Mike Reviews: SMASH Wrestling “CANUSA Classic 2014”

Hello You!

Women’s wrestling (Most commonly of the Japanese variety) is quite popular on this here Blog, so this show seemed apropos as it features nothing but women’s matches. This was one of many shows that I bought from Smart Mark Video On Demand a while back during a splurge and I’ve never actually had a chance to watch it. I can only assume that I thought the main event looked intriguing and that’s why I gave it a go.

SMASH Wrestling is a company based out of Toronto that quite a few big indie names like Johnny Gargano have passed through over the years. Seeing as it’s based in Canada, it makes sense that they’d have a Canada Vs USA styled competition, as that’s always easy heat. This show is all women’s matches but SMASH does also have men wrestling for it as well. It’s nice they have a whole show for just the women though. I kind of wish WWE would bring back that concept as I enjoyed the Evolution Pay-Per-View.

The event is emanating from Mississauga, Ontario on the 21st of September 2014

Calling the action are Scott Hunter, Brad Myers and Dina Marneris

We open up with clips from the previous month’s show, where Evil Americans Cherry Bomb and Kimber Lee are chased from the ring by the Canadians. Cherry and Lee bail, but not before revealing that Team USA’s captain in CANUSA will be Amazing Kong.

Show Intro

Opening Match
Xandra Bale (Canada) Vs Kimber Lee (USA)

The commentators inform us that Canada lost last year, so tonight is a chance for them to redeem themselves. Hey, I’m a sucker for a good redemption storyline so that works for me. Bale is not someone I’m familiar with but she has worked in most of the major women’s promotions in North America such as SHIMMER. Kimber Lee is a former CHIKARA Grand Champion and was also in WWE for a couple of years as Abby Laith, but ended up getting released whilst still in NXT.

Lee decides to wear her winner’s medal from last year, just to rile up the crowd that extra bit more. We get some chain wrestling to start, which ends with Lee slapping Bale and turning it into a trading of strikes. Bale gets a tilt a whirl head scissors to send Lee outside and then follows up with a slow motion suicide dive. That gets Bale two back inside the ring, but Lee pulls a jaw breaker out to nowhere to gain control and then starts working Bale over with some knife edge chops.

Bale fights back with some of her own, but gets promptly clotheslined down to bring that little rally to an end. Lee works over Bale some more, doing the usual heel antics of raking her eyes over the ropes, but Bale pulls out a desperation satellite DDT for two. Lee goes to the eyes to regain control once again, but gets caught with an inside cradle attempt. Both women fight over that and roll around the ring for a double down in a cute spot. More chops are traded, with some of them being pretty darn stiff, and Lee eventually wins the battle and hangs Bale in the Tree of Woe.

Bale fights Lee off from there however and then gets a bulldog out of corner for another double down. Both women get up to their feet and start trading kicks this time, which don’t look quite as good as the chops did, and Lee ends up getting a big release German Suplex for two. That looked great. Bale ducks a kick and gets a spinning Fisherwoman’s Suplex, but that brings out Cherry Bomb (Lee’s partner) and she pulls referee Jimmy Korderas out of the ring. Whilst they argue, Kimber spikes Bale with a big piledriver and that’s enough for the win.

WINNER: KIMBER LEE
RATING: **1/2
SCORE: USA 1 – 0 CANADA

This wasn’t a bad opener at all, with some decent action. Lee was clearly a step ahead of Bale, who was a bit sloppy in parts and didn’t have the same crispness in her strikes, but overall it was a fun way to open the show and it made me a bit disappointed that WWE didn’t persevere with Lee as she wouldn’t struggle to keep up with the NXT women at all based off this.

Second Match
Jewells Malone (Canada) Vs Veda Scott (USA)

Malone is “The Hardcore Princess” and has worked for Women Super Uncensored in the USA before. I must admit that I’m not familiar with her. Scott has worked for companies such as Ring of Honour and SHIMMER, and I believe was recently over wrestling in the UK. The commentators say that Scott got USA off the mark in last year’s tournament and that she’ll be looking to put them 2-0 up this time. Scott tries to get a USA chant going before the match starts, and that goes about as well as you’d expect.

Scott cheap shots on a handshake to start with a high kick and that gets her a two. Malone replies with a spinning head scissors and then gets a bulldog for a two of her own. Scott bails outside following that to regroup, but Malone follows her out. Scott flees back inside the ring and then drop toe holds Malone onto the ropes before getting her own bulldog for two. Malone tries fighting back, but whatever move she goes for ends up getting countered into a DDT from Scott for two.

Scott works over Malone for a bit, getting a clothesline off the second rope but then pulling Malone up when she has her pinned and goes to a modified arm bar instead. Malone fights out of that and transitions into the Canadian Maple Leaf, but Scott kicks her off rather easily and then takes her out onto the apron for a move of some kind. Malone fights her off however and then gets a DDT on the apron. Scott for some reason gets up first from that and scurries in for the count out tease, but Malone is able to make it back in before the 10 count.

Malone gets some really nice forearm strikes and then follows up with the Mr. Perfect styled rolling neck snap for two. Sky High Powerbomb comes next from Malone, but Scott is once again able to kick out. Scott slips out of a firewoman’s carry and kicks Malone down before snapmaring her over the second rope for two. Malone pulls out a desperation inside cradle for two but Scott gets a sloppy looking bridging blockbuster slam for the win.

WINNER: VEDA SCOTT
RATING: *
SCORE: USA 2 – 0 CANADA

This was pretty sloppy but Scott at least committed to being a heel throughout and the match had a story of Malone fighting from underneath.

Scott actually shakes Malone’s hand after that, suggesting that the Canadian earned her respect.

Match Three
Courtney Rush (Canada) Vs Cherry Bomb (USA)

Rush would be better known as Rosemary in Impact Wrestling these days, although this would appear to be before she started travelling to the dark realm to battle Jim Mitchell or whatever the crap she’s supposed to be doing in Impact Wrestling is these days. She wins points here though by coming out to “Bad Medicine”. The commentators inform us that Rush was supposed to be in last year’s competition but ended up missing out through injury. Cherry Bomb would be better known as Allie from AEW, and I believe she feuded with Rush in Impact before jumping to AEW. She ramps up the heel antics here by coming out to “Real American”, even though she was originally born in Canada.

If they don’t have Rush kick out of the leg drop here then they aren’t doing this right. Rush immediately spears Cherry right from the off, which causes Cherry to roll outside. Rush chases her back into the ring, where she goes for The Sharpshooter, but Cherry manages to fight her off and tries to flee again whilst screeching with terror. Cherry manages to dodge a Yakuza Kick and tries for a vertical suplex, but Rush counters it into one of her own for two. Cherry’s selling has been utterly fantastic here, as she’s going complete and utter ham with it and it totally works for the character she’s going with.

Cherry finally manages to get some offence with a running dropkick in the corner and starts working Rush over. Rush replies with a big elbow strike and gets one heck of a release German Suplex on Cherry for two. That was as close to terrifying as the move could be whilst still being safe to. Rush goes for The Sharpshooter but Cherry pulls the hair to try and get her into an inside cradle. That looked quite messy sadly as they got legit tangled up and it looked pretty rough. Cherry goes straight to the Cattle Mutilation however, and it’s a pretty impressive looking one at that, but Rush fights her way out of it and goes to the bridging Indian Deathlock.

Cherry pulls the hair again to fight out of that and gets a neck breaker before following with a Sliding D for two. Cherry heads up top, but Rush cuts her off and then brings her down with a superplex. Sharpshooter comes next bang in the middle, which brings down Kimber Lee to help her partner. Xandra Bale comes down to help Rush however and we have a brawl between all four women for the Double DQ

WINNER: DOUBLE DISQUALIFICATION
RATING: **1/4
SCORE: USA 2 – 0 CANADA

So no one gets a point there. This was a fun match, as Cherry Bomb was great as the over the top heel hamming it up and Rush did some nice power stuff when the occasion allowed. It was a bit sloppy in places, which means I wouldn’t feel right rating it higher, but it was decent stuff for the most part and I enjoyed it.

We have a stand-off following the bout, which leads to Rush grabbing a match and cutting the most Canadian promo ever (Wow, she tones down that accent A LOT in Impact) where she challenges Lee and Cherry to face them later in the evening in a tag match so they can decide who gets the point. Team USA accept and we have that match scheduled for later.

Match Four
Vanessa Kraven (Canada) Vs Allysin Kay (USA)

Kraven is known as “The Mountain” and I remember her from one of the Mae Young Classic tournaments. As her name would suggest, she’s a very tall lady. Kay would probably be better known by people on here as Sienna from Impact Wrestling, where she actually had a run as the Women’s Champion. The crowd seems pretty certain that Kraven is going to lay a whupping on Kay here.

Kay tries to take Kraven down to start, but she uses the unique counter of being very tall to stop it and then counters a school girl roll up by simply sitting on Kay for two in a funny spot. Kraven works over Kay, dropping a leg for two and then sending her outside with a head butt. Kraven pulls Kay back into the ring the hard way and then stomps away in the corner. Kay dodges an attack in the corner and actually manages to take Kraven down with a shoulder block, which seems like the sort of bump a woman the size of Kraven shouldn’t really be taking. Kay is hardly small, but she took her down pretty easy there and it didn’t look right.

Kraven tries goes to a rear naked choke, but Kay counters that into a jaw breaker and then goes for a cross arm breaker. Kraven rolls out of that, but Kay stays on her with soccer kicks and then chokes away in the corner. Kay goes for a piledriver, but Kraven easily back body drops out of it for two. Kay goes right back to the arm however, but Kraven once again powers up into a firewoman’s carry and gets a modified flapjack from there. Candian Maple Leaf comes next, but Kay fights her off and then starts choking in the corner again. Kraven fights her off however and then brings her down with a blockbuster slam from the second rope for a double down.

Double roaring elbow sees both women go down, but Kraven flings Kay into the corner and follows with a cannonball for two. Kay goes to another arm bar type move, but Kraven gets her feet on the rope to block. Kay takes Kraven down with a pump kick and goes to the Dis-Arm-Her but Kraven manages to get out of it and counters a kick into a sit out powerbomb for the three count.

WINNER: VANESSA KRAVEN
RATING: 1/2*
SCORE: USA 2 – 1 CANADA

This was sloppy as all hell and completely worked against Kraven’s strengths by forcing her to sell a lot and be on the defensive in a long match. Kay looked fine for the most part and did some nice submission stuff, but the match structure just wasn’t right.

Match Five
Angie Skye (Canada) Vs Heidi Lovelace (USA)

Skye was apparently trained by LuFisto and has worked for SHIMMER and NCW in Quebec. Lovelace would be better known as Ruby Riott in the WWE and she is making her SMASH Wrestling debut here. We actually get a handshake to start, but both women also go nose to nose to sell that they aren’t going to be taking it easy on one another either.

Tenacious lock up leads to both women tumbling out of the ring to the floor, where they start trading chops. Lovelace catches Skye with a big kick from the apron and rolls her back inside for two. Skye fires up back though and delivers some big running knee attacks in the corner for two. Lovelace school girls Skye into the bottom turnbuckle and stomps away before throwing some kicks. Skye fights back with some strikes of her own and gets a leg drop for two.

Lovelace replies by head scissoring Skye into the corner and then getting a series of running kicks in the corner before following up with a Diamond Cutter for two. Skye replies with an STO, but Lovelace is able to kick out at two and then gets an inside cradle out of nowhere for a two of her own. Skye gets two from a backslide but Lovelace gets an enziguri and then heads up top. Skye is able to cut her off however and then DVD’s her into the corner for the three.

WINNER: ANGIE SKYE
RATING: *
SCORE: USA 2 – 2 CANADA

Skye didn’t look especially good there but Lovelace did some nice stuff and they took it home when it needed to go home.

Match Six
Leah Von Dutch (Canada) Vs Taeler Hendrix (USA)

Von Dutch is not someone I know much about but she apparently worked the indie scene up until 2017 when she decided to leave wrestling. Hendrix has worked in ROH and Impact Wrestling, as well as having a cup of coffee in WWE when she played one of Adam Rose’s “Rosebuds”. Von Dutch is rocking some classic 90’s music with “Killer” by Adamski and Seal. The commentators point out that these two have met before in another company and Von Dutch was the winner.

Hendrix cheap shots on a handshake by throwing Von Dutch outside the ring, but she then stupidly walks out of the ring to leave, which allows Von Dutch to attack her and throw her back in. Von Dutch works over Hendrix back inside with standard babyface fare such as arm drags and hip tosses, but Hendrix head butts her to put a stop to that. Von Dutch replies with a dropkick and goes to a series of pinning holds to try and put Hendrix away, but she keeps kicking out.

Hendrix manages to get some sort of wacky side slam into a face buster, but when she puts her feet on the ropes when going for a pin the referee sees it and stops the count. Hendrix works over Von Dutch, as she goes the usual heel antics of choking on the ropes and taunting the crowd. Von Dutch tries to fight back, but Hendrix seemingly goes to the eyes to stop that and then gives her the old Shattered Dreams in the corner, which the referee doesn’t call a DQ on for whatever reason. I mean, a low blow is still a DQ in a women’s match right, even if it isn’t quite as debilitating as it would be for a man? (Women have assured me that it does bloody hurt mind, just not as much as it does for us blokes)

Hendrix trash talks Von Dutch, rather than doing something useful like going for a cover seeing as Von Dutch has been down ever since the low blow (something even the commentators pick up on) and this allows Von Dutch to recover and make the comeback. Some clotheslines get a two for Von Dutch and a head scissors follows. Von Dutch heads up top, but Hendrix stops her and goes for the Trish Stratus rana out of the corner (Well, the show is in Canada after all) but Von Dutch fights that off and goes for a cross body. Hendrix dodges that however and gets a roll up with a handful of tights for the win.

WINNER: TAELER HENDRIX
RATING: *
SCORE: USA 3 – 2 CANADA

Like a lot of other matches on this show, this was a tad too sloppy for my liking, as the execution was lacking in crispness. Again though it was an actual match with a proper heel, face and 7 point structure, so there’s that at least.

Match Seven
Courtney Rush and Xandra Bale (Canada) Vs The Kimber Bombs (USA)

The awesome entrance music continues, as Team Canada comes out to “What’s The Story” by Oasis. Kimber Bombs will win it for Team USA here, whereas a win for Team Canada will make the main event a winner takes all bout. We kind of need a good match here after the big load of nothing we’ve had since Cherry Bomb Vs Rush earlier on.

Team USA tries to attack right from the bell, but The Canadians fight them off and send them outside, which allows Bale to follow with a suicide dive. The brawl continues outside, where Rush does the old Raven drop toe hold on a chair to Cherry Bomb, whilst Bale flings Lee into a pile of chairs. Lee responds by giving Bale a side slam on the floor, whilst Cherry dropkicks Rush inside the ring. The Kimber Bombs work over Rush inside the ring with double team attacks. Bale eventually gets the tag and comes in with a sunset flip powerbomb on Cherry for two.

Bale heads up top, but Kimber cuts her off and then delivers a Buckle Bomb before bringing in Cherry for a Sliding D, which gets two. The Kimber Bombs get the heat on Bale now, working her over with some decent stuff, including a nice butterfly leg lock from Lee. Bale eventually manages to drop the heels with a double DDT and makes the tag to Rush, who runs wild with clotheslines. Rush goes to The Sharpshooter on Cherry whilst Bale goes to an Octopus styled hold on Lee. Lee is able to drop Bale onto Rush however, which leads to both holds being broken.

Cherry gets a DVD on Rush and Lee goes for a Swanton Bomb, but Rush is able to dodge it. Cherry hits both Canadians with super kicks, which leads to her and Lee trying for a double superplex on Bale. Bale fights them off though and then Diamond Cutters Lee from the top. This leaves Rush and Cherry, which leads to Rush getting a big F5 on Cherry Bomb and then locking in The Sharpshooter whilst Bale holds Lee back, leading to the submission victory.

WINNERS: COURTNEY RUSH AND XANDRA BALE
RATING: ***
SCORE: USA 3 – 3 CANADA

This was a lot of fun, as The Kimber Bombs are a good heel team and the babyfaces were over thanks to the USA Vs Canada gimmick. Good stuff.

Main Event
LuFisto (Canada) Vs Amazing Kong (USA)

I mostly know LuFisto from CZW, where she was the first woman to hold the Iron Man Championship. There’s a great story with that actually where Kevin Steen (The incumbent Champion) basically just suggested it to John Zandig on a whim and Zandig loved it, thus it happened. Independent wrestling everybody!  Kong is now currently in AEW but also had a big run in Impact Wrestling, along with a short run in WWE as well that sadly didn’t go anywhere.

LuFisto wants a handshake to start, but Kong slaps her hand away so LuFisto slaps her in the face. Kong tries to reply with a splash, but LuFisto dodges it and the fight spills outside. King buries LuFisto under some chairs at ringside. LuFisto fights back with a drop toe hold onto the chair and then adds some shots with the chair for good measure. The commentators sell that the referee is letting a lot go here because we must have a winner in the USA Vs Canada series, which is at least an attempt in explaining why the bout hasn’t already been thrown out considering how long they’ve been outside. Kong flings LuFisto into the ring post and then throws her back inside for a chin lock, as the crowd get behind the Canadian representative.

LuFisto gets a jaw breaker to get out of the chin lock but ends up getting knocked down by Kong and then choked on the ropes. A camel clutch comes next, but the crowd stays with LuFisto and gets behind her, which leads to her getting out of the hold and getting a Codebreaker. A missile dropkick from the top follows and both women are down following that. Kong gets a choke slam for two once both women get to their feet and then heads up to the second rope. LuFisto cuts her off however and then brings her down with a rana for two. Kong replies with a back fist and then tries for the powerbomb, but LuFisto fights her off and gets a German Suplex to give Canada the series.

WINNER: LUFISTO
RATING: ***
FINAL SCORE: USA 3 – 4 CANADA

Decent match there, as Kong knows how to be a monster heel perhaps better than any woman in the West, whilst LuFisto works well as a gutsy babyface fighting from underneath, so they were practically made for one another.

Team Canada gets presented with their medals, and the Americans even come into the ring to get their silver medals as well, with them mostly being good sports about it. Kong and LuFisto even bow to one another as a sign of respect. The fans actually chant “sportsmanship”, which is pretty funny. Courtney Rush wins “Most Outstanding Performer” as well, which leads to Vanessa Kraven seemingly going heel and laying her out. Good way to end the show actually, as you would have guessed that one of the Americans would have caused bother rather than one of the Canadians turning on their own like that.

In Conclusion

There were some decent matches here but most of the middle portion wasn’t great and the show became a bit of a slog as a result. If you fancy picking this up though you can do so by visiting www.smvod.com