Saturday, 22 October 2011

ASW Supershow - October 21, 2011 - Cloverdale Fairgrounds

Im not going to lie. This was only my 2nd live ASW show. The previous show I attended was Adam Firestorm Memorial show back in December of 2010, if memory serves me. The card was ripe with stars from not only ASW and I didn't feel it was an accurate gauge of the everyday ASW for obvious reasons.
I was excited at the prospect of seeing not only former WWE wrestler, D.H. Smith but Attitude Era mainstay Gangrel. The two were being promoted as the main draw on the card that was set to feature not only ASW talent but ECCW as well.
Fellow Attitude Era mate Val Venis was just in town as recent as August, wrestling under ICW at the Abbottsford Agrifair. However, I was upset to hear only hours before the event that the former Brood ring leader wouldn't be making the show. In what I will leave as "personal reasons", Gangrel backed out on Wednesday two days before the Supershow.
I won't say it completely spoiled it, but it kinda took some shimmer off the show that had been hyped up for quite some time. And anyways, I paid to see a vampire... and this time I wasn't going to settle for Grayson Vox.
I was glad D.H. Smith was still able to make the show. When it was announced he'd be making appearances for not only ASW but Thrash Wrestling in the Okanogan, needless to say those were somewhat of must see events.
It would be interesting to see how ASW would weigh up on what they were calling "The Show of 2011". So having no REAL live experience with ASW as of yet, I set the bar high when I saw they had pulled in quite the talent and were billing it as quite the Supershow.
With ECCW's trademark blockbuster show, Halloween Hell literally a week away, it was up to ASW to set the tone and possibly trump their crosstown rival with a showcase of former WWE star power that not even ECCW could match. Would they be able to? I give my opinions on the show that went down just hours ago.

Cloverdale Fairgrounds, Alice McKay building, October 21, 2011 7:45pm
I rolled in fashionably late to catch the tail end of Seth Knight vs the Mighty Iton.
One thing I'm always really big on (and it's pretty freakin evident if you listen to my banter on Turnbuckle Time) is crowd interaction... especially if it is with the kids. The "lil jimmys" get a true joy from interacting with the wrestlers, maybe even more so than the billigerent drunks who attend shows just looking to argue with wrestlers.
With the referees back turned,the Mighty Iton wrangled (hey, it's Cloverdale) the kids in the audience to pull on the legs of a post-straddled Set Knight, inflicting further damage on his opponent and teaching the young kids a valuable lesson... Dudes in karate suits are cool, so do what they say.
The crowd was very much in to it as the Mighty Iton pulled off the victory over Seth Knight and started off the evening with a good, friendly  energy.
I got a chance to get my seat and get out my surroundings and one thing I had to admit: I really liked the venue. So often you're in the typical gymnasium style hall and it becomes very bland. I thought this was a perfect venue for an indie wrestling show. There wasn't a bad seat in the house and their camera angle was superb. They had their hard cam wired to their titantron and all the fans in the bleachers looked great on camera, as good as Indie show will look on film. Probably 300 max (if that) and It was a good intimate wrestling environment that I think could be capitalized on more.
The show kind of fell into a 30 minute lull (which was a shame so early in to the show and after a pretty decent start) Ill tell you why.
We're treated to a promo segment with Big Bad Bruiser Joe, or as I referring to him as "Big Bad Bruiser Dave Schultz" (Reminded me of him... dunno why) where he comes off and spouts off about something... I cant really remember what.
All of a sudden, Lumberjack Bubba & Toga Boy, who are the new ASW tag team champions come out to parade around the ring. Lumberjack Bubba announces that he will be retiring from wrestling for good and walks out. Toga boy invites out Matt Xstatic to come out and fill Bubbas spot with the tag belts. The G.O.D. (With an awful theme remix) and Mr India & TKO (Who also rocked a bloody awful theme chopped and screwed remix)  both come out and proceed to have a 3-way half hour blubberfest to determine who is the rightful Tag champs. Scotty Sweatervest comes out and a few matches are set and thats great but this promo time runs on far too long and you could really sense the crowd was becoming bored. Not only that but to add to the fact... the mic was slightly distorted and when the wrestlers screamed into the mic (as they tend to do in promos) you could barely understand them. So were here with this intense 3 way stand off that sounds like Charlie Browns teacher reading us the riot act.
BUT WHAT'S THIS?! A RUN IN?! FROM A CHIHUAHUA?! Well, not really. Some gal brought a furry rat to the show and was sitting near the wrestler entrance. The thing got away and provided the most enjoyable and exciting part of the whole promo segment.
After the two matches were set, one for the now vacant ASW Tag Team Titles, "Fast" (so glad the 'S' on my keyboard works) Freddy Funk comes out and has a blubberfest of his own.. this one almost twice as long as the Tag Team promo. Freddy Funk instructs the crowd on to lose weight and proceeds to do jumping jacks for the next 5 minutes. Big Bad Bruiser Joe takes offense and blubbers something back before BAM! all of a sudden its an unscheduled match between Joe & Freddy! I thought Lumberjack Bubba retiring would tide me over until intermission but boy was I in for a doozy!
"Fast" Fredy Funk vs Big Bad Bruiser Joe
In all honestly it wasn't all that bad of a wrestling match. The last time I had the privilage of seeing Freddy Funk wrestle was my second ECCW show back in June of 2010. From what I remembered he has improved and I was pleasantly surprised. Big Bad Bruiser Joe was on the shit end of the stick for most the match as Freddy and his manager flipped him over and did him dry in every which way. Bruiser finally got his comeback... but it was cut short by one of the most despicable finishes Ive ever seen. It wasn't the finish as much as it was the execution of the finish that made me want to throw my bleacher seat in anger (I said it)
Bruiser was mounting a furious comeback as Funk's manager distracts him only for Funk to roll up Bruiser for the victory. Seen this finish a million times right? Think again. Youve only seen it once and it was after Owen Hart spiked Steve Austin in to the mat and broke his neck in 1997. "Fast" Freddy Funk's roll up was about as feeble as they come and immiediately brought Stone Cold's gimped roll up attempt to mind. The 3 count seemed to take forever as the audience mentally begged the wrestlers for that NOT to be the finish. And to be frank.. unless you have a broken neck... that SHOULDN'T be the finish.
 I love the roll up victory. Heck, grab some tights... get yer heat on but I can't condone that finish to any match. At that point, kick out and re-draw the finish... because that was bad and it spoiled what, up until the finish, had been a semi-decent match.
Greatness on Demand vs Mr India & TKO
Didn't we just see these guys screaming at eachother? Yep!! And now here is the scheduled fight. I got a good chance to analyze G.O.D at ECCW's G.O.D Show a few months back. You know what you're gonna get with these guys. It's had fans coming back for years and theyre still coming back. This one is for the vacant ASW Tag belts as mentioned earlier.

You got all your usual G.O.D spots right down to nipple touching and dry humping. Matter of fact, I got up for a washroom break about midway through this one and heard a very tortured scream coming from the ring. I didn't think twice as I was positive it was Michelle Starr trying to sodomize someone through their tights. I was right. Anyways, you got all your usual G.O.D. spots but not a G.O.D victory as Mr India & TKO pick up the belts. All bullshit aside, the crowd was very much behind Mr India & TKO and no amount of pretend sodomizing could keep them down.
My one gripe about the match (which was my one gripe about the previous GOD match I had witnessed) is that it just seemed to go on forever. I get we had a long promo segment but for some reason G.O.D's matches just seem to go 5-10 minutes too long. Otherwise, a fairly decent match.

Intermission time after what seemed like a very unbalanced first half to the show.

Azeem the dream & Travis Sparx vs Matt Xstatic & Toga Boy
This was the other tag match announced on the card during, what I like to call Promopalooza 2011. Azeem, who seems to draw universal heat teams with Travis Sparks, who I last watched take an epic tumble with AC Zeidel (I could burn some pages on that clash of titans) teaming against Matt Xstatic, who kind of won me over during ICW at the Agrifair (he went 0-100 that weekend but just kept smiling... bless his heart) and Toga boy, who got more anooying with every toga chant.
To this point in the show easily the best match. Matt Xstatic had more movement in 5 minutes than every wrestler who had worked that night previous to him. He recently made quite an impressive debut at ECCW's Van City Showdown and had a very good performance here. Toga Boy & Travis Sparx were definitely the weak links in this contest. Toga was more concerned with his next toga chant, while Sparx who has improved  from the last I saw of him, seemed unsure of himself. Azeem & The Natural carried the crowd in this one really establishing their assholeness while putting over Xstatic as the fresh faced try hard youngster. The roles ended up working perfect as perhaps a young nieve Xstatic was suckered by the wily vets Natch & Azeem just as he was looking for the fall.
Azeem & Sparx win after The Natural sucker punches Matt Xstatic. As I said... to this point the match of the night.
Scotty Mac vs The Great Kasaki
This was one I had singled out as one to see. I've had the pleasure of watching Scotty Mac perform consistently for the last year and a bit in ECCW but have never seen him outside of his native promotion. He is a simple wrestler but a very effective wrestler. He has his move set, his technique, his style... and it all works... seemingly against any opponent.
The Great Kasaki is a man who truly gains recognition for his in-ring manuerisms. His grunts, the way he delivers his strikes, the way he takes him bumps. By no means is Kasaki a sharp ring technician... but he plays his character, does his move set (no matter how limited & primitive it may be) and like Scotty Mac... it works.
Scotty Mac comes out to cut a pre-match promo (hopefully a very concise one). Scotty talks about bringing the ASW Cruiserweight belt back to ECCW... blah blah blah... all that good inter-promotional crap. He also makes mention of his upcoming match with Artemis Spencer at ECCW's Oct 22nd show "Seek & Destroy". Artemis Spencer is sittin the crowd as a spectator for the night and makes his presence known with a wave for Scotty Mac. Then Scotty directs his attention to his match at ECCW's Halloween Hell with Kevin Sullivan.
It's a good thing Scotty Mac is a quick thinker. After announcing he'd be fighting former WCW Wrestler/booker Kevin Sullivan at Halloween Hell, he quickly plays it off and corrects himself with the rightful name of J-SIN Sullivan (his ACTUAL opponent at Halloween Hell... woops!) 

 It's seldom you get a good slip on the mic that only true marks will appreciate. It's even more seldom that the wrestler actually corrects it in a seamless fashion. Kudos, Scotty. Kudos. Gave me a good chuckle. Hope others were able to pick up on it. All that being said... I'd pay $12 to see S-Mac roll over Kevin Sullivan. 
The match itself was easily the best of the night and trumped the previous best. The best 2 out of 3 falls match was executed to perfection. One of the pitfalls of the 2/3 falls match is... (Am i sounding like a broke record here?)... they sometimes take too damn long. Perhaps Scotty & Kasaki had seen the long winded promo segment followed by a fairly lengthy tag match and decided to keep it nice and tight. The match benefited from it...big time.
The first fall came after about 7 minutes with Scotty Mac reversing a tornado DDT from the top and hitting his Superkick for fall #1. It was a tight fast paced little action sequence that led to the first fall and it was done seamlessly by the two men.. who didnt miss one duck or reversal and made it all look too easy. The 2nd fall came only a minute after.
Scotty bolts for the locker room with the belt convinced he's the rightful champion. Along the way he gets tangled with ASW's camera man. He channels his inner HBK from WM11  and chucks the guy around by his Wranglers (Cloverdale) only to be informed he must return to the ring or lose. Upon re-entering the ring, Kasaki hits him with a backslide to even up the fall count at Onezies.
The 3rd fall comes after referee rob mitchell has been knocked out. Azeem & The Natural attempt a run-in against Kasaki just as Mitchell reaches his feet. He notices them just in time and DQ's Scotty Mac giving Kasaki the win.
Stellar match. Both played to their strengths. Kasaski was great in  the ring when he needed to be ... especially on the 1st & 3rd fall finishes.
Artemis jumps Scotty after the match to build up their ECCW showdown the next night. Good cross promotional work!
D.H. Smith vs Rocket Randy Tyler
One thing you dont usually see. Limousines at Indie shows. We got one tonight. Randy Tyler & his posse rolled in to the Alice McKay building in an SUV limousine but really... the people could have cared less. They were there to see one man.. and it certainly wasn't Randy.
D.H. Smith came out to a great pop and proceeded to have a fairly text book, but well executed match with Randy Tyler. D.H. had to overcome the forces outside the ring as well as Randy within but did come away with the victory to send the Cloverdale crowd home happy. One thing I did notice.. was in comparison to Val Venis (The last former WWE Star I saw headline an Indie show in the Valley) D.H. did a lot more crowd pandering... if thats the proper word. He always responded to te crowd and vice versa. He was always looking for the crowd to back him and I liked that. Val almost seemed like he was too tied up in his match to mesh with the crowd. Granted that was never his bag in the WWE but thats what keeps Indie wrestling pumping. Just one thing I kinda noticed.
I honestly dont have much to the say on the D.H. Smith match asit didnt run too long or short but didn't really have many things memorable about it. Smith hit his running powerslam for the win and will look to build off a fairly solid start here in Cloverdale before trying his luck up north.
It would be interesting to know what started this relationship between Smith & ASW, Thrash Wrestling etc.

Overall not a bad show... I'll go through my usual top/flop routine where I pick what I liked and what I didn't really care for.
Top: Matt Xstatic & The Natural Selection
Matt Xstatic provided energy when the card and crowd needed it the most. The audience had come off an hour or viewing that consisted of one interview segment, a quick matc and a very long drawn out tag match followed by an intermission. The rest of the night could have been a borefest crowdwise but he brought them to life with some good high flying moves that hadnt been seen on the night.
The Natural & Azeem do it every night, all night.. and they did it AGAIN! No one draws heat at the drop of a dime like these two and along with the performance of Xstatic, helped bring the crowd back to life for the 2nd half of the show.
SMAC & Kasaki would be up there but I feel Xstatic had a very immediate impact on the show. However, merit points should be given for flawlessly pulling off the 2/3 falls format and for just pure great chemistry. Definitely a tough choice.
Flop: Timing
I know we dont all have Vince McMahon in the Gorilla position directing an entire live show but it should go without saying that segments/matches should have set time limits... even if it's just a ballpark time. In the time ONE promo segment was conducted at this show... 3 matches could have been contested. Im guessing by the fact that we saw the same 6 wrestlers for the first hour that there may have been a stall for time... but atleast try and space out segments so were not left with long winded promos or long winded matches back to back. It's all about variety & moderation!

There ya have it. ASW's Supershow from a glance.
It will be interesting to see how often these local Indie promotions in BC, Canada can conjure up top level talent to come and perform because it works wonders as far as hype and promotion. While one man isn't going to make an entire show enjoyable (takes a whole roster to do that) it is still pretty freakin cool to say "Ya, I drove 10 minutes up the road and paid $10 to see WWE wrestlers ply their trade."
So I say the more we can push for guests and events like this... It will only help to grow Indie wrestling around BC & Canada. Doesn't mean we should focus any less on the homegrown, grass root up & coming superstars.. but perhaps bring in the odd star to help model these future stars and to also spread the word amongst the fans who may just be casual fans at best.
While I don't think this show necessarily lived up to "Show of the Year" standards it did have a lot of positives and things to work on for the future and really thats all you can ask for moving forward.
These are my opinions and views and mine only. I am no different from any other wrestling fans. There are things I know and things I dont know. There are things I like and things I dont like. I just put them in to print so peeps can argue with me about it. Feel free to.
 I'll be doing my best to cover all things Indie Wrestling in Canada most notably ECCW's Halloween Hell coming up next weekend. My radio podcast Turnbuckle Time is on hiatus for now but I will be blogging about events and happenings in the meantime.
Feel free to drop me a line with thoughts or questions >

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