Match Point is an ongoing series at Last Word on Pro Wrestling, where we look at intriguing matchups in indie wrestling and beyond. They may be dream matches, first-time matchups, or hotly anticipated rematches. Today’s edition features a match up from Toronto’s Smash Wrestling, whose next event is Sunday April 15, 2018’s It’s All Fun And Games event. In a first time match up, it’s Matt Riddle vs Teddy Hart.
Toronto’s Smash Wrestling has long made a name for itself for incorporating the top Canadian indie stars against some of the top international stars from around the world. On Sunday April 15 at It’s All Fun And Games (Until Someone Gets Hurt), that trend continues, but with a huge first time matchup. Canadian indie legend Teddy Hart (of the famed Hart Family) makes his Smash Wrestling debut, facing international megastar 2x PROGRESS Atlas Champion, WWN Champion and current PWG World Tag Team Champion Matt Riddle. But don’t let Riddle’s UFC experience fool you – Hart is a world class instigator and has taken down men twice as big. It’s like a wrestling version of the classic Rudyard Kipling tale of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, a mongoose who takes down a far bigger and more lethal cobra. Riddle is a textbook in wrestling technique – but Teddy Hart is as loose as cannon as you can get, and rules simply don’t exist in his world.
Following a six year, 13 fight MMA career, that saw him debut on UFC Ultimate Fighter and go 7-3 in UFC competition (he would have been 9-3 if he didn’t have two wins overturned due to testing positive for marijuana). Following his second failed drug test, Riddle was released from the UFC. He retired from MMA in 2014 and began training for a career in professional wrestling. He trained at Larry Sharpe‘s legendary Monster Factory in New Jersey, debuting with their in-house promotion, Monster Factory Pro Wrestling (MFPW), in February of 2015. By October, he was working as a regular with EVOLVE, first feuding with and then joining the faction Catch Point (lead by Drew Gulak and featuring TJP, “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams, and Fred Yehi). Since then he’s become one of the indie circuit’s hottest commodities, combining comedic timing with a killer wrestling style. He’s worked for such top promotions as PROGRESS, PWG, Germany’s wXw, Beyond, CHIKARA, RevPro and more, making his Smash Wrestling debut this past December at No Change My Heart Will Fear against another international Canadian star, Mike “Speedball” Bailey.
What Riddle may make up in size and skill, 38-year old Teddy Hart makes up in experience. He’s a 23-year ring veteran, who began wrestling at the age of 15. One of the last graduates of the legendary Hart Dungeon, he trained alongside his cousins Natalya and Davey Boy Smith Jr., as well as family friend Tyson Kidd and Hart student Jack Evans. At 18, he was the youngest signee in the history of the WWE, but his erratic behaviour cost him WWE opportunities twice. He’s competed for Ring of Honor and Jersey Pro Wrestling (JPW), and was a regular in Mexico’s CMLL, where he was a member of Perro Aguayo Jr.‘s Los Perros del Mal faction. His troubles finally caught up with him and he stepped back from the wrestling world for a while, but he’s spent the couple years rebuilding his legacy and now he’s never been hotter. One of the most innovative aerialists of the last generation and a Hart submission specialist, Hart has all the tools to steal any show he’s a part of.
Matt Riddle vs Teddy Hart will be special simply because it’s the first time meeting of these two extreme wrestling talents. Both are known for giving it their all and pushing expectations and boundaries, which could lead to an explosive match up of stunningly painful submissions, some over the top suplexes, and some grimacing aerial spots. It’s the kind of match that doesn’t matter who wins, because ultimately it’s the fans who won the most.
Smash Wrestling: It’s All Fun And Games (Until Someone Gets Hurt) is Sunday April 15, 2018 at The Rec Room, Toronto, ON. There are still tickets available here.