NFW posted WrestleBowl 2, Night One after a long wait, and after an even longer wait, I review it!
Well, after reading the card, I can understand why people who’ve been following the fed for the last two-three years might be a little peeved. The cornerstone feud of the West, Craig Miles and Eddie Mayfield, and it’s resolved in a bait and switch. No one said I quit, and instead, they beat the crap out of each other for ninety minutes just to reunite. At the very best, it didn’t make sense for them to destroy each other like that just to swerve the entire world and exact revenge on Anne Mystic, right?
Well, I don’t think so. I thought it was BRILLIANT. Sure, this is the kind of ending that I might have panned if the WWE did it, but then again, when the WWE pulls off these kinds of swerves, they’re usually so ham-handed that the whole ordeal leaves you with a sour taste in your mouth. This one though, sure, I’d have to say that initially, I was a bit baffled as to why Miles and Mayfield would pull a ruse such as this, but then I thought about it a little more. What would be the most dick ending you could come up with, the one that would establish both men as super-heels after the match? You play the whole thing as a ruse, that the Professionals never really broke up, and you piss everyone off. I mean, Craig Miles is the Dean of Thermodynamics at the Professional Heel Academy. Do you think he’d really pass up the opportunity to make everyone think he was going face and then pull the ultimate heel move? Hell no. This whole feud is the ultimate case study for how to piss off fans and faces alike.
Think about it though. Was there any real reason why Mayfield should have hated Miles with the white hot intensity that he claimed to when he revealed himself? He wasn’t invited to participate in NFW, and Miles had the PHA, which Mayfield saw as a rip of his own persona. Okay, so I could see the bad blood, but it doesn’t strike me as something to want to kill someone over. The swerve wasn’t immediately obvious, but it still seemed like something weak to build a feud over.
This payoff though, it pretty much sets up a million different angles for people if they are sticking around. It gives Eli Flair a reason to come out of retirement. It gives Sean Stevens a reason to come into NFW, since his main squeeze Poison Ivy was played for a fool. Tom Adler was treated as a pawn in the game. Troy Windham too. Hell, nearly everyone in the West had a stake in the Miles/Mayfield war. There are so many options for 3.0 that come from this match, and really, whose heat was damaged? Before anyone starts making comparisons, this nowhere comes close to warranting the outrage of All-Star Week in Season 1, and even so, Katz has shown that he had a direction from that so-called debacle.
The only thing that I feel detracts from this is that the Sopranos had a similar “WTF?!” ending, a sort of confusing ending that had the potential to polarize everyone. The only thing is, for as long as Katz and JAMMMAAARRRRR~! *shakes fist* have been planning this, there’s no way that they saw the end of that show and said, “Hey, let’s do something similar.” Besides, Katz has probably been writing that match longer than he even cared to realize the Sopranos was coming to an end.
But that’s enough about that. The rest of the show...
First off, hats off to Mike Dove for winning the NFW World Championship with Kin Hiroshi. Like I said before, long overdue, although he has a tough test Night Two against Jason Payne and Mittens T. Cat. Not out of the woods yet. The match was well-written too, two MOTY candidates to close the show. Night Two has a hard act to follow. I also hope that the finish of the match doesn’t mean Felix Red is really “dead.” He’s such a part of NFW right now, it’d be a shame to see him go for now. If I did have one criticism of the match, it’s the announcers. Even in the hands of a capable writer, I’m less than enamored to read Paul Shiro. The Mad Hatter’s okay in the hands of someone familiar with the style that he should be written in, but once again, after you read Hollywood and O’Connor as written by someone like Katz, Jamar or someone else who really gets them, it’s a definite difference. I don’t think they took away from the match all that much, but I guess my distaste writing for them (I actually stopped writing NFW East matches because I hated doing that announce team) does take away from enjoying them as written by someone else.
The Tag Team situation is very interesting. Once again, controversial decision to end the match with the Tag Titles on NPCs (which is how I understand the Original ShowStoppers as being right now), but it does set up a hot situation with the Cameron Cruise Project, the Blue Rogues and the new Gethard team (at least I hope Gethard is handling them). Hopefully, Bobby Nickens’ new team can step up too. I may even make a foray into the tag realm as well.
The Monkey match was what it was, absurd filler. Really, with the combination of Dan’s genius as Professor Tremendous and Katz’s insanity, this should have been expected. Yes, it’s totally unbelievable, not grounded in reality, but who cares. It’s comic relief done by master handlers, and it delivered exactly what it should have, laughs and plenty of them. Also, the Beau/Ryan stuff established what it had to establish from that feud.
One more thing, I’m glad to see that Eli Flair had a proper send-off. With the super competitive nature of eW and RP feds, it’s pretty rare to see impromptu matches on the card like that. Big ups to both Pete and Brunk for delivering an unexpected twist and another match to look forward to on Night Two.
All in all, a great show. Hopefully Night Two packs as much of a punch or more, but then again, you have Yori and Nova. I somehow doubt that Katz is going to shortchange that match.