It's been a while.
For those of you who've been waiting for my monthly two cents worth - I do apologise. I've had other commitments outside of wrestling that are eating up a lot of my spare time, and unfortunately restricting the amount of shows I can go to. The column will change from it's monthly review format - I'll be posting a bit more sporadically. To anyone who misses my feedback, . However a lot has happened since the last column so I think we'll have my two cents plus some interest!
Firstly - the biggest story of the last few months is probably the closure of PWA Queensland after five years. This is something that was surprising. Back in December I had said privately (and quite cynically) that it would be closed in six months. I was actually only two months off, and considering the lack of shows between January and May - I'd call that a correct tip. Don't get me wrong, I am saddened by the closure as I do have a lot of memories with the promotion. From discovering the debut show with the Rise of the Warriors tournament and Chris Hero just in time to make arrangements to watch it - to starting my wrestling training and being taught by Chris Hero, Shadow Phoenix as well as resident trainers Mason Childs and Esteban Molina. My brief six month refereeing career. The promotion also did a lot for the state and even country, with the amount of talent that has gone through there. In mid-2010 promoter Mason Childs sold to Andrew Venables (who's statement on the closure I've posted in the news section). Mid 2010 was also the time I came back to wrestling after a two year sabbatical. From what I saw things were in a worse state with PWAQ than when I disappeared during the company's prime. I came back to a very good Rise of the Warriors tournament (Rise V), a woeful show in Ipswich (which did have a very good 45 minute draw between Mason and Steve Moore, as well as Josh Haze and Seoul in a sleeper hit), an October cancellation, the Queensland leg of the mess that was the Luke Gallows tour, Mason's retirement match which was a pearler of a match on an otherwise ordinary show, a convention show and then a four month break.
They came back in May this year for the sixth Rise tournament and split into two brands. The "Revolution" shows were steady and I was actually getting into them in recent months. They were booking some really good matches and had some really intriguing storylines going. Then there was the "Smashmouth" shows which from all reports were awful. I never actually made it to one personally. Which brings to another issue that no one seemed to think about. Oversaturation. All in all though, I think the main cause of the closure was the politics. The fact that it appeared the promotion made no money may have contributed too. (Crowds of 70ish for an international must do something to the budget). The booking was done by Mason Childs, the promoting was done by Andrew Venables. In that sort of arrangement, on this scale - any conflict or counterproductivity can easily tear things apart.
Secondly - a week later, PROWL went on hiatus. I actually refereed the PROWL show the weekend PWAQ closed and have been involved in some of the management and creative process. Another reason why I've been hesitant to do another Neutral Corner - because that position really jeapordises the "Neutral" concept. However as a rational human being I think I can manage to remain objective. The reason given by promoter Greg Prowse was personal health. PROWL should be back in the near future though. The last show was received to mixed feedback. Highlights included my refereeing (hang on, objective...), Steele and Creed vs Mitch Cutting and David D'Angelos, AJ Istria vs (The) Chad Skyze and Warship vs Josh Haze. Josh ended Warship's 11 month reign as PROWL Heavyweight Champion. Warship beat Mason Childs for the belt and has defended it against names like Jade Diamond, Del Taurino, Mystery and Crazy Train across Queensland and Western Australia. The Hulk title was vacated to The Maniac being injured. Kyote defeated Mike Massive for it after Massive qualified by beating Rip Rielly earlier in the night. Storm also remained undefeated as she beat Michelle Hasluck.
AWA also ran their show 'Hasta La Vista' in June in which Jesse Daniels defeated Esteban Molina for the AWA Heavyweight title. This is Jesse's first title. The show was to be Esteban's last in Queensland as he returned to the United States after calling Australia home for a few years. From that show - special mention must go to Storm vs Harley Wonderland. Easily the best women's match I've seen live.
GWE have been running studio tapings for their upcoming show on Briz 31 community television and as I type this - they have done two. The product looks to be really well put together and I am quite impressed. Last night I only caught the latter half of the show and I was blown away. I won't give too much away because they are tapings and should be airing at some point in the future, but I definitely recommend making the trip for them. While Bundamba (Ipswich) is a great position for me - understandably not so much for most Queensland wrestling fans. From what I've heard their training school is also very good and definitely worth getting into for the budding wrestler or even the experienced wrestler with nothing to do since two promotions closed down.
In other news - this Thursday (the 30th) WWE will be touring and running in Brisbane.