ECCW: Ballroom Brawl 5 Review

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ElPCage

When ECCW holds a Ballroom Brawl at the Commodore, it’s essentially their Wrestlemania.

The matches are bigger and better.

The entrances and crowds are louder.

The ring gear is brought to another level.

Story lines that have been building for months reach their apex.

It’s one of those experiences that once you go to a show there, you never want to miss another one.

Everything from the crowds energy, to the performers themselves raising the bar, to having a place you can buy beers from, all leads up to the best indie wrestling the West Coast has to offer.

On Saturday, the Commodore held their fifth sold out Ballroom Brawl show, headlined by two title matches (ECCW Championship and the Canadian Championship) that have been the focus of their major story-lines over the last several months.

So what went down? Read on to find out!

Bishop & Amerikan Gunz vs The Cunninghams and Ravenous Randy

CarlFly

This match didn’t have the strongest story-line heading into it, but sometimes that will happen in wrestling. It’s hard to get everyone going on a good story-line arc as there is only so much time to go around on shows.

The story-line they HAVE given us for is that for the last while, the Cunninghams have been taking on Bishop in one on one matches, and losing all of them. Much like Pedro Martinez realized about the Yankees, Bishop is the Cunninghams daddy. Bishop could take a nap in the ring and the odds are he probably pinned a Cunningham while doing so.

So I viewed this match as a chance for the Cunninghams to show how by teaming up, and with the valuable use of friendship, they could overcome all odds. It’s like a nice Saturday morning cartoon, really.

For the big show, they added the Gunz to the match and Ravenous Randy, to give us a Tornado Triple Tag match. This allows more guys to perform in front of the Commodore crowd, so I won’t begrudge them for that move, plus the Amerikan Gunz are such great US heels for the Vancouver market.

And while it wasn’t a wrestling clinic psychology wise, it was a great opening match that got the fans warmed up. You don’t want your opening match being a situation where a guy works someone’s leg for 10 minutes, you want the crowd to get some action right away to get them into it.

The Cunninghams are very good at utilizing Big Jack as a mountain of a man, and they did that early on:

Jack Turnstyle

Having Bishop then run into Jack then stop dead in his tracks as they are both two big men? Awesome.

Bishop has a long history of trying to prove he’s the best big man in the business, as he has fought in the past against Kenny Lush, and now most recently, Big Jack. So to have the “immovable object vs unstoppable force” was a smart spot.

Hams

They also had a lot of good high spots in the match, and while again, it didn’t overflow with psychology, you have to remember it’s a Tornado match with six guys. They did a great job of utilizing the guys throughout the matches instead of relying solely on falling to the outside selling an arm drag for 10 minutes while two guys went one on one in the ring.

The Cunninghams also debuted their new three man move, a variation of their Cunning-Driver: The Alvarez Driver.

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The Cunninghams are always trying to come up with new moves in the ring, which is why they are so fun to watch.

My one minor quibble is I want Carl to land heavier moves. I feel like he’s a gentle soul, not wanting to hurt anyone. Sometimes (like on a corner splash) the impact felt and looked very light. Be an animal in there Carl!

I will give him kudos, though, for reversing a Bishop Bomb with a slick hurricanrana.

I also want to give props to the Amerikan Gunz for starting the match with America: **** Yeah! and fingering the crowd to really get the crowd riled up. I’m a big fan of the Gunz so I am really hoping they end up on a lot more ECCW shows coming up. They have been missed the last month and can be so much more than they are being used now.

CarlLose

As for the finish of the match? Bishop got to kill ol’ Carl again for the pin.

If this leads to more Bishop vs Cunninghams, then I am on board with that.

If that was the brush off of their entire interactions, then that’s kind of a bummer.

Bishop pinning the Cunninghams and suffering nothing at the hands of Big Jack and Carl just makes for a tepid feud and hurts what I view as one of the top tag teams in ECCW.

Bishop has kind of been floating through the ether for a long while now, so I am really starting to wonder when he’s going to get a solid feud going. Beating up the Cunninghams should not be your only job.

Overall, though, the crowd was extremely into the match, and the fast paced, very visual high spot style of it was a perfect opener.

Air Adonis vs Billy Suede

AirAdonis

The next match was the “Respect” match, where no matter what happened after the match, both combatants would have to shake hands and say nice things about each others interior decorating choices.

In one corner you have everyone’s favorite drunk air pilot taking on one of the Wise Men, Beauitful Billy Suede.

Before the match started, Billy took the mic and cut a long promo dressing down Air Adonis. It involved an air miles card, and several other pilot metaphors, insulting Adonis, and essentially telling him he has a long way to go to earn his respect.

I get what the promo was trying to do (Suede is still battling face reactions, in fact, there were many Billy chants throughout the match), so cutting a heel promo is a good idea to try and cement his bad guy status. I just felt it went a bit long, and it wasn’t as clear and biting as a shorter one might have been. Billy also talks really fast on the mic so it’s hard to hear his words at times (and I say that because I talk fast AND mumble, so I know the struggle.)

There wasn’t a ton of emotional investment in this match, because Suede and Adonis have only been squaring off recently over a one night stand of betrayal of sorts (and there is only so much you can care about a handshake), but the two are very good high flyers, so it had the recipe for a fun match.

And it was indeed. Air Adonis is a great name because that guy lives in the air. He could do a moonsault within a moonsault. Moonsaultception.

He also turned an arm drag into a flip, which is the first time I have actually been excited about an arm drag in 20 years:

AdonisReverse

Standing moonsaults, flips over the rope, Adonis brought a wide arsenal of flips to the match, causing the crowd to chant his name several times.

At one point I thought Adonis broke his ribs landing on Suede’s knees, so he either sold it like a bad ass, or fought through it like a bad ass. Either way, it looked really painful.

The only thing about Adonis I want to see more of, is his transition moves. He is SO good at hitting high spot moves and making them look good, but sometimes during his set ups, things look sloppy. During one sequence, he threw three back elbows to the chest of Suede but they were super weak, so weak Suede couldn’t even sell them. This just makes the match feel disjointed at times, and makes it seem like they are just moving from big spot to big spot.

For Billy’s part, he didn’t bring as much high flying offence (which is good because he’s a heel), and he had one minor screw up on a handspring back elbow, but other than that I felt he did a good job of taunting the crowd while still bringing solid wrestling. Hell, anytime you get dueling chants from the crowd you know you’re putting on a good show. By the end of the match they had the crowd in the palm of their hands.

The ending sequence of the match was the best part of the entire thing, though.

SUEDEEND

Adonis losing is good because Suede needs some wins to establish his new heel persona, and it protects Adonis because it took two god damn kicks to the head followed up a shiranui. That’s the only way you’re putting down a slightly inebriated air pilot, damn it!

After the match, Adonis went to shake hands with Suede, only to have Suede flip him off.

Also, RIP Adonis’ pilot hat. He tossed it into the crowd before the match started. It was later seen leaving with two ladies on its arms.

Nicole Matthews vs Shayna Baszler

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Nicole Matthews lost a match via submission against Shayna Baszler last year, so this was a grudge match against the woman who made her tap.

Now, big entrances are one of my favorite parts of wrestling, especially for big shows like Brawl.

Remember Rusev coming out in a god damn tank?

Remember HHH being a Terminator for no reason whatsoever?

Remember Ethan HD having two girls with confetti guns?

Remember El P’s predator mask entrance?

These were all great visuals, and wrestling is all about the visuals. We all remember the crazy entrances. It makes big shows feel even bigger.

So for this match, Matthews came out like normal, then Baszler’s music hits.

She walks to the ring with an entourage of around 30 people, and they surrounded her side of the ring. She hugs each member of the entourage, then gets into the ring. Where she meets her corner crew, who have a spit bucket and stool all ready for her. This was so over the top and ridiculous that it worked.

It was such a spectacle and it was the PERFECT way to book Shayna. Look, Shayna is a rookie in the wrestling business. She’s a legitimate MMA bad ass, but in wrestling, she’s not going to be able to go out there and school the other wrestlers and fly around like Shawn Michaels.

So book her as an MMA fighter. Book her like Lesnar. Have her wear her UFC stuff (which she did). Have the MMA like entrance. Have her lean heavily on submissions. It’s the perfect way to protect Shayna while also bringing a unique style of wrestler into ECCW.

As for that huge entourage? It got the crowd HEATED. They stood on one side of the ring and the crowd was livid, screaming at them, screaming at Baszler. Calling her a coward. It was perfect, as it led to setting up this:

matthewsdive

Nicole Matthews diving off the top rope, knocking down 30+ people, to loud screaming fans.

That was one of the most iconic moments of the night.

Now as I said, Baszler is a bit green in the ring, but I liked how they booked her. Matthews carried her by doing more of the wrestling moves, but they also had Baszler no sell kicks and punches from Matthews. Then they had Matthews sell Baszler’s kicks really hard. The idea being “I’m an MMA fighter, I can kill you with my striking.” Again, this helped add to the unique feel of the match. They even had Baszler do some dead lift slams a la Cesaro, making her look super strong.

Baszler even had an awesome tiger driver into arm bar move that was a great move for her:

SB

And while Baszler is not perfect in the ring yet, wrestling wise, she has one of the best heel personas out there. She is just a natural at it, when you watch her wrestle you really believe she hates your guts. She is really really good at knowing how to play off the crowd without over milking it. Some people look timid in the ring, or they try too hard to play up being a bad guy. With Shayna, it feels 100% natural, which makes you want to boo her even more.

NMFinish

The finish of the match came when Nicole Matthews threw three discus elbows into Shayna’s face, knocking her out cold. Again, this is a great way to finish the match, it puts the feud at one win a piece and both in very MMA style ways: One submission, one KO.

This allows them, maybe at the next Ballroom Brawl, to set up something like a Last Woman Standing match between the two. If Shayna never wrestles again in ECCW? It leaves the feud even, which you should do for the former ECCW Champ Matthews.

The only quibble I had? Nicole didn’t use a sweater at any point during or after the match. Her sweater game was not as strong as it was last show.

Cat Power vs Pete Powers

Powers

I was very worried about this match heading into it, I won’t lie.

I honestly believe Pete Powers will be an ECCW Champion in the year 2016. I think he can be a mega heel, but I can also see him being a huge face. I just think the world is the limit for this guy.

So coming into this match, I didn’t want him to be made to look weak. I didn’t want him overselling a much smaller wrestlers moves. I didn’t want to see Cat Power drop kick him 40 feet into the air.

And much to my surprise, this match was perfection.

Pete Powers wrestled like the monster that he is. He looked like he was playing with his food. He showed Cat no respect and no sold her offense. He laughed at her. He over powered her. It was exactly how he should be wrestling smaller people. She couldn’t lift him for a scoop slam because he was so strong.

Powers at one point kept hitting back breakers onto Cat and it looked like he was snapping her in two. It was like watching a comic book and seeing this overly powerful being just doing his best to break somebody in half.

I legitimately thought he might start using the power of magnetism at one point to hit Cat with pieces of metal.

PowerSlam2

Pete has this way of leering at his opponents on the ground that cracks me up. He stares at them as if they’re stupid for even thinking of trying to fight him.

Cat, for her part, used smarts to get her offense in. Ref not looking? Low blow. Low blow all day and every day. The minute eyes are off of her, Cat was punching dick, which is the way to get ahead in the wrestling world.

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This allowed Cat to start gaining momentum. She started screaming a lot, as is her way, but with her new hairdo, she looked like a god damn feral cat. Like if Lady Gaga had a cat, it would have looked like Cat Powers. It was like Pete Powers opened up a trash can and out jumped this angry cat, clawing and spitting at his face.

CatP

Let’s also take a moment to talk about Cat’s ring gear. She constantly has some of the best in ring gear around, and for a big show like the Commodore, when she first appeared on the entrance ramp, she looked phenomenal. It made it feel like a big moment match to have her come out in such wicked ring gear.

Now, back to the match, Cat, through liberal use of dick punching, actually had it won, before everyone’s favorite manager Kris Kassidy distracted the ref.

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The crowd visibly got upset over this.

Cat then got up, and wouldn’t you know it, she used the power of dick kicking to let her former manager know the mistake he made.

Pete Powers then used Cat’s distraction to nail her with the Bane Breaker, which is game over for anybody.

PowersFinish

It was honestly one of my favorite matches of the night. I think it told such a great story, and it kept Pete looking strong, and it made Cat get really over with the crowd. I doubted her face turn last show, but I am a fan of it now. Both Cat and Pete should be really proud of that match. Cat’s selling alone in this match made me a fan of hers. Those BaneBreakers…geezus, my back hurts just thinking of them.

Also, after the match was over, Pete came back into the ring and Power Kicked the SHIT out of Cat Power. Then he spat on her, as is his way.

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He’s a god damn monster!

Bollywood Boyz vs The West Coast Connection (Creed and Plexis)

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The Bollywood Boyz are two of the most over wrestlers in ECCW, so it was great to see them take on the current ECCW tag team champs Plexis and Creed at the big show. A show at the Commodore without the Bollywood Boyz just wouldn’t make any sense. Also, you need to enjoy the Bollywood Boyz as long as you can, as they are the type of team that is going places in the business.

So yes, there was little in the way of background between the two teams aside from the fact that both teams want to prove they’re better. On one hand you have Plexis and Creed, two men the fans just hate, trying to prove they are the best new tag team in wrestling since Deuce ‘N Domino.

It should be noted Creed and Plexis went by the new name West Coast Connection, which I think is a far better name than West Coast Express, as Vancouver fans love them some WCE hockey memories. Better for heels to avoid those positive emotional connections.

Of that one round of hockey the Canucks won in 2003.

Sigh.

On the other hand you have the Bollywood Boyz, who really, just love Butter Chicken and Ass Kickin’. Except they were all out of chicken Saturday night.

Now, does it give away the ending by having only the Global Force tag titles on the line? Of course it does. Creed and Plexis won’t be taking those titles, mostly because Jeff Jarrett would smash guitars over their heads until they gave them back, while still trying to make “Slap Nuts” a thing.

But hey, it lets the Boyz show off their GFW belts, and it lets the WCC lose a match without losing their ECCW tag titles. There would be little point in putting together Creed and Plexis only to have them lose the titles so quickly.

The match itself was a traditional tag team match. The evil villains tried to keep Harv in their corner for a long period of time, utilizing cheap tricks and distraction techniques.

WCC

Meanwhile the good guys screamed at the ref and did themselves no favors by trying to continually jump into the match before a tag was made. Silly good guys, when will you ever learn?

Gurv eventually got the hot tag and he began beating the Shakespeare out of the West Coast Connection. The crowd was pretty jacked. As jacked as Gurv?

gurv

That’s a tough call. Both were pretty jacked, let’s call it a draw.

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Now, the finish of the match was great because it had Plexis and Creed lock in sharpshooters (the Bollywood Boyz submission finisher) on the Bollywood Boyz. They even high-fived each other while the move was locked in. I audibly laughed out loud at this because it’s such a dick move, yet so great for this cocky team to do.

WCC

The Boyz, though, know that move inside out. Hell, any Canadian who watched Bret Hart knows you should never lock on a Sharpshooter on a fellow Canadian, that’s just inviting pain and reversals into your life.

So of course the Bollywood Boyz reversed the move to get out of it. Mere moments later, and after Plexis was caught celebrating a victory that never happened due to a missed top rope splash by Creed, the Boyz double super kicked their way into their patented top (middle) rope “Naan Bread to the Face”, and took the pinfall victory.

NaanToTheFace

Once you get hit with Naan, there’s no coming back.

You can Naan come back from it.

You want Naan, COME GET NAAN.

OK I’ll stop.

Now I know what you’re thinking: Did Creed continue his streak of throwing streamers from his junk into the crowd? The answer is yes.

But get this.

Plexis ALSO had streamers in his junk that he threw at the crowd.

Folks, we’re entering a world of two, sweaty, ball sack smelling streamers, and I don’t know what we’re going to do about it.

While I still feel like we haven’t seen the top potential of the West Coast Connection, I am looking forward to seeing where they go from here.

They really need a strong, memorable feud to establish themselves as a top tag team.

Brady Malibu vs CFOX’s Jeremy Baker

jeremy3

CFOX was a sponsor of the Ballroom Brawl, so they worked in an angle where CFOX DJ Jeremy Baker took up Brady Malibu’s “15 Minutes of Fame” challenge.

The challenge, essentially, is to let people wrestle Malibu for 15 minutes just so they can get some of that Hollywood Malibu rub. Usually he takes on wrestlers, but you know what, brother, Jeremy Baker had had enough of Malibu’s arrogance, brother.

So whatcha gonna do when a CFOX DJ runs wild on YOU!?

malibuhd

 

pod

BAH GAWD THAT IPAD IS BROKEN IN HALF! WITH GAWD AS MY WITNESS IT’S BROKEN IN HALF! THAT IPAD HAS A FAMILY! SOMEBODY STOP THE DAMN MATCH!

Anyhow, when Jeremy is old, and has his grand-kids gathered around the fireplace, he will tell them a tale of how he heroically slayed a metro-sexual sailor who swam to close to shore.

In reality, Ravenous Randy ran in to assist Jeremy with the win:

MalibuFinish

For a non wrestling, local celebrity match, it was smart to keep this one short, which they did. The crowd isn’t going to be too invested in a match like this, but it was a fun way to have one of the arrogant guys get embarrassed by losing to a non-wrestler. It doesn’t beat the time the CFOX mascot delivered a stunner, but it was still pretty good for what it was.

Also, kudos to Jeremy for choosing Goldust shiny like pants. Except I do have to question his cowardly choice of wearing a pair of gym shorts on top of them. Come on Baker, show the world the kind of balls it takes to wrestle.

Best part of the match? Brady Malibu landed an open handed back slap of doom that left a giant red hand-print on the back of Jeremy’s back.

Who knew 15 minutes of fame would hurt so much?

Tony Baroni vs Artermis Spencer (Canadian Championship on the line)

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OK, so the background to this match is basically a Greek tragedy. You know the tale, two best friends, basically brothers, grow up doing everything together. Eventually one starts getting more attention, more accolades, and it gets the other one jealous. Jealous friend one day snaps and turns on other friend, and much back stabbing ensues. Title belts are stolen, bathrobes are put on, mean Facebook posts are made…friendships ruined forever.

Baroni, with the help of his other Wise Men Suede and Goddess Mandy, has been making Spencer’s life hell. Leading up to this match Baroni did everything in his power to not only beat up Arty, but throw roadblocks in his way preventing him from getting a title shot.

Luckily, Spencer was awarded his chance at revenge in an “Unsanctioned Match” (which to me makes it seem like they should be fighting in an alleyway, but it just a fancy way of saying NO DQ match) at Brawl.

So the background of this feud, although it’s been told before, is knee deep in emotion. You want to see Spencer get revenge. You want to see Baroni get what’s coming to him. It had the crowd invested emotionally in it. If the earlier matches were just first dates to the crowd, this match was marriage to the crowd. People were invested long term.

And you know what? It god damn delivered. This was one of my favorite matches I have seen in wrestling, ever. These two told a story in that ring, and used chairs and ladders to create a spectacle that put an amazing exclamation point on this rivalry.

What I loved about this match, was that it was a match of revenge. A match fueled by anger.

angryarty

I’ve always said it’s so much fun to watch Angry Arty in the ring (especially since he seems like the world’s nicest guy outside of the ring), and he was plenty angry on this night, my friends. Gather around, and listen to the tales of Spencer, comma, Artemis.

Instead of having Arty get beat up for the first half of the match, to build up sympathy for the good guy, right out of the gates Arty just brought the violence to Baroni.

Early on he jumped the ropes and dove onto Baroni. He started slamming Baroni on the ramp. He started kicking Baroni like he borrowed his Tim Horton’s gift card and forgot to write down the new remaining balance.

Then Arty ramped up the violence and brought in the chairs.

ArtyChair

But that wasn’t enough. Oh no. You do not steal the Canadian Championship from Spencer without paying for it.

ArtemisChairDive

At this point the crowd lost their shit, and a huge “HOLY SHIT” chant rang throughout the Commodore Ballroom.

Baroni, feeling the pressure from Arty, got desperate. He grabbed a giant shoe from Goddess Mandy, made up of what I assume was a combination of diamonds and adamantium, and clocked Spencer with it.

Thus began the Era of the Ladder.

Baroni Ladder Totter

This was one of the most memorable spots of the night for me. I am pretty sure I went “Oh shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit” like ten times after it happened. Please note referee Scooter’s patented “OH MY GOSH” head grab. One of the best in the business!

Not one to rest on his laurels, Baroni took the Era of the Ladder to the next level:

Baroni Broken Ladder

Spencer, though, being the hero that he is, retained control of the match. He even managed to survive fellow Wise Men Suede coming to the ring trying to turn things in Baroni’s favor:

MandyPowder

I want to take a moment and applaud Mandy for really selling the powder to the face. She was on the outside screaming “my eyes!!” and fanning them with her hands, unable to see a thing, while a panicked Billy Suede tried apologizing.

Now, how do you finish a match that had been escalating in violence like this?

ArtyFinish

Can we just take a moment to revel in the sell job by Baroni?

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That is on a Stone Cold Stunner Vince McMahon level of seizures. God damn brilliant.

Artemis would of course pick up the win and the Canadian Championship after that move.

This match was so unbelievably good. I can’t say it enough. This match was something I wish everyone could have been there in person to watch. They tore the roof off the Commodore and set the bar so high for the next match.

Booked perfectly, wrestled perfectly, this is a match of the year candidate in any wrestling show, WWE or Indy. I cannot, and will not, stop talking about how much I enjoyed this match.

I have no idea how those guys went to work on Monday, after what they did in that ring. How do you come off that high after achieving perfection in the ring??

El Phantasmo vs Scotty Mac (ECCW Championship on the line)

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The final match of the night pitted the best heel in ECCW, and reigning champion, Scotty Mac vs the number one face and most neon guy in the company, El Phantasmo.

The build-up to this match was also very well done. In Scotty’s case, he’s a veteran of the business who has been the backbone of ECCW for years. Without Scotty Mac, there is no ECCW, and that’s just a simple fact.

Except one day Scotty Mac got tired of carrying ECCW on his back. He got tired of doing all the hard work and not getting enough recognition for it.

So one day he just snapped. He betrayed all of his friends by super kicking them in the face, dipped his face in silver, and he became a man obsessed with getting what he felt he’s deserved all these years. He demands your respect, otherwise he will beat you to within an inch of your life for it.

El Phantasmo, he’s that cool guy at work who always shows up late, barely does any work, yet everyone kind of wants to be best friends with him. He has that “it” factor in wrestling that can be so hard to find. He has been viewed as the best wrestler in the company by many, and you know what? That pisses Scotty Mac off.

Thus begins a story of the veteran wrestler, desperate to hold onto his spot, to keep the title that brings him the respect he feels he deserves, desperate to not let anyone outshine him.

El Phantasmo, well shit, he just wants to wrestle, you know? And if Scotty Mac wants to dance, he’ll dance.

Now, before the match started, they played Space Oddity by David Bowie, in a touching tribute to the fallen legend.

And before you knew it, everyone in the Commodore started singing along to it. It was such a surreal moment that amidst all the violence on the night, after witnessing Artemis Spencer almost kill himself trying to take out Baroni, this song comes on and everyone just….stops. They stop and they sing along.

It was a moment I will never forget as long as I live. It was a moment that showed you how creativity can touch everyone, in all walks of life. It was one of the coolest moments of the show.

Then Scotty Mac’s music hits, and reality comes flooding back in. He comes to the ring in pink. His best friend Dropkick Murphy has a pink bandana. He has his makeup artist Lindsay Hart, adorned in Hart pink as well.

Scotty

They are color coordinated, so you know shit is about to get real.

Then El Phantasmo’s music hits. The lights go off. And we see this:

phant

It’s like an angry robot god from the future has arrived to dispense justice to Scotty Mac.

New jacket, new music, bass melting the faces off of the crowd, El P enters the ring to a thunderous ovation.

And we have ourselves a main event, folks.

The match started off slow with Scotty Mac getting in a lot of the offense, building up the
hatred from the crowd. El P eventually started getting in his shots. Scotty Mac thrown into the cage. A couple of jumping enziguris. Scotty Mac settling things down again.

Then they take turns using the cage as a weapon.

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And they don’t stop.

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Then when things don’t start going Scotty Mac’s way, he does what he always does, he starts kicking people in the face. YOU CAN’T SOLVE ALL YOUR PROBLEMS WITH SUPER KICKS.

Before the match even started, Sweatervest ate a kick from Smac. Then when the Scotty wasn’t getting the three counts, he started taking out the refs.

Scotty Super Kicks

I loved this part of it, to be honest. It just showed how desparate Scotty Mac was to keep his title, and how far he had fallen into his power trip. He feels like he’s untouchable, like he’s the HHH and he just married Stephanie McMahon in a drive through wedding while she was unconscious. He will super kick every god damn ref until they give him a quick three count.

Except you can’t keep treating people like trash. Someday, somehow those little guys rise up to strike you down. DID NOBODY READ LORD OF THE RINGS??

CageNearFall

Yes, Sweatervest (coming to the ring to Steve Austin’s iconic music) ran to the ring to dish out some sweater revenge.

Now, normally I try not to mark out. After all, I have to write about the shows. I try and keep things cool.

But I fully admit that at this point, I thought the match was over. They got me with the false finish. From that point onward I was in full on mark mode.

Because Scotty has made himself a bit of a stable, out came Bishop (in pink as well) to help out with things. Also Natural showed up. If next show Natural, Bishop, Dropkick, Scotty and Lindsay all come out as a group? Awesome. Great. Love it.

If Natural isn’t with them at the next show, then I don’t like him showing up at the Brawl. Although I loved this main event, it was very cluttered, so having a bunch of people showing up left the fans trying to sort things out. The wrestling fan in me always wants it to make sense, so I damn well want a logical reason for every single person who showed up at that match.

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Another fun point of the match? Bum shaking Scotty Mac putting his prized possession right through a wooden table.

At this point the match was in full on bananas mode.

It all culminated in the “please don’t fall to your death” moment of the night, when El P walked to the cage to land a splash for the finish.

ElPWin

El P’s face was literally in the shadows of the rafters, he was so high.

With bodies littered around the cage left and right, El Phantasmo did the unthinkable and dethroned the champ. Welcome to the El P Era, folks.

And how does one celebrate a victory like that?

ElPStunner

By attacking innocent refs?? What did Scooter and Robert Mitchell do to you guys?? For shame Scotty and El P, for shame! You’ve changed since you won that title.

The match was very different from the Spencer/Baroni match, but was also one of the best matches I have ever seen live. I think story-line wise (ego driven veteran doing anything he can to keep his title) made the craziness in the match make sense. It highlighted how bat shit crazy he’s gotten to keep his hold on power. He’s turning into King Henry VIII right before our very eyes.

It felt like it was veering dangerously closed to being overbooked, but hell, they had that tremendous 1 on 1 match just before this, so why not end your biggest show with some flair? It did help set the two matches apart.

In my humblest of opinions, El P and Scotty Mac are the two best wrestlers on the roster in terms of look, ability, and marketability. To watch them perform on the biggest ECCW stage was such a treat, and those two laid the blueprints for any young wrestler to follow if they want to wow a crowd. People are going to need to step up if they want to match the work of these two.

It’s the little things, you know? Scotty Mac doing hard transition shots, making each punch and kick have a reason. He’s not just throwing them in there because he’s going through the motions. El P selling his injuries, making pained facial expressions, screaming as his face gets raked across the cage. These are the things that tie matches together and make them flow.

These two make it feel real, they draw you in. They make you believe.

Final Thoughts

This show, without hyperbole, was my favorite ECCW show I have ever seen by a country mile.

I honestly loved it all.

I know I mentioned minor things here and there about the matches, but man, those were so minor compared to the night that was had. Every single person who was part of that show should be extremely proud of themselves. Everyone stepped up to the plate and delivered.

Everything felt bigger at the show, you know? It felt more professional. It felt more important.

I have no idea how someone can go to that show and not walk away from it wanting to see more. ECCW is putting on some of the best wrestling around, and I honestly hope more people start coming out and catching some shows.

Every match on the card served a different purpose. Whether it was tag matches, single matches, stipulation matches, MMA fighter matches, everything from start to finish was booked about as good as it can get. You got an entire buffet of wrestling enjoyment.

The only true drawback? The bar has been raised so high for the next Brawl, it will be tough work to match it.

The next ECCW show is in New Westminster January 30th (making a triumphant return!) and tickets can be bought at ECCW.com ! If you want to see who El P is going to face next, or how Scotty Mac is going to handle his loss, or if Bishop is going to pin a Cunningham again, you should buy tickets as soon as possible! The front row is already sold out.

If you see the show, I recommend you go eat at Big Star Sandwiches in New West on 12th street beforehand. Best sandwiches in town, and that’s without them asking me to sponsor them. I just really love their sandwiches. Try them out! You won’t regret it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.
@TheStanchion

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