Tonight is the one night each year when the majority of the XWA roster doesn’t care about submissions or pinfalls or countouts. For you see tonight is Top Rope Turmoil. And that means 30 of the XWA’s finest will be looking to eradicate their competition by sending them flying over the top rope to the concrete below. Each elimination means the guys left in the ring are one step closer to getting their shot at the XWA Heavyweight Champion of the world.
And that honour is currently held by none other than the Muscle Beast from Muscle Beach Wesley Pipes. That’s because last month at Strapped, Pipes was successful in beating Ryan Heath in what was the final match on the Gold Rush tournament arranged in order to anoint a new king of the castle (on the heels of Shaheer Rasool being stripped of the belt due to excessive and blatant recurring abuse of the officials).
Top Rope Turmoil is one of the most anticipated events of the year in the XWA given its ramifications. Not to be lost in the glitz and glamour is the fact that last month, we crowned a new XWA Elite Champion of the world in the form of James Steele. Steele finally claimed the strap after defeating Jonny Versace in a dog collar match. The tag team belts are still firmly around the wastes of the Riders.
As the show closed out last month, we saw general manager Jeff Graves stroll to the ring with Wesley Pipes (and his valet Fiya), and the Riders in what appeared to be a newly-formed alliance. No one’s sure what to make of this since we have no clear line of sight to their intentions.
My guess is that as with most factions with a lot of gold, they’ll be looking for a clean sweep. The only thing stopping this from happening is that James Steele doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who would run around with these other characters.
Perhaps tonight will give us a better indication of how the summer is shaping up here in the XWA. Will this new faction run rampant? Is anyone willing to stand up to these guys? Will we see any odd alliances form? And how does all of this fit in with former WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition set to arrive in June?
Let’s get down to business as wrasslin' time is right NOW!
[What follows is a recap of the April XWA event, “Top Rope Turmoil".]
Championship role call
XWA Heavyweight Champion
XWA Tag Team Champions
XWA Elite Division Champion
Segment one – Josh Kotsabasakis and Jeff Graves
Before we get to any wrestling action, The Freshmen Josh Kotsabasakis is in the ring with general manager Jeff Graves. Kotsabasakis apparently wants to remind Graves that he is still in possession of his Roll The Dice briefcase. This still entitles him to a match anytime anywhere for either of the XWA titles (elite or heavyweight) that happens to strike his fancy.
Graves does his best to sway Kotsabasakis by suggesting that he should really target the XWA Elite Championship (which conveniently is not one held by this new stable that Graves is leading). That title is held by none other than James Steele. Kotsabasakis seems to be on the fence as the conversation comes to a close.
Match one: James Steele (c) vs KI Real
For his first title defense, James Steele is taking on Detroit’s own KI Real. As the crowd rally’s around Steele, the two lockup and posture, each trying to gain the upper hand. Before we’re very far into this matchup, Real lands awkwardly. And you can tell he’s legitimately injured.
Steele waits in the ring while Real and his manager, Mr. Wallace, converse outside the ring. Real makes a valiant attempt to get back in and get back to his feet but he doesn’t have much luck and has to roll back out to the floor placing all of his weight on his manager.
Unfortunately we’re not going to get to see this match after all. Real and Wallace head to the back with a limping Real while Steele taunts them all the way through the curtain as the ref issues the standard ten count. [note: we’d learn later on that Real had legitimately sustained a broken leg and thus, was unable to continue—best of luck in his return to the ring some time in the 6-8 week ballpark, depending on whether he heals like an average man or John Cena]
Steele now has a little extra time on his hands and asks for the mic. Steele talks about how he’s come a long way over the last 6 months. Before long, the champs music hits and out comes Wesley Pipes and Fiya. They’ve brought friends in the form of the Riders. Pipes points out what some may have already deduced in that their faction has all of the gold except for the XWA Elite Championship.
Pipes graciously offers his hand to Steele in an attempt to bring him into the fold. After a brief consideration (and perhaps more playing to the crowd that anything) Steele emphatically says no to the proposition. Before things get out of control, FRAT music hits and this brings out Dale Dangles. This quickly turns into a brawl with Dangles and Steele taking on everyone else.
Just when it looks like the “good guys” have restored order and balance, Josh Kotsabasakis comes out to decimate Pipes with his Roll The Dice briefcase. And on the heels of that, he wants to cash in right NOW!
Match two: Josh Kotsabasakis vs Wesley Pipes
The impromptu match is on! Kotsabasakis explodes after Pipes so quickly that Pipes doesn’t even have time to get the belt off for about the first three minutes of the match. There are a couple of false finishes with the title almost changing hands before Pipes regains his wits and takes control of the action.
Pipes uses lots of stiff elbows off the ropes (both the flying and drop variety) to stay on top. With Pipes facing the corner, Kotsabasakis hits two running knees to the back of the head then follows it up with a two count.
Pipes delivers a swinging neckbreaker for a two count then hits a European uppercut which takes Kotsabasakis off his feet. You definitely did not want to be sitting ringside tonight as Pipes holds one side of his nose and blows it towards the front row. Utter display of classlessness by the champion. Where’s president Nelson Hum to fine this guy?
The lovely Fiya is distracting Kotsabasakis on the apron but he’s too much of a veteran to fall for that old trick. But with his back turned, she does however, succeed in holding onto his leg underneath the ropes allowing Pipes to hit a big boot to the face for the win. Initially it appeared to be a great move on his part, capitalizing with the element of surprise. But Pipes proved he’s not the champion by accident.
Segment two: Ryan Heath Promo
Ryan Heath is with one of our trusty XWA backstage roving reporters. Heath goes on to cut a promo in which he effectively tells the fans to stuff it, and that he’ll take his place at the top of the mountain and doesn’t need any of their support in the process. Looks like the he’s shaken his shyness.
Match three: R&R Express vs El Handsomos
The R&R Express are out to the ring, and as is always the case, they receive a warm reception from the crowd. They have a bit of a grievance regarding the fact that in their opinion, they should be the current XWA Tag Team Champions. This brings out general manager Jeff Graves who explains that because of their recent loss to the Riders, they go to the bottom of the list of contenders and have to climb their way back to the top before they get another shot at the titles.
R&R Express aren’t particularly pleased, but what are two hillbillies gonna do outside of drinking a beer and going mud bogging? They don’t have long to think about it before some dance music starts moving the crowd. That’s because…
It’s time for the R&R Express to square off against the El Handsomos. For lack of a better term and for your reading enjoyment, I’ll merely refer to them as El Handsomo 1 and El Handsomo 2. You can send cheques or prepaid visas should you want me to invest more time into coming up with ingenious names for the two masked warriors.
Rodney and El Handsomo 1 start the bout. As with any El Handsomo match, there are bound to be some shenanigans and this one would be no different, as there were various points during which random dancing break out. Rodney dominates both of the El Handsomos early with some solid clotheslines. Rick tags in, and before Rodney leaves the ring, they deliver a superb double hip toss .
The El Handsomos actually take over around the five minute mark and start to show some great ring savvy with quick tags in and out and repeatedly baiting in Rodney which distracted the ref and let them work some double team in their corner.
El Handsomo 2 is in the ring delivering a headbutt on the mat to Rick. Rodney again argues with the referee and this allows El Handsomo 1 to pull off some twin magic and illegally change places. They work Rick in the corner and in comes El Handsomo 1 again. El Handsomo 1 issues some serious shoulders to the ribs and keeps Rick as far away from his partner as he can. R&R are really hurting their own chances tonight by arguing with the ref thus allowing the El Handsomos to continue illegally switching in and out behind the referee’s eyes.
Finally, Rodney is in with El Handsomo 2 and he takes him off his feet with a big clothesline. Somehow all four combatants are in the ring. The R&R Express is in control though and first execute big body slams on both guys followed by dual leg lariats to the back of the necks driving the El Handsomos face first to the mat. They close it out with a double pin and the R&R Express pick up the victory.
Segment three: 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 in the late 1980s and early 1990s who 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 four: 30-man Battle royal
XWA Heavyweight Champion Wesley Pipes makes his way to the announce table to watch the action up close and personal
Entrant 1 - Dick Durning
Entrant 2 – Barstool Bailey
These two go at it tooth and nail after Durning allows the returning Barstool to soak in some apparent fan appreciation. After that it was all business.
Entrant 3 - El Handsomo 2
El Handsomo 2 is in, and he’s right back out when both guys toss him over the top rope.
Dick for Mayor chants break out due to him wearing a shirt with just that slogan on it to the ring earlier.
Entrant 4 - JC Rebel
Rebel faces about the same fate as El Handsomo 2 as he is in and out in the blink of an eye.
Entrant 5 - El Handsomo 1
Durning gives BIG kick to the face to take El Handsomo 1 down. Bailey and Durning fight for a bit with Bailey cinching in a reverse chinlock. Bailey tries to get Durning out while El Hansomo 1 takes a rest.
Entrant 6 - Dale Dangles
Dangles goes right after Handsomo and eliminates him. Left in the ring now are Dangles, Durning, and Bailey.
Entrant 7 - Heath
Heath quickly eliminates Bailey. Snap suplex by Heath on Dangles
Entrant 8 - Cotter Pyke
Pyke goes after Heath and Heath welcomes the challenge with some huge backhands. Pyke is eliminated by Heath
Entrant 9 - Kagemusha
Durning goes after Kagemusha while Heath works on Dangles
Entrant 10 – Jonny Versace
Versace goes after Kagemusha. Versace eliminates Kagemusha. Heath has Versace straddling the ropes
Entrant 11 - Caesar Santiago
Durning starts putting the boots to him as soon as he enters the ring.
Entrant 12 - Joshua Kotsabasakis
Dangles and Kotsabasakis team up to put out Santiago.
Entrant 13 - Kamakize Kingpin
Durning kicks Kingpin in the face and takes him out.
Entrant 14 - Desmond Demarco
Everyone backs off to the other side of the ring. Who is this guy? Dangles runs at him with his “choo choo train” and he gets murdered via a clothesline. Durning decides to go at Demarco.
Entrant 15 - James Steele
Demarco is holding his own and looks like he might be a real contender. Steele throws out Kingpin and just when you start to wonder whether Demarco may be a sleeper entry here who could be a major force in this match, wait, never mind, Durning eliminates him.
Entrant 16 - KI Real
As noted earlier, Real can’t compete due to he is injury (the severity was likely unknown at the time). He comes out with his manager who gets sent packing on his behalf.
Entrant 17 – Jack Spears
Jonny Versace starts going right after Spears. Durning has Steele in the corner on his knees.
Entrant 18 - Travis Edwards
Entrant 19 - Sunny Warcloud
James Steele is putting the boots to Heath.
Entrant 20 - Senor Flame
Wait! Shaheer Rasool is in and he’s not even part of this match. He takes Durning out. Senior Flame, Jack Spears, and Travis Edwards are also out.
Left in there now are Dangles, Kotsabasakis, Versace, Warcloud, and Steele.
Entrant 21 - Michael Rave
Rave goes after Dangles. Steele is fighting with Heath.
Entrant 22 - Rick Owens
Rick is stomping Rave. Dangles is beating up Heath.
Entrant 23 - General Duce
Entrant 24 - Kayden Rave
Entrant 25 - Eric O’Connell
Entrant 26 - Rodney Owens
Rick eliminates O’Connell. In a big flurry, R&R Express and the Riders are out as well as the Renegades. Left in the ring are Versace, Warcloud, Steele, Heath, and Kotsabasakis
Entrant 27 – Pat Perswayze
Entrant 28 – Julius Fantana
Fantana is in and takes out Warcloud. The fans give Warcloud a nice ovation, always a fan favourite who often deserves a better fate than he receives. Dangles is out as well.
Entrant 29 – The Pledge
Pledge is in and under the ropes. He’s hanging on to the bottom rope for dear life.
Entrant 30 – Buck 10 [formerly retired]
And now we’re fighting to the finish. Perswayze is superkicked by Steele. Versace eliminates Kotsabasakis. Perswayze is eliminated by Fantana. Steele goes diving for Heath and ends up going over the top rope to be eliminated. Buck 10 is beating up Fantana. Fantana eliminates Buck 10. Pledge tries to eliminate Heath but misses. Versace follows up and takes Pledge out. Heath and Versace are left. Heath is eliminated by Versace!
Graves is in with Versace congratulating him and Pipes is in walking around with his belt. Looks like Versace and Pipes are willing to coexist in the ring for now. We'll see if they become best of friends, or if Versace decides he wants to chart his own course here in the XWA
Biggest Pops Of Night
1. R&R Express win their match against the El Handsomos
2. James Steele declines the invitation to join Wesley Pipes and his east coast “clique”
3. Demolition are coming to the XWA in June
Biggest Boos Of Night
1. KI Real can’t continue and heads to the back
2. Fiya costs Josh Kotsabasakis a chance at the gold when she interferes in the match
3. Wesley Pipes and Jonny Versace are left standing to close the show
Highlight of Night
1. Jonny Versace wins Top Rope Turmoil
Surprise of Night
1. Buck 10 returns to an XWA ring
The next Saint John show is “Walking Disaster” (featuring Demolition), and will come to you on Thursday, June 6th 2013 from Lord Beaverbrook Rink. Doors will open at 7 p.m., first bell is 7:30 p.m. See you next time!
More XWA Wrestling information can be found at http://www.xwaprowrestling.com