It’s the first of two shows in Canada for wXw alongside Smash wrestling, headlined with Maggot chasing for Kevin Bennett’s Smash title.
TJ Epixx & Chael Connors pinned Idris Abraham & Joe Coleman in 8:52 (**¾)
Tristan Archer pinned Carter Mason in 8:19 to retain the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship (***¼)
Nikita pinned Jody Threat in 11:32 to retain the Smash Women’s Championship (**½)
Vaughn Vertigo pinned John Greed and Robert Dreissker in 10:16 (***)
Best Six Out Of Eleven Falls: Psycho Mike defeats Cara Noir by 6 falls to 5 in 12:28 (***½)
Axel Tischer pinned Jake Something in 14:18 (***½)
Kevin Bennett pinned Maggot in 12:57 to retain the Smash Wrestling Championship (***½)
— If you want to catch this before it’s uploaded to Peacock/WWE Network, head over to wXwNOW.com
We’re at the Rec Room in Toronto for the first of two nights of cards with wXw up against Smash Wrestling’s best. This isn’t one of those “versus” shows, but there are a few Smash-only matches on here… so forgive me if I’m not as up to speed on those folks as I am with the wXw crew. Commentary comes from Scott Hunter and KC Andrews…
Halal Beefcake (Idris Abraham & Joe Coleman) vs. Critical X Revolution (Chael Connors & TJ Epixx)
Halal Beefcake’s Smash tag titles aren’t on the line…
Apparently the CXR lads were trained by HC Loc, which is a hell of a throwback name… but they’re barely known compared to Halal Beefcake, as Coleman straight up said they’d be playing their greatest hits here as they’ve a tag title defence “tomorrow” in London. Not that one.
Coleman and Connors start off with a lock-up into the corner, with commentary noting how Halal Beefcake have taken it a little too easy recently. A waistlock takedown from Coleman has Chael down, as he then offered an easy out for the CXR guy. Connors doesn’t take the offer, so Idris Abraham tags in and took him down in a waistlock… Connors manages to find a way in with some dropkicks, before TJ Epixx tagged himself in. Epixx and Connors hit a pair of double superkicks to Halal Beefcake, taking them outside for a pair of planchas. CXR head up top, but Coleman shoved them both off as Abraham proceeded to take advantage with some mudhole stomping on Epixx. Back elbows and a double-team elbow drop gets Coleman a two-count on Connors, who then ate a dropkick and a bodyslam.
Abraham’s back to get slammed onto Connors before Coleman came in to choke Connros in the ropes with some… push-ups? Halal Beefcake take shortcuts behind the ref’s back, before Coleman’s chinlock kept Connors grounded… Abraham’s in as he’s thrown into a cornered Connors with a dropkick for a two-count, before Abraham proceeded to knock Epixx off the apron. Connors boots Abraham out of the corner, then pulled Abraham into a backbreaker… ahead of a Flatliner into the buckles. That doesn’t buy him enough time to tag out as Abraham stopped him… only to get hit with a handspring cutter as Epixx finally got the tag in. A shotgun dropkick from Epixx gets him ahead, as Abraham then accidentally charged into Coleman in the corner…
Epixx goes for a quebrada, but Coleman breaks up the pin, only to get caught with a Codebreaker from Connors as all four men stayed in the ring. Another accidental clash sees Abraham knock Coleman to the outside, allowing CXR to hit a pop-up cutter on Abraham for the upset win. **¾
We cut to a well-done vignette of Carter Mason talking about his upbringing and his career in wrestling to date, bringing up his single alcoholic mother, a trainer that tried to blackball him, and an incorrect cancer diagnosis. He never let that get him down as he survived and pushed on… even though “someone made a mistake” and led to a pandemic costing him two years of his career. This weekend, he’s meant to be taking on Tristan Archer and Bobby Gunns… that second one’s off, but the “King of the North” gets a wXw title shot next.
wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Carter Mason vs. Tristan Archer (c)
Mason’s apparently losing the fan’s support, according to commentary…
The opening lock-up sees Mason and Archer roll around the ropes, before Mason slapped away Archer’s disrespectful break. Chops from Mason lead to forearms as Archer looked to be caught off-guard, returning with a shoulder tackle before Archer ended up getting thrown over the top and onto the apron.
A gamengiri dropped Archer onto the apron for a slingshot stomp, with Mason following up with a plancha to the outside as he then took his time to follow-up. Archer capitalised with a side Russian legsweep into the side of the ring as he added a tope from the inside back out. Back in the ring, Archer collects a two-count as he proceeded to take apart Mason with a series of backbreakers, ending with a gutwrench facebuster for a near-fall. Archer traps Mason in a camel clutch after that, then rolled him into a Gedo clutch for a two-count, before Mason countered a tiltawhirl into a crossbody for a two-count of his own. A clothesline and an Exploder from Archer gets him back on track, but Mason managed to take Archer into the corner for a hanging neckbreaker.
Archer’s up at two after that, as he hit back with almost a fallaway Made in Japan, which wasn’t enough to keep Mason down. Mason retaliated with a tornado DDT, rolling it into a guillotine, but Archer uses referee Tassilo Jung to help himself back to his feet as he countered it into an Impaler DDT to break up the hold. Getting back to his feet, Archer cradles Mason for a near-fall, then scored him with a swinging back suplex before the Coup d’Etat put Mason away. This was good for the time they had, with Mason looking good on offence – but this outing played another part in his downfall story, it seemed. ***¼
Smash Women’s Championship: Jody Threat vs. Nikita (c)
This was Threat’s first shot at the Smash women’s title – with Nikita having unseated the long-reigning Rosemary back in September…
Toronto was eagerly expecting a title change here, as they didn’t seem to have much faith in the Ukrainian… We start with a lock-up as Threat grabbed a side headlock, taking Nikita to the mat before the pair broke in the ropes. Nikita blocks an Irish whip, but got kicked into the corner as Threat laid in with some clotheslines. Nikita’s taken down with a clothesline out of the corner for a two-count, but she’s able to sidestep a boot as Threat went onto the apron… and got caught with a draping DDT back into the ring for a near-fall. Some choking follows in the ropes by Nikita, whose clubbing forearms earned her a Northern Lights suplex from Threat.
Threat goes for a handspring charge into the corner, but misses as Nikita sidestepped and charged back with shoulders. A tarantula-style choke in the ropes from Nikita takes Threat to the outside, where Threat’s charged into the side of the ring… before Threat was pulled down by the hair back inside. Threat’s thrown into Nikita’s boot in the corner, as a sidewalk slam followed out of the corner for a two-count. Nikta shut down another fight back, as she hit almost a brainbuster that rolled into a cross armbar on Threat, who was instantly in the ropes… only to roll free of the hold instead.
A Judo-style throw takes Threat down into a cross armbar again, but Threat rolled up Nikita for a two-count… elbows from Nikita led to a pump kick to the side of the head from Threat, then a German suplex out of the ropes for a near-fall. Nikita elbows away on Threat to escape a F5, returning with a falling reverse DDT before Threat went back to the roll-ups. Threat comes even closer after she spiked Nikita on a Michinoku driver for a near-fall… a trip up is stopped by Nikita, who brought Threat down hard before she rolled her into a Tequila Sunrise by the ropes… but Threat ends up grabbing the rope (as did Nikita, illegally of course!)
Elbows from Nikita just earn her a spear from Threat, who went back to the F5, but a second falling reverse DDT ends up getting the win for Nikita. **½
John Greed vs. Robert Dreissker vs. Vaughn Vertigo
I don’t think I’ve seen Greed before, and let me tell you, he’s a big bugger…
Vaughn Vertigo’s the underdog in this one, in terms of size, so he’s having to play stick and run as he dropkicked Greed and Dreissker into the corners to start. Greed eventually punches him away though, before he charged into Dreissker as Vertigo rolled away from a sandwich. Vertigo tries a crossbody, but just bounced off the two big lads before they sandwiched him between two body attacks off the ropes. Vertigo’s thrown to the outside as we had the big lads going at it with shoulder tackles and clotheslines, before a Dreissker eye rake looked to put him ahead… only for Vertigo to return and throw Dreissker into Greed’s clothesline.
Greed’s kept in the ropes with uppercuts from Vertigo, who then looked to take aim on Dreissker. A standing moonsault gets a two-count on Dreissker, as Greed added a back senton to the Austrian. Vertigo charges at Greed, but gets sent onto the apron and clotheslines off of it, before Dreissker took down Greed with a springboard crossbody out of the corner for a two-count. Dreissker brings Vertigo back into play as he threw him onto Greed, then slammed him onto Greed before Vertigo got splashed into the corner. Fighting back, Vertigo’s uppercuts earned him an eye rake from Dreissker, with the Austrian looking to be in firm control. A ‘rana from Vertigo sends Greed into Dreissker as he countered out of a Greed powerbomb… and now Vertigo’s back with more shots on Dreissker.
Another dropkick keeps Dreissker in the corner, ahead of a slingshot Edge-o-matic from the outside back in. Dreissker’s back with a ripcord lariat to Vertigo though, nearly winning the match with it, before Greed got up to cut off Dreissker with a punch. We’ve a neat fallaway slam/Samoan drop from Greed to Dreissker and Vertigo… before Greed threatened to go up top. Vertigo stops Greed on the top rope, before Vaughn caught Dreissker in the ropes with a kick… a senton bomb to the back of Greed, then a tope con giro to Dreissker on the outside looked to put Vertigo ahead, before a Shining Wizard proved to be enough to put Greed away in a decent triple-threat, with Vertigo maneuvering his way past the two big lads. ***
Best Six Out Of Eleven Falls: Psycho Mike vs. Cara Noir
We’ve a battle of two characters here, with Psycho Mike changing things up as he made this a best… six out of eleven falls match? Cara Noir had his head in his hands… as did I as people struggled with numbers.
Cara Noir’s met with a sunset flip as he bowed to Mike… and that’s 1-0 after just 20 seconds. Alrighty then. There’s no reset, as we keep going… Cara Noir reverses the hold and gets an equaliser at 24 seconds, then went 2-1 up at 28 seconds with a roll-up, before Mike equalised four seconds later…
More see-sawing puts Noir 3-2 up at 36 seconds, Mike level at 39 seconds, Noir 4-3 up at 47 seconds, before a Mike backslide tied it at 4-4 at 56 seconds. Psycho Mike almost pulled ahead with a cradle at 1:03, but the pin’s not awarded despite the ref counting three, before Cara Noir’s headbutt and fall onto Mike put him 5-4 up at 1:13. Oh, so the bell not going on the cradle was a flub, as we’re told we’re 5-5 after less than 80 seconds and we’re down to next goal wins.
Things calm down, relatively speaking, with the pair trading forearms in a hockey fight, then clotheslines, before Cara lariat’d down Mike… who returned with one of his own. A double clothesline left both men laying, leading to some near-falls as they tried to snatch the win. Duelling sit-ups led to Cara kicking the back of Mike, who came back with a forearm to the lower back, before a clothesline took Mike outside for a tope. Mike’s thrown back in, but he sidesteps Cara Noir who nearly got hung up in the ropes with a dropkick… and that opens the door for some bodyslams. Except Cara’s dead weight, and by the time he got up, we see some see-saw cradles for a bunch of near-falls to troll the referee (and try and win the match).
A rebound German suplex puts Cara ahead as he then went for a Rude Awakening, but he didn’t go for the cover immediately and can only get a two-count… with Mike sitting up out of the lateral press as he then stood up and began the festival of bodyslams. Five, in particular. That’d have gone down well with one of Robert Dreissker’s past tag partners… except Cara hit the fifth one instead, which upset Psycho Mike’s feelings. Cara tries to make up with Mike, or at least let them finish the match, but Cara kisses Mike on the forehead, then went for a package piledriver. Mike floats out, but got caught in the rear naked choke… which sent Mike out, but he fell on his back to break up the hold. Mike tries to capitalise, as he pulled Cara Noir up… but Cara fall crumples down to avoid a kick, then a discus clothesline as the Toronto crowd booed.
Cara suckers in Mike with a Blackout sleeper as Mike went for another clothesline, but Mike punches Cara Noir’s bare feet… then rolled back for a near-fall. A shotgun dropkick gave Cara hope, but he runs into a pump kick… a Madame Guillotine over-the-knee brainbuster offered more hope for Cara, as he went back to a rear naked choke… only for Mike to hit a brainbuster for the win. This threatened to be too clever for its own good at the start, but when it descended into a regular match, the pair worked pretty well for the most part. ***½
We’ve a video interruption from someone eventually named as Litigator Luke, and is due to face Psycho Mike in a career ending match…
Jake Something vs. Axel Tischer
Now for something completely different…
The opening scrambles led to Tischer grabbing an armbar on Something, ending in the ropes as Jake pushed away the former wXw champion. Tischer’s cravat restrains Something, only for it to be powered out of as a side headlock ended on the mat. A knuckle lock from Something has Tischer on his knees, but Tischer rolls back to reverse the hold and force Something into the ropes for a break. Something hits back with a shoulder tackle off the ropes, before Tischer returned the favour, only to get barged down repeatedly. An armdrag from Tischer has Something down in an armbar, but that’s broken up as Tischer eventually came back with a running neckbreaker for a one-count.
Tischer adds an uppercut, but a body attack from Something left him laying… only for Jake to play to the crowd rather than stay on Tischer. Clotheslines from Tischer earned him a singular shot in return, as Something keeps him grounded with a chinlock. A jawbreaker eventually got Tischer free as the pair traded strikes… leading to an inverted atomic drop as Something went for the body attack again. We’re back to strikes as Tischer and Something wore each other down, but it’s Tischer who pulls ahead with uppercuts and clotheslines. A half hatch suplex out of the corner and a flying European uppercut off the top nearly wins it for Tischer, before Something found his way back in with a powerbomb attempt… only for Tischer to break free.
A low dropkick from Tischer just earns him a forearm to the back of the neck as Something eventually speared him into the corner for a two-count. We’re back to the strikes until Something caught Tischer with a gutwrench powerbomb that almost ended things… A Bossman Slam is escaped by Tischer, who tried his luck with a roll-up, before a single leg lariat dropped Something. Tischer gets that German suplex off seconds later, but got caught with a clothesline for a near-fall as Something kept up his search for a first Smash win of the year. A boot stops Something in the ropes as we’re back to forearms and elbows… but Tischer falls into a front facelock, only for Tischer to counter the suplex into a Horrible Slam. From there, a second Horrible Slam lives up to its name, and that’s the win for the Axeman – a pretty decent hard-hitting outing as Something continues his winless run. ***½
Post-match, Something’s interviewed in the ring about his run of form… it wasn’t exactly a good time for those questions, as Jake chased the interviewer away, then promised that he’ll pick up his first W “tomorrow”…
Smash Wrestling Championship: Kevin Bennett (c) vs. Maggot
Bennett was sans title belt as no Bobby Gunns meant that he had a new challenger. Apparently Bennett had left his title behind in Buffalo, and there’s no way he’s going back in a snowstorm to retrieve it…
Bennett powders outside at the bell, before he returned into a side headlock from Maggot, which turned into a headlock takedown as the champion tried to free himself. Right hands from Bennett keep Maggot by the ropes, only for the Shotgun champion to catch out the Smash champion with a Thesz press, then a good ol’ fashioned kick to the head. Mounted punches follow in the corner as Maggot ended up biting Bennett, while a suplex drew just a two-count as Bennett rolled to the outside. He’s kicked in the head as Maggot went onto the apron… and now it’s the outside as Bennett’s kicked out of a chair. Bennett turns it around as he threw Maggot into the ring post, then returned to the ring as he sought a count-out win…
Back inside, Bennett stays on top of Maggot, dumping him back outside once more. Maggot gets back in, but Bennett puts the boots to him before Maggot went for the nipples. That just gets him thrown back outside, with Bennett choosing to throw him into the side of the ring as the search for a count-out continued again. Beating the count, Maggot manages to catch out Bennett with a satellite DDT, then with some clotheslines as commentary brings up Mark Haskins’ run with the Smash title. There’s a blast from the past. Hey, there’s a back body drop from Maggot too, as he baited Bennett into the corner ahead of a crossbody off the top… while an enziguiri and a crucifix bomb almost led to a title change.
Maggot looks for a spear, but Bennett forearms it away, then tripped up his challenger ahead of a slingshot stomp to the back. A wacky 619 splash catches Maggot by the ropes ahead of a double underhook powerbomb for a near-fall as Bennett took his time to follow up. It allowed Maggot to counter a suplex into an inside cradle for a near-fall, before a diving kick put Maggot ahead. A spear follows from Maggot for a near-fall, before he measured up Bennett for a cutter… it’s pushed away as Bennett hit back with a Remix twisting suplex for a near-fall. Stomps from an aggrieved Bennett follow as his trip up top was stopped by Maggot, who landed a superplex at the second attempt… only for Bennet to crucifix his way out of a cover for another two-count. Going back to the hair, Bennett throws Maggot down, then pulled him up for something… Maggot escaped, only to eat a top rope cutter as Bennett vaulted up top… and that’s enough for the champion to retain. Commentary had said at the start that Bennett was starting to get cheered… there was little sign of that here! ***½
Thankfully avoiding the “versus” format, this felt like a show that was allowed to play into existing storylines – whether the wider audience (on the wXw or Smash sides) were aware of them or not. Don’t be shocked if a name or two from the Smash side pop up in 16 Carat Gold after these shows… while I just wish the ring was lit better, because some of the longer shots seemed to have better lighting than the hard cam!