AAW – The Final Stand – Saturday – Logan Square Auditorium, Chicago.
I’ve spent the last couple of days catching up on my AAW, ready for their first show of the year. The Final Stand, named for Trevor Lee’s final show with the promotion, takes place next Saturday at the Logan Square Auditorium. It’s not exactly a secret that Lee has been on the verge of leaving the Indies, and he recently announced that he has in fact signed for WWE. The Carolina Caveman has been a great ambassador for the Chicago promotion, and I’m sure the fans will be giving him a hell of a send-off. In the tag team division, The Lucha Bros and LAX will have a rematch of their recent match at Impacts ‘Homecoming’ show. There aren’t many teams better than these two right now. That Impact match was a glorious example of balls to the wall, all action spot fest that both teams are known for, and I’m expecting another classic match here. Visit their website.
Full Impact Pro – Everything Burns – Sunday – The Orpheum, Florida.
For those who are familiar with the Wrestling Omakase podcast on the VOW network, John Carroll recently bit the bullet and decided to review the classic FIP, ‘Everything Burns’ IPPV from 2017. A show that the wonder that is Teddy Stigma winning a calamitous opening scramble match, the episode was one of my favorites from the podcasting world last year. This year’s rendition of Everything Burns takes place next Sunday at the Orpheum in Florida. Current FIP Heavyweight champion, Anthony Henry has some issues with ‘The Mad King’ Eddie Kingston right now; after a little tussle at a recent Evolve show, both men have called out the other over social media. Whether it be an official match or just a brawl, expect to see Henry and Kingston knocking seven shades of shit out of each other. Anthony Henry is so incredibly underrated, it truly baffles me as to why he isn’t a bigger name on the Independent scene. Whether as a singles competitor, or a tag team with regular partner JD Drake, the guy is bloody awesome and really should be a bigger name than he is. Drake will also be appearing at Everything Burns, along with other WWN regulars The Skulk, Jaka, Austin Theory, Bryan Idol and recent All Japan debutants, The End. More info is available on their website.
Future Stars of Wrestling – No Escape – Friday – Sam’s Town, Las Vegas.
Are you a cage match fan? Then Future Stars of Wrestling have got you covered. The Vegas promotion will be having not one, but three cage matches at their next show, No Escape, next Friday. Running at the Sam Towns Casino that Ring of Honor so often uses, the big main event of the show sees John Morrison and Alexander Hammerstone locked inside the cage, as they battle it out for the MECCA Grand Championship. Hammerstone is another guy who seems to get overlooked by a lot of people, and with his size, I am quite surprised he has yet to be snapped up by a bigger promotion. Cage match number two will see a 6-man scramble match, with Owen Travers vs Jake Atlas vs Matt Vandergriff vs Damian Drake vs Wiseguy vs Ice Williams. Man, that’s a lot of bodies. That one could be towing a fine line between awesome and chaotic. Visit their website.
Fight Forever – Dance of the Dragon – Thursday – Pryzm Nightclub, Birmingham.
Fight Forever debuted in December, bringing big names such as Brandi Rhodes, Flip Gordan and Moustache Mountain for their four-day tour of England. For a new promotion to be using such big names, then you know they’re going to generate a lot of buzz. Like we’ve seen with our next promotion, money promotions like these are certainly not new in the UK, and they rarely last. So, whether Fight Forever can keep this buzz going is yet to be seen. Next Thursday, they present their next show, Dance of the Dragon, at Pryzm Nightclub in Birmingham. Not much information is available on their social media, but according to the poster, Will Ospreay, Jimmy Havoc, Bea Priestley, El Phantasmo and Drew Parker will all be appearing. More information is available here.
WrestleGate – Open Gate – Saturday – Rushcliffe Arena, Nottingham.
Like I mentioned above, the history books of UK Wrestling are filled with upstart promotions, coming in with a deep wallet and big names, the majority of them go on to fail miserably once they realize how hard it is to run a wrestling promotion. I say that as a man who has dipped his toes into the promoting world in the past, and as someone who was around for the days of 1PW and Real Quality Wrestling during the mid-2000s. In recent memory, 5* wrestling made a bit of a laughing stock of themselves when they started doing live 3-hour TV before they had any idea what they were doing. Now, I’m not one to throw out accusations before learning the facts, but if you believe the twitter masses then Wrestle Gate Pro could certainly be the next one to join that list. Whether they are here to stay is unknown. Bursting onto the scene and booking big names for future shows before even running a single show is something that rings alarm bells in the UK scene. But much like I did with the above-mentioned promotions (not 5*, I always knew that was nonsense), I’m willing to give WrestleGate a chance. Their much-anticipated debut show is finally upon us, and on paper, it’s an absolute corker. Jordan Devlin vs Chris Ridgeway is a match that blew everybody away in Progress recently, so there is no way that can’t be good. ‘Bad Bones’ John Klinger and Mil Muertes is another match that looks good. The former champions of wXw and Lucha Underground are two guys who always entertain. Other names appearing at Open Gate, includes El Phantasmo, Session Moth Martina, Sean Kustom, Ricky Knight Jr. and Niwa. Nothing wrong with that line-up. With the UK scene going through a bit of a dip right now, I am very much rooting for WrestleGate to be a success. So, go on guys, prove us all wrong. Just maybe slow down a little. Visit their website.
Rev Pro – Live in Bristol – Sunday – The Marble Factory, Bristol.
Now to a promotion who do have a proven record and one I’m definitely not worried about. Revolution Pro are still basking in the glory of having their main title defended at WrestleKingdom. ZSJ and Ishii turned a lot of new eyes towards the promotion, and added to the recent PAC vs ZSJ match, 2019 could be an even better year for Rev Pro than last year. Next Sunday, they are on the road with a live show at the Marble Factory in Bristol. Will Ospreay is scheduled to appear, as he continues to build towards his upcoming dream match with PAC. There will also be quite a bit of Japanese talent appearing, with the always improving Great-O-Kharn, Shigehiro Irie and Yuu all on the card. More information is available here.
German Wrestling Federation – Global Warning – Saturday – Berlin.
Big names galore in Berlin next Saturday, for the German Wrestling Federation. They kind of become my go-to promotion in Germany of late. Next Saturday, they host Global Warning in Berlin. The international names on show include Brian Cage, Paul London and Angelico, along with Tarkan Aslan, Cash Money Erkan and Michael Kovac providing a local feel to the show. For more information on how you can watch, go visit their website.
Art of Wrestling – Championship Night – Sunday – KD-Krakov, Czech Republic.
Nope, Colt Cabana hasn’t taken after the Elite guys by starting his own promotion, as bizarre as that would be. Art of Wrestling is in fact a promotion based in the Czech Republic. Even though they had their debut show in 2017, this is still only their fourth outing as a promotion, with large gaps in-between each event. Next Sunday, they crown their first ever AOW Champion with an 8-man tournament. The 8 guys fighting it out for the title are the Arrows of Hungary teammates of Icarus and Dover, as well as Oliver Carter, Sasa Keel, Boldo Brown, Tarkan Aslan, Ozzy Spencer and Markus Mytra. Go check out their website to find out more.
Rising Sun Wrestling Promotion – Rise of a new era – Saturday – Pero, Milan.
Another new one for me this week. I’ve covered the Italian Championship Wrestling before, but this week it’s the Milan promotion, Rising Sun, who grace these unholy pages. A few of the UK based lads shall be popping over for some graps and a Pizza, with TK Cooper making his debut for the promotion, challenging Paxxo for the Gods of Suns Championship. Joel Redman, a former NXT tag champ and a guy who doesn’t get a lot of buzz on the UK scene these days will also be on the show, along with Darrell Allen and Ashly Dunn. Information is available here.
Rest of the World
C*4 – Friday – Nightmare City – St Anthony’s Banquet Hall, Ottawa.
C*4 begin 2019 with Nightmare City next Friday, when the safest bet in wrestling challenges for the C*4 Championship. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Josh Alexander have a bad, especially not in C*4, so I’m rooting for the big man to defeat Matt Angel and walk away from St Anthony’s Banquet Hall with the belt. We’ve also got a big four-way to look forward too, with MJF, Josh Briggs, Ethan Page and Stu Grayson all battling it out. I’m assuming that one will be bloody entertaining. To find out how you can watch, check out their website.
Barrie Wrestling – Saturday – Going the Distance – Ferris Lane, Ontario.
The Canadian scene was rocked recently by the awful car crash of Kevin Bennett, Daniel Garcia, Kevin Blackwood and Puf while traveling back from a show last week. Luckily, all four of the men are on the mend and we wish them all a speedy recovery. Kevin Blackwood and Daniel Garcia were due to appear at the next Barrie Wrestling show, Going the Distance, but are obviously now unable to do so, which means the card has had to be changed around somewhat. Both men were scheduled for the No.1 contender gauntlet match, a match which now includes Aiden Prince, Gabriel Furza, Lionel Knight and three mystery participants. The current, Three Pistols triple threat champion Tarik, also defends his title against Mark Wheeler and a mystery opponent. Go throw them a follow on Twitter.
Zero-1 – Sunday – Osaka.
I watched my first proper Zero-1 show over the new years and I must say I bloody enjoyed. Although it probably helped that Daisuke Sekimoto was in the main event, and that big bastard never fails to entertain me. At their next show at Osaka, while Sekimoto isn’t on the card, the guy he defeated in the New Years Day main event is, as Kohei Sato teams up with my favorite kick-ass from Noah, KENOH, to face a pair of legends in Masato Tanaka and Takashi Suguira. There’s also a big ol’ boy fight, with Yuji Hino facing Chris Weiss. Beef galore in that bad boy. Turn on google translate and check out their website.