Indy Wrap-Up Of Doom
Greetings and welcome to the first installment of the Indy Wrap Up (Of Dooooom!) If this goes well, each week I’ll bring you news, notes, results and upcoming event information for some of the more popular indy promotions including Ring Of Honor, PWG, CZW, and Chikara as well as introduce you to promotions you should become familiar with. i’ll try to be as objective as possible but some things, i just can’t help myself.
Fair warning: This column will tend to run on the lengthy side but it should be fairly easy to browse through and pick and choose things relevant to your interests. There is not a lot in the way of the self-congratulatory one-man reach-around type material that I know you all love so much. You’re welcome.
So..let’s do the damn thing.
Ring Of Honor
As you probably know, ROH is making their first foray into the Pay Per View arena on June 22nd with “Best In The World” in Nashville, TN. The scheduled card is:
6 Man Mayhem (read: “spot fest”) – Winner Gets A Future TV Title Match
ACH v Takaaki Wantanabe v Caprice Coleman v Tadarius Thomas v BJ Whitmer v Tommaso Ciampa
Roderick *yawn* Strong vs Cedric Alexander
Matt Hardy and Michael Bennett (w/Maria) vs The Briscoe Brothers
Kevin Steen v “The Last Real Man” Silas Young
ROH TV Championship
Matt Taven v Jay Lethal (w/Truth Martini) (c)
ROH Tag Team Championship
Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian vs ReDragon (Kyle ORLY? O’Reilly and Bobby Fish) (c)
Michael Elgin (RIP mullet) v Adam Cole (c)
The PPV will be available on most satellite and cable systems in the US and Canada for $24.95 (SD) / $34.95 (HD). If watching online is your thing, the show will also be available in glorious HD on UStream at www.UStream.Com/RingOfhonor
This is a huge show for ROH that will likely have a significant impact on the promotion moving forward. I have on pretty good authority that their break-even point is in the vicinity of 10,000 buys and, honestly, I’m not sure if they’ll get that with their limited TV penetration but here’s hoping they do. Marketing for the show was pretty shoddy up until the past couple of weeks where they’ve put things in to high gear so we’ll see if the late charge is enough to put them over the top. The card is great, I guess it just comes down to how many casual fans will decide to give something new a shot and how many assholes stream the show illegally instead of paying for it because, apparently, they are somehow entitled to do so.
This week’s ROH TV is already up on YouTube and is a Best In The World preview special. You can check it out for the low. low price of zero dollars at – Youtube.com/User/RingOfHonor.
Last week’s ROH TV featured two matches from the Toronto Global Wars show – Roderick (please die in a fire) Strong v Cedric Alexander and a very good match for the ROH title with Kevin Steen challenging Adam Cole. That show is available for free (registration required) atwww.ROHWrestling.Com
Combat Zone Wrestling
Fodder for many Botchamanias and the promotion everybody loves to hate but really don’t know much about, CZW held their annualTournament Of Death last weekend on DJ Hyde’s parents’ farm (yes, really) in Delaware. Reported attendance was somewhere in the 1,000 range which is an excellent turn out for CZW.
I’m sure the vast majority of you couldn’t give two shits about the round by round breakdown so I’ll just cut to the chase. The winner was Big Japan/FREEDOMS’ Jun Kasai who beat MASADA in a brutal no rope, barbed wire match which saw light tubes-a-plenty, some sick ladder spots, MASADA’s famous wood skewers and a scaffold. After getting a two count off a top rope splash, Kasai ascended to the top of the scaffold, let out his trademark “SHIIII!” battle cry and nailed another splash to put MASADA down for the three and win the “super awesome” TOD trophy that DJ Hyde probably takes back afterwards.
These guys were obviously worn out as each had competed in 2 grueling matches prior but they still went balls to the wall. An admirable performance by both, for sure and likely Kasai’s last US appearance as he is rumored to be hanging it up in the not-too-distant future. All in all, there wasn’t really a “bad” match on the card (except for Joe Gacy who is automatically the worst) and everyone worked extremely hard to put on a good show. I was disappointed to see the other two BJW talents eliminated in the first round, especially Jaki Numazawa, but it is what it is.
CZW’s next show at their home base, Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees (ki ki ki, ma ma ma) New Jersey, is titled “New Heights” and takes place on July 12th. This is a double header with women’s promotion WSU.
WSU kicks off at 4:00p and will feature a slug-fest between “The Walking Episode Of Cops” (That is really the motto she picked) Mickie Knuckles and LuFisto for the WSU title, an open challenge from Jenny Rose and CZW Academy graduate Brittany Blake will take on OI4K’s Nevaeh and more to be announced.
CZW starts at 7:30p CZW time (8:30-9:00p normal people time) and will feature Juicy Product defending their tag titles against the Beaver Boys, Team Tremendous and OI4K (Jake & Dave Crist). In addition, BLK Jeez will square off with the returning Jon Gresham. We’re sure to see a CZW world title defense by the awesome Biff Busick and I’m assuming the main event will pit MASADA against Matt Tremont in some kind of deathmatch as Tremont attacked MASADA and claimed they had “unfinished business” at the end of the TOD show last weekend. Drew Gulak is also scheduled to make some sort of “State Of CZW” address which, if it is anything like his past “addresses”, will whip the blood-thirsty CZW crowd into a frenzy. Drew Gulak is for “A Better Combat Zone” (ie – not “ultraviolent”) and is all around fun as well as an excellent wrestler. There are some other flippy guys on the card that will probably open the show and blow most of their spots, so they really aren’t worth mentioning unless your name is Maffew.
Tickets are $20 per show for general admission. The shows will also be broadcast live on iPPV at VOD.CZWrestling.Com. CZW has developed an impressive track record with their iPPVs. I’ve yet to see or hear about one that had transmission issues, lag/buffering problems, etc. Their iPPVs are produced by RFVideo, so it’s probably a good idea to take a shower afterwards if you purchase one. You can find a large back catalog of CZW events, including this year’s TOD, at the aforementioned site as well.
CZW has also started doing bi-weekly $5 “Dojo Wars” shows at their training academy in New Jersey that feature CZW trainees taking on talent from the CZW roster. Most reports I’ve read indicate that these have actually been pretty decent shows and for five bucks, you can’t really go wrong.
For more info on all of these events and everything else CZW, visit www.CZWrestling.com
Chikara has a full slate this weekend with two shows in Chicago on June 21st and one show in Detroit on the 22nd.
The afternoon show in Chicago on 6/21, “Quantum Of Solace“, starts at 1pm and includes Ultramantis Black, Hallowicked and Frightmare v Max Smashmaster, Blaster McMassive and Oleg The Usurper (I swear I did not make any of those names up), Worker Ant v DeviANT, Arik Cannon and Darin Corbin taking on Jigsaw and The Shard, Ophidian v JAKA and more.
General admission tickets are still available and will be sold at the door.
The evening show, “Diamonds Are Forever“, kicks off at 7pm and will feature Archibald Peck, Shane Matthews and Scott Parker vs Die Bruderschaft des Kreuzes (say that 3 times fast), The Batari v The Odditorium, Eddie Kingston will take on Jimmy Jacobs in what should be a fun match, The Colony will battle Colony: Xtreme Force and more. This show is officially sold out.
Taking place between the two shows is a Chikara “Expansion Pack” which is, as it sounds, related to some silly interactive game that Mike Quackenbush has developed in his infinite wisdom between telling whoever will listen that pro wrestling is like ice cream. I understand that things may be a little rough for ol’ Quack after the former Mrs. Quackenbush took her magical Chikara money tree with her so I suppose whatever he has to do to stay afloat (and actually pay people decently) is fine. It seems stupid to me though. This event is sold out, by the way, but apparently it’s only limited to a hundred or so attendees. That should prove to be good people watching.
The following day in Detroit, Chikara presents “Goldfinger” at 3PM which will feature The Colony and Batiri v The Flood, Jervis Cottonbelly v Chuck Taylor, Shynron goes up against Eddie Kingston in a match that should steal in the show, and more. General admission tickets for this show are still available and will be sold at the door. None of these shows will be broadcast as live iPPVs but I’m sure they’ll be available through SmartMark within a week or so and on Chikara’s site, probably at an inflated price because they do shit like that. You can check out a preview for these shows via the mildly annoying Chikara Event Center here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRF8NXMcioY
For more info on the wacky world of Chikara, visit ChikaraPro.Com
PWG has a couple of huge shows coming up at their usual stomping grounds – The American Legion in Reseda, CA. First up is “ELEVEN” onJuly 26th featuring Joey Ryan and Candice LeRae v The Young Bucks, Chris Hero goes up against PWG champion Kyle O’Reilly, Adam Cole, Roderick (god damnit) Strong and Johnny Gargano will compete in a Number One Contender match, Trevor Lee takes on Kevin Steen, Cedric Alexander and ACH will unleash their usual array of high flying shenanigans on one another, Frankie Kazarian makes his PWG return against everyone’s favorite stoner, Brian Kendrick and more. Tickets for this show do not appear to be on sale at this time.
PWG’s annual Battle Of Los Angeles will take place August 29th-31st. The show will feature 24 participants in all and will undoubtedly be stacked. The only name announced thus far is the freshly released Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne) who I’m sure is happy that he can now smoke as much synthetic marijuana as he pleases despite it being more dangerous and expensive than actual marijuana.
PWG also recently released the DVD for their May show, “Sold Our Soul For Rock And Roll” featuring Kevin Steen and The Young Bucks vs Cedric Alexander, Johnny Gargano andTrevor Lee, Ricochet vs ACH (which is undoubtedly awesome), a Rich Swann vs AR Fox flippity spot fest, Kyle O’Reilly vs Adam Cole and more. It’s a bargain at $14.99 plus shipping and can be purchased via Highspots or directly from PWG here – http://www.prowrestlingguerrilla.com/merch/
For more info – www.ProWrestlingGuerrilla.Com
Other Upcoming Shows
Rhode Island’s upstart promotion, Beyond Wrestling returns to Fete Music in Providence, RI on 6/22 at 4pm with “Uncomfortable“. The card is stacked and features Chris Hero v JT Dunn, Curt Hawkins v AR Fox, Biff Busick v Matt Tremont in a Fans Bring The Weapons match, Sugar Dunkerton and Pinkie Sanchez take on Nicholas Kaye and Myke Quest and more.
General admission tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door or via Beyond’s website (see below). A $30 “super ticket” is also available and grants admittance to “Uncomfortable” as well as a show the previous night, XWA “Aftermath” in nearby Warwick, RI. The XWA show looks solid as well and includes Chris Hero v Brian Fury, Brian Cage v Tommaso Ciampa, Bobby Fish v JT Dunn, Colt Cabana and more.
More info can be found at Beyond Wrestling’s website – LookMaNoFans.Com. Their YouTube channel is also worth checking out atYoutube.Com/User/BeyondWrestling. The channel has over 800 videos, many free to view, and features a veritable who’s who collection of independent talent.
The excellent AIW promotion presents their premier event of the year, ‘Absolution 9’ on June 29th at Turners Hall in Ohio’s armpit, Cleveland. Bell time is 6:00p. As usual, AIW has put together a great card including: Chris Sabin v Kevin Steen, AIW Champion, Michael Elgin will defend his belt against Tim Donst, the lovely Veda Scott and Gregory Iron will continue their bloody and unsettling war, Josh Prohibition will take on MDOGG Matt Cross, Eddie Kingston will do battle with Ricky Shane Page and more. All tickets are first-come-first-seated general admission and are $15 in advance via the AIW website/$20 at the door. AIW also recently released the DVD for their JT Lightning Invitational Tournament and it is easily among the top 3 independent wrestling DVDs issued thus far in 2014. The two day tournament features Josh Prohibition, Tim Donst, Matt Cross, Buff Bagwell (yep. and he pulls off a move you will never see coming), Sonjay Dutt, Heidi Lovelace, Michael Elgin, Chris Sabin v Johnny Gargano and a literal shit ton (an actual standardized unit of measurement) more. The aforementioned DVD, tickets and additional info can all be found at AIWrestling.Com.
Everyone’s favorite dirtbag, Ian Rotten, has somehow found a building that will work with him and is back to running weekly $10 a pop IWA Mid South shows at Jammerz in Clarksville, IN. Most of the cards feature newer talent from the area as well as IWA MS regulars, with one show out of the month usually featuring more established talent such as Chris Hero and Davey Richards. From what I’ve heard, the shows have been drawing decent crowds and the wrestling is not half bad which is about as much as you can ask for out of a weekly no-budget show, I guess. As much as everyone (including me…a lot) dislikes Ian, he does have a good eye for talent when it comes to non-deathmatch wrestlers.
After being cancelled last year because LOLIanRotten, IWA Mid South is bringing back their popular King and Queen Of The Deathmatches tournaments on June 28th. Both events will be held at The Rustic Frog Gentlemen’s Club (pure class.) in New Albany, IN. All-day floor tickets are $35 and all-day general admission tickets are $25. The show is 18+ and anybody with half a brain should purchase their tickets at the door. Paying for an IWA MS show in advance is always a risky proposition.
QOTDM participants include Mickie Knuckles, Kiki Rose, Heidi Lovelace (which should be interesting), Thunderkitty, Randi West and more. KOTDM participants include Mitch Page (ugh), MASADA, Freakshow (ugh), Josh Crane (ugh), John Wayne Murdock (ugh), Matt Tremont, Devon Moore, Ron Mathis(!) and more. Join me in rooting for Ron Mathis, won’t you? Aside from MASADA (who, surprisingly, can go like a mofo), Mathis is easily the most talented wrestler in the tournament. As with all of Ian’s shows, card/participants are subject to change and probably will. The first round match ups and gimmicks have been announced and all of them are absolutely and completely insane so if watching people suffer potentially serious injuries is your thing, you’ll certainly get your fill here.
IWA MS’s website is utterly useless but if you’d like to take a look at the first round match-ups and gimmicks, they’re worth a chuckle and can be found here – http://prowrestlingsmarktalk.blogspot.com/2014/06/iwa-mid-south-kingqueen-of-deathmatches.html You can also follow IWA Mid South on Twitter at Twitter.Com/IWAMidSouth which seems to be updated somewhat regularly. Apparently Ian uses Facebook primarily but I am not on Facebook and may get Hepatitis C were I to “like” the IWA MS page so we’ll leave that alone. Things are somewhat quiet in Gabe Sapolsky land as Dragon Gate USA and EVOLVE have nothing scheduled through the end of the month. Hopefully Gabe remembers how to book a wrestling show that doesn’t involve Teddy Hart and his moonsaulting cats before either promotion returns. Sapolsky affiliate and all around swell guy, Dave Prazak brings his SHINE women’s promotion to Ybor City, FL for SHINE 21 on June 27th at 9p. The event features an all star cast of women’s talent including Ivelisse, Serena Deeb, 14 Year Old Dave’s favorite download, April Hunter, Jessicka Havok, Allysin Kay, Leah Von Dutch, Amber O’Neal, Mia Yim, Cherry Bomb, Kimber Lee and more. If you are looking for quality women’s wrestling, it doesn’t get much better than this. More event info and iPPV ordering options can be found here. That’s -shew- most everything noteworthy on tap for this month. I’ll have results for these shows (and probably more) next week or in a future installment as the case may be. i was going to add a “Indy Wrestler Of The Week” and a ‘Worst Indy Wrestler Of The Week” but this is already long enough so we’ll call it a day. Hopefully you found this column enjoyable or at least informative. Any and all criticism is welcome (and I’m sure you all will put it to me). Hopefully this is a success and I can make it a weekly thing. There’s a whole wide world of outstanding independent talent and promotions out there that I personally believe present higher quality WRESTLING than what we often reluctantly sit through on Monday orThursday night.
Thanks again for reading. Until next time!
Indy Wrap-Up Of Doom