Toronto’s Smash Wrestling has come a long way in five years. The company opened it’s doors on October 28, 2012 with Smash Inception, which featured a main event of Matt Cross vs. Canadian indie star Brent Banks. It took another two years for Smash to crown its first Smash Heavyweight Champion, ironically won by Matt Cross, in a Fatal 5-Way Elimination Match at Smash Gold ’14 against Chris Hero (Kassius Ohno), Kevin Steen (Kevin Owens), Josh Alexander and NJPW’s EVIL (Takaaki Watanabe). Since then, Toronto’s Smash Wrestling has exploded into one of Canada’s premier indie promotions – their streaming service is one of Pivotshare‘s top promotions and they’ve secured a weekly TV slot on The Fight Network, airing right after Impact Wrestling. They’re also available on other streaming networks such as Highspots Network as well. As their recent logo switch indicates (which changed the Toronto landmark the CN Tower to the Canadian maple leaf), Smash has quickly become a Canadian promotion rather than simply a local Toronto one – in the past year, they’ve expanded their live events circuit to beyond the 416, with shows in Montreal, London, St. Catharines, Sarnia and beyond.
So on January 21, 2018, at Smash’s Any Given Sunday 6, the two teams of The Well Oiled Machines (Impact star Braxton Sutter & ‘Psycho’ Mike Rollins) will face off against the Canadian powerhouses Tabarnak de Team (Mathieu St-Jacques & Thomas Dubois) to crown the very first Smash Tag Team Champions. In our recent Last Word on Sports Hot Tag 100, ranking the Top 100 Tag Teams of the past year, Well Oiled Machines and Tabernak de Team ranked #100 and #43 respectively.
We talked to Smash Wrestling’s James Kee about the new Smash titles.
LWOPW: So I guess the first question is “Why now?” It’s been 5 years, so many tag teams have come through, why is now the time for Smash to have tag team titles?
James Kee: It’s a multilayered thing I think. But mostly I personally believe that our home grown tag team division is the best and deepest it’s ever been…
With Well Oiled Machines, TDT, Super Smash Brothers, Fight or Flight, Halal Beefcake, Heavy Metal Chaos, The Kevin Bennett Experience and now Kill/Screen even there’s a solid foundation to build on and we believe that they deserve to be recognized with a championship.
As well, with Smash Wrestling successfully expanding into new cities for events, it allows us to use multiple teams and tell stories involving different tag teams…Whereas I think if you’re static in one location…having tag team titles handcuffs you a little bit as you are sort of forced to have the same 1-2 teams every show…just to tell a story surrounding tag titles.
It’s just the right place, right time for the evolution of the division and the company.
Was it tough to pick which two teams would start with the first opportunity? What made you guys decided that WOM and TDT would essentially kickstart the tag division as a championship division?
They’re two teams that have really resonated with our fan base in the last year…to the point where we saw an opportunity to have two very talented teams (and four extremely talented individuals) be the focal point of a story that would really tear at the heartstrings of the audience because they all are so adored.
So it was natural to tell the escalation story between two teams that firmly believed they were the best of the division and there was only one right way to settle this feud between them ..by truly establishing who “the best” is at this point in time (they’re all the best – no bias here!) and that’s by creating a tag team championship
Smash has always found the perfect blend of homegrown Canadian talent first, but with great use of international stars as well. And unlike a lot of promotions, the international guys add to the legacy and stories of Smash, like Johnny Gargano, Matt Cross, Jimmy Havoc, Mark Haskins, etc. Off the top of your head, are there any teams out there now – either Canadian or international – that you’d love to bring in to throw in the mix and see how they fare against the Smash teams?
Oh yeah totally! Top of mind is CCK. I’m a big fan of theirs…I mean, Jimmy Havoc and Mark Haskins have a great thing going right now too…and how good has OvE been on Impact? Always been a fan of theirs as well…
There’s tons of teams out there that I would love to have here and involved in the tag division. But those are the ones that come to the immediate forefront of my mind.
Also announced for the January 21 card at The Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, include the following:
- Smash Tag Team Championship Ladder Match: The Well Oiled Machines vs. Tabernak de Team
- Smash Championship: Tyson Dux (c) vs. ??? (opponent TBA)
- Matt Riddle vs. Brent Banks
- Mark Haskins vs. Kevin Bennett
- Sebastian Sauve (w/ Anthony Kingdom James) vs. Tarik
- Announced to Appear (match opponents TBD): Joe Hendry and Allie