Welcome to the next installment of a series highlighting the team captains of the inaugural Kansas City Xtreme Wrestling Season Of Xcellence. Between now and the Draft Event on April 9th, we will take a look at each of the five team captains, asking the key questions and breaking down their chances for the 2016 Season Of Xcellence. Now presenting: "The Kingpin" Angel Medina.
By Nate W. Gearhart (@nategearhart)
Angel Medina was a one-man wrecking crew in his first year with KCXW, but wrestling fans with long memories know that “The Kingpin” has a resume full of success working with teams. From his formative ECW days in super-stable Da Baldies to winning tag team work throughout Puerto Rico and Mexico, Medina has dominated as part of a team. More recently at KCXW: Destiny last September, Angel led a hastily-assembled group to victory over a Darrien Sanders-led squad, capping the night with an authoritative whooping of Sanders himself for the decisive point. Now, Medina is team captain of The Street Kings in the upcoming KCXW Season of Xcellence, and that victory at Destiny earned him the first overall draft pick. He’ll make that pick, and three others, on April 9th at the Draft Event at Aftershock Live Music Venue. Starting on April 23rd at KCXW: Unleashed at Soccer Nation, the Street Kings will enter competition as the favorite of many to win the most points over the season and the title of Team Xcellence.
Before the points start rolling in, Medina has to have a good draft at Aftershock. That first overall pick is huge – The Street Kings are already guaranteed to consist of KCXW’s heaviest hitter and literally any wrestler he wants to partner with. The next three picks cannot be taken for granted, however. Three of the other four team captains – Darrien Sanders, Kyle King, and Bigg Dogg – are all wily veterans. The fourth is Captain Shabam, and he’s just plain wily. They are all going to make some sound picks. They all know their strengths and weaknesses, and they will try to draft accordingly. But I think Medina has a distinct advantage: the pool of wrestlers that make sense for The Street Kings is bigger than for any other team. Medina himself is the difference – most everyone knows where he comes from and respects him. He does not have to wonder if his next pick is going to share his principles or moral fiber. Angel Medina can lead just about anybody.
What kind of wrestlers will Medina target in the draft? Expect Angel to have an eye out for other wrestlers who thrive in team settings. Drafting the best wrestler in KCXW won’t do Angel any good if that wrestler won’t have his back. Kansas City native KC Kyng, for example, is exactly the kind of guy that could end up a Street King. Like Medina, Kyng is tough and hard-hitting; but also like Medina, he has demonstrated that he is a team player - he has held four different tag team titles throughout the Midwest. Angel could use a man with those kind of credentials.
Medina could see a lot of himself in a guy like KC Kyng, but he knows he will need to consider drafting someone that balances out any weakness, as well. Angel is a veteran wrestler, and with that comes many advantages. But there are a few advantages to youth, too, like energy and stamina. Most importantly, Medina would find in a young wrestler someone who would be easier to coach than a veteran set in his ways. Look for Medina to draft a young, tough wrestler with a lot of potential like Aaron Clay or Hollis Giroux. Then look for Medina to spend the Season of Xcellence molding the kid into exactly the kind of wrestler he needs him to be. He will mold him into a Street King.
If there is one thing to never take for granted about Angel Medina, it is his wealth of experience. Angel has worked with many wrestlers throughout his great career, and he has friends all over the country. I would not put it past him to have a surprise draft pick, a fellow veteran with whom he has a history. Maybe even someone who has never worked in KCXW before. Angel Medina is not the kind of man to tip his hand, so if I am right we cannot hope to know who this mystery draftee could be until Draft Night on April 9th.
With a good draft, Angel Medina’s Street Kings can overcome the four other groups of challengers in the Season of Xcellence. The KCXW wrestler with whom Angel has had the most beef is fellow team captain Darrien Sanders. To see how Medina can take advantage of Sanders’ biggest weakness, look back at where their feud began: at the first KCXW event, Wrestling Reborn. There, they were teamed up in a match against The Riegel Twins. Sanders, we soon learned, can be such a lousy teammate that by the end of the match Medina was willing to take a loss for the chance to lay him out. Sanders is cunning, and he will most likely have a good draft, and he will wrestle his heart out at every event; however, the lineup that hopes to win Team Xcellence will need a leader, and Darrien Sanders is no leader. Kyle King should also put together a good team, and I believe he will have a great season. But while he’s no Darrien Sanders, as the captain of a team he’s no Angel Medina either. I expect King’s team to have a great season, but I also expect them to come up a bit short. Bigg Dogg and especially Captain Shabam may be too set in their convictions; even if they end up with decent teams, they could struggle to get all their team members onboard with Truth, Justice, and the American Way at the expense of winning wrestling matches. Medina will not have this problem. With Angel Medina at the wheel, it’s hard not to like The Street Kings’ chances of taking the first-ever Team Xcellence crown.