Hi again and welcome to another XWA Wrestling recap. After months without a defined “face of the franchise,” tonight we finally crown a new XWA Heavyweight Champion of the world. The XWA has been without it’s signature belt holder since January.
Not only are the fans enthusiastic about the prospect of having a new XWA champion, but even the locker room seems to be excited to see a victor crowned.
There are five contests booked for these evening of which three are what you might call “key matchups” to watch. The first one has James Steele and Jonny Versace in a “dog collar” match. Each participant will be chained by the neck and will no doubt pull out every trick in the book to secure a victory. Up for grabs? The XWA Elite Championship and the services of one Isabella Bliss. If Steele loses, not only does he lose the match but he'll be forced to retire from the XWA.
In addition the Riders will be defending their XWA Tag Team championship belts against the R&R Express. These two teams have been at each other’s throats for the last few months. Recently, the R&R Express evaluated their legal options to regain the tag team gold they lost to brothers Michael and Kayden Rave. Not to be lost in this (and perhaps more importantly), the R&R Express also want their stolen cooler back! Nobody likes warm beer.
And in the main event we will indeed aim to crown a new champion. “The Muscle Beast from Muscle Beach” Wesley Pipes goes one on one with Ryan Heath. They both are known for stretching the rules as required to secure the victory. To make this even more interesting, did I mention this was a strap match?
A select number of straps have been up for sale. Fans that have purchased these straps will be placed around the ring. Should either of the two wrestlers be thrown to the outside, the fans will have an opportunity to strap them til their hearts content. With this added stipulation in place, this match will require Heath and Pipes to be using their heads both in the ring, and out.
Let’s get down to business as wrasslin' time is right NOW!
Championship roll call
XWA Heavyweight Champion
XWA Tag Team Champions:
XWA Elite Division Champion:
Match 1—Dale Dangles vs. Chip Chambers
In the opening contest we’re treated to a meltdown of epic proportions as demonstrated by the FRAT. Dale Dangles and Chip Chambers are set for battle while Josh Kotsabasakis (head of the FRAT) is operating as the special referee for the contest.
Make no mistake about it there is clearly a lot of bubbling animosity. Both Dangles and Chip Chambers are taking every opportunity to let a little of their frustration out. The Pledge comes to the ring and makes an attempt to convince the two to call off the match. But in true FRAT fashion, they toss him out to the floor and he slinks to the back. And the wild offense from both men begin.
Whether it’s Chambers executing a suicide dive to the outside or Dangles reversing an attempted clothesline by Chambers into a side slam, this match is taking a toll on both guys. The contest comes to a close when an old fashioned double cross takes place. As Chambers heads up the top rope to hit a move from the turnbuckle, Kotsabasakis knocks him off balance and he falls straddling the ropes.
Once Chambers drops to the mat, Kotsabasakis picks him up for a Codebreaker, then subsequently pulls Dangles on top of him for the cover. 1-2-3 this one is over. Afterwards, Kotsabasakis rips into Chambers and it looks like the tag team of “Chip and Dale” may be no more. Dangles punctuates the message as he pulls Chambers through the ropes, and delivers and Orton inspired DDT.
Match 2—Nightmare vs. KI Real
Our second bout has Nightmare taking on the recently returned KI Real with manager Mr. Wallace. Real has an aura of confidence this evening going so far as to call Nightmare out to the ring himself (rather than letting ring announcer JD do his job). Real even makes the referee issue a 10 count I guess to perhaps antagonize. Mind games, perhaps?
Nightmare’s music finally hits as chants of “Nightmare’s gonna kill you” start rolling through the crowd. The monster heads to the ring and he doesn’t look happy. Real surprisingly stands his ground as Wallace slips out to the floor below.Real’s confidence is again on display as they begin with a test of strength. Real with a big boot to take control although it’s not long before Nightmare powers out and drops Real with a devastating clothesline. Patented snap suplex by Nightmare sends Real to consult with his manager to perhaps re-evaluate their strategy.
Later in the match Real again shows his apparent lack of respect for Nightmare as he uses a snap suplex of his own to take the big man down. Real actually controls a fair amount of this match keeping Nightmare off of his feet and unable to mount any real sustained offense.
Near the end, Nightmare actually has resumed control via a sit-out powerbomb which rocked the ring. Nightmare goes to the well once too often. As he attempts the move a second time, Real stuns Nightmare with repeated punches to the head. Real quickly transitions into the Reality Check and picks up the three count. Nightmare is stunned.
Match 3—The R&R Express vs. The Riders (c)
Big stakes in the next matchup as the current defending XWA Tag Team Champions The Riders (no longer utilizing the “Wave” in their name) are putting the gold on the line against the previous title holders the R&R Express. It’s not often that you have two sets of brothers going at it but in our case, it will be just that (Michael and Kayden Rave taking on Rick and Rodney Owens).
Rick starts with Michael and as it’s a slobberknocker from the outset. Rick spends much of the early portion isolated in the ring by Michael and Kayden. They’re one of the smartest teams in the business as they keep Rick in their corner and tag in and out in short bursts. While there is always a fresh man for the Riders, Rick continues to take a beating with no chance to tag in Rodney in sight.
A key point in the match is when the Riders work within the rules to weaken Rick. They each have a leg bent back and are working joint single leg crabs. They tag in and out efficiently and use all of their five count before breaking the hold and exiting the ring. All within the rules unfortunately for the R&R Express.
Rick finally makes the hot tag and a fresh Rodney comes in decimating anything in his way. They execute a little double team action of their own with dual back body drops followed by off the rope double kicks to the face. Rick has little time to catch his breath before he’s tagged back in. He employs a huge Irish whip followed by a stiff lariat. He follows this with ten big head shots in the corner while standing on the second rope.
In the midst of some furious action, the referee misses a clear double team by the Riders. Rodney comes in to try and stop the double team but is ushered back out for his troubles. This allows even more two on one action to take place and in hindsight, may have done more harm than good.
Eventually, the tables clearly turn in the favour of the R&R Express and a pin seems imminent. The Riders seem to sense this and in true heel fashion, opt to take their belts and run. The referee has no other choice but to count to ten. Your winners of the match the R&R Express. Unfortunately for them however, the titles do not change hands on a count out.
Match 4—Jonny Versace (c) vs. James Steele
In the first match of what amounts to as a co-main event tonight, current XWA Elite Champion Jonny Versace defends his title against James Steele. This match has been deemed a dog collar match where both wrestlers will be bound by the neck by a dog collar linked by a long chain.
There were some additional stipulations included in this contest. If Versace wins, he maintains his championship as well as the valet services of Isabella Bliss. A late tweak to the match was a clause stating that if Versace wins, Steele would be forced to retire. You can win the match via pinfall, submission or by touching all four turnbuckles in a consecutive manner. A belt and a belle up for grabs.
After a lot of stalling, this one finally gets under way. And it is a “doozy.” The intensity of this match is off the charts and both of these guys were leaving it all on the mat. With so much riding on the outcome, Steele and Versace know they have to give it their all.
Mid-match, Steele removed his collar (this is important). Many near falls later, the match appeared to end. Versace had touched all three corners and was heading for the fourth. Steele caught Versace before he reached the final turnbuckle. Versace ordered Bliss to throw in his title belt.Steele was able to wrestle the belt away from Versace and was about to knock Versace out with it. But from behind Bliss delivers a low blow to Steele. What? Did she just turn on him?
Versace gets to his feet, touches the last turnbuckle, and the match is over! But wait, it’s not over after all. Due to a technicality (the dog collar is required to be on both competitors when the match ends), the match was ordered to restart! Even though it was Steele who removed it…
So after ensuring both wrestlers are chained together again, Versace goes around and touches three of the turnbuckles, but when he tries to go to the fourth, Steele catches him napping and decimates him with a superkick! Follow up pin and we have a new champion!
Bliss, who had double crossed Steele earlier, takes the opportunity to beg for mercy. But Steele has none. Steele hits a second superkick on his FORMER valet and sends her to the canvas. Looks like her services are no longer needed.
Segment 1—Announcement of Demolition
Former WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition are set to invade the XWA in June. They were a two-man wrecking crew back at the peak of their popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They have victories over the likes of the Hart Foundation, the British Bulldogs, the Powers of Pain, Strike Force, the Colossal Connection (Haku and Andre the Giant) and the Brain Busters.
Match 5—“The Muscle Beast from Muscle Beach” Wesley Pipes vs. Ryan Heath
It’s now main event time and they don’t get much bigger than this. Ryan Heath takes on Wesley Pipes to determine who will crowned the new XWA Heavyweight Champion (currently vacant). In order to get to this point, both Pipes and Heath have had to beat the best of the best in preliminary matches.
This is no ordinary match, it’s a strap match. Some of the XWA loyal fanbase have purchased a strap and have been allowed to stand ringside with their weapon in hand. When either of the wrestlers are thrown to the outside, the fans are allowed (and encouraged) to strap the wrestler as hard and as often as they can until the wrestler re-enters the ring.
Pipes is out first with his valet Fiya to a chorus of boos from the crowd. Fiya disappears to the back likely for her own safety (given the stipulation of the match). Heath is out but Pipes is in no hurry to let him into the ring.
The early going sees some good mat wrestling although it’s likely a safe bet that this won’t last long. Eventually Heath is able to send Pipes to the outside and the fans do a great job of tearing strips off his skin. Pipes is back in and before long the roles are reversed as Heath hits the floor. Fewer fans start strapping him although there are a couple of young girls who clearly are equal opportunity strap wielders.
Lots of over the top rope teases in this one and lots of snug wrestling from two established names in the XWA. Heath nails multiple belly to back suplexes in this one. Pipes, not to be outdone, nails a memorable boot to the face which had to borderline result in a concussed Ryan Heath.
The match ends in a somewhat controversial manner. Heath is standing behind Pipes who is facing the referee (who is facing both participant). Pipes proceeds to deliver a low blow kick to Heath sending him reeling to the mat. Pipes hits a running kick to the face (while Heath is still on his knees) and almost transitions into a pin but Heath is able to stave off the victory for now.
In fact, Heath ultimately regains control in short order. Heath starts delivering belly to back suplexes and gets three in succession then works Pipes into a Ryan Tamer. This is when things go off the rails.
A hooded fan (who looks like one of the cameramen working tonight) jumps up to apron. Heath unmasks him and it is Michael Rave. Heath and Rave fight and Rave goes to the floor. Heath heads across the ring and looks to get back on task with Pipes however the camera man nails Heath in the head with his camera. The cameraman’s hood comes down, and it’s Kayden Rave!
Follow up pin by Wesley Pipes and you have your new XWA Heavyweight Champion. General Manager Jeff Graves is from the back with Fiya and it would appear that some sort of faction is forming before our very eyes. This group (made up of Pipes, the Riders, Graves, and Fiya) are evidently ready to usher in a new era in XWA wrestling.
Biggest Pops Of Night
1. James Steele kisses his sweet Isabella Bliss goodnight with a superkick
2. Demolition are coming to the XWA in June
3. Ryan Heath sends Wesley Pipes to the outside where fans attack Pipes with their straps
Biggest Boos Of Night
1. General Manager Jeff Graves struts to the ring with all his new friends
2. Josh Kotsabasakis turns on his former housemate Chip Chambers and helps Dale Dangles secure the victory
3. Kayden Rave nails Ryan Heath with the handheld camera allowing Wesley Pipes to roll Heath up for the pin (and thus becoming the new XWA Heavyweight Champion)
Highlight of Night
1. James Steele becomes your new XWA Elite Champion with a victory over Jonny Versace
Surprise of Night
1. Looks like there’s a new faction in town in the form of Pipes (with Fiya), The Riders, and General Manager Jeff Graves.
The next Saint John show will come to you on May 3rd 2013 from the Lord Beaverbrook Rink. Doors will open at 7:00pm, first bell is 7:30pm. See you next time!
XWA is Canada's premier independent wrestling promotion based out of Saint John New Brunswick Canada: http://www.xwaprowrestling.com