This Saturday marks the third annual King of Cable Tournament, the first to be held at the historic South Broadway Athletic Club in Soulard.
Eight men will compete in one-on-one matches under single elimination rules to determine the fittest, best wrestler in the St. Louis area. The winner will receive a guaranteed title shot against the MMWA Champion at any time of the challenger’s choosing. The previous two winners of the tournament–Brandon Espinosa and Dave Osborne–went on to win the title when “cashing in” their opportunity, so the stakes are incredibly high.
Let’s look at the bracket, shall we?
No seeds here; every man’s name went into a hat and was drawn at random. Any of these men would make a fine King of Cable. The Television Champion A.J. Williams will meet Battle Royal Champion Lynn Mephisto in the opening round, Jr. Heavyweight Champion Andrew Wilder faces Ace Hawkins, Da’Marius Jones squares off against the 2012 King of Cable ‘Big’ Dave Osborne, and two longtime rivals butt heads yet again as Brian James battles Jimmy D.
Also on the card: MMWA Champion Brandon Espinosa will defend his title against Gary Jackson and the Lumberjacks will be in tag team action.
I had to scroll through all the categories not twice but thrice to make certain: Best Cheap Thrill, Best All Ages Venue, Best Place to People Watch, Best Sports Broadcast Personality, and Best Sports Bargain.
The brain trust at Riverfront Times apparently thinks the St. Louis Rams are a better bargain than the MMWA at South Broadway Athletic Club. You’re telling me an $8 adult ticket and $4 child ticket for three hours of wrestling is not up to par with an atrocious football team that can’t even give tickets away? Pish-posh, I say!
How is the South Broadway Athletic Club not the best place for people watching in the St. Louis metro area? Good Lord, man, all walks of life are showing up month in and month out. I’ve said it before on commentary and I’ll say it again here: it smells like Red Bull and teen pregnancy. Now you tell me that that’s not a tremendous selling point…
Some of the guys have even confessed their dissatisfaction with the lack of a ‘Best Wrestler’ category. The Midwest is a bastion for pro wrestling and St. Louis remains the Mecca. Surely, the fine folks at RFT are not so obtuse as to ignore such talent still putting on top-notch events? This has got to be an oversight…
But most galling is the lack of respect shown my way in the ‘Best Sports Broadcast Personality’ category. To borrow a phrase, “I’m the straw that stirs the drink” on the MMWA television program. Oh sure, Tim Miller and Ben Simon are nice enough guys and do a job best described as “fair to moderate,” but I’m raising the bar, people. I’m educating the plebeians with my glut of wrestling acumen, and I’m losing out to Darren Pang? A pox on your house, Riverfront Times! A pox on your house!
Folks, wrestling returns to the South Broadway Athletic Club on Saturday, September 14! MMWA Heavyweight Champion Brandon Espinosa will be in action, as well as Jackson Whitechapel, Da’Marius Jones and Gary Jackson, among others. We’ve got 1 match already confirmed: Andrew Wilder defends his MMWA Jr. Heavyweight Title against Ace Hawkins.
We caught up with Andrew Wilder to learn a little more about MMWA’s lightest competitor. A transcript of the interview is below (BOLD print is yours truly):
How did you get the nickname “Wild One”?
Okay, first off it’s “The Wolf” not “The Wild One.” I don’t know who thought of that other one, but it’s not my style.
I got my nickname by doing what I have been doing for the past year and a half: kicking up the intensity every time I return, win or lose.
You saw it in that triple threat two months ago against A.J. Williams and J-mal Swagg. I got a busted nose, went crazy, finished the match and didn’t back out like a punk. I didn’t win but I didn’t lose either.
Isn’t losing the opposite of winning?
How about I fishhook you? You know what I meant, dork.
Moving along…so how’d you get “The Wolf” nickname?
I connect with a wolf the most because people think that a wolf without a pack isn’t dangerous. WRONG. I have and will keep proving that. Just because I don’t have allies doesn’t mean this lone wolf isn’t a threat or dangerous.
Cool. You know, when I was on the high school wrestling team I was nicknamed “The Animal.”
Where have you been training and for how long?
I’ve been training for about two years at South Broadway. It was close to home and I wanted to keep it that way. But I was always training in my mind since I was like 8. Every match I saw and every chance I got, I would rewind the tapes and see how to do some moves and learn ring awareness.
What was your favorite wrestling match while growing up?
I would have to say Jericho vs. Michaels at WrestleMania XIX. The feud itself was great. Just personal, as far as wanting to beat a man you looked up to and being like, “I waited for this moment to prove I’m better than you” and truly a fight to see who could steal the show. Very athletic and intense.
And who’s your favorite wrestler?
The Rock. No question about that.
Why The Rock?
Two reasons. The charisma: it flowed through him. Love him, hate him, it didn’t matter; people were drawn to him. Now, I’m not saying I’m more charismatic than The Rock, but people cannot deny that no matter if it’s in the ring or just in public, something draws their attention to me, always has since I was young. Whether it’s because they think I’m crazy, I’m doing something random or weird, people stop to look.
The second thing I love about The Rock: the smack talking. I love the verbal attacks as much as the physical. Going toe-to-toe on the mic means you can think on your feet. I aim for that.
But as far as in-ring style and tactics: Rick Rude, hands down. Just dirty and rough; right to the point.
You’re the lightest competitor in the MMWA. How do you respond to guys in the back or fans in the crowd who think it’s laughable to see you in the ring?
Laugh all you want, it’s not like they haven’t been doing that since I first showed up. All my life people told me, “You will never make it into pro wrestling.”
Check. Did that.
“Well, you won’t win a title.”
Check. Did that, too. Anyone else want to doubt me?
See, I make a living off of proving people around me wrong. I get a sense of satisfaction from doing it, too. They say, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” It’s true. So to anyone: fans, boys in the back, or the bum down the street, you want to laugh and think you can beat me because I am the lightest competitor. Go ahead and doubt me. David took down Goliath, and so can I.
I might not be the biggest or the strongest, but I can fight. I got heart and a drive that won’t quit. Plus I love to see the look on people’s faces when I show them a wolf is still dangerous, no matter how small it is and even though it’s alone, he still has the same survival and fight instincts as the big ones. I have yet to truly show how viciousI can really get!
What is your go-to move when you’re trying to end a match?
Call of the Wild. It’s my swinging cutter. I snap it off quick enough so my opponent’s face takes the full impact on the canvas.
What’s your immediate goal? Where do you want to be in 12 months?
I want to be traveling the USA for more experience and more matches; but overall, I will still be here, at the place where I started. South Broadway was the only–and I mean only–place that gave me a chance to prove myself. I love staying at the stomping grounds because even though I hate these people and fans, I love the place I call home: St. Louis.
Where can people find you on Twitter?
Twitter. HA! Try Facebook. But in seriousness, maybe in a few months or years, or never. I just don’t know. Because why would I want some loser tweeting at me every hour of the day. I have a life, so you should get one too.
The ‘Best in the Midwest’ are at it again this Saturday night at the South Broadway Athletic Club.
Battle Royal Champion Raphael King puts the title on the line in an over the-top-rope free-for-all! After Big Dave Osborne’s interference cost Raphael King a shot at the MMWA Heavyweight Title last month, the two formed an uneasy alliance later that night in a losing effort against Brandon Espinosa and Ace Hawkins. Following the match, King and Osborne brawled outside the ring, much to the fan’s delight! You better believe those two still have a major beef…
The devilish Lynn Mephisto is still looking to take down ‘Gorgeous’ Gary Jackson any way he can. Mr. Jackson has kept his wits about him and avoided Mephisto’s shenanigans thus far. Sooner or later, these two WILL come to blows in a singles match…
Who will step up to challenge MMWA Champion Brandon Espinosa? A few guys have called Tony Casta and Tim Miller to lobby for a shot at the belt. Will the decision makers be swayed by a few honeyed words? And if so, by whom?