ENJOY WRESTLING CANNED HEAT: EPISODE 1 OF 4
FEBRUARY 25, 2021
AIRED ON YOUTUBE
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Effy, Rich Bocchini
Enjoy Wrestling is a brand-new indie promotion out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Slated to begin life in the spring of 2020 but thwarted by the COVID-19 pandemic, their first tapings ever took place last month and that footage now sees the light of day as a four-episode YouTube series called Canned Heat. The first episode is premiering now with the remaining three dropping every Thursday at 8 p.m. EST. Canned Heat covers the entirety of an eight-person tournament with competitors vying to win the first Enjoy Cup.
We opened with the Enjoy staff standing by the big purple trophy and acknowledging the lack of fans being the only thing missing from this show. In the arena our commentators checked in. On the call is Rich Bocchini, voice of MLW and Defy Wrestling, and Effy, who obviously needs no introduction. They sent things backstage to interviewer (and member of the team for the PWTorch Tuesday DailyCast Grit & Glitter!) Meg Fair.
Fair was with Shawn Phoenix. They asked Phoenix about returning from injury. He’s overcome death, inhaled poison, went deaf in his left ear, and fractured his skull. He is unbreakable and promised Mr. Grim would feel the fire of the phoenix.
Back in the ring Fair is also the ring announcer on duty. Out first was the bounty hunter Mr. Grim. The commentators pondered what was inside the metal briefcase he carried with him. Grim stared down Fair until referee Tony Stabile managed to coax him away.
(1) “UNBREAKABLE” SHAWN PHOENIX vs. “THE HITMAN FOR HIRE” MR. GRIM – ENJOY CUP, OPENING ROUND
Phoenix offered a handshake but Grim smacked it away. Phoenix looked for some hurricanranas but Grim remained on his feet. A hard forearm dropped Phoenix in his tracks. Grim tossed him across the ring. Phoenix trapped in the corner as Grim used his as a punching bag. The first cover in Enjoy history gave Grim a two-count. Enziguiri from Phoenix. Gutwrench powerbomb from Grim countered into a facebuster by Phoenix. Discus lariat from Grim. Powerbomb and he held on and transitioned into his GML.
WINNER: Mr. Grim in 3:37.
-Grim fetched his trademark body bag and laid it out. He zipped up Phoenix and carried him to the back over his shoulder. “That’s one,” he seemed to indicate to the camera.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Short but sweet. Lots of energy and it felt much longer than the clock indicated. Phoenix, like many of the competitors in this tournament, is a Pittsburgh native who regularly wrestles for promotions like Ryse, Limitless, and IWC. This was my introduction to him but he looked good and has a strong handle on his character. Grim I was already familiar with from F1ght Club Pro. He likewise knows exactly who Mr. Grim is and that was executed perfectly here. Giving Phoenix the pre-match promo but not Grim made me consider that we might see an upset here so mission accomplished.
Production-wise the show looks really nice. It’s literally just an empty room but it’s well-lit and honestly looks more professional than the basement AEW shot the Japanese tournament matches in. The camera work has a hint of a cinematic feel to it in the way Riptide films their events and the on-screen graphics are all solid. It bears mention that the competitors have pronouns listed on all of their introductory graphics as well. There might not be fans in attendance but clearly the other competitors and staff are watching from the shadows as applause and scattered cheers could be heard throughout the match.
Grim faces the winner of our next match in the second round.)
-We sent to an ad for attorney “The Gavel” David Lawless, Esq. His phone number is 1-800-LAWLESS. He will pound the competition.
-Backstage Fair confronted Grim about putting Phoenix in the body bag. They asked what he’s doing. “My job.” He was paid to win the tournament and take out anybody in his way. (Paid by who??)
-Fair was set to interview MV Young next but he took the mic for himself. PolyAm Cult Rule #412: Yinz is a gender-neutral pronoun. “And MV is about to fuck yinz up.”
(2) “THE KING OF THE POLYAM CULT” MV YOUNG vs. “THE BABE WITH THE POWER” WILLOW NIGHTINGALE – ENJOY CUP, OPENING ROUND
Nick Shin is the referee. The commentators acknowledged skate punk band Anti-Flag giving Young permission to call his double-stomp Kill The Rich after one of their songs. Nightingale slapped Young across the chest. He gave her a light slap in return. She hit him with two harder. He returned with a series of chops but she sent him to the floor. Nightingale chased him back into the ring but ate a codebreaker. Irish whip into the turnbuckle. Camel clutch from Young. Suplex. German suplex from Nightingale and both were down. Nightingale fired up with a series of clotheslines. Spinebuster but Young kicked out. Young wanted to suplex Nightingale into the corner but Nightingale countered and hit two of her own. Young blocked the third. Spinning slam from Young. He sat Nightingale on the top rope for a superplex but she knocked him off and hit a missile dropkick. Pounce to Young as he ran the ropes. Young caught Nightingale with a running knee to the back of the head, though, and it was enough.
WINNER: MV Young in 7:51.
(Pageot’s Perspective: The finish felt a tad abrupt but commentary had talked up Nightingale’s neck issues at the start of the match so it clearly played into that. Again, both wrestlers looked good here. Young is the current Wrestlers Lab champion so I would have been surprised to see him lose in the first round but Nightingale is so beloved that I wasn’t confident in calling a winner either way. Young will take on Grim in two weeks’ time, which is an interesting pairing.
Our first episode of Canned Heat flew by, which was the intent. Enjoy is purposefully keeping these shows under half an hour to make them more accessible. We’ll see if it pays off. Overall a very respectable debut and the rest of the tournament is definitely something you’re going to want to keep an eye on. I can’t close without giving a nod to the commentary team too. I’ve never heard Effy play things so straight before (no pun intended) but he felt like a seasoned pro next to Bocchini. They never talked over another or bickered and added to the action in the ring consistently. The show wrapped in 24:10 with 411 live viewers.)
-Next week: it’s the remaining opening round matches with Ziggy Haim vs. Still Life With Apricots & Pears and Solo Darling vs. Lee Moriarty.
-Credits rolled to close out the show.