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Wrestlers climb the ladder at Cochrane Chaos
By JAMES EMERY -Cochrane Times


Blaze moonsaulting off the ladder. Photo by Jason Clevett



Somebody should tell Chucky Blaze that it’s not safe to stand on the top rung of a ladder -- or do a back flip off it, crushing three other people below, for that matter.

But then again, he was performing at the Prairie Wrestling Alliance’s (PWA) Cochrane Chaos show, which featured up-and-coming acts battling along side or against past pro-wrestling greats like Samoa Joe, the Honky Tonk Man and Tatanka.

Fans of all ages were treated to flying leg kicks, double-slaps, DDT’s, turnbuckle thrusts and flying close line madness at the Spray Lakes Family Sports Centre for the fourth annual wrestling show July 4.

“I did this when I was a young lad and I saw the Honky Tonk Man when I was at a young age, so I thought it’d be a fun night out with the kids,” said Jim Gourley, who brought nine-year-old Jordan Kelman and six-year-old Ryan Gourley to the event.

The show had kicked off at 8 p.m. to a fairly sparse crowd, but they made up for it with their boisterous enthusiasm, heckling wrestlers as they poked their heads out from the dressing room hallway, with cat calls like “eat a hot dog” or the old-fashioned “you suck” insult.

And the wrestlers were not afraid to give it back. “Shut up you dumb hillbillies,” one yelled in the microphone, playing his bad-guy act perfectly.

The first few matches saw Punishment defeat Camikaze, followed by Superfly Dan pinning the D.O.D’s Strife in two fairly routine matches.

By this time, more seats had filled and the crowd really immersed themselves in the show, just in time for a four-way, falls count anywhere match where wrestlers could be pinned outside the ring.

The match saw Chucky Blaze, Alex Plexis, Brandon Van Danielson and Scotley Crue spend most of the match bashing each other with chairs, tables and even a ladder outside the ring to delighted, cheering fans.

With all four wrestlers grappling just outside the ring, Chucky Blaze set up the ladder, climbed to the top and did a flying back flip off the top rung, demolishing the other three below.

“This is so awesome,” one fan told another during the fight.

“I thought it was pretty cool,” the young Kelman said of the match. “The best part was when the guy smashed the guy with the ladder.”

Chucky Blaze would prevail victorious, ladder smashing and all.

Other matches saw Tatanka and Red Thunder defeat Slammer and Butcher Bill Yates in the tag team match-up, while Hannibal pinned Tiger Raj Singh in another.

“The PWA is the biggest company in Alberta right now,” said Devon Nicholson, aka Hannibal, who was a promoter for the event.

Nicholson, who runs his own shows out in Ontario, joined up with the PWA to use some of their wrestlers and materials. The Ravenous Randy Myers, dressed in green pants, green bandana and sporting a large red and black Mohawk, took on the self-proclaimed intercontinental champion of the world, The Honky Tonk Man, who would take home the victory.

The Honky Tonk Man, who wrestled in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in the late ‘80s to the early ‘90s, now appears in independent events and enjoys working for the smaller shows in the smaller markets.

“It gives us a place to wrestle, to work and make a living and we just use the opportunity to come to these places that normally wouldn’t get the chance to have a wrestling show and see some of the stars,” the Honky Tonk Man said.

“It’s more enjoyable … we get to intermingle with the fans, whereas with the big companies you don’t get to do that.”

Asked for a closing comment, the Honky Tonk Man simply replied: “Shake, rattle and roll baby.”

The main event match saw Total Nonstop Action (TNA) champion Samoa Joe take on the PWA champion Gamma Singh Jr, and Nicholson said it was a rare opportunity for Cochrane fans to see the stars in their town.

“Samoa Joes is the champion of TNA right now,” Nicholson said. “[The TNA league is] getting bigger, and pretty soon they won’t be allowing their guys to wrestle in outside shows, so it’s a rare chance to see Samoa Joe,” he said, adding the same for Tatanka and The Honky Tonk Man.

Samoa Joe was crowned victor of his match after Gamma Singh interfered during the fight when he used a chair to pin Samoa Joe down.

It appeared that the fight would continue when Hannibal came to the aid of Samoa Joe, but they announced if fans wanted to see the final showdown, they’d have to catch the next show the following night in Calgary.

Samoa Joe and Hannibal would go on to defeat Karachi Vice the following evening.