TORONTO – The cult of hardcore recruited some more members last night, as Stranglehold Wrestling brought its unique brand of violent action back to Toronto. Scores of first-time fans could be seen among the company’s long-time faithful, all of them expecting a night filled with blood and mayhem; safe to say that none were disappointed.

The show, at Zero Gravity Circus, in the city’s east end, faced last-minute booking changes when Drake Younger, DBA, Pat Tanaka and Vortekz were turned back at the Canadian border.

“Pat Tanaka called me a few times last night and again today after they got turned back yesterday and was pissed that he couldn’t make it. He was incredibly apologetic and looks forward to making the next show,” posted the event’s organizer, “Bloody” Bill Skullion, on the Ontario Indy Wrestling newsboard.

On his MySpace site, Younger addressed the issue as well: “To my Canadian fans, I would like to apologize to the fans that were at Stranglehold wrestling last night in Toronto, Ontario, Canada for me not being at the show. We were turned around at the border… they said that wrestlers had to have a certain permit to enter Canada. They tried to say that all wrestlers are criminal individuals. That’s straight up discrimination. So apparently I have to get a special permit before I can wrestle in Canada. I’m really sorry to the fans that were looking forward to seeing my match. I’ll get there as soon as I can. Thanks for the support.”

The first main event saw the West Virginian Wildman, the Necro Butcher, take on the skilled George ‘GT Dynamite’ Terzis. Terzis, who may not be known to a lot of fans, is a well-rounded athlete who blends a mixed martial arts style with a variety of wrestling styles, and can mix it up with just about anyone. The match started off with a brawl that went into the crowd, with both men delivering the stiffest punches, chops and kicks that you could hear from anywhere in the building. The action spilled back into the ring eventually, but not before Necro was staggered by a big vertical suplex on the concrete floor. Terzis then took over, showing off his versatility with some dazzling wrestling moves, but still couldn’t put Necro down for good. In the end, Necro turned the tables on Terzis, surprising the wrestler with an old-fashioned rollup, and getting the pin.

Skullion addressed the odd pairing in his post: “When I was re-doing the line up and making last minute changes, putting Necro and GT together just seemed natural. Ian Decay was the only other one who saw the incredible potential in that. Necro and GT both looked at me like I was retarded when I told them my idea,” Skullion wrote, calling it a Match of the Year candidate. “Even I was watching in amazement. These two guys gave everyone in attendance a match that will never be forgotten.”

The second main event was originally scheduled to pit Sam Hane and the Juggulator, two of today’s hardcore icons, in a Fans Bring the Weapons match. For reasons only known to himself, Omega Aaron Draven invited himself to the party and made it a three-way dance. Stupid move, and he paid for it, immediately taking a cookie-sheet to the head that knocked him silly. Juggs and Hane then turned their attentions towards each other, using various weapons that only the sickest of minds in the audience could conceive of. Including the old standards like a cheese grater, VCR, and light tubes, the arsenal also included a spiked leather belt, a wooden door, and my personal favourite, a Dora the Explorer beach ball covered with thumbtacks. All of those were used with evil intentions, and by the end of the match, all three men were wearing the proverbial crimson masks. In the end, Draven’s smaller stature hurt him, and he was finished off by Juggulator who planted him with a Death Valley Driver onto the door and ladder.

In other action:

  1. Ian Decay destroyed PP Biggs. Decay used a dinner fork, causing Biggs to bleed a gruesome puddle in the middle of the ring. Biggs submitted within a minute or two to end the mauling.
  2. So Fine James Wine and Owen Sound was ruled a no-contest when Decay and his Murder Junkies partner Bloody Bill Skullion came out and demolished both men. Skullion challenged Ricky (the Rock’s uncle) Johnson to a match for later that night, and Johnson accepted.
  3. JC Owens used his mammoth girth to pin the Nazi Destructor.
  4. The Blue Angel was supposed to debut against Virginia D’Vine, but D’Vine refused to wrestle. Kaitlin Diemond took her place, and pummelled Angel for a while before getting the pin.
  5. Mysterion showed off his hypnosis skills and brought out a girl that he hypnotized into feeling no pain. To demonstrate, she hammered nails into her nostrils, and then laying on a bed of nails, had a cinder block placed on her stomach and smashed with a sledgehammer. Triple H was not in attendance.
  6. In the best traditional wrestling match of the night, Squeegee pinned Kwan Chang with a springboard legdrop.
  7. The Great Santini performed an escape trick, getting out of a straightjacket before he got pulled into a running chainsaw.
  8. Bill Skullion used a knife, a broken beer bottle, and other random weaponry to carve up Ricky Johnson like a holiday turkey. Ricky countered with some actual wrestling moves including a figure-four leglock. Before he could get the submission, though, Ian Decay came out and interfered on Bill’s behalf. The evil twosome put more of a hurt on Johnson, including delivering a flaming t-shirt punch to the head. After the match, Decay and Skullion pummelled a hapless fan whose heckling they found to be annoying.

Overall, a stellar night of hardcore death match action. While Stranglehold Wrestling may not be to everyone’s tastes, the crowd on hand last Saturday night got more than their money’s worth in terms of excitement and action, and as the chants of “Stranglehold!” faded away, you could hear people telling each other that they’d certainly be there next time.