By Patrick Brandmeyer
Now, as promised, a special comment about Saturday’s Mid-Missouri Wrestling Alliance event at the South Broadway Athletic Club in St. Louis, Missouri.
As I previously said, I feel like I’ve done the MMWA a disservice as I haven’t been to one of their events in awhile. My last event at South Broadway was in March and my last MMWA event was the one at the Cinco De Mayo Festival. I appreciate Timothy Miller posting the video clips on YouTube as I’ve been able to keep up, for the most part.
Lynn Mephisto posted on Facebook that he has parted ways with the promotion. He had a good run, including reigns as Battle Royal (now Survivor) Champion and TV Champion. Also, as previously noted, Ace Hawkins quit after his Junior Heavyweight Title loss to Everett Connors; apparently he has military obligations that will keep him out of the ring for the time being.
Attendance was still strong, though a bit down from the packed houses at South Broadway earlier in the year. Audience enthusiasm was no problem on this night.
The King of St. Louis Cable Tournament was restructured as the four first-round winners were scheduled to face each other in a four-way elimination final. I did a tournament preview a few days ago, so go there for the salient details. The tag match was announced online at the last minute, as was Kevin Lee Davidson’s substitution for Tony Kozina in the tourney.
Your ring announcer was Ben Simon, your referees were Nick Ridenour & Brian Stoltz.
Tag Team Champion Da’Marius Jones vs. Barackus (w/ J-Mal Swagg), King of Cable Tournament: These two faced each other in Barackus’ MMWA debut in January…this was shaping up to be as one-sided as their previous encounter. However, Swagg got into a discussion with his Elitism compatriot over how to end the match; that led to Jones hitting Paydirt out of nowhere for the surprise win in 5:40. Barackus and Swagg argued after the match and Barackus teased the CLAWWWWW~! on Swagg, but J-Mal talked him out of it…
TV Champion Moondog Rover vs. Kevin Lee Davidson (w/ Co-Commissioner Sean Orleans), King of Cable Tournament: As noted, Davidson was replacing Tony Kozina in the tournament. Co-Commissioner Jim Harris made the same observation I did, noting that Kozina lost his qualifying match to Gary Jackson last month. Orleans did a “random draw” to decide the remaining two tournament participants and they shockingly(?) turned out to be members of the Elitism (or allies of the group, at the very least).
This match mostly consisted of Davidson working on Moondog’s leg, though the time-compressed nature of the tournament meant that the first-round matches were relatively short. Davidson was in full control of the match and brought in a chair, destroying Moondog’s leg for the DQ in 5:47. Several wrestlers finally ran him off, including Jackson Whitechapel (who was double-crossed by Sean Orleans in a battle royal last month). Jim Harris ordered a no-DQ rematch for Herculaneum (nice job of building that card), but we later found out that Rover wouldn’t be able to compete in the tournament final. Didn’t make much sense for Davidson to go for the chair when he did…I don’t recall him making many pin covers so it didn’t seem like he was frustrated enough to go that route. If the Elitism guys wanted to ensure that Moondog didn’t make it to the final, then maybe Davidson should have, you know, tried to win. Oh well.
Andrew “The Wolf” Wilder & Johnathon Zulu vs. LaMarcus Clinton & Chase King: This would determine the next challengers for the Tag Team Title, held by A.J. Williams & Da’Marius Jones. LMC & Chase are the former champions but fell short against A.J. & Da’Marius last month. Zulu is still looking for a steady tag team partner since his previous two tag matches against Elitism members ended in defeat (thanks to timely low blows).
Wilder was thrown out of the ring and the referee was checking on him, so King went for a low blow only to be blocked by Zulu. However, LMC intervened with a punt to the Universal Weak Point and Zulu wasn’t ready for THAT…Chase capitalized with a Protobomb variation for the win in 6:58. No word on when the Tag Title match will happen…they didn’t say anything about Herculaneum in that regard and, as it turns out, Da’Marius Jones will be otherwise occupied at the next South Broadway event…
Survivor Champion Dave Osborne vs. Heavyweight Champion Brandon Espinosa vs. “Da Bomb” Brian James for the Survivor Title: This was a unique setup as they essentially had two back-to-back matches; the first was for Osborne’s title and the second was for Espinosa’s championship with a short rest period in between. The only real precedent was the match at WrestleMania 2000 with Kurt Angle defending the Intercontinental and European Titles against Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho; that led to Angle losing both belts without being pinned or made to submit. Since James wasn’t pinned in last month’s tournament qualifier (it was a tag match) and he had won last year’s tournament, he got this opportunity…in fact, the match(es) featured all three previous tournament winners. This seemed time-compressed as well, especially given the stakes involved. James got the clean pin on Espinosa with his sitout gourdbuster finisher in 5:30, winning Osborne’s championship.
Heavyweight Champion Brandon Espinosa vs. Survivor Champion “Da Bomb” Brian James vs. Dave Osborne for the Heavyweight Title: With the wear and tear of the previous match as a factor, this one didn’t last long…Espinosa bided his time outside the ring as James and Osborne fought. Orleans stuck his nose into things after James hit his finisher on Osborne, distracting James and then holding his leg to keep him from breaking up Espinosa’s pin cover on Osborne. Espinosa retained his title in 2:51, but James made a good case for a future one-on-one title shot. Never fond of setups where a champion can lose a title without being pinned/made to submit…I’ve already talked about how I think MMWA has too many championships and it seems like there are a lot of title switches in recent months. At any rate, Espinosa is defending his title in Herculaneum against the winner of a battle royal that same night.
Tag Team Champion A.J. Williams vs. Evan Gelistico, King of Cable Tournament: Surreal to see Gelistico at South Broadway; he has trained there this year and worked a previous card or two for the promotion. This was the most technical bout of the night and also the only match that went over ten minutes. It was definitely a different sort of match than anything else on the card. A.J. got the tapout win with a modified cross-armbreaker (with Evan face-down on the mat) in 10:12.
“Night Train/Great One/Gorgeous” Gary Jackson vs. J-Mal Swagg (w/ Barackus): Barackus came out with Swagg but left the ringside area before the match started…guess there’s still trouble in Elitism paradise. Gary won with the Texas Cloverleaf in 5:46. Gary reminded us of THE RULES~! afterwards.
“Risky Business” Everett Connors vs. Co-Commissioner Sean Orleans for the Junior Heavyweight Title: After Connors upset Ace Hawkins for the title last month, Orleans decided to take matters into his own hands. Orleans got a good run of offense after Connors missed his first attempt at the guillotine legdrop; however, Everett came back to hit the move on the second try for the victory in 4:37. That led to a post-match attack by J-Mal Swagg to set up the Junior Heavyweight Title match for Herculaneum. Whitechapel made the save again, wanting to get his hands on his former tag partner, but Orleans got away to save his own skin.
“Night Train/Gorgeous/Great One” Gary Jackson vs. Tag Team Champion A.J. Williams vs. Tag Team Champion Da’Marius Jones, King of Cable Tournament, three-way elimination: Moondog was unable to compete due to his injury. Gary seemingly shrugged off A.J.’s first superkick…Gary got Da’Marius in the Cloverleaf but ate another superkick, leading to A.J. scoring the surprise three-count on Jackson at 5:43. That left the tag champs to do battle…tempers flared, but Jones hit Paydirt for the one…two…three in 8:22.
All three guys had history with Espinosa…in Jones’ case, he debuted in the area with an upset win over Espy at an SICW event in Hillsdale. Espy won the rematch at South Broadway and retained his title against him at Cinco De Mayo earlier this year. It surprised me when Jones made the challenge for the 60-Minute Ironman Match…I had only seen one match of that kind on the indies around here: Bailey Mannix vs. Eric Allen at MECW in late 2011. Hopefully that’ll be a good one…October 11th is shaping up to be a very busy night for indy wrestling in this area.