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FINISH STRONG: Okanagan Cup Odds

okanagan-cup SANTA SLAM V is the final Okanagan show of the year; and along with the annual “Christmas Chaos” match (this year involving Michael More and Marty Sugar), it once again features the Okanagan Cup tournament. Of the eight men involved this year, two are former winners, two are former finalists, and four are making their Cup debuts. Here we rank them, in order of odds to win it all…

1. COLLIN CUTLER
“The Cougar Meat Kid” was recently named “The Best Of The Quinquennium” in honor of Big West’s five-year anniversary, as statistically the greatest wrestler in company history. In 2014 he won the Okanagan Cup (albeit with interference from Kyle Sebastian), and followed that up with the second-longest Television Title reign of all-time. Cutler is no stranger to tournaments, having made it to the finals of the Armstrong MetalFest tournament this year, and he is one of the most-experienced men the Okanagan Cup, as this will be his fourth. If Cutler can survive his quarterfinal opponent, there’s a good chance he can go all the way…

2. MIKE SHREDDZ
…but for Cutler, that Quarterfinal match is a doozy: the one and only SHREDDZ! Shreddz and Cutler met in the aforementioned 2014 Cup Finals that ended with a controversial win for Cutler. This year, there’s a 99.9% chance that Kyle Sebastian will NOT be in attendance, so Shreddz has one less thing to worry about; but if he is looking ahead to a potential finals battle with his nemesis, Shotgun Stevens, Shreddz might take himself out of the game and not even get out of the quarterfinals. It’s safe to say that whomever survives the Cutler/Shreddz showdown, is definitely an odds-on favorite to win it all.

3. DON HELLION
The Don has always been a secondary player in Big West wrestling, but in 2016 he started to come into his own. He’s garnered a few victories and his “Relax & Romance” partnership with Michael McCaw shows promise. Hellion also has recent tournament experience, as he took part in a bloody Super Evil quarterfinal battle with Michael More. While not victorious there, Hellion is primed and ready to make a run in the Okanagan: this tournament could be the catalyst towards a huge 2017.

4. BLACK DRAGON
The original Okanagan Cup winner, back in 2011, Dragon is the most-experienced guy in any Okanagan locker room…and he’s been on fire this year. Not only did he win the Armstrong MetalFest tournament this summer, but he had a run with the Thrash Tag Team Titles and made it to the semifinals of Super Evil XV. Plus, he’s had the number of his quarterfinal opponent, Shotgun Stevens, this year: 6-2 against his larger foe, including first-round wins in both of the tournaments we mentioned.

5. JACK NELSON
“Black” Jack has had a solid rookie year in the Okanagan, especially as part of “The Constellation” team with Xavier Galaxy. When it comes to singles matches, the tough-as-nails Brit has yet to record a win in the Okanagan…but he’s been inching closer every match. Is the Okanagan Cup his time to finally break out? We shall see.

6. SHOTGUN STEVENS
If this tournament was held in September like it was in 2015, Shotgun would’ve been the odds-on favorite to win it all. But he’s been on a cold streak: two singles losses to Black Dragon, and dropping the Big West Television Title to “Dastardly” Danni Deeds will make a guy question himself. As mentioned earlier, he’s really struggled against Dragon (his quarterfinal opponent), and will he be distracted by Mike Shreddz being not only in the building…but in the tournament? Don’t count Shotgun out, though: we’re sure the powerful youngster won’t run cold for much longer.

7. WILDKARD
The masked rookie has shown promise in his last two Okanagan matches, and is looking to finish 2016 strong. Wildkard hasn’t had a ton of opportunities to shine in the Okanagan, but this tournament would be a perfect way to get noticed as the year comes to a close.

8. T-SHOCK
Now this dead-last ranking for the diminutive T-Shock isn’t meant as an insult: the young masked man has shown a lot of heart and determination this year, against bigger and more experienced foes like Cutler and Shotgun. But T-Shock has yet to record a win in the Okanagan, and SOMEBODY has to finish last on our list, right? Maybe this lights a fire under T-Shock, and gives him the impetus he needs to explode on the Okanagan scene…

OKANAGAN RANKINGS & AWARDS: November 2016

OKANAGAN-INTERIOR CHAMPION:
“Top Drawer” Michael More
(defeated Shane on October 2, 2015 in Peachland, BC)

BIG WEST TELEVISION CHAMPION:
“Dastardly” Danni Deeds
(defeated Shotgun Stevens on November 11, 2016)

THRASH WRESTLING CHAMPION:
Adam Ryder
(defeated Michael More on May 23, 2015 in Enderby, BC)

1. “Mad Dog” Marty Sugar Thrash Tag Team co-Champion
2. Shotgun Stevens
3. Black Dragon Armstrong MetalFest Champion
4. “Cougar Meat Kid” Collin Cutler
5. Shane Thrash Tag Team co-Champion
6. Bambi Hall
7. Matt XStatic
8. Mike Shreddz
9. Nick Radford
10. Xavier Galaxy
11. Rusty Diamond
12. Michael McCaw
13. “Bosnian Adonis” Aiden Adams
14. “Black” Jack Nelson
15. The Great Kasaki
16. “Supernatural” Nelson Creed
17. Don Hellion
18. Liiza
19. Leon Grayson
20. Kyle Sebastian

FIRST STAR: “Mad Dog” Marty Sugar (won SUPER EVIL XV in Enderby)
SECOND STAR: “Dastardly” Danni Deeds (won Big West Television Title at BIRTHDAY BASH V)
THIRD STAR: “Top Drawer” Michael More (3-1 in November, SUPER EVIL finalist)

MATCH OF THE MONTH: Adam Ryder vs. Collin Cutler (Thrash Title: November 26, Enderby)

BEST OF THE QUINQUENNIUM: Number 1

“COUGAR MEAT KID” COLLIN CUTLER

cutlerThe least-surprised person in the building at BIRTHDAY BASH V on November 11 was Collin Cutler, when his name was announced by Mike Chisholm as The Best Of The Quinquennium. A two-time Big West Television Champion, Cutler holds the career records for days as champion (335) and career title defenses (6), as well most career matches (66) and victories (33) to date.

Nobody has been had more “Match Of The Year” contenders than Collin, an award he won in 2014; and while never being named “Wrestler Of The Year” (which he hates being reminded of), nobody has been a runner-up more often. Cutler has also had some amazing feuds in the past five years, with the likes of Adam Ryder, Kyle Sebastian, KC Andrews, Justin Alexander, Mike Shreddz…and most-recently, with Matt XStatic: a feud that raised the bar as far as athleticism and match-quality within the company is concerned.

Cutler started as a tag team competitor, and his partnerships with Adam Fedky, Kyle Sebastian, Shotgun Stevens and Bambi Hall have definitely been successful: both here in the Okanagan, and throughout the province. But Collin’s rise as a singles star cannot be denied. A mainstay on the Okanagan scene since his debut in 2008, Cutler has held every championship the Okanagan has to offer, and has become a true mentor to the younger stars coming up the ranks.

Love him or hate him, Collin Cutler is–without question–the greatest wrestlers in the history of Big West Wrestling. Congratulations!

BEST OF THE QUINQUENNIUM: Number 2

“MAD DOG” MARTY SUGAR
martyThe founder of the company, “Mad Dog” Marty Sugar has been with Big West Wrestling since Day One. A former Big West Champion for 138 days in 2014, Mad Dog is better known for his violent feuds with the likes of such unlikable characters as Cremator Von Slasher, The Texecutioner, Mutato, Xavier Galaxy…and most notably, KC Andrews: twice voted Big West Feud Of The Year, and one that raged from 2011 until Andrews left the company (and the province), in 2014.

Marty has had successful tag team runs with the likes of Andy Bird and Mike Shreddz, and is a former Rutland Rumble and Okanagan Cup winner. He has also been involved in some of the more colorful and creative matches in Okanagan wrestling history, such as a Bodybag Match with Cremator, a Bullrope Match with Tex, a Shock-Collar Match with Andrews, a “Trick Or Treat” Match with Galaxy, and numerous Dog-Collar Matches.

Sugar’s biggest battle now seems to be behind the scenes, however, as he has recently been butting heads with Mike Chisholm; Mike is the “Managing Partner” of Big West, but Sugar has still had a hand in some controversial decisions as of late…including violently firing referee, Nick Randell, which has lead to a lawsuit against the company. Only time will tell how this one plays out!

BEST OF THE QUINQUENNIUM: Honorable Mentions

honorablementions

DON HELLION
Hellion debuted on February 20, 2015, a masked madman under the control of Rigor Von Slasher. As part of the House Of Hell, Hellion found himself embroiled that year in a violent feud with Thrash Wrestling mainstays, “Top Drawer” Michael More and Slave. Injuries would hinder Hellion’s visits to Kelowna; when he returned in 2016, he had transformed into an unmasked loverboy…to the shock of everyone. Hellion is a talented competitor, who looks to finish up 2016 strong, and make serious waves in Big West in 2017.

EL DIABLO
Diablo debuted at the 2013 Rutland May Days, and wowed the crowds with his high-flying athleticism. Routinely the underdog, the diminutive El Diablo was sure to give it his all in the ring, win or lose. The 2013 Newcomer Of The Year will fondly be remembered as one of the most exciting wrestlers in company history.

RIGOR VON SLASHER
Rigor Von Slasher was in the very first match in company history: November 11, 2011, when he lost to the much larger Mean Machine, Sr. Not to take the loss quietly, Rigor quickly recruited big brother Cremator to avenge the loss; and Cremator did, quickly and painfully. This opened the floodgates of evil, as Rigor first attacked Big West with his Von Slasher family, and later his menagerie of freaks known as The House of Hell. Along the way, feuding with the likes of “Mad Dog” Marty Sugar, Mike Shreddz, and the “Thrash Wrestling Originals,” Rigor would manage two of the longest-reigning Big West Television Champions in history, and twice be named Big West’s Most Hated.

MEAN MACHINE, JR.
The son of the original Mean Machine, “Junior” found himself in a high-profile feud in 2015 against Krystal, and became the self-professed “chairman” of Big West Wrestling. While never the most successful wrestlers, on paper, the Mean Machines are never a group to be taken lightly. After being embarrassed at the 2016 Rutland Rumble, the Machines are laying low…but for how long?

XAVIER GALAXY
Galaxy debuted on January 20, 2016, losing a K5 Qualifying Match to the much larger Shotgun Stevens. After taking a moment to regroup, the controversial rookie returned in May with a vengeance: he instantly targeted such veterans as Black Dragon and “Mad Dog” Marty Sugar, and was able to embarrass them both this year. Galaxy and his “Constellation” tag partner, “Black” Jack Nelson, would also defeat the self-professed Big West World Tag Champions, the Purple Wizards, in August; sending that popular duo into an emotional tailspin. Meanwhile, his feud with The Mad Dog and their “Trick Or Treat” Match in October was something else. Big things are surely on the horizon for Galaxy, throughout the province, in 2017.

BEST OF THE QUINQUENNIUM: Number 3

ADAM RYDER

ryderThe very first Main Event in Big West history starred Adam Ryder: he came within inches of besting Vance Nevada on November 11, 2011, to win the vacant ASW Trans-Canada Title. From 2011-2014, Ryder was routinely named as the most underrated wrestler in all of Western Canada; during that time, he had thrilling matches in Big West with the likes of Black Dragon, Bobby Sharp, Kyle Sebastian, Tony Baroni, and the 2013 Match Of The Year, with Mentallo.

Ryder would never win the Big West Television Title, but he routinely was in major championship battles with Collin Cutler, Sebastian, and Cremator Von Slasher. He also won the 2014 Okanagan Cup and the 2015 King of Bella Coola tournament.

While distance and scheduling have kept Ryder out of Big West action for quite some time, his matches here are fondly remembered.

BEST OF THE QUINQUENNIUM: Number 4

MIKE SHREDDZ

shreddzWithout question, no wrestler has ever been as popular in Big West history than Shreddz. With his purple mohawk, his chiseled physique, and his infectious energy, Mike has accumulated a following of SHREDDIEZ faithful that is the backbone of the Big West fanbase.

Shreddz exploded on the scene in 2014, quickly becoming Newcomer Of The Year. In 2015 he was a dominant choice for Wrestler Of The Year, having amazing matches with Bishop, Collin Cutler and the “Match Of The Year” with Shotgun Stevens. He also became a two-time champion in 2015, winning the biggest title match in company history at Kelowna Invasion IV on April 10, 2015, in front of over 500 fans at an overstuffed Rutland Centennial Hall.

2016 has not been kind to Shreddz, as injuries have left him on the shelf for much of the year. He has had two MOTY candidates with Matt XStatic, however; and has vowed on November 11 to not only return to Big West…but return with a vengeance, to punish Shotgun Stevens for injuring him in the first place!

BEST OF THE QUINQUENNIUM: Number 5

BLACK DRAGON
dragonBlack Dragon has been referred to as “The Living Legend” in the Okanagan, and with good reason: debuting in 1987, very few wrestlers in Western Canada can claim to have traveled and done more in this business than this man.

It’s easy for younger generations to forget, or simply be completely clueless, but Black Dragon’s contributions to this business are legendary: year after year he was considered the best wrestler in the entire Pacific Northwest, as his exploits from Vancouver to Portland were legendary…both in and out of the ring. And how many indy wrestlers do you know are credited with kick-starting the career of Chris Jericho?

While Dragon has never held a title in Big West to date, he has been constantly featured in many exciting matches. Routinely matched up against newcomers, Dragon has schooled numerous young men in the business, continuing to help mold the future of professional wrestling. The entire Okanagan is proud to have such a talented and world-traveled veteran in our midst.

BEST OF THE QUINQUENNIUM: Number 6

SHOTGUN STEVENS

shotgunThe Okanagan has it’s fair share of talented and prolific wrestlers, but nobody has risen quicker to fame and fortune than the brash rookie from Salmon Arm. Standing 6-foot-5, Shotgun Stevens made an intimidating presence the moment he debuted in Big West on December 13, 2014. While he would lose to Collin Cutler in his debut, everyone knew the big rookie had something special…including Cutler, himself, as he immediately recruited him to be a part of his new “Adult Social Society” stable.

The move paid off immediately, as Cutler would not only become two-time Big West Television Champion, but would retain the title for a nearly record-breaking 216 days. Not long after seeing his mentor unceremoniously stripped of the championship, Shotgun would make his big move: cashing in the K5 medallion to become Champion on May 20th of this year.

Despite being less than two years in the business, Shotgun has already received numerous awards: 2015 Most Hated Wrestler, 2015 Match Of The Year, 2015 Newcomer Of The Year, and runner-up to 2015 Wrestler Of The Year. He was also in the finals of both the 2015 Okanagan Cup and the 2015 King of Bella Coola tournament, won the inaugural Bowl-A-Rama, and has won the 2015 Rutland Rumble and the 2016 K5 Ladder Match.

What’s left for Shotgun Stevens? 2016 Wrestler Of The Year, if he has his way…

BEST OF THE QUINQUENNIUM: Number 7

CREMATOR VON SLASHER

crematorCremator debuted in Big West on January 20, 2012; brought in, initially, by Rigor Von Slasher to handle the bullying tactics of the senior Mean Machine, Cremator gained no fan support for destroying the masked man. Instead, Cremator was instantly feared and disliked by the Kelowna faithful…something the 6-10 monster has embraced during his entire 15-year career.

And for good reason: the Von Slasher family unleashed a reign of violence that lasted for two years, decimating everyone in their path: Tony Baroni, KC Spinelli, “Mad Dog” Marty Sugar, Adam Ryder, Andy Bird and so many others fell time and time again to the insane trio. Cremator still holds the record for the longest Big West Television Title reign in history, at 226 days. An exposed turnbuckle in Osoyoos on March 30, 2014, would be Cremator’s undoing, however: not only would he lose the title to “Mad Dog” Marty Sugar via knockout (after Sugar smashed the back of Cremator’s skull into the exposed steel), but a post-match tirade that destroyed the locker room would garner him an indefinite suspension from the company.

Will Cremator return to terrorize the Okanagan once again in the future? Only time will tell. Sometimes nightmares do come true…