After six long months, Smash Wrestling is finally returning to their ancestral home of Toronto with Any Given Sunday 8. In mid-August, Smash promoted or co-promoted a staggering seven shows over a five day period in Toronto. Since then, they have been putting on exciting and entertaining cards, but those have taken in place in their home away from home of London, Ontario, as well as debuting in other outposts in southwestern Ontario.
But Smash was founded in The Centre of the (Canadian) Universe, and hosting a new show there was long overdue. So on Sunday, February 23rd they will present the eighth edition of Any Given Sunday, one of their foundational annual events. The show will take place at a venue Smash has visited a few times before, The Rec Room. This huge entertainment venue in the heart of the city, combined with a packed Smash card, should be enticing to wrestling fans and offer a fantastic atmosphere.
In recent months Smash shows have been built around the core talent of the promotion, including The Pillars. And a wave of new, up and coming performers. This card is no different, as it will offer a mix of both. The audience in attendance will be more familiar with some performers than others, but will no doubt be entertained. What can fans expect in Smash’s long-awaited return to the home of the NBA Champions? Here is Pro Wrestling Post’s preview of Smash Wrestling’s Any Given Sunday 8.
Kevin Bennett (c) vs. Tyson Dux vs. Carter Mason
The ascendant Mason recently claimed a victory over his heated rival and Smash Wrestling Pillar, the matricidal Tyson Dux. After that brutal battle, ‘The King of the North’ now seeks to become the King of the Mountain in Smash Wrestling. To achieve that he will have to defeat a man who, by hook or by crook has managed to retain the Smash men’s title for almost nine months. Bennett has already had seven successful title defenses, but ‘The Remix of Professional Wrestling’ will have his hands full on this night.
That being said, the challenger will have to have eyes in the back of his head as the champion has frequently benefitted from outside interference from a variety of sources, and that has been a key factor in his retention of the title for so long. Fans can take it as a given that Bennett will resort to underhanded means during this match, and that others will intervene on his behalf. The hard-hitting Mason is very worthy of this opportunity and would make for a great standard-bearer for Smash, but it remains to be seen if he will have a fair opportunity to succeed.
Tarik vs. Mike Bailey
Much to Tarik’s chagrin, there will be no title on the line in this bout. But that aside, this promises to be an outstanding match that is very likely to steal the show. Tarik is, of course, a former Smash champion, having lost the title last summer to the aforementioned Bennett after a virtual army interfered on behalf of ‘The Remix.’ Tarik has yet to receive an opportunity to reclaim the belt, but in the meantime, he is faced with a stout opponent in Bailey.
As a member of The Pillars of Smash, Tarik has been with the promotion from the beginning. However, the man nicknamed ‘Speedball’ deserves an honorable mention as he has himself appeared on many Smash shows and has been a standout every time. Tarik is stiff and hard-hitting, but Bailey is an impressive striker himself and combines that with an impressive aerial assault. This promises to be an exceptional display of pro wrestling ability and acumen, and the winner may be very well positioned to challenge the winner of the Smash men’s title match.
Smash Women’s Championship
Rosemary (c) vs. Veda Scott
The inaugural Smash women’s champion also known as the Demon Assassin must be a daunting adversary for challengers. Nonetheless, Scott, who like Bailey has been a frequent participant in Smash’s shows, is stepping up to try to become the second woman to hold the belt. Rosemary has been successful all over the world and on national stages and is jetting into Toronto in order to prove she is still dominant in Smash’s distaff division.
Over the course of this battle, fans can expect the champion to benefit from fear and intimidation, while the challenger, who is no stranger to underhanded tactics, will need all of them if she is going to be successful. Smash has a long history of presenting quality women’s wrestling, and these two have been keys to that. The introduction of the women’s title was long overdue, and now that it is in play the Smash audience can expect spirited battles for it.
Psycho Mike vs. Jody Threat
Believe me, this is no ordinary intergender match. Psycho Mike’s matches, whether they are against a heated rival like The Blade, a unique competitor like Orange Cassidy or even against his own conscience, are always, shall we say, unique. His unorthodox approach, to wrestling and life, must be discombobulating to his opponents, even as they are tremendously entertaining to those in attendance. On the other hand, Jody Threat, who has been extremely busy on the independent circuit making a name for herself all over North America, is a fierce, hard-hitting competitor.
She has many intergender bouts under her belt, and make no mistake she can go toe to toe with any male opponent when it comes to striking and power moves. It remains to be sent how Psycho Mike handles being the recipient of a brutal assault from a female opponent. It may cause him to be even more unhinged than usual. This match should have everyone in attendance laughing, cringing and cheering in equal measure.
Bear Country vs. Maine State Posse
Both of these teams have been making names for themselves on the independent circuit over the last four years and so, and on this (given) Sunday they will both make their Smash debuts against one another. There are notable similarities and striking differences between these two teams. They are similar in that each team formed after the members had experienced middling success and notoriety as a singles performer. They have performed in many of the same independent promotions, most notably Beyond Wrestling, and have also both been tag champions in Chaotic Wrestling.
But in terms of in-ring style they are very different. Bear Bronson and Bear Beefcake are both big men who rely on physicality and brutality. The power game is their stock in trade. Meanwhile, DangerKid and Aiden Aggro are smaller competitors who possess speed and aerial ability. But though they may not want to get in an out and out brawl with the Bears, they have always shown a willingness to do so. This match will provide a spotlight on two teams that Smash fans could be seeing more of, and after the bout is done they will no doubt be keen to do so at Any Given Sunday 8.
Bae Watch vs. The Philly & Marino Experience
This is also a meeting of two young, up and coming teams at Any Given Sunday 8. However, both pairings have appeared on Smash show before. With the company’s tag division clearly growing, this will present an opportunity for both teams to stand out in the eyes of the fans. ‘Lifeguard’ Joshua Pine and Kyle Boone, who comprise Bae Watch, may not look old enough to shave, but make no mistake, these young men are looking to establish themselves in Smash’s tag division despite joining forces fairly recently. Boone in face just graduated from Tyson Dux’s Wrestling Factor not too long ago.
The team of Philly Collins and Marino Tenaglia had their genesis several years ago, and are thus the much more experienced pair. In fact they are currently the reigning tag champs in Absolute Intense Wrestling out of Cleveland. While Smash’s tag belts are not being defended on this card (perhaps the champions, Halal Beefcake, will be too busy trying to assist Kevin Bennett in retaining his singles belt), fans in attendance will have the opportunity in these to bouts to see future challengers for the championships.
TJ Crawford vs. Sebastian Suave vs. John Greed
Since the demise of their tag team The Overdogs a few years ago, Sebastian Suave and Greed have had several heated confrontations. Both have been with Smash from the beginning. And both have undergone dramatic personality changes that will have the crowd jeering both men during this match. If their past battles are any indication there will be hard-hitting and underhanded tactics in equal measure. With perhaps even more of the latter given this is a triple threat contest. Speaking of that, the addition of young TJ Crawford will add a different dynamic to the contest, and perhaps as his two opponents are preoccupied with renewing hostilities he will be able to sneak in and get an upset victory. It is certainly possible as anything can happen on Any Given Sunday 8!
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