Last Sunday I actually watched two wrestling shows. One was WWE Fastlane 2017 in the other was NSPW Standing 8 2016.
Believe it or not, I had more fun watching the indy one.
It’s not about being a smark and all butt hurt about Kevin Owen’s lost, it’s more about celebrating wrestling. Just wrestling. No BS. Regardless Fastlane had a few fun fights, my personal favorite was Neville Vs Galagher, simply because it was stiff, fresh and unexpected.
And while the IWC mourn KO’s defeat with smark tears, decisions makers at WWE are like :
Because you will still watch Mania regardless.
I am normally not a big fan of watching wrestling on screen, and I am, under normal circumstances, not inclined to do so.
Due to geographical restrictions and not being able to attend live shows at the NSPW, I finally was able to catch up using digital download on Smart Mark video.
Here is a few useless details on my experience:
-Due to being stubborn as a mule, I didn’t want to pay for watching something on my screen (as stated above). So to bypass my mental barrier, I filled up surveys online at the rate of one per day for a full month. At the end, I cashed the 20$ paypal credits I earned to buy the damn thing.
– Prices are in US$, so even if it’s digital, be prepare to pay 17.56CA$ for the download.
-Customer service is actually pretty good and responsive.
Now for the Standing 8 tournament. I was told by the promoter that is was one of the best show ever produced at the Centre Horizon. Or the “Center HoRHYzon” as the commentators pronounce it with the English twist.
Fight#1 Marko Estrada (c) Vs Ivan Sullivan acc. Klode Maloon (non-tournament match)
Apparently the show started at 19h00 that night. Even with the stacked tournament, they found a way to insert 4 additional matches.
This started really well the show with fast pace actions. Here are a few highlights :
- Klode Maloon throws his leather jacket at Estrada. The crowd reacts appropriately (more on that later).
- Ivan Sullivan execute a hangman pile driver.Well that was innovative. Awesome move, DO IT MORE OFTEN! Or not… save it for special occasions.
- Estrada execute a cartwheel on the apron, followed by an enguiziri, lands on the floor.
- Estrada finishes with the frog splash. I enjoyed how he changed direction 90 degrees mid-air. Ivan was placed this way on purpose (I believe?). This was a nice touch.
- Ivan is sitting on the top of the turnbuckle. Estrada pulls ANOTHER cartwheel before landing an enguiziri. Was he showboating ? Gaining momentum ? The first time was like “Oh neat”. 2nd time around, well that seemed a bit unnecessary.
Ivan now gets swarmed by Franky and the Montreal Elite. Stephen Sullivan (returning from injury) came for the rescue with a chair in his hand.
And now unexpectedly, Stephen takes the mic (never happened before since his heel turn).
Fight#2 Stephen Sullivan Vs Franky the Mobster (non-tournament match) Klode Maloon still around.
I like how the transition between the two fights was seamless, no need for introductions.
First thing that stood like a sore thumb : Sullivan is getting a Face reaction !
Is it because Franky succeeded into becoming a heel ? Is it because Stephen is returning from injury ?
Stephen even encourage the crowd to clap their hands, clearly in Face mode.
Now watch Klode Maloon throwing his jacket (again) at Franky the Mobster, the crowd now cheers !
WTF is happening !? Are they gonna turn ? Or just teasing ? Regardless what they were testing, it was clearly working.
The only downside of that match was the tadbit confusing finish. Franky brings a chair on the ring and fold it around Stephen leg. Ivan comes back for the rescue and hit Franky. Stephen gets disqualified because of the interference even though Franky was about to obviously cheat. Wrestling logic: you get disqualify on use, not intent. In short, Franky is a big troll. Even the commentators screwed their lines a bit declaring the winner.
Fight#3 First round
Matt Angel Vs Kevin Dunn
All jokes aside from the odd WWE producer name, this was the first time I was seeing Dunn wrestle. I was more focusing on the fact that KD on his trunk is universally recognized as Kraft’s Dinner.
Prrretty easy heel work for Dunn considering how Angel is insanely over as a top baby face. Was the cheap heat, flipping birds and humping your opponent face really necessary ? Either way, Angel was awesome as usual but I felt the two a bit reserved, not choking, just holding it. Probably from the lack of chemistry or previous encounters. Decent fight, establish Dunn as heel, set Angel as the Face of the tournament. Matt Angel wins after the Spanish fly.
Fight #4 First round
Travis Toxic Vs Evil Uno
It was the first appearances of the “new” Super Smash Brothers at NSPW. Uno working the crowd using the old school textbook. Toxic, flipping around, as usual. I would just like to point out that Uno’s mask looks like a blend of Megaman and Reptile from Mortal Kombat, pretty slick. It didn’t take long that the crowd responded to Uno by chanting “Grosse Douceur!”
The commentator, obviously more English then French, didn’t get the reference.
-“Errr they are making fun of Uno’s weight ?”
-“I dunno why ! He shed a lot lately!”
Guys here is Grosse Douceur :
That’s right, Barney the Dinosaurs Testi… I mean Grimace from McDs.
Evil Uno wins with a sharpshooter.
Now the ending surprised me a bit, I was really expecting Toxic would win. Then I realised that it was a brilliant booking decision. My guess is that it was to allow both Super Smash Brothers to have a match against Mike Bailey. Both SSBs have a lot of previous fights at C4 with Bailey, but none at NSPW, so let’s go with the logic that greater chemistry makes better fights.
Fight#5 First round
Markus Burke Vs Brutal Bob Evans
Bob Evans was giving a wrestling seminar that weekend, it was only logic to book him on the show. I was told that he was usually working as a heel in ROH, which could have explained why this fight was a bit “underwhelming”. Nonetheless, the crowd rallied with Evans when the fight turned into a brawl. Evans asked fans to tap in his hand before slapping/chopping Burke. Good simple stuff. But it works. Old school never ages.
Markus Burke for the win.
Fight#6 First round
Mike Bailey Vs Stu Grayson
Really intense fight, fast paced, stiff, acrobatic, name it. Chemistry and hard work shows here. I already kinda known that Bailey was going to win, but I was into the match nonetheless. I don’t know which move hurt the much… probably the double knee 540 with Bailey landing on Grayson crotch.
Highlight : Crowd chant “Daniel San !” Bailey respond by doing a crane kick.
Mike Bailey FTW.
Fight #7 Buffer match
Triple Threat Tim Hughes Vs Benjamin Tull/Benji/Jay Phenomenon Vs Something Kongo ?
Tim hugues was introduced as Shayne Hawke’s brother. It was a cheap pop and it worked. Crowd started to chant Leroux pretty quickly. I never saw that Kongo before, he came across as a fatter Rhyno. Either way, both Tull and Kongo start trading no sell shoulder tackles, some big splashes here and there. Ended up with Tull stealing the win. I actually like the finish, it was fitting with the current Mtl Elite storyline, even though it was a buffer match.
Fight #8 Round 2
Matt Angel Vs Markus Burke
Wow. Burke now transformed himself into a hard hitting powerhouse. Beautiful execution all along. Burke throwing Angel like a ragdoll in every corners. Angel sells everything perfectly.
My best move for that fight was Angel attempting a guillotine choke (I like realistic submissions).
It totally works. Simply because that move would actually be efficient against somebody twice your size. Not that easy to get out of that chokehold. Either way it was the first time I was seeing Angel attempting a submission and I LOVED IT. The guy was like, I can’t out box that guy, neither can I out power him, my speed is not enough this time around, so he tried something else. Brilliant !
Fight #9 Round 2
Evil Uno Vs Mike Bailey
As mentioned earlier, chemistry with Bailey was better than with Toxic. The interesting thing in this fight is that Bailey was slowly turning heel mid-fight. I understand the reasoning. They wanted a clear Face Vs Heel for the Final bout. So we had Bailey with his stiff kicks, and Uno multiplying the variations of pile drivers. They started to trade a couple no sell at the beginning which was quite entertaining. It reminded me of blood sport, the Paco fight, when JCVD is trading roundhouse kicks and both are no selling.
So in a wrestling match, it kinda makes sense and is believable to no sell punch/kicks/tackles.
But 3 pile drivers ???
Bailey kicked out at ONE, ONE !!! on the 3rd pile driver.
Even the commentators had a nervous laugh, like, ok this a bit ridiculous.
Everything ended well though, with a very clever finish.
They go both outside the ring, Bailey cheats and use a chair shot. Finish the job with a roundhouse kick to the back of the head, go back at the center of the ring in a meditation pose with a stupid grin on his face and wait for the count out as Uno is out cold. Daniel San no more, Bailey is now in Cobra Kai mode.
Fight#10 2nd buffer match
Shayne Hawke Vs Mike Da-Lite
Seriously look at these guys.
Both of them doin… the mating dance ?
It was the perfect spot on the card to put a comedy match. Let the crowd feel something completely different before the grand final. Kudos on both guys to make it work. It’s a thin line between funny malaise and “WTF is this shit” malaise.
Winner… I honestly don’t remember ! Does it matter ?
Fight#11 Grand Final
Matt Angel Vs Mike Bailey
For some reason the match was kind of a lumberjack match, with all the heels of the tournament working together, and the Faces helping Angel. I like how one intervene to prevent Bailey from cheating. Either way, both men did what they do best. Bailey heel turned clearly worked. The crowd was rallying strongly behind Angel. The match ends with some sort of treachery from Dunn, giving the ring bell to Bailey. Ends in an upset. Bailey wins the tournament.
Sadly missing from the download is Bailey kicking and destroying the trophy.
So here is is ! My first digital download. Was worth spending a month doing online surveys.