Deep South Wrestling Year End Review
Airing January 7, 2007 on Comcast Sports South
Taped at the DSW Arena in McDonough, Ga
By Larry Goodman
Nigel Sherrod introduced this week’s episode as the year end review show. First up was “ECW superstarÃ¢â‚¬Â Mike Knox challenging his partner “24/7Ã¢â‚¬Â Derrick Neikirk for the DSW Heavyweight Title.
(1) Neikirk and Knox went to a 20 minute draw (edited to 11 minutes). Neikirk retained the DSW Heavyweight Title (taped on February 2) “Network ExecutiveÃ¢â‚¬Â Palmer Canon joined Sherrod and Bill DeMott on commentary. Canon, who at the time was attempting to oust Assassin and gain control of the company, said this match was the product of the Assassin’s manipulations, i.e., an attempt to drive a wedge between the members of Team Elite. They cut to the 3 minute mark. Knox fought off a submission and nipped up. They traded stiff blows. In the first key spot of the match, Neikirk escaped from a stalling vertical suplex, but Knox caught him with a cool backbreaker, an STO across his knee. Neikirk tried to use the ringside area as safe haven, but Knox just escalated his attack on Neikirk’s back. DeMott said the Elite’s tag team bond was going out the window. Fast forward to the 13 minute mark with Neikirk now in control. Neikirk wore Knox down by working over the arm and shoulder. Neikirk slowly climbed to the top rope. Knox made a desperate dive for the ropes to crotch Neikirk on the top. Knox pounded away on Neikirk, who was in no shape to defend himself. Knox set up for a superplex. Neikirk countered with an awesome sunset powerbomb. Both men on the deck and hurting bigtime. Mike Posey’s count reached nine. Neikirk staggered Knox with a right hand. Knox returned fire. Knox ducked a punch and hit a reverse atomic drop. Knox connected with a standing dropkick. Knox hit a sliding lariat and covered. Neikirk was out at 2 and Ã‚Â¾. Knox used a scoop slam to set up a standing moonsault for another near fall. DeMott put over Knox’s agility. Knox ate an elbow charging in. But Knox caught Neikirk coming off the ropes with a Spinesplitta. Posey’s hand was inches away from the three count when Neikirk kicked out. Both men collapsed onto their backs. Knox was first to rise. He put the boots to Neikirk’s back. Neikirk reversed an Irish whip. Knox leapfrogged a charging Neikirk, who ran face first into the turnbuckle. Knox went for the Whippit, but Neirkirk hooked the ropes to block. Niekirk hit a superkick. Both men down again with less than a minute to go. Neikirk threw an arm across Knox. He got a shoulder up before the three. They could barely stand. Knox summoned a burst of energy for a high crossbody. Neikirk kicked out. Knox went for an Oklahoma roll as the time expired. Fans chanted for five more minutes. Knox and Neikirk stared each other down. No handshake.
(2) High Impact (Tony Santarelli & Mike Taylor) defeated Gymini (Jesse & Jake) and Team Elite (Mike Knox & Derrick Neikirk) in 9:45 (taped on April 6). It was instant pandemonium. DeMott said that with bad blood all the way around, this was going to be a main event for the ages. The Gymini taunted DeMott (again). DeMott said he hoped Impact and Elite would teach Gymini a lesson. Once order was restored, Neikirk squared off with Jake. Santarelli slapped Jake on the back for a surprise tag. Neikirk tore into Santarelli. Jesse tagged Santarelli. Jesse and Neikirk went nose-to-nose with gusto. Neikirk ducked a lariat and armdragged Jesse. Gymini went to town on Neikirk. Taylor tagged Neikirk. Knox tagged Jesse. Knox tried to sucker punch Taylor on the break. Taylor blocked it and decked Knox for a one count. Taylor kept the big man on the ground. Knox regained his vertical base and hit a back suplex. Knox dropped a series of seven knees to Taylor’s chest. Santarelli was there for the save as Taylor kicked out. Knox tagged Neikirk. Taylor rocked Neikirk and tagged his partner. Santarelli applied a cravate and drove knees to the skull of Neikirk. Santarelli took Neikirk to the mat. Neikirk came back with a Saito suplex. Neikirk’s loose cover barely got a two count. A Santarelli forearm knocked Niekirk into the Gymini’s corner. Jesse tagged in and dropped the Haymaker (elbow drop) on Santarelli. Jake followed with a snap suplex. Santarelli managed to back Jake into Team Elite’s corner. Knox tagged in and kept heat on Santarelli. Santareill drove Knox into Gymini’s corner. Jesse tagged himself in. Santarelli reversed Jesse’s body slam with a jawbreaker. Jesse tried to knock Taylor down to prevent the tag, but Mike jumped off the apron. Santarelli hit a spinning heel kick and hot-tagged Taylor. He decked Jesse and both members of Team Elite. But Jesse wasted Taylor with a hiptoss neckbreaker. Killer move. Gymini taunted DeMott as they set up the Crash Diet. DeMott approached ringside. Jesse left the ring and got in a screaming match with DeMott. In the confusion, Taylor rolled up Jake for the three count. The crowd went nuts. Gymini went nuttier. Cut to a close up of DeMott saying, “You lost.Ã¢â‚¬Â Sherrod said DeMott had finally answered the Gymini’s challenge.
Sherrod said the Majors Brothers had burst on to the scene in 2006 and were hand picked for the following match by the DSW Tag Team Champions, the Untouchables.
(3) Majors Brothers (Brian & Brett) beat Untouchables (Deuce & Domino with Cherry) to win the DSW tag titles in 11:44 (taped on October 12). The girls were screaming as Majors entered the ring. Untouchables tried to trap Brian in their corner but he was wise to their tactics. DeMott said Untouchables were taking the 21-year-old Majors too lightly. Brian tossed Deuce over the top. Deuce landed on his feet and started prancing around ringside, so Brian slidekicked him into Domino. Back inside the ring, Majors gave Domino a double hiptoss and Brett covered for an early near fall. The momentum shifter was a crash-and-burn springboard twisting high crossbody by Brian. Untouchables worked on Brian’s midsection. Domino came off the top with a stomp to Brian’s midsection. Domino dropped an elbow to the gut and paused to run a comb through his ducktail. Deuce drove Brian’s face into the mat. He took a TO for a kiss from Cherry. But Brian rolled out from under Deuce’s Summer Lover (flying fist drop). HOT TAG. Brett ran wild. Brett hit a bulldog on Deuce and a flapjack on Domino. Cherry grabbed Brett’s leg and Deuce rolled him up for two. Brett came back with a reverse DDT and both refs counted the near fall. It broke down to four-way action with all four perched on the top rope pounding away. They did a quadruple noggin knocker with Deuce and Brett ending up flat on their backs in the ring. Striker counted Brett’s shoulders down for the three count, while Patrick counted Deuce. Confusion reigned. The match was restarted. Majors hit stereo dropkicks on the Untouchables. They slammed into Striker, knocking him out of the ring. Majors hit the Long Island Express on Deuce and Patrick counted the 1-2-3. The building exploded as Majors were announced as the new champions. A lengthy celebration ensued with the babyface dressing room out to congratulate Majors.
Sherrod introduced the Match of the Year. Sherrod said some questionable decision had lead to the match between Mike Knox and “Rough HouseÃ¢â‚¬Â Ryan O’Reilly.
(4) Mike Knox pinned Ryan O’Reilly in 9:16 (taped November 30). O’Reilly started putting the boots to Knox as soon as he slid under the ropes. A gutshot by Knox stopped O’Reilly in his tracks. Knox belted him in the face a few times. They traded blows. O’Reilly caught Knox with his head down and suplexed him for a quick two count. O’Reilly hit a back suplex for another two count. O’Reilly focused his attack on the back. Knox fired back and tried for a slam, but his back gave out and O’Reilly landed on top for a two count. O’Reilly pounded Knox from the mount. Knox rocked O’Reilly with a series of punches, but O’Reilly managed to block a vertical suplex. O’Reilly reversed a whip, slamming Knox’s back into the turnbuckles. O’Reilly punished Knox with a backbreaker across the knee. O’Reilly grounded Knox and wore him down a body scissors/rear chinlock combo. Knox was eventually able to gain the top position and pound O’Reilly’s head with right hands. Knox hoisted O’Reilly up into a bear hug style spinebuster. Both men lay on the canvas in a state of exhaustion. Scrappy McGowan’s count reached nine before they wobbled to their feet. Knox got the best of a punch exchange, stunned O’Reilly with jawbreaker, and then nailed a 270 pound standing dropkick. DeMott called Knox “the biggest, most agilest man in Sports Entertainment.Ã¢â‚¬Â Knox caught O’Reilly with a bicycle kick, drilled him with a flying knee, and set up for a standing moonsault. “No way,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Sherrod. Knox hit it and hooked the leg, but O’Reilly kicked out. Knox played to the crowd as he climbed to the middle rope. Knox flew with the guillotine legdrop. O’Reilly sat up. Knox busted his ass. O’Reilly planted Knox with a DDT. O’Reilly climbed to the top rope. Diving headbutt! Both men writhed on the mat from the effects. O’Reilly crawled across the ring for a back cover, but Knox threw a foot over the ropes at 2 and Ã‚Â¾. O’Reilly was looking for the Roughshot, but Knox reversed it and planted O’Reilly with his own finisher. Both men down in pain, blues and agony. This time, it was Knox crawling for the back cover and O’Reilly kicked out. Knox wound up for the clothesline from Hell, but O’Reilly ducked under it for a backslide. Knox escaped and caught O’Reilly with an Oklahoma roll (sorta) for the three count.
The Inside Pulse
Closing Thoughts: This show was one fine hour of wrestling, over 40 minutes worth. However, a more appropriate title would have been The Best of DSW 2006, because it wasn’t much of a year end review. All of the matches represented key points in major storylines, but it’s likely that only avid followers of the product could grasp their significance. Over the past year, DSW was strong on intriguing, long arcing storylines, but the only explanations to be found here had to gleaned from the commentary. Knox/Neikirk was straightforward enough that the commentary sufficed. But the other matches cried for narrated clips of preceding events to explain why this was happening and why we should care. Setting aside the issues with the presentation, this show was a perfect example of what DSW does best, intense, stiff, logical, no-nonsense wrestling. I have no qualms about any of the match chosen. You can’t go wrong when three of the matches feature Knox and two have Neikirk. If you’ve only seen his ECW stuff, then you haven’t had the opportunity to see just how a good a worker Knox can be. In a world where roster decisions were based on technical ability, Neikirk would have been promoted to RAW or Smackdown long ago, rather than some lame bodyguard role (and based on that criterion, Brent Albright would still have a job). I hadn’t seen Knox/O’Reilly because my recorder crapped out on that episode. They had a very good match at DSW’s first Six Flags show, and this was even better. The long-term selling was excellent. I liked the full-length version of Knox/Neikirk better than Knox/O’Reilly, but the wrestling was very good in both of them. Majors/Untouchable was different, as in Sports Entertainment style, but in a good way. It also had one of the more creative and exciting finishes in DSW history. The three-way was a clash of the teams that had been vying for the top spot in the tag division since the company’s first show in September 2005.