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Swan, Spyder, Black Dragon, Cruz, Broda- Canadian Indy Notes
by Marty Goldstein on 2003-01-21

One of the things that makes Winnipeg wrestlers different, and I think this to their credit, from wrestlers on the West Coast, is the weather. Warmer weather and green grass makes it much easier to get yourself to the gym every day. The extreme cold, as Bruiser Bastein is fond of saying, "causes one to be riddled with fatigue".

It only snowed a few days before Christmas, and just a few weeks ago, the temperatures were almost Vancouver like. Now it is prairie winter at it's finest, as snowstorms alternate with freezing days where the high is, and I am not making this up, -25`, and with windchill at night it is easily -40`.
For my American readers, -40` celsius is -40 farenheit. Unlike the dollar, cold is at par.

But nonetheless for the past 7 or so weekends we have dragged ourselves out in the cold to help Gene Swan teach the rudiments of the ring to a number of freezing young hopefuls, while Bastein perfects his new image, posing incessantly and while I try to stay in shape. We have watched as Swan, helped by guest instructors like his partner Brian Jewel (in my opinion the top tag team in Canada) has stressed safety and fundamentals to the boys, who range in age from 17 to 23.

Some of the young guys get it faster than others. Justin Tyme stands out in the current bunch, full of ability, and Johnny Patterson, who is now refereeing, always tries hard. As I surmised this past year in California and BC, it is up to the experienced pros to teach the subtleties not easily noticed on an episode of RAW. Cory Diamond, for instance, has been around a couple of years but the lack of vets to work against and learn from has stagnated his progress. But he tries and as long as the effort is put in there is hope.

*Another of the CWF/NWA vets who have come by to help out lately while tuning up is the Canadian Crime Spree, Spyder. The shoulder injury incured at his straight job in December is healing and Spyder now has to get ready for his big chance. He is scheduled to be in a dark match on the NWA/TNA weekly PPV from Nashville on January 29th.

"Another Brit for me, this time Doug Williams. He has a great rep for 4 and 5 star matches and I am ready to compete with him. I hear he likes it solid, well so do I. The fans will get the best possible account from the Canadian, that's for sure."

Spyder has been a true throwback to the old days when the boys packed their bags and hit the road. From BC to Tennessee, Spyder has taken his brand of mayhem across the continent the past 3 years as he seeks the big break. He has been in the ring with pros like Doug Gilbert, Gypsy Joe, Rocket Randy Tyler, Paul Tracy and Tracy Smothers. Hopefully the rest of the NWA notices his talent and effort.

*Many fans in the Pacific Northwest are dissappointed that 2 fine luchadores from the Revolution Pro crew in California will not be appearing in the Pacific Cup Jr. heavyweight tournament this week after all.Super Dragon will be in Japan and Excalibur will also not be making it to Surrey, BC. Having worked with both these masked stylists last year on our CPW/NWA California outdoor shows, I hope they will be able to find their way north of the border sometime soon, as they are good guys and very creative in the ring. Excalibur is actually a very funny interview as well.

However there is still some top talent booked for the two day tourney, including defending champ Black Dragon, Scotty Mac, Tony Kozina and Adam Firestorm. All four are stars of the new Portland Wrestling series on WB32, and along with Canadian Jr.champ
Major Hardway, former champ Disco Fury and rumoured WWE-bound Bryan Danielsen(American Dragon), there will be no shortage of action and intrigue in ECCW/NWA.

Black Dragon, internationally travelled, is a true star who began in Calgary and is very familiar with the travails of working through the frigid Winnipeg winters. He is in demand across Canada and his matches this weekend are sure to stand out.

Noticably absent from the field, which has sustained a number of changes since it was announced over 2 months ago, is MH's former partner/#1 contender Grunt, who changed his name to Rage last month and according to reports has changed promotions this month.

*The original Chi Chi Cruz suffered a very close call late last year when an errant tumble over the top rope resulted in his head hitting the floor and his knees hitting his face. The resultant headaches and black eye would have put most wrestlers out for a month but Cruz was back in the ring at the next PCW card, getting a standing ovation despite his heel positioning.

Cruz is the established star of a cast that includes Shane Madison, Jr. heavyweight sensation Mentallo, writer/wrestler Adam Knight and the not-so-young manager Crimson Shiek.

Cheech's toughness makes a mockery of the young wanna-be wrestlers across the continent who beg off performing because of far less severe injuries. Part of being a wrestler is being able to work not only through but around injuries. Of course, vets can only teach those skills to those who actually want to learn. Those that don't will never make it as a touring pro. Or as one vet put it, "these glorified backyarders need to grow up."

*Winnipeg also has a backyard scene, which proved to be it's own misadventure. Despite the looming threat of regulation reemerging in Manitoba, about 20 pretenders, ranging in age from 32 to about 12, advertised a tourney under the Yard of Honor monicker in early January. Trespassing on an empty lot between 2 North end homes, in icy conditions and using abandoned shopping carts as "ringposts" and weapons, the practice is hardly without peril, but it appears that at least one of them has already figured out how to use wrestling to get ahead in life.

Fearing that his involvement would cause dissident reaction in his efforts to be accepted in a "real" wrestling group, one participant sold the website rights and other property of this accident waiting to happen to the other kids for $50.00. This past weekend he was chopped and pounded repeatedly by the few trained performers at a more organized indoor 2 day event. Battle Royals are like that sometime, kid. Welcome to the business.

*Finally best wishes go out to our old friend and colleague Caveman Broda who continues to struggle with health problems. Contrary to one report he did not suffer a heart attack but the "commie" turned kiddies hero has had a hard time of it the past year. Please keep Ron in your prayers.

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Quotes from the boys: Ed Moretti says "Relax there kid. Who's calling this match...them or us? They bought the tickets to see us, not the other way around".
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