ECCW: Redemption 2016 review

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ECCW held its Redemption show this past Saturday, and it was headlined by a couple of title fights between El Phantasmo (ECCW Champ) and Bishop, and then The Good Brothers vs The West Coast Express (Tag Team Champs). On top of that we had a lone bullet from the Amerikan Gunz taking on an oily monster in Lak Siddartha, an Outlaw and some bowlers taking on Andy Bird, and Air Adonis with a mystery partner (not a stripper) taking on the Wisemen. And last, but not least, everybody’s favorite brother tag team, the Bollywood Boyz, took on the odd pairing of Galaxy and King Khash.

So how did it all go down? Did we see some titles change hands? Did El P come out in the dark?? (Spoiler: he did)

Read on to find out!

The Bollywood Boyz vs Kings of the Galaxy

galaxy

Photo Credit: Archie Henderson

First off, I love this photo. It looks like Galaxy was doing a trust fall exercise with Gurv, except Gurv totally forgot, and remembered it at the last second.

Now, the pairing of Khash and Galaxy is an odd one, but it gets them both on the card. As usual, Galaxy cut a good promo before the match. He is one of those guys who is super comfortable on the mic, and comes across very natural when speaking. Khash is more polished in the ring, Galaxy is better on the mic, strengths helping weaknesses, it’s a god damn self help book right there in front of you. Ryback would be proud.

As for the Bollywood Boyz, they’ve been having a slow burning feud with the Cunninghams as of late. The CHams stole a win at the RCC when Carl “The Cat(ch)” Cunningham”  got a sneaky roll up when the Boyz tried a splashy move on a dive to the outside.

Then, in WrestleSport in Portland, the Bollywood Boyz tied the series up at one a piece, even though they tried resorting to dirty tactics by using the belts as weapons.

Fast forward to recently, and the CHams got a convincing win over the Kings of the Galaxy in their quest to prove who the dominant tag team was. Which meant the B Boyz had to at least match the CHams performance in the game of one upping each other. And match it they did, as they got the very easy win.

The match was nothing to write home about, nor should it have been. It was basically a match where the B Boyz played with their food, and when they’d had enough, WHAM, they nailed KotG with some Naan to the Face. BALL GAME MAGGLE, it was over. Vintage B Boyz.

This leaves us with that eventual showdown with the CHams where one team will show, for once and for all, who is the best between them.

Except this is wrestling. Nothing is ever that easy. You know nothing, Jon Snow.

With Club Bish losing more members than World of Warcraft subscribers recently, it looks like Natch is trying to restock his roster. Will the Boyz be tempted to join the dark side? Is Natch simply getting desperate for help in what looks to be a war from all sides? Is Natch just becoming a super friendly guy who loves handing out aggressive hand shakes? Stay tuned…

The Outlaw Vegas Richter vs Andy Bird

Photo Credit: Archie Henderson

Photo Credit: Archie Henderson

Outlaw was originally supposed to face off against Nicole Matthews, but she had to miss the show due to family reasons. Which meant Andy Bird stepped up to the plate to face Outlaw…but not just Outlaw. Outlaw and his two bowler buddies, Lucky Strike and King Pin.

Now, when I first saw Johnny Flynn King Pin, I didn’t think much of him. Dude just looked like a skinny guy in a bowling outfit. Then I watched him wrestle a match and he dropped the most over the top, bowling based elbow I have ever seen, and I have been a fan ever since. The guy just completely embraces the gimmick, which makes it work.

Outlaw Vegas Richter is another guy I have really enjoyed as of late. A rogue referee, tired of being pushed around, and now lashing out at other wrestlers, and resorting to cheating?? Brilliant. God damn love it. Also, HE COMES OUT TO DEAD OR ALIVE. If you ever want to see me mark the **** out, then match your gimmick to your song perfectly like Outlaw has. That guy is going places in the Music Power Rankings.

Now add the Outlaw and two bowlers, and I can’t even begin to know where this is going, but I don’t care. I just love the idea that this referee who has burned all his bridges has joined up with a couple of greasy bowlers. What’s the back story here? Were the bowlers kicked out of their bowling league? Did they cheat too much? Are they friends, or just united by their love of cheating?? I want to know more. Nay, I NEED to know more. It’s such an absurd pairing that I absolutely love it.

As for the match itself, it was essentially Vegas and his cronies trying to cheat to win, except Andy Bird was able to fight them off, and eventually pick up the win. Now, I won’t lie, I wanted the Outlaws to win, mostly because I want to see them get some momentum, and because Andy Bird never seems to be involved in story lines as of late.

Scotty Mac Smac-down

After the match, Scotty came out and cut a lengthy promo. It felt like it went on too long, but Scotty is probably the best guy on the mic they have (except for Kassidy, the GOAT), so he was able to pull it off.

And to be fair, Scotty did cover a lot of ground:

  • Club Bish getting the title shot pissed him off, and that relationship appears to be over
  • Scotty will be in New West in the Battle Royale
  • Said Nicole Matthews was scared to face him
  • Promoted his new in-ring segment “Smac-down” which would be appearing on future shows

Now, you would think this would be enough. Scotty’s fireside chat gave us a lot of info to digest, we were all going to take a break to think it over…

Then the worst beating inside a ring I have seen in a while occurred.

Not physically, mind you. Verbally.

Scotty proceeded to run down Andy Bird with such viciousness I wanted to run around and cover the children’s ears.

He cut down Andy’s ring gear. He cut down Andy’s entrance song. He questioned how anybody could take Andy seriously ever in Toy Story pants. He said the only time Andy would be close to greatness was if he was ever on Smac-down…

Scotty had no chill. It was merciless. It was like Arya Stark whispered “Andy Bird” into his ear.

I have zero idea if that will lead anywhere (I assume it will, unless Scotty’s new gimmick is “Internet commentator guy”, where all he does is say the worst things he can think of about other wrestlers), but it did add to the vicious streak I think Scotty NEEDS to have. Sometimes in promos Scotty can get kind of goofy and the vibe is more “hanging with my buds and having a laugh” more than “I will straight up murder you for not respecting me”.

I liked this Scotty. Scotty should be losing his god damn mind he no longer has the title, and lashing out at everyone around him.

Lak Siddartha vs Mike Santiago

Photo Credit: Archie Henderson

Photo Credit: Archie Henderson

Santiago’s future has been murky ever since Ethan HD began his career as an Arty Killer. The story behind this one was that Santiago needed a fill in partner for Ethan, so Lak accepted his offer. They lost their match together, heads were butted, oil stains were spread, and we end up here, with Santiago wanting revenge.

I liked the fact this match had some back story to it, and it wasn’t just a match for the sake of having a match.

Sadly, the match was over rather quickly, due to an injury. It appeared Santiago hurt his knee at one point (maybe even during this photo), as the ref put up the “X” sign, which usually means real injury. Santiago fought through the knee injury for a few moments, but the match seemed to end abruptly, with Santiago gutting out the quick win. This means it was probably a legit injury, as after the show he was seen with his knee wrapped up.

Which is really unfortunate. You never want to see anybody getting injured, so here’s hoping it was nothing serious.

It should also be noted that former hater, now lover, and Lindsay Hart lunch dater extraordinaire, Don Hellion was back hanging with his old crew. At first I was confused, but then I realized just because Hellion is a lover now, it doesn’t mean he’d turn his back on his evil friends. Hell, Don even tried helping out Santiago after he was hurt. The man truly has turned over a new leaf.

Naturally Spoken

bish4

So Natch’s guest on the night was none other than his main squeeze, Bishop. In a tasteless move of self promotion, he began touting his own guy as the best in the business, and a shoe in to win the ECCW title. Jerky McJerkface.

Natch, however, eventually ran his mouth too much, and poked retired ECCW, and former GODS member, Sid Sylum one too many times (he called him irrelevant). This brought Sid from the commentary table to get into the ring, where he essentially said he “made” Bishop.

This lead to Natch begging Sylum to leave, because Natch had no control over Bishop. That Sid, with his health in mind, should leave the ring and think about his future. Which led to Natch taking a cheap shot, then this…

The segment ended with Sylum knocked out from the big boot and Bishop looking distraught. Which again, if you’ve read my reviews, you know how much I love duel layered Bishop. Playing a bully? That’s easy, that’s nothing. A bully who is vulnerable, and shows weakness? That shit is great storytelling. It gives a character depth. Sometimes Bishop puts on the best performances with his subtlety, and tonight was yet again another top performance from him.

The Wisemen vs Yukon Air

Photo Credit: Archie Henderson

Photo Credit: Archie Henderson

The Wisemen have a history with Adonis that dates back to when Adonis and Suede were partnering up in the North by Northwest tourney in 2015. That, of course, was the night the Wisemen were formed, when Suede turned on Adonis and joined forces with Baroni.

Since then Adonis has faced off with Suede multiple times, most recently in a fight over a handshake (they don’t always fight for good reasons).

Fast forward to Saturday, and Adonis needed to find himself a partner. And boy did he ever.

For those who haven’t seen the King of the Yukon wrestle, the guy just has the ability to get the crowd jacked. When he enters the room, the energy level rises, and people just get happy to see him. He’s like that crazy old Uncle who used to give you beer when you were a kid, showing up out of nowhere at your college dorm to have some drinks for old times sake. You’d be pretty stoked to see him.

I really appreciated the fact that Yukon and Suede addressed their past as East Van Warriors together. Too often in wrestling the past is overlooked and not bothered with due to what I assume is either laziness or bad writing. Look, it doesn’t take much to acknowledge your past, and move on to a new feud/alliance. Not explaining things? It takes you out of the moment and breaks down that fourth wall and risks ruining enjoyment of the match. It’s like a magician asking you to ignore the wire while he levitates.

“Ignore that, ignore it, nothing to see here.”

Case in point, Yukon recently wrestled with Suede at the WPW show. Tonight, he’s wrestling against him. Instead of ignoring that, Yukon, the savvy veteran he is, has a chat session in the ring with Suede, loud enough for the crowd to hear. “How can you wrestle with me in WPW, then STAB ME IN THE BACK TONIGHT!?!?” He then offers his hand in friendship, which Suede debates…before hugging Yukon….which leads to a cheap shot.

Small thing, but it goes a long way. It makes the audience feel rewarded for knowing the back story of wrestlers, and it doesn’t treat them like idiots. Full credit to Suede and Yukon for that.

The match was also really fun to watch. You have a really weird pairing in Adonis and Yukon, and normally I hate “singles wrestlers teams up with singles wrestler” teams, but Air Yukon, it works man. It just works. You have this shredded Adonis hitting moonsaults and top rope spots, then you’ve got this beer bellied King of the Yukon trying to match him move for move, and it’s fantastic. The crowd was really into this one, and they had the best hot tag on the night:

I swear I heard CCR playing when he hit that hot tag.

Surprisingly, the Wisemen took the loss on the night, which is good for Air Yukon if they are going to be a thing going forward. Wouldn’t be good to debut a tag team just to lose in the first match.

The Good Brothers vs The West Coast Express (Tag Champs)

Photo Credit: Archie Henderson

Photo Credit: Archie Henderson

Ah the Good Brothers, my old friends.

They arrived at this championship match via a Dusty finish the last time they faced the WCE. They had been screwed out of their tag title win, so now they had one more chance to put it all together before the Wisemen got their tag title shot next. It was do or die, time, baby.

The crowd was very pro Good Brothers. I’ve made jokes in the past about them “papering” the audience, but they truly do have a big support system. They also donated all the money made off of their merch sales Saturday night to Fort McMurray, which is downright decent of them. Despite their misleading Brother based name, I haven’t seen a bad thing said about either of them, as they generally seem to be very well respected gentlemen.

As for the match itself, it was solid. My only negative I had was that I wished the WCE had been a stronger team leading up to this. I never escaped that feeling that Plexis and Creed were just thrown together on a whim, and they never really did anything to make them stand out as a team. They just sort of existed. (Though I will always be grateful they chose Nickelback as their tag team song, which was the ultimate Vancouver troll job.)

As a result, the title win didn’t feel as “important” as I wanted it to be? It’s hard to explain, but I wanted that mountain the Good Brothers climbed to be a little bit higher, just to add to the drama and feeling of accomplishment. That’s not to take away from the moment at all, I’m just greedy and wanted it to be even more dramatic.

That being said, the match was very over the with the crowd, and the place popped very loudly when the Good Brothers took out the champions, and won the ECCW tag titles. Pesky, my bearded compatriot, is my “angry face” spirit animal, and Everest keeps me open minded in my writing, so congrats to them on the win! We might not always see eye to eye but I honestly do respect the hell out of them.

I don’t know if this is the last we will see of the WCE. I kind of hope it is, only because I really want Plexis to be a singles wrestler again. The guy is a heat magnet, and I can’t wait to see him be a thorn in some good guys side again.

As for Creed, I honestly want to see him go full Randy Quaid mode and gun for a title as a baby face. I never got to see him in his younger days, so I want to see him go all out for a run. I’m greedy, damn it!

Bishop vs El P

Photo Credit: Archie Henderson

Photo Credit: Archie Henderson

I often wonder how many times I can write “Ok so guys, El P is the franchise, and holy shit you have to see him wrestle.”

El P is so good I’m only going to put in one highlight of him:

 

And that’s not even one of the crazy highlights. That’s just a small appy of what El P brings to the kitchen table. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of ol’ Titanic El P.

Seriously, if you read these reviews, if you haven’t been to a show in a while, if you like wrestling even a teeny tiny bit, go see a show with El P on it. You will not be disappointed. I almost want to black out all highlights of his matches so you have to go watch him live and experience his matches.

El P also continued his streak of being really funny when riffing. Promos, he can be hit or miss, but watch him interact with the crowd, or his opponent, and the guy just absolutely kills it.

Now, having said that, I also have to give a ton of credit to Bishop. Bishop, as I’ve said in the past, can ****ing go when he wants to, and pair him up with a guy like El P, and it’s hot fire in the ring. It’s hotter than the Texas Rangers and Jose Bautista. Or as Nicole Matthews would tell me, “Sports Ball”.

At one point Bishop caught El P out of the god damn air and held him for a suplex. At another point Bishop drove El P into the ground with a DDT so hard I’m pretty sure the guy behind me thought Bishop killed him. Hell, the first chop of the match Bishop delivered most likely broke a rib of El P. It sounded like flesh just sort of exploded with a dull, yet somehow loud, meaty thump.

The highest compliment I can give both men is they made you believe in everything they did. The kick outs were dramatic. The moves were big and awe inspiring. Natch getting involved in the match and eventually being thrown out just added to the story they were telling:

Which didn’t last long, as Natch came scurrying back the minute the ref was down:

But eventually El P managed to pull out the victory.

It was honestly such a great match to watch. So much fun, lots of storyline and drama behind it, and of course, with tons of great wrestling to support it.

I’m happy El P won, because he’s the top babyface in the company now, and he can hold that belt and put butts in the seat all day long. The only problem ECCW has now, is who gets to face him next? Is anyone on the roster ready to step up and face him on the biggest stage of Ballroom Brawl 6? Ballroom Brawl 5 was their best show I have seen, so they have a lot to live up to.

As for Bishop, we got this shocking return after the match:

It appears Sid Sylum is back and wants Bishop at Ballroom Brawl 6. The roster has been dealing with injuries lately, and as previously stated, BB5 set the bar high, so this match is a welcome sight for many fans.

Sid and Bishop, the G.O.D.S, have a wealthy background to draw upon for their feud. They’ve only fought once (back in 2011), then they joined forces (in 2013), so they have that drama to play off of. They also have the fact Sid retired for health reasons, so the “should he even be fighting??” drama will be hanging over their feud as well. It’s setting up to be a great showdown.

Awards of the Night:

Match of the Night:

El P vs Bishop

El P has an imaginary trophy case full of these bad boys. Don’t spend them all in one place, Champ…

As previously stated, the match was just so much fun, plus it had a ton of story line elements surrounding it. Can’t get much better than that.

Personality of the Night:

Bishop

After a cold stretch where Bishop looked like a dead inside office worker, he has picked up his game recently. His character work on Saturday was just so damn good. Not only is he one of the best at playing a weary, beaten down wrestler just looking to win the match any way possible, but he is also kicking ass with the Sid feud right now.

You have Bishop and Sid, two guys who bonded over blood, one of the few guys Bishop could trust. And if you look at it, Club Bish is in shambles. Everyone who comes into it suffers a pretty awful fate. Shreddz will attest to this. Bishop is in dire need of friends, and Sid is someone he thought he could count on.

Except Sid did the one thing Bishop couldn’t handle, and that was go after the Heyman to his Lesnar. He tried attacking Natch. And Bishop HAD to do something about. He HAD to take out Sid for doing that. And this pissed Bishop off. He knows Sid knows the rules. If anything, Bishop is angriest at Sid BECAUSE he should know better. If anyone should understand the rules of Club Bish, it should be Sid.

If Bish loses Natch, then he’s all alone, and the bully Bishop can’t have that. Natch is the guy who explains away his fears and his inner demons. Natch is the guy who keeps the walls of Club Bish from falling in on itself.

Now add in the fact Sid is wrestling again when Bish thought he was done for good. If Sid could wrestle, why didn’t he come back sooner? Why did he leave Bishop to fend for himself? Why would he only come back, just to attack Bishop?

This is why Bish had to attack Sid. It’s why Bish is so confused. It’s why he’s so mad.

It’s why he’s going to kill Sid Sylum.

Story-line of the Night:

The Good Brothers Title Win

It was the most heart warming moment of the night. Sometimes (and I fully admit this), I get lost in the storytelling aspect of wrestling, to the point where I overlook other factors.

It’s nice to be reminded once in a while that underneath the veil these are just dudes chasing dreams, and it was really nice to see their hard work pay off, in front of friends and family.

And in such nice ring gear, too! Matching ring gear, that really makes them look like a team.

Move of the Night:

Yukon Stink Face

 

Childish? Sure. Amusing? Hell yes.

Entrance of the Night:

Bowling Outlaws

If you even had to ask I swear I will turn this Vine sideways, shine it up real nice and…

You have a bad ass cowboy telling everyone he’s about to own the place. You have a bowler who just made love to the camera in the greasiest, creepiest way possible. And then you have perhaps the best of all, Lucky Strike just sort of dancing to his own beat, grooving out like Elaine on Seinfeld.

All to Bon Jovi.

Amazing.

Wrestler of the Night:

El Phantasmo

This award will usually go to the guy who wrestled the best, but sometimes it will be handed out to the person, who for whatever random reason, captured my imagination.

Tonight, El P did both.

Look, I get that some people will tire of hearing me rave about the guy. “Marking out” as they say. But I have zero agenda in this. El P could retire tomorrow and work at Walmart and my life would go on just fine (except with less neon in it).

It’s just that, El P is the best indie wrestler in the PNW, and I intend to enjoy him as long as possible. There will be a day where there is no El P and I will be doing reviews that talk about “the good old days”, so instead of waiting for the “good old days” to revel in my favorite wrestlers performances, I am going to sit back and enjoy it now.

Final Thoughts:

It was a slow build on the show, but I loved how it had all the undercard matches, then a break, then two big title matches to end the show. The night ended on a crescendo, which is how you always want it to go.

It was one of the few shows where I felt zero viewer fatigue, as the show moved along quickly, and didn’t run too long.

I am concerned the tag division isn’t getting enough love, in regards to stories. I know there are a lot of things at play (in ring time is precious, there is only so much time to go around, etc), but I at least want one tag team feud that goes deep. Over the last year and bit of doing reviews, nothing that has happened in the tag division has felt very impactful.

I want at least one storyline in the tag division that feels epic, that feels like a big time showdown.

I also want to see a return of promos and videos from guys we don’t hear from that often. I know some guys aren’t strong on the mic, but even small vignettes here and there, small things that at least show off the personality of the wrestlers in question, would go a long way. If ring time is limited, use social media to fill in the gaps. Let us know what wrestlers get up to on their off days. Let them yell into the camera about eating vitamins and whatnot. It helps make the ECCW universe feel alive 24/7, versus feeling contained purely to the shows themselves.

I still have no idea where the road to Ballroom Brawl 6 is headed (Sid aside), but I am excited about the Good Brothers taking on the Wisemen. Sid vs Bishop looks to be great as well, but I am still waiting to see how it all comes together.

The show itself, though? I really enjoyed it. Fast paced, lots of variety, and some big matches. Felt like a perfect show on the road to the Commodore. Big, but not showing all its tricks yet.

 

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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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