Ballroom Brawl 2
Since its doors opened in 1929 never has the legendary Commodore Ballroom housed an event such as the one it did on July 12, 2014. As proclaimed by Mayor Gregor Robertson, that day was known as “Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling Day”. With not a seat left to sell or a spot left to stand, the ECCW faithful saw something they will never forget.
The night started off with a match that could have stood as a main event in some circles but with the talent within ECCW, they wanted to get the fans on their feet early and often. The East Van Warriors had the crowd right behind them the entire time as they took on DTA. Immediately you were drawn to the Warriors’ high flyer Billy Suede as dealt out an incredible double DDT and his dives outside the ring would draw concern from the Ballroom faithful but every time he bounced back up with ease. You can’t deny the talent on the side of DTA where at one point we saw matching shooting star presses but missed as the Warriors would soon score the pin fall for the win as the crowd erupted. Hard to believe it was only the start of the night.
When you think of women’s wrestling, you don’t give it the high standards you would to any other match, due to what we’re used to seeing on screen. The ECCW Women’s Champion Nicole Matthews and Veronika Vice changed that in a big way. They put on a show that could be considered match of the night and raised standards that would be a challenge for anyone to follow. Vice was vicious with multiple back breakers and even hit a superplex from the top rope but Matthews proved why she was the champ as she struck back with quick hurricarana. The finish came when Nichole Matthews hit her signature “Vancouver Maneuver” to once again hold the title high above her head.
In what would be the first of a Best of Five series, “Supernatural” Nelson Creed was looking to make quick work of Artemis Spencer but he would have to be quick on his feet. From the get go Spencer was never in one place for long. He went for a springboard arm drag and nearly lost his balance as he walked the ropes but recovered in amazing fashion, bouncing off his backside back to his feet and all while balancing on the ropes. With a fazed Creed lying in the centre of the ring, Spencer was able to land a springboard moonsault that drew a reaction from the crowd but Creed used his size and strength to catch a mid-air Spencer to stop the momentum. After the dust had settled it was Nelson Creed who would go up 1-0 in the Best of Five series.
What came next, no one could have predicted. It was billed as a Mumbai Street Fight that had the G.O.D.S (Bishop & Sid Sylum) looking to dethrone the reigning ECCW Tag Team Champions, the Bollywood Boyz (Gurv & Harv Shira). The match started out in the ring with both sides going back and forth until the Bollywood Boyz separated Sylum from Bishop, but it was Bishop who took the ultimate risk that did not pay off. As both of his opponents had their backs turned outside the ring, Bishop used the ropes for momentum as he ran across, leaping out of the other side only to be met with a double superkick from the boots of the Boyz. Soon after they took the fight to the rest of the Commodore. Through the crowd and at the bar, it was anything but civil between these two teams with the G.O.D.S diving off a balcony to take out the crowd favourite Bollywood Boyz. It didn’t take long for blood to be spilt as heads were busted open and bodies were flying. It was chaos as they made their way to the other side of the ballroom with one of the Boyz getting the upper hand on their counterpart to send him down a flight of stairs. The other member of the Boyz took a suplex onto the floor as the crowd screamed with shock. Every minute of pandemonium was followed by another as fans by the bar got a front row seat to the Bollywood Boyz getting the upper hand once again, even locking in a sharpshooter onto the bar. Somehow, someway they made it back to the ring where in the centre of a sold out crowd we saw the Bollywood Boyz lock in a double sharpshooter on the G.O.D.S as they were able to retain their titles in one of the most brutal bouts ever witnessed. Through a standing ovation the Bollywood Boyz stood tall with their titles in hand, limping to the back but still the ECCW Tag Team Champions.
It took a while for the ring to be wiped down but once it was ready to go, so was the crowd. To a chorus of boos, out came Pete Powers and Brad Malibu with the rest of The Entourage that included Big Brother Canada season 1 contestant Peter Brown. The mood changed when Riot members Ravenous Randy Myers and Andy “The Dreadful Bird” appeared from behind the curtain. The Entourage used their underhanded tactics to gain the upper hand, with their low blows and using the ref as a shield, the Riot still mustered up an attack. At one point the Dreadful Bird took flight as he soared off the top rope on to The Entourage, taking them all out with one shot, but it was not enough. In the end thanks to actions unseen by the ref, it was the Riot who came up on the losing side and seemed to be on different pages following the loss. When things looked as if they were going to implode and the Riot was going to come to blows, the two partners hugged it out. It may only be a matter of time before we see one looking down on the other.
Next was an Elimination Three Way Dance between Colt “Boom Boom” Cabana, El Phantasmo and Ethan HD who did not get any sympathy from the crowd who were split between Cabana and Phantasmo. The two fan favourites went after Ethan with a move I have never seen before. A nipple throw. Yes it was filled with a ton of laughs but you couldn’t deny the talent of these three men. Cabana had agility to his offense and even landing a springboard moonsault on his opponents. At one point Cabana even locked in a Boston Crab but it was El P breaking it up with a swift kick to the head. Soon after, with chants of a certain Chicago Made Punk reigning in from the crowd, Cabana went for the GTS but a surprise roll up by Ethan H.D. eliminated Cabana and drawing the ire of the crowd. Now it was down to two men who weren’t holding anything back. Phantasmo took the ultimate risk with a suicide dive outside the ring before hitting a quick Frankensteiner on H.D. who kicked out before the 3 count. Somehow Ethan mustered up the strength for a power bomb but it was El P’s turn to kick out as he gained momentum for his signature “Greeting From Camwood Park” to get the win as the crowd roared with approval.
Even though each match felt like a headliner, it was time for the official main-event on the card. It was a TLC match for the ECCW Canadian Championship between Scotty Mac, Mike Santiago, Alex Plexis and the Champion Tony Baroni. With the Championship hanging from the rafters as all four men looked up at the reason they were about to put their bodies through agony. Right from the start chairs were brought in and they weren’t for sitting. Plexis found himself being suplexed onto two setup chairs by Tony Baroni as Scotty Mac was throw into the crowd, landing in a pile of chairs and spilt beer. Later in the match Santiago found himself pinned inside a ladder as he was pelted with a fury of chair shots. Bodies were flying everywhere as sounds of chair shots rang through the Ballroom. Baroni took a few straight to the head that made many cringe as Alex Plexis took advantage with a hurricarana and then a DDT to Baroni threw a table. Scotty Mac was body slammed onto a ladder set up on chairs as a makeshift table while Plexis matched that move with one of his own. Outside on the ring apron, Plexis delivered a thundering suplex to Santiago threw a table set up in the crowd. It took a while but Scotty Mac was nearly at the top of the ladder with his hands just inches away from greatness when the Commodore went pitch black. Red shone down from the ceiling as masked assailants came in and assaulted Scotty Mac before leaving through the crowd. Plexis saw his opportunity and put Scotty Mac threw a table before ascending the ladder with the title in his sights, but with the heart of a champion Baroni was right there as well. The two exchanged shots before Baroni executed what may have been the move of the night. A power slam from atop of the ladder to Alex Plexis as all four men were down. Baroni was the lone man to make it to his feet and was able to climb the ladder, rung by rung, before pulling down the title to retain his ECCW Canadian Championship.
Fans left the Commodore Ballroom with smiles on their faces and voices fully drained from the excitement thanks to one of the greatest shows to ever take place at the historic venue. Mayor Gregor Robertson was not wrong to proclaim it ECCW Day because that is what this organization deserves and they did not disappoint. If you haven’t been to an ECCW event, you are truly missing out whether you are a wrestling fan or not, you can’t deny the talent and entertainment value. Ballroom Brawl 2 was sold out for a reason and now the anticipation for All or Nothing on August 23 begins.
By Nicholas Basran