Preview: Smash Wrestling – The Northern (6/1/19 & 6/2/19)

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The Northern
Photo: Smash

Smash Wrestling is one of Canada’s premier promotions, based out of Toronto and running shows around Southern Ontario and Quebec. For years they ran a tournament called GOLD, sort of like Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG)‘s Battle of Los Angeles but north of the border, featuring top international talent competing against many of Smash’s regular combatants. Last year, the tournament was re-branded as The Northern, and this weekend it returns for another two-night event full of lots of action! Who will join the list of past winners like Matt Cross (GOLD 2014), Candice LeRae (GOLD 2015), Tarik (GOLD 2016), Mark Haskins (GOLD 2017) and Tyson Dux (The Northern 2018)?

The Northern: Night One – First Round Match-Ups

LuFisto vs Sebastian Suave

Photo: Smash

LuFisto makes her Smash Wrestling return as part of The Northern as part of her farewell tour, following her announcement earlier this year she would be retiring at year’s end. But first she’s going to conquer the brackets and win the tournament. Her quest begins with one of The Pillars of Smash Wrestling in “The Endorsement” Sebastian Suave. A craft veteran of the Canadian indie scene, Suave may have his hands full with a true Canadian and hardcore legend.

Evil UNO vs Anthony Greene

Photo: Smash

Evil Uno (along with tag partner Stu Grayson) shocked the world last Saturday when Super Smash Brothers arrived in All Elite Wrestling (AEW) at Double or Nothing and clearing the ring of Best Friends and Angelico & Jack Evans. But before they join AEW’s tag team division outright, they have unfinished business in Smash. Uno will be facing another rising star from the US indies in Anthony Greene, a former Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) World Heavyweight Champion and regular with Beyond Wrestling, EVOLVE and others.

Mike “Speedball” Bailey vs John Greed

Photo: Smash

Mike “Speedball” Bailey remains one of Canada’s greatest indie superstars, and the athletic phenom has spent much of the last year in Europe and Japan. He’s back home in Canada to enter The Northern and couldn’t be facing a more different style of opponent. John Greed is one of Canada’s best kept secrets, an explosive big man who has deceptive agility to go with his power. If Greed can ground Bailey, he has a good shot at advancing, as he’s been on a tear with Smash of late.

Josh Briggs vs Stu Grayson

Photo: Smash

Speaking of Super Smash Brothers, Stu Grayson is also entered into this year’s Northern tournament, and the more athletic of the two has his own big challenge, as he faces another rising star in the US indies in Josh Briggs. A regular with Chaotic Wrestling in Massachusetts, he’s also a regular with Beyond Wrestling, EVOLVE, and has even worked some matches for Ring of Honor. At 6’8″, Briggs is one of the best young big men in the indies today.

Carter Mason vs Tyson Dux

Photo: Smash

“The King of the North” Carter Mason is a 13-year veteran of the Canadian indies who spent some of his early years in IWA Mid South and Germany’s Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw). Not seeking to lay claim to Smash Wrestling, Mason has a tough challenge in the opening round, as he takes on Tyson Dux. Dux is a 20+ year veteran of the game, having worked for IMPACT, ROH, and WWE (as part of the Cruiserweight Classic) and is the longest reigning Smash Champion in history.

Jason Kincaid vs Jim Stryder

Photo: Smash

Jason Kincaid is a 16-year pro from West Virginia who has traveled the world honing his craft, regularly working for EVOLVE, Japan’s DDT Pro, and more, before making his Smash debut last year. On the other hand, Jim Stryder is an emerging talent on the Canadian indies and a student of Tyson Dux. He started training with Dux in 2017, and has become one of the new faces of Smash’s next guard of stars, and a big win over Kincaid would be a great achievement in his career.

Mike Rollins vs ???

Photo: Smash

“Psycho” Mike Rollins has been the heart and soul of Smash for years now and of late has been battling against conscience as well as his former Smash Tag Team Champion partner Pepper Parks (aka “The Blade” in the tag team Butcher & The Blade). Rollins was supposed to face Parks in the opening round, but after Rollins attacked him in recent days, Parks has withdrawn from the tournament, meaning Rollins will be facing a mystery opponent in the opening round. Could The Blade be sending The Butcher (Andy Williams) to exact revenge?

Ultimo Dragon vs Matt Cross

Photo: Smash

Easily the most anticipated match of the opening round, sees legendary Japanese luchadore Ultimo Dragon making his Smash Wrestling debut. The former 2x WCW Cruiserweight and 2x WCW Television Champion is a treasure trove of championships – he’s also a former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, 2x All Japan Junior Heavyweight Champion, J-Crown Winner, and 5x Universal Wrestling Association (UWA) World Middleweight Champion in Mexico. He’s facing off against the man who won the first GOLD tournament to be crowned the inaugural Smash Champion in Matt Cross, who has been a pioneer in the US indie circuit for years. Also known as Son of Havoc on Lucha Underground, Cross and Ultimo Dragon are headed for a classic.

The Northern: Night 2 – Semi-Finals & Title Matches

Photo: Smash

Smash Championship challenger Kevin Bennett (one of the Buffalo Boys) is on double duty on Night 2. Not only is he facing Tarik for the title, but he’s using his other passion – as a rap artist – to challenge legendary Canadian hip-hop star Choclair to a rap battle.

Smash Tag Team Championship: Halal Beefcake (Idris Abraham & Joe Coleman) vs. Lotus (Gavin Quinn & Juntai)

Photo: Smash

The Smash Tag Team titles are on the line on Night 2, as Halal Beefcake puts their belts on the line against a team of strikers from Detroit called Lotus. The tandem of Gavin Quinn & Juntai are the reigning tag team champions from Detroit’s Xtreme Intense Championship Wrestling (XICW) and Pro Wrestling Allstars of Detroit, and on Sunday, will be looking to add some Canadian gold around their waists as well.

Smash Championship: Tarik (c) vs Kevin Bennett

Photo: Smash

Tarik has been one of the great success stories of Smash Wrestling and has emerged from a top prospect to a top heel to now the face of Smash Wrestling as the Smash Champion. One of the best, all rounded indie stars in Canada, Tarik puts his title on the line against the nefarious Kevin Bennett on Sunday night, as Bennett looks to take control of Smash Wrestling.

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