September 27, 2009
Montreal's TOW show features many past WWE stars
By PATRIC LAPRADE - For SLAM! Wrestling
MONTREAL - Friday night in Montreal, the TOW promotion managed to get the longest reigning WWE Intercontinental champion and the very first Intercontinental champion on the same show. Plus add a TNA rising star, a fitness guru and a surprise guest, and it was a major happening for only the company's fourth show.
TOW is owned and operated by former WWE tag team champion Sylvain Grenier and his two collegues from the French TV version of TNA Impact, broadcast on RDS, Marc Blondin and JF Kelly.
The show, at Centre Pierre-Charbonneau and in front of TOW's biggest crowd to date, took a moment out of its busy line-up featuring the likes of Matt Morgan, Honky Tonk Man, Simon Dean, and La Resistance to celebrate Montreal's Pat Patterson, the aforementioned first WWE Intercontinental champion.
"I'm very happy to be here today, said Patterson to the thousand of fans in attendance, as I started my career in Montreal," Patterson said. Then a video tribute produced by WWE several years ago was shown, on which Patterson sings his favourite song, My Way.
Blondin read a letter in the ring to Patterson, making the legend's eyes wet. "This letter was very touching and I really appreciated it", said the honoree to SLAM! Wrestling after the presentation.
"I used to come to Montreal for two to three months at the time but now I'm only coming for two to three weeks as I travel more," said Patterson prior to the show.
He thanked everyone and stated that Montreal was always home to him. He was then surprised when he was joined by family members that he didn't know were coming.
In wrestling's history, Patterson was perhaps the biggest name on the show -- he's in the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame, and the WWE Hall of Fame -- but his Intercontinental title reign cannot compete with that of the Honky Tonk Man, the belt's longest reigning champion.
HTM first had a music battle with a Quebec wrestler who plays the role of a white rapper, Jay Phenomenom. Rock 'n' roll triumphed, as the master of the "Shake, rattle and roll" made the crowd chant "old school" throughout the match as the fans responded well to him and to the guitar shot he gave to one of Phenomenom's crew after the match.
Besides Patterson and Honky Tonk Man, Al Snow made a surprise appearance as former WWE tag team champion Pierre-Carl Ouellet's mystery partner in the main event against TOW tag team champions, La Resistance, Grenier and Rob Conway.
"It's fun to be back in Montreal," said Snow. "I'm pleasantly surprised how professional this company is. It is very well run."
Snow and Ouellet won the match and the titles in a bout where all four of them were former WWE tag team champions. "I believe I still have my place up there," said Ouellet, who isn't shy saying he would like to go back to WWE. "I really like my experience working again with guys that have been there," he said. "It was like walking home with my eyes closed"
"It's almost shocking he's not signed yet," said Morgan, talking about his opponent not having a deal with one of the big two wrestling companies.
He also had very kind words for the Montreal crowd. "Every time you gave them a look, they responded and that's all you can ask for a wrestler."
Morgan won the match, but was attacked right after to the delight of the fans by fellow giant and well talked about youngster from Quebec, Darkko a.k.a. Tomassino -- who is apparently close to a WWE developmental deal.
"The crowd was behind him because they liked the character," said Darkko's mentor, Sylvain Grenier.
"I really feel more comfortable doing that persona," said Darkko himself.
Also on the card was Simon Dean (Mike Bucci), who also worked in ECW as Nova. In his former WWE gimmick, he did an open challenge where he beat four guys before getting surprised by midget wrestler Pierre Villeneuve, better known as Farmer Pete.
Dean thought everything was just fantastic on the show. "These fans were great," he added.
Promoter and announcer Marc Blondin was tired but satisfied at the end of the show. "I was really into it tonight and I think we did good," said Blondin. "And we had a very good crowd too!"
But the last word has to go to the mystery partner every fan in Quebec was trying to guess, Al Snow. "It is one of the nicest place to work for on the indy scene," he said about the promotion.
TOW plan to do their next show in March of 2010, although no date has been announced yet.
Here are the complete results:
Patric Laprade has been involved on the Quebec indy scene for eight years, mainly as an announcer and writer. He is currently in the process of writing a book on the history of Quebec wrestling -- www.quebechof.com -- and he's running a French blog on wrestling and MMA -- www.attitudeqc.com -- as well. He can be reached at email@example.com or on his Facebook page.