Cold night in Adelaide, and the lower than usual crowd number reflected this (though still a good one). Again, a good start to the night with the video recap of last month’s show up on the big screen, plus some highlights of 2011. Whatever happened to the Grimm fighting his way up through the ranks, or Brad having to get his weight up, or Damon Matthews as commissioner storylines anyway?
Our commentators are Josh Armour, Kurt Power and Todd Eastman. The three-way thing they’ve got going is working surprisingly well. RCW champion Mimic is introduced and comes out to a huge pop. (During the past fortnight videos and photos showing a nasty injury above Mimic’s eye have been popping up, asking who had done this.) He talks about his injury and believes it was the MCW (Melbourne City Wrestling) people who had attacked him. He calls out MCW champion Matt Silva, but MCW representative Rohan comes out instead and defends MCW and claims Mimic has a concussion. But he says he can get Matt Silva here if Mimic puts the RCW title on the line. Mimic agrees. Why would he do that without Silva putting the MCW title on the line as well? Why are all faces portrayed as virtuous and, well, a little bit stupid?
Match 1: Damo Damo v Fuzion
Battle of the ones on losing streaks, I guess. Damo is the most over guy on the roster, all 5’4 of him. The entrance videos are a good touch and look really good. Fuzion teases a test of strength, Damo eventually gets it, and Fuzion destroys an arm. Fuzion in early control. Damo stomps the foot to take control and also works an arm. Fuzion back in control, then Damo rolls him up and gets a crucifix. Fuzion takes over again. Crowd rallies behind Damo, he comes back, facebuster stops it. Huge delayed vertical suplex gets 2. Fuzion cannot believe he kicked out. Crowd is hot for Damo. He comes back, drop toe hold, DDT, high cross body gets 2 for Damo. But Fuzion hits a spinebuster, then a slam for the win. Crowd really deflated after that. They will need to do something more than have Damo be essentially squashed month after month. Still, fun match to open the show.
Match 2: Del Taurino (with El Presidente and Marvel) v Voodoo Andy Roy
Taurino tries to dodge to start, but Voodoo takes him. Back and forth to start. Neither gets a clear advantage until Voodoo manages to throw Taurino out. All the Rude Ones gather, and Voodoo with a moonsault from the top rope to take them all out. His knee hits the guard-rail; ow. Taurino in and the others take out Voodoo and throw him in. Taurino now in charge. Voodoo favouring the leg a lot. It looks like he really hurt it on the guardrail on that moonsault. Voodoo takes over, but a trip from Marvel turns the tide. Taurino in charge. Cheap shots galore by those outside. Voodoo finally gets back in with a headscissor. Voodoo in control. He hits a backcracker, ignoring the knee as well as he can. Taurino back. More cheating. Mimic comes out. Voodoo hits the destroyer, but Mimic has everyone distracted, and after some words, Voodoo is rolled up by Del Taurino for the three. More dissension between Mimic and Voodoo. Voodoo out the back straight away. This slow burn has been done just superbly. Another good match, but the constant interference and the ref looking like just the thickest person on the planet really detracted from the match. (Note: knee was a legit injury; some serious guts to keep going after that.)
Match 3: Michelle K Hasluck v Miami
Hasluck’s RCW debut, hailing as she does from Western Australia. Miami comes out with Savannah Summers, who joins us on commentary. Power match up. Miami in charge until a foot stomp from Hasluck sees her gain control. Hasluck with a few rest-holds. Commentary focuses on Savannah and not the match at first. Hasluck a little loose with her strikes and attacks; after last month with Miami and Savannah, it stands out, and the crowd picked up on it. Hasluck in control for a long time. More rest holds. A weak kick to Miami’s face. Crowd is not into this one. Miami comes back with her own strikes, and the difference between them is marked. Sway comes out to watch. Miami is distracted and is rolled up for 2. Double clothesline spot. Miami covers, ref distracted by Sway with a chair. Savannah chases Sway to the back. Hasluck goes for her clothesline finisher, but Miami reverses it to the bridged Samoan drop for the win. Odd match.
Match 4: Hammer and Brad Smyth v Jacko Lantern and Matt ‘Grimm’ Basso
Stall-a-go-go to start from Brad. Some funny commentary while this is going on. The commentary tonight is some of the best we’ve heard in a long time, with Josh playing Tony Schiavone (trying to tell the story of the match), Todd as Mike Tenay (who knows the names of the holds and a lot of history) and Kurt Powers as Bobby Heenan (with some damn funny non-sequiturs and poignant heel-supporting remarks). Grimm chops Smyth so he tags in Hammer. Jacko also in. Back and forth until Hammer drops Jacko. Tag to Brad. Brad thrown around a bit. The chops on Brad are loud; his chest turns red straight away. Brad is being obliterated. Some interesting bumping. Brad tries to come back, but is killed again. Hammer interferes. Hammer in. He goes after Grimm. Belly to belly by Hammer on Grimm. Awesome. Smyth in and tries to steal the pin. Tag back to Hammer straight away. He drops a couple of elbows. Tag back to Brad. Cover for 2. Hammer back. He takes out Jacko as well. Hammer just takes Grimm apart. Brad in, he kicks Grimm, but Grimm comes back and powerslams him. Brad stops the tag, but finally Jacko does tag in. He hits eat-da-feet on Brad, but the tag was made and Hammer hits Jacko. Grimm hits Hammer with a big boot; he won’t go down. Jacko does likewise; still not down. It takes both of them with stereo boots to drop him out of the ring. Brad hits a reverse DDT on Jacko while Hammer throws Grimm outside into the railing. In the ring Jacko hits a big boot which turns Brad inside out. Hammer can’t make it into the ring in time, and Jacko pins Brad. Winners: Jacko Lantern and Matt ‘Grimm’ Basso. Another good match. And rookie of the year has to go to Hammer. What a year this new guy’s had.
Post-match Brad on the mic. He whinges about the refereeing, claims this was not a Brad Smyth challenge, but next month will be in a rematch. Grimm accepts. Short, sharp and shiny. Good.
Match 5: Number 1 contender’s match: Luke Santamaria v Marvel v Adam Brooks
Brooks and Luke work together on Marvel to start until Marvel slides out of the ring. Now Brooks v Luke, back and forth. Marvel takes Luke out of the ring and is met by a Brooks codebreaker on his way in. Brooks with a plancha to the floor taking out Luke and Marvel. Brooks and Marvel in. Brooks with a weak dropkick for 2. Luke with a nice cutter on Brooks on the apron and he’s in. Marvel takes control. Brooks back in, misses a moonsault, Marvel dumps him out via a shoulder to the post. Marvel gets 2 on Luke. It has fallen quickly into the standard 3-way formula of lots of 1-on-1 encounters with the third guy out. Marvel gets a few 2-counts on Luke. Marvel drives his knee into the back of Luke’s neck. Whole crowd winced with that one. Santamaria comes back. Brooks in. Lots of 2 counts by Brooks and Luke on Marvel. Luke and Brooks argue over 2 counts. Brooks hits a roll the dice on Luke. He then kicks Marvel. Luke hits a fameasser on Brooks. Marvel drops Luke. Brooks up top, misses a senton. Marvel locks the dragon sleeper in on Luke. Brooks is still out of it. Luke taps – number one contender is Marvel. Pretty good match, and the right man went over because Marvel is clearly one of the best technical wrestlers on the roster and it’s about time he got some recognition.
Match 6: RCW Title match: Matt Silva (with Rohan) v Chris ‘Mimic’ Basso
Silva’s entrance is long. He sends Rohan to the back with the MCW title belt. Mimic comes out and Silva jump starts the match. They exchange punches and then drop kicks. They fight outside, using the full 20 count (title matches have an outside 20 count in RCW). Mimic inside out with high crash tackle, back in he gets 2. This is a quick start. Springboard European uppercut by Mimic for 2. Silva cuts off a Mimic attack, then it goes outside again. Still fast. Silva gets a 2-count back in the ring. He stalks Mimic and is in control, and it slows down. Mimic with the 10 count punches in the corner. Silva back with a clothesline. Mimic backslide gets 2. Silva takes over again, and it slows down again. Mimic fights back into a DDT. Goes for a driver, but rammed into a corner. Leg lariat from Mimic stops him, and both are down. Up and Mimic with punches and forearms, then a hurricanrana, swinging neckbreaker and springboard moonsault for 2. Mimic starts up, but a Silva kick stops him. They fight over a leg lock until Mimic hits a dropkick for 2. Referee is kicked hard by Silva and drops like a sack of spuds. Silva then runs into a Mimic Sega Mega Driver. No referee. Low blow by Silva, everyone’s down. Silva hits his brainbuster on Mimic, still no ref. Silva kicks the ref again, then goes to the commentary position and grabs the RCW title belt. Brooks comes out and argues with Silva, taking the belt from him. Brooks then decks Mimic with the belt! Rohan comes out with a mic. Brooks takes it and claims it was he who attacked Mimic, not Silva. They then take photos of the fallen Mimic. This is dragging. Where’s the help? Now Voodoo comes out with a chair and the Victorians leave the ring. Sway comes out with Voodoo’s key to the city. She tells him to take the shot now. Grimm comes out (why not earlier?) and he and Sway have words. Voodoo steps in as well. Voodoo and Sway leave. I guess it’s a no contest. Two storylines – the Voodoo slow burn and the MCW v RCW feud – intersecting nicely. This will lead to some inter-promotional matches that most of us will only see half of, being in another state and all. Interesting in concept, let’s see how it goes with delivery. Match was not too bad, and the storyline did not overtake it until the very end.
The show was an odd one. It wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it certainly was not a show that blew everyone away. Still, the ongoing storylines are interesting, and the way a number of them are intersecting makes it all feel a part of the whole, not anything tacked on for the hell of it. When taken in isolation, it was a good show, but when compared to recent shows it does not hold up as well. Still, next month we have Marvel v Mimic, and that should be friggin’ awesome.