Sunday, January 22, 2017

Weekend wrestling

WWE Main Event

-Commentators:  Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, & Austin Aries.
-Alicia Fox d. Dana Brooke after the axe kick.
-Epico Colon(w/ Primo Colon) d. Darren Young(w/ Bob Backlund) when the referee stopped the match due to an arm injury to Young.

ROH TV

-Commentators:  Kevin Kelly & Nigel McGuinness.
-T.V. Champion "The Villain" Marty Scurll d. Jonathan Gresham(non-title) with the crossface chicken wing (8:57 aired).
-Decade Of Excellence Tournament:  "Almighty" Christopher Daniels(w/ Frankie Kazarian doing commentary) d. Chris Sabin with the Best Moonsault Ever (8:48 aired).
-IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Yujiro Kushida won a non-title triple threat match with Dragon Lee and "The Aerial Assassin" Will Ospreay when he pinned Ospreay with a modified small package driver (9:16 aired).
-Next week:  Jay Lethal vs. Jay Briscoe in the Decade Of Excellence Tournament semifinals.

SICW Wrestling Explosion

-Commentator:  Drew Abbenhaus.
-"Big Country" Clint Poe & "The Enforcer" Jimmy D d. "The Suplex Cyclone" Curt Gannon & Cousin Gator; D pinned Gator after Poe and D hit a Rocket Launcher.
-"Superstar" Steve Fender d. "Ironman" Ken Kasa by DQ when Kasa hit Fender with his spiked facemask(which Fender had brought into the ring).

Royal Rumble Dork Stats(WOO~!)

#1 & #2 Entrants:
1988: Bret Hart & Tito Santana
1989: Demolition Ax & Demolition Smash
1990: Ted DiBiase & Koko B. Ware
1991: Bret Hart & Dino Bravo
1992: Davey Boy Smith & Ted DiBiase
1993: Ric Flair & Bob Backlund
1994: Scott Steiner & Headshrinker Samu
1995: Shawn Michaels & Davey Boy Smith
1996: Triple H & Henry Godwinn
1997: Crush & Ahmed Johnson
1998: Cactus Jack & Terry Funk
1999: Steve Austin & Vince McMahon
2000: D-Lo Brown & Brian Christopher
2001: Jeff Hardy & Bull Buchanan
2002: Rikishi Phatu & Goldust
2003: Shawn Michaels & Chris Jericho
2004: Chris Benoit & Randy Orton
2005: Eddy Guerrero & Chris Benoit
2006: Triple H & Rey Misterio Jr.
2007: Ric Flair & Fit Finlay
2008: Undertaker & Shawn Michaels
2009: Rey Misterio Jr. & John Morrison
2010: Dolph Ziggler & Evan Bourne
2011: C.M. Punk & Daniel Bryan
2012: Mike Mizanin & Alex Riley
2013: Dolph Ziggler & Chris Jericho
2014: C.M. Punk & Seth Rollins
2015: Mike Mizanin & "R-Truth" Ron Killings
2016: Roman Reigns & Alexander Rusev

Some unlucky people in that list...Bret, Flair, Shawn, DiBiase, Benoit, Bulldog, HHH, Rey, Dolph, Punk, and Miz. Some people were stuck at #1 by a heel authority figure or even requested the spot...it does give one an opportunity to shoot for an endurance record.  The 2016 Rumble started with the two people who ended the 2015 version of the match.

Final Entrants:
Junkyard Dog(#20), Ted DiBiase, Mr. Perfect, Tugboat, Warlord, Randy Savage, Adam Bomb, Crush, Duke Droese, Undertaker, Vader, Chyna, X-Pac, Rikishi Phatu, Booker T, Undertaker, Bill Goldberg, Ric Flair, Randy Orton, Undertaker, John Cena, Big Show, Batista, Kane(#40), Big Show, Ryback, Rey Misterio Jr., Dolph Ziggler, Triple H

Taker is the luck-of-the-draw winner, getting #30 on three occasions(and often drawing a late entry at other Rumbles). Despite the advantage of the slot, it wasn't until 2007 that the final entry actually won the Rumble...and then it happened two years in a row. Rey finally got a better draw after starting the Rumble twice in previous years...though the fans weren't too appreciative. After drawing #1 twice previously, Ziggler was due for better luck and got it in 2015.  Likewise, HHH had drawn #1 twice and his "luck" changed in 2016(though "executive influence" may have played a part in his draw).

Winners:
Hacksaw Jim Duggan(#13 of 20), Big John Studd(#27), Hulk Hogan(#25), Hulk Hogan(#24), Ric Flair(#3), Yokozuna(#27), Lex Luger(#23)/Bret Hart(#27), Shawn Michaels(#1), Shawn Michaels(#18), Steve Austin(#5), Steve Austin(#24), Vince McMahon(#2), The Rock(#24), Steve Austin(#27), Triple H(#22), Brock Lesnar(#29), Chris Benoit(#1), Batista(#28), Rey Misterio Jr.(#2), Undertaker(#30), John Cena(#30), Randy Orton(#8), Edge(#29), Alberto Del Rio(#38 of 40), Sheamus O'Shaunessy(#22), John Cena(#19), Batista(#28), Roman Reigns(#19), Triple H(#30)

The winner often seems to come from the early or late entries...the middle of the pack seems to be the actual kiss of death. The winner only came from that field on three occasions(depending on how you count Duggan). #27 is popularly noted as the most successful slot, producing the winner on four occasions. The short list of multi-time Rumble winners: Hulk, Shawn, Austin, Cena, Batista, and HHH. (Batista drew #28 both times he won.) The #30 slot has only produced the Rumble winner on three occasions.

Runners-Up:
One Man Gang(#19 of 20), Ted DiBiase(#30), Mr. Perfect(#30), Earthquake(#22), Sid Justice(#29), Randy Savage(#30), Luger(#23)/Bret(#27), Davey Boy Smith(#2), Diesel(#22), Bret Hart(#21), The Rock(#4), Steve Austin(#1), Big Show(#26), Kane(#6), Kurt Angle(#26), Undertaker(#30), Big Show(#24), John Cena(#25), Randy Orton(#30), Shawn Michaels(#23), Triple H(#29), Triple H(#7), John Cena(#19), Santino Marella(#37 of 40), Chris Jericho(#29), Ryback(#30), Roman Reigns(#15), Alexander Rusev(#15), Dean Ambrose(#19)

#30 seems to be the prime spot for the bridesmaid...1995 was the first time the Rumble ended with #1 and #2(though it was the abbreviated one-minute interval version)...it happened again in the sports-entertainment-heavy 1999 Rumble. 2003 was the first time the Rumble ended with #29 and #30(it happened again in 2008). 2006 was the first time it ended with a guy who started the Rumble(Rey at #2) and the final entry(Randy at #30).  #19 produced the runner-up in last year's Rumble and also in the first Rumble(though that one had twenty participants).

Endurance Marks(source: www.prowrestlinghistory.com):
Bret Hart(25:42), Mr. Perfect(27:58), Ted DiBiase(44:47), Rick Martel(52:17)(honorable mention to Greg Valentine at 44:03), Ric Flair(59:26), Bob Backlund(61:10), Bam Bam Bigelow(30:12), Shawn Michaels/Davey Boy Smith(38:41), Triple H(48:01), Steve Austin(45:07), The Rock(51:32), Vince McMahon/Steve Austin(56:38), Test(26:17), Kane(53:46)(honorable mention to The Rock at 38:42), Steve Austin(26:46), Chris Jericho(38:54), Chris Benoit(61:30), Chris Benoit(47:26), Rey Misterio Jr.(62:12)(honorable mention to Triple H at 60:09), Edge(44:02), Triple H(49:51), John Cena(22:11), C.M. Punk(35:21), Mike Mizanin(45:39)(honorable mention to Cody Rhodes at 41:57), Dolph Ziggler(49:51), C.M. Punk(49:25)(honorable mention to Seth Rollins at 48:30), Bray Wyatt(46:58)(honorable mention to Alexander Rusev at 35:17), Roman Reigns(59:50)(honorable mention to Chris Jericho at 50:50)

These vary wildly depending on the time intervals...it was set at two minutes with the first Rumble(only 20 entrants), changed to one minute in 1995, then varied from 2 to 1:30 to 1:00 over the years. Rey is the current holder of the endurance record with Benoit coming in second.

Most Eliminations:
12(Roman Reigns in 2014), 11(Kane in 2001), 10(Steve Austin in 1997), 8(Shawn Michaels in 1995, Shawn in 1996, Austin in 1999), 7(Hulk Hogan in 1991, Yokozuna in 1993, Lex Luger in 1994, Diesel in 1994, Steve Austin in 1998, Rikishi in 2000, Austin in 2002, John Cena and C.M. Punk in 2011), 6(tie between Bray Wyatt, Alexander Rusev, and Roman Reigns in 2014)

Saturday PWCS Results From Alton, IL + Other Saturday Show Results

-St. Louis Invitational Tournament:  Gary Jay d. Everett Connors(w/ cardboard cutout of Justin Beiber) with the sliding forearm smash (11:36).
-St. Louis Invitational Tournament:  Paco Gonzalez d. Jason Roberts after a walk-up-the-turnbuckles DDT (8:35).
-St. Louis Invitational Tournament:  "The Wildman From The Ozarks" Alexandre Rudolph d. Makaze after a flying headbutt (4:50).
-The Carnies("The Down-South Dandy" Nick Iggy & "The Music City Mutt" Kerry Awful) d. Evan Gelistico & Austin Blackburn(w/ Shawshank the inflatable dolphin) when Iggy pinned Gelistico with a backslide (10:45).
-St. Louis Invitational Tournament:  "The Millenial" Danny Adams(w/ Greg Jovi) d. Colt "Boom Boom" Cabana; Adams focused his attack on Cabana's arm for most of the bout.  Jovi distracted the referee and Adams kicked the middle rope into Colt's groin; that gave him the opening to get the tapout win with a reverse short-arm scissors (11:53).  After the match, Cabana conferred with Hardcore Andy at ringside and asked him to deal with Jovi if he tried to interfere in any more matches.
-St. Louis Invitational Tournament:  Gary Jay d. "The Wildman From The Ozarks" Alexandre Rudolph after the sliding forearm smash (6:11).
-St. Louis Invitational Tournament:  "The Millenial" Danny Adams(w/ Greg Jovi) d. Paco Gonzalez after a hanging reverse Stunner (13:45); Hardcore Andy physically ejected Jovi from ringside after he interfered in the match behind the referee's back.
-"Unbreakable" Michael Elgin d. "Dad Bod" Sean Orleans with the sitout powerbomb (16:22).  Orleans survived incredible punishment, including some nasty chops that left his chest bloody and two powerbombs into the wall of the venue!  Elgin talked about how proud he was of his protege and shook his hand, but then dropped him with a clothesline.
-St. Louis Invitational Tournament:  Gary Jay d. "The Millenial" Danny Adams with the sliding forearm smash to win the tournament (5:36).
-Davey Vega d. Mat Fitchett to retain the Gateway Heritage Title; the two were evenly matches and fought a sportsmanlike contest until the very end.  The referee was briefly knocked down during a late exchange and, in the heat of the moment, Vega kicked his longtime friend and tag team partner in the groin.  Vega seemed stunned by his own actions and hesitated to follow up, but still delivered a buzzsaw kick to the head as the referee recovered to make the three-count (22:24).

-----

Saturday SICW results from East Carondelet, IL (credit to Ben Simon):

-The Classic Title has been vacated as Ron Powers is retiring from in-ring competition; a tournament for the championship will begin in February.
-Big Hoss d. Eric Fantabulous with a Michinoku Driver (5:00).
-"Volatile" Curtis Wylde(w/ Wyldefyre) d. Bobby D after the Wylde Ryde(Paydirt) (5:49).
-The Big Texan d. Moondog Rover via big splash (6:03).
-"Your Canadian Hero" Sean Vincent d. "The Suplex Cyclone" Curt Gannon with a backslide (10:07).
-Flash Flanagan d. "The Unstable" Dave Vaughn via rollup (5:27).
-Cowboy Marc Houston won a handicap match against Attila Khan & "The Icon" Chris Hargas(w/ Travis Cook) by DQ when Hargas threw Houston over the top rope (5:30).  (Houston had been scheduled to team with Ron Powers.)
-Kongo Kong won a handicap match against "The Enforcer" Jimmy D, Travis Titan, & "Big Country" Clint Poe when he pinned Titan after a sitout Tombstone (5:48).
-"Night Train/Gorgeous/Great One" Gary Jackson & "Ironman" Ken Kasa d. Superstar Steve Fender & Johnny Blade by DQ when Kasa tricked the referee into thinking Fender had hit him with Kasa's spiked face mask.

Saturday NWL results from Kansas City, MO (credit to John Danielson on Twitter):

-Max Edwards(Mark Sterling) d. Gil Rogers(Rory Fox).
-The Howletts(Lonel & Marco)(The Left Coast Guerrillas-Hoodlum & Anaya) d. The Union(Mac & Joe)(The American Bulldogs-Mad Dog McDowell & Jon West).
-Jeremy Wyatt d. Thor Theriot(Devin Thomas).
-The End(Kyle Mars & Luke Holiday)(The Diamond Dogs-Graham Bell & Luke Langley) d. The Mancini Brothers(Rudy & Geno)(The Killer City Kings-Jake & Ryan).
-Lakota Red Cloud(Nate Redwing) d. Devlin(Jaysin Strife).
-Blaine Meeks(Bolt Brady) d. Chad Barstow.
-Dak Draper d. Ray Briggs(Bobby Blackshire).
-Royal Blood(Jet & Jax Royal)(Logan & Sterling Riegel) d. Ken Dharma(Mike Sydal) & Niles Plonk(Kraig Keesaman).

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Show results

Thursday IWA-MS results from Jeffersonville, IN:

-Zodiak d. Idol Heinze.
-Corey Storm d. Jordan James.
-Shane Mercer d. J.J. Garrett.
-Jake Garvin d. Ray Waddell.
-Mance Warner d. Teddy King.
-Bret Havoc d. Aaron Williams.
-Jake Crist won a four-corner match with Myron Reed, Trey Miguel, and Zachary Wentz.
-John Wayne Murdoch d. Dave Crist to retain the Heavyweight Title.

Friday AAW results from Merrionette Park, IL:

-Ohio Is 4 Killers(Jake & Dave Crist) d. Eddie Kingston & Homicide in a cage match.
-A.R. Fox won a four-corner match with D.J. Shiima Xion, Moose, and Dezmond Xavier.
-Andrew Everett & Jack Evans(subbing for Trevor Lee) d. The Besties In The World(Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett) to retain the Tag Team Titles.
-Sami Callihan d. Candice LeRae to retain the Heavyweight Title.
-Kongo Kong d. Connor Braxton & Eddie Machete in a handicap match.
-Matt Sydal d. Davey Richards.
-Mercedes Martinez d. Angelina Love.
-Drew Galloway d. Silas Young.
-Abyss d. Colt Cabana.
-Heritage Champion A.C.H. & Rey Fenix d. Michael Elgin & Brian Cage.

Friday, January 20, 2017

NWL Special Comment

Now, as promised, a special comment about Thursday's National Wrasslin' League show at the Casa Loma Ballroom in St. Louis, Missouri.

DISCLAIMER:  I'm biased.  Deal with it.

Despite a weather forecast for a gigantic weekend-long ice storm (which turned out to be slightly off the mark), the first NWL show in St. Louis had a strong turnout of around 300 people.  (I heard different attendance numbers from different people, for the record.)  Given the massive advertising push for the show, including radio spots and ads in the Scottrade Center, a lot of more casual fans had to be aware of the event.  There were far more people in the balcony/general admission seating than in the chairs near the ring, but a few fans moved down to ringside.

It was a very professional-looking setup, far above what you'd see at your standard independent show...especially the JumboTron on the entrance stage!  I hadn't had a chance to watch many of the preview videos, but they did a fine job of establishing the new characters.

At the inaugural show in Kansas City, several St. Louis competitors "invaded" which led to a six-man tag team match.  In that bout, the team of Royal Blood(Jet & Jax Royal, aka Logan & Sterling Riegel) & Blaine Meeks(aka Bolt Brady) defeated Todd Letterman(aka Kevin Lee Davidson), Dez Wellston(aka Mike Outlaw), and Christian Adonis(aka Elvis Aliaga) when both Royals pinned Letterman after stereo standing moonsaults.  According to the videos, Letterman was disgusted by the "unfair" situation and refused to take part in that night's STL vs. KC six-man tag.  On the KC side, Dak Draper(aka Sammy Six-Guns from the Denver area) inserted himself into the post-match interview and nominated himself for the team, figuratively elbowing Meeks out of the picture.  No matches were known ahead of time other than the six-man tag, but we knew it would be the Royals and Draper against The Blood Brothers(Davey Gibson & Matthew Grundy, aka Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett) and a partner to be named later.

Your ring announcer was Ben Simon; your referees were Jason Pemberton & Michael Crase.

Dominick Butler(aka Jayden Fenix) vs. Christian Adonis(w/ Carolina Grizelda Esmeralda Rodriguez, aka Lucy Mendez):  The name changes will be an adjustment at first, but it's the nature of the business...from my understanding, only the full-time roster members will be changing names for good while the part-time competitors will use their established names at non-NWL shows.  In these particular cases, the characters weren't too much different from their previous identities (aside from the names).

Butler seemed to be occupied with the lovely Ms. Rodriguez at ringside, even giving her a kiss on the cheek before the match...she seemed flattered, but didn't hestitate to interfere on her man's behalf when the situation called for it.  Her involvement proved to be the deciding factor as she distracted Butler as he ascended the turnbuckles...that allowed Adonis to knock Butler off the top rope.  Adonis finished with a crossed-leg fisherman driver in 6:37.  After the match, Marti Belle(yes, THAT Marti Belle, formerly(?) of TNA) tried to get a post-match interview with Butler...but he seemed dazed and unaware that he had just lost the match.  He attempted to follow Carolina back to the dressing room area...methinks Mr. Butler has a weakness for the ladies.

NWL President Major Baisden made an appearance for an infodump of sorts on the promotion's structure.  From what I understand, his Powerpoint presentation went over a LOT better in Kansas City than it did in St. Louis...heh.  Championships will be decided in a few months and there will be a mid-year cross-brand event...that will set the stage for the big final show of the year.  Going by the fans' reactions, the segment went a bit long...and going by reports from the Kansas City show, Major is attempting to kowtow to the fans of whichever city happens to be the host of each show.  (I'm told that fan even called him on this in KC and he admitted as much, noting that he comes out ahead regardless of who wins.)  Baisden also showed off the NWL St. Louis Title belt...looks good.  At any rate, this segment set up the main event as Draper and Royal Blood made their entrance, followed by the Blood Brothers and their partner Maverick(aka Moonshine Mantell).  The St. Louis fans weren't too familiar with Maverick and I think they were expecting someone else...probably Jack Foster(aka Jake Dirden).  Foster was a notable absence from the show, though I'm told they are attempting to keep the shows at a reasonable length...with shows every other week, they can probably afford to draw things out and leave some things for future events.

Party Crasher Boulder(aka Mikey McFinnegan)(w/ Spike, aka Zakk Sawyers) vs. August Marshall(aka Austin Blackburn) of the Anti-Social Network(w/ Tommy Flagg, aka Christian Rose):  According to the NWL roster page, Flagg was originally set to team with Oliver James(aka Jason Roberts) but plans changed.  The ASN team appears to be a group of "basement dwellers" who REALLY don't like people; Flagg has already blocked me on Twitter!  Flagg used his pre-match mic work to complain about the bright lights and the excessive amount of humanity in the building; he and Marshall were a stark contrast to the more "social" Party Crashers.  While a few tag teams stayed together in NWL(Roscoe Eat Lisa and Vega/Fitchett), quite a few new pairings were formed like the ASN and The Underground.  One nice thing about a stable roster is the ability to focus on steady tag teams (not to mention storylines!).  The cornermen were not a major physical factor in this one, but they did help to get the fans into the match.  Boulder won by boosting Marshall into a sitout powerbomb in 6:18...all righty then.  (I wondered if this was originally supposed to be a tag match...since Missouri licensing is A Thing(tm) for NWL STL, it may or may not have come into play for some people.)

"Takedown" Javy Torres(aka Paco Gonzalez) vs. "Greatness" Marcellus Gaines(aka Stephen Wolf)(w/ Drew Gold, aka Greg Jovi):  Gaines is portrayed as a boxing standout who is making the transition into wrestling; Torres has an amateur singlet and uses a more technical style.  It was a definite style shift for Gaines who is more of a fast-paced high-flyer as Wolf, but perhaps they'll tell the story that he is adjusting to the wrestling game over time.  They seemed to work well together...hopefully they'll cross paths again in the future.  Javy went aerial to gain an advantage, but a leap off the second rope landed him on the receiving end of Gaines' knockout punch(the "Southpaw Shooter"); that was all she wrote in 5:08.

The Soldiers(Dez Wellston & Neon Iverson)(aka Mike Outlaw & Justin D'Air) vs. The Underground(Adam Ryan & Jackie Lee Bosch)(aka Danny Adams & Jake Parnell):  According to the videos, Ryan is a disgruntled office worker and Bosch is a stranger who has convinced him to get out his aggression in the wrestling ring.  The soap-bar logo emphasizes the Fight Club parallel...but is Bosch merely an aspect of Ryan's own personality?  (Sorry, spoiler alert.)  Wellston & Iverson have been tag team partners in their past lives, including a reign as High Risk Wrestling Tag Team Champions.  Iverson is still recovering from a recent knee injury, but he still pulled off some impressive aerial moves...unfortunately, he seemed to reaggravate the injury when Bosch shoved him off the top rope to the floor.  Iverson was assisted to the backstage area, forcing Wellston to fight on his own against two opponents.  Dez had a lot of fan support, including several family members in attendance...but it wasn't quite enough to propel him to victory on this night.  Ryan pinned Wellston after he and Bosch hit a back suplex/top-rope double-stomp combo(Insomnia Dream?) in 9:07.

Intermission...oh wait, NO intermission.  Nevertheless, Official Ben Simon Concession Count(tm):  Two Coca-Colas, both of which were generously bought for me (thanks Jackal and David Cox!).  Also had a nacho or two from Timothy Miller's plate (again, he offered)...seems like Casa Loma has an upscale menu of food items.

"Supersoul" Coco Rumble(aka Sugar Dunkerton) vs. "The Hanover Hooligan" Jay Lutz(aka Gary Jay):  Apparently Rumble was scheduled to face "The Billion-Dollar Brother" Emmett DuBois(aka Dorian Victor), but Victor claimed cramps and sent his accountant Clayton Fox(aka Matt Kenway) to pay off a replacement.  Of the out-of-area talents to be included in the NWL, Rumble/Dunkerton was one of the bigger surprises; he's been a national independent standout for several years and had only competed in the St. Louis area a handful of times before this (for St. Louis Anarchy and High Risk Wrestling).  Lutz's character is a barfly who loves to fight...he said he took the monetary offer because he has bills to pay and the rent is due.  Rumble was a definite standout among the new characters on the show; he definitely has the charisma to capture the fans' attention.  Of course, the fans know Jay Lutz quite well from his previous exploits in the area.  Coco won a fun match with the Zigzag(which is apparently called the Krush Groove) in 8:47.

Cal Stark(aka Chip Day) vs. "The All-American" Todd Letterman(aka Kevin Lee Davidson):  Another surprising NWL roster member was Chip Day, who hadn't competed in the Midwest other than a couple of St. Louis Anarchy shows.  The fans weren't too familiar with Stark when he answered Letterman's open challenge, but they were into the match by the end of it; that said a lot about how well the match worked.  The former K.L.D. will definitely be a standout in the NWL and one of the favorites to be the first NWL St. Louis Champion.  Despite a good effort by Stark, Letterman stopped him with his trademark spinebuster and then followed up with a pumphandle Michinoku Driver for the victory in 5:52.

Skyler Beckett(aka Everett Connors) vs. "The Bull City Boss" Cornell Douglass(aka Murder One):  Beckett's character is a rich kid who is making the transition from polo to wrestling.  On the other side of the ring was a ring veteran from the southeast making his St. Louis-area debut; Murder One was a mainstay in NWA Wildside during that promotion's heyday.  In one of the odder ring name stories in wrestling, he originally called himself "Homicide" but changed his name due to the other Homicide's fame (despite having the name first).  Unfortunately for Beckett, he was dominated in this outing as Douglass had the edge in size, power, and experience.  Douglass finished with a heart punch(OLDSCHOOL) in 2:29.

Beckett was disappointed over the loss, but his spirits would be lifted by the grand entrance of Buddy Shepherd(aka Evan Gelistico)!  Dancing his way to the ring to the tunes of some up-tempo gospel music, Shepherd seemed to be channeling one of his earliest characters(Reverend Evan Gelist) with a touch of Joel Osteen(as one of my esteemed colleagues noted).  He entered the ring and seemingly "saved" Beckett, embracing him before leaving the arena in as grand a fashion as he appeared.  It's safe to say that Buddy Shepherd was a big hit in his debut appearance...bwahahaha.

Maverick & The Blood Brothers(Davey Gibson & Matthew Grundy) vs. Dak Draper & Royal Blood(Jet & Jax Royal):  Scroll up for the alternate identities, I won't type them again...nyah.  I hope I wasn't the only one who thought the Royals competed like smaller versions of The Young Bucks (if they were both blond-haired).  Over time, they will probably establish a more solid overall approach to their in-ring games...similar to that Matt Sydal fella, if I may say so.  Draper is an impressive-looking competitor and got his personality across very well for first-time onlookers.  I had only seen Maverick one previous time at a World League Wrestling event(the one with Ric Flair in attendance, about a year and a half ago); I thought he had a strong showing here and established himself well for fans who weren't familiar with him.  I look forward to seeing the eventual tag match between the Blood Brothers and Royal Blood.  Since Kansas City won their home-turf outing the previous week, it was only natural for the St. Louis crew to emerge victorious in this exchange.  The Royals got a little too fancy for their own good and Davey Gibson blocked Jax's top-rope Frankensteiner attempt, then Matthew Grundy dropkicked him as Gibson held him upside-down...and Gibson completed the combination with a superbomb!  That was enough for Gibson to score the pinfall in 16:09...though I'm sure the story will continue this Saturday in Kansas City, it ended the night on a high note for the NWL St. Louis team.

I did my best to talk to different fans about their opinions...some were disappointed that it wasn't like St. Louis Anarchy, but that seemed to be acknowledged going into the transition.  One of the main positives about NWL is that wrestlers are getting paid well and the full-time guys are even getting health insurance out of the deal...wrestling as a full-time occupation is nearly impossible unless you're under WWE contract.  I feel like this group can build an audience over time...with a stable roster and venue, they're better able to build storylines and feuds than your average indie promotion.  There have been a lot of critics in the early going and I can understand that on some level, given that this is an entirely new entity in the area and Major Baisden is an unknown to most people around here.  Only time will tell in some respects...but I am interested in how things will play out.

Post-show, myself and Ben Simon literally walked across the street to a bar called Yaquis On Cherokee for some late-night pizza.  While my current job has given me great experience with this particular food item, I'm still not too keen on vegetable-heavy pizzas.  Nevertheless, we split a pizza with Italian sausage and green peppers...stomach be damned, evidently.  Since Ben was obviously busy with his ring announcing duties, we had a meeting of the minds(such as it was) about the NWL in general and the local wrestling scene in particular.  It will be time for other competitors to step up to the plate with several major players being locked down to NWL(KLD, Dirden, and Outlaw to name a few).

I worked on Saturday so I wasn't at the South Broadway Athletic Club for the monthly offering from the Mid-Missouri Wrestling Alliance...I have the show clips from YouTube but haven't watched them yet.  It's been a busy week and I may do a full commentary on that event as well.  Updates as warranted, of course.  Work also kept me away from most of the Wrestling Over Everything show on Sunday the 8th...I nearly passed on the whole event, but Sarah Rose talked me into stopping by the venue and I caught most of the main event between Leone Mephisto and LaMarcus Clinton.

The next few weeks look like this:
-Saturday 1/21: Pro Wrestling Championship Series in Alton, IL; Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling in East Carondelet, IL
-Thursday 1/26: NWL in St. Louis, MO
-Saturday 2/4: World League Wrestling in Troy, MO
-Thursday 2/9: NWL in St. Louis, MO
-Saturday 2/11: MMWA in St. Louis, MO; World Powerhouse Wrestling in Jerseyville, IL
-Sunday 2/12: Wrestling Over Everything in Swansea, IL
-Saturday 2/18: SICW in East Carondelet, IL
-Sunday 2/19: Glory Pro Wrestling in Alton, IL

That's my special comment for this, the first wrestling show I've attended in the year 2017.  Good night, good luck, and #yaywrestling.

-PB, Watching Wrestling Wrong Since 1991

P.S. We are all marks.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

TNA Impact

-Commentators:  Josh Mathews & "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero.
-Race For The Case:  Eli Drake(red)(1:51), Trevor Lee(blue)(3:26), Bram Cameron(gold)(7:47 aired), and Tag Team Champion Jeff Hardy^H^H^HBrother Nero(green)(8:43 aired) retrieved briefcases from poles above the ring.  Other participants:  Tag Team Champion Broken Matt Hardy, "The Miracle" Mike Bennett, Eddie Kingston, Crazzy Steve, Tyrus Clay, Jessie Godderz, Mahabali Shera, and Andrew Everett.
-Brooke Tessmacher d. Deonna Purrazzo with the atomic facebuster (4:37); Madison Rayne did commentary.  Sienna Kay attacked Brooke afterwards.
-Aron Rex & Rockstar Spud d. Robbie Eckos & Horn Swoggle; Rex pinned Swoggle after Spud hit Swoggle with a loaded punch (4:18).
-Drew Galloway d. Moose to win the Grand Title after a mule kick set up the Claymore(flying boot); the refere stopped the clock after the low blow to tell the judges to deduct points for Galloway, then checked with Moose before officially continuing the match (officially 1:44 of Round 3, plus about 35 seconds with the clock stopped - 8:19 total).
-Next week:  Eddie Edwards vs. Bobby Lashley for the Heavyweight Title in an Ironman Match, plus Rosemary Rush vs. Mia "Jade" Yim for the Women's Title in a Monster's Ball Match.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

WWE NXT

-Commentators:  Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, & "Showtime" Percy Watson.
-Nikki Cross(w/ Eric Young & Alexander Wolfe) d. Kennadi Lewis(aka Kennadi Brink) with the swinging fisherman buster (1:30).
-Backstage:  "No Way" Jose Valenzuela was interviewed about his upcoming year and he said that he would continue to party with his friends.  Kona Reeves interrupted to complain about how Jose saved Rich Swann from Sanity several weeks ago and ignored him...Jose said that they can meet in the ring and either party or fight.
-Backstage:  The Revival(Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) were interviewed about their future after losing the NXT Tag Team Title rematch to Do It Yourself(Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano).  They'll have their eyes on the DIY-Authors Of Pain match at Takeover...but TM-61(Nick Miller & Shane Thorne) said they had to earn their way back into contention.  Dawson & Wilder took offense to that, so that set up another match for the evening.  "Top guys...out!"
-Roderick Strong d. Steve Cutler with the Sick Kick (4:03).  Strong was interviewed after the match and said his goal was to win the NXT Title...so he doesn't really care what Andrade "Cien" Almas had to say about him.
-Backstage:  Ember Moon was interviewed about the NXT Women's Title situation...she was hoping to enter the championship picture after Takeover, but she was interrupted by Liv Morgan.  Liv appreciated Ember's support against Billie Kay & Peyton Royce, but she wanted to face Ember in the ring to test her skills.
-Tye Dillinger addressed the fans about his future...he had been struggling lately and he wondered how many times a person can let down his supporters.  Sanity(Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe, & Nikki Cross) entered the scene and Young told Tye that he hadn't lost it...he never had it, but he could guide him in the right direction.  Wolfe offered him a Sanity jacket, but Tye dropped it to the floor...despite that, Young brought the jacket into the ring to talk face-to-face.  Young said that 2016 was supposed to be his year, but things didn't work out and he decided to do things his own way with Sanity.  However, he made it clear to Dillinger that he was NOT asking him to join...and Tye dropped the jacket and attacked Young.  Dillinger fought off Young and Wolfe, but was speared out of nowhere by Big Damo and then dropped with an electric chair Michinoku Driver.  Young offered the jacket to Damo and he accepted it.
-TM-61(Nick Miller & Shane Thorne) d. The Revival(Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) when Miller countered Dawson's inverted figure-four leglock with a small package pin as Thorne cut off Wilder (4:23).  Dawson & Wilder snapped and beat down Miller after the match, hitting him with the Shatter Machine(Flapjack-into-Codebreaker) and then destroying Thorne's knee with their double-teaming.
-Added to Takeover:  Dillinger vs. Young and Strong vs. Almas.  Next week:  Ember Moon vs. Liv Morgan.
-General Manager S. William Regal presided over the contract signing with Bobby Roode and NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura.  The standard verbal sparring ensued, including Nakamura saying that Roode looked like a Shiba Inu...yup.  They signed the contract and SHOCKINGLY it didn't end in a fight, though Nakamura did swipe Roode's catchphrase to wrap things up.