This Sunday September 17, 2017, Toronto’s Smash Wrestling – not to be confused with former WWE Superstar Tajiri‘s short lived promotion in Japan, Smash, that ran from 2010 through 2012 – will hold its 100th show, after debuting in 2012. Founded by 10-year Canadian indie wrestler Sebastian Suave, a veteran from such Canadian indies as C4 in Ottawa, Border City Wrestling (BCW) in Windsor and Oshawa’s Great Canadian Wrestling (GCW), who also made appearances with ROH, CZW and CHIKARA, and co-produced with frontman and PR guy James Kee and producer Alan Taylor, Smash has been nicknamed “PWG North” for it’s strong line-up of top US indie wrestlers mixed with UK and other internationals, but continue to work with a nucleus of some of Canada’s best emerging indie stars.
They’re list of former Champions runs from inaugural champion Matt Cross (aka Son of Havoc on Lucha Underground), Motor City Machine Guns‘ Alex Shelley, NXT Superstar Johnny Gargano and PROGRESS‘ Mark Haskins. It’s currently held by Canadian indie icon Tyson Dux, a 20-year veteran who represented Canada in last year’s WWE Cruiserweight Classic. But for their hundredth show this Sunday night, they’ve got a special day planned to celebrate reaching the century mark. And it actually starts in the early afternoon.
Before you can hit 100 shows, you first have to get through show #99, and Smash is doing just that only hours earlier in the day. At 3pm, they’re hosting From The Ground Up, a special event showcasing several emerging young Canadian and US indie wrestlers from various promotions, all getting showcase match-ups (and in some cases, tryouts for potential roster spots on upcoming Smash shows). Xandra Bale is no stranger to fans of women’s indie wrestling – she’s appeared with SHIMMER, SHINE, WSU and AIW – and her opponent, Cincinnati’s Samantha Heights has worked with SHIMMER, AIW and Queens of Combat. Kobe Durst is a mainstay in Ethan Page’s Alpha-1 promotion in Hamilton, Ontario, but he’s also worked with EVOLVE, AIW, and Michael Elgin’s Glory Pro near Chicago. His opponent, Matt Angel, is coming in representing North Shore Pro Wrestling from Quebec. Toronto’s Young Myles is a regular with T.O.’s Superkick’D and he’s facing off against Kevin Blanchard. In tag team action, The Kevin Bennett Experience – well, Bennett’s entourage of The Muscle and Big Tank – will face off against Lutte NCW‘s #TheBest, featuring Logan Reid and Spunk. In a potential match of the night, the bizarre Space Monkey – who won CHIKARA’s Young Lions Cup earlier this year – will face off against one of Canada’s top aerialists in Aidan Prince, a regular with Windsor’s BCW and trained at the Can-Am Wrestling School by Scott D’Amore and Johnny Devine (same school that produced Bobby Roode, KUSHIDA, Eric Young, Rosemary and Moose). Buffalo’s Kevin Blackwood, who also wrestles with hometown Empire State Wrestling (ESW), has recently become a regular with Smash and is growing a fan base quickly, and he’s taking on Carter Mason, whose representing Lucha In The 6, another Toronto promotion. A lot of great young talent to warm up the crowd for the secret 100th show just a few hours later.
Yes, that’s right. A secret show.
They have released NO details on who will be appearing at their special 100th show. It’s a complete mystery to what the card will be. We don’t even know one competitor let alone what any pairings may be. But there’s plenty of speculation – some with legs and some that may fall in the wishful thinking category. Here’s what we’ve come up with (NOTE: This is purely speculation based on other area shows and past Smash cards. We have no inside information on if any of the names listed will in fact be appearing):
- The Regulars: Smash has made a strong effort on building the promotion around a solid core of regional and Canadian indie wrestlers as their meat. Smash Champion Tyson Dux will probably be there in some capacity, most likely an impromptu title defence. Other Smash regulars who are likely include Brent Banks (who had a sensational match against Mike “Speedball” Bailey with WCPW this summer in the Canadian Qualifiers for the WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup), Tarik, Kevin Bennett, “Hacker” Scotty O’Shea and Sebastian Suave himself.
- Matt Cross. It would be only fitting if Smash’s inaugural Champion made an appearance and he’s no stranger to return visits. He’s been a regular since they opened the doors in 2012 and worked most of their shows until a major injury late last year. He returned in May and again in July, so he’s one of the more probably surprises.
- Dalton Castle. Castle first appeared for Smash back in 2015 and upped his Smash game this year, first appearing at this summer’s Gold tournament to crown a new #1 contender to Dux and then just this past Thursday in nearby London, Ontario. He’s in the area working for Smash, so a surprise appearance isn’t out of the question.
- Rosemary & Allie. These two practically grew up in Smash the past five years, when they both still known as Courtney Rush and Cherry Bomb. They’re epic feuds in Smash helped shape both of their careers and they’ve returned many times since they both signed with GFW. Now that Smash is on the Fight Network (owned by GFW’s owners, Anthem Sports & Entertainment), they have carte blanche to use GFW wrestlers for their new show.
- CHIKARA Invasion. Smash also has a history with cult fave promotion CHIKARA, staging a Smash vs. CHIKARA event last summer. Just so happens, several CHIKARA wrestlers are at another event in Toronto on the same night. Ophidian The Cobra, Oleg The Usurper and Hermit Crab could easily make the cross town traffic and appear at both shows.
- Jimmy Havoc. Havoc has become somewhat of a thorn in the side of the Smash Wrestling roster the past year, even filling in on only days notice to head to Canada from the UK as a last minute replacement. He’s earned the respect of the Smash fanbase for his rough and tumble style, and has become an instant staple in Smash’s history.
- Joey Ryan. Smash Wrestling is Joey Ryan’s home in the Great White North, and he just had a cancellation this weekend, so he’s free. Ryan came to Smash last year on days notice and ended up facing WCPW World Champion Joe Hendry in a classic dream match-up.
- Johnny Gargano & Candice LeRae. Bound to be NXT’s next power couple, Gargano has the weekend off for his honeymoon with his real life bride, LeRae. Gargano is the longest reigning Smash Champion in history, with a reign of 427 days. He pretty much dropped it when he signed full time with WWE after a part-time run in NXT. Candice LeRae is also no stranger to Smash, appearing many times. Could part of their honeymoon be heading back to Smash on Sunday night? While Candice could wrestle, Johnny Wrestling’s WWE contract probably wouldn’t allow it, but he could still hang out. After all, Ruby Riot was spotted chilling at a recent Smash show, as she’s dating Smash wrestler (and Every Time I Die guitarist) Andy Williams, and AJ Styles recently appeared for NWA Wildside’s reunion show with his US Championship. You can’t discuss Smash’s last 100 shows – and history – with including Johnny Gargano.
- The Young Bucks. The Young Bucks are in the Ottawa/Quebec area this weekend, with a show in Ottawa on Sunday night with By Town Wrestling. But one of the promoters scammed everyone, the promotion shut down and now the Bucks have no Canadian date on Sunday. It’s only days notice, but when the Young Bucks are available and nearby, you kinda can’t say no, right?
For both shows, Smash is also returning to another part of it’s history. Earlier this year, demand for Smash tickets forced them to move to bigger venues, like the Phoenix Concert Theatre, but for these back to back shows, they’re returning to their long time haunt, the Franklin Horner Community Centre. It’s a small and sweaty hall that drips blood, sweat and tears from its walls. But that’s how we love it. After all, THIS IS SMASH.
There are still limited tickets available (including $35 combo tickets for General Admission for BOTH shows) at their website.
Smash Wrestling: From The Ground Up, 2pm Door, 3pm Bell Time
Smash Wrestling: The Secret 100th Show, 5pm Door, 6pm Bell Time
Franklin Horner Community Centre, 432 Horner Ave., Etobicoke, Ontario (Toronto)