Smash Wrestling Gold on June 11, 2017
Watch: Smash On-Demand
Phoenix Concert Theatre – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
A little late, but with Smash debuting on Fight Network soon, I figured a review of their newest show was in order..
Smash Gold 2K17 is an annual tournament, with five singles matches, with each competitor who wins being booked in the main event elimination match for a Smash Title shot at Super Showdown, their big August show with Mike Bailey vs Bobby Lashley, among other crazy matches for bragging rights.
Smash Gold Semi-Final Match: Lio Rush vs. Tarik****
Smash put this up for free online, giving you no excuse not to watch this, as it was awesome! Lio Rush looked great, and Tarik looked like a mega star taking it to the “Man of the Hour” in a very even and well-booked match that never felt it was going too long. This is how one should book a top local guy vs big indie star. Tarik comes off as a big deal to a new viewer, and as the cherry on top of the cake, the crowd was hot for this. An excellent opener that got me hyped for the rest of the show. Tarik wins by using the ropes to protect Lio Rush. Such a good match that I ain’t even mad at the finish.
Post-match, Tarik cuts a promo saying he will win Gold 2K17, but Kevin Blackwood appears and attacks him with a steel chair
Smash Gold Semi-Final Match: Brent Banks vs. Kevin Bennett (w/Tank & Muscle)***
Pre-match, Kevin cuts a promo saying he will win & the crowd is not having any of it. Kevin sells it well.
Commentary mentioned that these two have had a rivalry. I didn’t see that in this match, though it was a very solid, clean match with no lulls, that missed that spot that takes the match into second gear. The crowd was good for this match, but this match was a step down from the opener, though still watchable and both men looked good. Kevin Bennett advanced to the finals.
Smash Gold Semi-Final Match: John Greed vs. Sebastian Suave (w/Kingdom James)***1/4
Pre-match James cuts a promo, noting Suave’s sponsors and insulting Smash Wrestling for “censoring” him. Solid promo that had the right mix of seriousness and lightheartedness.
Greed is a hoss and just pummels Suave at the beginning & it is beautiful. Suave does a believable job at taking the hoss of his feat. Similar to the last match, this was clean with no lulls, but had a few more near falls, and a great TKO off the middle rope. I liked that Greed didn’t lose at the first distraction. I feel both men can have a better match than that. I came away very impressed by both men, with great offense and selling by both wrestlers in a believable back and forth affair. Suave advances after some interference from James.
Smash Gold Semi-Final Match: Dalton Castle vs. Mark Haskins***3/4
We get a promo on the tron recapping Haskins’ time in Smash previously, having to relinquish the Smash Title due to injury. I believe Mark Haskins is undefeated in Smash Wrestling.
Dalton & Haskins both feel like stars with their amazing entrances.
This feels like a big match. We get a short brawl on the outside to start, both men show great intensity throughout this, hitting normal moves but making them feel impactful. Haskins hits a great modified leg bar instead of his usual Sharpshooter. To continue the theme of crisp, clean matches with no lulls, both men did a great job countering and hitting unique offense. The match kept escalating, and soon, I couldn’t take my eyes off it. Haskins advances to the finals.
Smash Gold Semi-Final Match: Evil Uno vs. Scotty O'Shea**
Evil Uno was not announced for Gold 2K17, and commentary sells the surprise well. As a whole, commentary has been great all night.
Scotty has a killer hacker gimmick that looks sick. You may recognize Evil Uno back from his Player Uno days. The atmosphere here is great.
This match felt like a prolonged squash for Evil Uno to show off, and for that this was fine. But it never felt like Scotty was going to win, and the crowd was quieter for this than they have been the other matches. Evil Uno picks up the win.
Halal Beefcake (Idris Abraham & Joe Coleman) vs Le Tabarnak De Team(Mathieu St-Jacques & Thomas Dubois)**3/4
Le Tabarnak De Team cut a great pre-tape promo at a bar, insulting Toronto and beating up a barkeeper.
You may recognize Idris Abraham, as he is a member of the GFW roster.
Fun little tag match. TDT have a great heat segment, Idris has a good hot tag, we got some cool moves, such as a moonsault to the outside, and a unique powerbomb to end a fun buffer match which the used tag formula well. TDT picks up the win.
Smash Championship Match: Tyson Dux (c) vs. Mike Rollins vs. Pepper Parks**
This was a solid, if not generic triple threat. I kept waiting to get out of second gear, and I couldn’t really remember any moments of this match by the end of the show, but it told a solid story of the heel Dux weaseling his way into retaining due to his opponents being too focused on each other. But, I was disappointed since I know all three can do far better. It appears Mike & Pepper were a tag team until this match took place. Post-match, Tyson Dux cuts a promo thanking the fans and saying he will defeat the winner of Gold 2K17.
Smash Gold Five-Way Elimination Final Match: Evil Uno vs Mark Haskins vs Sebastian Suave vs Kevin Bennett vs Tarik****
The start of this match has Evil Uni dominating for a bit in a well done segment that didn’t make the other competitors look weak. Soon, Tarik takes control, followed by Haskins, then Bennett in a well done in-and-out sequence. We get a crazy Boston Crab/Camel Cluch combo on two wrestlers at once, and Kevin pisses me off when for some reason he breaks up the hold. Other moments include a suplex on the stage that my back felt, a stage dive, an innovative “I don’t know what that was but it was effective” by Suave, among other big spots. The buildup to the first elimination was well done, with plenty of frantic action and each wrestler getting a chance to look good. Interference cancelling each other out was satisfying. Evil Uno looked like a monster out there before his elimination. The final two being Haskins & Bennett was a excellent face vs. heel ending for this big elimination match. We had someone kick out of a Falcon Arrow, which felt a bit excessive, but that small complaint was quickly negated when Haskins overcame interference to lock in his beautiful Sharpshooter for the win! Ultimately, I consider this a fun, hectic multi-man match that felt different from the rest of the show in a great way.
Post-match, Haskins thanked the fans and made it clear that he was planning on defeating Tyson Dux to regain the title he never lost in a intense promo to close the show.
SMASH GOLD ON JUNE 11, 2017
Great - 8/10
As someone who is a new Smash Wrestling fan, this continues the string of thoroughly satisfying shows with 1-3 matches I'd recommend. While the whole show is watchable, if pressed for time, just watch Lio/Tarik, Haskins/Castle & the main. Also, if you are a new viewer to Smash, the nice thing about them is any show is a good starting point.