The MWR Wish list for 2014
Brandon Espinosa debuts for 3XW
By Brian Kelley
The former MWR Wrestler of the year Brandon Espinosa could very well be the most active wrestler in the MWR coverage area . Many people made a great case for him being named as the first 2-time MWR Wrestler of the year this year with a great run as champ at PWE and MMWA.
During the MWR years, the two wrestlers that I have covered live the most are Espinosa and Mark Sterling and make no mistake about it that I have seen two versions of Espinosa. One is the guy that comes in and has one of the best matches on the night, but with him being so busy at other promotions just does not find the traction to show what he really has. On the other side of the coin, is why I call him a “Game Changer”. Take a peak at his time at the historic South Broadway Athletic Club. With the promotion in flux after some promotional changes, Espinosa returned and was a the foundation that brought excitement and havoc throughout 2013.
3XW is a former 2-time MWR Promotion of the year ( an award that has been since done away with) but it is hard to believe that Espinosa has yet to make his way to the Des Moines, Iowa promotion.
With the ego of Espinosa a long term contract for Espinosa could spell trouble and excitement in the championship picture at 3XW. How would the 3XW faithful deal with the flamboyant Espinosa? That is something I would love to see.
Dirden is the hot name in the Midwest after touring Japan and coming back to win big matches and Championships on route to being chosen as the 2013 MWR Wrestler of the Year. James was mentioned early on for the award after dethroning Darin Corbin for the St Louis Anarchy Championship and having another year filled with hard hitting matches. James would be the smaller man in this battle, but don’t count him out as he has a track record of battling some of the biggest hard hitting men in wrestling that includes the Necro Butcher, Adam Raw, and Donovan Ruddick.
Could be the defining moment in James career to this point by proving that he was in fact overlooked as one of the best today or will Dirdens raw brutality be the end of James?
Either way I have no doubt that this would be a match that would not forget.
In the end the winner of this match would be the fans.
Many around the country know Michael Elgin as one of the young powerhouses in the sport of pro wrestling. Elgin is a perennial contender for the ROH World Championship and had an impact demolishing Eric Allen at MECW, taking it too the high flyer Billy McNeil at Dynamo Pro Wrestling and recently showing no mercy to JoJo Bravo at St. Louis Anarchy.
So many may laugh at the notion that Ron Powers at the final years of his wonderful wrestling career could hang with the young stallion Elgin in 201. Yet they have not seen Ron Powers in action. Sure he may be in a rare situation of being overpowered by Elgin, but men like Flash Flanagan, Gary Jackson and Ricky Cruz can attest that Powers is meaner than ever.
This match would be a true classic for fans of old school, power on power with two guys that would have no fear of backing down.
One could hope that Elgin vs. Powers happens in 2014.
The 2013 female scene is getting a boost from the likes of Devyn Nichole, who could be the WLW Female Champion this month if she is able to defeat the 6-time WLW Ladies Champion Stacey O’Brien in Rolla, Missouri on the 15th. But if she is unable to wrestle the title from her , then Texas native Grace is a true threat to the dominace of the Irish Catholic School girl.
No female has more of a buzz that the powerful and young Grace, but there has been many to make their way to knock Stacey O’Brien off the mountain, only to find out that that goal can be very difficult to achieve.
Can Grace add her name in the history books with the likes of MsChif, Stacey O’Brien, Josie and Malia Hosaka to become the youngest female wrestler to hold onto the title in 2014.
We don’t know but we would love to see this match.
Wyatt is widely known as the Belt Collector and one of the best wrestlers in the Midwest. Amazingly, Wyatt a native of Kansas City, has yet to challenge for Harley Race’s World League Wrestling Championship. In the first MWR Yearbook we had hoped to see Wyatt challenge former WLW Champion Jason Jones (todays Leland Race ) in a match that never happened.
The son of Harley Race is now on the hunt to return to WLW glory as young star Elvis Aliaga has dethrone him for the title.
One would think that would mean that Wyatt would have an easier road on the less experienced wrestler Aliaga, but we have seen that the current WLW Champion has learned quickly under the watchful eye of the 8-time NWA World Champion Race’s school.
Wyatt, a man that has won more main championships in the MWR coverage area than anyone during the MWR years going after the WLW Championship would be a match that the fans have been clamoring for years.
The Black Hand Warriors
It’s common knowledge that the Hooligans is the Peyton Manning of the tag team division in the MWR Coverage area. Everyone believes that but…..the Black Hand Warriors. The young studs at WLW has been a force to reckon with since winning the WLW Championship and telling anyone that will listen that they are “BETTER THAN YOU”
Michael Magnuson and Dave Delorean are the kings in the WLW locker room , but for them to prove that they are in fact the top tag team in the Midwest then they will have to look across the ring and see the Hooligans looking back at them.
MWR’s money is on the Hooligans winning early, but with the raw talent of Magnuson and Delorean we could see the two sponge off of the battles to maybe take the title as the top tag team in the Midwest.
“Miss Natural” Heather Patera
Mariah Moreno “The Bloodthirsty Vixen”
“Miss Natural” Heather Patera could very well be the most underrated wrestler in the Midwest today. The two-time MWR Female of the Year has been ignored in the PWI TOP 50 Female, even though she is one of the few women that can lay claim to have trained under her dad Ken Patera and Harley Race. Miss Natural is wrestling perfection while winning the WLW title for a sixth time and then battled Shelly Martinez at ICP’s The Gathering of the Juggalos.
Natural has done it all in the Midwest, including starring at SHIMMER and in Chicago’s AAW. Today she is a marked women, if someone wants to lay claim as the best female in the Midwest they will have to go through her.
With that target on her back there is one wo— man that may be on the way to the Midwest to end Naturals reign on top. Both women that has a history with former WWE Star Shelly Martinez, the one and only transgender wrestler Mariah Moreno “The Bloodthirsty Vixen”.
Moreno has battled Mickie Knuckles and lived to talk about it. This match could be as physical and punishing as any match in the history of women’s wrestling in the Midwest.
MWR FUTURE STAR MATCH
Showtime Bradley Charles
The MWR Future Star award is my personal favorite award that we present each year. Presented to the man/women that we not only feel is a talent to make a lasting impact, but also the wrestler that has shown the drive to improve their training and willingly to travel the roads to be the best that they can be.
Each year we have done a great job with our picks and due to the fact that this year we had 2 talented wrestlers going over and beyond, we decided to honor 2 wrestlers for the first time.
Showtime Bradley Charles is the first ever MWR Future Star recipient in 2010, a man that has sought out training around the world and is getting better with each and every match. In 2011, the power of Brian Breaker exploded onto the scene and was picked up shortly after by WWE as a developmental wrestler in Florida. In 2012, Texas native ACH made his way to SLA on route to KC’s Metro Pro Wrestling and many of the other top promotions in the area. Since then he has signed a contract for ROH. This year the 3rd runner-up for the PWI Rookie of the Year, Raphael King was chosen and a man that is coming into his own is another powerhouse, Alexander Rudolph who has worked all the top promotions in the Midwest, but has upped his game wrestling around the country and took part in the WLW Harley Race WLW/WWE/NOAH camp.
Which one of these men would come up on top in 2013? Would it be the charismatic and the breathtaking moves of ACH? How about the perfect combination of power and wrestling of Brian Breaker? Raphael King may be a rookie, but he has been wrestling like a seasoned pro, so don’t tell him that he is the underdog because of his experience. Can Showtime send a message on why he was chosen first and have his hand raised under the lights in this huge match or will Alexander Rudolph not be denied.
Feuds to watch in 2014
Ace Hawkins vs. Andrew Wilder
Ace Hawkins has won the PWI Rookie of the Year and this past years the 2013 MWR Sexiest Wrestler of the Year. Andrew Wilder has won the Jr. Heavyweight title. Though we honestly did not know who Wilder really was last year during the Sexiest Wrestler of the Year voting , we quickly learned after presenting Hawkins with the award at the SBAC as he yet to stop complaining that he was not included in the contest.
Still, one can not deny that Wilder has surprisingly became Hawkins biggest challenge in the Midwest as he has been a thorn in the side of the fan favorite at each and every night the two are in the same building.
With the emotions and anger at an all-time high Wilder took the notice that Hawkins was wanting a no-DQ match for Wilder’s title. Wilder demanded that Hawkins put his “Sexiest Wrestler” award on the line against his belt.
That exciting match is set for FEB 8th and with title vs. Award on the line everyone here at Missouri Wrestling Revival is hoping that the outcome will end the yearlong hateful e-mails and rude comments from Wilder on the Sexiest Wrestler of the Year award.
SLA originals vs. the rest ??
The shocking events at SLA has seen Gerald James teaming with former rival Jeremy Wyatt to stop young fan favorites Mat Fitchett and Davey Vega from becoming the kingpins of the SLA. Then James was at it again as he has brought Jordan Lacey into the fold after he showed his true colors by attacking his tag team partner Alexander Rudolph in the last moments at the Anarchy show.
What is going on and why as it seems as if the SLA Gerald James, Jeremy Wyatt, Jordan Lacey, Dorian Victor, and Greg Jovi has the SLA at their mercy?
Ricky Cruz vs. SICW management
We have covered Cruz’s impact on the Midwest for the past couple of years at Missouri Wrestling Revival as he has touched the hearts of fans throughout the coverage area. His title reign at SICW was exciting, then he backed it up with a huge win against former NWA World Champion Adam Pearce at Dynamo that brought us to our feet, while his quick rise to challenge arch rival Jeremy Wyatt for the 3XW Championship surprised no one.
What has surprised us though was the comments and attitude of Ricky Cruz on the latest SICW Wrestling Explosion Show. Is Cruz losing it?
Editor’s note: This was wrote before the SICW show on January 18, that saw Ricky Cruz show his true colors by superkicking Ron Powers as he was the ref in Powers and Flash Flanagan’s grudge match at the standing room only at East Carondelet, Illinois.