MSWA Returns To Claim Dominance In OKC
2011 was not the best year for MSWA. As the longest running federation in the state of Oklahoma, it seemed like there would always be an MSWA show every couple of weeks. And even with venue changes and roster changes, the federation continued to exist, even if it didn't exactly thrive.
Crowds had dwindled to just a handful after Impact, Inc. were forced to leave the company. Although the group were hated by the fans, the simple FACT of the matter was that they turned out to boo those guys. And it wasn't just Impact, Inc. that left, many of the other top stars including Double D and Kevin Morgan also left the company around the same time. Try as they might, the bookers for MSWA weren't able to put on shows that drew people in, even with a new commissioner in the form of C. M. Burnham and fresh talent that included Tim Rockwell, Stevie Caballero, Les Mayne and several others.
But even with the turnout down, the shows kept plugging along. And MSWA didn't feel too bad, as they knew that all sports franchises went through periods of rebuilding. They felt confident that new stars would be created and things would turn around. But then, the problems really began. Shows got cancelled. Problems with the venue's physical structure forced things to be delayed. And then, after October 2, everything just shut down.
The assumption was fairly simple. Everything has a time to start and a time to end and it appeared that MSWA's time had finally ended. And unlike practically every other situation where this might have occurred, the fans weren't going to sense a great loss. Because there were two other federations running shows in OKC: SWCW and BYEW. Both those feds filled the gap that MSWA had left and wrestling continued as it always had done.
But around the beginning of the year, the rumours began to swirl: MSWA was coming back. MSWA was rising from the ashes. They were returning to the site of some of their best success: The Golden Goose Flea Market. But again, it looked like things might not get off the ground as the show's date was changed 3 times before it actually got confirmed.
But, as MSWA owner said when he entered the ring on April 15, "Finally, Mid-South has come back to the Golden Goose!". And fans in Midwest City got the chance to see the beginning of what could be the biggest story in Oklahoma City wrestling in 7 years.
Seven years ago, there was only one wrestling federation in the city: MSWA. They ran at the Underground Arena as they had done for years. But a major dispute following a benefit show for the survivors of the Oklahoma City Bombing cause a split in the ownership of the company. Rick Garrett, who owned the Underground Arena, kept the building. But he couldn't keep the name, so he started his own federation, AACW, which eventually morphed into SWCW. Since 2007, SWCW and MSWA have been synonymous with Oklahoma City wrestling. And while they haven't exactly been cooperative, they've coexisted.
Those friendly days appear to be over.
Many members of the SWCW roster, including Kareem Sadat, SWCW Tag Team Champions Rick Russo, Drake Gallows, Hillbilly, Crazy Charlie and ring announcer Milton Winkelman, were seated in the crowd proudly wearing SWCW t-shirts when MSWA returned to action last Sunday. They were very vocal about SWCW being better, but also well behaved. At least for a time. However, when MSWA owner Bad Boy entered the ring before the second half of the show began, they took it upon themselves to enter the ring en masse. Sadat took the microphone and immediately began to berate MSWA, saying it went out of business before and was going to do so again, then offering the buy the company for $5. When that didn't get him anywhere, the group began a mob beating on Bad Boy. The Canadian Red Devil & El Maximo ran down to help, but they were not enough and they also got put down. Then, the SWCW members took spray cans they had brought with them and tagged the backs of Maximo and CRD, nWo-style.
But then, to the shock of everyone in the crowd, the familiar tornado siren played and "The Awesome One" Kevin Morgan appeared! He quickly stormed the ring and the SWCW members cleared out as if a bomb had gone off. Bad Boy recovered enough to order MSWA security to escort the SWCW members off the property, though not all of them (specifically Russo & Gallows) went willingly. Bad Boy also said that he planned on making an appearance Saturday at the SWCW show and he hoped he could have some backup. He then offered the position of commissioner (previously held by C. M. Burnham, who had been reassigned as the ring announcer for MSWA, due to the defection of Milton Winkelman) to Morgan. Morgan made it clear that he was retired from competing in MSWA. But he said he loved Bad Boy and he loved MSWA, so he would accept.
And now the war is on. And another step was taken Saturday as Bad Boy disguised himself as a member of SWCW security and interfered in a match between SWCW Champion Maniac Mike and the debuting Special K. Bad Boy stood alone in this action, but SWCW Commissioner Chris Kuhn promised a large SWCW contingent to be present at the MSWA event on Sunday, April 29th.
At this time, Bobby Star has not commented on what role, if any, BYEW will be playing in this turf war. Star did compete for MSWA on April 15, but has not competed for SWCW since November of last year.
War has been declared. Shots have been fired. And MSWA is determined to prove that their comeback is not a fluke. The Oklahoma City area has withstood the presence of three wrestling federations in it before. MSWA has withstood the invasion of a rival wrestling federation before. Will history repeat itself again with MSWA standing tall? Or is this truly the last stand of the aging veteran before he's put down for good?