This article first appeared on Missouri Wrestling Revival
By Patrick Brandmeyer
If history is any indication, Brian James is on the road to the MMWA Heavyweight Championship. The Midwest veteran defeated three tough opponents in the same night to win the King of St. Louis Cable tournament, thus earning himself a title shot of his choice.
Of course, he wasn’t alone in his ambition; the tournament field was full of current and former titleholders. Many of the wrestlers in the competition had previous issues with current champion Brandon Espinosa or former champ Gary Jackson. Each contender had his own motivation, but only one could emerge victorious.
The tournament started under unique circumstances as Espinosa claimed he and Lynn Mephisto would “challenge” for the vacant Tag Team Title if Mephisto won the tournament, thus claiming the belts without a fight. After that, the Battle Royal Champ tried to talk his way to an easy first-round win, but Wild World of Wrestling Television Champion A.J. Williams wasn’t hearing it. Despite Mephisto’s “generous” (and extremely condescending) job offer, Williams answered with a fist to the face and the fight was on.
Former TV Champ Jimmy D affected the match outcome, distracting the referee as Mephisto knocked out Williams with brass knuckles. After that, Mephisto got the cheap pin with feet on the ropes to reach the semifinals…but his night was just starting.
The next quarterfinal match was already heated as Junior Heavyweight Champion Andrew Wilder had cheated his way to victory over former titleholder Ace Hawkins in recent months. On top of that, Wilder cost Hawkins a contenders’ match to Da’Marius Jones, which led to a three-way match set for the December card.
Ace was intent on knocking the young titleholder down a peg…and he accomplished that feat by countering Wilder’s “Call of the Wild” inverted neckbreaker finisher into a rolling prawn pin.
In the next bout, 2012 tournament king Dave Osborne was matched against up-and-coming rookie Da’Marius Jones. Osborne was the only man in the field to have competed in all three King of Cable tournaments and was looking to repeat his past success.
Jones had a good showing but the size and experience edge was too much to overcome. Osborne got the win after his devastating cobra clutch suplex.
The final first-round match featured opponents who were no strangers to each other; Brian James and Jimmy D had traded the TV Title earlier this year. After Jimmy’s earlier actions, A.J. Williams saw fit to return the favor…and the distraction gave James the opening to finish off Jimmy with his sitout gourdbuster.
The semifinals began with Hawkins taking on Mephisto. Mephisto had a slight advantage as Ace had been through a longer first-round bout and had less time to rest, but Hawkins kept him off-balance with his aerial arsenal.
Unfortunately for him, Hawkins fell prey to another cheapshot as Wilder ran out to deliver a low blow behind the referee’s back. That allowed Mephisto to drop Ace with an Air Raid Crash to advance to the final.
James and Osborne had clashed in last year’s semifinals and the two met once again this year. It would prove to be one of the most competitive matches in the tournament; James had trouble using his power moves against the 300-pound Osborne so he improvised by taking to the air.
In the end, James was finally able to lift the big man up into his finisher for the victory, evening the score from the previous tournament! Respectfully, the two shook hands after the bout.
The final was marked by some controversy. Mephisto had gotten involved in Espinosa’s title defense against Gary Jackson earlier in the night. With the stipulation in place that Gary would get no more title shots as long as Espy was champion, Mephisto hit his own “ally” with the belt…thus getting Jackson disqualified and costing him his opportunity to reclaim the gold. With Espinosa lurking in the background, it seemed like a plan was in place to ensure Mephisto’s victory.
Both finalists came out swinging in the final, but Espinosa stuck his nose into the proceedings and hit Mephisto with his title belt… trying to get “Da Bomb” disqualified. However, Senior Official Jim Harris said that the same trick wouldn’t work twice and ordered the bout to continue. The plan had backfired. With Mephisto dazed, James was able to capitalize with his sitout gourdbuster finisher for his third and final win of the evening!
His opposition consisted of a former Television Champion, a former Heavyweight Champ (and previous tournament winner), and the current Battle Royal Champion… but “Da Bomb” Brian James emerged victorious as the 2013 King of St. Louis Cable!