For the longest time I’ve wanted to venture into Canadian independents, with the end goal becoming a hardcore fan of them. I still have my “Best of C*4” set to watch, but these two shows, with this being the first one, are my entry point into this extremely fun Ottawa, ON based promotion. Kevin Steen and El Generico have made their names here among other performers. Now, I finally get to check out other Canadian indies sans SMASH and Alpha-1, and I couldn’t be more happy. The first show of the two-for-one deal on Smart Mark (which is excellent), sees Space Monkey challenge for the C*4 Championship, as well as an intriguing match on paper where Mike Bailey takes on underrated Shane Sabre. There’s so much more to take in, as well as a lot of names I need to get used to; let’s get into the show.
C*4 Underground Volume 2
This was an extremely entertaining opener. Thanks to the commentary, I had an idea of who was who, and enjoyed this 6 man. Velvet Jones was the standout, reminding me of Rich Swann in many ways; he’s black and has an afro, and gets extremely goofy but is very athletic. His main man is Jonathon Rukin who is also black and a big hoss, they make an awesome team together. Deeno Benjamin rounded the trio out, who is scruffy built and can go as well. I’d love to see them in King of Trios. They took on The Brotherhood who are a solid unit, and Marc Mercer who was the second standout of the match. He’s like the Canadian Big Damo, except the thick accent and bigger build aren’t exactly there. He worked the big man role and it was well done. Highlights of the match included Velvet Jones doing his Michael Jackson moonwalk elbow but being placed in a Muta Lock by MacLeod. Velvet got chucked onto Jones by Mercer, and speaking of such, he sneakily tagged in whilst Velvet was taunting him with someone on his back. Velvet ties into the entire match, distracting the ref, where Rukin gave Mercer a low-blow and Jones hit a splash for the victory.
This is a hard match to navigate for a review. I don’t want to sound too harsh, but at the same time, the live crowd shit on it at times, and there were many blown spots; yet I still enjoyed the dynamic and some of the offense that was actually hit. Near the end of the match this became a disaster, but for the first few minutes it was worked well. Alexia Nicole was the face in peril, getting beat and placed in unique predicaments like a handstand leg lock in the corner. Her comeback is kickass, yet all the blown spots essentially ruined this match. It all started when there was supposed to be a sunset flip powerbomb but it kind of just fell out of fruition, then it became more evident that the girls didn’t know what they were doing, and lots of cluelessness, awkwardness, and “what do we do now” occurred. Some chick in the crowd brought immense banter, screaming “divas are better,” and talking shit about the match not being good. The cringe moment of the match saw Thibault go up top for an elbow, only to stay there for about 20 seconds as the crowd was abuzz that this was a blatant business exposing type of deal. Thibault hopped off and moved into the next sequences. Eventually, Nicole and Thibault botched a casadora which led to a (I think improv’d) stunner that Nicole hit for the victory. Yikes. I still liked some parts though as I said before.
Whether for the good or for the bad, this match was frankly bizarre. The Fraternity have a humerous gimmick in which they come from an Ivy League school and are “rookies” in a wrestling ring. Adams and Dubois, who’s a solid big man, are both veterans in C*4. We had the weird, like a Joey Ryan crotch grab whilst the crowd chanting “smell your fingers,” plus literal penis work over. That sounds way too R-rated, but all it was was Decker’s dick getting beat up. I’ll stop now. I believe “suck his dick” chants slightly broke out too, which were incredibly awkward. The Fraternity would keep the match moving even though Dubois imposed his physicality and Adams and him traded hot tags. They brawled ringside, they brought it back in, we got solid back and forth until the match really picked up. Dubois diving onto everything with Adams doing so too, Urangai, a moonsault, an ELECTRIC CHAIR BOOT DROP THINGY, a double team buckle bomb only for Dubois to come back and lariat both guys! Everybody did their spots, which ended up sees Decker hit a Burning Hammer variation only for Dubois to powerbomb him and Adams deliver a Dragon Twist for the win. Not bad, and very freaky.
The more matches with the less people in them, it’s easier for me to review a not-so-familiar product for the first time. This was a good match. Best on the show so far. Erdogan is a smaller yet intense dude whilst Michel Von Payton (constantly referred to as MVP) is a big guy in Nike attire who is able to most likely kill you. This match was simple. Erdogan would be in control or be coming back desperatly, or Von Payton would be in complete control or about to be in control. Erdogan used a lot of strike based offense and tons of European uppercuts which looked well timed. Von Payton kicked out of a running knee after already taking tons of offense. I thought that could have been it. A sliding D and an Adam Cole brainbuster on the knee weren’t enough for a huge kickout from Erdogan. Erdogan really sold well, showing how tired and excruciated he was. Another fantastic kickout where Erdogen ate a nasty DDT and stayed in it. Erdogen continued to be punished, slammed, and stomped. Von Payton on second try attempted a Pumphandle Driver but it was countered into a roll-up for the Erdogan victory. I don’t like the finish too much especially after Erdogan was built as a mini-killer, but I can understand how the story went. Underdog takes punishment, stays in, gets a quick victory over giant killer. Good stuff.
This is one of my favorite sprints of the year thus far. Matt Angel has that Speedball Mike Bailey look, without karate gimmick, and can go with the best high fliers in the world if given a chance *wink at Triple H* no doubt. “Suicide Jesus” Justin Turnbull ain’t no slouch either, and Big Magic (Shane Matthews) is a goofy but legitimate big man that’s almost booked like a Brock Lesnar in a triple threat in this match. Matt Angel and Turnbull would either do wonderful acrobatics and the like, assist each other in taking out Big Magic (to not much avail) or be absolutely destroyed by Big Magic. We got double Germans, and we even got … a literal 2 person double German on both of them. My only complaint is that there were some spots that I knew were going to happen because of where people were, but nothing big that affected my enjoyment of the match. Turnbull hit an elbow drop from the second rope onto the cold hard floor, and on to someone of course, that being Angel. A fan shouted “why would you take that?!” Magic hit a Pop Up Powerbomb and locked in a Boston Crab on Angel, but Turnbull came back in with a rolling elbow to Black Magic. A bulldog was hit and he covered Magic but Angel came back in with a FLYING EYE RAKE PIN BREAKUP. Magic pushed Angel into Jesus, but his security threw powder into his own face and not Angel’s. A diving dropkick from Jesus, but Angel hit Lo Mein Pain on “Suicide Jesus” for the win! This is a must-see match, and one that’s worth your money.
This was the match I was most looking forward to on the card. This was a first time ever match. This sure as hell lived up to the hype, and was a fantastic match – up until the finish that is. The match kicked off with “we can see your foreskin chants” but evolved into something special. Sabre left after Bailey out-wrestled him but Sabre came back out from the curtain with a spear. Reverse of the Rhyno SmackDown gore spot. This match was simply a lot of fun to watch, Mike Bailey pulled out all the stops but they still weren’t enough; but his trademark spots were so well paced and seemed au natural. There was great commentary to boot. “Tattoos his foot on the chin,” in the corner. Sabre was intense as part of The GOAT Brigade, but is so much better as a singles competitor, plus he as improved a lot. He sure as heck impressed in his C*4 debut. Sabre sold not getting the 3 count so well, whereas Bailey knew he was in control and stayed in control for a lot of the match. Tons of cutters but not enough. “EAT SHIT NAOMI,” screamed commentary when Bailey busted out the army kicks. Then, I give to you, the point where the match broke off from being incredible…
- Then came the awkward tension after the blown spot…
Yeah…about that. Roll-up combos occurred and Sabre grabbed the rope and nearly stood up for a pin but the ref saw. Bailey spun him around but another cutter was hit. None the less, the finish saw Bailey hit the moonsault falling press out of nowhere for the victory. A solid improv finish, but unfortunately the match took a hit because of such. Still fantastic, and one of my favorite Speedball matches this year.
You may be like me in the sense that you definitely know who Stu is, but can’t identify the others in the match. This was a lot like the last match but with four people. The match would cycle in and out Grayson, and Nyx, as Nyx was sick but still delivered to the best of his abilities. Stu was the highlight of the match, as he’s transitioned into an ‘evil’ character along with fellow teammate Evil Uno. Nawabit was a great small man in the match, taking tons of damage, and providing a lot of athletisim. Oliver on the other hand didn’t get as much offense in but still took a lot of damage, squash match levels of offense. Some great spots like Stu going for a spear but diving through the turnbuckle onto the outside, Germans and Michinoku drivers. A frog splash almost took off the roof as Stu saved the match. We got a spot where Nawabi locked in arm bars on everyone, but Cecil reversed it with a huge sit-out powerbomb. Cecil was taken out with a disaster kick only to come back into the match for the finish. Backbreakers were hit on Strange and Nawabi, but just as Grayson went for the cover, Cecil hit him with a NASTY Dragon Suplex and stole the pin. Brilliant match structure, more specifically finish, and Cecil did this whilst sick as a dog.
Space Monkey in a main event is always the main to go. I knew it was going to be a unique match. A lumberjack and a monkey had a ****+ main event and you can’t tell me nuthin’ bout that! This was an awesome spectacle to watch. These guys threw each other around a lot, and so many bizarre twists and turns occurred that were only fitting as it pertained to a weird show like this. To kick off the match St. Jacques ate a banana courtesy of Monkey only to spit it back in his face! An “I’m keeping our baby” heckler was front row, and I was confused as to who she was talking about. Eventually Space Monkey was thrown through her sign and Mathieu cut a promo on her in French (that’s his gimmick, a Quebec lumberjack) in the middle of the match. There were many cool spots like a damn Falcon Arrow on the apron, a springboard being caught into the Argentine Backbreaker position, so many chucks into the chairs on the outside of the ring, a table tease only for Monkey to hurrincanrana St. Jacques into … you guessed it … more chairs! The end of the match was FANTASTIC. Monkey got to the ropes in an epic crab spot. He delivered two Liger kicks in the corner but on the third it was reversed into a huge piledriver. Monkey was still in it! An Alabama slam was reversed into another convincing near fall with a flipping piledriver. An Alabama slam and Texas Cloverleaf combo finally made Space Monkey give in as St. Jacques retains. Fantastic match, fun all the way through, just the right about of wackiness, and a bunch of weird moments made this such a breeze to take in; much like the whole show. It’s a shame it wasn’t for the title though, as I thought it was.
This show was so much fun. Even though we had some terrible botches which ended some matches on a low note, so many interesting characters, fun-filled dynamics, wacky moves, great commentary, fun booking, and a balance of match quality made this a must-watch show if you’re into fun wrestling and Canadian indies. From a first time viewer’s perspective, this was a lot easier to get into than expected, and even if I already knew some names, I got introduced to dudes I shall now keep my eyes peeled for as I’ll watch any of their work, like Mike Angel. The top of the card completely delivered, and I got everything I wanted out of Underground Two, and more. I highly suggest you purchase this, as it not only is fantastic, but comes along with another show that will be reviewed here on Wrestling With Words in the future. For all your Canadian indie needs, you’re already at the right place, Wrestling With Words.