PREVIEWING FULL THROTTLE
by Steve Fullhart
Lions Pride Sports Play-by-Play announcer
You can make the argument the first trip Lions Pride Sports made to Killeen marked the biggest turning point in company history. Will there be another major change in trajectory with the return of The Pride to K-Town?
Saturday, February 2 marks the Full Throttle event. Not only will it bring even more excitement to Woody Hall in Killeen, it will serve as a fundraiser for a worthy group, the Clements Boys & Girls Club. By coming to enjoy all the high-octane action, you help Killeen’s youth.
When we made our first visit to Bell County in September, Central Texas’s own Brent McKenzie challenged for the Lions Pride Sports Championship. Since the beginning of The Pride, “Super Tex” has been Chase Paradise’s centerpiece in his villainous faction, The Brand. However, during the main event match against then-champion Mike Dell, Paradise introduced a new player on his threatening team: Moonshine Mantell. It marked the start of a major escalation in The Brand’s efforts to exert control over Lions Pride Sports as they brought a man on board whose stated goal is to take over the pro wrestling scene in Texas.
In December, with their trademark underhanded tactics, Mantell seized the championship by defeating Dell in Bryan. Those tactics did not include McKenzie, though. An injury has sidelined “Super Tex” since the fall, but we’re told he’s ready to return to action, and that he’ll do it at Full Throttle where he feels like he has a homefield advantage. The Brand has changed drastically since McKenzie went on the shelf. Not only was Moonshine added (along with the Lions Pride Sports Championship), but Angel Blue, Max Castellanos and Will Allday have joined the group. With McKenzie’s return, will anyone be able to stop The Brand?
Of course, one must ask whether Moonshine will still be the champion come Full Throttle. Mantell and “The American Psycho” Lance Hoyt will battle for the gold in Caldwell Friday, January 18. Who will carry that title into Killeen two weeks later? The Brand may be battling from a weakened position if the New Japan Pro Wrestling star has anything to say about it.
We’ll also have to see whether Nate Jolly is still the Lions Pride Sports 360 Champion by Full Throttle. Regardless, “Johnny Swole’s” Gain Train left the station at a high rate of speed starting in Killeen in September. After struggling in winless tag teams, Jolly had an awakening based in part on encounters with legends Jerry Lawler, Billy Gunn and Rikishi over the summer. A switch was flipped, and it began in Bell County with a win over the impressive Cam Cole.
Next month, with momentum and confidence on his side, Jolly outlasted five other competitors in a battle royal to win the vacant 360 Title. A successful defense in December against international sensation Barrett Brown cemented Jolly as one of The Pride’s top stars, something a lot of fans wouldn’t have expected if not for the swing that started in Killeen.
Bottom line: big things happen when Lions Pride Sports come to K-Town. Tides turn, winds change and storms brew. Commissioner Aaron Presley, himself a Central Texas native, promises a big night on February 2, one that not only will benefit the Clements Boys & Girls Club, but will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Get your tickets now, and don’t miss The Pride’s return to Killeen!