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Carey Gable

Leonard, Tx | Recap and Review | April 23rd 2022

When you think of a packed gym of four hundred screaming fans in Leonard, Texas, a town of only 2,000, you would imagine the local basketball team was winning playoff games. On Saturday, April 23rd, Leonard played host to King of Sports Championship Wrestling. In what can only be described as one of the hottest shows in recent memory, the crowd’s stomps and chants literally shook the arena. 

An eclectic group of fans lined up for over a block, snaking around the school as doors opened. Cheerleaders, elementary children, teens, twenty-somethings, grandparents, each had their stake in the show and came fully invested and ready to cheer on their favorites. 

After a few words from King of Sports President, Joe Briscoe, about the main event title bout between Nobe Bryant and Mike Gunner, the matches started. The first bout featured two of the most athletic tag teams in Texas today. Fly-Def, managed by Professor P, challenged the Russell Twins. The action was as fast and hard hitting as anything seen in a Texas Strong Style ring. Each competitor showed exceptional athleticism. After several near falls, Fly-Def managed to score a pin fall win. Professor P, a new manager to the KOS territory, took the mic to explain that the KOS tag team division was the newest and hottest scene in Northeast Texas. He had his eyes set firmly on gold. Fly-Def with Professor P could be seen almost lusting after the new belts as they were displayed ringside. 

The second match of the night was another tag team contest. King of Sports emphasized the tag teams on this night, showing off the skills of some of the most talented athletes in the territory. Jamie Holley, always up to brawl with anyone, partnered with Jarrod Michaels to meet an unexpected challenge. The 6:05 Crew from Georgia invaded the territory and sought to infuse some southern brawling into the Texas Strong Style. Holley was the receiver of much of the offense early as The 6:05 Crew of Chris Nelms and Shawn Hunter took control. Holley, spurred on by the chants and cheers of the audience, managed to snag a hot tag to Michaels! Just when it looked that the underdogs would withstand the invading forces, The 6:05 Crew scored a victory out of nowhere. Nelms and Hunter stood with their hands raised in the middle of the ring. 

Nobe Bryant, a modern Texas hero, was welcomed overwhelmingly by the Leonard crowd. As he stood on the interview platform, he shared what the King of Sports Heavyweight Championship meant to him. It meant the owner of the title was the best of the best. He had been training, staying focused, and then he turned his attention to Mike Gunner. In a war that had been brewing for a year, Gunner versus Bryant was about to happen. Bryant ended with the title belt held high over his head and promise to be the very first King of Sports Heavyweight Champion!

Next, the crowd was treated to one of the hottest divisions currently on the Texas scene, the Super Heavyweight Division. Big Andy Tonner squared off against Angel Camacho. Camacho had been on a sadist streak in KOS under the tutelage of manager J. J. Hart. In a recent addition to Hart International, Big Sed (a super heavyweight in his own right) accompanied Hart as his personal bodyguard. Tonner displayed an agility and ring presence that startled the monster, Camacho. Each forced to dig deep into their arsenals, the match was back and forth. Until Big Sed and J. J. Hart began to become more involved. As the referee was indisposed, Camacho restrained Tonner just long enough for Sed to take a wild closed fist punch! (Closed fists are strictly banned in KOS.) Tonner spun, dodging the blow that landed firmly on Camacho’s jaw. Tonner seized the opportunity and scored the win. 

Following the match, Camacho was furious for the missed shot. He confronted Sed in the ring. Hart begged to try to calm the two behemoths. Camacho, in frustration, turned on Hart yelling that he was responsible. As Camacho stormed out of the area, Hart quickly followed attempting to calm his beast as Big Sed loomed just behind. 

The fourth match was highly anticipated by those that follow KOS. Ryker James, the big brawler from Paris, Texas, was finally going to get his hands on Kristopher Haiden, albeit in a tag match. James had brought in Suma Te Woke La, one of the absolute toughest men in to face in a brawl, as his tag partner. Haiden, after all of the distractions going on inside Hart International, was forced to tag with Manny Domingo. Domingo, the smallest competitor in the contest by one hundred pounds, was fearless in his attacks. His aggression was met, however, with the overpowering force of Ryker James. James shot putted Domingo over six feet into the air at one point. It was only after the taunting, the mouthing, and the underhanded tactics of Haiden that the tag was eventually made. Haiden quickly turned the tide of the match and focused entirely on the knee of James. This cut off his mobility and seriously impaired his offensive arsenal. 

When James was finally able to fight off Haiden just enough to make the tag to Suma Te, the crowd erupted. Suma Te took turns launching offensive maneuvers into Domingo and Haiden, one after the other. As the crowd was building to a peak, Suma Te looked to James to complete the comeback, but James, still hobbled, was not able to assist. Suma Te, attacked from behind, managed to tag in James as the legal man. Hobbled, weary, and taunted by Haiden, James finally balled his fist and nailed Haiden right in front of the referee! This immediately called for a disqualification. Domingo and Haiden seized the opportunity to attack James and the beat down was fully on.

Suma Te took his time seizing a metal folding chair and stalking into the ring. In one swoop, he drove off the attackers. Suma Te and James stood tall in the ring for a brief moment, after a hard fight. Then, just as James turned to thank his partner, Suma Te swung the chair again and landed flush with Ryker James’ head, knocking him unconscious! Suma Te left the ring gloating, pleased with himself. He taunted the cheerleaders and fans at ringside. Some screamed insults, others were so concerned that tears flowed from their eyes, others retreated in fear. James had to be assisted to the locker room following the brutal assault. 

The fifth match on the card of six matches, the semi-main event, held the promise to be a classic. It lived up to that promise in spades! Scene Nick, the black diamond, the manager to the stars, had flown in just to see this match. Scene Nick was interested in the Strong Style Championship that had just been announced as a new division within KOS. This was to be the inaugural bout in the Strong Style division. Featuring two of the absolute best in Texas wrestling, Emilio Guzman faced Exodus Prime. The battle was impactful, hard hitting, back and forth, and highly entertaining. In what could most easily be described as a modern day Steamboat versus Savage, Prime and Guzman destroyed each other for twenty minutes as Scene Nick watched from ringside. As time clicked down, ever closer, Guzman was able to counter Prime into a crossface. As he fully cinched it in, time expired! It was a rare time limit draw. 

Scene Nick had seen enough though. Rising from his seat, he proclaimed Emilio Guzman the newest member of the Black Diamond Brand. Nick has plans for Guzman, a former boxer and MMA fighter, in not only the Strong Style division but also the Heavyweight. Prime left in disgust, having never been pinned nor submitted. 

Then it was time for main event, Mike Gunner versus Nobe Bryant. In a war of words over YouTube and Facebook, Gunner had threated to hurt Bryant, to beat him, to kick him, and to spit on him. Bryant fired back with a response that called out the insecurities of Gunner and threatened some spitting of his own. 

As the crowd waited on the edge of their seats, the two combatants entered the ring. Nobe was alone and stood proud. Gunner was escorted by J. J. Hart. In a tradition taken from the Golden Era of wrestling, each competitor was presented with yellow roses. The rules were read aloud. Each wrestler was checked for foreign objects. Then it began. 

Nobe took advantage of Gunner’s hostility early. Every time Gunner would charge, Nobe had an answer. When Gunner finally began to lose his cool, Nobe capitalized and drove Gunner out to Hart to regroup. As the two competitors faced each other in the ring once again, their sized each other up, face to face. Until Gunner pushed Bryant, and then spit on him! Then it was well and truly on! 

Nobe Bryant leapt on top of Gunner and reigned down blows. Eventually he sent him to the corner and rising for the ten punches, he instead lend over and bit Gunner, taking a chunk from his head. As the blood began to stream, the fight raged back and forth. Bryant appeared to have a counter to everything in Gunner’s playbook. That was until he pulled the referee in front of himself as Nobe landed a Stinger splash in the corner. 

As the referee lay prone, Hart pulled out a bull rope that Nelms from The 6:05 Crew had left under the ring. He slide it in to Gunner. As Gunner assaulted Bryant from behind, he slipped the rope over his neck and began an illegal choke! Then, as orchestrated by Hart, Gunner slung Bryant over the top rope with the bull rope still around his neck! Hart had previously perpetrated this same tactic when Camacho had faced Sam Stackhouse just six months earlier. 

To the shock of the crowd, Bryant began to fade. As Hart and Gunner rolled the limp body of Nobe Bryant into the ring, the crowd turned angry! Several fans attempted to hit the ring to assist Bryant but ringside security managed to keep control. As the referee was thrown back into the ring by Hart, the count was made: one, two, three. Mike Gunner was the first King of Sports Heavyweight Champion!

As Gunner and J. J. Hart were met at the interview stage by The 6:05 Crew as well as Big Sed and Kistopher Haiden of Hart International. Gunner demanded that KOS President Joe Briscoe place the title belt around his waist. In disgust, Briscoe complied. Ringside security was tested by the crowd as kicked at J. J. Hart, spit at Gunner, and threatened everyone within ear shot. The crowd only began to calm once Hart International and new KOS Heavyweight Champion, Mike Gunner, left the venue. 

Nobe Bryant was left in the ring. As he rose to his feet, defeated, Khyber O’Sullivan was there with the microphone. Bryant, in a moment of vulnerability, expressed that he was sorry he let his fans down. To which, they all responded by chanting his name so loud that the windows began to shake. Nobe vowed that this was not over. Gunner had to try to kill him to beat him and he was not dead. Bryant is still in hot pursuit of the KOS Heavyweight Championship and the battle had only just begun!

The night ended with the crowd standing in their chairs, chanting “NOBE” as loud as possible as their fallen hero began his quest from redemption. The journey continues on June 4th in Pattonville, Texas. Will Nobe Bryant be able to corner Mike Gunner and J. J. Hart? When will the rematch take place? June 4th is shaping up to be one of the most critical moments in King of Sports history. 

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