I wanted to do something new this year and cover the independent wrestling scene for our listeners. As many of you may know, I’ve progressively leaned further and further into the “indy” wrestling scene since the podcast started because there is just something about the charm of an indy wrestling show. Before I get into the episode, I want to share a few notes about what it is I love about independent wrestling.
You said charm? What charm?
Don’t ask me why I decided to use a picture of a cartoon Prince Charming for this segment. I felt like it just works because independent wrestling is so strange, but that charm I discussed? Well, let’s get into that.
Independent wrestling reminds me of college football. While I really enjoy WWE, Ring of Honor, and New Japan Pro Wrestling, independent wrestling is really where I have the most fun. It’s just like in college football where those players are doing EVERYTHING in their power to make a name for themselves and really look like a must have recruit. This same attitude can be applied to independent wrestlers. Just think about all the dates guys like the Lucha Brothers work over weekends like this and compare their popularity now to this time last year.
Sure, they were pretty known and anyone aware with independent wrestling knew of Pentagon Jr, but guys like me really didn’t get a chance to learn who they were until they started showing up during WrestleMania weekend shows like the Impact vs Lucha Underground show last year.
There is also something about a small venue that adds to the charm
I sincerely think seeing a ton of people altogether, very close, with bars and snack stands in the background adds to a fun atmosphere. These venues are selected out of necessity because you do not want to hold a show in a venue that is too big. The fun part of indy wrestling shows is that the crowd is smaller, but passionate and the venue gives some really wild looking shots.
It’s like punk rock, but wrestling. Punk Rock shows back in the days were always in dive bars where there could be a small capacity for the crowd, but a really passionate group of people that were moshing around and having a great time. To be honest, Joey Janela’s Spring Break shows are essentially what punk rock would look like if it were wrestling instead of music and that crowd was VERY passionate about the show. If you need to know how passionate, go back and watch this years two shows and remember that the tickets sold out nearly instantly.
There is some wrestling for everyone in the Indys
Finally, I want to add what most people don’t realize about independent wrestling. Guys like my guest Jon Pilquist and I will usually highlight the outrageous, the weird, and the unique from independent wrestling like your death matches, “clusterfuck” matches, and the goofy things that happen like Ethan Page having his soul stolen by Virgil, but there are other things in independent wrestling that fit people looking for more than goofy stuff and ridiculous spots.
For example, the Bloodsports series is really picking up some momentum. This show idea is what they call “catch-shoot” wrestling and it’s basically explained, as I like to say “MMA simulation.” To me, it’s just MMA grappling with suplexes and I LOVE everything about that. We also have really quality wrestling matches in the Indies like Timothy Thatcher vs David Arquette, Will Ospreay vs Bandido, and of course ANYONE can show up at an independent show (unless they’re signed by WWE and then you see them on your tv enough, so that’s fine right?) Wrestle Con started with Flair showing up and crying, as is his trademark now. Sean Waltman and Hurricane Helms worked a match as Jyushin Thunder Liger’s partner, and of course you’ll see SCU basically everywhere now.
Independent Wrestling has never been better than it is right now and if you’re looking for something different than NJPW, WWE, or ROH, check out some of these wild shows that are on the Highspots Network, Powerslam (use promo code smarktodeath for 30 free days!) and even Fite TV has an amazing network of shows. Join us in the indy wrestling scene because it’s a freaking blast.
On to the episode!
JPQ of No Particular Angle joined me to discuss some of the Independent Wrestling Shows over WrestleMania 35 weekend and yes… Joey Ryan’s Penis Party was one of them.
Special Thanks to our Smark to Death Premium Members – Brandon McKinney, Natalie Evans, Papa Suter, Robert Jackson, Shane Richardson, Dan White, 720 Wrestling, Warren Hayes, Kevin Sydow, 2 Girls on a Bench, David Edge, Kelley Parker, Cameron Curry, Richard Sandoval, JPQ, Courtney Summers, Carl Hayes, Ryan Derosa, John Baez, Justin Bulloch, Omega Luke Podcast, Queen of the North, Colton Philpott
Produced by Charis Dillon.