Iron Fist Pro: Genesis
September 28 2018
We’re in Adelaide, South Australia at the Published Arthouse. This is Iron Fist’s first show but they piqued my interest by booking Hideki Suzuki for it. It’s a chance for me to check out some Australian talent that I’m not overly familiar with. One of the benefits of doing a podcast with an Australian is being introduced to a new scene. Let’s give it a shot!
Note 1: Aussies do the “one fall” thing.
Note 2: the hard cam is over the ring! Very cool.
Commentary comes from Scott and Anthony. They’re clearly pretty inexperienced and they keep repeating themselves. A lot of swearing too if you’re looking to watch this around children.
Nick Golfis vs. Tyler Trench vs. Robby Heart vs. Rat Daddy
Golfis is a skinny guy in a t-shirt. He’s relatively inexperienced. Trench is a bald guy in a singlet. Heart has more gimmick. He’s covered in tattoos and has white facepaint. Rat Daddy has a lot of personality. Crowd like him. Heart stands out for me. He’s a 12 year pro. I’ve seen him Michinoku Pro and his timing and execution is better than anyone elses. Rat Daddy superkicks him off the pin and steals one on Golfis. Robby Heart is ready for International bookings. Everyone else was a little raw for my liking but then I am watching an Australian Indie promotion.
Final Rating: **1/4
Dean Valente vs. Ricky South
South worked Jimmy Havoc on the PROGRESS tour of Australia. He appears to be wearing lipstick. This is a very basic match with Valente playing heel. Both guys have very basic looks too, which makes it not stand out in any way. Both guys have decent personalities but limited ideas. Valente has a broken hand and makes a point of switching his offence around to not include the hand, which is cool but that’s the peak of the wrestling. The match is really at its best when they’re just striking each other back and forth but this turns into a very silly kiss-off sequence. The match doesn’t know if it’s a comedy or not and they struggle tonally throughout. When Valente has control periods I’m far more invested but South is all over the place. They even have a kooky finish where Valente fakes an injury, making me wonder if the hand thing is a Bob Orton Jr deal, and wins with a Death Valley Driver. This was weird as fuck. Too many ideas all colliding with two different sets of character work and the hand story. I’m sure both men will improve in time.
Final Rating: **
Indi Hartwell vs. Joanie May
Hartwell has wrestled for SHIMMER. Joanie is the local girl while Indi is from Melbourne. Thus setting up a natural heel/face aesthetic.
Indi mispronounces Adelaide and a fan yells “Melbourne is shit”. Local rivalries! Sports teams! Grr! The match almost revolves around Indi yelling at the fans while Joanie sells. Technically the match is quite bad. Joanie struggles positionally several times and Indi can’t get her in position for a neckbreaker at all but they do it anyway. Indi is the better of the two, by some distance, but she spends huge chunks of the match adjusting her gear. Once you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it. Indi has to stagger into spots as Joanie’s set ups aren’t good. Her strikes have no follow through either. The trouble with the explosion in women’s wrestling is that, in some territories, the interest has exceeded the capabilities of the talent. Joanie is fine but I wouldn’t put her in front of a crowd yet. She needs more aggression and her timing is off. Indi was better and largely carried the match but it wasn’t good. Sorry ladies.
Final Rating: ¾*
Gino Gambino vs. Tommy Knight
Gino is a fun act but Tommy Knight is a legitimate up and coming talent. Coming out to the Rolling Stones track “Gimme Shelter” he feels kinda epic. Like Minoru Suzuki almost. He even has the towel over the head. These two are both big lads big Gino is more of a joker whereas Tommy is tough as nails.
What a prime physical specimen Gino Gambino is! It’s insane to me that Mr Juicy has wrestled for New Japan. He had a match with Ishii when New Japan toured Australia.
— Arn (@ArnoldFurious) October 14, 2018
The match again has a few little timing issues but they’re far less noticeable. They tell a good story of two different guys. Gambino being more playful and large. Knight being a bruiser who doesn’t take any shit. The crowd don’t really respond to it as you’d hope and the ending, a kneebar out of nowhere, is a little sudden but I really enjoyed it. Best match on the show so far. Tommy Knight has been wrestling for a little over a year. Given the Australian scene that doesn’t mean a tonne of matches either. This was apparently his first singles match.
Final Rating: ***
Adam Brooks vs. AJ Istria
I saw Istria as “Ashley Istria” in NOAH. He’s pretty good. Adam Brooks has been over in the UK, where he didn’t make many waves due to the sheer quality of the scene over there. Brooks looks super motivated here and if he’d shown this fire when he was in the UK he might have fared better. This is the kind of match that would get lost on a UK show, or a big American Indie but in Australia, where the standard isn’t as high, it’s a low key banger. He still has issues. There are a few thigh slaps that leap out at me but he does look a lot better here than almost any time during his UK run. It helps that Istria is very good and AJ works heel. So Brooks can work from underneath and bring that sizzle to Istria’s steak. It is weird to me that Brooks hits all these crazy high spots and the crowd remain relatively quiet. I like the logic of the match with Istria working the arm and getting the win via armbar. Good match. Clinical for the most part and Istria is a rising star. Brooks may have dropped the ball during his UK run but he remains one of the most solidly capable technicians in the Australia territory.
Istria makes me love him on the way out calling an elderly fan “an old bitch”.
Final Rating: ***1/2
The VeloCities (Jude London & Paris De Silva) vs. Link Barnett & Mike Boomer
Jude and Paris have matching attire so they’re very tag-teamy. The standard is good again here, although its two teams doing an Indierific spot heavy match. Comms is reminded of the Young Bucks and you can see the influences on the sleeves here. Tag teams is where the more creative wrestlers tend to go. Barnett and Boomer work heel and isolate Paris after some hot action at the bell. They get creative with a low ceiling Paris’ comeback starts with him using the ceiling to block a double suplex. When the match breaks down we again get a tonne of spots and that’s the strength of these guys. There are some structure issues with it being a crazy match interrupted by a long heat segment in the middle when it could easily have just gone balls to the wall.
The finish from VeloCities is a legsweep Blockbuster! It’s super cool.
Does it have a super cool name lads? pic.twitter.com/DRVStvuOew
— Arn (@ArnoldFurious) October 14, 2018
Final Rating: ***1/2
Hideki Suzuki vs. Jonah Rock
The pace is totally different to the previous match as they slow things right now and go to a mat classic. Hideki values realism and a lot of his work is based on MMA moves. The match plays out like a game of chess.
Two big boys doing big boy things. Lots of holds, counter holds and old timey graps between two big realistic workers. They don’t just roll around in the ring though, they go and explore the space around the building and give everyone a good look at some strong style. It’s a nice look at the venue and it’s the kind of place I love to watch wrestling. It’s a well lit warehouse. I’m still not convinced the pillars are a good idea and the ceiling is too low but it’s a cool building. The standard is obviously quite high, especially compared to the undercard and yet the match is very much a Hideki Suzuki match. For all that entails both positive and negative. Suzuki grinds Jonah into submission and punts him down for the three count. As with most Suzuki matches this was realistic and snug but somehow underwhelming. While a lot of other wrestlers who work the shoot style, and are big lads, tend to be able to step it up I feel like Suzuki only has one gear. Which leads to frequent disappointments. Mainly because I prefer Suzuki in tags or in tournaments where he can bring variety. As a main event he doesn’t do a lot for me. Solid wrestling though.
Final Rating: ***1/4
This was Iron Fist’s first show and it shows in places. The commentary didn’t work. The venue presented a few challenges despite looking very cool on tape. The audience maybe didn’t know what to expect. I’m going to come out and say it; I’m not convinced anyone should start up a promotion and headline the first show with a fly in and have that fly in be Hideki Suzuki. With all due respect Suzuki caters to a hardcore audience that enjoy a particular throwback style and it’s not a big audience. They would have been better off bringing in a more exciting Japanese wrestler or simply building around local talent for a few shows before branching out. You’re not going to make money this way. What this show does serve as is an introduction to some Australian talent that maybe hasn’t had the exposure they need; AJ Istria, Jonah Rock, Adam Brooks, everyone in the semi-main tag and Tommy Knight. The latter being a sure-fire thing to hit the big time at some point given his presence, size and talent. Especially as he only debuted last year. I struggled a bit with the first few matches here but the second half is consistently good and it’s up for free on YouTube so why not give it a look?