It’s been just over a month since the Prairie Wrestling Alliance graced Edmonton, but boy did they make up for lost time.
As we’ve come to expect from the largest wrestling promotion in Alberta, P.W.A put on another fantastic event on Saturday, May 26th as they build towards Night of Champions next month. With their biggest show of the year coming up on June 23rd, the promotion was due for some major developments at Adrenalize and the roster delivered in spades. The card for next month’s event is nearly set after Saturday’s show – but how did we get there?
As always, Spencer Love has your recap of Saturday’s event!
Tag Team Battle Royal – Team Flex Appeal (Michael Allen Richard Clark + Bobby Sharp) vs. the Above Average Joes (Kenny Stryker + Aiden Adams) vs. The League (Davey O’Doyle + Brayden Parsons)
The evening kicked off with a tag team battle royal to determine the #1 contenders for June’s Night of Champions. Three teams entered the fray, looking for their shot at Team Hall of Fame‘s PWA Tag Team Championships. Admittedly, I entered the night pulling for Team Flex Appeal to earn their shot moving forward; while I’m a fan of all three teams, the duo of Michael Allen Richard Clark and Bobby Sharp are endlessly entertaining. While the pairing may be heels, I can’t help but find myself enjoying pretty well everything they do. Their personal introductions are fantastic, and they more than back up their attitudes in the ring.
That being said, both The League and The Above Average Joes are no slouches, either. Both teams were impressive throughout the match; while I’m not all that familiar with The League, both Brayden Parsons and Davey O’Doyle compliment each other well, and I’m interested to see where they go with the P.W.A. I also think that the Above Average Joes have the best tag team name in the business, and both Kenny Stryker and Aiden Adams have grown on me immensely. While I’m a huge fan of AAJ, I could see either man in contention for the PWA Championship sooner rather than later.
In the end it came down to two teams. After the early eliminations of both Kenny Stryker and Brayden Parsons, Team Flex Appeal looked to take control and solidify their status as #1 contenders. MARC was especially on top of his game throughout the match, battling with Davey O’Doyle after the Irishman’s elimination of teammate Bobby Sharp. After flipping O’Doyle over the top rope – and going over himself in the process – MARC was able to eliminate the final member of The League while the two battled on the ring apron. Sensing an opportunity to strike, Aiden Adams began battling the member of Team Flex Appeal. Just when it looked like MARC would be eliminated, he stepped up onto the second rope and delivered a suplex to Adams, bringing him over the top rope and forcing both men to seemingly hit the ground at the same time.
It was awesome.
After the confusion died down, P.W.A commissioner Kurt Sorochan came to the ring, and announced that both Team Flex Appeal and The Above Average Joes would compete in a triple threat match at Night of Champions for the PWA Tag Team Championships! It’s an exciting prospect, however it should be noted that at PWA Mayhem, The Above Average Joes did defeat Team Flex Appeal, and one has to think they have the advantage heading into next month’s show.
Tiger Ali Saif vs. Ryan Eagles
Following the excellent opening match, Tiger Ali Saif entered the ring to battle a relative newcomer to the P.W.A, Ryan Eagles. In the two matches I’ve watches Eagles work, I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the veteran wrestler; he works an aggressive style, but is technically sound in-ring. While certainly giving up the advantage in size to the larger Saif, there was never any doubt from the fans that Eagles had a chance in this match.
However, that’s not to say that Saif isn’t an imposing man; quite the opposite. Much like Eagles, he’s a technically sound worker, but is far more physically imposing on first glance. He’s another wrestler that I’ve only recently started to pay attention to, but someone I’m excited to watch develop.
While it was a well worked match, the real developments came near the end. As the match drew to a close, Saif and Eagles traded blows at the center of the ring. Saif, however, executed a low blow to Eagles while the referee wasn’t paying attention to the two men. The shot led to Saif pinning Eagles without acknowledging the low blow whatsoever; could this be the beginning of a heel turn for Tiger Ali Saif? Only time will tell!
Sheik Shabaz vs. Chris Steele
Following an announcement of Von Heez’s opponent for Night of Champions, Sheik Shabaz made his way to the ring to take on PWA Tag Team Champion Chris Steele in a non-title match. There’s a reason that these two are a couple of the top guys in the P.W.A; Shabaz is a terrific heel, and Steele is exactly what you’d want in a top face. He’s a four time PWA Champion, a six time tag team champ, and one hell of a wrestler. Truly, there’s not many other ways to describe him than a legend of the Canadian independent scene, and it’s always a pleasure to watch him wrestle.
I mentioned earlier than Sheik Shabaz is a hell of a heel, and it was on full display from the get-go. Not only did Shabaz enter ringside with both Michael Richard Blais and Connie Blais, but he attempted to attack Steele from behind prior to the bell. However, the veteran saw the attack coming and shifted out of the way, allowing Sheik to hit the ring post head-first. Though Steele was able to anticipate that attack, he wasn’t able to hold the Western Lions off for long, as both Blais’ were factors from the beginning. MRB caused a distraction early in the match that allowed Shabaz to regain his advantage on the Man of Steele, and the Sheik worked over the tag team champion for the majority of the match. That’s not to say that Steele wasn’t impressive; however, with the amount of interference from MRB and Connie Blais, it may as well have been a handicap match. During yet another referee distraction, Steele was able to spear God’s Gift to Wrestling and render him useless for the rest of the match.
However, that doesn’t mean that Sheik Shabaz was alone. While Steele may have taken care of MRB and Connie, it’s unlikely that he expected even more interference in the match – this time in the form of Team Flex Appeal. While the team never technically interfered – something that Bobby Sharp was quick to point out on Twitter – the team provided enough of a distraction for the Sheik to roll up the Man of Steele for the victory.
— Bobby Sharp (@lionwarriorab) May 27, 2018
While Shabaz exited the ring, Flex Appeal looked to make a statement at the expense of the vulnerable tag team champion. As Steele tried to recover from his loss, Flex Appeal attempted to beat down the veteran prior to their match at next month’s Night of Champions. However, it wasn’t long before Duke Durrango entered the ring to defend his teammate, and after a flurry of offence Team Hall of Fame stood tall.
Mayhem Championship Match – Brice “The Slammer” Sova vs. the Titan – Bodyslam Challenge
The PWA Mayhem Championship was on the line on Saturday as Brice “The Slammer” Sova battled The Titan at Adrenalize.
I love the Slammer, full stop. He’s an excellent storyteller; perhaps more than anyone in the Prairie Wrestling Alliance, Sova is able to get the crowd genuinely invested in each and every match he takes part in. Every month, a Mayhem Championship match is something to look forward to, both due to the Slammer himself as well as the stipulation attached to the belt; the Mayhem Championship can not be defended under normal match rules. On Saturday, that stipulation was a bodyslam challenge, in which Sova had to bodyslam his opponent within the matches 10-minute time limit or he would lose his title. His foe on Saturday? None other than The Titan.
Since debuting at January’s Resolution Rumble, the Titan has been near unstoppable. Along with the rest of the Millennial Rebels, Titan has decimated everything in his path; he’s quickly improved in the ring, and he’s faster than expected for a man of his size.
Throughout the match, the Titan dominated the smaller Sova. While the Slammer was able to stall the Titan a number of times, he was unable to get the giant up for a patented bodyslam. It appeared as though Titan’s size would prove to be too much for Sova, however as the match neared it’s ten minute time limit, he was finally able to lift the monster and slam him to retain his championship. However, Slammer’s victory was short-lived, as the Titan commenced with a post-match beat down, leaving the ring with the Slammer’s Mayhem Championship.
“Gods Gift to Wrestling” Michael Richard Blais vs. “Kid Chocolate” Mo Jabari
How many times can people get kicked in the face and keep standing?
— Spencer Love (@SpennyLove_WCS) May 27, 2018
This match was fantastic.
Nothing on the rest of the card, but these two put on an absolute show on Saturday night. I’m often impressed by Michael Richard Blais, but “Kid Chocolate” Mo Jabari is someone that I’m only really starting to get invested in. While I’ve always enjoyed his matches, I’d never viewed him as a potential “top guy” for the Prairie Wrestling Alliance until his recent run as PWA Commonwealth Champion. Since winning the championship at Genesis in January, Jabari has been on an absolute tear, putting on great matches with the likes of Kenneth Anthony and Shaun Moore. However, Jabari topped them all on Saturday as both he and Blais put on an absolute wrestling clinic.
While the match was excellent, it was almost over early; after the two men started out with a flurry of offence, Jabari looked like he stolen a victory over Blais after referee Michael Fitzpatrick counted to three while Jabari had him pinned. However, Blais had managed to put his foot on the rope in the nick of time, cancelling out the three count and continuing the match.
While Kid Chocolate went right back on the offensive following the failed pinfall, Blais snuffed him out quickly. God’s Gift to Wrestling proceeded to wear Jabari down, putting him through a number of vicious looking submission holds and trying to get the former Commonwealth Champion to tap out. Jabari wasn’t having it, however, and after hitting Blais with a draping DDT went back to hitting MRB with everything he had. After the pair traded kicks, Jabari was able to hit Blais with a Superkick to the face and went for the pin. This time, however, Western Lions manager Connie Blais placed MRB’s foot on the ropes, again invalidating the pin and spoiling a potential win for Kid Chocolate. Following the pinfall attempt, Jabari attempted to put Blais away for good and headed for the top rope. However, the veteran MRB was able to get his feet up as Jarabi was in the air, hitting him in the face and shaking the challenger up.
— Spencer Love (@SpennyLove_WCS) May 27, 2018
After that, it was all MRB. While a patented 630 Splash failed to put Jabari away, Blais was able to hit a Superkick/Brainbuster combo that was simply too much for Kid Chocolate. After a quick three count, Blais emerged victorious yet again.
Commonwealth Championship Match – Shaun Moore vs. Duke Durrango
For the first time since last year’s Christmas Slam event, Shaun Moore returned to Edmonton; however, while he lost his PWA Championship match to BVD at November’s event, he didn’t return to Alberta’s capital without a belt. On May 5th, Moore defeated “Kid Chocolate” Mo Jabari for the PWA Commonwealth Championship in an entertaining match. It’s his first solo title in the Prairie Wrestling Alliance; previously, Moore held the PWA Tag Team Championships for 133 days with teammate Alexander Prime. Moore is definitely talented; however, he certainly didn’t have an easy first challenger for his title in Duke Durrango. Ironically, Durrango is one-half of the current tag team champions, winning the titles with Chris Steele at PWA’s 17th anniversary show in March. Obviously not content with a single belt, Durrango challenged Moore prior to Saturday’s show in Edmonton, and the two put on a terrific match.
From the start, it was Moore’s agility vs. Duke’s strength. I’ve sang the praises of Duke Durrango before, but it really can’t be said enough how good this guy is. He’s a terrific technical wrestler, and he used his skill early on to apply a number of submissions to the Commonwealth Champion. However, Moore’s as athletic as they come, and not only was he able to break Dirty Duke’s holds, but was able to counter them into submission maneuvers of his own. Throughout the first half of the match, the P.W.A fans were simply treated to a well wrestled match, and that’s the highest compliment I can give something.
The latter half of the match is when things really started to heat up. In the heat of the match, Moore bumped into P.W.A Hall of Fame referee Michael Fitzpatrick and knocking him out cold. It’s here that Durrango’s veteran instincts kicked in; Duke grabbed a chair from the audience, and in the style of Eddie Guerrero threw the chair to Moore and laid down in an effort to get the Commonwealth Champion disqualified. However, while Moore may not have the experience that Durrango does, that doesn’t make him dumb. The Commonwealth champ also dropped the chair prior to Fitzpatricks recovery, and upon coming to the referee was unable to decipher who had initially brought the foreign object into the ring in the first place. After removing the chair, a flurry of offence closed the match out with Moore defeating Durrango with a Backbreaker.
Post-match, the veteran Durrango shook hands with Moore in a show of respect and promptly left the ring. However, Moore’s evening wasn’t quite over. As Durrango left, Mo Jabari entered the ring to confront the man who had defeated him for the belt in Calgary. After cutting a promo, Jabari challenged Moore to his rematch at Night of Champions, which Moore promptly accepted. I’m thoroughly excited for this match and to see what these two men can do after missing their match in Calgary.
P.W.A Championship Match – Brandon Van Danielson vs. “Skyflyer” Jeff Tyler
The night’s main event saw Western Lion and PWA co-champion Brandon Van Danielson taking on “Skyflyer” Jeff Tyler for the PWA Championship. This marks Tyler’s second championship opportunity in as many events in Edmonton, and there’s a good reason why – the guy is talented as all hell. In his short time with the P.W.A, he’s already gained a following among the Edmonton fanbase, and I’m sure at some point we’ll see Tyler as champion of the promotion.
However, that may not come any time soon if BVD has anything to say about it. The Tyson Kidd-trained Van Danielson is a hard hitting wrestler reminiscent of the style coming out of Japan in the early 90’s. He’s clearly out to make his opponents hurt, and he’s damn good at doing it. That’s not to say he’s not a great technical wrestler – he certainly is – but BVD seems to enjoy inflicting pain more than impressing the crowd.
Despite himself, though, that’s exactly what Van Danielson did. Both he and Tyler put on an outstanding main event, with Tyler’s speed contrasting well with BVD’s strength. While Skyflyer’s quickness allowed him to gain an early advantage, Van Danielson’s power coupled with his fellow Western Lions providing a distraction allowed him to take over the majority of the match.
We sing the praises of @PWAwrestlingca co-champion @GodsGiftMRB often here at Win Column Sports, but regardless of how big of fans we may be of his it’s always fun to watch someone get hit with a Spanish Fly off the top rope. pic.twitter.com/mCf5zYVT3W
— Win Column Sports (@WCSportsCA) May 29, 2018
To be quite honest with you, I was surprised that Tyler wasn’t put away earlier in this match. Between both Van Danielson’s relentless beating and Michael Richard Blais’ interference, the odds were stacked against the Skyflyer from the start. Tyler, however, tried to pull a fast one on the champion, faking a knee injury to the same leg that was injured at last month’s Hysteria. With the champion vulnerable, Tyler attempted to roll up BVD but was unable to pin the champion. At that moment, Sheik Shabaz entered the ring with his Resolution Rumble briefcase, which gives the holder a guaranteed title shot at any time. Before the Sheik could get to the ring, however, MRB cut him off and started arguing with him. In the confusion, Tyler tried to pin Van Danielson again, but was unable to finish off the champ.
Between the Sheik continuing to attempt to cash in, MRB’s interference and Jeff Tyler’s relentless attempts to win his first PWA Championship, the last few minutes of the match were absolute madness, and I mean that in the best possible way. After Tyler hit a beautiful 630 to Van Danielson, the Sheik attempted one last cash-in, distracting the referee and negating a three-count by the Skyflyer. After an insane final minute that included a top rope Spanish Fly to MRB, Van Danielson was able to perform a Butterfly Powerbomb to Tyler and secure the victory for the Western Lions.
Van Danielson’s win upset the fans in attendance, to say the least. It wasn’t for a lack of effort on Tyler’s fault that he’d lost; it was simply too much to contend with not only BVD, but the rest of the Western Lions contingent. P.W.A commissioner Kurt Sorochan seemed to agree, and entered the ring immediately following the main event to make three huge announcements. Firstly, it was announced that BVD would be taking on Jeff Tyler in a rematch of Adrenalize’s main event; however, at Night of Champions, the match will feature Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat as the special guest referee! It was also announced that Sheik Shabaz will face former Ring of Honor champion Christopher Daniels, with Michael Richard Blais defending the PWA Championship against none other than Jay Lethal.
That closed out the show on Saturday; honestly, Night of Champions is shaping up to be the best P.W.A card in years, and if you’re anywhere near Edmonton on June 23rd, you don’t want to miss out on the best wrestling Alberta has to offer!
Night of Champions – Match Card To Date:
- PWA Championship Match – Michael Richard Blais vs. Jay Lethal
- Sheik Shabazvs. “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels
- Commonwealth Championship Match – Shaun Moore vs. Mo Jabari
- Brandon Van Danielson vs “Skyflyer” Jeff Tyler – Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat as the special guest referee
- Tag Team Championship Match – Team Hall of Fame vs. Team Flex Appeal vs. The Above Average Joes
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