By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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C*4 Wrestling (Capital City Championship Combat) “Fighting Back 12”
Replay available via Independent.TV
August 18, 2023 in Ottawa, Ontario at Preston Event Centre
While this show occurred on Friday, as usual, it was released on IWTV on Tuesday. By delaying it a few days, they are able to make some light edits, particularly any breaks from one match to the next, so this moves along at a nice, crisp pace. I’ve mentioned this before but I love this room. It is bright and attractive white room, and once again they drew perhaps 600. Dr. Bob and Cody Gee provided commentary.
1. Brett Ryan Gosselin defeated Channing Thomas, TJ Crawford, and GKM in a four-way to retain the NFW Championship at 9:56. I always describe Channing as Robert Roode-meets-Joey Ryan and he just exudes a slimy persona. TJ Crawford is the young-but-silver haired mat technician. GKM is a Black man with long braids (think Kofi!) and I don’t think I’ve seen him before. BRG also has white hair but he’s quite young, and he’s an arrogant heel. GKM hit a quick dropkick on Channing to show off his athleticism. BRG and TJ traded stiff forearm shots. BRG hit a Pedigree at 4:00. Channing dropped TJ stomach-first on the top rope, then hit a kneedrop on the back of the head for a nearfall.
GKM hit a spin heel kick on Thomas at 6:00. They did a tower spot with GKM crashing from the top. BRG hit a superkick on GKM, but GKM caught BRF with a stunner. GKM hit an enzuigiri on Channing. Channing hit a sit-out powerbomb on GKM. BRG hit a superkick on Crawford, then BRG dove through the ropes at 9:00. GKM hit a Triangle Moonsault to the floor. In the ring, GKM hit a top-rope flying legdrop. However, BRG got an inside cradle on GKM, hooked the tights, and scored the cheap pin out of nowhere, drawing plenty of boos.
2. “Violence is Forever” Kevin Ku and Dominic Garrini defeated Evil Uno and Myung-jae Lee at 13:36. Lee recently had a brief appearance on AEW TV; he’s a talented South Korea native. Uno is in black-and-red tonight; it feels strange to not see purple. Uno and Dominic opened with shoulder tackles and neither man going down. They eventually got winded, shook hands, and tagged out. Funny. Lee and Ku entered at 3:00 and they also shook hands before trading chops. Evil Uno hit an Exploder Suplex on Dominic. Lee went for a plancha but ViF caught him. Ku did a Dragonscrew Legwhip on Evil Uno in the ropes at 5:00, and ViF began working over Lee.
Uno made the hot tag and he hit a running neckbreaker on Garrini at 9:00. Lee hit a tornado DDT on Garrini for a nearfall. Garrini hit a hard clothesline on Uno. Ku and Lee again traded chops and slaps to the face. Lee hit a running kneestrike on Ku, then a German Suplex on Garrini. Garrini hit a standing powerbomb on Lee. ViF hit a tea doublestomp & Air Raid Crash on Lee for a believable nearfall at 11:00. Evil Uno hit a top-rope superplex on Ku, and Lee immediately hit a top-rope doublestomp on Ku for a nearfall. Uno accidentally kicked Lee! Garrini hit a back suplex on Lee for a nearfall. ViF hit the Chasing the Dragon (spine kick-and-brainbuster combo) to score the pin on Lee. Very good match.
3. Trent Seven defeated James Stone (w/Vanessa Kraven) at 13:33. Stone is bald with a beard; think former NXT wrestler Oney Lorcan. Standing switches to open and a feeling-out process. They brawled to the floor at 2:30 and traded chops in front of the fans. Kraven (who is taller than Trent!) spun Seven around; he kicked her in the stomach, but Seven accidentally chopped the ring post! Stone also chopped the post! They continued trading chops but sold the pain in their hands. Funny. In the ring, Stone grounded Seven, and he hit a snap suplex for a nearfall at 5:30. Kraven choked Seven in the ropes while the ref was distracted. Seven hit a swinging sideslam for a nearfall.
Seven nailed a superplex at 8:30 and they were both down. They got up and traded forearm shots. Seven hit a short-arm clothesline for a nearfall, but Kraven pulled the ref from the ring before the three-count! Stone hit a uranage for a nearfall; I thought that was it. Kraven jumped in the ring and hit a sit-out powerbomb; Stone ran over and got a nearfall. Stone then hit a piledriver for a nearfall at 11:30 and again I thought that was it. Seven hit a Tiger Driver powerbomb for a believable nearfall. Kraven jumped on the ring apron but Seven hit a spinning back fist. Stone hit a Death Valley Driver for a nearfall. Stone missed a moonsault. Seven hit another spinning back fist and a Burning Hammer/inverted DVD for the pin. That was really good, hard-hitting stuff.
4. Jody Threat defeated Joseline Navarro at 8:09. Joseline is a short Black woman, on par in size with Allie Katch. Threat had the height advantage. Watching Threat run to the ring and shake the ropes, it dawned on me she is the female Ultimate Warrior. Threat grounded her early on, then she hit a series of clotheslines in the corner at 2:30. Navarro hit a Mafia Kick for a nearfall and she took control. She hit a Hogan legdrop to the throat for a nearfall at 5:00. Navarro hit a Widow’s Peak neckbreaker for a nearfall. Jody hit a spear, then an F5 swinging faceplant for the pin. Solid match.
5. Cecil Nyx defeated Brian Milonas and Thomas Leduc in a three-way to retain the ISW Undisputed King of Crazy Championship at 8:32. I noted this recently, but Milonas has dropped a lot of weight but he still is probably at or near 400 pounds. Leduc came out in a Budweiser T-shirt and jacket, sunglasses and baseball cap; he strikes me as a stereotypical NASCAR fan, and he’s a bit heavyset. Nyx also is a bit heavy in a generic black singlet. Milonas hit a series of gut punches on Nyx. Nyx hit Leduc over the head with a bottle. This match is instantly a mess in my eyes; fans are seated too close to have that type of debris flying. Leduc hit a dive to the floor. Leduc came off the ropes but Milonas caught him for a Bossman Slam. Milonas cracked a toy board over Leduc’s head at 3:00. We have LEGOS all over the mat, and Nyx dumped out even more.
Milonas dumped them both into the LEGOs. Nyx hit a back suplex on Milonas, dropping him in the LEGOs. Brian actually has a cut on the top of his head. Milonas hit a second-rope superplex. Leduc hit a Swanton Bomb for a nearfall at 6:00. Both Nyx and Leduc threw chairs at Milonas’ head. Nyx kicked Leduc’s head into a board set up in the corner to score the pin. The crowd liked the silliness of the LEGOs; this is a pretty clean “garbage match,” but neither Nyx nor Leduc did much for me.
6. Stu Grayson defeated Ninja Mack at 13:19. This match should be great! Intense mat reversals early and this has a big fight feel to it. They traded armdrags and had a standoff at 2:30. Stu hit a shoulder tackle that dropped him. Grayson hit a slingshot senton onto the ring apron. They fought on the floor, with Mack hitting a superkick. In the ring, Mack went for a cartwheel but Stu caught him and hit a German Suplex. Stu immediately nailed a dive through the ropes onto Mack at 5:00. In the ring, Stu hit a belly-to-belly overhead release suplex and he kipped up, showing his agility too. Stu hit a running penalty kick to the chest for a nearfall, and he was in control.
Stu hit another overhead release suplex at 7:30; he has the height and overall size advantage. Mack hit a running European Uppercut and a twisting senton for a nearfall, and he nailed the Sasuke Special to the floor, drawing a huge pop. “Ninja Mack is inhuman!” a commentator shouted. In the ring, Mack hit a spin kick to the head for a nearfall. Grayson put Mack on his shoulders and hit a swinging faceplant at 10:00, then a top-rope frogsplash for a believable nearfall; the crowd booed, thinking it was a three-count, and Stu was shocked. Mack nailed his top-rope 630 Phoenix Splash for a believable nearfall. What a move! Stu hit a hard DDT onto the ring apron, and they both rolled to the floor at 12:30. In the ring, Stu put Mack on his shoulders and nailed a backbreaker over his knee for the pin. That was really, really good.
7. Vaughn Vertigo won the Fighting Back Invitational Battle Royal at 30:58. While it’s officially listed as a battle royal, it is actually a WWE-style Royal Rumble. Vaughn Vertigo and the short Cambodian Yoya started. Sway Archer is No. 3; he wore pink pants and he has long black hair. Nathan Yamyrovich is No. 4; he wore blue trunks and he looks like an MMA fighter. A guy with long black hair is No. 5 at 4:30; I thought it was Jimmy Lloyd at first glance. London Lightning is No. 6; he wore pink trunks. Benjamin Tull is No. 7 at 8:00; he caught Yoya coming off the ropes and hit a Black Hole Slam. Tull eliminated Archer; Sway is the first one out. Isaiah Broner is No. 8 at 9:30; he’s a big Black man (think Ahmed Johnson or Ezekiel Jackson), and he quickly eliminated some youngsters, including the unknown guy No. 5. Broner and Tull traded mid-ring chops and forearms. They wound up eliminating each other and brawling to the back!
Dexter Doom is No. 9 and he beat up on the three other guys left in the ring. (Both Vaughn and Yoya are still in.) Sexxy Eddie is No. 10 at 13:30 and he wore a silly necklace made of energy drink cans; he ripped off his pants to reveal his tiny trunks, and he hit a Bronco Buster on Vertigo. Haley Dylan is No. 11. “Is that a child?” a commentator asked. Funny because in my GCW review a few days ago I wrote that she still looks like a teen; she circled the ring on the floor, showing no interest in getting in. Rickey Shane Page is No. 12, and that popped the commentators.
Puf, the 400-pounder, is No. 13 at 19:30 and he got a huge pop. Eddie tossed Haley Dylan, who was in the ring for only a few seconds. Alex Maze is No. 14; think Alan Angels in height and (lack of) hair. Puf sat down in the corner, which makes total sense, because how can you move him? Bob Anger, who is Sexxy Eddie’s partner, entered as No. 15 at 23:30. Anger and Eddie worked together to eliminate Puf, drawing massive boos. The commentators agreed that Eddie looked conflicted.
Jesse V is the last guy at No. 16 and he’s tall and muscular; think Matt Morgan. Jesse V tossed Page at 26:30. We are suddenly down to four: Jesse V, London Lightning, Yoya and Vaughn Vertigo. The massive Jesse V chokeslammed the tiny Yoya, then easily flipped him to the floor. Lightning is a babyface and he began punching at the two remaining heels. Jesse stupidly went to the top rope, where Vertigo kicked him off. Vertigo flipped Lightning over the top rope, but London held on. Lightning hit a spinebuster. They fought on the ring apron, with fans seated right below them. Vaughn finally kicked London to the floor to win. He was in the match from the very start and held on to win. Solid Royal Rumble.
8. Kevin Blackwood (w/Haley Dylan) defeated Judas Icarus to retain the C*4 Championship at 14:02. Icarus is short with black hair and a good physique and he reminds me a bit of Mike Bailey and a bit of a young Paul London; I’ve mostly seen him in Prestige Wrestling in the Pacific Northwest. Blackwood has been a fighting champion here and he’s a hated heel. Blackwood got on the mic and declared, “I’m a better champion than Bret Hart,” which of course got loud boos in Canada. An intense lockup to open. They traded stiff kicks to the spine and chops, and Blackwood bailed to the floor at 2:30. Icarus followed him to the floor but Dylan got between them. As they got back in the ring, Blackwood hit a DDT out of the ropes, then a doublestomp for a nearfall, and he took control.
Blackwood nailed a snap suplex at 4:30. He hit a back suplex for a nearfall, then a German Suplex; Icarus hit his own German Suplex, and they were both down at 7:00. Icarus hit a diving forearm that sent Blackwood to the floor again. Icarus hit a plancha to the floor. In the ring, he hit a Falcon Arrow for a nearfall at 9:00, then a twisting slam for a nearfall. Blackwood hit a roaring forearm. Dylan grabbed Icarus’ ankle as Judas climbed the ropes. She got in the ring and hit a short-arm clothesline on him, right in front of the ref, but this apparently doesn’t cause a DQ! Blackwood hit a top-rope doublestomp to the chest for a believable nearfall at 12:00.
Blackwood was frustrated and he hit some Yes Kicks to the chest and back. Judas hit a twisting release suplex, then a hard clothesline. Haley got in the ring again but he caught her. Icarus hit a spear on Blackwood. Haley hit a low blow on Judas. Blackwood hit a Helluva Kick, then a top-rope doublestomp on Judas’ collarbone as Judas was standing in the ring to score the cheap pin.
9. Lance Archer defeated Joshua Bishop at 15:36. This is one heckuva big-man matchup on paper. Again, Bishop is the Sid Vicious clone with short curly blond hair. This is Archer’s debut here and he got a nice pop. They stood nose-to-nose and Archer still has a 2-3 inch height advantage. Bishop opened with a chop that Archer no-sold. Archer hit one back and Bishop was unimpressed. Bishop hit a much LOUDER one, so Archer hit an equally LOUD chop. They hit simultaneous clotheslines and this was a stalemate. Archer hit a low blow at 3:30, drawing boos. Bishop hit a plancha (not a move you’d expect from a man his size), and he threw several chairs into the ring.
They fought on the floor and Lance jawed at the crowd. He hit a few chairshots across the back at 6:30 and tossed Bishop back into the ring. Bishop set up for a dive, but Lance cut him off with a chairshot. In the ring, Lance even swung a chair at the ref. Bishop hit Archer with a big board that was brought into the ring. They traded punches, and Bishop hit a series of headbutts at 8:30. Archer hit a Thesz Press, and he put some folded chairs on top of Bishop, then hit the chairs with another steel chair, then Archer hit a senton onto the chair pile for a nearfall. Archer did an Old School tightrope walk.
They traded more forearm shots and Bishop hit a Black Hole Slam onto a folded chair for a nearfall at 11:00. Archer nailed a chokeslam across several open chairs for a believable nearfall; Archer hopped to his feet and he chased the ref out of the ring out of anger he didn’t get the pin there. Archer set up a door bridge in the ring. They traded more forearm shots. Archer ran into the corner and his head slammed into a chair wedged between the ropes; Bishop hit a chairshot to the head and got a nearfall at 14:30. Archer hit the Blackout flipping slam through the door bridge to score the pin. They raised each other’s hand after the match as a show of respect. Good big-man match.
10. “Fresh Air” Junior Benito & Macrae Martin defeated “The Rascalz” Trey Miguel & Zachary Wentz and “Tabarnak de Team” Matthieu St. Jacques & Thomas Dubois in a three-way tag at 16:42. Benito is a thin, Black high-flyer and I’m highly impressed with him. Macrae is white and they wore identical track suits, hitting the ring to “Jump Around.” The Rascalz got a huge babyface pop; this also is their debut here. TDT are the Canadian lumberjack brawlers, and I’m highly impressed with them. Miguel and Benito started, with Benito hitting a basement dropkick. TDT entered at 2:00 and they beat up all four of the high-flyers.
Macrae flipped Benito onto an opponent at 4:00. TDT bean working over Benito in their corner. Junior finally hit a Blue Thunder Bomb at 7:00 and he tagged in Wentz. Zachary hit some kicks and a German Suplex. Trey hopped in and the Rascalz hit some quick team moves. TDT dove through the ropes onto everyone. The Rascalz dove over the ropes onto everyone at 8:30. In the ring, we had a silly six-person submission spot, and the ref got pulled into it, drawing a pop. Some fun silliness as the ref essentially hit a stunner to knock everyone down, drawing a “holy shit!” chant. TDT hit simultaneous spears and they applied stereo single-leg crabs, but Fresh Air made the save.
The Rascalz hit stereo handspring-back-spin kicks, and suddenly everyone was down at 11:30. Matthieu and Trey traded forearm shots; the commentators though this was a bad idea for Miguel. Trey eventually hit an enzuigiri. Wentz hit a running Shooting Star Press for a nearfall. Benito hit a second-rope flying crossbody block, and Macrae hit a Canadian Destroyer. FA hit a team stunner for a nearfall, but TDT dragged the ref from the ring. Both FA tried dives to the floor, but TDT cut them off. TDT hit a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall on Benito at 15:00. Benito hit a jumping Flatliner! Benito dove over the corner turnbuckle and landed on TDT on the floor, showing some impressive diving skills. Macrae hit a Fosbury Flop. Benito hit an impressive 450 Splash on one of the TDT guys for the pin. That was really good.
Final Thoughts: I really enjoy these C4 shows. The lighting is great, the wrestling is good, the hardcore matches don’t get bloody or terribly violent, and they always have a large, hot crowd. I’ll go with Stu-Mack for best, with the main event second-place. Blackwood-Icarus earns third place, just ahead of ViF’s match and Archer’s match. Check this out at IWTV.