NWL KC Episode 18 Review

Sparky Plugg comes to Kansas City!

Taped on April 29, 2017.

Ben and Marti!

KC vs. STL Series: Blaine Meeks vs. “The Five Star Phenom” Todd Letterman

Kansas City leads the series 10-4.

Full match here.

These two go well together. Letterman is huge, and Meeks is small enough to get thrown around by him but still big enough to believably pose a threat. Meeks is 3-0 in I-70 Series matches. Letterman is the St. Louis champion, but this isn’t for the title. Meeks is a nerd who loves Kansas City, Letterman is a jock who hates it.

Letterman is dominating when we join the match. He does the leapfrog/dropdown/spin kick again, but it’s fresh for KC eyes at least. Meeks can’t get him up for a suplex, nor can he mount a real comeback until he low-bridges Letterman to the floor. Then he turns it up. He pulls off a suplex that amazes even him. He gets a nearfall with a meteora. He almost gets beat with a huge spear. Letterman doesn’t go down from a comic mischief codebreaker. Meeks goes for a moonsault or something, but Letterman pushes the ref into the ropes to knock him off the top. Spike driver ends it.

Winner – Todd Letterman (KC 10-5 STL)

Rating – Good (from what I saw)

Sponsors!

In the Back…

Ben interviews Blaine Meeks about his first loss in the series. Meeks talks about Batman putting his life on the line all the time, and he says “Captain KC” isn’t based on a win-loss record, he’s based on the hopes of the KC fans. He still wants his rematch with Dak Draper.

Marti!

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

Full match here.

Ruger is Mario Vanjur from Rocky Mountain Pro.

OK match, maybe a little long for what they had. It’s actually shown in full, just no entrances. Ruger frustrates Dak at first, then ends up taking a header into the post and a bodyslam on the exposed floor. He has a couple small comebacks and kicks out of a number of things, prompting the fans to chant “You can’t beat him,” but for me, none of it had the impact or gravity of other matches that have garnered such a chant. I think maybe both guys have a similar stop/start style, and at least in this match, they didn’t really build to anything significant. The ending is rather abrupt – Ruger counters a suplex into a nearfall, then tries to hype up the crowd to get clapping for him, but he runs into an elbow, face-flops, and takes a doctor bomb for the pin. Not terrible, not amazing.

Winner – Dak Draper (2nd successful defense)

Rating – OK

Sponsors! X 105.1 FM is perhaps a radio station I should check out.

In the Back…

Ben talks to Ruger. Ruger says he feels fantastic even though he didn’t win. “I’ll be back.” Ben asks what’s next, and Ruger says you have to think big, so he’s still coming for Dak Draper. “Don’t leave any stone unturned.” (Not sure what that has to do with anything, but spouting random idioms actually really works with the gimmick.)

Ben and Marti!

“Hardcore” Bob Holly & Thor Theriot vs. The Foundation (“The Monarch” Jeremy Wyatt & Michael Strider)

Full match here.

Interesting note: after years of battling each other in barbed wire, War Games, and other violent matches, this appears to be the first time that Jeremy Wyatt and Michael Strider have ever teamed up in a match.

We join the match with Wyatt and Strider working over Thor. Now, in the last match, Dak Draper worked over Hans Ruger fairly slowly, but it wasn’t as compelling as this because it didn’t come across as methodical. Strider and Wyatt are old heels who know how to grind their guy down and keep him from making a tag. They also mess with ol’ Bobcore on the apron, getting him riled up. He gets so frustrated that he finally just comes in and chases both guys around the ring, giving Thor a little breathing room. But the ref gets Holly back into his corner, and the beating continues on Thor until he manages to get free from Wyatt and make that hot tag.

We don’t get any extended Holly vs. Strider sequences, which is too bad, because those two would’ve been a fun match back in the day. Holly hits both heels with the wheelbarrow kick that looks illegal but isn’t. He even pulls of a rana on Strider. Unfortunately, Thor gets taken out when Wyatt dodges a dive, and as Holly has Strider up for the Alabama slam, Wyatt hits him with a pump kick, knocking him into Strider’s sunset flip for the three count.

Winners – The Foundation

Rating – Good (from what was shown)

After a bit, Strider and Wyatt decide they want to hit their moves on Holly and Thor, but Thor counters Strider into the Ragnarök gutbuster and Holly hits Wyatt with the Alabama slam. (I like how Wyatt struggled in the move rather than just going along with it like guys used to.) They hug, and Holly spends some time shaking hands with the fans in the front row.

Overall: OK. Two good matches and a so-so one in the middle, but I didn’t feel like very much moved forward in terms of storylines. Blaine Meeks’s loss doesn’t help his case for a title rematch. Bringing in Bob Holly didn’t work for Thor in his fight against the Foundation. Dak Draper defended his title against another guy who didn’t do anything to deserve a shot. These will all likely play into everyone’s respective ongoing stories, but as a single episode, it wasn’t a must-see.

I actually like Hans Ruger, and I hope he sticks around for a bit, if only to do wacky interviews. He showed up in one of Dak Draper’s YouTube videos, so that’s a good sign.

Extra Stuff from YouTube

Todd Letterman says he wants out of KC, and if the NWL puts him in 10 more I-70 Series matches, St. Louis will be up by 5.

The Foundation say that they can’t be stopped, and Michael Strider hits himself a lot.

Dak Draper says the “Dreams Come True” challenge was successful, as always, and says no one wants to see him rematch Blaine Meeks. He adds that people are seeing greatness unfold through him.

Bob Holly says that he feels like he let Thor Theriot down, but he knows Thor can take the Foundation down by himself. Thor says that Holly has given him new confidence.

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