Goddamn does time fly when you’re having fun? It’s the one-year anniversary of Deathmatch Downunder. After a year of navigating the COVID minefield to put on killer show after killer show, it was time to celebrate. In one year, they’d crowned champions, made history, and blown minds. That wasn’t going to stop anytime soon. For Roll On, they were going to showcase what had brought them to the dance and what was going to keep them there. Amongst tonight’s matches we had, the world’s scariest scramble, Mad Dog vs Loverboy Lochy Hendricks, Big Door Energy, Jessica Troy vs Royce Chambers, Callen Butcher vs Vixsin, and much more leading to the main event in which DMDU said goodbye and thank you to the retiring Ritchie Taylor with one final match against the Smash Hit Joel Bateman. Let’s get into the action.

Scramble: York defeated Kid Valiant, Bruce Buchanan, Broderick Valentine, Rochelle Rogue & Jordan Samson via Hold the Line on Samson

Up first tonight was a good old scramble. Deathmatch monster York was going to be in the ring with five other hungry fighters including the newly unmasked Kid Valiant, the returning warriors in the Rochelle Rogue and True Love Broderick Valentine and two newcomers in Bad Mood Bruce Buchanan and The Annihilator Jordan Samson. This was equal parts fights, frights and personality-based comedy as everyone got their chance to shine. To address the elephant in the room, yes Broderick Valentine went for broke and bit the dust. That landing was horrifying but thanks to a bit of luck and quick-reacting on behalf of the medical team, he is as fine as he can be. Alongside that nightmare moment, we had excellent bits of comedy, great wrestling and a big win for York who used the momentum to call out the Deathmatch OG Mad Dog. This was a great way to open the show as it gave two newcomers a chance at the spotlight, provided some good laughs and great action and gave us a slightly more chilled out York. No one slouched and we have some potentially interesting matches for the future. Great work all round and rest up well Valentine, we still need to see you do your thing. As for York, the Mad Dog awaits.

DMDU Tag Team Titles Big Door Match: Misspent Youth (Aysha & Murdoch) defeated Big Dude Energy (Big Dave & Rickie Gilmore) via Big Chair Impact on Big Dave

Next was the first title fight of the night. Misspent Youth were in for another Big Dude Energy challenge as Big Dave and Rickie Gilmore were gunning for the belts. They’d brought the party and the doors as this fight was going to get hardcore. Aysha and Murdoch aren’t afraid of a challenge so this was going to be good. This started as a Big Dude beatdown but the smarts of Aysha saw her reverse BDSM and get the ball rolling for her team. They couldn’t keep the energy down though and BDE were back to slamming and bringing out the hardware. Believe me, they had A LOT of doors to fuck Misspent Youth up with. The setup time bit them in the ass and Misspent Youth were ready to take advantage with door dropkicks and rolling cutters. This was continuously back and forth as the weaponry helped assist both teams into double-team disasters. Gilmore killed himself with a Vader Bomb through a door and had to shake off the pain or his team would have lost to the Big Yeet Crucifix. We saw Misspent Youth improvise again as Murdoch called the play on the double stomp Package Piledriver through another door. Gilmore wasn’t human and managed to kick out of that too. BDE got their revenge in time as Big Dave threw Murdoch to his doom with a Crucifix Bomb into a door contraption on the outside. Even iron ref Jay Stevens didn’t know what the fuck to make of that. BDE had turned this one around and even Aysha’s one-woman assault wasn’t enough to stop them. They had Murdoch in place for BDSM but Aysha saved him by breaking a beer bottle on Gilmore and Murdoch launched Dave onto the chair for the win. This had been a tough one for them but they’d pulled through again. I loved watching both teams adapt to the hardcore style and seeing Misspent Youth have to improvise to put down these unkillable monsters. BDE always bring the big dude fun and this again proves why they have a bright future in the business. Great fun, great action and a great loss for door-kind. Post-match, Joel Bateman assured everyone the scramble fighters were all okay and announce a side-project show, Pour Decisions. He didn’t stop there though and called out ICW American Deathmatch Champion Reed Bentley for a fight whilst he was doing his US tour.

Emman the Kid defeated Mat Diamond via Golden Frog Splash

We went from the hardcore to the fast-paced as we got the debut of the Diamond-Standard Mat Diamond. He was ready to show DMDU what it meant to be a diamond-standard competitor and was going to use the Golden Boy Emman the Kid to prove his point. Commentary made sure to inform us just how much Emman had wanted this match but it seemed Diamond was out to make him regret it because this got ridiculously vicious. Diamond wasted no time laying the hurt on Emman and mercilessly struck him down and stretched him out. Emman tried to fire up throughout but Diamond seemed to have an answer to everything he could throw and ended up just hurting more. Both fighters just kept throwing bombs and eventually, just as Emman kicked into another gear, they both crashed out on a double clothesline. The pace exploded once they found their feet and we saw the fast-paced, athleticism the pair are known for. Emman was throwing out dynamic kicks and Diamond went wild with a barrage of power and flips. Neither was willing to quit and kept going with Emman making Diamond pay for taking him lightly with another series of lightning-fast kicks. With Diamond out, he climbed to the top and ended things with his Frog Splash. Goddamn did Emman have to work for this victory. Some would dub it an upset but he proved to have the tools and toughness needed to break the Diamond Standard. This was a nasty but compelling bout as it told the tale of Emman’s resilience in the face of stiff strikes and malicious intelligence. It made for a great fight and a nice feather in the cap for the Golden Boy.

“Loverboy” Lochy Hendricks (w/The Anti-Deathmatch Party) defeated Mad Dog via Chair Shot Roll-Up

Here we go again. Despite finding some newfound respect for the Anti-Deathmatch Party after talking to their leader, Mr Wrestling Mitchell Wright, I cannot stop the involuntary spasms of revulsion that come from seeing the ADMP’s smug faces and demeanour. That is made even worse when their newest member, the Loverboy Lochy Hendricks is going into a war with one of my favourites on the DMDU roster, Mad Dog. We know Mad Dog is a trailblazer and multi-faceted in his approach to wrestling but in a four-on-one fight, even he has his limits. The funny thing was, Hendricks was outmatched for a lot of this one. Mad Dog proved his technicality can match his weapons expertise and made sure to stretch Hendricks out for most of the match. He threw aside a chair to follow the rules and show the ADMP that deathmatch wrestlers are wrestlers. As expected, the numbers made sure to interfere as often as they could to make sure Hendricks didn’t succumb to Mad Dog’s hooks. Even worse, they once again showed the hypocrisy of their message by braining Mad Dog with a chair to win. Hendricks tapped but as per, the ref didn’t see it and the party used this chance to slide a chair into the ring and allow Hendricks to use it. What happened to win by wrestling ability? Don’t get me wrong, this match is great. Mad Dog is a ridiculously good wrestler, as is Hendricks and they crafted every part of this match to perfection. The reactions were as crisp as the technicality and even the members on the outside joined in perfectly. It was a great fight but again, the result just pissed everyone off.

DMDU Heavyweight Title: Royce Chambers defeated Jessica Troy via Damn Straight Driver

Styles clashes make for the best matches so once I saw the Arm Collector Jessica Troy had answered the open contract of new champion Royce Chambers, I knew we were in for something good. Chambers is known best for his air bending agility so it would be intriguing to see how he would bend his abilities to counter the submission stylings of Troy. Holy shit, this match kicked ass. It went from Troy going for a quick win to an absolute rage-filled battle of attrition. Troy followed her usual gameplan of trying to destroy an arm for the Fujiwara but also found her blood boiling as Chambers’ usual dickhead manner pissed her off beyond belief. What followed was a very hard-hitting affair that saw both fighters mostly throw off their usual style to wreck each other with forearms and boots. It all got very violent and funnily enough was the second match to bring out the doors. This one had a much nastier impact though as Troy made it “fucking explode” with a Jess-Troyer. I genuinely wasn’t ready for how good this match got. It was very brutal, very stiff and continuously full of surprises as both brought out their submissions, Chambers proving to be a Menace 2 Troy’s arms. By the end, Chambers was left with one working arm and had to jury-rig Chambers into position for the Damn Straight Driver to retain his title. This was way more of a challenge than he’d been prepared for but he’d pulled through and kept his title for a bit longer. Troy is one of the best wrestlers in Australia and is always a joy to watch. Now, Chambers has to look to the future as Edward Dusk came out to remind him that his time with the title is limited because come their meeting at the Palais, he will be walking out without the title.

DMDU Deathmatch Title Barbed-Wire War: Callen Butcher defeated Vixsin via Bundle-Breaking Executioner Elbow

Deathmatch time. Callen Butcher was ready to put his Deathmatch Title on the line once again and this time it would be against the deathmatch Vixzilla in a ring full of barbed-wire and barbed-wire accessories. Both fighters were fired up and were ready to shed some blood. It started with chain wrestling and slugs with some fuckery dancing before descending into a barbed-wire bat showdown. Butcher got a head full of barbed wire and gave Vixsin a face full of glass with a tube bundle DDT. Butcher took the time to set up a barbed-wire door and got pelted with a wired chair. He was left stunned and Vixsin speared him through the door. Vixsin kept trying to put him away with a wire choke and Butcher got revenge with a wired door spear of his own. More tubes entered the fray and Butcher took them to the back as Vixsin Suplexed him onto them. They fought towards a barbed-wire net and after a tense exchange on the apron, Vixsin sent them both into the wire with a Uranage. They tore themselves free and returned to the ring for a Chokebomb into the glass. Butcher refused to stay down so Vixsin tried to change that with more barbed-wire chair shots to the back. She prepared to end things with another Chokebomb but Butcher turned it into a Stunner and ended things with the bundle breaking Executioner Elbow. He’d overcome the power of Vixzilla and walked away with his title intact. It had been a hard, bloody fight with both fighters feeling it. This was an excellent deathmatch interlude and a worthy title fight. It was made all the sweeter as Callen Butcher paid tribute to Markus Crane when the spooky dust had settled.

Also in an extra force for good, DMDU are auctioning off the original Deathmatch Title to raise money for the wrestling charity Dropkick Depression. Details are in the tweet above if you want to try and win a piece of deathmatch wrestling history whilst donating money to a good cause.

JXT defeated Shazza McKenzie via JX-Plex

One of the biggest shocks to come out of the year-end DMDU shows was the implosion of one of the deadliest forces in Australian wrestling, ShazzXT. JXT and Shazza McKenzie’s friendship had crumbled after they both went into business for themselves during the DMDU Rumble. Now it was time for the Jaystick JXT to battle Heartbreak-core Shazza McKenzie in a contest to see who really carried their team. With McKenzie preparing to take America, it would be a nice boon to leave with a win over JXT. Meanwhile, JXT wanted to see her off with a broken back. It started with peacocking and posturing but soon turned into a bitter, personal and physical fight as the frustrations boiled over into destructive strikes, kicks and head drops. This was a best-of for both fighters as McKenzie started hot but got ground to a halt as JXT started trying to break her back and ribs. It was a continuous, focused assault that threatened to put the breaks on her entire arsenal. McKenzie isn’t known for giving up though and kept powering through to pick her spots and either lock on the Shazz-mission, take JXT to Shazz-Plex City or find ways to nearly taking his head off with kicks. She even kicked out of the Pedigree. It seemed no matter what he threw at her, she’d shake it off and rise up again. That couldn’t last forever and after a stretch of not being a dickhead, JXT decided he’d had enough, caused a distraction by pulling a Toru Yano with a buckle pad and battered McKenzie with a chair. That led to the JX-Plex and the win. JXT had been his usual dickhead self and taken the big win. The fact he’d had to break the rules to win proves though that those bragging rights are tainted. He couldn’t beat McKenzie clean and I fear for his sake when she gets back from the US. As it stands though, this was another strong match for the show and another deliciously violent slug out from two wrestling pros. Friendship always seems to be a catalyst for extra stiffness on your shots and this proved no different as these two held nothing back in their utter destruction of each other.

Ritchie Taylor defeated Joel Bateman via Avalanche Generico Brainbuster

Last but not least, the main event. One last time, one last dance, one final match for the Smash Mouth Ritchie Taylor. He’d given it all for pro-wrestling and helped build DMDU from the ground up. He was their first heavyweight champion and now, he was going to close out their first-year celebration. His final opponent, The Smash Hit Joel Bateman. This had been a personal request of Bateman and now he had his wish. It was time to end the show and Taylor’s career with a bang. Would he go out with a sword in his hand or be carried out on his shield? Fucking hell, this was a fight. It started slow burn with technical wrestling and games of chain wrestling before exploding into one of the most dramatic, exhausting and compelling main events of the year so far. Early on, Bateman had to dodge death in the form of a rolling elbow and shifted his strategy to destroying Taylor’s shoulder. He wasn’t afraid of getting booed as he did everything in his power to knock out Taylor and take out those lethal elbows. This worked for a while but Taylor is one of the most resilient bastards in that locker room and elbowed a chair into Bateman’s face, busting him open. From there, it was just an endless barrage of elbows, forearms and Suplexes with the odd break for a high damage drop on the stage or in-ring.

There’s not as much to say about this one because you just need to see it. This was two of the best wrestlers in Australia making sure that one of them goes out with a bang. It was violent, bloody and full of hard shots to make sure one of them wasn’t getting back up no matter what. In the end, Taylor got to end his career with a win, hitting a nasty variation of the Generico Brainbuster to finally put down Bateman. It had been a knock-out, slugfest of a finale and had the added emphasis of the entire roster coming out to watch ringside as this match entered its final act. When it was done, Taylor was knackered but ecstatic. He was in a ring of streamers and got sent off in style, head held high. This match kicked ass, this show kicked ass and it managed to capture everything that makes DMDU so special. They’ve gone once around the sun, now it’s time to see what their future brings. The invasion begins soon as Alex Colon will be making his visit to the company in the near future at Not Here 2 Fuck Spiders. That is just the start. DMDU is ever-evolving and I cannot wait to see what they do next.

All images courtesy of DMDU, Jake Hurdle Photography, Digital Beard

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