National Pro Wrestling Day 2017

NPWD-Logo-2017.png

Philadelphia, PA – 2.4.2017

Championship Rundown
Grand Champion: UltraMantis Black
Campeones de Parejas: Sonny Defarge & Cornelius Crummels
Young Lions Cup Champion: Vacant

Commentary is provided by Mike Quackenbush and Scott Holladay.

It is worth noting that when National Pro Wrestling Day 2017 began, the crowd was unaware Season 17 took place and it was assumed that Hallowicked was still Grand Champion and that Moustache Mountain were still Campeones de Parejas.

Team Sea Stars are backstage, getting ready for the Young Lions Cup tournament. Both of them are in the same opening round match, so of course they argue over who is going to win the match.

Young Lions Cup XIII Quarter-Final Elimination Match
Ashley Vox vs. Delmi Exo vs. Space Monkey vs. Merlok

Monkey has 3 bananas with him. Vox and Exo fight for control on the mat. Vox maneuvers Exo into a schoolgirl for two. Exo reverses a whip into a side Russian legsweep for two. Vox cuts her off with a leg lariat. They do a friendly tandem pose, and Merlok jumps in to take them both out with a tandem back suplex. He repeatedly headbutts Vox before splashing Exo in the corner. Vox avoids a corner splash. Merlok powers out of her fish hook, and brushes off her dropkick attempts. He slams Vox, then Exo on top of her! Monkey tries a springboard crossbody but gets caught into a spin-out slam from Merlok. Exo assists Vox with a headscissors on Merlok, but Merlok stops Vox and powerbombs her into Exo! He drops Exo with an Emerald Frosion, eliminating her at 5:54. Monkey enzuigiri’s Merlok from the apron, then gives him a springboard Baba chop. Mokey ends up crawling up Merlok’s shoulders, attempting to elbow him down. Merlok transitions Monkey into a running Samoan Drop for two. Monkey bites Merlok’s fingers to escape an Emerald Frosion. He hops over Merlok and tags in Vox. Despite her best efforts at fighting the big man, Merlok also takes her out with the Emerald Frosion at 8:24. Monkey ducks a clothesline. He spikes Merlok with a huracanrana and pins him at 9:19! Monkey was universally beloved, so him winning was smart, but Merlok had a really impressive showing and came off as the next force to be reckoned with in CHIKARA. A fun match to kick off the show. **½

Young Lions Cup XIII Quarter-Final Elimination Match
Razerhawk {X2K} vs. Everett Connors vs. Cajun Crawdad vs. Cornelius Crummels

Connors is a trainee of Michael Elgin, and comes to the ring with a Justin Bieber cardboard cutout. The Campeon de Parejas title belt is not around Crummels’ waist. Crawdad and Crummels attack Connors and Razerhawk. Razerhawk and Connors reverse their whips and take them to the floor with Frankensteiners. Connors brings the Bieber standee into the ring. Connors becomes offended when Razerhawk claims he is a Backstreet Boy and nails Razerhawk with a forearm strike! Crummels and Crawdad are happy to let Connors stomp on Razerhawk, and nail him with the Bieber standee in the corner twice. He misses the third time. Razerhawk splashes Bieber in the corner when Connors move out of the way, then gives Bieber a Falcon Arrow! Connors dropkicks Razerhawk. He then tosses Bieber onto Crawdad and Crummels who catch him. The distraction allows Connors to wipe them out with a suicide dive. Razerhawk poses after faking out a dive. Crummels and Connors trade forearm strikes outside while Razerhawk remains posed. Crawdad decides not to mess with Razerhawk for the time being and instead tope con hilo onto Connors and Crummels. Razerhawk somersault sentons off the top onto all three opponents. In the ring, Razerhawk back handspring hip attacks Crummels in the chest for two. Crummels throws Razerhawk throat first into the middle rope before sending him into the corner chest first and nailing a dropkick to the back. He hits a second after attacking Connors in the corner. He goes after Connors again but is cut off with a dropkick from Crawdad. Connors superkicks Crawdad and gets two with a Yoshi Tonic. Razerhawk superkicks Connors and sunset flips him for two. Connors nails a running knee to the face for two. Crummels drops Connors with a neckbreaker. He monkey flips Crawdad. He tries one on Connors, but Connors resists and forearm strikes him to the apron. Connors uses the ropes to jam Crummels into the apron with a piledriver. Crawdad prawn holds Connors for the elimination at 7:33. Razerhawk spikes Crawdad with a high speed backslide (called the Razer’s Edge) for the elimination at 7:55. Crummels sneaks in, hops off of Crawdad’s back and spikes Razerhawk with a Curb Stomp for the elimination and the win at 8:10. Connors was the stand out in this match, showing a lot of personality in addition to solid wrestling. You could also see a lot of improvement from Crawdad and Crummels. The quick eliminations always feel a little ham-fisted, but even still I think all four competitors looked plenty strong. **½

Travis Huckabee says we can see him front row with his brother at King of Trios 2007. That was the day he got a new dream; to be in the CHIKARA ring. A lot of people told him it was a dream he’d never get a chance to live, but he won a scholarship challenge and the chance to be in that ring. He’s at the Wrestle Factory 6 out of the 7 days in a week. He’s been to three Young Lions Cup tournaments as a fan. The image of Vin Gerard dragging Fire Ant across the floor during the finals of the Young Lions Cup VI tournament is an image that will be stuck in his head forever. This year will be his best Young Lions Cup tournament ever, because he will win, and someone will have to drag him out of the ring to stop him from making that dream come true.

Young Lions Cup XIII Quarter-Final Elimination Match
Travis Huckabee vs. Travis Gordon vs. Fly Warrior vs. Sonny Defarge

Defarge also is not wearing his Campeon de Parejas title. Gordon is a high-flier from the New England area. Fly Warrior replaces the originally scheduled Emperador Azteca. Right at tbell Defarge tosses Huckabee outside. Gordon and Warrior double dropkick Defarge outside. Gordon agrees to a tandem dive, but instead nails Warrior with a tiger feint kick! He hits a tope rope Asai moonsault, nailing one of the overhead lights in the process, but it’s a cool visual because confetti flies out. In the ring, Warrior and Gordon reach a stalemate in their fast-paced exchange. Defarge blind tags Warrior out. He puts Gordon in a side headlock, which Gordon converts into a headscissors. Defarge escapes and rocks Gordon with an uppercut for one. Gordon kips up out of a wristlock, then does many more to show off. Defarge whips Gordon to the ropes, and Gordon converts into a suicide dive onto Huckabee. Defarge rubs his dirty armpit and hands in Warriors’ face and eye holes, choking him on the middle rope in the process. Defarge nails a diving uppercut for two. Warrior overhead chops Defarge from the apron. He comes back in and dropkicks Defarge to the floor. Defarge cuts off a suicide dive with an uppercut. Warrior cuts off Defarge’s dive with another dropkick. He hits a step-up tope con hilo onto Defarge outside. He brings Defarge back in for a two count. Defarge tags in Gordon. Warrior maneuvers him into a superkick, and Gordon responds in kind. Warrior tags Gordon with a discuss forearm in the neck. Gordon springboard superkicks Warrior off the top turnbuckle. Gordon misses a 450 splash. He superkicks Gordon before rolling him up into a Falcon Arrow for the elimination at 8:36. Warrior cracks Defarge with a running boot in the corner. He hands up Defarge in a tree of woe and comes in with a clothesline to the mid-section. Defarge kicks out of the pin attempt. Warrior wants another Falcon Arrow. Defarge counters with a quebradora. He spikes Warrior skull first into the mat with a reverse claw for the elimination at 10:08. Defarge trash talks Huckabee. Huckabee shoves Defarge but then gets rocked with a running uppercut. Huckabee goes up and over in the opposite corner and schoolboys Defarge for two. He stacks up Defarge in a crucifix pin for two. Huckabee headbutts Defarge in the mid-section. He evades an uppercut. Defarge rubs his gross hands into Huckabee to block a sunset flip, drilling Huckabee into the mat with a reverse claw. Huckabee bridges up to stop his pin attempt. Huckabee intercepts an uppercut, swinging Defarge into a butterfly brainbuster. Defarge kicks out of the bridge. He cascades up Defarge into a reverse prawn hold, eliminating Defarge and earning the win at 13:05. I liked the story of this match, with the two high flyers being so focused on one another that Defarge could sneak in his attacks and Huckabee was able to go completely unnoticed until the end. It allowed Huckabee to organically remain fresh until the end when he outwrestled Defarge to punch his ticket into the semi-finals. Fun action and a good story are a recipe for success. ***

Angry at the loss, Defarge nails Huckabee with a running uppercut after the bell. Solo Darling comes into the ring to check on him and give him words of encouragement.

Young Lions Cup XIII Quarter-Final Elimination Match
Sylverhawk {X2K} vs. Steven Mainz vs. Hermit Crab vs. The Whisper

Mainz is a trainee of Buck Hawke. This is The Whisper’s in-ring debut, although he was a fixture of the secret Season 17, and the reason behind Princess KimberLee quitting CHIKARA. Whisper tags in Mainz before he can make any contact with Sylverhawk. Mainz ends an exchange with an enzuigiri and gutbuster on Sylverhawk. Whisper blocks a kick from Mainz and takes him over with a snap suplex. He puts Mainz in a headscissors. Sylverhawk puts one on Whisper. Crab turns all three men over in a Boston Crab. Sylverhawk grabs the bottom rope, then Whisper, then Mainz. Crab digs his pincers into Sylverhawk’s clavicle. He grabs Sylverhawk’s mask to win a waistlock exchange. Sylverhawk mares his way free. He comes off the middle rope, but Crab catches him with a chokeslam. Whisper grabs Crab’s leg to prevent his Naniwa elbow. Crab fights free, then misses the elbow on Sylverhawk. Sylverhawk splashes Crab. Mainz cuts off Sylverhawk’s second splash with a dropkick. Whisper clotheslines Mainz in the corner. Crab whips Whisper to the corner and slow walks across into a dropkick. Mainz enzuigiri’s Crab for the pin at 5:20. Sylverhawk schoolboys Mainz for two. Mainz gives Sylverhawk a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Whisper avoids a corner attack on Mainz. He springs in from the apron with a headscissors. Mainz drops Whisper with a tornado DDT. Sylverhawk counters Mainz suplex with a brainbuster. Sylverhawk hits the SaiRyo Rocket on Mainz to eliminate him at 6:50. Sylverhawk blocks a punch from Whisper. He forearms Whisper in the chin. Whisper is hip tossed outside and Sylverhawk suicide dives after him. In the ring, Sylverhawk comes off the top rope with a clothesline for two. He looks for another SaiRyo Rocket, but Whisper moves out of the way. Whisper drops Sylverhawk with a running blockbuster for the pin at 9:23. Something felt off here. Crab’s elimination came out of nowhere and the action lacked cohesion. The ending portion with Sylverhawk and Whisper was solid, but not enough to bring up the entire match. **

Race Jaxon is busy talking to his handheld mirror when he notices the camera. He can’t blame us for staring at him. He thinks he has something to help Missile Assault Man calm down; a playlist of the smoothest smooth jazz. He’s heard getting hit by Missile is like getting hit with a mat truck. Getting hit by Race is like a Lamborghini. Missile wears a helmet. The only helmet Race has ever worn was a cucumber mask to exfoliate, and that is so Race.

Missile Assault Man vs. Race Jaxon

Jaxon makes it clear that there will be no touching of his face during the match, before slapping Missile on the face and hitting the floor. Missile follows Jaxon out and cracks him with an uppercut. Jaxon tries playing cat and mouse but ends up being hit with a dropkick. He rakes Missile’s eyes. He pummels Missile’s back and digs his forearm into his eyes. Missile wins a strike battle when Jaxon covers up his face and succumbs to a backbreaker because of it. He uppercuts Jaxon in the shoulder blades while yelling his name. He stretches out Jaxon’s arms before attempting the Missile Launcher. Jaxon slips out and dropkicks Missile in the back. He puts on a front facelock while pummeling the shoulders, looking at himself in the mirror while doing so. Missile tries to escape into a sharpshooter but Jaxon slips outside. He trips Missile before coming back in with a slingshot elbow drop. Jaxon’s basement crossbody gets him a two count. When Missile fights back, Jaxon puts him in a cravate. Missile becomes angry as Jaxon strikes him. Jaxon puts Bryce Remsburg in between them so he can legally strike Missile in the eyes. Missile sends Jaxon to the corner with a Frankensteiner. Two running uppercuts connect. Jaxon evades a third, knees Missile in the face, then hits multiple punches while poised on the second rope. Jaxon misses a middle rope clothesline. Missile brings him down with a back cracker for two. He spells out his name as he stomps on Jaxon. Jaxon whips Missile back first to the corner and goes for the Rude Awakening. Missile gives Jaxon a Gourd Buster to counter. Jaxon slips to the floor to evade a charging uppercut. Missile grabs Jaxon, and Jaxon jams his throat on the top rope. Jaxon misses a high crossbody. Missile strings three running uppercuts together, following up with a Jon Woo dropkick for two. Missile wants a sharpshooter. Jaxon counters with a small package for two. Missile tries the Missile Launcher. Jaxon slips out, rakes Missile’s eyes, then schoolboys him while holding the tights for the pin at 8:34. This was odd. Both guys worked over the neck, back, and shoulders, moreso Jaxon because he was in control, for no real reason. They traded moves until the finish with no substantial momentum shift or story. The finish also looked really contrived with everybody moving into place to make sure it went off “right” (it didn’t). This was tough to watch at times. *½

Fire Ant {C}, Silver Ant {C} & Worker Ant {C} vs. Hallowicked {LOR}, Frightmare {LOR} & Kobald {LOR}

The Legion of Rot sneak in from behind and attack The Colony. Fire Ant and Hallowicked fight into the crowd. Silver Ant and Kobald fight ringside. Frightmare knocks Worker Ant out near them. Kobald sends Silver Ant shoulder first into the ring post. Hallowicked does the same to Fire Ant. Fire Ant chops him in a fans’ seat. In the ring, Frightmare shoulder blocks Worker Ant in the corner. Hallowicked suplexes Fire Ant on the floor. He and Kobald join Frightmare in the ring to beat down Worker Ant. Worker Ant escapes the onslaught when Fire Ant dropkicks Kobald to stop his pin. Fire Ant takes out Frightmare with a flying forearm strike. He lands a high crossbody on Hallowicked. Frightmare sends Fire Ant to the corner with a Frankensteiner. Fire Ant ducks a clothesline and hits a satellite DDT. Kobald and Hallowicked break the pin. Kobald’s leaping elbow drop on Fire Ant gets a two count. Hallowicked tosses Fire Ant into Go 2 Sleepy Hollow from Frightmare. Kobald spears Fire Ant, but Silver Ant punts Kobald to stop his pin. Silver Ant’s flying forearm on Kobald gets his own two count. Hallowicked pulls Silver Ant into the corner. Silver Ant is able to take out Kobald with a tiger feint kick and kick Frightmare in the head from the corner. He prevents a boot from Hallowicked and knocks him down with a rolling forearm. Frightmare misses Kneecolepsy after a dropkick. Silver Ant Angle slams Frightmare for two. The Colony all attack Hallowicked in the corner before hitting the Ants Marching dropkick. Frightmare and Kobald interrupt the count. Silver Ant sends Kobald out with an enzuigiri. Fire and Worker Ant give Frightmare the Ants Marching neckbreaker, leading to a Mad Splash from Silver Ant. Hallowicked picks up Silver Ant. Silver Ant shoves Hallowicked to the corner to block Never Wake Up. Fire Ant forearm strikes Hallowicked on the top turnbuckle. Hallowicked escapes a superplex attempt. He blocks Fire Ant’s tornado DDT and places Fire Ant on the top turnbuckle. Fire Ant dives down, caught in Hallowicked’s Rydeen Bomb. Silver Ant prevents Kobald from going for Demon’s Toilet. He uses the ropes for a double jump dropkick. Hallowicked yakuza kicks Silver Ant. Worker Ant takes down Hallowicked with a rolling clothesline. He calls for the GTS. Frightmare instead blasts him with two yakuza kicks and Kneecolepsy to the back. Frightmare puts him in a half straightjacket choke, stomping the side of his head. Hallowicked and Kobald prevent Silver and Fire Ant from jumping in. Worker Ant passes out at 12:09. This was chaos, and not necessarily the good kind. It was tough to keep up with all the action and camera cuts. Like the match that preceded this, it felt like a lot of disconnected action. This was better because at least Worker Ant (who seemed like he was barely moving at times) was beat down and then took the fall. I’ve seen trios matches between these groups steal shows, but this was just a bit better than average. **¾

Hallowicked drops Silver and Fire Ant with two separate Never Wake Up’s as Frightmare keeps his stranglehold on Worker Ant locked in. Kobald spears an official who tries to break things up. Ophidian, Icarus, and Team Sea Stars chase them off and help carry Worker Ant out. The damage has been done however, and Worker Ant was shortly moved to the inactive roster after this event.

Young Lions Cup XIII Semi-Final Round Match
Space Monkey vs. Cornelius Crummels

Monkey has 2 bananas with him. Crummels forearms Monkey to the corner and whips him into the opposite corner. Monkey lands on his feet out of Crummels’ monkey flip. Crummels does the same when Monkey attempts his own. Crummels sneezes in Monkey’s face and rolls him up for a one count. Some misdirection allows Monkey to take Crummels to the corner with an under the armpits Frankensteiner, then brings him outside with a monkey flip. Monkey rolls back into the ring, only for Crummels to cut him off with a basement dropkick for two. Crummels snaps Monkey’s tail in his suspender before twisting up the tail with his hands and biting it with his teeth. Monkey avoids a back suplex and snaps Crummels with his suspenders. They trade back and front rakes, as well as a banana Monkey grabbed out of his corner. They rake each others eyes as Bryce enjoys eating the banana. Monkey and Crummels shoulder block one another after a back and front rake to Bryce. Crummels stomps on Monkey’s tail, but the banana allows Monkey to withstand the pain and “Hulk” up! He pummels Crummels with the banana and peel. Crummels charges, so Monkey tosses the peel at his feet to make him trip! Monkey lands a middle rope moonsault for two. Crummels ducks a tail whip and drops Monkey with a the Killswitch. Monkey kicks out, so Crummels sets up for the running Curb Stomp. Monkey escapes it and cracks Crummels with a tail whip for the pin at 6:00. The humor in the match didn’t take away from the action, and it isn’t as if anything they did was so sacred that it was marred by the comedy. For these two characters, this was the right match to have. **

Young Lions Cup XIII Semi-Final Round Match
Travis Huckabee vs. The Whisper

Whisper stubbornly holds onto a side headlock. Huckabee has to flip his body to Whisper’s other side to escape. He brings Whisper up into a Courting Hold. Whisper tries to escape, then headbutts Huckabee when an escape seems impossible. He jabs and knees Huckabee in the jaw before kicking his leg out. A guillotine legdrop gets Whisper a two count out of a seatbelt pin. Huckabee brings Whisper down by his wrist, digging his knee into his right arm while twisting on the left wrist. He maneuvers into a Rings of Saturn. Whisper escapes. He knees Huckabee in the stomach and elbows him in the neck. Huckabee wants the butterfly brainbuster. Whisper shoves him to the corner instead. Huckabee misses a corner attack in the opposite side. Whisper takes him down with a headscissors and a single leg dropkick for two. Huckabee takes Whisper over with a butterfly suplex, but his neck is too hurt to keep the bridge. Whisper lands a sit-out chokeslam for two. Huckabee catches a kick and swings Whipser into an Ace Crusher. However, Whisper’s leg clips referee Larry Peace so he can’t make a count. Huckabee checks on Larry while the Whisper retrieves the yo-yo he brought to the ring. Whisper hits Huckabee in the groin with it. Whisper then cradles Huckabee for the pin at 6:27. That finish was tremendously stupid. No human would be taken out from an accidental foot clip as long as referee Peace was, and a yo-yo yo the groin is more comedic than it is a Rudo move. Huckabee has so much talent, and The Whisper has a lot of promise, so it was really frustrating to see such a cheap, eye rolling end to the contest. *½

Chuck Taylor™ treats the crowd to his new song “For Real.” He dedicates the song to a very special lady, Bernadette. That must be who DUSTIN was referring to in the barber shop.

Officer Warren Barksdale & Officer Bruno Meloni vs. Rick Roland & Sloan Caprice

Officer Magnum is brought out by Meloni, but then walks to the back before they enter the ring. The Force try to arrest The Closers for the “guns” they have on them. The Closers play along at first, even getting a handcuff on Roland. Barksdale ducks an attack from Caprice and throws him outside. The Force fail to double suplex Roland. Caprice re-enters and The Closers take down the Force with double suplexes. The Force low bridge the top rope to send them outside, then bring Roland back inside for a double team. They kick out his legs before Barksdale assists Meloni with a splash. They begin to handcuff Caprice when Roland comes in and takes out the Force with double clotheslines. The bell sounds as Caprice passes Barksdale to Roland for a powerbomb. Barksdale is bullied in the Closers corner for awhile. Caprice even gives a video message to the Big Deal during the beatdown. Barksdale fights out of Roland’s Rick Roll and finally tags in Meloni. Meloni throws multiple knee strikes to Caprice’s head after a headlock takeover. Caprice escapes a running bulldog, but Meloni drops him with Case Closed. Roland breaks the pin. He picks Meloni up, but Meloni drops Roland with a DDT to counter. He sends Roland to the floor with a flying Frankensteiner and follows up with a dive off the top. Barksdale heads up top. Caprice pulls him down onto his shoulders and into a spin-out slam for two. Meloni tries a Frankensteiner on Caprice, only for Caprice to give him a buckle bomb and powerslam for two. Unbeknownst to Roland, Barksdale takes the other part of the handcuff still dangling on Caprice’s wrist and clasps the other cuff to the middle rope! Barksdale tosses him out so he’s hanging from the ropes. Roland comes in and falls to Law & Order for the pin at 8:14 (official), earning their third point and a Campeones de Parejas opportunity. The Force’s first public appearance was the best they’ve looked so far, especially Meloni, which was important considering it was “official” debut. I still don’t know how I feel about some of The Force’s tactics like handcuffing opponents to the ropes, as it feels like they use the abuse their power more so than using it when necessary (i.e. the Rudo team is cheating too much or breaking the rules). Hopefully, that will be fixed. All in all I enjoyed this and hope The Closers get a new leader or more focused direction that has nothing to do with the absent Big Deal. **½

Juan Francisco de Coronado says becoming Grand Champion is his destiny, but he must lay down three dogs to get that opportunity. Today, Dasher Hatfield stands in his way. Despite all the accolades Hatfield has, the one that will stand out amongst them all is the day he lost to Juan Francisco de Coronado.

Dasher Hatfield {T} vs. Juan Francisco de Coronado

This is a battle between the 2016 and 2015 Cibernetico winners. Hatfield backdrops Coronado out of a wristlock twice. Coronado stomps on Hatfield to avoid it happening a third time. Some Lucha rolls lead to Hatfield snapping off a pair of armdrags and a toreador to send Coronado to the floor. Coronado avoids a baseball slide. Back inside Hatfield rolls through a sunset flip and heel picks Coronado up into an abdominal stretch. Coronado flips out of a backslide attempt. Coronado bandera’s to the apron. He shoulder blocks Hatfield, flips back in, and nails Hatfield with a dropkick. They fight on the apron where Coronado enzuigiri’s Hatfield to the floor. Coronado dives through the ropes from the apron out onto Hatfield. Hatfield swings out of the Tiger Driver attempt. He throws multiple shots to Coronado’s mid-section. Hatfield swings Coronado down into a Detonation Kick for two. Coronado cuts him off with a chinbreaker and an enzuigiri. Coronado hits the Tiger Driver for two. He gives some forearm shots to Hatfield’s lower back. Hatfield ducks a clothesline and pops Coronado up into a Liger Bomb for two. Coronado sends Hatfield face first into the middle turnbuckle, yanking him by the trunks. Hatfield holds onto the ropes to resist a monkey flip. He pulls Coronado up for a Jackhammer. Coronado slides out the back and German suplexes Hatfield for two. Hatfield charges Coronado in the corner. Coronado pulls Bryce Remsburg in the way. Despite this, and a cheap shot, Hatfield is able to get Coronado up into the Jackhammer, but only for a two count. Hatfield sets up Coronado for the Grand Slam. Coronado turns his mask askew to escape. Coronado leaps off the top into a prawn hold, bringing Hatfield forward into the Coronado Clutch! Hatfield tries crawling to the ropes, but Coronado pulls him back into the middle of the ring. Hatfield taps out at 9:02. These two are on a level above many on the roster. They’re both so smooth and wrestle with purpose. Hatfield tried besting Coronado with power, while Coronado took the long road in wearing down the back and using dirty tactics to finally get Hatfield into position for his submission, which these days is an assured victory for Coronado. I enjoyed the heck out of this. Easily the match of the night. ***½

UltraMantis Black makes his way to the ring. He says each of us reach a crossroads in our life where you question yourself and everything around you, including the decisions you have made, the life you have led, and all the sacrifices you have made. Those questions are not to be feared, but embraced. It is only with those questions that you find answers, and those answers bring real change. He asks everyone who can hear him to reflect for one moment. Anyone who has ever felt suffering, hopeless, powerless, beaten down, broken, defeated, or marginalized, take solace that you will find strength in the answers when you ask yourself those questions. It is with a mind that is free and clear that anything can be possible. Mantis then reveals he is now the Grand Champion. He declares from here on out that he will be unstoppable.

Young Lions Cup XIII Tournament Finals
Space Monkey vs. The Whisper

Monkey has 1 banana with him and looks worn out. The contest opens with a forearm strike exchange. Monkey is whipped to the ropes, but takes down Whisper with a dropkick. Whisper takes to the corner to avoid a tail whip. He monkey flips Whisper right onto his face for two. Whisper blocks a second monkey flip and places Monkey on the top turnbuckle. Monkey is placed to the apron where Whisper forearms him to the floor. Whisper comes off the apron with a swinging Frankensteiner. Whisper grabs Monkey as Monkey crawls back into the ring, swinging him out into a slam for two. Monkey grabs Whisper’s wrists, then uses his feet to pop Whisper up into a double kick from the apron. Whisper rolls to the floor when Monkey sets up for a moonsault. Monkey converts and lands a moonsault on the floor! In the ring, Monkey lands the Monkey-Go-Round for two. Whisper ducks the Tail Whip. Monkey evades a corner attack. Whisper boots Monkey and spikes him with a flipping Blockbuster for a close two count. Whisper tries a modified 450 splash but Monkey gets his knees up. Monkey hits a moonsault senton and the Tail Whip for the pin and the Cup at 6:41. These two maximized their minutes with non-stop action and playing off their previous tournament matches, all the while keeping the crowd engaged and having them react to the nearfalls. The Whisper’s in ring debut was a bit shaky, but he shows potential, and Monkey was so universally beloved that it made their jobs easy. **¾

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