Thursday, 25 October 2012

Legends of ECCW's Halloween Hell - Moondog Manson


In my next instalment of my Legends of ECCW's Halloween Hell, I welcome Moondog Manson or as I like to call him... "The Hardcore Teddy Bear"

Manson is a grizzled veteran of the indie scene in the Pacific Northwest and in particular, the gruesome spectacle that is Halloween Hell.

Manson gives his thoughts on the history of Halloween Hell, ECCW's return to New West & he also calls out another Halloween Hell legend!


Moondog Manson Shoot Interview with Corey Basso

You can hear my interview with Moondog Manson Thursday, October 25 (Today) on Smack Talk Radio Live at 9 p.m

For more information on ECCW's Halloween Hell visit ECCW.com, their ECCW Facebook page or follow them on Twitter at @eccw

You can follow Moondog Manson on Twitter at @pro_wrestling or visit his website MoondogManson.com

You can follow Corey Basso on Twitter at @CDBasso or email him at bass0_@hotmail.com

Legends of ECCW's Halloween Hell - K.C. Spinelli

Spinelli in the Costume Battle Royal as Snookie 
As the 3rd installment of my Legends of ECCW's Halloween Hell, I sat down with ECCW Supergirls Champion K.C. Spinelli.

Spinelli won't be on this year's Halloween Hell card but did give her opinion on this year's festivities.

She touches on the topics of her favourite Halloween Hell experience, the current state of women's wrestling in ECCW as well as what she is looking forward to this year!

K.C. Spinelli Shoot interview w/ Corey Basso

You can hear my interview with K.C. Spinelli Thursday, October 25 (Today) on Smack Talk Radio Live at 9 p.m.

For more information on ECCW's Halloween Hell, visit ECCW.com, their ECCW Facebook page or follow them on Twitter at ECCW.com

You can follow K.C. Spinelli on Twitter at @KC_Spinelli

You can follow Corey Basso on Twitter at @CDBasso or email him at bass0_@hotmail.com 

Legends of ECCW's Halloween Hell - "Ravenous" Randy Myers


Once again, it's that time of the year. ECCW's blockbuster event Halloween Hell is upon us. The event is known for it's gimmick/stipulation matches, wrestlers & fans in costume as well as its violence.

I will be sitting down with a different wrestler everyday this week to preview the epic local event.

Monday's guest is none other than "Ravenous" Randy Myers who is no stranger to Halloween Hell and all of it's glorious carnage.

I sit down with Randy to get his thoughts on the history of the event, changes that have been made as well as some of his favourite moments!

As a wrestler (or a fan,for that matter) what is YOUR favourite part of Halloween Hell?

The atmosphere, definitely. It's the one time in the year you get the big show feel from fans and wrestlers. Everyone [wrestlers] gets new spandex and crispy new tans. It's fun to see what weapons and costumes  fans bring to the show. The wrestlers up their A-game, the fans up their A-game... that's the best part. 

How hard is it to try to top yourselves every single year at Halloween Hell?

It's the same thing for every show. We always try to top ourselves and do better than the last show. We don't have a problem with that. Our guys are so creative and we have a front office that gives us the opportunity and allows us to be creative. I trust all of our guys. We always dig deeper every year and find parts of our hollow leg that we weren't able to scoop out before.

What is your favourite all-time match at Halloween Hell over the years?

I'd say the costume battle royal. We won't have it this year but its always fun to see. You won't see that in any other promotion in the world. It's a chance to get away from the serious side of wrestling and get in to the fun side, which of course I love.

What is your favourite all-time Hell match that YOU have participated in?

The year I teamed up with Juggernaut inside the steel cage was probably my funnest match. I believe it was the War Games from 2010. It was a lot of fun.

How can you and Bishop top your hair vs hair match at the last event?  What kind of match do you guys have planned?

It's a match out of my own sick unique mind. It's a Ranarchist Fun House match. We will have the chamber of extreme surrounding the ring. We will have four pinatas, two with tricks and two with treats!

You guys are hosting Hell at a new venue this year. For years, the home of Hell was the Bridgeview Hall in Surrey. This year you guys move to a smaller venue in the Sapperton Pensioners Hall in New West. How do you think that will change the show, if at all? Do you expect less people?

After the show we had last weekend [in New West], I don't think there's any fan that doesn't want to see what's going down at the Sapperton Hall. Halloween Hell usually brings 'em out of the woodwork. People have been crawling out from under rocks for years and years to see Hell. I don't think this year will be any different.

One of the staples of Halloween Hell is the "Fans Bring The Weapons Match". I'm sure you've seen a few doozies... but what is your favourite weapon that has been brought?

There's been so many great ones. I like the vintage gaming consoles. Super nintendo and Playstations. The more creative the better! We've had some ridiculous weapons and some really scary ones. We had something called an "orphan maker" one year which was basically two circular steel blades attached to one end of a stick with the other end hammered with nails sticking out of the end. There was no safe way of even handling the weapon. One of my favourite stories comes from a fans bring the weapons match in Calgary. Booker T happened to be on the show. I looked through the weapons and saw a toy sword. So I turned and saw King Booker, brought the sword over to Booker and said " Can you knight me?" and he said "Of course I can! I knighted William Regal!" I said "Well, do me the honor!"... I got down on one knee and he knighted me as Sir Ravenous Randy! I figure if I can get Jerry "The King" Lawler to knight me... I'm right up there with the Queen!

Ravenous Randy will be in action against Bishop in a Ranarchist Fun House Match/ Chamber of Extreme.

For more information on ECCW's Halloween Hell... visit ECCW.com, the ECCW Facebook page or follow them on Twitter at @ECCW

You can follow Randy on Twitter at @RavenousRandy

You can follow me on Twitter at @CDBasso or email me at bass0_@hotmail.com

Legends of ECCW's Halloween Hell - Jeff "The Natural" Duncan


He's loud. He's annoying. He's mean. He's one of the best heels in ECCW... he also happens to be one of the men responsible for the stellar card on this year's blockbuster event Halloween Hell.

Jeff 'The Natural' Duncan is not only an exceptional managerial talent but  he's also in his 5th year of booking for ECCW. "Natch" sits down with me in my second edition of my Halloween Hell legends series to discuss the ins and outs of assembling one of the biggest wrestling shows in the Pacific Northwest.

We get in to his all time favourite Hell matches, what he's looking forward to at this year's event plus much more.

As a booker... how hard is it to keep topping yourself in booking creative matches for this show?

I start thinking of Halloween Hell, at the latest, 8 months before it happens. I am very critical of the show from a structure stand point and try to keep the things that work and improve on the ones that didn't. If you notice, every year there is something different. I would absolutely hate if a Hell show was stagnant or repetitive.

What is your favourite Hell match that YOU had a hand in booking?

This will be my fifth year, so there is a lot to choose from. I will always pick a great feud with an amazing story and a fantastic finish. So I am going to say Dog Collar Chain last year between Bishop and Sid Sylum.

I have to ask... what is your favourite fan-brought weapon of all time?

It is not usually the weapon that makes it memorable, but how it is used. A simple keyboard was brought in 2002, but it was very memorable because Cremator smashed it over Jimbo Richard's head and every key came out. But my all time favourite is a Nintendo that Juggernaut destroyed over Brian Sommers head in 2005. That Fans Bring the Weapons match wasn't actually at Hell (It was in June) but I doubt the sound it made on Sommers head will ever be topped.

What match will shock fans the most this year?

I think Halloween Hell has so much anticipation these days that the marque matches wouldn't shock anyone. But some moves may, but everyone expect so much. I expect the Ranarchist Fun House Match to be so unique that the fans will absolutely love it. But don't be surprised if El Phantasmo vs King of the Yukon becomes a Halloween Hell classic.

What match are you most looking forward to this year?

That is a tie between Bishop vs Randy in a Chamber of Extreme Ranarchist Fun House match and Sid vs Sullivan in a Three Stages of Hell match. All four men have told tremendous stories over the past 5 to 8 months, I truly think the fans don't know who will win and will be emotionally invested in the matches. Combine that with those four men being among the best in ECCW, you really cant go wrong.

Lots of high profile talent have made their names at shows like Hell. Names like Juggernaut, Kyle O'Reilly & Tenille Tayla. Why is Hell such a good springboard for young wrestlers?

Not to sound arrogant, but ECCW in general is like that. You forgot on that list Mike Dalton, Tyson Kid, DH Smith, Nicole Matthews, The Bollywood Boyz, Angelina Love, Kharma etc... There is a reason ECCW has been running strong for 16 and a half years. We are the absolute best in the Pacific Northwest.

Will 'The Natural' be taking a bump/getting involved this year? It seems like if there is ever a place and time for such an event... it's probably Hell.

I got Powerbombed through a table back in March, so I hope I'm done for the year!! I'm just a poor little manager. But its Hell, You never know...

Why the absence of the costume battle royal this year?

Halloween Hell is our WrestleMania. It's the best of the best. If we don't have a way to make it amazing, we won't do it. Maybe it comes back next year, we shall see. I'm never one for doing it just because it has been done before.

What are your thoughts on the new venue in New Westminster and how will it change the event?

It will give us a more intimate vibe, that is for sure. Halloween Hell in Bridgeview was always special, but I am excited for the new building and the new experience.

When getting feedback from fans... what do they say is their favourite part of Halloween Hell?

Most fans will say the Fans Bring the Weapons experience. It really gives them a voice in our biggest show, they feel like they helped make the show the spectacle it is. I really cant argue with that mindset and am happy to give them that. It is the least we can do.

For more information on Halloween Hell... vist ECCW.com, the ECCW Facebook page and follow them on Twitter at @ECCW

You can follow The Natural on Twitter at @NatchyECCW

You can follow me on Twitter at @CDBasso or email me at bass0_@hotmail.com

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Vancouver International Tequila Expo - Eric Lorenz of the Organizing Committee

I had a chance to attend the media gathering for the first Vancouver International Tequila Expo today at The Edge on Granville street. 

My blog is usually devoted to covering the Pacific West professional wrestling scene as well as other local sports around the Vancouver area. I've decided to branch out and have begun writing about the many food & drink events I attend.

I'll start my article by saying that I am NOT  Tequila man. Not to say I haven't ingested an ample amount of it in my young life but I'm hardly an expert. For most of us, Tequila is an instant party mixture that is used to crank festivities up that extra notch. However,  it was clear once I entered that this wasn't going to be the typical tequila gong show.

I sat down with Eric Lorenz of the Organizing Committee to find out a little bit about the event. This event is the brain child of Eric and a handful of other organizers who take their Tequila & its culture very seriously. In this 11 minute interview, Eric and I get in to his inspiration for creating this event, some Tequila brands to look out for and a boatload of hidden Tequila secrets that the random bar goer probably doesn't know!

To listen to our interview, please click the link below!

Corey Basso sits down with Eric Lorenz of the Vancouver International Tequila Expo

I think it was almost better than I came in to this interview as a complete Tequila novice. When I left, I had so many juicy Tequila tidbits rolling around in my head, it was impossible to remember them all. If only frequent Tequila drinkers knew exactly what true Tequila experts did, I'm sure they'd change their brands and styles of Tequila. I will never view Tequila as just a "party drink" again. It can definitely fit in to any sophisticated environment and can be paired with many foods. Eric & his crew of Tequila devotees definitely changed my mind on the magic gold liquid and from now on I will be singing it's praise!

The Vancouver International Tequila Expo takes place on May 12, 2012.

For more information visit VancouverTequilaExpo.com or follow them on Twitter at @TequilaExpo

If you would like to comment or have any questions on my article/interview, you can email me at bass0_@hotmail.com or follow me on Twitter at @CDBasso.

Also, be sure to follow my work with Just Here for the Beer Radio on AM 650!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

ECCW - Chamber of Extreme Recap

ECCW wasted no time in jumping from one blockbuster event to the next. Less than a month after the 2012 edition of the Pacific Cup, ECCW brought to Surrey the 2nd edition of Chamber of Extreme.

Just before I break down the card and my thoughts on it, I want to talk about the history of the event. As I mentioned, it is only the 2nd edition of the show and had it's inaugral showing this time last year. Basically, the "Chamber of Extreme" is a cage match... but with no escape. A fence sounds the ring, garnished with barbed wire to prevent any escape attempts. The combatants battle it out inside the confines of the fence with weapons until someone is pinned, submits or straight up can't continue. The structure and rules for the match itself were created by El Phantasmo, who defeated Scotty Mac in the match last year.

Ravenous Randy & Alex Plexis def. Artemis Spencer & Tony Baroni

The event started out with a stellar opener between 4 of the most talented wrestlers ECCW has to offer. After months of back and forth competition, Artemis Spencer & Tony Baroni tagged for this match, which I found interesting. Whether it's against eachother or with eachother, Spencer & Baroni have such good chemistry it doesnt matter what they're doing. I don't have a whole heck of a lot to say about this match other than it was one of the best tag matches the ECCW had seen since for quite some time. Everyone got their spots in but it wasn't a lengthy match, which I liked. In the end, The Riot got the pin to secure the victory and retain their ECCW Tag Team Titles. These guys all blended very nicely and it was a fun way to get the event started.

The Riot are settling nicely in to their Tag Title reign, while ECCW may have a new duo on their hands with Spencer & Baroni looking very sharp together in their debut as partners. Look for that to perhaps become a spirited rivalry should The Riot overcome the jerks in The Administration.

KC Spinelli & Sammy Hall def. Mary Jane & Raven Lake

Just before I dive headlong in to this match I wanted to talk a bit about the crowd. It was hot. For the first time in a long time the Surrey crowd was hot. I've never spoke of it before but there is something about the Surrey crowd that is very ... eerie. Anyways, needless to say I prefer the exciteable hipsters at the RCC and feel they bring a bit more to the cards. The Surrey crowd does have it's charm but it seems to take way more to bring them out of their seats.

Anyways, sorry gals. In two feuds that have been brewing for a while, Sammy Hall tagged with KC Spinelli to take on her mother Raven Lake and Spinelli's arch rival Mary Jane Payne. I wanna give my piece of both feuds as I think they are both very new ideas for the Supergirls division.

On one end you have Sammy Hall battling her overbearing mother Raven Lake who seems to want to punish her daughter in every which way. This one has been building for a while, with Raven Lake even going as far as bullying her daughter in to surrendering Supergirls title matches to her. While Sammy isn't afraid to lock up with Lake, she has never been the instigator or been overly aggressive either.

On the other end, you have Supergirls champ and lovable babyface KC Spinelli standing off against The Administration's new slag Mary Jane. Mary Jane is probably the best thing to happen to the division since... Taya Valkyrie changed gear. She is the rotten heel the division has needed for a while. She has no redeeming qualities. She's the perfect heel. She looks like a snotty brat. She talks, acts and behaves like that awful ex-girlfriend you could only have nightmares about. It's so easy to hate her. Nothing against her personally as I'm sure she's like any normal girl but I feel she plays her role to a tee. Nicole Matthews was a rotten heel but she could back it up and win matches cleanly. Mary Jane just seems like a dirtbag, through and through. She's the perfect candidate to take on Spinelli.

Once again, this match timed out to perfection. Everyone seemed to get their spots in (though I don't recall Spinelli missing her moonsault again) and the match wrapped up in a just under 10 minutes. Spinelli and Hall walked away victorious with Lake and Mary Jane undoubtedly plotting revenge. I really enjoyed this match. It was the best Supergirls tag match in a while and I'm really interested in both of the feuds going forward. ECCW has something good going with these four gals at the moment.

Michael Sweetser def Andy the Dreadful Bird

Yes, you read that caption correctly. Michael Sweetser defeated Andy the dreadful bird. Nicole Matthews was set to take on 'Sweets' but she injured herself and was forced to forfeit. I don't want to say I'm happy Matthews was injured, but I'm happy the original match didn't take place. To be frank, whenever Matthews is involved in those gag-type matches (IE: v. Chuck Awesomesauce, v. Katrina Valentine) they generally don't go over too well and are often times cringeworthy. I had a feeling that was coming with this match, so I was happy the swap was made for Andy.

Speaking of cringeworthy... Andy's entrance! At first I felt I was being a bit harsh on Andy for his very light hearted character and after receiving a massive backlash from fans and wrestlers alike for my comments, I cooled my jets and gave him credit where credit was due. He's a fantastic wrestler. His contest with Alex Plexis in the opening day of the Pacific Cup this year was some of the fastest wrestling I had ever seen. He truly is a marvelous talent. However, when I see a row full of Surrey's most blood thirsty fans cowar in sheer terror at the sight of Andy flapping his wings and swaying his arms, something is wrong! I'm sure these are the same guys who have been watching Michelle Starr simulate sex with other men for over a decade too. Andy isn't exactly building up his tough guy image and you know what happens when you don't build that up... ask Ray Brooks!

To the match, Sweets actually came in wearinga singlet and looked very trim. In the process, he made me feel like a complete jerk for taking a poke at his weight in my Halloween Hell blog. My bad, Sweets. Either way, it was comical and at the same time impressive that Sweetser actually looked like he came to wrestle! It still made no difference as Andy proceeded to toss his bleach blonde adonis of an opponent around the venue but was interupted by who else but The Administration with one of their trademark run-ins! Andy had planned ahead as The Riot came storming out to even up the odds and battle The Administration to the backstage area. Just as it seemed Sweets had run out of lifelines, he was sent a guardian angel... carrying a police baton. Shawn "Ice" LaFleur made a b-line through the crowd, slid under the bottom rope and pretty much cleaned Andy's clock with his retractable police baton. Sweets rolled his lifeless body over for the cover and that was that.

I wouldn't have bought Andy winning the Hardcore Title but at the same time, I don't know how many more title defenses can go the way of an interference bonanza. If that is the case, I can see myself getting bored with Sweetsers Hardcore run fast. I have a feeling that may be the case, which will lead ECCW to revert back to the always reliable Plan B: Put the belt back on Moondog Manson.

In the positives column, I absolutely loved the return of Ice. From the vicious baton lashing to the pink v-neck shirt used for the smarmiest of cheap heat, Ice aced his comeback test and now looks to take the place of an injured Nick Price in The Administration. The Riot/Administration rivalry seems to be heating up and it will be interesting to see where it goes from here.


Cremator & Hellian def The Bosom Buddies (w/ Miss Mandy) in a Bunkhouse Brawl

BUNKHOUSE FREAKING BRAWL! My favourite of all brawls, before Cafeteria brawl & Boilerroom brawl. Jordy Taylor & Ray Brooks of the Bosom Buddies were feeling lucky or probably just needed a pay check when they decided to take this match. They met two nasty dudes in Cremator and his minion, Hellian. The Bosom Buddies had a memorable entrance that included Miss Mandy with clothes on and handing out free cowboy hats! Not often do wrestlers come out with free gifts so that was a little added bonus. Also, Miss Mandy has seemingly transformed from busty trailer park wench to adorable country sweetheart. I think the new role fits her very nicely. Let's just hope it sticks.
The crowd was very much behind Mandy and her men, but it didn't do a whole heck of a lot for them. Ray & Jordie have been the lovable underdogs for a long time and something just don't change.

Despite putting up a decent fight, Brooks eventually succumbed to a sidewalk slam from Cremator was and pinned for the three count. After the match, Jordie was visible pissed with his partner, possibly signalling some tension between the two. The match itself while being violent, wasn't overly memorable but may serve its purpose should something blossom, feud-wise, with Brooks & Taylor.

At first I didn't peg Jordie for a heel and really was behind his lovable loser character. However, after closely watching Jordie and how he works in the ring, his manuerisms, his facial expression or lack there of... it all spells heel to me. While I'm a huge fan of the Bosom Buddies and now Miss Mandy, I will admit it would be interesting to see what happened if Jordie maybe lost his marbles and went bat shit on Brooks. Once again, a little fantasy booking.


Scotty Mac def Danni Deeds

While being one of ECCW's most legendary performers, something tells me Scotty Mac doesn't take himself too seriously sometimes. This was the match where Scotty was forced to dawn Deeds' tye-dye gear for the match per stipulation. The match was a quick one but served it's purpose as far as entertainment was concerned. You can tell Deeds & Scotty have worked together a few times over the years because their matches are pretty well put together. Deeds got about as far as he could by himiliating Scotty with his gear but really it would have made no sense to humiliate Scotty a 2nd time, which made Deeds losing very sensable.  Scotty, despite looking like a j-off pulled the victory and got back some of his dignity. Good match. Good enterainment. Not too lengthy. I approve. No complaints. Let's move on.

Chamber of Extreme
Sid Sylum, El Phantasmo, Azeem the Dream & J-Sin Sullivan vs Aaron Bolo, Ethan HD, Bishop & The Natural

To be honest, I have a few sidenotes on this match... but not a whole heck of a lot to say about it. It was conducted in an elimination format with wrestlers entering every few minutes. The match started with Sylum & Bolo. One of my notes I made during this one, is how much I liked Bolo when he's a heel and not a face. He's almost a carbon copy of Pete Powers as a face. Big and muscly but just isn't over. They now have him heel and it works like a charm. Dude doesn't need to say a word. It's working for me anyways.

The match obviously had its violent side and there is really no need to get in to that. One of the shockers for the match was J-Sin Sullivan. Why you may ask? Well, he turned on his team. It caught me offguard and I thought it was wicked... until he gave his reason as to why. Natural came plodding to the ring with an envelope screaming "I've got your money, big man"... Yes. Sully did it for the benjamins. The crowd seemed confused as hell and even after Sully screamed "I did it for the money"... people were still confused. I thought perhaps they could have given a better reason for Sullivan to turn. Doing it for the money seems like a pretty easy out.

Anyways, after Sullivan turned on his team... he left to the back! I guess The Administration was running low on funds after Natural's dry cleaning bill came in or they would have paid Sullivan to acutally complete his job. Apparently, they paid him just enough to waste Sylum as he was treated to a ringside table for two. Poor Sylum. We'll go for wings soon.

After Sylum was hauled off, the match returned to it's barbaric ways with each team killing the other. Bishop was bleeding like a stuck pig. To make matters worse... he was performing in the walking cast he got at Pacific Cup injuring his ankle. Bishop is made of steel and I don't care who knows. The guy is an absolute robot of a man.
Another big surprise came after all members of The Selection were eliminated. The Natural himself announced himself as the mystery man and actually took part in the match. Give credit where it is due, Natural put his body on the line for the fans. Show in and show out Natch pokes the fans and he re-paid them for the months of abuse, taking some gross bumps and in turn losing the match for his team. El P & Azeem survived the contest and put an end to the feud with The Selection. It will be interesting to see what happens with Sullivan after he turned his back on his team.


There it is! Only a week late! My recap of the Chamber of Extreme. Find my tops/flops below.

Tops: Women's Division/ Return of Ice

I summed it up pretty well earlier. The Women's division has some heated battles going on right now. In particular, Mary Jane is comiong across as a dastardly heel. Her feud with Spinelli is just getting started and I think it could be a good one! Also, Raven Lake & Sammy Hall's feud is just beginning to cook! The Women's division is really looking up in the ECCW!

I also loved the return of Ice. It's been a while since ECCW had an impromptu return that shocked us... and thankfully, we finally got one. Can't wait to see Ice's work moving forward.

I can't discredit the stuff the guys did in the main event either though which definitely deserves a very honourable mention.

Flops: The Hardcore title situation

It seems they've run out of ideas here. The belt is being passed around like a dutchie and matches that I once used to look forward to, are becoming gag fests. It's nothing against those involved but they need to freshen up that storyline somehow. It started before Halloween Hell and has dragged on until now. I can easily say I've become bored with it.

This was actually a very good event wrestling and match-wise. Besides my minor storyline or character gripes, the matches themselves and the actual physical wrestling that went on was top notch. In every match, the talent were really on their A game that night. No match fell short of expectation.

This recap is my OPINION and my OPINION only. If you would like to reach me, you can tweet me at @CDBasso or email me at bass0_@hotmail.com

For more info on ECCW, visit ECCW.com, follow them on Twitter at @ECCW or visit their Facebook fan page! Their next event is in Coquitlam on April 14th.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Shoot Interview with 2012 Pacific Cup Champion, NWA Canadian Heavyweight Champion & World Of Hurt participant Bishop!

Bishop - 2012 Pacific Cup Champion
This past weekend ECCW hosted it's 12th edition of the Pacific Cup. For those who don't know, the Pac Cup is the most prestigious tournament in the Pacific Northwest. It garners attention and talent from BC, Alberta, Washington & Oregon. This year ECCW made a change to the tournament by doing away with all previous weight limitations. For the first 11 editions of the Pac Cup... only classified Junior Heavyweights could enter. This year the big boys were involved as well. The Pacific Cup has produced such high-profile winners such as current ROH star Kyle O'Reilly, the face of ECCW Scotty Mac & many more! Needless to say... you must be an Elite talent to be involved in the tournamernt. Be sure to check the tournament's history, which linked all over this page.

Back in 2010, when I first started covering ECCW... I managed to sit down for an interview with veteran wrestler Bishop. One of the questions in that interview was "what gold do you want most?" I was surprised when Bishop immediately answered, "I want to enter the Pac Cup... but I'm not a cruiser weight"

Fast forward to today's date and Bishop is now 2012 Pac Cup champion in only his first year in the tournament. And to be honest... it is well deserved. While most fans just see a big surly dude playing a mean bully of a character, people behind the scene and media like myself see a different side to the big man who leads The Natural Selection.

Bishop is a man who has paid his dues over the years.  He has been in the business over a decade. He is a man who is passionate about his craft. He is a man who helps younger talent. Heck, he even helps set up the ring still. I'm pretty sure that's a thankless task usually saved for greenhorns just starting in the business. Yet every show... the big man is there helping out with set up and anything else that needs doing. You have never heard of grumblings from him over younger talent being pushed before him. I'm sure he would be any promoters dream. Bishop's raw wrestling talent and agility for a big man are backed up by a good attitude and deep passion for what he does. He is a team player to the core and is also known for his "leave it in the ring" performances, most notably at Halloween Hells 2010 & 2011, as well as TLC VI. I know his gutsy matches would definitely be welcome in my newly created "Basso Championship Wrestling" (still seeking funding.. a ring.. wrestlers... etc) I hardly need to mention Bishop's recent participation in the World Of Hurt tapings with Rowdy Roddy Piper. The man eats up any and all things wrestling!

I think it was the right move to give Bish the Cup. He looked like a believable winner. All his matches on the night were stellar and he definitely deserves to have his named etched on the most prestigious wrestling prize here in the Pacific Northwest. While Bishop isn't the youngest guy on the roster, he still has plenty of good years and matches left in him. I think the 2011 calendar year was a break out for Bishop as far as in-ring performances and accomplishments and it will only go up from here in 2012. Bishop seems to still be improving. Hey, who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

I caught up with Bishop after the event for a shoot interview

What does it mean to you to win the Pac Cup and to now have heavyweights be involved?

Honestly, its the biggest deal to me personally. Yeah I'm a bigger guy, but I don't wrestle big guy style most of the time. Yes, I can wrestle a big guy style. I am versatile. I wrestle whatever my opponent needs, but my favourite style is a cruiser weight style. I like flying around, doing flippy spots and blowing the crowds mind. That's my bread and butter. Thats what I like to watch, there for that is what I like to do. The Pac Cup was a huge deal to be a part of it.

I did a shoot with Artemis Spencer a while back and I asked him "Who would you like to work with in the near future?" His answer was Bishop. What does that mean to you to know that Artemis had put you over and that in the end it was you two fighting it out for the 2012 Pac Cup?

I'm not gonna lie. Arty is the best technical wrestler in the Pacific Northwest guaranteed if not one of the top guys in all of North America. You can put him against anyone from ROH, Dragon Gate, Chikara... any promotion. Obviously, guys in the Fed or TNA don't work that style, but I'm pretty sure they couldn't hang with Arty. For him to put me over like that is a huge thing for me. Honestly, we did train together. When i started I was 21... he was like 15. I was so jealous. I was like "Man, I could have been doing this when I was 15?" I was so jealous. He was so good, little and quick. I loved trying to keep up with him when we were training and stuff. We've been around each other for the last 9 years. I've seen him grow. I've seen him be shunned because of his size. He was shunned and had to wear a mask for years because management thought he looked too young and skinny. He is one of the guys I've always pushed for to get the spots in the company. For him to compliment me like that means a lot.

Describe your feeling and the atmosphere backstage when management told you that you were going over and would be winning the 2012 Pac Cup ?

I'm not that guy. I don't like being the guy that gets put over. Talk to the booking team. I was trying to change things 5 minutes before the show. I was saying 'Guys, why don't we put [Kenny]Lush over? He's a good guy" He goes to Korea. This f***ing guy deserves it more than me. He has better ring cardio than me. Why put me over? Why did I need to go over? I didn't know what to do... I didn't feel like I deserved it. I felt like I was burying everyone. I like putting other guys over and taking their sh*t and making them look good.

Who would you work with if you had to pick? Perhaps defend your Pac Cup against next year?

I couldn't pick just one guy. I love working with [Kenny] Lush. His energy in the ring is infectious. As soon as the match starts, he cranks it up to 15 and I'm like "Man, I gotta match him" It draws it out of you. Working with Lush is Amazing. Working with Arty is amazing. We didn't even begin to tap in to what we could really do. I f***ed up my ankle in the match so I was worried about doing stuff. We didn't get to do everything we wanted to. I'm upset I only got to work [Sid] Sylum once at Halloween Hell. We had such great chemistry. I'd like to work with him more. I clicked with Azeem in the first round of the cup. He's really getting over as a babyface. I definitely want to work with him more. If I could get Memphis out of retirement, I'd love to work with him. Hes one of my all time favourites. My chemistry with Baroni was great. There is too many guys to narrow it down.

One image I think that really illustrated just how much this Pac Cup win meant for Bishop, came immediately after his win. Bishop had defeated Artemis Spencer for his NWA Canadian Heavyweight Title as part of a stipulation in the Pac Cup finals, making Bishop a double champ with the win. The Natural was just about to hand Bishop a microphone so he could spill his guts... only Bishop's hands were full. In one hand, the Pac Cup he had finally got his hands on. In the other... the NWA Canadian Heavyweight title. Without hesitation, Bishop threw the title belt to the ground and grabbed the mic, while hoisting the Pac Cup trophy high in the air. Bish didn't care about the belt. He cared about the Pac Cup. That right there tells me that perhaps out of any former winner... Bishop truly valued this trophy more than anything and it really came across in his post match promo.  While I don't think this trophy is going to instantly rocket Bishop to super stardom, it is most definitely a very big pat on the back for many years of loyal service in the Pacific Northwest.

For video of his victory, click here.

I've linked to my own personal tribute to Bishop, that I think most will get a kick out of. Click here for that video.

Im sure Bishop will continue his tear in to 2012 and provide more ball-to-the-wall performances, which are steadily becoming his trademark.

For more info on  ECCW , The Pacific Cup and their events, visit ECCW.com , their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter at @eccw

You can follow Bishop on Twitter at @BigPileOfSexy

You can follow me on twitter at @cdbasso or email me at bass0_@hotmail.com



Photo courtesy of ECCW.com