NWL KC Episode 16 Review

The Dollhouse explodes (again)!

Taped on April 15, 2017

Ben Miller and Marti Belle are together in the monitor room to run down the matches.

Major Baisden’s PowerPoint Presentation

While discussing a pair of social media contests the NWL has been running and showing a photo from the Kansas City Royals’ World Series win, Major invokes Dak Draper‘s “Shame…on…you!” catchphrase, which brings out the champ himself. Draper has three bones to pick with the NWL president: 1.) Tonight is “Dak Draper Presents the National Wrasslin’ League,” not “Major Baisden Presents a PowerPoint”; 2.) Baisden hasn’t talked about Draper’s “rags to riches” championship victory or how he’s “the most important man in Kansas City history”; and 3.) Baisden was about to steal Draper’s catchphrase. Baisden interrupts Draper to remind him that Blaine Meeks is owed a championship rematch, but Draper says he doesn’t have to give him a rematch tonight. Baisden brings up a PowerPoint slide featuring the records of each member of the roster, and Draper suggests Gil Rogers (with a record of 0-4) be his opponent for his match tonight. Baisden agrees but says it’ll be for the title, much to Dak’s chagrin.

I knew about this match before seeing this episode, and I was wondering why they gave the first title shot to a guy with no wins. This makes as much sense as anything, and it is logical for Draper’s entitled frat boy character to look for an easy opponent.

Sponsors!

Now we have just Marti introducing a video package on the Royal Blood/Blood Brothers feud.

KC vs. STL Series: Jet Royal w/ Jax Royal vs. Mathew Grundy w/ Davey Gibson

Kansas City leads 6-4.

Joined in progress, full match here. Good light-heavyweight match here with Grundy heeling it up big time. In the full match video, he wipes his butt with a blue T-shirt and slams Jet onto it, then rubs it in his face. He toys with Jet and mugs for the hard cam a lot. Jet is all business when he’s on offense. Both guys land everything smoothly except for a moonsault off the apron where Jet doesn’t fully rotate. Thankfully, Grundy catches him well enough to prevent something scary from happening. The ending blurs the lines between reality and kayfabe as Jet catches Grundy with a beautiful double springboard Spanish fly from the top that seems to hurt Grundy’s ribs. Jet takes his time making the cover but still gets three.

Winner – Jet Royal (KC 7-4 STL)

Rating – Good

Davey Gibson and several referees tend to Grundy after the match while Jet celebrates. Jax seems more concerned about Grundy than Jet, but neither of them join the huddle to check on him. The fans chant Grundy’s name after the Royals have left.

Sponsors, and then Ben sends us to the NWL’s first-ever ladies’ match.

Marti Belle vs. Mia Yim

So, apparently, it is “Belle” with an extra “e” at the end. If you don’t know by now, Mia Yim went by Jade in TNA, and she and Marti were the original members of the Dollhouse. I wasn’t a fan of that gimmick, but I know they’re both good in the ring.

Joined in progress, full match here. (In the full match video, Dak Draper kicks Don Diablo out of the ring and does the announcements himself, intentionally mispronouncing Marti’s name. Then he tries to get them both to kiss him, but Mia pushes him away and Marti slaps him. Mia then takes the advantage to attack Marti, and the match is on.)

It’s a perfectly fine, basic match. Aside from the announcers mentioning it, there’s no sign during the match of these two ever being friends. Yim’s a total jerk heel, disrespecting Marti and taunting the crowd constantly. It doesn’t come across as part of a personal rivalry, though, so don’t expect any sort of continuation from their TNA beef. Marti rises from the tree of Joey Lawrence to throws Yim off the top. Yim pulls Marti up after a sole food, but her hubris proves to be her undoing, because Marti proceeds to escape a package piledriver and hit a Yoshitonic for the pin. I’ll be interested to see how Marti does when she gets a real feud going…

Winner – Marti Belle

Rating – OK

…and I may not have to wait long, as Daniela of the Howletts makes her return to attack Marti after the match. Then she brings out Marco and Leonel. Leonel says that their contract with the NWL guaranteed them a certain number of dates, but since Major Baisden doesn’t like them, he’s been punishing them by not booking them. He gets fired up and invites Major to come out and punish them now. Marco says we all know Major won’t come out; he’ll send the orange-shirted staff out instead. Out come three staffers (complete with the NWL KC theme music and a black and orange logo on the screen) to brawl, but they get dumped quickly. More guys run in, but they too get throttled. Finally, Blaine Meeks and a beardless Red Cloud (both in orange shirts) run in and have better luck. From here, it’s almost like an unofficial lumberjack match, with a large group of staffers surrounding the ring and throwing the Howletts in whenever they try to escape. The Howletts actually mount a short comeback, but they still can’t escape. Meeks gets the Howlett’s metal pipe and contemplates using it but decides it wouldn’t be honorable. Red Cloud, however, picks it up and hits Marco with it. Meeks tries to calm him and tells him that they’re better than that. Then they pick up Leonel and hit him with a powerbomb/backstabber combo and stand tall with the orange T-shirt squad. (No idea what happened to Marti in all this.)

In the Back…

Ben Miller interviews Thor Theriot. Thor beat Jeremy Wyatt in a heck of a match on the last episode, only to be beaten down and knocked out afterwards. Thor says he just woke up from it, and he doesn’t know how he’s going to deal with the Foundation, but he’s going to bring whatever he needs to to make sure they crumble.

Marti and Ben send us to the main event.

NWL KC Championship: “The Mile High Magnum” Dak Draper (c) vs. Gil Rogers

Joined in progress, full match here. (The full match video includes Draper showing an “inspiring” video to the live crowd of all his victories leading to his title win. I also just realized that Gil Rogers’s entrance song is, at least in part, an electronic cover of “Eye of the Tiger.”)

It’s a long one, but it feels like a main event and not just an arbitrarily long match. The basic story is that Dak was expecting an easier night, but when Gil’s technical prowess frustrates him for too long, he has to resort to underhanded tactics. In this case, he kicks Gil low behind the referee’s back. This isn’t anywhere near the finish, though, and Gil does survive to turn the tables again later on. He gets a nearfall off a Mr. Wrestling II knee lift and seems to have the crowd believing he can actually pull off a huge upset. But Dak lures him into the ropes so he can snap the middle rope back into Gil’s stomach. This allows Dak to hit the doctor bomb to retain.

Winner – Dak Draper

Rating – Good

YouTube Exclusives

Now that they’re on broadcast television, all of the important NWL KC backstage videos have been showing up in the episodes proper, so there seems to no longer be a reason for me to link to them here.

Overall: Good. The excitement of crowning the first champion has passed, and I think they’ve done a good job of moving on from there. The Royal Blood/Blood Brothers feud may have an added wrinkle with Grundy’s injury, Marti has finally had a match, the Howletts’ are still at war with…almost everyone, and Dak Draper got his first title defense in. I think next week’s show will feature matches from the last taping in April, and there’s at least one match from there that I’m really anxious to see.

Also, In case you couldn’t tell, I actually watched all of the matches in their entirety this time because, as much as I like my wrestling to be succinct, I felt like I was missing something by skipping the early parts. Not sure how to handle that going forward, but I think I’ll watch the matches in the context of the episode next time, then go back and see if I missed anything important later.

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