Pop Off at the Red Papaya presented by Off The Ropes Studio | Jarkaster Journey

Hello everybody. Thank you for taking the time to read my newest blog on my referee journey. It’s been some time since my last post.

My life outside of wrestling was quite busy over these last two months, compounded with some extra duties arriving wrestling-wise for me, which led to this delay.

With that, let’s jump into my time at Off The Ropes Studio’s Pop Off at the Red Papaya that occurred on February 5.

Pop Off at the Red Papaya
Presented by Off The Ropes Studio

[Photo: David Jarka]
This was my second time working for Off The Ropes, my third booking in Canada, and my first in Guelph. Just like my previous trip to Off The Ropes, I headed up there with Robby Vegas and Delsin Alekzander. Dan Macchio also accompanied us.

Guelph is a city in Ontario just west of Toronto. It is home to the University of Guelph, one of the leading veterinary colleges in the world.

Famous people from Guelph include actress Neve Campbell, NHL player Logan Couture, plus NHL general managers George McPhee and Brian MacLellan.

It was another smooth ride through Canada. Finding a parking spot was tricky when we arrived near the venue, though. Red Papaya is a Thai restaurant located in an urban mall called the Old Quebec Street Shoppes.

Eventually, we located a parking garage discreetly attached to it. We were amazed how upscale the mall was when we entered, as it seemed too nice of a place for wrestling.

When we entered Red Papaya, the ring was in the center of the restaurant next to a wall. It was cozy, but it worked. A few people ordered some food and said it was great.

We next mingled around the mall checking out some of the stores. I was on a mission to find a specific Prime drink for my buddy Andrew Mollon, who asked if I could find one with Auston Matthews on it. I didn’t locate any there.

After that, I caught up with Referee Colin Hunter. We sat down together and recorded some stuff that potentially may be included in the referee documentary he is making.

I talked specifically about the “death match” I refereed between R.J. City and Gregory Iron a few years ago, along with a few other things about the referee experience in general. You can watch that match here.

The referees for the night were Hunter, me, and Tango Jones—a referee from Michigan who works across the upper Midwest. Jones and I talked about going to Buffalo Bills games and him attending Michigan Wolverines games at Michigan Stadium.

My first duty was bringing a cake out to the ring as part of a promo to start the show. Part of me was stressed about dropping it but I placed it on the table perfectly fine.

The first match I refereed was a four-way between Aiden Rayne, Jimmy Spite, Rider Furlong and Maxximillian. There was a lot of action outside the ring and a bunch of flying around inside it. Rayne, the hometown hero, picked up the win.

My second match was after intermission – an intergender tag team match of Sabrina Kyle and Vegas versus Revna and Alekzander.

There was an interesting dynamic in this match as Kyle and Vegas were like a rock star team and Revna and Alekzander were a pair of Vikings. Alekzander won the match for the Viking squad with a Gory special type of submission on Vegas.

Pop Off at the Red Papaya
[Photo: Tango Jones]
We began the trek home after the show. On the way, we stopped at two gas stations to look for that Prime drink, but the convenience stores were closed.

It was strange because they were fully lit up like they were open. On the second one, I could see the Auston Matthews Prime through the window in the cooler. Maybe I will snag one the next time I head to Canada.

That’s it for my time at Pop Off! at the Red Papaya. Once again, I tremendously enjoyed working in Canada this winter and hope to return over the summer if possible. If any Southern Ontario promotions are interested in booking me, please feel free to reach out.

My next blog will be about my time at Buffalo Championship Wrestling’s WrestleSunday II in Buffalo. As always, thanks for reading.