From NWA Southeastern:
With a new year comes a time for new beginnings…comes a chance to change the way things were before. Saturday night, January 21st, showed this to be true for many within NWA Southeastern and those that came to join in the fun at “Night of Champions 2017”. With five huge title matches featuring NWA Southeastern originals and those in the great surrounding promotions around the area, this is easy to see why.
The open festivities began and “The Remedy” Will Hall came out to do the ring announcing duties he has done for so long. However, he was quickly interrupted by the music and arrival of…“The Evolution” Landon Lashley. He stated that he was sent to the ring on behalf of his best friend and current the NWA Deep South Heavyweight Champion, “Sharpshooter” Mason Price. He said that the Champion had more important things to do than trivial things like address the Pavo, GA faithful on just what was to occur later in the evening…in 3 Stages of Hell! With that, he announced what 2 of the 3 stages were chosen by the two combatants in the match, Price & “The Weapon of Sass Destruction” Effy. He said that the first fall would be contested as a Submission match and the 2nd round would be fought with “PinFalls Counting Anywhere”. He then stated that the 3rd Stage was being left up to the Special Guest Referee for the bout, Tony Storm. He said that the rules of that match were being kept a secret and would only be revealed if the 3rd fall is required. He made it clear that he and the Champion were not happy with Tony’s involvement at all, based on their history, and his clandestine nature leading up to this event. After a barrage of boos and verbal barbs from the crowd, Lashley left and the show was finally able to officially begin.
Representing a promotion from the Southeast Georgia region, the Sunbelt Wrestling Heavyweight Champion Johnny Maverick came to Night of Champions preparing to defend his title against Big O. Due to unforeseen circumstances, thought, Maverick was left not knowing just who he would be taking on that evening. As the music began to play, down to the ring came a veteran of the Southeast independent wrestling scene in Jarrod Michaels. Despite not being prepared for his adversary on this occasion, Johnny showed what had won him the title in the first place. These two bulls went blow for blow, but it was a roll up by Maverick and the feet on the ropes for extra leverage that went unseen by Referee Clinton Emerson that spelled defeat for Michaels on this occasion.
This was followed by the segment quickly becoming a regular feature to the shows as Johnny Romano presented another installment of the Pop Shop. His guests on this occasion were two young up-and-comers on the Indy circuit, The Knightmare Syndicate. Jake Knight, featured at the Anti-Bullying Awareness show back in October, came to the ring with his tag team partner, Aiden Knight. Soon into the interview, Romano made it clear that he had been watching them, had seen their work, and thought they would be great additions to the Pop Life. Aiden was fast to turn down the offer and prepared to leave, but Jake seemed to waver just a bit. Johnny smiled and took advantage of the hesitation, welcoming Jake into the fold as Dark Rage, Romano’s opponent for the evening, snuck up behind the Champion and stared down the man who he felt stole the title from him mere months ago in a Fatal 4-Way match and had managed to keep it via disqualification in their return match the month prior. Tonight, he said that they would finish what they started and someone would leave the undisputed NWA Deep South Cruiserweight Champion!
Up next came the entrance of another NWA promotion’s champion in the form of the NWA Georgia Extreme Heavyweight Champion, “Desperado” Christian Walker. His opponent on this evening would be a man who had come up just short of becoming the NWA Deep South Heavyweight Champion back in October also, “Flash-N-Cash” Hayden Price. The crowd took to Hayden very quickly, making him the fan favorite on this occasion. This seemed to fire him up as he took it to Walker and seem to have the upper hand at many points in the bout. As Price had things well in hand, it was the crafty veteran Walker who caught Hayden out of nowhere and hit him with his CKO finisher for the win. After coming up just short of winning gold on two different opportunities, Flash-N-Cash’s resilience and desire might soon make him a Champion yet in this promotion.
With that, it was time for what could be the final encounter between Dark Rage & “The PopStar” Johnny Romano for the NWA Deep South Cruiserweight Championship. After stealing the pin in a fatal 4-Way match in November and holding onto the Title in December by getting a disqualification victory, it was made clear that there would be a definitive winner on this night. The two went at it as they had many times with Rage seeming to come out on top in the exchange at many times. Each time he went to the outside, Romano blamed Rage’s advantages on his new protégé’s inexperience. This was despite Jake Knight’s little involvement in the match at all. On several occasions, Johnny was able to work on the leg of Rage, wearing it down as the match wore on. Finally, Dark Rage made one too many mistakes, Romano locked in the submission that threatened to tear the leg ligament of Rage from the bone. Rage was forced to tap out for fear of permanent damage.
As Johnny celebrated his victory in the ring, Jake looked on in apparent disgust of his new mentor's actions in the match. Romano berated him, telling him this is what he would have to do to win…to be the Champion! With this, Rage stepped back into the ring, visibly limping, but telling Jake that there was another way…a more honorable way to win the Title. He told Johnny that he was the undisputed Champion…but he saw a lot of heart in Knight. He told Johnny that if he was a true Champion and really wanted to “teach” Jake something…he could give him a Title shot! Romano thought about this but said that he owed nothing to Knight. However, if Jake was willing to put something on the line for a shot at the Title…he would consider it. After more contemplation, Romano made reference to the long hair of himself and the Knightmare Syndicate member. He said that he had the best hair in the promotion and would continue to stake that claim by beating Knight…and if he won…he would get to shave the luscious locks of Jake Knight. Knight was taken aback at first by this challenge, running his fingers thru his hair and taking it into consideration. Finally, he took the mic and said that he would do anything to be Champion…and if it meant putting his hair on the line…he accepts!
After a brief intermission, it was time for the NWA Deep South Tag Team Championships to be on the line. After months of cheating and back-and-forth Title changes, it was made clear last month that someone would be leaving NWA Southeastern for good. With the only way to win to come at a pinfall or submission, The Punkadelics took to the ring to take on The Society one last time! Street Bandit & PV3 quickly looked to their dirty ways to gain the upper hand, but James & Vinny used quick tags to stay strong in the fight. At points in the match, there seems to be dissension brewing between both members of the Society as unseen tags and attempts to steal the victory by Bandit seem to anger Preston on many occasions. They say turnabout is fair play as in reminiscent fashion of when a member of the Punkadelics had been tied up in the ropes to help the Society get the double-team victory in the past, it was the Punks subduing Bandit’s legs around the ring post long enough to hit their Heart Attack finisher and gain the victory over Preston.
After the match, the Punks celebrated with the Titles and led the crowd in chants of “NA NA NA NA” to the final night of PV3.
As Street Bandit was let loose from his taped up shackles, he faced his departing partner…and blamed him for their two losses, tonight and in their 2-year reign as Champions. As PV3 prepared to just leave, Bandit attacked him from behind and left him lying on the mat in the ring. What a sad but fitting end for PV3.
As the dust settled, it was time for the main event. Tony Storm, the guest referee…Effy, the challenger…and Mason Price, the NWA Deep South Champion, each made their individual entrances to the ring. For the better part of a year, these three men have been intertwined in their pursuits to be the Champion. It was just one year earlier that Tony had won the Title from Effy, only to have his friend Mason attack him and turn his back on him. This led to many battles for the two men, leading to an unforgettable “I Quit Match” that saw Price assault Storm’s wife Janna while Tony was forced to look on. It had been Effy who had come to her aid which gained them a modicum of respect for one another and helped Effy decide to make Tony the special guest referee in this 3 Stages of Hell Match.
The first stage was being contested as Submission Match. At different points, each man locked in submission holds, including Effy’s Daddy’s Secret and Mason’s armbar submission that had gained them victories on many occasions. However, it was not until Mason took to wrapping his belt around the neck of Effy and hanging him over the top rope that Tony was forced to call the match for a passed out and close to unconscious Effy. With that, the first fall was given to Mason.
Tony reiterated his decision and then demanded the bell be rung to start the next Stage of Hell to be fought as ‘pinfalls counting anywhere’. Slowly and methodically, almost arrogantly, Price rolled the seemingly lifeless Effy back in the ring in hopes of making short work of the already downed Effy. As Tony counted the pin, he was only able to get a two because somehow the man from Talla-sassy was able to get his shoulder up before the count of three. Effy fought back, both going thru tables at separate points in the second part of the on-going battle. Price went for pin after pin, but Effy would not give up and kept kicking out. Mason then got into the face of Tony and denigrated his refereeing skills, finally pushing Storm. Tony quickly pushed him back into the waiting arms of Effy, who hit the Codebreaker and scored the victory in Stage 2 of Hell.
The guest referee then asked for a mic. He said that the score was 1 to 1 and would need to be decided by a 3rd match. He said that the only way could see a clear winner being decided would be to suspend the NWA Deep South Heavyweight Title above the ring and for the two combatants to use a ladder to retrieve it!
The two worn-down fighters got to their feet and continued trading shots in and outside the ring. Many different sized ladders came into play as both men attempted to climb and grab the gold. At one point, both men fought up to the top turnbuckle and sent each other off with a Spanish fly that sent both men careening down to the canvas. Landon Lashley would get involved, take advantage of the fallen Effy, and he & Mason would proceed to handcuff the Weapon of Sass Destruction to the bottom rope. As Effy attempted to free himself, Mason set up the ladder with no one left to stop him as he made his ascent.
Storm could no longer look on and do nothing, knocking over the ladder before Mason reached the top. He then took the key from Price, tossed it to Effy, and helped free the man. Mason then took to berating Tony again, telling him to stay out of his business, as Effy ran over, kicked the Champion in the gut, and hit him with a devastating suplex.
Effy then grabbed the ladder and set it up in hopes of finally achieving victory.
However, Mason grabbed a chair and looked to deliver a shot to the back of Effy. Tony grabbed the chair and stated that Price would not be using the chair. Instead, he would, as he slammed it over the back of Effy and then, as Effy rose up from the mat he had just fallen to, smashed it into his face as a final blow. As Mason looked on, first in shock and then in elation, he headed up the ladder and grabbed his Title as Tony yelled to the crowd, “it’s all about Effy, huh?!”
As Mason raised his arms in victory, Tony tore away his referee shirt to reveal a new shirt that read “Regenesis”. He then got on the mic and told the NWA Southeastern fans they had told them there was “new beginnings” coming…and this was just the beginning of it! They then picked up Effy and hit him with a Razor’s edge, double knee to the chest move that they would later dub The Natural Disaster that sent the fallen challenger crashing to the mat. Appalled by their actions, Dark Rage and Knightmare Syndicate ran down to the ring to stop the “Tampa boys” and restore some order but were quickly taken out.
Then, the Punkadelics, two fellow Tampa natives, made their way to the ring. The four men faced off as Mason & Tony told them to join them because they felt “these people don’t care about them”.
When it was clear that James & Vinny were not on their side, all four men began brawling until Storm & Price scurried to the outside and left, feeling their message had been sent.
James grabbed the mic and told them that they made a big mistake tonight by going after him and his brother. He told them that the “Regenesis” might want to catch up on their Bible reading because he remembers that those who come against the family…are struck down…and they would be no different!
It would seem that the Punkadelics will look to make the exodus, the journey, of the Regenesis to take over…a long and hard one! With a “Hair vs. Title” match and the challenge laid down by the Punk-a-delics, what does the future hold for NWA Southeastern? With Effy still in possession of a Title opportunity briefcase, when will he cash in and, maybe, get a measure of revenge over the NWA Deep South Champion Mason Price…and Tony Storm?!