Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Pacific Cup 2008: Brilliant Deeds

The Date: June 7th 2008. The Place: The Russian Community Centre. The Event: You guessed it! The 8th annual Pacific Cup. The Pac Cup tournament has been a proving ground for many a grappler looking to make their mark on the wrestling world. The 2008 incarnation was no different. That year there was an influx of new faces, warriors that felt they were ready to take on the untested battlefield that lay before them. Making their first Pacific Cup appearances were C.J. Strongheart, Jamie Diaz, “Ravenous” Randy Meyers, “Superfly” Dan Meyers, WASP and standing by as an alternate in case fate decided to be cruel to one of the men and they were unable to continue in the tournament due to injury, “Dastardly” Danni Deeds. I had mentioned that this tournament lays claim to one of my favourite personal memories of any of the Pacific Cup events. But, I think it’s fair to say it’s also a moment that I wish didn’t have to happen.

Coming off a disqualification win over Disco Fury in the first round the year before and a lose to Tony Kozina in the second round, Billy Suede had something to prove rolling into the tournament in 2008. Advancing to the second round without actually beating your opponent doesn’t mean much in the eyes of the fans or the matchmakers in the office. Billy Suede’s opponent for ’08 in the opening round was CJ Strongheart; a young and hungry talent that was ready and able to stand his ground. If you haven’t watched this match on YouTube yet, might I suggest you carve out 10 minutes of your life to feast your eyes on a fast paced barn-burner. It was a great rally back and forth. After hitting Sliced Bread #2, Billy got his first pinfall victory in his Pacific Cup career.

Other first round match results on this night were Ice defeating a relative newcomer to the realm of pro wrestling, Jaime Diaz. El Phantasmo beat the “Cock of the Walk that Always Rawks the ‘HAWK” “Ravenous” Randy in a display of impressive athleticism and, in a rather odd space-time debacle, some really slooooow wrestling. Next up was a man who was no stranger to the struggles of competing in the Pac Cup, having won it back in 2002, Black Dragon, who grounded the “Superfly” Dan Meyers and advanced to the second round. And we go from a “Superfly” to a WASP, as Azeem “The Dream” was able to pluck the wings off the masked WASP and unceremoniously squash him out of the competition for the evening. This leaves only one more first round match. A rematch from 2007. Kyle O’Reilly (who, on March 2nd 2013, won the Ring of Honor Tag Team Titles with Bobby Fish) vs Halo. There is magic in the air every time these two lock up. Two wrestling machines colliding. Fight as Halo did, the result in ’08 was the same as ’07 as Kyle O’Reilly advanced to the next round. He was most certainly on a mission to be the first man to win back to back Pacific Cup Championships and he was well on his way.

On to the second round. To be clear, there’s not a person who adheres to a code of ethics in any professional endeavour that is happy when someone gets hurt or injured while performing the task that supports themselves or their families. I have ethics and morals. And though I may not be performing in the ring, my stomach churns every time someone is injured to the point where they can not compete. But as it happened, Ice suffered a concussion during his match with Jamie Diaz that was severe enough that, though he won, he was deemed unfit to continue in the tournament by the ECCW officials. His opponent was to be “Brilliant” Billy Suede. But waiting in the wings as an alternate in case such a thing were to happen was “Dastardly” Danni Deeds. Having known Deeds since we were 16 years old, having grown up together with our love of wrestling being the backbone of our brotherhood, it was a tremendous thrill for me to see him entered into my favorite show of the year for ECCW. Though it might not have unfolded the same as how he had imagined his first appearance in this prestigious tournament would have come to be, I know he was stoked and ready to step in and show everyone why he deserved to be in the tournament. And though he lost this match against Billy Suede, he was able to keep pace with him and I couldn’t have been more proud. Danni Deeds may have lost the battle but, it was an item that got checked off of my bucket list as far as watching him progress in the world of pro wrestling. Billy Suede moved on to the finals.

And with El Phantasmo submitting Black Dragon with the Ankle Lock and Kyle O’Reilly overcoming a wrestler that vastly improved over that year, Azeem “The Dream”, we had our final match of the tournament. I wish I had a copy of this match that I could watch right now. It was contested under single elimination rules, meaning when one man got pinned, his night was over and the two remaining combatants would be left to fight for the coveted Pacific Cup. In a match that some fans would call the match of the year, it came as a shocker to me that the defending Pac Cup Champion, Kyle O’Reilly, was the first to be eliminated. That left Billy Suede vs El Phantasmo. These two dynamic wrestlers put on a show for the fans but, when the bell rang, it was “Brilliant” Billy Suede’s hand that was raised in victory as the 2008 Pacific Cup Champion.

Coming up, Pacific Cup 2009. The show where I thought “Art” would prevail over “Phantas-y”. Was I right or was I wrong? Being a spectator of this crazy sport you can always guess but you can never know.

The countdown is on. PLEASE, don’t miss out on your chance to experience a Pacific Cup live. Value yourself. Treat yourself. You deserve it! The 13th annual Pacific Cup is coming up this Saturday, the 9th of March, at the Russian Community Centre (2114 W 4th Ave, on the corner of W 4th Ave and Arbutus St.).

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