Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Arena Report: NEW West Memphis, AR 3.15.09 - "Graduation Match"

----Greg King Jr knew going into his “Graduation Match” that he had a lot to accomplish. He would be the third official graduate of the “Nightmare” Ken Wayne School of Professional Wrestling.” He would wrestle a 60 minute match. Also in the back of this mind, he had to be wondering if he could live up to the RRO “Match of The Year 2008” – Eric Wayne vs Kid Nikels. I had the chance to talk to King briefly as I got out of my car and he headed into the building. He shook my hand and thanked me for coming out. And I had to ask and he confirmed, “Yeah, I am a little bit nervous.” For a guy to being nervous, he did not show a bit from the time he stepped out of the curtain. And yes he did accomplish all of his goals – 3rd graduate of the school, wrestled 60 minutes and the top candidate for “Match of the Year 2009.”

----The show opened with a video package on Greg King. It was his day and it was all about him. The video footage had a music video at the front and one at the end. In the middle it had various people talking about King and King talking. It was well put together and got him over for people that may have never seen him.

----Greg King Jr vs Eric Wayne vs Kid Nikels – 60 Minute Draw. It was never announced who his opponent was and story was that King did not know who it was. King standing in the ring they announced Eric Wayne as his opponent. A real fast pace to start out hold for hold. Turnbuckle to turnbuckle early. 12 minutes in they finally hit the ropes. 1st dropkick from King was around the 15 minute mark and the crowd popped big. Wayne did a combo of a Dragon sleeper into a cross face that looked nasty. Some stiff sick kicks to King’s back from Wayne. About the 23 minute mark King went down and I thought he was KO’ed. Wayne ended up outside the ring with King doing the Tiger Mask rope swing [all Rey Misterio missing the 619] in & out of the ring into a flying press over the top rope. King got his knee worked after Wayne looked to just drop him over the top turnbuckle to the stairs. He made quick comeback with a series of headbutts – crowd popped here – and then a pretty frog splash. At the 30 minute mark, Kid Nikels’ music started to play and Kid entered thru the curtain. He stepped up to the apron and tagged Wayne and Wayne went back to the dressing room.

----Nikels was “on” here and took control. Nikels was very vocal giving King hell about having to wrestle two people. At about the 45 minute mark, Nikels was dumped outside the ring. King did the Tiger Mask move again and then King went to the top turnbuckle and dove with a flying press hitting Nikels. Back in the ring King hit a flying back elbow from the turnbuckle. They both ended up on the top turnbuckle. Kid grabbed King and jumped to about the middle of the ring with a flying neckbreaker. 50 minutes in Kid worked on King with an abdominal stretch. Kid with a dropkick. Kid has some great punches here. “Nikels Pickle II” with Kid actually breaking it. Last 55 minutes were hot with near falls with victory rolls, frog splash, monkey flips and stinger splash from King at full steam. Bell rang at the 60 minute mark and the crowd gave him a standing ovation. [****1/4]

----Show ended with Brian Thompson calling Ken Wayne in the ring talking about the match. King came out and was given a plaque for passing the 60 minute match test and graduating from the school. Eric Wayne and Kid Nikels also came out and said a few words along with Matt Justyce, who was in the crowd during the bout.

----60 to 70 in the building…The video package had some feedback and I didn’t think it was as good as last year’s piece. Still real good though…Ironic thing about it was it featured a clip of King vs “Asylum”. So, only about three of you guys reading this got that one, but it was for you. LOL…Jamie Jay and Buzzkill were in the crowd…When Kid’s music played I thought it was a screw up. The storyline was that it was a “test”, so anything could happen…Chuck Poe was the ref and did a good job. The rules had them only being able to have two rope breaks a piece. The only thing was that Poe ruled a rope break on King that I did not agree with as he was just under the ropes from Nikels. But, other than that – he did a real good job…Trivia: Who was the ref of last year’s “Match of the Year”?? It was Greg King Jr…Last year’s match and this match was being compared by everyone. I think I may have enjoyed last year’s a bit more, but gave both the same rating. This year’s featured a faster last 10 minutes and some flying stuff. It was also a bit of “cheat” to have Kid/Wayne working only 30 minutes, because you had only one participate going 60 minutes.