ECCW: Tables, Ladders and Chairs Review

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ECCW held it’s annual Tables, Ladders and Chairs event this past Saturday at the Russian Community Centre. With a newly formed booking team leading the way creatively lately, ECCW has put on my favorite shows to date, so I was very excited to see what this card had to offer.

Now I know what you’re thinking, why didn’t they honor the legendary “Stairs””match made famous by Big Show and Erik Rowan? Well let’s be honest, who could ever top that performance.

stairs

With That being said, there was plenty of action to be had at the always hot RCC, so let’s dive right into the action!

El P vs Mike Santiago

ElPvsMikeSSept19

Photo taken by Bob Hanham

El P, the franchise, the best t-shirts in the business, took on Mike Santiago, who was wearing what looked like Bacardi themed ring gear.

Santiago was in this match due to being left out of the TLC main event, much to his chagrin. His normal tag partner Ethan HD was instead teaming up with Alex Plexis.

So maybe it was due to his heart being broken after he got wrestle cheated on, but he never really got going in this match. He worked the legs of El P, trying to keep the high flyer grounded, but there is only so much you can do against a guy who comes out in a god damn Predator mask. EL P HAS A PREDATOR MASK. How do you stop that? How? Answer: You don’t.

HIGHLIGHT OF THE MATCH:

EL P Dive

The real highlight should have been when Nelson Creed came out later in the show and demanded El P face him in a 2 out of 3 falls match at the next show. El P responded by pulling off a running 360 splash off the top rope to the outside, but I was too busy watching with my mouth hanging open to remember to record. El P literally flew right over my head, and I was in too much shock to think to record it.

That being said, El P still pulled off this wicked dive to the outside on Santiago, so that’s your highlight of the match.

Winner: El P

Bishop vs Shreddz

ECCW TLC Bishop Sept 19

Photo taken by Bob Hanham

 

Now, if you’ve read my other recaps, you’ll know what a big fan I am of Club Bish. Bishop and Shreddz were a great team. Bishop would fight any challengers, and Shreddz would be there in his corner, encouraging him, and giving him the best god damn pep talks you’ll ever see.

On top of that, Shreddz is one of the best heels when it comes to trash talking the fans. You want to yell at Bishop? Shreddz is going to make sure you know you smell like piss. It is delightfully charming.

Sadly, that era is over, as the two had a falling out over the “Hulk Up to Beat Cancer” event. Shreddz, who just wanted to raise money for Sam Donovan’s battle against cancer, felt Bishop had made it all about himself. Like Neo in the Matrix, Shreddz finally said “No”, and decided to take on the establishment.

That brings us to last night, where Shreddz had anger and righteousness on his side, and he took it to Bishop, not even waiting for his entrance to be over before attacking him. It was a very physical match, and it was one of the better matches on the card. It told a simple story of a wily veteran taking on a young upstart. In the end, due to Bishop’s experience (and giant man strength and possibly his rainbow singlet), proved to be too much for Shreddz on this night.

This feud feels far from over, however, so I look forward to more from these two down the line.

Highlight of the Match:

bishpin

Ain’t nobody getting up from that.

Winner: Bishop

Tony Baroni vs Nick Pesky

pesky

Tony Baroni, if you’ll remember, recently turned on his best friend Artemis Spencer, playing a part in his loss of the ECCW Championship.

Baroni is now a full fledged bad guy, a point he drives across by now putting his hair in a pony tail, wearing a robe for some reason (bad guys take more showers?), and chewing gum during promos.

Speaking of promos, take a look at his latest:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4m4C-kC2IQo&feature=youtu.be

The background music absolutely kills me. It sounds like something out of Castle Wolfenstein or Duke Nukem 3D. Love it.

Baroni cut a promo before the match, saying he doesn’t owe answers to any of us and then proceeded to take on Nick Pesky, who from what I can tell, really loves Boston based fonts.

The match itself wasn’t great, it was pretty sloppy to be honest, but it served its purpose by showcasing that the new, mean spirited, gum chewing, bathrobe wearing Baroni is taking this shit seriously now, and that Artemis Spencer better watch out because Tony is coming for his belt. I would have preferred more of a one sided match, to really put Tony over as a threat, but that is a minor squabble.

Also, the “Baroni is a Jabroni” taunt makes me laugh, I won’t lie.

Highlight of the Match:

baronikickpin

Never in the history of wrestling has a match been won by a kick to the back, but full marks to Baroni for wanting to believe he could do it.

Winner: Tony the Jabroni Baroni

Cat Power vs Nicole Matthews (Loser Leaves Town Match)

Sept 19 ECCW TLC Cat vs Nicole

Photo taken by Bob Hanham

 

Cat Powers and Nicole Matthews do not like each other. This has been shown mainly due to the work of Cat, whose promos and in ring facial expressions have been the driving force behind this. If it’s not her screaming on the mic, demanding matches against Nicole, it’s Cat strangling her own manager Kris Kassidy, demanding he get her a “Loser Leaves Town” match with Nicole. I have to take off my hat to the outside the ring work Cat has done in this feud.

The premise of the feud is simple: Cat Power is essentially the Matt Hardy to Nicole’s Jeff Hardy, and it has made her snap. Nobody wants to be Matt. Cat Power V 2.0 if you will.

This culminated in the loser leaves town stipulation match, and I’m not going to lie, this was my least favorite match of the night. To me, if it’s a loser leaves town match, the combatants HAVE to lay everything on the line. They do not want to be fired, so they will go to extreme lengths to try and emerge victorious.

Instead, the match ended up being comprised mostly of the two women trading punches and elbows back and forth, with Cat occasionally screaming. It never really got any flow, and it felt like a very average match, with nothing really on the line. The emotion of the match didn’t match what Cat had been selling during her promos.

The best part of the match was Cat being taken out of the building by Vince Havok after her loss, screeching and wailing, all while the crowd serenaded her exit. I also kind of hope Cat’s manager Kassidy uses his lawyer skills, and gets Cat to spend one night in Seattle, than claims that sure, it was a “Loser Leaves Town” match, but they never stipulated how long she had to leave town.

Highlight of the Match:

The match itself was average, but the call out after the match was the highlight. Nicole, who was infamously taken out by the power bomb heard around the world at Ballroom Brawl 4, called out the woman who delivered said power bomb: Shayna Baszler.

nicoleladdergif (1)

Just watching that makes my back hurt.

Nicole demanded a match with Shayna, but it looks like Shayna is playing hard to get.

J_Sin Sullivan vs Dreadful Bird

Sept 19 ECCW TLC J Sin vs Bird

Photo taken by Bob Hanham

 

J_Sin vs Dreadful Bird used the tried and true “agile guy vs big guy formula” and you know what, I really liked this match. It wasn’t too long, but it was fun watching Andy try and find ways to slow down J_Sin, and I found myself really getting into the match. Also, Andy has Toy Story themed pants, which is hard to cheer against.

Now, the quick back story on the House of Hell has been that Mini-Kane has been screwing things up for his team as of late. He keeps trying to get involved in the finishes of the match, but ends up bungling things up, and causing his team to lose. He’s one “Did I do that?” away from turning into Steve Urkel.

Tonight was no different, as he once again got involved and cost J_Sin the match. Unlike last time, where I felt Mini-Kane costing them the match wasn’t pulled off well, this time it went much better, and was more believable.

I’ve said before that the House of Hell can sometimes blur into a mass of people, where I don’t really know what’s going on, but this story line honestly has me interested in where it’s going. Is Mini-Kane going to ruin this for everyone??

Also, his name isn’t Mini-Kane, but he god damn looks like it, so I will continue to call him that.

Highlight of the Match:

scottkick

 

So after the match, J_Sin just beats the absolute crap out of Andy for having the audacity to beat him, leaving him in a heap on the ground. Enter, Scotty Mac.

Scotty Mac, who beat Arty for the ECCW title at the last RCC show, left all of us wondering if he was turning heel or not. That question? Answered, in the form of a boot to the face.

I kind of love the idea of Scotty Mac just going around and super kicking the crap out of his friends. Like, if you’re having lunch with Scotty Mac, there is a high percentage chance he might super kick you halfway through the meal. Someone watches a movie with him? Boom. Super kick. Doing laundry at his place? Boom. Super kick. Giving him a birthday present? Boom. Super kick.

Imagine Scotty Mac as a mall Santa, super kicking kids for Christmas? That could actually happen people, and it’s god damn exciting.

Scotty Mac vs Air Adonis

Sept 19 ECCW TLC

Photo taken by Bob Hanham

 

Scotty Mac cut a promo after super kicking Andy, and it was the best mic moment of the night. Sometimes in wrestling all we as fans ask for, is simple logic. All we want is for the people making the stories to explain to us how we got from A to B. It doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to kind of make sense. The WWE refuses to do this nowadays, which is why it’s maddening to watch their story lines. Big Show goes from heel to face seemingly based on what kind of Subway sandwich he had that day.

Which brings us back to Saturday, where Scotty Mac explained that you know what, he saved ECCW. There would be no ECCW without him, and that he has put every single part of himself into this business. He has put everyone else first. And you know what? He’s taking his now. As he said in the promo, his face is on the god damn trucks. It was like that scene in Goonies, where Mouth wanted to take the dimes back. And it makes sense.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnrORwEG4lQ

Also, as a side note, every time we see Scotty Mac he has more and more silver on him. It started off with his hair, then it went on his face, now it’s all over his chest. He’s slowly turning into a Zoolander version of the Silver Surfer…

As for the match itself, it was the best wrestled match of the night. It was two veterans, both with great looks, who know how to work the ring, going at it. It was very smooth action to watch, and it was one of those matches where you could honestly see it taking place in a WWE ring, as it was very polished. Just two guys who know what they’re doing in the ring, which was a treat to watch.

Highlight of the Match:

macchick

TLC Bollywood Boyz vs The Cunninghams vs Alex Plexis and Ethan HD (Tag Team Title Match)

Sept 19 ECCW TLC

Photo taken by Bob Hanham

 

Ah, the TLC match. This was the match everyone was waiting for, because it promises big spots and lots of action. Now, to be honest, sometimes matches like these in the indies can fall flat. Sometimes the action is going on everywhere and they don’t take the time to focus on big spots, where all the attention is put on one situation. It ends up being a chaotic mess because you’re unable to focus on any one thing. On Saturday, I felt they handled this very well, as they had several memorable moments that stood out. They included:

  • Big Jack doing the helicopter with the ladder
    ladder3
  • Plexis going through a table in the corner
    plex2
  • Alex Plexis taking the HARDEST sounding chair shot I’ve heard in many moons
  • Alex Plexis bouncing off a table three times before Jack finally put him through on the fourth time
    pp
  • Ethan HD nailing Karl with a table spot on the apron

  • Big Jack splashing the Bollywood Boyz through a table

Now, I have to talk about Jack for a moment here. On most nights, I hand out the MVP of the show to El P. I am an unabashed fan of his. But tonight, Jack was the star of the show for me. Not only is Jack improving every month (he’s adding more moves to his arsenal, he’s getting better at pulling them off, and he’s doing agile stuff for a big man, which always brings the crowd to its feet) he is also very smart in the ring.

For instance, when the Bollywood Boyz tried to put Plexis through the tables twice (Plexis’ low weight did him no favors, haha), Jack knew that those tables had to be broken. The crowd was dying to see it happen. Rather than the Bollywood Boyz repeatedly destroy Plexis a la Shane McMahon vs Kurt Angle and glass, Jack went over and pulled a 180 splash off the ropes to the outside, to finish the spot.

So yeah, Jack is constantly improving, and he understands wrestling very very well. He is very good at reading the crowd, and with his size and the moves he can pull off, he is great at getting the crowd into it. No joke, most “Holy Shit!” chants break out due to something Jack has done.

That’s not to undersell the work of the other men in the match (Karl works great with Jack, Plexis is a champ for the bumps he took, Ethan HD is also one of the most under rated guys in ECCW, and the Bollywood Boyz are the top face team for a reason), but I just have to give credit to Jack for leaving the biggest impression on me for the night.

Highlight of the Match:

Everything. Just look at all the gifs I posted already.

Winner: Bollywooz Boyz

Conclusion:

The last show at the RCC was hard to top, due to the title change and swerves going on, but not every show can be like that. This show was more about continuing story lines and building up feuds, which will be appreciated by the hardcore ECCW fans. Although not every match was a classic, every match at least moved a story line forward in a way that made sense.

For the casual fans, the action was still solid (nobody “stole the show”, but it was still a good night), and the TCL match had that crowd into it. Everyone was on their feet, and everyone left happy. Honestly, every time I talk to somebody about watching their first ECCW event, they talk about what a crazy rush it is watching these wrestlers do their thing. If you’ve never seen a show, you should make it out one night and give it a try! Visit ECCW.com for information on future shows!

Behind the Scenes Star:

There are a lot of people who make sure ECCW runs smoothly, so I like to highlight some of the people behind the scenes that keep the ECCW engine running.

So a big shout out to Vince Havok, the outside the ring general of ECCW.

vince

 

He’s the fellow to the left of the guy in the Defend Pro Wrestling t-shirt.

 

He’s pretty much the most bad ass guy in the company. He makes sure fans don’t do anything stupid, and that wrestlers are safe to do their spots. If someone is about to be hurt or at risk of being hurt, Vince appears out of no where to make sure that doesn’t happen. A round of applause to Vince!

 

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Wyatt Arndt Wyatt Arndt is a freelance writer who currently writes for The Province, Canucks Army, Canucks.com and Vancity Buzz. He's probably written in bathroom stalls near you as well. You can find him on Twitter where he is most likely making fun of Eddie Lack's goalie mask.
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