MCW The House Always Wins
February 11th 2023
Thornbury Theatre (Thornbury, Victoria, Australia)
This weekend Melbourne City Wrestling ran their first event of 2023: MCW The House Always Wins! A night of wrestling action and… a lot of stuff? This is MCW’s first event since MCW 12 in November. The first thing I noticed watching this show is that the audio is significantly improved from MCW 12. Last show, the music overpowered the crowd and commentary. Crowd & commentary audio it was recorded in a Pringles can. The whole thing aspired to GCW level. Thank fuck that was fixed this time around. How is the show beyond the audio? Read on and find out!
MCW World Tag Team Title: Tommy Knight & Slex (c) vs The Velocities (Jude London & Paris De Silva)
The story of this match is simple enough: Tommy Knight and Slex, CAN THEY COEXIST?! After some feeling out with Slex and De Silva, the early portion of the match saw Slex and Knight taking turns working over London. They hit some nice tandem slams, but this portion of the match felt way slower than you’d think it should be. Things picked up once the Velocities started to mount offence, with both sides exchanging a variety of moves. Eventually Knight got back in control with a lariat so violent he hurt his arm and made the PPV feed lag.
The Velocities start working over Knights arm. The commentary did a good job putting over his history of shoulder injuries, comparing repeated shoulder injuries to repeated concussions. Knight eventually gets away from the attack and tags out to Slex! Slex dominates beautifully. He hits a slingshot neckbreaker and the Return On Investment (his rope hung DDT). He then hits a Business Bomb onto his knee and a lariat for two. After a brief Velocities flurry, there was a double stalling superplex spot. Sadly we only saw half of it, because production didn’t cut to the hard cam.
Stiff strikes being thrown by Knight and good but mildly sloppy offence by The Velocities. Its at this point I’ve completely lost track of the legal man! Everyone goes for a variety of big moves, until De Silva does something very innovatively dumb. We’ve all seen the flying nothing, a dive that blatantly exists solely to get countered. De Silva somehow managed to do a shooting star flying nothing! After that, a Slexecution & Death Valley Driver combo for 3. Post match Knight refuses to do wear the sunglasses Slex gives him.
Overall, a good match that didn’t quite get as good as I’d hoped given the level of talent. Still not something I didn’t feel bad watching.
Rating: *** 1/4
A video package of MCW Intercommonwealth Champion Emman Azman in Malaysia. He is a great representative of the Australian scene, and is currently doing dates across Southeast Asia as champ.
Stevie Filip vs Ryan Rapid
Next up is a match between two wrestlers trained by PCW. Filip hasn’t had a singles match in MCW in 3 years, spending his time teaming with his brother. They set a nice tempo early on. Very quick movement as they exchange holds and strikes. The story here is both men getting one up on the other, only to be swiftly countered. Rapid eventually held control, but after a very mediocre chop woke up Filip. Filip fired back with a nasty chop. After this and a one-man Standing Spanish Fly, Rapid pounced back onto offence. Both men battled on the top rope until Filip hit a beautiful top rope Canadian Destroyer and a Phoenix Splash for three.
Overall, a very competently wrestled back and forth match that would work on any card that showed the quality of talent PCW produces, and acted mainly as a showcase for Filip.
A Parea video set in a cemetery plays. The Parea say that Rocky Monero dug his own grave by teaching them how to stab him in the back. They’re returning at MCW’s next show on April 8th.
Warrior Wrestling World Title: KC Navarro (c) vs Mick Moretti
Navarro is in MCW as a part of his world tour. The match starts with some panto stuff, a decent change of pace. The early story is Moretti playing mind games and outsmarting Navarro with athletic but goofy tricks. Sometimes wrestling matches can get too schtick-heavy, but if it works (like that schtick) it works. Then Moretti threatened a “sweaty Moretti” where he sticks his hand down his tights and puts it in his opponents face. Thank fuck he didn’t actually hit it. That schtick sucks! After some nice Navarro offence, the match really starts to fall apart. Navarro cuts a long, generic heel promo. He also hits the weakest and most airy looking offence. This can work if it isn’t shit! Simply do good moves and a good promo.
The commentators have stopped talking. The match has ground to a halt. Worst of all, the crowd is deader than the extras in the Parea video package. Moretti and Navarro both try to win the crowd back, but can’t. Not even a Navarro crossbody to the floor does much of anything. This sold-out crowd is near-silent! After they exchange more offence, Moretti knees him. The two exchange a variety of pins. After more stuff, we get told there’s creepy figures at the entrance. We can’t see them in the shot though. Creepy music plays and Navarro hits the Jesus Piece for three after a distraction finish by fucking clowns?! Yes, they did a fuck finish with heel clowns! Somehow the crowd is even deader after that flat finish.
That match started fine and became a boring slog. Then it really fell apart with the dumb finish to boot. Can’t wait for more of the shitty clown angle. I’m happy to be proven wrong, but that was PURE DRECK!
Rating: * 3/4
We get a video package for the show that gets hacked into. The video plays again from the start, without the hack. Then the hacking bit plays in full. I think someone fucked up the cue there. The hacked video says that THE ETERNAL FAITH is now in control. The rules of The Sacrament (Edward Dusk’s new thing) are no DQ, Falls Count Anywhere with pin or surrender for the victory… so a basic falls count anywhere plunder match.
The Sacrament: Edward Dusk vs WAIK
Dusk currently has a spooky occult gimmick. Maybe Buddy Matthews should give him an invite? Prior to the show, the match wasn’t announced. All we had was a Dusk cutting a spooky promo about how he doesn’t fit into this world and saying “The Sacrament is about to begin”. The Sacrament sounds like a stable, but I guess for now it’s a match. Dusk brains WAIK with a chair and posts him face first from the stage! The match is Dusk doing plodding, mean, violent stuff. He gave WAIK multiple papercuts with a card, including one inside his mouth. They had the crowd to start. They lost the crowd since they didn’t know what to make of this. After a brief WAIK comeback attempt, Dusk hit Wicked End into a chair for three.
This match sure was something. There was a lot of stuff I liked. All the match really was is a showcase of Dusk’s gimmick. I guess he’ll be doing spooky matches every show? Hopefully we get more dynamic matches out of this, because him squashing people spookily won’t work long looks like it won’t work well with the MCW crowd.
A promo video plays for the return of “The Taiga” Tome Filip (brother of Stevie) at the next MCW show on April 8th.
Final Boss Challenge: Jake Andrewartha vs DELTA
Jake Andrewartha comes out for his Final Boss Challenge. He grabs the mic and says that this isn’t a challenge, but a demand! He holds the show hostage, because MCW management won’t give him proper competition. He also comments on all the people leaving MCW lately since new management took over. I don’t think this was a shoot promo, but that comment sure was. MCW Women’s Champion DELTA’s music then hits, to a huge pop. Commentary don’t mention their last match at DMDU’s Peer Pressure From Dead People in 2021, probably due to uneasiness between the promotions. That match is must watch, and helped make DELTA.
Kick to the balls. Fireman’s carry slam to the pop of the night! DELTA locks in a nasty looking STF. Andrewartha taps out, ending his 4-year undefeated streak~! I’m shocked they didn’t use the ball shot to do a Dusty finish and fuck the crowd. Luckily MCW and Andrewartha really put DELTA over strong in this moment. I do feel like it was strange to have DELTA do this rather than a match for her belt. She was a good choice to finally beat Andrewartha though. I hope they have a rubber match somewhere. Hopefully it is a war like the DMDU offering. Either way, DELTA is a true star and is someone I can easily see getting signed somewhere as soon as she gets noticed.
Rating: FUCKING AWESOME~!
MCW World Heavyweight Title: Mitch Waterman (c) vs Buddy Matthews
This match was very interesting politically. MCW is ran by WWE’s Australian PR guy and Matthews works for AEW. This is something that has caused issues previously. The match started out with a big fight feel. Waterman got his nose busted open in the early going. This became a huge part of the story of the match. After both men teased dives to the floor, Matthews rocked him with a knee and spammed floor strikes, including a brutal chop sending him into the crowd. They brawled in the crowd. I can’t really comment on it since the cameras missed all of it. Waterman briefly held his own with kicks to get back into the fight. Matthews threw him into the apron to take control. At this point, Matthews continually worked Waterman’s nose. A brutal display that created great heat in the match that aided the frantic pace.
Waterman eventually escapes the onslaught with a flipping, rope-hung DDT. The two men kept throwing big moves at each other. Neither keep the other down. Both end up brawling on the top rope, knocking each other to the floor on the outside. Both men struggle to get in just before the ten count. Waterman counters the Murphy’s Law (because I guess it doesn’t have another name?) into a pin and holds the ropes. Up until this point, the match has felt Waterman’s huge moment against a big star. Sadly things fall of here. The cheating makes the crowd audibly confused. The cheating continues, with a Waterman ballshot with the refs back turned. I guess he’s the heel now? There’s a kickout of his finish, the Tempest, but the crowd still are a bit disorientated. Waterman teases a belt shot but doesn’t hit it as Matthews takes the ref out with a knee. Without the two prior cheating spots, that might’ve worked as a face thing. Both men try for their finish, with Matthews being successful and getting a visual ten count and Waterman barely getting his foot on the rope.
The final stretch sees various counters into submissions, with crowd now back into things wanting Waterman to tap. Hammer and anvil elbows by Matthews. Curbstomp for two. Stiff knee to Waterman. Then after the only bad looking knee in the match and a Murphy’s Law, Matthews picks up the victory!
This match was a wild and fun match that really should be a 4-star or higher affair. Sadly it was dragged down slightly by a confused middle portion where they kind of lost the plot on the dynamic of the match. Instead of feeling like 1 great match it felt like two great matches hastily sewn together to make a very good match.
Rating: *** 3/4
After the match, Matthews cuts a promo saying that the talent in Australia has gotten even better since he left, but he is still much better. Slex, Mick Moretti and Tommy Knight come out to challenge. Who will he face next? Matthews says that like Waterman says, there is blood in the water… which is then revealed as the name of the show on the 8th of April.
Overall, a pretty good show that could’ve easily been a great show if it wasn’t bogged down. Baffling booking decisions, production issues and some matches not quite getting there. Definitely plenty of stuff to be positive on coming out of the show. I still think MCW has more to do to get back on track.