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Posts Tagged ‘Trevor Rhodes’

“World League Wrestling original Matt Murphy remembers 10 years of WLW”

Posted by flairwhoooooo on September 23, 2009

{Missouri Wrestling Revival would like to thank World League Wrestling original Matt Murphy for taking the time to reminisce on the early days of WLW to honor their 10 years of greatness. MWR is proud to announce that Matt Murphy will have his own feature article on the site every Monday starting next week. }

With World League Wrestling’s 10th anniversary event just a couple weeks away, I’m sure I’m not the only old-timer whose mind keeps wandering back to the beginning a decade ago.

In July 1999, the Harley Race Wrestling Academy began holding tryouts and classes at Lewis Boxing Gym. It was a small space crammed in along a line of old brick buildings in a bad neighborhood in Springfield, Mo. There was no air conditioning and it reeked of weed, the severity dependent upon which Lewis brother was in the office. The boxing ring was manufactured in the depths of hell and sent to Springfield to punish me for my future transgressions.

There were six of us then: I was the first full-time student; Trevor Rhodes (Murdoch) came a week later along with his brother, independent veteran Johnny D; and the trainers were Derek Stone, Griz, and referee Skippy Johnson. We lived together in a small two-bedroom house and trained between six and eight hours every day.

Meanwhile, Harley and Dave Marquez built World League Wrestling from the ashes of World Legion Wrestling, a promotion I watched on syndicated television that had featured Sid Vicious, Big Sky (Tyler Mane, who played Sabertooth in X-Men, Michael Myers in the new Halloween, and the oil driller who beat up the lead character and then caught fire in Joe Dirt), “Atomic Dogg” Steve Sharp, Luminous Warrior, and the champ, “Sheik” Derek Stone.

After Marquez and the trainers traveled to Lake of the Ozarks to meet with Harley, Derek announced that the school was moving to Eldon. “Where?” I asked, still half-asleep on the couch.

Eldon, for those who’ve never been there, is not much different from every other small town in Missouri: a little backward at times, a little boring at times, but really not a bad place to live. Its population is between 4,000 and 5,000 and rent is cheap enough.

We were local celebrities when we first moved to Eldon, making personal appearances and doing radio and newspaper interviews regularly. And we were all with Harley Race, so if a half-dozen gorillas walking into a restaurant didn’t get their attention then Harley’s presence did.

I’ll never forget the first World League Wrestling event, held during a middle-school assembly Sept. 24, 1999 in Caledonia, Mo. Griz and I squared off in the main event and, due to ring announcer Steve Murphy’s claim that I was a “19-year-old rookie sensation making his professional wrestling debut” (I was 20 and I’d had three matches for East Coast promotions prior to training with Harley, so it was just a small fib), the crowd loved me. The three-match afternoon event was held during school hours with hopes that the kids would go home and beg their parents to bring them back for the full evening show. It was a flop: we had a crowd of about 60 that night.

We had some solid guys back then. Derek Stone was one of the best workers who never had a contract with a national promotion. Griz and “Tiger” Treach Phillips, Jr. were two solid veterans and great assets to their young opponents like me and Trevor. We really didn’t have a weak link on the card. We had other veterans like Johnny Jett, the Drill Instructor, Nasty Bill, Blade Boudreaux, Lance Jade (that’s not a typo, and Jade also had a contract with WWE for a year or two), Malia Hosaka, Brandy Alexander, T.S. Aggressor, Mr. Destiny, Johnny D, and Luminous Warrior.

I always wanted to do two things with my life: become a professional wrestler and make a positive impact on others. Within seven months of our first show, we were wrestling every weekend, usually doing two or three fundraising events. I was living my dream as a professional wrestler and I was part of a group that helped countless non-profit organizations raise funds to make the world a better place. Maybe I shouldn’t have asked for more, but I did.

Like every wrestler, I dreamed of becoming a WWE Superstar. I didn’t make it because I made stupid choices and didn’t earn it. I spent too much time dreaming and not enough time working. But when Trevor Murdoch, who I grew up in the business beside, called me to tell me he signed with WWE, I felt the same inexplainable feeling of pride that I imagined when I used to sit around dreaming about getting a contract with WWE myself. When his first vignette aired on Monday Night Raw, I was thrilled. I sat on the edge of my seat during his debut match. While my dream, as I envisioned it, never came to fruition, I got to go along for the ride while one of the best friends I’ve ever known lived out our dream. That was all the satisfaction I needed.

Times have certainly changed in the past 10 years. WLW talent, other promotions, and crowds have come and gone. Trevor and I were two boys in a locker room full of men, both living our dreams. Now, we’re two old-timers, sitting on the porch talking marriage and fatherhood and barbecue grills. Still, the olden days seem to find their way into most of our conversations.

In the earlier years, there seemed to be more children in the crowd. Many of the kids who were my biggest fans a decade ago have become adults. Some of them still remember me and others seem to have forgotten me. Some still smile when they see me and others seem to resent me. I’d guess it’s because I was somebody they saw as larger-than-life—as a star—when they were kids and now they feel duped when they see me grocery-shopping with my family.

The last time we performed at the Eldon High School gymnasium was one of our greatest events. It was in late-April 2000, with WCW stars Meng and Disco Inferno as the special guests. Disco Inferno pinned me that night in a singles match and then my team beat his in an eight-man tag match later that night. In the main event, Meng lost the WLW Heavyweight Championship to Trevor (with an assist from me). It was our first great event and still one of the best WLW events ever. It’s appropriate that WLW will celebrate its 10th anniversary by returning to the gym. I wish I had the desire, if not physical ability, to get back into the ring one last time for the anniversary event, but I’m proud the worker I became and I wouldn’t dream of getting into the ring at a level below that.

Since my in-ring career ended, I’ve worked with WLW off-and-on in various roles. While I’ve had my ups and downs with WLW, they will always be family.

Congratulations, World League Wrestling, on ten years of bringing exciting, family-friendly entertainment to Small Town, Missouri for good causes. Thank you for giving dreamers a place to learn and practice their chosen trade as they pursue stardom.

Matt Murphy

—————————————————————————————————————–

You will not want to miss the opportunity to support 10 years anniversary on October 3rd. Along with the current Superstars of WLW, fans will be able to meet former greats Bret “The Hitman” Hart, Akio Saito, Bob Geigel, Betty Nicoli, Bill Kersten, Mike George, Roger Kirby and of course the greatest of them all Harley Race.

Show at
ELDON HIGH SCHOOL GYM
101 S PINE ST ELDON MO 65026

Ticket Outlets
WLW HEADQUARTERS
EAGER BEAVER
ELDON CITY HALL
SWEAT GYM

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Your Trip to Space Mountain- Bobby Lashley and WLW

Posted by Admin on September 11, 2008

Your Trip to Space Mountain

By Brian “Flair” Kelley
flairwhoooooo@yahoo.com

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.

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