TORONTO — There’s a saying that the opera isn’t over until the fat lady sings. At Sunday night’s Stranglehold Wrestling: Bloodstock, a lady got herself over at the Opera House, not by singing, but rather by swinging light tubes, chairs, and every other weapon she could find.
The lady in question was Canada’s own LuFisto, and she showed why she’s earned the nickname “The First Lady of Hardcore” by winning the Tournament of Death, an ultra-violent tournament that featured some of the sickest hardcore freaks in wrestling today.
The show, brought to Toronto by the deranged mind of Bloody Bill Skullion, had its good and bad moments, but for the most part the 150-plus on hand seemed to enjoy themselves.
You knew the night wasn’t going to be like all the other indy shows when, after a big power slam was delivered, a clanging sound filled the venue, signaling that the ring had broke. This happened a few times in the second match as well, multiple times, and I’m not sure if they bothered to try to fix it after that.
The first glimpse of the carnage that the night had in store for us took place in the second match, when the Notorious TID smacked The Hammer with a Singapore cane, bloodying him up a little bit. That was merely an appetizer compared to the blood-soaked smorgasbord that was going to be served for the rest of the night to the bloodthirsty fans, myself among them, on hand.
Our waiter for the first course would be Viking, who introduced light tubes into his match against the man who is quickly becoming my favourite wrestler, the Necro Butcher. Despite having a bundle of them smashed against his chest, Necro was able to recover and move onto the semi-finals.
There, Necro and his opponent Mad Man Pondo, disregarded every thing they teach you in kindergarten and then some. Not only did the two run with scissors, but they ran them into each others’ heads repeatedly. Pondo took this to a new artform when he started casually carving the soles of Necro’s bare feet, which couldn’t have tickled. Certainly the fans didn’t think so, judging from the sympathetic groans from the audience. Still, Necro was able to soldier on and secure his spot in the finals.
LuFisto had her own bloody road to go down as well. Her first opponent, the Juggulator, battered her with multiple chair shots, but the diminutive hellion took everything he had to offer. Light tubes seemed to be her weapon of choice, as she stomped several of them, sending shards of shattered glass into his face, leaving him prone for the pin. Her next opponent was Skullion, who had earlier tried to burn the flesh off of the Independent Soldier. Skullion went back to his bag of tricks, but against LuFisto, it was he who ate the flame, allowing her to advance.
Before the main event, WWE legend Jake “The Snake” Roberts came out to a great ovation. Even though he isn’t typically known for ultra-hardcore violence, Jake still had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand, both with his promo — he’s as good as ever — and his match. Of course, his snake made a cameo appearance much to everyone’s delight.
The main event was about as ugly an affair as I’ve ever seen. When LuFisto and Necro weren’t trading stiff punches, they were using plunder with reckless abandon, including the barbed wire which was wrapped around each of the ring ropes. As they exploded off of each competitor’s backs, pieces of broken light tubes flew into the crowd numerous times, forcing the members of the crowd to duck behind tables, or someone else bigger than them. At one point, the pronged end of a broken light tube even landed on the table I was standing at — nearly 10 feet away from the ring … and about that, I only have one word for you: socket!
Besides the weaponry, the two abused each other with increasingly stiff shots, and creative spots, including Necro backbreaking LuFisto onto the backs of two chairs that were set up in the ring, not on the flat parts, either, but right onto the propped up backs — ugly stuff. After carving Necro’s flesh with barbed wire, LuFisto finally ended the bloodbath with a German suplex onto a bundle of light tubes and bridging Necro into a pinfall.
After the event was over, bloodlust satisfied, the frenzied crowd celebrated while Necro and LuFisto pulled thumbtacks and chunks of broken glass out of their backs, arms, and heads.
Bloodstock was definitely not for everyone, and it’s likely that many wrestling fans would simply dismiss this as garbage wrestling and never even consider going to the show. But for those of us in attendance, we were witness to a truly unique show.
“Everybody there was totally happy,” said organizer Skullion, who had to deal with immigration problems for a couple of wrestlers, and the Opera House informing him at the last minute that the stage couldn’t be used.
Mad Man Pondo promised that “this may be the first, but it won’t be the last” show of its type. If that’s the case, you know I’ll be there … singing its praises.
The show was taped by SmartMarkvideo.com and should be available in a couple of weeks.