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The Neutral Corner 002 - April 2012

The Neutral Corner - with Chris Dalgleish

April's been a big month for wrestling up here in Queensland. We've seen stalwart promotion IPW continue down on the Gold Coast, the much anticipated debut of Global Wrestling Entertainment up near Caboolture and the long-awaited return of the formerly Caboolture-based Australian Wrestling Alliance, promoting their first show in Brisbane. Interesting though is the lack of presence from major players PROWL and PWAQ.

I'll kick it off as the month did with Impact Pro Wrestling. They kicked off with a hair vs hair match between Viper and Bronson Hoye for the Leukemia Foundation's Shave for a Cure drive that took place last month. If Viper were to lose, he would've lost the mask and (assuming he had some) hair. Not a bad match, Hoye lost and was groomed. I don't mind Bronson Hoye, he looks like he's got potential!

Blackjack beat Jackaroo in a match that featured the Aussie vs Foreigner dynamic hallmark of IPW. Cruz vs Jonathan Link was up next, and was quite hard-hitting. Match ended when IPW alumnus and MMA shootfighter Nick Burns interfered and attacked Cruz. Cruz and Burns will face off next month on the 5th. This was what I gathered anyway, the audio system is not great at all. The Geeks beat Shorty and Flashman in a reasonable tag match. This was a nice contrast to the last show's multi-man mash-up match because I actually got a proper look at The Geeks. They're a good team and I hope they stick around for a while. Flashman was again at it flipping the bird as a face - my pet hate. Though he is very good at working a crowd, so I don't think it actually takes anything away - I just don't like it.

Angus McTavish beat Inferno to win the Cruiserweight title in a reasonable match. Slammin Sam beat Poison, Kiwi Thriller beat the Heavyweight Champion RIP to become number one contender to Skhorn's Hardcore title. Ashe beat Reaper in a battle of the undead. Esteban Molina & Jesse Daniels beat Skhorn and Wolfman in what I'd have to say was the best tag match I've seen on Australian soil. Daniels and Molina worked really well together, channelling the Midnight Rockers. The match was well structured and quite exciting. Big kudos to all four guys and especially Daniels & Molina who shone.

The next week was the debut of GWE! Run by former-Victorians Trent Whatman and Wade Brewer, a lot of Australia was looking forward what the two could produce. The show was very well produced and had a bigger budget than most other local shows. Lighting was real nice. They had a video screen with title cards for each wrestler which added so much to the show, especially being the debut show it served to introduce the wrestlers in a unique way. The only problem with the production was the smoke machine. The machine was producing far more smoke than the ventilation of the building could cope with so everytime someone made an entrance there was a distinct haze hanging around for the next five minutes.

PWAQ and PROWL tag team champion Ben Farrar tried his hand at flying solo against singles debutant Drew Steel! Quite an enjoyable match from the untested. If things ever go sour with Jon, I think Ben Farrar could make a real impact wrestling singles. Drew Steel won with a rollup. What was interesting is that the show started with the singing of the national anthem. Ben Farrar came up and tried the British national anthem. Was nice.

Mystery beat Kelso Kahoniz. Mystery's entrance was extra smokey so the match was hard to see. I didn't think this was the best match they've had, but wasn't bad by any stretch. Big reactions for both of them! The crowd was actually quite into the show all night which was refreshing. Up next was the debut of 'The Vanity Lounge' with Sara Jay. This was pretty awful. Guest was Alex Lee (the former Irena/Leah West) and served the purpose of setting up a future match between the two, but it was just difficult to watch. Good idea, that didn't seem to be executed quite so well. Slade Mercer beat Josh Haze to become number one contender to the winner of Jade Diamond vs Mark Davis.

Young Chase Johnson (aka Chris Creed) took on Steve Moore. Moore is PWAQ champion, but he is still underrated. Johnson looked really good and you'll find more of my opinion on him in last month's column. Moore however... he is one of the best wrestlers in Queensland. Had a great match with Slade Mercer last month, a great one against Josh Haze the month before. Great matches with Deacon Star and Mason Childs at the end of last year as well. Just recently made his debut at PWA Australia in Sydney teaming with Tama Williams. Though Williams and Moore lost against Hootie and the Brofish... Moore is one for you interstate fans to keep an eye on.

Jade Diamond beat Mark Davis to become the first Global World Champ. Not overly fond of titles being called World titles unless they are legitimately defended in other countries. The match wasn't too bad, but it wasn't my cup of tea. Diamond was over as all hell, not hurt at all by Davis's great heel work. Slade come out to set up the match at the next show on the 16th.

PROWL was meant to do a show on April 21st but it was cancelled. PROWL had announced earlier this year they'd be moving from a bi-monthly to monthly format starting with Ipswich Invasion in February. They've since decided the more spaced out format is preferred and are billing their shows as Supershows. They've also announced a partnership with the Terrace Cafe at Cleveland, which has resulted in some awesome cappaccino art. Check out either's Facebook page. Next show is June 2 featuring champion Warship travelling over from Western Australia and South Australia's masked Del Taurino, as well as New South Wales' Tama Williams. Michelle Hasluck is also making her way over from WA to back up Baby Devine in her ongoing feud with Storm.

Speaking of Storm, she travelled to All Action Wrestling in Perth to defeat Imogen Jane and win the AAW Women's title. She also holds the PWAQ Women's title.

After not putting on a show since November, AWA made a much anticipated return on the 28th (and 29th) with a double header, the second show featuring Paul London who has spent the month doing the rounds of Australia. Opener saw Mitch McCarthy (entering to Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Call Me Maybe') take on the under-appreciated Rick Sterling. Both guys have great charisma and had good chemistry. Esteban Molina and Mark Davis put on a fairly good promo too to build up their main event match.

Mighty Mel beat Minx in what I thought was a pretty good match. Though I can understand others opinions differing to mine. The thing that made this match were the little things. Mel managed to get across a whole character based purely on her body language. Add in the experience of Minx and her ability to make paint dry interesting, and the two put on a match that I really enjoyed. While Mel won, Minx destroyed her post-match and while waiting for the doors to open on Sunday, she was limping across the foyer. Great stuff!

AJ Istria beat Chris Achilles, but Achilles was the real winner here. This was his debut singles match and honestly, it's the best debut match I've seen. Also happened to be the best Istria match I've seen. This match was exactly what you expect from a guy calling himself the 'Ultimate Athlete'. It was the purest WRESTLING match I've seen live. The two were going hold-for-hold and it was just awesome. Achilles brought out his hold - the Achilles Heel - which is apparantly an old collegiate wrestling hold. It's a single leglock rolled through into a single leg crab. Has to be seen to be believed (mainly because I forgot the technical name for it and can't reference it). He pulled it out the next day and defeated the returning boy band superstar Corey J Rush in what was also a standout match. The guy can wrestle!

Spaceboy Dacey beat Slade Mercer to retain the AWF Young Lions belt. Zero beat Sean Kustom in a pretty flashy match. 'As seen on TV' Iron Jay Benny Coles beat Jack Tasman and Johnny Lukas in a decent match. This was the first time I've seen Iron Jay live and he's got an awesome look. Esteban beat Davis to win the belt back in a brutal match that was thoroughly enjoyable with a sick ladder bump by Esteban. They ran a storyline with AWA owner Stephen Sicily (the former Mario) reffing the match and trying to screw Esteban. I thought it was a bit unnecessary - but it did work!

Second day, Achilles beat Rush, Minx ended up besting Mighty Mel in the rematch, Sterling beat Kustom, Slade beat Josh Haze in what I thought was the best match the two have had this month. Johnny Lukas beat Spaceboy in a match that didn't make a lot of sense, but was well wrestled. The intrepid traveller (and general goof) Paul London ended up winning a four-way elimination with Esteban, Davis and Istria. Highlights from this were Istria consulting a book on holds, some solid stuff from Davis and London and some awesome lucha between London and Esteban. Unfortunately Jesse Daniels interfered and the ending was a bit screwy - but it was entertaining.

Next month, we've got QCW's South Queensland debut at Nambour on the Sunny Coast on the 5th as well as IPW with Nick Burns vs Cruz (I think) also on the 5th. Week after is PWAQ's Rise of the Warriors at Chermside on the 13th and 14th. (Don't forget Mother's Day on the 15th!). PWA Australia come up from Sydney to do a show at the Hi-Fi bar on the 18th, PWAQ then tries out the Ipswich market again on the 19th at Bundamba. Followed by AWA on the 28th. Then Prowl's supershow the week after on the 2nd of June!

This is only the second Neutral Corner column, but I'll be doing a special edition shortly reflecting back on the history of the Rise of the Warriors tournaments! Don't forget to leave some feedback and continue to support local wrestling!