Prestige Wrestling: Nervous Breakdown
Friday, March 31
Globe Theater
Los Angeles, California

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I think it’s a fairly well-established fact that the current American indie scene is not what it was a few years ago. That has resulted in many Mania weekend cards featuring the same selection of faces, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t good cards out there. Indeed, for my money one of the strongest top-to-bottom is Prestige Wrestling’s Nervous Breakdown.

Based in Oregon, Prestige Wrestling returned from the pandemic in February 2022 and, alongside West Coast Pro has been among the best and most consistent independent promotions to follow. Well-booked and featuring a good variety of talents, Prestige has run a number of successful shows in Oregon, Washington, and California over the last 13 months, as well as a couple of sojourns to the East Coast.

Their most recent outing was on March 26, a strong show in New Jersey featuring two notebook-worthy matches and an entertaining main event between Minoru Suzuki and Robert Martyr. 

Prestige’s next show after Mania weekend is their fifth outing at the Roseland Theatre in Portland at the end of April. As such, some of the Nervous Breakdown card is building towards that and then the rest is just the sort of fun, novelty stuff that you’d expect during Mania weekend.

Worth noting is that unlike most of Prestige’s output, this show will be airing on the Highspots Network rather than IWTV. 

The Nervous Breakdown main event is a trios match pitting Alex Shelley, KUSHIDA, and Ultimo Dragon against Team Filthy mainstays Tom Lawlor, Royce Isaacs, and Jarel Nelson. 

That is as much of a Mania weekend main event as you’ll see all weekend. Dragon hasn’t shared a ring with Kushida and Shelley in close to 16 years, so their interactions should feel very fresh. Although Dragon very much isn’t what he once was, he’ll be a real novelty for this crowd and as much as I don’t always connect with Lawlor, Isaacs or Nelson, they should mesh well here to put on a fun match. 

There is one other trios match on the card, where the aces of Prestige – Sonico, Guillermo Rosas, and Cody Chhun – will get their chance to shine. They’re facing the New Japan representatives Clark Connors, Yuya Uemura, and Kevin Knight

Sonico and C4 both have big feud blow-offs scheduled for that Roseland show, with Sonico taking on Alan Angels and C4 squaring off with Midnight Heat for the Prestige tag titles. Even if the outcome feels fairly predictable, the match should be a lot of fun as all six guys will have the license to work hard. 

Midnight Heat (Ricky Gibson and Eddie Pearl) are also in action after making their return to the promotion last month. They were supposed to be facing Warhorse and Davey Richards but I’m sure you all know why the latter isn’t on the card anymore. In Richards’ place comes the Australian Adam Brooks

If you’re looking for a standout match of the night, look no further than Shigehiro Irie facing Kevin Blackwood, one of my most anticipated matchups across Mania weekend. Irie is fresh off winning wXw’s 16 Carat Gold tournament and with it their top title and currently ranks as one of the hottest Japanese talents worldwide. Meanwhile, Blackwood came on massively in 2022 and is someone I find always delivers. Putting it simply, these two are going to beat the stuffing out of each other and it’s going to be great. 

The sole title match on this show should also be very good, Titus Alexander defending his West Coast Pro Heavyweight strap against Michael Oku. West Coast Pro and Prestige have worked together in the past, so that belt being defended here makes sense and the match itself should be a great showcase for Alexander. He’s someone I’m very high on and I think he’ll mesh really well with a brilliant underdog babyface like Oku. 

A late addition coming off the back of Hybrid Moments is a matchup between Robert Martyr and Timothy Thatcher. Martyr has been trying to prove himself in Prestige over the last few months, regularly getting beaten up by more experienced opponents but winning the crowd’s adoration with his heart, fighting spirit and moxie. Is this the show where he finally gets his first win?

Nervous Breakdown also features two women’s matches. The one I’m looking forward to the most is Masha Slamovich facing Japanese icon Aja Kong. Kong might not be the force she once was but she can still go and Masha is one of the best talents in North America right now. She’ll relish this opportunity and make sure this thrives. 

The other women’s match is between two women who’ve been Prestige regulars since the pandemic in Taya Valkyrie and Miyu Yamashita. Miyu challenged Athena for the ROH Women’s World Title in a great match on a recent Prestige show and here she faces one of AEW’s newest signees in Valkyrie. I’m not a big Taya fan, so I don’t have super high expectations here, but the match should be solid at a bare minimum.

The Nervous Breakdown offering is a singles match between two men making their first Prestige appearances in six months – Vinnie Massaro and Calvin Tankman. There’s not a lot more to this match than two big blokes meeting each other in the middle of the ring and battling for momentum. Did someone say hoss fight? 

Overall, Nervous Breakdown is one of the best cards scheduled for WrestleMania weekend outside of the main televised promotions, and well worth your time.