Your Trip to Space Mountain
By Brian “Flair” Kelley
I woke up on Saturday morning and almost decided to not attend the WLW event that evening as I would be checking them out the next weekend in Moberly. I was also concerned that I would not be able to get tickets as it may be a “sell out”, But as the morning came to a close, I couldn’t resist. My girlfriend and I left for Sedalia, Mo for W.K. Chevrolet where former WWE Superstar Bobby Lashley was to sign autographs.
While waiting in line the Noon Day Optimist Club announced that they had tickets for sale, I picked up second row tickets and was all set for the evening. Before I knew it some kids in the line were excited and yelling “He is here, Bobby Lashley is here… and he is huge!”
When I first caught sight of Bobby, the child was right, he was huge, he was all smiles and, with kids jumping up and down around him, he gave them high fives and exclaimed he was glad that they were there. He headed to the table to sign Autographs and take pictures. We took our pictures and said hello to one of my heroes, Harley Race, and headed off to supper prior to the show.
The show started off with Akiyago taking on Brian Breaker in the opening contest. Akiyago is despised by the fans and he used mind games to keep Breaker from using his power to his advantage and was able to get the win. But before he left, he couldn’t resist the urge to antagonize the fans, who were not happy that he had won.
Akiyago has Brian Breaker on the ropes.
Up next was fan favorite “The Vietnam Phenom” Bao Nguyen taking on the newcomer Dustin Lane in his wrestling debut. The match started off in a slow pace and before I know it the two wrestlers where hitting each other with exciting moves as the action went back and forth which led me to believe that this was not Lane’s first match. I was later told that in fact, this was his debut in wrestling so I witnessed history as Lane was able to get the win when he rolled up Bao with a small package. Though Lane was able to get his first victory, I am sure that Bao Nguyen will look to even the score in their next encounter. I hope to see the rematch to see these young guns go at it.
Dustin Lane lets Bao know he is a quick learner.
WLW at this point had an intermission and Bobby Lashley came out and took pictures inside the ring and once again he was all smiles. I enjoyed watching him interact with the fans young and old. He picked up one young child with one hand and teased that he would throw him out the ring over the top rope only to bring him back in the ring and all the while the child was smiling from ear to ear. You know that kid will be telling the story to all his friends at school on Monday morning. He played with one female fan by getting on one knee and she could not believe her eyes as her face turned red. She too would have a story to tell. To say the intermission was worth watching would be an understatement.
Prior to the match Stacey O’Brien even gives the ref Martin T a hard time.
Up next was what I like to dub the future of women’s pro wrestling: Amy Hennig taking on WLW Womens Champion Stacy O’Brien . I was fortunate to say that I was able to see Amy in her wrestling debut in Eldon and her first opponent was this same Irish troublemaker. The first match up Stacy really used Amy’s inexperience against her and at times made her look foolish in her attempt to break into the WLW Womens Title hunt.
Amy Hennig proves to Stacey O’ Brien that she may be a rookie but she will not be pushed around.
You could tell Amy had worked hard and learned from her mistakes in her first encounter and was giving Stacey fits throughout the match. Though Amy had improved immensely since the first time they met, Stacy was always one step ahead of the one who she sarcastically calls “Little Miss Perfect”. Stacey seized the opportunity with the ref out of position; she put her feet on the ropes to get the pin on Amy. As Stacy would say ” That is soooo Stacey O”.
There is no doubt that Amy is WWE bound but I would be shocked if Stacy wasn’t there to greet her. Amy will get another shot for the WLW Women’s champion this weekend as she will face off once again in Moberly,MO on September 13, 2008. It is a match that I highly recommend you come and check out.
The next match up would feature two of the most charismatic wrestlers on the WLW roster Dinn T Moore and Michael Strider. Dinn T Moore has floundered in the WLW since his departure with Brandon Tatum and that may have attributed to him just barely missing the Missouri Wrestling Revival Top 100. Make no mistake about it, there are few in the Midwest that can get under the fans’ and wrestlers’ skin like the former WLW Tag Team Champion. He has the talent to win any match he is a part of.
On the other side of the ring you had one of the hardest hitting wrestlers in the Midwest. Strider has taken on some of the best in the business and really can work a crowd to his advantage. This would be a very interesting match as both men look to move up the ladder to the WLW Heavyweight Title currently held by “Dangerous” Derek McQuinn.
Dinn T Moore shows that the heavyweights in the Midwest can fly as well, as he goes up top to hit Michael Strider with a big move.
At first, Strider got the upper hand on Moore to start the match and as Moore regrouped outside the ring the fans chanted “chicken”. Strider urged him to return to the ring for a beating and when Moore returned, he withstood some more punishment from Strider. With one mistake from Strider, though, Dinn T put the heat on Strider – knocking him down with one big move after another. Strider continued to get up and each man did not give an inch. The fans were cheering on Strider for the bad guys have won all the matches in these evening to the fans dismay and Strider was there last chance to celebrate, Dinn T Moore though had other plans and was able to get the win this evening with a roll up along with the tights pulled ,as he left the ring, Dinn T bragged to the fans know that he is among the WLW elite. The fans last hope for happiness would be Bobby Lashley.
In the end what promised to be a hard hitting match lived up to the expectations, with another future battle between these two foes a must see.
The Main event would be none other that a 3 way match with Bobby Lashley, NOAH’S Go Shiozaki and one half of the current WLW Tag Team Champions Marc Godeker.
The wild card in this match would be Godeker, Godeker and his tag team partner Steve Anthony have the skills that is reminiscent of a great tag team that went by the name of “The Steiner Brothers” in their prime, but unfortunately Steve Anthony has been healing from an injury due to a match earlier this year so Marc has had to go out solo for the time being. How would Marc be able to respond to working with two of the best in the business? We were about to find out.
Bobby Lashley enters the WLW ring for the very first time.
The crowd was like mini WWE with the crowd going nuts when Lashley hit the ring with the crowd giving no doubt to who their favorite was, Lashley’s two opponents must have came up with a game plan prior to the match as they worked together to start the match, but Lashley was in World Championship form and was overpowering two wrestlers who are no lightweights themselves and then something happened… Lashley slammed Shiozaki hard onto the mat and when Shiozaki cried out in pain and reaching for his leg, help came from the WLW staff as they rushed to assist the Japanese Superstar. Lashley went to assist Shiozaki with Godeker outside the ring and, with Lashleys guard down, Shiozaki showed his true colors and attacked him as Godeker quickly entering the ring to assist him. The two wrestlers who each come from a different background had one thing in common and that was to get a win off the former ECW Champion but when it came to the time for each of them to get the pinfall on him, they broke up the count before the other one could get the win.
A perfect ambush from Go Shiozaki.
This was a very exciting match as the crowd was rallying Lashley to get back on the offensive. When Lashley would get the edge, Godeker and Shiozaki would stop the momentum and vice versa. It looked to be a shocking ending to Lashley’s WLW debut but when the two new friends had a disagreement, Lashley struck and overwhelmed them with power and speed and in the blink of an eye Lashley and the crowd were as one when he was able to pin Godeker for the 1-2-3. Though they were unsuccessful, Go Shiozaki and Godeker shook Lashley’s hands out of respect for such a great match.
During the main event Marc Godeker proved he was more than capable of hanging with some of the best in the business.
The question I had on whether or not Godeker would be able to hang with the two Superstars was answered with a resounding YES, as he more than held his own in one of the most exciting matches in WLW history. A match that will go on in history in WLW along with, Derek Stone’s battles with the great One Man Gang, Kenta Kobashi taking on Wade Chism and when a young Trevor Rhodes defeated Rick Steiner and Wade Chism in a Three-way match to win the WLW Heavyweight Title.
Before the night was over Bobby asked for the microphone. With Lashley’s speech and his actions throughout the day, he made me a fan of his for life. He stated that he had a passion for the sport and he missed the fans, he said that he does what he loves, not for the money as he has plenty of that, He also said that he has a desire to be back on TV soon. He encouraged any fans that saw him on the street to not be shy and come up to him and shake his hand and introduce themselves. He said that he doesn’t take very many independent bookings but when a WWE Hall of Farmer calls you and tells you to work a show, you listen. He thanked not only Harley, but his wife BJ for the opportunity to work with WLW and to be close to the fans once again.
Because I took the drive to Sedalia I was able to meet one of the most impressive wrestlers in person that I have ever seen, and quite frankly is one of the few that is better than advertised. Bobby Lashley has all the tools to be on top of the sport and I am amazed that TNA has not jumped on him as he could really be the one guy who they could sign that could make a difference in closing the gap between the two organizations.
I hope to see you at an independent show soon and, till next time, drive carefully, take care of yourself, and don’t forget to check out Missouri Wrestling Revival.