Has it been three weeks since War Games? Yes. Should I have put this together sooner? Yes. Has there been a show since War Games that I should probably be talking about as well? Yes.
Do I care? Well, yes, but I can’t do anything about it now. So, here it is, later than any of us would have liked.
WAR GAMES WINNERS
Sutler Reynolds-Kael: Let’s start with the obvious. Sutler was my pick to win War Games and he did not disappoint. This was as impressive a performance as we have seen from anybody in HOW this year and one of the greatest War Games outings I have ever seen. He survived an onslaught from Conor Fuse – and HOW Hall of Famer Shane Reynolds – in the final flurry of the match and used that opportunistic nature I highlighted a month or so ago to remove the threat of John Sektor and the impressive Teddy Palmer. There is no doubt he could have saved Sektor, but he knew that Palmer was there for the taking as soon as the referee’s hand came down for the three count. HOW has a new World Champion and I don’t see anyone taking that title away from Sutler Kael any time soon.
Conor Fuse: … but if anybody can take the title away from Sutler, it’s the man that almost beat him. He started his night by winning the HOW Tag Team Championship and he ended it agonizingly short of winning the biggest prize in this industry. Conor Fuse and Sutler Kael have ushered in a new age in HOW and I am excited to see what comes next. Fuse eliminated the impressive Steve Harrison and played a game of one-upmanship with Sutler throughout. He may have fallen short of achieving his ultimate goal, but Conor comes out of this as the biggest threat to Sutler Kael.
Teddy Palmer: Once again, Teddy had his hands full with Clay Byrd, but once again he comes out of that match as the LSD Champion. That alone would have been enough for him to appear on this list – Clay Byrd gave him absolutely everything and I look forward to their next encounter as much as Kael vs Fuse. Aside from that impressive – if somewhat fortuitous – victory, Palmer had a hand in bringing the Tag Team titles back into the hands of the 214 and survived long enough to finish 3rd overall. Having entered at the very beginning of the match, this has to go down as one of the better performances in this year’s event. I’m not quite sure why he wouldn’t help Ray McAvay, though…
WAR GAMES LOSERS
Scottywood: I suggested that perhaps Scottywood could enter this match and have a short, but impactful tenure. I was right about it being short. Sure, he wasn’t helped by Jiles and Kael, but it was a poor showing from the Hall of Famer.
Scott Stevens: When it was all said and done, the lonesome one once again found himself all alone, laying on his back, wondering where it all went wrong. Stevens had his moments, but ultimately, he was no match for HOW’s greatest ever champion. I don’t know what comes next for Scott Stevens – perhaps a run in one of the big Japanese promotions – but I do know it won’t be in HOW. Thanks for the memories, I guess.
Lindsay Troy: All hail the queen of… absolutely nothing. I questioned her leadership ahead of the match, she proved my concerns were accurate during the match… and now she is gone from HOW. To her credit she did work well in the early stages of the match with her team but had very little impact on the match overall.
Clay Byrd: It feels a little unfair to put Clay in the losers category, but I couldn’t finish this without mentioning him – and I obviously can’t put him in the winners section. I thought whoever came out on top of that first stage of the match would go on to have a shot at winning the entire thing – and Palmer came close. I believe if Clay Byrd had held on to consciousness for just a second or two longer, he would have had just as much of an impact on the match. Who knows? Maybe his presence would have helped Jatt and Sektor retain the tag titles, or maybe he would have been there at the end, alongside Sektor and Sutler, to stack the odds against Conor Fuse. Unfortunately, we will never know, and it feels like a missed opportunity for the big man. Despite the what if’s, Clay Byrd remains a huge threat in HOW – especially to Teddy Palmer and his LSD Championship, provided the champ overcomes the challenge facing him on Saturday.
But we’ll talk about later in the week. For now, congratulations to Sutler Reynolds-Kael on becoming HOW World Champion, to Teddy Palmer for retaining the LSD Championship and to Dan Ryan and Conor Fuse for becoming Tag Team Champions.
And farewell, Scott Stevens.