ECCW puts on many big shows during the year, but one of their biggest is without a doubt the Ballroom Brawl show that takes place at the Commodore. It sells out every time, the crowd is loud and out of control, and it’s treated as a Wrestlemania of sorts, with big matches and big performances from the wrestlers.
So how did ECCW Ballroom Brawl 4 match up to the first three? Read on to find out!
Pete Powers vs Tony Baroni
Before the match started, Sweatervest (the ECCW ring announcer) cut what was basically a mash up of a Steve Austin promo to promote the show for the night, and it got that crowd RILED UP. Kudos to Sweatervest for pulling it off.
So the first match saw Pete Powers coming out looking like Magneto, so already I was kind of feeling his vibe (yes, he had cape on, and yes, he had Magneto in his entrance video). Tony Baroni, who I’ve often thought could play the part of a cousin of Ryan Kesler, was the hometown boy, though. He’s from Surrey, so you’re supposed to cheer for him. Hell, I even high fived the man on his way to the ring.
It’s just, Pete Powers came out wearing a cape, you know? It’s kind of hard to cheer against that.
The two put on a solid, if unspectacular match, with Pete Powers picking up the victory. Did he use magnetism to achieve his victory? I’m not saying yes, but I’m not saying no either.
El Phantasmo vs Nelson Creed
There are two things you must know about me: I love El P and consider him the franchise, and I don’t like guys who hide streamers in their junk then toss it at you later during the match. Nelson Creed is such a man.
That being said, I was excited to see the beating El P was going to put on ball streamer Creed, but was oddly treated to half a match filled with comedy.
Don’t get me wrong, a comedy match in wrestling (especially indie wrestling) can be a great addition to any card. It provides a different feel to other matches, and it involves a lot of “wink wink, nod nod” moments to the indie loving crowd, letting us all enjoy a moment of being in on the joke. Delivering slow motion chops like you’re stuck in the matrix? That gets a good laugh.
The thing is, El P is so god damn good, I hate seeing him do the comedy bits. Yes, he can do them, but it’s like asking Soundwave to throw out the garbage and recommend a good place to go for dinner later instead of having him turn into a god damn boombox and blast out some awesome tunes. Using eye based math, El P shirts outsells every other shirt (except maybe the Bollywood Boyz) in ECCW. The man is loved, he is a peacock, you have to let him fly.
Now, aside from my dislike of the comedy, the match escalated into a good spot fest, highlighted by El P walking the ropes and nailing a moonsault off the middle of them. One fan who arrived just in time to miss this move was very upset. “I was in the bathroom, I thought El P was going to be later!” he screamed as we tried to console him.
At one point there were dueling chants of “Shakespeare sucks!” and “We love Shakespeare!”, which either speaks to the high class of fans attending the show who are willing to discuss the status of Shakespeare in writer rankings during a match, or it’s the fact you can get dueling chants about anything in wrestling nowadays. Creed is pro Shakespeare AND ball smelling streamers, which seems an odd dichotomy.
Either way, El P picked up the victory, and remains the man with the best wrestling trunks in ECCW.
Bollywood Boyz vs The Cunninghams vs BBC (Tag Titles match)
Not surprisingly, the Bollywood Boyz are SUPER popular in Vancouver. They were the clear fan favorites, proven every time a “Butter Chicken!” chant proudly rings out in support of them.
The Cunninghams, the reigning champs, were attacked before the match even started. BBC (Randy Tyler and The Ladies Choice) took out Big Jack and injured his knee, leaving Carl Cunningham to fight on his own.
Two things you need to know about BBC. One, The Ladies Choice wrestles with a nipple ring, and I patiently await the day it accidentally gets torn off. When this happen, I hope our eyes meet, so I can give him a look that says “we both knew this was going to happen one day.”
Two, Randy Tyler’s day job is a professor in criminology at SFU. A beloved professor I might add. Ratemyprofessors.com has him with a rating of 4.5 out of 5, and with one person saying, and I quote:
“Brilliant professor who keeps class very interesting with his stories especially the ones from wrestling. Id come to this class pretty hung over and i managed a B, but i studied hard. SICK GUY!!”
By night, of course, Randy is a devious, cheating wrestler (makes sense, he knows criminology, he knows what he can get away with) who everyone hates.
Despite their nipple ring wearing and SFU cheating ways, however, the BBC were unable to win the match. Big Jack Cunningham made a heroic return and helped Carl fight back against BBC. Alas, the damage was too great by this point and the Bollywood Boyz proceeded to take out the Cunninghams, leaving them spent on the outside. They then went on to apply double sharpshooters to the BBC in the middle of the ring, bringing the titles back to Butter Chicken Land.
A fun note, it was later announced that the Bollywood Boyz had been added to Jeff Jarret’s new Global Force Wrestling tag team tournament. Will Randy use this somehow in a legal loophole to get the tag titles on BBC? We shall have to wait and see.
Bishop (with Goddess Mandy and Shreddz) vs Kenny Lush (with MMA fighter Shayna Baszler)
Bishop vs Kenny Lush aka The Bodily Fluid match. On their own, they leak the most liquids out of anybody on the ECCW roster, but add them together, and you’re looking at Patrick Ewing levels of sweat, spit, and snot.
These are two big men going at it, and it is based around a good story line. On one hand, you’ve got Kenny Lush, a man who has tasted success outside of ECCW and has gained some international success. This upsets Bishop, because he feels he should be the one getting these chances.
As a result, both men went head to head to prove who the better big man was.
Now, you have to understand, Kenny Lush is the good guy in this. The crowd loves him, and they rally behind him. They lovingly chant “Kick his dick!” or clap in glee as Kenny screams “taste my dick!” as he does a hurricanrana. Kenny’s offense is very dick based.
The thing is, I’m just not a Kenny Lush guy. And this isn’t a “I’m so cool because I love the bad guys” situation. You just have to look into Bishop’s eyes and you will understand why I can’t cheer against the guy. His eyes tell the story of a man who has won it all. He has conquered every mountain ECCW has to conquer. ECCW Champion, Tag champion, Canadian Champion, Pac Cup Champion, you name it, and Bishop has done it.
The problem is, he’s a big fish in a small pond. And he knows it. His eyes hold a weariness in them. A weariness that tells the tale of a man who is dying to be challenged, just so he can feel alive again. A man who wins matches and can’t even take joy in them anymore. A man who is bored.
Despite all of that, he continues to win. Even in the face of an opponent like Lush who cares little about his own safety.
Bishop escaped with a victory after Shayna had taken out Mandy with an ankle lock. How? He picked up one of the fallen studded high heels of Mandy and Single White Femaled Kenny Lush in the face behind the refs back for the 1,2,3.
Did he care? We don’t know. His eyes just held a sadness in them that won’t be dulled by alcohol or the embrace of a lover. He needs a bigger challenge.
How bad has it gotten for him? Shreddz, aka the best supporter in the world, found himself in the ring with Shayna Baszler and… Bishop just walked away. He walked away from a friend who just moments earlier gave him a pep talk that might have saved the match for him.
Baszler proceeded to take out Shreddz and drank in Austin like fashion to celebrate. People tossed cups of beer and open beer cans to her, though, which doesn’t work nearly as well as closed cans.
Oh yeah, Shayna also ripped Mandy’s hair out, which was kind of gross, but we all cheered it on because hey why not.
Scotty Mac vs Ravenous Randy vs The Cremator vs Mike Santiago vs Mr Smyth vs J_Sin Sullivan (#1 Contender Match for ECCW Title)
A returning Scotty Mac was the highlight of this match and…you know what, I didn’t care for this match. It was a quick, messy affair that didn’t really tell a good story, wrestling wise. Matches like this are either a bunch of big spots (and bleeding) or they are a bunch of punches being traded back and forth until someone finally wins.
The best part of the match was Cremator and J_Sin having some issues with each other as they both played a part in eliminating one another. Things are going to get awkward the next time they’re shopping together in the Halloween section at Walmart, that’s all I’m saying.
Scotty Mac took the victory while having silver hair for some reason. I want to believe it’s because he sprayed some sort of Mad Max type solution on his face before screaming something about Valhalla.
Andy “The Dreadful” Bird vs Alex Plexis (Hair vs Hair match)
One guy has his entire gimmick based around his hair. T-shirts, wrestling gear, entrance moves, you name it, his hair is the central focus. The other guy has a shaggy hair cut that looks like it could really use a cut.
Suffice it to say, the guy who’s entire career is based around his hair, won the match. Andy the Dreadful Bird and Plexis put on a solid match, despite the predictability of the outcome. Plexis is particularly amazing to watch due solely to the fact of how much hatred he generates from the crowd. He is a skinny white dude, and people LOVE to hate him. Like, people sound like they’re actually angry at him for existing.
“GET A TAN!”
“LIFT SOME WEIGHTS!”
People hate the guy. It’s amazing. He is really really good at his job. It’s like people take offense to the idea that this small guy thinks he can wrestle. It upsets their view of how the world works. It’s awesome. On top of that, he also has the best entrance song and strut in ECCW.
I honestly sometimes go to shows just to watch his entrance.
Anyways, Andy picked up a surprise roll-up victory after looking like he might tap out, which led to the money shot of the hair cut:
It’s ok Plexis, just keep stomping your feet. Stompa your feet.
Artemis Spencer vs Billy Suede vs Ethan H.D. vs Nicole Matthews (ECCW and Canadian Title Ladder Match)
I love ladder matches. It’s what drew me into wrestling for good as a kid, watching Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels duke it out for a title hanging above the ring. That being said, I tend to have a high standard for ladder matches and this match? It delivered.
It was a great match with everyone putting their bodies on the line.
This one of those moments where I thought “Oh ****, they’re gonna die” as I watched a wrestler perform a leap. The ladder falls away from her and she BARELY clears the ropes. It was a stark reminder of the risks these people put themselves through to entertain us. I will always respect them for this.
It also had a surprising heel turn, when Shayna returned in what looked like a moment of “Women Power!” uniting to triumph over man. Except Shayna took out Nicole instead. Maybe she was upset that Matthews claimed there would never be another woman like her in wrestling, or maybe she just hates purple hair, either way, it resulted in this:
That is not landing softly on a ladder. This was moment two where I thought “Oh ****, someone is dead.” Nicole had a huge red mark on her back after this ladder bomb, and if you’re going to lose a title, at least you lost it going out on your shield. No move looked like it hurt more than that spot. Brock Lesnar wouldn’t have gotten up from that shot.
The match also had Artemis Spencer going out of his mind with awesome dives.
This isn’t to take anything away from Ethan HD, Billy Suede (Suede was Robin to Spencer’s Batman in this match in my humble opinion) or Nicole Matthews. And this isn’t saying that high spots equals best wrestler. Spencer told a story that night.
Spencer is your typical good guy, you see. He’s the local kid, with the high flying moves. He high fives the crowd on his way to the ring and he’s always smiling. People affectionately called him “Nemo” during the match, due to his orange trunks resembling the fish.
But at one point during this match, Arty got hit with a ladder, and got a cut under his eye. After this point, Arty stopped smiling. Arty stopped smiling and started taking people out with a vicious look in his eyes. Gone was the laughter and high fives. In its place was a darkness that said one thing, and one thing only: “How dare you make me bleed my own blood.”
After that point Arty was a wrecking ball in the ring, both in taking dangerous moves, and delivering them. If El P is the franchise then Artemis is knocking on his door, ready to take that crown too.
The match ended with Spencer holding both titles above his head, now ECCW and Canadian Champion. A deserving win for the man who stole the show on the night.
It was one of the best wrestling shows I’ve seen ECCW put on. It was better than Ballroom Brawl 2 and 3, and pretty close to the first Ballroom Brawl. Even if you aren’t a huge wrestling fan, and you are just looking for a rowdy, adrenaline fueled good time, I can’t recommend ECCW at the Commodore enough. It gets your heart pumping!
If you end up liking the product, ECCW puts on regular shows at various venues across BC, so you should check them out at ECCW.com as well. Support the local indie wrestlers!
For highlights of the entire show, watch this video shot and put together by Vancity Buzz’s Trevor Dueck and Jeremy Brand