Review: Fair City Wrestling ‘Episode IV: A New Hope’

Cast your mind back to February 2020, The Tulloch Institute, Perth. Fears of a some sort of flu that was caused by a man eating a bat coming our way. It’ll pass in a couple weeks. A couple weeks of lockdown, easy right? The next Fair City Wrestling show would be coming up shortly and all the champions would be crowned.

Whelp.

By March 2020 wrestling was cancelled in a physical sense of the word. No interacting, no smushing faces, stay 2 metres away from me at all times (a rule I might keep when this ever ends).

By June 2020 wrestlers were being cancelled and it looked like this fun thing we like to spend hours of our lives watching, writing, recording, imagining, was all over. Pack it up boys this just isn’t worth the bother anymore. A wrestling dystopia.

Would wrestling be the same again?

As rules started to relax, as restrictions were lifted, wrestling companies started plotting, planning, preparing, and putting on shows. Putting smiles on peoples faces once more. The new normal is coming over the horizon.

20 months had passed since the last Fair City Wrestling event and the landscape had certainly changed.

A roster reshuffle, new faces, and plans changing suddenly, any other company with only three shows to their name may’ve struggled to re-establish themselves but a sold out crowd was on hand at The Tulloch Institute in Perth for the return of Fair City Wrestling.

Thanks to the wonders of technology, the folk at Fair City Wrestling have edited and uploaded their return event and have only gone and stuck it on the YouTube for my eyes… and your eyes if you so wish.

How was the show though? I’ll tell you my thoughts and opinions if you like that sort of thing.

Sirena Rose defeated Emily Hayden by pinfall.

Kicking off with FCW Women’s Championship contender Sirena Rose, the former Sara Marie Taylor, against #Wrestlebeech herself Emily Hayden. Hayden was the early favourite, taking selfies and conducting an Emily Hayden chant while Sirena had a tantrum.

A stalling start to get the crowd hyped up, yay-boo interactions with Emily getting an early upper hand before Sirena was able to slam Hayden’s face onto the second turnbuckle to take over control.

Sirena found her self a bit too preoccupied with the crowd which allowed Hayden to sneak in an armbar but Rose was soon back in charge, bullying Wrestlebeech about the ring.

Just as it looked like Sirena had wrapped the match up with a Northern Lights Suplex, a human (I assume) dressed as a fella from Squid Games popped up on the apron. Rose seemed distracted for a moment but wriggled out of Hayden’s fireman’s carry and hit the Chick Kick for the win.

Emily got some offense in but the match was really showing the aggression of Sirena Rose which certainly stepped up since I last saw her wrestle. The moves looked stiffer, which may be in part due to ring rust but it definitely looked tighter and like I’ve pointed out, more aggressive.

The Squid Games stuff was a bit weird but it seemed to make sense to the crowd who started shouting ‘red light’ in response, I’ve never seen the show and can only rely on TikTok’s and gifs for my references to it.

I liked Hayden’s focus on wearing down the arm after trapping Sirena in the armbar early in the match. The little things.

A solid start to the show.

Nathan North defeated umar mohammed by pinfall.

A new attitude for ‘The Asian Sensation’ as he entered carrying a replica Oscar and wearing the much admired altered Kameez.

After the obligatory yay-boo opening spot the match started with a bit of back and forth, North stepped up a gear to hit a nice hilo into the ring for a two count. A double underhook was countered as Umar whipped North shoulder first into the turnbuckle where the focus of his offense landed on which included a lovely hammerlock lariat for a nearfall.

North fought back but Umar cut him off, landing a nice knee drop from the second rope (the most dangerous rope) while Nathan’s lifeless body was draped over the second rope into the ring. Mohammed missed a second knee drop to the arm that seemed to give North a second wind, fighting back and hitting a Blockbuster for a two count. A fireman’s carry shoulderbreaker and follow up double underhook sit out slam looked to have wrapped it up but the pin was too close to the ropes and ‘The Asian Sensation’ got his foot over the bottom rope to keep the fight going.

Nathan scaled the turnbuckle but Mohammed swept his legs on the second rope (told you it was dangerous), double knees to the back and a fisherman’s driver, with a little twist, for a very close nearfall to the disbelief of Umar.

Umar attempted a second rope corkscrew senton but missed allowing Nathan to hit his crooked moonsault for the win.

An excellent match, really enjoyed this one. Both wrestlers had certainly went all out. The moves looked crisp, the crowd was entertained throughout and the nearfalls were biting. No complaints here!

Talking Zack

Zack Leon hosted ‘Talking Zack’ to show off Fair City Wrestling’s championship belts and the when and how champions were to be crowned. A quick catch up for new fans. He was interrupted by Euan G Mackie, who is now a pirate… because of course he is.

After having a whinge that he didn’t have a match and would fight anyone and anything including fish in his pursuit for gold, Taylor Bryden interrupted to stake his intentions on the championships in FCW and that he would work to get his chance at them. Final interruption from The Infamous Ian Ambrose who also made it clear he wasn’t in Fair City Wrestling to just stand around.

Somehow Zack made a tag team match, himself and Taylor Bryden versus Ian Ambrose and Euan G Mackie. I’m guessing during ‘Talking Zack’ he is allowed booking power? Don’t overthink it Billy…

Brodie Adler defeated Hammer & Sickle by pinfall.

Hammer and Sickle slinked out and attacked ring crew member Tommy Atlas while Atlas was prepping the ring for the next match. Brodie Adler entered and challenged the two Soviet masked mercenaries to a match there and then.

Hammer and Sickle tried to use the numbers advantage early on but Brodie was soon battering both with relative ease. An impressive “Oh My Goodness Gracious Me” Samoan Drop to the larger one (I’d say that was Hammer?) and a sweet Black Hole Slam to the other and that was that. Brodie wasn’t Russian about but also wasn’t getting paid by the hour.

Hammer and Sickle? Absolutely ridiculous. Stupid. Shouldn’t work. Loved them.

Much like the opening match for Sirena Rose, it put across Brodie Adler’s strength and personality well on the road to their showdown for the FCW Women’s Championship.

FCW Junior Heavyweight Championship
Ken Kaiden defeated Tommy Cross by pinfall to win the FCW Junior Heavyweight Championship.

In the first title match of the evening, the Junior Heavyweight Championship was originally due to be decided in a tournament which Tommy Cross worked his way through to the final whereas Ken Kaiden was subbed into the match after changes in circumstances over forced break in the world.

Kaiden was the favourite in the room with Tommy Cross coming in with a clear metaphorical chip on his shoulder.

A back and forth tussle started the match. There seemed to be quite a bit of miscommunication to get things going, not the cleanest of transitions. Cross was a bit too loosey goosey with his movements, almost just going through the motions at times. Though he laid in a nice lariat from “Somewhere in Dundee”.

Ken picked up the pace a little, throwing in some hard kicks and firing up the crowd. Kaiden dodged a Curb Stomp but couldn’t avoid the front facelock plant for a nearfall. A running knee from Kaiden earned another two count before catching Cross’s foot during a second Curb Stomp attempt and countering into a swinging fisherman’s neckbreaker to pick up the win and become the inaugural FCW Junior Heavyweight Champion.

Post match a spooky women in a mask arrived and a big fella, also in a mask, with long hair turned up, chokeslammed Tommy Cross and dragged him away.

Something about this match didn’t click with me, it was like Cross and Kaiden were going at difference paces and there was a hard job getting them to get on the same page. The forearms exchanges were good but this wasn’t a match for me overall.

Euan G Mackie & Ian Ambrose defeated Taylor Bryden & Zack Leon by pinfall.

Ambrose and Leon started the match with Ambrose using his teeth early on to gnaw at Leon’s hand, holding a headlock in the ropes to a four count and gouging the eyes to take short cuts. Leon fought back but Ambrose employed the ol’ Eric Young turnbuckle Irish whip counter to get some momentum going… before being dropkicked in the face by Zack Leon.

We got a Disco Biscuits reunion with Euan G Mackie and Taylor Bryden squaring off with Bryden muscling Mackie about. In an unusual term of events, Leon and Bryden split the ring and made quick tags to punish Mackie further. The balance was soon restored in the tropes of the wrestling when Mackie hit a quick knee to the gut of Bryden and tagged in Ambrose to take advantage.

Mackie dropped Leon off the apron to stop an attempted tag from Bryden to keep his team on offense but “Goblins of the Seas” Mackie soon found himself returning to the skies and thrown in the air with a hooked fallaway slam from Bryden.

Leon tagged in and went wild, like a house on fire, hitting everything and anything… just needed a redo of his elbow drop kip up combo on Ambrose (it’s been 20 months) before planting him with a headlock driver.

Mackie brought his sword into the match but Bryden stopped a swing with a counter into a crossface, while the referee was disposing of the sword Ambrose snuck in and hit Bryden with this skull accompaniment for the tainted victory.

A lot of moving parts in this, plenty action, an enjoyable match.

FCW Heavyweight Championship
Caleb Valhalla defeated Dickie Divers by pinfall to WIN the FCW Heavyweight Championship.

During the entrances Valhalla almost found himself a mighty big mess on the floor after slipping in whatever liquid was in spilling out of his horn tankard. A bit overzealous to say the least, there must be no puddles in Asgard.

Some banter back and forth with Divers and Valhalla showing off their physiques to the crowd before Valhalla overpowered Divers early on.

Divers had to rely on the wrestling with pure power finding himself getting a big forearm in the face. The match spilled into the crowd with a visit to the merch table where Caleb advertised his own t-shirts to cheers. When the match got back to the ring it was all Caleb for a good portion, clubbing blows and manhandling Divers about until an eye poke found Dickie take advantage.

Caleb threw Divers with a standing powerslam before heading to the top rope but Divers pushed referee Chris Quinn into the ropes to knock the God from his perch and took control, Garvin stomping and dropping knees on Valhalla to try and keep the big man down.

Divers tried to subdue Valhalla with a sleeper but the beast woke up and back suplexed his opponent to create some space. Caleb hit a spear for a two count but his second attempt saw him collide with the referee allowing Divers to hit a low blow but couldn’t capitalise due to the referee being out. Divers returned with a chair and smacked Valhalla in the face with it for only a nearfall. Valhalla rose to his feet and hit the Hellride on Divers for the win and become the first FCW Heavyweight Champion.

A feel good end to the show, Divers and Valhalla worked well together. Both interacted well with the crowd and the match itself was good fun. The power of Caleb Valhalla man, this guy is popping up everywhere and rightly so.

Overall a fine show, plenty positives coming out of the event with two popular champions crowned, a belter of a match between Umar Mohammed and Nathan North, some good character showcase and development for Sirena Rose and Brodie Adler. Thumbs up.

Watch the full event below:

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