3-2-1 Battle – Battlemania – Friday – The Showbox, Seattle.
I start this week’s look into the indies with a promotion I’ve never covered before, 3-2-1 Battle. My knowledge of the scene in Seattle pretty much starts and stops with Defy, so it’s kind of overdue. This week is as good as any to take a look, as their big Battlemania show takes place on Friday with a main event between two of the best technical wrestlers in the world, Daniel Makabe and Jonathan Gresham. Makabe is a name that is often mentioned in the ‘underrated’ category of the indie world, and one that I’ve seen a few times before. While he is obviously a very good wrestler, I’ve never really understood the gimmick. Basically, a punk rock kid who wrestles in a football shirt with a technical style. Absolutely none of those things go together (which may be point), and while I’m sure there is a method to this madness that I don’t understood, for some reason it really bothers me. My inability to get the gimmick should not take away from his talent in the ring though, as when it comes to the match itself, he really is a fantastic talent that deserves to be used more in some of the bigger promotions. His opponent here is one of the best wrestlers in the world and this is definitely a match that could turn a lot of eyes to the promotion if they market it right. Makabe impressed a lot of people over Mania weekend and this match could be the next step in his movement into the upper echelons of the Indie world, even if I don’t understand why he wrestles in a football shirt. There is certainly more to Battlemania though, with Kimber Lee, Ashley Dunn, Alex Zayne and Sonico all appearing. To find out more about 3-2-1 Battle, visit their website.
Freelance Wrestling – Burn After Watching – Friday – Logan Square Auditorium, Chicago.
I’ll be honest, I was a little surprised that more promotions didn’t use Kylie Rae over WrestleMania weekend. I think I saw her twice over the way too many shows I watched and both of those were tag matches. Whether this has something to do with her AEW contract I’m unsure, but it does seem a big mistake by many. Next Friday, she defends her Freelance Championship against someone who was used by pretty much everybody in New York, Ethan Page. Intergender isn’t usually my thing, but I’m all aboard Kylie kicking Page’s ass. Another guy I saw more of over Mania weekend than I think I saw my own wife was Nick Gage. The man, the king, the legend will be at the Logan Square Auditorium facing one of the rising stars of Freelance, Craig Mitchell. Good luck Craig, it could be rough night. The current tag champs and one of my favorite teams in the world, The Work Horsemen, will be defending their titles in a three-way against The Space Pirates and Rickey Shane Page & Alex Ohlson. Others appearing include Shazza McKenzie, Rory Gulak, Kobe Durst, Maria Manic and Joey Ryan. If you, like me, would love to see Kylie Rae kick All Egos ass, the show will be available to watch live.
Black Label Pro – Players Brawl – Saturday – Century Centre, South Bend, Indiana.
Black Label Pro’s ‘Adventures in Wrestling’ was one of the many shows I indulged in over WrestleMania week, and while it was one of many highs (Gresham vs Irie, Ethan Page vs Kobe Durst, Orange Cassidy vs Bryan Alvarez), it also had its lows (the million dollar Battle Royal), but all in all it was a very enjoyable show that I’m sure made the promotion a few more fans for the future. They will be following it up with their next show, Players Brawl, next Saturday in South Bend, Indiana, which much like Adventures in Wrestling, seems to include both the awesome, in the shape of Jordynne Grace vs Nick Gage, and the not so awesome in Allie Kat vs Joey Ryan (oh good god, no). Grace and Gage, in particular, is a match that could be pretty insane. Gary Jay will also be appearing for the promotion, as he hopes to build on the momentum he built in New York, by taking on Anthony Greene. This show will also be available to watch live on IW.TV.
Southern Underground Pro – Hold Your Ground – Sunday – The Basement East, Nashville.
Leading up to Mania week, one of the promotions I was most intrigued about was Southern Underground Pro. As part of the Family Reunion show, they held a 6-man tag match which was tremendously built up and included guys which perfectly represented what the promotion is all about. While the match itself was very good, due to time restraints and the fact it was on a pretty stacked show, it never really got the chance to reach the levels of expectation and will be probably be remembered mostly for the rather over-enthusiastic ring announcing from Righteous Jesse, who I’m guessing did a couple of shots of espresso before the show started. For some reason, it was one of the only shows that guys like O’Shay Edwards and Mr. Brickster got booked for and with so much of the same talent being used on every so, I’m baffled as to why these two weren’t given a few more opportunities. SupGraps are the real Punk rock wrestling show in the Indies right now, and at their 2nd anniversary show, Hold Your Ground, next Sunday, they will get another chance to prove how good a promotion they really are. All of their representatives from New York will be on the card, with O’Shay Edwards facing Anthony Henry (hell yes), Mr Brickster wrestling AC Mack, and Bret Ison will defend his Bonestorm title against JD Drake. Cabana Man Dan, Kevin Ku, Jaden Newman, Matt Justice and Logan Stunt will also be appearing. For more information, visit their Twitter page.
UK & Ireland
Defiant – Lights Out – Wednesday – 02 Academy, Leeds.
Yep, Defiant are still plugging away without much attention. It’s a shame really, as they have as good a roster as pretty much any other Indie in the UK right now. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to matter, as they simply aren’t getting the attention they would hope. For those who are still paying attention to them then their next show, Lights Out, is next Saturday at the 02 Academy in Leeds. David Starr continues to appear for what seems like every Indie promotion in the world when he faces Gabriel Kidd, while Martin Kirby defends the Defiant title against Lucky Kid in match I will definitely be hoping to catch at some point. The World title will also be on the line, with Justin Sysum challenging Rory Coyle in what will probably be the main event. All info on the line-up and how to watch is available on their website.
TNT Extreme – Supreme Extreme – Thursday – Fusion Night Club, Liverpool.
Another promotion making their ‘Weekly Indies’ debut this week is TNT Extreme out of Liverpool. The promotion that constantly brings in some of the biggest names in the world will be keeping up that trend as they offer somewhat of a dream match in the form of PAC vs Pentagon. I’ve learned not to get too excited about the PAC dream matches in the UK this year, but as long as the politics don’t get in the way then this one could be a hell of a match. The other part of the Lucha Bros, Rey Fenix, will also be in Liverpool facing El Phantasmo. Flips everywhere for that one. Also, fresh from making his MSG debut at the G1 Supercard, Mark Haskins will be facing Rampage Brown. Visit their website to find out more.
Fight Club Pro – Dream Tag Invitational – Friday, Saturday, Sunday – The Hangar, Wolverhampton.
It’s the biggest weekend of the year for Fight Club: Pro, with their 3rd annual Dream Tag Invitational, which sees some of the best wrestlers in the world appear in Wolverhampton to battle it out in a tag team tournament. This year’s tournament certainly lives up to the hype, with the Lucha Bros, Besties in The World, The R.E.D team of PAC & Eita, O.V.E, Schadenfreude and the legendary UK team of Johnny Storm and Jody Fleisch all taking part. There will also be some awesome singles action over the weekend, with Rey Fenix facing Will Ospreay, and PAC vs Kyle Fletcher. Ospreay and Fenix, oh sweet lord. For more info on how to watch, visit their website.
OTT – Contenders – Sunday – Ringside Club, Dublin.
Another Contenders show from OTT, where some of the younger, mid card guys get a chance to impress and move their way up the card. I personally love these shows, as OTT have some fantastic young talent coming through the ranks right now, and with their big shows being so stacked, the younger talent doesn’t always get a chance to appear in front of the bigger audiences. One of those guys who could be the next guy to break out in that country is Calum Black. The young powerhouse has become a bit of a mainstay on the recent Contenders show, and his last two matches against Scotty Davis and Carlos Romo both showed that he is more than ready to move up the card. On Sunday he faces Chris Ridgeway, in what could be the match that finally gets him booked on one of the bigger shows. I am certainly looking forwards for this one. The aforementioned Scotty Davis will also be on the show facing Hyper Streak, and in what I imagine will be the main event, Terry Thatcher takes on Mark Haskins. I was hoping to see this match at Scrappermania, but I’ll definitely take it here. Sign up for OTT on-demand.
GBG Wrestling – Sudden Impact – Saturday – Pustervik, Gothenburg.
This week in Europe, Danish promotion GBG Wrestling present Sudden Impact on Saturday in Pustervik, Gothenburg. The card includes a little intergender action with Aya Frick wrestling Lou King Sharp. Frick is a Swedish powerhouse who doesn’t work outside of Scandinavia but has a great look, so I’d love to see her venture out into other parts of Europe sometime soon. Cliff Peterson will also take on Levi Petrus, and there will be appearances from Steibolt, Espen Olsen, Jeppen Stoberg, El Vecino. All info can be found on their website.
International Catch Wrestling Alliance – Saturday – Bruay-la-Buissiere.
Now for the first of our two French shows this week, starting in Bruay-la-Bruissiere for ICWA on Saturday. Their live show will see one of the busiest French wrestlers on the scene, Tristan Archer, challenge Booster for the ICWA Championship. Archer is starting to get his name out there and is always very impressive. The Championnat de France will also be on the line, as Mike D Vecchio and Cormac Hamilton battle it out for the title. Nice big guy/little guy match that could be a lot of fun. More info is available here.
Atlas Wrestling Club – Atlas Acte 1 Arkhe – Sunday – Palais Du Sport, Corbeil-Essonnes.
Our French action this week is continued with a promotion I’ve never covered before, Atlas Wrestling Club. They host their next show, Atlas Acte 1 Arkhe, on Sunday at the Palais du Sport. The new NJPW Never Openweight Champion, Jeff Cobb, will be on the show taking on Helmer Lo Guennec and Aigle Blanc in a three-way. I know next to nothing about the two local guys, but Cob is great. TK Cooper will be also be partaking in some multi-man action, taking part in a four-way against Rick Salem, Amazio and Durancon. Another match where I know nothing about the French guys, but it’s great to see TK getting out there more so I’m hoping it could be a great year for him.
Rest of the World
Lucha Memes – Live Show – Saturday – Arena Lopez Mateos, Mexico.
In Mexico on Saturday there will be a big joint show between Lucha Memes, Lucha Libre Boom and MDA at the Arena Lopez. The list of talent scheduled to appear includes Negro Casas, Trauma II, Dragan Bane, Blue Panther and Virus, with the stand out match being Arez vs Aramis. I saw Arez for the first time over Mania weekend at the Wrestlecon supershow, and even though I’m not really a Lucha guy I was very impressed with him. Visit their Facebook page.
Generacion XXI – Live Show – Sunday – Arena Naucalpan, Estadio de Mexico.
The following day, Generacion XXI will be continuing the Lucha action at the Arena Naucalpan, where the absolute unit, L.A Park, will be facing Diamante Azul. Parks two sons will also be on the show, as El Hijo de LA Park & LA Park Jr. team up to take on another Jr. pairing of Rokambole Jr and Villano V Jr. My favourite Lucha in the world will also be at the Arena Naucalpan, as Bandido faces off against Aramis and Murcielago Plateado Jr. in a three-way. More info is available here.
Smash – Mariposa Mayhem – Saturday – St Pauls Centre, Orillia, Ontario.
Smash wrestling is in Orilla, Ontario on Saturday with a main event that gets the old pants down treatment from me without a doubt. Two guys I’ve spoken highly of many times will be battling it out for the title, with Tarik defending the Smash championship against Tyson Dux. That match alone is enough for me, but Mariposa Mayhem will also include a Jody Threat Open challenge, as well as Sabastian Suave vs Brent Banks. Tarik is great, Tyson Dux is great, Smash is great. So for more info on how to watch the greatness visit their website.
Stardom – Glory Stars – Sunday – World Hall, Osaka.
Even with the Fite TV problems, dreadful commentary and a broken ring going against them, Stardom had a great show in New York which I’m hoping really helped the promotion pick up a lot of new fans. For those who watch the promotion weekly, this was no surprise as Stardom is awesomed. Next Sunday they follow up with Glory Stars at The World Hall in Osaka. Stars vs Queen Quest is always a lot of fun, plus appearances from Viper, AZM, Hazuki, Starlight Kid, Xia Brookside and Andras Miyagi. Sign up for Stardom world.
Sendai Girls – Tuesday – Korakuen Hall.
I mentioned last week how I wanted to see Jordynne Grace wrestle Chihiro Hashimoto and it seems that Meiko must be reading my stuff, because it’s actually fucking happening. Next Tuesday, at Korakuen Hall, two of my favourite wrestlers and probably the hardest hitting women in the world will be battering the shite out of each other for the Sendai Girls world championship, and I cannot wait. Well played Sendai Girl, I bloody love you. Meiko will be also on the show wrestling Saree in another absolute banger. Christ, now this is a show. Just hook those two matches up to my veins and I’ll be happy for the rest of the year. Outstanding stuff. Visit their website to find out more.