The NWL, a new pro wrestling startup conceived by Kansas City-based entrepreneur Major Baisden, debuted to enthusiastic large crowds at midtown KC's Scottish Rite Temple on Saturday, Jan. 7, and at the Casa Loma Ballroom in St. Louis on Thursday, Jan. 12.
"The strong attendance and fan response at both inaugural events indicate that KC and St. Louis continue to be two of the best cities for pro wrestling in the country," says Baisden, who started the NWL in July with an idea, a business plan, three staff members, and not a single wrestler under contract. "The fans in both cities seemed to rejoice that the local wrasslin’ they grew up loving was finally back. Witnessing the tremendous crowd reactions at both venues was really special to me, as I've been a huge fan since I was a kid. After both shows, we received several positive reviews by wrestling journalists, podcasters, and social media fans alike for the quality of the presentation and the in-ring product itself."
Both initial NWL shows featured main events pitting teams representing Kansas City and St. Louis battling each other for civic pride and bragging rights as part of what will be an ongoing I-70 Series of Wrestling. Team NWL KC enjoyed the home mat advantage at the Scottish Rite, winning a six-man tag bout, while Team NWL STL triumphed in a rematch in front of a near-capacity crowd at the Casa Loma, with the results in sending the local fans in each town home happy.
Throughout the season, the final show of each month will pit wrestlers from KC and St. Louis against each other, with the city earning the most victories recognized as the League's best town. The NWL's top city will also earn negotiation rights for all new talent entering the NWL in 2018. The NWL is running events in KC every other Saturday and in St. Louis every other Thursday, making it vital for fans leaving the building wanting more.
To further capitalize on the natural rivalry between KC and St. Louis, both promotions will soon kick off tournament matches to decide the League's KC and STL champions this spring. The NWL STL champion and the NWL KC kingpin will then square off in a mid-season showdown, with the winner earning home-arena advantage for the year's big finale in December.
On the night of the season finale, the NWL's League champion will also be decided that evening with a tourney involving the St. Louis and KC titleholders as well as the No. 1 contenders for both belts. The December spectacular will also crown the NWL's tag-team champions in a tournament featuring the four teams with the best records over the course of the 12-month season.
"From personal issues to civic pride to championships that are earned in the ring after months of intense competition, NWL KC and NWL STL are presenting compelling, storyline-driven entertainment featuring some of the best athletes in the world," Baisden says. "More than anything, the NWL is proud to bring back the kind of pro wrestling the fans in both these great cities deserve."
NWL KC returns for its second show Saturday at the Scottish Rite on Saturday, Jan. 21, while NWL STL brings its own brand of wrestling action back to the Casa Loma on Thursday, Jan. 26. Tickets are available at fightkc.ticketfly.com and fightstl.ticketfly.com, respectively.
The National Wrasslin’ League (NWL) is reviving the historical roots of the business. Fueled by intercity rivalries, the NWL prides itself on family-friendly, storyline-driven programming that delivers thrilling athletic action and entertaining characters.