The never-ending battle of the nerd against the frat boy…but for gold this time!
Taped on April 1, 2017
We open with Ben Miller front and center at NWL HQ to hype the show.
“Lockdown” Ray Briggs w/ Roscoe Leech vs. Chad Barstow
This is Briggs’s first match as part of the Leech Talent Agency. It was set up when Leech interrupted Barstow’s interview on The Tasting Room with Niles Plonk on the last episode. Sometime ago, Briggs said he would never join with Leech because agents are “scum,” but the fact that he still hasn’t won a match coupled with the way Leech has been accepted by the Kansas City crowd seems to have changed Briggs’s perspective.
Briggs looks good early, but Barstow turns the tables. After Briggs gets taken down with a top rope clothesline, Leech starts running round at ringside, shouting about being open (as in football), but he trips over his own shoelaces or something. Barstow laughs at him and gets his phone to take photos and/or video while Leech sits there in pain. Briggs comes from behind with the Pick 6 leapfrog famouser and gets his first victory.
Basic stuff to break the curse, but interestingly, there was no Devlin in sight.
Winner – Ray Briggs
Rating – OK
Marti Bell interviews Jeremy Wyatt and Michael Strider (same interview that was on YouTube before). Marti says that Wyatt beat Kyle O’Reilly, but she saw Wyatt tapping out before the three count. Strider says she should’ve been paying attention to Thor Theriot illegally attacking him. Marti says Wyatt got a little bit of karma, but Wyatt says all he remembers is getting the win over one of the best wrestlers in the world. He says he was done with Thor, but Thor wouldn’t let it go, so he challenges him to another match at the next show.
Video package about the title match and the rivalry between Blaine Meeks and Dak Draper. Basically, Meeks is a nerdy do-gooder and Draper is an arrogant jerk who never grew out of his fraternity lifestyle. Draper hates Meeks and always messes with him, but Meeks seems to have been willfully oblivious to it, acting like Draper is a friend who’s just been hazing him. At the press conference before this show, though, the two got into a scuffle.
NWL KC Championship Tournament Final Round: “The Mile High Magnum” Dak Draper vs. Blaine Meeks
The winner will be the first-ever NWL Kansas City Champion. We get big match in-ring introductions.
They pull out most of the stops for this one, and it definitely comes off as a huge deal. After a stretch of grappling stuff, Draper dominates for a long time. Meeks fights back and gets a doctor bomb on the apron. He beats the count to get back in the ring, but Draper continues to completely control him. About the only thing going for Meeks for a while is that he refuses to give up. He kicks out of a doctor bomb, though, and does begin a comeback pretty soon after, but Draper cuts him off while showcasing some amazing agility at the same time.
There’s a neat sequence that’s hard to describe but is pulled off flawlessly. Unfortunately, there are still a few flaws in the match. Draper bumps off of something that doesn’t look like it was supposed to drop him, so Meeks just covers him. Draper bounces to the top rope to dive onto Meeks but has to hop down and do it again before hitting it (still, it’s an astounding display of balance for a big dude). Meeks also stops selling his back sometime after the big apron bump.
Nevertheless, once Meeks starts rocking Draper with big right hands during one of his comebacks, all is forgiven. That’s a heck of a moment right there.
The Howletts try to screw with things by distracting the ref and hitting Meeks with a pump kick, but Meeks kicks out. The Royal Blood run out to chase them off. Draper kicks out of Meeks’s back stabber. He escapes an attempt at a flipping one and pulls the ref between them, then hits a rolling forearm. He plants Meeks with a standing doctor bomb, then pulls him up and does another one into a seated position to get the pin.
Winner – Dak Draper, the first NWL KC Champion
Rating – Good
Draper yanks the belt away from Major Baisden and celebrates.
Overall: Good. They’ve done a good job of making the belt seem important, and Draper looks really strong after that performance. Meeks doesn’t look any worse off for losing; he’s still easily the number two guy and could believably beat Draper in a rematch. Seems like he’ll be focusing on the Howletts for a bit, though. I like that they included the Wyatt/Strider interview to keep their storyline with Thor in the viewers’ minds despite neither having matches in the episode.