NBW Live-WAR Memorial Tournament - Round 1
No Brand Wrestling Presents: The Annual NBW Live William Arthur Reagan Memorial Tournament - Round 1
Live from The Epic II Arena - St. Louis, Mo.
Night One-First Round Matches w/15 Minute Time Limits
First Round Match: “Big Talk” Jake Tockwell vs. SPARK
The first match of the tournament featured Jake Tockwell, a man who had certainly made some waves since his arrival facing off against the energetic high flyer, SPARK. The opening moments of the match saw SPARK utilizing his speed to frustrate the bigger Tockwell, and was highlighted by a beautiful top rope Dragonrana that nearly put Jake down for the three count. Things quickly turned south for the speedster though when ‘Big Talk’ distracted the referee long enough to land a double eye poke, causing the crowd to nearly boo him out of the building.
Laughing them off, Tockwell proceeded to hit the blinded SPARK with an unrelenting barrage of power moves that ended with his signature lariat ‘The Gift of Gab’. With one foot placed directly on the downed SPARK’s chest, Tockwell picked up the win to move onto Round 2 of the tournament.
WINNER: ‘Big Talk’ Jake Tockwell
First Round Match: Al Envy vs. E.Z. Blaze
In what was the most controversial and quickest match of the first round, Envy picked up the win over Blaze after E.Z. was blindsided by Jake Tockwell as the two men crossed paths on the entrance ramp. As Blaze was walking down the ramp towards the ring, Tockwell, who had taken his time exiting the ring after his win, leveled him in the back of the head with The Gift of Gab. With a big grin, Tockwell threw his opponent from Pride’s limp body into the ring to an also smiling Envy, who quickly nailed Blaze with his finisher, The Envious Demise, to secure his advancement to the second round. Tockwell and Envy’s shared laughter at E.Z’s expense quickly faded when they realized that they would be squaring off in the next round and both men kept their distance from the other as they made their way to the back.
WINNER: Al Envy
First Round Match: Xiang vs. Big Rick Strongbern
The crowd’s jeering from the Envy/Blaze match didn’t let down one bit as these two hated men squared off against each other, though they subsided somewhat as Strongbern and Xiang put on a excellent display of wrestling that was fast paced and ultra competitive from get go. Rick’s power nullified Xiang’s speed, and Xiang’s cunning equalized Strongbern’s intensity. Then, at about the twelve minute mark Xiang deftly avoided a Strong Arm Lariat to nail Big Rick with an XD Kick.
But, before Xiang could capitalize both Little Ricky and Bonebreaker Rik ran down the ramp to save their boss only to be cut off from behind by The Great Wall! With Xiang’s focus turned to the three giants battling on the ramp, Big Rick was able to crawl over and roll Xiang up in a school boy. Holding Xiang down with a handful of tights, and both feet on the middle rope Big Rick was able to pick up the victory!
WINNER: Big Rick Strongbern
First Round Match: Johannes Antoious De Castonovo vs. Freddie Rich
This first round match featured the returning JAC squaring off against the jewel of The Rich Family, Freddie Rich and was another back and forth battle. JAC held the advantage early on, and mixed various submissions with some strong striking to were down Rich. After a close near fall, the frustrated JAC uncharacteristically headed for the top rope to land a high risk maneuver, but was thwarted from following through with it when Freddie landed a beautiful dropkick that sent JAC crashing to the outside!
Beating the ref’s ten count, a hobbled JAC made it back into the ring in time to be planted by Freddie’s Nightmare! Things looked to be over, but somehow JAC kicked out and Freddie was left stunned by his opponent’s resilience. But, JAC couldn’t mount any sort of comeback from there and at around the ten minute mark Freddie connected again with his deadly kick to get the win.
WINNER: Freddie Rich
First Round Match: Ohiyama vs. Zed (w/Rune)
With the crowd solidly behind him, the wrestler formerly known as Sweet Daddy K looked absolutely dominant in his first round match against Zed as he opened up the match with his deadly running knee The Wavebreaker that sent Zed flying to the outside. Zed tried to milk the ten seconds he was given on the outside to recover and stood behind the massive Rune for further protection. Getting back into the ring at the last possible second, Zed tried to mount some offense but the intense Ohiyama was too much and after being tossed around for a good five minutes he was put down to the mat by Mauna Kea Driver!
Hoping to give his boss a helping hand, Rune lumbered up to the ring apron but Ohiyama gave the monster a Wavebreaker of his own. With Rune taken care of, Ohiyama quickly leaped up top to deliver the Volcanic Eruption on the still downed Zed, punching his ticket to the second round in dominant fashion.
First Round Match: Mitchell Quinlan vs. Matt Haddon
The crowd was warm to both the still relatively new Quinlan, and the NBW veteran Haddon as they made their entrances to the ring. It was another highly competitive matchup that showcased both Quinlan’s expert striking ability and Haddon’s veteran experience. After going back and forth for about a solid ten minutes, Haddon went for the Everest German Suplex, but Quinlan managed to escape and lock in Kingdom Come.
Haddon fought desperately to break free, but the pain was too much and with his hand only inches away from the rope he was forced to submit.
WINNER: Mitchell Quinlan
First Round Match: Spike Saunders vs. Taylor Smith (w/HMMS)
The next matchup featured two men who had a confrontation during the Blitzkrieg title match at Pride when the legend Saunders effectively stopped Smith and the rest of HMMS from interfering in that match. Smith oozed confidence as he made his way down to the ring with Benny Reyes and Peter Pham in tow. Spike received a huge ovation from the crowd and looked unaffected by the presence of Reyes and Pham in Smith’s corner.
Once the bell sounded, Smith’s overconfidence quickly evaporated when he realized that his two cohorts were visibly wary of helping him, not wanting to anger the giant who had thumped them at Pride. As a result, Smith was seemingly on his own for this match and though he did hold his own for a good chunk of the match, even managing to knock the big man off his feet a few times, Spike’s power was too much for Taylor to handle. The match ended right around 8 minute mark when Saunders landed his finisher “Spiked!” smack dab in the middle of the ring, picking up the win. Reyes and Pham patiently waited for Spike to leave the ring before scooping up their friend and helping him to the back.
WINNER: Spike Saunders
First Round Match: Max Hopper vs. Erick Davies
The final first round matchup of the night featured two of NBW’s most unique personalities as the NBW’s resident Paranormal Investigator, Max Hopper squared off against it’s most unhinged grappler in ‘Deadly’ Erick Davies. The crowd was on it’s feet for the entirety of the match as Max’s exciting offense clashed against Davies animalistic aggression to deliver a entertaining match from bell to bell.
With only minutes left in the match, Davies had Hopper pinned in the corner and attempted to bite Max in the face when in the last possible moment the hall of famer avoided the chomp to smash Davies head first into the turnbuckle. With Davies dazed, Hopper leaped to the top rope to hit the Hopper-Can-Rana to pick up the win and officially end the first round of the tournament.
WINNER: Max Hopper
With the first round in the books, and only eight men remaining, it was anyone’s guess who would come out on top! Stay tuned to see the results of who would prevail on the final day, and be crowned the 2017 NBW King of WAR!
CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE UPDATED BRACKET!