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NWL: Explosion, Expansion and Opportunity at the Scottish Right Temple

Posted by flairwhoooooo on June 26, 2017

Just like any business in it’s early stages NWL has had it’s share of ups and downs. Highs and lows and memorable and forgettable moments. Saturday night was undoubtedly one of those high/memorable moments. For starters because of the much anticipated confrontation between NWL_STL general manager Matt Jackson and owner and president Major Baisden. Secondly, because unexpected news about the growth and expansion of the NWL to cities outside Kansas City and the recently controversial St.Louis.

For those not familiar with the narrative allow your boy @_The_Knight_Owl to bring you up to speed. Roughly 6 months ago NWL began running shows at the Casa Loma Ballroom in what some would call a seedy part of St.Louis. Initially and especially at the first show the place was pretty well close to full and the excitement leading to the event was about as good and high as you could ask for.Unfortunately, that proved to be NWL_STL‘s short lived high point. Though the wrestling was on par or in some cases better then any other promotion in the area, something seemed to be missing but no one, not even yours truly who covers wrestling in this area could quite put there finger on it.

Folks would speculate that it was location, others would say it was the fact that the shows where on Thursday/Sunday vs the traditional Saturday night as must indie shows tend to run these days. Some would even say that the STL fans would never support something that originated in Kansas City. Those are just a few of the speculations that could be heard weekly on our podcast or just hanging outside waiting to get into a local wrestling show weather in KC or in STL. Well, about two weeks ago the speculation came to an end. Major Baisden held a press conference via Facebook live just days after making the surprise announcement again via FB (to the ir of many) that HE would never run a show in NWL_STL again! I’ll admit this was shocking but not surprising to those of us who have been following along closely.

In that press conference he confirmed most if not all the speculation and he even pulled back the curtain a bit by admitting that they were behind the 8-ball from the very start due to lack of an ideal venue and also due to what he referred to as a “toxic business environment in St.Louis” also adding that this wasn’t the first time that one of his business had failed/struggled in STL. During the press conference he was open, honest and answered all questions as you would expect a business owner that is as out in front as Major is. One notable viewer that day was the aforementioned GM of NWL_STL Matt Jackson, who seemed to be angry and disappointed at the fact that his guys found out about NWL_STL closing just like the fans via a FB post early Friday morning just over two weeks before. Jackson commented sporadically bringing Baisden’s commitment in making the STL branch of NWL work into question and highlighting the disrespectful way the announcement was made to a group of guys who make a living working for him in STL. Mentioning several times the lack of resources and overall support from the NWL front office who he said “spent twice as much time in Kansas City then St.Louis.”

 

So now the ground work had been set for this confrontation between Jackson and Baisden at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, MO this past Saturday night. As the show kicked off you knew two things for sure. One, you were gonna see incredible wrestling (Dak Draper, Thor Theriot, Lakota Red Cloud, Marty Belle, Blaine Meeks, Jet Royal, Ken Dharma, Hans Ruger, Belvedere, Niles Plonk, Amber Lynn and more were in action) and the confrontation between Jackson and Baisden was gonna be explosive.

NWL KC has flourish with men like Dak Draper leading the way. Though he is not liked very much one can not discredit his winning ways night after night. Photo credit ; René “The Knight Owl” Martinez

Redwing lost a huge match that will now have him be a butler to Niles Plonke for a whole month. Photo credit ; René “The Knight Owl” Martinez

What we didn’t know was the news Major would break to the fans just moments before the confrontation happened.

Photo credit ; René “The Knight Owl” Martinez

Despite the dark clouds looming after the fall of NWL_STL, the breaking news cleared those dark clouds away at least for a moment as Major Baisden announced an unprecedented expansion. The NWL will be running shows outside it’s home cities of Kansas City and St.Louis for the first time ever starting in August! Those city’s include Omaha,NE, Springfield,MO, Topeka,KS and many more (full list pictured above). This news made the crowded erupt as the faithful in Kansas City realized these are all within driving distance to them and they likely have friends and relatives in those areas. As if that weren’t enough the roof almost come off the place when Major announced that #FightClub members would be able to attend these shows at no additional cost! This might have been the biggest pop of the night. Which was followed by about 2mins of “THANK YOU MAJOR” chants. Even from an outsiders perspective there is no doubt that outside the WWE Network itself, the NWL #FightClub pass is the best deal in all professional wrestling today. Visit FightKC.com for more info on that.

Photo credit ; René “The Knight Owl” Martinez

Finally we come to the much anticipated confrontation between the GM of STL and the owner of the company. As one would expect right at the peek of the fan fair about the expansion, Matt Jackson’s music hits and he walks out looking quite casual I might add accompanied buy a few NWL_STL regulars, the Blood Brothers and Dez Wellston only something was different about all of them. They’re demeanor had changed but most noticeably they’re appearance. Those who have followed wrestling in the Midwest before the rise of NWL would know them as Fitchette & Vega aka “The Beasties” and Mike Outlaw. They all seemed a little on edge and ready for a fight including Jackson. But surprisingly unlike most wrestling meetings/conferences this one did not end in fights flying and equipment being damaged. No, this meeting, after about 10mins of verbal daggers being thrown in both directions to an eventual draw, ended in a high stakes agreement between Jackson and Baisden. Instead of buying out Jackson’s contract of close to $50,000, Major turned a potential lability into yet another investment opportunity.

This is the opportunity that was given to Jackson to accept or decline: 6 shows, 6 shows under the direct direction of Jackson and his STL crew. He would be allowed to do it his way with no handcuffs or pretentious prepackaged gimmicks. New venue, new voice and a new vision of what NWL_STL should be in a blue collar, support your own kind-of town. Otherwise Jackson and NWL_STL are out of business, this time, for good! Now only time will tell what the future holds. Though the stakes are high and his a** is firmly on the line yet I get a feeling that that’s just the way Matt Jackson likes it because if these next 6 shows are his last with NWL, he can do it his way, the St.Louis way, with great wrestling, rowdy fans and a whole lot of F’n Anarchy! (Anarchy Rises will take place at the Matteson Square Garden in St.Peters, MO on July 15th)

 

NWL STL Champion Maverick and Mike Outlaw (Formally Dez Wellston) went to war at NWL KC this past weekend. The champion Maverick is set to face fan favorite Gary Jay when Matt Jackson’s looks to show what STL can deliver it Anarchy style. – Photo Credit Brian Kelley

Written by:
René “The Knight Owl” Martinez
of the Wrestle Talk Podcast which can be heard Wednesday nights at 7pm CT by visiting http://www.WrestleTalkPodcast.com

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