Red Deer, Alberta was the scene for last Saturday’s Back 2 School Brawl, the final show of RCW’s three-show tour featuring former WWE star “The Genius” Lanny Poffo. Saturday saw Leaping Lanny team with “The Omen” Gabriel Lestat to face off with Top Talent’s Heavy Metal and Big Jesse Youngblood, with a myriad of standout matches also featured for the evening’s card. A Triple Threat matchup pitting Travis Cole against Jack Pride and reigning Alberta champion Dylon Stone was also prominently featured prior to the evening’s affair, while the first-time-ever matchup between Zoë Sager and Michael Richard Blais was sure to leave fans heading home happy. As always, it was another stellar card in Red Deer courtesy of RCW and the CWC.

Let’s recap!

The Headline:
Militia’s Sneak Attack Leads to Knights With Neon Titles

In what can only be described as one of the most anticipated matches in Red Deer in some time, CWC Alberta Champion Dylon Stone was set to defend his title against not only his former tag partner Jack Pride but one of the most underrated wrestlers in Alberta today, Travis Cole.

Unfortunately, early in the match, it became clear that there were two members of the RCW roster who didn’t share the fans’ enthusiasm for the matchup. Within minutes of the battle beginning, the RCW Canadian Tag Team Champion Malicious Militia rushed the ring and attacked all three competitors. To the dismay of the RCW faithful, the referee was forced to throw the match out. In a fit of rage, Cole grabbed a steel chair and cleared out the ring. However, before he could cause any more damage, RCW Commissioner The Irishman decided to shuffle the evening’s match card, and hopefully appease the fans in Festival Hall. In the main event, he announced, Cody Chimera and Maverick Jack would be forced to defend their titles in a two-on-three handicap match against the trio of Stone, Pride, and Cole collectively known as the Neon Knights. The Champions were at a disadvantage, but no one in attendance in Festival Hall seemed to have any sympathy.

As the main event started, the challengers used the numbers advantage to gain an early advantage, dominating Chimera in particular. However, after winning the titles back only 23 hours earlier, it was clear that the Militia would stop at nothing to continue their second championship reign. Once the quintet settled into the match, Chimera and Maverick managed to effectively isolate Dylon Stone in their part of the ring, beating him down relentlessly. However, a momentary malfunction on part of the Champions allowed Stone to tag in a fresh Pride, who ran roughshod on both Chimera and Jack.

Soon after, chaos ensued, with all five men getting involved. With the Irishman demanding that there be a true winner in this match, the referee was rather lax with the tag rules at times. This allowed Pride to head up to the balcony of Festival Hall, and do something that the RCW crowd hasn’t seen in Red Deer in almost five years. In a moment of madness, Pride hit a Suicide Poncha over the guardrail onto the four competitors battling around ringside, sending the crowd into a frenzy. The manoeuvre left Maverick Jack knocked out at ringside, with Chimera alone in the ring with all three of his opponents. After eating stiff shots from Cole and Stone, Chimera was finished off with a “Super Swallowed Pride”, an assisted lung-blower. Three seconds later, and RCW had new tag team titleholders for the third time in three nights in the newly-reformed Neon Knights.

The Real Good Stuff:
I Am A Winner… I Am Zoë Sager!!!

One of the most unique matches to come through RCW this year was the intergender match between Michael Richard Blais and Zoë Sager. Blais’ accolades speak for themselves; with multiple international appearances and championship reigns under his belt, there’s little doubt that Blais is one of the most talented wrestlers in the province, if not Canada. However, Saturday saw him squaring off with Sager for the first time, and frankly, it’s difficult to oversell how good the Storm graduate is in-ring after just over a year of wrestling. There’s a reason she’s earned the respect of not only Blais, but a huge portion of fans, talents, and promoters throughout the province this early in her career. It set the stage for an exciting matchup and one that delivered on every level.

Through the opening seconds of the match, it appeared as though Blais may have been either taking Sager lightly or simply attempting to end the match with minimal effort, insisting that she just lay down for the cover. Sager was having none of that, taking the fight to “Gods Gift to Wrestling” early and often. At times, it simply looked like Blais was out of sorts in a way that Albertan wrestling fans hadn’t seen in a long time. However, a couple of quick kicks from Blais changed the momentum in a hurry. In an instant, Blais snapped back into being “God’s Gift to Wrestling,” unloading a flurry of patented offence to Sager.

However, with every pinfall attempt and subsequent kick out, the crowd seemed to get more behind Sager. With each unsuccessful pinfall, though, Blais only pushed himself further, unloading on Sager at every opportunity. However, as he was about to call for his patented finishing Brainbuster, Blais seemingly appeared hesitant. It only took a split second for Sager to take advantage of the hesitation, firing up and hitting a myriad of manoeuvres, including a phenomenal springboard clothesline. Shortly after, she looked to finish off Blais with her Bulldog X-Factor Finisher, but MRB caught her mid-leap. By this time, however, Blais seemed to have had enough. This time, he took no hesitation in hoisting Zoë up for the Brainbuster. However, in a rare mistake, Blais held Sager up too long, which allowed her to shift her weight and hook Blais in a Small Package on the way down. With a quick 1-2-3, the crowd went nuts.

This has to be the biggest win in the young career of Zoë Sager. Following the match, Blais and Sager paid respect to each other in the ring, to the thunderous applause from the RCW faithful in attendance.

Poffo and Gabriel Leap Over Top Talent

Both Heavy Metal and Big Jesse Youngblood have been a thorn in the side of “The Omen” Gabriel Lestat for the last two months. Following a post-match beatdown in May, the Omen was scheduled to team up with the Slammer to take on Top Talent in July. However, the Slammer was taken out before the match, forcing Gabriel to go at it in a handicap match, which went about as well as could be expected given his two opponents. However, this time Gabriel had an ace in the hole in “Leaping” Lanny Poffo. The two had teamed up previously in Winnipeg for CWE, and the Omen was hoping that the same magic could happen again.

As the match started, Poffo showed that despite his age, he still had a ton of savvy, keeping Top Talent off-kilter. Unfortunately for the Omen, that did not last long. Metal and Jess soon started to shift the momentum, focusing on the Omen and attempting to defang the Vampire. However, Gabriel survived the onslaught and tagged in Poffo, who was a house of fire coming in. Quickly disposing Metal on the outside, Poffo attacked Big Jess, getting him down in the corner. From there, the 64-year-old climbed the ropes and hit a picture-perfect moonsault on Big Jesse, knocking the wind out of him and securing the victory for his team.

Not only was this a measure of retribution for Gabriel, but Lanny Poffo has accomplished something that seems to have never been done in Real Canadian Wrestling. In a matter of three days, Leaping Lanny Poffo has pinned all three members of Top Talent off moonsaults.  Heavy Metal (Thursday in Edmonton), Christian Strife (Friday in Calgary), and now Big Jesse Youngblood (Saturday in Red Deer) have never been pinned on three successive days by the same person.  Another feather in the cap of the WWE Legend.

Slammer Takes Down A Giant

In the night’s opening contest, one of the most powerful men in Alberta Wrestling, Brice “The Slammer” Sova, took on one of the biggest, The Giant Orion. Orion was recently coming off the biggest win of his career, teaming up with WWE Legend the Warlord in Edmonton at CWE’s August 15th show. However, any time he’s presented with a challenge, the Slammer is more willing to step up to it, and Saturday night’s show was no different. After a gruelling battle, Orion attempted to set the Slammer up for a massive chokeslam. However, Sova managed to reverse it into a DDT. Within seconds, the Slammer had lifted Orion to his shoulders and hit a monstrous F5. It was yet another patented Slammer victory, and though he was unsuccessful in his recent quest for the RCW Championship, it appears as though he’s doing everything to keep himself in contention.

Singh Destroys Son of Irish, Lays Down Challenge

Impact Wrestling Star Raj Singh was not in a good mood Saturday night, following two gruelling matches with Mentallo over the previous two nights. He wanted someone to step up, and the man from the Desi Hit Squad wanted to lay a beating on someone.  Stepping up to the challenge was Son of Irish, who two days earlier was in a car crash of a Last Man Standing Match with Nite.

From the onset, Singh took it to the young upstart, preying on the obvious injuries that Son of Irish was labouring. However, Son of Irish was game for the challenge, fighting back for all he had. Unfortunately, it simply wasn’t enough to overcome his previously-sustained injuries. Early on, Irish headed to the top rope, looking to put Singh away with a patented shooting star press. However, Singh was unable to avoid the manoeuvre, and like a shark smelling blood, Singh struck immediately. With one trademark arm trapped facebuster, Singh pinned Son of Irish for the victory.

Following the match, Singh called out the Irishman and verbally lambasted the effort of Son of Irish in an attempt to goad him to the ring. Unfortunately for the Desi Hit Squad star, it worked. The Irishman entered the ring and quickly teed up with a right hand to the jaw of the Impact star. Singh then issues a challenge to the Irish for one more match.  Will the Irishman accept?

Austin Retains as BarriRichtor Shows Cracks

Saturday night saw “The Viking Lord” Vince Austin defend the RCW Commonwealth Championship former tag team titleholder “Real Talk” Dean Richtor. Austin was accompanied by a masked comparison, while Richtor was accompanied by his tag team partner, Barricade.

From the onset, Austin had control of the match, taking it to the challenger early and often. However, it seemed as though the taste of gold that Barricade and Richtor had received on Thursday evening had given them an extra gear. Richtor hit his finisher, a cross between an F5 and X-factor, just minutes into the match, and it appeared that the gold was going to change hands.  However, Austin’s minion, who was in possession of the Commonwealth Title, distracted the referee and threw the title into the ring. Fortunately, Barricade grabbed the title before Austin could use it. However, as Richtor looked to charge into Austin, he side-stepped the challenger and Richtor ran straight into the belt, knocking himself out. Austin took advantage, hitting his Snuff Piledriver for the victory.

The Viking Lord Vince Austin retained, but the story here may just be that Barricade and Dean Richtor looked to be at odds following the match. Will this emotional weekend where they won – and subsequently lost – the Tag Team Championships put a strain on their partnership?

The Best of the Rest:
Mentallo Returns to Festival Hall, Falls to KOTA

Former RCW Champion Mentallo made his return to Festival Hall for the first time in four years, an evening that saw the Zombie Hunter take a loss to Dick Richards in what to this day is still one of the promotions most-attended shows. As Mentallo entered the ring, he grabbed the mic and declared that the Red Deer crowd did not deserve to see him wrestle. Enter KOTA, who declared that Mentallo needed to step up and face him.  While many would have expected KOTA to pull out an easy victory given his substantial size advantage, RCW’s two previous shows had shown cracks in the monster’s armour and it appeared that Mentallo was going to pick apart the big man. Despite being dominated for most of the match, KOTA was able to gut it out and hit a move reminiscent of the strangely-absent Zach Mercury’s Overdose for the victory.

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RCW Recap and Reactions: Back 2 School Brawl, Red Deer, August 31

Spencer Love

Owner & President of the WCSN. Professional wrestling enthusiast.