The big boys of the UK scene are out in force this week. There’s also a big show in Finland, Tommy Dreamer continues to keep the hardcore dream alive and one of my favourite tag teams fight each other. Another week in the good old weird world of Independent wrestling.
Bar Wrestling – Bar Wrestling 24: As you wish – Wednesday – Bootleg Theatre, Los Angeles.
Bar Wrestling are at their usual venue, The Bootleg Theatre for a little midweek madness next Wednesday. The promotion where Adam Page and Joey Ryan discovered their hatred for each other through dick moves and piss drinking, it’s usually anything goes for the West Coast company. At the next show they move from the bizarre to the brutal, with two of the biggest guys on the Indies, Brian Cage and Brody King running into and beating the crap out of each other. The show will also see one of the newest Impact acquisitions, Killer Kross wrestle Luchasauras. All their shows are available to watch here.
Full Impact Pro – In Full Force 2018 – Friday – The Orpheum, Tampa, Florida.
While Evolve are the promotion that comes to mind of when thinking about the WWN network, if you look further down the brand you will stumble upon the Florida promotion, Full Impact Pro. FIP have been through a few rough patches of late but through their allegiances with Evolve – and the fact that the FIP Championship was regularly defended on Evolve shows up until only a few months ago – they have managed to keep their heads above water and establish themselves as the number two promotion on the WWNLive brand. Their final show of the year is approaching, and it has a very heavy Evolve presence, with current FIP World Heavyweight Champion Anthony Henry, JD Drake, AR Fox, Austin Theory and The Skulk all appearing. If you fancy checking out some WWN action that doesn’t involve WWE guys, then visit their website for more.
Pro Wrestling Freedom – Primus One Night Tournament – Friday – Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Now for William Wallace’s favourite promotion, Pro Wrestling Freedom. Yes, I know, my dad jokes are dreadful, PWF are certainly not though. The promotion that operates out of the Jeffersonville area of Indiana, their shows are always an easy 2-hour watch. As a proud member of the Powerbomb TV family, they use some of the best young wrestlers in and around that area that are often overlooked elsewhere. On Friday, they host their 4th One-night Primus Tournament with competitors so far confirmed including Dominic Garrini, Kevin Ku, Jason Kincaid, Sage Phillips, Teddy King, Kerry Awful, Nick Iggy and Indie veteran, B-Boy. The stand-out match for me is the battle of the Carnies, with Nick Iggy facing his tag team partner Kerry Awful. I love The Carnies, so this one really intrigues me. Kevin Ku is another guy to keep your eye on in the near future. I will definitely be watching this one when I get the chance. All information can be found on their Twitter page.
House of Hardcore – Blizzard Brawl – Saturday – Waukesha County Expo Centre, Wisconsin.
Tommy Dreamer continues his House of Hardcore promotion this Saturday, hoping to pull in the nostalgia crowd who still obsess over the days of ECW and the hardcore wrestling revolution of the Attitude Era. These shows are exactly what you’d imagine they would be. A mixture of ex WWE guys and the best brawlers on the Indie scene. At their upcoming Blizzard Brawl show, two of the latter will face off, with Willie Mack and Sami Callihan battering the shit out of each other for the Twitch TV Championship. Plus, the guy who has limped onto the Indie scene with a whimper, Big Cazz (or whatever his name is now) wrestles MVP. There will also be the last hardcore brawl between Tommy Dreamer and Abyss. I’m not too sure I believe that stipulation, but it sounds like fun anyway. Visit their website.
PROGRESS– Chapter 79: One big neck with a sausage – Monday – Electric Ballroom, Camden.
PROGRESS bloody love weird chapter titles. Gone are the days of promotions using generic, action-packed sounding PPV names, now the in thing is to come up with funny titles that’ll make you chuckle and are unnecessarily long. Their next show – taking place on a Monday for some reason – has a name as ridiculous as ever. One Big Neck with a Sausage (I have no idea), will see the in-ring debut of one of my favourite wrestlers on the planet, Jordynne Grace. ‘Thick Momma Pump’ technically made her debut at Wembley when she interrupted Jinny and her lackies during a beatdown. This time she’ll be having her first match, a three-way against NXT UK competitors Millie McKenzie and Isla Dawn. Jimmy Havoc will probably be bleeding everywhere again as he faces fellow UK deathmatch guy, Drew Parker. Euro wrestler of the year candidate, Jordan Devlin will be facing Mark Andrews in the ‘holy shit that was good’ match. The show will eventually be available to watch on Demand Progress.
IPW:UK – Tuesday Night Graps: Aussie Open Invitational – Tuesday – The Frog & Bucket, Manchester.
2018 has been a great year for tag team wrestling. The quality of matches all over the world has been incredible and not a week goes by where there isn’t another tag team MOTY contender somewhere. The UK is no exception and the team who have stood out above all others are the Aussie Open combination of Mark Davis and Kyle Fletcher. The Aussie natives didn’t start teaming together until moving to the UK and through their matches in Rev Pro, PROGRESS and Fight Club: Pro they have firmly established themselves as the best tag team in the UK, if not Europe and beyond. On Tuesday, they will be holding the Aussie Open Invitational at a promotion I have previously expressed my admiration for, IPW:UK. This one sounds like it’ll be a blast. So much so that I’m considering making the trek to Manchester myself. For those who also fancy checking it out, more information can be found on their website.
Fight Club: Pro – FCP 100 – Friday – The Hangar, Wolverhampton.
Fight Club: Pro recently shocked the world (well, the wrestling nerd’s world anyway) by announcing a show at the famous Korakuen Hall in Tokyo this coming January. This was a massive achievement for the company and it’s expected to bring a lot of new eyes to their product, especially with the show being a just a few days removed from WrestleKingdom. The promotion, which is part-owned by NXT UK star and dad bod extraordinaire, Trent Seven, have never been shy in tapping into the International market. Their current champion is the legendary Meiko Satomura, and she will be wrestling at their next show, FCP 100 next Friday. Along with WALTER, British Strong Style, Jonathan Gresham, Aussie Open and many of their other regulars, this one looks great. The show is sold out but will be available to watch on demand.
ICW – Fear & Loathing XI – Sunday – The SSE Hydro, Glasgow.
I’ve mentioned the downfall of ICW a few times over the past few weeks, so I won’t harp on about it too much this week. Their biggest show of the year is just a week away and it’ll be a perfect time to experience everything that is good about the promotion. Thousands of fans packed into the Hydro, the Fear & Loathing shows are always a hell of a lot of fun. This year isn’t quite as star-studded as recent years but there are still some fairly big matches on the card. The British Strong Style boys will be in Glasgow to face Wolfgang, BT Gunn and returning 205 Live star, Noam Dar. The women’s title will also be on the line with the two biggest names in the country, Kay Lee Ray and Viper, battling it out in a Queen of Insanity match. Other names appearing include Mark Haskins, The Briscoe Brothers, Jimmy Havoc, James Storm, Grado, Joe Hendry and a championship vs career match between Jackie Polo and Lionheart. I’m not someone who watches a lot of ICW, but Fear and Loathing is always great. Information on how to watch can be found on their website.
Copenhagen Championship Wrestling – Into the Fire – Saturday – Kopenhagen.
I started my foray into the world of Danish wrestling last week with Dansk Pro Wrestling and this week I follow it up with another promotion making in-roads in Denmark. Copenhagen Championship Wrestling finish their year on a high next Saturday with Into the Fire. Over the past few months they have held a knockout tournament to crown the first CCW Champion. After both semi-finals finished in controversial fashion at their last show, Over the Edge, the final will see four men, Carlos Zamora, CPH Hangman, Pete Phoenix and Sebastian Day battle it out in an elimination match, with the last man standing becoming the first champion of that company. The promotion also does some really impressive video packages which are worth checking out on their Facebook page.
Fight Club Finland – Talvisota XIII – Saturday – Helsinki.
In the first week of this series, I admitted my lack of knowledge of not just wrestling in Finland, but the country in general. Since then I’ve done a little bit of research and I’d like to think I am just one step closer to applying for citizenship and becoming an actual Finn. The promotion I spoke about that week, Fight Club Finland, are back for their biggest show of the year next Saturday in Helsinki, Talvisota XIII. The word Talvisota means Winter War, and with some of the matches booked that is especially true as two big rivalries come to an end. Viktor Tykki and Shemeikka have been feuding for months, having both come through the same training school their hatred has built up to the point where they will fight it out in a brutal, I Quit match. The main event of the show will see the former student, Mikko Maestro challenge his trainer and current FCF Champion, ‘The Rebel’ StarBuck in a 30-minute Iron Man match. If you were ever going to check out some Finnish wrestling, then this is the show to start with. They have a lot of good stuff on their Youtube page and other info can be found on their website.
STHLM Wrestling – There Will Be Blood VII – Saturday – Stockholm.
Staying in the Nordic area of Europe, Swedish promotion STHLM wrestling (surprisingly based in Stockholm), host their final show of 2018 at the Slaktkryan concert hall. A couple of big matches announced so far include Timmy Force defending the Valhalla Nordic Championship against Terje Ford, and a Christmas Weapons on a pole match between Stanislaw Van Dobroniak and PT. Has anybody actually checked to see if Russo has moved to Europe or not? Because there seems to be a lot of pole matches on our continent. I’d like to make sure, as I’m sure I could take living that close to the Archbishop of Talentbury. Visit their website to find out more.
WrestlingKULT – #10 Jingle Hells – Saturday – Zentrum Altenberg, Oberhausen.
Now for the weekly, ‘Jon fawns over German wrestling’ part of the article. WrestlingKULT made a lot of new fans over wXw’s 16 Carat Gold weekend with their KULT goes Carat event on the morning of 16 Carat Day Two. A lot of the wXw fans came away from the show very impressed. Much like GCW and other promotions have used Wrestle Mania weekend to build a fanbase, WrestlingKULT has grown through working with the much bigger wXw. Next Saturday they ring out the year with Jungle Hells at the Zentrum Altenberg venue in Oberhausen. NXT UK guy, Wild Boar will be in Germany as he challenges Tristan Archer for the KULT Championship. There is also an 8-man Survivor Series style match, with the Team KULT unit of ‘Bad Bones’ John Klinger, Carnage, Mike Schwarz and Kevin Roadster going up against the Team Graves quartet of Bobby Gunns, Vinnie Vortex, Aaron Insane and Michael Isotov. This show looks pretty damn good. So, check out their website for info on how to watch.
Rest of the World
Wrestle Rampage Australia – All or Nothing – Saturday – Port Adelaide, South Australia.
This week’s visit down under takes us to Port Adelaide for Wrestle Rampage Australia. Another promotion that uses the best of the ever-improving Australian talent pool. One of those talents, Robbie Eagles, made an impressive debut for New Japan during their recent Jr Tag League tournament and the Aussie high flyer is easily the top guy in the country right now. Next Saturday at All or Nothing, Eagles will be taking to the skies against an as of yet unnamed opponent. The main event of the show will see Jonah Rock defending the Aussie National Championship in a 5-man elimination match against Damien Slater, Punch-Drunk Istria, Rat Daddy, and Robby Heart. The full card and other info can be found on their website.
Alpha-1 Wrestling – Final Act IX – Sunday – Hamilton, Ontario.
Ethan Page is a guy I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with. As the cocky, top guy heel chasing the title in Evolve I thought he was awesome. His feud with Darby Allin was great and for a long time I thought he was the obvious candidate to dethrone Zack Sabre Jr for the Evolve Championship. When he moves away from the serious stuff and starts cocking about then that’s when my adoration moves more towards hate. His match against ACH in Evolve is still the worst thing I’ve ever seen my life and for some reason he’s loves going down the comedy role. But each to their own, as my grandad used to say. As the promoter for Ontario based Alpha-1, he gives us a bit of everything. For example, their next show, Final Act IX has the always awesome Josh Alexander facing Kobe Durst in a 60-minute Iron Man match that is sure to be great, while also including Stokely Hathaway vs Rickey Shane Page in a match that has so many stipulations I got a headache trying to make sense of them. Mr Page will also be on the card himself, teaming with Colt Cabana (I guess we’re getting comedy Ethan in this one) against MJF & Homicide. If you fancy checking out Alpha-1, the show will be available to watch here.
DTU/AKE – Live Show – Thursday – Arena Aficion, Hidalgo.
Like Lucha? Like Deathmatches? Like guys bleeding all over the place? Then I’ve got the promotion for you. Desastre Total Ultraviolento, based out of Hidalgo, are working with another Mexican deathmatch promotion, Azteca Karate Extrema, for a super show of sorts. Taking place at the Arena Aficion on Thursday, the line-up will see a 6-man tag match between Crazy Frank, Hermes & Luigi and the Los Mazisos team of Ciclope, Crazy King and Miedo Extreme. Other Lucha and hardcore regulars such as Aeroboy and Draztik Boy will also be appearing. Hardcore wrestling in Mexico isn’t exactly at it’s most popular right now after that dreadful incident at the recent Lucha Memes show, so let’s hope there are no cinder blocks on this one. To find out how to watch, visit their Facebook page.
The Crash – Live Show – Saturday – Auditorio de Tijuana, Tijuana.
If you like your Lucha with a few more flips and a lot less blood, then The Crash are the boys for you. The promotion who dazzled everybody over WrestleMania weekend, host their next show on Saturday at the Auditorio de Tijuana. Arguably the best tag team in the world, The Lucha Brothers will be defending the tag titles against La Sangre Dinamita. Some other big names, both local and International will be on the card, such as Mistico, Rey Horus, Matt Cross, Austin Theory, Ultimo Guerrero and Jacob Fatu. The Crash can be a bugger to find footage of, but if your Spanish is better than mine and you fancy watching, check out their website for more.
Grapple Max –Shin-Kiba Showcase – Monday – Tokyo.
Last week I looked at wrestling in Thailand, proving that there is a scene in Asia outside of the obvious Japan that seems to be thriving. This week I set my sights towards a promotion based in Singapore. Grapple Max is a training school which puts on special showcase shows to give their trainees some experience performing in front of a crowd. On Monday, they travel to Japan for a special Shin-Kiba Showcase event in partnership with DDT, Michinoku Pro, Malaysia Pro and the Thai promotion I spoke about last week, Gatoh Pro. Getting the chance to work with more experienced and much bigger names will be a big opportunity for the small company, and their trainees Irfan, Val and Alex will compete alongside Koju Takeda, Kawamura, Emi Sakura, Rhio, Greg Glorious and 17-year old Malaysian prodigy, Emman. This is a very unique event and all information can be found on their website.