The leaves aren’t quite falling off the trees yet, but each and every morning it seems there is more and more of a chill in the air. And that can only mean one thing. It’s August here in the Port City. Not only is it August, but it’s time for another offering from the Indy upstart XWA. This month's extravaganza is entitled “Retribution” and it’s the go home show before their biggest event of the year, “Quest For Gold," being held in September.
Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages…let’s get ready for some blood thumping, adrenaline pumping, frog jumping, go kart bumping, smash mouth action at Saint John’s crown jewel for wrestling, the historic Lord Beaverbrook Arena here in southern New Brunswick.
Before we head in the ring, let’s take a moment to review. We’ve got some major unanswered questions coming out of last month, especially surrounding Dazzling Dick Durning. If you recall (for those of you who either attended the event or read my recap), Dick signed away his contract to face the current XWA Heavyweight Champion, Ryan Heath (aka Randall) for his World Heavyweight title at Quest For Gold. That ultimately leaves Heath without a dance partner. At this point, one can only wonder who will step up to the plate and risk life and limb to be put into that painful Ryan Tamer submission hold.
One of the highlights of Roll The Dice involved Josh Kotsabasakis, who not only defeated five of the finest the company had to offer, but in doing so, secured himself a contract for a title match against any champion, anywhere, anytime. Going into that match-up, few savvy students of the game considered Josh a serious threat to win. But when the final bell tolled, the Frat leader sat tall above the shoulders of his partners in crime (Gyration Nation, collectively known as the Frat) with briefcase in hand, and grinning from ear to ear.
In other Roll The Dice news, Wesley Pipes was stripped of his XWA Elite Championship title by commissioner Nelson Hum. Hum received news from referee Scott Myers that Pipes had consistently cheated in each of his title defenses and had in fact won the title via underhanded tactics in the first place. What this means to Pipes or the rest of the roster (for that matter) is anyone’s guess. Perhaps we’ll get an update on this situation at some point during the event.
The crowd was encouraged to bring signs to the event and it looks like there were quite a few folks who decided to take part in the contest. During the intermission the fan with the “coolest” sign will be winning him or herself a pair of tickets to Quest For Gold. There are a couple of aspiring sports entertainers here celebrating birthdays as well, making it a particularly festive atmosphere.
Do you like parties? Well this one’s about to start.
What follows is a detailed recap of the event
Out comes JD to the ring to welcome us properly to XWA Retribution. Cue the recap video for last month's Roll The Dice. For those who were in attendance, they get a refresher. For those who missed out, everybody’s now up to speed on what happened at Roll The Dice.
The Champ Wants To Entertain Us
Out comes Ryan Heath with a luchador friend in the form of the Kamikaze Kingpin at his side (literally). Heath is doing quite a number on the Kamikaze Kingpin as they make their way down the aisle. The Kamikaze Kingpin is struggling to get to his feet after Heath continues dishing out a beatdown of epic proportion. Our fearless champion finally throws our Mexican friend into the ring and it looks like we’re about to get an earful from the Canadian Icon himself.
Heath grabs the microphone and starts out by saying he’s still in a great mood after having gotten Dick to sign away his Quest For Gold title match last month. Now, Dick has nothing. The first of the thunderous Randall chants begins.
Heath lets us know that he’s out here for a non title exhibition with his “lil friend.” A ref sprints out to the ring as yours truly rings the bell for the first bout of the evening. Out of the gates, we have some early offense by Heath sending his opponent to the outside. Heath goes to the floor, picks the Kamikaze Kingpin up in a gorilla press and throws him back into the ring. Heath sends the Kamikaze Kingpin into the ropes and catches him in a scoop slam. Crowd is really getting on Heath for just being him. Heath delivers a cocky pin with one arm laying across his opponent and mid count, Heath even goes so far as to sit up and end the pin attempt himself.
Heath slingshots the Kamikaze Kingpin into the corner and catches him with a belly to back suplex. That had to hurt. Oh oh, lights out. Heath flips the Kamikaze Kingpin over into the Ryan tamer and the referee quickly calls for the bell at about the two minute mark. Heath chucks his opponent to the outside and there you have it, that’s the first match in the books. Heath parades from corner to corner feeling the love of the Saint John faithful.
Dick and the SJPD Confront The Champ
WHAT’S GOING ON! Before Heath knows what hit him, a Saint John Police Officer hits the ring and brings the mighty champion to his knees with ease. Down goes the belt and on go the cuffs. The crowd is a little shocked at what is transpiring, but all the same, they are going nuts with approval.
Out struts Dazzling Dick to a huge ovation. He’s wearing his business face today folks, and clearly has something on his mind. Durning starts out by talking about how the tide has seemingly turned. Dick reaches, grabs the gold and is now carrying Heath’s championship belt with him as well as what appears to be an XWA contract. Durning makes his way into the ring, lays down in front of Heath and decides to get comfortable. Heath is fidgeting on his knees and for his trouble, gets a knee in the back by the Saint John Police Officer, who reminds him to “stop resisting.”
Dick says he has two options to present to Heath and he is going to have to choose one of them. Option one involves the SJPD executing a warrant for Heath’s arrest, based on a virtual laundry list of charges that will be filled against him for all the stunts that Heath has pulled over the last few months. The list includes kidnapping, theft, breaking and entering, false imprisonment, unlawful entry, four counts of assault, assault with a deadly weapon and trespassing. If convicted, he could be looking at 12 to 16 years (pending his good behavior and shower prowess). Meanwhile, Heath is yelping like a pig in the slaughterhouse.
Option two is for Heath to sign the XWA contract Durning has in his hand so that their Quest for Gold championship match… is…. BACK ON! Heath wants NO part of that and screams out “NEVER.”
Durning asks whether Heath really wants to spent 16 years in the pen. Heath says he’ll kill him. Bad move. Dick and the cop both agree, that’s another charge: uttering death threats. Dick tells Heath to look at him and issues a slap to the face. Heath still refuses to sign.
So Durning starts to sign off on the warrant so the cop can book him. Heath begs him to stop. Durning says “then sign the contract fat boy.” Durning is signing the warrant letter by letter until he is at the last one. Heath FINALLY agrees to sign the contract. In a funny moment, the cop tries to let out Heath’s hand to sign, but the cuff wasn’t budging. So Dick puts the pen between Heath’s lips and lets him sign that way. Durning notes that Heath is pretty good at signing contracts with a pen in his mouth. Before Durning heads to the back, he takes the opportunity to let Heath know that “by the way, you should have read the contract details on page three and four because if you had, you would have read that our match will be taking place… in a 15 foot high steel cage.” Crowd explodes!
Durning leaves the ring to thunderous applause as Heath goes ballistic. Finally, after the crowd settles down, the city’s finest leads Heath out of the ring to the locker room to set him free. Heath does his best to kick folks on the way out. Always a charmer.
Sunny Warcloud vs. KI Real
Back in the ring for our first match of the afternoon. Out comes Sunny Warcloud who will be taking on KI Real (accompanied by his manager, Mr. Wallace). Real rips a kids sign in two as he makes his way to the ring. How heelish. Off comes his head band as he continues the jawjacking. Both guys appear ready to go. Sunny turns his back (oh oh) to lay down his tomahawk and…
KI Real jumps him from behind. Foot to the throat in the corner and Sunny is choking for air. Real reigns closed fists to Warcloud's head and continues with the assault. I think we’re underway. Knees to the stomach in the corner. Both men are up and suddenly Warcloud drops to his back on the mat. The ref asks whether Real was involved in any hair pulling but KI says no way. Real punches Sunny in the back and Warcloud drops to his knees. Another punch to the back puts him down on his stomach. Real leans on the ropes to take a break as he seems to think he has this well under control.
After some taunting, Real delivers a nice snap suplex into a pin but Sunny is up at two. Real doesn’t like the speed of the count and lets the ref know it. Real grabs Sunny and sends him out through the second rope to the floor. Evidently, at some point in the match, Real must have suffered a grade one abrasion. He’s anxious to show the official his medical dilemma. Unfortunately for him, the referee is offering little sympathy and eventually, Real gives up seeking attention. In the meantime (back at the teepee), Sunny Warcloud is trying to climb back in the ring. Just when you thought he might be ready to deliver some offense, there is Mr. Wallace to get in some manager head shots. Warcloud is back down on the mat and frankly, it looks like it’s just a matter of time.
Finally, Sunny is back into the ring and he catches Real with some lefts, then rights. Warcloud sends him Into the ropes and catches him with a huge clothesline. Sunny follows it up with a huge legdrop off the ropes. After pulling him to his feet, Warcloud launches Real into the ropes and catches him with a wicked dropkick, sending Real to the outside.
Real is clearly shaken up. He decides he needs a rest and takes a seat in the crowd while he monitors the refs 10 count. He’s in nine and then back out again. Sunny wants him in the ring and as the ref holds Sunny back, Real jumps up on the apron and delivers a viscous thumb to the eye. Real slips between the ropes and catches Sunny with a Scorpion Death Drop. Warcloud is down.
Real sits him up and drives a knee into his back while he stretches his arms out to the sides. The crowd is chanting for Sunny who is finally up. Warcloud is able to deliver a sidewalk slam but it took a lot out of Warcloud so they are both down. They both manage to get to their feet and beat the count. After each man takes a shot at executing a power move, Real gets in position for the pin but Sunny kicks out. Real tries to stand him up but SMALL PACKAGE BY SUNNY. Out of nowhere, Warcloud gets the win.
Crowd erupts. Post-match, Real attacks him and gives him the beatdown. Wallace and Real head to the back and the ref eventually helps up Warcloud who gets a great ovation and a victory to boot.
El Handsomo vs. Shaheer Rasoo
Arabian music fills the air and that can only mean one thing, the recent addition to the XWA roster hailing from Afghanistan, Shaheer Rasool is up next… with…The Sheik. I thought we pulled his visa and sent him home? Evidently, he’s back to reign more terror in the XWA.
The Sheik launches into a diatribe saying “As we speak, thousands of Canadian forces are leaving the Middle East and why? Because they are scared of Shaheer Rasool and his loyal militants. The Canadian military knows they are fighting a war they cannot win, so they are running away. For this, we spit on your country and before Mr. Rasool lays waste to another one of you infidels, he demands a moment of silence for the passing of a true hero.”
Up on the screen flashes the face of one Osama Bin Laden and the boos are deafening. The crowd is working themselves into a frenzy until we cut the video for Rasool’s opponent to come to the ring.
And here comes El Handsomo to “Bringing Sexy Back.” El Handsomo is trying to get in the ring but in typical heel fashion, Rasool tries to jump him before the bell rings. Luckily, El Handsomo avoids the attack. Both men fight to the outside and continue trading blows. Rasool is back in the ring first. El Handsomo tries to get back in but Rasool catches him between the ropes and begins dropping elbows to the back of his head. Rasool is up to his feet and is distracting the ref. Meanwhile, The Sheik applies a choke as the crowd cries foul. The ref is distracted in the ring by Rasool again as The Sheik goes back to the choke. El Handsomo is turning blue. Wrestler Smurf perhaps.
Sheik claims ignorance again to the choke (and does a fine job in the process) but the ref didn’t catch him red handed.. El Handsomo is on the ground in the corner and Rasool kicks him. Rasool is pressing his boot across the throat of El Handsomo. El Handsomo is in some serious trouble. Rasool is back to the choke on the ropes while The Sheik paces outside. Finally, Rasool brings El Handsomo to his feet and slings him into the corner. That had to hurt. Rasool comes out of the corner with a big clothesline. El Handsomo is on the mat. Rasool climbs the turnbuckle and starts motions of planes flying then buildings blowing up. Why I oughta… Then off the top he comes… AND MISSES. El Handsomo breaks into a comeback. He sends Rasool into the ropes and catches him with a big dropkick. El Handsomo follows up with a spinebuster and then attempts a killswitch. Rasool reverses it and drops him face first to the mat. He cinches in a submission choke hold and that’s all for El Handsomo.
Rasool isn’t done as he heads to the announcers table and gets the bell. He’s back in and attacks El Handsomo again. The Sheik is raising Rasool's hand in the ring. Both are arguing with the fans as they leave the ring area. Good riddance.
Mr. “Roll The Dice Winner” Has Something To Say
JD welcomes us back to the action and after finishing with the 50/50 draw, out comes Josh Kotsabasakis with the briefcase he won at Roll The Dice. He blows some kisses to us as he makes his way to the ring. Josh says “will it be tonight, next month, whenever.” He reminds us that he now has a guaranteed shot that he won all by himself (actually, his Frat brothers helped him immensely). This crowd isn’t stupid and offers no apologies in reminding him that he cheated. Josh says that the title shot means he will be a champ some time within the next year.
After an eternity of Josh and his bravado, the boys in the back could probably take no more and out comes Raj Mahal.
Josh sets his briefcase down and takes a seat on it while Raj is low fiving the throngs of fans on the way to the ring. He takes his time getting up the stairs, still walking with a noticeable limp suffered during the beatdown he received at the hands of the Frat last month.
Raj says don’t think for a second that he forgot about getting jumped at Roll The Dice. Raj calls the Frat boys the “sorority sisters” (to great laughter) and says they’re far from being very classy. He says he put in 110 percent and the people saw him get screwed. Raj wants a shot at Quest For Gold to even the score.
Josh says that by rights, he’s not a champ. He has no 30 day title defense clause and he doesn’t have to wrestle anyone if he doesn’t want to. He already beat Raj twice. Josh has nothing to prove to Raj. Josh holds the briefcase up in his face in what ultimately serves as a distraction because OUT OF NOWHERE, Dale and Chip zoom past the announcers table, hit the ring and begin throttling Raj Mahal. Josh even takes a “TWIT PIC” with his phone as the Frat guys continue to subdue Raj. Who loves technology?
Finally, out come the Waveriders to make the save. Frat boys scatter to the outside. Now Nelson Hum is out. Hum says there appears to be some bad blood brewing between these guys and this needs to be resolved. Hum proceeds to book an eight-man tag team elimination match. That means each team still needs to add a “partner of their choosing” to their team to round things out. Raj, Waveriders and their mystery partner will take on Frat and their mystery partner. It’s booked everyone.
Nelson and Wesley Talk Elite Championship
The ring clears and before long, we see Wesley and Hum flash up on the screen. Evidently, they are chatting out back about all the cheating Pipes has done. Pipes says there are lots of rules in wrestling and wonders how he can be expected to keep them all straight. Perhaps he has a point. He’s groveling for his title back, but Nelson isn’t budging. Hum says that if he wants the title back, he has to earn it. And how exactly? Well Nelson says that five guys Wesley has screwed over in the past will be in championship match with him at Quest For Gold. If Pipes can beat them all, he’s the Elite Champion once again. Pipes is NOT happy. We officially have another match booked for Quest For Gold.
Zane Valentine vs. Julius Fantana
Back to the ring we go for another match. This one has relative newcomer Zane Valentine taking on crowd favorite Julius Fantana.
Zane makes his way out to the ring and starts with the posing right out of the gates. Say what you want, but he’s in fantastic shape. After a brief one way lovefest with the fans, Fantana’s music hits and he comes out of the locker room like he was shot out of a cannon. Fantana makes his way around the ring to greet all his fans
Valentine is still posing. Julius hops into the ring and flexes his own muscles and gets a good pop from the crowd. We find ourselves in a spontaneous posedown as the two go from corner to corner flexing for the fans in attendance. Julius is getting cheers while Valentine is getting some jeers.
Finally, when Fantana is not looking, Zane darts across the ring and pounds Fantana’s back. This brings him limply down from his second rope perch. Valentine applies the full nelson and shakes him like a rag doll. Valentine sends him into the ropes and catches him with a vicious clothesline. That may just have broken him in half.
Fantana tries to stand up, but Valentine punches him back down to the mat. Fantana is slingshotted into the corner where Valentine delivers some Ric Flair inspired chops to the chest. Valentine brings him out of the corner and snapmares him to the mat. Fantana is finally up to his feet. Valentine sends Fantana into the ropes and catches him in a backbreaker. Fantana is into the ropes again and eats a high boot to the face.
Fantana is down. Valentine takes an opportunity to first drop a knee, then an elbow. He’s really ramping up the power moves. Julius looks hurt and may just be hanging on at this point. Valentine drags Fantana to the ropes. He has his leg over the back of Fantana’s neck and is choking him on the second rope. He gets a run off the ropes and drives his leg down onto the neck of Fantana again leaving the Cuban one gasping for breath.
Zane plays to crowd then attempts an arrogant pin with one foot but Julius gets a shoulder up. Valentine sends Fantana into the ropes and catches him in a scoop powerslam for two. Fantana gets an arm to the ropes. Fantana is up in the corner now. Valentine runs into the corner and Fantana kicks him in the face. Julius charges the corner for a spear but misses and hits his shoulder into the post. They’re exchanging holds now and the pace has picked up. Hurricarana by Fantana. He sets up to deliver his 506 but misses on his first attempt between the top two ropes. Valentine has slumped down and Fantana tries again and this times HITS the move between the two bottom ropes. Fantana is up to the corner and may be looking for the 450 splash. Fantana starts to jump from the ropes but as Valentine counters, Fantana is able to catch himself and land on his feet. Out of nowhere, Valentine delivers a stiff shot between Fantana’s legs for the DQ.
The bell is ringing and the ref is calling for Valentine to back off but he continues to decimate Fantana. Valentine sends him into the ropes, then up onto his shoulders and delivers a fall away slam. Valentine picks him back and applies the full nelson again. After punishing Fantana, he lifts him into the air and drives him face first into the mat. Fantana somehow finds the strength to roll out of the ring and he looks like he has no idea where he’s at. Something tells me the battle may be over but the war may have just begun.
Johnny Versace vs. Dazzling Dick Durning
We’re ready for the final match of the evening and first out to a chorus of boos is Johnny Versace. He’s looking in fine shape today and is never short on a sly smile. Versace grabs the mic and asks the people of Saint John to shut their mouths. The locals are not impressed. Versace struts his way around the ring and waits for his opponent to make his way to the ring.
Music hits, smoke flies and through the curtain comes the Dazzling one, Dazzling Dick Durning! Crowd comes out of their seats and the little girls are screaming silly. Is that my mom? Dick works his way around to greet the fans and seems in a real good mood. Why shouldn’t he be? Now that he has his championship match back on for Quest For Gold, he must be feeling pretty good.
Once the music stops, Versace lets everyone know he has something on his mind. Dick doesn’t want to stand around so he heads to the corner for some hammock-like relaxation on the ropes/turnbuckle.
Versace says that when he’s in Saint John, he can’t understand why Durning gets a good reaction. It makes him sick. He thinks he understands why they like Durning. He says the old Durning would never let his woman slip out of his hands, nor would he have let his title shot slip away either. So Versace thinks he’s pretty much simple minded, like all the people here. Saint John people are just like Durning, they relate to him and they’re cowards like him. Versace appears to be finished, now it’s Durning’s turn for a rebuttal.
Durning asks if anyone wants to tell Versace to shut up (the “yeas” have it). Durning says he thought he and Versace were friends. Durning reminds Johnny that he just got title shot back earlier tonight and actually expected Versace to come out and shake his hand. He was hoping they could do a nice wrestling exhibition for the fans and give everyone their moneys worth. But if he wants to run his mouth then so be it. Durning hits Johnny on the head with his microphone and the fight is on.
Durning is taking it to him early on and has him in a headlock. Punches by Versace to get out of that hold. Durning sends Versace into the ropes and gives him a stiff shoulder sending Versace down to the mat. Durning pulls him to his feet and slings him into corner. Looks like Durning is trying to set him up for his finisher but Versace blocks it as they tangle up and fall to the concrete below. They trade blows and eventually make their way back into the ring. Versace starts to take control. He gets Durning in the corner and is landing closed fists until getting the customary warning from the referee. Versace gets Durning to the mat and has him in a headscissors. Durning eventually powers out but Versace tries for a quick pin anyway. Durning kicks out at two. Versace delivers two huge slams, the second one causing Durning to bounce about a foot into the air after impact. Holy Christmas!
Versace wants to slow the pace down and clamps on a nerve hold. Versace remembers to tell the kids at ringside to shut up (in case they forgot). Durning is trying to get up and begins stomping the mat as the fans begin to chant in unison. Durning is finally up to his feet as Versace slingshots him into the ropes and then locks in the sleeper.
Dick doesn’t start to fade very far before he works his way out of the hold. Versace tries for another pin but Durning is still quick to kick out. Versace is up to his feet, he sits Durning up and it’s back to that nerve hold. Durning is screaming in pain and after half a minute or so is up to a vertical base. He shoves Versace into the ropes, shoulder blocks him to his back and tries for a quick pin but Versace isn’t having any of that. Versace seems a little peeved that Durning even attempted a pin. For his troubles, he puts Durning’s throat up against the ropes and starts choking him with all his weight on the back of the neck of Durning. Versace breaks before the five count and walks Durning to the corner where he slams his head into the ring post.
Durning is lying prone on the mat with his head dangling over the edge. Versace seizes the opportunity and drops a short elbow to Durning knocking him to the apron below. The pace is slowed as both men get back up to their feet and climb back into the ring. They immediately begin trading stiff headshots. Versace attempts a pile driver, but Durning powers out and reverses it into a back body drop. Dick heads up the corner and tries a sunset flip but misses by a country mile. Versace gets control again and blatantly chokes Durning. The ref breaks it up.
Durning gets control again and sends Versace into the corner. Durning follows up with a shining wizard in the corner. Dick is building up steam now by slingshotting Versace into the other corner. This time, he follows up with a huge flying clothesline which appears to have Versace dazed.
Durning has him turned around in the corner and attempts a backstabber, but Versace wisely holds the ropes and Durning goes down. Versace leaps to the top rope now but before he can execute his move, Dick knocks him off balance. Versace is in the seated position on the turnbuckle clearly out of breath. NOW it’s time for Durnings to finish his with a muscle buster. DOWN goes Versace and Durning rolls over for the easy one-two-three pin.
Dick is up to the corners to pose for the crowd. Wait a minute! Heath hits the ring with the belt. Dick turns to catch him before Heath can inflict any damage from behind. They’re face to face now. Heath pushes Durning and Dick pushes back. The crowd is electric.
Oh oh, evidently they’re not waiting for September because the fight is on. The XWA referees hit the ring along with the boys from the locker room. Frat holds Ryan back, while the other guys hold Dick back. They continue trying to get at each other and each is able at different points to break free and land some head shots. Eventually, they get Durning back to the dressing room and away from ringside.
The show closes out with Heath in the ring, Nightmare and Frat at his side and Heath’s precious belt in his arms. Hold it close Canadian Icon because the clock just may be ticking down on your title reign. See you next month at Quest For Gold!