The SmarK Rant for Prairie Wrestling Alliance Ã¢â‚¬â€œ August 23 2003
– Back again with the PWA’s monthly trip through Edmonton, and apparently all the goodwill and PR at the WWE house show this month paid off, because the crowd was up to about 200 people this time, nearly a full house for the NAIT gymnasium, and they were pretty rowdy. Well, rowdy in a Canadian kind of way.
– Opening match, falls count anywhere: Tex Gaines v. Chip Worthington. Gaines, the cheap heel heat tour-de-force, is eternally feuding with PWA commissioner Kurt Sorochan, and that’s who was announced as the special referee here. Gaines has gone from fringes of hair to a shaved head this time around, and his shtick with him antagonizing anyone unlucky enough to be in the front row is still funny as hell. They do a routine with Kurt checking him for weapons that also gets the crowd riled up. Slaps to start and Tex overpowers him. Chip goes behind, but Tex reverses that and goes low to break. Another elbow below the belt, and then he sets him up in the corner and delivers a Shattered Dreams. And then ANOTHER low blow. See, it’s no-DQ. Hope Chip’s amateur wrestling outfit comes with a cup. Tex misses an elbow and Chip DDTs him. Tex bails and grabs a fan’s bottle of iced tea, and spits it at Chip. Chip posts him and gets a dropkick on the floor, and stomps away. Back in, Chip takes the low road himself and get a pair of corner clotheslines, and a lariat for two. Chip pounds away and gets a monkey flip, and a bulldog is reversed into a backdrop suplex by Tex. In a nice touch, Chip yells out “Oh shit!Ã¢â‚¬Â as he realizes that he’s caught. Tex slugs him down and gets some HARD chops in the corner, with appropriate reaction from the crowd. Chip returns fire, but stops to hot dog on the second rope and gets caught with an electric chair for two. Tex tosses him, pounds on him, and then kisses his valet. He then grabs the mike and comments “God, you taste like cock!Ã¢â‚¬Â but no one stops to ask him how’d he know what cock tastes like. Tex finds a roadsign under the ring and kills Chip with that. They fight into the crowd and back into the ring, as Chip comes back with a slam and a moonsault that hits knee. Tex stops to retrieve a pair of doors from under the ring (and just think that even a few years ago typing a sentence like that might have been considered ODD), and slams Chip through one of them. He tosses Chip and knocks him off the apron, but Chip sunset flips back in and gets two off a fast count. Chip finds a chair and gets into an argument with Sorochan about using it, but Sorochan “accidentallyÃ¢â‚¬Â slips and it hits Tex in the head, giving Worthington the pin at about 10:00. Fun opener, as Gaines is a great opening match character. ***
– Damage Inc (The Durrangos, Greg Pawluk and a big guy named Apocalypse) come out for some words about tonight. Crazy Dean Durrango & Pawluk are defending the titles tonight (since apparently they have a Freebird clause in their contracts) so Duke wants into the Cruiserweight title match. Crazy Dean gets all crazy in a funny bit.
– Marky Mark v. Sgt. Hazard. Sadly, Marky Mark’s shirt from the last show with my picture on it was stolen from his car last month. Scotsman has since accused me of being the prime suspect. I’m shocked too. Mark gets tossed around to start, and then takes a nice bump to the floor. Back in, Hazard grabs a headlock and overpowers him. Mark tries a shoulderblock and gets nowhere. Hiptoss is blocked with a clothesline, which gets two for Hazard. Backbreaker into a sideslam gets two. Mark fights back, but gets suplexed. Camel clutch, but Mark escapes and gets a corkscrew. Hazard gets a delayed suplex for two, however. Mark sunset flip gets two. He comes back with an overly complex DDT and a leg lariat, and tosses Hazard after a dropkick. He follows with a somersault plancha that ends with Mark kicking him square in the face due to bad positioning on Hazard’s part. Back in , a cross body gets two. Owenzuigiri gets two. Mark goes up with a flying rana for two. Not sure whose fault that one was. Another try at it results in Hazard blocking it with a double powerbomb, and that’s all she wrote at 9:39. As a result, Marky Mark now has to go to boot camp. I hope camouflage paint isn’t one of the courses taught, because Hazard is lousy at it. Good effort, but the blown spots dragged it down. **
– Harry Smith (son of Davey Boy) comes out as a surprise guest and is instantly a huge babyface, but TJ Wilson interrupts and brags about touring with New Japan. A match is set for tonight. Both of these guys come from the short-lived Matrats promotion, which might end up being a goldmine for indy promotions.
– Cruiserweight title: Phoenix Taylor v. The Highlander v. Duke Durrango. Highlander is a bald Scottish dude, and he’s got Chris Steele seconding him. I’d stop to wonder if his finisher is cutting the other guy’s head off, but that might be excessively geeky. The level of hatred from the crowd for Durrango is truly something to behold. Everyone slugs it out to start, and Highlander wins that battle and suplex Taylor. Duke hits him with a gutwrench for two, however. Taylor suplexes HIM for two. Highlander tosses Duke and slams Taylor, who escapes a suplex but gets hit with a neckbreaker on the way down in a nice spot. That gets two for Highlander. Really, his gimmick should be that there can be only one counts. Duke stops to complain to the referee about Steele’s interference outside, and then clotheslines both guys. That gets two on Taylor. Taylor goes for a flying headscissors on Highlander, but Duke catches him and slams him out of that position for two. The heels team up on Taylor with chops, and Duke gets a Bubbabomb for two. Taylor catches him with a crucifix for two, but Highlander forearms him down. Duke then alley-oops Taylor into a Highlander powerbomb that gets two. Highlander tosses Taylor, and Steele beats on him while the valet (“Jenny From the ShopÃ¢â‚¬Â — classily dressed as a schoolgirl not that I’m complaining) protests. In the ring, Duke works Highlander over with a chinlock while the crowd concentrates on what’s going on outside. Duke takes the arm with a cross-armlock, but Taylor breaks it up. Dropkick gets two. Duke bails, and Highlander gets that damn spinning uranage for two on Taylor. Duke comes back in with a somersault legdrop on Taylor for two. Taylor whips Highlander around, and a Twist of Fate gets two. Duke hits him with a northern lights suplex for two. Shoulderbreaker gets two on Taylor. Highlander then piledrives Taylor for two. Duke gives Highlander a gutbuster for two. Taylor comes back, but gets tossed. Highlander dropkicks Duke and goes up, but gets crotched. This sets up the spot of the night, as Duke goes for a superplex, but Taylor springs back in with a sunset flip on Duke as he’s superplexing Highlander. That gets a double two-count and draws a “holy shitÃ¢â‚¬Â chant from the energetic crowd. Taylor comes back and cleans house with dropkicks and elbows, but brawls out with Duke, and the heels work him over on the floor until Jenny gets involved and draws a DQ at 11:57. Bad finish, good match. *** Highlander issues a challenge for a singles match with Taylor next month.
– PWA tag title: “CrazyÃ¢â‚¬Â Dean Durrango & Greg Pawluk v. Hotshot Johnny Devine & Ricky Rage. Okay, this is where the crazy crowd really comes into it, as Damage Inc. are both wearing blue tights, which prompts a spontaneous “SmurfÃ¢â‚¬Â chant, and from there a series of improvised Smurf riffs on the heels throughout the match. Pawluk was thus dubbed “Mullet SmurfÃ¢â‚¬Â and Durrango was “Crazy Ass SmurfÃ¢â‚¬Â. This was unspeakably funny and I have no idea how these guys kept a straight face during the whole thing. The heat for this match was incredible and sustained throughout. Rage starts with Pawluk and gets taken down, but returns in kind and goes for the leg. They fight for an ankle, and Pawluk makes the ropes. Pawluk hammers him in the corner, but gets clotheslined. Butterfly suplex and kneedrop get two for Rage. Dean comes in and gets clotheslined, and that brings Devine in for the faces. I also want to stop and point out that Devine is so ridiculously ready for something bigger that as much as I enjoy watching him at shows like this, at the very least he should go for something like NWA-TNA and get some national exposure because he’s completely ready to be at a world-class level as both a worker and a personality. He’s basically Chris Jericho with shorter hair and a potty mouth. He works the arm, but Dean pounds him down. Devine comes back with a hiptoss and an armdrag. Rage comes in with a slam and legdrop for two. Devine with a high cross for two, and in fact he gets so much air that he nearly misses. He slugs away and the faces get a double-suplex. Rage with a leg lariat and an elbow on Dean, and Devine slingshots in with a legdrop while Rage holds a backbreaker. The champs bail, and Devine then follows with an insane tope that has the crowd going nuts. Back in, Devine with an X-Factor and moonsault for two. Rage gets escorted out, allowing the heels to make Devine YOUR face-in-peril. Pawluk gets a suplex for two. They him over in the corner and Dean suplexes him, twice, for two. It’s around here with the fans really get on the heels and just don’t stop. Devine tries to come back with a headscissors on Pawluk, but a second try is blocked with an inverted powerbomb for two. Devine springs out of the corner with an inverted DDT on Dean, but can’t make the tag. Crowd is going nuts for Devine by this point. Double backdrop for two. Pawluk piledrives him for two. Another backdrop is reversed into a double DDT by Devine, hot tag Rage. He cleans house with the usual face stuff. Overhead suplex on Dean, but Pawluk goes low to set up Sliced Bread #2. Dean follows with a flying splash, but Devine does the most over-the-top save I’ve seen, using a double-jump moonsault to break up the pin. Big pop for that. It’s BONZO GONZO and the ref is wiped out as a result. Meeting of the minds for the heels and stereo finishers by the faces (Tiger Driver ’91 by Devine and Falcon Arrow by Rage), but there’s no ref. Apocalypse comes in and chokeslams Devine, and puts Pawluk on top for the pin at 16:13. That one completely pisses off the crowd, but in the right way Ã¢â‚¬â€œ they direct their hatred at the heels. Simple and effective stuff. ***1/2 Devine was just awesome here taking a pounding. Next time, the rematch, with Apocalypse defending the titles with another Damage Inc member.
– TJ Wilson v. Harry Smith. TJ grabs the arm to start and they hit the mat with some swanky work there. Wilson grabs an armbar, but Smith reverses, and then Wilson takes him down with a heel hook. They feign kicks and Smith rolls him up for two, but Wilson grabs his arm from the mat and hooks in a cross-armlock. If he hasn’t been touring NJ, he’s sure been watching tapes of it. TJ blocks a big boot with a spinkick, and knees him down. Another spinkick is blocked with a leg-lace and T-Bone suplex for two. Smith fights back with an elbow and chops. Overhead suplex gets two. Smith charges and hits boot, and a powerslam gets two. Wilson gets a leg lariat and a springboard dropkick for two. He kicks him on the mat, but Smith superkicks him. Rollup gets two. TJ backslide gets two. They go to the mat and reverse off a pair of near-falls, and Wilson gets a double fisherman’s suplex for two. A victory roll attempt is blocked, however, for the pin at 9:45 to give Smith the win. Good technical match. **3/4 Smith is super green, but he’s over 6 feet tall, and with another 40 pounds of muscle he’ll be in the WWE in no time. They do the handshake of respect, but Damage Inc. interrupts to offer them a spot in the group. The crowd, immediately on the heels, advises Smith & Wilson “Don’t be a bitchÃ¢â‚¬Â, and then amends it to “Don’t be a Smurf!Ã¢â‚¬Â, which is really witty, actually. Smith declines the offer and leaves, but Wilson mulls it over a bit before deciding against joining. This earns him a beatdown, however, and Smith saves him to set up a tag match at the next show, presumably against the Durrangos. Duke’s banter here was really good, too, as he was doing the whole “I’d fight you right now but I don’t want to injure you too badlyÃ¢â‚¬Â deal and getting the crowd really pissed off.
– PWA World title: Rick Vain v. Chris Steele. This is a rematch from the last show, where Vain won the title. Steele attacks to start and slugs away, but gets elbowed. Vain with a dropkick for two. Rollup gets two. They brawl out, and Vain hits the post. The Highlander gets some shots in, and Steele legdrops Vain for two. Suplex gets two. Vain gets tossed and slammed on the floor by Highlander. Back in, neckbreaker gets two. Steele then protests his innocence to the referee while Highlander chokes away on Vain. He guillotines Vain on the apron with an elbow, and they head up, but Vain gets a high cross for two. Steele bails and Vain follows with a tope. Back in, Steele pounds away and goes low for two. Powerslam gets two. Blind charge hits boot, and Vain gets one. Steele thumbs the eyes and a shoulderblock gets two. We hit the chinlock and Vain come back with a clothesline. Both are out, and Vain recovers first with a sideslam for two. Necksnap and he goes up with a springboard clothesline for two. Spinebuster and Vain goes up again with a flying elbow for two. However, Highlander distracts the ref, and Steele uses the belt, then distracts the ref while Highlander lays out Vain with a chairshot outside. Back in, the Diamond Cutter out of a fireman’s carry finishes at 13:30 to give Steele the title again. Another yawner from these two and the crowd was pretty burned out anyway. *3/4 Heel beatdown follows, but Johnny Devine saves and promises a big surprise for the heels at the next show. Devine should be the guy challenging for the belt anyway.
The Bottom Line:
Another good show, as I’m really digging the product they’re putting on, and hopefully it continues to catch on with good word-of-mouth and hard work from the guys involved. I really wish that they’d cut out the swearing, though, if they’re gonna cater to a family audience. If you’re looking for some good, basic wrestling action in Alberta, however, I’d really suggest giving these guys a look next time they head through.
Next month: Devine & Rage challenge Pawluk & Apocalypse for the tag belts, The Durrangos face Harry Smith & TJ Wilson, Devine has a surprise for Chris Steele, and Marky Mark returns from boot camp.
Check them out at www.pwawrestling.ca.