New year, new me. No more moaning about the WWE. No more worrying about my favorite wrestlers being stuck in Largo Loop purgatory. No more complaining about comedy wrestling or slowly continuing my transformation into a young Jim Cornette. From now on, I’m a beacon of positivity, loving everything the Indie scene puts in from of me like it’s the greatest thing since my first rum and coke.
Apart from CHIKARA that is.
GCW – GCW vs Freelance & 400 Degreez – Friday & Saturday – Summit, Illinois
Few promotions made the waves in 2018 that Game Changer Wrestling made. While still primarily a death match promotion, they have to be considered one of the biggest companies in the States right now due to the interest they garner through their bigger, Joey Janela curated shows. Due to the announcement of All Elite Wrestling, a lot of Indie promotions could be losing their talent over the next few months, but you’d have to imagine that GCW will be safe from talent raids. With all due respect, I can’t see AEW being too interested in getting Jimmy Lloyd and Tony Deppen on weekly TV. The promotion is in Illinois next weekend, first for a joint show with Freelance Wrestling on Friday, before hosting their own show the following day. The Freelance show will give us Gringo Loco vs Spyder Nate Webb. Now, if that isn’t a dream match, I don’t know what is. On Saturday, DJZ wrestles a guy who could be a breakout this year and soon to be PWG debutant, Jungle Boy. If you’re looking for the ‘Marko Stunt, star out of nowhere’ guy for 2019, then it could be the son of Luke Perry. Go visit their website to find out more about both shows.
Limitless Wrestling – Snakebitten – Friday – Westbrook, Maine
A new one for me, a visit to Limitless Wrestling in the rocky state of Maine. Another place I know absolutely nothing about, apart from the fact that it’s in America, oh and apparently, they have some moose there. The animal that is, not the wrestler. Limitless on the other hand, is a promotion that I do know a little bit about. A company that has existed since 2015 boasts an impressive array of Indie talent on every show. Bigger names, such as Austin Aries, Amazing Red and Simon Grimm will all be appearing at their first show of the year on Friday. Recent MLW signee, Andrew Everett will be facing Josh Briggs in a match I will be searching out. There will also be a big tag team match, with Ace Romero & Anthony Greene wrestling JT Dunn & MJF. Anything with either MJF and Ace Romero and I’m all in, so this should be a treat. Check them out here.
CWF Mid Atlantic – New Year’s Knockout – Saturday – Gibsonville, North Carolina
I recently made a prediction that Trevor Lee would be dropping the CWF Heavyweight title against Arik Royale at their last show of the year. As per usual with my predictions, I was dead wrong. The ‘Carolina Caveman’ held on to the title he has held for about 500 years. I have heard that the match in question was pretty damn good, so I suppose I don’t mind being wrong on this one. CWF are back next Saturday in Gibsonville for New Years Knockout. Not much announced yet, but more information should eventually be available on their website.
Frontline – Chaos Restored – Thursday – Stratford Circus
Will Ospreay is without a doubt one of the best damn wrestlers on the planet. A visionary of sorts, who sees wrestling as a certain way and continues to break boundaries on a regular basis. This, it seems, isn’t just limited to his in-ring antics, as he’s also a promoter. His ill-fated Lucha Forever promotion tried and failed at bringing Lucha to the UK. The shows were good, but from what I’m aware it seemed the business side was not. Since then, he has turned his promoting attention to Frontline, a company aimed at bringing Puroresu to the UK. Their first show in June was headlined by the awesome spectacle of Chris Ridgeway and Kenoh kicking the absolute shite out of each other. Since then, Frontline have continued to bubble away just underneath the surface, not quite getting the buzz you’d expect but still putting on some very good shows. Their first 2019 offering, Chaos Restored, will see Mark Haskins defending the Heavyweight title against David Starr. There is absolutely no way this match isn’t going to be great. So, support UK wrestling, stick it to the man and go watch some Frontline.
Pro Wrestling Chaos – Don’t Be a Menace in Chaos while Drinking your haze in the wood – Saturday – Kings Oak Academy, Bristol
And the award for this week’s best-named show goes to Pro Wrestling Chaos. The promotion, based in Bristol, has recently lost several of their regular roster due to the NXT:UK restrictions. They suffered another setback of sorts, when Ilja Dragunov pulled out of their first show of the year next Saturday. The fact this is the same night as the first NXT:UK Takeover surely can’t be coincidental. Regardless, Chaos have pulled together a damn good card for the show. With Shane Strickland and ‘Bad Bones’ John Klinger both adding a little international flavor. A stand-out from the promotion over the past year and a guy who seems poised to have a great 2019, is Welsh youngster, Beano. He had some great matches towards the end of the year, and at Don’t be a Menace he teams up with Strickland and Robbie X to face Martin Kirby, Kip Sabian and Paul Robinson. The main event of the show will see Dick Riley defend the King of Chaos Championship in a three stages of chaos match, against the man he defeated for the title, Big Grizzly. I like Grizzly, so I’ll probably be checking this out when it becomes available. Visit their website.
Pro Wrestling Eve – She who dares, wins – Saturday – Resistance Gallery, London
2019 is going to be a very interesting year for Eve. They had arguably their best year in 2018 and the buzz they have created for themselves – as well the success of G.L.O.W – has taken them from niche promotion to one of the major players on the UK scene. NXT:UK restrictions could hit them and make things difficult for a while, but with them bringing in more Joshi and International talent, I’m guessing they will continue to grow. Hell, their owners were recently invited to 10 Downing Street, something which is quite the achievement. The year will begin for them next Saturday with the awesomely titled, She Who Dares, Wins. Man, I hope Marlene is in the main event. Outside of my desire to see the ladies of Only Fools compete in a tag match, no actual matches have been announced yet. So, come on Eve, book Marlene and Cassandra and make me happy.
Fight Club Pro – Project Tokyo – Monday – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
The brits are taking over Japan this week, with Fight Club: Pro, a UK promotion to host a show Korakuen Hall. When the announcement was first made it was an incredible achievement for the promotion that is part owned by NXT:UK star, Trent Seven. Of course, the WWE restrictions seemed to have stopped Trent from appearing for his own promotion any more but as a show of good faith, WWE have let Akira Tozawa appear. He will be teaming with Meiko Satomura to face the CCK team of Chris Brookes and Kid Lykos. Man, that’s going to be a rough night for Lykos. If he can come out of that match without getting injured, I’ll be amazed. Also, on the show will be Aussie Open vs Strong BJ (Hell yeah) and appearances from Strong Hearts, Speedball Mike Bailey. Jimmy Havoc, Jun Kasai, Millie McKenzie and Dash Chisako. This promises to be an absolute beauty of a show. One that the boys over at Fight Club should be very proud of. Check out their website for info on how to watch.
K-Dojo – Grand Slam – Sunday – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
I continue my Japanese Indies education this week. I’ve recently signed up for Stardom World, I’ve been watching more Wrestle-1 and I’ve finally seen Shuji Ishikawa wrestle (He’s a bit good, isn’t he?). The next chapter in my lesson book is K-Dojo. While I know that Taka Michinoku is a director for the promotion and Ayato Yoshida trained there, that’s about as far as my K-Dojo wisdom goes. Since Yoshida is bloody awesome and is quickly becoming one of my favourite Young Lions in NJPW, I’m guessing the promotion must be doing something right. Next Saturday they present Grand Slam from Korakuen Hall, with the UWA Middleweight title on the line as Kaji Tomato defends against Ayumu Honda. That’s not the only title match on the show, as Taishi Takizawa and Shu Asakawa battle it out for the Strongest-K Title. Now if you don’t mind, I’m off to YouTube so I can check out these wrestlers and see if K-Dojo is for me.
Rest of the World
Melbourne City Wrestling – Vendetta – Saturday – The Thornbury Theatre, Victoria
The top two promotions in Australia begin their year next weekend, starting with arguably the biggest, Melbourne City Wrestling. MCW is at the Thornbury Theatre on Saturday for their annual Vendetta show. The star of the Aussie scene right now, Robbie Eagles competes in an Air Force Three match against two youngsters making their MCW debuts in Tyson and Jett. I’m not sure what an Air Force Three match is, but I can’t imagine there are many better guys to make your debut than against than Robbie Eagles. The king of the goths and the UK deathmatch master, Jimmy Havoc will also be in Australia at both the MCW and PWA shows. Here he’ll be facing Ritchie Taylor, another promising prospect on the Melbourne scene. If you fancy checking out some MCW, then visit their website.
PWA – Diego’s Last Show – Sunday – Max Watts, Sydney
Like I said, Havoc will be continuing his Aussie adventures the next night at Pro Wrestling Australia in Sydney. There, Havoc will be doing what he does best by bleeding all over the place in a no DQ match against Matty Wahlberg. Jonah Rock will be returning to the promotion, and the 4 Nations challenge Juan Direction for the tag team titles. If MCW is the top boys in Australia, then PWA is right there with them. Every show of theirs is damn good, so I can’t imagine Diego’s Last Show will be any different. Visit their website to find out more.
Smash Wrestling – Heavy is the Head – Friday – Kitchener, Ontario
The big boys are out in Canada this week. Smash Wrestling will be leading the charge, with Heavy is the Hand next Friday in Ontario. I think I mention at least one guy every week who I consider to be criminally underused, and most of them seem to be Canadian. This week, that guy is Tarik. The Canadian has been on the seen for a while now, but it is really in Smash that he has made his name of late. Becoming their Heavyweight champion in August after defeating Joey Janela. Why he isn’t used more outside of Canada I’ll never know, but I’d certainly have him up there as one of the top guys in the country. On Friday, he defends the title in a three-way against Matt Cross and John Greed. Tarik is awesome, and I’ll fight anybody who says otherwise. The show will be available to watch here.
Lutte NSPW – Kick Off 2019 – Saturday – Centre Horizon, Quebec
For those of you in Canada who fancy overdosing on wrestling next weekend, you can follow up the Smash show with Lutte NSPW the next day in Quebec. A quick google search tells me that it takes about 14 hours to drive from Ontario to Quebec, so as long as you leave by midnight and don’t care about sleeping, then I reckon you can make it. The Lutte NSPW show in question, Kick Off 2019, will see Marko Estrada defend the NSPW Championship in a three-way against Evil Uno and Thomas Dubuois. Elsewhere on the care, the fans will be bringing the weapons for Benjamin Tull and Markus Burke to kill each other with. More information can be found on their website.
Bodyslam Pro – BODYSLAM! 17 SkråenSlam 2019 – Saturday – Aalborg
Danish promotion, Bodyslam Pro present SkraenSlam next Saturday in the city of Alborg. There’ll be a few UK based guys appearing, with both Chuck Mambo and David Starr paying Denmark a visit. The main event sees current Bodyslam Champion Michael Fynne defend the title against Peter Olisander. The tag team champs, Steinbolt & Harley Rage will be putting their titles on the line against Tank & Matthew Burnett. I went to school with a guy called Matthew Burnett, but unless he’s made a massive change in his life and moved to Denmark, then I’m guessing this isn’t him. Even still, I may go check their website to make sure.