Friday, 29 January 2010

Wrestleclash 2 - DVD Review

It was only meant to be a one-off event, but last November Wrestleclash returned for a second show at the Darebin Community Sports Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, with a packed line-up featuring some of my favourite Aussie stars. And now it’s available to buy on a two disc set!
Disc one begins with an in-ring promo featuring the Three Kings faction of Carlo Cannon, Jag Hartley Jackson and Damian Slater before the first match of the show, Cannon taking on Robby Heart. This was a nice and very enjoyable opener. Cannon looked great as the heel, a lot more aggressive than I’ve seen him before, so no happy clappy stuff from him here. Heart was the perfect foil here, and he impressed me a great deal. So we got plenty of near falls and back and forth action, before Heart got the pin after a top rope splash. I’ve also got to mention Heart’s set-up move for the splash, an awesome jumping DDT.

Heart’s work wasn’t done though. As he walked up the aisle he was attacked by Jag and Slater. Krackerjak came out to help, only to be attacked by his opponent for the evening, Slex. The mass onslaught was halted by Matt Silva and Mikey Nicholls, with various insults thrown back and forth afterwards. If I’m to be perfectly honest this segment went on a little too long for my liking, and I’m not really sure if it was needed.

Tag team action followed as Mike Burr and A.J. Istria, accompanied by Julian James and Jay Andrews, took on Mike Peterson and Pyro, accompanied by Shazza McKenzie. This proved to be just as enjoyable as the opener. While Burr and Istria looked like a good team, Pyro and Peterson looked tremendous, clearly the best wrestlers in this match. Indeed, when Peterson threw Istria over the top rope onto the fighting wrestlers and managers at ringside with an exploder suplex move it looked like a thing of beauty. Sadly, Pyro and Peterson couldn’t get the job done, as Burr got the pin for his team after taking Pyro down with a brain buster. More after match activity followed, with the hated heels trying to do more damage, before Shazza came into the ring to help her boys clean house.

Then it was on to triple threat action, with Davis Storm, Shane Haste and Nate Dooley. This was a relatively short match, but featured plenty of fast paced action. I really warmed to Dooley’s comedic stylings here, while the performances of Haste and Davis were great. Add in some inventive three way moves and you’ve got a hell of a match, with Haste getting the pin on Dooley after taking him out with his variation of the GTS.

Up next was one of the matches I was really looking forward to as the hardcore bastard Krackerjak went up against Slex, two guys I’m very familiar with through their appearances on the Wrestlerock shows. Now this was one intense battle. There was a TNA-style brawl through the crowd, Jak back dropping Slex over a balcony, and then causing more damage by power bombing him through a table - and that was before they even got to the ring, where the action was just as intense. The referee took a snooze after Jak clobbered him with a kendo stick, and Slex later got a measure of revenge by putting Jak through a table with a flying stomp from the top rope to the floor. We also got a move I’ve never seen before as Slex took Jak down with a brain buster on the side of a shopping trolley. It wasn’t enough to put him away though. Slex thought he had the win with a roll-up, but the referee kicked his hand off the rope. This gave Jak the chance to get the pin with his own roll-up, the referee failing to spot that he himself had his hand on the ropes. The only other thing I can say about this one is awesome, just awesome.

The next match was another one I was really looking forward to, as the South Australian serial killer Jag Hartley Jackson went up against Mikey Nicholls. Another relatively short match, but a great example of just why Jag could be the best wrestler in Australia at the moment. It was a hard-hitting, no nonsense performance here, and while Nicholls put in a good effort, Jag was just that much better. Nicholls looked like he was going to get the win at one point though, after coming off the top with a shooting star press, but Jag’s buddy Carlo Cannon stopped the referee’s count, and this distraction gave Jag the chance to pile drive Nicholls onto a steel chair, and with the offending item shuffled out of the ring, Jag got the winning pin. Nice work all round here.

Disc two began with tag team action, with the Fitness Maniacs against two more guys I’m familiar with from Wrestlerock, Mad Dog and Cletus. This proved to be a very good match. Even though I’m not exactly a fan of the Maniacs’ gimmick (think of an Aussie version of the Body Donnas) I have to admit that Shaun O’Shea and Mikey Broderick are a pretty good team, and this match was a perfect example of that. Mad Dog, and especially Cletus, looked pretty good too, which is what made this match so enjoyable. The Maniacs’ underhanded tactics proved to be their undoing. After Broderick mistakenly threw powder into O’Shea’s eyes when Cletus ducked out of the way, Mad Dog took O’Shea down with a pile driver, before Cletus sealed the deal with a splash from the top of Mad Dog’s shoulders as he sat on the top rope. Good stuff.

Then it was on to the main event, with Matt Silva facing Damian Slater for the vacant Warzone Wrestling Championship. The pre-match video set this one up perfectly. Silva and put on a hell of a performance, a hard fought, back and forth enthralling contest, the sort of match that you don’t want to end, it was that good. The performances of those concerned really can’t be faulted, and after plenty of near falls, and attempted interference from Slex, Slater finally got the title winning pin after taking Silva down with a super kick. Slater’s fellow Kings then came down to the ring to join the celebration and to attack Silva, before the baby faces ran in to make the save.

Plenty of extras spread over the two discs here, including various promos, video packages and a photo gallery.

In conclusion - I’ve really missed my regular dose of Australia wrestling, and Wrestleclash 2 was the perfect way to get my fix. The matches here ranged from good to great to friggin’ awesome, with some great performances from some of my old favourites. Production-wise it can’t be faulted, except for one thing - the lack of commentary. The likes of Chris Fresh or the aforementioned Julian James would have been perfect in building up the big matches.

But seeing as how that is my only criticism of this release then I can heartily say that Wrestlerock 2 comes highly recommended, and if my past Wrestlerock reviews haven’t turned you on to Australian wrestling then hopefully this one will.

With thanks to Rohan Herbstreit for supplying a copy of this release. Wrestleclash 2 is available to buy online at

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