By Shane Steeley
This year's Xcellence was one of historic firsts, title changes and high Xpectations for 2020.
Kicking off the show was a tag team match rooted in betrayal. The Tacticians (‘The Marksman’ and 'Smooth as Satin' David Cattin) vs The Singularity (‘The Infinite’ and ‘The Pariah’) with Professor Crippel. Crippel came out to gloat and mock The Tacticians after turning on them at last month’s show. He pointed out that if the Tacticians lose, they will never be a team again. Not to be outdone, Cattin made sure to inform everyone that if they win, Crippel is gone from KCXW.
This naturally led into the match, a brutal affair showing The Tacticians resilience while The Singularity proved to be difficult adversaries. The exciting conclusion came when both Marksman and Cattin put their bitter rivals into a submission, forcing the duo to tap out.
The happiness of the crowd to see Crippel escorted out of the Ararat Shriners Temple was extremely high.
The following match was a Battle Royal to become the number one contender for the KCXW Championship. An exciting melee made even more interesting by the return of KCXW's resident superhero, Captain Shabam. The match had many from the KCXW locker room flying over the ropes until only two remained, transitioning the match into a singles contest between Shannon 'The Bully Smasher' Reed and The Marksman. After a physical struggle between the two, The Marksman pinned the former champion to become KCXW’s number one contender.
The next contest was truly one to write home about. The first title match of the night was for the vacant KCXW Women's Championship between Lavender Skye and Camron Branae. These two can trade blows on the microphone like no one’s business but of course, blows in the ring matter more. This was a back and forth battle, and you just knew that both of these women wanted that title. But in the end, after hitting a swanton from the top rope, Lavender Skye was not going to let anything stop her from becoming the new KCXW Women's Champion and first Trans* KCXW Champion. In awe from her win, Skye had this to say. "It feels incredible, but none of this would be possible without the amazing supporters I have." Skye said. "I feel like a bit of history was made. We still have so much more to go...but I'm glad I could create this beginning stepping stone in Kansas City."
After the beauty of that moment came something ugly. A fatal four-way ladder match between Tyler Grey, ‘Smooth as Satin’ David Cattin, ‘Mr. K.C.’ Aaron Clay and ‘Hard Luck’ Hal Rogers. High Octane could not even begin to describe this battle. Tyler Grey was powerbombed through a table to the outside by Cattin to the thrill of the already excited crowd.
The ladder was being used in ways that would make Tim ‘The Toolman’ Taylor cringe. This match was something you had to see to believe. In the end, only one man could win a shot at the Metro title and that man was ‘Hard Luck’ Hal Rogers.
"At Xcellence, I had to go through war to get a shot at the Metro Championship. Thanks to David Cattin and Tyler Grey, this fatal 4-way ladder match became a TLC match," Rogers said. "But even after Aaron Clay suplexed me into a ladder, Tyler’s barrage of carnage with anything he could get a hold of, and Cattin driving my head through a steel chair, I still climbed to the top of that ladder and won."
‘Nature’s Fury’ J.C. Thunder vs 'The 1%er' Richard Goldman wasn't for a title or even for a title shot. It was a matter of pride for Thunder to make a statement against both Goldman and President Smiley. The match was typical for Goldman, using shortcuts throughout to avoid the dominating presence of Thunder. Just as Thunder was suplexing Goldman from the outside of the ring in, the ‘1%er’’s associate, Dean Alexander, trip up Thunder and keep him from kicking out of a three count, giving Goldman a cheap win. Enter President Smiley, who tried to entice Thunder to return to his side. After a tense back and forth with Smiley over signing a contract, Thunder was having none of it and was able to get a bit of revenge by putting Goldman through a table as a major statement against Smiley.
The second to last match of the evening was certainly a battle! We witnessed an I quit match for possession of the Metro Championship between J Savage and Juno Granger that did not disappoint. If you had a seat you were a part of this match as both Savage and Granger took each other to the limit all around the building. They used anything that wasn't nailed to the floor in order to get the other to say those two words, “I quit”. Mouse traps, brooms, trash cans and scissors were all part of this fight. The latter wasn't used to exact physical pain but certainly hurt Granger's pride by being used to cut off his hair. It took an intense submission choke to make Granger relinquish the title and say those two words, making Savage not just the champion on paper but physically as well.
The main event featured was KCXW Champion Derrick Stone facing off against Leo D. for the KCXW Championship and it was the perfect way to end the night! The match pitted brute strength and power against finesse and agility. Stone's ability to match the younger Leo showed why he previously won the prestigious title. After it seemed Stone had the match in the bag, Leo D showed his resilience through injury and the arrogance of Stone, and he was able to pick up a pin out of nowhere to become the new KCXW Champion.
Be sure to join us for all the KCXW action to start off the new year at KCXW 2020 Visions on January 10th, 2020 at the Ararat Shrine Event Center.