Throughout 2017, we will take a look at the amazing professional wrestlers that make up the KCXW roster. First up: The Marksman.
By Nate W. Gearhart (@nategearhart)
If the old saying that man is “the most dangerous game” is true, then Kansas City Xtreme Wrestling’s resident trophy hunter The Marksman sits at the top of the food chain. With a string of victories against the best of the best in KCXW, he has earned a place among its biggest stars. And he is just getting started.
To get into the head of The Marksman is to enter dangerous territory. But it’s hard not to wonder what is happening in the mind of a man who can begin a match by laughing in the face of his opponent. His demeanor, his taking of “trophies” from his opponents, and his double-crossing of teammates and tag partners after a match (even a victory) reveal a way of thinking that is different from all other wrestlers in KCXW.
His mind is not the only dangerous thing about him. At 6’1” and over 200 pounds of pure muscle, The Marksman cuts one of the most imposing figures in KCXW. He is a master tactician, using his height and strength to his advantage when he can, but surprisingly agile and adept on the ground when he needs to be. He thrives on his submission move set with an almost sadistic glee – The Marksman is a happy man when he can inflict pain on an opponent with his inverted sharpshooter and other holds designed to induce a tapout.
He kicked off the 2016 Season of Xcellence with a bang, defeating then-Serpents captain Darrien Sanders. At the next event – Tactics – he got to lay in to Sanders again, along with 5 other wrestlers, in the groundbreaking President’s Cup match, a three-way nine-man elimination tag match which was won by Marksman and his teammates on The Stranglers. In all, The Marksman participated in seven matches that were worth points in the Season of Xcellence, not counting battle royales. He was on the losing side in just two. Thanks to this incredible record, The Marksman attained his greatest achievement so far in his young career at KCXW: Xcellence when he was crowned the 2016 Season of Xcellence MVP. The prestigious and worthy honor also earned him an immediate match with a special guest: Ring of Honor star Donovan Dijak. It was The Marksman’s third match of the night, against the toughest foe he has wrestled yet. Dijak, himself a wrestler who uses size, power, and head games to his advantage, left everything he had in the ring that night. The Marksman won.
Any type of match KCXW President Jordan Smiley puts The Marksman into, he has an opportunity to win. One of the greatest matches in KCXW history was Marksman's win over Leo D’Auria in a submission-only match at KCXW: Takeover II. The President’s Cup, triple threats, Survivor Series, and even a capture the flag match against "Bullysmasher" Shannon Reed at KCXW: Xcellence have all featured The Marksman inflicting pain on his opponents. In that time, he has made some enemies, but he has also earned a good deal of respect.
“I respect his worth ethic,” ShannonReed said recently. “I respect his ability. In a short time, he has made a true name for himself. He’s like wrestling a bull. What I don���t respect, are his tactics. The Marksman likes to get in people’s faces, he likes to physically impose himself on others. He is a bully in every sense of the word. I don’t like the guy. We’ve crossed paths a few times before and I think we are on a collision course to meet again someday.”
Much of the KCXW roster seems to agree with Reed, that The Marksman is an incredible wrestler, worthy of respect, but not friendship or trust. The Marksman, for his part, does not seem interested in being liked, or trusted. If there is one thing he seems interested in besides wins and trophies, it’s fear.
What comes next for The Marksman? The sky appears to be the limit. He gives his all in the ring, was visibly passionate about every Season of Xcellence win, was excited to be named MVP, and wanted more than anything to be Kansas City Champion. His appearance in the Kansas City Champion Tournament ended prematurely with a double disqualification against Brandon Espinosa. But he is already considered by many to be the number one contender for a title match against current champion JC Thunder. The veteran Thunder is certainly “dangerous game”, a massive striker with over twenty years of ring experience, but The Marksman has faced and defeated many ring veterans in his time. It seems he will not rest until he is wearing championship gold. But will even that be enough? Is even the prestigious Kansas City Championship belt enough trophy for this headhunter? Or does he have visions of even bigger prizes? Do you dare to get in The Marksman's head long enough to find out?