ECCW Clash Of The Titans – May 23rd, 2015
Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling returns to the RCC to bring a night of intense sports entertainment to the quiet neighbourhood of Kitsilano. It’s time for Clash Of The Titans!
Nicole Matthews teams with The Cunninghams and Tony Baroni to take on the House of Hell’s Lak Siddartha and Mr Smyth, Nelson Creed and Johnny Flynn in elimination 8-person action. In tag team action, The Bollywood Boyz take on The Entourage. Qualifying contests take place to determine who will compete for the Canadian Championship at Ballroom Brawl 4’s Fatal Four-Way Ladder Match. Our main event sees El Phantasmo challenging Artemis Spencer for the Canadian Championship. All this and more! Who came out on top? Let us see…
- 8-Person Elimination Tag Team Match – Mr Smyth, Lak Siddartha, Johnny Flynn & Nelson Creed vs Jack and Karl Cunningham, Tony Baroni & Nicole Matthews: Flynn eliminated with a small package. Smyth pinned by Matthews. Creed disputes with Siddartha, leaves. Siddartha pinned for clean sweep win by faces. Pete Powers attacks both Nicole Matthews and Tony Baroni post-match, addresses the crowd calling himself “nobody’s hero.”
- Fatal Four-Way Qualifying Match – Ethan HD vs Andy Bird: HD uses rope leverage to steal pin on Bird.
- The Entourage vs The Bollywood Boyz: Boyz execute the Demolition Decapitator for the win.
- Fatal Four-Way Qualifying Match – Mike Santiago vs Kenny Lush: everyone, including the referee, are hit in the testicles. Referee calls an end to the match, ruling a draw.
- Fatal Four-Way Qualifying Match – Pete Powers vs Billy Suede: Tony Baroni distracts Powers, Suede gets the pin-fall.
- Hellion vs Air Adonis: quick match ends when Adonis hits a top rope shooting-star press for the victory.
- Naturally Spoken Segment: Rusty introduces The Natural while eating a bagel. Natural talks to Bishop about his injury, his recent slump, and Bishop gets angry and vows that things will be different when he returns in June. Natural announces Nicole Matthews will round out the Fatal Four-Way at Ballroom Brawl 4 and that both titles will be on the line. Music hits, and Mike Sweetser returns, but says not a word before leaving again.
- Canadian Championship Match – El Phantasmo vs Artemis Spencer (c): match goes to time limit, draw is called. Spencer demands match restart. Spencer pins Phantasmo after hitting a reverse hurricanrana and top rope double stomp.
- Sweater Vest opened the show asking for a moment of silence from the crowd out of respect for the late Owen Hart, who passed away tragically sixteen years earlier.
- The elimination match was a good way to get the crowd going at the onset of the card. Lots of opportunities for chaos, and the heels pulled a bunch of distraction spots to punish Karl Cunningham. There was some good heat between Mr Smyth and Matthews, and one gets a sense he is gunning for the title. Unfortunately, he came up short tonight and became the second of his team eliminated. Nelson Creed stole the show as far as I’m concerned. He is an expert at drawing heat from the crowd and an accomplished wrestler as well. Siddartha was booked as an unstoppable monster that laughed off much of the face offense. The crowd was anticipating a face-off of heavies between he and Big Jack, but it didn’t end up happening. Instead, the glory went to the ECCW champ.
- Pete Powers injecting himself after the bell was a bold statement, and could mean we see a major push for him in the main event picture. His disdain for the “heroes” of ECCW is reminiscent of the “legend killer” gimmick from Randy Orton, but may end up becoming closer to Ryback’s “bully” heel gimmick from a couple years ago. We’ll see.
- The people were not as enthusiastically behind Bird this night, but despite a bit of a chilly opening the match gained speed and built to an exciting conclusion. The screwy ending saves a bit of face for Bird, but fans will no doubt disappointed that his high-flying presence will not be seen in the ladder match at Ballroom Brawl. Placing Ethan HD in the main event is an interesting move, and a great opportunity for him to make some serious waves in the championship scene. One only hopes he won’t become simply fodder to put over the champs when the Fatal Four-Way plays out.
- The Bollywood Boyz are solidly over with the crowd and the Entourage were perfect heels to counter. This was a textbook tag match with some nice moments, including an attempt at dual sharpshooters which maybe would have gotten more of a pop if a Hart family reference had been thrown out, but that’s just an opinion. The ending was decisive, and the crowd was pleased. The Boyz look to be heading towards a showdown with the Cunninghams, but for the House of Hell being in the way.
- The Loose Cannon was his typical raging bull of a wrecking ball, working the crowd into a frenzy and almost getting himself disqualified a few times. It is a great gimmick that Lush pulls off with such showmanship and commitment. He is definitely one of the best all-around performers on the roster, and a valuable part of the upper mid-card. Again, it is a shame his frantic energy will be absent from the ladder match for the championship, but the ending to this match was worth it. A series of well-choreographed spots involving kicks to the groin eventually put everyone to the ground, writhing fetal in agony. Lush attempted to apologize to the referee’s testicles, but it was too late: the ref called the contest do to “extreme testicular damage”.
- Pete Powers and Billy Suede had an awesome match. The action did, admittedly, suffer from a few missed spots, but they always managed to recover. Suede is so over due to his incredible connection with the crowd and flashy move set, and any botches were quickly forgiven and detracted very little from the action. What really elevated this contest was the story-telling, though. Powers played the bully well, ridiculing the crowd for cheering for Billy Suede and really pushing his disdain for one painted as a “hero”. I feel this angle could even have been pushed harder, but the right notes were essentially being hit. Suede was the perfect opponent for Powers in his new angle. The distraction by Baroni which caused Powers to lose feeds the heat between the two for a future showdown. A win over a highly-ranked face like Tony Baroni would really build Powers as he guns for a major title.
- Hellion and Air Adonis found themselves in the “piss break” spot, their match occurring right after intermission and before Naturally Spoken. Many were still making their way back to their seats as the final three-count was being slapped. The match suffered from being too short, but since nothing essentially was on the line the match was not more than a fun bit of filler. Adonis is all about the show, and his shooting star – both standing and top rope versions – always pop large.
- On Naturally Spoken, the Natural and Bishop teased a falling out between them but never seemed to pull the trigger on it. Bishop spoke of betrayal, Natural talked about the losing streak, and the crowd even chanted for Bishop to punch out his manager – but in the end we were left hanging. Could Bishop be headed for a face turn? Is the Natural headed that way instead? Things seem a bit muddled for the moment, and we may have to wait until Bishop’s formal return to action to see how they develop.
- The announcement that due to the draw between Lush and Santiago, Nicole Matthews will be placed in the Fatal Four-Way Ladder Match fell as a bit of a bewildering shock. No reason was provided as to why. One could point to Matthews’ impressive performance in the elimination match earlier, except the performance was not actually that strong. Now, if she had been out-numbered four to one and had battled back to win the match as sole survivor, or if she had eliminated every member of the opposing team in decisive fashion, maybe it would make more sense. It also was not explained why Lush and Santiago were not given another chance to qualify, perhaps a no hold’s barred rematch on June 13th. Having both championships on the line in a Fatal Four-Way Ladder Match stacks the main event, and puts Ethan HD in the mix with three very over faces. The main event seems a bit unbalanced now.
- Mike Sweetser made no statement other than silence, and enraging The Natural and leaving the crowd with more questions than answers.
- The main event was not only the match of the night, but I would nominate it for the match of the week, match of the month, and quite possibly put it into the running for match of the year. El Phantasmo and Artemis Spencer both have a strong following, both are fundamentally top-tier workers, both are technically skilled and athletically gifted, and both perform with a dramatic flare balanced with human sincerity that few can equal. This battle had the makings of an epic showdown, and the two combatants did not disappoint.
- The opening of the match showed off each man’s chain wrestling skills, and Phantasmo postured and preened to the crowd and attempted to gain a mental edge on his opponent. Spencer came back with hard-hitting offense that sent Phantasmo reeling. A brief departure into the Matrix realm of slow-motion wrestling was so entertaining it almost didn’t matter that it was potentially demolishing kayfabe beyond all recognition. Once the action picked up intensity, both men showed what they were really made of. The fight went back and forth until the clock ran out.
- Spencer refusing to take the draw default victory was a classy move and was exactly what the crowd wanted. There would be no cheap endings tonight – the people would get their money’s worth. What resulted was forty minutes of the best action I have seen in ECCW, with the final minutes being the very definition of “edge-of-your-seat”. Both these men are ready for the big leagues today – hell, yesterday! My hope is that one day I will see Artemis Spencer vs El Phantasmo in a 60-minute iron man match. They could do it, and do it great justice.
Photographs courtesy of Mary Diaz & ECCW.