WWN Supershow Mercury Rising (WrestleMania Weekend 2018 Previews)
WWN Supershow Mercury Rising
Friday, April 6 (8:00 p.m.)
Pontchartrain Convention Center
The modern incarnation of the Mercury Rising WWN Supershow has become an event filled with dream matches year after year. The event has showcased talents from nearly every WWN brand since 2015, although the final year of Mercury Rising being under the Dragon Gate USA banner felt more like the current incarnation of the show, as there were no Dragon Gate talents present, only Zero-One’s Masato Tanaka who teamed with Chris Hero and ROH’s Roderick Strong in the 29 minute opener against Rich Swann, Ricochet, and AR Fox.
2015 saw Generation Next of Austin Aries and Roderick Strong battle WWN’s next generation of stars, Ricochet and Uhaa Nation, both of whom are now signed and under WWE contract. 2016’s show capped off the weekend that EVOLVE peaked. After two Show of the Weekend Contenders with EVOLVE 58 and 59, WWN opened up the show with Chris Hero vs. Zack Sabre Jr, and closed it with a MOTYC between Kota Ibushi, TJP, and Johnny Gargano vs. Marty Scurll, Tommy End, & Will Ospreay. Last year we saw WWN’s finest battle the best that PROGRESS had to offer, and this year, the Supershow is simply offering some of the best first time ever matches that are available in the current wrestling landscape.
It’s hard to not be excited about this card from the top two matches alone.
Daisuke Sekimoto hasn’t wrestled in the United States since his trip to CZW in early 2011. His third and final match of the weekend will be here, as he battles Keith Lee for the WWN Championship. Sekimoto has wrestled Keith Lee once previously, last summer at an XWA event in which Sekimoto came out victorious. This, however, is Keith Lee’s territory. He has been a dominant force in the WWN Universe since his coming out party at last year’s WrestleMania Weekend. Last year, Keith Lee was in a mess of a four-way that saw him take down Austin Theory, Blaster McMassive, and Jason Kincaid. One year later, with wins against WALTER, Rey Fenix, and Jeff Cobb under his belt, Lee is prepared for his biggest challenge yet. A win over Sekimoto can solidify Lee as one of the biggest names on the indies, if he isn’t already.
Munenori Sawa hasn’t wrestled in the United States since late 2010, and has only wrestled a handful of matches period since his retirement in 2011. This is a massive match for EVOLVE. Sawa’s last match in EVOLVE was against Bryan Danielson, and there is no one that embodies the persona, in-ring style, or dominance of Bryan Danielson right now more than Zack Sabre Jr. There is no doubt that this match will be great, it is only a matter of just how great it will be. To me, Zack has far and away been the best wrestler of 2018, and I have no doubt that this will be a universal spreadsheet match by the time it concludes. This is one of those bouts where simply giving it four stars would feel like a disappointment. I can’t wait to see what these two come up with.
The middle of this card is anchored with a pair of WWN-centric dream matches. Chris Dickinson & Jaka have found their home in the WWN Universe. I’ve stated previously that I never would have imagined myself cheering for anything Chris Dickinson does, but my God something about he and Jaka in EVOLVE just works. Ringkampf is on a run of doing everything absolutely perfect right now. This match will be one of the beefiest, best hoss fights of the weekend. Matt Riddle vs. Will Ospreay, on the other hand, will be a collision of styles and a match that I am very much looking forward to. These two created magic during their first encounter, and they have a chance to do it again here. I have been critical of Riddle’s in-ring progression as of late, but Ospreay has been able to deliver classic after classic against a variety of opponents, and I have a feeling Riddle will be no different. SHINE also finds themselves being included on this show, as LuFisto puts her gold on the line against Holidead. LuFisto defeated her at an ACW show last August, and then once more a month later in a triple threat match that also featured Ivelisse. Holidead gets another one-on-one shot here.
This show also features the annual Mercury Rising six-man. This tradition dates back to 2010 when Dragon Gate USA made their presence felt in Phoenix with a rousing six-man tag between CIMA, Gamma, & Dragon Kid vs. Masato Yoshino, Naruki Doi, & BxB Hulk, although the tradition of a big six-man during Wrestlemania Weekend dates back to 2006 when once again, the stars of Dragon Gate blew the roof off of the building. This tradition took a backseat last year as instead of a six-man tag, a six-man freestyle to crown the inaugural WWN Champion took place.
This year, the six-man is back with a vengeance. I find it hard to believe that with all the talent in this match, they won’t be able to create some of the biggest buzz of the weekend. Darby Allin is in a position to fly off of crazy things into masses of people, DJZ has a chance to spotlight just how talented he is, and Travis Banks, Zachary Wentz, and Trey Miguel have a shot to show the WWN Universe what they’re all about. These are six young and hungry guys that have grown up in a generation that know just how important Blood Generation vs. Do FIXER was. This is a generation of guys that know how important Wrestlemania Weekend is. This is the next generation of headliners, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with.
I would love to talk to the people that aren’t excited about this card, if there are any. The two main events are perfect style matchups. I have no doubt they’ll deliver something special. The middle of the card has another two certified bangers on it. Will Ospreay vs. Matt Riddle isn’t even main eventing this show! Ringkampf is in a midcard match! That’s how stacked this lineup is. Of course, there’s also the Mercury Rising six-man that will be full of energy. This show is not running up against another wrestling show in NOLA. If you’re in town, skip the Hall of Fame and head to the Supershow. I am not going to proclaim that this will be the Show of the Weekend, but when the dust has settled and the weekend comes to a close, it would not shock me in the slightest if the WWN Supershow was the best show to take place over the course of this weekend.
- Keith Lee vs. Daisuke Sekimoto
- Zack Sabre Jr. vs Munenori Sawa
- Chris Dickinson and Jaka vs. WALTER and Timothy Thatcher
- Will Ospreay vs. Matt Riddle
- Darby Allin, DJZ & Trey Miguel vs. Austin Theory, Travis Banks & Zachary Wentz
- SHINE Championship: LuFisto vs. Holidead