|Am I Standing By The One And Only Funaki? INDEED!|
This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending the National Wrestling Alliance affiliated Branded Outlaw Wrestling event entitled New Years Revolution, held at the Woodlawn Gym in San Antonio, TX. This group will be running events for exactly one year next month, and I have first-hand witnessed them constantly improve in that year, so I thought it would be a good idea to give my thoughts on this show. Their last event of 2012 was stellar, so there was a lot to be expected for their first of 2013, so here we go.
“IRONMAN" ROB CONWAY ANNOUNCED AS BOW GM/ SET-UP FOR 6-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
So the event began as always with Ray The Voice inside the ring, who started things off with the big announcement that NWA-BOW has appointed their first ever General Manager. It was then revealed that the new GM is none other than former WWE Tag Team Champion “Ironman” Rob Conway. He told the fans that under his guidance and management, he would lead BOW for the fans and give them what they want. They then introduced to a loud ovation the brand new, first ever NWA-BOW Heavyweight Champion Jax Dane, coming off the win in the finals of the title tournament last month against Ray Rowe. However, Jax was not able to get a lot of words out, as Alex Reigns, Ricky Starks and Vince Vile interrupted, complaining that they deserved the same shots that someone like Jax was getting. This led to Conway deciding to settle this with the “Teddy Long Special” and make a 6-Man Tag Team Match that included Chris Marval on the side of Jax and Conway. Now, I’m not sure how Conway wrestling while also being the General Manager doesn’t allow him to be extremely impartial, but we will see where this goes and I am very intrigued with the development.
"BROOKLYN'S FINEST" AJ SUMMERS DEF. SHO FUNAKI, "TOO MUCH METAL" GREGORY JAMES AND WEAZY WOO
Some of the top contenders for the Cruiserweight Title were in action in a four-way dance, including the BOW debut of AJ Summers, who made a surprise appearance last show attacking current Cruiserweight Champion Rudy Russo. All four guys got to showcase a lot of great stuff, including three of them getting to tie up with Sho Funaki for what I imagine was the first time for all of them. Our section started to sing “Happy Birthday” to Gregory James, who returned the favor by spitting in our direction. I don’t blame him though. It was probably a reaction to an overload of metal. In the end, after Funaki laid out Weazy and James with a Tower Of Doom, Summers nailed a top rope splash on Weazy in order to pick up the win, giving him momentum for a possible match with his old tag team partner Russo down the line. This match was the perfect way to start the show and gave the crowd of sampling of what was to come.
"ONE MAN" MIKE DELL AND CARSON WENT TO A 15-MINUTE TIME LIMIT DRAW
In an interesting showdown, The “A” and the “C” of the “ABC’s Of Professional Wrestling” collided when Mike Dell took on Carson. Originally the match was scheduled to be for Carson’s NWA North American Title. However, Carson lost the title about a week prior at NWA Houston to “Addictive and Expensive” Byron Wilcott. Though, even without a title on the line, the match was very much about bragging rights. Also, it is important to note that during his title defense in NWA Houston, Carson suffered an injury to his leg. Because of the competitor Carson is, he still agreed to compete in his scheduled match with Dell, and even with said injury, he didn’t miss a step. Both men showed respect to each other throughout the entirety of the match, and kept trying to find new ways to put their opponent away. However, as Mike Dell was looking to put Carson away with a second Dellbow, the 15 Minute Title Limit for the match had expired. Me personally, I’m a fan of time limit draws for the simple fact that it adds a great deal of intrigue to a possible future matchup, and I think that it’s a tool that WWE and TNA should use to help benefit some of their storylines. The only problem that I was faced with was that if announcements are to be made at certain parts of the match about how much time has expired; it also has to be done for every other match on the card, which didn’t happen here. But, that’s just a personal pet peeve I have, and it still didn’t diminish the great match these two had, and I am looking forward to a possible rematch down the line.
JAYKUS PLISKEN AND JACOB LADDER DEF. "DIRTY" ANDY DALTON AND "MAD DOG" KEN JOHNSON
Next match was a tag team contest that pitted the dastardly duo of Andy Dalton and Ken Johnson against Jaykus Plisken and an opponent who had yet to be named. Dalton stole the microphone from Ray The Voice and began to laugh off the challenge of Plisken, stating that he wasn’t afraid of Plisken or whoever his partner was. This then lead to the reveal of the San Antonio in ring return of Jacob Ladder, who joined Plisken’s side. Being sort of a late bloomer into the Texas wrestling scene, I have only heard legend of Jacob Ladder, but never seen him wrestle live before. I have to say, I really enjoyed this match. Ladder and Plisken exhibited a great deal of teamwork and eventually picked up the win with an awesome Legion Of Doom style maneuver, showing that they may be in line for a possible encounter with the Kings Of The Underground for the NWA Tag Team Titles.
However, the action did not end there as Johnson spotted pro wrestling legend Jose Lothario enjoying the show in the crowd, and began to intimidate Lothario. This raised the ire of Jose’s son, Pete, AKA the guy that got powerbombed on a table by Psycho Sid in the WWF, who then challenged Johnson to a fight in the ring.
Referees and security were able to break it up, but it looks like we could see a future encounter with these two.
SGT. MO PINNED "COWBOY" JAMES CLAXTON FOR THE OUTLAW TITLE DURING THE MATCH BETWEEN CLAXTON AND BOBBY "LUMBERJACK" LAMBERT
Let me preface this by giving you the rundown of BOW’s Outlaw Title. The basic concept of it is it’s very much like the WWF Hardcore Title, in the fact that it is defended 24/7, keeping the champion on their toes. This was shown a couple months ago when Alex Reigns defeated James Claxton for the title, only for Claxton to big boot Reigns during his post celebration and pin him to win the title back. In a much more even matchup, Claxton defended against Bobby “Lumberjack” Lambert, in a match where a great deal of it took place on the outside. Let me take this time to note my favorite part of this match, and it is how awesome Bobby Lambert is at antagonizing the crowd. While working down on Claxton, he began to pick the big man up for a suplex, when he noticed a woman in the front row. He then proceeded to yell at her to get off of her phone and pay attention to him, which my section got a good laugh out of. Lambert is one of my favorites when it comes to him interacting and feeding off a crowd, and he did a great job of it that night. However, as the match went to the outside again, the 24/7 rule came into play, as someone who we later found out was named “Sgt. Mo”, ran in with a referee to pick up a pin on Claxton and be crowned the new Outlaw Champion. Mo then got on the mic, told us to stand “at ease” because get it, military terms, and said that he was unbeatable. This of course raised the ire of many of the fans in attendance, which luckily leads to the next match.
RAY ROWE DEF. SGT. MO FOR THE OUTLAW TITLE
Ray Rowe, flanked by the lovely Samantha, emerged to quickly decimate the Sarge with his “Death Rowe” finishing maneuver, gaining the Outlaw Championship, which Samantha proudly raised over her head in victory. But, this would not be the end for Ray’s night, as having to defend the belt 24/7 it led to the next match, which was a huge surprise.
RAY ROWE DEF. ACH TO RETAIN THE OUTLAW TITLE
The minute Lupe Fiasco’s “The Show Goes On” blared over the loudspeakers, my wrestling friends surrounding me near lost their minds, as did I. BOW’s first look at the rising prospect that is ACH occurred at Showtime’s Birthday Bash, where ACH had a MOTY candidate match with St. Louis star Davey Vega. BOW management was able to recognize that they needed to bring this amazing athlete in, especially before ACH hits one of the big companies, which is only a matter of time. Much of the crowd had never seen ACH perform before, and because of that, my new favorite thing is watching ACH do his signature in-ring entrance, and seeing little kids faces go from being confused to being excited. There’s no other way to describe this match then saying it was absolutely killer. I stand by my sentiment that ACH vs. Ray Rowe needs to happen everywhere in the country so people can witness the greatness of these two men. With a crowd divided and the two competitors upping the intensity each move, Rowe eventually picked up the win to retain the title, and then offered a handshake out of respect to ACH, which he gladly accepted. I thank BOW for putting together this phenomenal encounter. Now, you need to get Davey Vega in next and have him face Ray, and then let me give you all my monies.
RUDY RUSSO DEF. JARED WAYNE TO RETAIN THE NWA-BOW CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE
The next match featured the debuting Jared Wayne getting a shot at the NWA-BOW Cruiserweight Title, taking on the current champion Rudy Russo. I have actually seen these two square off at a past event for Texas Heat Wrestling, with Wayne picking up the surprising victory in a highly competitive contest. This match was just as competitive and just as good, with Rudy Russo finishing off Wayne with a Tiger-Bomb. The only note that I do want to make is that the crowd did seem very dead during this match-up, but for me I think the only reason for it was the somewhat short intermission that followed the previous match. Especially considering how wired the crowd was for Rowe vs. ACH, it just seemed like they didn’t have enough time to get back in the swing of it, with it being no fault of the two competitors in the ring.
JAX DANE, "IRONMAN" ROB CONWAY AND "COCKY" CHRIS MARVAL DEF. "ABSOLUT" RICKY STARKS, "UNTOUCHABLE" ALEX REIGNS AND VINCE VILE
The trio of Reigns, Starks and Vile immediately got the jump on Marval before his partners were able to come out of the curtain, which lead to an opening brawl that was eventually won by the team of Dane, Conway and Marval. As much as many would think this match would be entirely one-sided, Starks, Reigns and Vile were able to hold their own against some of Texas’s top stars and really impressed. However, once Marval was able to escape from a beat down and make the tag to his partners, the fan favorites started to get momentum going, and picked up the victory after Jax Dane scored a spear on Alex Reigns. Dane dominates once again, but I would definitely still be on the lookout for the three young upstarts.
THE KINGS OF THE UNDERGROUND DEF. THE DAGGER BROTHERS TO RETAIN THE NWA WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES
In a very anticipated main-event, Scot Summers and Ryan Genesis of The Kings Of The Underground made their very first defense of their newly won NWA World Tag Team Titles, taking on The Dagger Brothers, Mike and Kevin. One of the constant problems I face at these shows is trying not to cheer for the Kings, but its just way too hard not too. Summers and Genesis are two of the best and have made strong efforts to elevate tag team wrestling on the Texas scene, and that was on display this night. The champions exhibited their viciousness many times, including Ryan Genesis unleashing one of the loudest and hardest chops that I have ever seen live, as well as Scot Summers head-butting one of the Daggers in a nose to nose confrontation, which lead to this.
Yeah, you don’t mess with Scot Summers. I do have to mention that in a big surprise, The Dagger Brothers were able to hold their own. However, after the Kings backbreaker/elbow drop combo, they left the Woodlawn Gym with their World Tag Team Titles in a great way to end the show.
Overall, NWA-BOW showed once again that they are able to put on consistently great shows that are able to draw a great crowd in San Antonio. Unlike past shows for them, this event had very few special guests (since Conway and Funaki are BOW regulars), yet the home talent still delivered an amazing show and that is a testament to the quality of talent that NWA-BOW brings in. I do think there are a few things about this company that could use improvement, most importantly their presence on the internet. I want to share this company with more people, however, their website needs an overhaul and I feel they could be producing some form of video content, especially with them having a 24/7 title. They are drawing great crowds, but with a little more time put into creating internet buzz, the crowds could be even better. They have the wrestling and the story aspects down; it just needs to be seen by more people that aren’t the San Antonio regulars.
But I would definitely encourage anyone to attend this event if you love great wrestling. NWA-BOW’s next show will be February 9th, back at the Woodlawn Gym in San Antonio, and former ECW and WWE star Tommy Dreamer will be in attendance, along with all of the great Texas talent, and I hope to see you there.