The Art Of War
This Sunday, October 20th, 2013, PRIME Wrestling offers up its signature event, its version of Wrestlemania, as PRIME Wrestlelution 6: The Art Of War takes place from the Ohio Nets Sports Complex in Parma, Ohio.
As someone who had just discovered PRIME Wrestling – then Pro Wrestling Ohio – right before their big Wrestlelution 4 event – Wrestlelution has become *the* go-to show in independent wrestling. For me, this is the show I look forward to every year outside of WWE and TNA, and for the past three years, PRIME has, simply put – delivered.
My choice for Match Of The Year for the last two years has come from this show. For a company considered to be “independent”, “low budget”, and any of the other words people throw at smaller wrestling companies, PRIME is *loaded* with talent, and if you talk to anyone behind the scenes at the company, they are extremely proud of “doing more with less”.
This year is no exception, at least on paper. Let’s run down the card, using PRIME’s own words describing the storylines behind the action. I’ll offer my predictions as to the outcomes of this weekends’ event.
SIX MAN TAG TEAM MATCH: Bobby Shields & The Sons of Michigan vs. Bryan Castle, Jay Flash, and Aiden Veil
Three veterans who have experienced embarrassing career lows are out for revenge against the three men responsible for humiliating them. Bryan Castle has seemed to have the number of the angry veteran Mattson in recent months. Veil, the young 21-year-old rock band drummer, scored an impressive upset over Bobby Shields this past spring. Meanwhile, who could forget young Jay Flash, who was repeatedly annihilated by Benjamin Boone before coming back a third time and scoring a shocking upset pin over “The Big Bear”… twice! Can these three success stories make magic happen again with The Sons & Shields all out to prove they should never have been left out of the continuing faction warfare atop the PRIME Wrestling cards? Will these grizzled veterans showcase what they’re truly capable of?
My Prediction: Lightning strikes twice and the veterans fall again. There’s too much ego on one side of the ring and it will cost them. Castle, Flash, and Veil take this match.
“Old School Muscle” Nickie Valentino vs. A Mystery Opponent (with Chris Van Vliet)
Chris Van Vliet is a well-known area television & radio personality best known from the WOIO news team. Chris served as special guest ring announcer last year at Wrestlelution 5 and, when Valentino attempted to steal Van Vliet’s chair to use as a weapon during the show’s main event, a scuffle between the two ensued, ending when Valentino sent Van Vliet spilling over top of a ringside table (you can see the footage here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0TPl3JuHew). Valentino blamed that moment, and the lasting mental effect it has had, as to why he has been unable to carry out his assigned Megalomaniac missions. Van Vliet, who was recently backstage visiting as he frequently is during many of our PRIME live events, came out to the ring area to address these accusations. Van Vliet adamantly stated he’s here to have a good time, not fight, but if it’s a fight Valentino wants, Van Vliet would be more than happy to find a suitable opponent to represent him at Wrestlelution 6 on October 20. So Nicki Valentino will battle a mystery opponent hand-chosen by Chris Van Vliet. But whom will Van Vliet select for the job?
My Prediction: Who can’t get behind someone standing up for the little guy? I have no idea who the mystery opponent is, but they will defeat Valentino.
FOUR WAY ELIMINATION MATCH: “Zombie Princess” Jimmy Jacobs vs. Louis Lyndon vs. Façade vs. Gory
How to sum up the turmoil that has engulfed these four athletes? Facade & Lyndon helped dominate tag team wrestling in PRIME as part of the Ninja Elite Squad, staying solidified for three years, until the lure of singles gold created a rift between them that has yet to be repaired. Facade took great pride in defending the PRIME TV Title, however Louis Lyndon took it as a personal slight that Facade gave Louis no chance in defeating him for the prize. This relationship has only become more strained under the watchful eye of the manipulative Jimmy Jacobs, who has targeted both in his latest web of mind games. However, when Jacobs crossed paths with Dead Wrestling Society member Gory along the way, these two macabre creatures did not see eye-to-eye. All four of these athletes have something to prove, and only one will be left standing under this elimination rules format that is a strong candidate to steal the show!
My Prediction: This one definitely has the potential to be a Match Of The Year candidate as long as it doesn’t become too much of a trainwreck. The inter-woven stories these four share is hard to ignore, plus they are all fantastic athletes and wrestlers in their own right. I’m going to go with the “Zombie Princess” Jimmy Jacobs as he takes advantage of a fallen opponent.
BEST OF THREE SERIES TO DETERMINE THE PRIME COMISSIONER
Vic Travagliante replaced Justin LaBar as Commissioner this past February after an elaborate months-long plot put he and Aaron Maguire in positions of power, manipulating the rest of management, and carrying out their selfish agenda at the expense of everyone. Justin LaBar carried out some revenge when he, much like Vic had done to him months earlier, found Vic’s laptop and used its contents to get some of his demands met. Either LaBar exposes Vic’s selfish plot to the rest of upper management, or LaBar’s “suggestions” for Wrestlelution 6 matches become approved. As a result, ALL of the power is at stake in this Best of Three series. Will PRIME remain in Megalomaniac hands? If so, what is its future? Can the fate of the company be restored to those who truly helped build it?
Sensing the vital nature of this issue, PRIME Upper Management has voted by a margin of 4-1 (the one hold-out of course being Megalomaniac Aaron Maguire) to appoint a special referee to oversee each match in the Best of Three series. That referee is 22-year WWE veteran Jimmy Korderas. Jimmy entered WWE in 1987 and remained one of their most trusted officials until his departure in 2009, even refereeing the main event of a WrestleMania between The Undertaker and Edge! Now, Jimmy is coming to Wrestlelution 6 with the specific goal of making sure things stay on the up-and-up! PRIME management wants a decisive and definitive conclusion, and will risk NO chance or human error when it comes to the power and influence involved in this rivalry.
Match 1: Ricky Shane Page vs. “The Bev” Bobby Beverly
“The Bev” has become arguably the most improved member of the PRIME roster in recent months, however it’s easy to overlook this fact based on the chaos and turmoil that has surrounded the organization all year. As a result, Beverly has made it a point to “step up” and challenge the best – teaming with Johnny Gargano to defeat the Dead Wrestling Society and pursuing TV Champion Matthew Justice being just two of “The Bev’s” recent goals. However, after a cheap shot by the most intimidating Megalomaniac – the near 300-lb unstable Rickey Shane Page, Beverly found his next target. These two physical competitors will battle one-on-one for the very first time in PRIME as part of major stakes on the line. Who can set the tone for their team and help their side attain the ultimate possession… control over the entire company.
My Prediction: I’m going to give the match to Ricky Shane Page, as it serves the purposes of setting up getting to the third fall of the stipulation. RSP is a brutal and talented wrestler in his own right, but the bad guy needs to win the first match to put the good guys in peril.
Match 2: PRIME Television Championship: “M-Dogg” Matt Cross vs. Matthew Justice (with Marti Belle)
Last February at our “Pressure Rising” iPPV, it appeared “One Man Militia” Matthew Justice’s return was exactly what the PRIME Foundation needed to fend off the growing Megalomaniacs. That is, until, Justice swerved us all, revealing his true allegiance by breaking a laptop computer over the back of Matt Cross and giving full control of PRIME to the enemy. Justice followed that up by capturing the PRIME Television Title & receiving a special “signing bonus” in the form of Marti Belle. Meanwhile, Matt Cross disappeared from the PRIME landscape for several weeks. Cross couldn’t bear to watch something he had such a major hand in creating – as the company’s first ever champion AND first-ever two-time champion, be destroyed by ego, politics, and corporate greed. Cross returned with a vengeance early this summer, and immediately targeted Justice, only to be stonewalled by Justice & Vic, who denied every one of M-Dogg’s requests. With the balance of power in limbo, Cross gets what could be his only shot to redeem the incident that led to PRIME Wrestling spiraling out of control this past February. Where does the fate of the TV Title lie and can Matthew Justice remain the trump card in the Megalomaniacs’ plot for undying power?
My Prediction: Winner, and NEW PRIME Television Champion: “M-Dogg” Matt Cross
Cross wins this match because: a) the good guy needs to even the score in the series, b) he’s the best independent wrestler on the planet, c) he has a freaking EPIC beard, d) he’s my favorite wrestler. Justice is truly no slouch, but with all due respect, he’s no Matt Cross. And c’mon, Cross’ beard is SO epic it has its own Twitter account. Really.
So now we’re tied up at one match each. This brings Jimmy Korderas up from ringside where he’s been the special enforcer into the ring where he will now officiate the final match in the series.
Match 3: PRIME Tag Team Championship Match: “The Handicapped Heroes” Gregory Iron & Zach Gowen vs. “B.O.M.B.” (Jeremy Madrox & Marion Fontaine) (c)
When The Megalomaniacs took power, the PRIME Tag Titles were among their first goals, and they had a foolproof plan in place – divide and conquer. After accusing Zach of “excessive brutality” in a match with Fontaine, Commissioner Vic ejected the “One Legged Wonder” from the building, leaving his “Handicapped Hero” partner Iron all alone to fend off both Fontaine & Madrox in a tag team title defense. While Iron demonstrated the heart and courage to persevere, the numbers were insurmountable and we had new tag team champions – without the prior tag team champions having ever being defeated together. Iron & Gowen spent weeks just trying to earn permission back into PRIME buildings, let alone receiving a title shot. The deck was always stacked – Vic was always on the take, and The Handicapped Heroes forced to conform to impossible rules, such as Greg wrestling with one arm tied behind his back. The Heroes have stated all they want is a fair opportunity to show they have what it takes to overcome. Their day has arrived on October 20, can Wrestlelution 6 be the site of their moment of reclamation or will Fontaine & Madrox stay a step ahead?
My Prediction: Aaron Maguire and Vic Travagliante have a plan up their sleeves, and it involves Jimmy Korderas. Sorry, but this match will have nothing to do with the wrestling and everything to do with Trvagliante retaining his Commissionership. Maguire and The Commish will believe they have Korderas in their back pocket, and Korderas may even play along, possibly even favoring the Masters of the Mustachio. But when it really comes down to brass tacks, Korderas will show he was always on PRIME’s side, and Gowen and Iron will become the new Tag Team Champions, and Justin LaBar will return as Commissioner of PRIME Wrestling. The only question is… will Travagliante continue to push for revenge?
“The Whole Shebang” Johnny Gargano vs. “The Intrepid Traveller” Paul London
Several weeks ago, “The Whole Shebang” was handed a mysterious note after a match. Later, we found out the contents – Commissioner Vic Travagliante, in an effort to rid Gargano from the PRIME Championship scene once and for all had signed a match for Wrestlelution 6 with the stipulation that if Gargano lost, he could NEVER again challenge for the title he is so synonymous with. Furthermore, his opponent… former World Tag Team Champion Paul London! London has appeared in virtually every wrestling organization and has dazzled fans across the world with his breathtaking athleticism, and propensity to take any risk necessary to win. Few men can match either Johnny Gargano or Paul London in-ring… but without question, they are both a formidable match for one another. Some may call it a dream match, but Gargano must win to keep his dream alive. Paul London, however, no doubt wants to make an impact by defeating arguably the greatest PRIME Champion ever. Who will survive what is sure to be among the most unforgettable battles in the storied history of Wrestlelution?
My Prediction: These two gentlemen are two of the elite performers in this business, hands down, and will put on a truly amazing match. Johnny Gargano has been in my MOTY contenders in each of the last two years. For me, Gargano is just that little bit better, and in an incredible match will claim both victory and his right to challenge for the PRIME Championship once again.
NO DISQUALIFICATION PRIME CHAMPIONHIP MATCH: “The Man Beast” Rhino vs. “The Embodiment Of Evil” Krimson (c)
Last year at Wrestlelution 5, Rhino destroyed the wrestling ring and shattered Jason Bane’s Wrestlelution win streak, instantly making headlines and putting himself in line for a shot at the PRIME Championship, then held by Johnny Gargano. However, Krimson & his Dead Wrestling Society took none too kindly to the Extreme Legend yet PRIME newcomer’s title aspirations, so both Gargano & Rhino became targets. Once Krimson conquered Gargano under controversial means, Rhino was ready to extract revenge, but Commissioner Vic T had kept Rhino from returning in the hopes of having the PRIME Title to control himself. However, with the balance of power now more level, the door was open for Rhino to return and claim what was his… a rightful opportunity to get revenge on Krimson and become PRIME Champion… and it will be both men’s specialty… No Disqualification. Both Krimson and Rhino are infamous for a career filled with broken tables, violence and brutality. What will they do to one another with no rules and the title at stake October 20?
My Prediction: This will be a brutal, brutal, brutal, brutal, brutal match. Did I say it would be brutal? This match is right in both guys’ wheelhouses. They are going to beat the ever-loving hell out of each other and it’s going to be simply glorious. I am picking Krimson to retain, perhaps with assistance from the Dead Wrestling Society, but it sets up Gargano vs. Krimson down the road.
If you can’t attend PRIME Wrestlelution 6: The Art of War live and in person, there is an iPPV stream available from Go Fight Live TV. Purchase is available at primewrestling.com.
Make sure you tune into next weeks’ episode of the A1-Wrestling Podcast to see if I was right and listen to our run down of the event!