Saturday, 26 July 2008

Wrestlerock: Birthday Bash 2 - DVD Review

We’re going to take another trip down under for this edition of The Two Sheds Review, taking a look at the latest DVD release from the Wrestlerock promotion, Birthday Bash 2, which took place this past June, back at The Corner Hotel in Melbourne. Our hosts for the evening are Julian James, Michael Basham and the returning Chris Fresh.


The show begins with a sad announcement from Wrestlerock Champion Chris Knight, who announces that, because of injury, he’s relinquishing the title. This brings out his rival, Jag, the man who was pinned by Knight in a title match at the previous show, despite having his foot on the ropes. Jag orders Knight to leave the ring, but the former champion returns when Jag calls him a coward, and tells the tough guy that he’ll be back.

Jag then demands that he is declared the new champion, and championship committee chairman Rohan Herbstreit tells him that he isn’t the new champion because of his action on the previous show. He then announces that the last two men in the battle royal will wrestle for the vacant title, and that Jag will be in that match. Still annoyed, Jag grabs Rohan and takes him down with the jagged edge. This guy is one mean dude folks.

Then it’s on to the first match of the evening, as one half of the Temo tag-team, Dowie, takes on Cletus. It’s another fine match to open one of these shows with. Plenty of fast-paced action with both the wrestlers putting in great performances, move for counter move and high spot for high spot. And there was some good wrestling mixed in there for good measure as well. There were also plenty of near finishes here, including Dowie kicking out of a pin after taking the Canadian destroyer variation and top rope frog splash, as well as a reverse hurricanrana. However, it was Dowie who emerged victorious, reversing Cletus’ victory roll and holding onto the ropes to get the pin. Great way to start the show, but then again these Aussies always seem to have a great match to start the show.

Tag-team action follows, with The Ultimate, Mike Byrd and Steven James, taking on The Bastard Brothers, Krackerjack and Logan, two mad guys that I’m really developing a soft spot for. After some verbal sparring between the two teams, in which James insults everything to do with Motley Crue (it’s a Motley Crue tribute band that provides the rock part of Wrestlerock), it’s down to the action, and it’s good action at that. This is the first time I’ve seen The Ultimate in action, and as a team they’re quite good, able to keep up with the Bastards, especially as they double-up to take Krackerjack apart. In all it’s a very good match, and even though the Ultimate give a good account of themselves, it’s the Bastards who come out on top, when Logan catapults Byrd into Krackerjack’s Britney spear. A three count later and they’ve got the win. You know what, I think I’m even more of a Krackerjack fan now!

After a segment with Slex as he walks around the streets trying to get opinions on his nemesis Lazer, with the man himself responding in a video segment, it’s on to the grudge match itself, with Slex and Lazer fighting it out over three falls, with each fall being contested under a different stipulation - the first fall, a normal wrestling match, the second fall, a no disqualification match, and the third fall, a last man standing match. The first fall featured some great wrestling, with Slex getting the upper hand throughout. But then Lazer grabbed a chair from ringside, and after clobbering Slex, he gets himself disqualified.

The second fall doesn’t last that long. With Slex busted open because of the chair shot, Lazer took him down with a leg drop to the back of the head. A three count later it was one fall apiece.

The third and final fall lasts a hell of a lot longer, Despite being covered in the crimson mask, Slex manages to fight back, and we get the TNA-like brawl through the crowd. These guys then beat the hell out of them. Slex gets back dropped through a table. Lazer gets clobbered with a guitar, Honkytonk Man-style. We also get some action with a steel ladder, and another table, with Slex avoiding Lazer as he went for a swanton from the top rope to ringside, going through the table himself. And still neither man could put the other away. Finally, after Lazer came down from the top of the ladder with a chair, and Slex countered with an enziguri that sent the chair smashing into Lazer’s face, the referee began his ten count, with Slex barely able to make the count and being declared the winner. An excellent contest, and probably the best match I’ve seen in a Wrestlerock ring.

Main event time, the Dirty Dozen battle royal, with the last two men in the ring competing for the vacant title, featuring the likes of Cletus, Mad Dog, Krackerjack, Dowie, Carnish, Jag and more. Time to break out that old line folks. By now, those of you who have been reading my reviews for a while will know that I don’t exactly like reviewing battle royals. So with that out of the way I’ll get right down to the final two - Jag and Mad Dog, competing in the singles match to determine the new champion. This part of the match is good, with Jag again impressing, and the Dog getting in some good moves as well, even though he’s still in need of some decent wrestling attire. In short, it’s an extremely hard-hitting affair between two tough as nail bastards, and after Dog tries to turn it into a hardcore affair by bringing a table into the ring, Jag takes him down with a jagged edge from the top rope (but not through the table) to get the title winning pin.

But that’s not the end of things. Jag then demanded that Julian James come into the ring and raise his arm as the new champion. Reluctantly, James does as he is asked, but then gets power bombed through the aforementioned table. James is then taken away on a stretcher.

There’s the usual bunch of extras on the DVD as well, including out-takes, promos, and a couple of songs from Shout at the Bastards, the aforementioned Motley Crue tribute band.

In conclusion - the Wrestlerock boys have done it again. A great DVD release with top notch action from beginning to end, with a bit of drama thrown in to heighten the tension as well. Jag’s title victory was a long time coming, and the creatives have built to his eventual title win to perfection, and this writer definitely wants to see what happens next. So if you haven’t sampled any Wrestlerock action yet (and why haven’t you? I’ve been reviewed all but one of their DVDs you know!) then this is a good place to start.

With thanks to Rohan Herbstreit for supplying a copy of this release. Wrestlerock: Birthday Bash 2 can be purchased online by visiting www.wrestlerock.com.