NWL STL Episode 20 Review

The end of an era…in more ways than one.

Taped on June 4, 2017.

Ray Briggs Makes His STL Debut

Briggs gets some boos for representing KC. He talks about how Cornell Douglass defeated him in Kansas City and then beat up his manager Roscoe Leech. Being an ex-football player, Briggs knows it’s important to stand up for your teammates and your coaches, so after he puts the lockdown on Xavier Church, he’s going to put the lockdown on Douglass and Castle, too.

KC vs. STL Series: “Lockdown” Ray Briggs vs. “The Undefeated” Xavier Church

Kansas City leads the series 13-8.

Interesting that we have two streak-based storylines going on at the same time, with Church making a big deal about being undefeated in his one match, and Tommy Flagg claiming he himself is 125-0. I wonder if they’ll intersect at some point? Anyway, this match is decent but doesn’t have a lot of heat. Church constantly shouting, “Undefeated!” gets some reaction, but Briggs gets next to nothing. I guess the St. Louis fans don’t know anything about him, and obviously, his promo and in-ring skills don’t do much for them. I think if he’d had Roscoe Leech with him, he could’ve gotten the crowd to care, but Briggs himself just doesn’t sound comfortable or convincing on the mic yet. His in-ring stuff is all right, but I don’t think his style is organic enough for the fans of St. Louis indy wrestling. Church kicks out of the axe kick and gets the win with a hallelujah cutter. He makes sure Ben Simon announces him as undefeated afterwards.

Winner – Xavier Church (KC 13-9 STL)

Rating – OK

Kyle O’Reilly tells you what you’re watching.

Lucha Libre Rules: Five Direction (Chippy & C-Note) vs. The Party Crashers (Spike & Boulder) vs. The Buddy System (Skyler Beckett & Javy Torres w/ Buddy Shepherd)

Two men are legal at one time, anyone can tag anyone, and a legal man touching the floor can constitute a tag.

This isn’t as chaotic as I was kind of hoping it would be, but it has its moments. The Party Crashers have good tag team chemistry, and Boulder has a lot of energy. The Buddy System are fine, but I think they need more tag matches to develop their teamwork. They did some good stuff individually, including a dive by Torres and a springboard headlock by Beckett. Five Direction seem odd to me; they look like a practiced team, but they seem to be forcing their boy band gimmick. It was still a fun match, but not as much fun as I thought it would be. Beckett hit Spike with a second rope Ace crusher so that Torres could use an Oklahoma roll for the pin.

Winners – The Buddy System

Rating – OK

Buddy Shepherd takes the mic after everyone leaves and tells the story of his kidnapping at the hands of The Underground. Essentially, he was held captive in a basement, forced to fight in some kind of secret club until he was able to escape during a thunderstorm and crawl 500 yards to freedom. He thanks the Buddies for giving him the strength to get back, and he calls out Adam Ryan to “fight for the sake of fightin’.” Ryan (sans Jackie Lee Bosch) comes out but won’t get in the ring because there are three members of the Buddy System and only one of him. Buddy says Skyler and Javy will stay in the back, but Ryan challenges him to fight on the next show instead. Buddy says OK, and then his music seems to hit abruptly, so he shrugs and chases Ryan to the back.

Maverick tells you what you’re watching.

A video package about the triple threat match for the St. Louis Championship is shown. Unfortunately, as of this writing, episode 18 hasn’t appeared online, so I’m not familiar with the most recent happenings. Apparently, in a six-man tag match, Cornell Douglass tried to hit Maverick with a chair, but Todd Letterman – who was on his team – took it away, saying he didn’t want to win like that. Douglass shoved Letterman, so Letterman swung the chair and accidentally hit Maverick. Don’t know who ultimately won the match, but now we have a three-way.

NWL STL Championship: “The Five-Star Phenom” Todd Letterman (c) vs. “The Bull City Boss” Cornell Douglass w/ Castle vs. “The Raging Bull” Maverick

Poor Ben Simon makes a mistake during the introductions thanks to Cornell Douglass and Maverick both having “Bull” in their nicknames.

Todd Letterman is easily the largest man in either NWL promotion, and HE DOES A FREAKING RUNNING SOMERSAULT PLANCHA IN THIS MATCH! That, along with everything else that happens in the first half, is rock solid and makes this match feel big. As they get further down the stretch, though, there are three or four moments when it’s obvious that guys aren’t on the same page with what they want to do. This doesn’t kill the match for me, but it does take some of the wind out of the sails. The important stuff still makes sense, though. Castle takes advantage of the typical three-way no DQ rule and gets involved a few times. Maverick takes a heart punch from Douglass, but not to the heart. Letterman hits Douglass with the spike driver, and Castle pulls the referee out. Ray Briggs runs in and brawls with Castle, paying off his promo from earlier. They fight to the back, but out comes Marcellus Gaines’s manager, Drew Gold. He prepares to hit Letterman with a pair of brass knuckles, but Maverick takes them from him…and hits Letterman himself. The referee comes back in and counts three, giving Maverick the title.

Winner – Maverick, new NWL STL Champion

Rating – OK

Drew Gold opens his jacket to reveal a Maverick T-shirt. Gold and Maverick celebrate, but Jack Foster‘s music hits and he comes out. He confronts Maverick and says this is his city and his title. He wants a fight, but Maverick gives him the “up yours” sign and leaves with Gold.

Overall: Good. This looks to be the last NWL STL show (at least under that banner), and it’s quite the way to go out. Now that Todd Letterman is back to being Kevin Lee Davidson on the indies, my guess is we won’t see him against Jack Foster anytime soon. But we’ll probably still get Foster against Maverick, even if there’s no more NWL STL, so that’ll be good. Whatever happens with the STL side, I hope we still get to see Xavier Church, the Party Crashers, and the Buddy System.

Extra Meat!

Xavier Church gets mad at Marti for leaving “Undefeated” out of his name. He goes over great #2’s in history because he’s 2-0. He’s doing exactly what he was brought in to do, and he’s the top guy. Catchphrase.

The Buddy System is happy about being back together. Skyler Beckett challenges the Royal Blood. Buddy tells Skyler and Javy to stay in the back when he faces Adam Ryan.

Jack Foster is not happy with how Maverick sold out. He says Maverick isn’t going to come from Texas into his city and take his gold. He wants a fight.

Drew Gold says the only explanation anyone needs is that Maverick is the champ. He rips on Jack Foster and heads off to party, but here’s Marcellus Gaines. He’s not happy about being left out of the loop, nor is he pleased with how Gold’s interference backfired in his own match (last episode). He tells Gold to stay out of the way when he faces Jay Lutz.

Todd Letterman isn’t in a talking mood. He says he was robbed and he’ll be back.

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