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MCW Hostile Takeover 2016 Review

So this is a little weird for me. I’m admittedly used to seeing MCW live every month at the MCW Arena in Essendon, but sadly had to miss it. But considering how fast and furious the storylines and fueds are with MCW I just couldn’t miss this show, hence why I’m watching it TONIGHT courtesy of MCW’s OnDemand service.

As we came into this show, we have what promises to be a solid card…. on paper. Considering a lot of MCW’s success is in delivering killer shows with big blow off matches, this card could go either way purely because there is no big monster blow off match.

However saying that, MCW have often gone down the under promise / over deliver approach before. Will MCW deliver another knockout blow of a show, or will this dangerous slip into “B show” territory?

Emmanuel vs. Cousin Ali

This is the match that had the most intrique for me, for a number of reasons. Emmanuel and Cousin Ali, as The Estate were a phenomenal heel team with a classic combo; big heavy hitter and smaller wilier partner. In many ways it’s a great shame The Estate’s tag team title reign didn’t last longer.

MCW have taken a chance by splitting up these teams, which was really evident at the last show when the team split. Firstly there was no clear cut face in this fued (though seemingly they were trying to push Emmanuel in the face role), and secondly, I have worries about how far Cousin Ali can go in singles.

As the match started my initial fear about the face / heel dynamic was for naught. The fact is that this match was so much about the actual storyline and fued between the two, that the heel / face dynamic was irrelevant; fans WANTED to see this fight regardless. The crowd were into it despite the heel / face gray area.

Firstly big thumbs up for psychology, one thing I really enjoy whenever Ali wrestles is that MCW and Ali’s opponent do a great job protecting his size. Every match is generally about “how can wrestler X overcome this massive challenge.” Kudos guys. It’s a dying art form in my opinion and you are nailing it with Ali.

Additional kudos also goes to the commentary team, Chris Fresh and Travis Euesdon, who did a usual great job of talking about The Estate’s past and building up how dangerous and dominant Ali is. This would make a mountain of sense later in the show. In addition, they also did a great job of presenting Emmanuel as an underdog, which is a hell of an accomplishment considering how much of an insufferable pr*ck the Emmanuel character has been in MCW so far.

The only minus of the match I can think of, is that the injured ribs of Emmanuel were not referenced enough, both in the ring or out. Which is a shame. But regardless a great outing and a good “storyline” match, which both men can use to springboard their characters into the future.

Mike Burr vs. Lochy Hendricks

Always great to a get bonus match, and also really great to see Krackerjack, one of the most unusual and fun promo guys in Australian today, come out alongside Lochy Hendricks.

I love how Lochy has smoothly transitioned from his brutal fued with Syd Parker at Ballroom Brawl, into this humorous storyline with Krackerjack.

As usual Lochy was his fast and furious self, and the veteran Mike Burr, who has reinvented himself since entering singles competition, kept up to the pace whilst also keeping a structure to the contest.

As usual, Mike Burr brought some stinging strikes, whilst Lochy Hendricks kept trying to move to ensure he would survive the match. Meanwhile Krackerjack brought a sense of humour to the proceedings. It was certainly an effective match to bring a lighter tone to the proceedings before the match would take a dark turn.

I’m not quite sure where this storyline is going, but I can’t wait to see where it does lead us.

Josh ‘The Axe’ Shooter vs. Mark Davis vs. Robbie Eagles

Time for the “work rate” match which MCW do so very well; bringing together three of the best in-ring guys you could find in Australian, and shoving them into a triple threat match. Gold.

What makes this so interesting is you have one power wrestler, a comedy act and a high flyer, which should make for an interesting combination.

One thing that really needs to be praised in this contest is that the match effectively highlighted each man’s strengths.

The Axe showed great viciousness in his character and continues to throw in little mannerism and moves every time I see him wrestle, whilst Robbie Eagles continued to show why he is one of the best flyers in the business.

But what about Mark Davis! His comedy stylings didn’t distract from the tone match or his opponents, and if anything complimented them. The early part of the match saw his usual cheery self, but he effectively changed gears into a more serious competitor as the match went on. Plus his lariat is a beaut and that driver finisher of his if something your just HAVE TO SEE. It’s worth the price of the show on its own.

Without spoiling it, I wanted to see a different man win, but ultimately the winner made a lot of the sense, and the way he won worked really well for his character. Best match of the night so far hands down.

Number 1 Contendership Tag Team Elimination Match

So in previous MCW shows we’ve seen TMDK dethrone the previous tag team champions Juice X T, and in doing so has thrown the tag team division into a sort of limbo, leading us to ask “what direction will MCW take their tag team scene?”

In many ways this match acts as a big “this is where we’re taking the division”, by throwing together four teams, all of which are still new to MCW.

Preston & Payne continued to show me why they are one of my favourite characters in MCW at the moment. They look awesome, they are vicious and utterly unique.

Nick Bury & Mitch Waterman are no doubt great young talent with a huge upside, but they still look like they are trying to find their feet as a team. Though saying this, the in ring heel turn, which came out of nowhere, is a change for the better as far as I can see. It will give their characters something to hang their hats onto.

Finally Man United are continuing to establish themselves as a great comedy duo.

Intercommonwealth Championship Mr. Juicy vs Jonah Rock

I was really excited see this match, which is why I’m disappointed with what eventually happened.

You’ve probably seen the photos on Melbourne City Wrestling, but the match didn’t take place because Jonah Rock assaulted his challenger Mr. Juicy, by *exploding* a glass over his head. It was a fantastic spectacle, and somewhat bloody.

So yes, I really wanted to see this match, but it seems this is more of a show for progressing storylines. Though don’t despair! Often a lack of a match can further fueds and help reinforce wrestler’s position on the card better than a match ever could; it’s rare, but this is a good example of it.

I mean, you can’t say that Jonah Rock didn’t come out of this looking like a terrifying Intercommonwealth Champion!

The big shocker coming out of this match was the post match angle where Cousin Ali, an unlikely hero if ever there was one, coming out to square up to Jonah Rock. Rock is not often overshadowed, but against Counsin Ali, he was dwarfed, and it’s impressive to see just how intimidating Ali can be against such an establish international star.

So sure, we didn’t get the match, but I’m really interested to see where this goes. I really admire MCW for taking a chance and setting up new challengers against TMDK outside of the obvious choices such as Mr. Juicy, JXT and the other top line guys.

Tag Team Main Event: Jag Hartley Jackson & Slex vs. Dowie James & Elliot Sexton

OK, so this is the match I had biggest concerns with. Coming into it, instead of feeling like a big show main event, it felt more like a RAW main event. So not bad… but I’ve come to expect so much from MCW’s high standards.

Now all four men are four of my favourite competitors in Australia and certainly worthy of main eventing a top show, and considering how the show has been delivering on all cylinders so far, by the time the match came around, I was renewed with big expectations.

The great news? The match delivered BIG TIME, and all four men came out of it looking great.

Firstly Slex is getting better every time I see him. When he first returned to MCW he seemed rusty to me, but he’s getting smoother in the ring, his heel turn has done wonders. It really suits him and his character.

Dowie James meanwhile was his usual excellent self, and what a great pairing with Slex he made. I can see why MCW have been setting the seeds between them, as the two really meshed well and I can’t wait to see a single contest between the two down the line.

Elliot Sexton was also used perfectly in this match. Used for short and powerful burst, it really highlighted Sexton’s strengths as the dominant face champion MCW have built him to be with his shattering power moves.

And finally… is there anyone scarier in all of Australia than Jag Hartley Jackson? He was protected well as the dominant king of TMDK, especially when he was working over Sexton’s leg (which was a nice nod to the psychology of their past matches together).

My overall opinion of the match? It has a surprising end, but the right result came about for all involved. TMDK remain the dominant team in MCW, seeds were planted for the possibility of Sexton being a TMDK double agent, and a tentalising future fued between Dowie James and Elliot Sexton was hinted.

More importantly, the significance of the MCW title as more than being JUST a championship was highlighted; the man who holds it is a figurehead for not only the company, but for all of Australian wrestling. This storyline layering is tricky at the best of times, but it’s something that MCW excel.

Final thoughts.

Okay so I had some trepidation coming into this show. There was no outright killer match, but ultimately the show really delivered both in the ring and out of it too.

The best thing about this show is this simple moral; miss a MCW show at your own peril, because a lot of developments happened. We are getting some serious hints as to what the next big time matches are going to be for MCW in 2016.

So do yourself a favour and watch this show if you want a taste of what MCW has to offer. It has a lot of interesting backstory, and will get you right into the MCW mood as they head into their peak season.

>> Download this, and other Melbourne City Wrestling shows, by going to MCW’s On Demand section now.

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