AS I SEE IT - 6/04/2002: Looking For an Alternative?
by: Bob Magee
Judging by recent television ratings, it seems that fans aren't happy with WWF/E booking and programming these days.
From his Ross Report, neither is Jim Ross.
According to last week's WWF/E's Byte This, neither is Steve Austin.
So, if you're a wrestling fan...rather than tune out and becoming obsessed with the latest Hollywood mega-flick...or with half-baked summer TV reruns...here's an idea: try an independent wrestling show.
Before some readers tell me yet one more time "Why do you beat the drum for the indies all the time...no one cares about them"...remember this: most of you say you aren't satisfied with the major promotion in North America.
When a product of any other kind doesn't satisfy a consumer, they normally look for an alternative. If your Ford stinks, you buy a Honda or a Chevy the next time.
It should be the same with wrestling as well.
Here are three examples for those of you living in the Philadelphia area, or within driving distance:
First, CZW presents the second annual Best of the Best, on Saturday, June 8th, at the ECW Arena, with a scheduled 8:00 pm
Tickets for front/second/third row: (SOLD OUT)/remaining floor seats $20 advance-$25 at door/General Admission $15 in advance-$20 at the door. General Admission tickets may be reserved by calling (856) 468-9147 or emailing email@example.com, or by going to:
- Innersoul Body Piercing, 102 New Broadway, Brooklawn, NJ - (856) 456-7720
- Somerton Beverages, 13510 Bustleton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA - (215) 673-1900
- Ontario Street Comics, 2235 Ontario Street, Philadelphia - (215) 288-7338
You can also buy tickets at Hall of Heroes in Echelon Mall during the Backseat Boyz appearance this Saturday, prior to Best of the Best.
Participants in this year's Best of the Best include:
- NWA Wildside Heavyweight Champion Jason Cross
Cross is a four year veteran, known primarily for his wrestling with Bill Behrens's nationally syndicated promotion, NWA
Wildside. He has worked numerous classic matches with AJ Styles, including an indy Match of The Year nominee at NWA Wildside's Fright Night on October 20, 2001 with Jimmy Rave and JC
- Prime Time Elix Skipper
Skipper was a former WCW Cruiserweight Champion, and worked Heartland Wrestling Association and NWA
Wildside. He is a graduate of the WCW Power Plant and seeks to prove he's more than his "Prime Time" comedy character as portrayed in WCW.
B-Boy has worked for various California independent promotions; including Ron Bassman's Universal Pro Wrestling, the
lucha-style Revolution Pro, Millenium Pro Wrestling, International Wrestling Council,
ACW, and E.P.I.C. He has held the Universal Pro Wrestling lightweight title, CCW Cruiserweight Title, 3 time CCW Tag Title Champion, UIWA Maximum title, UIWA cruiser weight title.
In an interview on the UPW website, he said it best himself. “If it wasn’t for pro-wrestling, I’d be either in jail or dead!” As a youthful member of Asian San Diego gangs, it was wrestling that turned around a young guy bound for a dead end future.
B-Boy has worked with such Southern California talent as Frankie Kazarian, Mikey Henderson,
Lil' Cholo, El Genio, Lucky, American Rebel, Taro, Rising Son, NOSAWA, and Michiko
Ohmukai. Ricky Reyes, Prodigy, The Ballard Brothers, and Pinoy Boy; as well as his fellow Southern Californian Super Dragon.
- Super Dragon
Super Dragon has worked for various California independents including All Pro Wrestling, Revolution Pro
XPW, Millenium Pro Wrestling, WPW, and Mexico's Promo Azteca. He was voted 2001 Southern California Wrestler of the Year and was in both the 2001 SoCal Match of the Year and Match of the Year runner up by the So-Cal Uncensored website; and has wrestled such independent and Southern California stars as American Dragon,
Low-Ki, Christopher Daniels, Juventud Guerrera, Spanky, Bobby Quance, Jardi Frantz, Mr. Excitement,
Xcalibur, Rising Son, Ultrataro Jr., Disco Machine, and American Wildchild.
- Current CZW wrestler Ruckus
Ruckus is an incredibly talented junior heavyweight in what some see as the body of a heavyweight, with incredible agility allowing him to perform such moves as the Space Flying Tiger Driver. He has wrestled for
CZW, and other northeast independents such as Maryland's MEWF, POW, Heritage Wrestling, Nittany Wrestling Federation, Hardway Wrestling and
He has held titles such as the MEWF Mid Atlantic Title, Maryland Champion, Tag Title, Lightweight Title); Nittany Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Champion and Heavyweight Title; the Big Japan Pro Wrestling Junior Heavyweight title and the CZW Junior Heavyweight Championship.
- Current CZW wrestler M-Dogg 20
One of the hottest stars on the Midwest indy circuit today, MDogg 20 has worked for New Era Pro Wrestling and Cleveland All Pro Wrestling in Ohio, before debuting recently for
CZW. He has feuded with career long rival Josh Prohibition, and such names as Chris Hamrick, Chris
Chetti, and the SAT. M-Dogg adds a gymnast's background to his talents.
- Current CZW and BJW Jr. Heavyweight Champion, Trent Acid.
Trent Acid has wrestled for EWF (Hardway Wrestling), CZW, IWA Mid-South, Big Japan Wresting, Jersey All-Pro Wrestling,
ECWA, NCW, NWA-New Jersey, NWA East, and WXW. He has held the BJW and CZW Junior Heavyweight Titles (the CZW Title three times), and has held the CZW Tag Team Titles three times with Johnny
- Trent Acid's tag team partner, Johnny Kashmere.
Johnny Kashmere has worked for the following promotions: CZW, Big Japan, PWF, EWF
(Hardway Wrestling), IWA Mid-South, NCW, NWA Jersey, NWA East, NWA Wildside,
ECWA, Liberty All-Star Wrestling. He has held the CZW Tag Team Titles three times with Trent Acid, and once as part of the Kashmerinos with Robby Marino.
- "The Wonderkid" Jonny Storm
Storm is one of the most exciting high flyers in wrestling, and is among the favorites in Best of the Best. Storm debuted in 1994 against Robbie "The Rocker" Thomas. He has held the FWA All-England Title and British Welterweight Championship. Trademark moves for Storm include: The Thunderstorm (Split-legged
Moonsault), and a Stormin' Steiner (Reverse Frankentoyota. He has worked for various British promotions including: All-Star Wrestling; British Wrestling Federation
(BWF); Extreme World Warfare (EWW); Frontier Wrestling Alliance (FWA); NWA-UK Hammerlock Wrestling; Ultimate Wrestling Alliance
(UWA); Universal Championship Wrestling (UCW); The Wrestling Alliance (TWA); and Wrestling Around the World
- Jodie Fleisch
Jodie "Phoenix" Fleisch is another one of the great young British wrestlers, with experience in the UK, Europe and Japan. His trademark move include the Spaceman Shooting Star
plancha, the Shooting star press, and the Wallclimb Moonsault. He was the FWA All England Champion in 2000, UWA Tag team Championship in 1999. He has wrestled for
FWA, UWA, NWA-Hammerlock Wrestling, FCW (Netherlands), Michinoku Pro, and for a variety of European promotions.
He had his best match in Michinoku Pro with Minoru Fujita and Shiryu II against
CIMA, Christopher Daniels (Curry Man), and Super Boy in September 2000.
- Tony Mamaluke
Tony Mamaluke was trained by Dean Malenko, at the famous Malenko Wrestling School in Florida. He wrestled in WCW, appearing at WCW Bash at the Beach and Starrcade 1999, and as a manager for Big Vito and Johnny the Bull. He was a former ECW World Tag Team Champion with Little Guido
Maritato, and was part of the Full Blooded Italians stable in ECW with Little Guido and Sal E.
Mamaluke most recently has been working for IPW-Hardcore Wrestling in Florida where he has competed in programs with Jet Jaguar at Traditionally Violent in an incredible
matchup; and NWA Wildside, along with fellow Malenko graduate Jeremy Lopez. Mamaluke works a wild aerial style, and is not afraid to take risks...sometimes going too far for his own good.
- Nick Berk
Berk has wrestled for CZW, NWA-Jersey, Jersey All-Pro Wrestling, EWF/Hardway Wrestling,
MEWF/Maryland, Liberty All-Star Wrestling, and IPW-Hardcore Wrestling/Florida, among others. He briefly held the CZW Heavyweight Champion, in a wild night in February 2001, where he defeated current title holder Justice Pain, and held the Iron Man Title. He twice held the Jersey All-Pro Wrestling Light-Heavyweight Title.
Two additional matches are featured:
- Former 2-time CZW World Champion will get a return match against new CZW World Champion, The Messiah. Messiah pinned Justice Pain at the 64:00 mark during a 5 minute overtime last month at CZW's "High Stakes" show. The Messiah has already cleared his schedule and will travel to Ireland for a 6/15 title defense, should he win 6/8.
- Wifebeater makes his return to CZW for the first time since December, challenging Lobo in a hardcore match.
Next for northeast wrestling fans is Court Bauer's debut show for Major League Wrestling, taking place at the ECW Arena on Saturday June 15th.
The promotion markets itself as a hybrid of lucha libre, Japanese puroresu, traditional wrestling, extreme wrestling, and tomorrow's styles.
Matches scheduled so far in this tournament include:
- First time ever: Former NWA and ECW Champions square off as "The Franchise" Shane Douglas takes on "King of Old School" Steve Corino
- "New F'N Show" Jerry Lynn vs. Former IWC World Heavyweight Champion "Extreme Chairman" La Parka
- All Japan Pro Wrestling's Taiyo Kea challenges "Beast from the East" Bam Bam Bigelow
- "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels takes on Vampiro
Tickets can be ordered online at the MLW website. Floor seating is $20.00 and can be ordered
here. General Admission seating is $15 and can be ordered here
Tickets are available locally through the following outlets:
- Ontario Street Comics, 2235 East Ontario Street, Philadelphia, PA (215)288-7338
- Hall of Heroes, Echelon Mall, Voorhees, NJ (856) 772-9703
- Hall of Heroes, Cherry Hill Mall, Cherry Hill, NJ (856) 662-9329
Last in the list is Rob Feinstein's Ring of Honor Wrestling show on June 22nd, which features the tournament to crown the initial ROH Heavyweight Title. The show is taking place in Philadelphia's Murphy Recreation Center at Fourth and Shunk Streets in south Philadelphia.
Tickets are Front Row $30/second and third row $20/general admission $15.
Tickets can be ordered directly online at this URL or from Rock N' Roll Plus, 613 South Street or from Ontario Street Comics, 2235 Ontario Street.
Bus trips will operate from New York City and from Boston to the tournament. For information on taking the New York bus, email AGENTCLPT@aol.com. For information on the Boston bus, email ProWrestlingTours@hotmail.com. There is also a proposed trip to the show from the Hamilton/Toronto, Ontario area. For information on the Toronto trip email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The June 22nd show will feature four 4-man tournaments with the winners advancing to fight for the inaugural Ring Of Honor title.
The show will feature these matches:
- Texas Wrestling Academy graduate Spanky against fellow graduate Paul London
- UK superstars Jodie Fleisch and Jonny Storm compete
- "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels vs. Scoot Andrews
- Former NWA Wildside Heavyweight Champion/multiple time Wildside TV champion AJ Styles takes on former ECW superstar/Match of the Year award winner Jerry Lynn
- Former CZW Tag Team Champion Jay Briscoe vs. Doug "The Anarchist" Williams
- ECWA/All Pro Wrestling and northeast indy star American Dragon vs. New Era Pro Wrestling's Bio-Hazard
In Bracket D:
- 2001 Super Eight winner Low-Ki vs. ECWA Heavyweight Champion Prince Nana
- Former ICW Heavyweight Champion Xavier vs. Red (of the SAT)
The winners of each Bracket then take on each other on June 22nd to leave four winners, who will move on to compete in July's ROH Heavyweight Title Final Four.
If you don't like any of these shows...
If you're in California, go to EPIC Pro Wrestling ...or to Roland Alexander's All Pro Wrestling...or to Donovan Morgan and Michael Modest's Pro Wrestling Iron , or any one of the many independents in the Southern Calfornia area by checking out SoCal Uncensored for information on local independents.
If you're in the New York/Philadelphia area, go to John Ferretti's Combat Zone Wrestling, Frank Iadevia's Jersey All Pro Wrestling, Donnie Bucci's Phoenix Championship Wrestling, Kevin Knight's IWF, Gino Moore, Joe Panzarino and Fred Rubenstein's NWA Jersey, USA Pro Wrestling, or to any one of the dozens of promoters that run shows in the region.
If you're in the Ohio/Kentucky area, go see Jim Cornette and Danny Davis's Ohio Valley Wrestling, Les Thatcher's Heartland Wrestling Alliance, or Ian Rotten's IWA Mid-South Wrestling.
If you're in Oklahoma, go see Oklahoma Pro Wrestling.
If you're in the Chicago area, try out Windy City Pro Wrestling, Lunatic Wrestling Federation, or Midwest Championship Wrestling, or check out the overall independent scene in the Chicago area at Chicago Wrestling.com.
If you're in the South, go to anyone of the seemingly endless series of independent shows I get news about, including Bill Behrens's NWA Wildside, Bert Prentice's USA Wrestling, or Sherri Russell and Donnie Prater's Southeastern Championship Wrestling.
Just go and support someone...
Go and support anyone...
Support whatever and whoever it happens that YOU like: a hardcore promotion, a lucha style promotion, or an old school promotion or whatever you can find.
Support any alternative to a situation that many of you are saying you can't stand...whether or not it's the booking...too much T&A, too little T&A.... incoherent storylines... the wrong people getting pushed...or whatever it is that's made millions of you tune out of WWF/E television over the last year and a half.
Stop complaining and do something. Support your local indy today.
Until next time...
(If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by
e-mail at email@example.com)