Friday, May 19, 2017

REVIEW: Melbourne City Wrestling’s Keep It 100 (Ukrainian Hall, Essendon) on Saturday, May 13

NOOOOOO! Say it ain’t so! Preston and Payne are no more! My first Melbourne City Wrestling show in 18 months and I was there to see the implosion of the most entertaining tag team in Australian wrestling.
Bummed doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings about this development. I’d planned for some months to fly to Melbourne for a belated 50th birthday celebration weekend and catch a wrestling card while there.
Mr Juicy facing former best friend Elliott Sexton in a “falls count anywhere” match was an enticing prospect, as was the news that NZ sensations TK Cooper and Dahlia Black (the South Pacific Power Couple) – most recently causing waves in the UK wrestling scene – would make an in-ring appearance.
And then came the late news that Preston and Payne were challenging the World’s Friendliest Bastards for the MCW tag team belts. There was NO WAY I was gonna miss Keep It 100.
The Ukrainian Hall (aka the MCW Arena) was chockers for the event and the crowd was rabid from the start. These hardcore fans are into all the personalities, the angles and the matches (which isn’t hard when the matches are so good). This was only a five-bout card, but it definitely delivered the goods.
First up, my heroes Preston and Payne put in a great effort but fell short against Krackerjak and Lochy Hendricks. I’ve always enjoyed P&P’s artistic, creepy promo videos but my fear was that they couldn’t back that up in the ring. I’m happy to say I was proven wrong. These guys were fantastic and they had the perfect foils in crowd faves Krackers and Lochy.
Preston and Payne have renewed my passion for local wrestling unlike anyone has in years, so they’re post-match bust-up was disappointing to me on a personal level.
That said, Johnathan Preston aligning himself with the returning Emmanuel is intriguing and the upcoming promos and feud with a babyface (if still insane) Allan Payne should be fun.
Next came a women’s contest. Kellyanne’s encounter with Sydney’s Charli Evans was essentially a squash, but was brutally entertaining. Sadly, Charli didn’t bring any doughnuts with her this night to help ease her pain a little afterwards.
Except for one minor botch, TK Cooper’s bout with veteran Mike Burr was great. TK and Dahlia have so much charisma it’s unbelievable – and the gimmick of a stud constantly pashing his hot girlfriend is a perfect heel gimmick to wrestling fans (a large percentage of who probably have never kissed a woman in the first place). Buuuuuuurn!
A victorious Cooper challenged Dowie for the MCW championship, which Dowie rejected in a post-match promo.
JXT’s Intercommonwealth Championship match was another squash and easily the least engaging bout of the night. No offence to Dean Valente, but not a single person in the hall thought he was going to win. However, I admire Dean’s optimism in brining merch to sell on the night.
Finally, it was time for the “Falls Count Anywhere” main event between monster heel Elliott Sexton and Mr Juicy. The big crowd went mental from the moment Elliott stepped out from behind the curtains.
This contest was a brutal war from start to finish, just a hellacious bout where the two warriors went flat out from start to finish.
As someone pointed out to me, the idea that one attacking move of Sexton is worth three of his opponents really gets him across as a near-unstoppable force of nature. Soon, Mr Juicy had…well, JUICED and things looked grim for the crowd favourite.
However, after much brawling around the hall and the use of many weapons (including thumbtacks and bins), Sexton wound up at ringside lying on a table, which Mr Juicy crushed with a dive from the squared circle. It was an incredible move that led to the final three-count and a greatly deserved, hard-fought victory.
I would have to say that this is easily the best match I’ve seen either man in during their long careers, so kudos to them both for pulling out all the stops. It was a phenomenal main event and I urge you to check it out when the event is released on Vimeo.
Mr Juicy then challenged Dowie for the title, which brought the beloved champ to the ring once more. However, he was blindsided by Cooper, who beat up Dowie AND Mr Juicy, leading the champ to accept Cooper’s challenge, setting the stage for a hyoooooge bout at Hostile Takeover on June 10 at the MCW Arena.
Sadly, I can’t make that show, but I’m sure it’ll be fantastic. Hey, it’s MCW – how could it be anything less?
* For more details and ticket sales, head to

(MCW Keep It 100 @ Ukrainian Hall in Essendon, Victoria – 200+): MCW Tag Team Titles – World’s Friendliest Bastards (Krackerjak and Lochy Hendricks ) (c) b Preston and Payne; Kellyanne b Charli Evans; TK Cooper (w/- Dahlia Black) b Mike Burr; MCW Intercommonwealth Championship – JXT b Dean Valente; Falls Count Anywhere – Mr Juicy b Elliott Sexton.


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