International Wrestling Syndicate

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International Wrestling Syndicate
Acronym IWS
Founded 1998
Style Pro Wrestling
Hardcore wrestling
Lucha libre
Headquarters Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Founder(s) SeXXXy Eddy
Manny Eleftheriou
Nic Paterson
Owner(s) Manny Eleftheriou
Formerly Dawson Wrestling Federation
World Wrestling Syndicate
Internet Wrestling Syndicate

International Wrestling Syndicate (IWS) is a professional wrestling promotion based out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Originating from the Dawson Wrestling Federation, it was formerly known as the Internet Wrestling Syndicate and World Wrestling Syndicate.

IWS is renowned as being one of the continent's longest running promotions, and one of hardcore wrestling's staunchest standouts, while evolving into a proving ground for young talent from Quebec, Ontario and Atlantic Canada.[1][2]

History

Dawson Wrestling Federation

In April 1998, SeXXXy Eddy organized the Dawson Wrestling Federation to perform on the grounds of Dawson College in Montreal. He became the promotion’s first champion. Professional wrestling was banned from being performed on Dawson College property following the events of April 23, 1999, when SeXXXy Eddy and PCP Crazy F'N Manny introduced foreign objects in a multi-competitor match.[2]

World Wrestling Syndicate

Eddy joined with Manny Elefthriou and Nic Paterson to form the World Wrestling Syndicate. WWS had their first show Blood, Sweat & Beers at Wally's on June 17, 1999. The last WWS show was Praise the Violence on April 8, 2000.

Internet Wrestling Syndicate

In 2000, the promotion was renamed Internet Wrestling Syndicate, as Manny partnered with Wild Rose Productions, a Montreal-based Internet adult entertainment company owned by Carol Cox.[3] The first IWS show Change, was held at Just For Laughs Cabaret on November 10, featuring PCP Crazy F'N Manny versus Danny Dallas, in the first of only three No-Rope Barbed Wire matches in IWS history.

IWS held its first seasonal Medley show at Praise the Violence on March 31, 2001. On May 25, IWS began promoting shows at Le Skratch in Laval, becoming its primary venue for the next two years. Two months later at Un F'N Sanctioned, Hardcore Ninjaz faced PCP Crazy F'N Manny and The Green Phantom in the first IWS Fans Bring the Weapons Match. On November 10 at Born to Bleed, Justice Pain defeated Hardcore Ninja #1 and Hardcore Ninja #2 in a Triple Threat Match, retaining his CZW World Heavyweight Championship.

In Spring 2002, IWS inaugurated the IWS Tag Team Championship with the Extreme Dream Tag Team Tournament. The tournament was won by the unlikely team of Maxx Fury & Hardcore Ninja #1, on March 16 at Extreme Dream Part 2. On May 18 at Freedom To Fight, The Green Phantom won his first IWS Heavyweight Championship in a 4-Way Elimination Match defeating PCP Crazy F'N Manny, The Arsenal and SeXXXy Eddy. On July 14 at Scarred For Life, "The Generic Luchador" El Generico made his wrestling debut in a count out victory.[4]

On August 16, 2003, Pierre Carl Ouellet (PCO) and Kevin Steen made their IWS debuts at Born to Bleed. On October 18 at Blood, Sweat and Beers, PCO defeated El Generico and Kevin Steen in a Triple Threat Match. On November 15 at Payback's A Bitch, El Generico defeated Kevin Steen in their first-ever singles match against each other.[5][6] On December 13 at Season's Beatings, IWS held the last show of its first-run at Le Skratch.

On June 15, 2004 at Le SPAG, IWS held its 5th anniversary show "V", where Sid Vicious made his in-ring return from having suffered his near career-ending injury in WCW.[7] During the event, El Generico defeated PCO in an IWS Title Match for his first IWS Heavyweight Championship, only to have Kevin Steen claim his #1 contendership won earlier that night against Excess 69. Kevin Steen defeated El Generico, also winning his first IWS Heavyweight Championship.

Kevin Steen's first title reign in 2004, marked a pivotal milestone in the history of the promotion when he became the first IWS Heavyweight Champion to internationally defend the title, defeating Roderick Strong on October 30 in New Jersey at JAPW.[8] These events and various upcoming plans of expansion led the promotion to be renamed the International Wrestling Syndicate, coincidentally acknowledging Montreal's professional wrestling territorial era via Lutte Internationale.[9]

International Wrestling Syndicate

At Un F'N Sanctioned on March 26, 2005, The Green Phantom defeated Chris Hero, while Beef Wellington beat Super Dragon. On July 9 at Freedom to Fight, IWS held its first international event at the Viking Hall in Philadelphia. IWS held on July 23, preliminary matches for Extreme Dream Tournament II, inaugurating the IWS Canadian Championship. On August 20, Chris Bishop defeated El Generico in the Extreme Dream Tournament Final Match, becoming the first IWS Canadian Champion.

On June 3, 2006 at Un F’N Sanctioned, Sabu worked his (then) last independent match teaming with PCO defeating The Green Phantom and Dru Onyx, 48 hours prior to debuting on WWE Raw.[10] On July 29 at Summer Slaughter, Max Boyer won the Extreme Dream Tournament Final in a 6-Way Elimination Match. On August 8 at Breakout, Viking defeated Excess in an IWS World Heavyweight Title vs. Career Match.

On March 24, 2007 at Un F'N Sanctioned, Christian Cage & Max Boyer defeated PCO & Jake Matthews. On September 22 at Blood, Sweat & Beers, Kevin Steen defeated Jay Briscoe, while The Dudley Boyz (renouncing to being billed as Team 3D during the event) and Franky The Mobster beat PCO, Paranoid Jake Matthews and Brick Crawford.[11] On November 3 at Freedom to Fight, Christopher Daniels defeated IWS Canadian Champion Max Boyer in a Non-Title Match.

On February 16, 2008 at Violent Valentine, El Generico defeated Kevin Steen for the IWS World Heavyweight Championship. On March 22 at Know Your Enemies, Kevin Steen regained the IWS World Heavyweight Championship, defeating Max Boyer and El Generico in a 3-Way Match. On May 24 at Freedom to Fight, Kevin Steen became the first-ever to hold two IWS titles simultaneously, when he defeated Max Boyer in an IWS Championship Unification Match. On September 27 at Un F'N Sanctioned, Excess beat Shayne Hawke for the vacant IWS Canadian Championship in the Extreme Dream Tournament Final Match, while Kevin Steen retained the IWS World Heavyweight Championship against Joey Mercury.

On January 10, 2009 at Season's Beatings, The Green Phantom defeated "Big Rig" Brodie Lee in a Christmas Tree Deathmatch. On May 30, IWS celebrated its 10th anniversary "X" at the Medley, where Kevin Nash made his return to Montreal in a losing effort against PCO in a Grudge Match, concluding a genuine rivalry originating from subsequent WWE matches in Montreal & Quebec City in 1995.[12]

IWS held its (then) final show on October 9, 2010 at Club Soda, featuring IWS originals SeXXXy Eddy, PCP Crazy FN' Manny, The Arsenal and IWS World Heavyweight Champion The Green Phantom in a Fans Bring the Weapons Match.[3]

In early 2014, IWS announced its return in May at the Plaza Theatre. At Praise the Violence on May 10, Shayne Hawke won the vacant IWS Canadian Championship in a 4-Way Match. At XV:15 FKN Years on August 23, IWS celebrated its 15th anniversary, featuring Tommy Dreamer. On September 20 at Scarred 4 Life, "Speedball" Mike Bailey won the IWS World Heavyweight Championship against The Green Phantom.

At Un F'N Sanctioned on March 28, 2015 at Corona Theatre, Mike Bailey defeated Hallowicked and Jesse Neal in a Triple Threat Match. On September 5 at Scarred 4 Life, Vampiro returned to Montreal after 30 years since making his pro wrestling debut in Quebec, and Mike Bailey retained the IWS World Heavyweight Championship against Jack Evans.[13] Since early December 2015, Mike Bailey holds the record as the longest consecutive IWS World Heavyweight Championship title holder at 530 days.[14]

On March 5, 2016 at Un F'N Sanctioned held at Métropolis, Black Dynomite won the IWS World Heavyweight Championship in a 4-Way Match versus Rey Mysterio, Jack Evans and Mike Bailey.[15] On May 28 at Bloodstream: Vol. 2, Hardcore Ninjaz won the Tag Team Invitational Gauntlet Match for the IWS World Tag Team Championship.[16]

On February 4, 2017 at Freedom To Fight, Scott Parker defeated Black Dynomite in an IWS Championship Unification Match.[17] At Un F'N Sanctioned on May 6, Tabarnak De Team (TDT) defeated Hardcore Ninjaz for the IWS World Tag Team Championship. On August 5 at Scarred 4 Life, Stefany Sinclair became the first-ever IWS Women's Champion and TDT successfully defended the IWS World Tag Team Championship against The Young Bucks.[18] At First Blood on November 4, Franky TM faced Johnny Mundo to a no-contest.[19] At Season's Beatings on December 2, Stacy Thibault won the IWS Women's Championship in a 3-Way Elimination Match, while Big Magic became IWS World Heavyweight Champion in a 4-Way Elimination Match.[20]

On January 20, 2018 at Freedom To Fight, WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne fought IWS Canadian Champion Matt Angel to a no-contest.[21] On March 3 at Un F'N Sanctioned, "Dirty" Buxx Belmar won the IWS World Heavyweight Championship against Big Magic, while Matt Angel successfully defended the IWS Canadian Championship versus "Flying" Frank Milano and Rob Van Dam.[22] On April 28 at Unstoppable, TDT and Buxx Belmar defeated Les Brasseurs with Scott Parker and British Strong Style (Pete Dunne, Trent Seven and Tyler Bate).[23] On July 14 at Hardcore Heat, Frank Milano won the IWS Canadian Championship in a Fatal 4-Way Match, TDT reclaimed the IWS World Tag Team Championship from Les Brasseurs, and PCO defeated Walter in a rematch to their critically lauded confrontation at Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2.[24][25][26][27] On October 6 at British Strong Style, Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven and Tyler Bate) defeated TDT for the IWS World Tag Team Championship.[28][29] On December 8, IWS presents Season's Beatings at Club Unity.[30]

On March 23, 2019, IWS celebrates its 20th anniversary with Un F'N Sanctioned at MTelus.[31] On April 6, 2019, IWS presents Unstoppable at the White Eagle Hall in Jersey City, as part of GCW's The Collective.[32][33]

Shows and TV tapings

The promotion gained global exposure during the late '90s & early 2000s wrestling boom, by streaming video on demand on a monthly show entitled Bloodstream, and has been featured on Playboy TV, Fight Network & Viewer's Choice Canada on pay-per-view.[34][35][36]

IWS has run spot shows for outdoor events such as the Montreal Fringe Festival, Warped Tour & Heavy MONTRÉAL.[37]

Their shows are currently jointly promoted with entertainment event promoter Evenko, distributed on DVD through Smart Mark Video & RF Video, and available on video on demand with Powerbomb.TV.

IWS announced on September 2, 2017, production of a pre-recorded television program for RDS.[38] The first TV tapings of the four episode experimental deal, was held at Blood, Sweat & Beers at Club Unity on October 7, 2017. The first RDS2 broadcast of the monthly program La Lutte à RDS, aired on October 22, 2017.[39] On February 22, 2018, IWS announced a year-long extension with RDS.[40][41]

Training Centre and Dojo

IWS runs a professional wrestling school in Montréal, Québec. In late 2014, the promotion inaugurated the IWS Dojo in a MMA training facility in LaSalle. The school is currently located at the IWS Training Centre, in a 16,000 ft² CrossFit facility in D.D.O..[42] Shayne Hawke and Big Magic operates as head trainers of the school.

The school has presented seminars by wrestlers such as WWE Hall of Famer Jake "The Snake" Roberts, "Speedball" Mike Bailey, Bob Evans, Pete Dunne, Trent Seven, Tyler Bate, Mike Quackenbush, Tessa Blanchard and UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar.[43][44][45][46][47][48][49][50]

International partnerships

IWS has collaborated with various international wrestling promotions including Combat Zone Wrestling, Jersey All Pro Wrestling, Chikara, Westside Xtreme Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, DDT Pro-Wrestling, Ring of Honor, AAA and WWE. In the past, IWS shows have had international championships defended on them and on some occasions, wrestlers have held both IWS and international championships simultaneously.

On July 24, 2004, SeXXXy Eddy, The Green Phantom, Evil Ninja & The Arsenal entered the CZW Tournament of Death III. In the semi-finals, Eddy defeated The Arsenal in a Light Tube Ropes & Corners Match, where he cut an artery in his left forearm, thereby forfeiting the final 3-Way with Necro Butcher & Wifebeater.[51][52] On September 11 at High Stakes II, SeXXXy Eddy defeated Kevin Steen, El Generico & Excess 69 in an IWS 4-Way Match, which was unofficially chosen as "CZW Match of the Year".[53][54] At Season's Beatings on December 18, Gran Akuma, Mike Quackenbush and Shane Storm defeated Jack Marciano and The Dark Breed (Hallowicked, UltraMantis Black).

On February 5, 2005 the IWS Tag Team Championship was first contested internationally in a 4-Way Elimination Match, when The Flying Hurricanes successfully defended their title at CZW Only The Strong: Scarred 4 Life held in Pennsylvania.[55] On February 19, 2005, El Generico took part in the Tag World Grand Prix, where he teamed with Kevin Steen as Team IWS.

On February 26, 2006, SeXXXy Eddy teamed with Kevin Steen as Team IWS in the Tag World Grand Prix. On June 23, Max Boyer entered the Young Lions Cup IV tournament, defeating Brandon Thomaselli in his first round match. On October 28, Boyer defeated Arik Cannon in a return singles match to win the Young Lions Cup.[56] Boyer was forced to vacate the title in time for the fifth annual Young Lions Cup tournament.

On January 20, 2007, El Generico was named at Praise the Violence the IWS representative for both the King of Europe Cup and wXw 16 Carat Gold Tournament.[57] On February 17, Max Boyer teamed with fellow IWS performers Scott Parker and Shane Matthews in the first ever King of Trios tournament.

On February and March 2008, El Generico took part in the King of Trios, where he teamed with Player Uno and Stupefied as Team IWS. On November 7 at ROH The French Connection, Stupefied defeated The Green Phantom, Excess & Dan Paysan in an IWS 4-Way Dark Match.[54][58]

On July 4, 2015, IWS announced a talent partnership with AAA and Lucha Underground.[15][59] IWS clashed with CZW at Freedom to Fight on October 17 at Le Skratch in Laval, where the IWS Canadian Championship, CZW World Tag Team Championship and CZW World Heavyweight Championship titles were successfully defended.[60]

On September 9, 2018, Mike Bailey defeated Psicosis and Argenis in a 3-Way Dance, at an IWS vs AAA spot show for the Montreal Mercado del Taco.[61][62]

Championships

Current champions

Championship: Champion(s): Previous: Date won: Days: Location:
IWS World Heavyweight Championship Buxx Belmar Big Magic March 3, 2018 258 Montréal, Québec, Canada
IWS World Tag Team Championship Moustache Mountain Tabarnak De Team October 6, 2018 41 Montréal, Québec, Canada
IWS Canadian Championship Frank Milano Markus Burke July 14, 2018 125 Montréal, Québec, Canada
IWS Women's Championship Stacy Thibault Stefany Sinclair December 2, 2017 349 Montréal, Québec, Canada

Alumni

IWS has been home to many notable independent wrestlers, such as Kevin Steen, El Generico, Pierre Carl Ouellet, 2.0 (Scott "Jagged" Parker & Shane Matthews), Vanessa Kraven, "Speedball" Mike Bailey, LuFisto, Franky The Mobster, the Super Smash Brothers (Player Uno & Stupefied), Le Tabarnak De Team (Mathieu St-Jacques & Thomas Dubois), "Dirty" Buxx Belmar, Shayne Hawke, Beef Wellington, The Green Phantom, Max Boyer & SeXXXy Eddy.

Awards

  • Quebec Wrestling Awards
    • Promotion of the Year (2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008)[63]
  • Cult MTL Best of MTL readers poll
    • Best Wrestling Federation or Event (2018)[64]

Other media

IWS has been featured on newscasts for CTV News and Global News, newspapers such as Montreal Gazette, Journal de Montréal and Ottawa Sun, national Canadian magazines such as Maclean's and Maisonneuve, and on TSN 690 and CKAC radio.[65][66] According to VICE, "no one comes close to the sheer insanity of the International Wrestling Syndicate".[67]

The promotion is referenced in Pat Laprade and Bertrand Hébert's, Mad Dogs, Midgets and Screw Jobs: The Untold Story of How Montreal Shaped the World of Wrestling.[68]

On March 29, 2017, BOOM! Studios released WrestleMania 2017 Special, featuring the Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn story in IWS, as written by Andy Belanger & Andrew Stott, with art by Andy Belanger.[69]

On July 4, 2017, WWE released Fight Owens Fight – The Kevin Owens Story on DVD and Blu-ray, featuring Kevin Owens' career in IWS.[70]

References

  1. ^ Babinsack, Joe (2009-02-25) "Joe Babinsack looks at the IWS in Montreal", Wrestling Observer, Retrieved on February 25, 2009.
  2. ^ a b Curtis, Christopher. (2018-07-21) "The many, many lives of The Green Phantom, Montreal's teacher wrestler", Montreal Gazette, Retrieved on July 23, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Leroux, Yves; Laprade, Patric (2010-10-11). "Final IWS show filled with blood, nostalgia and great wrestling". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
  4. ^ Laprade, Patric (2013-01-30) "El Generico bound for NXT", SLAM! Wrestling, Retrieved on January 30, 2013.
  5. ^ "Kevin Owens Matches", CAGEMATCH, Retrieved on August 31, 2016.
  6. ^ "IWS Payback's A Bitch Results Press Release", Internet Wrestling Syndicate, Retrieved on August 31, 2016.
  7. ^ Leroux, Yves. "Sid Vicious brings chaos to IWS anniversary", SLAM! Wrestling, June 14, 2004. Retrieved on June 14, 2004.
  8. ^ "Jersey All Pro Wrestling 2004 Results", JAPW, Retrieved on March 25, 2015.
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  12. ^ Laprade, Patric. "Ouellet makes Nash tap out in grudge match", SLAM! Wrestling, June 1, 2009. Retrieved on June 1, 2009.
  13. ^ Laprade, Patric. (2015-09-04) "Montreal show brings Vampiro full circle", SLAM! Wrestling, Retrieved on September 04, 2015.
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  15. ^ a b Laprade, Patric. (2016-03-07) "Mysterio at IWS latest in Montreal-Mexico exchange", SLAM! Wrestling, Retrieved on March 07, 2016.
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  25. ^ Greer, Jamie. (2018-05-03) "PCO: The Redemption of Pierre Carl Ouellet", Last Word On Pro Wrestling, Retrieved on May 03, 2018.
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  33. ^ Greer, Jamie. (2018-10-13) "Prepare To Be Assimilated: GCW’s Collective Will Overthrow WrestleMania Week", Last Word On Pro Wrestling, Retrieved on October 17, 2018.
  34. ^ Jaffer, Dave (2006-06-01) "Live underground extreme wrestling: Fight club", Hour, Retrieved on June 01, 2006.
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  36. ^ Leroux, Yves (2004-03-30) "IWS tapes PPV matches", SLAM! Wrestling, Retrieved on March 30, 2004.
  37. ^ Patriquin, Martin. (2016-04-15) "Inside the crazy, rowdy world of pro wrestling in Montreal", Maclean's, Retrieved on September 02, 2016.
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  43. ^ "Jake Roberts motivational speech ", International Wrestling Syndicate, Retrieved on June 10, 2016.
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  45. ^ "Hangs With Bob seminar at the IWS Dojo", International Wrestling Syndicate, Retrieved on May 7, 2017.
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  54. ^ a b Ryan, Michael. (2008-11-08) "Great crowd basks in ROH's Montreal debut", SLAM! Wrestling, Retrieved on September 01, 2016.
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  56. ^ Vetter, Chris (2006-10-31). "Torch Indy Weekend Report: Joe over Dragon, Sabin over Ruckus, Teddy Hart wins 4-Way in JAPW". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
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  58. ^ Laprade, Patric (2018-11-07) "Le Poing: Ring of Honor à Montréal, 10 ans depuis la controverse", Lutte Québec, Retrieved on November 12, 2018.
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