On December 23rd, 2013, I had the humble opportunity to attend a Pop-Up Taqueria event described as an evening of “TACOS, BEER, BOURBON, HIP HOP, & LIVE LUCHADOR WRESTLING”. It was a collaborative effort between Original Stampede Wrestling and Taco or No Taco. DJ Tokyo was booked to kick out some old school funk and hip hop. When Doc Knight of OSW offered to get me into this completely sold out event, I booked off my night job because Christmas had just come early.
For weeks, pictures of the elusive Caballo De Misterioso had been circulating the internet from various locations of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Who is this masked warrior? Would he stand tall at the end of the night in an event that promoted a four match card of Luchadors versus American Wrestlers? Meet Caballo De Misterioso.
I arrived at the Calgary Legion 1 building a few hours before the event, and let myself in. The building itself is beautiful and adorned with relics of the past, and a sense of tradition and battle. Appropriate for a wrestling event, I would argue.
After meeting Doc in person for the first time, I was privy to watching how the show was put on, from the ring being set up, watching guys discuss and plan their matches, and veterans giving younger wrestlers advice. This was a part of the experience that one generally does not have as a fan of grapplers of the squared circle, and I cannot thank Doc enough for the opportunity.
I took some photos of the beautiful banners that hung on the main stage facing the ring, as I awaited my fellow team of media to arrive. Professor Salmon and Zwan of BWF Radio fame (as well as the Prof’s flame), joined me at ringside at we dubbed, “The Spanish Announce Table”.
Suddenly it was eight PM, and the doors opened. DJ Tokyo spun as the venue filled up quickly, and the Taco or No Taco line swelled. We were positioned at a media table and armed with cameras and smart phones. We were told to be prepared to back up immediately due to our proximity to the ring, as not to unintentionally become part of the high flying action.
The venue was packed, the lines for tacos and refreshments were long and popular. The atmosphere became very colorful as many fans came dressed in lucha masks or wrestler get ups. As the clock neared nine, the crowd was ready for the show.
Doc began the event, introducing our guest ring announcer, Dynamite Dan. Dan mirrored the sentiment of Doc, welcoming the crowd to the special event lauding the lucha libre style. And it was time for our first match of the evening.
Squiggy Gonzalez Rapido vs Redneck Cooter Skoal. Cooter heelishly entered first, running down the crowd on the microphone and instantly establishing his redneck tendencies (mp3). This is turn led to a positive reception for Gonzalez. The match itself was quick paced, as Cooter attempted in vain to defeat the larger Rapido, who had a belly as jolly as St. Nick. After a show of strength, Cooter would take control. However, he would miss a top rope attack only to turn the tides as Rapido would defeat the dastardly redneck with a top rope slam. The match was 3:40 in duration.
Scotley Crue vs Jose Suervo. Scotley entered first, tossing Milk Bones at the crowd, and even spitting some from his mouth at them. He then cut a scathing promo. Suervo enters by flipping off the top rope with a taco in hand!
This was awesome! Scotley has none of it, as he attacks, landing a suplex spilling said taco. The two go back and forth briefly, which culminates to Jose hitting a crossbody onto Crue on the outside of the ring. Suervo capitalizes on this attack by returning to the ring, and winning via count out on Scotley Crue in 3:15 minutes.
Scotley is enraged by his loss (mp3), and gets on the microphone and engages in a battle of words with Doc Knight. He demands another match, so a challenge is issued that if Crue can find a tag team partner, he can face Los Blanco Fuego Dragons. Scotley is joined by The Slammer.
Scotley Crue and The Slammer (Crue Sexual Nightmares) vs Los Blanco Fuego Dragons. This was a fantastic bout, and it ran for about 11:30 minutes. The story told was one of solidarity between teams. The Dragons are a unit, whereas Scotley and The Slammer seem to have their own agendas. After much fantastic feats of strength by The Slammer, and acrobatic athleticism by Crue and The Dragons, The Slammer dangled a Dragon with feet upon the top turnbuckle, he slammed him into the mat. Crue immediately tagged himself in, and stole the pin fall victory from his partner. Then like the smarmy heel he is, Crue selfishly implied he was the reason the team won. (mp3) Great match!
CAM!!ikaze vs Andrew Hawk (with the OSW Title on the line). The two both cut promos, and do a fine job. Hawk wants a title shot, but is cowardly trying to dodge tonight’s match, claiming he is ill. The angers Doc Knight, who asks the people to wait for a couple minutes to see if he and Dynamite Dan can come up with a solution. This match is considered null and void. (mp3)
But the solution to this ordeal, I assure you, made me smile. People who know my wrestling tastes would tell you my two favorite things about professional wrestling are high flying and battle royals. Doc announces that we are to have a Battle Royal! Last Man Standing takes the title! (mp3)
The Battle Royal begins with CAM!!ikaze in the ring as Scotley and Cooter run out immediately. Scotley is immediately tossed out, only to be followed shortly after by Cooter!
The action settles down for a little while as the remaining wrestlers splinter off into separate sections of the ring. Slowly but surely, more luchas are sent flying over the ring and are eliminated upon reaching the floor. But not without a valiant effort and numerous teases. Our final four come down to The Slammer, Jose Suervo, Andrew Hawk and CAM!!ikaze. The former two are the next two eliminated leaving us with our originally billed match up of Hawk and ‘Kaze! The two battle for minutes, teasing near eliminations and demonstrating to the now feverish crowd why Original Stampede Wrestling is back! Ultimately, after about 9:02 minutes, Hawk eliminates CAM!!ikaze!
Hawk parades around under the belief that he has won the title, only to be corrected by Doc Knight who refuses to give him the belt. Hawk had his opportunity tonight already to a one on one match, and had backed out. Knight informs Hawk that if he agrees to participate in said match tonight, he will win the title (and get his pay cheque). Hawk reluctantly agrees. (mp3)
CAM!!Kaze vs Andrew Hawk (with the OSW Title on the line). For real this time! This lasts a mere thirty seconds at best, and CAM!!Kaze rolls up Hawk to capture the title! This leaves the crowd happy, full of tacos, cold beer, and a good guy champion. (mp3)
Afterwards, the lucha libre wrestlers come out to celebrate with ‘Kaze to bring the show to a close. Doc thanks the crowd along with Dynamite Dan… and then announces a very special guest. It’s Teddy Hart (with Mr. Money)! Teddy thanks the people of Calgary for their patience and respect of the legacy of the Hart family’s contributions to the city. He notes big things are on their way for 2014 and Original Stampede Wrestling.
All in all, I had a blast. This was one of the hottest tickets in town, and I had the privilege to come down with my team to help cover this event (all of which are true independent wrestling fans). This is something that always needs to be supported, and for this child of the eighties, I am fully endorsing the promotion. STAMPEDE WRESTLING IS BACK!