OTTAWA — When I first heard that Impact Wrestling was going to hold its signature show, Bound for Glory, and TV tapings at the Aberdeen Pavilion in Ottawa, I thought they were crazy. Not that Ottawa doesn’t have great wrestling fans, but it has never been the sight of a major pay-per-view. More problematic, the Aberdeen Pavilion is known affectionately in Ottawa as the “cattle castle.”
While being architecturally stunning, the Aberdeen Pavilion has a reputation of being hot in the summer and cold in the winter. I have visited numerous trade shows, and yes, even an agricultural exposition, but never a major pro wrestling show at the venue.
I could not have been more wrong.
When I arrived at Lansdowne Park, where the Aberdeen Pavilion is located, it was about an hour and a half before showtime. Fans were already lined up several hundred deep making their way into Aberdeen Pavilion. There was a buzz in the air, perhaps as mentioned, since we had never played host to a pay-per-view. Once inside Aberdeen, I could not believe how it was transformed. I know that over the years, Impact Wrestling has had its hiccups and problems but the production crew must be given full marks for transforming the “cattle castle” into a great venue for wrestling. The lighting and visuals were stunning.
For the show itself, perhaps I will be called a mark, but I thought it was incredible. Maybe it didn’t translate on TV but the fan reaction was great, particularly for Canadian favorites like Petey Williams and of course, Gail Kim. Some personal highlights were seeing the Tyson Dux versus Taiji Ishimori. I have great respect for Tyson Dux and love Japanese wrestling. I will not be able to afford a plane ticket to Japan any time soon so this was a great substitute.
Also, I loved seeing the Triple AAA guys wrestling. There were a few asinine chants of “Build the wall” but they were drowned out by “Lucha Libre.” Dorian Roldan, co-owner of Triple AAA, was at the show. Considering Konnan was there as well and his recent history with Triple AAA, it would been interesting to hear their backstage conversations.
The Monster’s Ball match with Grado and Abyss delivered the pre-requisite blood and guts you would expect. The highspots of the night were delivered by OVE vs LAX match with all members throwing their bodies around with wild abandon.
Perhaps the only two minor letdowns were the cage match with Bobby Lashley and King Mo versus Moose and Stephan Bonnar. When Lashley and Moose were wrestling, it was top-flight. You could easily imagine Moose and Lashley having a successful run together. The agility of Moose was something to see in person. The action seemed to slow when Bonnar and King Mo did MMA. Bonnar was also quite wooden when doing pre-show promos. A little too much of an MMA guy pretending to be a wrestler.
The main event had good action but I would have preferred a clean finish one way or the other. The run-in by Alberto El Patron did not quite seem to work.
All-in-all, it was still an amazing show, in the cattle castle.
On a personal note, on Saturday afternoon, EC3 and Moose took time out of their day to visit the Ottawa Public Library, and I was there to see them in action. They did a storytime for an appreciative crowd. They also did a short question and answer session where one young child asked about the “fake stuff.” The guys were very giving with their time and happily obliged with photos and autographs. It was the first time, that I know of, that the OPL hosted a wrestling storytime so props to Impact Wrestling for giving it a go.
- Trevor Lee (c) defeated Dezmond Xavier, Garza Jr., Matt Sydal, Petey Williams and Sonjay Dutt in a six-way match for the Impact X Division Championship
- Taiji Ishimori defeated Tyson Dux
- Abyss defeated Grado in a Monster’s Ball match
- Team Impact (Ethan Carter III, Eddie Edwards and James Storm) defeated Team AAA (El Hijo del Fantasma, Pagano and Texano)
- Ohio Versus Everything (Dave Crist and Jake Crist) (c) defeated The Latin American Xchange (Santana and Ortiz, with Konnan in a 5150 Street Fight for the Impact World Tag Team titles
- Gail Kim defeated Sienna (c) and Allie in a three-way match for the Impact Knockouts Championship
- Lashley and King Mo, accompanied by American Top Team, defeated Moose and Stephan Bonnar in a Six Sides of Steel match
- Eli Drake (c) (with Chris Adonis) defeated Johnny Impact to retain the Impact Global Championship