By Patrick Brandmeyer
As a wrestling fan of twenty-two years, I’ve always been a big fan of the one-night tournament. It takes skill, endurance, and the occasional bit of luck to emerge victorious in that format. Careers have been boosted by wins in that situation, especially in WWE’s King of the Ring tournament.
We’re approaching the MMWA’s third annual King of St. Louis Cable Tournament with eight worthy competitors vying for a guaranteed shot at the Heavyweight Title. The winners of both previous tournaments (Brandon Espinosa and Dave Osborne) went on to capture the gold…so it’s a great opportunity for one of these wrestlers to catapult himself to the top of the mountain!
A.J. Williams: The current Wild World of Wrestling Television Champion has also been the Junior Heavyweight Champion, but he has not yet captured the top prize in the Mid-Missouri Wrestling Alliance. His history with current titleholder Brandon Espinosa is well-documented as the two have had classic battles all over the Midwest…but since Espy regained the Heavyweight Championship, he hasn’t received a shot at the gold. The motivation is there and so is the athletic ability…will that be enough to propel him to victory?
Lynn Mephisto: The Battle Royal Champ entered the MMWA with the mindset that he had something to prove. In the past several months, he has proven that he’ll use any tactics necessary to come out on top…and that way of thinking may separate him from the rest of the pack. If he wins the tournament and recent rival Gary Jackson defeats Espinosa for the crown, it’ll make his eventual championship opportunity that much sweeter.
Andrew Wilder: The reigning Junior Heavyweight Champion seems like the dark horse in this year’s field of eight. Will he be focused on the tournament or his upcoming three-way title defense against Ace Hawkins and Da’Marius Jones in December? He has been underestimated in the past and went on to prove the doubters wrong with his Jr. Heavyweight Title win…never overlook “The Wolf”.
Ace Hawkins: The former Junior Heavyweight titleholder has his own history with Espinosa…their careers have been intertwined for the past several years as they’ve been both bitter rivals and tag team partners at different times. His focus has been on the Jr. Heavyweight Title in recent months, but I’m sure he wouldn’t mind another shot at Espy.
Brian James: The veteran competitor had a brief run as Television Champion earlier this year but has always had his sights set on the big prize. His pinfall win over Espinosa in last month’s elimination tag match gave him a big boost of momentum. “Da Bomb” will be looking to repeat his recent success en route to a championship opportunity…and if Espinosa is still the champion, he’ll be targeting a man who he knows he can defeat.
Jimmy D: The bat-wielding brawler is another take-no-prisoners competitor…we’ve seen that in his two reigns as Television Champion. Will experience and underhanded tactics make the difference on this night? Don’t count him out…
Da’Marius Jones: On the other side of the experience coin is the rookie of the field. Jones shockingly upset Espinosa in a recent non-title bout so he knows he can beat the current titleholder. While some may overlook him as the “newbie” of the bunch, others will look to the record books and realize that Jones is capable of winning if taken lightly. It’s early in Jones’ career, but he already has a big opportunity to earn his way to the top of the rankings.
Dave Osborne: He’s the former Heavyweight Champ and former Battle Royal Champ…perhaps most importantly, he was last year’s tournament winner. He knows what it takes to come out on top in this competition. He’s the biggest wrestler in the mix…that may be a double-edged sword once you consider the endurance factor, but that didn’t stop him from winning the 2012 tourney. He wouldn’t mind getting his hands on either Espinosa (who ended his previous title reign) or Jackson (who he beat for the belt earlier this year).
A case could be made for just about anyone to come out on top as the 2013 King of St. Louis Cable…but we won’t know until the tournament takes place this Saturday night!