Saturday, 16 May 2009

Wrestlerock 13: Spooktacular - DVD Review

It’s time to head down under again, as the plucky underdog challenges the tough as nails SOB, Cletus facing Jag for the big belt at Wrestlerock 13: Spooktacular, held at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne this past September.


The show begins with Julian James and Chris Fresh coming to the ring, and after welcoming the crowd, James is about to run down the card when a couple of old faces from the past return, Sebastian Walker former Wrestlerock Champion Lord Carnish, and a big guy called O Town, the group called WTC. They proceed to hype their new film, The Rise & Fall of Lord Carnish, until they’re interrupted by the dancing one himself, Carlo Cannon. Cannon challenges Carnish to a match, but Walker adds a couple of stipulations - that if Cannon wins, WTC will break up. If Carnish wins, Cannon has to work for Walker.

The match begins immediately, and it certainly is an impressive match to start the show with, some fast-paced and high-flying action from two great wrestlers, but Cannon’s dancing antics proved to be his undoing. Just as the ring girl was about to bring in his disco ball so he could start dancing, the big guy at ringside dragged the ring girl away. Distracted, Cannon was easy prey to a roll-up from Carnish for the win. Cannon was horrified, and it got worse as WTC handcuffed his hands behind him, before Carnish applied a camel clutch. Eventually, WTC dragged Cannon backstage.

Then it was time for another return, with Daniel Swagger coming back to face former champion Mad Dog. Now, this may be a first for me as far as Wrestlerock goes, but this match just didn’t do it for me. Early on Mad Dog crumpled to the mat with an apparent knee injury, but a few moments later the knee injury seemed to disappear, only to return at periodic intervals for the remainder of the match. It didn’t help that Swagger, who showed some good stuff after his tour of America, didn’t actually focus his attack on Mad Dog’s injured knee, so what could have been a corker of a match just didn’t seem to make any sense. Later, Swagger himself complained of a knee injury, and after the referee asked Mad Dog to stay back, a mystery man ran in and took the Dog down with a low blow. An ace crusher later, and the now recovered Swagger got the winning pin. Then it was revealed that the mystery man was another Wrestlerock returnee, Trikki D. Swagger then grabbed the microphone, and after endearing himself to the crowd, announced that he wanted the Wrestlerock title.

The action continued with the self-confessed teen idol, Damian Slater taking on Slex, accompanied here by Lazer. Now this was more like it. After his great debut at the previous Wrestlerock show, Slater turned in another great performance. Slex, of course, was Slex, and I don’t think I’ve seen a bad Slex match left. It was a tremendous back-and-forth contest which mixed mat wrestling with hard hitting action topped off with some high-flying stuff, with plenty of near falls, with Slex eventually getting the pin after his trademark slexecution kick. If you haven’t seen a Slex match before, then this may be a great one to start with.

Tag-team action followed, with Temo, Brian and Dowie, faced the Bastard Brothers team of Krackerjak and Logan in a tables match. This one ha a lot to live up to after their excellent match at the previous show. This was basically one big brawl, with both teams hitting each other with whatever they could get their hands on, chairs, metal ladders, staple guns, and after several near attempts to put each other through a table, Logan held Brian with one arm over a table while Krackerjak came down on top of him from the top rope to send the Temo man crashing through the table. That wasn’t the end of things though, as the Bastards put both of their opponents through another table. Not as good as their previous match, but still pretty damn entertaining.

Main event time, with Wrestlerock Champion Jag taking on a man who has never won a match in the company, the plucky underdog Cletus. It’s a battle of contrasting styles here, with Jag’s no nonsense hard-hitting style against Cletus’ speed and high-flying offence, and it’s a perfect mixture. Cletus plays the underdog role to perfection, while Jag’s no BS style is great to watch. Love him or hate him, you have to admire the guy’s approach. Sadly, though, the underdog couldn’t get the job done. After putting in a great effort, Jag countered Cletus’ hurricanrana attempt and took him down with a power bomb to get the winning pin. Jag then celebrated his win by power bombing Cletus twice more, before Wrestlerock regulators Logan and Lazer came to the rescue. Fellow regulator Slex then appeared on the stage, and announced that Jag’s next title challenger would be his erstwhile foe and former champion Chris Knight, Australia’s weapon of mass destruction. A great way to end the show.

DVD extras come in the form of a set from the band Catwitch, as well as a Wrestlerock 13 highlight video. With the exception of the Mad Dog/Swagger match, this was another great show. The storyline surrounding Jag’s rampage through the promotion gets more and more intriguing with every show, and is possibly one of the best executed angles I’ve seen from any wrestling promotion in quite a while, the sort of storyline that makes you want to watch the next instalment just so you can find out what happens.

Elsewhere, some more good performances, with Krackerjak once again proving why he’s one of my favourite guys on the Wrestlerock roster.

So if you haven’t seen any of these shows yet, and if you haven’t after the great reviews I’ve given them, then Wrestlerock 13 comes highly recommended.

With thanks to Rohan Herbstreit for supplying a copy of this release. Wrestlerock 13: Spooktacular is available to buy online by visiting www.wrestlerock.com.