More then 1,500 combined fans in two cities flocked to what many consider the biggest independent wrestling cards in Alberta in five years. The Bad News Allen Coage Tribute show, held May 25th in Cochrane, and PWA Mayhem on May 26th in Edmonton, featured an international array of talent from the past, present and future.
While the lengthy wait for doors to open in Cochrane certainly hurt the show, once it got underway fans were treated to a night that was a fitting tribute to Bad News Allen. The evening started with all of the wrestlers as well as several special guests including Leo Burke, Gerry Morrow, Ross Hart, Johnny Smith, Dr. Zhivago, Abdul Weasel and others gathered at ringside. Legendary Stampede Wrestling photographer Bob Leonard paid tribute to Allen, and presented his widow Helen and their family with a plaque in remembrance of Coage, who passed away on March 6, 2007. Helen was overwhelmed with emotion and asked Leonard to thank those in attendance on her behalf.
After the traditional 10-bell salute, the Cochrane show kicked off with a triple-threat elimination tag match that saw The Funky Bunch of Marky Mark and Phoenix Taylor victorious over The New Karachi Vice (Gama Singh Jr. and Raj Singh) and The A-Team (Dusty Adonis & Michael Avery) The match had a scary moment however as Marky Mark did not get a full rotation on his attempted shooting star press to the floor and landed on his head in a moment chillingly reminiscent of Mark Briscoe’s injury with the same move in Detroit earlier this year. Fortunately Mark walked out of the match without injury.
Things do not always go smoothly in the wrestling business. Such was the case when Dustin Runnels, who was scheduled to wrestle under his “Goldust” persona, no-showed the events. Promoters for both nights announced that Runnels had taken deposits for both shows, then cashed in his plane ticket and did not come to Alberta. Runnels’ opponent in Cochrane, Ravenous Randy, cut a scathing promo on his scheduled opponent before dispatching Storm Wrestling Academy graduate T-Bone.
After a number of matches with local talent, SLAM! Wrestling columnist and current TNA star Johnny “Havok” Devine and former ECCW Champion Scotty Mac squared off for the first time in their careers. Earlier in the night Devine had said in a promo that he “refused to come out here dressed as a cartoon character,” wiped off his make-up and later came to the ring in his “Hotshot” gear. The two western Canadian veterans put on a clinic for nearly 20 minutes before Devine scored the pinfall.
Less impressive was the “Legends Match” between Tito Santana and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart. After five minutes of headlocks, Santana attempted a leapfrog and Neidhart headbutted him in the groin. Santana rolled to the outside and both men were counted out.
Much better was the highly anticipated match between Samoa Joe and Juggernaut. The crowd was on their feet as the two heavyweights threw each other around the ring with high impact moves that shook the ring. Joe stunned the crowd by taking Juggernaut down on the outside with a tope dive. The fans showed their knowledge of Joe’s ROH career when they began to chant “Ole” for his trademark “Ole Kick” in the corner, which was interrupted when Scotty Mac ran to the ring and attacked Juggernaut and Johnny Devine attacked Joe. The big men got the last laugh however when Mac was planted with Juggernaut’s K-drill piledrive and then Joe’s musclebuster. After the match the two men shook hands and Joe paid tribute to Bad News before telling the crowd “I am Samoa Joe, and I am Pro Wrestling.”
The main event of the evening followed up on last year’s Cochrane event, in which hometown hero Devon “Hannibal” Nicholson and Abdullah The Butcher fought to a bloody no contest. This year’s match was contested in the confines of a steel cage, that unfortunately took nearly 45 minutes to set up. By the time the two combatants made it to the ring, it was after midnight. The crowd stood in shock as the two brawled around ringside and busted each other open before finally entering the cage. The Butcher, managed by Abdul Weasel, dominated Nicholson until the Great Gama entered the ring and threw a fireball intended for Nicholson. With his opponent temporarily blinded, Nicholson was able to fall out the door of the cage to score a rare win over “The Madman from Sudan.” A brawl with Nicholson and Abdullah against the Karachi Vice broke out after the match, which saw Nicholson shatter a package of light tubes over the back of Raj Singh. Nicholson and The Butcher settled their feud and promised revenge on the Karachi Vice as the clock drew past midnight.
PWA Mayhem in Edmonton ran smoother and had a red-hot crowd who were vocal from the opening moments of PWA Cruiserweight Champion Marky Mark’s title defense against Dusty Adonis. Juggernaut, who recently announced his retirement at the end of 2007, fought what will likely be his last match with Scotty Mac. The anything goes match was a classic David vs. Goliath match as Mac played duck and dodge against the much larger Juggernaut. It wasn’t enough as after a wild brawl Juggernaut scored a victory. The crowd, who had viciously booed Mac during the match, paid their respects by chanting “please come back.”
Having bloodied each other the night before, Devon Nicholson and Abdullah The Butcher promised more carnage when they teamed up against Alberta’s own hardcore icon Tex Gaines and newcomer Slammer. The local guys were no match for their bloodthirsty foes, who gouged them with forks, broken bottles and kendo sticks before Nicholson scored the pin on Slammer. Things ground to a halt in the match between Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart and The Highlander. The match started well with Neidhart overpowering Highlander, before both men were inexplicably counted out.
After PWA champion Phoenix Taylor defeated Chris Steel by count-out in a fast-paced match, the crowd’s energy picked up when they chanted “Joe’s Gonna Kill You” at Johnny Devine, who made his way to the ring in full Havok character. Joe received a superstar ovation as he made his way to the ring. The two TNA stars put on a fantastic match that showed Devine still has all of the tools that made him a star in Alberta. Devine countered the “Ole Kick” by throwing a chair in Joe’s face and worked over the leg. After a series of back and forth nearfalls, Joe connected with the musclebuster for the win. He seemed legitimately taken aback as the crowd chanted “please come back” and “thank you Joe,” pausing to give the thumbs up to the crowd before heading to the back.
While the focus in many ways were on “names” like Samoa Joe, Jim Neidhart, Abdullah the Butcher and Johnny Devine, the two events also showed the level of talent that can be seen on a regular basis in Alberta. A great deal of effort was put fourth by all of the talent and it showed in the ring. Both promoters expressed an interest in having future supercards in Alberta, and the fans that witnessed these two stellar shows likely can’t wait to see more.
Results from the Alberta Supercards
Bad News Allen Coage Tribute Supershow
- The Funky Bunch won an elimination match over The A-Team & The New Karchi Vice
- The Highlander won a three way match over Tex Gaines & Rage
- Brandon Van Danielson beat Chucky”The Boy Wonder with a top rope tiger suplex
- Ravenous Randy pinned T-Bone
- Hotshot Johnny Devine defeated Scotty Mac
- Tito Santana & Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart were both counted out
- Juggernaut & Samoa Joe fought to a no contest when Scotty Mac and Johnny Devine interfered
- Devon Nicholson defeated Abdullah The Butcher in a steel cage match by escaping the cage.
- Cruiserweight Champion Marky Mark pinned “Hollywood” Dusty Adonis
- Lucas Drago defeated Punishment
- Juggernaut beat Scotty Mac in a no-DQ match
- Thunder and Lightning (Red Thunder & Sgt. Hazard) won a #1 Contenders elimination match over Super Space Calypso (Michael Avery & Randy Myers), The Karachi Vice (Gama Singh Jr and Raj Singh) and The Polite Police (Danny Manners & Brady Roberts)
- Abdullah The Butcher and Hannibal defeated Tex Gaines and Slammer
- Jim Neidhart and The Highlander fought to a double count-out
- PWA Champion Phoenix Taylor defeated Chris Steele by countout
- Samoa Joe pinned Johnny “Havok” Devine