History Deals Rockwell Crushing Blows Over Weekend
George Santanyana once said that those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. And history came crashing into Tim Rockwell's world twice as he suffered back-to-back losses in two federations.
On Friday night, MWA continued a tradition it began at its first event by announcing the latest inductee into the Hall of Honour. That man was Leroy McGuirk, the legendary Oklahoma promoter who ran Tri-States Wrestling for almost 25 years. Accepting the award on his behalf was his daughter, former WWF ring announcer Mike McGuirk. After MWA Director of Operations Mike Iles read off a list of Leroy's accomplishments, Mike came to the ring to accept the plaque. She was given the microphone and began to express her gratitude. But before she could get even one sentence out, Tim Rockwell, with his manager Stevie Caballero and Michael Barry, with the new bodyguard for Excellence Personified, Ken Masters, came to the ring. Barry proceded to call Mike McGuirk a washed-up has-been and said she contributed nothing to wrestling. He even went so far as to refer to Mike and her son, Max McGuirk, as "mistakes". Then, after that humiliation, Barry seemed to shift gears and was determined to seduce Mike McGuirk, saying that she had "never had anyone like him in the WWF" and going so far as to offer her a place in EP as "Miss Wednesday Night". Barry said all she had to do was give him a kiss. Barry puckered up and Mike slapped him extra hard on the face. This brought Max McGuirk and Blake Albright to the ring and the obnoxious quartet quickly scooted through the ropes to safety. But Mike Iles wasn't going to allow them to escape that easily and announced that the main event for that night would be Michael Barry and Tim Rockwell vs. Max McGuirk & Blake Albright. Mike McGuirk promised to be in her son's corner and after Max & Blake were done with their opponents, "if anything is left", she'd "finish it!"
Both Rockwell and Barry had personal issues with Max. McGuirk had been the special referee for the steel cage match where Barry lost the MWA Title to Jeff Starchild. McGuirk contributed to that loss directly by slamming the cage door into Barry's face at the end of the match. The next month, McGuirk made his in ring return in MWA, defeating Tim Rockwell in what many considered an upset. Now both men prepared to gain some revenge. But Blake & Max, who had only tagged in Oklahoma once before, were completely prepared to face this duo. Things went as one would expect in a tag team match with this calibre of competitor until Barry collided with referee Jeremy Evans in the corner. Mike McGuirk took this opportunity to jump up on the ring apron and begin to lure Barry over. As Rockwell encouraged him, Barry believed that he had finally convinced the '80s icon to turn to the dark side. But again, the trick was on "Mr.Saturday Night" as Mike McGuirk punched Barry square in the jaw, stunning him enough for Max to connect with a Death Valley Driver and gain the pin after reviving the referee.
Although it counted as a loss on his record, Rockwell didn't actually get pinned. This prompted him to contact TAP managment and agree to return to that federation, which he had not competed in since the first half of 2009. TAP now ran in Wagoner at the civic centre, a building which held a lot of history for Rockwell. He became a Triple Crown Tag Team Champion in that building when he and his uncle, Bernard Funk, defeated Mass Destruction for the NWA-U Universal Tag Team Titles. He also had quite a bit of history with TAP itself. When he last competed for them, he was part of the TAP Tag Team Champions and while he had been directly involved in winning those belts, he was in no way involved in their loss. Also, on March 22, 2008, Rockwell became the very first TAP Oklahoma Heritage Champion, a title he would hold for almost 11 months before losing it to Jon Cross. Rockwell returned to TAP and received a warm reception form the crowd. He said the building held a lot of history for him and he wanted to make some history again. Rockwell then called out TAP Oklahoma and ComPro Tag Team Champion Dutch Hagen. Hagen arrived and Rockwell respectfully requested a title match. Hagen granted it and the competition was on. Rockwell was focused on beginning to once again ascend the ladder that brought him the #1 ranking in the state in 2007. But no matter what he tried to do with Hagen, things only got more and more frustrating for him. He couldn't match power with him. He seemed incapable of outwrestling him. And Dutch was very experienced in the darker side of the competition, so Rockwell couldn't succeed with some of the dirty tricks he might have used to gain victory against lesser opponents. Ultimately, the frustration overwhelmed him and he grabbed the title belt, then slammed it into the back of Hagen's head, causing a DQ. As the crowd voiced their displeasure at seeing Rockwell in his old behaviours, "The Pride of the Lone Star State" stood over his fallen opponent and reintroduced himself, telling Hagen that he was his "worst nightmare".
For many, it's seemed that Rockwell has been treading water since the retirement of Bernard Funk. Most fans know that Rockwell has the tools to be successful in singles competition. He just needs to be motivated. Perhaps the possibility of a title belt in near grasp is enough to provide that motivation for him. Rockwell needs to string together some major wins if he wants to once again be treated as a top performer in the state. Although it's unknown who he will be competing against this Friday at the ComPro event, that match could be crucial for his career this year.