I NEED A HERO Results – 2/4/22

Where have all the good men gone, and where are all the gods?

Where’s the streetwise Hercules to fight the rising odds?

Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?

Late at night, I toss and I turn, and I dream of what I need…

The perennial questions asked in Bonnie Tyler’s classic song were answered this week at MPW’s I Need A Hero. A night full of the rise of both heroes and villains alike, the card was a perfect compliment to the main event that every single fan was waiting for: Soul Vs Soul with Rebel Storm facing J2.

Titles hung in the balance. Futures hinged on three brief seconds of stillness in the ring. The fate of a good man’s very soul was on the line tonight, with the promise of Hell on Earth should he fail to defeat the coming darkness.

What was the outcome? Nothing you could have possibly imagined, and everything that, inevitably, had to happen. Brace yourselves: this one is a roller coaster.

Last warning of spoilers for I Need A Hero…that said, let’s do this.

**********

Kickoff

The show opened with Bryan Carter again on the soundboard, and the familiar strains of Barbie Boi’s entrance music filling the arena. Entering in stylish new leopard print gear, Barbie Boi took to the ring, microphone in hand, and prepared to meet with champion Danny Divine to discuss their issues – and, hopefully, MPW’s general manager and Divine seemingly colluding to keep Divine away from facing the man he betrayed.

Those dark facts took a backseat, however, as the fans embraced Barbie Boi with a ‘welcome back’ chant – before Danny Divine showed up.

Taking up a mic of his own, Divine confronted a clearly ready-for-combat Barbie Boi and told him flat out: there would be no match, because Barbie Boi had no right to it. While it was true, as former champion he was entitled to a rematch, he’d been absent for several months and had some ground to make up before he would get his shot. Throwing in a few shots at Barbie’s character for good measure, with the reminders of Barbie’s holiday absence on a night when he was supposed to team with Ray Rosas, Divine finally declared that while he wouldn’t get a title shot, he would be fighting tonight since he was chomping at the bit to get back in the ring.

His opponent? Another return, albeit one the fans were far less excited about…as they nearly booed Dr. Phil Goode out of the building when he emerged at ringside.

UNSCHEDULED MATCH

Barbie Boi DEFEATS Dr. Phil Goode

Starting on a bad note early, as the jeers of the crowd had Phil demanding an apology before he would wrestle Barbie Boi, he was swiftly taken to school by the former world champion. Utilizing his quickness – and a stylish bit of twerking – Barbie Boi started working on Phil almost immediately. His strategy was clear as he lay into Phil with some nasty chops: get the big man off his feet to make speed the name of the game.

It worked, but only for a moment as Phil caught Barbie off a dive and knocked him flat with a fall away slam. The match proceeded with Phil on the offense, using his size to brutally effective advantage to try and ground the smaller, more nimble Barbie Boi. Things looked grim – until a cross body from Barbie Boi very nearly got him the pin, key word being ‘nearly.’

A follow up bulldog off the ropes was the final nail in the coffin as it left Phil dazed just long enough to gain that critical three count.

…and then Danny Divine showed up.

Launching himself out of the locker room for an absolutely vicious post match assault on Barbie Boi, he seemed ready to, and might have succeeded in, crippling Barbie if not for the save pulled off by Mylo and Johnnie Robbie. As Mylo checked on Barbie, Robbie grabbed a mic and reminded Divine that she wasn’t about to let her title shot go – as you might remember, she won the fan poll from Loteria that was summarily thrown out by Bryan Carter the night of, but Robbie believed she was still entitled to her chance.

In a shocking turn of events – no more shocking to anyone else than it was to Danny Divine himself – Carter seemed to agree with Robbie. Not totally, but just enough to acquiesce by offering her a title match at next week’s Don’t Look Under The Bed.

The fans spoke, and Johnnie Robbie is ready to answer at DON’T LOOK UNDER THE BED! (Source: Millennium Pro Wrestling Instagram)

Divine, visibly upset by this development, stormed off, but Carter wasn’t done. Like most things with Carter, it came with a caveat: in addition to the championship match, Carter gifted Robbie and Mylo with a chance at the tag team titles a little later on. One can only imagine his hope was that the match would soften Robbie up before next week…and one can only hope that it won’t count against Robbie in that match.

Duke Bennett DEFEATS Bucio

Last week, we at the X-Press were speculating as to whether or not we’d see either member of Full Send again in the foreseeable future, given the brutality of the American Grizzly’s assaults. However, not only did Bucio appear for his scheduled match, but Dustin Daniels was there in his corner – and to his credit, looked to have essentially recovered from the beating he took last week. Would Bucio fare any better?

Short answer: no. No, he would not.

Credit must be given, however: in the early moments of the match, he proved that speed could be a key factor in felling Bennett, taking a clear, albeit barely substantial upper hand in the opening moments of the match. This lasted a minute, give or take, before Bennett caught Bucio out of midair and proceeded to ragdoll him much as he had the last time they met, adding insult to injury by demanding Daniels throw in the towel to stop it – surrender on Bucio’s behalf to save him from further assault.

When Daniels didn’t comply, Bennett mercifully slammed Bucio to the mat, pinned him, and ended the fiasco. After leaving the ring, allowing Daniels to see to his tag team partner, Bennett grabbed a microphone and asked if they were done yet, if they understood how out of their depth they were. He even offered to make it a fair fight, and wrestle them two on one next week at Don’t Look Under The Bed. Bucio, having recovered slightly from the beatdown he’d just taken, agreed – without asking Daniels.

Can Full Send prevail as a team against the American Grizzly? Find out next week. (Source: Millennium Pro Wrestling Twitter)

Next week, it will be Full Send vs. the American Grizzly, Duke Bennett – but as Full Send left the ring, the unhappy expression on the face of one Dustin Daniels begs the question: did these two resolve all their issues at Destiny Returns? Or did Duke Bennett’s surprise appearance simply push the unrest back into the shadows yet again?

TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH

M.O.B. (Diego Valens & Michael Hopkins) DEFEATS Johnnie Robbie & Mylo

This match began in hilariously disorganized fashion as, after Mylo and Robbie made their entrances, Bryan Carter left the soundboard to appear ringside with his clients, the M.O.B., and engage in his usual antics. This would prove to be the beginning of the end of this match, even as Mylo and Hopkins started things off. The crowd showed early support for Mylo over Hopkins, which angered the champion.

The match proceeded much as one might expect from the M.O.B., with Hopkins and Daniels complaining about slow counts and unfair officiating with every attempted pinfall that did not work out in their favor. Mylo and Robbie showed themselves as a force to be reckoned with against Hopkins and Valens, with incredible chemistry as a team – even when things went awry with a cross body off the ropes, assist coming from Robbie to launch Mylo in the air. They pulled together, executed the move successfully, and came within a hairsbreadth of the pin.

Meanwhile, Hopkins was resorting to grabbing the hair on Robbie, and when Valens ended up in the ring with her, couldn’t make a fumble pay off as Robbie ended up balanced atop his shoulders. Robbie seized control with a hurucanrana, but lost it just as fast. Trapped in the champion’s corner, Hopkins and Valens not only issued a beatdown, but Hopkins knocked Mylo out of the corner and unable to receive a tag from her partner in crisis.

Fortunately, Mylo was quick to recover, and managed to get the tag from Robbie to storm the ring. Her initial assault was promising, until she got distracted at ringside by the presence of the aforementioned Bryan Carter. What began as a physical altercation seemed to progress into an argument, all the while Robbie was hung up in the ring again. Through some distraction and misdirection, the M.O.B. got the pinfall on Robbie, retaining their titles.

It’s a miserable situation, but it was made worse by the fact that there seemed to be problems brewing between this newly formed tag team in the aftermath of the match. Visibly upset, Robbie brought Mylo to task on her absence in Robbie’s moment of need. Let’s hope these two don’t break up before they’ve even gotten started – with a little more time and polish, the Mac Daddy and the resident renegade of the MPW could prove to be one of the single most prolific tag teams this organization has ever seen.

Miggy Rose DEFEATS El Primohenio Trebeca

Despite the antics of Trebeca in the ring, insisting the referee remove his ring coat, he was notably outshone by his challenger. Absent since his defeat at Destiny Returns, Miggy Rose was greeted like a champion as he entered the MPW Arena. He seemed more comfortable with the adulation as well, and despite his loss two weeks before moved with a lighter step and a spark in his eyes. Make no mistake, he wasn’t slapping hands or kissing babies (though this reporter once again received a fistbump), but there was a clear change in Rose as yet unseen.

Rather than talking himself up as a great wrestler and a worthy competitor while fighting dirty, he seems to have internalized it. He’s a worthy competitor and he knows it, he can win clean and he knows it – but a hero he is not, and he’s not going to stop fighting dirty any time soon…and the fans of MPW wouldn’t have it any other way.

Hell, setting journalistic objectivity aside for a moment: neither would I. Rose knew this, and ever the braggart, lorded his favor with the fans over Trebeca in the opening moments of the match. He kept his posturing brief, however, and immediately went into the match to try and outwrestle Trebeca. A mat game at the onset, Rose was in top form with a wrestling clinic – but Trebeca was there to win at any cost, with none of the pride of Miggy Rose to keep himself in a position of integrity. Rakes to the eyes, grabbing the hair, ignoring the referee, Trebeca was above none of these cheap tactics to try and disable his opponent.

Neither was Rose, however, but unlike Trebeca, Rose saved his dirty moves for moments when he’d proven himself the better man – such as repeated shots to Trebeca’s hand while successfully executing a submission maneuver to wear down his arm, or later using Trebeca’s abundance of hair to pull him into a different submission while fending off far worse from his opponent.

In the end, dirty tactics from both men were of no consequence: Trebeca couldn’t put Rose down long enough to get the pin, but Miggy Rose pinned El Primohenio clean for the victory. He’s no prince, but Rose is finally beginning to understand his own greatness: worthy of the world championship he held, worthy of a second title run, and worthy of the respect he has earned from the fans of MPW.

Miggy Rose will always be unrefined and surly, but he’s also, in the eyes of one and all – himself included – a true contender in every sense of the word.

NON TITLE MATCH

Alejandro Mauricio Fernandez w/Jack Slammer DEFEATS Brendan Divine (c)

While the National Champion indulged in a pre-match selfie with the crowd, AMF and Jack Slammer were up to their usual antics, requiring the referee be searched before being allowed to check Fernandez. Fernandez also engaged in the usual routine of begging off after the bell to “stretch.”

This time, however, Brendan Divine moved to join him, propping a foot up on the ropes at Fernandez’s side – and promptly wrangled him into a headlock.

The moment was quite satisfying for all those who have long since grown sick of the posturing from Fernandez, but unfortunately it didn’t last. While Divine did his level best, it was two against one at every turn with regular interference from Slammer. Whether it was distracting Divine or the referee, he played a major factor in the course of the match…but oddly enough, not the final outcome.

Journalistic integrity, unfortunately, demands that this reporter deliver the whole story: Slammer was hardly needed. Since his return from the holiday break, Fernandez has revealed heretofore unseen levels of focus and ruthless aggression that, paired with his in-ring ability, have made him a lethal weapon. The loose cannon we saw when he was still answering to Bulletproof is nothing compared to the almost surgical cruelty of the man we now see in the ring week by week.

Things looked promising near the end of the match when Jack Slammer tried to insert himself physically into the contest – and got cold cocked by Divine for his trouble. Then Fernandez landed a spear which failed to garner him a pin…

…and then Jordan Cruz showed up.

In a move so lightning fast it didn’t quite register for a handful of seconds, Cruz ran into the ring, took Divine out, and hid away just long enough for Fernandez to secure the pinfall victory. There is little more to be said, save for what the National Champion himself tweeted after Friday’s debacle.

So say Brendan Divine, so say we all.

MAIN EVENT – SOUL FOR SOUL

J2 w/Hydie and Artorius versus Rebel Storm

Normally, our results begin with a one line summary so you, as the reader, can get the information you came for and thus move on if this is your decision. Not this time – this time, there is a greater story to tell.

And it is, in fact, a story I shall tell you today: a story about friendship, faith, and will.

It is a story about a good man lost to darkness, and the man who walked into Hell itself to save him.

Entering with her dark wizard and her enslaved monster, Hydie looked as ill as she has in her previous video messages, face haggard and stained by the inky waters of the Void. Artorius was close at hand, never venturing too far from J2’s side lest their control begin to slip, as it has been off and on for weeks now.

At least, he didn’t wander far until Rebel Storm entered, and to a different version of his usual theme no less. Shedding his jacket with a couple of sly winks, Storm hung it from the ringpost. He stopped just short of giving it a fond little pat…and at his first chance, Artorius snatched the jacket up.

The crowd panicked, as did Storm. The doll hidden within its folds, the totem that bound J2 to the Void’s control – the painstaking lengths Storm has gone to this past week to try and call J2’s soul back home through use of the mystical little effigy

Artorius searched the pockets…and searched…and searched…

Storm smiled.

The doll wasn’t present. It was safely hidden somewhere, far out of reach – there would be no supernatural trickery to try and tip the scales in their favor. Win or lose, one man would leave the match changed…and if Storm was going to be claimed by the Void, he would be taken by his own failings alone.

Thus the match began, with a dive by the Rebel Storm to kick things off with a bang – as only the Rebel Storm can.

It was all out war.

Sharp eyed fans witnessed the words scrawled on Storm’s taped fists – Void Breaker – and he was out to do precisely that by any means available to him. The Void did not make it easy: they compelled J2 to use Storm’s own airplane spin against him, taunted him with a horned mask that was fashioned for him to mirror the nightmares Storm had been suffering through this ordeal. It was enough to wear anyone’s spirit down.

One thing the Void had not fully counted on, however, was the fact that Storm brought backup. He may not have realized it, but they were there – that’s right, more than one. Tonight, and every night, every week he fought, suffered, and clawed his way back towards his best friend. They have been there, every step of the way, and on this night they did not falter.

Play-ma-ker! Play-ma-ker! Play-ma-ker!…”

The chant was raucous, desperate. Punctuated by others like “Come back, J2!” and single, desperate cries for J2 to wake up – as Storm fought and begged J2 to listen, the chants were there to drive his voice home.

Storm was in the ring alone – but the fans were fighting right by his side. What’s more, it seemed to be working. More than once, J2 stood clutching his head, doubled over in anguish, gained a dazed look of confusion as if he were starting to wake…

J2 was fighting. The Rebel Storm was fighting. The fans were fighting…and so were the others.

I did tell you that there was more than one ally at Storm’s side – and they were visible just beyond the ring, points of light behind a dark curtain. Glimpses of eyes, fingers, noses. All of them, watching, waiting…hoping.

The MPW roster, all in the locker room area – more members than I could count – were pressed to the curtain, peeking through, as spellbound as the rest of the crowd as their restless shifting and darting gazes seemed to be silently cheering the Rebel Storm on.

What started as a three-on-one fight in the Void’s favor was now three against a legion. With these odds, how could Storm possibly fail?

This, friends, is the power of darkness: breaking the spirit, stamping out hope. Stealing triumph…felling heroes.

The Void interfered. The Rebel Storm was fading.

One. Two. Three.

As J2’s hand was raised in victory, wails of despair rang out through the crowd. Panic, grief, chaos reigned, and the Void drank it in like fine wine. They drank, they celebrated…and they dove on the fallen Rebel Storm.

Soul versus soul – and Storm’s was now forfeit.

To the horror of all, Artorius and J2 restrained Storm as Hydie advanced, a vial in hand of the same noxious stuff that had been forced down J2’s throat to convert him, as outlined in the artistic rendering Hydie sent to Storm through the fairly disturbing means of a USB drive slipped into Storm’s mouth when he was sleeping.

Storm’s mouth was forced open. All stood, helpess to watch as the waters of the Void were poured into his mouth. All that was left was to force him to swallow…

A spray of foul liquid was spat into the air. Storm twisted free, running for his life…to snatch up something hidden at ringside, kept safe from prying eyes and questing hands.

The doll. The one Storm has cared for so meticulously, the one he’s been so afraid to break lest it harm his friend.

As Hydie and Artorius chased Storm out of the ring, Storm rushed back in to stand with J2. Talking, gentle treatment of the totem, and fighting had not worked…he had no other choice.

Desperate, cornered…and in an act of pure faith…Storm tore the doll in two.

The lights flickered. The Void screamed. J2 fell like a lead weight.

Once the sudden surge of power subsided and the lights were restored, Storm stood in the ring with his choice, and his friend laying prone in the ring.

Then J2 stirred.

Wary, but hopeful, Storm bent to help him to his feet. Shockingly, the dark rings and streaks that lived beneath his eyes were gone. As their eyes locked once J2 was standing, for the first time in months we saw something new.

Emotion on the face of J2. Confusion, despair…gratitude. Still, the Thunder Wonder was wary—

Until J2 reached out and pulled him into a fierce embrace.

Meanwhile, visibly wounded by the sudden severing of the unnatural bond, Hydie staggered back into the ring, calling for her monster to finish off the Rebel Storm.

Her answer was very clear – as was the way in which she was flattened by an impassioned J2.

“NO!”

The screams were deafening as the crowd burst into cheers, and a grateful locker room emptied to welcome home the wayward son of MPW with warm embraces and words of celebration. All but glowing with the relief and sheer joy of his new freedom, he circled the ring to let the fans do the same – and as he celebrated in the ring with the Rebel Storm, he had to embrace his best friend one more time in the sheer exultation of the moment.

The long, dark night was over, and on the back of the Storm, the sun was rising on a brand new day in MPW.

The Playmaker, J2 Mattioli, was back – and Millennium Pro Wrestling was giving him a hero’s welcome.

For Your Consideration

Rebel Storm is the hero we all needed — the hero the Playmaker needed — but no good deed goes unpunished, and already the vultures are circling. Since the event, a match has been slated for Don’t Look Under The Bed, J2 versus Artorius. Is the Playmaker ready to return to action so quickly? Only time will tell…and perhaps the man himself. Stay tuned to this space, as we hope to catch J2 for his first exclusive interview since his liberation from the Void!U

Until next time, folks — be a hero, to yourself, and to each other.

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