This is my first time watching Smash Wrestling. I've heard a lot about them, and they seem to have garnered a fair deal of buzz in 2014. Let's see how their first show of 2014 turned out!
Smash Wrestling: Any Given Sunday 2
Toronto, Ontario, Canada 1/2614
1.) Alex Vega vs. Brent Banks: ***1/2
So the story here is that these two were once tag team partners, but now are rivals. I've seen Brent Banks once or twice before in AIW, but I really haven't seen much of Alex Vega. This was a really good opening match. Both guys got in some good offense, and the crowd was really into it. Lots of back & forth action and near falls. In the end, it would be Alex Vega who scored the victory.
After the match, while Alex Vega is celebrating his win, Brent Banks attacks him from behind. He then drags him back to the ring and lays him out.
2.) Seleziya Sparx vs. Veda Scott: ***
This is actually a rematch from the 2013 CANUSA Classic, an all women's wrestling show that Smash Wrestling puts on annually that features American women vs. Canadian women. Veda Scott won that match, so this is a chance at redemption for Seleziya Sparx. I wasn't sure how good this would be going in, but it ended up being a lot better that I thought it would be. A very solid women's match. I've always liked Veda Scott, but Seleziya Sparx also showed a lot here also. Seleziya Sparx ended up getting the win with a very cool looking finishing move. With their series being tied at 1-1, Veda Scott demands a rematch.
3.) Gregory Iron vs. Tyson Dux: **3/4
These two both suffered losses to Matt Cross in the recent past, which was sort of a set up for this match. Although it was probably the weakest on the card, that doesn't mean it was a bad match by any means. It was actually relatively solid. Iron went at Dux right from the opening bell. It still had a fair amount of action in it. Dux would pick up the win.
After the match, Dux takes the mic and puts over Iron, saying that he's earned his respect.
4.) Four-Corner Survival - ACH vs. ROH World Tag Team Champion Kyle O'Reilly vs. Matt Cross vs. Scotty O'Shea: ****1/4
This was originally scheduled to be a Triple Threat Match, but at the last minute it was changed to a Four-Corner Survival Match and ACH was added! Also, Matt Cross has been on an undefeated streak in Smash Wrestling, and it has gotten to the point where he has been nicknamed "Canadian Goldberg". I loved this match!! It was just so much fun to watch. Of course you had a lot of high-flying action with ACH & Matt Cross, and you also saw a lot of awesome stuff from Kyle O'Reilly and the underrated Scotty O'Shea (who I've quickly become a fan of). Just a lot of great action and the crowd was really into it. Matt Cross would eventually pick up the win and continue his undefeated streak in Smash Wrestling.
5.) Checkmate (Christopher Bishop & Lionel Knight) vs. The Overdogs (John Greed & Sebastian Suave): ***1/4
The Overdoes are a tag team that originally consisted of Sebastian Suave & Josh Alexander, but when he got injured towards the end of 2013, that forced Sebastian Suave to find a new partner, much like Ethan Page had to do in AAW. He found a big man named John Greed, as they take on a tag team called Checkmate. This was a pretty solid tag team match. Both teams looked good, and I was really impressed with John Greed's ability (given his size). A fine tag team encounter which sees The Overdogs pick up the win.
6.) Open The Freedom Gate Champion Johnny Gargano vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin: ****1/2
This isn't the first time these two have faced off, as Elgin defeated Gargano in the Semi-Finals of the 2013 Battle of Los Angeles Tournament in PWG. Simply put, this match was awesome!! It was just as good as the match they had in PWG. These two are incredible performers, and it's no surprise that the match was awesome. Elgin hit in a lot of his hard hitting offense, but Gargano never gave up and fought back, showing why he is "All Heart" (as his tights say). There was some negative reaction from the crowd, but that was mainly towards the referee, who wasn't really doing a good job. Eventually, Gargano was able to force Elgin to tap out to the GargaNo Escape to score the win! The two shake hands, and after Gargano exits, Elgin hits the referee with a spinning backfist, which gets a big reaction from the crowd!
7.) Chris Hero vs. "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles: ****1/4
Of course, AJ Styles is just coming off of his TNA release and his return to ROH, while Chris Hero is only a few months removed from his WWE release. These two had a really great Main Event. Although it wouldn't be quite as good as the match they would have a few months later in ROH, this was still an awesome match. Lots of great action and the crowd was into it, especially the closing stretch. Hero is eventually able to put away AJ Styles to score the win.
After the match, Chris Hero puts over AJ Styles and they both put over Smash Wrestling to close the show.
Like I said in the beginning of the review, this was my first time watching Smash Wrestling, and I think they definitely knocked it out of the park with this show! I knew coming into it that this show had a lot of good matches that I was definitely looking forward to, but I never expected it to be this great! Johnny Gargano vs. Michael Elgin was an absolute classic, with Chris Hero vs. AJ Styles and the Four-Corner Survival were awesome and so entertaining. The undercard was also really solid and that just made things even better. It's really easy to watch a show when all of the matches are this good. I will say, however, that the production wasn't that good. In particular, the video quality at times was shaky (mainly the ringside cameras), and the audio (with the crowd and commentary) was not that good at all. If you can look past that, however, this was simply a fantastic show. It's definitely worth checking out.