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#ThrowbackThursday: Kevin Steen vs. Claudio Castagnoli in a Bingo Hall From 2009


SummerSlam is a little less than two weeks away and we at the Smark Henry offices are very excited to catch it with you at our happy little viewing party called SummerFest at Skinny Mike's Sports Bar on the morning of August 24.

One of the matches we're particularly stoked about is the looming match between Cesaro and Kevin Owens. This will surely be the match that the IWC will froth at the mouth to watch because of the sheer physicality, superior skill, and pure wrestling that we know these two can deliver.

Cesaro and Kevin Owens have already been booked in a match against each other in WWE. Remember that SmackDown! episode from June 18 when Owens walked out on Cesaro?


Yep, that match ended in #WalkOwensWalk.

However, six years ago in another world, Kevin Steen and Claudio Castagnoli battled each other for the C*4 Championship in the main event of a show called "Rise Above". Steen was known as "Mr. Wrestling" in the indys and was the champion, defending against a brash and belligerent Castagnoli.

Here's the match in its entirety for your viewing pleasure:


Steen and Claudio start the match slow, trading holds, and actually making me think that Steen was the heel and Claudio the face. What convinced me that that was the case was the fact that Steen was quick to mock some members of the audience, and a few minutes into the match, he even ripped a bandage off Claudio's dome. Mr. Wrestling even bit Claudio's head wound to make him bleed.

It isn't until about four minutes in when we get an idea that the roles are actually the other way around after Claudio slaps an irate Kevin Steen. A few minutes later, Steen's right knee gets injured, prompting Claudio to leave the ring, grab the mic, and offer Steen to stop the match as long as Mr. Wrestling gave up his championship.

It's after this little segment when the action picks up and both men deliver what would end up becoming an indy classic.

If you remember John Cena and Daniel Bryan's stellar WWE Championship match at SummerSlam 2013, they threw it back to a Velocity match they had in 2003 by imitating certain sequences, which pleased many a hardcore fan. While Kevin Owens and Cesaro may not necessarily do that, expect them not to hold back and to prove to all of their doubters—looking at you, Dunn—that they belong with the top dogs in WWE.

I cannot wait for SummerSlam.

*****


Stan Sy is a radio DJ, an events host, a freelance writer, one of the hosts of the Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast, and Smark Henry's official PPV reviewer. He enjoys watching WWE, NXT, Lucha Underground, and the occasional New Japan match. Every now and then, he dresses up in fancy suits to book matches as PWR's longest-tenured General Manager to date. Follow him on Twitter: @_stansy

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