not.
Dicko really stands out here with his intensity, it’s picked up ten-fold from the last time I saw him wrestle. Awesome. Bachelor gets an early spot, coming in with a double axe handle. When he gets officially tagged in, he impresses early by doing Old School! Not bad from the former Rock N Roll announcer! Eventually, Hayes gets a run and starts looking for DDTs on everyone. Look out referee! He also delivers a very impactful delayed vertical suplex on Robbie. The action gets chaotic with bodies everywhere, leading to the Zuccos hitting a series of undetected low blows, before a roll-up and pull of the tights on Bachelor leads to a win for the bad guys. Ayyyyyyeeeee!
Star Rating: ***1/2. Good energy from Bachelor in his first outing, and Hunter was as smooth as always, but Dicko was the big standout for me here. The Zuccos (including honorary member Otis) were good foils for the babyfaces. I got a kick out of Robbie telling Otis post-match, “Your first win of the night!”
Post-match, Hunter tries to use a mic, but it doesn’t work for an age. The audio is the biggest heel on this show! Eventually, it works and he tells the crowd to give it up for The Bachelor, and we do.
Match 5: Super 8 Qualifier- Captain Keato def. Parker Tomas
This one I’m certain about being a Super 8 Qualifier. Advertised as such and included in the RNR results post on FB. These problems could be solved if we could have heard the ring announcer clearly though. Tomas is a new addition to Rock N Roll, but a welcome one. I give him a little shit during his entrance, because I know my role, but I won’t shut my mouth. He’s wearing a Tomas 3:16 shirt. He notices my Austin 3:16 hoodie and says “I invented that!” Nicely done, PT!
Great back and forth here. Impressive strength from Tomas getting the larger Keato up for some big moves, but also great agility with flying kicks and general movement around the ring. Both Keato and Tomas exchange hard strikes, in the ring and around the Academy. Keato almost hits a fan inadvertently, but we all love the Captain no matter what. The end eventually comes after Tomas misses on a big moonsault attempt, allowing Keato to swoop in and nail the Six And Out (basement flatliner) to advance to the tournament!
The show absolutely flew by- a true mark of an entertaining show. Rock N Roll are churning out consistently entertaining content, and they’re back in a form that shows they’re ready to resume at an even higher level than the company was getting to pre-COVID. As the outdoor Return show proved a few months ago, there’s a wrestling fanbase in the Wollongong/Illawarra area to support the product on a larger scale than what the modest Academy can provide. I am hopeful that a larger venue will be secured for the Super 8 tournament itself, with the field of participants now shaping up nicely.
Overall Score: 8/10
Until next time, take care.