ECCW held it’s Usual Suspects show last Saturday at the always friendly Russian Community Center. The show’s main event was the end to the El P vs Nelson Creed feud in a best 2 out 3 falls match, the tag team division began warming up for the upcoming North by Northwest tag tournament in November, and Scotty Mac bathed himself in melted down silver in his quest to turn into T-1000.
So how was the show? What went down? Let’s jump into it!
Tony Baroni vs Nicole Matthews
The first match of the night showcased the always angry, bathrobe wearing Tony Baroni taking on former ECCW Champion, Conquerer of Cats, Nicole Matthews.
The back story on Baroni is of course that he’s tired of being held back by the likes of good guys like Artemis Spencer, and you know what, he’s gonna wear his hair in a pony tail if he feels like it. Guess what else? He might even chew gum while he’s at it.
It was a good opening match, one that put over the fact that Baroni is no longer your friend. Perhaps he never truly was in the first place.
He spent a large portion of the match mocking his opponent, celebrating arm drags and dropkicks like a young Brad Marchand.
Although no longer a fan favorite, the crowd seemed to enjoy calling him a jabroni at the very least. One angry elderly lady beside me politely suggested Nicole Matthews “Kick him right in the **ck!” several times. So many times. The entire match, really. Until she abruptly left to get home in time for curfew (not even kidding, it was quite an adventure to sit beside her).
Despite his bravado, the match ended with a Nicole Matthews victory, leaving Tony angry, pony tailed, but now without a bathrobe. It was, perhaps, the lowest point in his career.
It wasn’t a wrestling classic by any means but it helped cement Baroni’s new role as a heel, and let Nicole Matthews start down a new path, now that her feud with Cat is seemingly over.
Highlight of the Match
This happened right in front of me, and it looked amazing.
Cunninghams vs Amerikan Gunz
The Amerikan Gunz, the top heel tag team in ECCW, have been having some internal issues as of late.
It all started when their manager Kris Kassidy decided to enter a tag team of Ethan HD and Alex Plexis into last month’s TLC match, instead of the tried and true Tacoma Tag Team Terrors (I made that name up) of Santiago and Ethan HD.
Ever since then, the alliance between the AG and Kris Kassidy has been rocky to say the least. It looks like Kris believes in Ethan HD, but not so much in Santiago.
This led to the world’s saddest picture of Santiago:
Sensing that perhaps he was being usurped by Kassidy, Santiago went out of his way to secure a tag team title shot for the Gunz against the Bollywood Boyz at Halloween Hell, all on his own.
Kassidy, perhaps surprised by the maneuverings of Mike, booked the Gunz in a “warmup” match at Usual Suspects, which turned out to be the Cunninghams, former tag team champions themselves. Not quite the easy match that had been envisioned for the Table Toting Thrillers from Tacoma (again, incredibly made up name I just gave them).
The match was one of the better wrestled matches of the night, which saw the finish come when Kassidy “inadvertently” hit Santiago in the face with his briefcase, leading to a Cunninghams victory.
It also led to the most vicious, brutal attack of the night, as Mike Santiago went ape shit over Kassidy’s briefcase. It was the type of beating not seen since Undertaker tossed Mick Foley off the top of a cell.
Highlight of the Match:
It’s not often you see someone whip, and someone nae nae in a match, but here we are.
Highlight of the Match 2:
Smart spot right there. Plays off of a regular move the Cunninghams usually do where Carl jumps on Jack’s back. This time, though, Ethan jumped on and Jack didn’t realize for a few seconds. Just a well thought out match.
The Cunninghams continue to excel and improve as a tag team, as they more than any other team do interactive moves with each other. Whether it’s Jack tossing Carl onto an opponent, or Carl leaping onto of Jack, they put together really smart spots that utilizes their strengths and really emphasizes the fact they’re a tag team, and not just two dudes wrestling together.
As for the Gunz, they are some of the top heels in the company, and I really want to see them feuding for the titles as much as possible. I am interested to see where the Kassidy kerfuffle is leading, as both parties are very effective heels, so it’s hard to imagine a screw-job scenario where one of the two clashing parties leaves in an effective manner. It doesn’t make much sense to generate baby face heat for Santiago, but we shall see.
Also, the Gunz are really good at playing to the crowd’s reactions, something other teams could learn from.
Ravenous Randy vs Pete Powers
Pete Powers just looks like a wrestler. Big dude, tattoos, and wears a cape and/or possibly has the ability to float. He also has hair that is slicked back, but when he starts wildly punching, it goes all over the place like a bad guy in a Die Hard movie.
He represented a big challenge for Randy, who has a title shot upcoming at Halloween Hell.
The match started off pretty even, until at one point Randy appeared to hurt himself. He was down for a long time, holding his shoulder. The ref was talking to him, Pete leaned down and talked to him. It felt very real.
Then Pete picked Randy up and started beating the crap out of him. Was it as bad as the beating Mike Santiago put on Kassidy’ briefcase? No. But it was pretty damn close. He then rammed Randy’s shoulder into a ring post, before Kassidy came out and finally led him away.
Speaking of Kassidy, how many guys does this guy manage? I’m a fan of his work, but every show it feels like he’s managing half the roster. It kind of lessens his importance and waters him down when he’s out with people for half the show.
I actually really like Kassidy with Powers, I think Kassidy could elevate a strong monster type wrestler like Pete. I just hope Kassidy ends some of his other affiliations. Or at the very least, he forms an official stable and make it very clear who he manages. Right now, it just feels like too much.
Highlight of the Match
Randy selling that injury and making me believe it was real. I legitimately thought they had to stop the match due to a real injury. I kept waiting for the ref to make the “X” symbol.
Randy continued to sell the injury the entire time and he made it look good. All the kudos to Randy for that one.
Bollywood Boyz vs The Voros Twins
The Bollywood Boyz, who are one of the most over teams you’ll find in this region, had a match against the young Voros Twins. For the Voros Twins, who have been training and learning how to wrestle and are still relatively new to all this, this represented a big challenge.
The match went pretty much how you would expect it to, with the Voros Twins not getting a ton of offense, while the Bollywood Boyz handled them pretty easily.
This is how it should have been booked, mind you. The tag team champs should look incredibly strong, and a young team like the Voros, they should be squashed pretty handily.
I will say that the Voros Twins, who are good at marketing themselves (they had many fans in attendance and they have a solid t-shirt design), might be better served presenting themselves more seriously. At times during the match they made odd noises when doing a tag transition, or when scrambling through the legs of an opponent. It felt like I was watching two of Peter Pan’s Lost Boys wrestle.
But, who knows, maybe that is what they are going for. I am just saying a more serious approach might serve them better down the road. It would have been nice if after the match they had looked pissed they lost and had the Bollywood Boyz raise their hands, instead of the Voros twins immediately raising the hands of the Boyz and acting just happy to be there.
Highlight of the Match:
Fun fact: Butter chicken can be served off the top rope!
Naturally Spoken – Artemis Spencer stripped of Canadian Championship
Natural came out like he always does, in a hurry and looking concerned that he might have left his car door unlocked, before rolling into the ring to let the audience know that Artemis Spencer had something to announce.
Arty came out in his street clothes and revealed that due to a recent knee surgery, he could not compete in his re-match against S-Mac for the ECCW Champioship later that night. He also revealed that ECCW had told him he must drop the Canadian Championship right then and there. A 10 man Battle Royale would be held for the Canadian title to declare a new champ that very night.
This led to Baroni coming out, berating Arty for being a coward. He then demanded the title just be given to him. Arty responded with a gentleman’s slap before Natural informed Baroni that the Battle Royal started… RIGHT NOW.
Battle Royal – Cunninghams, American Gunz, Air Adonis, Nicole Matthews, Tony Baroni, Nick Price, Peter Powers, Some Guy I’ve Never Met
It was actually a really fun match, with the C-Hams once again putting together some good tag team move spots that went over really well. Air Adonis, who shone so brightly at TLC, was eliminated close to the end, much to my chagrin. I really hope he gets into a good story line in the coming shows, as I want to see what he can do. Powers got eliminated but that can’t be right, so I assume he just floated away at one point to rob a bank.
As for the match itself, people began getting eliminated until eventually Ethan HD got knocked over the ropes. He claimed he landed on one foot and was still in the match, which required BOTH refs to talk to him to clear things up.
Whilst this was happening, Nicole eliminated Tony Baroni, who upon seeing the refs talking to HD, slid back into the ring a la Steve Austin and eliminated Nicole to become the new Canadian Champion.
(Apparently Baroni celebrates like a Bushwhacker entrance walk)
Now, I don’t want to blame the refs for this debacle, but you know who wouldn’t have let this happen?
The best ref in ECCW and he wasn’t on the card tonight. His presence was missed.
Highlight of the Match:
If I had to pick one guy to deliver a big spot in a match or take a big move that HAD to be timed correctly, I’d pick Ethan HD. The guy is criminally underrated. As much as the tag team division needs the Gunz in it, I wouldn’t mind seeing Ethan HD have a nice single feud at some point.
Plus he came out with freaking confetti guns at Ballroom Brawl 4. That was amazing.
Mike Everest vs Bishop
I’m a big Bishop guy. I just think he is somebody who perfectly understands who he is as a wrestler and it comes across well in the ring. He knows he’s a big guy there to beat people up. He also claims to hail from Biff Tannen’s Pleasure Paradise, and that he’s bet all his money on the Cubs winning the World Series this year. That last line even got a smirk from the usually stoic Sweatervest.
Bishop, who has won basically all there is to win in ECCW is of course a bored wrestler as of late. He’s like a T-Rex being fed chained up goats. He doesn’t want to eat, HE WANTS TO HUNT.
So you’ll forgive Bishop for viewing his opponent, Mike Everest, as a chained up goat. Here’s this unproven guy coming into HIS house, trying to usurp him so close to Back to the Future Day? Not on Bishop’s watch.
The match was basically Bishop toying with his food. Taunting Mike. Letting him get free shots in. Letting him try to slam him. He didn’t take Everest seriously. Eventually the match ramped up a bit, and Bishop started hitting power moves, but Mike kept kicking out. Then, OUTTA NOWHERE, Everest rolled Bishop for the 1,2,3 for the surprise victory.
Highlight of the Match:
Bishop is one of the best, if not the best, big men in ECCW.
Now, I will say the first half of the show had perfect pacing. The matches went by quickly, but they told a story. They had our attention.
This was the first match on the card that I felt dragged on a little too long. We knew fairly early on that the story being told was Bishop wasn’t taking Mike seriously, and that he was toying with him. We didn’t need THAT much time spent on showing Bishop showing how much he underestimated Mike. Bishop is a big enough name that he doesn’t need to establish his dominance visually, we already know he’s Bishop, a T-Rex in a rainbow singlet.
Mike Everest, still a relative newcomer in the ECCW world, doesn’t have a diverse enough skill set to make a prolonged beating super interesting. He wasn’t selling the match with his reactions enough to make it interesting to see him get clowned for that long. It reminded me of Bret Hart’s final match against Vince McMahon where he randomly beat him up with a chair for what felt like an hour. Diminishing returns definitely kicked in.
Now, Mike had a lot of family and/or friends in the audience, so it was awesome to see their reaction to his win, but for casual fans, I think this match could have been shorter.
Scotty “Zoolander” Mac vs Billy Suede ECCW Championship Match
With Artemis out of the picture, they needed a hero to step up, which led to a returning Billy Suede, last seen getting landed on by Artemis Spencer riding a chair through the air at Ballroom Brawl 4.
Billy Suede is a high flyer who matches up well with Scotty (though to be fair, Scotty matches up well with most people). Billy Suede, who has an awesome lightning bolt on one pant leg, confusingly has a paisley design on the other leg. I want to know what the design decision on this was…
It was one of the more quicker matches on the night, as both men can move in that ring. The match ended when Scotty Mac landed a super kick to Suede as he bounced off the ropes. After the match Suede was sporting a nice shiner for his efforts.
For a man who looks like he’d rather be covered in molten silver rather than touch a carb, Scotty Mac handed out one heck of a potato to Suede. (That is the dumbest wrestling lingo joke I will ever make).
Highlight of the Match:
Billy Suede came out and saw a fan wearing his hockey jersey. It was like that scene in a movie where two people who haven’t seen each other in years finally get back together and run slow motion through a field to hug each other.
But since I don’t have footage of that, you get the Scotty Mac bum shake. Dancing was a big theme on the night.
As for the match itself, it was wrestling heavy (which is good) but I don’t know if it was Bishop/Everest fatigue, but this match also felt a bit too long to me. The spots in the match weren’t as tight as I know both guys can do either. Several of the spots either just missed, or were slightly off.
That is probably over analyzing it, but if I have to review all the shows it doesn’t make sense for me to go “EVERY SHOW WAS THE BEST EVER.” so I’m just trying to explain why some matches might not be my favorite compared to the last show.
I am still really enjoying Scotty Mac as the heel champ, though. His mic work is some of the best in the company, and I hope he continues to get mic time where he can berate other wrestlers and fans.
Nelson Creed vs El P Two out of Three Falls Match
The final match in the feud between Nelson Creed and El P.
Now, usually I watch Nelson Creed’s matches cringing, because I know he hides streamers in his junk. He’s just sitting there, slow cooking them away, until he throws it at the audience. So most of my time is spent in fear of being hit by said streamer. I can’t relax until I know he’s thrown it.
El P took care of that right away by asking the ref to check the trunks of Creed for foreign objects. As Sweatervest said on the house mic, “nobody believes you’re packing that.”
It was a pretty funny moment, and a good nod to a gimmick Creed uses often.
The match then started, with Creed taking the first fall (putting his feet on the ropes, a nice homage to how El P beat him in their last match), El P took the second one with a nice pop up Cutter, then El P looked to have the match won after landing a nice splash off the top rope.
Except Nelson Creed had his foot on the ropes. Sneaky, sneaky…
Creed then went on to take the final pin from El P, much to the sadness of most of the fans. I think it was a good finish because Creed can use the win, and good guy El P doesn’t need to win all the time, he can generate enough momentum on his own.
Highlight of the Match:
El P running across the ropes then doing a 360 splash onto the floor. The man is a god damn real life action hero. He didn’t even practice the move.
While it ended up being the match of the night, El P almost lost the crowd when the two started doing comedy routines to start the match. I know El P is a fan of nipple twists, and it usually plays to the crowd well, but in main event, at the end of a long night, during a blow off to a feud? I was not a huge fan of it, I kind of wanted the final match to have more of a serious nature to it. People actually began chanting for Creed a bit early on.
That being said, once the comedy stuff was done, these two picked things up and ended up putting on a great match. They had one pinning transition combo that was executed so well I forgot to record it (I got lost in the moment, what can I say?). It’s funny, re-watching the match after the show, I liked it even better. The crowd didn’t get into the match like I thought they would have.
Even after the match was over, and Creed attacked El P, Phantasmo sold the crap out of the discus punch from Creed. The lead image to this story is El P in the middle of a perfect 360, selling it, and dancing the line of over selling, but not going too far.
El P can always bring the roof down most nights, but Creed was also good at playing the heel and making sure El P was safe during his jumps. Creed also nailed a stalling suplex from the top rope, holding it for what seemed like minutes. Creed’s “Encore” back breaker slam was also a big hit on the night.
Awesome awesome sequence. Part of you wondered if Creed would toss him to the outside, because El P is the one guy crazy enough to do that.
As I said earlier, I loved the first half of the show. I thought it was the best booked show I had seen yet, in terms of story line direction and making sense. The second half of the show, well, it did slow down for me a bit. The crowd was also not the hottest crowd I’ve seen, which definitely plays a part in making sure the show doesn’t feel like it’s dragging. Nobody really stole the show, it was just a night of solid story line advancement and decent wrestling.
That being said, Halloween Hell is coming up on October 30th, and it promises to be one of ECCW’s biggest events of the year, so I expect a lot of action from that show. If you haven’t caught a show yet, and want to see one of their bigger shows, you can still buy tickets at ECCW.com . It’s at the Agriplex in Cloverdale, but it’s a show they always go all out for, so I highly recommend it.
Also, it’s a “Fans Bring the Weapons” night at Halloween Hell. Finally you can find a use for that vacuum you never threw out!