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Wrestling, Sports

ECCW: Ballroom Brawl 6 Recap

Ed73c95199a7c52e70a7ff5fe66a1e13?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Wyatt Arndt Jul 20, 2016 8:29 am

Heading into Ballroom Brawl Six there were around 3,282,182 injuries (rough estimate) and the shadow of the best Ballroom Brawl of all time (Brawl Five) looming over the event like M. Bison gloating over your fallen Ryu corpse (Street Fighter reference, that’s right, shit is getting real now).

Needless to say, there were concerns about whether it could live up to the hype that all Ballroom Brawls at the Commodore carry, as well as concerns about the t-shirt and entrance game. For those who saw the show, you bloody well know it blew it out of the water, but for those at home, let me break down how Ballroom Brawl Six lived up to the hype, and more.

Scotty Sweatervest vs Drexl

Image: FILES News

Image: FILES News

The show started with Drexl trying to jack Sweatervest’s announcing duties, which led to him getting a stunner from Scotty. If your Ballroom Brawl doesn’t include a Sweatervest Stunner, something went very wrong, so it was nice to see it taken care of quickly.

Billy Suede vs Nicole Matthews vs King of the Yukon

Image: FILES News

Image: FILES News

There wasn’t a serious or deep storyline pushing this match up, and not every match needs that, to be honest, as they had enough serious stuff later on the card. The lead up to this showdown was actually powered by some of the best promo videos done in ECCW recently, as Yukon, Suede and Nicole all have great comedic chemistry together. Their characters play off of each other really well (Billy almost breaks when Yukon goes all out Yukon on him), and they are a couple of wrestlers away from being able to have their very own version of Friends. Don Hellion and Lindsay Hart as the two that feud before having a lunch date in London that leads to romance? I think we have a hit on our hands…

Opening matches are pretty fun, because the crowd is so jacked to be there and finally see some action that they will cheer it on like Rocky just knocked out Mr. T, despite being pitied as a fool. The match hit some solid comedy spots with Baroni being wheeled down the ramp in his wheelchair and landing on Goddess Mandy, Yukon’s over exuberance of throwing off his vest leading to said vest landing in the rafters for the remainder of the show, and inexplicably Billy Suede wearing what looked like dish washing gloves during his entrance. Is Suede a hand model now? Has he gone full Costanza? Or will he claim those gloves are made out of the finest baby seals money can buy? I must know more.

Nicole and Yukon won with a double pin of Suede, and I have no idea where this goes, but I wouldn’t mind seeing more of this if it leads to more videos from the trio. Nicole and Yukon celebrated with some beers (Nicole dropped her beer, Yukon’s beer smashing is too powerful) in the ring, then celebrated on the entrance ramp with beers. This shall play into things shortly.

Shreddz vs Jamie Diaz

Image: FILES News

Image: FILES News

These two blew me away with their RCC match, and I was curious to see how this would play out at the Brawl. The match itself was fine, but it was nothing like their RCC rumble. I think they set the bar so high at the RCC that it ended up leaving me wanting more from their Ballroom match.

That being said, on a card like Brawl, you’re not necessarily going to have Diaz and Shreddz gunning out in the audience like they did at the RCC if later on Bishop and Sylum are going to do the same sort of thing. If you want a fully fleshed out card that gives a variety of styles of wrestling, you’re going to pace your matches and make sure you don’t double dip on certain things. So that might very well have been the case here.

But the fact I did love their RCC showdown so much makes me hope Diaz is sticking around for a bit. I want to see Shreddz vs Diaz get more of a build up, and have a match up where they can just try and out Hoss each other, each guy trying to prove he’s the bigger man as they throw each other through furniture and/or walls. If it ended up in a Last Man Standing match for example, it would be pretty sweet to see these two bulls lock horns.

Also, Shreddz’ mohawk was in top form for those wondering. His last two spikes were drooping near the end of the match, but later in the night, rock hard again. Hair Viagra?

Brian Cage vs El Phantasmo for the ECCW Championship

Image: FILES News

Image: FILES News

 

How good was this match? So good that the self proclaimed “Ding to Ding” Champion of the World Artemis Spencer made fun of me for enjoying it too much.

Look, I get it, I probably rant and rave about El P’s matches so much that you guys space out when I talk about him, or roll your eyes and grab a beer to try and get through it. But the thing is, I don’t do it out of love for El P, nor, sadly, does he pay me to rant about him. The guy is just really good at what he does, and every time I think he might just mail it in, he pulls a match like this out. It was the most fun match I have ever witnessed live. The crowd was AMPED for it, and both men brought their A game. As always, El Phantasmo put a shit ton of effort into his entrance (Green hair + new Gregorian monk chants before his song + a couple of scantily clad lady friends using power tools on their metal covered lady bits. I think at one point he was miming swallowing vaginal sparks too. Yes, I just wrote that.), which always helps the polished big time feel he can bring to any show. Brian Cage’s entrance was simple in comparison, but he slipped on the Yukon’s puddle of beer, which was almost as good. Cage looked down and saw a beer can lying on the ground and you could almost read the “What the ****” thought running through his head.

As for the match, it was a perfect example of “Big man vs smaller man” wrestling, even though the big guy in this case can hit moonsaults. Brian Cage impressed the ever loving hell out of me. Some of the strength spots he did, like catching El Phantasmo off the top rope and turning it into a suplex, or picking him up off the ground and turning it into a suplex, or sneezing and turning it into a suplex, were the kind of super human shit that blows your wrestling fan mind. His double powerbomb on El P wasn’t one of those ones that involve 30 seconds of waiting for the guy on the ground to hook his hands in while he struggles to lift him up a second time. No, Cage just powerbombed him twice in quick succession, because the man might actually be a machine. Cage was so good that the crowd was actually split on their support, as it was hard not to be impressed by Cage.

You know how sometimes you have a moment where time kind of slows down at a sporting event and you kind of look around you and just take it all in? Like you can almost SEE the emotion floating in the air and you’re amazed at the pure energy surrounding you? I assume it’s what happens just before Captain Planet emerges? There was one point where after a pin attempt was made by El P that the entire crowd thought it was over, and Cage kicked out and EVERYONE had bought into it. The apex of wrestling for me is when you break down all the cynicism and reality and make us turn into the “IT’S STILL REAL TO ME!” guy, and these two men did that to the 1000+ people at the Commodore.

El Phantasmo picked up the win, and if there was one critique it was that the match felt like it might have peaked and then gone on a minute or two too long, as the final pin didn’t feel as epic as some of the earlier attempts. A small complaint on what was otherwise a top contender for the ECCW Match of the Year.

I now surprisingly find myself wanting, nay, demanding a re-match between these two men. Their ability to work well together and capture the imagination of that crowd is something I want to see again. Rematch! We must have a rematch!

Scotty Mac does Scotty Mac Things

Image: FILES News

Image: FILES News

There’s been an ongoing feud between some dude from F.I.L.E.S. (Rob) over….body paint? Magazine covers? It’s essentially Scotty Mac being Scotty Mac and feeling disrespected. So Rob is in the ring and he says F.I.L.E.S. News is going to cover ECCW (the crowd is booing him as he is an outsider and any blatant advertising at a wrestling show gets booed), but in tried and true wrestling fashion, things get violent when Scotty Mac comes out and tries to kick Rob out, which leads to cheering because violence makes any blatant advertising segment acceptable.

Scotty hits Rob, Rob throws a kick at Scotty, Scotty enters the matrix to dodge said kick, and scurries away to the back, leaving Rob shirtless (because bar fight rules state one person must rip their own shirt off in anger) and livid.

It wasn’t as good as the CFox mascot giving a stunner, nor was it as good as Jeremy “The” Baker taking an iPad to the head, but it was a decent sponsorship segment.

Ethan H.D. vs Mike Santiago

Image: Agonal Industries

Image: Agonal Industries

Storyline? Check.

Exciting wrestler? Check.

Title Fight? Check.

The background of the match is Santiago taking out his former tag team partner in Ethan HD, and now both men are feuding over the betrayal. It’s wrestling 101 in terms of a solid storyline to tell.

And this match had all the tools to be a hit, but for whatever reason, it just didn’t click with the crowd. And it’s honestly a fascinating case study of why it didn’t go over. Was the crowd tired at this point? Is the crowd finding it hard to view Ethan HD as a face? Were there too many casual fans who only watch ECCW at Brawls and have only seen Ethan as the hated Amerikan Gunz? Can Ethan ever get over that Amerikan Gunz heat to become a super face? Ethan coming out to “America **** Yeah!” was the same song he came out to at the last Brawl when he was an Amerikan Gunz member, which might hurt his connection to a largely Canadian crowd. I just don’t know. There are so many moving parts to this, and for all we know, it was just an odd night where the crowd didn’t buy into the match for whatever reason.

Santiago picked up the surprising win over the red hot Ethan HD aka The Arty Crasher, and then just dropped the belt on him, seemingly keeping Ethan as the Canadian champ, and then left the building. It’s always dangerous ground when you potentially devalue a belt like that, so I am really interested to see what direction that angle heads in. They have a re-match at the next ECCW event at the RCC so it shall be worth noting how a more traditional hardcore ECCW crowd reacts to their continued feud.

The Cunninghams vs The Bollywood Boyz

Image: FILES News

Image: FILES News

This storyline had been heading down a very “Lex Luger vs Tatanka” style path, with the Bollywood Boyz having had The Natural show up randomly, singing their praises, and in one match, causing enough of a distraction to get the Boyz the win over the Cunninghams. This led to the Cunninghams accusing the Boyz of being in on it, which led many people to believe maybe the Cunninghams would be the ones siding with Natural if the Boyz didn’t.

So to start the match, the Cunninghams bring out a surprise. Dr. Luther, former ECCW World Champion, current legend, is going to be the guest referee. We last saw Luther at ECCW’s 20th anniversary show “passing the torch” to El Phantasmo as the face of ECCW, so it was a pleasant surprise to see him back again. The guy is so talented, and has this uncanny ability to work the crowd on the mic, that you always benefit by having him show up.

Anyhow, Luther is there to call things down the middle. The match between the teams is very solid, both teams excel at tag team based offense. The move of the night for me was when the Bollywood Boyz super kicked Jack to the ground, then hit Carl, who fell back on Jack, except Jack used his feet to push Carl back up and he used that momentum to clothesline both Boyz down. It was so well done I whispered “oh shit!” to myself when I saw it happen.

As the match progresses, eventually that snake in the grass Natural shows up and he slides a chair to the Bollywood Boyz (Harv? I want to say Harv? Gurv doesn’t like the feel of cold steel in his hand, let’s go with that, it must have been Harv) except they reject it. They don’t need weapons when they’ve got a variety of food based offense to use instead. The CHams jump on this distraction to try and take the Boyz out, except they get reversed into double sharpshooters, a move that has ended so many matches for the Bollywood Boyz. Sid Sylum once almost bled to death in a similar situation.

Luther starts pointing to his ears saying he can’t hear anybody tapping or verbally tapping, then he runs off the ropes and just about takes the heads off of the Bollywood Boyz.

Crowd. Gets. Angry. So angry.

Luther and the Cunninghams proceed to beat the crap out of the Bollywood Boyz. The heat at this point start becoming nuclear. All those F.I.L.E.S. magazines that were put on the seats before the show? They become the garbage missile weapons of choice, as people begin littering the ring with them. You have to understand, Vancouver LOVES the Bollywood Boyz, and they generally really really liked the Cunninghams. To have the CHams resort to this, to have a former champion now in their corner, people were MAD. It was honestly like watching the NWO form right in front of your very eyes. Same sort of vibe of outrage mixed with anger mixed with betrayal. And garbage. Don’t forget all of the garbage being thrown in the ring.

Those nice Cunninghams from next door? Now they’re in the ring, giving you the middle finger and beating up your son while you watch. Imagine the song Taylor Swift could write about this. IMAGINE IT.

It was insane. Hell, Dr. Luther powerbombed Harv at one point like he’d never been gone.

It felt like one of those “Where were you when…” moments, and I cannot wait to see where this storyline is headed. The Bollywood Boyz have never been hotter, riding the high of the WWE Cruiserweight Classic, and now they have a nuclear heat feud on their hands?? Yes. Give me this, all of the time. All of it.

Good Brothers vs West Coast Express TLC Tag Team Championship Match

Image: FILES News

Image: FILES News

Creed and Plexis took on the Good Brothers in a TLC match, which is always a smart idea for a Brawl card. Who doesn’t love violence that involves ladders?

Good Bros came out to Detroit Rock City and new fresh gear, with some kick ass face paint. West Coast Express came out to Nickelback. You can tell who the good guys are at this point.

It was a fun match that the crowd really enjoyed. It ticked off all the boxes you want a TLC match to tick, ladder teases, ladder spots, chair shots, going through tables, etc. Then they surprised me when they brought out thumb tacks. That got a fantastic reaction from the crowd and full credit to the wrestlers for willing to bring those into the equation.

Once the tacks came out the question became “Who gets to land on those” and the answer was Alex Plexis. Now, Plexis is a lighter man, who while owning the sexiest abs in wrestling, doesn’t necessarily strike fear in the hearts of tables. His “breaking the table” record is abysmal, as I have personally seen one match where he bounced off of a table three times before Jack Cunningham had enough and just splashed him to break it.

So it was no surprise to me when Plexis fell off of the top of a ladder and landed on a table covered with tacks, and did not break said table. Instead, he bounced in the air, tacks all a glitter, and landed back down on top of the tacks once more. It was something straight out of a cartoon. I am almost positive Bugs Bunny has done this to Elmer Fudd at one point.

Shout out to Cassidy for having a ladder thrown at him, by the way. Love Cassidy.

The Good Brothers picked up a huge win, and got themselves a very good match to help validate their title run. Surviving a violent ordeal is a great look for any wrestler, so competing in and winning this match is great for them. It shows that their team will go the extra mile to keep their titles, which is a good trait for a good guy team to have.

The question now, is, who does the Good Brothers feud with next?

Xavier Galaxy (w/ Kobra Kai) vs Andy Bird

Image: FILES News

Image: FILES News

First off, Andy Bird’s entrance was fan-freaking-tastic. His angle lately has been Scotty Mac running him down for being a bit of a joke, a guy who wears Toy Story pants and can’t pick up the big win. Well at Brawl, he came out with different music, new ring gear, and a super elaborate entrance that felt very “big time”. It was so so so good.

The match itself was short. It was essentially there for Bird to dominate and pick up the win, and to let Xavier work the crowd on the mic a bit. Kobra Kai ignored most of the match and spent his time sitting in the crowd. At one point Kobra Kai helped some fans with their drinks. Later he posed with some ladies. Anytime he sees someone in a mask he stops to talk with them. I have to imagine Kobra Kai and Xavier are going to clash over his attention span sooner rather than later, as Kobra hasn’t really been a huge help Galaxy in their time together. Plus the fans just love Kobra Kai, so it causes some cognitive dissonance seeing him with the hated Galaxy.

Also, where’s King Khash? Galaxies Constellation appears headed towards a black hole.

BOOM. SPACE METAPHOR.

Your move, Galaxy.

Sid Sylum vs Bishop (Sylum’s Retirement Match)

Image: FILES News

Image: FILES News

The storyline behind this match is excellent. I’ve ranted and raved enough about Bishop’s job in selling his characters confused motivations. He both loves and hates Sid Sylum, but at the end of the day, Bishop is a killing machine, so he must be who he is: A destroyer of worlds.

Sylum is the former a-hole turned good guy, trying to turn his life around. Trying to reclaim a part of himself he lost when he found out Santa wasn’t real. He was trying to reclaim his innocence and turn into a better human being and have a new life with his wife Krystal. A life filled with over-rated Portland donuts that are just donuts with stale cereal on them. But a happy life, you know?

My first concern about this match was “Sylum hasn’t wrestled in two years, will people remember/be invested in him?”

That was put to rest when Sylum came out for his entrance and the entire crowd was singing along to his song. It was tombstoned into the ground when at the end of the night the crowd was chanting “Thank you Sid!”. Honestly, you could not have written a better send off for a man. Assuming it’s a real send off, and not a Ric Flair send off.

As for the match itself, they brawled through the crowd, which while doesn’t always make for the most engaging matches (hard to follow them through the crowd and there is no in arena camera feed showing you the action so you end up just waiting for them to come back to the ring), but it was a good call because it helped add to the storyline of the feud. They both want to win so bad for their own reasons, that they would fight anywhere to achieve it. Plus if you’re in the Commodore sitting in the back, and all of a sudden Sid Sylum’s being thrown like a lawn dart into a wall, only to see him Spiderman that shit and grab onto a railing and reversing it into an elbow drop, it makes for a great story to tell your friends. I still remember the Bollywood Boyz locking a sharpshooter on the G.O.D.S on the freaking bar at the Commodore, so it makes for a very memorable spot.

Natural tried pulling his tricks to get the win for Bishop by breaking up pin counts, which eventually led to Krystal (Sid’s wife) running out and taking out the Natch, much to the delight of the crowd.

The match then ended with Sylum picking up the win over Bishop, and the good guys in the locker room flooded out to show their appreciation to Sylum. This led to a “curtain call”-esque moment where Bishop and then The Natural hugged Sylum in the ring. The crowd chanted “THANK YOU SID” and Sylum got on the mic and gave a fond farewell to the crowd.

Disney couldn’t have written it better.

Well, I don’t know if Disney would have had a character like Bishop. Unless, wait, did the witch in Little Mermaid ever cannonball someone’s wife?

Awards of the Night:

Match of the Night:

El P vs Brian Cage

I honestly want to see these guys face off again. Brian Cage seemed open to the idea on twitter, as did El Phantasmo.

It sounds cliche, but you really need to experience what these two guys can do, live. The Predator vs The Machine. Let’s do this.

machine

Personality of the Night:

Image: FILES News

Image: FILES News

Dr. Luther

He gets announced, people applaud. Some know him, some don’t. It was a lukewarm reception when all was said and done. The kind of applause you give to strangers graduating as they walk across the stage while you wait for your kid’s turn. “Good for you, ok, now let’s get down to what we’re here for.”

Then the heel turn.

He gets on the mic, and he has this way of screeching his voice when he gets mad, like he turns into the bad guy from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and it just drives people nuts. He’s this huge guy, and then there he is, screeching at you and running you down on the mic, and it gets people so heated. He told one guy in the audience to…well do something not nice, and man, it was so intense. A friend of mine explained it best, Luther just makes things feel very real. And that authenticity is what gets us to the “IT’S STILL REAL TO ME, DAMN IT” mode quicker than anything.

Not only that, but the guy is pretty quick in the ring for a guy of his size. And his moves look powerful. Add it all up, and you had a super mega heel by the end of the night on your hands. All it took was one match and Dr. Luther was back in all his evil glory.

Hopefully Luther teaming up with the Cunninghams lets us see more from the Cunninghams (Big Jack got to speak on the mic before the match!) as I really want to hear from the CHams why they turned and what their deal with Luther is.

Story-line of the Night:

Image: FILES News

Image: FILES News

Cunninghams Heel Turn

Sid and Bishop storyline was amazing, don’t get me wrong. I’ve sung the praises of it for months. It was just the shock factor of the CHams move to the dark side, as well as how nuclear it was, really stole the show for me. It sets up such a great story arc of revenge for the Bollywood Boyz to travel down.

I honestly cannot wait to see what happens at the next show the Cunninghams show up to.

Move of the Night:

Image: FILES News

Image: FILES News

Brian Cage

Anything he did. Guy was jacked and legitimately used El P as a workout machine. Guy is in there using him as a dead weight, tossing him around like a rag doll while barely breaking a sweat.

Runner Up:

Alex Plexis Tack-tical Fall

Anytime you have to sit in the back while three people pick sharp objects out of your body, you should get some recognition.

Entrance of the Night:

Image: FILES News

Image: FILES News

Andy Bird

I was all set to give it to El Phantasmo for his hooded entrance and vaginal sparking, but Andy Bird surprised us all with an elaborate and amazing entrance. He had other birds on stage falling down in spotlights, he had a new kick ass song, hell, Andy was a giant freaking bird walking to the ring. It was top notch quality and really helped give Ballroom Brawl Six the big time feel it should have to it. There is nothing I like better than when a wrestler tries to up his game and go all out for the big shows.

Imagine one day if the Bowlers and Cowboy get on a Ballroom show?? Three Hole will tear it down. Entrance masters.

Wrestler of the Night:

Image: FILES News

Image: FILES News

Sid Sylum

Again, this isn’t an award for best wrestling or whatnot, it’s just for a guy who captured my imagination for whatever reason, and how can you not give it to the guy who is retiring? Went out like a hero, and on top of that, is a super nice guy and fun to talk to. Sid Sylum will be missed.

I will not, however, miss his wife pushing The Natural into me by accident.

Fun Fact Number One:

Head of security Vince wasn’t laid out during the show!

Fun Fact Number Two:

Paige is the lady who runs the videos and music at ECCW shows, so anytime you’re enjoying that, think of Paige and the good job she’s doing. What’s the fun fact of this one you ask? She ate a power banana for energy before the show! POWER BANANA.

Fun Fact Number Three:

El Phantasmo sold out his entire line of new shirts at the show. Let that be a lesson to buy your favorite wrestlers shirt early.

Fun Fact Number Four:

Wear shorts to all Ballroom Brawl shows, not jeans. Never jeans. Never ever jeans. Hot, sweaty jeans….

Fun Fact Number Five:

Plexis didn’t have the cleanest unzip he’s ever done, as it took him about four tugs to get his vest off, but the tug were all very consistent and had good rhythm.

Final Thoughts:

I really enjoyed the show. I thought there was no way it was going to top Ballroom Brawl Five (it didn’t) but it came a hell of a lot closer than I thought it would. It was probably my 2nd favorite Brawl.

My takeaway from the show is if ECCW can make it financially feasible, I love the idea of flying in working talent to take on whomever their top talent is at the time for a Brawl show. I don’t think the Cage vs Phantasmo match could have gone any better, and now you have legions of Brian Cage fans who will learn about ECCW and all the great talent they have, both in and out of the ring.

Honestly, the number one comment you hear from people is “ECCW is SO good, why don’t more people know about it??” and part of making yourself known is getting yourself in other circles of influence. If you can snag a bigger talent to come into town and take on your guy, I think it could pay off huge for them. I would love to see it happen again.

And seriously, I do want that Cage vs El P re-match.

My other takeaway from the show is how everyone upped their game for Ballroom Brawl Six. Like I said earlier, it had every excuse to drag itself past the finish line, but everyone on the roster dug deep and brought their A game and put on one of the best wrestling shows of the year. Not just the wrestling, but the small things. Lots of videos. Big entrances. Tons of new t-shirts. It felt like a professional wrestling show. It was so great to see.


Ed73c95199a7c52e70a7ff5fe66a1e13?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Wyatt Arndt
Daily Hive Vancouver sports writer

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