A TALE OF TWO PROMOTIONS
Part Two: Season's Beatings
OR How Llakor Spent His Christmas Vacation
OR Acadians, Asparagus and Ass-Whoopings, Oh My!
I was looking over my notes from older IWS shows trying to decide which of them to complete first: the oldest, Season's Beatings, with its scary dirty laundry political back-story, the tag-team madness of Extreme Dream and the night of the fire-guitar, OR the madness that was Know Your Enemies? Looking for inspiration, I turned to my friends at what is usually referred to as 'Teh Chat' and asked for a vote. Stinko and a guy named Dave and, I think I think, Shocker all voted for Know Your Enemies, Edge voted for Extreme Dream, and no one at all voted for Season's Beatings. Poor neglected Season's Beatings, I still like you, I still think that you are worth writing about, I'll vote for you! And, in fact, my vote IS the only one that counts because while... It's coming from the the silence on the dock of the bay, from the brave, the bold, the battered heart of Chevrolet: Democracy IS coming to the U.S.A. But... This is not America, No this is not America. In fact this ain't even Canada, because after Raw was held in Edmonton, and "SOME FAT UGLY IDIOT CANADIAN IN A HOCKEY JERSEY" ran into the ring during the ladder match, and pushed over the ladder while Eddie was still on it, I have been spending the month of June getting in touch with my inner pure laine Quebecois, and I feel compelled to point out that stupidity like that exhibited at the Skyreach Center in Edmonton, could only happen in, what we here in Quebec like to call, "The Rest of Canada", if for no other reason than that the "FAT UGLY IDIOT CANADIAN IN A HOCKEY JERSEY" in question was wearing an Edmonton Oilers jersey. That loud thumping noise you hear is, in fact, the sound of the tail wagging the dog, and the tail never wags the dog more vigorously than today, June 24th, le Festival National de St. Jean Baptiste, Quebec's celebration of... well being Quebec, I guess.
This recap is a follow-up to my recap of the Rougeau Christmas Family Gala. For those without the energy or enthusiasm to reread my recap of the Rougeau show, Jacques Rougeau Jr. brought in Hacksaw Jim Duggan to be a curtain-jerker, and then brought in four other ex-WWWF out-of-towners, each one slower, less agile, and less talented than Hacksaw. Now in 1984, I would have said that putting together a card with Hacksaw, and four guys slower and less talented than him would have been difficult, although I'm sure that Vince found a way. But, nowadays, I'm inclined to consider it is as one of the nine predicted signs of an on-coming Apocalypse. My original plan was to recap the Rougeau show, and then recap another Montreal indy wrestling show to compare and contrast. But which local indy would I choose? I was familiar with the IWS, but when I started to look around, I was freaked out by how many indy promotions there are running in and around Montreal. Should I check out the XWE or the NCW? The MWF? Maybe the TWF or the ICW? Perhaps the JCW or the CCW? How about the ETWA or the PWF? And of course, there was the FLQ, home promotion to Carl XL LeDuc, the wrestler I was so impressed with at the IWS show, Born to Bleed. The FLQ is the promotion run by Carl XL LeDuc's Pere, Paul LeDuc, the man whom I have always considered the hidden 'best worker' of all the wrestlers to come out of Quebec, making him the Lanny Poffo to Jacques Rougeau Jr.'s Macho Man Randy Savage. Like many 'best workers' Carl is a little on the short side, and when he found himself not being taken seriously as a wrestler, he did what any self-respecting Quebecois would do: He found the tallest, biggest, scariest-looking French lumber-jack that he could recruit to stand behind him, trained him in the art of ass-kicking, renamed him Jos Leduc, and announced that they were brothers. For years afterwards, Paul would get beat to within an inch of his life every night, while his 'brother' Jos watched helplessly from the ring apron. In fact, it could be argued that Paul LeDuc was busy playing Ricky Morton for years before Ricky Morton ever laced up the boots. It would seem natural that my feet would take me to the doors of the FLQ, which would no doubt be all full of that ol' skool rassling goodness, but as for me actually crossing the threshold and going to a FLQ show, well that I am afraid is... NEVER... GONNA... HAPPEN!
Now anyone with the slightest grasp of Quebec history knows why Llakor going to a FLQ show is... NEVER... GONNA... HAPPEN! but for the rest of you making 'WHOOOSH' motions over your head, I'll break it down for you. Given that Llakor is half-Irish and half-Acadian, it is not surprising that my politics, especially on constitutional matters, can best be described as 'Trudeau Liberal', but for all of my appreciation for that late Great Man's political philosophy, I am surprisingly cold to the man himself, compared with my deep affection for the late Rene Levesque, whose politics I NEVER agreed with. The difference, I suppose, is that while Trudeau believed in an inclusive vision of liberal democracy so much that he was willing to impose it by force, if need be, while, by contrast, Levesque believed in an exclusionary vision of ethnic nationalism so much that he was willing to let the people of Quebec choose it democratically. At a time when a demagogue could have led the country to ruin, Rene Levesque chose the road less travelled. It could be argued, in fact, that by choosing a referendum as the method to rip Canada asunder, Levesque instead saved the Dominion. Compare that to the behaviour of some of his fellow travellers in the separatist cause who made a virtue out of violence and destruction. Rene Levesque has been criticized for privately calling the men who were blowing up Canadian Post Office boxes as 'courageux', but I don't think that he meant it in the sense of 'those men are courageous freedom fighters', rather, I believe that he meant it in the sense of 'ballsy little fucks, ain't they?' When the time came for Rene Levesque to PUBLICLY say how he felt about these men, however, he left no doubt as to his contempt for the men who would try to subvert Democracy by destroying public property, kidnapping British diplomat James Cross, AND kidnapping and murdering Quebec Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte. No, Rene Levesque never had a kind word for those members of the terrorist gang, Le Front pour le Liberation du Quebec, AKA the FLQ. It is not surprising that there are some angryphones, who would consider my equivocation in this matter to make me a quisling, and who greet any wrestler too closely associated with the FLQ with a "Fuck the FLQ" chant. So, the Federation du Lutte Quebecois may feature the finest indy ol' skool rassling on the planet. Their name may not be as deliberately insulting and provocative as starting a wrestling promotion in Belfast called the Independent Rasslin Alliance. By crossing the threshold into one of their shows, I may find fodder for a lifetime of columns and recaps. Then again, sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie but I'd never know 'cause I wouldn't eat the filthy motherfuckers.
And that's a shame, because going to the FLQ show is the only way that I am going to be able to see Carl XL LeDuc wrestle any time soon. Because you see, at the IWS show held between Born to Bleed and Season's Beatings, the show called Payback's a Bitch, IT happened. IT being only the most polarizing shoot moment in Quebec wrestling history. Well, maybe the second after Killer Kowalski ripping off Yukon Erik's ear at the Montreal Forum. Okay, Okay, Would you believe the THIRD most polarizing shoot moment in Quebec wrestling history? Now, I was not at Payback's a Bitch. I had considered going, but I found the idea of leaving the island of Montreal at all, traumatic, never mind leaving the island to see a wrestling show in a pool hall. I also felt that Born to Bleed was a big show for the IWS in front of an equally big crowd, and they were letting it all hang out. There was no way that they were that insane on a regular basis in front of friends and family. Right? Right?!?
So, I was not in Chomedey when the crowd started chanting "Fuck the FLQ" at Carl XL LeDuc, and well, SHIT happened, specifically to quote someone who was there, "Carl you suck! You Asshole you tried to attack a fan. I don't mean fun hahah in your face trash talking attack, im talking about an entire section of the bar running for their lives cause a moron with muscles was trying to kill them for saying FLQ sux. Did stu teach you that??? eh asshole? carl girard (L'BO'KEN)i am a fan not a wrestler and i dont need to know the whole story to make these comments because carl almost knocked me down and hit me with a chair. say what you will, blame who you will but the fact remains CARL IS A FUCKING STUPID ASSHOLE! if you tried to attcked me i woulda fuckin bashed your face in...was it my fault as a fan that u think u got fucked over for whatever reason? no! your business between u and iws has nothing to do with me....the fan..so why did you come out and threaten ME?! WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?! carl you dont deserve to be in a ring if you ask me and i seriouusly hope i never see your face at a wrestling show ever gaina! stu only passed you so that he'd never have to see your face again. p.s - ur fucked in the head"
Now if I was a Serious Internet Wrestling Journalist, and those are four words that should never be used in the same sentence, let alone in a sequence as one descriptive phrase, if, I say, I was a Serious Internet Wrestling Journalist, I would try to get multiple sources and physical evidence like say an actual police report that referred to Carl as Sujet Numero Un. But, I am not, despite accusations by some of my readers, a Serious Internet Wrestling Journalist, and I have no intentions of becoming one anytime soon, so you'll have to make do with Internet Gossip instead, and My Own Damned Opinion. Now, there is a fine line between including the audience in a wrestling show by threatening them or taking advantage of plants on one hand and endangering that crowd on the other, but that is a fine line usually trodden by heels, and when Carl XL Leduc rampaged over the line, he did so as a baby-face. Mind you, the difficulty of gauging fact from fiction at a wrestling event is best exemplified by Red Army member, I Supply, who was at Payback's a Bitch, and nearly had his head taken off, when he went to pat Carl on the back to congratulate him for such a well-executed heel turn. I tend to believe there is an unwritten agreement between wrestlers and their audience, a pact of behaviour, a covenant not to go bat-shit. An audience member running into the ring is an unforgivable breach on one side, just as a wrestler charging into the crowd waving a chair is a gross violation on the other. Of course, the SHIT really hit the fan when people got home, turned on their computers and started registering their opinions as to what happened and why. Explanations for Carl's behaviour started with alien abduction and worked their way through the alphabet, although some letters were more popular choices than others. Then the wrestlers started getting involved and things got really interesting...
Like say the following post attributed to the Arsenal, "Sur le machine
du Green Phantom, deriere mon dos....
Consider the dilemma that I face with this message. First of all, I have no way of knowing if it was left by the REAL Arsenal. Second of all, if it was left by him, I have no way of knowing if he actually heard something on the Green Phantom's answering machine, or not, although the man uses FLAMING Kendo Sticks, so I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Next, I have no way of knowing if Arsenal accurately reporting what he heard on the Green Phantom's answering machine, but, again, Arsenal uses FLAMING Kendo Sticks. Finally, I have no way of knowing if the message was left by the real Carl LeDuc or someone posing as him. The prudent thing would be not to reproduce this post, but it is too delicious to let rot in obscurity.
I have never really understood why wrestlers believe that calling someone a stuntman is an insult. What do stunt men do? They try to tell a story through stage fighting or falling, and they try to make their staged combat look real. Their are many indy wrestlers who would be delighted to have those skills available to them. I can understand some mild snobbery similar to the kind that a stage actor feels for a film actor, "My dear boy, I do it live, without errors, six times a week, and twice on Saturdays," but the total contempt with which the phrase is thrown around by wrestlers I just don't get. As for Arsenal's dismissal of Carl's in-ring abilities, the fact that Carl has demonstrated the ability to work a program competently does not mean that he is a lousy wrestler. Now, my favourite wrestlers are those who can change and adapt and add new moves to their repertoire, which I take it Carl has NOT been doing since he left Calgary, but what impressed me about Carl was not the moves that he used, but the crispness of their execution. I am also a little confused that a man who uses FLAMING Kendo Sticks seems to be criticizing Carl for working STIFF, but I respect Arsenal too much to publicly disagree with him.
But the best was yet to come as the following erupted on the net from no less than LeDuc Pere, "Ceci n'est pas un message pour excuser le comportement de mon fils, je n'étais pas présents après 22 ans de carrièrre j'en ai vue d'autres et ce qui se dit dans la lutte il est très difficile parfois de séparer la vérité d'un story lines (histoire scripté) et je comprend la IWS sur son site de crier aux secours et de demander à ces fans d'arrèter d'écrire des sottises. ais toutes choses qui cause un chaos a un préambules et parfois le monde avec qui tu fait de la business ont parfois de bien drôle de comportements heureusement ils ne sont pas tous pareilles. Pour les fans de la FLQ en premier qui apprendrons en même temps que vous les one way gourous (lutteurs) de Manny un autres qui au départ semblait être différents, son égo a grossi plus vite que l'a business, mais oui il est le propriétaire, le booker et le gérant des égos de son crew ce qui explique en partie pourquoi la FLQ ne veux pas que les lutteurs fassent partie de son booking mon expériences de 22 ans dans le milieux me serre très biens. Manny déteste et critiques continuellement les gens qui font du hardcore surtout si ils ont du succès et vous allez comprendre pourquoi en lisant son message et surtout l'a demande et ce faire dire non! Comme tout ceus que leur égos est plus gros que la game himshelf, la réponse (vengeance) à sa demande ne se fait pas attendre bien loin. Plusieurs fois je dit à mon entourage en riant faites attention à ce que vous dites dans ce merveileux divertissement sportif la peinture sur les mures du vestiaire a des yeux et des oreilles. Voici ce que la peiture et les mures du vestiaire du scrath de Laval m'a dit. 1-Avant l'incident de Carl pourquoi que le préposer à la music d'entrée des lutteurs s'avait que le combat de Carl n'aurait pas lieux ceci à la demande de la direction de la IWS. 2- Le coté caché de l'égo de Manny, il ne pouvais pas supporter le succès des combats hardcore que donnait Iceberg vs FOD et à chaque fois qu'ils combattaient les critiquais, mais moi par expérience je savais que Manny ne pouvais les égaler, Manny selon ses paroles n'a jamais pris de lesson de lutte, il a appris en regardant les tapes de la défunte ECW, Selon ma connaissance Manny n'est même pas un un stun man encore moin un lutteur, dans le milieux professionnelle ont aurait dit son adversaire à faire son combat et celui de Manny, ce qui le fait bien paraïtre se sont ceux (lutteurs) qui sont son show qui stun apràs stun et blade apràs apràs blade le font bien paraître, j'exagère non lisez plus bas son courriel sa confirme ce que je viens de vous dire et portez une attention spécial à l'a demande et vous allez tout comprendre. Quand il est arrivé à la FLQ pour louer un ring aucune autres fédération ne voulait faire affaire avec lui. Je ne regrette rien falait donner la chance au coureurs et l'a permettait à ces lutteurs de performer à toute les semaines à la FLQ et d'en faire de meilleurs athlète pour l'encadrer,au cas de blessure en allant jusqu'à respecter sa demande de pas booké ces lutteurs la veille de ces shows au Medley. Même si il ne respecte jamais sa parole,tout de même je lui souhaite bonne chance dans son parteneria avec un autre fédération indépendante. les lutteurs qui l'entourent mérite mieux que cela. Lisez bien le courrielle suivant datée du 13 Novembre 2001, et la FLQ à refuser. La vengeance à déborder sur son show à Laval. Manny montrera pas à un vieux singe à faire la grimace, l'a paraissait dans son attitude et celui de Green Phantom qui est l'assistant de Manny. Paul Leduc
De "manny foley"
Well, next on Fox, 'When Bookers Attack'. Seriously, this is like seeing memos between Kevin Sullivan and Vince Russo from the darkest days of WCW. Looking at this, I think that it is commendable that when Manny started, that he, an anglophone, and Paul LeDuc, a pure laine francophone, were able to work together. Both parties benefitted, as FLQ wrestlers got an extra venue to demonstrate their skills, and Manny developed new talent with the IWS that he provided to the FLQ. In fact, Paul's son Carl won the IWS' second Tournament of the Icons and was made to look very good indeed. It may SEEM presumptuous of Manny to ask for the win in another promotion's main event, but one needs to look at that in context. At the time, Manny had just lost his IWS title belt, and was getting the shit kicked out of him at IWS events to keep the title off him. Although he doesn't say so, I am assuming that Manny was looking for a way to keep his heat as a hardcore wrestler, while booking himself to job at his own events. So the request is more of a professional courtesy between fellow bookers, you scratch my back, I scratch yours type of thing. Manny pumps up an FLQ main-event and makes it more exciting for the FLQ fans, and he gets the win to give himself some heat back, AND because Manny bumps like a sick freak, both Iceberg and FOD would probably come off looking good. Sadly, Paul LeDuc did not see it that way. As it is, what was once a mutually beneficial relationship has broken down into suspicion, animosity, distrust and paranoia. The shame of it really is, if Manny and the LeDucs could find a way to trust one another and work together again, they could run a hell of a profitable shoot/work angle. Carl would have huge heel heat in the IWS as an out-of-control francophone psycho, and Manny would have huge heel heat in the FLQ as an anglophone with no respect for the history of the business and the legacy of the LeDucs. Imagine, if you will, that the FLQ title was on the line in a ladder match featuring TNT and Carl Leduc. At that moment in the match where the two are facing off at the top of the ladder trading blows, Manny's music hits and he charges into the ring, tips over the ladder sending TNT and Carl crashing out of the ring and through a convenient table at ringside. Righting the ladder, Manny scampers up, grabs the FLQ belt, and runs for it. Instantly, he is the biggest heel in the FLQ AND the biggest baby-face in the IWS for the same action. Plus, it's a storyline that they could stretch out for months, with Manny forcing Carl to fight his way up the IWS roster to get the belt back, while at FLQ shows, Manny could hand-pick his opponents concentrating on the weakest members of the roster. Sadly, that is a scenario that I do not see playing out any time soon.
As accusations and counter-accusations flew, as usual, it fell to the women to restore order. Carl Leduc's Mom contacted Manny and asked him to remove a number of spiteful, malicious, hurtful, and possibly libelous remarks directed at the LeDuc family from the IWS message board. The IWS prides itself on never censoring its message board or its fans, as they proudly declare on their front page, "Welcome to "TalkBack", the place at IWS where you, the fan, have your say on what's going on in and around the IWS. You can talk about anything and say anything, we do not fucking censor like other federations!" Given that philosophy, it was somewhat startling when Manny agreed, demonstrating the amount of respect that all Quebec wrestlers have for LeDuc Mere. Sadly, given that the IWS board is to the EZ Board is to Wienerville, as the Spirit of St-Louis is to the Space Shuttle is to the Enterprise 1701-E, deleting those remarks meant deleting all the remarks made up to and including a certain date. So, on the IWS side at least, the Carl XL Leduc story has been deleted as though it never existed, forgotten except for the occasional whisper or cryptic remark. In fact, I am sure that many of the IWS would prefer that I was not telling this story, but damn it is a story that needs to be told!
The worst part of the sad, sorry affair is that every one loses. The wrestlers are forced to choose between two different promotions. The fans are made to feel that it is unsafe to attend a wrestling show, and are deprived of possible match-ups. And by polarizing the fans, the promoters lose out as they split their fan-base, rather than sharing and expanding their customers.
My own personal grievance in this is somewhat different. The Carl LeDuc incident got so much attention, that no one bothered to actually record or publish the results from the rest of the show, including the results from the Arsenal vs. Green Phantom Best four out of seven ol' skool rules match. If I had known, in advance, that there was a Best four out of seven ol' skool rules match on the card, I would have been there. In fact, I would have walked to Chomedey, barefoot, through broken glass, if need be, to see a Best four out of seven ol' skool rules match, if only to find out what the hell a Best four out of seven ol' skool rules match was. It is probably just as well that I was not there. I would not have joined in on the "Fuck the FLQ" chanting. I probably would have been mentally agreeing with the chant, but I am too polite to actually say it or chant it out-loud. I have a strange feeling though, that if I had been there, I would have been so busy finishing my notes, that I would have stayed in my seat when Carl waded into the crowd, and when they rolled me into the ambulance, with the chair still wrapped around my fore-head, the last words on my note-pad would likely have been "WTF CL w/ Chr!" On the other hand, since none of the so-called 'Hardcore F'N Fans' of the IWS were committed enough to keep their heads, when all around them were losing theirs, and keep track of the results at Payback's a Bitch, clearly if I wanted to know what happened at IWS shows, I was going to have to go myself.
Which is how I found myself walking into Le Skratch pool hall to attend the IWS show, Season's Beatings, on the first Saturday in January. I walked in about 10:20, quite late even for an IWS show, and compounded my lateness by not being able to find the wrestling for about five minutes. When I finally found the tucked away corner of the bar containing the ring, and several hundred IWS fans, the opening match between Steve Royds and Scotty Revenge was well under way, and Steve was beating Scotty like a dirty rug. It is a shame that I missed the start of the match, because there was an odd vibe to the face/heel dynamic at work that I didn't quite get. In addition, I had a special reason for wanting to see Steve Royds wrestle because Steve had just become the Wrestler who writes to me. After I had published my Born to Bleed recap, I had gotten my usual feedback from slashwrestling regulars, but a good month had passed when someone at IWS found my report and posted the link on the IWS message board. Shortly thereafter, I found the following in my e-mail, "HI just finished reading your text on born to bleed .......I find you to be know the finer points of the business I was in that three way dance with Maxx Fury and Ravage ..that was my second match I like the way u understand psychology and stuff ..........just wondering if you would come to seasons beatings ........our next show" After an invitation like that, how could I stay away?
Not all of the feedback was as uncritical as Steve's. I also got the following feedback, "BTW I'm one of the referees of the IWS (the one that got his face in the tits of miss natural) And also my name is not dynamite dave that's the other ref my ref name is P-Nut... Anyway they never mention it so it doesn't matter." I was a little perturbed that I had missed a referee switch, so I decided to keep a special lookout for the referees at Season's Beatings.
And then, THIS got posted on the IWS message board, "Ive read that long ass post as well, and I have a quote that he brought up that is of GREAT interest to me. here it is: D'oh! While I was waiting for something to happen, I gradually came to realize that Le Medley had hired Lemmy from Motorhead to program the music before the show or at least Lemmy's female counterpart. Female cunterpart... since WHEN DID I GROW A SET OF TITS AND BECOME A FEMALE? FAG! Just because someone's got long hair doesn't make him a chick! And in reference to the death metal, expect A TON MORE of that at SEASON'S BEATINGS! I've got the loudest shit possible. And it was a good review, so don't worry about me running up to you and stabbing you in the eye with a pair of scissors. You did mention Lemmy, and as you know Lemmy= GOD... STAB" It is a funny thing, until Stab mentioned it, I never used to worry about people running up to me and stabbing me in the eye with a pair of scissors. So, showing up late for Season's Beatings did have some side benefits, if I missed Stab-Fest 2002. I am not certain how I could have made such a ghastly error as to mistake someone's gender. I considered the possibility that my weak and failing eyesight could be to blame, but on further reflection, I believe that the blame would be better shared between the Medley's lousy lighting and poor ventilation, as well as Stab's long flowing hair, his copious man-tits and, of course, his purty mouth. In honour of this particular mistake, and because I think that using Stab as a nickname is just enciting people to violence, I hereby dub the IWS DJ as the Bride of Lemmy.
I recently got into a philosophical dispute with one of my friends and readers about the issue of working stiff. My friend, let's call him Smark, pointed out that I have no real basis for my assertion that Steve Royds works stiff. At best, I should only be able to say that it LOOKS like he is working stiff. He is, of course, right and equally, of course, completely irrelevant. While the best wrestlers in the world are no doubt those wrestlers who look like they are slaughtering their opponents, while they in fact are doing no damage at all, from the point of the view of the participant the only question worth answering is: Does it look real? When I walked into le Skratch and Steve was pounding on Scotty Revenge like a red-headed step-child, it looked very real, please believe me. In fact, it looked so real, that when Steve field goal kicked Scotty's balls over the uprights for three points, even the referee flinched. Why the referee did not immediately disqualify Steve, or at least give him a stern warning is a whole other issue, but given the mood that Steve seemed to be in, I am certain that the referee, and at this point I had no idea if it was Peanut or Dynamite Dave, had decided to exercise the better part of valour, and save that particular argument for another day.
I regret deeply not seeing the entire match between Steve Royds and Scotty Revenge, because after I received the e-mail from Steve, I had immediately decided that, starting with my very next report, I would introduce a new segment to my recaps. So, without any further ado, it is now time for the part of the recap where I, Llakor, give career advice to the Natural Superstar Steve Royds aka Steve Risez aka the wrestler who writes to me. Because and I'm quoting Steve here, "I find you to be know the finer points of the business... I like the way u understand psychology and stuff"
Steve's finisher is called the Anabolic Drop, and it starts as a sort of vertical suplex and then half-way through it turns into a Diamond Cutter/DDT variant. A perfectly acceptable finisher, except that it is part of what I like to call the Goldberging of power wrestlers. This in honour of Goldberg's finisher, the JackHammer. The problem with moves like the Anabolic Drop and the JackHammer is that they are too damn complicated. A power wrestler and especially a heel power wrestler should win with clean, simple uncomplicated moves. Leave the triple-lutz camel spin leg drops to the cruisers, power wrestlers should use moves like the vertical suplex, the gorilla press slam, the Razor's Edge, the fall-away slam and the side-walk slam. What all of these moves have in common is that, properly executed, they feature one wrestler holding up the other, and demonstrating to the crowd that his opponent is completely at his mercy. The moves are psychological, in that they feature as a central component the wrestler posing to the audience. The moves are also dramatic in that they all feature both wrestlers in a static position, but all of the moves promise eventual violent movement. Steve should use all of these moves and then incorporate the body-builder posing and flexing that is already part of his gimmick. So if he does a gorilla press slam, he should do the cocky bit where the power wrestler uses his opponent like a barbell, and does a couple of lifts with his opponent and, when he drops his opponent behind him, Steve should immediately pose like a body-builder, and maybe do the kiss the bicep move that Scott Steiner does. Steve might also want to look into acquiring some submission moves like say a surfboard variant where by flexing his bicep he could simultaneously pose for the crowd AND stretch his opponent, because that would be just all dickish and mean.
And Steve does need help being dickish and mean, because one of the difficulties of being an ass-kicking power wrestler in the modern age, and especially in a hardcore promotion, is that the more brutal and violent you are, the more the audience likes it. Time was, beating on Sting and putting Cactus Jack in the hospital would make you the biggest, baddest, most hated heel on the planet. Now, you can power bomb an eighty-year old woman through a table and people cheer you. Take the match between Scotty Revenge and Steve Royds. Steve was clearly working as the ass-kicking heel, and Scotty was the plucky never say die baby-face. The problem was the audience was getting turned on by Steve bringing the violence, and they were getting on Scotty's case because he was wearing elbow pads, which meant that to them, he was not hardcore enough.
The other problem with the match was that they were throwing in spots that were cool, but did not lead anywhere. When building a match, someone really needs to keep saying, "...and then what?" or, "Sounds cool, why are we doing it?" So, for example, Scotty stealing Steve's weight belt and using it to handcuff Steve to the turn buckle was a cool idea, but completely wasted, because Scotty had no idea what to do next. The reason that it was Cactus Jack getting handcuffed at two consecutive Royal Rumbles, is that he was working as a baby-face, and baby-faces believe in the fair fight. Only a heel wants to hobble his opponent to give himself an advantage, and only a heel is vicious enough to take advantage of the opportunity when it presents itself. Scotty was just heelish enough to tie Steve to the turn-buckle, but once he had done it his imagination failed him, and he was reduced to staggering around the ring wondering what to do next. I am not even a wrestler, and I can think of at least ten things that you could do with a chair to a helpless opponent, not one of which would involve you actually swinging the chair.
While I was watching Steve pummel Scotty into Cherry Jell-O, I was able to get myself a good seat in the second row ring-side to the left of the wrestler's entrance way, right by the turn-buckle. It takes me a while to get settled and focused to start taking notes, so my first official note of the night was recording Steve's victory at 10:35.
You might well ask, WHY I was late for an IWS show, surely a breach of the recapper's code. Well, sadly, that Saturday was also the date of my company's Christmas party. I work in retail management which means that we are usually too busy during the Christmas season to have a Christmas party, so as with most retail companies, the staff party is held immediately after Christmas. Not being naturally sociable, I had been hoping to ditch the party to watch live wrestling, but the day before the party I was transferred to a new store, and I had to go to the party to properly bid adieu to the team from my old store, as well as fool the team in my new store into thinking that I was not some moody misanthropic son-of-a-bitch. I had been getting mixed signals about how formal the party was going to be, but I eventually decided to go semi-formal with dress pants, dress shirt, and my newly polished black Doc Martens, but no jacket and no tie. As it turns out, I was solidly in the middle of the formal scale of the party, as some of those who came were dressed for the baptism de la Bebe Dion de notre Celine Nationale, while some others came in jeans and a sweat-shirt. On arrival at the party, I immediately discovered that not only was it not an open bar, but the hotel where we were having the party charged SIX DOLLARS for a drink, any drink. Now, if there is one grand tradition of Christmas office parties, it is cheap and/or free booze. At the very least, the FIRST drink should be free. And if I was ticked off, I shuddered to think of the employees. I, at the very least, am in management. I am used to disappointment. On the other hand, take a bunch of Quebecois working stiffs, who get paid near minimum wage, dress them up like for a wedding, and then deprive them of free liquor or even cheap liquor, *SHUDDER*, all I could hope for was that the food was good, otherwise this party was going to get ugly in a hurry.
As we filed into the hotel's grand dining room, at 8 pm, a half-hour late, I was forced to make a choice between sitting with my old store team-mates who I knew, but was no longer going to be working with, and my new store team-mates who I had just been introduced to the day before, which meant that barring a couple of co-managers, I had no idea who anyone was. The first day at a new store is always a bewildering parade of introductions, and by the time that I finally figure out, three months later, how to distinguish between Jo, Joni, Johanne, Joanne and Joanie, my district manager is on the phone telling me that I have been traded to a new store for two boxes of bags and a carton of staples. I finally decided that I would sit with my new co-workers, in an attempt to get to know them, even though I knew that they would spend the evening snubbing me as the new guy.
As I sat down, I realized, to my dread, that we were going to have a comedian/MC with us throughout dinner. Now, I may make fun of Iron Mike Patterson's comedy stylings, but guys who work Christmas parties are waaaaaay down the comedy status and talent ladder, and you know that nothing goes with indigestion like bad comedy. That, and ritual humiliation, as it quickly became apparent that this particular comedian believed in dragging people out of the audience for audience participation. Fortunately, before he got to my table, the salad course arrived, greeted with a horrified silence. In the list of things that it is not appropriate to serve at a Christmas party for under-paid, over-worked retail employees, I'm thinking that near the top of the list is a salad consisting of: three asparagus spears, a white sauce for the asparagus, one leaf of Boston Cobb lettuce, one olive, a decorative orange slice, and a flower. My new team-mates stared at their salads aghast, and then slowly turned to stare at me, and more specifically at my plate, now empty, except for an olive pit slowly spinning in asparagus cream. It was at this point, that I realized that one of my co-managers and her assistant were MUCH funnier than the MC, as they began a comedy routine that lasted all night featuring the two of them saying the same damn thing at the same damn time, one in French and the other simultaneously in English. "You ate the Flower!/T'as manger le Fleur! You are so weird! T'es bien bizarre, toi!" And neither one of them looks a bit like Forest Whittaker.
Following the salad course, our MC encouraged us to pick a name for our table and a cheer. My new team-mates, not quite getting into the spirit of things, chose as their team-name, "Les Asperges" and as their cheer, "Les Asperges! On a eu! On veux plus! BLLEEAAARRGH!" Before we were called on to deliver this cheer, fortunately, the soup course arrived to another horrified silence. The, quote soup unquote, consisted of a thin watery broth, with thinner than toothpick slices of carrots and zucchinis, surrounded by some sort of oats that cunningly hid microscopic bits of beef. A very Irish soup... from the Potato Famine years. Again, when I finished sampling this course to be able to deliver this verdict, I looked up into the horrified gaze of my team-mates, shocked that I was able to even sample the 'soup', let alone finish it.
After the soup course, the MC asked each table to pick "Le plus MACHO du table!" Mr. Cast-Iron Stoumach was instantly picked, and my team-mates seemed to think that I should be honoured to be considered "MACHO", but I knew that some sort of ritual humiliation was in store. Embarrassment was postponed by the arrival of the main course, a rubber chicken in a passable sauce with rather nice spring potatoes, a tomato slice, baby carrots AND AND AND Llakor kryptonite AKA broccoli. That and, it's sick, mutant, albino brother, cauliflower are my only two weaknesses. Naturally, a certain amount of razzing of MOI occurred, as the fact that I was willing to eat flowers and not broccoli was mentioned about one hundred times in less than a minute. Immediately afterwards, I was dragged up on stage to take part in a scavenger hunt that was organized like musical chairs. We were sent off to gather items like glasses, credit cards and lipstick, while chairs were removed to eliminate the slow-pokes. As soon as I heard the words lipstick, I should have sold an old football injury or war wound or something, because, sure enough, those of us who survived that round ended up decorated like an Indian brave with our contest partners' lipstick. I was eliminated quickly after that, as the next item on the scavenger hunt list was something unique, and two of us brought up pagers, eliminating each other.
I returned to my seat for the dessert course, which was three balls of cannonball-tough pastry sandwiching layers of ice-cream and smothered in chocolate. After finishing my dessert, I retreated to the washroom to wash off my purple lip-stick Indian Brave markings, glanced at my watch and realized that it was 9:20, and decided that I had endured enough bad comedy, bad food, and ritual humiliation for one night, and made my way post-haste to the Bonaventure Metro to make my way to Chomedey. I made astonishingly good time, arriving at Le Skratch in just under an hour, to see the closing moments of Steve Royds beating Scotty Revenge like a junk-yard dog. Steve later e-mailed me about the match, "match wasnt that all great .....but man its all a learning experience." Steve is, of course, entitled to his own opinion, and I freely admit that I only saw the end of the match, but any match that makes me quote Vince McMahon from Diesel/HBK, "Stay down Scotty! It's not worth it!" as I say any match that forces me to quote Vince McMahon has got something going for it.
And now we come to the portion of the recap that I actually have notes for. Any idiot can recap a live show the same night that they saw it before collapsing from exhaustion, but it takes a very special idiot to try and recap a show a good six months after he saw it based solely on the notes that he took live, and I am that very special idiot! Which reminds me that now is as good a time as any to go on record as saying: The opinions expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this site or of the Internet Wrestling Syndicate. This recap is the transcript of a live show based on my notes and reflects merely my own poor memory of what I saw and heard, which may or may not be what actually happened. I don't recap punches.
As Steve celebrated his victory in the ring, Iron Mike Patterson came out wearing a cowboy hat and handed Steve a (dead) mike. Ever resourceful, Steve commandeered a megaphone from a fan at ring-side to deliver his promo, "Cut the music! I was sitting at home alone, lonely and depressed. My Dad went to Cuba and he left me behind in this shithole town..." Iron Mike Patterson is back with a working mike which he hands to Steve, "So I went to the Gym to work out and I was thinking that what I really need is a work-out partner. So, Scotty Revenge, tonight you showed me something, you showed me that you are good enough to be my work-out partner. So, I ask you, will you share a protein shake with me?" MUST... RESTRAIN... MYSELF... FROM... OBVIOUS... JOKES! Scotty comes out and and accepts a protein shake from Steve, "That means yes! Break out the protein shakes! I have a new training partner! This shake tastes great and it's good for you too! Forget BEER, that's for losers!"
I should explain that the very next IWS show scheduled was Extreme Dream, a multi-show invitational tag-team tournament to crown the first IWS tag-team champions. So the theme for the night at Season's Beatings was very much do you have a moving buddy? If you don't have a moving buddy, get one!
Iron Mike Patterson with the mike, "Let's look at Laval Fashion! Well, while I'm checking out the softer side of Sears being displayed here at ringside, let's bring out our Commissioner, Joe Fits-More-Ass. Where's my Christmas Bonus, Bitch?" Commissioner Joe Fitzmorris manages to get the mike away from Mike without being forced to put him in a hammerlock, "I regret to tell you all that I am forced to step away from my responsibilities as commissioner. I am going overseas to recruit talent for my Tournament of the Icons later on this year. I have come out here tonight to appoint an interim commissioner." The crowd reacts in a typical Montreal fashion, "Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye!" Iron Mike Patterson quickly senses an opportunity, "This is going to be so great! I will do such a great job as interim commissioner! Thank You for this opportunity Commissioner Fitzmorris." Wiping the slobber off the jacket, the Commissioner gets back the mike, "I have thought long and hard about this and I have decided that the best person to guide the IWS while I am gone, the man that I can trust, the man that has the best interests of the IWS at heart, the man who loves wrestling like no one else, your new interim commissioner, that's right Mike, it's... Nixon Stratus!" Mike, who has been miming, "me, it's me, oh boy, he's picking me!" turns and glares at the entrance area as Nixon stalks in and assaults the Time-keeper just to my right, screaming at him, "You fucking old piece of shit." Nixon slides into the ring and Iron Mike gives his best Seinfield sneer to, "Dicks-On Strap-On, I hate you!" You know, for a guy trying to dispel those rumours about being gay, Iron Mike Patterson is waaaaayy too obsessed with other men's genitalia. Nixon yanks away the mike, "Ditto. You are not cut out to be a Commissioner. Just announce the Fucking match! It's all you are good for, so stick to what you do best! You people don't deserve this, but you are going to get a real match with a real wrestler who needs a title shot, and I'm going to make sure that he gets one - TNT!" who comes out with black arm bands, white shirt and black pants, and immediately gets on the mike and into the faces of the crowd, "Fuck you ALL, you pieces of shit from Two Mountains!" The Two Mountains crowd, who are on the opposite side of the ring from the wrestler's entrances and thus safely far away from me, respond quickly and predictably, "You suck dick!" TNT is quick with his comeback, "You should never say that because you would be insulting the chief occupation of your mothers. Take your Fleur de Lis, your Pepsi, your Vachon cakes, your Jos Louis and stick them straight up your CUS! I'll teach you how to wrestle! Get out your notebooks!" My notebook IS out, dude! TNT's opponent is wearing what look to be a miniature version of Kevin Nash's Vinnie Vega$$ outfit with Vega$$ on the pants and dice, he comes to the ring with his ring partner and/or manager.
The bell rings at 10:50. We still have the same referee as the one for the Steve Royds and Scotty Revenge match. TNT offers his hand, but Vin Vega$$ isn't having any of that. TNT spurned, goes outside, climbs back in, and goes back outside again, and does some stretching exercises. Finally, the ref comes over to convince TNT to start the match. TNT pushes the ref out of the way, and goes to work. A NICE TNT arm-bar is reversed into a Vin Vega$$ arm-bar, but Vin Vega$$ eats an elbow almost immediately. They do a series of lock-ups and reversals with TNT ending up in control with a side head lock. TNT Irish-Whips Vin Vega$$ and starts running the ropes, leapfrogging over Vin Vega$$ and bouncing off the ropes right into a spinning heel kick. TNT scrambles back up and is greeted by a second rope drop-kick. They are both up and TNT goes for the body-slam which is blocked and reversed into a Russian Leg Sweep. TNT pulls himself up in the corner and Vin Vega$$ corners him with a Knife-Edged Chop that wouldn't break a soap bubble. He tries it again and TNT shows his disdain for his lack of chopping technique by dragging the arm and taking him down to the ground and LATHER! RINSE! REPEAT! After the second take down, TNT cinches in a nasty arm-bar submission move forcing Vin Vega$$ to tap? Wow that was fast! But when the ref goes to confirm the tapping, Vin Vega$$ recants! TNT is PISSED, especially since he has let go, so he stomps Vin Vega$$ and goes up top for a Splash. Vin Vega$$ retreats to the corner and eats a Stinger Splash, followed quickly by a drop-kick. At this point, Vin Vega$$ brother, Vic, decides to get involved and pearl-harbours TNT from behind. The two Ca$$ino chumps combine for a RIDICULOUS double-team "Cool Elbow Drop" where they exchange handshakes from two dozen secret societies before finally dropping an elbow which makes the People's Elbow look realistic by comparison. I immediately decide that they should eat big stomping DEATH! Fortunately, TNT feels exactly the same way as he drop-kicks both Tahoe twits in the knees and follows up with a drop-kick to their chests and finishes them with a drop-kick to the back of their heads. TNT climbs and delivers a twisting butt splash from the top rope. Vin Vega$$ is up, and he gets Irish-Whipped into Vic, and staggers back into spinning heel kick from TNT, who fails to press his advantage, falling victim to a somersaulting spear from Vin Vega$$. The two men trade roll-ups and reversals, but so quickly that the ref barely has time to count one for each roll-up. The sequence ends with TNT in control with a backslide, but Vin Vega$$ is able to kick out and recover enough to power-bomb TNT. As he goes for the cover though, TNT rolls him up for two, which Vin Vega$$ reverses to a small package for two. Vic tries to get involved again, but Nixon Stratus blocks him, and they both brawl out of the ring, giving time for Heavy Maxx Fury to run-in with a chair. Maxx does a standing Van Terminator on Vin Vega$$, and with Vin Vega$$ down climbs to the top rope for a NICE Chris Benoit swan-dive head-butt. Maxx holds the chair on Vince Vega$$, so that TNT can go up top and execute his twisting butt splash on the chair for three and the pin at 10:57 (7:00?)
This would be a heel turn for Maxx and I am not sure that I completely agree with the booking. It would seem to me to make more sense to team TNT and Steve Royds together, two guys who fight a very old school style, and pair Maxx with someone who is more of a high-flyer.
Meanwhile, two IWS stagehands are putting a X-Mas tree in the ring. Evilicious charges in to clear the celebrating TNT and Maxx Fury from the ring. Green Phantom and PCP, Crazy Fucking Manny follow out to the ring at a more sedate pace. There is now a bottle of Absolut in the ring, no sorry it's Finlandia. The Green Phantom has the mike, "With the Extreme Dream tag-team tournament fast approaching, now is the time for everyone to get ready. Evilicious, I like you guys, so for Christmas, I'm going to give you a free course in Hardcore Justice. And as for you, Manny, my tag-team partner, I'm going to give you this present, and I'm going to give you the night off. I've got this, you can go to the back and rest for your Main Event Death Match." Green Phantom hands Manny a box and Manny is underwhelmed to say the least, "You gave me a fucking box!" So open the box you big goof! Phantom appears to agree with me as he takes the box back and opens it to reveal, "Inside the box is another box... of thumbtacks along with a big bag of ... drugs. Now Green Phantom is normally against this sort of thing. Green Phantom is on a natural high, but it's Christmas so Green Phantom figured what the hell..." Let's talk in the third person and make people think that you HAVE been sampling Manny's drugs? Manny goes to the back holding his thumb-tacks and powder proudly, and the Green Phantom turns and swats Evilicious with the empty box. Now, I accused Arsenal of being the Red Green of the IWS in my Born to Bleed recap, but I'm beginning to think that that distinction should be reserved for the (RED) Green Phantom as this match starts with a tree, and a whole whack of presents under the tree, which I don't think are going to survive the match.
The bell rings at 11:05, and once again, it is the same referee from the start of the show. The Green Phantom opens one of the boxes and pulls out a new stereo. "Somebody give me a CD to test this sucker out!" Well, Evilicious are back up and they have CD's of both Julio and Enrique Inglesias, which they use in a manner other than that recommended. Green Phantom buckles like an accordion, CD fragments fly everywhere, and this one of those mixed blessings things isn't it? On one hand, there is nothing wrong with broken, unplayable Inglesias CDs. On the other hand, if playing Julio or Enrique constitutes assault with a deadly weapon, what does hitting someone with them constitute? I still have no idea which member of Evilicious is which so for want of a better name, Red Pants starts with a spin kick to the Green Phantom, which he follows up with a catapult into the ropes and then a Russian Leg Sweep. With Green Phantom on the mat, Red Pants walks over to his partner and flips him onto the Green Phantom. Green Phantom scrambles back up and tries to suplex Red Pants. This is blocked and Black Pants sneaks in to Suplex Green Phantom which results in Green Phantom in turn suplexing his partner, and they all land on a box of cookies, and there are cookies everywhere. Evilicious charges outside and grabs two chairs just in front of me. They sprint back to the ring, but not quick enough as the Green Phantom has recovered, grabbed a computer keypad which he uses to just slaughter Black Pants. Green Phantom grabs Red Pants, and throws him into the tree. Backing up, the Green Phantom Spears the... tree as Red Pants scrambles out of the way at the last possible second. Green Phantom is woozy as he gets up, but not so woozy that he is unable to duck a Conchairto, and Evilicious does the dance of stinging hands. The Green Phantom knocks them both down and sets up the two chairs, one on each face. ONE! TWO! Field goal kicks! SIX POINTS! Black Pants is on his feet first which is a dubious achievement since it means that he gets picked up and PILE DRIVEN THROUGH THE STEREO! Did I say something about the IWS NOT letting it all hang out at their Le Skratch shows? Clearly, I was talking through my ass, because that was SICK! Red Pants is up and he too eats what little remains of the stereo and Evilicious is no more, they are pushing up daisies, they is extinct, they're pining for the fjords... Giving Green Phantom plenty of time to go out to the Two Mountains crowd and retrieve a great big, evil, vicious, WOODEN SIGN OF DEATH which has written on it, "This is Real Wood" Oh good, because I was worried it was some kind of fake wood, see. The Green Phantom sets up the two chairs with the sign in the middle in some sick, twisted (RED) Green Phantom Device, and then picks up Evilicious, one over each shoulder, and bombs both of them over his shoulder onto the device. I am not entirely certain which Lucha Libre promotion El Fantomas Verto was spawned at, but I am willing to hazard at guess that that particular move would be grounds for immediate disqualification in all of them because that pushed the SICK-O-METER to ELEVEN! The Green Phantom takes a chair and makes himself an Evilicious sandwich with chair filling. He goes up top and Phantom Splash! Manny is out and is getting a table and setting it up. Green Phantom has both of Evilicious up to simultaneously suplex them, possibly intending to suplex them out of the ring and onto the table, but Evilicious are able to block and suplex Green Phantom instead. Phantom bounces back up, bum-rushes Red Pants to Manny at the outside and Phantom-bombs Black Pants but his lackadaisical foot on the chest cover is not enough! You know there are moments that really crystallize a career. Bret Hart putting his foot on the ropes to avoid being pinned by Dino Bravo after Dino broke his sternum, well even Bret admits that was dumb, but this was really, REALLY DUMB! Stay down you moron! Manny has maneuvered Red Pants onto the table, and Black Pants, completely ignoring my sensible advice, GETS UP only to be Phantom Suplexed to the outside onto his partner and through the table. Both members of Evilicious are rolled in. The Green Phantom picks up Red Pants for a Phantom's Edge, but that is blocked so the Green Phantom settles for a Phantom Slam of Red Pants, and then turns around just in time to catch Black Pants jumping off the top rope. Phantom's Edge Black Pants onto his partner and the Green Phantom covers both men for the pin at 11:15 (10:00?) Thus endeth the lesson.
The odd thing about that, is that in most promotions that would be considered a squash, but in the IWS from what I can gather getting demolished by the Green Phantom is a sort of hazing ritual on the path of greatness as an argument breaks out around me as to whether the beating that Evilicious just took was as bad or worse than the beating that the NINJAZ~ took at Praise the Violence from the Green Phantom.
Iron Mike Patterson is out with his mike, "Can you guys get up?" As Evilicious struggles to their feet, Maxx Fury and TNT are out to pick over the remains. Evilicious are quickly rescued by Manny and the Green Phantom who send Maxx and TNT flying. In the process, TNT wipes out the Two Mountains row. Nixon Stratus is out to get in the face of Manny and the Green Phantom, "You can't do shit to me! I'm the Commissioner!" He is naturally, right, but he neglects to watch his back while Iron Mike Patterson gets a chair ready and wipes him out. Nixon limps to the back swearing vengeance. Green Phantom and Manny head to the back as well, followed by Evilicious who are helped to the back by their ring valet, an attractive, tattooed Bif Naked look alike wearing a Lita thong and an "I suck" T-shirt, which I think has a completely different meaning when SHE wears it, compared to when Arsenal wears the exact same shirt.
The IWS stagehands are back with brooms to sweep the carnage out of the ring and Iron Mike Patterson recognizes their hard work, "I'd like to thank my personal bitch... Broom Boy! The next match is for the IWS World Heavyweight title coming out first the champion, from Eighteen Inch Long Beach, at 195 pounds with 5 pounds of pure cock-meat!" The crowd cracks me up at this point by starting to chant, "You Would Know!" Astonishingly, Iron Mike maintains his composure enough to finish, "The Sexxx Exxxpress, Sexxxy Eddy!" Eddy is accompanied by his agent, the Motivator of Madness aka Skeletor and his manager, Misstress Rose, who is wearing a purple vinyl outfit with thigh length black boots. Eddy grabs the mike, looks his manager over and declares, "I'm falling in love... with MYSELF!" HA! Eddy continues asking Misstress Rose, "Did you get my special package in the mail?" Rose grabs the mike, "Tasted GREAT Eddy, but SHE wasn't on my list, I asked for TWINS." Eddy has this great expression on his face, like man did I ever fuck up or what? Rose refusing to let Eddy off the hook, continues on the mike, "Make it up to me, Eddy. Strip for me! STRIP you fucking BITCH! STRIP!" Eddy strips down to silver lame bikini briefs with a black studded waistband before Mistress Rose relents on her discipline and brings out a blonde from the audience for the Eddy wiggle and Eddy lap dance. From the ground, Iron Mike Patterson has retrieved the mike, "I hope that Eddy's breasts stay nice and perky after his opponent FUCKS HIM UP! Ladies and Gentlemen, your challenger, weighing in at 333 pounds, from Fabertown, Japan, Hardcore Fucking NINJA~ Number Two!" As usual, whenever you see the word NINJA~ please pronounce it in the Chuck Norris from Octagon approved way for maximum reading enjoyment.
I should explain that, by this point, I had been able to do enough research to determine that Hardcore NINJA~#2 usually wore a yellow belt and was affectionately known by IWS fans as the Yellow NINJA~, while his tag team partner wore a white belt and was therefore known as Hardcore NINJA~#1. I was thanking god for this distinction because otherwise it is imfuckingpossible to tell these guys apart. On the plus side, on this night, they were in two different matches giving me a much better chance of distinguishing one from the other. Having said all of that, the two Hardcore NINJAZ~ walk out together and neither of them are wearing and belts of any colour. Arsenal, wearing an "I SUCK" t-shirt takes out one of the two NINJAZ~ and drags him to the back and I can only hope and pray that he dragged off the right one.
The bell rings at 11:27, and the referee is still the same guy! Eddy is on the ring apron and does a splash from the top. The two quickly move out my sight and a Holy Shit chant breaks out, but I have no idea why. Sexy Eddy rolls in the Yellow NINJA~ and climbs up top to hit a Sexxxy Drop-Kick. Sexxxy-Plex! LATHER! RINSE! AND REPEAT! Sexxxy-Slam! Sexxxy Eddy goes up top and makes the universal symbol for, "I'm retaining the belt" giving the Yellow NINJA~ enough time to crotch Eddy who folds up into the Tree of Woe. The Yellow NINJA~ goes to work with what I can only describe as an Alabama Face Jam DDT. He plays wishbone with Eddy's legs and then climbs up top to drop the Randy Savage Flying Elbow for two. NINJA~Roll-up gets two! NINJA~Leg Roll-up for two! Vicious NINJA~Line for two! Eddy in desperation manages to land a spinning heel kick knocking the Yellow NINJA~ close enough to the ropes for Skeletor to begin choking him from behind while Eddy walks off the beating. The Yellow NINJA~ breaks free from the choke, but falls victim to a Sexxxy-Roll-Up for two! Skeletor sets up a table on the outside and then jaws with some fans to my left, eventually stealing the yellow belt that they brought to show solidarity with the Yellow NINJA~ Meanwhile, Eddy is on the table being choked by the Yellow NINJA~ Skeletor distracts with the Yellow Belt, and the Yellow NINJA~ pursues along the apron, stops, rethinks and turns to perform a slingshot flipping NINJA~Splash on Sexxxy Eddy and through the table. Eddy is DEAD! The Yellow NINJA~ rolls him in and stomps a mud hole through his money-maker, and when Eddy scrambles to his feet to better sell the exquisite pain folding him up like an accordion, the Yellow NINJA~, with no sympathy at all, spin kicks him to the face knocking him back down. The Yellow NINJA~ climbs and NINJA~Splashes from the top. Before he can cover though, Skeletor interferes and gets kicked for his pains. The Yellow NINJA~ climbs again, but he has gone back to the well once too often, and Sexxxy Eddy drop-kicks him to crotch him up top. Sexxxy Eddy goes up top, and motions for Skeletor to set up a table, but Skeletor CAN'T FIND A TABLE! While Skeletor frantically searches for a table, Eddy tries to keep a wriggling NINJA~ under control, but you can't keep a good NINJA~ down, I always say, and the Yellow NINJA~ DDT's Sexxxy Eddy off the top for two. Skeletor has found a table near me, which for some unaccountable reason he has decided to drag all the way back in front of the Two Mountains crowd. The Yellow NINJA~ hits another DDT, and sees Skeletor setting up the table, so he drags Sexxxy Eddy back to the ropes, threatening to superplex Eddy onto the table. Eddy recovers, blocks the superplex, and he threatens to superplex the Yellow NINJA~, who counters with a low blow and a body slam. They struggle for position a bit more, until Eddy is satisfied that the table is exactly where it is supposed to be, and he gets the Yellow NINJA~ into a scissors-hold, swinging him off the top rope to the outside, and through the table. The bits and pieces of the Yellow NINJA~ are rolled into the ring and Eddy runs in to land an Asai Sexxxy-Sault for the pin and the win at 11:45 (18:00?)
You have to admire their ability to improvise, but it would have made a lot more sense to either abandon that table spot, or do it from another corner rather than going back to the same corner AGAIN and AGAIN!
Arsenal is back out and he sets up another table. Eddy and Arsenal throw the Yellow NINJA~ on the table and it collapses under his weight. He is 333 pounds you know! They Pile-Drive the Yellow NINJA~ through the broken table bringing out Hardcore NINJA~#1 to save his partner. The crowd begins a "Fuck-em-up NINJAZ~" chant. This would seem to signal that the main event is starting, a three way match for the unofficial title of Montreal Death-Match Champion. The current holder of the bragging rights to that moniker, PCP, Crazy Fucking Manny, charges out from the back with a baseball bat covered in barbed wire. The bell rings at 11:48, and the ref is STILL THE SAME GUY! I swear you can't trust any of your e-mails these days.
Despite their differences, Arsenal and Hardcore NINJA~#1 recognize that Manny is the bigger threat. The Hardcore NINJA~#1 holds a chair for Arsenal to do a Van Terminator on Manny. And LATHER! RINSE! AND REPEAT! After the second Van Terminator, Manny rolls to the outside, and Hardcore NINJA~#1 throws the chair at Arsenal. Well, that partnership lasted a long time. Arsenal runs at Hardcore NINJA~#1, who drops down so Arsenal leap-frogs over him, and out of the ring onto Manny! The Hardcore NINJA~#1 is up and he does a running NINJA~Stage-Dive to take out both men. Somehow, the barbed wire bat has ended up on the floor near us, and the guy next to me slices his finger on the barb-wire to check that it is real. All three men are back in the ring. Manny drops Hardcore NINJA~#1 across his knee, and drops him to the mat where Hardcore NINJA~#1 arches in pain, does a kip-up and kicks Manny right in the face, only to be levelled by Arsenal's kick to the face. Manny grabs Arsenal and choke slams him onto his knee, and follows up with a Junkie-DDT on Arsenal. Manny retrieves his trusty bat, but the Hardcore NINJA~#1 has a chair, and chair beats bat. Manny drops the bat, and it rolls in front of Arsenal, who gets this "There is a GOD!" look on his face as he scoops up the bat, and clocks both men with it. He then grinds the barb-wire into Manny's back tearing Manny's shirt and ripping Manny's flesh. The Hardcore NINJA~#1 interferes, and he uses the bat on Manny as well. Manny in desperation grabs the Hardcore NINJA~#1, and blasts him with a Spinning Sit-out Junkie Bomb. He then turns to Arsenal, who drops Manny throat-first on the ropes. Arsenal props a chair on Manny's face, and goes up top to drop the elbow onto the chair. Arsenal garbs the bat giving Manny time to get to his feet, and send Arsenal flying with a Junkie-Line. Manny makes an Arsenal and Hardcore NINJA~#1 sandwich with barb-wire filling. Manny goes up top, but on the way down eats the barb-wire to the face. The Hardcore NINJA~#1 and Arsenal try to double-team to suplex Manny, but he counters and then simultaneously Junkie-Plexes both men. Manny is up, but he is taken down by the bat thrown at his face by Arsenal, who pounces on Manny, and grinds the barb-wire into Manny's face, cutting his own hands to shreds in the process. Arsenal rolls Manny outside to Skeletor, and hands off the baseball bat. Meanwhile, Hardcore NINJA~#1 has built a fiendish NINJA~Device on the outside consisting of four chairs, some wood and some barb-wire. Arsenal and the Hardcore NINJA~#1 meet at the top of the ropes and struggle for control. Counter, Reversal, Counter, Reversal, until finally Arsenal goes off the top through the NINJA~Device. Manny has meanwhile finished kicking him some Skeletor butt, and he charges into the ring and out the other side, Junkie-Diving the Hardcore NINJA~#1 into the Two Mountains Mob. Manny rolls back in, and gets his Christmas present out. No the OTHER Christmas present, the Thumb-Tacks. He spreads them over the ring. The Hardcore NINJA~#1 is back up and he is all cut up. Arsenal knocks Manny down in the thumbtacks and then rolls him back out to Skeletor, while the Hardcore NINJA~#1 sneaks up on Arsenal with a chair. NINJA~Stealth works and he chair-shots Arsenal, and drops a NINJA~Leg. Arsenal gets back up and Suplexes the Hardcore NINJA~#1 onto the thumbtacks! OUCH! Turn around is fair play, so the Hardcore NINJA~#1 NINJA~Plexes Arsenal onto the thumb-tacks. Manny gets back into the ring and Junkie-Drivers the hardcore NINJA~#1 into the thumb-tacks. Arsenal gets up and his shirt is all splattered with blood, but he is able to Suplex Manny onto the thumb-tacks. The Hardcore NINJA~#1 is back up and he NINJA~Drivers Arsenal onto the thumb-tacks, as this is quickly breaking down into the SICKEST BASTARD in CHOMEDEY Contest. Arsenal is back up to Suplex Manny into the thumb-tacks again. The Hardcore NINJA~#1 Suplexes Arsenal onto the thumb-tacks. Arsenal tries to bridge out and falls back into the thumb-tacks. The Hardcore NINJA~#1 drops a NINJA~Elbow but Arsenal rolls out of the way and the NINJA~Elbow hits... NOTHING... BUT... TACKS! Manny is up to do a long, slow watusi and his back is just covered with thumb-tacks. Somebody is making that noise that Mick Foley describes at Japanese events, a sort of long throaty moan of empathic pain, and I come to realize that the noise is in fact coming from MY throat! Manny rolls out and the Hardcore NINJA~#1 bum-rushes Arsenal out of the ring just missing Manny, who grabs a chair. Manny chair shots the Hardcore NINJA~#1 twice, vicious nasty shots too, BALLS NASTY! Arsenal charges off the apron with the barb-wire baseball bat, taking out Manny. Grabbing the Hardcore NINJA~#1, Arsenal drags him up to the top rope and Super-Plexes him off the top rope onto the thumb-tacks. All right, that was just MEAN! The Hardcore NINJA~#1 is still twitching so he must still be alive, Right? RIGHT?!? But Arsenal is taking no chances so he FISHERMAN SUPLEXES the Hardcore NINJA~#1 onto the thumb-tacks and holds him for the three count which the ref performs like a wimp on a pail at 12:05 (17:00). The SICKEST BASTARD in CHOMEDEY and your Montreal Death-Match Champion: Arsenal!
Sexxxy Eddy comes out to congratulate his tag-team partner and they preen, while Skeletor takes a Kendo Stick to Manny on the outside. Green Phantom eventually charges out of the back to save his tag-team partner, screaming, "Fuck You Eddy! Fuck You Arsenal!" While Sex and Violence scatter, the Hardcore NINJA~#1 staggers past me bleeding like a stuck pig.
This main-event death match of blood is really not my thing, especially on a stoumach rendered queasy by non-digestible food, but I don't think that I will ever, EVER make the mistake again of assuming that the IWS half-asses ANY of their shows.
After the show, I got a chance to congratulate Nixon Stratus on his SWANK~ Wringing Arm-Bar at Born to Bleed. He seemed oddly touched as he said that no one ever compliments his wrestling. What I did not say and should have said is this, "Of course, they don't compliment your wrestling. You are performing in front of blood-thirsty ghouls. If you could figure out a way to draw blood with an arm-bar, then and only then would they love you!"
When I got home, I e-mailed the guy who claimed to be the 'other referee' at IWS as follows, "OK, I was looking for the switch this time & I didn't see it. Which matches did Dynamite do & which ones did you do?" His response followed shortly, "Allright at season's beatings as for referee swithes there was none since Dynamite Dave didn't show up so I was the ref for the whole show." I was naturally suspicious, but I decided to try and get confirmation on the referee situation one way or another at the next show.
I ended my recap of the Rougeau Gala with the following words, and I believe them still to be true: Meanwhile, in Chomedey, Laval is headquartered a promotion with all of the ambition in the world, a promotion that has, if anything, too much heart, a promotion that survives not on ability and technique, but on enthusiasm, chutzpah, and lots and lots of blood. That promotion is the IWS, and at this point, I was convinced that I had to keep my eye on them, but I, as yet, was unprepared to drink the IWS kool-aid. That would all change with Extreme Dream, the show where I learned to stop worrying and love the IWS.
Happy St-Jean Baptiste!