The venue may have changed, but RCW’s consistent run of shows continued on Saturday night as the promotion hosted RCW Crossfire at the Norwood Legion.

Despite the shift of both dates and venues, the Legion was packed for the August 3rd event. While only two matches were announced prior to the evening’s festivities, both featured some of the Top Talent’s in Real Canadian Wrestling, both figuratively and literally. In the evening’s main event, RCW Canadian Heavyweight Champion Heavy Metal was scheduled to take on Brice “The Slammer” Sova for the championship, while Chris Perish would battle Big Jesse Youngblood in singles action. It was enough to pack the house for Saturday’s show, and for those in attendance, it was a night that won’t soon be forgotten in Alberta wrestling.

Let’s wrap!

The Headline:

You can’t say it wasn’t worth the wait.

While Edmonton wrestling fans may have had to wait a little longer than expected for the Heavy Metal vs. Brice “The Slammer” Sova TLC match after Metal’s impromptu rescheduling at Dealer’s Choice, the tilt more than lived up to expectations on Saturday night. RCW Crossfire’s main event was everything you’d want and more in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match; whether it be the immediate suicide dives that kicked off the title bout, the sporadic brawling on the outside of the ring or the innovative use of weapons, these two delivered Saturday night. Whether it was a desire to impress the fans in attendance given the bait-and-switch of last show’s TLC match or simply the pure, festering hatred between two of the alpha’s of RCW, both men delivered in spades at the Norwood Legion.

While both men looked hell-bent on destruction, neither let the RCW Canadian Championship out of their sights for more than a fleeting second. Mere minutes into the match, the Slammer had grabbed a ladder and looked poised to grab the title; however, Metal brutalized Slammer with a beer bottle before carelessly tossing a ladder into the Legion’s chandelier. The pair exchanged blows before Slammer again gained the advantage and went for the title. However, Metal was able to prevent him from climbing just long enough to obtain the ladder for himself and begin to brutalize the #1 contender with the stepped weapon.

Close, but no cigar was a theme that continued for the majority of the match. As one man climbed, the other took the levels of brutality to new levels. A stunner from the ladder from Slammer to Metal was one-upped by a brutal series of ladder shots from Metal to Sova. That, too, was taken to the next level when Slammer ran Metal’s face directly into a steel chair. Shortly after ascending the ladder with his opponent in tow, Heavy Metal heaved the Slammer off a ladder through a table and finally looked to have the match ended. However, with a final burst of energy, the Slammer was able to send the ladder toppling while still lying on his back.

Finally, in a last-ditch attempt to put his opponent down for good, the Slammer headed to the top rope after placing a prone Metal on a folding table. However, as Sova took to the air, Metal ruthlessly pulled referee Charles Spencer on top of him as. Within seconds, the three had crashed through the table, and Spencer was out like a light.

Ever the opportunist, at that moment Big Jesse Youngblood interfered to take out Slammer as he climbed the ladder. Unfortunately, it simply wasn’t Charles Spencer’s night on August 3rd, and as he managed to stand for the first time in aeons, he was met with a massive spear from Youngblood, putting him down for the count once again. However, this time the Slammer took advantage, hitting Youngblood with an F5 to take him out of action. With both members of Top Talent out cold for the foreseeable future, the Slammer began to ascent the ladder once again. Seconds later, Sova unhooked the title to claim the RCW Canadian Heavyweight Championship.

Or so we’d thought.

As the Slammer celebrated atop the ladder with Charles Spencer incapacitated, Heavy Metal cunningly grabbed a steel chair and decimated the ostensible champion. Dazed, the Slammer dropped his newly-won title into the hands of a waiting Metal. As the RCW crowd hissed, Youngblood, still on the outside, shook Charles Spencer awake. With Spencer blind to the subsequent events and simply seeing Metal with the championship, he called for the bell in what can only be called robbery.

However, that’s when things truly got interesting.

In the midst of Top Talent’s celebration, their theme music cut out. As the pair looked on bewildered, “The Original” Marky appeared through the curtain, his championship in tow and fury upon his face. The crowd absolutely erupted as Marky slid into the ring, dispatching both Metal and Jess in the process. After cutting a brief promo, he celebrated with both titles before leaving the ring.

You couldn’t ask for a better main event.

The Championships:
Tension in Victory for New #1 Contenders

While Barricade and Dean Richtor are in the midst of their most successful run as a tag team, it seems as though the pair couldn’t be further apart after Saturday night’s matchup against Jack Pride and Travis Cole.

RCW Crossfire’s tag team battle was to determine the #1 contenders to the Malicious Militia’s RCW Tag Team Championships, and all four men involved came to play throughout the match. However, while the action was terrific, the match was unusual in the sense that the roles of the two teams seemed reversed.

That’s not meant as a bad thing, though; in fact, in the case of Pride and Cole, it was downright fantastic.

While the two long-time rivals have sparingly (if ever) worked together as a tandem, the two were on the same page from the onset of Saturday’s match. Even entering to the same theme music, it was clear that despite their recent battles, the two were looking to secure their opportunity at RCW’s tag team titles.

In the case of Barricade and Richtor, however, it was the complete opposite. The two looked to be at odds for the majority of the match; whether it be a frustrated Richtor on the apron as Barricade was worked over in-ring, or even the two accidentally striking each other at points in the match, the two may have looked as dysfunctional as we’ve ever seen them. It’s a testament to their talent, then, that they were still able to not only overcome their differences during the in-ring action but emerge victoriously.

That being said, their victory came neither easily nor completely fairly. After a flurry of exchanged holds between Pride and Richtor to kick off the match, Barricade was tagged in, which allowed Cole and Pride to take over. As mentioned, the pair was able to isolate Barricade for the early goings of the match. Despite their limited experience working together, the duo hit a number of combination moves that would be impressive for even the longest-tenured teams would look impressive in executing. Not only did it lead to a number of near falls for the team, but it also led to Dean Richtor growing steadily more frustrated on the ring apron.

Eventually, however, Richtor was able to tag in, and his time on the apron looked like it would prove effective given his obvious advantage in energy. From the time he entered the match, both he and Barricade took over, with Travis Cole the brand-new victim of an assault. However, much like Barricade before him, Cole was impressive in his resilience. Eventually, he was able to make the tag to Pride.

As they had at the start of the match, Richtor and Pride engaged in a flurry of offence, with each blow more devastating than the next. From there, the match completely broke down, with the legal man take it to each other inside the squared circle, and Barricade brutalizing Cole on the outside. However, though Richtor took a pummelling from Pride, he looked like he’d be able to escape his opponents clutches once and for all. However, as Richtor looked to hit Pride with a leaping elbow, he mistakenly took out Barricade in the process. Rather than put his team at a disadvantage, it looked as though Richtor’s attitude changed from that point on.

Thinking quickly after a missed knee from Pride, Richtor wins with a roll-up while holding the tights, unbeknownst to the unconscious Barricade. With the referee unable to see, he hit the three count, earning Barricade and Richtor the #1 contendership.

Post-match, both Pride and Cole offered their hands in a show of respect to their opponents. While Barricade was quick to accept, Richtor was hesitant, and the pair bickered as they exited the ring. Could the tension continue into their tag team championship match at the end of the month?

Aries Loses the Match, Gains an Ally

August 3rd saw Vince Austin put his RCW Commonwealth Championship on the line against a talent rarely saw in Edmonton, Jordan Aries.

While the Calgary contingent of the RCW faithful is well-versed in Aries work, it’s rare that Edmontonians get the opportunity to watch one of the rising stars of the promotion work live. That’s truly a shame, too; while still developing into his own, Aries is likely one of the most naturally-talented wrestlers on the roster, regardless of city.

Unfortunately, natural talent simply wasn’t enough to overcome the Viking Rage.

While Aries was able to come out of the gate with guns-a’-blazing, it wasn’t long before Vince Austin’s veteran savvy came into play. Not only was he able to ground the high-flying offence of Aries, but both he and Dante were able to utilize a number of distractions to keep both the referee and their opponent at bay. While many may question the methods of the Viking Rage, there’s simply no argument that they’re effective, and it wasn’t long before a patented Snuff Piledriver from Austin to Aries secured victory for the Viking Lord.

As so often happens, however, the victory simply wasn’t enough for the Viking Rage. Immediately upon hitting the three-count, both Dante and Austin commenced with a savage beatdown of their erstwhile opponent. While Aries managed to land a few blows to the Viking Rage, it seemed as though Austin and Dante were out to completely incapacitate their opponents.

That is until the foreboding tones of Kota’s entrance music hit.

While no one could be blamed for expecting the Undertaker, thankfully, it was in fact Kota. He emerged through the curtain and immediately began to assist Aries in chasing off the Viking Rage. In the confusion, Aries hit a Saturday Night Special-esque knee to the face of Dante, and within seconds the pair had exited the ring.

The Best of the Rest:
Thank You For Visiting the Youngblood & Perish School of Wrestling

The beauty of most RCW cards is that there’s truly a match for everyone. Whether you’re interested in the brutality of a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match or are simply looking for an in-ring clinic, there’s something for you. For those looking for the latter on Saturday night, you won’t find a better example of it than the post-intermission thriller between Big Jesse Youngblood and Chris Perish.

It seems as though the members of Top Talent and tagSTRUGGLE can do no wrong when they’re matched up in-ring. Whether it be their tag team classic at the inaugural RCW/CWC show months ago or their various one-off battles throughout the years, any iteration of Perish, Youngblood and their respective partners inside the squared circle is as close to a guarantee of a great match as possible. Like Bird vs. Johnson or Crosby vs. Ovechkin, the rivals seem to spur each other on to bigger and better things every time they lock up, and that was no different on Saturday night.

It was as back-and-forth battle as could be expected. While Perish was able to get off to a hot start, Youngblood’s considerable advantage in size allowed him to ground the tagSTRUGGLE star on more than one occasion. A wicked side slam to the apron on the outside left Perish reeling, and a follow-leg drop allowed Big Jesse to take control for a large portion of the middle of the match. While the PPW Champion was able to hit his patented floating DDT to incapacitate Youngblood for a brief moment, an attempt to head to the top rope was easily averted by his larger foe.

Despite the setbacks, Perish’s resilience was impressive as always. Perish has made a career of winning with the odds stacked against him, and it looked as though he was primed to do it again on Saturday. While Youngblood laid everything he had and more into the tagSTRUGGLE star, he was unable to put him away.

The finale to the match was fast and furious. Both Youngblood and Perish had the capacity crowd on the edges of their seats, with near fall after near fall exchanged. A Perishute attempt was reversed into a massive lariat, however, as Youngblood attempted to hit his trademark spear, he was met with a savage bulldog from Perish that looked to have it won. Again, Youngblood kicked out, and Perish headed back to the high-rent district. This time, his Frog Splash attempt was successful. However, somehow, Youngblood was able to kick out with only inches to spare between the ref’s hand and the mat.

Frustrated at his inability to put his opponent away, Perish went up top yet again, but his third splash attempt was not only dodged but met with a massive spear. However, this time it was Perish’s turn to inexplicably kick out.

Furious, Youngblood lined Perishup for the Bannock Bomb, but the tagSTRUGGLE star escaped and finally hit his trademark superkick. However, Youngblood recovered to hit a big boot on Perish and attempted another Bannock Bomb. This time, however, Perish was able to reverse the manoeuvre into a Perishute. Finally, it was enough to keep Youngblood down for the 1-2-3. Unlike Big Jesse, the RCW faithful immediately rose out of their seats in a show of respect.

Keeping with the theme of the night, Perish attempted a post-match handshake with his opponent as a show of respect. However, Youngblood rebuffed his attempts. Hopefully, it sets up a further series between these two, because if Saturday at the Norwood Legion was any indication, it’ll only get better.

Triple Threat Thriller

Much like the WWE’s Intercontinental Championship matches of recent years, it seems as though any time the Alberta Championship is involved, it’s a hell of a match.

That was definitely the case at RCW Crossfire, as reigning champion Dylon Stone defended against both Son of Irish and Nite in the evening’s opening tilt. With RCW debuting in a brand-new venue, it was imperative that the night’s first match delivered and it did so in spades. All three men put their bodies on the line through the car crash of a match, with all employing a similar strategy of isolating their opponents while keeping one at bay.

To kick off the match both Son of Irish and Stone worked together to eliminate Nite from the equation. The pair laid a series of devastating chops to the Morning Star Mercenary, eventually tossing him to the outside of the ring. However, in a clever bit of chicanery, the Alberta Champion laid a boot into Son of Irish and began to work him over as Nite laid on the outside. While the champ looked dominant early, working over his smaller opponent, Son of Irish used his agility to rebound for a pinfall attempt of his own. Nite, recovered by this point, remained on the outside for the duration of his opponent’s exchange, allowing Irish and Stone to tire each other out.

However, that all changed when Nite was savvily able to reverse Stone’s attempt to run the ropes, sending the Alberta titleholder tumbling over the top. However, though Nite took Stone out of the equation, it was Irish that was able to capitalize first, turning a sunset flip into a pinfall on Nite. Nite, however, kicked out and began to work over his long-time rival.

Using his size to his advantage, Nite was able to wear down Son of Irish enough to ground him for a short while. Heading to the top rope, Nite seemed ready to go coast-to-coast. However, with Dylon Stone looming on the apron, Nite shifted gears midair to hit him with a massive knee to keep him to the outside. Irish, to his credit, was resilient, unable to be put away by either man.

Though Stone had been struck, he didn’t stay down for long. Following a few minutes of action, Nite placed Son of Irish on the top turnbuckle for a superplex. However, Stone recovered to hit a massive avalanche suplex to both Nite and Irish but unfortunately wasn’t able to score a pinfall on either man. Obviously frustrated and looking to finish off the match, Stone nailed Nite with a massive dropkick to the corner. Again, he was unable to put his opponent away. As the two traded suplex attempts, Irish was able to interject himself back into the action and begin to lay in a massive series of dropkicks to both Nite and Stone. Heading to the top rope, Son of Irish hit a gorgeous moonsault to Nite. Shockingly, not only did Nite kick out but in the confusion, Irish was hit by Stone with a running knee.

After 15 minutes of cacophony, Stone pinned Son of Irish to retain the Alberta Championship. In a show of respect, Stone lifted the hand of Son of Irish following the match.

While Stone was gracious in his win, Nite was much less so in defeat. As the pair celebrated, Nite took a chair to the back of Son of Irish, but Stone made the save. After a few minutes of bickering between Commissioner Irishman and his son, it was announced that a Last Man Standing match between Irish and Nite would take place at the next Edmonton show.

Kota Makes Quick Work of the Profane Profit

As has been the case since his ominous debut in Red Deer last month, Kota, the Knight of the Apocalypse ran directly through his opponent on Saturday night, Dante.

Frankly, the pre-match promo from Dante may have taken longer than the match itself. As the Profane Profit waxed poetic about what I would have to assume would be about a wizard or something, he seemingly drew the ire of the Artist Formerly Known as the Universe. As Kota appeared through the curtain, a hush fell over the Norwood Legion, with the capacity crowd in awe of what stood before them. Immediately upon entering the ring, Kota and Dante stared each other down, with the Knight of the Apocalypse landing the first blow of the match. Frankly, he landed most of the blows in the match, as Dante was unable to muster any amount of offence on Kota.

While it wasn’t for a lack of trying, the Knight of the Apocalypse was simply dominant through the short sprint of a match and following a combination of a chokeslam and an Overdose-esque move from Kota, the match was over.

News & Notes:
  • Son of Irish will face off with “the Morning Star Mercenary” Nite at the next RCW show in Edmonton
  • Barricade & Dean Richtor are the new #1 contenders to the Malicious Milita’s tag team titles.
Last Five:
RCW Recap and Reactions: Crossfire, Edmonton, August 3

Spencer Love

Once stood in front of Cedric Alexander in line at a hotel. Slightly big deal.

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