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Wrestling, Sports

ECCW: Quest For Gold 2016 Review

Ed73c95199a7c52e70a7ff5fe66a1e13?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Wyatt Arndt Jun 07, 2016 4:06 pm
Eccw

ECCW continues its march towards one of its biggest shows of the year in Ballroom Brawl VI at the Commodore, but there are still a few shows left before we get there.

One such show was last Saturday, and it was aptly named Quest For Gold, in which people, well, wanted gold. More specifically, title belts.

Now, the tag titles weren’t on the line due to an injury to Tony Baroni (he and Billy Suede were set to compete against the Good Brothers for the titles). The Women’s Championship I think got eaten by Godzilla. So that left the Canadian title and the ECCW title on the line, with Ethan HD and El Phantasmo set to defend them respectively.

What went down? How many times did Natural yell at a child? Where is Ross Renaud?? We can’t answer all of those questions, but we can cover most of them.

The Cunninghams vs Bollywood Boyz

Photo Credit: Bob Hanham

Photo Credit: Bob Hanham

Two of the best tag teams in the Pacific Northwest have been feuding lately, and it’s really starting to heat up.

What started off as a friendly “anything you can do, I can do better” competition, has been slowly escalating as of late. Not only have the matches become more intense (use of illegal weapons, mean spirited jabs exchanged, headbands dipped in water), but now there is the floating specter of The Natural getting involved with the feud.

Over the last month, Natural has shown his love for the Bollywood Boyz, singing their praises, and coming out after their matches to aggressively shake their hands. At this point it’s safe to assume he’s sending them emoji filled messages of sweet nothings.

phone

Of course, where the Natural is concerned, you can only really count on two things. 1) How does this help Bishop and 2) What’s his end game here, and how does it help Bishop.

Is Natch shoring up a new Club Bish? Is Natch simply branching out into the tag team division? Are the Bollywood Boyz even interested in his services? That would be quite an alliance change for arguably the most popular tag team in ECCW to join up with someone a child once called “the scary guy who yells a lot”.

With the series tied 2-2 heading into Quest For Gold, things became as clear as mud as Natural came out to the Bollywood Boyz music halfway through the match. During the confusion that followed (Jack was as heated as I’ve ever seen him, to the point I wanted him to have some Sunny D to cool off), the Boyz picked up the win.

This of course lead to the CHams being quite upset with the Boyz, and accusing the Boyz of not being as innocent as they claim to be. Something something rotten in the house of Natchmark, something something, junk streamers.

Where this leads, no one knows, but this feud is far from over.

As for the match itself, it’s hard to find two better tag teams then these guys. Not only does the feud have an intriguing storyline going on, but the action in the ring is as smooth as the Bollywood Boyz’ dance moves. Both teams excel at really showcasing the teamwork aspect of tag team wrestling, and hell, Carl even landed a splash in the corner that was more force than height. I thoroughly enjoyed the match.

“Beautiful” Billy Suede vs Mike Everest

Photo Credit: Bob Hanham

Photo Credit: Bob Hanham

Nelson Creed vs Nick Pesky

Photo Credit: Bob Hanham

Photo Credit: Bob Hanham

The Good Brothers were supposed to make their first title defense against the Wisemen on the show, but a Baroni injury derailed those plans (I am assuming he broke his foot kicking his driver).

As a result, the Good Brothers had some singles matches, so I will double them up here.
The end result of both matches is that the Good Brothers lost. Which storyline wise, is the perfect move.

Here you have a young upstart team on their first title run, and by having them lose singles matches it starts people wondering. “Was that title win a fluke, will this be a short reign, will they ever come out with a neutral color t-shirt” etc. It lends more intrigue to their actual first title defense, and was the best way to handle the Baroni injury.

On top of that, they lost matches to guys who are both gunning for their titles in Creed and Suede (WCE and Wisemen respectively), which then gets you wondering “Well shit, they lost to guys coming after them, they might be in some real trouble here”.

This also allows you to lead into the idea that the Good Brothers lost their matches, sure, but that was in singles competition. Put them together as a team, well shit son, that’s where they excel.

So there are a lot of ways to play this up to help create intrigue around the tag title situation heading into Ballroom Brawl VI, which is good.

Both matches had their moments (Pesky trying to suplex Nelson Creed from the apron to the floor while Creed held onto the ropes for dear life was my favorite spot, and Baroni demanding security walk his wheelchair down some stairs so he could watch Suede’s match was a brilliant way to stay true to his character while also keeping him in the limelight during the injury) and it helped create some energy around the tag titles heading towards a big show.

Smac Down Debut

galaxy

Scotty Mac’s new talk show, Smac Down debuted, and while part of me wondered if it would be a 30 minute talk session, it ended up being one of the tighter talking segments on ECCW recently.

Scotty showed up, had some blue scarves put on the ring posts (cause he’s fashionable as ****), and started up the show only to be interrupted quickly by Xavier Galaxy and KOBRA FREAKING KAI.

Now, you have to realize, I am on #TeamSnakeMoney and I am on it hard. If you don’t know who Kobra Kai is yet, don’t worry, because you will. The guy has some of the best ring gear in the PNW, and nobody interacts with the crowd quite like the rascal ninja does. At one point he stole a fans sunglasses then tossed them aside like garbage, then just before he left he heel kicked a guy’s hat straight off his head. This lead to the most depressed “Aw, come on man.” from a fan I have ever heard. Loved it.

Now, part of me wonders where King Khash is (Galaxy’s previous lackey) and if that alliance is still going on, but I’d much rather Kobra Kai be Galaxy’s muscle. For one, Galaxy and Khash were both being kind of goofy characters, both getting slapped, beaten and mocked by essentially everyone. Galaxy can do that enough on his own, so it would be fun for Galaxy to get a bit of a push in that he can be an actual threat to win matches now. Sure, he’s a weaselly greasy guy who uses a lot of sexual metaphors about orgasms, but now he’s got Kobra god damn Kai hired as muscle, so that could lead to some wins down the road. An effective henchman is key for any sleazeball trying to attain power.

As for Galaxy’s appearance, he was there to beg for a spot on Ballroom Brawl VI (which I love, because it heightens the importance of BBVI, and shows how everyone wants to be on it) only to be interrupted by Nicole Matthews, who both a) got Scotty to accept a match later that night and b) GOT BEAT DOWN BY MY BOY KOBRA KAI. Dude swept her leg so hard. So hard. Then he did a moonsault, a very precise moonsault in which he shoulder checked and everything (safety first for the ninja), and left Nicole in a puddle. No sweater game due to the heat, and it left Nicole exposed to attacks from everywhere.

Eventually Bird made the save, which was a nice Riot nod to the past. Those two are friends, why wouldn’t Bird try and help a friend in need? Only Roman Reigns watches friends get beat up and does nothing about it.

Bishop vs Andy Bird

Photo Credit: Bob Hanham

Photo Credit: Bob Hanham

Bishop, who is currently involved in the heaviest emotional feud on the card with Sid Sylum, recently lost a match against Shreddz due to Sid coming out to distract him (We have to assume Sid came out and trash talked Bishop’s choice of entrance music, which is a sure fire way to distract, and anger, the big man).

As a result, I thought this match was going to be a Bishop domination. You know, the angry Bishop who isn’t here to mess around, the one who doesn’t even bother spraying himself down before the match, the one who puts an extra foot or two of height on his leap over the ropes.

Except we got “Mid-show main event Bishop”, which is something that isn’t inherently bad, it’s just not my favorite. For those who have read my stuff, I like it when Bishop doesn’t always “play with his food”, and instead wins in dominating fashion. Bishop is a huge presence on a show, and while I don’t need every big man booked like a monster, I just thought with the showdown with Sid on the horizon, that Bishop was going to look strong, especially against an opponent like Andy Bird.

That is not meant as a slight against Bird mind you, it’s just his position on the show over the last two years hasn’t had a lot of impact, so he’s not someone who makes sense to me to be able to push Bish to the limit. Bish has a blood feud match with Sid coming up, yet he struggles with a guy he should beat easily? How’s he gonna beat Sid like that??

So instead of a quick match he had a match with Bird that felt more like that infamous showdown with Artemis Spencer in New West (still a top 3 match of the year), where it’s a grueling back and forth affair. And don’t get me wrong, few are able to convey an exhaustive battle like Bishop, but I just thought it would have been better had he crushed the Bird.
Bishop ended up picking up the win (and credit to Andy Bird, that was one of my favorite matches from him) and after the match, Natural came out and started trash talking Sid. This in turn brought Sid out, and after a brief discussion in the ring, ended up with Bishop attacking Sid from behind, and holding him down on the ground.

“Well, that’s fine, that happens all the time” you’re saying to yourself right now.

Except here’s where it got dark.

Natural went out of the ring and found Sylum’s wife Krystal in the crowd, and straight up dragged her into the ring and starts screaming at Sylum, terrorizing both husband and fiance with the worst wedding present ever. Then, with Natural holding Krystal down in the corner, Bishop runs and delivers a running cannonball (“Bish: Move Out the Way”?) straight to her.

Husband watching wife get destroyed. Powerless to do anything about it.

It was a straight up ECCW Red Wedding, folks.

I love the angle, because it hearkens back to the days of Randy Orton handcuffing HHH to the ropes, and it’s likely not something you’ll see anymore in WWE. It adds a much deeper level to the Bishop and Sylum feud, as now it is not only a “Retirement” match, but now a “I have to murder and maim you for what you did to my family” match for Sid. It really helps elevate it to the next level in terms of feud depth.

Where this feud really works for me is the character work of Bishop. I’ve talked about how Bishop plays a bully with vulnerability, which I love. He’s utilizing that so well in this feud because even though he’s doing these horrible things, you can kind of see his side of it. Not enough to cheer him on, but enough to go “OK, well, I guess I can kind of see how he got here.”

Like if someone drinks spoiled milk, yeah, that’s gross, boo that man. But if they explained how it was the only thing left in the house and they were late for work, you can kind of see their side of it? You wouldn’t do it yourself, but at least you can empathize a tiny bit.

Which is what makes this so interesting, that empathy part of it. I mean, Bish and Sylum did terrible terrible things together. As Bishop himself says, if anyone should know the depths Bishop would go to to win at anything, it should be Sylum. So in a way, Sylum should know better than to take on Bishop. It’s Sylum who is doing more damage than Bishop here, because Bishop is who he is. He has never pretended otherwise. But Sylum? He’s the one acting different, so he’s the one in the wrong here. And it’s tearing Bishop apart to do this, but again, Bishop is who he is, and there is no other way for this to end.

It would be like if Harley Quinn betrayed the Joker. He’d be confused, hurt, and upset, but would still try to kill her.

Scotty Mac vs Nicole Matthews

Photo Credit: Bob Hanham

Photo Credit: Bob Hanham

In the time it took you to read that, Matthews picked up the win. It was a quick match in which Nicole countered a super kick (she must have scouted Scotty or something) and ended his night with a discuss elbow. It was like playing your younger brother at Street Fighter. He’s all in the corner learning how to jab, and you’re over there lighting him up with Hadouken’s for days.

I liked that Nicole got the dominant win, because she’s been floating around without a real purpose lately, so getting that easy win over Scotty is a good way to give her some momentum heading down the stretch to Ballroom.

As for Scotty, I have said in the past how I loved his reign as Champ, I really loved the work he did. I dig his heel character. I just don’t know where it’s headed now. I kind of want Scotty to be losing his mind now that he’s both lost the title, lost some matches, and seemingly lost all of his alliances. I want to see him melting down and demanding Smithers get into the Spruce Moose, while wearing Kleenex boxes for shoes. I want to see how badly this last stretch of his career is breaking him, and see how out of control and insane he eventually gets as he deals with a frail ego assaulted from all sides.

I want this to end in a gasoline fight, ok? Zoolander the shit out of it.

El Phantasmo vs Air Adonis

elp

Billed as ECCW’s answer to Ospreay vs Ricochet, this match certainly delivered high flying action. Was it as intense or in depth as Ospreay vs Ricochet? No, it was not, but it was still a fun match to watch.

This match continued El P’s “Open Challenge” for the ECCW title, which has been a god send for El P as there hasn’t been any real feud for his title since he won it. I quite enjoy the open challenge, so I’m happy with that taking the place of any established deep storyline heading into Ballroom VI.

As for the match, El Phantasmo vs Adonis is just what you would expect it to be. Lots of high flying moves and lots of action.

Now, I’m a fan of both men, and there was nothing wrong with the match, but I didn’t get as enthralled with the match as I thought I was going to be (I’m spoiled, I know). It wasn’t the tightest match (which to be fair, in a high spot fest match like that, the odds of it being a clean match drop significantly), and I think I still had El P’s extreme rules match with Moondog Manson in my head (which I am liking more and more as the days go by), so I couldn’t fully love the match.

However, it was another solid match in the notch of El Phantasmo’s Open Challenge belt, and it allowed Adonis to show he can fly with the best of them, so it was still a good result.

After the match it was announced that El Phantasmo would be facing Lucha Underground’s Brian Cage at Ballroom Brawl VI, which represents the biggest challenge to date for El P. I love the booking because Cage is unlike anyone he’s faced yet (he has a build like Brock Lesnar) and should bring more eyes to Ballroom Brawl VI. Landing an international superstar for the Brawl is a huge get for Brawl, and it ramps up the intensity of the El P Open Challenge.

cage

Dude just tore a belt in half. A belt. Imagine what he’s gonna do to El P.

Ethan HD vs Pete Powers

Photo Credit: Bob Hanham

Photo Credit: Bob Hanham

The final match of the night had two of my favorites facing off, as Ethan HD continues his monster rush to the top as of late. Not only is he the 2016 Pac Cup winner, but he is also the Canadian Champion. He’s also unleashed his full arsenal of offense, and fans are getting treated to some of the best matches in the PNW when Ethan wrestles.

Now, add into that Pete Powers, a monster who is still trying to find his form, and you have a winning formula. I really really like this match up because Ethan’s offense works well with a bigger guy, and Pete’s power offense looks really good on Ethan. They look to have some great chemistry.

The match itself wasn’t as epic as I was thinking it might be, it ended up being kind of a regular match (which means Ethan only tried to kill himself a couple of times), but that’s ok. I feel like they have several more matches down the road with these two, so it’s good if they slowplay it.

Ethan picked up the win, of course, and Powers? Yes, he had another meltdown after the match. At one point during the match itself he thought he had won the title, but he was incorrect. When the ref informed him he was wrong, and Ethan later picked up the win, Powers snapped again.

You know when you’re driving really fast and you think you hit a bug, and you look for a telltale splat? That’s what Powers did to the ref.

I like the fact Pete hasn’t put it all together yet. That’s he’s missing something from the winning formula. It makes me look forward to him having a big run as a monster heel once he finally finds what he’s missing.

For now, though? It’s fun to see Pete lose control of himself and be his own worst enemy. He’s so close to greatness, yet can’t quite get there, and it’s driving him insane. Great story to watch.

Final Thoughts

It was an average show on a really hot night. Like I said earlier, matches felt a bit loose, and the crowd wasn’t very electric, so it kind of hummed along at an ok pace.

However, the story lines advanced towards Ballroom, and while they may not be as in depth as Ballroom V, they are slowly starting to pick up steam. They have a great story in Sid vs Bish, they have a great spectacle in El P vs Cage and a tag team TLC match, now all they need to do is find a few more intriguing matches and Ballroom Brawl VI should be the hottest PNW indie wrestling show of the summer.

Awards of the Night

Match of the Night:

Cunninghams vs Bollywood Boyz

Yeah it had a greasy finish, but whatever electricity the crowd had was spent on this match. Quality wrestling and a lot of intrigue on what Bish is up to gives it the Match of the Night.

Personality of the Night

Kobra Kai

I can’t keep giving it to Bishop, so Kobra Kai gets it. Again, go to an ECCW show that has Kobra Kai on it and watch him work the crowd. Guy cracks me up every time.

Also, his mask kicks ass.

Plus, you can scream “SWEEP THE LEG!” at him. What’s not to love?

Story-Line of the Night

Bishop vs Sid

Dark, dirty, and deplorable. Just the way I like it. I’ve already talked about it in depth above, but I just want to say again how much I enjoy this feud. I honestly cannot wait to see how gritty their match is at Ballroom Brawl. It’s Sid’s retirement match, so you know he’s going to go all out, and Bishop, he excels in big time matches.

Move of the Night

Suplex Tease

Pesky fighting with Creed over a potential suplex onto the chairs on the outside gets two thumbs up from this guy.

Entrance of the Night

Xavier Galaxy

When you interrupt the boss of the company to the sweet sultry tune of “Candy Shop”, how can you not get entrance of the night??

Imagine walking into your boss’s office tomorrow with that blaring on your phone. It would feel amazing.

Wrestler of the Night

Nobody stole the show for me, so let’s call it a tie. They all win.


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

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