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   Tue, March 30, 2004



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IWS tapes PPV matches
By YVES LEROUX -- SLAM! Wrestling


Kevin Steen shows off the IWS title he almost won from Pierre Carl Ouellet. -- photo by Richard Leroux

MONTREAL - Striving to be the best is what every wrestling federation shoots for, and Quebec's Internet Wrestling Syndicate is no different. But sometimes a single show can mean much, more more, as was the case this past Saturday.

The IWS had their bi-annual big gala at Montréal's Medley, their favorite stomping grounds. The card reflected their desire to have their best show ever.

But certainly the biggest news of the evening was the presence of a film crew taping the whole show to have at least four matches featured on Aaron Weiss' "Wrestling, past present & future" show for the April PPV on Viewers' Choice Canada. The IWS will be the only eastern Canadian federation to be on the show, and only the second Canadian federation after Border City Wrestling.

Brian Strolovitch, aka Montreal radio personality Brian "The Guppie", is very proud of the effort given by all those involved and hopes this will be the start of even better things to come. "We feel that many of our wrestlers are deserving to be on, and this is a great testament of their effort," he told SLAM! Wrestling.

There is even talk of finding a spot on the TV dial for the promotion as well.

Saturday's show started with another professionally-made video about the evening's card and interviews. Comedy certainly was a huge part of their introduction, with Brian "The Guppie" and Peter Lasalle as co hosts and introducing each match with their story and comments.

That was followed by the Hard Rock group Tantrum's rendition of the IWS theme song, which they wrote. Musique Plus, French speaking sister station of Much Music, was on hand to film the clip for re-broadcast.

Then the show started with Brian "The Guppie" getting the crowd warmed up with provocative statements, mostly language related. The first match had Viking and Damian, from the Syndicat de lutte Internet, accompanied by Elsa Bangz against Kid Kamikaze and his partner, the huge Kurt Lauderdale for the IWS tag team championship. The match featured many rope maneuvers along with numerous slaps with SLI retaining the belt only to be attacked by New Breed.

Following was a four way featuring Sexxxy Eddy with Divine vs Dan Paysan with his manager the 6-foot-6 Tomassino vs Matt Classic, with the gorgeous Nikki French in his corner vs X Treem. This match was non stop action from the start bell to the final three count, often with action happening both inside and outside the ring at the same time. Tomassino had great pleasure attacking whoever got outside the ring in his vicinity but even being attacked by Nikki French at one point. X Treem, who was a last minute replacement for Kevin Martel, drew the admiration of the fans by dropping Dan Paysan on the crowd control barrier, toppling it onto the fans in the first row, who enjoyed every bit of it. The winner, after many incredible high flying moves was Sexxy Eddy.

The next match had the talented Beef Wellington against Fred la Merveille, the leader of the Syndicat de lutte Internet. This match had so much comedy it could have been considered a skit from the Just for Laughs festival. The special stipulation was the infamous Quebec rules, in which started with no Cartwheels, no eye gauging, and no pile drivers, and with every move Beefy made, another stipulation would get added. After much comedy and supplexes, the colorful Beef Wellington won the match.

The next match was a dream match for high flyers fans or All Japan style. It had eXceSS 69 against El Generico, who got the biggest pop of the night. Every high flying jumps in the book was accomplished by the talented battlers, with even Excess doing a flip over the top rope, after jumping from a chair onto the floor on top of a sprawled Generico. Excess 69 won the match with what many fans considered the best match of the evening.

The IWS has been known for their sometime extreme brand of wrestling, and the next match sure was a great example of this. It was the ex-Champion Arsenal with the Hardcore Ninjas against Nighmare Manson and the Flying Hurricanes. Broken tables, barbed wire, flaming tables, flipping onto first row fans, and a bloody mess. This match was extreme wrestling at its best. Nightmare Manson and the Flying Hurricanes came out the winners of the match ... and much barbed wire in their hair.

The grand finale of the evening had the IWS champion PCO Pierre Carl Ouellet, of WWF and WWE fame against the one many consider the best young wrestler in Quebec, Kevin Steen. This was a two-out-of-three falls match, with an old-fashioned slow start, defying stares and trash talk. After each took a fall, PCO faked an injury, and as he was carried off stage on a table. Kevin Steen picked up the belt and proclaimed himself the new Champion only to have PCO come back into the ring, and beat Steen with a small package.

As if the great card, in front of a great 450 strong fan wasn't enough, The Green Phantom made his return from his try out with the Ohio Valley Wrestling promotion just in time to issue a challenge to Dru Onyx and destroying anyone entering the ring to subdue him.

Phantom explained to SLAM Wrestling that Nova (Mike Moraldo) had a huge influence and great technical advice as a teacher with his try out, followed by the well placed comments of Tom Pritchard. "I've never gotten such great advice on in-ring technicalities as what Nova thought me while I was down there," Phantom said. He definitely sees himself in the WWE in the future, all the while knowing the odds are against him. "I know only a few make it, but I believe I do have the drive to get there eventually."

Yves Leroux has been contributing to SLAM Wrestling since 2000 and grew up watching Lutte Internationale/Grand Prix Wrestling. He can be reached at: yves_l@videotron.ca.