Thursday, April 4
White Eagle Hall, New Jersey
I started 2019 with a resolution to pay special attention to independent wrestling, feeling burned by the big names, the super indies and feeling a general malaise. With an IndependentWrestling.TV subscription, knowledge that it worked on my streaming devices and a lot to sink my teeth into, I started keeping track of everything the platform put up for most of January with the hopes of bringing light on VOW to the valuable service and the excellent matches that were taking place in the lesser-known corners of the wrestling world.
Unfortunately, the platform stopped working on my desired system (PS4—which it was flawless on) for about two months, causing this project to screech to a halt. That’s been resolved in the last two weeks and while I’m not going to be catching up on two and a half months of things, I am pretty stoked about the idea of a “super card” featuring some familiar names from the various promotions featured on the network that are in town for WrestleMania weekend.
Jack Bonza, Mick Moretti & Unsocial Jordan vs. Robbie Eagles, Caveman Ugg & Bel Pierce
I have watched almost zero Australian wrestling since it started to make waves a few years ago, though I have heard much of it has supplanted some other scenes as some of the most consistently quality wrestling around the world. With that being said, I was familiar with two names on this Australia showcase before doing some research, and after watching a couple of hype videos and matches from those I’m unfamiliar with—this match that I was ready to throw away has turned into one that I’m super stoked about. Jack Bonza and Mick Moretti are former partners who recently had a killer hype video & match in PWA, a match I’d really like to see and are two dudes who could easily slot into the big name American indie promotions—PWG, AAW, Beyond, etc. Unsocial Jordan is on a similar wavelength—and all 3 have pretty killer character work. Robbie Eagles is everywhere these days, and deservedly so—he has potential to be one of the top breakout stars of the weekend (and he’s already in NJPW). Caveman Ugg fucking rules and we should all be more familiar with him…and I’ve seen one Bel Pierce match, and I didn’t like it, but it’s not really enough to judge her by. Expect huge spots, big moves, piledrivers, flips, springboards, some sloppiness, whatever—this has the potential to be up there with any “scramble” or multi-person match of the weekend. If it delivers, I’ll likely get a PWA subscription to keep up.
Kris Stadtlander & Kimber Lee vs. Shazza McKenzie & Jessica Troy
Kris Stadtlander is the next big star to break out. Her 2019 has been crazy already and she’s been delivering killer performances everywhere. Honestly, she’s probably my favorite independent woman’s wrestler at this point and it is not really even close. Shazza is divisive, but I tend to like her—and I’ve only seen Jessica Troy once or twice, but she’s got a good look, decent strikes and good character work. I don’t know what to think of the match on the whole and can’t tell you it’ll be good, but everything Kris is in right now is must watch, so I guess I’m stoked on the whole.
Kobe Durst, Justin Sane & Kody Lane vs. Shane Sabre, Space Monkey & Brett Michael David
This match features some names that work a lot in Ontario and Alpha-1 Wrestling, but many all over. It’s a lot to have another six man here, but four of the names involved I’m actually a pretty big fan of. I can’t, for the life of me, believe there is a wrestler in 2019 named Justin Sane—especially when his nickname “Night Train” is a way better name, but here we are. The dude looks like a million bucks, but I admittedly haven’t seen him wrestle much at all. Kobe Durst & Kody Lane look like they could be brothers, Kobe the cleaner, more serious, hard hitting, hard working brother and Kody the one that is into Hardcore music and tattoos and ripping you the fuck apart. They both give their all in the ring and I expect them to do so here. Shane Sabre and Space Monkey have been a pretty fun recent tag team, I’ve enjoyed Sabre when he’s popped up here and there and if you don’t like Space Monkey, you’re wrong. BMD…well I don’t know him, but he’s a big dude. This should be a hard hitting match, not necessarily the high spots of the Australian opener, but expect a lot of forearms and chops and dumping people outside. Could be fun.
Last Man Standing Match
Jake Parnell vs. Gary Jay
Here’s the thing—these two dudes have semi-quietly put together one of the best feuds of the last while, beating the shit out of each other constantly and this match is gonna be no different. This shit is going to be intense and is absolutely a must watch.
ACTION Wrestling Championship
AC Mack (c) vs Fred Yehi
Here’s what you should know: ACTION Wrestling has only had a handful of shows to this date, I haven’t seen them all, but I’d say it’s probably the most consistently great American indie going right now. If you like traditional indie wrestling that has some great, hard-hitting matches, decent to great promos, storylines that make sense and a focus on talent that isn’t being focused on elsewhere—you should definitely give ACTION a shot. AC Mack is their champ and is case-in-point of a dude who has a ton of talent that isn’t being used in as many places as he could. He’s hilarious on the microphone, he’s good on the mat and he’s wrestling one of the best wrestlers in the world in Yehi. This has to be good.
Kylie Rae & Isaias Velasquez vs Shotzi Blackheart & Robert Anthony
I honestly had no idea that Robert Anthony was still wrestling. That’s cool but I have no idea what to expect because I haven’t seen a match of his in like five years. Shotzi is a favorite of mine, but I’d be lying if I said I’m seeing tons of great matches from her. Kylie Rae and Isaias will do Freelance proud, because they’re both great. It will be interesting to see how all of these folks work together, but have to imagine Kylie gets the pinfall here.
O’Shay Edwards & Mr. Brickster & Cabana Man Dan vs Brett Ison & Kevin Ku & Dominic Garrini
A bit of a showcase on Southern Underground Pro wrestling, a newer promotion that has been having some pretty decent shows and logical booking. O’Shay Edwards is a fuckin’ giant of a man and improving every month. Mr. Brickster has a gimmick based around Lego. Cabana Man Dan is someone I avoided for awhile because I thought it was some shit comedy gimmick, but the dude is tough as nails. This is the worst comparison ever but for those of you who have never seen him—imagine Price Iaukea mixed with Tomohiro Ishii, I hate that I wrote that, but I hope you want to see that—he rules. Brett Ison is a TN wrestler, and he’s pretty good at brawling and mauling opponents smaller than him and Sadkampf, despite the name, is probably one of the best tag teams on the indie scene today. This is gonna be the most “beefslam” type of match here, a lot of big, bulky dudes beating the shit out of each other, don’t expect a bunch of flips here.
Independent Wrestling Championship
Orange Cassidy (c) vs Jonathan Gresham
Orange Cassidy in the last year has perfected his gimmick and gone from a “wtf, this is kinda funny” gimmick to “ok, this is legit one of the best comedy gimmicks out there” to “how is Orange Cassidy having 4-star matches every month?” Jonathan Gresham was the original holder of this title and basically never has a bad match with anyone—he’s facing Orange Cassidy here and Shinjiro Otani later in the weekend, what a fuckin’ trip. Hey, I expect this to be great and it absolutely should be. Expect Cassidy to get out of submissions in terribly creative ways, Gresham to get frustrated and Cassidy to eek out the win.
To be completely honest, I wasn’t super hyped about this card initially, and it’s still not perfect—but I do have pretty strong faith that at least two and as many as four of these matches could be “notebook” matches when all is said and done, something that a lot of these smaller shows can’t really say. Subscribing to IndependentWrestling.TV is cheap and if you dig indie stuff, you should definitely be doing it. Give it a shot with this show—if you gravitate towards any of the wrestlers here, find where they work most often and BOOM you have a new promotion to follow.