ECCW: Clash of the Titans 2016 Review

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Image: Bob Hanham

With Ballroom Brawl 5 just weeks away, Clash of the Titans looked to be a show that would solidify the feuds and story lines heading into the big show. So what went down? Who hates who? How silvery did Scotty Mac get? Did El P jump off a rope? What is going to happen at Ballroom Brawl 5?? Read on to find out!

Cat Power and Peter Powers vs Andy Bird and Nicole Matthews

Image: Bob Hanham

Image: Bob Hanham

(Yes, the dreaded boob kick)

Former stablemates Nicole Matthews and Andy Bird briefly re-united part of The Riot for the first match of the night, as they took on Cassidy Crew members… Power Squared? Powers That Be? It Was Me Austin All Along? Some sort of Power pun, regardless.

Either way, it pitted Powers and Power in what should have been a formidable match up against Bird and Matthews. Cat Power hates Nicole Matthews (she screams at her a lot) and Pete Powers likes breaking things, and what better thing to break then the wing of a Bird?

The wrestling itself was solid if nothing else. The match was used more to set up a story line methinks.

Full credit to Cat and Nicole for their Superplex spot, though, that was the highlight of the match. That and Andy’s hair flopping around after the suplex lands.

NicoleCatSuperplex

Where things picked up was when once again there was some miscommunication between Cassidy Crew members, resulting in Powers and Power losing the match to The Riot remix.

This caused the two to scream at each other, which brought out another Cassidy member in Alex Plexis, who got in the ring and slapped Cat right across the face. The crowd chanted “You ****ed up!” repeatedly at Alex, Cat did that slow burning silence that women can do when they want to let you know you’re dead meat, and then she proceeded to attack Plexis.

What happened next, you ask?

PowerPunch

Yes, Pete Powers with a Big Show like punch, ended the conversation. Please remember, ECCW is all about equality, in all forms of violence. That being said, there is just something inherently evil about a monster of a man dropping someone considerably small than him.

And I loved it. Not the man on woman violence (I don’t care whose getting punched out), but I love the idea of Pete Powers just being this hulking, evil, a-hole.

Look, ECCW has a lot of smaller talent. They don’t have a ton of huge guys that you could book in a Lesnar kind of style. Bishop, maybe. Big Jack, he’s too loveable. But Pete Powers, with his Magneto cape and floppy hair? This guy is the perfect monster heel for ECCW.

And that is my one concern about this match. It set up a match between Powers and Power at Ballroom Brawl 5, and I don’t want Pete to be selling anything in that match. I don’t want to see him weak. I don’t want to see him flipping through the air like a Hulk fist just booted him 50 feet in the air. I want Pete to be booked as a cruel, cold, remorseless evil son of a bitch. Pete breaking Randy in half is one of the highlights of the year for 2015 for me, it was such a standout moment in how far he was willing to go to hurt people.

As for Cat Power, this marks what I assume is a face turn for her. To be honest, it wasn’t my favorite face turn, because she’s turning face mostly because she got knocked out? What I mean is, they didn’t really set her up as a sympathetic character. She’s been a heel so much recently, and it’s just been the last few weeks she’s been seen arguing with her team mates. And even in those arguments, she’s losing her shit and screaming and comes across as unreasonable, so it never felt like she was a really sympathetic character.

That being said, a face turn for Cat should be interesting to watch, as at least it’s a new direction. Also, she has some of the best ring gear in ECCW. Face paint game is on point.

Brady Malibu vs Ravenous Randy

randy

Image: Bob Hanham

(Selfie Time with Randy. Some are happier than others)

Malibu and his Entourage took on Randy in a match that had some comedy (you know I don’t like it) but overall I actually found it to be an ok match. It slowed down when Brady did the heel move of pretending to do a big spot, but ending it in an arm bar or chin lock. It didn’t garner as much heat as you would have hoped it would, so as a result the match felt long.

Randy

Randy is weird to me in that you can tell he’s really good at his job, the kids love him, three dudes beside me talked about how much they loved him and he was their favorite guy, yet I just have never connected with his character. And that’s how wrestling goes, that’s the beauty of wrestling, everyone picks their own favorites for their own reasons.

That being said, the best part about Randy was after the match, when he politely responded to a fan who had been screaming at Randy to kick Brady in his lady parts all night long.

“I can’t kick him in the vagina, that’s illegal.”

He deadpanned it, and it was hilarious.

Malibu’s 15 Minutes of Fame Gimmick is kind of working for me (at least it’s something that stands out about his matches) so it’s good he’s doing it, but yeah, he’s another guy that I just haven’t bought into yet.

As for the end of the match, apparently CFOX DJ Jeremy Baker will be taking on Brady at Ballroom Brawl, which should be interesting to see how they handle a non-wrestler vs wrestler. Maybe the CFOX mascot can come out and deliver a Stunner again like he did at a Brawl once before.

Daniel Adonis vs “Beautiful” Billy Suede

Image: Bob Hanham

Image: Bob Hanham

(That’s Baroni, not Billy, but I had to showcase the New Years Eve outfit of Baroni)

Adonis is one of my boys (El P, Cunninghams, Adonis, Plexis, Bishop), so I was pretty excited to see him take on another guy who can fly in the ring in Billy Suede.

Before we get to the match, I have to give a standing ovation to Baroni and Suede for coming out to this match dressed in New Years Eve clothes, looking like they had never stopped celebrating and were possibly still drunk, and just managed to get to the show on time. What a glorious touch that was to their stable, just showing how cocky and full of themselves they are. Loved every second of that.

baroni

Daniel Adonis is gaining momentum in ECCW and he is really able to get the crowd on his side. Some of the biggest chants at shows recently have been of his name, which he has to be pumped about. I kind of want to see his character be a bit more serious, but hey, his drunken air pilot thing is working for him for now, so keep at it I guess.

The match was fun to watch with Baroni and Mandy running interference on the outside. Suede tempered his offense to fit his new heel persona, and let Adonis hit more of the aerial spots, which he gladly did. Standing moonsaults for days.

adonisspin

Adonis picked up the clean win, which I wanted to love (because I want Adonis to gain some sweet sweet momentum), but I didn’t quite understand on Suede’s part.

Suede just turned heel recently, he needs to get on a run here. I hoped he was going to be booked strong. On top of that, after the match Adonis demanded a “Respect” match which I found hard to buy into because Adonis beat him. I don’t know why he would want Suede’s respect so badly after he’d already won. It would have made more sense to me if Adonis lost to Billy and then demanded one more fight, to earn said respect. At the very least have it be a DQ win for Adonis and protect Suede a little bit!

prECCW Shreddz vs Kingpin Johnny Flynn vs King Khash

bowl

Image: Bob Hanham

(Bowling attire. Yup.)

This was a match that showcased some of the up and coming talent from the feeder fed of ECCW (prECCW).

Shreddz we all know used to be a buddy of Bishop’s, before they feuded briefly.

Johnny Flynn is a guy who vaguely resembles a 70’s porn star, who has little to no muscle definition, and wears bowling clothes. At one point he mimicked bowling a strike then dropped an elbow at the end of it. It was such a stupid move that I actually kind of loved it. I don’t know how I feel about Flynn, but I will say he’s very confident in his character in the ring, so give him credit for that.

Shreddz

King Khash had the best theme music on the night, had GREAT ring gear, and left an awesome first impression on me. His effort into his in-ring appearance is something young wrestlers should try and imitate. As for his wrestling skills, the match was a short three-way match, so there wasn’t a lot to judge.

The match ended when Bishop ran down and beat up everyone in the ring, where he somehow got fluff stuck to his head. This fluff continued to be stuck to his head and I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. First star of the night was almost the fluff.

bish2

Eventually Bishop beat everyone up which brought out Jack to start…

Bishop vs Big Jack

Image: Bob Hanham

Image: Bob Hanham

(Carl ponders if he left the oven on while best friend Jack takes a beating)

Bishop has been feuding with the Cunninghams the last little while, and Jack and Bishop had a memorable “BIG MAN” match a couple of shows ago.

This match was pretty good. I love watching Jack in the ring because he’s constantly improving in there, and he’s always trying new stuff. He’s also not afraid to try big spots, especially spots you normally don’t see from a big boy like him. As I said before, ECCW has a lot of smaller people in it, so it was nice to see two big guys go at it. The match was very physical and Bishop going after Jack’s leg again was a nice nod to psychology. They also had several big time spots like a nice, long, stalling suplex, and the finish where Jack fell a long distance.

jackstall

Keep in mind I had to speed that gif up to make it fit, it was really around 20 seconds Jack held Bishop up.

The only problem I had with the match was that it felt very long. It wasn’t as concise as their first match, so there were some definite dead spots with the crowd. Bishop really played up taunting Jack and talking to the crowd before the match even started, and that really slowed the pace down.

Also, at one point Carl (Jack’s partner) came running out to the match and I don’t know why? Moral support? He needed the keys to the car? Carl showed up and kind of whispered “Go Jack!” then faded into the woodwork. It was more distracting to me than anything else. I guess it showed team unity, but I just wish Carl had had more impact. At least he didn’t lose his headband this time.

carl

Regardless, Bishop continued his domination of the Cunninghams, which is good because it shows the veteran wiles of Bishop overcoming the blood and guts of youth. It leaves you wondering if the Cunninghams can ever beat him.

This match apparently set up a match between the Cunninghams and Ravenous Randy vs Bishop and the Amerikan Gunz. I like the Gunz, they are a very strong team, and I am glad they and the Cunninghams are on the Brawl card, but it was weird to see the Gunz thrown into the match out of nowhere.

Also, Ethan HD set the bar for awesome Brawl entrances, so all I can say is he better beat it this year.

Plexis and Creed (Westcoast Express) vs The Good Brothers

goodbros

Image: Bob Hanham

(Not pictured is Nick Pesky, but I assure you, his gear is matching finally)

Anytime the Good Brothers wrestle I assume 75% of the audience is related to them because the crowd goes ape shit and half of them are wearing their shirts.

Now, I have been super critical of the Good Brothers ring gear in the past (it was hot garbage) but I am happy to say they finally got matching ring gear!

Look how pretty that singlet is! Matching orange and blue! They look like a god damn team now, and it’s fantastic. Pesky also got an awesome hair cut, and grew a beard your daughter could marry. They were looking SHARP.

goodbros

Now maybe the ring gear made me biased, but this was also the best Good Brothers match I have seen yet. It was a very traditional tag team match, but they worked well as a team, and their moves were crisper then I’ve ever seen them. Some of Everest’s moves felt weak for a guy of his size (he has very gentle shoulder thrusts) especially after the big hot tag. You want to come in like Titus after a hot tag, not X-Pac.

My only other complaint? The build up to the hot tag took a long long time. I don’t mean to harp on the time of matches, but you always want to keep the audience engaged, and I think the fans at the RCC are smart enough to know nothing of consequence will happen until the hot tag. So to spend so much time building up to it felt like dead air.

To be fair, though, they did have some great spots where Pesky almost got the tag, and the WCE managed to keep things under control. This particular sequence was awesome:

bros

I was actually hoping Plexis and Creed would make Pesky tap out and never get the hot tag. That would have felt very fresh and would have put over the team work of Plexis and Creed

As for The Westcoast Express…I dunno. I love Plexis. One of the top heels in the company. Creed is awesome on the mic, but we rarely hear from him. They chose Nickelback for their entrance song, which is brilliant. It’s just I haven’t embraced them as a team yet. I don’t like the name, for one. Westcoast Express doesn’t fit their style, plus it brings to mind the Canucks WCE line, which is a babyface type of memory.

I don’t know what it is. Maybe in time they will develop a more team unified persona, but for now they still very much feel like two separate entities to me, instead of a heel tag team.

Anyways, Creed and Plexis picked up the win, as they should, being the defending Champs. They take on the Bollywood Boyz at Brawl, for the Global Force Wrestling Tag titles, which if you’re a betting man, the Boyz will not be dropping. I don’t know why those titles are on the line, to be honest. Seems to give away the result of the match, but maybe they have something up their sleeves.

And for the record, I don’t believe Creed threw any streamers from his junk tonight, which was shocking.

Update: I was wrong about the junk streamers

Naturally Spoken

Image: Bob Hanham

Image: Bob Hanham

(Never turn your back on a sweater)

Natch had Cassidy come out, and Cassidy worked Adele’s song “Hello” into a the promo.

So there is a pecking order of people who are good on the mic in ECCW.

There’s Cassidy.

Then you drill downwards 50 miles.

Then there’s everyone else.

Cassidy just cracks me up on the mic. Dude just KILLS it on the mic. I know I complain about how sometimes it feels like he’s managing half the roster, but when you can talk like him, you can see why. I really hope they put him on the mic more often. Seriously, he sang “Hello” for a few bars and worked it into a promo. Magical.

Anyhoo, Cassidy came out and set up the Powers vs Power match at Brawl, then taunted Nicole Matthews for not being on the Brawl card. She came out in a very dapper sweater, proceeded to arm bar Cassidy, then called out Shayna Baszler, she of the vicious Ladder Bomb Assault at their last Brawl showdown.

Baszler later accepted on Twitter, and now it is Matthews vs Baszler in a Grudge Match at Brawl.

Scotty Mac and Baroni vs El P and Artemis Spencer

Image: Bob Hanham

Image: Bob Hanham

(Scotty Mac giving an eye exam to El P)

Easily the match of the night, not only because both the main title feuds are involved in it, but also because everyone wrestling in this match knows what they are doing.

El P and Arty can fly with the best of them, and “Angry Man on a Mission” Arty is one of my favorite people to watch in the ring (he doesn’t do it often, but when he does…). El P is El P, the franchise.

Scotty Mac is currently the best heel in the company by a country mile, and Baroni is doing good work on building himself up as the second best heel.

I won’t bother going over all the spots in the match, but needless to say it had every one in the RCC on their feet, and gave us the most memorable spots of the night. Scotty Mac is a good heel who even when he does high flying stuff you still want to boo him. He knows how to pick his spots. You see these guys on the card, you’re gonna buy tickets.

dives

I also really liked how the heel team teased dissension during the match, and even used that in the finish of the match. Too many times heel teams magically get along just because they’re both mean spirited, which shouldn’t be the case.

“You’re a dick? I’M A DICK! Best friends???”

I like that the teamwork of Smac and Baroni was spotty. At one point Smac refused to tag into the match, showing self preservation above team work, which is perfect for his character. The finish of the match came with Baroni and Scotty getting into a shoving contest only to have Scotty figure out a way to work his Super Kick in. It was great subtle storytelling.

kick

You felt that both teams held back in the match (which they god damn should be doing) so they could really blow you away at Ballroom Brawl 5.

The match ended with Scotty Mac and Baroni getting the win, and El P and Arty being vanquished at the hands of the bad guys.

This of course sets up Spencer vs Baroni for the Canadian Championship and El P vs Scotty Mac for the ECCW Championship in a steel cage.

Final Thoughts:

It was a solid show for a “go home” show. There wasn’t a lot of maneuverability as they are just two weeks away from one of the biggest shows of the year, so the show was mostly used to solidify things. I am extremely excited about the Ballroom Brawl 5 card, not only for the card itself, but because it’s at the Commodore. A steel cage match in the Commodore is going to be such a spectacle.

I say it often, but if you want to see your first ECCW show, you HAVE to see one at the Commodore. The energy in there is insane, and you will find yourself loving it. Honestly, do yourself a favor and go check out Ballroom Brawl 5, if there are any tickets left. You won’t be sorry!

And if you do head out to a show? Buy a t-shirt of your favorite wrestler! It helps support the guys and gals who bust their asses and put their bodies on the line for your entertainment. Give them a little love and buy some sweet t-shirt swag from them the next time you see a show.

Star of the Night:

I wanted to give it to Scooter, as he is one of the top refs in the company and he deserves some love (despite some suspect tag team partner control issues), but I have been so down on the Good Brothers that I want to give them the spot for getting nice gear and having a solid match. Tonight was the first night I thought “Hey yeah, these guys could hold the titles one day.”

Which I know sounds arrogant, who the hell am I and why does my opinion matter (it doesn’t) but these reviews would be boring if all I did was pretend every single person was awesome all the time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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