By Brian “Flair” Kelley
World League Wrestling came to Slater Mo with a brand new WLW champion (Superstar Steve Fender), a former WWE Tag Team Champion (Trevor Murdoch), and a legend in Harley Race. With the stars shining bright on April 18th there was one man looking to cast his shadow on the whole evening. That man was former WLW Champion “King of the 450” Steve Anthony.
Our good friend Dan Gier was missing in action so the Slater crowd was treated with the announcing duties of former Gold Exchange manager Johnny Gold. Gold opened the night off with inviting his friend who had just lost the WLW title thanks in part because of the Rowdy one Roddy Piper in Eldon Missouri on March 21st. Anthony was quick to direct his comments to the former World Champion Harley Race. Anthony stated that “I am a gift to this company and I have a gifted body, the one with the gifted wrestling talent. There was one gift that was stolen from me and that was the coveted WLW title. Since it has been stolen from me I have had to go through men, week after week I keep coming out her and taking on an opponent but it’s not a title rematch against Fender. Harley. I know your hiding that paper champion Steve Fender, but tonight I am demanding a title shot and I am demanding that you come out here to tell the people that you are going to give me what I want.”
Anthony is one of the top talkers in the Midwest and would not stop so Race made his way to the ring to tell him” Steve you are already in a match tonight” Anthony’s reply was “It’s not a title match Harley”. Harley laid down the law and let him know that if he could win the first match then he would add him in the main event to make it a three way with Fender and Murdoch for a three way. Anthony, not happy about it but very confident in his abilities let Race and the crowd know that he was going home the WLW Champion.
The first match of the evening was Brian Breaker taking on one half of the WLW tag team Champions Darin Waid. Waid with the speed did his best to keep away from Breakers raw power. Breaker at one point tried to catch a break outside but when Waid came close enough, Breaker pulled him outside the ring to punish him with a powerful shoulder block into the ring. Breaker kept the assault and looked to have the match well in hand. Waid never quit and the frustrating was setting in on the young stud.Breaker argued with the ref enough to allow Waid to hit a huge flying clothesline off the top rope. Back and forth these young warriors went but 15 minutes just wasn’t enough and the match ended in a 15 minutes time limit draw.
Match Results: Darin Waid wrestled Brian Breaker to a time-limit draw
Next up we had the “Vietnam Phenom” Bao Nguyen taking on the other half of the WLW Tag Team Champions Dustin Lane. Lane would be tested as Ngyuen was not in a good mood this evening and looked to do what it took to get the win. Both Lane and Nguyen have speed and can wrestle, so as I watched to see who would make the first mistake Lane was crisp early and really had Nguyens number and 7 minutes in was in complete control hitting a monkey flip in the corner and a flying body press along the way. Lane went to the well once to many and Nguyen capitalize by moving out of the way as Lane hit the floor head on. Nguyen hit a perfect kick to the head that landed Lane stretched on the second rope which prompted a fan to tell him that “You don’t have nothing”. Nguyen must had felt the need to show off because he smiled at the fan and teased a Rey Mysterio JR 619 only to stop when he got to the ropes and walk under it to kick Lane in the head instead. This prompted boos but Ngyuen looked very pleased with himself. That arrogance led to a mistake when Nguyen missed a flying punch that Lane went under, when Nguyen came back he was tripped into the corner head first. Lane looked to have momentum going his way but when he went for a backslide for a win Nguyen quickly reversed it for the surprising victory.
Match Result: Bao Nguyen defeated Dustin Lane
Anthony needed this next match but Jason Jones is young and determined and Anthony’s chance to get in the main event would have to go through him. Jones did not disappoint and was able to take it to the former WLW Champion showing signs of stardom at moments, but Anthony is on top of his game at this stage and would not be denied the rematch that he felt he deserved when he pinned Jones for the 1—2-3
Match Results: Steve Anthony defeated Jason Jones.
Johnny Gold then announced that due to Stacey O’Brien suffered a serious shoulder injury last week in the WLW match between Amy Hennig she would not be able to wrestle that evening but Hennig wanted to come to the ring to thank the crowd for coming to show. Hennig let the fans knowfrom the bottom of her heart she appreciated them and wished that there was some competition in the area. Hennig then noticed a mysterious beautiful brunette walking to the ring which prompted her to ask “Paris (Hilton) check your children I think one of them got loose and is coming to the ring.”
The Latino princess firmly let Henning know that it’s a shame she don’t have her license tonight but by the time the next WLW has a show she challenges her for her title. Then she went personal by letter her know and I quote “Sweetheart, it is about time that someone told you that you are not your daddy. That got the blood boiling and Hennig went for a clothesline but the princess was ready as she ducked, then she hit one of her own before bailing out of the ring to fight another day.
The first WLW title of the night was on the line as the MWR Tag Team of the Month for March, Dustin Lane and Darin Waid took on Brian Breaker and Bao Nguyen. Breaker teased that he would start off against Waid but quickly tagged in Nguyen. Waid took control early and hit Nguyen with a shoulder block that sent Nguyen scrambling to the outside. Breaker and Nguyen looked to get in the heads of the young champs by stalling but this young team has grown rapidly in the past few months and remained calm. Breakers power gave his team an advantage but the inexperience showed when he went to tag in Nguyen, he did not take the time to drag his opponent to the corner which allowed Lane to get back on the offensive.
Double teams have been the method of which Lane and Waid have been able to remain the WLW Tag Team Champions and they was able to offset the power of Breaker by hitting him with a double clothesline and keeping him in there corner. While watching this match I came to the realization that Darin Waid may be one of the most underrated wrestlers in the Midwest. He was able to hit Breaker and Nguyen from everywhere and with an arsenal of moves.
Breaker used some underhand tactics to get the advantage for his team when he pulled the legs from underneath him while the ref Mark Smith wasn’t looking. Nguyen quickly took advantage with a kick, and then he tagged in Breaker who was relentless in his attack. Breaker and Nguyen tagged in and out while dismantling there opponents. Breaker hit Waid with a clothesline that was so powerful in the corner it threw Waid full body across the ropes. As Waid was stuck there Breaker picked him up and tossed him like a rag doll in the center of the ring.
It looked as if we had brand new tag team champions but Waid hit a sweet drop kick on Breaker to allow him to get the tag and change the momentum. As the action broke down all four men were in the ring as the ref Smith did his best to regain control. In the chaos Waid threw Breaker out of the ring, and then went to the top to hit Nguyen with a flying diamond Cutter for the big win.
Match Results: Darin Waid & Dustin Lane defeated Brian Breaker and Bao Nguyen to retain the WLW Tag Team Titles.
An exciting tag team match brought us to the Main event. The World League Wrestling Champion Steve Fender defending his title in a three way with Trevor Murdoch which Johnny Gold announced “was the biggest red neck in wrestling” which brought huge cheers to the Slater crowd and the man who demanded a title shot Steve Anthony.
Fender and Murdoch who have had there shares of battles through the 10 great years have been around quickly took an understanding that they should go at Anthony. Anthony was overwhelmed and retreated out of the ring. As Fender urged Anthony to returned Murdoch struck from behind.
The battle was on between 3 former WLW Champions to see who would leave with the coveted Championship. Murdoch threw Anthony in the corner, and then he threw Fender and ran full steam ahead on top of both of them. The action was fast and furious with bodies flying everywhere. To say it was hard to keep up with all the action was an understatement. The key moment of the match came when Johnny Gold made his presence known by tripping Fender from the outside of the ring giving Anthony the win after . Harley rang the bell to let the fans know that it wasn’t going to happen like that and the tow arch enemies Gold and Race were eye to eye once again. Race hit with a left hook that sent Gold to the ground, Race picked him up and tossed him into the ring with a fired up Murdoch and Fender while Anthony snuck out of the ring leaving Gold behind Fender connected on a superkick while Murdoch kicked him out of the ring.
Murdoch wanted Fender to know that the WLW title was always special to him because it was Harley Races Champion. Tonight he (Murdoch) did not win the belt but wanted to congratulate him on being the Champion. On that moment two of the most important WLW Champions in their 10 years history shook hands out of respect.
I was able to catch up with Trevor Murdoch after the match and he had this to say about coming so close to winning the WLW Championship.
You do not want to miss World League Wrestling when they come to Waterloo Iowa on July 10th along with the Waterloo Hall of Fame. The show will have none other former NWA World Champion Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Former AWA World Champion Nick Bockwinkel and Fritz Von Goering just to name a few. If you have never been to the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute & Museum I highly encourage you to come and see what you are missing you will not be disappointed. For info call Kent Sesker 319-233-0745.
125 Commercial St
Waterloo, IA 50701
United Sport and Athlete
1045 Southtown Drive
Waterloo, IA 50702
303 Jefferson St
Waterloo, IA 50701
For more info on WLW go to their website at World League Wrestling
For more info on the Hall of Fame go to Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute & Museum website