I’ll be the first to admit; when it comes to writing these articles, I get writers block. Not just any type of writers block, the extreme kind. Combine it with my subject matter, it doesn’t make it free flowing writing, especially since I have to expose you all to an entirely different world, so to speak, than the WWE that many hold so dear. With that I have decided it is time for this then. Without further ado, this is the declaration of American Independents.
What is that you may ask? Simple, it is now the chance for these feds to be known, to be seen. Most know of NWA TNA, but what about NWA FL, the home fed of Roderick Strong, who was one of the finalists for this years Best of the Best 4 in CZW, in addition to being a trainee of Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart? Or NWA Wildside which is out of Georgia, which was the original home of AJ Styles before he was a fixture on TNA, Jimmy Rave before he was CZW, Hotstuff Hernandez, before he became one of the Elite Guard of TNA, or Murda-One and Rainman, the real Blackout? It is now home of Jeff G. Bailey, the former ECW manager, who still is pulling the same old tricks.
The Midwest feds, led by probably the most famous out of that area, IWA Midsouth, is the showcase for those in the Midwest that are too green for the East Coast. Without Ian Rotten, Delirious, and Matt Sydal would not have been exposed to the world, in reality they would still be in St. Louis, toiling in GCW, Gateway Championship Wrestling. Their female counterparts, Daizee Haze and MsChif, alongside other girls such as Lacey, Rain, Mercedes Martinez, Cheerleader Melissa, April Hunter, Angel Williams, Josie and others are carving a new niche for women. They’re allowing their abilities to be shown, instead of being the plastic Barbie doll images that being in the “big time” forces them to be. He brings the Minnesota contingent of wrestling, of guys such as “The Anarchist” Arik Cannon, and Austin Aries, along with the Michigan indie stars Alex Shelley, Jimmy Jacobs, Chris Sabin and Truth Martini as staples of his shows as well. Despite all of the criticism of people against him, he still is making the stars. There was a quote that summed it up perfectly when it comes to the Midwest. “Ian makes the stars, Rob Feinstein buys them.”
The West Coast scene has been completely ignored since the downfall of XPW and their notorious owners, Lizzy Borden and Rob Black. Now they’re a lot smaller Indies, but there are led by the big two, Revolution Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Guerilla. RevPro melds the Lucha, Puro and American Wrestling styles together, with all their wrestlers, each being influenced in their own way by the styles. Even in Pro Wrestling Guerilla, which is the brainchild of six of the area’s biggest wrestlers, Super Dragon, Excalibur, Disco Machine, Joey Ryan, and two more that I can’t remember off the top of my head follow the same mixture of the wrestling styles prevalent in that area. The difference is though; they do it with a twist. Probably the company that takes itself the least serious, they can have “The Tango and Cash” Invitational Tag Team Tournament, where teams were given their names based on buddy movies, like B-Boy and Homicide who were team Friday; American Dragon and Super Dragon were Double Dragons, for example. Or even their show “The Musical” there was a spot from American Dragon and Samoa Joe, channelling the fight scene from West Side Story. Entertainment abounds, in addition to a match that was brilliant. Being serious is not an option here, and it shows.
This finally leads me to the Mecca of Independent Wrestling, the East Coast. If one is getting booked for shows here, you have proved your mettle in the industry. Philadelphia is the crown jewel. Major Internet coverage is there, more so than anywhere else, so when you get the chance to show yourself, you don’t mess up. It will be published, talked about and genuinely remembered for years to come. The same thing applies if you excel, everyone will remember your “coming out” or debut, not the five or six years it takes for one to get this chance. The men from International Wrestling Syndicate in Canada had this chance on July 24 when Arsenal, Hardcore Ninja 2, Green Phantom and Sexxxy Eddie wrestle in CZW’s Ultra violent Tournament of Death 3. For those that do not know, these guys are nuts; putting their bodies on the line is a normal occurrence for them. With this show, they will be giving viewers a taste, of something different.
Its time for those who live in the world of WWE to take notice of these feds, and these men and women that wrestle. Not the typical guys we know off the top of our heads, (American Dragon, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, AJ Styles) but for the guys that you will see as the new generation of the best, like B-Boy, Austin Aries, Alex Shelley, Jimmy Rave, Hero, Strong and others. There are no limitations on moves, men who are 400 lbs, are doing Twisting Corkscrew Sentons (Vic Grimes), The Pepsi Plunge isn’t considered a dangerous move, and the match is more important than the theatrics that go around it. Something the WWE sometimes forgets. Take a chance, go visit sites like Smart Mark Video UK, and try something new. You may be surprised at what you may find, and what you may like.
With that lead in, its time to introduce the guys that make up these feds. Performing in many, people may choose to follow them instead of following feds. Guys like Whitmer, Hero, Joe, the Briscoes, are the names that most people are aware of, but guys like Nate Webb, Arik Cannon, and Excalibur are those still trying to get the acclaim that is deserved. Cannon might be the first one to hit the mainstream independents first, he did do what most wouldn’t have expected; he beat American Dragon at a recent IWA show. Even another man, Jay Lethal is at the brink of breaking through tremendously. Formerly of Special K in ROH, he has no been able to break way from the stereotype placed upon him by being in that group, despite being a more technical wrestler than his counterparts, Izzy, Dixie, Hijinx and the rest of his high flying counterparts.
I could go on with more of these wrestlers to watch out for, but I think that would be better saved for another article. Maybe this will help some people take notice, maybe it won’t. But it is an opening for someone who is looking to expand their horizons. As always, feel free to send me any opinions, or ideas for articles to me, I’m always willing to try something new out.