CALGARY — On Friday, May 2nd, Stampede Wrestling paid tribute to Stu Hart on his 88th Birthday by presenting a spectacular show at the Ogden Legion Hall in Calgary.
The highly-anticipated main event of “Stampede Kid” TJ Wilson and “Bulldog” Harry Smith (Son of Davey Boy) against NWA-TNA star AJ Styles and The Black Dragon outdid expectations as a well-worked, fantastic contest.
Unfortunately for the four participants, at this point the show was running close to four hours due to lengthy speeches earlier on, so a number of the people in the crowd had left. Despite this, the four men went into it full-throttle. Styles played the cocky, arrogant heel perfectly, cracking up the crowd with his antics, such as patting himself down for the referee and saying “I got nothing! See!” before submitting to the pat down.
AJ and TJ (gets confusing after a bit) kicked things off with mat wrestling. A snapmare and a brutal kick to the back by AJ got the crowd going right off the bat. TJ kicked AJ in the face and sent him flying across the ring. Both guys go down, kip-up at the same time, and TJ clotheslined AJ down and followed up with a series of armdrags to Dragon. A dual-plancha is teased when both heels bail to the outside, but they ducked out of the way.
Black Dragon and Harry then showcased their own mat wrestling skills before AJ and Harry locked up. Harry reversed a whip to the ropes, dropped down, went for a leapfrog and AJ dropkicked him right in the crotch, and then kipped up into a frankenstiener for the first major spot of the match that is one of the coolest things I have seen in a long time. The heels take over, beating on Harry. A double-elbow and AJ continues his heelish coolness by going for a pin with one finger. AJ looks like he is stiffing the heck out of both youngsters during this match, including clotheslining Harry’s head off when he hits the ropes after elbowing out of a headlock. After the match however both TJ and Harry commented that this wasn’t the case. Dragon shows signs of his namesake, Ultimo Dragon, by taking Harry down with a La Magistral Cradle for a two count.
A cool spot sees Harry get sent into the corner, AJ catch his foot, and Harry kicks his other leg up and down to break it, followed by a boot to the chest that sends AJ flying across the ring and the hot tag to TJ who goes crazy with a series of amazing dropkicks as well as armdrags and clotheslines. Dragon grabs the top rope to avoid a superkick, Harry trips him outside and drags him out. TJ puts AJ on the top rope and puts him over his shoulders for his finisher, a somersault senton with AJ on his shoulders. Dragon runs on the apron, nails TJ in the back and pushes AJ’s legs, turning it into an insane tornado DDT to turn things back in the heels favor. AJ hits a double-underhook into a gutbuster, suplexes TJ over the top rope and has Dragon “punt him like a football.” AJ follows up with a beautiful delayed brainbuster and a one-handed cover for a 2. Dragon follows this up with a over-the-top jump to the second rope Asai Moonsault, and AJ takes a page out of Eddie Guerrero’s playbook with the hilo dive. Dragon hits his finisher, the shooting star press, but Harry breaks up the count.
More craziness, including a moonsault mule kick by AJ, a gutwrench powerbomb by Dragon on Harry that is broken up by a springboard ax-handle by TJ, and some nice power moves by Harry, who shows a lot of his Dad in this match. The crowd pops as the recognize the set-up for the Styles Clash, but Harry boots AJ to the chest and TJ rolls with it into a cradle for a two count. Harry nails Dragon with the running powerslam and that only gets a two count. Following up with the Dragon sleeper, AJ comes in, and grabs a sleeper of his own, goes for a reverse suplex, a series of sweet reversals end up with a nasty neckbreaker by Styles.
AJ ends up outside, TJ takes AJ and himself out with a no hands somersault plancha, allowing Harry to hit a second powerslam and the dragon sleeper to end an incredible match. AJ blows off Dragon after the loss and stalks to the back as Harry and TJ celebrate.
Although drastically different than the final match, the semi-main event of Sabu vs. Ted Hart also lived up to its hype as an insane, bloody and brilliant match that “scared the hell out of” Ted’s Mom Georgia, who watched from ringside.
Although the crowd was confused when “The Call” by The Backstreet Boys played, when Sabu came to the ring, they forgot about that strangeness. Ted is booed big time by the Calgary crowd that seems to despise him. They have matwork to start before Sabu heads outside and Ted goes for a plancha, that misses, and the crowd legitimately thought he blew out his knee. An awesome sell job by Hart followed as Sabu worked the leg. Sabu hit all of his signature spots, throwing a chair into Teddy’s face, the somersault legdrop, Arabian facebuster and the camel clutch, which Ted refused to submit too.
After heading outside, Ted gets the crowd on their feet by climbing a lighting fixture and moonsaulting off it onto Sabu! Dr. Kyoto, who accompanied Sabu, tried to set up the table and failed, so a obviously irritated Sabu set it up himself and ended up on it, receiving a corkscrew moonsault off the top rope through the table by Ted. Kyoto tries to put the other table in the ring, and Ted’s sidekick Steve Benoit does a really sad job of trying to get him not too. Finally security helps put the table in the ring, and Sabu breaks it and Hart in half with a Arabian chestbuster from the top.
The craziness continues minutes later when Ted tries Sabu’s triple-jump moonsault and gets tripped up, busting himself open on the chair. Sabu beats the hell out of him, tosses the chair at him, Ted catches it, throws it back and dropkicks it in his face! Crowd is just so into the match by this point it is unbelievable. Ted is soaked in his own blood when Sabu gets him in the Camel clutch for the third time. Benoit throws in the towel, and the referee decides that Ted can’t continue and calls it a no-contest. Sabu helps Ted up, reviving him with water and raising his arm. The crowd shows a lot of respect by chanting “Teddy” as he leaves.
Coupled with a fantastic undercard, and with the exception of some lengthy (and boring) speeches, the four-hour show was well worth it for those who attended.
Match 1 Triple-Threat Match
“Jumpin” Jack Flash vs. Pete Wilson vs. Nick Nogg
- Insane high-flying spot fest that threw psychology right out the window but got the crowd into the show right off the bat.Spots include a double-moonsault, an Asai moonsault by Wilson, followed by a springboard twisting moonsault to the floor by Flash. Crowd chants “Home Alone” at Macaulay Culkin look-alike Pete Wilson. Nogg does a spinning frankenstiener off of the top rope to the floor on Flash. Flash hits a moonsault that takes out lighting equipment above the ring. Wilson hits a Guerrero Powerbomb on Flash who frankenstieners Nogg at the same time. Inverted frankenstiener by Wilson nearly kills Flash. Flash hits a sky-twister press on both Nogg & Wilson for the win.Winner: “Jumpin” Jack Flash at 15:02
Match Rating: 8/10Match 2
Ted Hart Wrestling Camp Exhibition Match.
Trevor Ing vs. Braydyn Schultz vs. Dan Fox
- All of them young kids, Fox is treated to an “Opie” chant, resembling the young Ron Howard. A figure-four one minute into the match, for no reason at all. A major lack of any psychology and weak punches and kicks hurt the match. Ing is eliminated in one minute with a DDT by Schultz. Dan Fox wins with a chokeslam. Match was way too long.Winner: Dan Fox at 9:00
Match Rating: 2/10Match 3
“Hotshot” Johnny Devine, “Ravenous” Randy Myers & “Dirty” Duke Durrango vs. Rod Rage, “Kwik Kick” Kirk Melnyk & “Turtle Boy” Jason Carter.
- Durrango repeatedly yells at the fans to shut up, despite his team being cheered wildly by most of the fans. Rod Rage back flips over Devine in the corner and hits a nice German suplex for a two. A moonsault by Durrango gets a two count. Rage sends Devine over his head, Devine lands on the second buckle, and jumps backwards, landing on Rage’s shoulders and hitting a frankenstiener. Wow! Devine takes a clothesline from Rage that turns him inside out. Kirk takes over for awhile. Carter is taken up in a double-suplex, and Devine jumps off the top through his legs and takes him to the mat. Hot series of near falls sees Devine get a moonsault on Turtle, broken up by Kirk, who is suplexed by Durrango, broken up by Rage with a sit-out facebuster, Myers breaks it up and hits a neckbreaker variant, broken up by Turtle. Turtleboy hits the shell-shock (Inverted flip from the second buckle) that is broken up by Devine. Devine hits a nasty looking Tiger-driver to kill Carter and finish an awesome match. Winners: Devine, Durrango & Myers in 11:25
Match Rating: 9/10
- AJ and Dragon come out and cut a promo. AJ plays an awesome cocky heel, saying that he didn’t want to come up because we are infested with SARS and so no touching him. “If ya’ll were cockroaches, you’d be wiped out.” He mocks TJ and Harry wearing tassels on their boots. Dragon says nothing, when the ring announcer tries to talk to him AJ gives him hell. Great promo. Match 4
Nattie Niedhart vs. Belle Lovitz.
- Belle is accompanied by Dr. Kyoto and comes down holding hands with “Evil referee” Oscar Wilde. Diana Hart accompanies Nattie. Lots of Belle signs in the audience, who were really into her. Starts off with mat-wrestling. Wilde keeps counting slow to antagonize Nattie. Belle hits a DDT early on. Nattie hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, spinning Belle around twice before impact. Crowd chants “HLA” and “Please make out.” A triple-spin powerbomb puts Belle down. Oscar counts slow but is forced to count her down. A really good match, putting most of the women’s matches we see in WWE to shame.Winner: Nattie Niedhart in 10:12
- Ted cuts a promo that really gets the crowd against him, talking about being “The past, present, and future of Professional Wrestling.” “Win lose or draw, I risk my life for you because I love you, and you love me. If you hate me, I hate you more.” Match 5
Bruce Hart vs. Principal Pound.
- Bruce comes out saying “There have been a few speeches tonight that went on and on, but this won’t be one of them.” Then goes on to talk for 25 minutes. The crowd is killed dead by this. A dull brawl that is overshadowed by the hysterical antics of Belle Lovitz and Randy Myers. Bruce wins by count-out and no one cares. Winner: Bruce Hart by Count-out.
Rating: 1/10 Match 6
Juggernaut & Apocalypse vs. Dave Swift and Highlander.
- Match starts with a brawl and Apoc & Juggs kicking the crap out of Swift. They dominate early on. Swift takes over on Apoc and hits an around-the-world into a sit-out slam. Juggernaut reverses a double-suplex attempt and also runs through a double-clothesline and clotheslines both men down. And tags Apoc who goes a house afire with DDT’s and clotheslines. Juggernaut hits the Juggerdriver on Swift, Highlander breaks it up. A tornado DDT on Juggernaut by Highlander is followed up by a nice 450 Splash by Swift gets a two thanks to Apocalypse. An inverted suplex-Diamond Cutter by Apocalypse on Highlander ends it. Swift takes another Juggerdriver for good measure, and then Juggs does a second rope legdrop on Highlander. Highlander moons the crowd. I comment that he didn’t show the front because no one could see it, and he hears me and threatens to show me … eep. Winners: Juggernaut & Apocalypse at 18:12
Match Rating: 7/10 Match 7 – Semi Main Event No DQ
“Terminator” Ted Hart vs. Sabu
Winner: No Contest at 18:12.
Match Rating: 10/10
“Stampede Kid” TJ Wilson & “Bulldog” Harry Smith vs. AJ Styles & The Black Dragon
Winners: TJ Wilson & Harry Smith at 22:50
Overall Show Rating: 10/10