Just a short intro from me this week. I’ve come down with some sort of plague and I feel like I’m about to collapse at any moment. So, have a little a gander below and watch some indie wrestling, I’m going back to bed.
PCW Ultra – A2K19 – Friday – Wilmington, California. Anniversary show.
Anniversary show in California this week for PCW Ultra, who celebrate their 3rd-year in business with A2K19 at the ILWU Memorial Hall in Wilmington. They’re bringing in the big names for the celebration, with Tessa Blanchard, The Lucha Bros, Johnny Morrison, Taya Valkyrie and Sami Callihan all appearing. Shane Strickland will be defending the Ultra Championship in the main event against Brian Cage. The big man is a replacement for Matt Sydal, who had to pull out of his scheduled title match due to injury. Strickland vs Cage sounds even better, so I’m game for this one. PCW are even bringing the legendary Mil Mascaras for an appearance. To find out how you can watch, visit their website
PWG – Hand of Doom – Friday – Globe Theatre, Los Angeles.
First show of the year for PWG, who haven’t had an outing since Octobers, Smokey and the Bandido show, where Jeff Cobb ended the reign of WALTER to become PWG World Champion. WALTER leaving has certainly left a bit of a void in the promotion, but Cobb has been on quite a run of late since joining Ring Honor. Next Friday, he makes his first defense of the title against another guy who could be leaving soon, Trevor Lee. Cobb throwing Lee around the Globe with ease is a pleasing thought to the PWG faithful, and I’m looking forward to seeing this match. If flips are your thing, then Bandio vs Flip Gordon should have you covered. There is also the rather intriguing mash of styles with ‘The Octopus’ Jonathan Gresham, facing the ‘Sniper of the Sky’, Robbie Eagles. I’m all over that bad boy. More information can be found here.
Defy – Defy Never Dies – 2nd Anniversary – Saturday – Washington Hall, Seattle.
Another promotion celebrating their anniversary this week is Defy. They recently shocked everybody when Artemis Spencer dethroned long-time champion Shane Strickland in a major upset. Even though Spencer has been wrestling for 16 years, he has never really branched out into the upper echelons of the Indie world before, working mostly for smaller promotions such as ECCW in Canada. Yet, still at the relatively young age of 32, Spencer could become a bigger name this year. Especially now that he holds the top belt at one of the biggest Indie companies in America. He defends his title for the first time against tag team stand-out, Desmond Xavier. SoCal Uncensored will also be making their debut for the promotion, facing a team of Defy MVP’s in Shane Strickland, Randy Myers and Schaff. I’m guessing SCU may have something to say about Seattle. Go visit their website to find out how you can watch.
Southern Underground Pro – I am a King – Sunday – The Basement East, Nashville.
If there is any underground scene that could be about to break out, it may just be the Southern graps scene. The emergence of Powerbomb.tv has turned a lot of new eyes to the area, and guys who have been plugging away on the scene for years are suddenly getting a lot more attention. I’ve spoken about my enjoyment of Action wrestling on this column in the past, but another promotion I’ve really become a big fan of recently is Southern Underground Pro. Still relatively new, the promotion brings a proper punk rock feeling to their shows that you seldom find elsewhere. Set in a grimy rock bar in Nashville in front of a crowd that looks like they’re on their way to a Black Flag gig. For me, they pick up the Punk Rock mantle left over by Progress and while they may not provide the name value of a Progress or have a well-known roster, the atmosphere at their shows is amongst my favourite in Indie wrestling right now. The action in the ring is pretty damn good too and it’s also the first place I ever saw Marko Stunt wrestle. The fans are rowdy, the wrestlers are kick ass and the floors look dirty, this is my kind of promotion. Their next show, I am King, will see Brett Ison defend the Bonestorm title against Nick Gage. I feel like The Basement East venue is perfect for a brawl and if any match is tailor made for a good old brawl, it’s this one. Others on the card includes Jake Parnell, Allie Kat, Stokely Hathaway, O’Shay Edwards, and hopefully The Carnies. If you fancy checking out some proper punk rock, adult orientated wrestling, do yourself a favour and watch Southern Underground Pro. The show will be available to watch here.
IPW:UK – 15 – The Junior Heavyweight Championship Tournament – Tuesday – Unit Nine, Milton Keynes.
Big week for IPW:UK coming up, as they partner with Japanese promotion NOAH, to present the Junior Heavyweight Championship Tournament in Milton Keynes. The tournament will see a combination of talent, with four guys from each company fighting it out for the promotion’s brand new championship. NOAH stars, Daisuke Harada, Yo-Hey and HAYATA will be at Unit Nine. Along with IPW regulars, Chris Ridgeway, James Castle, Kid Lykos and Ben Basden. If they give me Ridgeway vs Harada, then I’ll be a very happy man. The promotion will also be holding a TV Taping at the same venue the following day for their Fight Network show. Visit their website for more.
Discovery – Live Show – Friday – The Jam House, Edinburgh.
While this would have seemed a crazy thing to say a few years ago, the Scottish scene is really struggling right now. The interest in ICW is almost non-existent. With their crowds ever dwindling, the scene that has relied on them for so long just doesn’t have the buzz that it once did. If any promotion is going to save things, then it could be Discovery wrestling. Based in Edinburgh, the promotion hosts their next show at the Jam House on Friday. They’re bringing in a couple of bigger names to work with the younger, local talent. With David Starr facing Michael Chase and El Phantasmo taking on Josh Terry. The show will also see Sammi Jayne defending the Women’s title against NXT: UK’s, Nina Samuels. There will also be the wonder of the Session Moth Martina open challenge. Could be a big year for Discovery, and I’m really hoping they can raise their stock in 2019. More information can be found here.
GOOD – To Hell with good Intentions – Saturday – The Craufard Arms, Milton Keynes.
Time for some good wrestling. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I have yet to catch a GOOD show, so whether they live up to their name or not I’m unsure, but I have heard a lot of good things about them. Based in the Buckinghamshire area of England, they host their next show at the Crauford Arms in Milton Keynes. A little International talent will be in town, as ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey will be facing Mike Bird. For the comedy fans out there, there aren’t many UK wrestlers better getting a chuckle from the fans than Gene Munny. ‘The Boy from the Buffet’, will face a guy I’ve mentioned a couple of times as being on the verge of breaking out, that being my fellow Welshman, Beano. Visit their website to find out more.
OTT – Contenders, Restart – Sunday – Ringside Club, Dublin.
Finally, OTT are back. I became a major fan of the Irish promotion towards the end of 2018 and the fact it’s been a month since their last show has had me twitching in anticipation for their next. The main event battles between WALTER, Devlin and Ospreay, as well as easily the best young talent outside of Japan, OTT is bloody brilliant. Their first show of 2019 will be another Contenders show. Originally seen as a show for the younger talent to get a chance, these shows have been knocking it out of the part of late. Decembers match between Jordan Devlin and Terry Thatcher a perfect example. Devlin will be appearing again for his home promotion, this time facing 5* Spanish stand-out, A-Kid. The teenage Scotty Davis is probably one of the best young prospects in Europe right now, and he will be facing another guy who never disappoints, ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey. Oh, sweet Jesus, I’m excited for this one. More Than Hype, Martina and David Starr will also be appearing. The show will be available to watch here.
Stardom – 8th Anniversary Memorial Day – Monday – Korakuen Hall.
In my quest to uncover more Japanese wrestling, I have discovered the wonderful world of Stardom. I’d seen a few matches in the past, usually involving the likes of Io Shirai and Kairi Sane, but usually with very little knowledge of the storylines. I always enjoyed what I saw and recently decided to take the plunge and sign up to their on-demand. Something I have certainly not regretted. The love the pre-match promos, I love the characters, I love the matches. Stardom is bloody awesome. On Monday, at their 8th Anniversary memorial-day show, the World of Stardom championship will be on the line, as Kagetsu defends the red belt against the woman who pinned her just a couple of weeks ago, Jungle Kyona. Another title match that I am very much excited about is for the Wonder of Stardom title, where last year’s Stardom wrestler of the year, Momo Watanabe, will defend her title against Tam Nakano. Go sign up to Stardom World and watch some awesome wrestling.
NOAH – Navigation for the Future in Fukuoka – Sunday – Fukuoka.
Now, as a relative newbie to Japanese wrestling, I won’t pretend to know the history of Pro Wrestling NOAH. I’m aware that the legendary Misawa started the promotion after breaking away from AJPW in 2000 and that Hideo Itami used to be a killer there, but other than that, I know very little. In fact, I’m not even really sure they can be considered an Indie promotion. So, if I am wrong in that regards, then please forgive my ignorance and give me some abuse on twitter. Anyway, I’m including them this week. I started following the promotion pretty closely last year and I was not disappointed. Shiozaki, Marifuji and the bloody awesome KENOH all got me invested, and while I must admit I haven’t seen every show from the past year, I watch as much as I can and try to keep up with the on goings. My favourite group is for some reason, the gloriously shindie team of RATEL’S. Daisuke Harada, HAYATA and Yo-Hey look like they are fresh out of mid 2000’s CZW and I bloody love them. I was a little devastated though, when Yo-Hey recently turned on his RATEL’s brothers and joined forces with Kotaro Suzuki and Yoshinari Ogawa. The shindie looking bastard. The RATEL boys will have a chance for revenge next Sunday, when HAYATA faces Yo-Hey and Daisuke Harada goes against Ogawa. I’m an all in on this feud, so kick their asses’ boys. Information can be found here.
Grapple MAX – Showcase 8 – Friday – Singapore.
Back in Singapore this week for another outing from Grapple MAX. The training school/promotion present their 8th Showcase event on Friday, with the main event being the collision of the golden boy student, Emman, and the man who had a hand in training him, Greg Glorious. Go visit their website for more information.
Rest of the World
Alpha-1 – Buck Wild Show 2 – Sunday – Oshawa, Ontario.
The best heel in the business and a face I would love to slap, MJF recently set tongues wagging when he appeared at the All Elite Wrestling press conference and kicked off with the mascot. Some call him the dollar store EC3, but I personally think he far surpasses EC3 and he is probably one of my characters in wrestling right now. While I would love to kick him in the nuts, I think it’s great that he’s getting a chance to showcase his abilities to a wider audience. At Buck Wild Show 2, MJF has chosen the team of Christian Casanova and (find out) Smooth to face the rather imposing team of Monster Mafia. Kobe Durst is a name I shall be keeping an eye on this year, and the young Canadian will be defending his Alpha-1 title against Justin Sane in the main event. More information is available on their website.
Destiny – Carnage – Sunday – Battle Arts Academy, Ontario.
Pete Dunne has officially left the Indies, or has he. The NXT UK champion recently said goodbye to his regular haunts in the UK, but as a special outing, he has been given permission to appear at the next Destiny Wrestling show in Ontario, to defend their world title. Dunne has been a bit of a regular for the promotion over the last year and has held the title since June, winning it in a three-way over Psycho Mike and Josh Alexander. His challenger next Sunday will be the latter of those two. Dunne and Alexander had a face off of sorts during a 6-man tag match in Progress last year, and I’ve been hoping to see them have a singles match since. Dunne is awesome, Alexander is awesome, so this will be bloody great. Pete won’t be alone in representing NXT UK though, as his BSS buddy Tyler Bate will also be in Ontario, facing Aiden Prince. For more info on how you can watch, go visit their website.
wXw – Back to the Roots XVIII – Saturday – Oberhausen.
Things have changed a little for wXw lately. The departure of Christian Michael Jakobi has really upset the apple cart in terms of their product. Shotgun was cancelled, a deal with the WWE has been agreed, and they’ve even taken to booking controversial MMA fighters for absolutely no reason whatsoever. The love and devotion that many felt for Europe’s premier promotion has faded, and many (myself included) have decided to take some time away from the company. For those who continue to support them, their next big show, Back to the Roots XVIII takes place next Saturday in Oberhausen. The main event will see a cage match between Absolute Andy and Ilja Dragunov, with Andy putting his wXw Unified Championship on the line against the man he has been feuding with for quite some time now. Rise vs Rise will also be on the cards, where Pete Bouncer, Lucky Kid and Ivan Kiev face off against Tarkan Aslam, Da Mack and Marius Al-Ahni. Find out more here.
Mad Wrestling Association – First Strike – Saturday and Sunday – Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein.
Two shows this week from another German promotion I have yet to talk about, Mad Wrestling. Some decent matches taking place over the two shows, with the stand-out being the Sunday match between Lucky Kid and Tarkan Aslan. The former tag team partners and brothers are involved in the battle of RISE in wXw the next before, and it’s good to see that they’re taking their feud across the country. Other matches include Da Mack – who has recently returned from a long-term injury – facing Garrett Noah. Explore your horizons and check out their website.
The Crash – Live Show – Saturday – Tijuana.
So, the award for weirdest match of the week goes to the amazingly bizarre 6-man tag at the next Crash show, where Bandido & Flamita team with Swoggle to take on Jeff Cobb, Sam Adonis & Willie Mack. What were they smoking when they came up with that one? And who the hell decided that putting Swoggle in the same ring as Cobb and Mack was a good idea? I wish there was a way to watch, just so I could see how far Cobb is able to launch him. Ultimo Dragon, Rey Horus, Flip Gordon, Garza Jr and The Lucha Brothers are also on the show. For more info on the show, visit their website.
SPW-NZ –- Fight Nights 11 – Friday – Invercargill, New Zealand.
Jimmy Havoc has been living up to his name during his Australian tour, breaking furniture and working with some of the best guys in the country. This Friday he appears for SPW New Zealand, for their Fight Nights 11 show in Invercargill. The King of Goths will be facing Will Power, I’d imagine in some sort of hardcore match. Is there any country that guy hasn’t bled in yet? There’s also a big boy battle, with Tawn taking on Carnage, and a new general manager will be revealed. Find out more here.