By Brian “Flair” Kelley
World league Wrestling has spoiled fans in Sedalia Missouri this past year. Last September WLW treated them with a special appearance by former WWE Wrestle Mania Star Bobby Lashley. (for a recap of the show click here)
Less than a year later on March 20th WLW returned with one of the most influential wrestlers in the history of the Sport, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Piper was instrumental in the wrestling boom of the 1980’s when his feud with Hulk Hogan fueled interest in the sport worldwide. Roddy Piper and Harley Race in the same building, talk about a treat and luckily for me it was only 2 hours away.
I had purchased front row tickets for my cousin Paul and a young kid named Josh that he wanted to spend time with prior to the show. Paul had only been to one show before, which happened to be a WWE show. I had promised him that there was nothing like sitting front row for an indie show and knew that WLW could deliver on that promise.
I was only able to get to the show 15 minutes prior to bell time due to the fact that I was unable to get off work. The bad day was all erased when I walked in the building that was full of people waiting for some hard hitting wrestling action. WLW announced that they were going to start the night off with Roddy Piper signing autographs. It seemed as if everybody in the building had something for the “Hot Rod” to sign. I went to set up for MWR while my cousin and his friend got in line to meet Piper.
The night started off perfect when Dan Gier thanked everyone for coming and he even was kind enough to mention to the crowd that MWR was there covering the event and to please check out the website.
“Superstar” Steve Fender started the show off to take on one half of the WLW tag team Champions Dustin Lane. Lane surprised me when he was able to take it to Fender early in the match. When it looked as if Fender would get the upper hand Lane stopped any momentum that the “Superstar” would have. Lane was surprisingly one step ahead of him going into the five minute mark.
Dustin Lane takes it to the “Superstar” (Photo Credit Paul Alberson)
Lane executed a perfect “Stinger splash” or in this case a Lane splash in the corner and went for what looked to be an easy win. Fender kicked out and struggled to get to the corner to catch his breath and asking for a time out! Lane’s inexperience showed because when he went towards Fender, Fender struck and threw him head first into the turnbuckle.
The change of momentum had happen and Lane felt big chops and kicks methodically coming from all directions. The crowd was not happy at all with Fender and the way he was punishing the young champion. Fender continued to work Lane over left and right. One moment it would be a knee to the back the next it would be a kick to the stomach. Lane countered with an atomic drop in the corner ring post, followed up with a clothesline that had Fender reeling. Lane really looked to have the chance to take down the talented Fender but in a blink of an eye, Lane made one mistake going for a roll up, allowing Fender to put smother Lane for the 1-2-3.
The “Vietnam Phenom” Bao Nguyen recently brought excitement in the Midwest for his impressive showing at WWE’S ECW. Nguyen was the next to enter the WLW ring much to the delight of the WLW faithful. Nguyen’s opponent was the most recent graduate of the WLW academy Jason Jones. I am always excited to see a new wrestler and one that has graduated from the WLW School.
WLW most recent graduate Jason Jones (Photo Credit Paul Alberson)
Jones quickly established that he was not the fans friend and they responded in kind. You suck chants for Jones rang through the building and Nguyen used his speed and drilled Jones with a perfect dropkick. Nguyen went to the top and attempted to hit a high risk move on Jones, but Jones was wise enough to move out of the way and strike with a devastating clothesline.
Two of the young guns went at it back and forth, with Jones exhibiting an impressive power and skill level that will pay huge dividends to his career. Jones attempted to slow down Nguyen with power moves but Nguyen has showed in his time at WLW he should never be counted out. Nguyen hit a savate kick to Jones head.
Bao Nguyen had Jason Jones on the run (Photo Credit Paul Alberson)
Nguyen went for the pin but Jones got the save by touching the ropes. Nguyen showed shades of Rey Mysterio JR when he hit a 619 then he springboard off the ropes and delivered another great kick to Jones head. With the crowd in an uproar the ref hit the mat for the third time and Nguyen was proud to have his hand raised in a hard fought battle.
I imagine that I am showing my age with this next statement but I was excited when Amy Hennig entered the ring with David Lee Roth’s awesome “Yankee Rose” song to take on WLW Champion Stacey O’Brien. O’Brien and Hennig have feuded for almost a year now with the Irish bad girl always being one step ahead. Hennig has shown more confidence in her ability the past few times she has battled O’Brien and on this night she was the aggressor. The MWR Female of the Year O’Brien retreated to the outside and Hennig held her ground and waited for O’Brien to return to the ring. O’Brien returned to the ring and continued her dominance until a kick to the midsection to the air out of Hennig.
Amy Henning and Stacey O’Brien was all business in Sedalia (Photo Credit Paul Alberson)
O’Brien slowed down Hennig’s exuberance by leaning and pounding on her much to the crowd disdain. O’Brien made one of her few mistakes when she traded punches with the more powerful Hennig. Hennig followed it up with a body slam. Hennig went to the top and hit a snap mare then went for the pin. The foot on the ropes saved the Champion for the time being. O’Brien was hurt and Hennig was ruthless in her attack, but Hennig went to the well one too many times when she went to the top to deliver a dropkick. O’Brien moved out of the way as Hennig hit the mat head first. O’Brien quickly sensed that Hennig was hurt and went for the pinfall that would get her a win in what maybe O’Brien’s toughest match between the third generation superstar.
The Tag team Championship was on the line in the next contest as the defending Champions Darin Waid and Dustin Lane took on Brian Breaker and his tag team partner “Superstar” Steve Fender. Breaker and Lane started the match off, with Lane showing that he could utilize his speed to offset the power of Breaker at least for the start of the contest. Lane tagged in his partner Waid and in return Breaker tagged in Fender. Waid and Lane was a chess match as the two exchanged moves
The tag team Champions Darin Wade and Dustin Lane works over Brian Breaker (Photo Credit Paul Alberson)
Lane and Waid really seem to mesh well with one another and seemed to give the tag team of Fender and Breaker fits. When Breaker returned to the ring he was able to power Lane in the corner, when the ref tried to break them up Breaker struck and hit a kick to get the edge for only as second as Lane used his speed to get the upper hand once again. The Champions quickly tagged in and out while beating down Breaker while keeping him on their side of the ring.
When Waid threw Breaker in the corner and went full force to deliver a move Breaker put up a foot and changed the direction of the match. Breaker wisely tagged in a very fresh Fender. Fender and Breaker were now the tag team who took advantage of the quick tags and double teams. The Champions used their speed once again to get out of trouble and get on the offensive. Breaker bailed out of the ring as Lane was lighting him up. Lane showed his inexperience when he went after Breaker around the ring. Breaker had entered the ring with Lane right behind him and that’s when Fender took the cheap shot to get the advantage.
Dan Gier stated that 15 minutes had expired and it looked like we may have new WLW Tag team champions with Lane taking a thrashing from the challengers. The crowd did their best to cheer on the young Champions. Lane needed the tag to Waid. Fender was taking the life out of Lane with an abdominal stretch in Fenders side of the ring. Lane was able to fight out of that only to have Fender beat him to the ground. At one time Lane desperately jumped for a tag to his partner only to have Fender catch him and pound him into the mat.
Then the opening the Champions needed happen, Fender and Lane hit head first but could Lane get up and complete the tag before Fender could stop him or make the tag himself? Lane got the tag to Waid and Fender to Breaker. Waid was on fire and hit a flying leg drop from the rafters and would have got the victory if Fender had not interfered. Fender and Breaker pulled out all the tricks but Waid was one step ahead of them still.
Waid hits Breaker with a big move. (Photo Credit Paul Alberson)
Waid threw Breaker to the ropes but Breaker reversed and hit a clothesline that sent Waid flying in the air into a 360 onto the mat. Breaker must have felt confident or my guess dazed at that moment because he went to the top but took too much time. Waid was able to hit Breaker and then struck quickly with a top rope diamond cutter for the victory as Lane kept Fender from making the save.
Rowdy Piper was introduced to the WLW crowd after taking the time from autographing the Polaroid’s. Piper said the crowd was beautiful, and one in the crowd chanted for Piper to take down Chris Jericho. Piper then asked if they wanted him to take out Jericho or Vince McMahon at Wrestle mania. He then wanted to thank Harley Race and wanted the fans to know that he loved them with all his heart.
The main event was for the WLW Championship as the Champion “The King of the 450” Steve Anthony defending his title vs. the powerful Marc Godeker with a twist. The special referee was none other than Former WWE and WLW alumni Trevor Murdoch.
Trevor Murdoch tries to contain WLW Champion Steve Anthony and Marc Godeker in the corner. (Photo Credit Paul Alberson)
These two wrestlers have very little weakness in their repertoire. Anthony has the ego and skills to keep him at the top of the WLW but even he had to be worried when Godeker held him up for close to 10 seconds in a standing suplex before smashing him into the mat.
Marc Godeker sends a message to Anthony of the power he possesses. (Photo Credit Paul Alberson)
Anthony struck back when he went low to the challenger’s knees; with that one move Anthony had the offense along with the fans disdain. One may not like the champion’s attitude but you can not dismiss his talent and the skills he possess. Anthony though seemed to not like the way the special ref Murdock would reprimand him and the two came face to face several times as Anthony used questionable tactics.
At the ten minute mark Anthony attempted a Frankenstein and Godeker caught him and flung him into the corner post like a rag doll. Anthony was able to fight back but Godeker’s power was phenomenal and kept Anthony from ever really dominating as he has shown he can with others in the past.
Godeker dragged Anthony to the corner and went for a 2nd rope splash but Anthony put his feet up then went to the top to hit the 450 to retain the title.
You could tell that Murdoch did not want to raise the hand but did the right thing and walked away. Anthony could not resist to let the crowd know how he felt” I am going home as your world champion and I saw the Hot Rod (Roddy Piper) come out all night and try to get a pop at the house that I built. You came here to see me( The crowd was louder and louder and louder and when Piper came through the curtain) Anthony stated that he use to respect him (Piper) but he is now a changed man and only cares what the fans think. Anthony kept it up as Piper came to the ring, “ Piper I saw you were in the back telling the young guy (Wrestler) you put your hand around them and said let me give you some advice kid, well guess what Piper we don’t need your advice. I normally give out my bibs to the girls that drool for me but I have one for you.
Anthony taunts Piper (Photo Credit Paul Alberson)
He would not quit taunting the “Hot Rod” Piper never one to back down a fight was taking off his jacket ready for a rumble. Anthony then demanded that Piper watch as Murdoch raised the hand of the Champion. Murdoch did so and when he attempted to leave the ring Anthony made the mistake to try to pull him back only to catch a punch straight to the face. Piper then jumped in the ring to have fun at the Champions expense. The two of them kicked Anthony out of the ring to finish off a great night of wrestling.
Roddy Piper works over Steve Anthony (Photo Credit Paul Alberson)
I asked my cousin and his friend what they thought of watching live WLW wrestling from the front row. Paul said that he would had a lot of fun and was thinking about going to see WLW live when they return to Slater Missouri on April 18th with special guest Trevor Murdoch. I had no doubt that he would like it.
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