Saturday evening saw Real Canadian Wrestling return to Edmonton for their 16th-Anniversary Show. Expectations for the event were sky-high following a near sellout crowd in Calgary the evening before, and both the crowd and performers delivered for one of the most anticipated events from RCW in months. Both Ring of Honor World Champion Matt Taven and former WWE Superstar and Stampede Wrestling Tag Team Champion Gangrel were in the fold following victories in Calgary and looking to make yet another statement in their final Albertan stops. The epic feud between Cody Chimera and Simply Epic Eddie Rhude was set to conclude with a Hair-versus-Contract match, with Rhude putting his RCW career on the line for a shot at chopping Chimera’s signature locks. Dirty, Inc was set to take on the team of tagSTRUGGLE, with Perish and Meniac taking on a little backup in the form of Kayla Jaye.

With a stacked card and a full house, it was primed to be an excellent night of wrestling in Edmonton. Who left with their hands held high? Let’s find out!

Cameron Stevens vs. Dean Richtor
Cameron Stevens of Dirty, Inc lays a knee on Dean Richtor on May 4th

Saturday’s action kicked off with a frenzied match between Dean Richtor and Dirty, Inc’s Cameron Stevens. 

Fresh off a loss to Gangrel the previous evening, Stevens took to the ring with a vengeance on Saturday evening. Unfortunately for the Dirty, Inc member, his frenzied pace was matched only by his opponent, as Richtor took to the ring with guns blazing. From the opening bell, the pair put on a frantically paced match, with both looking to put the other away quickly. Richtor gained the early advantage; however, as is so often the case, Dirty Mike Jones got involved and turned the tides on Richtor.

While the Dirty, Inc faction member was able to gain a temporary advantage over his opponent, Richtor’s veteran savvy proved to be too much for the less-experienced Stevens. As Stevens attempted a Death Valley Driver, Richtor cunningly managed to sneak out of the setup and reverse into a “Richtor Scale” – a devastating modified inverted F5 – for the victory.

WINNER: Dean Richtor

Canadian Grizzly vs. Barricade
Barricade reacts immediately after defeating the Canadian Grizzly at the RCW 16th-Anniversary Show

This Battle of the Big Men was everything I’d hoped for and more.

Described as Bowling Shoe Ugly, both men entered throwing absolutely massive haymakers, with both looking to put away their ostensibly larger opponent. Just when it seemed as though neither man would be able to keep the other down, the Grizzly got caught in a Belly-to-Barricade and was put down for the 1-2-3.

WINNER: Barricade

HAIR VERSUS CONTRACT – Cody Chimera vs. Eddie Rhude
Simply Epic Eddie Rhude enters the ring at the RCW 16th-Anniversary Show

One of the longest-running feuds in Real Canadian Wrestling came to a head on Saturday night as Simply Epic Eddie Rhude put his contract on the line against Dirty, Inc’s Cody Chimera.

It goes without saying that Rhude is one of the more popular members of the RCW roster; however, it’s hard not to be on his side following the heinous actions of Dirty, Inc at last month’s Marie Ewaschuk Memorial Show. With his contract – as well as Chimera’s trademark locks – at stake on Saturday, Rhude entered the ring looking motivated.

However, the pair didn’t stay inside the ring for long. Rhude seemingly found a new level of aggression prior to Saturday’s match, as the early portion solely consisted of a post-to-post beating of Chimera as the pair made their way around the ring. While a distraction from Mike Jones gave Chimera an opportunity to deliver some punishing blows, Rhude looked motivated to not only defeat his opponent but remain in possession of his RCW contract.

Eddie Rhude silences the crowd before delivering a massive chop on May 4

As had so often been the case during Rhude and Chimera’s rivalry, Dirty, Inc looked to make their presence known throughout. Both Maverick Jack and Cameron Stevens made attempts to interfere in the match and give Chimera a decisive advantage; however, they were met by “The Universe” Zach Mercury and Brice “The Slammer” Sova respectively. It allowed Rhude to not only hit a vicious Rhude Awakening – a version on an Argentine Neckbreaker – but an absolutely massive coast-to-coast with a garbage can; however, both attempts only picked up a two-count. A second attempt at going high-risk was, unfortunately, thwarted by none other than Dirty Mike Jones. As Rhude attempted a second coast-to-coast, a recycle bin was thrown at him and caused not only a distraction, but Rhude to tumble from the top rope. Ultimately, it allowed Chimera to gain the advantage over his more experienced opponent. A number of devastating strikes later, and Chimera was the proud owner of Eddie Rhude’s contract.

WINNER: Cody Chimera

COMMONWEALTH CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH – “The Universe” Zack Mercury© vs. Günnar the Pagan Destroyer
Günnar the Pagan Destroyer lays a massive chokeslam on “The Universe” Zach Mercury on May 4

A first-time-ever matchup saw the reigning PWA Commonwealth Champion “The Universe” Zach Mercury put his title on the line against the undefeated Günnar the Pagan Destroyer.

From the moment the challenge was laid down at the Marie Ewaschuk Memorial Show, the Viking Rage’s resident monster looked poised to unseat the Universe as the Commonwealth Champion. As advertised, the undefeated Günnar took it to the champion early, but Mercury used his veteran savvy and managed to turn the tides on his monstrous opponent. With the Pagan Destroyer reeling, Mercury looked poised to make it quick finish; however, both Vince Austin and Mister Spectrum made their presences known during a referee distraction. Unfortunately, from that point on, Günnar was merciless in his destruction of the Universe. A ruthless beating commenced; however, just when all looked to be lost, the Universe was able to utilize Günnar’s size to mount the top turnbuckle and deliver a devastating X-factor from the top rope to knock out the Challenger and give Günnar his first loss in RCW.

WINNER: “The Universe” Zach Mercury

COMMONWEALTH CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH – “The Universe” Zack Mercury© vs. Vince Austin
Vince Austin hits the trademark snuff piledriver that led to winning the RCW Commonwealth Championship

While Mercury was successful in defending his RCW Commonwealth Championship against the monstrous Günnar, he was hardly given a moment to relish in his victory. Immediately following the devastating Pagan Bomb from the Viking Rage’s resident monster, Vince Austin and manager Mr Spectrum announced that the Viking Lord would be activating their guaranteed championship match contract, signed earlier that day by the Universe himself.

It’s a testament to the Universe that he was even able to muster a fight against Austin, nonetheless able to make it a close one. Despite the brutality of his earlier match, Mercury’s heart shone through. Multiple times, he looked to have Austin put away; however, an appearance at ringside from the Viking Rage’s Dante proved to be too much for Merc to handle. Austin was able to take advantage of the distraction to hit a patented snuff piledriver on the Universe, and shortly after a new champion was crowned.

WINNER: Vince Austin – NEW RCW COMMONWEALTH CHAMPION

RING OF HONOUR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP and RCW ALBERTA CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH – Matt Taven© vs. Dylon Stone©
Ring of Honor champion Matt Taven brandishes his championship in Edmonton, Alberta on May 4th

RCW Alberta Champion Dylon Stone may be one of the brightest stars of the Albertan independent wrestling scene, but Saturday proved to be the biggest match of his career as he faced current Ring of Honor World Champion Matt Taven at the 16th-Anniversary Show.

The crowd was electric by the time Taven and Stone took to the ring. Looking to get into his opponent’s head early, Taven immediately requested a microphone and challenged Stone to a title-versus-title match that was hastily accepted.

The early beginnings of the match were, well, as advertised. Both Stone and the ROH Champion put on a technical clinic through the early portions of the match, with neither able to gain a clear advantage on their opponent. Each looked to one-up their opponent, with both men growing steadily more frustrated by the inability to put the man opposite them away for a three-count. Taven, however, was the first to snap, and the Kingdom’s leader began targeting the left arm of Mr Saturday Night. For what seemed like hours, Stone writhed as Taven looked poised to rip the arm out of the socket of the Alberta champion, and looked to be within seconds of leaving Edmonton with two championships. However, Stone was able to catch Taven with a boot to the face and a German suplex and swing momentum back in his favour. As the crowd exploded, the Alberta champion got in his patented offence, including a White Rail Hilo for a tight two-count that seemingly had the Ring of Honor Championship heading to Alberta.

As both men began to stand, the crowd sat on the edge of their seats as the two champions looked to put each other way. A Saturday Night Special from Stone was reversed into a massive powerbomb from Taven, but he was unable to keep his opponents shoulders to the mat. Conversely, a number of crossface attempts from Stone to the ROH Champion were shrewdly reversed. Finally, Taven looked to have the ultimate advantage, setting up for the Climax; however, Stone was able to execute a reversal of his own and re-apply a crossface to the prone Ring of Honor Champion. The crowd held it’s breath as it waited to see if Taven would tap out; however, unfortunately, it’s a question that will remain unanswered as both Cody Chimera and Maverick Jack of Dirty, Inc entered the ring and caused a disqualification, brutally attacking both Stone and Taven. Fortunately, the pair was able to chase off the stablemates, with Taven offering to match up with Stone any time he’s back in Edmonton.

Frankly, it’s a match that Edmonton wrestling fans should already be excited about.

WINNER: Dylon Stone via disqualification

Dirty Inc. (Sydney Steele/Maverick Jack/Angelica) vs. tagSTRUGGLE (Meniac/Chris Perish/Kayla Jaye)
Kayla Jaye lays a massive superkick on Angelica during six-person tag action on May 4

The legendary careers of tagSTRUGGLE began a new chapter on Saturday evening, with Kayla Jaye joining Chris Perish and Meniac to take on long-time rivals Dirty, Inc at the 16th-Anniversary Show in Edmonton.

It didn’t take long to get the crowd invested in Saturday’s match; introduced by Perish as the “Struggle Chick” Kayla Jaye, the crowd went absolutely nuts for the now-former Envy. If that wasn’t enough, a similar reaction was elicited when Dirty Mike Jones was kicked out of the building for arguing with the referee prior to the match.

The match started off with a pair of familiar foes in Jaye and current RCW Women’s Champion Angelica. While Jaye was able to gain an early advantage, “the Bombshell” savvily tagged out to her partner Maverick Jack. Unfortunately, the behemoth was unable to get in any offence on either Jaye or the two-man unit of tagSTRUGGLE, as both Meniac and Perish used their veteran experience to hold Jack at bay.

However, a blow from Sydney Steele to Perish quickly turned the tides in the favour of Dirty, Inc. All three took their individual turns working over the PPW Champion, who desperately tried to claw his way back to his corner. However, some shrewd work by Mike Jones’ stable prevented Perish from tagging out for what seemed like forever, until a momentary lapse in judgement allowed him to make the tag to Kayla Jaye.

From that moment on, the match was a whirlwind. Both Perish and Jaye took to the skies, taking out every member of the opposing faction. Everyone took their turns to hit their finishers, with Meniac laying out three Rock Bottoms before being rudely removed from the ring. In the midst of the chaos, Jaye hit a picture-perfect, on-the-button superkick to Angelica for the final blow and the 1-2-3.

WINNERS: tagSTRUGGLE (Chris Perish/Meniac/Kayla Jaye)

Heavy Metal vs. Brice “The Slammer” Sova
Heavy Metal smiles as he looks to secure a victory over The Slammer at RCW’s 16th-Anniversary Show

Two former RCW Heavyweight Champions faced off on Saturday night as Heavy Metal took on Brice “the Slammer” Sova in what many described as a dream matchup.

For any wrestling fan who simply wants to see two big dudes beat the ever-loving hell out of each other, this match is for you. If you’re a fan who wants to watch two in-ring psychologists try and outwit each other, frankly, this match is STILL for you. There’s a reason both Sova and Metal have held the top title in the promotion; they’re simply that good.

In about as evenly-matched of a battle as possible, Heavy Metal and the Slammer looked poised to absolutely destroy each other. An early scoop slam from Sova looked poised to have Metal put away through the same fate as so many others; however, the longest-reigning RCW Champion of all-time is no mere mortal.  Not only was Metal able to hit Slammer with a bit boot to reverse the momentum, but he consistently was able to match power with the larger Sova.

Through the match, Metal focused his attack on the powerful upper body of the Slammer, with repeated shots, clotheslines, and a crossface that he’s used quite effectively recently. However, the Slammer’s power is quite literally unmatched in RCW, and while Metal was able to force him to bend, his will didn’t break. In fact, he again looked to have Heavy Metal put away with an overhead chokeslam, but yet again, Metal avoided the loss. Rolling out of the ring, Metal collected one of the metal guardrails and set it up on the outside. As he attempted to come back into the ring, he was met on the apron by the Slammer, who collected him and devastatingly slammed him through the guardrail onto the gymnasium floor.

Despite the debilitating injuries to both competitors, somehow, the action picked up following Sova’s massive slam. The brutality of the battle seemed to set both men on a path of destruction, with Heavy Metal especially ramping up his efforts to put his opponent away. A Climaxesque move looked to put Sova away, but his efforts were thwarted. Slammer reversed a top rope attempt into an overhead chokeslam, but yet again his efforts were derailed.

Unfortunately – or fortunately, depending on your perspective – the match came to a conclusion following an attempted F5 from the Slammer to Metal. In executing the move, the Slammer inadvertently knocked down referee Charles Spence, allowing Metal to pick up a piece of the guard rail and brutalize Sova. As the referee came to, the half of Top Talent secured a three-count and a pinfall victory over the Slammer.

WINNER: Heavy Metal

Big Jess Youngblood vs. Gangrel
Big Jess Youngblood is whipped into the ropes by Gangrel at the RCW 16th-Anniversary Show

The St. John’s Cultural Centre crowd were on the edge of their seats in anticipation of Saturday’s main event, and did the pairing of Gangrel and Big Jess Youngblood deliver.

Big Jess showed no fear taking on the Vampire Warrior on Saturday night; in fact, it seemed as though the confidence that Top Talent is famous for had been dialled up to eleven. Following a snafu with his entrance music, the Original Aboriginal entered the ring bent on destruction, boldly proclaiming he would defeat the WWE legend. The crowd erupted as Gangrel, the former Stampede Wrestling Tag Team Champion, entered the ring with his traditional Brood Bounce.

After a flurry of activity inside the squared circle, the match headed to the outside, where Youngblood is at his best. He proceeded to systematically dissect Gangrel with an attack on the throat, with a vicious bearhug almost taking out the leader of the Brood. While Gangrel managed to momentarily turn things around – reversing an attempted hip toss into a massive bulldog – it wasn’t long before Youngblood’s partner in Top Talent made his presence known. While never officially getting involved in the match, the temporary distraction from Heavy Metal to Gangrel resulted in a spear from Youngblood and a three-count for the victory.

WINNER: Big Jess Youngblood

Following the match, Top Talent attempted to beat down Gangrel, but the WWE legend managed to nail both members with Impaler DDT’s to close out the show.

Real Canadian Wrestling is back in action this weekend in Gibbons (May 10th) and Bonnyville (May 11th). Tickets are available at the door, or in advance through any member of the Real Canadian Wrestling roster. The promotion next makes its return to Calgary on May 24th, with Edmonton following on May 25th.

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RCW Recap and Reactions: 16th-Anniversary Show, May 4, Edmonton

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