The Daily Jobber

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Archive for the tag “ECCW”

PWI’s Top 50 Females revealed

Pro Wrestling Illustrated published its annual Female 50 edition, and has released its official list of the top 50 Female Wrestlers of 2015.

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The list, began in 2008, ranks active pro wrestlers based on a criteria that includes win-loss record, championships won, quality of competition, major feuds, prominence within a wrestler’s individual promotion(s), and overall wrestling ability.

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Power and Respect: One indie wrestler’s journey from Canada to Japan

Cat Power has been competing on the independent circuits in Canada and the US for over a decade. She has held the Pro Wrestling Xtreme Woman’s Championship, the Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling Woman’s Championship, and in 2010 was ranked #42 in Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Top 50 Female Wrestlers list.

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Currently, she finds herself on a career threshold, having recently signed a one-year contract with Japanese promotion REINA. The Daily Jobber sat down with Power to learn more about what led to this huge step in her life as a sports entertainer.

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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!

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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…

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‘The Weirdo Hero’ Wrestles with Depression: Short film shines a light on the secret life of suffering

In March of 1982, John Belushi’s body was wheeled from its final crash site at the Chateau Marmont. Fifteen years later Chris Farley mirrored this tragic fate at a time when the smoke from Kurt Cobain’s candle-lit vigils still clung to the curtains. Owen Wilson took razor to wrist in 2007 as People Magazine cried “What happened?” Last year we lost beloved icon Robin Williams, and we were once again left to recognize the all too prevalent darkness stirring behind the tears of the clown.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) estimates roughly one in six of us westerners are bitten by the black dog during our lifetime. A humbling figure, considering the quality of life we enjoy. The portion of our populous which suffers silently in depths of depression include the rich and poor alike; they are labourers and lawyers, athletes and actors, personalities both publicly recognized and intimately acquainted.

They are even professional wrestlers.

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Enter Theo Francon, better known by his in-ring persona, “Ravenous Randy” Myers. He plays the title role in ‘The Weirdo Hero’, a semi-autobiographical short film which tells the story of a professional wrestler who stands tall before cheering crowds as a fearless and fighting champion, but sits prisoner within a private hell when he gets back behind the curtain. Diagnosed with clinical depression at the age of ten, Francon has intimate knowledge of exactly how bad things can get inside one’s own doubt, anxiety and regret.

The short feature, currently in post-production, is the brainchild of fellow wrestler Derek Hird, who approached Francon after “Ravenous Randy” made his real-life affliction known to his fans and followers. Together, they blended their stories (as Hird also lives with depression), and enlisted the aid of acclaimed author and spoken word artist Shayne Koyczan in writing the script. Ryan Curtis takes the helm as director, a departure from his usual role of Visual Effects Coordinator for television series such as Supernatural. An ultra low-budget production, the film makers have received much support from the community, from volunteers, and from local independent promotion ECCW (Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling).

The hope is that the film will serve to remind audiences that things are not always as they seem when it comes to mental illness.

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Like the late Robin Williams, with whom he espied a kinship and understanding, Francon often portrays a character bursting with light-hearted joy and zany antics. In the case of his Ravenous Randy persona, this is by design. “People don’t usually expect it,” Francon says in reference to the character, “but the [wrestler/entertainer] who comes out with the florescent mohawk, lime green tights, hugging little kids and smiling, he’s the one who sometimes goes home and has a rough day. I wanted to get that across.”

Although there has been significant progress in the last ten years when it comes to raising awareness of mental illnesses like depression and anxiety disorder, there is seemingly always more work to be done. Persisting stigmas surrounding mental illness can make it difficult for the afflicted to seek help. Concrete diagnosis can be difficult, due to subtle differences in mental disorders and the fallibility of human perception. Once diagnosed, proper care and support for the afflicted may often be lacking, potentially leaving those plagued with suicidal thoughts to be placed on waiting lists a month long.

Hard science and effective treatment are required. Some, like Francon, believe mental health check-ups should be as regular and compulsory as physicals and dentist appointments in our complex, modern world. But until the day your family doctor can definitively diagnose major depressive disorder with a blood test and send you home with a prescription for Paxil or Zoloft that same day, what is required is an infrastructure of sympathy and understanding. Those who suffer need not feel like failures because they’re simply unable to “pull up their socks and get on with life.”

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Merciless and unbiased as cancer and head-colds, depression takes root in our children and our champions, in our weirdos and our heroes. It takes many forms, in ways we do not always expect.

“People can relate to the guy who misses the big kick, loses the SuperBowl, and takes his own life,” reflects Francon. “It’s harder to understand the guy who wins the SuperBowl and then goes home and shoots himself. That’s the story I really wanted to tell.”

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Photos copyright ‘The Weirdo Hero’

ECCW Better Than You – April 18th, 2015

From the Russian Cultural Center in Kitsilano, Vancouver comes the latest live event from Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling.

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The night’s card was stacked with belts, as both the Canadian and ECCW Championships were on the line in a Double Jeopardy match, whereby the winner of a first fall would secure the Canadian title and the winner of a second would win the big prize. In addition, the Women’s Championship would also be contested.

THE RUN-DOWN

  • Harv Sihra vs Billy Suede: after a competitive, even bout, Sihra gets the pin with a surprise small package off a body-slam attempt.
  • Andy Bird vs Mister Smyth: members of the House of Hell interferes, causes DQ. Ravenous Randy Myers interjects, impromptu tag match is made.
  • Myers hooks both members of HOH in a DDT/neckbreaker combo, assisted home by a top rope double stomp from Bird. Faces get the three.
  • Ethan HD vs Daniel Adonis: shooting star press lands Adonis the pin-fall.
  • Van City Street Fight – Rocket Randy Tyler & the Ladies Choice vs Yukon King & Kenny Lush: ref is knocked out during shmoz, Yukon hit with fire extinguisher and heels get the laboured pin.
  • Women’s Championship – Cat Power(c) vs Jaida: Cat wins by submission with clover leaf after outside interference.

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  • Double Jeopardy match – Bishop vs Mike Santiago vs Artemis Spencer (c) vs Nicole Matthews (c): Spencer wins first fall, Nicole wins second. Both champions retain their titles.
  • Last Man Standing – Alex Plexis vs Tony Baroni:Baroni performs double stomp from the top rope on to Plexis through a table, gets the ten count to win.

ANALYSIS

  • The opening contest was a perfect way to get the show rolling; it was fast-paced and crisp, with both men jockeying for the upper-hand. The crowd was split, with Sihra perhaps getting over a touch more with his charisma. The small package finish safely got over both performers, as did the show of mutual respect after the bell. I look forward to future encounters between these two.
  • Possibly the most polarized match on the card, between super-babyface Andy Bird and the dark and foreboding House of Hell. Bird is a pro at bringing the crowd into the match and works his personal connection and high-flying style to get big pops. The disqualification finish seemed a disappointment at first, but the tag match with Lak Siddhartha and Randy Myers saved it.
  • The tag match itself was full of great spots. Like Bird, Myers possesses a genuine connection with the audience, as well as being an accomplished worker in the ring. Siddhartha showed off his physical prowess as he and Smyth punished Bird for the majority of the match. The hot tag to Myers eventually hit, the faces ran wild before performing a beautiful tandem finishing spot to pick up the win. It was a crowd pleaser, and quite the enjoyable contest.
  • The crowd chanted “Welcome back!” and were firmly behind Adonis. The match itself suffered from a few blown spots, but showmanship kept enough heat alive. Adonis struggled to get a head of steam, rallying the crowd for support. The shooting star at the match’s close was wonderfully executed and was a perfect note on which to end.
  • The street fight, naturally, began with a shmoz to the outside where the combatants used everything from merchandise on sale in the lobby to concession food to a birthday cake on one another. I felt the cake spot came into play too soon and due to how many people saw it was a bit wasted, but overall the brawl was entertaining. The fire extinguisher was of the chemical variety, and didn’t land as well as hoped. Having the ref KO during a no-holds-barred match seemed like confused booking. Regardless, the match was a creative bit of fun, and the East Van Warriors continue to be very over with the people.
  • Jaida took the lion’s share of punishment in the match, putting over Power’s aggressive, physical style. The ending seemed a bit too abrupt, and with the crowd firmly behind Jaida, the challenger would have benefited more from a longer rally before the manager interference spot. Not much more than a glorified squash, Power appears the dominant champion, and once again called out Nicole Matthews. The ECCW champ answered, but the two were prevented from fighting by security.

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  • Definitely the match of the night. With four great competitors, the action was persistent and innovative. Although things began as one might expect with a clear division of faces taking out the heels, I appreciated the lack of hesitation that both Spencer and Matthews showed in turning their aggression on one another. Bishop ate a lot of the more dramatic spots, like Spencer’s dangerous-looking backstabber power-bomb. It is difficult to tell who was over more between the two face champions, and one wondered if this was going to become a giant double-win for Spencer. In the end, both champions retained their titles for a feel-good ending.

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  • The main event saw two consistent workers in a lengthy battle which was well built and wonderfully sold. Plexis is a consummate pro, and focused on Baroni’s knee for the majority of the contest, punishing with chair shots and submissions. Being a technical wrestler may often be a handicap in a last man standing contest, but ring psychology says that if a man’s leg is broken he can’t stand at all. Brilliant. Baroni was over with the crowd and is a gifted wrestler in his own right, invoking a chant of “Suplex city” with a quick succession of German suplexes. The match ended with a table spot that landed a bit awkwardly but was nonetheless effective. A good showing from both men involved.

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Photographs courtesy of Mary Diaz

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