TORONTO — Last month, Toronto-wrestling promotion, Blood, Sweat and Ears put on their debut show. Featuring some of the finest of Ontario’s indy wrestling scene, combined with marquee star power of TNA star Rhino, it was a fairly solid event overall.
On Sunday night, BSE returned to the Nashville North nightclub in Norval, Ontario, featuring a bigger and better show, headlined by a TNA X-Division title match featuring “Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels facing off against two opponents, Chris Sabin and Team Canada’s Petey Williams.
The match was originally scheduled to be a singles encounter between Daniels and Williams; the title stipulation and Sabin’s participation were announced during the ring introductions. The crowd of about 200, vocal and energetic throughout the night, was thrilled with the changes, and let the wrestlers know it with cheers for all three men.
The match was an exciting affair, with all three men coming close to winning numerous times. Unlike the typical WWE triple threat affair where, for the majority of the match, two of the wrestlers square off while the other one is “recovering” on the floor, all three men were in the ring for most of the action. The interplay between them was great, as they used a variety of innovative moves to take each other out. Restholds, though infrequent, still used the concept to its fullest extent; for example, in one spot, Daniels clamped on a leg scissors around the head of Sabin, who in turn had Petey locked in a similar hold. In another smooth move, Sabin held Daniels in a headlock, and kept it held while running up Petey’s body and nailing the Canadian with an enziguri. The elevation he gained from the climb added to the force with which he DDT’d Daniels on his way down.
The fans really got into this one, and at one point a “Let’s go, Petey! Let’s go, Daniels! Let’s go, Sabin” chant filled the air. While all of the three had their fans, it was clear that Williams had the backing of his fellow Canadians, especially when he locked a sharpshooter onto the X-Division champ who was urged by the fans to tap out. He didn’t, and the match went on, showcasing some other big moves by all three. Daniels’ Best Moonsault Ever couldn’t earn him the win, nor could Sabin’s running powerbomb, which he blasted Petey with. Ultimately, Petey hit Sabin with his devastating finisher, the “Canadian Destroyer” flip piledriver. Before he could cover Sabin and win the match and the belt, though, Daniels slid into the ring, threw Petey over the top rope, and earned himself a sneaky pinfall victory.
After the match, Petey offered to shake Sabin’s hand in a sign of mutual respect, but Sabin would have none of it. He sucker-clotheslined Williams, and was going to attempt his own version of the Canadian Destroyer, until Petey’s Team Canada partner, Bobby Roode made the save. While this certainly opens the door for a Sabin-Williams match in the future, no matches have yet been announced for the next Blood, Sweat, and Ears show, which will take place on September 25th.
Local metal band Shatterpoint kicked off the show, and played a few songs during the intermission and after the main event. While I’m not a heavy metal aficionado by any means, they certainly seemed to be a crowd favourite.
Match One: Tarantula Gomez vs. Ash
A quick affair with some good work out of both of these cruiserweights. Gomez took some really good falls, landing on his face repeatedly. Ash won the match after hitting Gomez with an elevated DDT, throwing his many female fans into a frenzy.
Match Two: Flesh w/ Magnus vs. Jake O’Reilly
Standard big-man/little-man match, as Jake used his speed to hit and run to avoid the big man’s powerful clutches. His tactic was working until interference from Magnus slowed him down. Flesh took over, crushing the plucky O’Reilly in a bearhug, and then nailing him with a huge backslam to gain the pinfall victory.
Match Three: Vlad, Anton Arakis and Michael Elgin vs. Otis, El Sombra, and Extremo
Quick luchadore action was the order of the day, slowing down only when big Vlad was in the ring. A scary moment in this match, when Extremo tried a somersault bomb over the top rope; he seemed to miss landing square onto his opponents, and the back of his head came crashing down onto the hardwood dancefloor (fortunately, he was uninjured). The ending was a bit convoluted, as they did a sequence of finishing moves and broken up pin attempts before Extremo finally ended things with his 450-splash, giving his team the win.
The Highlanders, Rory and Robbie MacAllister, were introduced. This popular team recently signed with WWE, and this was their last scheduled indy appearance. Thanking the fans for their support for the past five years, as well as the various Canadian promotions that helped them make their name, the duo was rewarded with a loud and sustained “Highlanders!” chant. Until Sinn and Elvis Osbourne of the New Church came to the ring, accompanied by their lackey Crazy Steve. The evil duo, calling themselves “The Beasts of Burden” had nothing kind to say to the departing Scotsmen, claiming that they could beat the Highlanders at any time, and accordingly they should have received the WWE contract. Obviously the teams wouldn’t simply agree to disagree, and instead a short donnybrook ensued. The evil ones were quickly dispatched of, and the Highlanders stood triumphantly in an independent ring for the last time.
Match Four: The Blackouts (Johnny Darkness and Pierre Shadows) vs. Twisted Steele (Cody Steele and El Tornado)
A solid tag encounter, with some really exciting moves from beginning to end. Cody Steele continues to impress with his smooth in-ring work, his over-the-top facial expressions, and his ability to engage the crowd. In time, he could be a good addition to either the TNA or WWE roster — indeed, he appeared on an episode of Raw a couple of months ago as a ringside fan whose nachos were stolen by Viscera; hopefully this will eventually lead to something more. The match ended with Tornado getting double-teamed after some miscommunication between he and Steele.
Match Five: Tiana vs. Shantelle
A very well-done match between the resident ladies of Squared Circle Wrestling. Shantelle won this crowd-pleaser after yanking down Tiana’s pants and exposing her lovely… thong, and then rolling her up for a pin.
Match Six: James Champagne vs. Team Canada’s Bobby Roode
Champagne, who squared off against Rhyno at the last BSE show was pitted against another TNA star this time in Bobby Roode. Champagne badmouthed the current composition of Team Canada, arguing that he would be a far better member of that crew over Roode. A solid encounter that spilled out into the stands at one point. Once back in the ring, things picked up until Roode avoided a big running block, causing Champagne to run into and flatten the ref. Roode locked in a Canadian Crab, causing James to tap out, but with the referee out, he couldn’t get the win. Tending to the ref, Roode left himself exposed to a sneak attack by Champagne, who tried to hit the Canadian over the head with a pair of nunchucks. Roode ducked, got hold of the chucks, and waffled Champagne with them instead. Unfortunately, the referee had awaken by that time, saw Roode wield the weapon, and disqualified him. After the match, Roode took his revenge, first nailing the ref with a big clothesline and then giving Champagne one as well. Champagne’s another indy star who could be a natural fit on the roster of either of the big two, and hopefully his exposure at shows like this will eventually get him there.
Once again, Blood, Sweat, and Ears delivered an entertaining show that, evident by the hot crowd response, was a solid success. Though it’s too early to tell, if they can continue with the momentum they’ve built up with this, their sophmore show, they may very well become a premiere independent powerhouse in Ontario.