Yesterday, as many of you sat around a table with family and gave thanks before stuffing yourselves full of high caloric garbage and parking your asses on the couch to watch “pro football” to kill time before you could go and trample your fellow man at big box stores that evening for the latest overpriced bauble, yours truly was studying as always. You don’t get to be the smartest man in wrestling by resting on your laurels. No, my task is to learn. To assimilate information. To make myself more knowledgable than everyone else.
Sure, I’m already smarter than most (probably you), but that doesn’t mean I can shirk my responsibility to educate the wrestling public on the finer points of the sport by showcasing fantastic contests.
Such is the case tonight. While everyone looks for a one-of-a-kind deal on this day, I present to you–FREE OF CHARGE–the 2003 Match of the Year: Kenta Kobashi vs. Mitsuharu Misawa. These two won Match of the Year honors in 1997 and 1998 for their singles bouts in All Japan Pro Wrestling. This third encounter would be contested under Misawa’s Pro Wrestling NOAH promotion.
To understand how crazy these two men were in performing the array of moves you’ll see below, consider this: at the time of this match, Kobashi is 35 and his knees are shot; Misawa is 40 and his back and neck are in a bad way.
The next time you’re hanging out with your buddies and downing beers, and one of those knuckleheads looks at wrestling on the TV and says, “that ain’t too hard,” pull up this match and let them see what these men do to each other. Man’s game, folks. Man’s game.
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!