Thursday, 14 January 2016

Download Review: MCW Ballroom Brawl 2015

It’s debut time here again as we travel to the land down under to take a look at Australia’s Melbourne City Wrestling. We’re going back in time to May last year to see some new faces and some old friends from the Wrestlerock days as we take a look at Ballroom Brawl 2015.

The show began with six man action as the Estate team of Emmanuelle, Gabriel Wolfe & Slade Mercer, accompanied by Cousin Ali, took on the World’s Friendliest Tag Team, TD & Lochy Hendricks, and their partner B.J. Hudson.

I think the best way to describe this opener would be fast and furious, and highly enjoyable. It began when the Estate boys attacked their foes while they were taking a pre-match selfie, which led to both TD and Hendricks taking the punching bag treatment for their team. The villainous heels looked quite impressive, especially the man mountain that is Slade Mercer, as they took their smaller opponents apart.

Hendricks getting the hot tag to Hudson signalled the start of the all hell breaking loose segment, which featured a ton of hard-hitting action, quite a bit of high-flying, and impressive moves all round.

But at the end of it all it was the Estate who emerged victorious. Hudson had put up a hell of a fight, but eventually the numbers were too much for him when Mercer and Wolfe took him down with a 3D-like move for the winning pin.

The women of MCW were up next as Siren Monroe faced Shazza McKenzie.

This wasn’t too bad. The action was okay, although there were a couple of iffy moments early on, and because of that it took a little while to get going. But once it did these two put together some pretty good exchanges, with McKenzie looking the better of the two with some of her stiff kicks.

Once again it was the heinous heel who came out on top when Monroe took her woman down with a kick to the head, taking the winning pin with her feet on the bottom rope.

Next up was the special stipulation match, with the popular Mr. Juicy taking on the Estate’s head honcho Sebastian Walker in a special five minute challenge match.

This match came about when Juicy won a cage match a few weeks before, with the stipulation being that he’d get five minutes in the ring with Walker at this show, and with all of his protégés banned from ringside Walker was accompanied by an entourage, two of which I recognised from the old Wrestlerock days.

Now this was an interesting one. As Juicy argued with Walker and his entourage a hooded figure jumped into the ring and clobbered Juicy in the back with a chair. It was then revealed that this stranger was actually Walker.

Sadly for him his period of early dominance didn’t last, and it wasn’t too long before Juicy was giving him the old wood shed treatment. Walker looked to be in a considerable amount of trouble, but when Juicy got into another argument with the entourage Walker grabbed a baking tray and clobbered the big man over the head, the third shot finally sending him crashing.

He didn’t stay down there for long though, and he quickly came back to take Walker down with a stunner before getting some revenge with two stink faces in the corner, sealing the deal with a sit-down stink face for the winning pin.

The Ballroom Brawl Rumble match followed, with the winner getting a shot at the MCW title. Sounds kind of familiar, doesn’t it? Except that the winner can get his title shot whenever he wants.

Beginning with TD and B.J. Hudson, this match featured twenty of the top MCW stars, some of who, like the first two entrants, had competed earlier in the evening. It featured some quite memorable moments, such as the hardcore bitch Vixsin beating the hell out of her male counterparts, Hudson putting in a long stint and making it to the final five, match favourite Elliot Sexton getting eliminated after just a few seconds by the sneaky Tommy Hellfire, and the appearance of the 85 year-old luchadore Senior Dragon, who hobbled to the ring and leapt into action after taking his heart medicine.

The final two were the aforementioned Hellfire and another of his heated rivals JXT. The man who only needed three letters for his name looked like he was going to take it all when he took Hellfire down with his re-tweet finisher (otherwise known as a pedigree folks). His progress was impeded by the appearance of Hellfire’s muse Siren Monroe on the apron, and after Hellfire accidentally collided with his woman JXT looked to throw him over the top rope. Hellfire quickly regained his senses though and sent JXT over the top to win the match and a future shot at the MCW title.

The first title match of the show saw Hard Way Inc’s Jay Andrews and Mike Burr challenge the South Australian Serial Killers, Jag Hartley Jackson and Jonah Rock, for the Tag Team titles.

This was one of the matches I was really looking forward to. Jag Hartley Jackson was one of my favourites from the old Wrestlerock days, a no nonsense tough as nails kind of wrestler you just had to pay attention to. It looked like he’d dropped a few pounds since then, and in Jonah Rock it looked like he’d found the perfect tag team partner.

This match was a hoot from start to finish. You had the games of one-gunmanship at the beginning before the Killers took out their frustrations on Andrews, and it was during these exchanges that I realised that the Killers reminded me a great deal of Britain’s London Riots tag team. Now that would be some match if either MCW or Progress Wrestling put those four in the same ring.

Back to the matter at hand. Andrews eventually made it back to his corner to start off the mass brawl segment, a segment in which both teams went extremely close to getting the win, but with Andrews taken out of commission it left Burr alone against the two tough dudes, and after Rock took him down with a superkick as he came down from the top rope Jackson finished him off with his jagged edge for the title-retaining three count.

Then it was back to singles action as Dowie James took on visiting superstar Chavo Guerrero.

Now this, as the old saying goes, was awesome. From bell to bell these two treated us to a brilliant back and forth encounter with so many twists and turns that you daren’t take your eyes off it in case you missed something. Both guys put in tremendous performances that had the fans on the edge of their sets.

It began with some good old fashioned chain wrestling, but it really got going after James avoided Guerrero’s corner attack and the visitor went crashing shoulder first into the ring post. From that point on the Aussie was relentless as he targeted his man’s injured limb, but no matter what he did Guerrero kept coming back for more.

This took us into the next part of the match as they moved through the gears and gave us some nice back and forth exchanges. Both guys came close to getting that elusive pin on numerous occasions, and Guerrero thought he’d won the thing when he came down from the top rope with the frog splash. The only problem was that James had managed to get his foot on the bottom rope while the referee counted the pin.

Guerrero didn’t look too happy with this, and after a few well-placed stomps he lifted James up in preparation for the Gory bomb. The youngster managed to power out of the move though and countered with a sunset flip roll-up. There was no escape for Guerrero this time around as the referee made the three count, giving James the win.

Although unhappy with his defeat, Guerrero shook James’ hand before raising his arm. He then took to the microphone to praise the current state of independent wrestling around the world.

The main event saw former champion Carlo Cannon challenging Krackerjak for the MCW title.

That was the idea anyway. As Cannon made his entrance Krackerjak came up from behind and clobbered him with a chair before powerbombing him through the stage. A cascade of officials checked the challenger out, but after Cannon more or less collapsed as he tried to get into the ring the match was waved off, much to the delight of the hardcore bastard.

Krackerjak then took to the microphone, and after boasting about his achievements he issued an open challenge for a title match there and then. The challenge was answered by Elliot Sexton.

What followed lasted just a few seconds. As soon as the bell rang Krackerjak went for his Brittany spear finisher. Sexton blocked the move immediately and took his man down with a jackhammer suplex. The referee made the three count, and MCW crowned a new champion.

In conclusion – they say that first impressions are everything, so when the MCW powers the be got in touch and asked me to review this show I think they knew just what I was going to say, because they’ve made a tremendous first impression on me.

This show rocked, big time. From start to finish I was treated to a tremendous show. The in-ring action, for the most part, was top notch throughout, and the appearance of Chavo Guerrero really added a little spice to the occasion.

Production-wise it certainly can’t be faulted. MCW certainly compare favourably to some of the other independent companies I’ve seen over the past few years, and it was nice to hear from former Frontier Wrestling Alliance commentator Andy Coyne again. In fact, this show kind of reminded me of the FWA’s heyday back in the early part of this century.

As for my match of the night, well, there was only really one contender, wasn’t there? Dowie James and Chavo Guerrero stole the show with their sterling effort, and it was nice to see the young Aussie get the win over his more illustrious opponent, so it’s these guys getting the prestigious no-prize this time around.

So with all of that out of the way there’s just one more thing left to do, and that’s to give Ballroom Brawl the big thumbs up, with the hope that I’ll be able to see more of their shows in the not too distant future.

With thanks to the powers that be for supplying a copy of this release. For more information on how to purchase MCW Ballroom Brawl on DVD or via download visit www.melbournecitywrestling.com.au.