Excellence Personified Establishes Tyranny Over Oklahoma Championships
Three months ago, Oklafan published an article lauding the accomplishments of Excellence Personified and suggesting that they might be the most powerful faction in Oklahoma. Since that time, they seem to have taken that as a challenge and have increased their power by invading 2 new federations and acquiring 5 new titles to their control. It seems as if nothing can stop this group as they come and go from company to company, causing chaos whereever they land.
A look at the titles under the control of EP prior to August 14 shows all of the following:
MWA Heavyweight Title (Jack Legacy)
MWA MAX Division Title (Dustin Heritage)
TAP Tag Team Title (Legacy, Heritage, Michael Barry & Se7en, as a 4-Man Team)
BYEW Title: Michael Barry
Southern Tag Team Title: The Jet Setters
With that much gold, one would not be wrong to think that they could be satisfied and simply concentrate on retaining what they have. But EP is never happy with the events of the past and their gold fever has reached insurrmountable heights within the past month.
EP leader Mike Iles publicly claimed that his group would walk out of the ComPro 4th anniversary show with more gold than they entered with. That by itself wouldn't be hard, since none of his members were ComPro champions. But his plan came to complete fruition and the ego of "The Smartest Man In Professional Wrestling" skyrocketed with each accomplishment. Success #1 came in the form of Michael Barry. Barry looked to avenge some personal humiliation suffered the previous night at the NWA-OK show in Madill when he lost to Brad Michaels, who had not competed in the ring for 2 years. Barry faced ComPro Showtime Champion Evan Newcastle, who had dominated the ring since his debut late last year and was undefeated going into this match. With EP members surrounding the ring (including all the above named champions as well as Lars Manderson & Kenny Campbell), Newcastle was heavily outmanned, but obviously had done his homework as he didn't seem intimidated by the sheer numbers he faced in this title defence. Barry, on the other hand, seemed to still be suffering some psychological damage from the night before as he kept trying to tag Se7en into the match. Newcastle remained focused despite the chicanery and even had Barry up for the TKO, but Dustin Heritage snuck into the ring, thanks to an abundance of distraction for referee Mark Wilson at ringside and superkicked Newcastle on the chin. Barry then covered the fallen champion and EP's first title bid was successful.
Contest #2 was a lot more person as the Jet Setters got another tag team title shot at Legion 13. Mike Iles also introduced a new associate for EP in the form of X-Cal, who remained at ringside for the match. Legacy & Heritage had not been all that successful in typical tag team matches, so they waited near the entrance for their opponents to come out, then ambushed them and a brawl happened in the rampway area. Complete chaos soon abounded as all four men made their way to the ring. The ringside announce table was obliterated when Jack Legacy was thrown across it and then MWA Tag Team & TAP Oklahoma Heritage Champion Dutch Hagen slammed Heritage on top of it. Eventually the action made its way into the ring and L13 was able to hold their own for quite a while, despite the massive presence at ringside from the opposition. But as Hagen hoisted Heritage up for the Dutch Oven, Heritage was able to adjust his position and catch Hagen with his boots on the chin when coming down, stunning the tag team champion and allowing EP to capture their second title of the night. Mike Iles elatedly declared that they were "two down, one to go" as he celebrated with his cadre on the way to intermission.
That final title was the ComPro Oklahoma X Division Title, which Se7en defended against Sam Stackhouse and Se7en. All 3 men were accompanied by their managers and even though it wasn't EP all wandering around ringside, there were still plenty of people present. Much of the match saw Se7en viciously chopping the ample chest of Stackhouse, leaving welts and blisters that were visable within minutes of the attack. The Luchadore found himself to be the smallest man in the match and tried to use the intelligent tactic of allowing the larger men to beat each other up and save his energy to make the pin. But Se7en was relentless and ended the contest with a devastating Shining Wizard-style knee to the jaw of Stackhouse, pinning him and winning the title (even though he hadn't pinned the champion). Mike Iles demanded that Jamie announce that they were 3-for-3, but she refused, which seemed OK with "The Kingpin" as he got to let everyone hear his voice one more time and see his men overwhelmed with the gold they now possessed.
EP now controls 6 titles in Oklahoma, plus 2 more that are occasionally defended in Oklahoma federations. They maintain presences in ComPro, TAP & MWA. Barry & Manderson brought EP to NWA-OK and rumour has it that more members will be present at their next show in Davis. Iles, Legacy & Se7en competed in MSWA in the Mid-South Tag Team Title tournament and were victorious, signalling that they would be returning there as well (and, in a somewhat odd occurrance, MSWA is the only place where the fans actually cheer unabashadly for EP). And Se7en continues sport his EP T-shirt when he competes in SWCW, even though the rest of the faction is reportedly banned from the company.
In the past, when factions of this nature have taken control of company's titles and run roughshod over them, it's been because leaders or members have been in managerial postitions. Rocco Valentino controlled OPW during the era of the VIP Crew. MSWA Mid-South Champion Johnny Z owns IZW and allows Impact, Inc. to do as much as they can get away with. While it's true that Mike Iles is the commissioner of MWA, none of EP has any managerial influence in the rest of the companies they hold titles in. They simply do the one thing that makes people hate them the most: they talk smack and then back it up with action. And it's brought them success everywhere they go.
But, in a bit of a footnote, their control over ComPro may not be as long term as they would like. The opening match on the event Saturday saw Tim Rockwell face Steven Sterling to determine the #1 contender to the ComPro Showtime Title. Michael Barry & Mike Iles came out and distracted Rockwell during that match, allowing Sterling to roll him up and pull the tights to get a victory. Rockwell was visably upset and after Barry had won the Showtime Title, Rockwell slipped in the ring while the rest of EP boasted to the crowd of their accomplishment and speared the new champion. This brought all the other EP members in and they quickly laid Rockwell out, each taking their turn to hit him with a punishing move. Barry sealed the attack by giving Rockwell the Saturday Night Special on the Showtime Title belt and leaving him nearly unconscious in the ring. While Rockwell may have been down, he wasn't out and revenge is surely on his mind for the next show. Not only can he meet his attacker face-to-face, but he might also be able to snatch away one piece of the tapestry of gold EP assembled for themselves.