NWL STL Episode 1 Review

From the ashes of St. Louis Anarchy rises the NWL STL!

All matches are from the January 12, 2017 tapings. Similar setup to NWL KC’s. The commentators, Todd Miller and Scott Bowden, are also the same.

Christian Adonis w/ Carolina Grizelda Esmeralda Rodriguez vs. Dominick Butler

You can probably guess Adonis’ gimmick by his name. He’s an arrogant narcissist who likes to pose whenever he has the chance. I don’t recognize him or Butler by any other name, but I’m fairly certain that Carolina is Lucy Mendez. (UPDATE: Adonis is Elvis Aliaga.) (UPDATE 2: Butler is Jayden Fenix.) Butler is a hand-slapping babyface in leather pants who likes to dance and flirt with Carolina.

The match is solid and fairly predictable (and that’s not a bad thing). Adonis toys with Butler a little. Butler trips him up and hits a somersault senton, but he wastes time hitting on Carolina and gets knocked off the second rope. Adonis bullies him around the ring, stands on his groin in the tree of Joey Lawrence, and chokes him on the ropes. Butler gets a nearfall on a school boy in the middle of that, but his real comeback comes with leaping knees to a seated Adonis. He hits running uppercuts and a running knee into the corner and then climbs up top, but Carolina distracts him so Adonis can yanks his foot. Adonis plants him with a corss-legged Michinoku Driver for the pin.

Winner – Christian Adonis

Rating – OK

After the match, Marti Bell tries to interview Butler, who seems to be delirious as he hangs off of her. He says he needs to impress someone and can’t take his eyes off of Carolina. Marti keeps trying to convince him that he lost, but he says not to worry.

Major Baisden Introduces the NWL Model

The man behind the entire NWL project, Major Baisden, comes out to give a PowerPoint presentation about his ambitions. Some fans boo, but Baisden says, “PowerPoints have a place in wrestling, too.”

ppt1

Check out my introduction to the NWL to read what Baisden talked about.

In the middle of the presentation, a man in the crowd delivered a package to Baisden. Inside were a pair of wrestling boots. Huh.

Baisden then brings up the fact that Team Kansas City beat Team St. Louis the week before at the first NWL KC show. He says that the finish was illegal because two men pinned one. He says that there’ll be a rematch tonight, and out come the Royal Blood (Riegel Twins) and Dak Draper (Travis Tyler/Sammy Six Guns) of #FightKC. The Royal Blood put themselves over and say they won fair and square. Draper steals the mic and says only winning matters, and if you’re not winning, you’re probably packing up and moving to Los Angeles (a reference to the now-L.A. Rams). Baisden calls him a “jackhole.” He brings out the Blood Brothers (Sex Bo-Bombs/Kobra Kai Dojo) of #FightSTL. Mathew Grundy (Mat Fitchett) compares #FightSTL to the great sports teams of St. Louis (getting stopped before mentioning the Rams). Davey Gibson (Davey Vega) congratulates #FightKC on their win (“Sportsmanship!”), but now they’re in St. Louis. Draper says #FightSTL is outmanned, but they bring out their “#1 draft pick,” Maverick (Moonshine Mantell). He doesn’t get much of a reaction, probably because he hasn’t been on the St. Louis indy scene very long. They all face off, and Baisden says we’ll see what happens.

The Royals both need to work on making their promos sound more natural, but everyone else was pretty good on the mic.

Boulder w/ Spike vs. August Marshall w/ Tommy Flagg

I don’t recognize any of these people from other gimmicks. (UPDATE: Spike and Boulder are Zakk Sawyers and Mikey McFinnegan, AKA Roscoe Eat Lisa.) (UPDATE 2: August Marshall is Austin Blackburn and Tommy Flagg is Christian Rose.) Boulder wants the ring announcer to be more lively, so he gives him a beer and tells the crowd it’s time to party. He and Spike represent the Party Crashers, while Marshall and Flagg are the Anti-Social Network. Flagg says he and Marshall aren’t here for fun or fans or any of that. They want wrestling to be about kicking butt and beating people up, and the Party Crashers are wasting their time. Flagg and Marshall really hate the lights in the arena.

This is another solid little match to introduce everyone involved. The energetic Boulder takes the advantage for a while due to his size, but probably also his enthusiasm. He tosses Marshall around and shows him up in the technical skills department. Marshall sends Boulder out of the ring by pulling his tights, then kicks him through the ropes while he’s distracted by Flagg. He brings Boulder back in and chokes him on the ropes. He pulls his hair and puts on a chinlock. Boulder comes back with a jumping knee and a mule kick off the ground. Flagg distracts Boulder again, allowed Marshall a nearfall off of a lung blower, but Boulder catches a kick and lifts Marshall up for a sit-out powerbomb to get the win. Short but successful, I think.

Winner – Boulder

Rating – Good

The Underground (Adam Ryan & Jackie Lee Bosch) vs. The Soldiers (Dez Wellston & Neon Iverson)

The Underground have a Fight Club gimmick, and if it turns out that Bosch is actually Ryan’s split personality, that would be a real game-changer. (UPDATE: Adam Ryan is Danny Adams.) (UPDATE 2: Jackie Lee Bosch is Jake Parnell.) The Soldiers are lifelong friends from a poor town around St. Louis called Wellston (where Dez gets his name from). I don’t recognize Iverson, but Dez Wellston is also known as Mike Outlaw. (UPDATE 2: Neon Iverson is Justin D’Air.)

Good story to this match. Iverson and Ryan start slow with arm wringers. Iverson shows incredible agility with a wacky lucha armdrag where he bounces on the ropes. A missile dropkick leads to him tagging in Wellston for a Poetry in Motion-type move. Wellston retains complete control of Ryan, but when he tags, Iverson goes up top and Bosch pushes him to the floor. Iverson holds his leg and the ref gives an “X” sign. The Underground take advantage and attack Wellston as he’s checking on his partner. They bring him back into the ring and keep him grounded, cutting off his attempts to fight back. He escapes a backdrop and hits a springboard spinning clothesline on Ryan. He catches Bosch coming off the top and slams him. There’s a running kick to Bosch and an overhead belly-to-belly suplex on Ryan. Wellston is coming off the ropes at Bosch when Ryan trips him up so Bosch can hit a gutwrench powerbomb. Ryan picks him up for a backdrop and Bosch comes off the top with a double stomp for the pin. Iverson never got back onto the apron.

Winners – The Underground

Rating – Good

Overall: The purpose of these early episodes is going to be introducing all the new characters, and I think this one did a good job of that. I like the Anti-Social Network and the Underground as heels, the feel-good possibilities of the Soldiers, and the mic skills of the Blood Brothers. I’m also intrigued by Butler’s weird fixation with another man’s valet. I don’t know if I’ll review every episode of NWL STL, but I’ll likely watch them.

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3 thoughts on “NWL STL Episode 1 Review

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