By Dan Steadman

1 – Mitch vs Buddy – Who emerges victorious?

It’s official.

At The House Always Wins, the main event will see Buddy Matthews cashing in his Ballroom Brawl opportunity to face World Heavyweight Champion Mitch Waterman. It’s a match up that’s as intriguing as it is exciting, and it pits two men at the peak of their talents against each other.

Since Mitch won the Championship back in March last year, he’s faced and defeated some of the biggest names in Australia – Adam Brooks, Slex, Davis Storm, Jack Bonza. But now he faces arguably the most talented of them all, and it looks set to be the biggest test of his reign so far.

Can Mitch meet that test?

Meanwhile, Buddy Matthews has been making waves overseas, firstly in the WWE (where he won multiple titles) and now in AEW as a member of the House of Black, but it all started in MCW.

He’s a former MCW Heavyweight Champion, but while the Australian scene has progressed considerably since his reign in 2012, so has Buddy himself. He’s more well-rounded, more experienced and more dangerous than ever before.

And it’s that last point that really stands out – since Buddy aligned himself with the House of Black, he’s shown a truly ruthless streak in the ring. A ruthless streak that has shocked some of the biggest names in pro-wrestling.

But let’s not forget, in his last title defence against Slex, Mitch also showed that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get the win, surprising not just Slex, but also the MCW faithful.

It’s going to be a hell of a battle. February 11th can’t come soon enough.

2 – What’s next for Emman?

You could easily make the argument that 2022 was the year of Emman Azman.

He won the Ascension tournament, despite having the odds stacked against him thanks to having back-to-back matches with Edward Dusk and Jake Andrewartha.

As a result of winning the Ascension tournament, he then had the opportunity to face Mick Moretti for the Intercommonwealth Championship, only for Adam Brooks to insert himself into the match.

Even with the match being completely changed at the last minute, Emman managed to get the win to claim his first championship.

But as we move into 2023, Emman finds himself in the unusual position of being the champion rather than the perennial challenger, and it’s a new position that may take some adjustment. Right now, everyone in MCW is looking at Emman as the new upstart champion, and they’re thinking that perhaps it’ll take some time for Emman to find his feet.

Put simply, Emman is going to have no rest while he holds the Intercommonwealth Championship – it’s one thing to want all eyes on you, it’s another when those eyes are those of the predators in the MCW locker room.

Nonetheless, if there’s one thing that Emman has proved, especially in 2022, it’s that he knows how to overcome the odds and find a way to win. We certainly aren’t counting him out at all.

3 – What’s happening with a fractured Family?

For over a year, Rocky, Eli Theseus and Gabriel Aeros were inseparable in the ring, and while most didn’t appreciate their tactics, most begrudgingly recognised their skill. When Rocky faced Slex inside a steel cage, it was The Parea who helped him out. Together they faced the very best that MCW had to offer, and even when they didn’t win, they sure as hell made an impact. 

But now it’s over.

At MCW 12, The Family became a broken home, as The Parea shockingly turned on Rocky Menero, costing him the Stone Burial match against Caveman Ugg.

We can’t imagine that a man as proud as Rocky will let this slide, but we also have to acknowledge that he’s at a clear disadvantage in this fight – it’s 1 against 2. And while Rocky may have experience on his side, the numbers game is going to be hard to overcome.

So, what does he do?

And when you look at The Parea, you have to wonder just what Eli and Gabriel’s motivations are. Are they tired of taking directions from Rocky? Are they aiming to usurp Rocky from his position at the top of the Australian wrestling scene. For such a shocking event, they’ve been relatively tight-lipped on the matter.

We hope to learn more in the coming weeks.

4 – Will Delta Dominate?

The battle between Delta and Jessica Troy had been building steam for months, and in the main event of MCW 12 they finally clashed in a 30-minute Ironwoman Match. And it certainly didn’t disappoint, with Delta narrowly getting the win against Troy, and claiming the Women’s Championship in the process.

But really, Delta’s been riding an impressive wave of momentum right through 2022 – she was undefeated in MCW for the entire year, and her singular focus on the Championship paid dividends.

So, the big question is, will 2023 be another year of domination for Delta, or will the pressure of being champion be an unfamiliar factor for Delta to deal with?

There’s no shortage of talent out there who want their chance to compete for the championship, and thanks to her win in the Ballroom Blitz, we already know one contender – Cherry Stephens.

Yes, Delta got the win against Cherry back at Rite of Passage in March last year, but Cherry has also been riding her own wave of momentum over the last few months. If Delta is expecting things to go as smoothly as the first time, she may need to think again.

Let’s not forget about the former champion Jessica Troy. After holding the championship for almost an entire year, she didn’t take the loss well, and we won’t be surprised if she has revenge on her mind. We know she has the skills to take Delta to the limit; if she also has a new, more ruthless mindset, she’ll be hard for anyone to beat.

And we must also mention that at MCW 12, we saw the surprising return of the very first MCW Women’s Champion Steph De Lander. Perhaps the most similar in style to Delta, we’ve got to think that she wants to become champion once again.

If Delta is going to dominate, she’s going to bloody well earn it.

5 – What’s going on with the Tag Teams?

For so long, the MCW Tag Team division was anchored by Stevie and Tome Filip – The Natural Classics. The brothers held the MCW Tag Team Championship for almost 500 days, becoming one of the best teams in the entire country in the process.

And then they lost.

The unlikely duo of Slex and Tommy Knight, who had just spent the last few months beating on each other, won the championship, and now it seems like the entire division has been rocked by the shifting of power.

You’ve got a championship team who don’t like each other at all.

You’ve got a former championship team who seem to be letting their thirst for vengeance get the better of them.

Plus there are the other teams that need to be factored in:

The Bastard Brothers. The team of KrackerJak and GORE might be unpredictable but they’re always dangerous – if they set their sights on the championship, they’ll stop at nothing to win, regardless of rules or boundaries of violence.

The Parea – yes, Eli Theseus and Gabriel Aeros maybe be focusing on Rocky Menero, but they could also contend for the championship as well. They certainly have the talent.

Big Dude Energy – the favourites of the MCW faithful are picking up steam with every win. We won’t be surprised if they contend for the championship at some point in 2023.

The Velocities – in 2022 Jude London and Paris De Silva got the attention of the world on them. Could they return to MCW to fight for a championship they’ve never won before?

This could prove to be a defining year for the MCW Tag Team scene, and we can’t wait to see it!