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The Neutral Corner 003 - May 2012


The Neutral Corner - with Chris Dalgleish

May's been a big month in Queensland wrestling since 2007. In 2007 PWAQ held their first show in May (the prestigious Rise of the Warriors) in which Mason Childs made Chris Hero tap out. 2008, Esteban Molina beat Chris Hero in Rise that also saw Trik Davis make his way over from the US as well some of the finest talent in Australia. (Mason also broke his arm that show against Hero in the first round). Rise 2008 was the show that Mark Davis came of age and his match with Hero is still a match I hold in very high regard today. It was also the first show I refereed. 2009 saw the rising of warrior AJ Istria - a product of PWAQ when he defeated previous winners Mason and Esteban as well as the Lance Storm and Bret Hart approved Carlo Cannon. A year later - Seoul defeated Slex, one of New Zealand's finest, the Booker T-trained Roger Ventura, and Shane Haste who's had successful tours of Japan and the US (even wrestling on Ring of Honor's internet pay-per-view against The Briscoe Brothers with Mikey Nicholls) to claim the vacant PWAQ International title. 2011 was the 5th tournament and saw Mason Childs claim the trophy in what was to be his last Rise before retiring at the end of the year.

Enter 2012 and PWA Queensland was to host the sixth Rise of the Warriors tournament - their first real show of the year after taking a six month break (they did the Surf N Ink tattoo convention on the Gold Coast in January though). More on that further down though.

At the end of April Queensland Championship Wrestling held their debut show up in Townsville. Unfortunately I don't have much more detail on that as Townsville's a bit too far north for me.

The first weekend of May saw QCW's southern promotion hold their first show in Nambour on the Sunshine Coast, and while I didn't attend it - reports say it was rather good. Dave Ryland and Cleatus Jones in particular being praised, as well as Jimmy Sparks having a great outing. Same weekend also saw IPW's monthly show on the Gold Coast. I wasn't at this show either and didn't hear too much about it at all unfortunately.

Next weekend was the return of PWAQ and Rise of the Warriors. With the promise of an AV Dangerously promo - how could one resist? The segment can be viewed on their webcast Cyberized (more on that to come). Kyote cut him off and the gist of what he was saying is that AV has no power anymore and PWAQ was to be split into the two 'brands' Smashmouth and Revolution. This may be a minor complaint - but this was presented as a new ruling despite already being outlined via their website and webcasts. While this is great for those that don't follow the web-doings of PWAQ - it doesn't make a great deal of sense continuity wise. Again, a minor complaint.

The Icons took on the Party Rock Nation in the opener for some pre-tournament action. The Icons are new to PWAQ and wrestle in masks. Buck Lewis in a Brisbane Broncos themed mask and Titan Mask in a Gold Coast Titans themed mask wrestled this match with Flyin' Lion Pillman (Queensland Roar) to wrestle in the tournament. They came out successful against Mitch Cutting & David D'Angelos (accompanied by the rest of the party) in a match that wasn't too bad. Titan Mask imparticular looked quite good. David hasn't had a match in some months but you couldn't tell by watching this. The whole Party Rock nation is a pool of overlooked talent (Cutting, D'Angelos, Kahoniz and Haggard) that in a few years should be right up there.

First round of tournament action saw Josh Haze take on Oceania amateur champion Shane Whitehead. This was a real technical battle and showed a side of Haze that I haven't seen before. He is quite good on the mat! Was impressed with Whitehead (who conincidentally is also the Kiwi Pro Wrestling champion in NZ). Despite being mostly mat-based there was an awesome German suplex from the top rope. Haze won and progressed. A year ago he wrestled his brother Joe Haze in round one and lost - seeing his progress since then has been great.

Seoul beat Jack Haggard. This was my favourite match of the night. It can be viewed on the Cyberized webcast. Saw the return of Donnie St Michael who came back to rejoin Seoul. Great stuff. Jade Diamond beat the aformentioned Flyin' Lion Pillman in a good showing. Kyote beat Ben Farrar who's been making strides as a singles wrestler lately. Was nice to see big Kyote back home in PWAQ. The Lance Storm trained Alex Lee inserted herself into the scheduled Storm vs Sara Jay match and managed to claim the women's title. In all honesty - this match was pretty bad. Alex Lee while great on the mic, was pretty awful in the ring.

Mark Davis beat Kelso Kahoniz in a match I was really looking forward to. Both met while training six years ago and hadn't wrestled each other yet. Davis cut a scathing promo on Kelso beforehand. Was quite happy with this match. Slade Mercer beat Matt Bailey in a match that the crowd were right into and a lot of people rated quite highly. It was a brawl that spread around ringside (as most of Slade's PWAQ matches tend to) and wasn't quite up my alley - but I was definitely in the minority. Matt Bailey was met with a much warmer reception here than at PROWL last month.

Hollywood Kiel Steria was billed to take on Mystery. Instead we got the Turbo Wolverine. A protege of 'Australian Wolverine' Mason Childs. This was explained a week later in the webcast with a match that appeared to be a dark match on night one. I was outside at the time and would've been nice if a match that had ramifications were actually announced prior to the show - or at very least the fact there would be a dark match announced. You can watch Mystery vs SebMax on Cyberized (which was actually quite good) where Kelso Kahoniz has stolen the Mystery gimmick and Turbo Wolverine (aka the real Mystery) runs in to save Storm and Seb and unmasks Kelso. Good angle. Would've been better had someone announced there was a match on.

Main event saw PWAQ 'World' Champion Steve Moore take on Marcus Kool with the added stakes of his 'world' title being on the line. Kool got a clean pinfall but a Farrar (if I recall correctly) put his foot on the rope afterwards and managed to persuade referee Matty T that it was there the whole time. Of course Matty resumed the match and managed to ignore Kool's foot on the rope while counting a Moore pinfall. Poor form Matty T! This is actually an interesting continuation on something they did in their last shows of 2011 where Deacon Star (now Mitch McCarthy) was screwed out of winning the then International title from Moore by poor refereeing. Luckily PWAQ (and QCW) have picked up PROWL referee 'Ref Ryan' so that should take some of the stress off Matty so he should be able pick his act up! Why I'm covering this outrageous story and Andrew Venables' isn't I have no idea... However I digress and move onto night two!

The show started with Steve Moore coming out and cutting a promo. Didn't last overly long before Jade Diamond's music hit and I decided to duck out for a beer. I came back and Diamond's music was still playing with Steve Moore on the ground. Diamond ended Steve Moore's yearlong undefeated streak in the time it took the Club Chermside staff to pour me a SuperDry... (and advanced in the tournament).

Mark Davis beat Josh Haze in quite a good match. Davis's Party Rock inspired rainbow psychadelic tights and Josh's Freddie Mercury-esque moustache were the real stars of this match though. To the point of duelling chants! 'Let's go moustache' and 'Let's go rainbow'. Davis advanced and he was my pick to win it all. Slade Mercer beat Kyote in one of my favourite genres of match. The BIG BOY BATTLE~! Slade was my second pick to take the tournament. Kiel Steria beat Seoul in a match that was made infinitely better by the presence of Donnie St Michael. The Farrars (or The British Revolution as they prefer to be called in PWAQ) put their belts on the line against D'Angelos and Cutting from the Party Rock Nation, Buck and Titan Mask from the Icons and Renegade & SebMax. Seb shone in this match and he's starting to come out of his shell as a wrestler. While some people don't rate him due to his size and look (previously I had been one of them) - he really pulled it out and shone over the other seven guys here. The crowd recognised this too and he was heavily favoured. Party Rock Nation ended the Farrars reign of dominance in the Queensland tag scene and can now apparantly use the old Freebird rule. I'm not going to explain what that is and neither did PWAQ! Though it is a common term for wrestling fans, some explanation wouldn't hurt.

And speaking of explanation I'm now going to outline my biggest complaint for the show! Lack of explanation. Where I was sitting I was surrounded by a reasonably 'smart' group of fans (some having industry ties like being promoters) and I had to explain what was a tournament match and what wasn't. Made only possibly by my superior coverage of the Queensland scene (and the fact I was there the night before). Nothing was explained by the ring announcer. It was as if night one never happened. Something to work on for sure.

Storm & the recently renamed Brandy Couture (aka IPW Hall of Famer Brandy Alexander) took on new champ Alex Lee & Sara Jay in a tag match. Crowd was quite into this and was a better showing for Alex. Degenerated a bit at the end into a bit of a messy brawl though. Storm is technically Queensland's best woman wrestler. Wouldn't be surprised if she ends up being successful overseas in the future.

The Turbo Wolverine beat Harley Baker (accompanied by Sammy Lee Shayder) and Kelso Kahoniz (accompanied by a small army) to become the first PWAQ Southern Cross title. Probably should point out this a new title to PWAQ and has no ties to the Southern Cross title previously defended in promotions like SWA in NSW and at a PWAQ show in 2008. Bit of controversy around that. Turbo Wolverine is a proud champion and really is the goods. This was also Harley Baker's best match to that point on his one-year anniversary of wrestling. Thinking on it, I would probably award him 'Rookie of the Year' for 2011 if I did awards. There's also some strong competition from PROWL's Silver Dragon and Rip Rielly too though. This is why I don't do awards!

Matt Bailey beat Marcus Kool to retain his SWA Heavyweight title (Newcastle-based Showtime Wrestling Alliance). I loved this match and it was my favourite of the weekend. A rare face vs face match that was good.

It was down to four - Mark Davis, Kiel Steria and former tag partners Jade Diamond and Slade Mercer. Davis was the first eliminated which was rather shocking. Steria went soon after and it was down Slade and Jade. This was the best I'd seen Jade Diamond. The two were absolutely relentless and showed just how badly they wanted that trophy. (Historically Rise winners received a trophy - though there was no actual trophy this year). Jade Diamond got up and walked away the sixth Rise of the Warriors winner. This entitled him to a title shot at Steve Moore booked for Ipswich Impact 2 the week after.

The week after also held a double header! First up was Sydney-based PWA (once upon a time aligned with PWAQ) making their Queensland debut. They had a show at the Hi-Fi Bar in Brisbane featuring burlesque. The Hi-Fi being a popular venue for music acts - had a sensational lighting and sound setup. The show had to be moved forward an hour (which thankfully was extremely well communicated) due to Prince (yes, worldwide musical superstar Prince) deciding to put on a secret show their after his not-so-secret show at the Entertainment Centre. Advertised main event was Mark Davis defending his PWA Heavyweight title against Ryan Eagles.

Robbie Eagles (who you may remember from PROWL's February show) came out victorious in a four-way against AJ Istria, Steve Moore and Josh Haze. Was a real good match (with four high quality athletes). Robbie did a dive off the bar which impressed the bar staff quite a bit. Being an 18+ show was definitely refreshing as Steve Moore telling people to 'f*** off' while being heckled after losing, really stuck with me. Haze and Istria did quite well too. A great matchup.

Brian Seeker, Jack Haggard and Zero beat Louie Hardwood, Mitch McCarthy and (for some reason) Alex Lee. Not bad, but nothing too special and just felt like a throw together. Bishop Sommers beat Rick Sterling. Rick Sterling was the real winner here after landing a missle dropkick with a beer in his hand.

During the night the burlesque girls had come out between matches and the third came in here. She did her thing and the rest came out for presumeably a triple threat. The Gatecrashers, Sean Kustom and Mick Moretti then came out and gatecrashed it. Slade Mercer and Jade Diamond came out (obviously patching up their differences from the week before) and took Moretti and Kustom on in a tag match. This was a really good old school tag match. Sean Kustom also showed far more personality than last month when he was up for AWA. The Kiwis got the win. Once again, really good match.

The match I'd been sweating on since it had been announced. Mark Davis vs Ryan Eagles, No DQ at an 18+ show. This was pure hardcore goodness. Eagles stabbed Davis in the forehead with two packets of skewers which can't have been pleasant. There were chairs, tables, barbed wire, tacks and staple guns. Thoroughly enjoyable match (though probably not for either man afterwards) and if the event gets a DVD release, would be well worth it.

Also notable was announcer Ruben (the former Corey J Rush) who I believe this was his first night on the mic. Started a touch shaky but by the end of the night really found his feet.

Final show in Queensland for the month was the next night and PWAQ's Ipswich Impact 2. The first Ipswich Impact being in September of last year and save for a great 45 minute draw between Mason Childs and Steve Moore was an absolute bomb of a show. (Farrars vs Slade & Jade and Seoul/Josh Haze deserve a mention too). This was initially supposed to be at the Ipswich Show and as I don't care for convention style shows I had made other plans. Then for whatever reason they got the axe from the Show. So it was then rescheduled to be at Bundamba State Secondary College (their fancy name for Bundamba High). During the week before the show for whatever reason that was not to be a possibilty.

Cue PWAQ Ipswich Impact 2 at the East Ipswich Bowls Club. And a wrestling show that took place on a bowling green because the roof was too low. Great start for their Smashmouth brand. Advertised for this show were Jade Diamond, Mighty Mel, Iron Jay/Ben Coles and Chris Creed (among others). None of those were actually present at the show. And from the report of the show I received, no explanation was given. Very poor form.

From what I heard; Kelso Kahoniz had a great night and is very entertaining, Jack Haggard is the new Queensland champion (a belt that was abandoned), Drew Steel and Harley Baker had a good match, the Farrars split up and Mason Childs came out of retirement to banish Slade Mercer from Queensland. Mason/Slade was a match I was really looking forward to.

AWA were meant to have a show on the 26th, however it was cancelled.

As reported by our partners at NHB Girls - Slade Mercer, Josh Haze, Steve Moore, Kyote and Alex Lee were in a car accident heading down to Newcastle to compete for SWA on the 26th at their annual Clean Slate event. Thankfully no one was hurt.

In the last week of May Slade Mercer boarded a plane England-bound. I look forward to seeing how he does over there and wish nothing but the best for him.

Next month (after a two month break) PROWL heads back to Cleveland and hosts the 'Prowl-a-palooza' extravaganza supershow! Looks to be a real strong card and stands to become the best PROWL show yet. IPW present 'Heroes and Villians' the same night at William Duncan State School in Nerang. The week after you've got QCW's 'Path of Champions' at Nambour. GWE are set to present 'Uproar' on June 16th in Burpengary and PWAQ have the 'SlamMania' weekend at Club Chermside over June 23 and 24. Booked are Steve Moore defending against Josh Haze on the 23rd and then Steve Moore defending against Mark Davis on the 24th.