Tales from Ringside: Alberta Wrestling in 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, it is time to look back at the matches that stood out to me in Alberta.  Now there is such a diverse list of matches that could be considered Match of the Year quality, I could not possibl rank them.  But here is a look into what Alberta wrestling has to offer.

Canadian Wrestling Coalition – Pride vs. Dylon Stone, August 25


Pride about to put the finishing touches on Dylon Stone

This battle was the culmination of a six-month feud, with Pride capturing the Alberta Championship over his former best friend and tag team partner.  This match had a big fight feel to it, and it delivered.  It resulted in over 25 minutes of pure action, pure emotion, and pure excitement.  The packed house at Festival Hall in Red Deer got to see a technical masterpiece, culminating with Pride catching Stone with a quick pin out of an attempted unset flip to retain his championship and had the crowd on its feet for both competitors.

Lakeland Pro Wrestling – Wrecking Crew (Shaun Martens and Dean Richtor) vs. Son of Irish and Diablo, October 13


In the inaugural show in Bonnyville, the CWC tag team champions defended their titles in an open challenge.  Enter one of the youngest wrestlers in Alberta, known as Son of Irish, and a man making his return to wrestling, Diablo.  If you want to see a contrast in styles, you found it in this match. Diablo and SOI were the proverbial high-flyers, taking on the mechanics in Martens and Richtor.  Despite SOI hitting a perfect precision 450 splash, it was the champions isolating Diablo, and hitting their Car Wreck finisher and retaining their titles.

Monster Pro Wrestling – Shaun Martens vs. Chris Perish, September 1


Headline Shaun Martens taking control in his match against

“The Headline” Shaun Martens placed a bullseye on his back when he turned his back on his #tagSTRUGGLE partners Chris Perish and Meniac to join with the man known as Wrath.  In July, Wrath took out Meniac with a series of powerbombs, and Martens hit a vicious piledriver. Thus resulting in an incensed Chris Perish. These two clashed in September at the show appropriately named Face Off.  You could feel the venom in their veins as they went at it with reckless abandon for the better part of twenty minutes.  Unfortunately, Wrath decided to interfere, resulting in a disqualification and not giving the fans a true winner in this feud.  Chris Perish gets another shot for revenge in January, this time with the Monster Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Championship on the line.

Prairie Wrestling Alliance – Michael Richard Blais vs. Jay Lethal, June 23

The reigning Ring of Honor World Champion, Jay Lethal, returned to PWA challenging the current co-holder of the PWA Heavyweight Championship, Michael Richard Blais.  Now to many, Blais is the standard-bearer for the top level of competition in Alberta.  The term “God’s Gift to Wrestling” is not just a gimmick, it’s a way of life for Blais.  These two went to battle in a high energy affair.  It felt like playing WWE 2k19 with both competitors set to maximum difficulty.  Finishers left, right and centre.  Each competitor giving the other their best.  At the end of this brutal contest, Lethal hits the Lethal Injection for a 1-2-3 and becomes the New PWA Champion.  A tremendous match, immediately followed by chaos with Sheik Akbar Shabaz cashing in his Guaranteed Title Shot Contract and winning the title off Lethal.  Complete anarchy had the crowd going nuts.

Pure Power Wrestling – Jumping Josh vs. Travis Copeland vs. Bryn Watts, September 29


Pure Power Wrestling’s 100th Show was highlighted by this triple threat match for the PPW Cruiserweight Championship.  The current champion Jumping Josh entered the match with criticism, claiming that he lucked his way to the title.  The former champion, Copeland was dying to kill two birds with one stone. By getting his title back and getting rid of the thorn in his side in Cowboy Bryn Watts.  In addition, Watts was trying to gain the title he feels he deserves.  This match had a big match feel right off the get go, with Josh getting hit with an RKO Out of Nowhere, and the action did not stop from there.  In the end, Travis Copeland hits his 420 frog splash on Jumping Josh. Ever opportunistic, Bryn Watts knocks Copeland out of the ring and covers Josh to become the new PPW Cruiserweight Champion.

Real Canadian Wrestling – Heavy Metal vs. Son of Irish, November 10

While many talk about the Son of Irish vs. Andrew Hawks match from December as a top match for SOI, this match was the one that impressed me the most. This match elevated Son of Irish to another level.  After recently moving from Monster Pro Wrestling, Son of Irish was looking to make his name known to the Real Canadian Wrestling fans.  In a bold move by the kid, he took on the former RCW Champion Heavy Metal.  Metal has made short work of many small competitors, with a level of ease and cockiness of a man who held the top title for 552 days. However, SOI pulled out every trick in his arsenal, including diving off the top ledge of the building.  In the end, Metal had to work for it, but eventually pulled out the victory, in front of Son of Irish’s injured father, The Irishman.  Even in defeat, Son of Irish proved that he could hang with the best RCW has to offer.

NEXT TIME… Rising up in a Blais of Glory!!!