Monday, June 22, 2015

Smash Wrestling: Smashapalooza Review

Chris Hero battles Josh Alexander for a shot at the Smash Wrestling Title! Plus, Kevin Steen says goodbye while Christopher Daniels arrives!

Smash Wrestling: Smashapalooza
Toronto, Ontario, Canada 7/20/14

1.) Triple Threat Match - Scotty O’Shea vs. Brent Banks vs. Pepper Parks: ***1/4

Going into this match, Brent Banks & Scotty O’Shea are embroiled in a feud, and this is the next chapter, expect it’s a Triple Threat Match, and Pepper Parks is involved. A pretty solid opening match. Solid action from all three guys. Of course, Banks & O’Shea fought each other for most of it, and in the end, Parks takes advantage and picks up the win.

After the match, Brent Banks attacks Scotty O’Shea. He goes to use O’Shea’s keyboard, but O’Shea counterattacks! He chases Banks off, and then takes the mic. O’Shea says that he & Banks have been beating each other up all over Canada, and then issues a challenge for a “Fans Bring The Keyboards” Match (yes, you read that right) at the next show in Brantford. That should be an interesting match (and one that I’ll certainly be checking out).

2.) The Overdogs (John Greed & Sebastian Suave) vs. Tabarnak de Team (Mathieu St-Jacques & Thomas DuBois): ***1/4

This is an interesting matchup, as we have two hard-hitting teams going up against each other. Another really solid match. I enjoy watching the pairing of Greed & Suave, and TDT grow on me just a little bit more every time I see them. These two teams had an entertaining tag team match that would eventually see The Overdogs pick up the win.

Up next, Alex Vega comes out for an in-ring interview with Scott Hunter. He says that the front office hasn’t answered his request (I guess to talk to management privately), so he came out to the ring personally. He has some issues to address. Vega talks about being forced to team with his former partner and sworn enemy Brent Banks. He then says that he went from the main event of the last show to not even being on the card for this show. Vega asks Scott Hunter if Smash Wrestling is punishing him. He also says no one has said anything to him about what he’s doing at Super Showdown II. Hunter says that respect needs to be earned in wrestling. Vega responds by saying he busts his ass in the ring, and he doesn’t get why people boo him, and then puts down the fans from Toronto specifically. He calls then spoiled, cocky, and says that all of the fans are pieces of shit. Vega then argues with Hunter, and he shoves him down. He says that someday, all of the fans will regret booing him.

3.) Cherry Bomb vs. Xandra Bale: **½

So the story here is that this match is building towards the CANUSA Classic, an all female show featuring the best women from the United States going up against the best women from Canada. One of the big questions was who Cherry Bomb was going to side with, since she has dual citizenship in both the United States & Canada. As she comes out, she is announced as being from Toronto, but now residing in Buffalo, New York, thus confirming her decision. The match itself was fine. I really haven’t seen much of Xandra Bale, but she put out a solid performance here, as did Cherry Bomb. A fine women’s match, that in the end, saw Cherry Bomb pick up the win.

Cherry Bomb takes the mic after the match. She talks about her choice to join Team USA (again, she has dual citizenship). She said that last year, Team USA proved that they were the winning side, so she’s going with proven winners. She says that The Kimber Bombs (herself & Kimber Lee) will be there, and also mentioned that the Team USA Captain will blow Canada out of the water. She then issues a challenge for The Kimber Bombs vs. Vanessa Kraven & LuFisto at Super Showdown II.

4.) The Super Smash Brothers vs. The Goat Brigade (Kirk Warmack & Shane Sabre): ***¾

The Goat Brigade is a team I’ve never seen in action before, but if they’re going up against The Super Smash Brothers, then you know it’s going to be good. This ended up being pretty good, and to be completely honest, it exceeded my expectations. Of course we all know how great The Super Smash Brothers are, but The Goat Brigade really showed a lot in this match. As someone who was totally unfamiliar with them, I came away very impressed. The match was really entertaining, with lots of cool tag team wrestling. Player Uno & Player Dos would eventually pick up the win after hitting FATALITY!

5.) Kevin Steen vs. Tyson Dux: ***¾

This is a very special match, as it’s Kevin Steen’s last match in Smash Wrestling before he would make his way to WWE. He’s going out in a big way as he’s taking on Tyson Dux. As you would expect, this was really entertaining. You really got two different matches mixed into one, as you had a fair bit of comedy (Kevin Steen trying to get Dux to do his “dance”, and Steen throwing food in Dux’s face on the outside) and serious wrestling. Steen can do both incredibly well, and you saw that in this match. The actual wrestling in this match was really good, and in the end, Steen would get the win with the Package Piledriver.

After the match, Steen cuts a promo, putting over Tyson Dux (saying that he looks up to him and how much he loves his “dance”). He says Dux is one of the best wrestlers in the world, and that any wrestler could learn from him. Steen then wants Dux to do his dance, but interrupts with a worm of his own before he can do it. Dux, Steen and referee Jimmy Korderas then do Dux’s dance to the delight of the crowd.

6.) “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels vs. Takaaki Watanabe: ***1/2

Up next we have the Smash Wrestling debut of Christopher Daniels. He’s taking on Takaaki Watanabe, who is coming off of a loss to Chris Hero at Rival Schools 2014. I might sound like a broken record, but this was another really good match. While it wasn’t quite as good as the previous two matches, it was still entertaining to watch in it’s own right. Daniels is still great in the ring (despite his age), and Watanabe gets another big opportunity to showcase himself. Solid back & forth action between these two. Daniels shows why he’s a ring general he says he is, while Watanabe resorted to the dirty tricks he’s used in the past, including the low blow, which he uses to take the advantage, and scored the win! This has to be one of the bigger wins of Watanabe’s career (up to this point, at least).

7.) #1 Contender’s Match - Chris Hero vs. Josh Alexander: ****¼

One thing that Smash Wrestling has been doing really well on recent shows I’ve been watching is putting Josh Alexander in these dream matches against some of the top names in independent wrestling. Here, he’s battling against Chris Hero, with a shot at the Smash Wrestling Title. This started off a little slow, as the two were grappling & trading holds, but one the match started to pick up, it definitely improved, and in a big way. After the initial first half of the match, these two just went at it and beat the crap out of each other. The Overdogs tried to interfere at one point, but both Hero & Alexander disposed of them very quickly, not wanting interference to decide the outcome. The action in the second half of the match was fantastic to watch. After a massive hard-hitting affair, Hero is finally able to knock Alexander down, and locks in the Stretch Plum for the submission victory. By virtue of his win, it will Matt Cross vs. Chris Hero for the Smash Wrestling Title at Super Showdown II.

After the match, Hero takes the mic, thanking the fans and Smash Wrestling. He then talks about Super Showdown II where, by virtue of his victory tonight, will challenge Matt Cross for the Smash Wrestling Title. He then puts over Josh Alexander, and says that they will meet again. Hero then leads an applause for Alexander, who then takes the mic. Alexander then talks about how great Smash Wrestling is. He makes a gesture towards his former partner in the original Overdogs, Sebastian Suave, but it’s a trap, as John Greed attacks Alexander! Suave then cuts a promo on Alexander (leading to a match between the two of them at Super Showdown II) to close the show.

Overall: 8.0/10

This was a pretty enjoyable show from Smash Wrestling. While I think that Rivals Schools 2014 was slightly better, this show still had a lot of really solid stuff on it. The Match of the Night, without a doubt, was the Main Event, as Chris Hero & Josh Alexander put on an exciting match to determine the #1 Contender to the SMASH Wrestling Title. While the bottom of the card was relatively good to average, things really picked up after The Super Smash Brothers/Goat Brigade match, and carried over through Steen vs.Tyson Dux & Daniels vs. Watanabe, which were both really good matches. Smash Wrestling continues to be a model of consistency.

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