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We don't have much in the way of details, but Johnny Diamond, who worked as a manager on the NYC independent scene over the last few decades, passed away several days ago of a heart attack. Our condolences to his friends and family.
The first Kevin Steen vs. AJ Styles bout since 2005 will be held tomorrow 3/14 in Binghamton, NY for 2CW. Styles will also be doing a training seminar for the promotion this weekend. 2CW champion Isys Ephex vs. Slyck Wagner Brown and AR Fox vs. Guero Loco on top. They will debut in Scranton, PA on 3/15 at the Moosic Youth Center with Hacksaw Duggan, Kevin Steen, Colin Delaney and more. In April, former ECW World Tag Team champions Mikey Whipwreck & Yoshihiro Tajiri will reunite for two dates for the promotion, including a match against Rich Swann and AR Fox, which sounds insanely awesome. For more, visit www.2CWrestling.com.
The complete field of competition for the 2014 ECWA Super 8 on 4/5 in Newark, DE is ‘M Dogg 20’ Matt Cross, Kao Storm, Steven Walters (who was just signed to a WWE developmental deal), John Skyler, Ricky Martinez, Oliver Grimsly, Gran Akuma and Matt Saigon. It really is this show is the same weekend as Wrestlemania as I think it's one of the stronger tournament lineups since Jim Kettner sold the ECWA.
Pro Wrestling Syndicate will be running a Scott Epstein Memorial event on 4/13 in Avenel, NJ with proceeds being donated to the Epstein Family. I’ll have more on this in the next Indy Landscape.
The lineup for the debut of IWF in Phoenix, Arizona at the Celebrity Theater on 3/29 features a lot of really, well, unique matches. The show will feature a Scramble with Rich Swann vs. Ricochet vs. JT Dunn vs. AR Fox, Chris Masters vs. Chris Hero, Tyshaun Prince vs. Alkatrazz, The Young Bucks vs. Reno Scum, Carlito vs. Kevin Steen, a Lucha tag with Reaper & Mascara Dorada vs. Valiente & Ultimo Guerrero, former WWE Crime Time member Shad Gaspard vs. Brian Cage, Hurricane & TBA vs. Liberte and John Morrison vs. Shelton Benjamin. Benjamin is greatly involved with the running of the promotion.
The National Wrestling Alliance announced Monday that former referee James Beard has been named the Director of Talent Relations. His role will be to be the liason between the NWA Board, talent and promotions that work as “licensed” NWA promotions. To the best of my knowledge, the NWA doesn’t have any actual contracted talent, so I’m curious what the job requirements of a Director of Talent Relations would actually be.
Combat Zone Wrestling ran an iPPV on 3/8 from Voorhees, NJ titled “High Stakes”, which leads directly into their Wrestlecon events over Wrestlemania weekend. The main event was said to be awesome with CZW champ Drew Gulak defeating AR Fox. I was told Gulak’s strong in-ring style really meshed well with Fox’s crazy highspots and this was really strong. Shane Strickland captured the CZW Wired TV title from Devon Moore in a good bout. This was the first title win for Strickland, who’s really been one of the more versatile names to come along in the last year. The Beaver Boys beat the Front to retain the CZW Tag titles. Beaver Boys are really good. John Silver is going to be this generation’s Spike Dudley. Timothy Thatcher debuted, beating Dalton Castle. Thatcher is a hell of an in-ring worker but his scientific style didn’t get over with the audience here as I was told they didn’t give him a chance and weren’t patient enough to watch him develop before their eyes. Tommy Dreamer worked the undercard, putting over Joe Gacy. I know Dreamer will put anyone over, but come on, that was just a meaningless match. At least build to it so it means something for the guy who beats him. Greg Excellent vs. Pepper Parks for the fair hand of Cherry Bomb ended quickly and set up an immediate mixed tag with Lufisto returning and teaming with Excellent to defeat Pepper and Bomb. Lufisto is in here regularly going forward. BLK Jeez beat DJ Hyde. They appear to be building to Dreamer vs. Hyde. Ruckus is said to be done here, by the way. Others working the show were Caleb Konley, Masada and Chris Dickinson. The show is available on www.CZWiPPV.com.
Drake Younger vs. Danny Havoc is set for the 4/12 CZW Best of the Best event in Voorhees, which will be his final appearance before heading to WWE developmental. In the annual Best of the Best tournament are Tim Thatcher, Lucky 13, Chuck Taylor, Buxx Belmar, Caleb Konley, and Andrew Everett. Strickland vs. Moore in a Ladder match has also been announced.
IWA Mid South ran Clarkville, Indiana with a show titled “Sunday Bloody Sunday” on 3/9. The top match saw Chris Hero beating Reed Bentley. There were a lot of gimmick matches underneath. Matt Tremont beat John Wayne Murdoch in a barbed wire, bull rope match. In a mixed tag Stretcher match, Jordynne Grace & Kongo Kong & Randi West beat Cpl. Robinson & Mickie Knuckles & Heidi Lovelace in a Stretcher Match. Drake Younger won a Four Way over Kyle O’Reilly, B-Boy, and Christian Rose. The best match of the show saw said to be Danny Cannon beating Michael Elgin. Ian Rotten worked a five tag team bout in the undercard. Necro Butcher, Thunderkitty from Resistance Pro, BJ Whitmer and Jimmy Jacobs also worked the show.
Ricky Otazu’s Jersey Championship Wrestling is back to running events after a pretty sizable hiatus and have opened up a school in Union City, NJ with former WWE developmental talent Danny Giomondo and Danny Demanto as the head trainers. The promotion is running tomorrow 3/14 in Edison, NJ with WWE Hall of Famer Jake Roberts, Damien Darling, Bandido Jr. and a team titled “The Sons of Kamala” appearing. Local advertising for the show lists a Lumberjack match with local policemen and firemen as the Lumberjacks, which is a great gimmick to get the locals interested. They are running 3/29 at the Queensborough Elks Lodge on 3/29 with Jerry Lawler booked. Is it still Jersey wrestling if they are running in NYC?
Long-running pro wrestling role playing game “Champions of the Galaxy:” will be running a live show as part of GalactiCon 25, an annual Filsinger Games fan convention the weekend of 7/11 in Jamestown, NY. Filsinger Games is the parent company of the Champions game. The show will be set “100 years in the future” and will feature indy talents portraying characters from the game. Alex Reynolds of the Beaver Boys has been announced and in an interesting twist, they announced he would be portraying “iconic wildman the Savage Wolf.”
Scott D’Amore’s Border City Wrestling has Booker T, Petey Williams, Kongo Kong, former TNA star Cody Deaner and Tyson Dux announced for a 5/9 date in Windsor, Ontario at St. Clair College.
UIPW presented Wrestlestock on 3/8 in Toronto, headlined by Ethan Page beating John Greed to retain the UNION championship. The show featured Checkmate beat Carter Mason and Shane Sabre to win the Union Tag titles. Buck Gunderson beat The Hacker to retain the Northern Lights Cruiserweight Championship. I certainly hope the only way to win is with a Northern Lights suplex. Others working the show were Kingdom James and Psycho Mike Rollins. They are running 5/25 at the Rockpile East Nightclub in Scarborough, Ontario with “The Great Canadian Bash.” That is a genius title.
Anarchy Wrestling’s Mike Posey and Corey Hollis are booked for the ROH and Wrestlecon events over Wrestlemania weekend.
Mike Lombardi’s Northeast Wrestling is running this weekend in Bethany, CT at Town Hall with NEW champ Brian Anthony vs. J-Busta and Matt Taven vs. Bobby Fish on top. The promotion’s biggest event of the year “Wrestlefest 18” in Waterbury, CT will feature Jerry Lawler, Matt Hardy and Mick Foley appearing. They have a number of dates set for March, May and June.
River City Wrestling returns on 3/14 to Slider’s Grill in San Antonio, Texas with Hernandez (TNA) and Masada headlining. The show will be taped for their show on Estrella TV.
UIPW is running a Lucha event on 3/16 in East Los Angeles, CA at the Boys & Girls Club featuring Mariachi Loco vs. Blood Eagle, Latigo Blanco vs. Bobby Rios, Amazing Jr. & Cyber Ram vs. Joey Kaos & Super Natural, UIPW Tag champs Acero Dorado & Dr. Maldad vs. Lil' Cholo & Playboy vs. X-Torm & Zarco and in the main event, Fuego & Misterioso vs. Rocky Romero & Shamu Jr.
New York Wrestling Connection will run their first event after the biggest show of the year Psycho Circus on 3/25 at the NYWC Sportatorium in Deer Park, Long Island with NYWC champ Mike Mondo vs. King Mega, NYWC Tag Team champs Team Elite vs. Rack & Sack, and NYWC Starlet champ Marti Belle vs. Chrissy Rivera on top. Mikey Whipwreck will also be appearing.
Dory and Marti Funk’s next !BANG! event will be 3/29 in Ocala. FL, a charity show with proceeds going to Marion County Veterans Helping Veterans. The show will feature a one night tournament for the !BANG! Women’s title with Hollywood Heather, Jessica Hill, Claudia Reiff and Paulette Carter competing. For more, visit www.Dory-Funk.com.
Absolute Intense Wrestling will be running a double shot of their “Girl’s Night Out” series on 3/29 starting at 3 PM with AIW Women’s Champion is when Allysin Kay vs. Leah Von Dutch, Mia Yim vs. Athena, Veda Scott vs. Shanna, Kay Lee Ray vs. Mickie Knuckles, plus Kimber Lee, Hania the Howling Huntress, Marti Belle, Jenny Rose, The Social Network (Annie Social, Heidi Lovelace, & Sammy Geodollno), Xandra Bale, Jasmin, Angel Dust, Scotland’s Nikki Storm and more announced.
Finally, Preston City Wrestling released a really funny music video, which cracked me up at this link. I don’t want to spoil this, but it’s funny.
Thanks to Jess McGrath, Jose Perez, Dr. Keith Lipinski, David Jakielo, James Davies and everyone else who contributed.