NWL STL Episode 12 Review

Last episode’s main event was a barn-burner…and they matched it already?!

Taped on March 26, 2017

Tony Colombo, a local radio host, does guest announcing for the first match.

Buddy Shepherd w/ Skyler Beckett vs. Castle w/ Cornell Douglass

Before the match, Buddy says that you should always move forward and never move back, then makes a straight-faced “get it in the end” joke. He sends Beckett to the back and tells him to stay there no matter what because sometimes, “you gotta do what’s right.”

I’ve gotta say…if Major Baisden really wanted to punish Castle and Douglass for attacking him and Maverick earlier (last episode), he probably should’ve matched Castle up with someone more intimidating that Buddy Shepherd. I mean, from a storyline standpoint, he’s not even a trained wrestler! He doesn’t look very confident at first, but then he shoots in with a double leg takedown and tries to pound away. His period of offense doesn’t last long before Douglass hits him with a cheap shot from the outside while the referee isn’t watching. Castle then controls Buddy with basic brawler tactics. He looks like he could do some power stuff to smaller guys, but Buddy’s not that thin these days. Buddy eventually comes back with a (mostly assisted) spinning headscissors. He gets caught with a nice spinebuster, but then he starts to Hulk up. He lands the three punches forearms and the big boot, but as he’s preparing for perhaps dropping the big leg, Douglass hits him from behind with his cane and causes a DQ.

Winner – Buddy Shepherd by DQ

Rating – OK

Both guys stomp on Buddy, and then Castle picks him up and holds him so Douglass can punch him in the heart. Douglass drops his tear-away pants (perhaps by accident) and throws them at Buddy. Then they leave him lying in the ring.

“Takedown” Javy Torres vs. Christian Adonis

Javy Torres is an underdog amateur wrestler who has yet to win a match in the NWL. Adonis fired Carolina Grizelda Esmeralda Rodriguez at the last show, so he’s all by himself now (and she’s apparently back in KC).

In spite of his gimmick, Torres can still make with the fast-paced flying offense. He does some lucha-style arm drags (having trouble on the ropes at one point) and a wheelbarrow bulldog. Adonis gives him a neckbreaker through the ropes and stands on his groin in the corner. He also poses and kisses himself a lot. Torres fights out of a chinlock and hits a rebound German suplex. They have a duel of different types of kicks, and Torres looks poised to get his first win with an ankle lock. Adonis’s size helps him make it to the ropes, though. He baits the ref to come look at his ankle and then pokes Torres in the eye. He rolls him up and grabs the tights for the cheap win.

Winner – Christian Adonis

Rating – OK

Skyler Beckett comes back out while Torres is still in the ring. He petitions him to join the Buddy System, saying that he used to lose all the time, too, but then the System changed his life. He says Buddy would normally do this, but he’s taking a nap. He tells Torres to let the Buddy System “come into you” (because sex jokes make people laugh, I guess). Torres won’t shake his hand, but he motions that he wants to talk about it in the back.

KC vs. STL Series – Jet Royal w/ Jax Royal vs. Jack Foster

Kansas City leads the series 4-2.

Remember that the Royal Blood are faces in Kansas City but heels in St. Louis. Jet tells the crowd that he and Jax didn’t miss them and really don’t want to spend their Sunday in St. Louis. They’d prefer to sleep in, eat a hearty breakfast, and go to the gym. So instead of wrestling, they’re going to give the fans a workout exhibition. But as they start their push-ups, the lights go down and out comes Jack Foster (Jake Dirden) to a big pop. This is Foster’s first appearance in either NWL promotion since his press conference way back when the NWL’s formation was just announced.

This is a prolonged squash match that establishes Foster as a big, mean destroyer of a man. The small, acrobatic Royals are the perfect opponents against which to display this, and since they’re more established as a tag team, having him beat one in a singles match doesn’t really hurt. He chokeslams Jax to Hades and shrugs off any offense Jet tries to mount. He manhandles him for a little bit before killing him with a running boot and pinning him with one hand.

Winner – Jack Foster (KC 4-3 STL)

Rating – OK

Jax attacks Foster from behind and gets another chokeslam.

We get Todd Letterman talking about how he’s going to beat Mathew Grundy and go on to become the first champion over clips of him beating Marcellus Gaines.

NWL STL Championship Tournament Round 3: “The Five-Star Phenom) Todd Letterman vs. Mathew Grundy w/ Davey Gibson 

Lengthy big-guy-against-spunky-little-guy match. They start with contextually appropriate comedy, doing a sort of posedown that Grundy uses to try for an early advantage. Letterman’s just too big for him, though, so he has to get tricky and trip him. They have a chop fight that involves Davey spitting in Grundy’s hand. Then Letterman shocks everyone with a leapfrog, drop down, and spinning heel kick series. He press slams Grundy out onto the stage to show his power. He puts him in a cobra clutch to show his submission skills. This guy can do it all.

Grundy manages a high crossbody for two but then gets booted in the face. Letterman stretches and squashes him some more, but Grundy kick flips off the ring post back into the ring as Letterman tries to ram him into the buckle on the apron. A series of running kicks and a springboard rana give Grundy some hope and remind me why he’s my favorite of the smaller guys in the NWL. Letterman comes back with a cannonball in the corner. They trade kicks in a similar manner to Davey Gibson and Kyle O’Reilly from the last episode. Grundy gets a buckle bomb but comes back with a reverse rana (very dangerous for such a big man to take) and a running knee for two.

Letterman counters a dragonrana with a sitout powerbomb for two. Letterman rolls out after a Busaiku knee strike. After a pair of baseball slides, Grundy gets Letterman back in and goes for another knee, but settles for a springboard stunner for two. A crucifix gets two, and then a choke spinebuster by Letterman gets two. Grundy can’t pull off a suplex but can hit a DVD for two. Grundy throws more kicks, but Letterman ducks one and hits the spike driver to finally get the three after a war.

Winner – Todd Letterman, advancing to the championship match

Rating – Good

YouTube Exclusives

Cornell Douglass declares war on the NWL and “Uncle Tom” Baisden (same promo as last time, but relevant to the Castle/Shepherd match).

Mathew Grundy begrudgingly says Todd was the better man. Now it’s back to the drawing board for him (same promo as the Davey Gibson one from last time).

Jack Foster is upset that the NWL hasn’t brought wrestling back to its roots, so he says he’ll have to do it himself.

Javy Torres has made his decision about joining the Buddy System, but he won’t give it away just yet (though he does whisper it to Marti).

Todd Letterman says that no one can compare to him and nothing can stop him from taking the title.

Overall: Good. Everything fit into the current stories. Nothing was bad, and the main event rivals last episode’s for best match in the NWL so far. Grundy and Letterman showed how a big guy and a small (but strong) guy can believably go toe-to-toe. Good luck topping that match in the finals, Todd, no matter who you face.

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