The Howletts make it even more personal.
All matches are from the February 4, 2017 tapings.
The Mancinis (Geno & Rudy) vs. Royal Blood (Jet & Jax)
Non-match here. Jet Royal comes out alone, and everyone seems confused. Geno Mancini forces the timekeeper to ring the bell, then decks the referee. Jet tries to dodge the Mancinis, but they catch him and beat him down. He takes a clothesline, a powerbomb, and a splash. Then the Mancinis hold Jet and force him to watch the big screen. The Howletts are shown beating up a handcuffed Jax Royal in a hallway. They hit him with a pipe and a chain, then tear off his shirt. After the video, Rudy Mancini punches Jet with brass knuckles. THe Mancinis continue the beatdown until Red Cloud and Blaine Meeks run them off. Even heel commentator Scott Bowden is appalled by the actions of the Mancinis and the Howletts.
Winners – N/A
NWL KC Championship Tournament Round 1: Mac (w/ Joe) vs. Max Edwards (w/ Flex Zerba)
Decent match. Doesn’t overstay its welcome. I like Edwards’s taunt where he chokes the guy on the second rope while curling or bench pressing the top rope. Mac makes with the big splash and the running butt bump. After getting splashed, Edwards complains to the referee about something in his eye, and Flex Zerba throws powder into Joe’s face at ringside. Then Zerba gets on the apron to distract Mac and takes a punch. Max reverses a back drop into a crossbody, and Zerba holds Mac’s foot down from outside the ring so he can’t kick out.
Winner – Max Edwards
Marti Bell interviews Ray Briggs and Gil Rogers in the back. Rogers says that they’re both 0-2, but they’re going to end that streak tonight. They’re putting the tag division in lockdown. Briggs says that he doesn’t want anything to do with Devlin in reference to Devlin’s advice to him on a previous show. Rogers has to remind Briggs to get in his “pick six” line.
The Mancinis get their cash from the Howletts for doing their “favor” for them. The Howletts seem to not really like the Mancinis, but the Mancinis want to keep a working relationship open. This was like barrio gang meeting the mafia.
Devlin & Niles Plonk (w/ Belvedere) vs. “Lockdown” Ray Briggs & Gil Rogers
Devlin accuses fans in the crowd of piracy for filming him.
Another solid match. The guy I’m really paying attention to is Ray Briggs. He’s a rookie, and he struggles with looking like he’s comfortable in the ring. I’m eager to see how he evolves as he gains more experience. I really like that they do this one spot and then do a callback to it later. Rogers catches Briggs as he’s getting backdropped out of the ring, saving him from getting hurt. A little bit later, Plonk tries to use his body to protect Devlin from getting whipped into the corner, but Rogers sees it, whips Devlin into the other corner, and kicks Plonk in the gut. Then he sends Devlin into Plonk’s groin with a drop toe hold.
There are two hot tags. Rogers makes one after Briggs has been going back and forth with Plonk for a while. Then Rogers gets cut off and has to take a beating before getting to Briggs again. We don’t get to see Briggs’s big dropkick, unfortunately. Rogers sends Plonk to the floor, but crashes and burns when he tries an axe handle from the apron. Briggs finally hits the Pick Six (a Famasser delivered out of a rear leapfrog) on Devlin, but Belvedere distracts the referee. Briggs grabs Belvedere and does the Hulk Hogan bit, wordlessly asking the crowd if they want him to punch him, but Devlin school boys him from behind and yanks the tights to get the three.
Winners – Devlin & Niles Plonk
Rating – OK
Roscoe Leech saunters out after the match to try recruiting Briggs to the Leech Talent Agency. He references suchs “NFL stars” as Tiger Woods, Serena Williams, LeBron James, and Lorenzo Cain. Briggs adamantly refuses to join him, saying that all agencies are sleaze. Leech says he thinks that went really well.
Backstage, Devlin confronts Briggs and tells him he’s still a loser. Briggs pushes him against the wall and has to be restrained by some other guys. He says he’ll see Devlin in the ring, and Devlin says “Catch me outside,” and runs away. It looks like this would have made more sense being shown before the match, especially since they’re both still wearing shirts. Ah, well.
Marti interviews Red Cloud. Red Cloud doesn’t like the way the Howletts have been attacking the Royal Blood, and he’s not going to stand for it. Tonight, he’s going to “serve Native American justice to the Howlett brothers.”
NWL KC Championship Tournament Round 1: Marco Howlett (w/ Leonel) vs. “The Lakota Warrior” Red Cloud
No Daniela. Leonel says that the Royals are on their way to Children’s Mercy Hospital. NWL’s tagline is “Wrestling With Character,” but the Howletts are real. They’re not heroes or villains, they’re just the baddest men on earth. Marco says NWL should send out another character so he can show him that “family is forever.”
Red Cloud shows why he’s probably my favorite area wrestler. He has Marco in firm control early on and even takes out Leonel when he gets involved a couple times. He makes a mistake when he jumps at both guys from the top rope to the floor and hits guardrail. Marco is able to take over for a time with cheap shots and ground and pound. Red Cloud starts Tatanka-ing up, though, and takes back control. Marco escapes a rewind powerslam, and Leonel runs in again, but Red Cloud plants him with the Bow and Arrow slam/driver. Then he catches Marco coming off the second rope and hits the rewind powerslam (now called the Red Thunder powerslam (good name)) to pin him and make good on his promise.
Winner – Red Cloud
Rating – Good
Overall: Good. I liked the shorter matches and the inclusion of more angles. I really liked Leonel’s delivery on his promo and Red Cloud’s destruction of the Howletts. I’m curious to see if it leads to some sort of retribution from the gangsters. Curiosity makes people come back, and that’s good for NWL KC.