MPX is really working hard on expanding their product and brand. Their crowd is so packed. What I compliment them for is building their product without having to bring the big names in. I knew this was a really stacked card when SHIMMER superstar Athena is taking tickets. (No ego there at all)
The before-the-bell match didn’t happen. We had a really nice video package at the beginning. It reminded me of a UFC event. We have a 3-man booth with Code Greyson, James Hawke and Kody Kox. Usually I skip over this part. But I was VERY impressed with Code. Scott Murdoch came out first. You know the joke about the 800-pound gorilla? How he sits wherever he wants to? Well, that 800 pound gorilla checks with Scott Murdoch for where he wants to sit. He’s been working a lot on his physique. The gut he had is almost gone. I think he is becoming a good fit for the Midwest scene. He’d make a great fit against Jock Samson or Alexander Rudolph or The Cutter Brothers. Instead of Haiden, he got Nigel Rabid and the greatest Fu Manchu to ever exist. Haiden wasn’t even there yet. Then Mace’s music hit.
First match: Mace Malone vs. Li Fang for the Prospects Championship
I like the long-term booking they showed, but they spoiled this match the moment Mace and Murdoch faced off. They had a really nice intensity facing each other. Mace is so jacked and has such a great look. The end had a lot of good near-falls. Even though I knew what the outcome was going to be, I found myself doubting. Mace did his finisher and put out Li for the count.
Winner and new champion: Mace
Li sold the finisher. Then Mace finished him off by looking for a chair and then pounding the stuffing out of the chair over Li’s face. The entire crowd cringed. Lance Hoyt was introduced to a really nice pop. He talked about how great it was to be back there and then we was interrupted by Tad Wylde. Ben came out talking about how he was supposed to be on the card but was bumped off because of Hoyt. My favorite part was Ben telling Hoyt that Ben was the best big man in MPX. Hoyt laughed and then Tadlock got in Ben Wylde’s face. It was a brilliant promo. The Ruff Paraphrase is that he’d been trying to hold Ben back and make him try to do what’s right but now after he saw all this disrespect, he was sure that Ben was right. It was a glorious heel turn. As the two beat him down, out came “Irresistible” Eric McDonald to what scares me to say is possibly the pop of the night. GM Kate Carroll channeled her inner Teddy Long as only she could. She made a tag match.
Second match: Tad Wylde vs. Lance Hoyt & Eric McDonald
As the match began, Hoyt gave us a name for his team-the Creepy Killers, which drew out a nice chant from the crowd. First of all, I love how Lance Hoyt is able to put aside his ego and be in the second match. When he comes in, he is just happy to help the company in any way he can. I love the turn from Tadlock. They’d been teasing a Tad vs. Wylde feud for a few months now. I had a hard time concentrating on this match. You see, I remember Ben Wylde from the first time I saw him wrestle James Hawke almost 4 and a half years ago in a sweaty August gym. There’s a lot of the MPX originals that I’ve watched grow into real wrestlers. Tonight was the night I really felt like Ben belonged in there with the big boys. It was just a prime example of how far he’s come. Then Lance Hoyt gave a low-blow and there was a DQ. He asked for the match to be restarted and Kate did. The match was ended when McDonald rubbed Tadlock’s face on his chest hair. (And for the record, John Cena would have still kicked out at 2.)
Winner: Creepy Killers
BC vs. Jerome Daniels in a hair vs. career match
Before the match, they announced that instead of Daniels’ career, it was going to be he was banned from MPX for a year. I thought for a moment that BC might actually win there. I know both of these guys are comic book fans, so when the bell rang, they ran at each other and had a collision reminiscent of The Thing vs. The Hulk. There was some spit that went on. For a while there was a story that BC was trying to get Jerome to dq himself. There was some spitting and BC threw him out trying to go for a countout. Some idiotic fan yelled out, “You’re not a real man until you do an Iron Claw.” So then the fans started an “Iron Claw” chant. Jerome did one to one of the pops of the night. There was a ref bump, and I thought I was watching a Jeff Jarrett title match. Thankfully the ref recovered and Jerome made him tap out to his armbreaker.
BC really needed a haircut. As they were cutting his hair, they went to intermission and gave fans the chance to get their picture with him. It was fun. They made a huge announcement. Paul London will be at the next show. Not gonna lie-I might cry meeting him.
Fourth match: Steven Kirby w/Nigel Rabid & Kevin Cross vs. Frankie Fisher in a Taped Fist match
This was a slugfest. Two guys who hated each other in a taped-fist match. This was no beautiful technical match. This was brutal, painful and dirty. Then it became bloody. Poor ring announcer Keith Roberts ended up with a bloody shirt somehow. Nigel kept the fans engaged by his jaw-jacking and interference. There was some really great drama with the near-falls at the end. Kirby took the win in Chapter 1 in what should be a long, devastating feud.
Kristopher Haiden came out to join the post-match beatdown which was followed by Scott Murdoch coming out and the title match was on now.
Fifth match: Scott Murdoch (c) vs. Kristopher Haiden
This was another brutal slugfest. I also liked the timing of the match. It gave it an old ECW feel. Haiden had a very good lariat, one of my favorites. New champion Mace teased that he was about to cash in his Prospects Championship. Before he could, Zero the Antihero and Carlos Esquivel came out to attack him. Yea!!! Zero and Carlos have something to do other than get killed. Murdoch beat Haiden decisively.
Haiden played his role well. He made Murdoch look like a strong champion.
Main event: Matt Palmer vs. Gregory James in a Last Man Standing Match
These two had already torn down several houses down with their matches. I would like to say I kept copious notes on this match. But there’s something about when these two wrestle, I put down my notebook and become a fan. So I may not get all the details right or remember all the incredible moments. What I can say is that it is perhaps one of the best matches I’ve ever seen live, if not the best. I’ve seen some good ones (most coincidentally had either Matt or Greg in them), but I think this one might take the cake. Every time they did a spot, it looked like it was it. There were chairs. Lots of chairs. There were trash can lids. There was a table that drew a “Holy s***!” chant out of the fans (which was a reminder why I don’t take my daughter). And then when you think there wasn’t any more plunder that could be used, they brought out cinder blocks.
All in all… What an excellent show. Tonight was a night where they showed a lot of maturity. The main event was something that bordered on perfection. Murdoch looks like a very strong champion going into a feud with a very strong challenger in Mace. Chapter 1 of Kirby-Fisher was a nice start.