Smash Wrestling: Challenge Accepted!
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada 11/23/14
1.) Johnny Gargano vs. Gregory Iron: ***½
The show kicks off with Johnny Gargano taking on Gregory Iron! What’s so interesting about Iron is that SMASH Wrestling still uses him (at this particular point), as a babyface, when some of the other promotions Iron works for, like AAW & AIW, have turned him heel. As far as this match goes, I thought it was a really good opener. Gargano was his usual great self, but Iron showed a lot here as well, as he’s done on many other occasions previously. I think it says a lot about Iron that, despite his handicap, he can still have really good matches with the likes of Johnny Gargano. However, despite Iron’s best efforts, Gargano would score the victory with the GargaNO Escape.
After the match, Gargano went to shake hands with Iron, but Iron embraced him instead, in a great show of sportsmanship.
2.) The Young Bucks vs. Biff Busick & Drew Gulak: ****
Going into this card, this was one of the matches that I was REALLY looking forward to. One one side, you have The Young Bucks, arguably one of the best tag teams, if not the best tag team, in the entire world, known for their high-flying and sheer abundance of superkicks (Superkick Party anyone?!). On the other side, you have Biff Busick & Drew Gulak, two men who (at the time of this show), were really cementing themselves in Evolve, with their more hard-hitting, mat-based style. This match is a total clash of styles if there ever was one. I was really intrigued to see how this would turn out, and it ended up being pretty awesome!! The Young Bucks were amazing, as per usual, but Busick & Gulak showed that, while they have great chemistry as opponents, they can work really well together as a tag team. There was a ton of great action throughout this match. Some very cool stuff from both teams. In the end, The Young Bucks would get the win with a Superkick/Package Piledriver combo.
The two teams shake hands after the match.
3.) Josh Alexander vs. John Greed: ***½
Our next match features two men who are no strangers to SMASH Wrestling. These two also have a bit of history between them, as it was John Greed who took Josh Alexander’s spot in The Overdogs. However, at Super Showdown II, Alexander & The Overdogs seemed to have momentarily buried the hatchet. Interestingly enough, though, Alexander didn’t shake Greed’s hand when Greed offered a handshake, which commentary put over as Greed needing to earn it. I thought this was a really good match. I’d say it was on-par with the match they had at Gold earlier that year. Alexander is such a good wrestler, and I think he worked very well with John Greed who can do some cool stuff in the ring, for a guy his size. Alexander would get the win after reversing either a Samoan Drop or a Fallaway Slam into a crucifix pin for the victory.
4.) Sebastian Suave vs. Tyson Dux: ****
Tyson Dux is, of course, one of the mainstays in SMASH Wrestling. Suave is mainly a tag team competitor in SMASH Wrestling as part of The Overdogs with John Greed. I was interested to see how this would play out, and it definitely exceeded my expectations! This was a great match! I wouldn’t expect anything less from Tyson Dux, who’s a very good wrestler, but Sebastian Suave showed a lot here as well. He definitely showed that he can go in a singles environment. There was great wrestling in the ring, but also brawling on the outside, including a cool spot when Dux suplexed Suave from atop two chairs onto a pile of chairs! There were also some great back & forth exchanges towards the end of the match. Suave found hard, but in the end, Dux would pick up the win.
After the match, Dux shares some sort of energy drink/beer (I couldn’t tell what it was), with Suave, and the two embrace.
5.) The Goat Brigade (Kirk Warmack & Shane Sabre) vs. Benjamin Boone & Tyler Thomas: **1/4
I have to admit, it’s kind of weird seeing Benjamin Boone outside of his role as part of The Iron Curtain. Here, he’s teaming up with Tyler Thomas to take on The Goat Brigade. I thought this was an ok match. Benjamin Boone & Tyler Thomas got in some offense, and had Warmack & Sabre on the ropes once or twice, but The Goat Brigade controlled most of the match, and would end up getting the win.
6.) Ambulance Match - Brent Banks vs. Scotty O’Shea: ****½
This was billed as the first-ever Ambulance Match in the history of Canada. These two have been feuding with each other all year, and things seemed to get more heated with every turn. Things got so bad that this match was the only way Banks & O’Shea can put an end to their feud once and for all. I was very excited to see this match, and when I watched it the whole way through, I can say that it definitely delivered! These two went at it as soon as the bell rang, and it turned into an all out brawl!! The top rope was taken apart at one point. Keyboards, chairs, thumbtacks, and a ladder were all used in this wild match. Through all the carnage, Scotty O’Shea would eventually emerge victorious after putting Banks in the ambulance and closing the door. I thought it was a great way to end the feud. This kind of match may not be for everyone, but if you’ve followed the feud (like I have), there was no better way to end it.
7.) Pepper Parks & Cherry Bomb vs. The World’s Cutest Tag Team (Candice LeRae & Joey Ryan): **3/4
I believe this is the first time we’ve seen Candice LeRae & Joey Ryan in SMASH Wrestling. Ryan immediately makes a lasting first impression when he gives his lollipop to a girl in the front row. Pepper Parks then takes it from the fan and tries to use it Ryan, but Ryan takes it back, drops it on the mat, rubs it in his chest hair, and puts in Pepper’s mouth! Gross. Outside of that disgusting opening exchange, this was a fun little mixed tag team match. Candice LeRae & Joey Ryan are such an entertaining act, and Pepper Parks & Cherry Bomb were very good foils for them in this match. A fine match between these two teams. The World’s Cutest Tag Team would end up getting the win.
8.) SMASH Wrestling Title - Matt Cross vs. Alex Shelley: ***1/4
Alex Shelley challenged Matt Cross to this match. Not only is he looking to capture the SMASH Wrestling Title, but end the undefeated streak of Matt Cross in SMASH Wrestling. This match was relatively solid, and the action was fine, but to me, it honestly wasn’t that memorable, up until the finish and the aftermath (which I’ll get to in just a moment). It would have made for a nice match on the undercard, but as the Main Event? I’m not so sure. I think the fact that there were a number of other matches on this card that were either slightly better or significantly better says a lot. Now to the finish…
So Alex Shelley captured the SMASH Wrestling Title, and ended the undefeated streak of Matt Cross, after a “fan” dressed in a red hoodie and a red Sin Cara mask tried to get in the ring as Cross was about to hit the Shooting Star Press. This distraction allowed Shelley time to recover, as he got his knees up on the Shooting Star Press attempt, and rolled up Cross for the win and the title. The “fan” got back in the ring and revealed himself to be Alex Vega, who had been fired from SMASH Wrestling due to his actions at Super Showdown II. James Kee, the owner of SMASH Wrestling, comes out and argues with Vega, only for Shelley to take Kee out with a superkick! Shelley & Vega then celebrate in the ring, taunting all of the fans. The two then exit through the crowd, and the camera follows them outside, where they get in a car, and leave with the SMASH Wrestling Title in their possession. The show closes with Cross looking confused and dejected in the ring.
For the most part, I thought this was a fantastic outing for SMASH Wrestling. The Ambulance Match was pretty awesome, and it was a fitting conclusion to the Brent Banks/Scotty O’Shea rivalry. You also had some other really great matches on the undercard with The Young Bucks vs. Biff Busick & Drew Gulak and Tyson Dux vs. Sebastian Suave. There were some other matches on the card that were either very good (Johnny Gargano vs. Gregory Iron, Josh Alexander vs. Josh Greed), or very entertaining (Candice LeRae & Joey Ryan vs. Cherry Bomb & Pepper Parks). The Main Event itself was a good match, but it’ll probably be remembered more for the title change and the return of Alex Vega. As a whole, this was a pretty great show, and one you should definitely check out!