I’m back for another deep look into the week ahead in independent wrestling. I’m a lot chirpier than I was last week. I’ve found that jumping headfirst into a marathon of OTT, AAW and a hell of a lot of rum has taken the edge off the fact that in one year this column will probably just be a series of low-level indies, all being main evented by Sami Callihan and Jimmy Havoc.
Dammit, now I’ve got myself worked up again. Stuff coming up next week that should cheer me up again, includes a hell of a first-time match in Seattle, Kylie Rae being close to kicking GPA’s ass and another awesome show from OTT.
Christmas is coming, the indies are great, and I’m all out rum.
Note: Be sure to read my piece on 10 Indie Talents That Can Lead the Charge in 2019.
Defy –On Edge – Friday – Washington Hall, Seattle.
Defy are back for another absolute beauty next Friday with a match that makes me want to sell all my belongings and to fly to Seattle myself. I’m not sure my wife would approve though. The match in question involves one the UK’s most promising prospects and a guy I’ve been expecting to break out for quite some time now, Chris Ridgeway. The guy with the black belt in being hard as fuck wrestles his first match on US soil against someone who may make Ridgeway regret ever getting on his flight, Penta El Zero M. Oh sweet lord that sounds tasty. Well played Defy, well played. New Ring of Honor signing Brody King will also be wrestling against Defy regular Schaff. A former powerlifter, Schaff has only been wrestling for just over a year and he’s already come on leaps and bounds in Defy this year. Even with just these two matches, this looks a hell of a show. Another great job from a promotion I am quickly becoming a big fan of. Visit their website to find out how you can watch.
Freelance -Too Legit to Quit – Friday – Logan Square Auditorium, Chicago.
Feud of the year is a hotly contested award this year. All over the world, there have been multiple rivalries that have pulled us in and kept the fans cheering for the babyfaces and screaming at the heels. The Kylie Rae vs GPA rivalry is one that is certainly in the running for me. Unfortunately, it won’t get the love it deserves due to it taking place in a smaller promotion like Freelance, but those who have been keeping up with the feud have been enthralled throughout. The crowd reaction during the 8-person elimination tag match at last months Hired Gun, was incredible and next Friday they close out the year with an I Quit match. Man, I hope Kylie kicks his ass. The two Survivors from that match – and the promotions two current singles champions – were Isias Velazquez and Craig Mitchell. After a staredown closed out the show, Velazquez will put his World title on the line against the current Underground champion, Mitchell. Tracy Williams will also be Chicago, as he defends his Powerbomb independent Title against Kobe Durst. Three great matches there that will be available to watch live on Powerbomb TV.
MLW –Never Say Never/ Fusion Live Special – Thursday & Friday – Miami, Florida.
Big things are happening in Florida as MLW continue to grow. Their weekly TV show on BeinSports continues to pick up steam and attracts new viewers constantly. Add that to the fact that the they are bringing over a lot of the hot Mexican talent, MLW should continue to get bigger as they move into 2019. Next weekend they take another step forward with a double shot of shows. Starting with Never Say Never on Thursday, before they hold their first ever live special the following day. Thursday will see a ‘Falls count anywhere in Miami’ match between LA Park and Sami Callihan. Bloody hell that’s going to be be insane. The following days live special will include Rich Swann vs Rush, and Dragon Lee vs DJZ. Also appearing on the shows will be Pentagon, Teddy Hart, Brian Pillman Jr and Rey Fenix. This will be a big weekend for Major League Wrestling. So visit their website to find out how you can watch.
House of Glory – Hog 8 – Saturday – NYC Arena, New York.
Pretty big show from the House of Glory boys in New York next Saturday, as they celebrate their 8th Anniversary at the NYC Arena. One of the busiest (and probably craziest) men on the indie scene, Sami Callihan will be in New York to defend his Crown Jewel title in a three-way against Evander James and Mantequilla, that’s assuming he survives his MLW match from two night earlier. Another Impact wrestling regular and current HOG Tag team champions, LAX will be stopping by to defend the tag titles against Amazing Red and Smiley. I’m not too familiar with Smiley, but with LAX and Amazing Red in the match then it’s gotta be interesting. The show will also see a cage match between former tag partners Ken Broadway and Matt Travis. All information can be found here.
Shine – Shine 55 – Saturday – La Boom, Queens, New York.
The all-women promotion Shine will be presenting their next show, Shine 55 next Saturday at one of the best venues on the indie scenes, La Boom. Another of the WWN family, Shine will close out their year with a big main event for the Shine Championship between Allysin Kay and Su Yung. A woman who came out of this years Mae Young Classic with her profile raised is Mercedes Martinez. Her brilliant match with Meiko Satomura is a contender for my women’s match of the year and at La Boom, she faces a stand-out from last years MYC, Kimber Lee. The bad girl is in town also, as Penelope Ford wrestles Shotzi Blackheart. This really is a very good line-up, so check out the WWN website to find out how to watch. More information is available here.
UK & Ireland
Attack Pro – Under the Mistletoe tour– Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday – Tufnell Parl, Cheltenham, Cardiff, Bristol.
Attack Pro, the resident crazies of the UK scene have themselves a busy week ahead as they embark on their Under the Mistletoe tour. With shows in both England and Wales, there will be great stuff on every show. The stand-out match being on the first night in Tufnell Park, with Aussie Open wrestling Ringkampf in a battle of the best teams in Europe. Other matches announced so far include LK Mezinger vs Splits McPins, and the new and improved Chuck Mambo vs Love Making Demon. If you fancy checking out any of these shows and if you’re just a huge fan of the Love Making Demon, visit their website.
NGW – Eternal Glory – Friday – Hull City Hall.
Biggest show of the year for New Generation Wrestling next Friday when they present Eternal Glory in Hull. The family-friendly promotion, which uses a lot of the World of Sport talent on a regular basis, will end their year on a high. One of the most underrated guys in the UK, Rampage Brown challenges for the NGW Championship against Justin Sysum. The latter has been getting quite a bit of attention recently after his open letter about the state of British wrestling dropped on Wednesday. Opinion has been divided by the IWC and exactly the decision will impact him, in the long run, is still unknown. Both him and Rampage are guys who are criminally underused, so I wish him all the best and would love to see him get a few more bookings. A few more of the WOS boys will be appearing, with Adam Maxted, Joe Henry and Robbie X all on the show. Visit their website to find out more.
Courage Wrestling – Christmas Edition – Saturday – Dublin.
The rise of Irish wrestling has blown everybody away this year. OTT have really made Ireland the place to be for wrestling and through their success, new promotions have begun to pop up. One of these is Courage Wrestling. Holding their first show in October, they have quickly gained a reputation for bringing in bigger Euro and International names along with local young guys. Their second show in November was one of the first appearances of Pac since returning to the UK scene, and next Saturday they hold their third show in Dublin. NXT:UK and Irish native, Tucker will be facing TK Cooper. Cooper has been a bit lost of late due to his awful booking in Progress, but he is so talented that I’m sure it won’t be too long before he’s back towards the higher echelons of the UK based talent. If OTT have wet your whistle with regards to wrestling in Ireland, then go check out some Courage Wrestling.
OTT – Live in Belfast – Sunday – Europa Hotel, Belfast.
Talking about OTT, the hottest promotion in Europe are back in Belfast next Sunday for their final show of the year. Not many companies have had as good a year as OTT and the line-up for this one shows they are ending the year on a high. Recent WWE signee, WALTER will be defending his OTT Championship against Damian Corvin. The Irishman is another of the OTT contingent who could be about to break out in 2019 and him and WALTER should be terrific. Two guys who know each other very well will also be facing each other, as David Starr wrestles Ilja Dragunov. The two have shared the ring many times in wXw and recently had a great match in Progress. Plus, this is the first time Starr has faced the OTT crowd since costing Jordan Devlin the win against WALTER at Redemption in November. If you fancy seeing what all the fuss is about, then you can sign up for their on-demand and get in on the action.
Tidal Championship Wrestling – Silent Nightmares 5: Night Terrors – Sunday – Leeds.
New Japan young lion, The Great O-Kharn has been on excursion on our not so fine shores since June. Working his new gimmick on Rev Pro shows and learning as much as he can about character work, before he goes back to Japan. The gimmick at first failed to really get off the ground. Fans saw it as hokey and awkward, with Oka stumbling around the ring throwing Mongolian chops like they were going out of fashion with little excitement. Since aligning with Gideon Grey though, he has really started to get over with the fans and it feels like he is finding his feet with his new persona. Next Sunday, he makes his debut for another UK promotion, Tidal Championship Wrestling. The promotion based in Leeds, are bringing in the New Japan young boy for a bit of a hoss fight with Rampage Brown. I love Rampage, so I have faith this could be very good. There’ll be more International presence on the show, as the Super Smash Bros will be facing UK legend El Ligero and his partner, Man Like Dereiss. To find out more, visit their website.
Italian Championship Wrestling – Fight Forever 4 – Saturday – SF Academy, Beramo.
Earlier this year I spent my honeymoon on the beautiful Mediterranean shores of Italy. A week of romance, wine and so much food that I was seriously considering having to buy another seat on the flight home. It was bloody marvelous. The only thing that could have really made it better was some wrestling. The country has been making strides in the art of the graps of late. Italian Championship Wrestling are the promotion most prominent in the country and next Saturday, they hold their next show in the city of Bergamo. One of the most terrifying women in wrestling will be appearing, as NXT:UK star Jinny will be facing Queen Maya. The Fashionista will soon be tied up with the new WWE contracts, so the chances of seeing her in an independent setting are soon to be long gone, so check her out at ICW while you can.
New Generation Wrestling – Probation 13 – Saturday – Frankfurt.
Another week, another visit to Germany. This time I’m in Frankfurt for New Generation Wrestling (yep, another one). The promotion finish up for the year next Saturday with Probation 13. The match that definitely interests me the most is the high-flying battle between Julian Pace and The Rotation. Both guys are the future of European wrestling, and Pace, in particular, has had quite the break out year in wXw. Anybody who follows German wrestling will know that Pace is quick, ace and he always wins the race. So, this match should be fun. Find out how to watch here.
Next Step – Next Step goes x-mas – Saturday – Dresden.
May as well stay in Germany for another show, you know, since the wrestling there is so bloody marvelous and I’m kind of obsessed. Our next stop is Next Step (I’m actually quite proud of myself for that one). The promotion celebrates the year-end festivities with their X-Mas show next Saturday in Dresden. Wrestlers scheduled include recent wXw competitor Laurence Roman, NSW Heavyweight Champion ‘Baby Face Killer’ Koray and the current tag team champions, Die Catch Connection. Go watch some NSW by visiting their website
Rest of the World
Greektown Pro Wrestling – Greektown XII: EXTREME – 16 – Toronto.
I didn’t cover any Canadian promotions last week, so I thought I’d rectify that this week by looking at Greektown Wrestling. Now, I’ve never been to Canada, so until doing a little research on this promotion I had no idea that they were named after the neighborhood in Toronto from which they run their shows. In fact, I had no idea there even was a Greektown in Toronto. Such is my geographical ignorance of anything outside of the UK. Anyway, back to the wrestling. Greektown presents their next show, EXTREME, next Sunday. Somehow, they’ve only gone and booked bloody Tajiri. The mist spitting legend is rarely seen outside of All Japan these days, so this is quite the catch for the promotions. Tajiri will be taking part in a fatal four-way against another former ECW legend Tommy Dreamer, as well as RJ City and Channing Decker. The former ECW names don’t end there, as Jazz will be wrestling Alexia Nicole for the women’s title. Elsewhere on the card is the big, beefy tag match, with the Monster Mafia team of Josh Alexander & Ethan Page taking on one of the best teams in Canada, TBT. Providing we get a serious Page this match should be pretty good. Check them out here.
Legion Nueva Era – Indiscutido – Saturday – Teatro Novedades, Santiago.
More news came out this week of WWE holding trials in Chile, further proof that if the rumoured NXT South America brand does come into effect soon, then Chile could be at the heart of it. I’ve covered a few promotions in the country over the last few weeks and this week I continue that trend by talking about Legion Nueva Era. They hold their next show, Indiscutido next Saturday in Santiago. A couple of the possibilities for the NXT South America roster could be on show here, with No Mas Violencia facing off in a big tag match against Harry & The Ungroundable. There will be some Asian presence, as Singapore youngster Alex Cuevas will be facing Jorge Powell. Visit their website for more information
Impact Pro NZ – Nightmare Before Christmas – Saturday – Mt Eden War Memorial, Auckland.
Another promotion on the up in New Zealand is Impact Pro NZ. Based out of Auckland, they are a great place for the up and coming young Oceanic wrestlers to learn their trade. A couple of big Aussie names will be in town next Saturday for Nightmare Before Christmas, as Gino Gambino will be wrestling Kingi, and Robbie Eagles competes in a three-way against Falcon Kid and Jake Shehan. The big main event of the show is a ‘fans bring the weapons’ match, as Liam Fury defends his New Zealand Heavyweight Championship against Jakob Cross. Another cracking line-up from New Zealand and more information can be found here.
Singapore Pro Wrestling – Ladies Night – Friday – Far East Square, Singapore.
We have a couple of shows from Asia happening this week. Starting with Singapore Pro Wrestling, who host Ladies Night next Friday. As well as including the local wrestlers, there will also be a lot of awesome international talent appearing. Aussie ace, Shazza McKenzie will be wrestling Joshi legend, Emi Sakura in what is sure to be a great match. The Queen of Asia Championship will be defended, with current champion Rhio putting the title on the line against Makoto. There will also be appearances from MYC competitor Zeda Zhang, Indi Hartwell, Blue Lotus and Alexis Lee. Visit their website.
Middle Kingdom Wrestling – Bash at the Bay – Sunday – Shenzen.
Now over to China for Middle Kingdom Wrestling. The country has had an increased level of wrestling recently, with WWE trying to obtain a presence there, as well as Cima and his Strong Hearts stable bringing a lot of attention to the OWE Group in Shanghai. MKW, based in Shenzen, finish their year with Bash at the Bay next Sunday. The promotion will be hosting their first ever women’s match, with the aforementioned Zeda Zhang facing ‘The Japanese Brutal Flower’ Hibiscus Mil. International talent will include Impact heavweight Kongo Kong, who challenges Big Sam for the MKW Heavyweight Championship. Local guys Zombie Dragon, Michael Su and Kimura Taisuke are also on the show. More information can be found here.