Battle of the Bloods Part II!
Taped on April 9, 2017.
Ryan McGillicuddy is on commentary for a full epsiode this time. I think he and Christopher Fulton are tagging in and out now.
Cornell Douglass Speaks
On his way to the ring, Douglass seems to be shaking hands only with certain members of the audience. He says that he negotiated with Major Baisden, and after he breezes past Maverick and gives him another concussion, his tournament finals match with “the jock” will be no disqualification, which is how he gets down.
NWL STL Championship Tournament Round 3: Cornell Douglass w/ Castle vs. Maverick
This match was supposed to happen at the last show so that the winner could face Todd Letterman for the title on this show, but since Maverick sustained a concussion in his match with Dez Wellston, it got pushed to the opener of this show, with the winner battling Letterman in the main event.
Longer match than I was expecting, but I don’t think it overstayed its welcome. Douglass targets Maverick’s head for most of the match and cuts off his comeback attempts in some sneaky ways. He also busts out a Cactus Jack elbow from the apron. Maverick is forced to beat the referee’s count twice in this match, and the second time is very, very close. He finally comes back with a flying shoulder tackle and unloads some clubbering offense on Douglass. Castle’s distraction allows Douglass to regain control, but not for long. Maverick gets Douglass set up for something, but Castle gets on the apron to argue with the ref. Maverick pulls him into the ring and he ends up getting accidentally punched in the heart by Douglass. Maverick then puts Douglass away with a Death Valley driver.
Winner – Maverick, advancing to the finals.
Rating – Good
Tommy Flagg Speaks
Flagg says his opponent, Spike, likes to party. Most people think he (Flagg) doesn’t like to party, but that’s not true. He just likes to party with people who are fun and cool, not any of the people in the audience. He says that none of the fans are even on the level below him, and he goes on to rip on several individuals and small groups in the crowd. To the last guy (I assume it’s a guy), he says he doesn’t even know him but hates his guts and hopes that everything bad happens to him and only him.
Tommy Flagg w/ August Marshall vs. Spike w/ Boulder
The never-ending battle between introverts and extroverts continues!
This is a fine match, but it didn’t connect with me emotionally. I guess I expected some shenanigans to reignite the feud between the Anti-Social Network and the Party Crashers. Instead, Flagg beats Spike around, then Spike fights back. They do some nice moves, and everything fits together well, but there doesn’t seem to be much below the surface. Marshall tries to interfere and gets speared by Boulder, but it doesn’t stop Flagg from pinning Spike after a flatliner.
Winner – Tommy Flagg
Rating – OK
Major Baisden Wants a TV Deal
We join the boss in the middle of a PowerPoint presentation as he strongly encourages the St. Louis fans to contact a local television station and push to get NWL STL on TV (NWL KC is already on TV in the Kansas City area). “Billion Dollar Brother” Emmett Dubois comes out with lackey Clayton Fox to complain about being left off of recent shows. Baisden says he hasn’t been booked because he hasn’t given the fans any reason to care about him. (On the early STL shows, Dubois kept pulling an Eva Marie and making excuses to get out of matches.) Dubois says he could buy and sell all the fans. Then he tries to begin his own PowerPoint show, but he gets egg on his face when all the slides are unfinished. He blames Fox, and Fox blames Rupert, the video guy. As they try to throw to the last slide, Jack Foster‘s video and music hit. He comes out and growls about how none of this (referring to the lights, cameras, etc.) is pro wrestling. Fox ends up alone in the ring with Foster and tries to pay him to let him go. Foster crams the money into Fox’s mouth and throws him across the ring. He gives him a running boot in the corner (helluva kick) and chokeslams him as he tells him, “You are not pro wrestling.” Then he leaves him lying while everyone else looks on. Fine segment to further establish Foster as a miserable beast.
Jay Lutz Vignette
At the last show, Lutz lost to Marcellus Gaines in short order. Gaines’s promoter, Drew Gold, mocked Lutz afterward, so Lutz vowed to lay off the bottle for the rematch. Here, Lutz is walking down the street and comes across a bar. A friend shows up and invites him on for a drink, but he says he needs to stay sober for his big fight. He continues on to the Casa Loma Ballroom (the regular NWL STL venue) and finds a bottle of Jack Daniels and two Shock Tops on his table with a note saying they’re from his “Biggest Fan.” Luts shrugs and head for the bottles.
Jay Lutz vs. “Greatness” Marcellus Gaines w/ Drew Gold
After Gaines’s entrance, a second referee comes out and signals that Lutz is too intoxicated to compete, but Lutz slowly stumbles out with the bottle of Jack. They eventually start the match even though Lutz can barely stand. Gaines looks somewhat concerned. He easily avoids Lutz’s flailing and hits him in the gut a couple times. Ultimately, he knocks him out with the southside shiver for the pin.
Winner – Marcellus Gaines
Rating – N/A
Gold comes in and puts a foot on Lutz’s body. He says he just made a “public service announcement” and admits to sending the alcohol to Lutz. He says he did it for the fans to show them that they should look up to hard workers like Gaines and not drunks like Lutz. He hopes they learned something. Gaines doesn’t look very happy about any of this.
Backstage, Marti asks Gold why. Gold reiterates what he said before and claims that he and Gaines are role models while Lutz is barely a man. Gaines speaks up (a rarity for him) to say that he came for competition and asks Gold if he doesn’t think Gaines could beat a sober Lutz. Gold says of course he could, he was just trying to help. Gaines tells him to never do that to him again.
KC vs. STL Series – The Royal Blood (Jet & Jax) vs. The Blood Brothers (Davey Gibson & Mathew Grundy)
Kansas City leads the series 5-3.
I was a little surprised that they went back to this match so soon, but it does make sense. These are the top teams in their respective cities, and they’re destined to have a long rivalry. It’s also great for the Royals to work with such an experienced team several times to help with their own development.
So is this a better match than the one they had in Kansas City? I’m going to lean toward a “yes” because there’s a little more heat now that they have a history. It’s obviously a reversal of roles now that the Royals are in enemy territory. And while the Blood Brothers didn’t break any rules when they were in KC, the Royals attack before the bell, choke an opponent behind the ref’s back, and switch out the legal man with the fresher one without tagging. They do get a period of heat, but they don’t dominate to the point where they seem like an insurmountable threat, especially not with the way the Blood Brothers toy with them early on. I get the impression that the Royals are competitive enough to make the match last long, but they still have to pull out all the stops (including dirty tricks) if they want to win.
Interesting to note that the ref is very on-point with recognizing who the legal man is, so when they Royals pull the switch, it means something that they got one over on him.
There are a couple big dives by the Royals – a tope con giro and a shooting star to the floor. They also hit a wicked assisted jumping DDT. Grundy’s Pelé kicks look sweet. The Royals escape the double knee/superbomb combo that put them away before. One Royal gets caught trying a monkey flip, and Gibson holds him for Grundy to hit a sunset flip powerbomb. One Royal gets a couple close nearfalls on Gibson near the end with an O’Connor roll and a superkick. Grundy takes one Royal down with a frankensteiner so Gibson can powerbomb the other one onto him. A busaiku knee/brainbuster to the knee combo gives the Blood Brothers the victory.
Winners – The Blood Brothers (KC 5-4 STL)
Rating – Good
The Blood Brothers say they’re the best team in the galaxy and that the Royal Blood should just live with the fact that they can’t beat them. They put over their experience and say that the result will always be the same no matter how many matches the two teams have.
The Royal Blood say that they hit the Blood Brothers with everything, but it wasn’t enough. The Blood Brothers are the best team in the world, and the Royal Blood don’t know what to do. They claim that they’ll be ready next time, but they don’t seem so sure.
Overall: Good. Everything aside from the Flagg/Spike match seemed to have a greater purpose. Maverick’s going for the championship, Jack Foster’s looking to annihilate people, Jay Lutz needs to make a change, and the Blood Brothers are reversing the flow of the I-10 series. The backstage stuff also adds to the NWL KC show, with the Royal Blood trying to overcome the hurdle of the Blood Brothers. Good stuff.