Thursday night at Edmonton’s Norwood Legion was an exciting one for wrestling fans in the capital region. Real Canadian Wrestling hosted their first show in a three-event tour featuring WWE legend Lanny Poffo, and while the brother of Randy Savage may have been the draw heading into the evening, wrestling fans were treated to a solid night of action from one of Alberta’s top indie wrestling promotions. A Last Man Standing main event pitting Nite against long-term rival Son of Irish promised to be one of the most violent matches in recent memory, and the two absolutely delivered in an outstanding tilt. Frankly, it was difficult to find something that DIDN’T deliver as advertised on Thursday, with each member of the roster pulling out all the stops for the fans in attendance.

Let’s recap!

The Headline:
Erstwhile Rivals Nite, Son of Irish Join Forces

The Back to School Bash’s main event saw Son of Irish take on “The Morning Star Mercenary” Nite in a Last Man Standing match that was every bit the slobber knocker that one would expect from the two long-time rivals. However, the battle itself wasn’t the headline of Thursday night’s affair, but the post-match

Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the absolute hell that both Irish and Nite put their bodies through at the Norwood Legion. Frankly, it was about as brutal as it gets on the Albertan independent scene, with Nite especially taking some absolutely atrocious manoeuvres. The two quite literally utilized everything and the kitchen sink in their pursuit of destruction, with wooden pallets, pizza pans and LEGO bricks amongst the bevvy of weapons that made appearances throughout the match. Son of Irish displayed a level of brutality that hadn’t been observed before, utilizing a frenzied style reminiscent of the Irishman himself. From the onset, he was a human pinball, leaping over the ropes and into the crowd within the opening seconds of the match. If there were any doubts as to whether he could hold his own against the veteran Nite in a Last Man Standing match, they were put to rest as Irish ruthlessly utilized a staple gun on the forehead of his rival early and often. Whether it be a powerbomb through the aforementioned pallet, or a draping Crossrhodes-like manoeuvre to Lego, the fact that Nite was even able to remain standing was, frankly, shocking. Even more impressive was his ability to get back into the match. A massive coast-to-coast with Irish hung in the tree of woe immediately turned the tides in the veteran’s favour, and though his younger opponent would rally on multiple occasions, Nite’s advantage was one that he wouldn’t fully relinquish through the rest of the match.

That is, except on one occasion.

Late in the match and with Son of Irish reeling, it appeared as though Nite was going full-on pyromaniac, grabbing a bottle of lighter fluid and making his way to his prone rival. At that moment, the Irishman made his way to the ring, bring a chair along for good measure. Immediately the RCW commissioner took aim at his son’s biggest rival; however, with picture-perfect timing, Nite was able to move out of the way. Unfortunately, standing immediately behind the Morning Star Mercenary was Son of Irish, who received the full brunt of the chair shot courtesy of his father. In a fit of both shock and anger, the Irishman directed the full force of his fury on Nite, absolutely decimating him with a series of chair shots that would make Mankind squeal in agony.

However, despite the damage dealt by the commissioner, Nite was not to be denied. Shortly after taking the chair shots, he was able to ascend the top rope and deliver a devastating leg drop to Son of Irish. This time, the protegee was unable to make the 10-count, and Nite had his hand raised in victory.

However, as mentioned, it was the post-match occurrences that truly left their mark on the evening. Nite immediately grabbed a microphone to close out the show, and in a truly shocking moment, made an offer to Son of Irish to form a tag team. After a brief moment of hesitation, Irish agreed, and RCW commissioner Irishman held up both men’s hands to close out the show.

The Championships:
Poffo, 64, Defeats RCW Champion With Moonsault

They don’t call him Leaping Lanny for no reason.

Thursday marked the first of three appearances in Real Canadian Wrestling for Lanny Poffo, the brother of wrestling legend Macho Man Randy Savage.

While, of course, Poffo is beloved in wrestling circles, many in the audience were curious as to how he would perform in a wrestling ring at this stage in his career. While still in excellent physical shape, it’s a little nerve-wracking any time someone who technically qualifies for a senior’s discount steps inside a wrestling ring. That statement rings even truer when that individual is tasked with facing off with the always-lethal Heavy Metal. The RCW Canadian Heavyweight Champion is - no pun intended - one of the top talents in Western Canada today, and often times it seems as though his desire to win is only matched by his desire to inflict pain on his opponent. There’s a reason he’s known as Big Match Metal; when the opportunity to rise to a challenge presents itself, the champ always delivers.

That was certainly the case on Thursday night. From the start, Metal seemed to be toying with his veteran opponent, only pausing his brutal offensive blows to lambast his opponent. It was prototypical Heavy Metal, to both the delight and chagrin of the RCW faithful. Poffo, to his credit, not only engaged with the RCW Champion, but a few well-placed strikes allowed him to keep pace with his younger rival. Again, it’s difficult to overstate the excellent shape that Poffo is in, and his in-ring ability seemed to surprise even Metal.

Well, if you thought his wrestling ability was surprising, then the results may kill you.

A clean loss from Heavy Metal is a rare occurrence at the best of times, but that shockingly was the case in Edmonton on Thursday evening. Incredibly, not only did the Top Titleholder take a proverbial three-second tan but did so due to a picture-perfect moonsault courtesy of Leaping Lanny Poffo. The RCW faithful absolutely exploded at the result. It was about as great a moment as you can get at a wrestling show, whether Albertan or otherwise. A personal tip of the cap to both men.

Never-Ending Tag Team Championship Reign of RichtorCade Begins

Okay, okay - for those who are up-to-date on the results from last week’s shows, you know there’s at least a hint of sarcasm in the title of this segment.

However, don’t let the events of both Friday and Saturday night diminish Thursday’s excellent tag team matchup between the then-titleholders Malicious Militia and the team of Barricade and Dean Richtor. Since forming only a few months ago, RichtorCade (as they’re not-officially-but-affectionately known by) has gelled seamlessly, quickly becoming one of the most formidable forces is an already-stacked tag team division. Their tried-and-true formula of Barridace’s brute strength and Richtor’s striking ability had vaulted them to the ranks of #1 contenders, and Thursday saw them cash in that opportunity on the team of Cody Chimera and Maverick Jack. The Militia’s prowess is well-known throughout Alberta, with the duo executing every manoeuvre with clockwork precision and ruthless aggression. Make no bones about it, the duo is one of the top tag teams in the industry, nonetheless Alberta.

While Jack and Chimera are talented, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that a portion of their success is certainly due to the occasional use of some underhanded tactics, and they were on full display in Edmonton on Thursday evening. The Militia utilized a brutal beatdown to their advantage prior to the action commencing, and by the time the bell finally rang, Cody Chimera was already standing tall over Dean Richtor.

Unfortunately, it was a sight that the fans in attendance would see often throughout the match.

Despite putting up a considerable fight, Richtor was behind the eight-ball from the very beginning of the match, and it was near impossible for him to gain any ground on the tag team titleholders whatsoever. Both Chimera and Jack were ruthless in their assaults of the man known as “Real Talk,” and frankly, all seemed hopeless for the team until Richtor was able to finally make the hot tag to Barricade.

Or so we thought.

Unfortunately, the out-of-position referee didn’t see the tag made. Before Barricade could so much as land one strike on the Malicious Militia, the ref took him back to his corner, incorrectly assuming the tag was made illegally. As Barricade pleaded his case to the referee, the Militia yet again worked over Richtor.

Once order had been restored, the Militia utilized their teamwork to their advantage yet again. As Richtor and Chimera went at it inside the squared circle, Maverick goaded Barricade into a chase on the outside that resulted in the giant’s running into the ring post. With Barricade reeling, the Malicious Militia hit their patented neckbreaker/suplex combo, and looked to have the match won. However, yet again Richtor inexplicably kicked out. As Chimera and Jack attempted to regroup and head to their respective top ropes, Barricade re-entered the ring and collected both to connect with a splash from behind. He began ruthlessly tossing the Militia around before assisting his teammate to the top rope. As the crowd went wild, Richtor nailed his patented leg drop off of Barricade’s back for the 1-2-3.

For the first time, Barricade and Dean Richtor were your RCW Tag Team Champions.

Unfortunately, there was little time to celebrate. Immediately after the match, Chimera and Jack invoked their rematch clause for the next night in Calgary. For spoilers, click here.

Some Really Great Things:
Mentallo, Singh Both Really Really Good at Wrestling

I quote my exact notes from the evening: “This was a really, really, really, really good wrestling match with two really, really good wrestlers.”

It’s difficult to describe it as anything otherwise. Both men were making their returns to the RCW Edmonton ring after extended absences; while Singh has wrestled in Calgary on numerous occasions this year, Thursday’s appearance was his first in Edmonton since January 19 of this year. Mentallo’s leave was far longer, with August 29 marking his first match for Real Canadian Wrestling since May 15, 2016. With both in relatively unfamiliar territory, it was clear from the onset that the two came out looking to prove something to the fans in attendance.

Boy, did they ever.

If the ability to watch this match back is out there, you should certainly do so. Both Mentallo and Singh put on a wrestling clinic on Thursday night, with the two’s contrasting styles playing to perfection for the entirety of the tilt. Mentallo attempted to gain the upper hand using his agility and high-flying style, while Singh utilized his ground-and-pound offensive and brute strength to wear his opponent down. Off the hop, it was the Impact star that was first able to take advantage of his opponent, and the opening minutes of the match saw Singh work over Mentallo with a series of brutal holds and vicious strikes.

However, it wasn’t long before Singh began to get cocky, letting his overconfidence take over as he brutalized Mentallo. It was something that proved to be the fatal flaw for the Desi Hit Squad star. As he yet again mocked the Zombie Hunter, Mentallo was able to turn the tides, hitting a massive series of dropkicks to his larger opponent. The pace picked up as Mentallo began to make his comeback, and even despite Singh’s considerable skill, he simply wasn’t quick enough to keep up with his lightning-quick opponent. In the end, it was Mentallo that was able to pull out a victory in his return to Edmonton, utilizing a unique roll-up to score a surprise victory.

Post-match, the two shook hands in a show of respect, and the pair looked to be leaving the ring on good terms. That is, at least until Singh hit a massive cutter to Mentallo before heading home. Hopefully, that sets them up for another tilt in the future, because frankly, it was awesome.

Slammer vs. Youngblood

The evening’s opening matchup saw two titans of Real Canadian Wrestling face off as Brice “the Slammer” Sova battled Big Jesse Youngblood in singles action.

The Slammer’s ongoing feud with Top Talent has been a personal highlight of Real Canadian Wrestling shows since Sova made the move to the promotion just under eight months ago. While, unfortunately, his quest for the RCW Canadian Heavyweight Championship hasn’t resulted in gold quite yet, the Slammer has cut a swath of destruction at nearly every turn. In fact, if not for some unfortunately-timed injuries to referees, Sova would likely be standing before us as the RCW Canadian Heavyweight Champion.

However, if there’s anyone who can match up to the Slammer in terms of pure nuclear bicep, it’s Big Jess Youngblood. The Original Aboriginal may be the best blend of size and speed in the Albertan independent scene, and he utilized it to full effect on Thursday night.

In fact, the two were so hellbent on destruction that ring announcer Kyle Shaw wasn’t even able to finish introducing the two men before the duo went to work. The two rivals beat the ever-loving hell out of each other, with Jess quick to roll to the outside. However, if allowed the Slammer to hit a massive suicide dive, leaving Jess reeling in the early portions of the match.

However, a second dive attempt was interrupted by an uppercut from Youngblood, and the muscle of Top Talent began to go to work. Through the middle stanza of the match, Youngblood was frankly dominant, wearing down the Slammer considerable with a combination of strikes and holds. Eventually, however, the Slammer was able to work his way back into the match with - what else - a series of slams that seemed to absolutely rock Youngblood. Despite Youngblood’s earlier dominance, it looked as though the Slammer was poised for an incredible comeback victory.

Unfortunately, as happens far too often during Slammer matches, a poorly-placed referee was his downfall. As Sova set Youngblood up for a patented F5, referee Charles Spencer was struck by the feet of the Original Aboriginal, knocking him down for the count. In the confusion, Youngblood was able to hoist himself off the shoulders of the Slammer and hit a massive Spear for both the three-count and the victory.

While the loss was unfortunate for the Slammer, selfishly, it hopefully sets him up for a further feud with Youngblood.

Starr Successful in RCW Return

Wavell Starr may have returned to Real Canadian Wrestling under new management, but the results remained the same for the Regina native.

While Starr’s return to the promotion was announced in advance, the same didn’t hold true for the now-former Sin City Strangler, who surprisingly kicked off the match by announcing his name had changed to Lucious Giddeon Bane. Even more surprisingly, he announced that he would be an advisor for Starr moving forward. With that, Starr made his long-awaited return. The First Nation Sensation immediately cut a promo on Regina, Saskatchewan being better than Alberta. Whether it was

It didn’t take long before Starr began to frustrate Jack. Oddly enough, it was Starr who began playing mind games with his opponent, a trademark of Pride’s. With the tables turned, the First of the Fallen looked flustered in the opening moments of the match, which played him directly into Starr’s hands. Though Pride was able to land a few stiff shots to kick off the tilt, the pace of the match slowed as Starr began to assert his physical presence. Fortunately, Pride held his own, utilizing his substantial advantage in speed to his advantage. With the RCW crowd firmly in his favour, Pride began to wear down Starr with a series of well-placed strikes, utilizing a “stick-and-move” philosophy to his advantage.

However, all it took was a few stiff shots from Starr to slow the pace to a speed advantageous for the returnee. Taking things to the outside, Starr ruthlessly chopped the chest of Jack Pride, wearing down the former Alberta champion to the chagrin of the crowd. It seemed as though the massive Starr was poised for an easy victory in his return match

Just as all looked lost, some poorly timed attempted interference from the newly-rechristened Bane turned the tides in Prides favour. With referee Trevor Stoyko kicking away the hands of Starr’s ostensible manager, the momentum allowed the First of the Fallen to send Starr spiralling, unleashing a flurry of offence in the process. Unfortunately, a missed Senton Bomb attempt from Pride allowed Starr to hit a huge chokeslam for the 1-2-3 and a victory in his return to the promotion.

Good Housekeeping:
Stone Eats Pin, Aries Eats Knee

Thursday evening’s affair also saw a tag team matchup take place between the Viking Rage and the odd couple pairing of Dylon Stone and Jordan Aries.

Though both Aries and Stone are outstanding individual talents, the duo have had their own respective issues over the past few months, and many wondered how the two would fare in teaming against one of the most experience duos in RCW, Dante and Vince Austin. Though Dante’s a relatively new recruit to the ranks of the Viking Rage, his skill far outweighs his experience, and he’s slotted in nicely since the departure of Andrew Hawkes.

However, he certainly didn’t exhibit it on Thursday evening. The duo of Aries and Stone ran roughshod over the VR’s latest recruit; however, a poorly-timed knee strike from Stone to Aries was reversed into a Snuff Piledriver from Austin to Stone for a Viking Rage victory.

Two Big Dudes Do Big Dude Things

Two big, bad dudes squared off on Thursday night as the Giant Orion took on KOTA in what can only be described as a classic hoss fight.

The affair began with a test of strength, which Orion handily won. Obviously feeling confident, he challenged KOTA to take him down. However, while KOTA hit the ropes aggressively, he was unable to take down the Giant.

Eventually, however, KOTA was able to utilize his veteran savvy to get Orion on the ropes, but it was a fleeting moment indeed. In a savvy moment of his own, Orion cleverly slammed his monstrous opponent into the ring post, rendering it useless for the majority of the match. From that point on, Orion seemingly attempted to physically rip the arm of the Knight of the Apocolypse, both working him over around the post and in the middle of the ring.

Frankly, not since inexplicably returning from his nearly two-year hiatus in April has KOTA looked so thoroughly outmatched. It’s a testament to the strength of Orion that he was able to take even the most brutal blows from the monster, viciously turning him aside at every opportunity.

Unfortunately, as so many have been lately, the match was marred by the late appearance of a member of the Viking Rage. This time, it was Dante who interfered in the match. As KOTA ascended the top rope, the Profane Profit shoved him off and turned his attention to Orion. However, though Dante attempted to recruit Orion to the Viking Rage’s ranks, the Giant instead walked out on the match, seemingly leaving the Profane Profit alone in the ring.

However, at that moment KOTA chose to reemerge from his slumber. As he re-entered the ring, a hush fell over the Norwood Legion. Dante, sensing the impending doom, immediately turned around and was met by the miraculously-recovered arm of KOTA, who delivered a chokeslam to close out the segment.

Recent Five:
RCW Recap and Reactions: Back to School Bash, Edmonton, August 29

Spencer Love

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

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