–From the bingo halls, flea markets, and high school gyms of America, here comes Inside the Indies, your BoD look into the world of independent & developmental wrestling. This week we take a look at the lineup for Ring of Honor’s Best in the World: Hostage Crisis and give some predictions, plug a few live events going on this weekend, and, for the first time, we take a look at The Underground, a YouTube show that exists in the universe of Jeff Katz’ much-hyped Wrestling Retribution Project. All that, plus a look at some of the top names the uninitiated need to know on the independent wrestling scene…
–ROH’s iPPV Best In The World: Hostage Crisis can be seen (we hope) tomorrow at ROHwrestling.com. Fingers are crossed that people are actually able to see the show they’re paying for this time around. Regardless, here’s the card, and my predictions:
– ROH champion Kevin Steen vs. Davey Richards – Anything Goes in Richards’ last title shot. I can’t really see the Steen storyline falling apart so quickly, so I imagine that Steen retains here. I’m not exactly sure where they go next, since rehashing the same feud with Davey & Steen would get a little dull. My best guess is that they’ll milk the “last title shot” stip for a while and let Davey build his way back up, and Steen will face Eddie Edwards for a while.
Tag Team champions Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas &
Shelton Benjamin) vs. The All Night Express (Rhett Titus & Kenny
King). I think that ANX are destined for the tag titles at the end of this feud, but the feud needs more time to develop, so I imagine that WGTT retains here through sketchy means. Ether again, maybe?
– Fit Finlay vs. Michael Elgin. Elgin is the future, and Finlay is just basically collecting a paycheck and putting some people over in this run, so Elgin most definitely retains. I definitely think he’s going to end up on the outs with House of Truth before too long, and a hard hitting feud with Rhino is most definitely in his future, followed by finishing business with Roderick Strong.
– ROH World TV Champion Roderick Strong vs. Jay Lethal vs. “The Sicilian Psychopath” Tommaso Ciampa – Three Way Dance. This feud has been all about Ciampa and Lethal, and Roderick as the champ is just kind of afloat. I really get the feeling Strong was only inserted here to give him something to do, and so that it isn’t just Lethal vs. Ciampa over and over. I think Ciampa wins it here, however I don’t really see it leading to anything regarding Strong.
– Eddie Edwards vs. Homicide. It really kills me that Homicide keeps doing these little spot appearances in ROH but is never involved in the TV show or any angles, because he’s someone who would mean something to ROH and would be an excellent foil for Steen. Eddie wins it here to continue the Die Hard Challenge series.
– Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. The Guardians of Truth w/ Truth Martini. I don’t really have a good prediction as to who the Guardians of Truth are supposed to be, so I can’t really say for sure. If this is the start of a Briscoes vs. HoT angle (or, rather, a continuation of it, since they had issues months ago that only kind of blew off) then I imagine the Guardians of Truth win it to milk things.
– Hybrid Fighting Rules: Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly. I missed the build to this one, but I assume Hybrid Fighting rules involves some kind of MMA. Clearly that’d be up KO’s alley, but this is wrestling and in this kind of situation, the babyface needs to beat the heel at his own game. Therefore, Cole wins.
— Enjoy the show if you’re ordering, I won’t be because that lineup doesn’t really blow me away. And I like to actually see shows I pay for. Maybe if word is good I’ll order the replay.
–I had initially assumed I wouldn’t be seeing BitW because I’d be watching CHIKARA’s Smack In The Middle live in Syracuse, NY tomorrow. Looks like I won’t be going, but if anyone so happens to be in the central NY area tomorrow I recommend checking it out if you can get tickets. Eddie Kingston will defend his title against Dasher Hatfield, El Generico teams up with Gran Akuma and 3.0 (Scott “Jagged” Parker and Shane Matthews) to face F.I.S.T (Chuck Taylor, Johnny Gargano, and Icarus) and Ophidian, Soldier Ant of The Colony takes on the evil assailANT from the evil doppelgangers The Swarm while their respective partners Green Ant and deviANT square off, Jigsaw takes on HIS evil doppelganger in The Shard, The Spectral Envoy take on the Bravado Brothers, Sara Del Rey and Saturyne stand up for women everywhere by taking on Tim Donst and Jakob Hammermeier of Bruderschaft Des Kruzes, and in the Young Lions Eliminator 4 way bout you’ll see Ryan Rush vs. Mark Angelosetti vs. Tripp Cassidy vs. one of my upstate wrestling scene local favorites in “Juggernaut” Jason Axe. Can’t really beat that for the price, and doors open at 4pm at the Pastime Athletic Club. I wish I could be there but I’ll leave it to the readership to make me proud and represent the BoD.
–The Underground is a YouTube series from the forthcoming (eventually, although I guess we still don’t know when) Wrestling Retribution Project universe created by Hollywood insider Jeff Katz. I gotta say, I like the look & feel of this. It’s theme is an underground wrestling fight club, where the competitors are mainly competing to work toward cash prizes. I love the setting of it, mainly. That abandoned warehouse is a cool atmosphere, especially with the fans standing in the upper decks like background characters in a Street Fighter game. This particular match features PW3, a.k.a Matt Jackson of the Young Bucks (or Max Buck of Generation Me, if you prefer) facing Hayashi. One of the themes of WRP is that they act as though no other wrestling exists, so they don’t acknowledge PW3 as being a former TNA & indie star, as well as not acknowledging that Stone, the “Prodigal Son” they show watching from the outside, is actually Nick Jackson/Jeremy Buck. At the end we get to see some of the future characters of The Underground, all of whom seem very young and small but have an attitude more suited toward a teen/young adult audience. However, much like the main WRP roster (which we’ll see, someday, I’m sure of it, on Netflix), these guys suffer from Stupid Name Syndrome: 1600, Dread, Jobs? For that matter, what the hell is a PW3? Anyway, here it is, judge for yourself:
Investigating The Indies
—This is a feature I’m introducing where I give you a little idea as to who some of the big names in the indie wrestling world are, for those who maybe haven’t checked them out yet. Let’s start with a few of my favorites, AR Fox, Chuck Taylor, and Johnny Gargano.
–Fox is one of the breakout stars in Dragon Gate as well as EVOLVE and CZW. He briefly trained in FCW, as well. He’s a former CZW Wired TV champion and has won a number of fans favor with his innovative high flying style. Gabe Sapolsky is said to be very high on Fox, considering especially that he nearly decided to stop using him in EVOLVE after missing a Canadian show due to border crossing problems. Check out a sampling of his work:
–“The Bee’s Knees, The Cat’s Pajamas, The Whole Shebang”. With a nickname like that, you know you’re in for something good when Johnny Gargano is involved. He’s a charismatic guy who makes the rounds between Dragon Gate USA, CHIKARA, EVOLVE, and others. He’s a sometimes partner, sometimes foe of Chuck Taylor, and he brings a sense of fun to his moveset with names like the Hurts Donut and the Garga-No-Escape. Check him out as he takes on “M-Dogg 20” Matt Cross:
— Also known as “Smooth Chucky T” and “The Kentucky Gentleman”, Taylor has been involved in an assortment of different teams and angles all over the indie scene, from DGUSA/EVOLVE to CHIKARA to PWG in California. He’s been a part of F.I.S.T., he’s been a member of The Fightin’ Taylor Boys, and for a while he was doing a 90s-Nickelodeon type gimmick, calling his Omega Driver finisher the Awful Waffle (from Salute Your Shorts, of course) and coming out to the tune of “Hey Sandy” by Polaris, the theme from Adventures of Pete & Pete. He also does the move Gail Kim calls Eat Defeat, only he calls it Sole Food, because apparently that move can only be done if its name is a pun. Here’s Chuck’s top ten moves from YouTube:
–Anyhow folks that’s it for this week. Til next time remember: support your local indie scene.