ORILLIA, Ont. — Saturday night’s 3A Wrestling show in Orillia was a mixed bag of what’s good and bad about independent wrestling. While overall the night was fun and many of the matches delivered, the ones that didn’t left a very bad taste in the mouth for this writer and many of the fans he talked to. Luckily, the night ended on a high, with a tremendous main event between the legendary Jeff Jarrett and Ontario veteran Cody Deaner that delivered one of the coolest moments this long-time fan has ever seen.
Jarrett came out to the ring to a huge ovation at OD/Park Secondary School, having made his return to Canada after a lengthy absence and while he was still with TNA Wrestling. He quickly turned the cheers into boos, though, when he cut a pre-match promo, berating the fans, and insulting Canadian traditions like “that wimpy ice-skating game, hockey” and even the “horse-p*ss you call coffee from that place Tim Horton’s or Tod Gordon’s or whatever it’s called.” Deaner, who was replacing the injured “Highlander” Robbie McAllister in the match, responded with a fiery promo of his own, which he delivered while circulating around the crowd of approximately 350-400 fans, including from the middle of the bleachers. Calling himself “Mr. DDT,” he vowed to finish Jarrett with that very signature move to end the match.
After several minutes of jockeying for position that saw Deaner with the advantage, Jarrett used heelish tactics to weasel his way out of the match. Claiming Deaner was no challenge, he then threw out an open challenge to wrestle “any three men, any five women, or any nine children” in the audience. Suddenly, about 50 children rushed from their seats to the ring, causing Jarrett to chickenishly complain “I said only nine!” After Deaner brought one little kid, maybe about six years old, into the ring and he started swinging, Jarrett backed down and begged the referee to call off the children. But instead of heading back to their seats, they all circled the ring, and at Deaner’s prompting, all started pounding the ring apron yelling “DDT.” This was honestly one of the neatest things this reporter has seen in a long time: a magical spontaneous moment that had everyone in that building captivated, showing how truly entertaining professional wrestling can be. The match continued as a quasi-lumberjack match with the kids cheering on Deaner until security finally prompted them back to their seats. After a number of attempts by Deaner to hit the DDT, countered by numerous attempts by Jarrett to hit his finisher, the Stroke, Deaner finally succeeded, and with the crowd counting along with the referee, got the pinfall victory.
After the show, SLAM! Wrestling tried to get Jarrett to divulge details of his rumoured new promotion, or whatever else his planned upcoming announcement would be, but all he would say was, “stay tuned.”
1. Sycho Mike Rollins beat The Executioner. The Executioner was a throw-back to the clichéd masked jobber from the ’80s, including coming out to the ring with no music. The match was a basic affair, but still had the crowd going, thanks to the crazy antics of Rollins throughout.
2. Tyson Dux beat “Hacker” Scotty O’Shea. A stellar technical match that saw some explosive offense from both of these Ontario stars. Dux won after hitting a superplex, which he rolled through seamlessly into a Brain Bustaaaaa!
3. The match between Jewells Malone and Rip Impact suffered from some questionable booking and even worse refereeing. First of all, it was confusing that good guy Rip would agree to take on female wrestler Jewells, even though she was a villain, and so the crowd wasn’t sure what to think. It was also painful to watch the, presumably inexperienced referee botch his way through the match. At one point, Malone’s boyfriend/manager, Mr. Awesome, from the outside of the ring, grabbed Rip’s head and started choking him on the bottom rope – while the referee was looking right at him. And instead of admonishing Mr. Awesome, the ref simply turned around and started yelling at Jewells to get away from Rip while he was on the rope. That’s fine if the story of the match is that the ref is a villain as well, but that didn’t appear to be the case here – just bad refereeing. Jewells won thanks to more interference from her manager.
4. The Flatliners beat RJ City and Sebastian Suave. This was a very solid match between four of Ontario’s finest talents, and they did not disappoint. The Flatliners won after a brutal looking double-team lung-blower German Suplex combo.
5. OJ Thundercloud and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs Tomer Shalom and Reza. This match was marred by poor officiating as well, and several botched moves. Duggan was the only highlight of this match, playing the crowd expertly with his tried and true Hooooo! and USA! chants, while the three others, and the ref, put on a somewhat embarrassing match to watch. Seriously, the three indy guys should plead with the promoters to edit this match off of any future DVD release or TV broadcast for fear that anyone even closely connected with one of the major companies’ developmental personnel should ever see a copy. The nadir of the match was a missed twisting moonsault that landed not even in the same postal code as the opponent – who actually sold the move as if it had landed. Duggan tried to salvage the match with a major comeback leading to the end, and it may have worked, if the ref hadn’t completely messed up, leading to confusion for everyone in the crowd, and seemingly in the ring as well. Just terrible.