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VCW on NITV Episode 1 Review

VULCAN CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING
DECEMBER 18 2021 (TAPED JUL 20 2019.)
MARRICKVILLE, NSW, AUSTRALIA
AIRED ON NITV
REPORT BY JRH, PARTS UNKNOWN PRESS

This week Vulcan Championship Wrestling made there TV debut on NITV… AND GOD, WHAT AN EXPERIENCE IT WAS~! Before we get into the show though, I should note that in a very Outback Championship Wrestling/Battle Championship Wrestling kind of way, this show was taped ages ago back in July 2019. The matches on this show are the last 3 matches on a card put together by VCW.

As the show kicks off, we get an 80s intro that is definitely and After Effects template. I know this because I’ve seen it a lot, and when you do a google search for “80s intro” something in that style is the first thing to pop up. The intro shows us a group of wrestlers, Vulcan (the guy who runs the promotion and trains a lot of people) and our host Which Way Gray (NITV’s own Grayson McCarthy-Grogan). Apparently it is gonna be a battle for the title, something that isn’t mentioned outside of the intro.

After the intro plays, Which Way Gray introduces us to Vulcan Championship Wrestling and tells us about our main event tonight before throwing to pre-match interviews for our first match between Chris Trance (a Melbourne-based wrestler who got his start in 2007, mostly wrestling for PCW) and Grimm The Viking (most known as Grimm or Matt Basso, mostly working in SA’s Riot City Wrestling).

In an interview with Trance, Chris says he will make Grimm just another victim of the TrancePlant. Grimm says his chances seem pretty good to him and that he is “Goddamn great”! God, Grimm is such a great promo. If how things seem so far makes you feel excited for the rest of the show, well just you wait.

Chris Trance vs Grimm The Viking

Onto our first match, and onto the begining of the really strange production decisions. For some reason, they decided to do live venue commentary that the crowd can hear, featuring two guys we aren’t introduced to, or given an on screen graphic for! I have a burning hatred for live, in-venue commentary as it is a big pet peeve, but them playing that as the show commentary on their TV debut only makes me hate it more. You can pair that with the odd way they decided to show entrances. For some reason they play the entrances, but instead of showing them in full they play part of them, then skip to another part of the entrance and then to another. Think about how entrances were in No Mercy or the early SmackDown games on PS2. Great for decade old video games, not good for a wrestling TV show. Like, why couldn’t they simply do the PWG thing and cut the entrances? FUCK!

I’m sorry, this review is gonna be a lot of me complaining about stuff not in-ring related. Anyway, the match starts with a stare-down and some mean shoves. Some decent action to start, as to be expected with who is wrestling, but it is very hard to pay attention when you have to goofs on commentary cracking stupid jokes. Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against commentators cracking jokes. There is a huge difference between Excalibur making a joke in PWG or with Taz in AEW while still doing a great job calling the action. These lads just babble on inanely about random shit to pop themselves. Maybe they are doing that to pop the crowd, since they can hear every word? The only thing is, the crowd don’t seem to give a shit about their stupid jokes and references. In fact, I feel like some of the crowd audio might be piped in. I could be wrong, since the audio quality isn’t great, even compared to other local promotions. Fuck me though, all I can hear during random points is a loud roar that doesn’t match with the amount of fans I’m seeing that occasionally goes away. Adding to this theory is the fact that when they cut to the crowd every 3-seconds nobody they show seems remotely interested in anything going on.

Anyway, Trance does some offence for a bit before Grimm throws some nice clotheslines and misses an elbow. Grimm eventually does a top rope choke which looks snug and then goes for a dive before being hit in the dick by Trance’s legs. There’s a big superplex that gets a massive pop as they cut to a group of people who don’t give a shit in the crowd. Trance tries to finish Grimm off, but Grimm counters with a nice gourdbuster. Grimm then gets a nice running boot for the win at 4:25.

Some very decent action by two very competent wrestlers, hurt by shitty commentary, audio and production decisions.

Rating – **

Prolifik The Gifted vs Darius Vega

We come back from the commercial break and throw to the pre-match interviews for our next match, Prolifik The Gifted vs Darius Vega. I’m not too familiar with Prolifik, although from what I can tell, he is the promoters son and trained by him, seemingly wrestling mostly in VCW. He is also apparently a DJ and producer, which is pretty neat. His opponent Darius Vega is a Fale Dojo student (after initial training from Vulcan) who’s only experience in NJPW is two Australia tour matches in 2019. Outside of that he has mostly been wrestling in Fale Dojo matches and in VCW. So this match is a pairing of two home-trained students.

In the interviews, Prolifik says he is gonna shut Vega up. Vega says he doesn’t care about Prolifik and says he wants his attention since he just debuted for the second biggest promotion on the planet. Now, if this promo was recorded when the match was, sure. NJPW was still firing on something decent in 2019. Even if Vega hadn’t wrestled for NJPW since the Australian tour, but still, he did debut for them. If this was recorded closer to the airing of the TV show, it makes zero sense. NJPW isn’t exactly hot right now and you haven’t wrestled for them in 2 years. Sure, pandemic and whatnot but come on!

Anyway, wrestling. Entrances are again weirdly edited. Watching these entrances ads to my theory that at least some of the crowd audio is piped in. The commentators talk about Vega being a New Japan Dojo guy, which is technically true since Fale Dojo is affiliated with New Japan. Some basic but solid action to start, as you would expect from two guys trained by a former Malenko trainee, one of who has spent time in a NJPW affiliate dojo. This match was even worse with the constant cutting to the crowd and the commentators than the last match! Every fucking move, we cut to some bored person in the crowd and then to the two commentary geeks! Even worse, it is at this point I realised that one of the COMMENTATORS, WHOSE JOB IS TO CALL THE ACTION, IS ON HIS FUCKING PHONE~! WHY ARE YOU ON THE PHONE?! No wonder this guy says basically nothing outside of random quips that have no relevance. Not that the other guy is much different, but at least he actually calls a few moves.

Speaking of which, the match suddenly stalls to a crawl at this point as the commentators keep saying things. I couldn’t tell you what they said or if any of it mattered, but they sure did speak. Prolifik on offence while the commentators continue to babble and tell the crowd to cheer, because if there’s one thing I love it is when commentary has to tell the crowd to react! They go the outside to a chorus of cheers that may or may not be real. Vega tried to leave, but Prolifik caught him. They started to brawl in and around the crowd, but since the hardcam is directly behind the fans and seemingly immovable, we didn’t see any of it. At some point, we cut to two fans laughing with each other. During this outside bit, I noticed that one of the other camera angles seems like it might be coming from the phone of the guy on commentary. I have my doubts though, since the guy was holding his phone vertically, as you tend to do.

More stalling until Vega starts to do some nice stuff in the ring. At this point, some guy in the crowd yells at some sort of homophobic bullshit… I guess at least some of the crowd noise is real! Vega slowly works over Prolifik before a big bodyslam for two. Big sitt-out facebuster by Prolifik taking both down, as the commentators ramble on about X-Pac, because he did the move you see. Back and forth punches as the commentator keeps going “OH” like he’s a bad CAW commentator. Vega does an underhook suplex after waiting in the corner for a bit, and then the Boston Crab as commentary mark out for the New Japan dojo. Vega tries to take Prolifik down with some very good strikes, but Prolifik rebounds off the ropes for a close two. Prolifik then goes to the top rope (as we hear what sounds like camera men setting up the shot for some reason) and dives off with the Beat Drop (a decent diving headbutt) to win at 15:26.

What to say about that match I just wrote a big slab of text for? Well, despite my rambling not much really happened in this match. For an over 15 minute match, so little of note happened. The psychology also felt disjointed and all over the place, which is pretty disappointing. The actual moves looked good, but everything else was big meh to me.

Rating – DUD

We cut to another commercial, as the host tells us that apparently rapper Nookie is here! I personally don’t know who that is, but cool!

NC Viper vs Lee Morrow

Our main event match sees NC Viper take on Lee “The Man” Morrow. NC Viper is a very charismatic wrestler from Western Australia who on this show was making a return after two years. Funnily enough, according to Cagematch he hasn’t wrestled another match since this one, which was two years ago. Outside of the ring, he is best known for his role in The Tour: Blunder Down Under, under his real name, where he plays a money mark wrestling promoter in a mockumentary made by Outback Championship Wrestling, which was promoted by someone who some would consider a money mark. He also had his career documented as part of the series On The Western Frontier. In his pre-match promo he says he is representing his mob against “The Man”.

His opponent is Lee Morrow, who is a Vulcan trainee. He has wrestled in many New South Wales promotions, with most of his work taking place in SUPLEX Pro Wrestling. In his pre-match interview, Lee says that he should be called The Lee Morrow and says some shit about being a real man… and I thought Silas Young doing that gimmick got annoying.

We cut to the ring as some wanker with a megaphone comes out. He called the fans trash for throwing trash at him before… something we didn’t see mind you, since this is the first episode of this show. He introduces his man, Lee “The Man” Morrow. Unlike every other entrance on this show so far, Lee gets to make a full entrance without shitty editing. Lee cuts another promo, this time in front of the crowd. He shits on them for having to stand all night. Given the size of the crowd, you’d think they could get seats. Mustn’t’ve been in the budget. He says this ain’t ECW or NITV (what mate? this is literally airing on NITV… two years later) it is the Lee Morrow Show. He got really marble mouthed and forgot what he was saying mid-way through. This guys promos are peak wannabe heel. Like, this guy’s promos on this show have been so trope-heavy it isn’t funny. The guy is what people who don’t like MJF think MJF is, only way worse. Speaking of tropes and clichés, Morrow is wearing a LeeC Fn W shirt. Finally after all of that bullshit, here comes NC Viper and… oh sorry, we aren’t getting action yet. We have to go to commercial! Mind you, at this point the show has like 5 minutes left officially.

OK, I think it is finally wrestling time. There’s some stalling in the ring, made worse by the commentators making unfunny transphobic jokes. Not that there is such a thing as funny transphobic jokes, but fuck me these were bottom of the barrel. I can’t say it was necessarily intended to be transphobic, but it sure as shit was. I didn’t really take notes for most of the match, because I had long since stopped caring. Viper did some good stuff, because he is talented. He hit a nice lariat and a big slam. Someone hit a nice suplex at some point. Fans through shit at Morrow while he was out of the ring, which took the commentators ten years to tell them to stop. Viper gets attacked by the manager, who either hasn’t been named yet or I just didn’t listen because I was sick of the show at this point. I don’t know why the ref is allowing this and honestly I don’t care. Something happens, Viper mists the manager, who is apparently name Alexander before getting hit with a move, kicking out at one. Viper gets up, stares at Morrow for ten decades too long and hits him with a meaty spear for the victory at 12:01. Another boring match that went way too long, with random stalling, some decent wrestling and a surprise spear near the end.

Rating – 1/4 *

Post match, Alexander beats Viper down. Morrow joins in, as the commentators inanely babble. Prolifik comes in and spears Alexander. He gets taken down by Morrow, who calls out Nookie. Nookie comes from the crowd in a Stone Cold shirt. For some reason, they play stock VHS effects over this. Nookie comes into the ring, hits a stunner on Morrow… not bad, considering he isn’t a wrestler. We cut to a short post-match dance in the crowd. Prolifik then spears Morrow. We cut back to the green screen where our host Which Way Gray asks “How good was that” as we go to the illegible credits. Well, if my review is anything to go by, it wasn’t that good.

Final Thoughts

God, what to say? Well, in terms of wrestling, I can say that the people involved seemed to be good. The better talents really shined, and the lesser talents had some good moves. Sadly, most of the matches had poor psychology and went way longer than they should’ve went. The main issue for the show wasn’t in-ring though. My biggest gripe is the layers upon layers of bad production decisions, shitty commentary and the seemingly bad environment. I didn’t even mention the fucking randomly playing footage of much better matches on the video screen during matches. Despite my bitching, I will say I did like the pre-match graphics. Either way, I think you can miss this one. I don’t know if I’ll watch next week, partly because of Christmas and partly because I don’t know if I can run the risk. FUCK~!