Samoa Joe vs Chris Hero
Franklin Horner Community Center, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Fun chaining at the beginning here, which is hardly a surprise, as Hero’s probably the best in the world right now at the little things, and Joe’s no slouch himself. They quickly transition into trading strikes both in and out of the ring, firing up the crowd and each other. After enduring Joe’s onslaught Hero can barely fight back, and it’s clear that his usually crisp, killer strikes don’t have the usual energy behind them, and it’s a great touch. Hero’s actually taking the brunt of the brutality in this match, which is not a situation you see him in much these days. The match proceeds about how you’d expect it would, with both men hitting their signature spots. Nothing spectacular or particularly enthralling, but quite entertaining and snug, real smash mouth wrestling. At one point, Joe drives Hero down with the STJoe with such force that Hero bounces backward up onto his feet, and it’s kind of fucking crazy. Immediately thereafter, Joe hits the Muscle Buster and Hero rolls to the outside, forcing Joe to retrieve him, and Hero is out on the floor for a solid minute as Joe tries to drag him back to his feet and roll him in the ring. Hero makes a comeback, taking out local SMASH guy Tarik as he tries to interfere, and he boots Joe real fucking hard right in the face, but Joe cuts him off as he’s going for a rolling elbow and locks in a rear naked choke, and Hero has no choice but to submit. Nothing memorable, but a fun, hard-hitting match between two guys you don’t see in the same circles often, so it’s real enjoyable in that sense.