Wrestling action was on full display in Yorkton as the High Impact Wrestling company held a card at the Ukrainian Orthodox Auditorium July 16. The event featured multiple singles matches, including two title matches, a six man tag match, and a fifteen man battle royal featuring the majority of the fighters on the card as the main event.
After a hard hitting opening to the card featuring AJ Sanchez, Yorkton’s own Robbie Gamble defended his provincial championship in a singles match win over HIW newcomer Kevin Cannon in what was an entertaining title bout. Following the title match was a six man tag contest that featured lots of aerial theatrics that pumped up the vocal Auditorium crowd as many trips up the turnbuckles were made by the performers in a fast-paced match that got the crowd off of its seat. The six man tag match was probably the highlight of the card as many of the wrestlers involved stole the show with their high risk maneuvers.
Following the six man tag match was a HIW Heavyweight Championship match between champion Jumping Joe and former WWF (now WWE) star Tito Santana.
Santana, the winner of the first ever Wrestlemania match and a former Intercontinental and Tag Team Champion in the WWF, was a hit amongst the crowd over the protagonist Jumping Joe. Santana and Joe had a good back and forth grappling display before Robbie Gamble came in to assist Jumping Joe, getting him disqualified and allowing him to retain his title over Santana. The match was very impressive considering Santana’s age and the fact that he is no longer in his former WWF form. Even with his limitations Santana put on a very good show for the fans and performed in what was a very entertaining match. After the match there was an intermission in which fans in attendance could have their photo taken and autographed by the former Intercontinental champion.
After the intermission there were single matches followed by a fifteen match battle royal that ended with allies and HIW title holders Gamble and Jumping Joe as the last two wrestlers left, refusing to eliminate each other. This stalemate was solved as the referee eliminated both wrestlers over the top rope much to the delight of the fans, giving the show an excellent ending to a solid card of matches.
Tito Santana was impressed with the performance of the HIW stars saying, “Canada has a lot of talented wrestlers and many go off to bigger promotions and eventually the WWE.” Santana also said his role as being a veteran on the circuit is to find and develop new talent and that he often identifies up and coming wrestlers for the WWE while on tours with various independent wrestling tours. Santana says even with all of his experience he still loves the feeling of putting on a show and wrestling and that despite the Yorkton crowd being a “little light” that they were very vocal and added to the card.
HIW owner Charles Pichette was very impressed with Santana’s professionalism and in ring skills saying “Anyone who didn’t come out tonight because they thought Tito was washed up missed out on a hell of a show,” adding that Santana “brought it tonight.” Pichette mentioned that the HIW company is still looking for a permanent Yorkton venue and that even though the show was successful there was some miscommunication between the Ukrainian Orthodox Auditorium and HIW on what the venue was offering. Despite the troubles Pichette says that the Yorkton crowd always comes out and supports whenever there is a crowd and that the audience participation in Yorkton is great. HIW plans to wrap up its Tito Santana Tour before taking a few weeks off and regrouping with more cards in August.