Most champions dream of leaving at the top of their games. Retiring as champion: what could be better? That’s what just happened fourfold at MMWA Wrestling… sort of.
MMWA Heavyweight Champion Kevin Lee Davidson, MMWA Junior Heavyweight Champion Everett Connors, MMWA TV Champion Danny Adams, and MMWA Tag Team Champions Matt Kenway & Jason Roberts have left the company. The reason is unknown and the parting isn’t amicable.
The MMWA has announced that the TV and tag team titles will be shelved, but the main singles title will be up for grabs in 2017. The 220 lb. Junior Heavyweight crown will be on the line this Saturday, December 3 at South Broadway.
Also, Brandon Espinosa makes the 15th defense of his inter-promotional State laurels against former MMWA kingpin Da’Marius Jones on the card. This is Jones’s first shot and you can bet that his 2.0 stablemate A.J. Williams will be watching. We will need a good referee for this one!
Never before has Dynamo Pro Wrestling hosted an event at The Ready Room quite like this.
On November 26, Ricky Cruz and Jake Dirden meet for the final time. Cruz will retire this year, and this is his last match in Greater St. Louis. In the other corner, Dirden has signed an exclusive contract with the mighty startup NWL STL, and will rampage through Dynamo Pro no more.
Mike Outlaw defends the Dynamo Pro Title for the fourth time against Brandon Aarons. Oh, and did I mention: Brandon Espinosa defends his MWR Missouri strap against “Raw Dog” Matt Kenway too!
The South Broadway Athletic Club hosts MMWA Wrestling on November 12. Four big matches sit atop the card and make this one a can’t-miss.
Brandon Espinosa and Ace Hawkins were best friends and tag team champions, known most recently as “The Eternals.” That is no more, due to Hawkins being accused of abandoning Espy in title defenses.
Now, a different belt is at stake: the Missouri Heavyweight Championship. And, it’s the lucky 13th defense for Espinosa.
The main event pits A.J. Williams against Kevin Lee Davidson for the former’s MMWA Heavyweight Title. KLD fights not only for himself, but for everyone who has been beaten by the 2.0 group (Williams, Jones, and Daramola).
Now, as promised, a special comment about Saturday’s Dynamo Pro Wrestling show at 4 Hands Brewery in St. Louis, Missouri.
DISCLAIMER: I’m biased. Deal with it.
Job update: I’m learning how to organize my work schedule, so hopefully I’ll be able to get to more local rasslin’ shows in the near future. I hated to miss last weekend’s Dynamo show, especially Angelina Love vs. Angelus Layne…hopefully I will get to see the video of the event in the near future. The job is an adventure and rarely boring, but health insurance would be nice.
While I had to work on Saturday evening, Dynamo’s second annual offering from 4 Hands Brewery was an afternoon affair; thus, I was able to attend and go straight to my job from there. The wrestling festivities were on the opposite side of the building and it wasn’t quite as hot as last September. The event was divided into two halves and a few people wrestled twice; some wrestlers had evening bookings and had to leave ASAP, so they matched up earlier in the day. (Ricky Cruz wrestled for New Breed Wrestling in Eldon, MO that night).
The band stage played continuous music throughout the matches; I think this was done at last year’s 4 Hands show as well. It was a unique environment, but I don’t know if it was the best idea. The event did draw a good amount of fans (more than last year), so that was a plus.
Your ring announcers were Chris Roedel & Luke Roberts; your referees were Scott Ramsey, Jay King, & Richard White.
Brandon Aarons vs. “The Incredible Primal Prodigy” Matt Kenway (Look At Him): hopefully I’ll get to see these guys face each other in a longer bout in the future. Kenway had a fine effort in this opener, but Aarons won with the close-range superkick in 3:52.
Mike Outlaw vs. “The King Of Chaos” Ricky Cruz for the Heavyweight Title: As previously noted, Ricky was wrestling in Eldon that evening so this match was positioned in the first half of the show. With no matches announced ahead of time, it was a surprise for a major match like this to get very little build; Outlaw won his first Dynamo Championship from Cruz about two years ago. It was a battle of fan favorites, but Ricky went into rulebreaker mode and the crowd was unified on Outlaw’s side. It was a condensed version of their previous bouts, ending with Outlaw scoring a rollup pin out of nowhere in 8:57. After the match, Ricky acknowledged that he plans to retire at the end of the year, but he had a hand in training Outlaw and is proud of what Outlaw has accomplished.
Straps Down University (“The Valedictorian” Keon Option & Justin D’Air) vs. Alpha Class (“The Millenial” Danny Adams & Paco Gonzalez) for the Tag Team Title: After a long chase for the belts, Option & D’Air defeated The Professionals (Shawn Santel & Mauler McDarby) last week to earn another championship opportunity and then defeated High Level Enterprise (Jack Gamble & Jon Webb) for the title. Hope to see a longer match between these two teams down the line; the SDU pairing won their first title defense after an Option wheelbarrow drop/D’Air Codebreaker combo allowed Option to pin Adams in 5:28.
Brandon Espinosa vs. Makaze for the MWR Missouri Title: Three title matches were advertised for the day, though it would turn out to be four (more on that later). Despite their respective longevities in this wrestling scene, I’m pretty sure this was the first-ever meeting between these two. Hopefully they’ll cross paths again in the future. Makaze rallied and Espy bailed out of the ring to catch a breather…and bring his championship belt into play. As the referee tried to separate the two on the ropes, Espinosa clocked the masked man with the title and the official didn’t see it. Espy capitalized with the double-underhook brainbuster for the win in 5:38.
The announcers segued into intermission mode, but Jake Dirden made his way to the ring and Luke Roberts headed for the hills. Dirden was cranky and threw out an open challenge, getting an answer from his former tag team partner…
Jackal vs. “Dirdey” Jake Dirden: Dirden & Jackal defeated Ricky Cruz & Brandon Espinosa for the Tag Team Title about two years ago, but Dirden turned on Jackal in their title loss to The Black Hand Warriors (Michael Magnuson, Dave DeLorean, & Jayden Fenix). That led to a pair of matches between the two; Dirden won the first, but Jackal scored an unlikely victory in the “I Quit” Match that followed. Dirden had a huge edge in size and power, but Jackal held the advantage in speed, agility, and experience. Dirden brought a chair into play and the ensuing chaos led to the referee being knocked down; Jackal took advantage of the situation to use the chair for an enhanced version of your typical spear. He took down Dirden with a Diamond Cutter, then added insult to injury with a Five-Knuckle Shuffle-style fistdrop for the shocking pinfall in 7:00! That result really caught me off guard.
Intermission (for real this time)~! Official Ben Simon Concession Count™: One Strange Donut (not sure EXACTLY what kind; it had chocolate creme filling and a pretzel on top), one can of Sprite.
Jackal vs. C.J. Shine: Despite a pretty lengthy intermission (almost an hour), Shine had the advantage of being fresh by comparison to his opponent. Jackal had a tough fight with Dirden prior to the intermission, so that may have been a factor in the result of this match. Jackal’s prior win meant that this was a bigger upset than it had been previously, as Shine defeated his more experienced opponent with a springboard dropkick in 6:40!
Rocket Mapache vs. La Apuesta: For the uninitiated, “La Apuesta” is Jack Gamble under a mask; he and Jon Webb (“Juan La Telarana”) had used the alter-egos to play mind games with The Professionals in a previous tag match. It’s a badly-kept secret as Gamble & Webb wear their usual ring attire and have some conspicuous tattoos. The High Level Enterprise duo have been trending in a rulebreaking direction in recent months and snapped on the referee after their Tag Team Title loss the previous week. Randomly, this was the longest match of the afternoon; Apuesta brought a chair into the ring, but only to have a seat as he held Rocket in a chinlock. This tactic backfired as Rocket retaliated with a drop toehold to send Apuesta face-first into the chair. Apuesta recovered to score the win after a frog splash in 11:40(!), but Rocket got the better of a post-match fight and unmasked “Apuesta” to reveal Gamble’s face to the crowd.
Makaze vs. Tag Team Champion “The Valedictorian” Keon Option: Both men had wrestled in the first half of the show, but one could argue that Makaze had the rougher outing (taking a title belt to the head from Espinosa as opposed to Option’s tag match). This was another case where I’d like to see a longer match between the two; Option scored the victory after an axe kick in 5:21 and Makaze raised Option’s arm after the bout.
Brandon Espinosa vs. Brandon Aarons for the MWR Missouri Title: Babewatch explodes! The two had teamed up as recently as the previous evening in High Risk Wrestling, but that had been their first match as a team in several years. I honestly don’t know who will be the one to relieve Espy of the MWR Championship, but he wrestles all over the Midwest so it could go in any number of directions. As with the previous match, both men had prior bouts in the afternoon (though Aarons had more time to rest). Aarons gave Espy a run for his money here, scoring a near-fall after the close-range superkick that won him the opener. The two traded WWE finishers and counters (something which has become a hallmark of recent Espinosa matches)…Aarons went for an advanced curbstomp and Espinosa countered into an RKO (similar to the Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins match from a few WrestleManias ago). Espy capitalized on his advantage to deliver the double-underhook brainbuster for the win in 7:41, retaining his title for the second time that afternoon!
After saying my goodbyes, I headed off to my pizza delivery job for the evening…it was a rare Saturday night with no wrestling shows in the immediate area. The tips have been good and I’ve been able to pay my bills, at any rate.
I was able to get off work for this coming weekend; Pro Wrestling Championship Series returns to Granite City, IL on Saturday and Wrestling Over Everything has a tournament to crown its first champion at its Sunday show in Swansea.
A busy November looks like this:
-Friday 11/4: Pro Wrestling Epic in Brownstown, IL; World Powerhouse Wrestling in Jerseyville, IL
-Saturday 11/5: World League Wrestling in Troy, MO; Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling in Swansea, IL
-Saturday 11/12: Mid-Missouri Wrestling Alliance in St. Louis, MO
-Friday 11/18: St. Louis Anarchy in Alton, IL
-Saturday 11/19: Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling in East Carondelet, IL
-Sunday 11/20: Pro Wrestling Resurgence in Swansea, IL
-Saturday 11/26: Dynamo Pro Wrestling in St. Louis, MO (Ready Room)
That’s my special comment for this, the forty-fourth wrestling show I’ve attended in the year 2016. Good night, good luck, and #yaywrestling.