Early tomorrow evening is going to be bittersweet as an Australian Wrestling fan. PWA Black Label has assembled one of the best cards in Australian professional wrestling, period. But we will also be farewelling two fantastic members of the Australian professional wrestling’s ranks (albeit it for fantastic reasons) in the form of Jonah Rock and Diego Retamales. Both Jonah and Diego are chasing their dreams overseas and I along with everyone wish them all the best and hope they achieve all they set out to do, but do forgive me if I get a little teary at the thought of saying goodbye. Enough being sappy for the moment, let’s have a look at this tremendous card and what we we might expect from PWA (or maybe just how wrong I am when it comes to predictions) in what might just be its biggest year yet.
Matty Wahlberg vs Jimmy Havoc
If you talk about 2018 in Australian professional wrestling and you come anywhere near New South Wales, you have to mention Matty Wahlberg in the conversation for wrestler of the year. In fact he received that prestigious honour from almost all of the promotions he worked for. Why? Because he brought it. He brought it on the microphone, he brought it with his look and most importantly he brought it in the ring. He held major titles in almost all the organisations he worked for in 2018, however PWA’s title has alluded him. For now… 2019 appears to be the next step in his plan for national domination and the PWA Championship will play a huge part in him achieving this goal. But he is going to have to take on the best on offer to get there. And the first wrestler he meets in PWA this year will bring with him an incredible challenge in Jimmy Havoc and a no disqualification match. Jimmy Havoc is synonymous with no disqualification, hardcore and death matches, winning CZW’s tournament of death XVI along with holding the defiant hardcore championship. The King of Goths has bled far more than most and has even had his own blood used by Spike Trivet in the name of the art. The point is Jimmy is willing to put it all on the line and that is what scares most of his opponents, but if Matty Wahlberg’s INCREDIBLE promo is anything to go by, he is unafraid and is actually revelling in the opportunity to “Bully” Jimmy Havoc. This will be a fantastic match, that will show off the versatility of Wahlberg and in this writer’s opinion, put him within striking distance of the PWA championship after he the victory over Havoc here.
Prediction: Matty Wahlberg
PWA Tag Team Championship - The Four Nations (Jack J Bonza and Mick Moretti) vs Juan Direction
When Diego announced this event at the conclusion of Friday’s are for the BABES (A fantastic event available on PWAPLAY.com) during the kerfuffle involving the number one contenders and the current tag team champions (and Colosseum tournament finalists), this was the first match announced. Jack J Bonza and Mick Moretti had defeated their high level opponents in Paris De Silva and Unsocial Jordan and already had eyes on the Colosseum tournament final at the Fight for Black Metal event. But number one contenders Juan Direction had been impatiently waiting and were unable to waiting any longer, demanding their match occur instead of the Colosseum final! Thankfully there was one event before the final and the Four Nations stablemates have to put the tournament final preparations on hold for now to battle the hungry number one contenders. Juan Direction are a highly entertaining tag team (or stable) who are often written off, but it is always done at that person’s downfall. They are as crafty as they are entertaining, taking advantage of each and every opportunity gifted to them, pulling the old switch-a-roo when the referee and their opponents have been occupied on more than one occasion. They had to defeat the physically gifted BABES to get here, so you know they are more than deserving of being in this position. BUT. They are taking on a highly efficient and effective tag team in Jack J Bonza and Mick Moretti, with both men proving time and time again whether it be in singles competition or as one of the many combinations of the Four Nations in tag team action, they are the best wrestlers in Australia and if you do have any doubts in this regard, you simply need to look at their resume, defeating Moustache Mountain (Tyler Bate and Trent Seven) followed by victories in two mesmerising contests again the Velocities just last year (again both available on PWAplay.com). A lot of people are predicting shenanigans in this match and the Four Nations falling to Juan Direction due to the two colosseum finalists being unable to work together with the prize of the beautiful “Black Metal” on their mind (and the title of best grappler in Australia of course). Despite hints that this might be the case with the pair having some heated interactions as of late, you cannot discount the cohesiveness of this unit and the focus that the Four Nations members bring to each and everyone of their contests often outwitting the most craftiest of opponents (take Moretti with Unsocial Jordan). I am looking for the Four Nations to retain here, with a potential dream battle with Mikey Broderick and TMDK on the cards once the Colosseum tournament is in the rear view mirror.
Prediction: Jack J Bonza and Mick Moretti
Shazza McKenzie vs Tree Hugger Luchi
Shazza McKenzie would feel extremely motivated heading to this match I am sure. In a back stage moment involving PWA champion Caveman Ugg and PWA tag champions Mick Moretti and most notably Jack J Bonza, Shazza McKenzie’s PWWA championship and therefore her championship credentials was played down due to restriction of the PWWA championship, the lack of credible challengers for said championship and the fact that ANY wrestler can challenge for the PWA championship and PWA Tag Team Championships. Jack J Bonza stated that until Shazza wins that PWA championship, she cannot be referred to as a true champion of PWA. These words no doubt will have lit a fire inside Shazza McKenzie who after hanging with Caveman Ugg in their 5 way encounter at Fridays are for the BABES, will be looking to get a match with Ugg with the title on the line. The first step to getting there is stringing some wins together and her first opportunity to get a win will be against Tree Hugger Luchi. Luchi has not had the greatest deal of success as of the late and his biggest motivation at this point appears to be cleaning up the PWA which he seems to believe will be achieved through beating out rival Big Fudge to the new position of sanitation commissioner (with an election date to be announced soon!). But perhaps I am looking at this the wrong way. Maybe Luchi knows how important the win is here to his campaign and will stop at nothing to win. This is an intriguing match and I look for Shazza’s ChocBlockers partner Big Fudge to get involved here, potentially costing Shazza the win this time.
Winner: Tree Hugger Luchi
Full Force Mat Rogers vs Kai Drake
I rate Kai Drake. I really do and predict big things in the future for the Dragon heart. But Full Force Mat Rogers is a scary man who wipes out anybody that gets in his way. Kai Drake stood and traded bombs with Caveman Ugg which was super impressive and I don’t expect him to back down against Mat Rogers either. However I just think Mat Rogers will be too much for Kai Drake on this evening and Mat Rogers will get the win. I am expecting another Velocities recruitment attempt as they have been looking for the size and power to go with their speed and high flying prowess or perhaps Concrete Davidson as mentioned on the B Plus Podcast will try and recruit Concrete Davidson to the Black Shirt Cool Group (don’t change the name Conco!). Or perhaps they see the potential in Dragonheart? Time will tell.
Prediction: Full Force Mat Rogers
Gavin McGavin vs Paris De Silva vs Adam Hoffman vs Jax Jordan
EPW Champion Gavin McGavin brings the Gavin vs Australia tour to Max Watts tomorrow night and has been placed into a very interesting fatal four way, featuring one of PWA’s most talked about top prospects, one of it’s hard nosed experienced veterans and a wrestler who is looking to regroup and rebuild in 2019 in Jax Jordan. Let me tell you this match is far more important than it may seem on paper. Each person needs this win and will be doing all in their power to get it. Gavin is out to prove he is the best in Australia and the real wrestler is certainly on the path to proving that, with a win here against a highly regarded prospect, one of NSW’s most experienced and best and a hungry young lion (see what I did there), going a long way to helping him conquer the NSW part. But it is easier said than done. Paris De Silva is in a bit of a predicament after falling to Jack J Bonza in the colosseum tournament. There is no doubt of the talent and heart of this young man, but much like his Velocities teammates Jude ‘The Dude’ London and Mat Diamond, he has not been able to win the big one. He too needs this win to get himself back on the horse and headed back towards the PWA championship picture and a win over Gavin McGavin certainly puts him well and truly there. Adam Hoffman would still be smarting from his last title match with Caveman Ugg and I’m sure he would love the opportunity to have another shot at the PWA gold and prove that with the right preparation and not having a battle royale beforehand, he could defeat the Caveman champion. Jax Jordan after falling to Matty Wahlberg at Friday’s are for the BABES was absolutely shattered as he headed to the back, questioning with PWA’s Heather whether he was enough, whether this was for him. Well it is 2019 and effectively is a clean slate for the Party Boy. If he can get the win here, this would provide a monumental boost in his confidence and might just be the high he is looking for to get himself back on track. The man has the talent, he just lacks the confidence. This one for me is particularly tough to pick (all the matches are tough though to be fair - look how many I got wrong last time), as all in the match have strong motivations heading into this one. SO I’m going to roll the dice and go with Jax Jordan for this bout and will get a huge win that might give the man a reason to hit the clubs post show (or at least have a smile on his face).
Prediction - Jax Jordan
Jonah Rock vs Robbie Eagles vs Adam Brooks.
Wow. When this match was announced it blew my mind and as I right this I can feel the butterflies in my stomach. The “G3” (as they have been calling themselves) all together in a triple threat match. Jonah’s final NSW appearance. Robbie Eagles on a tear at the moment. The GLOAT recently holding the MCW Inter-Commonwealth title again. These three wrestlers are at the peak of their powers and on paper this is a contender for match of the year in January. Each of them on their day, wins this match. the only advantage I see is that PWA is Robbie Eagles’ home promotion. Sorry AJ Styles, but PWA is Robbie Eagles house and that might just be the edge that gives Robbie Eagles the win over the GLOAT and the King of Monsters. You don’t need me to rattle off the credentials of these three men. You don’t even need me to hype this contest up. You just need to turn up and cheer the house down for three of the greatest wrestlers in Australian professional wrestling history. If you are not there and you could have been, you are bloody well mad.
Prediction - Robbie Eagles
Before I finish this article and implore you to buy the remaining tickets and sell the joint out, I just wanted to touch on a few things:
Diego Retamales - Diego thank you so much for all the enjoyment you have given me watching PWA. Your banter, your enthusiasm and your dance moves are just a few of the reasons you are so beloved by the PWA community as a whole. I will miss not being able to see you ride the wave of the live shows and checking out your reactions to see if you were as impressed or gobsmacked as me, but who knows maybe I see you pop up on a TV Show, Film or in a hell even in a wrestling ring in the future. Best of Luck for the next stage in your life and if you have as much passion for it as you do for Wrestling, I have no doubt it/you will be a resounding success.
Jonah Rock - I could not be happier for you as you chase your dreams and I am sure you will be a roaring success. The whole world needs to see how devastating your diet of chops, lariats and brain busters can be to the health of your opponents and if the rumours are true, they won’t have to wait long at all. Long live the King of Monsters and I am glad I get to hear you come out to Death Grips “Guillotine” one last time at Max Watt’s and put my claw up with you!
Madison Eagles - Madison was scheduled to compete against Michael Spencer at this event in a no rope breaks match, but unfortunately will be unable to due to nagging injuries that need her attention. I like everyone else in the Australian wrestling community wish her all the best with her recovery and look forward to seeing her at her devastating best when the time is right. Take care Madison.
So there you have it, my preview of a wonderful card that has been put together by the team at PWA and I think it is safe to say that tomorrow night is going to kick off an incredible year for PWA Black Label, arguably the best promotion in Australia right now. If you have not got a ticket yet, you need to get one and be there and whilst only mezzanine spots remain, PWA themselves recommend the location as the best spot in the venue to watch their events and hey isn’t the dress circle the best place to watch the opera as opposed to the stalls? Come say good bye to Diego and Jonah and hello to PWA’s biggest year yet!
Hope to see you there.
Facebook: @pandrwrestling - https://www.facebook.com/pandrwrestling