On a mild, spring-like evening here in the port city of Saint John, New Brunswick, XWA Wrestling is set to deliver its March offering, Standoff.
Last month, many of the XWA fans were hoping to see James Steele finally get his hands on Wesley Pipes in a falls count anywhere match. Unfortunately, it never materialized, as Pipes proceeded to attack Steele from behind pre-match. Pipes then submitted him up for a cheap win before they ever left the dressing room area. To add insult to injury, Pipes stole a kiss from the beautiful Issabella Bliss (Steele’s valet).
We also saw another cryptic video play to remind us that “someone” is coming in May 2012. Will this mystery return be any clearer before the night is over, or will we have to wait until May to finally see what this is all about?
Once again, we’ll also have the opportunity to see Shaheer Rasool in action. He’s been on a winning streak of epic proportions lately, and just last month, picked up a huge win over John Striker. Having The Sheik by his side certainly doesn’t hurt him when it comes to snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Rasool may need to pray for mercy tonight when he battles perhaps his toughest opponent to date.
In the main event of the evening, we’ll see Dazzling Dick Durning taking on Dale Dangles. Last month, Durning beat Chip Chambers to inch closer to a rematch with Josh Kotsabasakis.
If you’ll recall, president Nelson Hum issued an edict stating that if Durning can beat both Gyration Nation team members in back-to-back events, he will grant him his long-awaited rematch for the XWA Heavyweight Championship. Last month, he defeated Chip Chambers; tonight, he has Dale Dangles in his sights.
We have a jam-packed house here this evening (a virtual standing-room-only scene), so let’s get to it!
Championship Role Call
XWA Heavyweight Champion
XWA Tag Team Champions
XWA Elite Division Champion
What follows is a recap of tonight’s event, “Standoff:"
Segment One: Recap of Last Month's Event
First off, a video recap played highlights from Valentine’s Massacre. The highlights included:
1. In another case of switcheroo, El Handsomo scored a pin over Eric O’Connell, one half of the Renegades. The past couple of months, we’ve seen El Handsomo and a lookalike switch in and out of the match, allowing them to work together to score the win. No one has yet to determine exactly who this second El Handsomo is and why he is willingly working together with the “real” El Handsomo. More on that as we get it.
2. The Freshman, Josh Kotsabasakis, was able to get the pin over Sunny Warcloud. Sunny actually controlled much of the match, and on more than one occasion, looked like he may pull off the upset.
3. The fans were set to see Wesley Pipes finally take on James Steele in a “falls count anywhere match." Instead, what we got was Pipes attacking Steele from behind as Steele and his valet, Issabella Bliss, were on the way to the ring. Pipes went for the quick submission, and this match was over before it ever started.
4. Next up was John Striker taking on Shaheer Rasool. Striker had been looking unbeatable since his return. Rasool was also on a streak of his own, so inevitably, something had to give. In the end, it was Rasool securing the win and John Striker standing in the ring in pure disbelief. Not only did Rasool get the win, but he was able to make the Goliath tap out proving once and for all, Shaheer Rasool isn’t just a pretty face.
5. Following the intermission, newcomer Senior Flame took on Barstool Bailey. Bailey not only ended up being disqualified for not breaking the five-count due to a choke, but eventually went off his rocker and assaulted one half of the announce team, Coug (who had to be helped to the back by the security staff).
6. Then, it was time for perennial fan favourite Julius Fantana to defend his XWA Elite Championship against Ryan Heath. Heath arrived to the ring dressed as none other than Fantana himself. Near the end of the match, Jonny Versace appeared on the XWA tron and distracted Fantana. This allowed Heath an opportunity to attempt a roll-up. Fantana, however, rolled through the pin attempt into one of his own to get the three count.
7. And in the main event of the evening, Dazzling Dick Durning went one-on-one with Chip Chambers. Last month, Nelson Hum stipulated that if Durning could beat Chambers and Dale Dangles in consecutive events, that he would grant him a re-match against The Freshman (and current XWA Heavyweight Champion Josh Kotsabasakis). In a fantastic up-tempo match, Durning and Chambers went toe-to-toe and hold-for-hold. Durning was ultimately successful and scored the victory.
NOTE: For those of you who are interested in checking out the detailed recap for last months Valentine's Massacre, please head to the following link:
Once the video finishes up, we finally kick off tonight’s offering, Standoff. And without further ado, it’s time for the show to begin.
Match No. 1: El Handsomo vs James Steele
El Handsomo was introduced to the crowd but before the second competitor could be announced; James Steele showed up on scene still furious over last month's events. Steele was clearly still favouring his right shoulder and arm, as both were still taped as a result of the damage done by Wesley Pipes at Valentine’s Massacre.
The ref opted to start the match, and we were off. El Handsomo spent much of his time early on working on the injured wing of Steele. On more than one occasion, Handsomo tried to submit Steele, but the resilient Sussex native would not give in.
As in recent months, mid-match, we saw another bait and switch, as the “original” El Handsomo rolled out of the ring, and in rolled the “impostor” El Handsomo appearing from under the ring. But in stark contrast to prior matches where the Handsomo’s would eek out a win, it was James Steele with a huge superkick who sent his opponent toppling to the mat. Steele followed up with a quick pin and scored the victory.
Unfortunately for Steele and Issabella Bliss, who were celebrating in the ring, they were unaware that Wesley Pipes had snuck out from the back. Not only did he attack and take out James Steele, but he proceeded to apply a crossface to Issabella Bliss. Lucky for her, Steele recovered just in time to chase Steele out of the ring, forcing Pipes to beat a hasty retreat. Later on, she would not be so lucky…
Segment Two: KI Real Video
Another “Real School” video by KI Real. Perhaps KI has missed his calling, as I hear NBCC has openings for professors in “Real-ology."
Match 2: Sunny Warcloud vs Barstool Bailey
Before this one got out of the gates, we had a tense moment in the ring with Coug (XWA faithful announcer) and Barstool Bailey. Bailey took out Coug in a fit of anger last month. Apparently, he’s had a change of heart and took the opportunity to not only apologize to Coug, but to offer to take him out on the town for St. Paddy’s Day. And the coup de gras, Bailey gave Coug a gift in the form of a blinding green “Kiss Me I’m Irish” hat. BFF’s forever.
Once the in-ring action began, we saw a steady pace from these two ring veterans, as we saw power moves from Bailey being countered by more high-risk offense by Warcloud.
Bailey started to take control of the match and attempted to knock the wind out of Warcloud with a powerslam, multiple backbreakers across the knee and finally, a bearhug. Although Warcloud had been worked over quite extensively, when Bailey tried to hit his finisher, Warcloud was able to counter out of it and escape a possible follow-up pin attempt.
Warcloud attempted to mount a comeback. After some back-and-forth but before long, Bailey once again prepared to hit his finisher. To his credit, Warcloud once again found a way to block the move and escape to the outside. At this point, Bailey became outraged and proceeded to try and deliver The Hangover to the ref!
Luckily, referee Matt Pettifer was able to grab onto the ropes and block the attempt. Clear disqualification here, and that’s all for this one.
We’re directed to the XWA tron for a video of what appears to be the Lord’s Prayer. No one is quite sure what is going on. We’re not at church, are we?
Match No. 3: Shaheer Rasool vs Jesus
Ryan Heath is spiraling out of control into madness. Want proof? Tonight, he is wrestling as… Jesus... That’s not a typo. Nelson Hum, please help this man!
To my surprise, Jesus is a pretty good wrestler, as he puts the boots to Rasool out of the gates. He’s not against getting a little dirty, either, as he pulls Rasool into the corner by his beard and keeps delivering stiff forearms.
Of course, where there is Rasool, there is The Sheik, and almost on queue, The Sheik stuck his nose in and began to choke the life out of Jesus, as he reached through the ropes from the outside and choked Jesus across the bottom rope.
After a short trip into the stands, where Jesus dominated the action, the contest worked its way back into the ring. Jesus nailed a textbook belly-to-back suplex, sending Rasool bounding into the ropes. Rasool blocked a follow-up attempt, than dished out some offense of his own.
Control of the match swung back and forth. Eventually, Jesus nailed three consecutive belly-to-back suplexes in a row. It looked like it was over until The Sheik got involved, distracting the referee and buying Rasool precious time.
Jesus, distracted at the commotion The Sheik was making, let his guard down, and it cost him. Rasool dropped Jesus to the mat and locked in a crossface submission. Jesus hung in for what seemed like an eternity, but eventually, Jesus himself had to tap. Chalk up another win for Rasool and his accomplice, the Sheik. Jesus leaves to applause…
Match 4: Wesley Pipes vs General Duce
After a short hiatus, the fans were elated to see General Duce back in the ring. He’s set to take on Wesley Pipes (James Steele’s arch enemy as of late).
Duce came out strong, using various mat wrestling techniques to get the big man off his feet. Pipes, looks to have worked himself into fantastic shape, so Duce may have his hands full.
Duce controlled things early on, but eventually, Pipes was able to take him off his feet. Pipes nailed Duce with some forearms and a European uppercut, sending Duce to the mat.
Pipes showed some veteran savvy working some traditional holds. Pipes cranked on a hammerlock and sent Duce face first into the turnbuckle not once, but twice. Every attempt Duce made to start a comeback seemed to end with Pipes crushing all his hopes.
At around this point, Isabella Bliss made her way out from the back in an attempt to seduce Pipes. Although it looked as if Pipes was falling for it hook, line and sinker, he was, in fact, playing us all. While Bliss was distracting Pipes, James Steele was sliding into the ring, readying for a superkick. Just as he was about to deliver the blow, Pipes turned and pulled Bliss in front him. Bliss ate a HUGE boot to the face that dropped her cold. Security raced to the ring, as she was not in good shape.
Steele cut a promo on Pipes like we’ve never seen. The moral of the story, Nelson Hum has evidently offered Steele whatever kind of match he wants with Pipes next month. And Steele wants a Last Man Standing match. This has been brewing forever, and the fans are rabid to see this one finally culminate. But they’ll have to wait until April…
Match 5: Julius Fantana vs Jonny Versace
Versace said he was coming for Fantana last month, and he’s kept his promise. After early posturing, this one got off to a hot start. Versace controlled early with his upper-body strength. Fantana used his speed and skill to counter and actually nailed an early 506. Versace had the presence of mind to roll out of the ring, however, and prolonged what many thought would be the inevitable.
Fantana nailed Versace with a baseball slide on the outside, and they head into the stands to battle. The crowd had to stay alert, as the action was spilling everywhere. Fantana grabs Versace’s tights, and the crowd was treated to a full moon (no telescope required)! Look away, child! If nothing else, this clearly angered Versace, and he proceeded to choke Fantana across the throat with his boot.
Various pin attempts by Versace get him nowhere. Versace wants to finish Fantana and heads to the turnbuckle. His flying attempt misses! Fantana appears to have gained new life and is on fire now with a clothesline, followed by a 506. He’s looking to end it and heads up for the 450 and nails it! Only he seems to have done damage to himself in the process.
Versace pounces and delivers a swinging neckbreaker off the ropes and gets the three-count. Wow, ladies and gentlemen, we have a new Elite Division Champion in the form of Jonny Versace! He said he was coming for the belt and he delivered.
Segment Three: The Pledge Gets A Massage
This one gets a little messy. Long story short, let’s just say The Pledge gets a special massage, and afterwards, requires a pressure wash to clean up. And who knew a young man could scream like that while eating high-powered water in sensitive areas?
Match 6: Dazzling Dick Durning vs Dale Dangles
It was time for the main event. To recap briefly, If Durning wins, he gets his rematch for the XWA Heavyweight Championship. If he loses, well, he goes home empty-handed with no rematch from Nelson Hum.
From the start, Durning had to contend with Dale Dangles IN the ring, and his two FRAT compatriots outside the ring who kept grabbing at Durning's feet and legs as he passed by. Dangles took a fair bit of time to shake his moneymaker at the start of the match.
On the one hand, it may have been a ploy to get Durning off his game. Or, he may have just wanted to shake his booty cause he can. Does anyone else wonder whether he owns a van and lives down by the river?
An early test of strength went to Durning, who followed it up with some Flair-inspired chops. Dangles would turn the tide with a Russian legsweep, which took Durning off his feet. After some back-and-forth action, Dangles went old school in the form, breaking out the Scotty 2 Hotty worm. But before he finished his sequence to drop the forearm, Durning reached up and grabbed him in the…
As we neared the end of the match, Dangles attempted to charge Durning. In the end, Dangles ran smack into the referee. Dangles falls on his back to the mat while our referee fell forward, driving his head into Dangles' groin area. Ouch…
At this point, things started spinning out of control. The other FRAT members (Josh Kotsabasakis and Chip Chambers) entered the ring and attacked Durning with the championship belt. Rapid-fire action ensued, and before long, Durning had grabbed the championship belt and clocked Dangles with it, seeming to virtually knock him cold. Durning pulled the ref over, and he had just enough left in him to administer the three-count.
Post-match, FRAT continued beating down Durning using some straps that the guys must have either found under the ring or perhaps brought out themselves. With Durning tied to the ropes, the whipping and smacking sound echoed throughout the building.
Just them, we went to the XWA tron for a final message from XWA president Nelson Hum. Hum confirms that Durning has in fact earned the title rematch and says that in addition to getting the re-match, he’s adding a stipulation. The match on April 14 will be a strap match, where the fans will have straps. If and when any of the competitors are thrown to the outside, the fans will be permitted to swing away with their straps and do whatever damage they can!
Chambers and Kotsabasakis don’t seem phased by this and continue their assault on Durning. As they both beat and choke him, we fade to black…
Biggest Pops of the Night
1. Dazzling Dick Durning defeats Dale Dangles to secure a rematch for the XWA Heavyweight Championship
2. Julius Fantana hits the ring for his title defense
3. The Pledge takes a cold shower and shrieks like a banshee
Biggest Boos of the Night
1. Jonny Versace beats Julius Fantana
2. FRAT delivers a beat down on Dazzling Dick Durning
3. The Sheik chokes Jesus
Highlight of the Night
1. A new XWA Elite Division Champion is crowned in Jonny Versace
Surprise of the Night
1. Jonny Verace is your new XWA Elite Champion
The next show is Strapped, which will once again come to you from Samuel de Champlain on April 14. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.; bell time is 7:30 p.m. 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: