This past May in Holland, world traveled pro wrestling veteran Silas Young stepped into the ring to challenge another 20 year journeyman, Dylan Night for Michigan’s Heavyweight Title. Young made a name for himself after capturing Ring of Honor’s World Television Championship on two different occasions. His epic battles on Pay Per View and overseas have cemented his name among the top tier of pro wrestlers worldwide. Young has had legendary bloody battles, performed in front of thousands of people, and has traveled the globe winning dozens of championships. Going into the matchup Young had never held a title in the state of Michigan. This was his opportunity to take on the state’s finest and etch his mark in Michigan pro wrestling history.
Silas Young’s adversary and defending champion Dylan Night is a man with a similar origin story. Night spent nearly two decades traveling the globe competing against some of the best to ever do it. He spent hours in dojos training under legends like Mr. Dory Funk. Instead of continuing to compete internationally like Young, Night chose a different path, he chose the state of Michigan. For Night, there was history in Michigan. Night’s career kicked off in the Great Lakes region. He had traveled thousands of miles on those bumpy roads through rain, snow, and shine paying his dues and learning the craft. When it was time to leave the road and come home, Night made it his life’s mission to capture the Michigan State Heavyweight Title and set the bar higher than any other champion had done before. Going into the match, Night knew that he would have to stand up to the very best that the challenger had to offer. The fans knew that in this Last Man Standing Match, they were about to witness something truly special.
When it was time for the main event in Holland, there was a euphoric kind of electricity in the air. As the wrestlers made their way to ringside it didn’t feel like 2022. People weren’t on their phones distracted from physical reality, instead they were present, living in the moment, enjoying the sights and sounds, and breathing in the intoxicating atmosphere that only a sold out crowd at a classic pro wrestling show can create. If you had closed your eyes and took one breath your imagination would have whisked you away to another time where the smell of stale popcorn and cigarette smoke filled the arena air. Where the blinding industrial lights created an almost churchlike glow over the ring as it reflected off of the haze of tobacco fog rising far above the gentlemans section. To a time where there weren’t any concert style wrestling t-shirts and signs written in black marker. This felt more like a time where men smoked cigars and wore their finest leisure suits and women dressed for a night on the town. If you closed your eyes long enough you could see children in suspended trousers running amuck in the aisleways while you listened to your Grandmother complain about how poor of an official the referee of the last bout was. This was no ordinary main event. For those who were there living in this moment, seeing it live, this match seemed to transcend time itself.
Last Man Standing. Night VS Young. THE Heavyweight Title. This main event had the look and feel of so many classic main events that had come before it. It was the kind of main event that tipped the cap to those who helped to pioneer the paths for generations who are too young and naive to even know what that truly means. When the opening bell rang both wrestlers took their time to feel each other out. Neither wrestler wanted to make a mistake. They exchanged wrestling holds, took a few shots from one another and kept moving, but then suddenly something snapped inside of Night and a brawl began. As the two wrestlers tore into one another, the fans scooted closer to the edge of their seats. The grizzled veterans took the fight to the concession stand, the bar, the merchandise tables, the VIP section and then eventually back into the ring. Night was good, but he wasn’t good enough to stop the right hands of Young. There was plenty of back-and-forth, but Young found several opportunities to win the match. Each time the ref counted and got nearly to 10, the Upper Echelon’s Manager Jack Kelly got involved and broke up the count. Young knew he had to take Kelly out if he wanted to walk away with the title belt.
With the help of Kelly, Dylan Night took control of Young and dished out a beating that made capital punishment look like a time out. Night picked Young apart as he decimated every limb on Young’s body. Each time Young tried to fight back, Night went to the knee and kept the challenger grounded. A sound, but not popular strategy with the fans in attendance. Night looked to have things well in hand, that was until a steel chair was introduced and Young had the equalizer he needed to wear Night out and keep Kelly at a distance. As the chair shots echoed off of Night’s back like the sound of cannon fodder, the momentum in the match began to shift. Night, who was writhing in pain, got desperate and so he gave the sign. Plan B had begun.
The Upper Echelon’s “Nasty” Nick Xero & Mr. One Night Only took to the ring like a pack of jackals. They beat Young down and to make matters worse they tore the canvas and padding off the ring and exposed the bare boards! It was clear that the UE didn’t want to take any chances and smashing Young on the bare ring boards would be a way to keep him down once and for all.
The backup plan Kelly had in place was working famously. Night was getting the break he needed, Young was out cold, and the UE looked poised to end it all and take the title home. Suddenly the air left the room as the Nomads hit the ring and started tossing Upper Echelon bodies everywhere. Ace Evans and Road Rash came to settle an old score with the UE and in doing so gave Young a glimmer of hope. The Nomads derailed the attack from the Upper Echelon leaving Young & Night in the ring, exposed boards and all.
After realizing that this was his moment, Silas hoisted Night to the top rope, climbed up, grabbed his head, tossed his arm over, stood up and in one final burst of energy and emotion, delivered the most disgusting Superplex ever witnessed by a mortal man. Both wrestlers went crashing to the bare wood boards. The ring shook and the sound of the thunderous impact could be heard from miles away. As the wrestlers cried out in agony the referee began what would be his final count. Young was starting to get to his feet, Night could not. Upon the realization that his championship reign was about to be over, Night grabbed the referee which kept him from seeing Silas Young standing on his feet. In the blink of an eye, Jack Kelly appeared out of nowhere and clipped Young w/ a cane right to his injured knee. Young went crashing to the mat, the ref turned around and saw Young down, he looked again and Night was standing on his feet. The bell rang, a chorus of boos followed, and Dylan Night was declared the victor even though it was clear that the Upper Echelon had cheated!
Although fans left Holland disappointed, in the aftermath of Last Man Standing, PPW Owner Xavier Justice made some blockbuster matches. On July 16, in Muskegon, Michigan Silas Young will join forces with the Nomads to face the Upper Echelon in a Street Fight at Rebel Road. And when PPW returns to Holland on October 8th, he’ll receive a rematch for the Michigan State Heavyweight Title in a Unsanctioned Fight against Dylan Night.
More information will be released on PPW Social Media
(Facebook, Twitter, IG, YouTube) @ppwpower and at our live events page at pureprowrestling.net.