MCW Ballroom Brawl (5th August 2017) – Live Review

Wrestling is fucking amazing. I know, you didn’t go out of your way by clicking on this article to read as blatantly obvious a statement as that. But it’s the infallible truth. And as a stone cold journalist, it is my utmost duty and privilege to deliver to you, the reader, nothing but the truth.

Wrestling makes this world a better place. Wrestling welcomes me in with open arms and gives me a place that I can proudly say I belong. Wrestling has given me the opportunity to meet awe-inspiring characters, and both the people behind them and the people that adore them. It gives me the courage to lose myself wholly in a moment of excitement. Never have I been more in touch with that feeling as a fan, then at Melbourne City Wrestling’s ‘Ballroom Brawl’.

The line to get into the Thornbury Theatre runs down the staircase, out the front door, and once round the block. It’s a sold-out show, and for good reason. Will Ospreay is making his first ever appearance with MCW, in what is sure to be a match-of-the-year contender against MCW Intercommonwealth Champion, Adam Brooks. This comes only days after a show-stealing bout with Robbie Eagles at Pro Wrestling Australia’s 10-year anniversary ‘Call to Arms’ event, where the ‘Aerial Assassin’ walked away with the PWA Heavyweight title and a whole load of eyes anticipating his next move. What’s more, with the MCW Heavyweight Championship on the line, all of Melbourne will wish they were here on this fateful night.

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The Brat Pack, with Avary. Image via: CoryLockwood.com (Melbourne City Wrestling).
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pAnic have arrived. Image via: CoryLockwood.com (Melbourne City Wrestling).

The Brat Pack successfully defend their titles against Fun Time Trouble. Cheaters prevail, leaving a livid crowd and a burst bag of Smiths chips in their wake. Avary shines at ringside, doing all that she can to give her boys the upper hand. Yet, their celebration is cut short by the returning pAnic – Syd Parker and the Psycho Cowboy, with Erika Reid – who make their intentions of coming after the tag titles clear. JXT earns a victory against Jonathan Preston, as a surprise appearance from an Alan Payne poser foreshadows a moment of conflict between the former tag partners later to come. The relationship is strained between Lochy Hendricks and his mentor KrackerJak, as ‘The Messiah’ Davis Storm leaves Lochy to ponder over some premeditated praise.

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Lochy scores the pin. Image via: CoryLockwood.com (Melbourne City Wrestling).

The Ballroom Brawl Rumble is a highlight – With handfuls of debuts and giants, fans are left guessing who the favourite might be. That is until, Jonah Rock makes his colossal return to MCW, and brings the entire audience to their feet. Lochy eats an accidental spear from KrackerJak, teasing what could further prove as cracks in the union of the World’s Friendliest Bastards. Alan Payne is the final entrant at number 20, squaring up with Preston. In the end, the base of Rock’s theme rumbles to the rafters, as he eliminates JXT, to become the new number one contender for the MCW Heavyweight Championship. Remember this.

Brooksy is the cool heel, who will enter this match adored by the most hardcore of fans, and leave established as one of the most promising performers in Australia today. Ospreay is an enigma – He bounds into the ring with the utmost grace and majesty, and will leave that same ring reinforcing the question that audiences worldwide have asked since he landed on the scene: Is this guy even human?

Everything about this match is surreal. From its conception, to its execution, and all the little moments in between, Brooks and Ospreay are the perfect pair. The chip is arguably on Brooksy’s shoulder, but he seems completely unfazed. This is his stomping ground.

There are moments for all fans alike. So much so, that a wild range of timbres and frequencies of voices ring out in the crowd. Spots are interwoven seamlessly with back-and-forth tactical action. Tension rises with every twist and turn, and the crowd gaze on, ever perplexed by the spectacle before them. They don’t feed off the crowd, the crowd feed off them, as each interval builds to a seemingly insurmountable peak. Just as you think these two couldn’t possibly give anything more, they answer with a Spanish fly, or a feat of inconceivable fortitude in finishers and near falls. The air is simply electric. This energy builds to a crescendo, as Will Ospreay manages to pry the MCW Intercommonwealth Championship from the tied hands of Adam Brooks. A show of respect between men, as Brooks vacates for the new champ.

But that my friends, is only the start of it. Post-match, the beloved Ospreay reaches for a microphone, to deliver a similar message he gave during the night prior at PWA. Despite being signed to Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling before anything, Will wants to make his ambitions of a permanent residency in Australia a reality. He emphatically promises to bring the best wrestler’s in the world to MCW, and with his leadership, he will take the company and Australian wrestling to greater heights than ever before. Now that is a pop.

As I sit here in my hotel room absolutely battered, carrying my Mrs cos her knee is blown out. I can’t help but feel what I’m doing feels so right down here. I have literally had 3 of the best matches of my life (including my stuff with NJPW) with Shane Sinclair at @spwrestlingnz. With Robbie Eagles in @pwaaustralia & now with Adam Brooks at @mcitywrestling. Ive never been more emotionally connected with wrestling than I have been in the last few weeks. I’ve had some REAL moments backstage with all the guys and it’s really touch my heart. So this is no work. No cheap pop. No hot air. I will have to put NJPW/ROH as priority as that’s my contract. But I wanna help lead an army of Kiwis & Aussies so they can have the success the British guys have had, they need a guy with eyes. That’s what I’m here for. I carry the flag and stand on the frontline but I’ll do it side by side with in my mind some of the best pro wrestlers on the planet. 🇦🇺🇳🇿🇬🇧 #TheCommonWealthKing

A post shared by willospreay (@willospreay) on Aug 5, 2017 at 5:15pm PDT

After all that fuss, the crowd is rather deflated. With a tricky spot on the card, Kellyanne faces the UK’s own Bea Priestly in the next round of the Madison Eagles’ Gauntlet. Kellyanne leaves triumphant, taking out Bea with a cannonball. As Kellyanne recovers, Madison Eagles appears on the screens to address her next challenger. All the more reason to get down to MCW’s next event in the CBD.

Finally, the MCW Heavyweight Championship is on the line, between two longtime allies, the champ Mr Juicy, and Dowie James. The match is well-paced, given the worn state of the crowd. It’s about proving who is the best, who has given the most to MCW. As Dowie climbs the top rope, number one contender Jonah Rock bowls down the ramp to a tremendous cheer, pushing Dowie from the top, and taking his place for a top rope splash. Juicy takes the pin. One, two, three – And just like that, the top tier at MCW is in for a rude awakening, as Jonah Rock is crowned the new Heavyweight champ…

I love wrestling in my city, and in my country. I’ve said it before – I’ve alluded to how great it once was, the uniting force it has become, and how much potential the future holds. Never has there been more demonstrable evidence of this reality than right here at Ballroom. How do I know that Aussie wrestling is the next big thing? I can feel it. Ask anyone who was there that night at the Thornbury Theatre. They can feel it too.

Still don’t believe me? Melbourne City Wrestling are hitting The Arrow Ballroom for ‘New Horizons’, right in the heart of Melbourne, in a matter of weeks. With ‘Bad Luck’ Fale coming down, Dowie’s shot at redemption, and a match for the MCW Intercommonwealth title AND the PWA Heavyweight title announced between Ospreay, Robbie Eagles and Brooks… What can I say, other than “you’re gonna notice us”?

Featured Image via: CoryLockwood.com.