Smash Wrestling: Rival Schools 2014
Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada 6/8/14
1.) Pepper Parks (with Cherry Bomb) vs. Gregory Iron: **¼
These two were in a mixed tag team match at the previous show, Gold, but this time, they’re going one-on-one. This was a decent opening match. Nothing much else to say. Interference from Cherry Bomb would lead to her husband Pepper Parks getting the win.
2.) Alex Vega & Brent Banks vs. Scotty O'Shea & Tyson Dux: ***1/2
Now this is not just any ordinary tag team match. First of all, the teams are bitter rivals (Banks & Vega hate each other, while O’Shea & Dux feuded with each other in 2013). The catch is that the winners will advance to the Main Event to challenge Matt Cross for the Smash Wrestling Title in a Triple Threat Match. This was a pretty good tag team match. It didn’t take long for their to be dissension between Banks & Vega. These two teams brawled inside the ring & all over the venue. We also saw some miscommunication between O’Shea & Dux. In the end, Banks stole the pin from his partner to win the match for his team! This means that the Main Event will be Matt Cross vs. Brent Banks vs. Alex Vega for the Smash Wrestling Title!
3.) Cherry Bomb vs. Vanessa Kraven: **
I honestly haven’t seen that much of Vanessa Kraven, but she’s very tall (as far as female wrestlers go). The match was going along fine until Cherry Bomb crumbled to the ground after Kraven splashed her in the corner. She was clutching her ankle. I wasn’t sure where the injury occurred, but it appeared to be serious, as SMASH Wrestling officials & Pepper Parks came out to tend to her. Cherry Bomb is carried to the back by her husband, and the match is declared a No Contest.
4.) Josh Alexander vs. ROH World Tag Team Champion Kyle O'Reilly: ****1/4
When I saw that this match was on the card, I got really excited. It’s a true independent dream match, and it was as awesome as you would think! Incredible action between these two. Both of these guys are so good that it was nearly impossible for this to be anything less. There was one botched spot towards the end of the match, which took it down a bit for me, but the match was still fantastic to watch. Alexander eventually gets the win with a spinning tombstone piledriver.
The two competitors shake hands after the match.
5.) Tag Team Tables Match - The Super Smash Brothers vs. The Overdogs (John Greed & Sebastian Suave): ***1/4
These two teams didn’t bother to wait for ring introductions, and they immediately started brawling. I believe this is an elimination tables match, meaning both members of the opposing team need to be put through a table. Both teams are brawling all over the venue. At one point. Player Dos tries to put (I believe) Suave through a table by jumping off a railing, but Suave moves off the table, and Greed pushes Player Dos off the railing & through a table! This leaves Player Uno by himself against The Overdogs. After beating up Uno for awhile, some extremely fat security guy (I guess that’s who it was) tried to intervene, but The Overdogs didn’t like this, so they went to put him through a table set up in the corner. The guy was apparently so fat that he just lightly fell through the table before Greed even got there for the spear. That looked incredibly bad. Dos then gets back into the fight (since there aren’t any disqualifications in tables matches). Uno eliminated Greed with a Superplex through a table. The Super Smash Brothers were finally able to get the win by hitting FATALITY! on Suave through a table! It was a fun little match for what it was, but there were a few things that prevented it from being better.
6.) ACH vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin: ****1/2
These two have faced off a few times prior. Their most memorable encounter was in ROH at Dragon’s Reign in 2013, where they had an incredible match. In an interesting note, Elgin is coming into this match with a freshly shaved head, after getting his signature mullet cut off by Adam Cole on an ROH event the day prior. I had high expectations going into this match, and it definitely lived up to them! Incredible stuff between these two. Lots of great back & forth action. This was easily the best match on the show, and a match well worth checking out. After a hard fought contest, Elgin is eventually able to put ACH away for the victory.
After the match, Elgin takes the mic. He talks about how much he loves wrestling, SMASH Wrestling for giving him the opportunity to showcase himself, and the fans. He says that he recently had a contract offer from Ring of Honor (which I believed he signed either before or after this show) which would allow him to support his new family and pay for his new house. Because of this, he won’t be able to wrestle for SMASH Wrestling for the foreseeable future. He says that he would have never gotten this contract if it wasn’t for the fans who had supported him all this time, and said the same about his potential ROH World Title win in a few weeks. He says he’s winning the ROH World Title for SMASH Wrestling & the fans. He shake hands with ACH, and heads to the back.
7.) Chris Hero vs. Takaaki Watanabe: ***1/2
This match came about after what happened in the Five-Way Elimination Match to crown the first Smash Wrestling Champion at Gold, where Watanabe eliminated Chris Hero after hitting him with a low blow. This was a really good match. You got what you would expect from Hero, while Watanabe showed a lot as well. I know he’s been booked in ROH, but it’s good to see him get opportunities like this in other promotions as well. Watanabe tried to win with another blow, but it didn’t work for him this time. In the end, Hero gets the victory after a series of kicks & elbows.
8.) Smash Wrestling Title - Triple Threat Match - Matt Cross vs. Alex Vega vs. Brent Banks: ***
As mentioned earlier, Alex Vega & Brent Banks got into this title match after defeating Scotty O’Shea & Tyson Dux in a tag team match earlier in the night (despite their hatred toward each other). Matt Cross, who has been undefeated in Smash Wrestling since the promotion’s inception, had a Goldberg-inspired entrance that was something to see.
After for the match itself, it was a fine match, but I was a little disappointing. I felt like this could have been better, but it just wasn’t as good as you would expect. It was a solid, but average, three-way match. Maybe the fact that Banks & Vega wrestled earlier in the night had something to do with it? I’m not sure. Again, I didn’t think the match was bad by any means, but I was definitely expecting more than what we got. Cross is able to pick up the win with a Shooting Star Press on Vega to retain the Smash Wrestling Title in his 1st title defense. Cross celebrates to close the show.
I thought this was a really enjoyable show. Obviously the high points were Josh Alexander vs. Kyle O’Reilly & “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs. ACH. Both were fantastic matches and are well worth checking out. There was some other fun stuff on this show as well. The #1 Contender’s Tag Match was very unique, as you had rivals teaming together to fight for a title shot. The Tag Team Tables Match was entertaining brawl (for the most part), and Chris Hero vs. Takaaki Watanabe was a really good showcase for both guys. Despite the relatively disappointing Main Event, the show as a whole was still very good, and was another solid offering from Smash Wrestling. Plus, when I originally got this show because Smash Wrestling made it available for FREE on their website to download, and I believe it is still available for FREE!!! So if that doesn't interest you, then I don't know what will.