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ECCW Kits Choice 2016 Review

D8d194f40cb13417f79d4d8daee34fdb?s=96&d=mm&r=g
DH Vancouver Staff Feb 16, 2016 8:56 am

Coming off of what I consider to be the best ECCW show of all time, Ballroom Brawl 5, the Kits Choice show represented the quote unquote “reset” button on the local wrestling scene. BB5 was the culmination of months of storytelling, and it is time for a new journey.

New feuds, new friendships, new adventures…the seeds of the future would be planted at Kits Choice.

So while it would be nay impossible to match up to Ballroom Brawl 5, it was an interesting show to try and see where the feuds and storylines might be headed.

What went down? Who got hit with a chair? Did I get mad at a comedy match? You already know the answer to one of those questions, but read on for the rest!

Tony Baroni vs Andy The Dreadful Bird

Image: Ray Urner, Dakota Maverick Photography

Image: Ray Urner, Dakota Maverick Photography

Tony Baroni, who despite having an original, paid for entrance theme, could not crack the now infamous “ECCW Music Power Rankings” list. Described by the Good Brothers as “pure garbage”, it’s a list worth looking over if for no other reason than it’s good fun to argue about music.

But back to Kits Choice. We had Tony Baroni, fresh off of my Match of the Year of 2015 against Artemis Spencer, no longer the owner of the ECCW Canadian Championship. Baroni, who is in a foul mood at the best of times, was accompanied by fellow WiseMen member Billy Suede, and the always beautiful, but slightly condescending, Goddess Mandy.

Since it was “Kits Choice”, people voted on Andy The Dreadful Bird to fight Baroni, perhaps sensing that his long braided hair would get in Baroni’s mouth and make him even more ornery.

The match itself was fine, with Baroni’s patented “T-Rex” walk on full display. As was pointed out to me, Baroni always makes sure to have his persona on full display in the ring, so whenever you watch his match, you KNOW you’re watching a Baroni match. Some people you can watch them wrestle, and while it’s technically good, they don’t infuse their personality into the in-ring action. This can make the performance easily forgettable, especially when it blends into show after show of memories.

As for Andy, he is very good visually, with his Toy Story pants, his long hair, and the flair on his boots, it’s just I haven’t seen many great stories from him, so he is largely becoming a novelty wrestler for me. I see him, I assume he will have an ok match, but I don’t expect anything groundbreaking in regards to interesting storylines.

Again, I have only been writing reviews for around a year now, so he might have a great backstory I am not aware of, so I can only speak of the last year. But during that time, he had a hair vs hair feud that had an obvious conclusion and that’s about it.

Of course, part of that is because he was busy making the world a better place, so he wasn’t around as much.

Baroni Finish

Regardless, the right person won in this match, as Suede provided the interference on Bird that allowed Baroni to pick up the win. With Baroni positioned as the top mid card heel, and the WiseMen still relatively new, he needed to regain some momentum after losing his Canadian title.

My one wish, though? I wish time was dedicated to the WiseMen cutting a promo about what they stand for. Right now they are dropping “Wise” references here and there and branding themselves well in that sense, but I want to know what their goals are. What their plans are. Even if it’s as simple as world domination. They’ve talked on the mic before but it still isn’t super clear (to me, at least) what they’re all about.

I know we can learn motivations from action in the ring, but sometimes it’s nice to have it spelled out for you, especially for a new stable. We know we should boo Billy Suede for being friends with Baroni, because those are the rules of wrestling. I want to know more about them, though. Give me some back story!

Nicole Matthews vs Violet

Image: Ray Urner, Dakota Maverick Photography

Image: Ray Urner, Dakota Maverick Photography

Nicole Matthews was voted to face off against her constant thorn in her side, Christopher Cassidy. Cassidy, as he always does, came out and delivered a killer promo. I will say it each and every time but there is no better talker on the mic than Cassidy for my money.

Cassidy, as is his way, wiggled out of the fight by claiming his knee is still banged up, so in his place would be a newcomer to ECCW, Violet.

I believe Violet was last seen being super kicked by Scotty Mac in the face while being a valet for Air Adonis. I could be wrong though, and fact checking is for suckers.

Anyhoo, this match was my favorite match I have seen from Matthews, due to how fast and physical it was. Nicole vs Cat’s feud consisted of a lot of the brawling styling of wrestling. Basically just a lot of punches exchanged with each other, which has never really been my thing.

This match, though? It got to the point where I couldn’t tell if Nicole was actively trying to maim and/or kill Violet, which made for a great match. I started wincing at some points when Nicole was landing running forearms into the corners. On top of that Nicole displayed a variety of slams I hadn’t yet seen from her (remember, I missed much of her title reign).

nicoleclothesline

As for Violet, I felt she held her own in this match. She did a great job of taking her beating, while also getting in a couple of well executed moves on offense of her own. You want a springboard bulldog off the ropes? YOU GOT A SPRINGBOARD BULLDOG OFF THE ROPES. You left this match wanting to see what else Violet had in her bag of tricks, which is a good thing.

Matthews picked up the win, which is how it should be. I also enjoyed that the match was short, because Matthews should be booked strong in this spot, and shouldn’t struggle that much with a newcomer. Especially with the Pac Cup being right around the corner, you want your entrants on that card to come into it looking good, when possible.

My absolute favorite spot of the night though went to the finish of this match:

NicoleTap

Violet kept bending further and further back, and it was such an amazing visual, as it honestly made it look like Matthews might break her in half.

For all I know, Matthews WAS about to break her in half. She was a monster in that match.

The only part about Violet that dragged on was her making sure she slowly walked around the ring and slapped her ass at any fans who talked/made eye contact with her. Nothing wrong with a good old fashioned butt slap rebuke, just maybe not to every side of the ring. Though I guess one could argue she was being equal and generous in her butt slapping offerings. I’m going to have to think on this one for a bit.

Also, after the match ended, an old lady hated Violet so much, she reached out and kicked her in the bum, and not gently I might add.

So Violet, if you’re reading this, if you’re wondering what hit your ass after the match, it was an old lady who hated your very existence.

And for those wondering, Matthews sweater game was on point as well. She was later seen wearing a Freddy Krueger-esque sweater, which I didn’t take a picture of because there’s no way to do that on the sly without looking creepy.

The Cunninghams vs The Bollywood Boyz

Image: Ray Urner, Dakota Maverick Photography

Image: Ray Urner, Dakota Maverick Photography

The Cunninghams, one of the top face teams in ECCW, was chosen to face off against…The Bollywood Boyz, the other top face team? Apparently people who voted don’t care about alignments.

That being said, it was nice to see the Cunninghams take a break from their annual Bish Beatings, and to have an actual tag match again. The Bollywood Boyz, the top face team in the company, surprisingly came out to some boos on the night, which is the first time I have heard that. Maybe they didn’t bring enough Butter Chicken for everybody?

The match itself was decent. The start of the match had Carl (fresh off his Smackdown dark match debut) face off against Harv, and they both exchanged a series of reversals, and ended up both drop kicking each other at the same time, giving us an “Ah, these guys are equals and now have to respect each other” moment.

Bboyz

The match continued, and despite my eternal hope for a Carl Hot Tag, it instead went to Jack, which I guess works because he’s big and all. Jack didn’t have any “Holy Shit” moments on the night, but his lightning gear looked good (even though we all know his brick wall gear is the best).

The Bollywood Boyz are always good in the ring, and are consummate professionals. When you watch them wrestle they always bring the goods. I also enjoyed Harv summoning his inner Shawn Michaels by wearing a cut up red vest with chains. Just missing some colored sun glasses…

That being said, it wasn’t the most diverse match I’ve seen from these two teams. But there’s only so much you’re going to do on a proverbial “reset” show, especially between two face teams. The best part of the match was by far the end of the match, which had the Bollywood Boyz going for a high risk, over the ropes maneuver, only to have Carl, sneaky sneaky Carl, grab one of the Boyz from behind before he could jump the ropes, and roll him up for the pin.

chams

In a world where “distraction roll up via music” is perhaps the deadliest finisher in the wrestling business, I can’t tell you how exciting it was to see a roll up finish that actually made sense.

Here’s a guy, tired from his match, summoning up whatever energy he has left to go for a high risk maneuver to put away the giant on the other team…only to get snagged out of nowhere and rolled up for a pin, with his partner unable to help him escape.

It actually makes sense!  A roll up pin that isn’t pure garbage. I thank both of these two teams for that finish.

The Cunninghams also needed the win, due to Bishop eating their souls for the last few months.

West Coast Express vs The Good Brothers

Image: Ray Urner, Dakota Maverick Photography

Image: Ray Urner, Dakota Maverick Photography

Alex Plexis and Nelson Creed are the current champs, and they were voted to take on the Good Brothers, who for once didn’t have half the crowd wearing their t-shirt.

I still to this day think Plexis is such a strong mid card heel that he shouldn’t be in a tag team. I think it waters down his effectiveness to be put in a situation where he can’t be yelled at fully by fans demanding he eat a sandwich. I also still feel like they are two individuals, rather than an actual tag team, put together by circumstance more than anything else.

That being said, I have been told to broaden my horizons, which is what I am doing with the WCE.

GoodBros

And you know what, they pleasantly surprised me on the night. They have started incorporating more tag team moves into their arsenal, and Nelson Creed may have surprised me the most on the night. He had several spots where he slammed Mike Everest (not a small man), and looked Cesaro strong doing it. If they start booking Nelson Creed into more feat of strength spots, and have Plexis doing slimy sneaky shit, consider me 100% on board the WCE. I can dig the idea of Nelson Creed being this grizzled vet with super strength, with Alex Plexis hitting some of the more high flying stuff behind him. Plus, they ARE very good at high-fiving each other.

Oddly enough, the match started off exactly like the Chams vs Boyz match began. It showcased Creed vs Pesky doing several reversals on each other, ending with dual drop kicks, and a “Oh shit, son, we know each others moves” respect moment. Small thing, but on a night with three tag matches, it stood out as a “Didn’t we already see that?” moment.

WCE

I still wish for a day where the WCE isolates on an opponent and wins the match without a hot tag occurring (I pretty much despise 85% of the hot tags of the world), just to so they can play up how smart they are as a team. Also, imagine how angry the crowd would be at getting no pay off for a hot tag (though that is probably dangerously close to X-Pac heat).

Pesky’s beard also continues to impress me (I really do like his new look), even if I haven’t had a match or storyline yet where I go “Hell yes, I get this team now.” I actually saw a really good match between Pesky and Kingpin Flynn in New West, which made me want to see more of him. I think it’s because Pesky is very believable when he looks angry, which draws me in a bit.

pesky

The only part of the match I didn’t like was a spot where Plexis had to have been blind for it to work, or really closing his eyes to enjoy the moment.

blindattack

It’s probably just me nitpicking but it made Plexis look a bit foolish to let that happen right in front of him.

The match ended with the Good Brothers winning, which was actually quite a “Holy shit, did that just happen moment”. You see, Plexis tried landing a belt to the head of a Good Brother, only to miss and hit the ref. While that ref was out cold, another ref came in and counted a pinfall for the Good Brothers. Everyone celebrated, people were cheering, kids were crying…until the original ref woke up and did his due diligence and disqualified the WCE for their attack upon his person, making them the losers, but still rightful title holders.

This greatly upset the Good Brothers, causing Mike Everest to do a throat slashing gesture that recently cost Nazim Kadri $5000, but hey, rules are rules. The ref made the right call.

It was actually a very smart way to give the Good Brothers some fan momentum by having them “screwed” out of the titles, even if the WCE once again hasn’t looked particularly strong as the champs. It would have made no sense to slap together the WCE only to have them drop the titles so quickly, so I am glad they at least remained the champs.

Naturally Spoken with guest ECCW Champion El Phantasmo

Now, when we last saw Natural, he was at the Ballroom Brawl with Bishop, trying to prevent El P from winning the title.

So right away I wondered why El P would agree to be on this segment. From a storyline point, why would he want to show up here unless he was there to kick the shit out of Natch? Natural has kind of been floating in the heel/face waters for a while now with the Naturally Spoken segment, so I wanted some definitive answers about him and Bishop.

Luckily they answered those questions, as Casual El P (Casual El P consists of glow in the dark entrance jacket, and casual zebra print pants) said the same thing to Natch.

Now El P, who can be bad on the mic, was actually super entertaining to me on the night. Not so much the storyline progression stuff, but at one point some people in the crowd started riffing on El P (and his pants, his zebra pants of which I assume he owns 30 different varieties). He shot them down and cracked some jokes and I saw a glimpse of Heel P, who I imagine is probably far more entertaining on the mic then positive El P, which doesn’t really suit him.

Anyhoo, El P started taking of his Casual Attire, while Natch pleaded for him to stop, when all of a sudden Bishop showed up and locked in a submission on El P, allowing Natch to taunt him and let him know that Natural and Bishop are back, and are here to take his title.

BishChoke

There are a lot of moving parts to this that may or may not work, but it’s a reset show, so I am interested to see where this one is heading. In terms of a feud, though, Bishop is the perfect guy to face off against El P in his first title defense. Bishop is one of those guys who can raise their game and become a great foil for workers like Artemis Spencer and El Phantasmo. It’s also good they cemented the alliance between Natch and Bishop.

Voros Twins vs Amerikan Gunz

Image: Ray Urner, Dakota Maverick Photography

Image: Ray Urner, Dakota Maverick Photography

My favorite heel tag team the Gunz are back! Sad Santiago and Finger Gunz HD made their return after an absolute flop of a storyline involving them and Christopher Cassidy came to an inglorious ending.

For those unaware, due to Christopher Cassidy seemingly managing 90% of the bad guys on the roster, he was involved with the Gunz for months, leading to a storyline where he was seemingly acting against their best interests. It involved the Gunz losing matches and Santiago feeling like the odd man out. It eventually ended with Cassidy being fired (not on a show, just on a video) and that was that.

It felt like maybe there was a bigger storyline planned for it, but it was thrown to the wayside, and instead they just scrapped the whole thing. It was kind of awful, mostly because the Gunz are a strong heel team, so it was bad to see them stuck in a feud with another heel. It made no sense to me.

Now that they are back to being the good old fashioned Gunz again, we can enjoy their hatred of Canada like normal.

The match was against the Voros twins, who I fully admit are most likely not aiming at me for their demographic. Like, I imagine if PewDiePie got into wrestling, he and the Voros Twins would be best friends. As I always say, though, wrestling is subjective, and the beauty of wrestling is there is so much variety for people to choose from.

But putting just their style aside, their wrestling is still very green. This was not a good looking match, with many of the moves looking sloppy or not very well executed. At one point a Voros Twin took a 3D and busted his nose up, causing him to bleed. Of all the matches on the night, this was the worst of the bunch, unfortunately. It didn’t have a lot of flow to it and the moves didn’t look very tight.

Agunz

The teams also took turns doing the “crotch chop” sequence, where they traded blasting each other with crotch chops so strong they pushed each other back with them. As with most wrestling comedy, I hated it, but hey, some people enjoy that so I won’t behoove them for it. As long as big feuds stay away from comedy, I can handle it. Kind of.

Shout out to the Gunz for forcing the ref to make one of the Voros Twins wear a green armband so they could tell them apart, though. It ended up being kind of a Chekhov’s gun situation for me, as it never came into play, but it got a laugh from me.

The match ended with a Gunz victory, which again, was the right call. Voros are still too green, and Ethan HD is an entrant in the Pac Cup. Gotta keep him strong!

Pete Powers vs Ravenous Randy

Image: Ray Urner, Dakota Maverick Photography

Image: Ray Urner, Dakota Maverick Photography

I fully admit I am unnaturally emotionally committed to the idea of a monster Pete Powers, so keep that in mind when I review his matches.

The match was a stipulation match that was voted by the fans, and the options were Luchadore Lumberjack Match, Falls Count Anywhere Match, and a Submission Match.

I voted submission match, but the god damn Lucha Lumberjack match won.

This meant Pete Powers was once again facing off against Ravenous Randy, because apparently the voters hate me and want me to suffer. I felt they had finished their feud last year, but here we are again. Randy usually does comedy in his matches, and I tend to want Pete as far away from comedy as possible.

To their credit, no comedy was used in the match, and they instead put on a short simple match. Randy is quite a good wrestler, he’s just not my jam, but it was nice to see him in a more serious match.

They didn’t really play up the Lumberjack aspect of the match too much. Weirdly enough, one of the few times Randy fell to the outside, one of the lumberjacks softly tapped a golf club he was holding against Ravenous’ thigh in the softest beat down of all time.

The match ended with a Ravenous Randy win when he reversed Pete Powers into a steel chair that Pete had previously wedged into one of the turnbuckles.

ravenous

It was at this point I began angrily writing my review in my head (“How DARE they do this to Pete Powers, those stupid bastards!!”) when Pete went on a rampage. He took out refs. He took out lumberjacks. He even took out Vince Havok! Vince is one of the biggest bad asses in ECCW. He’s the guy who keeps all the fans in line and makes sure everyone is safe. Like, if there was an earthquake, Vince would be the guy holding the building together with his bare hands, allowing everyone else to run to safety.

Pete, though, tossed him around like it was nothing. He rag-dolled him. People everywhere began taking sips of their hidden beers while Vince was knocked out. It was anarchy.

It was the best way to end the match, because I honestly feel having a monster on the roster is a great thing to have. Cassidy even went full Heyman mode by trying to placate Pete Powers as he walked out of the ring. Pete lost the match, but hopefully people won’t remember that, they’ll just remember the slaughter he left behind him.

It was then announced after the show that Powers had been suspended for 30 days and would no longer be in the Pac Cup. It was at this point I began angrily writing my review in my head (“How DARE they do this to Pete Powers, those stupid bastards!!”)….but hopefully he still has a role on that show.

Billy Suede vs Artemis Spencer

Image: Ray Urner, Dakota Maverick Photography

Image: Ray Urner, Dakota Maverick Photography

The final match of the night saw the fans voting for Beautiful Billy Suede (in an alpaca fur coat) taking on Canadian Champ Artemis “Gatorade Sponsored” Spencer.

Artemis, who also missed out on the Music Power Rankings, proudly declared to me he would never change his music, by the way. Points for loyalty.

As for the match itself, it was highly entertaining, as all Spencer matches are. That’s not to take away from Suede, who can also fly with the best of them, so it made for a great match up. It was one of those highly contested matches that validates a title reign for a guy. Both Suede and Spencer come out of the match looking good, and as a result, the title belt gets elevated a bit too.

Baroni did a good job of interfering in the match (which is good on two fronts, one it shows the teamwork of the WiseMen and two, Baroni has a blood feud with Arty so he should be trying to screw him over) to the point where the ref finally kicked him out.

The highlight of the match for me was Artemis Spencer apparently trying to one up the Nicole Matthews violence by chopping the utter shit out of Suede. Not just loud chops, but occasionally low, deep, meaty chops. It got to the point where Suede looked like someone had attacked his chest with a fork.

At one point I believe Arty jumped to the outside and his leg hit a fan in the face who didn’t move out of the way (I told you, Vince was rattled from that Powers attack), and since Arty is super nice, he made sure he was all right before continuing.

Arty picked up the win, which again, makes sense, and ended the show on a high note.

Main Event Highlights:

Final Thoughts:

The show hurt not having the presence of Scotty Mac. I know he’s touring in other Provinces, so maybe the idea of explaining his absence due to an injury from that cage match would be frowned upon, but it would have been nice if it would have been given a token explanation. I know at the New West show they had Scotty Mac kind of give a send off, but RCC shows should still be given a bit of an update. Scotty has been such a huge presence in the storylines lately that it was a large hole to fill.

I also really want to see the tag team division have a memorable feud this year. Last year they just sort of….existed. They put on some great matches, but there was nothing very definitive about any of the feuds. They just sort of happened, and nothing really stood out as the marquee feud in the tag team ranks. It would be awesome if they could really build up a couple of teams and give us an intense battle between them with a very focused story behind it. They have a lot of talent in the tag team ranks so I want to see them shine.

As for rating the show, it was average for me, as nothing really stood out from it. It was solid, don’t get me wrong, but if I was looking at a folder of all the shows of the year, nothing would make Kits Choice stand out above the others, aside from the Powers meltdown and El P’s zebra pants.

As this was the “reset” show, the best thing to do is sit back and see where they take us. They have a high mountain to climb to try and top the Ballroom Brawl 5 so it will be fun to see if they are up for the challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 


D8d194f40cb13417f79d4d8daee34fdb?s=96&d=mm&r=g
DH Vancouver Staff
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