My home province, Ontario, has been one of the strictest jurisdictions in North America as far as COVID-related rules. I’m not complaining. Generally, I felt safe and protected through the pandemic. No one enjoyed the lockdowns and the restrictions, but it is what it is.

The pro wrestling scene has been particularly hampered in Ontario, with all the rules and regulations about the number of people allowed at events, gyms opening and closing, and the never-ending mask mandates. I mean, we ran a story about wrestling at drive-ins and the unique BackYard Pro. It’s only been in the last few weeks that Ontario promoters have really started to put on shows again, and with March turning into April, it will be even easier to run shows — and people will be able to attend without masks.

So there I was Saturday night at my first indy wrestling show in Ontario in at least two years. I’d gone to the NWA tapings in December in Atlanta, but that was it for wrestling in person over the lockdown, and that was a whole different experience, since part of the goal was to see Madusa Miceli work backstage as an agent, to be able to describe it for our book together. I guess the wrestling show at the Cauliflower Alley Club in Las Vegas counts too, but I rarely sit and watch those matches, choosing to wander and chat instead.

Rebelution Women’s Wrestling, an all-women’s show, was held at the Don Kolov Arena, 4880 Tomken Rd, Mississauga, which is in the Battle Arts Academy, the gym that Santino Marella / Anthony Carelli built and is now operated by others, but Carelli continues to have his hands in it, and is still everywhere, with his belts and merch.

Though I got there a little late, as I’d been at a Red Cross First Aid Training day, and needed food, it was worth the trip. While it was all going on, I found myself jotting down notes about things I missed:

  • Local fans that I recognized and are the backbone of the indy scene
  • The sound of pro wrestling up close, the slaps and the chops
  • The crazy collection of photographers, videographers, and even the sound guy, at ringside, all jostling for space and trying to stay out of the way of others, the fans, and, the little bit of action that went out of the ring
  • My own lame attempts to do photos, where one in a dozen turns out okay
  • Meeting people in person that you only know through Facebook
  • Hearing the commentators at ringside, doing the job, and hyping matches just a little too much
  • Run-ins
  • Wrestlers, like KC Spinelli, that can control a crowd without a microphone or a script
  • Entrance music that you know isn’t licensed, and is from so long ago that the wrestler using it not only wasn’t alive when it debuted, but wasn’t even alive when it would have been reissued on CD in the 1980s … case in point, The Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz”
  • Hugs
  • Wrestlers who bring their kids and let them crawl around, like it’s the most natural thing in the world that mom’s a wrestler
  • The merch table, the optimism and the desperation, and having sold books at shows for decades now, I sure as heck know both (I didn’t sell on Saturday night, but was asked once if I had any books with me)
  • Cold pizza, overpriced, but necessary
  • Raffles
  • People knitting during the downtime
  • Hair of many colors
  • Kids in the ring, so excited for the experience
  • Chants: “Start the show” … “Two Scoops” (for KC Spinelli) …

Of course, there were a few things I didn’t miss:

  • Intermissions that are supposed to be 15 minutes and go on interminably
  • “World” titles that are anything but
  • The gauntlet of smokers to avoid as you leave a building

LuFisto shows off a T-shirt at the merch table. Photos by Greg Oliver

On a personal level, it was great to finally meet referee Emily Parker in person, as I knew her father, and she wrote one of the first truly great stories on the relaunched SlamWrestling site —A referee’s story: If my father could only see me now. I also got to see my old pal, referee Harry “D” Demerjian again, and, the one and only “LuFisto” Gen Goulet, who I learned so much about during the pandemic, and, while we are no longer working on her book together, I remain one of her biggest fans.

On a professional basis, getting out to shows is important. You meet people, make contacts, learn stories that can and can’t be reported, and, occasionally, see someone you’ve never seen before and they impress you … or a finish that you’d never seen.

That brings me to the finale of the night.

KC Spinelli, referee Emily Parker, and Rachael Ellering.

Rachael Ellering, recently of Impact Wrestling, was the promoted imported star, and she delivered big-time, facing Spinelli in a real wrestling match, with back and forth moves, respect and fan involvement. It all tied into an angle where CC Moss — who had been ejected from the building — came back to challenge Spinelli, and it ended up being a tag team match with Ellering and Spinelli beating Moss and Sabrina Kyle. There was a ref bump (poor Emily), and during that moment, Ellering went under the ring for a bag. As she held it up, everyone expected thumbtacks … but it was Tim Horton’s Timbits (donut holes for you unfamiliar). With the Timbits spread out on the mat, Ellering and Spinelli co-ordinate DDTs on their opponents onto the treats. Never seen that before.

CC Moss is one to watch.

Through all this, Moss stood out. She has great facial expressions, is young, agile, and definitely one to keep an eye on.

As for me, it was a good night out, though the day truly caught up with me, and I had no energy to head out later with the gang. Maybe next time?

Results of Rebelution Women’s Wrestling, March, 19, 2022, Don Kolov Arena, Mississauga, Ontario

  • Dark Match: Mark Shaw def Kwan Chang in a Chaos4k9’s exhibition preshow match
  • Match 1: Sabrina Kyle def Jessie Mack
  • Match 2: LuFisto def CiCi Galavis
  • Match 3: Becky Nyxx and Laurel CassieD making their Rebelution debut ended in a no contest when CC Moss took out both girls and called out the champion, KC Spinelli
  • Match 4: Miley comes out to challenge CC Moss and Moss locks Miley in a camel clutch, and refuses to release the hold as Miley grabs the ropes; Miley is winner by DQ, and CC Moss is ejected from the building by KC Spinelli
  • Match 5: Rebelution World Championship match – KC Spinelli defends her title against Rachael Ellering, the former tag partner of Jordynne Grace, the woman she defeated for it at Wrestleusion X; Match ends in no contest as CC Moss returns with Sabrina Kyle
  • Match 6: KC Spinelli and Rachael Ellering def CC Moss and Sabrina Kyle with a double double DDT on a pile of Timbits… Spinelli accepts CC Moss’s challenge for a title shot at a future Rebelution show

— results courtesy Rebelution promoter Chris Levionnois

TOP PHOTO: KC Spinelli with her Timbits. Photos by Greg Oliver