WWN Supershow Mercury Rising 2017
April 1, 2017
8:30 PM EDT

Orlando Events Center
Orlando, Florida 

Watch: FloSlam.tv

The WrestleMania Weekend WWN/EVOLVE/DGUSA/DG six-man tag is officially a thing of a past.

From the famed Dragon Gate six-man in 2006, which exposed a new audience (me included) to a style of lucharesu that would influence the wrestling world, to this. The Mania six-man is dead. It’s time to bury it, and regard it as a bygone era. We are now in the FloSlam era, the everyone has their own Over-The-Top service era, the Let’s Have 30+ Shows Over Mania Weekend One Last Damn Time era. That all being said, this is a show that shouldn’t be missed. Four potentially outstanding interpromotional matchups with seemingly endless title versus title implications. The showcase of WWN’s women’s brand. A hot opener of dudes that are positioned for a breakout year. Welcome to the FloSlam era.

Jason Kincaid vs. Keith Lee

This is a nice little nudge-nudge-wink-wink opener of two talented guys who both had times in Ring of Honor where their talents weren’t being fully used: Kincaid in the 2016 Top Prospect tourney and Keith Lee as a member of the under-pushed Pretty Boy Killers. Both men have unique styles and looks, Kincaid can be best described as “What would happen if Matt Sydal decided to become Grizzly Man in Asheville, North Carolina” and Lee as the big man who can do it all. EVOLVE 79 ended with Sabre, the new champ, walking by a smirking Lee next to the entrance, and I’ve watched enough Sapolsky-run promotions to know that wasn’t just a dude being smug. I expect big things for Keith Lee after Mania weekend whereas Kincaid’s best in his role as an underdog that pulls off big wins. Prediction: Keith Lee

SHINE Championship
LuFisto © vs. Su Yung

Yung’s been the featured women’s star, and one of WWN’s strongest characters, in the FloSlam era. She has been popping up on both SHINE and FIP shows and built to this match with a post-match angle at SHINE 41:

Yung invited LuFisto to a Red Wedding. I see this match going one of two ways: The first is LuFisto getting the big win to solidify her nascent title reign. After the title being based around Ivelisse for the last few years, and a win over Yung would position her as champion. The other for Yung to further solidify her position as WWN’s women’s star and perhaps take the SHINE championship around to their other promotions like WWN’s planning for their WWN Championship. Prediction: Su Yung

Chris Dickinson & Jaka vs. Travis Banks & TK Cooper

This is my sleeper match of the card, with the potential to be a top match of the entire weekend. Dickinson and Jaka, after years of being northeast mainstays, have been undefeated in their time in EVOLVE and are probably top contenders to the EVOLVE Tag Team championship post-Wrestlemania Weekend. They’ve added a bit of grit and grime to Catch Point, something the stable has really needed in the Williams era of leadership. Going against them are the South Pacific Power Trip, which had boasted a similar undefeated streak in PROGRESS leading up to their unsuccessful title challenge at PROGRESS 45. Banks, Cooper and Black have developed one of the most exciting and complete acts in all of wrestling, and I’m really excited for them to get exposure in the states. I wonder a bit what Dahlia Black can do, given her broken ankle at PROGRESS 46, but I’m certain those crazy lovebirds will find some way to go for first base on FloSlam. Prediction: Chris Dickinson & Jaka

Jimmy Havoc vs. Ethan Page

If there is a match where both competitors so perfectly complement each other on this show, it’s this one. There should be a good bit of banter and brawling around the Orlando Events Center. Havoc plays such an endearing favorite and that’s the right person to go against the hated Page and the Gatekeepers. I’m one of those whom have been critical of Page in EVOLVE as he has been often the blandest in-ring workers for the promotion. In my opinion, he’s been best in brawls/hardcore matches as seen in his EVOLVE 79 match with Darby Allin. My hopes are he taps into that, something that’s clearly in Havoc’s wheelhouse. If Allin makes his return this weekend, I’m one to believe he’ll make his presence known here. Prediction: Jimmy Havoc

Potential PROGRESS or EVOLVE Title Match (if ACH wins at EVOLVE 80 or Dunne retains)
ACH vs. Pete Dunne ©

Gotta love the classic Sapolsky touch of billing both of these next matches as possible EVOLVE Title matches, PROGRESS Title matches, or even Title-for-Title matches. You’d think that more would be made of this match as ACH has been stellar since he joined EVOLVE and Dunne has the opportunity to be a double champion. As well, these two have had incredible 2016s going into 2017. The promotional implications and intrigue of these two wrestlers are interesting as well: ACH (former Ring of Honor/NOAH regular who guested in NJPW last year but now is attached to WWN) and Dunne (PROGRESS champion under the WWE UK contract) basically touches all points of the wrestling world outside of Mexico and Impact Wrestling. This is only the second time the two have faced off, the first being in RevPro last year for the British Cruiserweight Title. This seems like the kind of match where both could be perfect opponents (this is becoming a trend for this show), as ACH plays a great babyface-in-peril and Dunne excels in situations where he can be a bully. Again, I’m still surprised this match has been so undersold, it seems like the kind of matchup that at PWG everyone would go “WHY HAVEN’T WE REALLY SEEN THIS BEFORE!!!!”  Prediction: Pete Dunne

Potential EVOLVE or PROGRESS Title Match (If ZSJ retains at EVOLVE 80 or Haskins wins)
Zack Sabre Jr. © vs Mark Haskins

Until I saw this tweet from the esteemed Alan4L:

I was convinced that this would be one of those matches that happened a billion times internationally and we are going to see it on our shores for the first time. Your Dragon Lee/Kamaitachis or Will Ospreays/Marty Scurrls if you will. I love this kind of matchup, and am even more enthused that it’s only going to happen for its fourth (recorded) time. Sabre’s 2017 has led him to higher heights and Haskins return from a devastating injury has been incredible. These four EVOLVE vs. PROGRESS matches are what really differentiating this from just another WWN FloSlam show, and I think it’s easy to get psyched for what’s going to be presented. Haskins has changed to a more mat-based style in the three years between their matches and it presents a compelling mix with the Technical Wizard. I expect this match will be for the EVOLVE Championship, so we might be 2 for 2 in exciting ZSJ EVOLVE title defenses, which was some we couldn’t say for Timothy Thatcher’s reign. Prediction: Zack Sabre Jr.

Inaugural WWN Championship
Jon Davis vs. Drew Galloway vs. Parrow vs. Matt Riddle vs. Tracy Williams vs. Fred Yehi

Rather than go into each person in this match, I’m going to focus on why I think Matt Riddle is the right choice as the Inaugural WWN Champion. Simply put, FloSlam has put all their focus of their platform behind the “King of Bros,” and if you are going to highlight someone like that, you should put the most important title of your network on him. Gabe Sapolsky has often put the title on a less popular act (see Thatcher, Gargano early in his first Open the Freedom Gate reign), so I can see the argument why it might be Jon Davis or Tracy Williams. However, pure business sense makes me think it’s Riddle. Sure, he might be snatched up whenever WWE wants him. Sure, he has solid gigs in England and Germany. But if you want a guy to be your traveling champion, someone who can be added to an FIP show and sell a bunch more seats. You want your guy to be Matt Riddle. Prediction: Matt Riddle