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The Neutral Corner 001 - March 2012


The Neutral Corner - with Chris Dalgleish

What I aim to do with this column is provide an unbiased opinion on the Queensland wrestling scene. As some of you may be aware - this has proven quite a challenge for some. I'll put it out there straight up, I recently promoted the Ipswich Invasion show for PROWL. But what I'm aiming to do here is to provide an unbiased view of Queensland on the whole. The purpose of this is to highlight some of the great talent we have up here and give you guys a good insight into what we have here. As there were only two shows here this month I'll go into a bit more depth than I plan to in future.

I'll start out with the Impact Pro Wrestling show I attended at the start of the month. This was my third show since they changed the name back in 2007, and second in the last few months. I did however, regularly attend shows back when they were Major Impact Wrestling. I'll be honest, the current product isn't quite as good as the previous. But when the previous product included names like Mason Childs, Kyote, Seoul, Sorrow and more - that's a given.

Onto the show however, The opener was a multi-man match that didn't really gel too well and just seemed like they were trying to put as many guys out there as possible. Unfortunately this was a common theme throughout the night. Next up was a tag match with The Geeks (the gimmick is a good idea) against Gaylord and David Laws. For those unfamiliar - Gaylord is a blatant flaming homosexual character. David Laws is rather camp too, and the pair of them work well as a team. As disturbing as the Gaylord character is - it's entertaining. Next up was women's action with resident veteran Minx taking on Irena Janjic. Irena has just returned to the country after a stint with WWE's former development territory FCW under the name Leah West. I enjoyed the match and Minx did really well to get the crowd involved. There were a few off moments - but on the whole I think the match got across okay.

There was a storyline that Flashman (who's about 4 foot tall) was trying to regain his Cruiserweight title and they took it in a fairly inspirational direction. I was lost when he flipped the bird though. I just don't buy that from a babyface (unless your name's Steve Austin). It looks cheap and lowbrow. The match against Inferno wasn't too bad. The final stretch kept me entertained. Up next was another cram everybody on the card tag match that was forgettable. Then the veteran Ashe against interstate talent Daxon Kage. Match wasn't anything special but it was solid. Something that stood out a bit for the card. RIP beat Fred Awesome (who hasn't quite figured out what exactly his gimmick is - in fact neither really had) for the IPW Heavyweight belt.

Esteban Molina (who came to Australia in 2008 from Puerto Rico) is one of the top talents in this country at the moment. BJ Blade is a Queensland legend who retired at the end of 2008. He came out of retirement for IPW's Reunion show last year and didn't show a bit of rust. Their match for the South Pacific title was quite easily the match of the night. The two had great chemistry and Esteban really fits into the IPW style well. I've seen him wrestle several guys including Chris Hero and his versatility is amazing.

The show on the whole wasn't overly spectacular - but I'll be heading back (and not entirely for the benefit of the website either).

During the month PWA Queensland announced they were dividing into two 'brands' with Andrew 'AV' Venables to run one and his brother Steven to run the other. Steven cut a rather ordinary promo on YouTube that didn't seem to know where it was going. Amusing was the reference to being a PG show thrown in between the swearing. Honestly I'm not fussed on the brand splitting idea or WWE copycat booking. I'm definitely not alone in thinking the PWA Queensland name has been taken out back and shot...

This past weekend - PROWL put on 'A Matter of Pride' with number one contender Josh Haze finally challenging Warship for the PROWL Heavyweight title. Unfortunately Warship had undergone surgery recently and wasn't able to make the show. Instead we were treated to his cousin Matt Bailey. Matt is impressive. Matt is fricken huge! Unfortunately the average fan didn't get a great explanation as to who Matt Bailey was - and I think the confusion marred the match a little. Not to take anything away from either guy and their efforts though.

I've started in the wrong spot - but I'll jump back to the dark match now between Chris Creed and Sammy Li-Zwei (aka Sammy Lee Shayder). This was Creed's fourth match and first singles match. The kid is amazing! He will be a future star in Queensland for sure. Mitch Cutting then came out for a match with veteran Dean Draven which was ended pretty quickly by interference from the Party Rock Nation. The match then evolved into a tag match after Harley Baker made the save. This was the first time I saw Draven and he really worked well in the match. His Chris Benoit tribute lariats are nice and he broke a record for 'Loudest Chop I've Ever Heard' on Kelso Kahoniz. In a state with Mason Childs and Mark Davis as well as frequent visits from Blakestone in a past era - that's saying something!

Kelso Kahoniz is another great talent that gets overlooked often. He is a small guy - but last month at Ipswich Invasion (good show by the way) he shone in a ten-man gauntlet match. Definitely another one to watch.

Up next was the obscenely underrated 'Showtime' Jake Nova against Rip Rielly. Rielly was fresh off (what I thought was) a great match with Slade Mercer and a screwjob by former House of Frost stablemate Nova and Greg Prowse's Pride of the Nation group. This match was revenge and was a pretty match. Rielly himself has said it was one of the best matches he's had.

The ladies had a go next with Storm continuing her unbeaten streak against a State of Origin inspired, NSW's Baby Devine. The two have had matches in PWAQ before - but this was a first time meeting for PROWL. This was the best match I've seen them have together. Storm is over as all hell and just as entertaining.

The Farrars (with the rest of the Pride) beat the young hot highflying duo of Mystery and Silver Dragon. I love watching Mystery and Silver Dragon. The Farrars currently hold tag titles in PROWL and PWAQ. The post-match looked like a set up for Mystery vs Jake Nova which will be fantastic if it happens.

Slade Mercer beat Steve Moore in one of the best local matches I've ever seen. For the unfamiliar Slade is a big bad Kiwi and Steve Moore is a scientific heel that is extremely irritating. Everything about this match just gelled perfectly. The big face vs the small heel is a difficult dynamic - but they pulled it off sensationally. If the event gets a DVD release - this match alone is worth it!

Haze and Bailey slotted in here before a nice street fight between Mark Davis and Mitch McCarthy. Mitch has been around for ten years wrestling under the names 'The Kid' and 'Deacon Star'. Davis in the last five years has progressed from a goofy rookie into one of the best wrestlers in Australia. The fight was brutal with action spilling out of the building. Both guys were bleeding and the damage bill was pretty high for the match. Broken chairs, a broken table, a banged up street sign and part of the entrance set up destroyed. Davis won with a piledriver onto said piece of entrance that looked quite brutal.

PROWL is a company that goes from strength to strength and each event shows improvement. IPW still seems to be stuck in a rebuilding phase from the birth of PWAQ and talent exodus last year. I am often confused about the direction of PWAQ - though their sixth Rise of the Warriors tournament in May should be worth watching. So far signed are Matt Bailey and Mystery.

Next month you've got IPW on the 7th at Ashmore down the coast, Global Wrestling Entertainment's debut show on the 14th in Burpengary featuring a lot of PWAQ and PROWL talent - and a match between Jade Diamond and Mark Davis for the vacant belt, as well Australian Wrestling Alliance returning with a two-day event on the 28th and 29th with a No Disqualification match between champion Mark Davis and Esteban Molina as well as former WWE star Paul London!

Let me know what you think of the column via our Facebook page. Until next time - support Australian wrestling!