Note: These numbers are only focused on the non-WWE events of the weekend. Also, the IPW UK, Lucha Libre en el Bronx, Kaiju Big Battel and Capitol Wrestling shows were not taken into account for the creation of this article
It’s been a couple of weeks since the WrestleMania Weekend storm swept us, so after watching many shows and giving some matches recommendations, I think it’s valuable to take a look at how the wrestlers shaped the weekend itself.
As we all know, this year’s wrestling extravaganza showcased more than 40 shows across two states and more than 15 venues; many wrestlers challenged New York and New Jersey’s chaotic landscape of delayed trains and hellish traffic to work all around the area and by taking a look at the numbers regarding these performer’s appearances, we might get a general feeling of the independent scene in North America. So let’s take a look at the wrestlers that worked the most across WrestleMania Weekend 2019.
9 Matches – Pentagón Jr. and Fénix
The Lucha Brothers were all over WrestleMania Weekend working a total of 9 matches in 3 days. Although they only worked 4 of those 9 appearances as a tag team, the masked brothers were obviously booked in the same shows: Wrestlecon Supershow, Impact Wrestling, Blackcraft, HOG, Joey Ryan’s Penis Party and MLW, for this last promotion, they worked 3 matches (2 on the Battle Riot II show).
It’s also worth noting that Penta only won 3 of his 9 matches (he even got pinned by Simon Grimm at Blackcraft Wrestling’s ‘No Apologies’) while Fénix won 4… the tie-breaker being the Penta vs. Fénix match at the WC Show.
8 Matches – Ethan Page and LAX (Santana and Ortiz)
LAX was the tag team with most appearances across the weekend: they worked all their 9 matches as a tandem, although one could argue that it was ‘every man for himself’ in MLW’s Battle Riot II; even if we subtract that brief appearance, LAX was still the most active tag team in NYC/Jersey. Santana and Ortiz had work in the Wrestlecon Supershow, Impact Wrestling, wXw, MLW, Wrestlecon US vs. The World, Pancakes & Piledrivers 3, HOG and Joey Janela’s Spring Break 3 Part 2, where they had a very cool match with the legendary Rock’n’Roll Express.
Ethan Page had a very busy schedule too, working 8 matches (although the Virgil match barely counts) for 7 different promotions. ‘All Ego’ competed in DDT, IWTV Family Reunion, Black Label Pro, AIW, Destiny/FCP, Wrestlecon US vs. the World and both Joey Janela’s Spring Break extravaganzas. However, Ethan only won one of those matches: he successfully became the #1 contender for the DWW Championship after defeating Sami Callihan and Shane Strickland in the Destiny/Fight Club Pro joint shows. Ethan is the first name of this list that didn’t work MLW matches, and despite the numerous losses, he had solid outings across the board.
7 matches – Arik Cannon, Mance Warner, Nick Gage and Rich Swann
Arik Cannon worked 7 matches for 7 different ‘promotions’: Blackcraft, CHIKARA, REVOLVER, GCW, IWTV Family Reunion, IWS and Casanova Valentine’s fun little project, Murdermania. Yes, Cannon’s had quite the variety: from the weird Alcobrawl with Sexxxy Eddy at IWS: Unstoppable, to a brief run in Blackcraft’s horrendous Baphomet Battle Royal and the aforementioned Murdermania show that consisted in a no-ring deathmatch brawl in the middle of a bar.
I haven’t followed MLW lately but I’ve been hearing very good things about Mance Warner there, and that success showed during ‘Mania Weekend. Warner got booked 7 times: AIW, Blackcraft, Pancakes & Piledrivers, WrestlePro vs. CZW and MLW, where he worked 3 matches across their two shows.
Out of all the mentioned names, Nick Gage is the first one that I can recall having memorable matches. The LEGO Deathmatch in ISW was tremendous, he gave Swoggle his best match of the weekend and had a nice little showing with his favorite wrestler, Shinjiro Otani at Joey Janela’s Spring Break III, Part 1. Also, Gage looked like a freaking star in all of these matches; he got huge pops everywhere and always brought his signature full intensity to every match. Gage is clearly one of the biggest stars in the North American scene.
Before ‘Mania Weekend I hadn’t realized how much work Rich Swann was going to have, but suddenly he started popping everywhere. Swann worked Impact Wrestling, Wrestlecon US vs. The World, Pancakes & Piledrivers, Joey Janela’s Clusterfuck and MLW, where he partook in 3 matches, including an MLW National Championship tournament match and the Battle Riot II. Useless fact: I loved the cultural variety of Swann’s opponents: he wrestled singles matches against Flamita (Mexico), Jiro (Japan), Chuck Mambo (UK) and Brian Pillman Jr. (USA).
6 matches – Air Wolf, Brian Pillman Jr., Chris Brookes, David Starr, MJF, Robbie Eagles, Sanchez, Swoggle and Tonny Deppen
We have 9 hard working men here, and some of whom had excellent showings across the board.
Air Wolf worked 3 matches in MLW, 1 excellent match in CHIKARA (vs. A-Kid), 1 great scramble match in GCW’s Orange Cassidy show and a crazy brawl at Murdermania Night 2. Nice little weekend for a wrestler that is just starting to make a name for himself in North America.
Pillman Jr. worked 4 matches for MLW, pulling double duty on both Rise of the Renegades and Battle RIot II shows. He also wrestled Emil Sitoci at Wrestlecon US vs. The World and participated in Joey Janela’s Greatest Clusterfuck.
Chris Brookes is the first man in this list that didn’t work a single battle royal, and in my book, that deserves some praise. Brookes had consistently good showings throughout the weekend: a fantastic match with Chris Dickinson at ISW, a tremendous tag team match (alongside Gresham) against Shibata’s trainees at RevPro UK, a very fun 7 out 13 Falls match at GCW ‘Orange Cassidy is Doing Something’ and some solid outings at wXw, FCP/Destiny and CHIKARA. Good stuff from Brookes.
The always great David Starr didn’t work wacky battle royals either: he showed up at Wrestlecon US vs. The World, took on Tomohiro Ishii at RevPro, alongside Cage and Moose he was one of the few highlights of the Pancakes & Piledrivers 3 show, he reunited with JT Dunn for the HOG show, had a very good match with Lucky Kid at wXw and… he had to take part in Blackcraft Wrestling’s controversial shitshow. But that’s a tale for another time (be on the lookout for a terrific account of what happened, here at Voices of Wrestling).
MJF was the absolute star of MLW’s Battle Riot II match but wasn’t involved in any other noteworthy stuff. He wrestled two more times for MLW, participated in the Greatest Clusterfuck, defeated Ethan Page at US vs. The World and teamed with him for the AIW show. Also, he was extremely entertaining at the signing tables.
Robbie Eagles had an underrated WrestleMania Weekend, delivering good matches all across the board but never getting that spectacular, buzz-worthy performance. Eagles worked Pizza Party, Wrestlecon Supershow, FCP/Destiny, Black Label Pro, Wrestlecon US vs. the World and HOG. I strongly recommend watching his matches, particularly the outstanding 6-Man Tag at Wrestlecon US vs. the World, as well as a great championship match against Anthony Gangone at HOG. Also, I still don’t understand why Robbie Eagles wasn’t in that Honor Rumble at MSG.
Pinkie Sanchez worked a little bit of everything: Murdermania, Greatest Cluserfuck, Blackcraft, IWS, Uncanny Attraction’s Drags & Dropkicks and a great 4-Way match at ISW that I recommend watching.
Swoggle was all over New York and New Jersey, something that doesn’t point to a healthy independent scene. He worked hard and was over in pretty much every place: WrestlePro, AIW, Black Label Pro, ISW and Greatest Clusterfuck. According to Cagematch, he was in Blackcraft’s Baphomet Battle Royal but I honestly didn’t even notice.
And saving the best for last, Tony Deppen was awesome in pretty much everything he worked in. His heel work in the Spring Break against Dustin ‘No Legs’ Thomas was outstanding: that match was one of the highlights of the entire weekend for me. He had an under-the-radar great 4-way match at ISW and delivered big time in the GCWs Orange Cassidy is Doing Something or Whatever’s scramble match. He also wrestled in The Greatest Clusterfuck, CHIKARA and Pizza Party Wrestling: he delivered exactly what was need of him in all three matches. I would keep an eye on Deppen, he’s having a tremendous 2019 and I hope GCW keeps giving him chances: I’m sure he will go far with them.
Women with most matches (5) – Kris Statlander, Shazza McKenzie, Shotzi Blackheart and Solo Darling
Kris Statlander showed up in a losing effort against Allysin Kay in SHIMMER 133, she claimed victory in tag team victory in IWTV Family Reunion, took part of the Lumberjack Swamp Monster Elimination madness from GCW ‘Orange Cassidy is Doing Something or Whatever’, scored a win alongside Nikki Adams at HOG Culture Clash and defended the WSU Spirit Championship at WrestlePro vs. CZW.
Shazza McKenzie had strong showings in IWTV Family Reunion, Black Label Pro, SHIMMER 113 and GCW ‘Orange Cassidy…’, but it’s also worth noting that Shazza took part in the women takeover of Joey Janela’s Greatest Clusterfuck, kicking butt and humiliating Janela to close out the show.
Shotzi Blackheart had cool, unique participation. She started her ‘Mania Weekend portraying ‘Pizza Cat’ and defeating Ophidian at Pizza Party Wrestling, then showed up in a losing effort at IWTV Family Reunion, and was later involved in three multi-person matches (GCW OC, SHIMMER, WWN Supershow), the highlight being her appearance at the WWN Supershow, where she was the only woman wrestling in a scramble match for the chance to earn a WWN contract.
Solo Darling showed up at Battle Club Pro ‘Women Crush Wednesday’, IWTV Family Reunion, Black Label Pro, IWS Unstoppable and SHIMMER 113 where she helped say goodbye to Kris Wolf in a very cool match. And just like Shazza, Solo Darling helped destroy every wrestler in sight at the chaotic finale of The Greatest Clusterfuck.
Awesome wrestlers with only 1 appearance
I understand why some great wrestlers like Jungle Kyona and Bárbaro Cavernario only wrestled once (tied to their company/obligations in other countries), but I find incredible that the following list of gentlemen only got one miserable booking during the weekend: Barrett Brown, Hallowicked, Dasher Hatfield, Hiroyo Matsumoto, Drago, Jiro Kuroshio, KAI, and Boys From Jollyville (T-Money and Russ Myers).
Fun fact: KAI wrestled in the most random scramble match imaginable during HOG’s Culture Clash.
Total number of wrestlers that participated in WrestleMania Weekend 2019
Without taking into account the stuff mentioned at the beginning of this article, I have registered a total of 650 different pro wrestlers that participated in WrestleMania Weekend 2019. Clearly, this was an oversaturated, overbooked weekend of wrestling.
The highest number of wrestlers in a single show (75) – GCW ‘Joey Janela’s Spring Break III, Part 2: The Greatest Clusterfuck’
It’s no surprise that the wild Greatest Clusterfuck show was worked by more wrestlers than any other in ‘Mania Weekend 2019. It featured the likes of LA Park, Masato Tanaka, Masashi Takeda, Necro Butcher, Tracy Smothers, JTG, Homicide, among many others.
The Clusterfuck was closely followed by NJPW/ROH G1 Supercard, which had 68 different wrestlers working, but of course, it was an MSG 5-hour show. The third show with the most number of wrestlers in it was Blackcraft Wrestling’s ‘No Apologies’ which featured 61 competitors.
Fewest number of wrestlers in a single show (16) – GCW ‘Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport’
One of the best wrestling shows of the weekend was also the one with the least number of people involved. With the likes of Minoru Suzuki, Jonathan Gresham, Masashi Takeda and Davey Boy Smith Jr., Bloodsport showed us that a bunch one-on-one MMA style wrestling matches can do wonders, especially in a crowded weekend such as this.
In second place we have a wXw ‘Amerika ist Wunderbar’ and GCW ‘Joey Janela’s Spring Break III, Part 1’. Both shows featured 20 different wrestlers spread across 8 matches.
Most matches in a single show (15) – MLW Rise of the Renegades
MLW packed it’s ‘Rise of the Renegades’ TV Tapings with 15 different matches in which some people like MJF and Brian Pillman Jr. pulled double duty. Good thing that most of the action was in form of singles matches.
The majestic G1 Supercard show in Madison Square Garden comes in second with 12 matches, closely followed by Blackcraft Wrestling ‘No Apologies’ with 11… yes, eleven matches in a show that started 45 minutes late. I wonder how did that go for them.
Fewest matches in a single show (4) – GCW ‘Joey Janela’s Spring Break III, Part 2: The Greatest Clusterfuck’
Ironically, The Greatest Clusterfuck had the least number of matches but the most number of wrestlers involved. This is closely followed by Stardom ‘American Dream in the Big Apple’ that had 6 matches.
Random wrestlers you didn’t know showed up during WrestleMania Weekend
Buff Bagwell wrestled for the North Carolina-based promotion UPWA that ran a show on Wednesday. And he teamed with The Patriot. Hell yeah.
Bull James, fresh from a DDT tour, showed up in the CZW vs. WrestlePro show, losing to Chris Avery Queling and Shawn Donovan.
Justin Credible somehow appeared in the chaotic, horrible mess that was the Baphomet Battle Royal, a match that took place mere minutes after a man got (kayfabed) murdered at the Blackcraft show. I only know this because that’s the only thing the horrible Blackcraft announce team said during the match.
Mike Quackenbush replaced Amazing Red (who had retired a few days prior) in Destiny/FCP’s Fight for Destiny show. Quack worked a 6 Man Tag alongside Robbie Eagles and Puma King to face Kyle Fletcher, Chris Brookes and Kid Lykos.
Dressed as ‘Starman’, Virgil surprised everyone by pinning Ethan Page at Joey Janela’s Spring Break thus taking Ego’s soul and remaining dignity.
Ultimo Dragon was a surprise entrant and won the ‘King of the Concrete Jungle’ match at Joey Ryan’s Penis Party.
James Storm (???)… look, I know James Storm was scheduled to wrestle Jimmy Havoc at the poorly attended and mysterious IPW UK show but I also know that Havoc had to be pulled out due to injury and I have no clue if James actually wrestled someone. In fact, I only know the show happened because Bobbi Tayler supposedly won the HOG title there. Everything else suggests that this IPW UK show happened inside a black hole.
Completely useless stats and facts
A total number of 11 ‘Matthew’ named wrestlers competed in ‘Mania Weekend: Matt Cross, Matt Fitchett, Matt Knicks, Matt Light, Matt Macintosh, Matt Striker, Matt Taven, Matt Travis, Matt Tremont, Matt Vertigo and Matthew Justice.
Among the more than 40 shows, we got wild stipulations such as Alcobrawl, Submit or Surrender, 60 Second Iron Man match, LEGO Deathmatch, Devil’s Den match, 7 out of 13 Falls match, 1 Minute Time Limit match, 5 O’Clock Somewhere Last Person Standing Match and Lumberjack Swamp Monster match.
Mania Weekend saw representations from many countries such as México (Arez, Dragon Lee), Australia (Caveman Ugg, Shazza McKenzie), Japan (Jiro Kuroshio, Shigehiro Irie), Spain (A-Kid, Carlos Romo), Portugal (Red Eagle, Nelson Pereira), Germany (Bobby Gunns, Absolute Andy), Netherlands (Emil Sitoci), Austria (Avalanche), Puerto Rico (Mecha Wolf), England (Chuck Mambo, ZSJ), Ireland (Session Moth Martina), New Zealand (Jay White), Tonga (Tama Tonga) and of course, United States and Canada. And I’m sure I’m missing more nations.
WrestleMania Weekend featured the following weird wrestling names: Werewolf of Wall Street, Pasquale the Italian Chef, Johnny Cockstrong, Jordano the Producer, Triplelicious, Egotistico Fantastico, Freddy IV, The Green Phantom, The Bundertaker, Officer Ronald, Missile Assault Man, Jos A, Jos B, Mantequilla and of course, The Invisible Man.
These are the WrestleMania Weekend competitors with animal-like references (some are just last names) in their name: Ultimo Dragon, Ultramantis Black, Thief Ant, Green Ant, Super Beetle, Shark Boy, Mr. Iguana, Black Taurus, Mecha Wolf, Markus Crane, Mantaur, Luchasaurus, Kris Wolf, Hermit Crab, Grizzly Redwood, Fluffy the Killer Bunny, Fire Ant, Drago, Crustacean, Bull James, Boris the Russian Bear, Bear Beefcake, Vipress, Moose, Dragon Lee, Atomic Thunderfrog, Space Monkey, Red Eagle, Kid Lykos, Allie Kat, Session Moth Martina, Puma King, Robbie Eagles, Air Wolf and AR Fox.