NWL STL: Dak Draper vs. Jet Royal (February 9, 2017)

Mile High letdown.

The crowd boos the announcement that each show from now on will feature an NWL KC showcase match. The Royal Blood come out selling their injuries from the last NWL KC show, but Jet then cuts an anti-St. Louis promo, saying that he and Jax are better than the “lazy” St. Louis wrestlers because they’re still performing while hurt. Dak Draper comes out and says that he doesn’t care about the KC/STL rivalry, but then rips on Kansas City, saying it’s the worst place he’s ever been to in his life. This gets the crowd’s approval.

This match is so weird. The heel is a small, injured high-flyer who normally plays babyface. The babyface is a tall, sculpted egotist who normally plays heel. It’s like watching Southland Tales as a wrestling match. It also doesn’t help that a lot of the movement in the match itself looks clunky and unnatural.

So Dak gets the upper hand pretty easily because he’s big. Jet goes to the floor and switches places with Jax. Dak is still able to retain control because he’s big. Jax counters a suplex into a DDT, and then Jet switches places with him again while the ref is checking on Dak. Jet maintains control for a while, minus a couple comeback attempts. Jax gets some shots in while Dak is on the floor, and he trips him up at one point while he runs the ropes. Dak begins his comeback by getting foot up on a moonsault. He runs through both Royals, including Doctor Bombing Jax, but the ref knows who’s who now and won’t count the pin. Jet takes advantage and hits a shooting star press for two. Then he gets caught on a crossbody, and Dak converts it into a Mile High Doctor Bomb for the pin.

Winner – Dak Draper

Rating – Bad

It’s a mess. Draper doesn’t do anything to be a babyface, and the commentators don’t treat him like one, so it’s really just a heel vs. heel match where one heel doesn’t cheat. Meanwhile, the top faces of the KC side are taped up because of injuries from the KC show (continuity), but they’re behaving completely opposite from the personalities they had on that show (lack of continuity). Plus, the babyface commentator is still rooting for them even as they blatantly cheat in front of his eyes, hurting his own credibility.

Maybe the crowd wasn’t mic’d well, but I didn’t get the feeling that they really cared much about what was going on. I mean, it’s two Kansas City guys against a Colorado guy (who, by the way, was teaming with the Kansas City guys the last time he was here), both representing the “enemy” promotion. And the in-ring work was just “meh” most of the time. Lots of air between punches and heads.

I really think the showcase match from the NWL KC show did a much better job. Christian Adonis (a heel in STL) insulted Kansas City and basically did heelish things. Maverick (a babyface in STL) came out and beat him up, getting over with his ring work. Nobody had to reverse their respective character, and they just had the same match they would’ve had in NWL STL, but it still worked.

Take note that this is, by far, the most negative I’ve been on anything NWL related. I pretty much like everything else they’ve done. And perhaps something will come of this that will make it more sensible down the line. But as it is, I really didn’t like it. At least it gave me a lot to write about.

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