Well it didn’t take the FRAT long to make their mark in 2012. Not only did Gyration Nation dethrone the Wave Riders and reclaim the XWA Tag Team Championship belts last month at Addicted, but their leader, Josh Kotsabasakis, became the new XWA Heavyweight Champion of the world when he cashed in his Roll The Dice briefcase and beat Dazzling Dick Durning to close out the evening.
Last month also saw the emergence of Brute Force. These two behemoths hit the ring after the tag team title match and took out the Wave Riders. Already battered and bruised, the Wave Riders were no match for these monsters, who proceeded to slam and splash them to the mat with reckless abandon.
We’re likely going to hear more about these two individuals this evening and in the coming months ahead. The Wave Riders, on the other hand, may be out of action for some time.
Whether anyone likes it or not, this is shaping up to be the year of the FRAT. But make no mistake, the rest of the locker room, including former champ Durning, will not go away without a fight. With Brute Force in the mix, the Wave Riders possibly on the shelf and the Renegades seemingly back in the game, the tag team division is going through an evolution of sorts.
Tonight we’re going to see Ryan Heath challenging the Cuban Missile himself, current XWA Elite Champion Julius Fantana. Over the last few months, the general consensus amongst fans and peers alike is that Heath is certifiable, as in certifiably insane. Who knows who or what he’ll show up as tonight. Could it be The Great Heath? Honkytonk Heath? The Ultimate Heath?
In addition, we’ll be seeing superstars, including John Striker, Barstool Bailey, Shaheer Rasool and Eric O’Connell in competition in the squared circle. Not to be forgotten, Wesley Pipes and James Steele will be competing in a Falls Count Anywhere match.
These types of matches can prove entertaining but dangerous to the fans. We’ll have to see how this one shakes out. Where there is smoke, there’s fire, and it’s definitely beginning to get hard to breathe in here.
Without further delay, let’s get this party started!
Championship Role Call
XWA Heavyweight Champion: Josh Kotsabasakis
XWA Tag Team Champions: Gyration Nation
XWA Elite Division Champion: Julius Fantana
Segment One: Recap of Last month's Event
First off a video recap played highlights from Addicted. The highlights included:
1. El Handsomo secured a victory over Zane Valentine when he rolled him up with a schoolboy. Towards the end of the match, El Handsomo pulled a switcheroo when he rolled out of the ring and switched places with an impostor.
Post match, the impostor El Handsomo was able to distract the referee while the real El Handsomo scampered to the back. The ref may have had his back to the action, but Valentine saw it all and was livid.
2. James Steele was named the winner over Jonny Versace. This was originally scheduled to be a Steele versus Pipes contest, but Pipes appeared before the match with his foot in a walking cast. Not only did the injury turn out to be bogus, but Pipes had the audacity to attack Steele midway through the contest using the medical apparatus as a weapon to strike Steele down.
Julius Fantana arrived to aid Steele and prevent more damage being done. Needless to say, the bad blood between Steele and Pipes continues to build.
3. ”Hulk Heath” was defeated by Barstool Bailey with the Hangover in a back-and-forth contest. The Canadian icon, Ryan Heath, opted to arrive on scene wearing a Hulkamania shirt along with a trademark Fu Manchu moustache and bandana. One wonders if the mental issues Heath appears to be suffering from will run their course or whether this strange behavior will become a permanent fixture.
4. Kamikaze Kingpin was awarded the disqualification win against John Striker. This one was over before it started when Striker proceeded to take Kingpin into the corner and stomp a mudhole in him. Striker attacked Kingpin and refused to break the mandatory five-count, so he ultimately became his own worst enemy on this night.
5. We crowned new tag-team champions in the form of Gyration Nation. Both teams came out guns a blazing, and no one held anything back. Although they put up a valiant fight, Mikey and Kayden were unsuccessful in their title defense, thus kicking off the first of two title changes on the evening.
6. And in the final bout of the night, Dazzling Dick Durning defeated Sunny Warcloud by submission. Although Durning had his hand raised in victory, the night for him was not yet over. Post match, both Gyration Nation team members sprinted to the ring and dusted Durning in the eyes with powder.
Out to capitalize on the situation was Josh Kotsabasakis, who cashed in his Roll The Dice briefcase, nailed Durning with the Tuition Payment and rolled him up for the pin. The XWA crowned a new champion in the form of the Freshman, Kotsabasakis.
Once the video finishes up, we finally kick off tonight’s offering, Valentine’s Massacre. And without further ado, it’s time for the show to begin.
Match No. 1: El Handsomo vs Eric O’Connell
Kicking the night off for Valentine’s Massacre, we had one half of the Renegades, Eric O’Connell, in action against El Handsomo. In most cases, O’Connell would be tagging with his partner, Jack Spears, (who accompanied him to the ring), but tonight, he was competing in singles action.,
This opening contest would see the momentum swing back and forth throughout. At one point, El Handsomo took an opportunity to dropkick Jack Spears through the ropes, sending him to the floor outside with authority.
Once again this month, just when it looked like someone (in this case, O’Connell) was on his way to victory, a second El Handsomo appeared from under the ring to switch places with the “original” El Handsomo. When the referee became distracted, El Handsomo pulled off a quick rollup for the 1-2-3 win.
Following the match, Brute Force, hit the ring. They proceeded to take out the Renegades, ultimately isolating O’Connell after a splash off the top rope. They proceeded to give him an unwelcome haircut. These two are a threat to the XWA locker room, and it appears that everyone is fair game.
Segment One: Frat 1 (initiation video)
We were then treated to a video showing the FRAT backstage. They share some laughs about Jack Spears' mom before an unfamiliar face makes an appearance. As it turns out, the FRAT has a fan, and this fan appears to have intentions of becoming a member of the FRAT.
After a short consultation, the FRAT members agree to take on this new guy as a pledge member of their little group. Before the segment ends, Dale Dangles takes an opportunity to kick The Pledge in the nether region as they laugh and walk away.
Segment Two: Durning Speaks
Former champion Dick Durning made his way to ringside and wanted to share his displeasure with the results of last month's event, which saw him lose his XWA Heavweight Championship by nefarious means.
Just then, XWA president Nelson Hum arrives on scene. Unfortunately for Durning, the Roll The Dice contract doesn’t offer a rematch, as would normally be the case when the belt changes hands. Hum adds his thoughts on the matter stating that while he doesn’t like how things played out last month, it was all legal.
Hum “tells him what he’s going to do,” though. Tonight, Dazzling Dick Durning gets a shot at one of the FRAT members (Dangles or Chambers). If he can beat him, next month, he will get a shot at the remaining FRAT member. If he can win both of those matches, then, at the XWA event in April, Hum will grant the rematch with The Freshman to Durning (assuming Josh Kotsabasakis is still the XWA Heavyweight Champion at the time).
FRAT doesn’t like it; Durning seems relatively content with it. We’ll see Durning and somebody later.
Match No. 2: Josh Kotsabasakis vs Sunny Warcloud
In what would ultimately be Josh Kotsabasakis’ first XWA Heavyweight Championship title defense, The Freshman went one-on-one with veteran Sunny Warcloud. Warcloud is an experienced worker, and by the sounds of the fans' reaction when he was announced, has clearly developed a loyal fanbase.
Unfortunately for Warcloud, both Chip Chambers and Dale Dangles were permitted to linger around the ring like a bad smell, so it was all but inevitable that this would become a numbers game. And unfortunately, Warcloud didn’t have the odds in his favour.
Early on, Kotsabasakis dominated the action with a series of spinning neckbreakers followed by repeated Irish whips into the corner. Josh would follow up with the high knee to the back of the head. Kotsabasakis eventually got greedy and attempted it a second time, only to have Warcloud move out of the way just in the nick of time.
Warcloud would put up a good fight and controlled much of the middle of the match. After doing damage to the right leg of The Freshman, he’d continue the assault on the limb and eventually worked Kotsabasakis into a figure four leg-lock.
Warcloud would work this hold until forced to break when Kotsabasakis crawled to the edge of the ring to grab the rope. A series of high-risk moves would ensue seeing both competitors reversing each others fortunes, and ultimately, by about the eight-minute mark, both wrestlers were visibly worn out by the steady pace of the action.
The critical point spelling the end for Warcloud came when he attempted a monster frog splash. A picture perfect flight was ruined when Kotsabasakis got his knees up at just the last second to stun the warrior. The Freshman followed up the miscue with the Tuition Payment and secured the victory, retaining his belt.
Segment Three: KI Real Video
Then it was time for a short video clip in a segment titled “Real School” by KI Real. Real proceeded to introduce us to the word “shorty," which he referred to as meaning a girlfriend of some sort. Real suggested it could be used in a sentence such as “yo, holla at me Shorty." Indeed.
Match No. 3: Wesley Pipes vs James Steele (falls count anywhere)
Following that snippet, we were set to see a falls count anywhere match between James Steele and Wesley Pipes. This match didn’t go off quite as planned. We turned to the screen to see Steele and his Valet heading to the ring. Suddenly, Steele was attacked from behind by Wesley Pipes, who cleaned his clock with a steel chair.
He wasted no time putting Steele into a submission hold and stretching him out. Given the fact that he was all but unconscious, the referee who arrived on scene had no choice but to award the victory to Pipes via submission.
To add insult to injury, Wesley Pipes takes the opportunity while Steele is still lights-out on the floor to pucker up and lay one on Steele’s valet. Valentine’s Day for Bliss came early here in 2012
Segment Four: The Pledge gets a name and a t-shirt
Back to the screen again to see our recent aspiring FRAT member we’ll call The Pledge. He’s now decked out in a custom t-shirt to identify that he is, in fact, The Pledge. The FRAT members are in a partying mood and suggest that The Pledge go score Barstool Bailey’s keg of beer.
Add to that the fact that Dale Dangles makes The Pledge take off his glasses just so he can slap him and kick him in the groin again, and it has been a long night for this youngster.
Match No. 4: Shaheer Rasool vs John Striker
Next up was John Striker taking on Shaheer Rasool. Many had this one pegged to be a one-sided affair with the usual dominating Striker taking the victory. Shaheer Rasool and The Sheik, however, had different things in mind.
Early on, Striker showed his brute strength, and it looked like Rasool was in for a long night. A combination of shoulder blocks and suplexes shook the ring. But Rasool showed his resilience and weathered the storm.
In typical Sheik fashion, he distracted Striker baiting him to the outside. As Striker climbed back in the ring, Rasool was able to catch Striker in the head and begin a prolonged assault, the likes of which we have not seen against Striker since his return.
Rasool would eventually look to put Striker away with a high-risk move off the ropes. Striker would avoid the offense and looked ready to mount a comeback when you guessed it, Sheik got involved. Striker would all but decapitate Rasool with a flying clothesline off the top turnbuckle and follow it up with a spinebuster.
He would then turn his attention to The Sheik, who had climbed up on the mat and was distracting the referee. In the blink of an eye, a spike was tossed through the air from Sheik to Rasool. Rasool made no mistake as he drilled Striker, sending the giant to the mat. Before referee Steve Doussaud knew it, he was turning around to find Shaheer Rasool with a cross-face submission on Striker.
Striker held in for some time, but eventually succumbed to the team of The Sheik and Shaheer Rasool. Count this as a big win as The Sheik and Shaheer Rasool continue to wreak havoc on the XWA. As a certain bald wrestler from the 90’s would say, “Who’s next?"
Segment Five: The Pledge Fails His First Assignment
Back to the screen for more FRAT fun as we see our new friend, The Pledge, attempting to steal Barstool Bailey’s keg of beer while Bailey is in the men’s room taking care of business.
Unfortunately for The Pledge, his stealth skills failed him.
Bailey not only catches him, but dishes out some punishment Bailey-style when he forces The Pledge to drink toilet water. Ew. The Pledge returns “kegless” to the FRAT members and receives a third kick to the groin for his troubles.
Match No. 5: Barstool Bailey vs Senior Flame
Our fifth match of the evening saw the debut of Senior Flame against perennial favourite Barstool Bailey. Flame was introduced to the aggression of Bailey, and when he did get in some offense of his own, was infatuated with dancing for the fans. Fear not, Soul Train, for you are safe for now.
Just when it appeared as if Bailey was on his way to delivering Senior Flame his first professional defeat in the XWA ring, Bailey snapped. The Irishman blatantly disregarded the mandatory five-count as he had Flame in a choke hold. As a result, the referee awarded the win to Senior Flame.
Post-match, XWA announcer Coug attempted to interview Bailey to get some answers for the somewhat bizarre behavior. Bailey became agitated, stating that he takes the XWA seriously. It’s how he provides for his family.
At some point, his anger boiled over, resulting in Bailey delivering a solid right to Coug that sent him down to the floor.
The screen flickers, and a cryptic video plays. Evidently, something is coming in May 2012.
Match 6: Julius Fantana vs Ryan Heath
Many of the fans had been anticipating the next matchup. Some because they are Julius Fantana fans, while others were curious to see which variation of Ryan Heath would show up for battle tonight.
The king of cuckoo did not disappoint, as we were treated to not only one Julius Fantana making his way to the ring, but two. Sure enough, Heath took the opportunity this week to deck himself out in full Ryan Fantana gear.
Heath and Fantana kicked off the bout matching pose for pose, hold for hold. Mime was in full display. Heath was able to keep up with the agile Cuban right up until Fantana executed a standing somersault. Rather than take the stab (and likely failing) at matching that move, Heath opted to clothesline Fantana off his feet instead.
From there on out, it was a mixed bag of wrestling. You had Fantana trying to use his agility and speed to get Heath off his feet (and set him up for his finisher). Meanwhile Heath seemed to divide his time, half working to continue cloning Fantana’s moves, the other delivering some punishing power moves of his own.
The match ended when Jonny Versace popped up on the screen and distracted Fantana. Versace seemed to be suggesting he’s looking to unmask Fantana next month. Heath took the opportunity to roll up Fantana, but in a great show of ring smarts, Fantana rolled through the pin and ultimately was able to keep Heath’s shoulders on the mat for the 1-2-3.
Match No. 7: Chip Chambers vs Dazzling Dick Durning
Finally, it was time for the main event of the evening. One half of the XWA Tag Team champions, Chip Chambers, versus Dazzling Dick Durning. On the line, the opportunity for Durning to head to next months event to face Dale Dangles. Assuming he could get through that match as well, he would be awarded a rematch with current XWA Heavyweight Champion and FRAT leader Josh Kotsabasakis.
Out of the gates, Dale and Josh worked to distract Durning long enough for Chambers to attack from behind. The early part of the match saw some pretty good mat skills from both competitors. Chambers really showed some real skill, as he was able to keep up with Durning, known for setting a brisk pace in the squared circle.
They traded finishers back and forth, then battered each other with forearms. After powering Chambers into the corner, the ref backed Durning up. Chambers saw his opportunity and leapt directly over the ref and nailed Durning with a Rough Ryder, totally catching Durning by surprise. Miraculously, Durning was able to kick out at two.
As we reached the midpoint, the high risk moves kept coming. Durning dove between the ropes to the floor, taking out both Dangles and Kotsabasakis (nearly spilling into the first row in the process). Chambers, who had been temporarily dazed in the ring, got to his feet and jumped out to the floor taking out Durning.
As the match wore down, both Durning and Chambers continued to amaze the fans with their effort. Chambers was attempting a high-risk move off the top rope, only to be caught mid air by Durning, who delivered a devastating RKO.
Chambers was staggering at that point, and Durning pounced, sending Chambers into the corner with an Irish whip and following it up with a shining wizard in the corner. Chambers still had presence of mind enough, however, to block the follow-up attempt by Durning to nail his finisher. Ultimately, after a counter attempt, Durning finally hit Chambers with a full nelson suplex.
It was academic at that point, as Durning nailed a sit-out powerbomb, and finished Chambers off with his Babykiller Piledriver. Dangles and Kotsabasakis would threaten retaliation, but elected to slither around the ring while Durning sent a message with a final finisher to close the show.
Biggest Pops Of Night
1. Dazzling Dick defeats Chip Chambers
2. Julius Fantana picks up the win over Ryan Heath
3. Sunny Warcloud gets a title shot
Biggest Boos Of Night
1. Shaheer Rasool makes John Striker tap out
2. KI Real takes us to school
3. Brute Force give Eric O’Connell an unwanted haircut
Highlight of Night
1. Chip Chambers goes toe to toe with Dazzling Dick Durning in the main event
Surprise of Night
1. Someone is coming in May 2012…but who?
The next show is Standoff, which will once again come to you from Samuel de Champlain on March 10. Doors open at 7 p.m.; bell time is 7:30. See you next time!
XWA is Canada's premier independent wrestling promotion based out of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada. More information on the promotion, including recaps of past events as well as information on upcoming events, can be found on their website located at: