Hello, everybody! This blog is about my return north of the border for wrestling – at Off The Ropes Studio’s Punk Rock Slobberknocker Vol 2 in Kitchener, Ont. This event was truly off-the-wall and a ton of fun to ref on. Here are the details!
I wanted to add a booking to my wrestling calendar for December as it was blank, and did not want to go two months in between shows without reffing again. This year, I learned that if I want to continue being a decent referee, I need to make sure I still ref regularly.
Off The Ropes Studios
Punk Rock Slobberknocker Vol 2
Being able to hit the road each weekend is no longer possible for me, but refereeing at least one show a month is a reasonable goal for myself. While at the Buffalo Wrestling Academy one Sunday morning, I saw this Off The Ropes show on their event listing.
I asked Robby Vegas about it and said he could get me on, as him, Delsin Alekzander, and Sebastian Braun were booked for it. It was my first road trip with all three of them.
I was pumped when Vegas confirmed that I was on the show. It was about 10 years ago when I last traveled to Canada, also for wrestling, and was excited to head back.When I was a wrestling student, I did ring crew spots for a few promotions and thought I would debut as a ref there. That did not occur. I only went back one other time before this event.
I had never been to Kitchener before, even when I visited Canada more frequently when I was younger. The city is located to the northwest of Hamilton and southwest of Toronto.
Kitchener was originally known as Berlin, but the name was changed after a referendum in 1914 during World War I. The city’s two most prominent sports teams are the KW Titans of the National Basketball League of Canada and the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League.
I am disappointed there is no team called the Kitchener Chefs or Kitchener Cooks. There are several notable athletes from Kitchener, including pro basketball star Jamal Murray, former heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis, and hockey stars Wood Dumart, Jack Gibson, Mark Scheifele, Milt Schmidt, Frank Selke, and Scott Stevens. Christian Cage is also from Kitchener.
The drive up to Kitchener was really smooth. Finding a parking spot in the city was a little tricky before we found a parking garage. The walk to Elements Night Club was a little confusing, too, as there was a street festival occurring in front of it.
A flea market was held at the nightclub before the show. I felt bad only had $2 American on me as there was some cool-looking stuff for sale. There were various punk bands playing during it.
Some other punk and hardcore bands played in between the matches later on, too. There was also a toy drive. I donated a toy zebra and some flash cards.
The referees for the night with me were Austin Spartorico and Colin Hunter. You may know Hunter from Kayfabe News. He is also doing a documentary on being a referee and filming some footage for it at the show called The Ref Didn’t See It.
You can learn more about this referee movie here: TheRefMovie.com
My first assignment was a triple threat between Rider Furlong, Stratos Fear, and Jimmy Spite. All three of them were faces, so there was a lot of tomfoolery along with some fast-paced action.
The ring was 14 feet by 14 feet – a smaller size than I am used to but still stayed out of everyone’s way. Years ago, a Rochester, N.Y. promotion I worked for used one that size, so I was not completely unfamiliar with it.
The match started off with everyone getting involved in a chain of waistlocks, including me! I even went around the back for a reversal at one point. When everyone started to put each other in a headlock, that is when I backed off.
The action spilled to the outside, and with no barriers around the ring, the fans could congregate as close as they wanted. It led to a very intimate feeling with the fans as we also made our entrances through the crowd.
Thus, I acted almost like a security guard at that point. After things returned to the ring, Spite nailed a fisherman driver maneuver on Fear to get the win.
After that, I worked a gauntlet match. Steve Brown started the match against Groff – a student of the Buffalo Wrestling Academy. Groff attended a seminar hosted by Gangrel at Off The Ropes’ school the day before.
He impressed everyone there and earned a spot in this match. The massive Brown made quick work of Groff, then The Cadet, and followed by Cody Sutcliffe. The fourth participant was Megan Morales.
She showed a lot of fighting spirit with her parents at ringside filming her but did not overcome Brown. The final entrant was Braun, who gave Brown a run for his money but fell short like the rest.
My last duty was to help with the coffin for the casket match between The Soultaker and Pretty Ricky Willdy. A bunch of us carried it from the back and onto the stage. Spatorico and I tended to it as the two wrestlers brawled with each other.
Eventually, The Soultaker closed the coffin doors on Willdy and won the match. He was not done, though. After Spatorico raised his hand, The Soultaker grabbed him and gave him a tombstone piledriver right on the stage.
It scared the hell out of me and even more so when he turned my way, leading me to run like hell away. A few wrestlers were behind this short wall in the back of the club and told me to hide around them.
Then one of them yelled, “He’s right here!” which got me to jet again. I made my way back to the stage, where we pulled Willdy out of the coffin and helped Spatorico get to the locker room.
You can see some of the video footage here:
When the next band started, I changed and went next door to and got some shawarma poutine for dinner from Ace Shawarma & Burgers. It took some time, I missed that band and watching the main event, but it was good. After that, we began our venture home.
That was my time at Punk Rock Slobberknocker Vol. 2. I enjoyed working in Canada a lot and hope to return there soon. If any Canadian promotions want to book me, especially Southern Ontario, get in touch with me.
By the way, keep an eye out for The Ref Didn’t See It! It is possible you might see me on it somewhere. The clips posted online for it look super cool.
My next booking is with ESW on January 19 in Niagara Falls, N.Y. Considering that, I wish everyone a happy holidays! See you all next year, and as always, thanks for reading!