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Weekend Exit Survey: The Local is Back Up

The best promotion in Australia had a card this weekend: PWA presented Welcome to the Black Label Parade show at the Factory Theatre in Sydney. We also had the usual three of SmackDown, Rampage, and Strong. I elected not to attend in person on account of COVID-19 just absolutely wreaking havoc on New South Wales.

  • What was my favorite match of the weekend?

In a great match that was fifth on the card, but should’ve been the semi-main, Mick Moretti retained the Soul of PWA Championship over Robbie Eagles. It’s very fitting that these two wrestled for this title because these two guys are synonymous with this promotion. They’re both veterans who know each other incredibly well and have wrestled each other and as partners tons of times in and out of PWA. 

This bout had a ton of awesome reversals and those spots that you’d only do with someone you really trust and know like the back of your hand. This was Eagles’ first match back in Australia after spending most of 2021 in Japan wrestling for New Japan. Moretti has wrestled in PWG and is someone I could see going back there once travel restrictions ease up. 

  • Who should you keep an eye on in Australian wrestling?

I wrote about a PWA card I attended last year and predicted that Steph De Lander (now Persia Perotta in NXT 2.0) would be signed within two years. Also on that show was Matty Wahlberg (now Grayson Waller in NXT 2.0). Even with the new edict in WWE to find pretty non-wrestler athletes to teach how to wrestle, rather than talented professional wrestlers, I still like to think attention is being paid to this promotion. I would be disappointed if promotions like AEW and Impact weren’t paying attention to PWA. 

Jessica Troy is probably next up. She’s now the #1 contender for the promotion’s world title and will likely win it. She’s a super talented wrestler with a ton of charisma and has improved greatly in the last year, even during the pandemic. Look out for her name popping up in the majors soon.

Aussie Open, who lost the tag titles in the main event of this show, are already somewhat out there in the U.K. With them joining Will Ospreay’s United Empire, they’ll likely be full-time NJPW guys in the next 18 months. 

Kingsley is another one with charisma for days that’s come along well in the ring. If not for COVID, she probably would’ve had a heap of matches overseas. With the personality already on point, the in-ring ability will only get better and better, which will soon make her a blue-chip prospect. 

  • What can we expect from Lita in 2022?

I don’t think that they would have a segment with Lita hitting the world champion, Charlotte Flair, a Twist of Fate for no reason. I think that similar to Trish Stratus in 2019, we could be getting an inter-generational title match at WrestleMania in Flair vs Lita. 

We know that Flair is entering the Royal Rumble as champion with the intention to win it and pick her opponent for Mania. I would bet serious money that Lita eliminates Charlotte from the Rumble, which could be the set-up for this match.

If this big dream match isn’t the plan, I still very much think that Lita eliminating Flair is in play, and if that’s all we get then that’s enough for me. Lita’s influence on wrestling today is perhaps stronger than that of anyone else of her era. She was way ahead of her time, I wish I could teleport 2003 Lita to current wrestling.

  • Where do the Jurassic Express go from here?

These two All Elite originals finally won the big one. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus are tag team champions, winning them from the Lucha Brothers. Now that they’ve achieved this, what’s next? What’s going to happen after a few banger title defenses in television main events and on pay-per-view?

This isn’t the long-term play for Jungle Boy. He’s a future world champion in AEW. I don’t see a future as bright for Luchasaurus, who would be beyond lost without Jungle Boy. The endgame has to be the lone underdog babyface, Jack Perry. 

With him linked up with both Luchasaurus and Christian Cage, how would you get Jungle Boy on his own? I think the Cage turn is imminent and will be one of the best things for Jungle Boy’s career. Cage is one of the smartest wrestlers in the game and an elite heel. 

It’d make the most sense for FTR to beat Jurassic Express for the tag titles (at Double or Nothing or All Out) and Cage turns on them afterward. You’d have to have a spot in the match that puts Luchasaurus is out of commission, and unable to defend Jungle Boy and then Cage hits the Killswitch on him. What would come after this is a multi-singles-match program between Cage and Jungle Boy, with the latter ultimately coming out the victor. 

For the eventual Jungle Boy world title odyssey, you’d need to do a segment where Luchasaurus says “this is your time”, and all that. Similar to Kofi Kingston and Big E last year. Get ready for MJF defending the AEW World Championship against Jungle Boy in the main event of Double or Nothing 2025. 

  • How high is JONAH’s ceiling in NJPW?

Since his debut last year, this is something I’ve been thinking about a lot. I don’t think he’s an IWGP World Heavyweight Championship guy, but there are so many that maybe should be and aren’t. I think this is ultimately a good thing and is part of what gives it such prestige. 

I can certainly see JONAH being in the mix for the IWGP United States title and definitely the NEVER Openweight title. I’d even go as far to say that the NEVER title would be his floor. I really wish they’d never condensed the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles because JONAH would be a perfect IC champ. I hope he can be in the next G1 because there are a ton of guys in New Japan I want to see Jonah wrestle. 

As for what faction Jonah should join if he were to join one, this is something I’m unable to decide upon. Bullet Club is too bloated at this point. He’s not a fit for CHAOS or LIJ. Suzuki-gun is a stretch but could work. United Empire has someone very much cut from the same cloth as Jonah in Jeff Cobb, but that’s not to say he couldn’t join. It’s not vital that he joins one, it’s just a fun thought exercise.

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