This week on Random Reviews, we’re going to have a look at a couple of wrestlers from Down Under!
In recent years, New Zealand and Australia have seen a lot more of their talent take the step up, into WWE, New Japan and several other high-profile independent groups after heading abroad.
Evie, Lil T & TK Cooper vs. Amy St Clere, Aaron Henry & Jakob Cross (IPW @ Armageddon, October 26, 2013)
This took place for the New Zealand-based’s Impact Pro Wrestling, as a part of their shows at the Armageddon Expo back in 2013.
TK Cooper still had that red jacket here, and had some thick black-rimmed glasses for some reason. Unlike in PROGRESS in 2015/2016, he was actually getting cheered, even more so once he gave a fan a DVD! On the opposing team, Aaron Henry (currently Henare in New Japan) was one half of the IPW tag champions.
All six get into it from the opening bell, with TK scoring a plancha onto Henry in the opening moments. Henry and TK exchange leap overs in the corner, then some roll-ups for pinfalls, as Cooper gets a crucifix for a near-fall. Cooper drops Henry with an enziguiri, before he combined with Lil’ T to dropkick Henry in the head for a two-count.
Henry dives to the over corner to tag in the much larger Jakob Cross, who lays into T with a forearm, but T replies with a reverse neckbreaker out of the corner, before tagging Cooper back in. Cooper and T combine well, as T hits a reverse swinging side slam, sending Cooper onto Cross, as T simultaneously dropped the leg. That double-team gets Cooper a near-fall, before he tagged T back in for a wishbone leg splitter on Cross, getting another two-count.
Cross finally tagged out to St Clere, as Evie came in and rolled her up for a one-count, then followed up with some armdrags. St Clere slowly takes a sunset flip, then rolled back and kneed Evie in the face. A second knee is caught by Evie, who replies with a snapmare and some kicks, before a running knee to the face gets her a two-count.
Evie misses a running Yakuza kick, before Cross gets tagged back in… she ducks under him, then unloads with some forearms, then a foot stomp, before tagging in Lil T, who drops Cross with a series of clotheslines. T tries to climb the top rope, but gets distracted by St Clere, as Henry shoves him off into the path of a forearm from Cross for a near-fall.
Henry tags back in and drops T with a German suplex for a two count, before getting something similar from a vertical suplex. Cross comes in as the pair double-team T, but T finally fires back, albeit briefly, with a legdrop from Cross ending that comeback. Another tag brings in Henry for a clothesline and a two-count on T, but T makes another comeback, only to be dropped by a belly to belly that somehow saw him tease landing on his head. That got Henry a two-count, before Cross returned as T was isolated from his partners.
An elbow drop gets Cross another two-count, before T surprises Henry with a swinging side slam. After realising which was “his” corner, T finally made the tag out to Evie, who dropped St Clere with clotheslines and dropkicks. Cross tried to run in for interference, but was low bridged by Cooper to the outside, as Evie hit a baseball slide to deny Cross a speedy re-entry.
St Clere went toe-to-toe with Cooper for some reason, but ended up taking a pratfall, before Cross came in and threatened to hit Evie. She got her revenge with a dropkick on Cross, only for Henry to knock her off the top rope as she went for something off the top. With Evie at Amy the legal women, Henry and Cross lifts up Cooper for a double chokeslam and got the win. Erm, did I miss a tag or something? That match fell apart a bit at the end, and whilst you can’t really judge guys based on one match, you’d probably be able to guess who’s gotten worldwide bookings based on their performances here. ***
Los Ingobernables (La Sombra, Naito & Rush) vs. Los Guerreros Laguneros (Euforia, Thunder & Ultimo Guerrero) (CMLL Super Viernes, May 29, 2015)
We’ve added this one for the inclusion of Thunder – better known as the late Australian wrestler Luke Fordward – in a match that also features the man who’d become Andrade Almas. At least here he’s not going to be overshadowed…
Three masked men in silver Guido masks are in the ring, with La Sombra, Naito (or “Naitoh” here) and Rush handling their own announcements. Thunder gets attacked by Rush as he made his way into the ring, so Ultimo Guerrero and Euforia just casually saunter down the aisle instead of helping him.
La Sombra and Naito send Euforia into the crowd, then turn their attention to Thunder and Guerrero in the ring. Naito and Sombra hold Thunder in place for a bunch of chops and dropkicks from Rush. Sombra then works over Euforia in the corner, before Los Ingobernables triple team Guerrero with a double-team suplex, then a flipping senton from Naito.
Naito and Rush clothesline Euforia in the corner, with Naito following with his outside-in dropkick, before La Sombra’s running knees into the corner results in a pin, giving Los Ingobernables the first fall. I think? No bell went, and the match just continued, but there was no kickout… Thunder gets thrown into the ring “the hard way”, before Sombra and Naito hold him in the corner for a leaping dropkick by Rush, and there’s another nonchalant cover. That one apparently counted, so the winners of the first fall: Los Ingobernables!
The second fall starts with a weird camera shot of the ringside apron, and Guerrerio takes a dropkick from Naito as Rush sends Thunder into the crowd. We get the Los Ingobernables pose, but Guerrero comes back into the ring, and drops Naito with a clothesline, with Euforia clotheslining La Sombra to the outside.
Los Ingobernables are on the run, and Naito takes a suplex on the ramp from Guerrero, whilst Euforia posts Sombra. Meanwhile, Rush and Thunder work over each other by the barriers, and we’re going a while without actual in-ring action. Thunder is elevated into a body press on Rush across a barrier, and we resume with Naito and Guerrero back in the ring. Naito gets chopped in the corner, before Thunder comes in and drops him with another chop, and we quickly go back to Naito and Guerrero trading rapid chops to the chest. La Sombra slaps Naito, who leaps over Guerrero, and then takes him down with headscissors, before an enziguiri and a tornado DDT drops him.
Guerrero rolls out, so Euforia comes in and clotheslines him… as we go to a break! We return to see Euforia clothesline Naito, as Sombra springboards in with a cross body, and then gets flattened as his headscissor attempt is blocked.
Euforia quickly gets overwhelmed as Sombra and Rush come in, followed by Naito. Once the ring clears, Euforia shoves Sombra into the corner, and rolls him back – almost like Doug Williams’ Chaos Theory – ending the move with a Dragon Sleeper (apparently called the Nirvana lock), which eliminates La Sombra. Naito comes in for Sombra, and drops Euforia with some slaps, before a Lion Tamer-like Boston crab gets rid of Euforia. We’re left with Rush and Thunder, with the latter slowly flipping out of the ring, but he’s followed to the floor by Rush. Back inside, a FIsherman’s suplex is broken up by Guerrero, who sends Rush into the corner, but Thunder pulls Rush away from a slingshot dropkick in the corner, and instead gets a cradle suplex to seal the second fall for his team and tie the match.
Guerrero and Thunder exchanged words after that on the ramp, and shoved each other back and forth. The two made up, as the third fall started, with all six men brawling in the ring. After a recap, Naito wipes out a pile on the floor with a twisting senton, whilst Rush and Thunder stay in the ring. Thunder gets stomped on, but he comes out of the corner with a clothesline on Rush, before Ultimo Guerrero shoves him aside to apply the Pulpo Guerrero (modified Boston grab) for the submission to take the fall… and the match. Well, once you figured out how the falls worked in trios matches, this was somewhat entertaining, but a massive culture shock if you’re only used to North American style. ***
After the match, Thunder shoved down Guerrero, and chased him around ringside. This degenerated into another brawl, ending with Los Ingobernables beating down Thunder on the ramp and stealing his mask.
Shazza McKenzie vs. Jessie McKay (PWA The Thin Red Line, August 23, 2014)
This was for the PWWA title, with McKenzie defending against the future Billie Kay. We have commentary, and McKay starts with a headlock takedown, which Shazza rolls back into a pinning attempt for a one-count. McKay holds onto the headlock, but gets taken into the corner, where she’s met with a forearm, before she takes down McKenzie again.
A shoulder block takedown puts McKenzie down again, with McKenzie holding onto McKay’s trunks to prevent a shoulder block. Shazza lands one of her own, before her attempt to roll underneath a leapfrog ends up with Jessie landing on Shazza, and eventually taking her down with a double knee-strike for a near-fall.
Shazza reverses an Irish whip into the corner, before she catches Jessie with an axe-kick to the head on the ropes. Despite Jessie instantly grabbing the bottom rope with both hands, the referee makes a two-count. Not sure about that refereeing…
Shazza stomps in Jessie’s midsection, before she ties her up with some body scissors, rolling back and forth to get some pinning attempts whilst disorienting McKay. Jessie reverses a roll into a seated surfboard, then gets a two-count from a roll-up, before McKenzie blocks an Irish whip and just about lands a pumphandle gutbuster for a near-fall of her own.
McKenzie lands a splitting legdrop for a near-fall, then connects with some forearms and knees to the midsection. McKay counters a second one with a running forearm, then a series of clotheslines, before a bodyslam and an elbow drop gets her a near-fall. A Northern Lights suplex almost dumps McKay on the head for a two-count, but she’s got enough about her to get a back elbow out of the corner then a second rope Thesz press.
McKay forearms McKenzie from the apron, before she tries a sunset flip back into the ring. Shazza blocks it by holding the ropes, and still the referee counts before realising that she’s held the rope, with McKay completing the sunset flip for a two-count. A bicycle kick gets Jessie a near-fall, before she catches Shazza in an Octopus hold, only for McKenzie to elbow herself free. After a knee to the midsection, McKenzie lands a stunner, and gets the win. That wasn’t that good, if I’m being honest – I don’t know if it were a storyline, but the referee missed too many easy calls, and some of the moves looked sloppy, and at times, dangerous. **½
The Happening (Joey Ryan & Johnny Goodtime) vs. TMDK (Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls) (Championship Wrestling from Hollywood, taped April 8, 2012; aired April 21, 2012)
TMDK are better known these days as TM61 in NXT, with the “eh, I kinda see how those names relate” – Shane Thorne and Nick Miller. They rush the ring, as Haste back body drops Goodtime, before Haste and Nicholls combine with a standing moonsault and an elbow drop for a near-fall on Joey Ryan.
Nicholls works over Ryan, but Joey recovers with an wrist clutch suplex, before tagging in Goodtime for a legdrop which gets him a one-count on Nicholls. The pair trade forearms, before Shane Haste blind tags in and drops Goodtime with a knee to the head for a near-fall. A running uppercut into the corner stuns Goodtime, who then blocks a leaping hurricanrana by Haste, who crashes and burns. Joey Ryan comes in and drops Haste with a German suplex, before Goodtime connects with a missile dropkick.
Nicholls gets knocked off the apron before Goodtime makes a cover for a two-count, and Ryan tags back in to double team over Haste as Nicholls had the referee tied up. Joey Ryan works over Haste in the corner, but he fires back with kicks from the mat, only to be sent into the ropes with an European uppercut. In comes Goodtime again, as he’s pressed off the top rope by Ryan, before rolling through into a shoulder charge in the corner. From that, Goodtime lifts up Haste into a Northern Lights suplex, dropping him over Ryan’s knee for a near-fall as Nicholls breaks it up.
Goodtime and Ryan double-team Haste in the corner, as we go to commercial… and fade back with Haste still being double-teamed. A double-team hiptoss dumps Haste for a near-fall, before Ryan launches into Haste with double knees in the corner. A tornado DDT’s blocked by Haste, who finally lands the pop-up hurricanrana, and then tags out to Nicholls.
Nicholls drops Goodtime with a clothesline, then an inverted atomic drop, as Ryan gets turfed out of the ring. Haste drops Ryan with a Sasuke special, as Nicholls sets up Goodtime for a sliding lariat for a near-fall. Goodtime’s then set-up for an Air Raid Crash, but Goodtime works free and gets a near-fall from a roll-up, before he takes a Death Valley Driver that needs Joey Ryan to break up to save the match.
Ryan whips Nicholls into the corner, as Haste comes in to pump kick Ryan off the apron to prevent any further double-teaming. So in comes Mikey O’Shea, and he takes an elevated DDT from TMDK, who them turn around into a pair of pump kicks, before Goodtime lands a kneedrop off the top to the back of Nicholls’ head for the win. For a TV match, this was alright, but it felt way too short, with the finish rushed. Like the first match we covered, you could see who was going to get the big breaks, but I’d wonder if this’d have been better with more time. **½
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