This Sunday, of course, is WWE’s biggest show of the year, Wrestlemania. For the uninitiated, to make an comparison, the Super Bowl is kind of like the Wrestlemania of football. The one weekend where wrestling fans from around the world congregate in one spot in order to meet their favorite wrestling stars, and watch them wrestle. For most people, that means superstars like John Cena, Daniel Bryan and AJ Lee. For a growing number of wrestling fans, however, that means wrestlers like Ricochet, Candice LaRae, Biff Busick, Johnny Gargano … and Kung Fu Chicken Noodle.
Indie feds like to take advantage of the fact that the WWE draws over a hundred thousand fans to one place, so they put on supercards the same weekend in Wrestlemania’s host city. Unfortunately, the WWE would like to put an end to this, to the tune of paying off facilities in next year’s site to keep other wrestling feds out. Hopefully, they’ll reconsider or at least make that policy one time only. Anyway, let’s break down these great indie shows while we can, and be sure to check out WWN Live if any of them tickle your fancy and order them to support indie wrestling, because if WWE has their way, they are going to need it.
Evolve 28 – Two ex-WWE employees collide for the Evolve championship as the current champ, Chris Hero takes on Trent Baretta. These are two guys that certainly have all the skills required to make it in a WWE ring, but for one reason or another, they were never really given a fair shot. They’ll certainly tear down the house to not only show all the fans in attendance that WWE quality wrestlers exist in the indies, but also to show the WWE what they missed out on.
Other matches to look out for:
“The University City Stretcher” Drew Gulak vs Biff Busick
Johnny Gargano vs Rich Swann
A Wrestling Odyssey – On this non-fed specific card, you’ll see Drew Gulak and Trent Baretta in action again, as well as Mia Yim in a tag match.
Open The Ultimate Gate 2014 – Dragon Gate (Japan) champ Ricochet will square off against Dragon Gate USA champ Johnny Gargano. Only Gargano’s belt is on the line, but this is still an intriguing match. Will Gargano defeat the Dragon Gate champ? Or will Ricochet walk out with all of Dragon Gate’s top gold from both sides of the Pacific?
We’ll also see Low-ki coming out of retirement and Masato Tanaka is booked against Chris Hero.
DGUSA promoter Gabe Sapolski has drawn the ire of some Dragon Gate fans by not being able to secure any Japanese DG wrestlers. However, he still put together an excellent line up of matches here and was able to pull Low-Ki out of retirement and booked fan favorite Masato Tanaka. I’m not trying to make excuses for him, but let’s appreciate what we have.
Kaiju Big Battel presents Little Trouble in Big Easy – Look, Kaiju Big Battel features Godzilla-style monsters fighting it out among a destructible cityscape. One of their competitors is a giant can of Chicken Noodle Soup that knows Kung Fu and brings a meat cleaver to the ring. Any additional words I write about KBB will not do it justice. Just watch this recap of their last show.
SHIMMER 62 – The card isn’t set for this event yet, but it will bring the greatest women wrestlers from both the US and Japan together for pure joshi enjoyment. If you thought Paige vs Emma from NXT Arrival was a good match, get ready for a whole card with women’s wrestling of that quality. Look out specifically for Candice LaRae.
DGUSA ends the weekend with another great slate of matches with Mercury Rising 2014
WWE is the biggest wrestling company in the world partly because they are the easiest to watch. Indie wrestling is catching up with bringing streams of their live shows right to your computer, for less than the cost of a DVD. If you like the WWE, and want to get into indie wrestling, but don’t know where to start, any one of these shows is would fit the bill.
Around the World
New Japan also has an excellent card this weekend. Invasion Attack will air Sunday monrning (3 am EST) on NJPW’s USTREAM channel. This is far from NJPW’s biggest show of the year, but last year’s card rivaled that of Wrestlemania, and this year shouldn’t be any different. Kota Ibushi & his masked tag team partner Desperado take on the Young Bucks for the Light heavyweight belts. Ibushi recently successfully defended his singles championship against Nick Jackson. Ryosuke Taguchi takes on Pricen Devitt in a loser leaves NJPW match. It has long been rumored that WWE was interested in Devitt & that Devitt was waiting for after ‘Mania to join so he wouldn’t be lost in the shuffle. The main event will see Tanahashi take on the King of Strong Style, Shinsuke Nakamura in a match for the intercontinental belt. This pair has had many matches recently, but each one is just as good as the last.