January 19, 2004
IWS becoming Quebec's version of ECW
By YVES LEROUX -- SLAM! Wrestling
The IWS has been making waves in the Quebec indy wrestling scene for quite a while, but not as much as they have in the last year. Saturday's card was no exception, topped off by Quebec's top star on the indy circuit.
The Internet Wrestling Syndicate has been growing in popularity since they started just a few years ago, and the following of hardcore fans is impressive to say the least. Saturday's show was called Praise the violence, at the Unison bar in St-Laurent. About 400 fans, many of which follow the IWS around for their monthly shows, made it to their new location, as their home for the last few years, Le Skratch in Laval is undergoing major renovations and will no longer be able to present wrestling shows. The crowd, mostly 18-25 year olds, have learned their wrestlers and respective intro music as when each wrestler entered the ring, the front rows around the ring would get up and start tapping on the apron to welcome or ridicule their favorite wrestlers. The MC for the evening, as he is for every IWS show, is Brian "The Guppie" Stolovitch, of Team 990, an AM all-sports radio station who hosts a very popular weekend wrestling show, Between The Ropes.
The first match had Sexy Eddy, accompanied by Divine against Fred le Merveilleux who had the sultry Elsa Bangz and the famed Marc le Grizzly in his corner. The start of the match was delayed by Fred's pseudo political language speech to get the crowd going. Then, Sexy Eddy took a moment to get undressed by Divine, only to show a black G-string with a Canadian flag on the front it. The tables were set for French against English match, much to the delight of the crowd. After many high flying moves and outside interventions, most notably by Marc le Grizzly, who showed everyone in attendance why he is one of the most technically sound wrestler and teacher in Quebec today, Fred took the win only to have Marc strongly suggesting Divine to get out of the ring so he and Fred could inflict some more punishment to Sexy Eddy.
The next match had the flying Hurricanes, with the Motivator of Madness (Arsenal's ex manager) versus the Hardcore Ninjas and Arsenal in their corner, Arsenal being the IWS champion. This match involved lots of chair shots, high flying moves and with one of the Hurricanes handcuffed in his corner for most of the match by Arsenal. The Ninjas concentrated their devastating attacks on the remaining Hurricane and got the win with their finishing move, the Pearl Harbor which consists of laying down the poor wrestler on the mat, putting steel chairs on him in a circle, then adding a couple on top for good measure, then the both Ninjas jumping from the third rope on the pile of chairs. OUCH! That's when the attack continued, after the win when the Motivator of Madness changed camps and joined the Ninjas to further punish the Hurricanes.
The next match was the Green Phantom, a very popular hardcore wrestler, against Giovanni, who was making his wrestling debut and is Dru Onyx's cousin. The Green Phantom wanted to get revenge from a recent loss against Dru Onyx and since he was absent, decided to call out Giovanni for the match. After leading the match outrageously, using many chairs in the process, and a very impressive suplex right into the first rows, The Green Phantom seemed to have taken the match, only to be attacked by Tank (an ex Lutte 2000 wrestler) who proceeded to put Giovanni's arm on an immobile Phantom for the win. This most likely sets up a match for the next card.
The next match was a triple threat match featuring tag team champions Nightmare Manson with partner Crazy Crusher, part of the Extreme revolution cliq, against Kid Kamikaze and partner Big Kurt Lauderdale versus Vicking and Damian, members of the syndicat de l'internet group, of course with Marc le Grizzly and Elsa Bangz at ringside. Although Kurt Lauderdale was much bigger than all the other wrestlers in the ring, his team got eliminated rather rapidly with loads of chair shots and high flying drop kicks. Following their exit, the match became an exhibition of supplexes, top rope smashes and all high risk moves with new champions Vicking and Damian becoming the new tag team champion. It became known, through PCP Crazy Manny coming on the ring after the match was over, that Crazy Crusher wrestler with a broken ankle that never healed properly and is scheduled for an operation later this week. That sent the crowd in a frenzy and SLAM! Wrestling was able to verify that it wasn't a work of any sort, he left in crutches.
The next match was an anticipated affair by the fans as it had Dan Paysan, a Italian mob wannabe with sidekicks Don Francesco and fellow 6'6" wrestler Tommasino at ringside against the famed Kevin Steen, a wrestler that left Jacques Rougeau's Lutte 2000 just before Christmas and is now wrestling for many wrestling organizations. This match kept the fans at the edge of their seat for the better part of the match with Kevin Steen true to his abilities and many jumps from the third rope on a decisively less talented Paysan and in particular 720 degree flip, from the top rope, onto both Paysan and Tommasino who were on the cement floor and all three ended up in the second row of fans, who didn't seem to mind at all. As expected, Steen took the win.
The next match was EXcesS69 against Beef Wellington against El Generico, where all three were wrestling against each other at the same time. Beef Wellington, who has been known to be one of the most charismatic and funny wrestler in Quebec started the match by "helping" his friend El Generico in attacking EXcesS69 with successive top rope supplexes and leg drops. But after a while, Beef drew back in one corner, to allow the other two to go after each other but that strategy didn't pay off as El Generico was thrown many times on Wellington as he was sitting in the corner. After throwing Beef out of the ring, and Slamming El Generico on a table outside the ring, EXcesS69 took the match with a reverse sharp shooter.
Finally, the main event of the evening had IWS champion Arsenal, against challenger, ex-WWF and WCW star Pierre Carl Ouellet. PCO looked in excellent physical condition, probably the best since his days with the WWF. He did many high risk high flying moves, something he wasn't known for. Even though he took many chair shots to the head, and was pinned outside the ring after interference from Arsenal's newly reunited manager, Motivator of Madness, IWS president Siska, ruled the match to continue until a three count or submission was to happen in the ring only. PCO then proceeded to literally destroy Arsenal to take the championship belt. Many wrestlers came out of the dressing room to celebrate PCO's victory on the ring, all the while he was thanking the IWS and the fans for his marvelous welcome.
Unlike most of the past shows, not one wrestler drew blood, a fact that didn't seem to bother most of the crowd in attendance. The emphasis is non stop action with many high risk moves. The merchandise booth was busy selling t-shirts of many of their wrestlers and also video tapes and DVDs of previous shows. A slew of big screen televisions were installed around the whole bar so even though some of the action was taking place outside the ring, nothing was missed. All of the IWS wrestlers come from other organizations for their monthly shows. The majority of the fans are hardcore followers but the crowds have been getting increasingly larger. An unnamed WWE road agent was in attendance looking at the talent and stayed until the end. Local sports television station RDS was also present, as were many local newspaper reporters. The owner of the IWS told SLAM! Wrestling they have aspirations of becoming Quebec's version of ECW although taking their time in doing so. Certainly, their approach is rapidly attracting a new fan following and giving an opportunity to all wrestlers throughout Quebec to showcase their talents.
Yves Leroux has been contributing to SLAM Wrestling since 2000 and grew up watching Lutte Internationale/Grand Prix Wrestling. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.