Saturday night marked the return of Real Canadian Wrestling to the St. John’s Cultural Centre in Edmonton for the promotion’s annual Dealer’s Choice event. As is tradition, the evening played off the Lethal Lottery stipulation, in which any matches not announced prior to the evening’s action would be drawn at random. With only an RCW Women’s Championship match and the headlining Tables, Ladders and Chairs match previously announced, many didn’t know what to expect heading into the St. John’s Cultural Centre on Saturday night. As we’d come to see, not only would the Lottery stipulation grant the fans in attendance with a number of unique matchups, but it would set the stage for future events that should have the RCW faithful titillated.
It’s time, it’s time, it’s recap time!
Jack Pride and Cody Chimera just keep proving why they’re two of the fastest-rising stars in Albertan wrestling.
Outside of the previously announced Angelica/Kayla Jaye tilt, Saturday’s pre-intermission match between Pride and Chimera was the only one to not fall under the Lethal Lottery stipulation of the evening. In fact, it was Pride who demanded the match from RCW Commissioner Irishman, convincing him to forego the stipulation and simply book a match between himself and one of the perpetual Dirty thorns in his side, Cody Chimera. As could be expected, Chimera was initially against the idea of facing Pride with nothing on the line; however, that attitude quickly changed after Irishman announced that both Chimera and his partner Maverick Jack - who was absent on the evening due to suspension - would not only relinquish their RCW Tag Team Championships should Chimera refuse the match, but never receive another opportunity at the titles as long as the Irishman was commissioner.
While Chimera was able to utilize his strength early on, Pride’s speed allowed him to gain the advantage in the early goings of the match. After hitting a leg drop from the top rope, Chimera rolled to the outside to recover. However, a massive senton from Pride from the apron allowed him to both bring Chimera back to the ring and attempt the first pinfall of the match. While unsuccessful, he continued to control the pace until a massive backbreaker from Chimera slowed down the action.
From there, the RCW Tag Team Champion went to work. He brutalized his opponent with a series of knees and began to ruthlessly throw Pride around the ring. While Pride was resilient, Chimera controlled the majority of the match, using his in-ring savviness to keep Pride at bay.
However, it wasn’t long before Pride was able to take advantage of Chimera’s lack of experience. Despite the savage beating he’d received over the course of the match, Pride displayed a resilient side that hadn’t been seen since the days of the Neon Knights. Blow after blow rained down upon Chimera, and it looked as though the RCW Tag Team Champion would be down for the count.
Unfortunately, a vicious eye rake from Chimera turned the tides yet again in his favour. A massive side slam looked to have Pride finished, however, the resilient Pride was able to stay in the match, lifting his shoulder at the last second.
Sensing that defeat was near, Chimera cleverly rolled out of the ring and took a countout loss, cleverly avoiding a clean loss while still technically completing the task set out by the Irishman.
While the match didn’t feature a clean victory, both Pride and Chimera exemplified what makes Albertan wrestling great. I’ve waxed poetic about both men before, but in this writer’s humble opinion it isn’t long before the two take the step to the top of the card.
“Edmonton wrestling fans don’t deserve pro wrestling”
Those were the words of RCW Canadian Heavyweight Champion on Saturday night, as Heavy Metal entered the ring early in the evening in what many assumed was in anticipation of his advertised Tables, Ladders and Chairs match. However, as Metal waxed poetic atop the ladder he’d obtained from under the ring, he made his announcement and grabbed the championship held high in the air. A simple “Goodnight, Cleveland” later, and Metal had ostensibly made his way home.
However, while the fans didn’t receive their advertised main event, the lack of a match didn’t prevent Brice “The Slammer” Sova from dishing out a fair bit of pain to RCW’s top talent. Following the evening’s Women’s Championship match - more on that later - the Slammer emerged, dragging Metal behind him with an electrical cable as he made his way towards the ring. A savage beating commenced, with Metal on the receiving end of a few brutal blows courtesy of the #1 contender. After a few minutes of ruthless domination from Sova, a powerbomb through a table put the champion down for the count. The Slammer cut a promo on the prone Heavy Metal, rescheduling their TLC match for August 10th in Edmonton.
Angelica Puts Kayla Jaye in the Dirt
While Saturday’s match may have marked Angelica’s first appearance in Edmonton since May 4th’s 16th-Anniversary show, the RCW Women’s Champion looked no worse for wear in her return to the capital city. In fact, she looked downright ruthless throughout her eventual victory over #1 contender Kayla Jaye. That’s not to say that Jaye didn’t look solid against what many would argue is the greatest rival of her career thus far, however; with Jaye accompanied by tagSTRUGGLE member Chris Perish, the RCW faithful were treated to what may have been the most aggressive iteration of the former Envy since her association with Pride ended just a few months ago. As always, both women looked hell-bent on destroying each other, with neither willing to concede an inch in their pursuit of RCW’s top women’s title.
The bout was as even as it gets between these two blood rivals. Both Angelica’s and Kayla Jaye’s histories with each other are well-documented in Albertan wrestling lore, and it was clear to the few first-time fans in attendance that these two women have incredible chemistry. For every offensive manoeuvre that one had, the other answered; Jaye’s trademark kicks were routinely shut down by Angelica’s power advantage, though her shiftiness allowed her to escape the RCW Women’s Champions’ clutches on more than one occasion. On the outside, Perish did an excellent job of ensuring that Sydney Steele remained a non-factor, despite Steele still succeeding in that endeavour numerous times.
With both women so evenly matched, the closing moments of the bout simply came down to being the first to make a mistake. Unfortunately, it was neither of the competitors who did so, but the referee.
In the waning moments of the match and with Angelica reeling, Jaye looked poised to hit her patented superkick on the RCW Women’s Champion. Fortunately, Angelica was able to duck the move and counter it into a rollup of her own; however, despite Kayla Jaye’s shoulder clearly elevated off of the mat, the referee still hit the three-count for a pinfall victory in Angelica’s favour.
Obviously, we haven’t seen the last of these long-time rivals locking up, and in no way is that a complaint. It’s rare that a Fight Forever chant is a truly deserved one, but in the case of this feud, it’s apt.
Perhaps the biggest fracture to emerge from the Lethal Lottery stipulation emerged between RCW Commonwealth Champion Vince Austin and his Viking Rage stablemate, Günnar.
It’s been a tumultuous few months for the Viking Rage. A few months ago, the faction was the most dominant group in Real Canadian Wrestling; however, since the calendar turned to 2019, former RCW Heavyweight Champion Andrew Hawkes left the group and took the Newfoundland portion of the name with him, with the duo of Günnar and Austin losing the RCW Tag Team Championships as well. ith Austin recently claiming the Commonwealth Championship, however, the now-trio was looking to get back on track following a blood-curdling, earth-shattering, ruthlessly violent feud between the faction and “The Universe” Zack Mercury.
Unfortunately, that wouldn’t come to pass on Saturday night. An unlucky draw from Commissioner Irishman pitted Günnar against his erstwhile tag team partner. Initially, the two refused to battle; however, the commissioner declared that should the match not happen, Austin would forfeit his championship.
That’s all it took for the two to commence their battle. As could be expected, the pair both looked conflicted to start the match. Immediately upon the match beginning, Austin attempted to convince Günnar to lie down and essentially gift the COmmonwealth Champion the victory. In a surprising turn of events, Günnar did so; however, he even more shockingly kicked out at two. Immediately, Günnar charged Austin, knocking the Viking Rage leader out of the ring. After landing a few shots on the eyepatched champion, Günnar threw his former leader into the ring post before bringing the action back inside the squared circle.
However, while Austin definitely gave up the size advantage to his monstrous opponent, the Viking Lord came with an X-factor in the form of Mr. Spectrum. Just when it seemed as though all was lost for Austin, a momentary referee distraction allowed Spectrum to heave some sort of powder into Günnar’s eyes. Temporarily blinded, Günnar stumbled about the ring, completely incapacitated. It left the door open for Austin to secure a pinfall in earnest, and three short seconds later his championship had been retained.
However, despite this seemingly only being a one-off match, one would have to wonder how Günnar and Austin can mend fences following their encounter on Saturday. Have we seen the last of the Viking Rage in Real Canadian Wrestling?
The Best of the Rest:
Sydney Steele Returns to Edmonton
Angelica wasn’t the only regular PPW roster member to make their way back to Edmonton on Saturday night. Sydney Steele, the self-professed #1 contender to Chris Perish’s PPW Heavyweight Championship, made his anticipated return to Edmonton for Dealer’s Choice, and the extended absence from Alberta’s capital did nothing to quell his confidence. Upon entering the ring, Steele immediately began to lambast not only the Irishman, but each and every member of the Real Canadian Wrestling roster. I’m paraphrasing here, but in a locker room of teenagers and midgets, claimed Steele, he’d kick whoever’s ass he needed to.
In what appeared to be a direct jab at Steele, Commissioner Irishman allowed Angelica to select the name that Steele would be facing on the evening. After reading the selection, Irishman laughed as he announced Angelica’s errant selection: Giant Orion. It was this writer’s first experience watching Orion wrestle, and while Steele is quite easily one of the top talents in the province, it was difficult to imagine him having a feasible chance against the monstrous Orion.
However, Steele is as savvy as they come in a wrestling ring. Whenever he found himself at a disadvantage, he was able to utilize his advantage in speed to force a rope break or break a hold. However, when the 7′ Orion managed to gain control of the self-proclaimed PPW #1 contender, he was dominant.
After avoiding a chokeslam, Steele looked to recover on the outside of the ring. Unfortunately for him, Orion followed and utilized a combination of massive chops and the steel ring posts to his advantage to weaken the PPW star. However, Steele was able to avoid one of Orion’s massive chops and caused the giant to smack his hand on the steel ring post. Bringing the action back in the ring, Steele proceeded to work over the hand of his opponent, leaving him unable to apply his finishing chokeslam.
As Orion attempted to recover, a massive superkick from Steele left Orion laying. While muttering to himself about a later TLC match, he instructed the RCW Women’s Champion to grab a char. Mocking the Irishman, Steele took to the top rope, looking for what appeared to be an elbow drop. However, Orion was able to get the legs of the chair up to hit Steele in the throat, and from there the giant took advantage. However, Steele was resilient, kicking out of a sidewalk slam from the giant shortly after taking the massive chair shot. A spear was able to clip Steele, but he was able to roll under the ropes and again avoid a pinfall loss.
It was here that Steele was able to truly utilize his advantage in experience. Again targeting the left arm of Orion, Steele hit a Superkick/knee/codebreaker combination and followed it up with a devastating looking submission. Unbeknownst to the referee, Steele also utilized the ropes for leverage and the submission victory. Infuriated, Orion attempted yet another chokeslam post-match, but Steele was again able to escape the clutch and savvily roll out of the ring.
Youngblood’s Winning Streak Continues
While Heavy Metal may be busy taking care of business with the Slammer, it appears as though he could be on a collision course with fellow Top Talent stablemate Big Jesse Youngblood.
That’s not to say there’s animosity amongst the ranks of the faction; however, if Youngblood continues winning at the pace he’s been picking up victories, it may be inevitable that he’ll be challenging for RCW’s top title in the near future. Saturday saw the Original Aboriginal taking on a recent returnee to the Real Canadian Wrestling ranks, Nite. While
All that being said, what a hell of a match. Both men seemed to push each other to their respective next gears; Nite, specifically, looked to be at his best since returning to RCW just a few short months ago. Many times throughout the course of this match he looked to have the veteran Youngblood on the ropes, including off of a massive leg drop from the top rope that looked to have the Original Aboriginal down for the count.
However, there’s a reason that Youngblood is one of the longest-reigning RCW Heavyweight Champions of all time; he’s simply that good. While Nite was able to lay in a considerable amount of offence on Big Jess, the Top Talent stablemate only seemed fueled by anything he was hit with. Whether it be Youngblood’s initial flurry of offence to kick off the match, to the multiple shocking kick-outs, Big Jess was on top of his game on Saturday night.
Eventually, with Youngblood posted up in the corner of the ring, Nite yet again went high-risk in looking for a match-closing Coast-to-Coast. However, it appeared as though Big Jess had been playing possum; as soon as Nite was airborne, an earth-shattering spear out of nowhere from Youngblood to the Morning Star Mercenary put Nite down for the three.
Another RCW event, another win for Youngblood. While a potential feud between the Top Talent stablemates may kill me, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited.
No Crossing Zone
Don’t look now, but Barricade is quietly working his way up the ladder in Real Canadian Wrestling.
Saturday’s opening match featured a battle between Barricade and the recently-debuted Alonzo Vitorio. Vitorio’s looked excellent since making his inaugural appearance for RCW just a few short months ago, with his unique blend of agility and in-ring savvy serving him well thus far through his time in the promotion. However, while Vitorio’s looked impressive in his first few matches, he was still in search of a statement victory in RCW, and the Lethal Lottery stipulation gave him a unique opportunity to make a name for himself against one of the more popular members of the roster.
However, popularity wasn’t the only advantage Barricade held over Vitorio in their Saturday night tilt. Excuse the play on words, but given his size and in-ring aggression, Barricade is someone you don’t want to cross. He’s a massive presence, both literally and figuratively, and even given Vitorio’s impressive few months in RCW, it was difficult to give him much of a chance against his much larger opponent.
That’s exactly how it came to play on Saturday. Initially, Vitorio was impressive in utilizing both a pre-match assault as well as targeted strikes to the left leg of Barricade to slow down his larger foe. However, despite the ruthless blows, Barricade wasn’t able to be kept down for more than a few seconds at a time. Despite consistently partnering with “Real Talk” Dean Richtor over the past few months, it seemed as though Barricade was no worse for wear in singles action, tossing around his smaller opponent with relative ease.
Eventually, Vitorio was forced to utilize some dirty tactics in order to gain even a slight advantage over Barricade. After attempting a chokehold on his massive opponent, Vitorio cleverly raked the eyes of Barricade, temporarily blinding him and giving Alonzo a real opportunity to take control in the match. For a few brief moments, he did; again, Vitorio proceeded to work the left leg of his opponent and eventually hit a massive step-up enziguri that left Barricade reeling. However, as Vitorio attempted a high-risk crossbody, he was caught by Barricade and put down by a massive slam. A short three-count later, and Barricade stood on top.
It’s yet another victory for Barricade, who has to be creeping into championship contention sooner rather than later. Whether it’s in the singles division, or chasing the tag team titles with previously mentioned partner Dean Richtor, don’t be surprised to see Barricade challenging for a championship in the near future.
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