On Sunday afternoon, Toronto area fans were offered an event pairing wrestling mayhem — including a rampaging Rhyno — and heavy metal music, as “Blood, Sweat, and Ears” made its debut at the Nashville North nightclub in Norval, Ontario.
Featuring performances by local band Severity, and wrestlers from Toronto’s Squared Circle Wrestling, the major draw for the near 200 fans in attendance was to see former WWE star Rhyno wrestle his first match since the ECW One Night Stand pay-per-view last month. And though the crowd was very vocal in supporting the Man-Beast during his main event encounter, they remained oddly quiet for the majority of the show, belying the solid wrestling excitement on display.
Rhyno’s opponent for the evening was local sensation, James Champagne, whose stock seems to rise with every appearance. He and Rhyno battled all around the ring, which stood beside the stage in the sunken dancefloor, smashing into stools and the ringside table. With no floor seating, fans were safe from that carnage, but only briefly. Soon, the two brawled into the seating area which surrounded the dancefloor, throwing each other into chairs and tables to the delight of the crowd. Once the action got back into the ring, Champagne held his own, clamping on a rear naked choke which nearly took Rhyno down. With the crowd chanting “Let’s Go, Rhyno”, one of the few times they did so during the night, the big man was able to power out of the hold and regain his advantage, dropping Champagne with a front-faced Samoan drop. The crowd anticipation was palpable for a GORE, and Rhyno delivered in spades, brutally smashing Champagne through a table that had been propped in the corner earlier. A three-count was a mere formality at that point, and with that the show came to a close.
The quiet crowd notwithstanding, the promoters of the event, which include Squared Circle owners Rob Fuego and Steve Cvjetkovich, should be commended for trying to revive the conceptual tag team of music and metal, which hasn’t been seen on this level since the former Toronto staple, “Ring ‘n’ Ears,” seemingly disappeared back in late 2003.
“Blood, Sweat and Ears” has already announced its second show, to take place at the same venue, on Sunday July 31st, with TNA Wrestling stars “Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels and Team Canada’s Bobby Roode scheduled to appear, with live musical entertainment to be provided by local faves Shatterpoint, among others. Targetting the two niche markets -? wrestling fans and metal fans ?- is a novel idea which has proven successful in the past, and, if the promoters are serious about doing this right, could become a regular offering once again.
- Before the matches, Brampton-based band Severity entertained the crowd with a short set. Even though I’m not a huge metal fan (I figured at a place called “Nashville North” they would at least play one country song, which is more my speed), they were pretty good.
- Cody 45 def. Dangerboy Derek Wylde w/ Jennifer Blake. Solid high-flying action, with both men flying out of the ring and onto the hardwood dancefloor on more than one occasion. Cody 45 withstood a nasty looking reverse Death Valley Driver to quickly roll up Wylde out of nowhere for the pin.
- In a lucha libre rules 6-man cruiserweight match, Sombra defeated Ash, Tarantula Gomez, Anton Arakis, Otis Idol, and El Vigote Dos. Some innovative moves here, particularly by Sombra who finished two opponents with a sunset-flip-powerbomb maneuver.
- Pierre Parliament defeated Kobra Kai after hitting the masked man with two Alabama Slams. The crowd, possibly burned out after the fast action of the previous two matches, was not really into this match, which was mainly mat-based.
- Severity took the stage again for another set.
- In mixed tag action, J.P. Morcado and Tianna Ringer defeated “Completely” Cody Steele and the lovely Shantelle, when J.P. hit the Shantelle with a powerbomb for the pinfall victory.
- Sinn and Elvis Osbourne (the New Church) cheated to get the win over the Highlanders. The Highlanders have been making a name for themselves on the local indy scene ? with their great look, I wouldn’t be surprised if they signed a deal with a major company in the next year or so.
- Rhyno defeated James Champagne