It’s all going on this week. PWG celebrate an anniversary with a great main event, a forgotten gem attempts to resurrect his career in the UK, Rev Pro continue to frustrate the world, GCW present a match that may make me want to pull my eyes out and the GWF crown the best light heavyweight in the world.
Just another week in the bizarre universe of Independent wrestling. I bloody love it.
PWG – 200 – Friday – Globe Theatre, Los Angeles.
Friday PWG will host their 200th show. Every legend of the Indies has appeared for the promotion over the years, and while they have certainly been left a bit battered by the depletion of the Indie scene over the past few years, they’re still seen by many as the premier promotion in the world of Independent wrestling. The main event for 200 next Friday, will see a rematch of sorts from the final of last years BOLA, as the winner of that tournament and the current PWG champion, Jeff Cobb, challenges against one of the men he defeated in the final, Bandido. Classic big bastard against the flippy dude match, and one that will certainly have the attendees of the Globe Theatre throwing money into the ring throughout. Another match that pretty much epitomizes everything PWG is known for will be the tag title match; three of the best teams in the business will be hitting all the cool moves, as The Rascalz defend against LAX and The Lucha Brothers. These teams have been involved in a series of great matches through various promotions recently, and I have no doubt this will be a lot of fun. Jonathan Gresham and David Starr will be slowing things down a notch in the match I am looking forward to the most. I love both these guys and this bad boy is going to be a treat. The show will also see the stand-outs of the Euro scene, Aussie Open, making their debut for the promotion against The Best Friends. Heavy line-up for PWG, go check out their website for more information.
GCW – To Live and Die in LA – Saturday – Burning World Studios. Los Angeles.
If PWG are the big boys of the Indies, then GCW are the hot new thing. Back in Los Angeles next Saturday for To Live and Die in LA, the game changers will be offering a line-up that touches on every branch of the wrestling genre tree. The death match will be provided by UK prospect, Drew Parker, and G-Raver, who I imagine will be leaving the ring covered in bits of broken light tubes. For the comedy fans out there, Joey Ryan and Orange Cassidy will be providing the laughs. While I’m sure this will be fun, I can’t think of any match I would want to see less than those two fucking around. More up my alley and covering the high-flying part of the show, is AEW signee Jungle Boy, taking on former WWE Cruiserweight champ, and one of the busiest guys on the Indie scene, Rich Swann. Talk about variety, there is literally something for everyone on that show. Go check them out here.
Sabotage Wrestling – Hey Ladies 2 – Saturday – New Braunfels, Texas.
Sabotage Wrestling will be hosting Hey Ladies 2, an all-female show next Saturday in New Braunfels. The Indie scenes resident lycan, Kris Wolf, recently announced her retirement from the business due to injuries. Wolf has been one of the best characters on the Indies for a while now, and while she may not be my cup of tea, she will be very much missed. At Hey Ladies 2, she challenges the current War of Genders Champion Shotzi Blackheart for the title. Kylie Rae will be smiling in the state she made her name, challenging Hyan for the Sabotage Championship. The show will also see Penelope Ford taking on former Lucha Underground star, Thunder Rosa. A hell of a line-up here, with some of the best women on the Indies appearing.
Southern Underground Pro – What could possibly go wrong – Sunday – Basement East, Nashville.
Now to one of my favourite venues on the Indies and I promotion that never fails to impress, Southern Underground Pro. One of the gems of the Southern scene, their next show, What Could Possibly Go Wrong, will see former friends beating the crap out of the each other, as O’Shay Edwards challenges Brett Ison for the Bonesaw title. Ison attacked his friend after dethroning Marko Stunt for the title at All Eyez On Me in November, and the hot crowd in Nashville will be hoping that Edwards can kick the champs ass here. The SadKampf boys will both be in singles action also, as Kevin Ku takes on Allie Kat, and Dominic Garrini faces SupGraps favourite, Cabana Man Dan. SadKampf had an early tag team MOTY contender against The Work Horsemen over in Black Label Pro recently, and this could be a good year for both guys. The show will be available to watch over on IWTV
Discovery – The Disco Derby – Sunday – The Jam House, Edinburgh.
Can Discovery be the saviours of the Scottish scene? I have asked this question several times before, more so in the hope that they can pick up where ICW left off and really make a name for themselves in the country. They’ve pulled out all the stops for their next show, Disco Derby, next Sunday at the Jam House in Edinburgh. Where they will be hosting the Disco Derby match for the women’s title. 15 Women will challenge Sammi Jayne for her title; with Session Moth, Nina Samuels, Raven Creed and Debbie Keitel all amongst those hoping to leave Edinburgh with the belt. Newly crowned free agent, Joe Hendry, will also be at The Jam house, along with Chief Deputy Dunne, Joe Coffey and Lewis Girvan. All information is available here
Rev Pro – Live at the Cockpit 39 – Sunday – The Cockpit, London.
For all of their dream matches and their use of New Japan talent, Rev Pro really don’t make it easy at times. Fresh from their York Hall sell-out, with the dream match of PAC and Ospreay splitting the opinion of the IWC, Rev Pro are back at the Cockpit next Sunday. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the promotion over the years. I want to like them, I really do, but with their constant over booking and mind numbingly painful commentary, I often find it difficult to really get invested. Neil David covers their shortfalls in a fantastic article over on our website, one which I urge you all to read. As somewhat of an outsider though, the fact their next show has nothing announced but the appearance of Zack Sabre Jr, is kind of ridiculous. That’s Rev Pro for you though, always making it hard work to follow them. Zack being there is obviously a plus, but it would be nice if promotions would start advertising their line-ups a bit better. It would certainly make my job a little easier. Anyway, go visit their website, and see if you can do better than I did.
Tidal Championship Wrestling – Johnny 5 Is Alive: Your Momma was a Snowblower – Sunday – New Cross, London.
It’s become a regular occurrence on the UK scene – and maybe even all around the world – for wrestlers to cut a heartfelt, reveal all promo package, bleeding their real lives into that of their wrestling characters. Flash Morgan Webster did a fantastic promo a few years ago whilst returning from injury. The Eddie Dennis promos in Progress and NXT:UK, while obviously leaning on heavy heel work, also touched on real subjects that made him interesting for the first time in quite a while. It’s a great tool that can help someone seem real and can help a career that has maybe hit a rough patch. The most recent example of this is TK Cooper. A guy who has gone from setting the scene alight just a couple of years ago to the forgotten man of the UK scene. This promo touched on everything; his hype, his injuries, his broken heart, it gave us a glimpse into a character that we had completely forgotten about. The hard part now though, is how will he follow this up in the ring? Can he take this little bit of buzz and run with it? Rev Pro have already started using it to promote him, and the next few months are going to be an intriguing time for TK. Next Sunday, he’ll be looking at beginning this next phase of his career by appearing for Tidal Championship Wrestling. There, he’ll be facing Sugar Dunkerton for the TCW Championship, in a match that could get a some buzz and be a good indicator of where this new story is going for Cooper. Sadie Gibbs will also be appearing, hoping to put all of that Ospreay nonsense behind her, as she faces Miss Roxxy. TCW are one of the underrated gems of the UK scene, a promotion with a great roster and a loyal fanbase that could be one to keep an eye on this year. Visit their website to find out more.
Wrestling Resurgence – This is Spinal Graps – Sunday – Nottingham Contemporary.
I’ve included this one for the fact it includes possibly the most mismatched contest of the year so far, that being the King of the Goths, Jimmy Havoc, taking on the King of Comedy wrestling in the UK, Gene Munny. I haven’t got a bloody clue how this one is going to go down. It could be awesome, it could be mental, it could be a calamity. Either way, it’s going to be fucking funny. That isn’t the only good match that Wrestling Resurgence has pulled together, as Jack Sexsmith will be defending the Resurgence Championship against NXT:UK bad guy, Eddie Dennis. There will also be a heel vs heel match; as the sadistic git, Paul Robinson, faces the tory bastard, Spike Trivet. Their Twitter page will give you more information.
Barrie Wrestling – Some Next Level Hits – Saturday – Barrie, Ontario.
It seems Barrie wrestling have booked their next show, Some Next Level Hits, just for me. With all of my favourite Canadian wrestlers on the card in some capacity, I’m in two minds as to whether to start the trek to Canada now, in hopes of getting there in time. Josh Alexander – Check, Tyson Dux – Check, Kobe Durst – Check. All they need now is to book Tarik and Rosemary and they’ve made a friend for life. There will also be an 8-man elimination tag match, with Holden Albright captaining a team of Jim Nye, Alec Realm & Jim Stryder to face Vaughn Vertigos team of Gabriel Fuerza, Jordan James & Anton Alexiev. Now these guys I don’t know, but hey, the show has Tyson Dux, so I’m in. Visit their Twitter page for more info.
Lutte NSPW – 245th Show – Saturday – Quebec. Straight to the point for Lutte NSPW this week.
No beating around the bush with this show title. No trying to sound smart or breaking out a stupidly long and obscure name that only about 5 people will understand, just because they heard it on an episode of Alan Partridge or It’s Always Sunny or some shit. Instead, Lutte NSPW present their 245th show, named exactly that. Straight to the point, now that’s my kind of promotion. The aforementioned show will include a tag team title match, with Matt Angel & Travis Toxic defending their titles against The Wonderboys team of Dylan Donovan & Yann Pike. Other matches include The Beast King facing Matt Falco, and Marko Estrada & Ivan Sullivan take on Thomas Dubois & Kevin Blanchard. All info can be found on their website.
Battlewar – Battlewar 62 – Sunday – Montreal, Quebec.
That isn’t the only show going on in Quebec next weekend, with Battlewar hosting Battlewar 62; another title getting right to the point, these Canadian promotions are on the ball this week. Thomas Dubois and FTM will also be appearing here, this time teaming up to face Francis & Francis. Two halves of the best tag teams in Canada will be squaring off in singles action, as The Super Smash Bros’ Evil Uno, takes on Mattheu St-Jacques from TDT. Visit their Twitter page for more.
Battle Championship Wrestling 26 – Friday – Burwood East, Victoria.
While the Aussie scene may seem a little gutted right now after the recent departures of Jonah Rock and Elliot Sexton to NXT, one thing that has always impressed me is that there are always guys ready to take over and make a name for themselves. Two of those talents will be battling it out on Friday for Battle Championship Wrestling, as Dowie James and Mick Moretti will be wrestling in a 60-minute Iron man match in the main event. Former UFC and WWE legend, Ken Shamrock, continues his comeback, as he, along with his tag partner Carlo Cannon, defend their BCW tag titles against Gabriel Wolfe and Jake Andrewartha. Other big names, such as Robbie E and Melina, will also be in Victoria for the show. More info can be found on their website.
Wrestle Rampage – Uprising – Saturday – Port Adelaide.
The following day in Port Adelaide, Wrestle Rampage will be hosting Uprising, where the Australian National Championship will be on the line, with Punch Drunk Istria defending the title he won at Decembers ‘All or Nothing’, against Tommy Knight. Others appearing includes Adam Brookes, Robby Heart, Rat Daddy and Link Barnett. I know very little about the guy, but Rat Daddy sounds like an awesome gimmick. Wrestle Rampage are one of the better promotions down under right now, so go check them out here.
Melbourne City Wrestling – G.IRL – Sunday – Evie’s Disco Diner, Fitzroy, Victoria.
A little change of pace for MCW next Sunday, as they present an all-female show in partnership with Evie’s Disco Diner in Victoria. Some of the best women from down under will be appearing at G.IRL, with Indi Hartwell, Vixsin, Avary and Candy Lee are all scheduled to appear. Much like I said above, there also seems to be a never-ending supply of great female talent in Australia, always ready to step up. So I’m excited to see which of these ladies will be the next big thing to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Madison Eagles, Toni Storm and Shazza McKenzie. To find out how to watch, visit their website.
Rest of the World
European Wrestling Promotion – Winter of Wrestling 2 – Friday – X-Flights, Hannover.
One of the last remaining legends of the Indies, and maybe even the backyarding scene, ‘M-Dogg’ Matt Cross will be spending some time in Germany next weekend, first wrestling for the European Wrestling Promotion in Hannover on Friday. Some other pretty big names appearing include, Shigehiro Irie, who continues his own tour of Europe, as well as Angelico and Pascal Spalter. Visit their website to find out how you can check them out.
German Wrestling Federation – Light Heavyweight World Cup – Saturday – Berlin.
Some of the best cruiserweights in the world descend upon Germany next Saturday for the GWF Light Heavyweight world cup. Eight nations are represented, with A-Kid, Justin Wylde, Matt Cross, Lucky Kid, Cem Kaplan, El Phantasmo, Johnny Storm and Angelico all fighting it out in Berlin to be crowned the best light heavyweight in the world. Every combination of those guys is awesome, I’m especially hoping for a Johnny Strom vs Lucky Kid match at some point. Visit their website for more information.
The Crash – Saturday – Tijuana.
The Crash are back for another Lucha Libre spectacle next Saturday in Tijuana. The main event sees a mixture of International and Mexican talent come together, as Willie Mack defends his Crash Heavyweight Championship in a four-way, against Austin Theory, El Barbaro Cavernario and Sanson. There will also be a bit of a New Japan presence on the show, as Jeff Cobb & Michael Elgin wrestle Azul & Hechihero. Visit their website
Dragon Gate – Champion Gate – Sunday – Osaka.
PAC has finally arrived. He spent his first few months back on the Indies working somewhat decent matches, but concentrating more on character over in-ring work. That was until he blew everybody away with an early MOTY contender at Open the Truth Gate show. His match with KZY was unbelievable and is currently my favourite match of the year so far. We finally saw the PAC of old; the innovation, the high flying, the brutality. It was everything we’ve wanted from him since he escaped the shackles of the corporate world. With the match won and his title defended, he was challenged by one of the breakthrough guys in Dragon Gate this year, Shun Skywalker. That match happens next Sunday in Osaka, and if PAC is only half as good as he was against KZY, then we could have another classic on our hands. More info on the rest of the card and how you can watch can be found here.
Stardom – Sunday – Nagoya.
It’s been a busy few months for Oedo Tai. My stable in wrestling have added the High Speed Championship to their collection of tiles, and welcomed the additions of both Jamie Hayter and Andras Miyagi to their ranks. They are easily the most popular group in Stardom right now, and next Sunday they will be hoping to add more gold, as Kagetsu, Hazuki and Natsu Samire challenge Mayu Iwatani, Saki Kashima and Tam Nakano for the Artist of Stardom titles. I’m all in on that match, plus I get the added bonus of seeing Natsu Samire, so life is good. That won’t be the only title match on the card though, as Momo Watanabe defends the White Belt against Jungle Kyona, and Utami Hayashishita defends the Eve International title against Bea Preistley. I’m not the biggest Priestley fan, but it’s always fun to Utami. The show will be available to watch here.