I haven’t been to a live wrestling show in about… seven years? Something like that. Until tonight, the only live wrestling I’d ever seen was the WWF. Tonight’s PWA show blew those away. The card was held in the Century Casino showroom in Edmonton, which was a great venue. Pretty much all of the seats gave a good view of the ring, and the chairs were possibly the most comfortable arena chairs I’ve ever sat in. I went with my friend Dan (who started some HEAT fan art which should be on the site at some point… when he finishes it). I had such a good time at the show I felt compelled to write all this jazz.

CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE MATCH
CAMIKAZE vs. CHUCKY BLAZE (C)

This was the show opener, and the first PWA match I’ve ever seen. Great start. The roof in the Century Casino showroom was a little low, which limited top rope stuff somewhat, but these guys managed to pull some crazy high-flying moves anyway. The highlight, for me, was Camikaze hitting Chucky Blaze with a reverse hurricanrana off the top rope. Definitely “holy shit” moment. Chucky won with what I assume is his finisher, because I can’t even really describe it.

HOLLYWOOD DUSTY ADONIS vs. APOC

This one started off pretty slow, and I didn’t know Apoc’s name until the end of the match (we referred to him as Cowboy Jesus). Apoc and Dusty mat wrestled for a while, which elicited “boring” chants, mostly because it was hard to see what they were doing. In response, they proceeded to bludgeon the living shit out of each other. Cowboy Jesus’ chops left Dusty’s chest puffy and red, and they threw the best-looking forearm shots I’ve ever seen. The force behind the clotheslines, forearm smashes, and chops left me wondering whether they were actually working or just hitting each other as hard as they could. Apoc won with I believe was intended to be a dropkick off of the second rope, but looked more like Dusty was too close and pretty much just got Apoc’s knee smashed into his face. Or maybe Apoc was doing Kenta’s knee kick thing. Either way, it looked like it hurt.

Dan and I spent most of the match trying to figure out what kind of gimmick Apoc was going for, and ended up with more quesitons than answers. His Jesus hair and goatee, cowboy hat, Canadian flag vest, punk rock belt, and pants with flying dragons on them were sending us conflicting messages about his character.

CANADIAN TAG TEAM TITLE TEXAS TORNADO MATCH
NIGHTMARE #2 & NIGHTMARE #4 vs. SUPERFLY DAN MYERS & MATTIAS WILD (C)

The Texas Tornado match allowed everyone in the ring at once, but there were still count-outs and disqualifications. Not being familiar with the Nightmares, I expected them to be a scary heel team. Turns out they’re a pretty goofy face team. Watching 10 year olds chant “SUPER GAY” at Superfly Dan Myers was a highlight, although the action was nothing to sneeze at. One of the Nightmares dragged Dan Myers into the crowd and battered him about the head and neck about three feet from me. This one finished with the Nightmares being disqualified after one of them inadvertantly knocked out the referee with a chair. A rematch was set almost immediately.

SAMOA JOE vs. DYLAN KNIGHT

Predictably, Joe’s crowd reaction was huge. Dylan Knight, announced from Australia, had a drawing of Australia on his trunks that looked kind of like something an eight year old would draw, and he had a tramp stamp (which has nothing to do with the match, Dan and I just thought it was hilarious). Chants of “Joe’s Gonna Kill You” started early and kept up intermittantly throughout the match. Joe secured the victory with the Muscle Buster, which was followed by his induction into the PWA Hall of Fame, as apparently he has appeared for the promotion at least a half-dozen times. More big crowd reactions for Joe, then it was intermission time.

MAYHEM TOURNAMENT SEMI-FINAL FINISHER MATCH
BRANDON VAN DANIELSON vs. CHRIS STEELE

The stipulation on this  match was a little confusing, which was reflected a little bit in the finish. The rules of the Mayhem tournament result in each of the matches having different gimmick rules. This one was that the match would end when a wrestler hit their finisher (the Tiger Suplex for Van Danielson and a Big Splash off the tope for Steele). When Steele hit his splash off the top, the referee started to signal for the bell, then seemed confused and counted a pinfall. Either way, Steele took the win and advanced to the finals. Special mention goes to Brandon Van Danielson’s pedophile moustache, which led Dan to speculate that he had driven to the event in a windowless van with “Candy!” written on the side. He also had a bandanna that didn’t come off until halfway through the match (which for some reason bugged Dan). I figure it was a sign of damage, like when Vega’s mask came off in Street Fighter II Turbo.

SCOTLEY CRUE, BOBBY SHARP & ALEX PLEXIS vs. RAVENOUS RANDY MYERS, M, & ANDREW HAWKS

The introductions to this match had the teams coming out together, which was confusing as a first timer, since I didn’t know who anyone was unless they had their name written on their gear somewhere. Crue, Sharp, and Plexis had Dr. Kyoto in their corner. And Strife, which seemed to confuse ring announcer What About Ivan, although his presence had pretty much no impact on the outcome of the match. Scotley Crue hit a piledriver, which I haven’t seen in ages, since the WWE is anti-things-that-are-awesome-but-dangerous nowadays. The biggest team spot involved a quintuple head scissors, which Ravenous Randy started to join in on… then decided that instead he would go to the other end of the human chain and slap a Boston Crab on Alex Plexis (I think?), causing the entire chain to turn over. The winning team was guaranteed to appear on the Night of Champions card, and so the heel team of Scotley Crue, Bobby Sharp, and Alex Plexis will be there after Sharp (I think?) caught Hawks with a Downward Spiral.

PWA HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
BOOKER T vs. T-BONE JACK SLOAN (C)

Booker T got a huge crowd reaction, and T-Bone was booed vehemently. T-Bone also elicited one of the funniest chants of the evening, “Date Rape Face”. Dan and I spent most of the match wondering how Booker T would be put over while keeping the belt on T-Bone. Disqualification? Double count-out? Time limit draw just when Booker was about to win the belt, since they had announced a 20 minute time limit? Nope, turned out Booker T was crowned PWA Heavyweight Champion. I’m assuming this will result in Booker returning to the PWA in the future, which would be pretty awesome. Booker’s promo after the match got a big reaction as well. I’d actually love to see a rematch between these guys, since their match was pretty solid and was really engaging for the audience.