NWL KC Episode 1 Review

A fond farewell to Metro Pro, but now we welcome the NWL KC!

If you haven’t yet, you may want to read my introduction to the NWL to find out what’s going on with all these new names and gimmicks.

All matches are from the January 7, 2017 tapings. I like the set-up with the big screen on a stage behind the ring. Todd Miller and Scott Bowden are on commentary. I’m unfamiliar with them.

Ken Dharma vs. “Lockdown” Ray Briggs

Dharma is Mike Sydal, and he’s a vegan yoga snob. He rips on the fans for their lifestyle choices and says he’s going to be champion. Ray Briggs is a former football player, playing for the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes in college and the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL. (UPDATE: Ray Briggs is also known as Bobby Blackshire.)

Decent match considering (I assume) Briggs’ inexperience. They start with wrestling, but Dharma gets cheap by hitting Briggs on a break. Briggs gets big air on a dropkick. Briggs tries to keep Dharma grounded with waist locks. Dharma goes to the floor and slams Briggs left leg onto the apron. He goes after the leg, thwarting Briggs’ attempt at keeping the advantage. Leg locks follow, but Dharma is frustrated when he can’t get the pin. He misses a second rope moonsault, and Briggs mounts his comeback, including hitting a standing moonsault. Dharma dodges what may have been a modified Famouser and pulls Briggs into Kickstart the Elephant, an elaborate pin involving a leg lock and back bridge.

Winner – Ken Dharma

Rating – OK

Flex Zerba w/ Max Edwards vs. Gil Rogers

From one health snob to another two! Zerba and Edwards are the Swoll Patrol, a couple of obnoxious exercise fanatics. Edwards is Mark Sterling, but I don’t recognize Zerba. (UPDATE: Zerba is “Mr. Saturday Night” Michael Barry.) Rogers is a happy-go-lucky fellow from the old days of wrestling who’s hard not to love if you’ve watched his introductory vignette on YouTube. I think he wrestles in Iowa as Rory Fox.

Rogers gives Zerba a clean break and then counters Zerba’s attempt at a cheapshot. After an old school flying headlock, Rogers offers his hand, but Zerba slaps him. Rogers body slams Zerba, who goes out to do regroup and do exercises with Edwards. Zerba takes control after a lariat and then distracts the ref so Edwards can punch Rogers. After a side slam and a back body drop, Zerba picks Rogers up in a fireman’s carry and does squats. Rogers comes back with a dropkick, a monkey flip, and a butterfly suplex. Zerba gets the ref’s attention so Edwards can throw workout powder into Rogers’ face. Zerba school boys him and holds the tights for the pin,

Winner – Flex Zerba

Rating – Good

Marti Bell (formerly of the Dollhouse in TNA) interviews Rogers. He says he always give it his all and that he’s ready to work his way from the bottom to the top. He vows that he will never stoop to the tactics of the Swoll Patrol. He will always stand up for honor and follow the rules!
“The Lakota Warrior” Red Cloud vs. “The Connoisseur” Niles Plonk w/ Belvedere

Red Cloud is Nate Redwing, but his mohawk is slicked back. He’s pretty much the same character except with a stronger emphasis on his Native American heritage. Plonk is Kraig Keesaman, and he’s a wine snob. Belvedere is the Iceman, whom Keesaman had been tagging with in the latter days of Metro Pro. He’s a servant who isn’t shown much respect by his master.

Red Cloud pulls Plonk into the ring after he takes forever tasting his wine on the floor. He presses him over his head and runs around in circles before dropping him. Plonk retreats to drink more wine, and once they get back in the ring, he spits it in Red Cloud’s face behind the ref’s back. Plonk stomps on Red Cloud like grapes. He keeps him on the ground with knees, stomps, and an elbow. Plonk applies a bodyscissors with his legs and rolls Red Cloud around into a pin. Red Cloud starts firing up ala Tatanka and hits a couple Tomahawk chops. He hits the Bow and Arrow (torture rack into sitout gourdbuster), but Plonk surprisingly kicks out. Plonk escapes a rewind powerslam and goes for the Uncorker (something out of a cravate), but Red Cloud tosses him off. He hits the rewind powerslam to win it.

Winner – Red Cloud

Rating – Good

Marti interviews Red Cloud about what gives him strength. He puts over his heritage and says that his ancestors fought for equality, so he’s going to fight to be at the head of the NWL table.
“Mile High Magnum” Dak Draper vs. Jordan Kastle

Draper has wrestled as Sammy Six Guns Jr. and Sam Udell, and he was an enhancement talent in NXT as Travis Tyler. He’s an arrogant a-hole from Colorado. He teases giving a toddler his sunglasses, but takes them away. Then he pulls a Rick Rude and calls everyone “Kansas City sweathogs” and throws to a video of him being a jerk in a gym. When we come back, his mic isn’t working, so he has to shout out his challenge to anyone from Kansas City to face him. Kastle, a “young upstart,” answers.

Kastle avoids a couple shots but runs into an elbow. Draper beats him in the corner and hits a spinning backdrop but pulls him up before the three count. He works a chinlock, stops Kastle from fighting back, and hits a big chokeslam, but again he pulls him up. He takes time to jaw with the crowd, allowing Kastle to get a school boy nearfall. Draper then hits a high angle Uranagi-type slam to finish him off.

Winner – Dak Draper

Rating – Good

The show ends with Draper posing for the camera and taunting the crowd.

Overall: Good. I liked this show. Can’t wait for stories to develop. I’m down with all the new gimmicks, and the wrestling was mostly solid. There’s nobody I didn’t like, but I’m particularly fond of the Swoll Patrol, Gil Rogers, and Dak Draper’s performances. I’ll probably review this show as often as it appears online since I’m from Kansas City. I’m going to review at least the first episode of the NWL STL version, too, but two of these might be a little much for me to keep up with in the long run.

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