…that’s the name. Toronto’s VCW Wrestling is presenting it’s first event under the HOGTOWN WRESTLING banner on Saturday October 1st and after my introduction to the show last month… Socktoberfest has my name all over it.
I encountered a man on Bloor Sreet that day, a man in blue swim style speedos and matching boots. Muscled, bare chest, waxed handlebar mustache… former Hogtown Tag Team champion, “The Professional” Jaxon Jarvis was standing on the street at the shows intermission. He convinces wrestling virgins to take a chance on the show, giving them discounted entry. The place is mostly packed already but The Professional doesn’t want to be inside. Scheduled to take on his former best friend and tag partner Dirty Rex, The Professional is too worked up to be back stage, only a room or two away from his now arch rival.
The event is at the Super Wonder Gallery, which boasts a large location right at Ossington and Bloor St W. (876 Bloor St W) The huge front window allows those attracted by the one of a kind bolster that is pro wrestling to get a good, quick look at the action. Most end up coming in because of the hooting and hollering of the crowd. Ending just before 11pm, the spontaneous still have plenty of time to go out and cap off the night elsewhere.
“It just looked like such chaos; everyone was chanting at the wrestlers.” Says one excited convert .
Those that are undecided see the fire in The Professional’s eyes and hear the humor in his words. Those that take up the offer are not disappointed, reveling in new found joy seeing “The Hacker” Scotty O’Shea fly around the 16 x 16 ring, in a display of acrobatics that leaves his opponent reeling and the crowd elated. O’Shea is taking on Champion Goliath Ayala and those fans not in attendance will be watching this match soon on the weekly television show, debuting under it’s new name Hogtown Wrestling, on Rogers Cable 10 & 63 in Toronto, Saturday October 8th.
But why change names?
A bold move for a company going 5 years strong; with a Roger’s television show for a large majority of that time. (Season 5 premiere of Hogtown Wrestling airs exactly one week after the next event, Sat Oct 8th) After 4 seasons under the name Victory Wrestling Showcase, not only will the company present live shows under the new name, but the weekly television product will change as well. Hogtown board President Matthew Bradley claims that among other more official reasons… “the Hogtown Wrestling name connects us to the town we were born in and run 90% of our shows in. More over… it will be easier for casual fans to remember.”
The Casual Fan
After all, casual fans is what the former VCW Wrestling has excelled at most up to this point, along with having carved out a niche market with the diehards, those looking for a unique and memorable weekend destination, in a city packed with possibilities, have found a great choice in Hogtown Wrestling. Being campy in nature and describing themselves as an 80’s throw back style of wrestling, Hogtown is loaded with braggarts, masked men and tom foolery.
Although known for attracting the downtown hipster and off-the-street crowd, there are also those that I’ll be lining up with on Saturday October 1st. Those that come out for the smell of the sweat and salt in the air. The front row crowd. Those that want to see both the pain of defeat and joy of victory, etched on a man’s face. Deeply invested in the characters and stories Hogtown Pro presents. I now count myself among their ranks.
The ranks of those who are looking for justice… for The Professional.
It turns out that night, shortly after he coaxed me inside, Jaxon Jarvis was savagely molested with a chain by his former partner. The match never even got off the ground and before my eyes the man who smiled and convinced me I’d have the time of my life, lay before me broken and beaten.
I did have the time of my life, he was right. I felt the rush of awe and the crush of sadness. I ate, drank and met new friends. Most of all I found a reason to come back besides just having another great time or a cool place to bring a date. I am coming back to support The Professional. I’ll be there as he seeks revenge and is given another chance to throttle Dirty Rex.
Rex, who claims that once again he shall dispatch his former friend in quick order. A compelling reason for anyone to come.
Those that take a chance will leave with a sense of having seen something rare and special…and they have. Only now when they get home and struggle to remember the name of that super cool wrestling they just saw…. with a name like HogTown Wrestling…. who can forget.