The afterglow of another epic Roll The Dice event hung heavy in the air. For the first time in the history of the XWA, the Freshman Josh Kotsabasakis had captured the prestigious XWA Roll The Dice contract for the second straight year in a row.
That means as we move forward through the next 12 months, FRAT leader Josh Kotsabasakis can once again utilize the contract contained within the coveted briefcase to secure a title match of his choosing any time, any place, and for whichever belt he sets his sights on.
It’s perhaps an understatement to say that this puts him firmly in the driver's seat in terms of having a tight grip on either of the XWA Heavyweight or Elite championship title belts.
We also saw the return of the Wave Riders (Mikey and Kayden), after a short absence from the ring. The last time we saw either of these XWA competitors was back in February of this year when the now defunct Brute Force demolished both of them. Each was put on the shelf with miscellaneous internal injuries, subsequently sidelining them from competition.
Shaheer Rasool was once again successful in defense of his XWA Heavyweight Championship by the skin of his teeth against James Steele. Steele nearly pulled off the victory before Rasool closed out the match via submission. The contest would see the Sheik make his presence known on more than one occasion before Rasool locked in his trademark Persian Necktie for the win.
And special guest WWE Hall Of Famer Ted DiBiase was on hand to administer a little “million dollar justice” to Wesley Pipes prior to the start of the Roll The Dice finale. Pipes was in a position to win a little of the Million Dollar Man’s cash. All he had to do was catch a simple hockey ball that was tossed gently in the air.
DiBiase would go on to knock the ball out of Pipes' hands, thus leading to a confrontation. As you can guess, it didn’t end well for Pipes. DiBiase would leave him some cool hard cash in the form of a $10 bill stuffed into his gob as he drifted into consciousness. On this night he would prove to be merely another victim who fell prey to the Million Dollar Dream.
Now let’s switch gears to Retribution which had some solid matches booked for the fans' entertainment. Barstool Bailey was scheduled to take on Dazzling Dick Durning while Ryan Heath was booked to go one-on-one with Dale Dangles. In addition there was tag team action on the card as platonic partners Wesley Pipes and Josh Kotsabasakis took on John Striker and James Steele.
Finally, in the main event of the evening, it was the Cuban Missile himself, Julius Fantana going one on one with Chip Chambers. So without further ado, let’s get this party started and kick off XWA’s August offering, Retribution.
[What follows is a recap of the August XWA event, “Retribution".]
Championship roll call
XWA Heavyweight Champion Shaheer Rasool
XWA Tag Team Champions Wave Riders
XWA Elite Division Champion Jonny Versace
Segment 1 – A recap of last month’s event
The production crew once again outdoes themselves with a video package highlighting the action at Roll The Dice (XWA’s July offering).
Match 1 – Dazzling Dick Durning vs. Barstool Bailey
This one got ugly fast as the FRAT jumped Durning before he made it to the ring. Referee Matthew Pettifer was helplessly outnumbered even with alternate ref Steve Doussaud coming to the scene to assist. FRAT took care of business decimating Durning before retreating as quickly as they came.
Barstool Bailey wasted no time in terms of taking advantage of the situation himself as he pounced on Durning. After a prolonged assault, the bell finally rang when Bailey dragged Durning into the ring if for no other reason so that he could work Durning’s leg from the outside.
Bailey would spend much of his time weakening the limb of Durning whenever he got the chance. Durning would respond with short bursts of offense that repeatedly were stopped before gaining any real momentum. Durning was finally able to generate some sustained offense when he ducked a running kick to the face by Bailey.
The Sunglass Assassin attempted to deliver the Baby Killer Piledriver but Bailey stopped Durning in his tracks with a stiff shot to the already weakened knee.
Just when it looked as if Bailey would hit his finisher, out came two druids who rolled a coffin up to the side of the ring. After working up his nerve via some “liquid courage”, Bailey finally had the guts to open the casket. Bad news for him as out sprung Nightmare, who locked on a one-handed throat choke before decimating Bailey, leaving him in a state of roadkill.
As the fans looked to the Tron above the entrance ramp, the news was as follows: Barstool Bailey will be taking on Nightmare at Quest For Gold in a CASKET MATCH. Wow…
Segment 2 – Stunner challenge with “Big Nasty” Ron White
Recently returned manager to the stars Lance London hit the ring and brought Big Nasty Ron White with him. Lance offered a challenge to the fans by suggesting no one can slam Big Nasty. Lance invited a member of the crowd into the ring to attempt a slam.
The member of the audience selected was in fact about 10 years old. Needless to say, the kid came up short and Big Nasty Ron White left the ring with a smirk on his face and having never left his feet. The world stockpile of cheeseburgers has also now been reduced by one.
Match 2 – Amazing Bee Machine vs Magic Mario Bryant
A couple of new faces came out to face off in the squared circle in the form of the Amazing Bee Machine and Magic Mario Bryant. The crowd seemed genuinely interested in this one and it turned out to be a pretty solid match.
Bryant wasted no time in attacking Bee Machine in the corner before the bell sounded. Bee Machine responded with some offense which sent Bryant out to the floor. The yellow and black striped crusader capped off his mini-comeback with a Bee wiggle in the middle of the ring that seemed to fire up Bryant.
Bee Machine eventually decided to head outside to speed up Bryant’s return in the ring. Bryant re-entered first and as Bee Machine attempted to slide back into the ring, Bryant began stomping his opponent in the head.
Bryant showed some high flying skill as he climbed to the corner and dove off the ropes backwards subsequently dropping his elbow on Bee Machine. Bee Machine eventually got to his feet and showed some life. Bee Machine took Bryant into the corner and delivered a monkey flip to Bryant catapulting him across the ring and creating a huge thud when he landed.
Bee Machine really likes that wiggle as he shakes his stinger in Bryant’s face (more to antagonize him than anything). Once again, Bryant got to his feet and seemed fueled by Bee Machine’s taunts. Swinging neckbreaker by Bryant took Bee Machine down to the mat.
Bryant made an ill-timed mistake when he climbed to the corner to mock the fans.
Bee Machine took advantage and slammed Bryant off the top rope to the mat below. Bee Machine smelled blood and nailed a Gory Buster for the 1-2-3. Great match with some solid chemistry in the ring.
Segment 3 – R&R issue a challenge
The R&R Express guys are issuing a challenge for a title shot. Wave Riders respond via video and it’s on for next month at Quest For Gold.
Match 3 – John Striker & James Steele vs Wesley Pipes & Josh Kotsabasakis
This match saw four guys pair up who are more used to working singles matches. This night they would work together in a platonic relationship of sorts in order for each to get their hands on a key adversary on the other team.
There has been bad blood between James Steele and Wesley Pipes for some time now and this encounter offered one more chance for each wrestler to get a last shot in order to try and claim victory in their feud.
As we saw back in July, Striker doesn’t appear to be a big Wesley Pipes fan, either. The seemingly odd man out in this affair was Josh Kostabasakis. As a member of the FRAT however, he’s used to causing trouble and getting involved in everybody’s business. So he was able to fit in just fine.
Pipes did the honourable thing at the first opportunity and stepped out of the ring leaving Josh on his own with Striker and Pipes. This wouldn’t be the last time Pipes would show his cowardly colours.
Steele and Striker worked remarkably well together as a tag team controlling the early part of the match.
As Kotsabasakis and Steele both ran the ropes, Pipes leveled the playing field with a swift kick to the back of the head of Steele sending him reeling and down in a heap.
This allowed the team of Pipes and Kotsabasakis to dominate the middle of the match, keeping Steele from making the hot tag to a rabid Striker, who was left champing at the bit to get into the action.
Kotsabasakis eventually went to work on the arm of Steele and focused there via various holds and powerful strikes. Pipes worked his way back into the match and attempted a cocky pin which of course was unsuccessful.
At one point, Steele had changed momentum and was ready to make the tag; however, he finally recognized that he had been crawling to the wrong corner. By the time he realized it and turned around, in came Kotsabasakis who decimated him with a clothesline.
Pipes tagged in and simply stalked Steele. This tactic would ultimately backfire as out of nowhere, Steele dropped Pipes like a ton of bricks with his superkick. And finally Steele made the hot tag and in came Striker! Striker would waste no time moving from a fisherman's suplex to an off the ropes shoulder block.
It appeared as if Kotsabasakis and Pipes were about to have the tables turned (perhaps permanently), Pipes determined that he had seemingly had enough and ran to the back, thus abandoning his partner. As Striker watched Pipes retreat, Kotsabasakis suckered Striker from behind. But his offense had little effect. Steele set up Kotsabasakis for a superkick which sent him straight into an F5 from Striker for the follow up pinfall victory.
Post match, Pipes returned to take Striker out with a big boot to the face. Pipes decided to play Santa early and said he’d gift Striker a shot at him at next month's Quest For Gold.
Match 4 – Ryan Heath vs. Dale Dangles
Post intermission we restarted the action with Ryan Heath and Dale Dangles taking to the ring. Heath has been moving with some spring in his step as of late and has re-connected with his aggressive side over the last few months. He didn’t waste any time as he hits Dangles with a back body drop and some stiff shots.
Dangles had his partners in crime with him who worked to stem the offensive outburst from Heath. Dangles took a page out of the previous match as he zoned in on the left leg of Heath and tried to inflict serious damage to it throughout the match. He locked in a figure-four fairly early to drive home that point.
More interference by the FRAT members while Heath was in the tree of woe left him woozy and disoriented. Before the dreaded Tea Bag was delivered, Heath grabbed Dangles by his twig and berries, and launched him across the ring. Not sure of the name of that move. Perhaps I’ll talk to Heath about that one at a later date.
Heath moved into his rolling German suplexes and hit the first two with what appeared to be minimal effort. Before attempting a third, he switched gears and locked in the Ryan Tamer in the middle of the ring. Unfortunately for him, Chambers would distract the referee while Kotsabasakis virtually decapitated Heath with his Roll The Dice briefcase before getting the pin.
Match over, Briefcase 1, Heath 0.
Post match Heath angrily called for a 3 on 1 match at Roll the Dice pitting him against the FRAT. Not to be outdone, Durning hits the ring and calls for the same.
Up to the Tron, we see Nelson Hum who made the match at Quest For Gold. Heath and Durning (aka Above Average) vs FRAT. Can these two work together without tearing each other apart? We’ll soon find out.
Match 5 – Julius Fantana vs. Chip Chambers
It was finally time for the main event of the evening which saw Julius Fantana taking on Chip Chambers. FRAT decided to have a sit in right in the middle of the ring.
I can’t quite recall what precipitated this action but luckily Fantana didn’t let them hog the spotlight for very long.
Fantana proceeded to dropkick each of the members of FRAT and in very short order, changed his fortunes quickly. This one almost came to a quick end when Fantana rolled up Chambers via schoolboy for a count of two.
This match was high-paced throughout and really showcased the technical expertise of both wrestlers. From one high-risk move to the next, these guys bounced all over the place. As the fans would attest, this was a fairly clear Match of the Night candidate for sure.
As we neared the close of the match, Chambers brought a chair into the ring in an attempt to use it as a weapon of cranial destruction. Fantana turned the tables, however, and dropkicked it directly into Chambers' skull.
This sent Chambers reeling into the ropes in perfect position for Fantana to nail the 506 then headed up to the corner. Catching huge air, Fantana nailed the 450 splash, and secured the victory…
And Rasool hit the ring from behind! He snatched Fantana and dropped him via a face buster directly onto the chair. The Sheik made his way into the ring and admonished Fantana. While Rasool held Fantana’s arms, Sheik threw fire directly into Fantana’s face! Fantana flailed on the mat having likely received damage to the exposed areas of his mask.
But Rasool and The Sheik weren’t finished yet. They removed the mask of Fantana to admire their handiwork as Fantana (clearly dazed and confused) struggled to stay upright. After wrapping Fantana’s head in a hood, Rasool proceeded to deliver a crushing blow with a sledgehammer directly into Fantana’s temple. And the blood begins to soak through the hood… This is gruesome…
To finish things off, Rasool and The Sheik took Fantana’s mask, laid it in the middle of the ring, and bowed down to it, mocking his very existence… Rasool and Sheik finally left Fantana face down on the mat. He appeared to still be bleeding profusely as the refs and ring crew storm the ring to administer first aid (if that’s possible).
One has to wonder, does Fantana have any friends in the locker room or is everyone just too scared of The Sheik and Rasool to try and save him?
Biggest Pops Of Night
1. Nelson Hum announces the handicap match at Quest For Gold between the former Above Average (Ryan Heath & Dick Durning) and the three members of the FRAT (Dale Dangles, Chip Chambers, and Josh Kotsabasakis)
2. Julius Fantana scores the win over Chip Chambers in the main event
3. James Steele and John Striker hit back to back finishers to put Josh Kotsabasakis down for the count
Biggest Boos Of Night
1. Shaheer Rasool and The Sheik decimate Julius Fantana and leave him in a pool of blood
2. Wesley Pipes boots John Striker's face off after their tag match
3. Big Nasty Ron White and Lance London mock the locals
Highlight of Night
1. Julius Fantana vs Chip Chambers steal the show from beginning to end as both wrestlers put on a fantastic match
Surprise of Night
1. Above Average are back in what could be a “one night only” affair as they take on the FRAT next month at Quest For Gold
The next Saint John show is the crown jewel of the XWA titled Quest For Gold, and will come to you from the Lord Beaverbrook Rink on Sept. 7, 2012. Doors will 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: