Hey folks, incase you do not know, tomorrow (February 2nd) is a national holiday. No, it's not "National Deviled Egg Day" (November 2nd) or "National Ice Cream Sandwich Day" (August 2nd). Tomorrow is the day where we celebrate men and women putting on spandex and rolling around on a 4-sided mat for our enjoyment and amusement. That's right, its National Pro Wrestling Day, and a celebration of this historic time will be held in Philadelphia tomorrow. Now, in the spirit of all things indie wrestling, things are changing. It was just announced yesterday that there has been a venue change for the event, and they have moved from Philly's "Derby Ink Gardens" into the "National Guard Armory" in Philadelphia, so keep that in mind for those that are traveling to the event. But, I thought it would be nice of me to give all of you guys a run-down of all the matches happening during both the afternoon and evening cards, and maybe even educate you guys on the people you may not recognize. And in turn, maybe you can educate me on the people I don't recognize, because there is a hell of a lot of them. So, let's get into it.
In what most likely will main event the afternoon card for this event, Mike Quackenbush takes on Colt Cabana in what undoubtingly will be a phenomenal contest. This is the representative match for Wrestling Is Art, and is also the first ever match for this brand new company located out of Massachusetts. There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that this match will be technically proficient and here's hoping that this is the perfect starting point for a company like "Wrestling Is Art".
One of the aspects of National Pro Wrestling Day that is being most talked about is the insertion of the King Of Trios tradition "Rey De Voladores", that is being sponsored by PWInsider. And it is being talked about for good reason. Now of course, I specifically am excited for this years "Rey De Voladores", mainly because it features a great deal of Texas talent that I love. But come on, how could you blame me? JoJo Bravo is wrestling frickin 2 Cold Scorpio for god's sake! In fact, as much as I am excited for JoJo and Scorpio colliding, the thought of JoJo mixing it up with the caliber of athlete that is Shane Hollister is also extremely exciting. Now, Oliver Grimsley from the QWEST promotion seems to be the real unknown in this match, but I do look forward to seeing him. Hell, there is a great deal of people going to NPWD who don't know who JoJo Bravo is, just like I don't know who Grimsley is. So I will watch with an open mind.
And, if you thought that Rey De Voladores qualifier was exciting, Bolt Brady and ACH are gonna be in the same match and will most likely blow the roof off of the Armory. From what I've heard and seen about the other two participants, Lukas Sharp is pretty much a Jack Evans cover-band so that could be cool, I guess. And from what I've seen, Surfer Mitch is, well, a surfer, and in that picture looks a hell of a lot like Lukas Sharp, so maybe we'll get two pseudo-Jack Evans instead of one. Either or, here's hoping that those two will deliver, or maybe they'll get eliminated early on so ACH and Bolt can go 20 minutes and dazzle the crowd just like they did for ACW in December.
As much as it is important to see National Pro Wrestling Day showcase all of the companies and names that are regional and not as well known, you do need a great deal of influence to be considered one of the most important independent wrestling events of the year. Ring Of Honor brings that influence to the table, and they will be represented when The Briscoe Brothers defend their Tag Team titles against Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs of SCUM. For the people I know attending the event that don't know anything about stuff like Beyond or CWF Mid Atlantic or whatever, this match is for them and it should be a real treat.
The Chikara influenced "Wrestling Is" promotions continue to be featured on this card, with the longest running of the five, Wrestling Is Fun being represented by Juan Francisco De Coronado vs. Saturyne. From what I've seen from both competitors in Wrestling Is Fun, this should be definitely a great contest. It is also nice to see that NPWD is willing to showcase a great deal of inter-gender wrestling for a wide variety of audiences to see, and this isn't the only match where we will see that.
Beyond Wrestling was one of the first groups to reveal their scheduled match for NPWD, and it features Team KOA representatives Sugar Dunkerton and Aaron Epic taking on the recently returned from injury, Chris Dickinson along with Eric Corvis. Not only that, but it was recently announced by Sugar and Aaron that they will be putting on the line their Resistance Pro Tag Team titles in this match, so the stakes have been raised indeed. The only one of the four that I haven't followed would be Corvis, but I cannot wait to see what he brings to the table on this large stage.
So, in a new development that just came out today, Combat Zone Wrestling will have a feature match at NPWD. For those that don't know, CZW officials and some of their talent were put off and angry when they were not invited to be apart of the event, most likely because of Chikara and Mike Quackenbush's influence on the event and the fact that it wanted to portray itself as a more PG show, which you cannot fault them for. But now, CZW gets a spot on the show with this three-way match. From what I've seen, I'm personally not a huge fan of these three, each for very different reasons. But hey, if you are into CZW and guys with forks, this is your match.
Now at first, when CWF Mid-Atlantic revealed their match for NPWD, I had the same reaction most others probably had, and that was "Who are any of these guys?". But, this is the exact point of something like National Pro Wrestling Day, to showcase talents that absolutely no one has ever seen before. So who knows? These three guys and one soccer playing goat could surprise us. Let's hope they do. Seriously, I really hope they do.
Getting back on track with things, Wrestling Is Respect, which is the former Ring Of Honor training company "Pro Wrestling Respect", will be represented when "For A Better Combat Zone" leader Drew Gulak squares off with Francis O'Rourke (otherwise known as Biff Busick or Girard St. Christopher). I'm a huge fan of both competitors work and I think this match could be an underrated contender for match of the afternoon. Be sure to check this one out.
You know what? Forget what I just said. This is for sure going to be match of the afternoon. Another important part of putting on an event like National Pro Wrestling Day is displaying every style that the multi-faceted world of pro wrestling has to offer. That includes men dressed in giant monster costumes and fighting in a ring filled with undersized buildings. The only possible way this match could be better would be if JoJo Bravo was the special guest referee. Then it would be match of the entire day.
When this match of "All Ego" Ethan Page vs. "The Walking Weapon" Josh Alexander was announced as the AIW sponsored match for NPWD, unlike most, I was extremely excited. For that majority of people, this match falls under the "I don't recognize these guys" category. But, the stuff that I have seen from both Alexander and Page in AIW has been phenomenal and I feel they will open up a lot of brand new eyes during this match. Also, here's hoping Seleziya Sparx will be alongside Ethan as well. It doesn't hurt.
Then, the evening card, starting at 7pm eastern picks up with something big. It picks up with the Wrestling Heroes & Outlaws match featuring none other than... The Hurricane. Eh. Not to be all Debbie Downer for this awesome night of wrestling, but The Hurricane just doesn't do it for me. Secretly, I pray the awesome and devious team of Ophidian and Kobald destroy the mysterious hero that is really the douchey Shane Helms under a mask, but I'll take this match as it's presented. And who knows, Matty De Nero may be a great talent. Maybe I'll remember him after this match beyond "Guy in cowboy hat standing next to The Hurricane".
What better way to showcase the best of Chikara Pro than with a good ol' fashion Atomicos contest? The signature members of Chikara collide as Icarus and Chuck Taylor of FIST team with Los Ice Creams to face off with Fire and Green Ant of The Colony as well as Scott Parker and Shane Matthews of 3.0. Besides possibly Ring Of Honor, Chikara is the most high profile group involved with this event (Yeah you heard me CZW. Come at me bro.), and therefore this is definitely one of the matches most people are excited for. This match seems to be the perfect example of everything that Chikara is about. So if you are one of the few to have never seen Chikara before, sit back, relax and enjoy.
I haven't been following much of one of Gabe Sapolsky's big companies "Evolve", mainly because I can't tell what the difference is between it and his other big company "Dragon Gate USA", but when I saw the announcement of AR Fox vs. Shane Strickland as the Evolve representative match for NPWD, I was pretty excited. AR Fox is always an ace, no matter what company he works for, and the things I have heard in the past about Shane Strickland seem to be mostly positive, most notably having a pretty lengthy feud with Rich Swann in Combat Zone Wrestling. So together Fox and Strickland look to be a combination that can wow the crowd inside the National Guard Armory and on IPPV, and I can't wait.
"Wrestling Is" gets featured more on the evening event, with this tag team exhibition from "Wrestling Is Heart", which was formerly known as "School Of Roc", the promotion led by trainer Billy Roc. I recognize Heidi Lovelace from some of the stuff she has done for Beyond Wrestling as well as being a former OVW Women's Champion, and it is good to see her not only involved in this match, but involved in another inter-gender contest where she has the opportunity to show that she can hold her own. Also, Reed Bentley and Tripp Cassidy, collectively known as "The League" seem to be one of the focal points of "Wrestling Is Heart", so I will be interested to see how they do in this contest.
New York Wrestling Connection will also be involved with National Pro Wrestling Day with a tag team match that features TNA star (at least I think so) Tony Nese teaming with Apollyon to take on the team of Alex Reynolds and John Silver. I have heard of all except for Apollyon who looks like... something, but I haven't been exposed to much of Reynolds, Silver or even a whole lot of Nese, so let's see if NYWC makes a great impression.
Even the female based promotions get a little love for National Pro Wrestling Day, as Women's Superstars Uncensored gets a match showcased, a match for their Spirit championship no less. Marti Belle is beginning to grow her name on the independent scene, working for many different companies, and Belle seems to be a main star that they push for in WSU. Ezavel Suena is roughly unknown to me, but from the little I have seen of her, I can tell that she can hang and could put on a real hotly contested match. With Beyond Wrestling recently overtaking WSU, the company is looking to expand more and get as many eyes on it as possible, and National Pro Wrestling Day is the perfect way to do it.
Ok, do I really need to devote a lengthy paragraph to this one telling you how great this match will be? Its the Latvian Proud Oak and the Estonian Thunderfrog vs. Max Smashmaster and Blaster McMassive of the Devastation Corporation. Need I say more? Wrestling truly is awesome guys.
The "International Wrestling Cartel" based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has a very intriguing representative match for National Pro Wrestling Day, that being "Big League" John McChesney defending his IWC Heavyweight title against the recently former IWC Super Indy champion Logan Shulo. Being accustomed to following IWC thanks to Sorgatron Media producing their DVD content, I probably follow IWC more than most of the people that will be attending NPWD, so I am extremely excited for this one. Check these two great wrestlers out and see what they can do. Or stop and say hi to my friend Sorg at the IWC booth and tell him I sent you and to give me a raise.
Fighting Spirit Wrestling located in the New York area has brought another very interesting contest with them to National Pro Wrestling Day. Now, I know little to nothing about Angel Ortiz or Mike Draztik, but if you don't know anything about The Maximos, you clearly haven't been following independent wrestling for long. Those two have been wrestling way before I started watching televised wrestling, let alone independent wrestling, so it will be good to see them in this match and it will definitely be one to watch.
Billy Corgan's pro wrestling project known as "Resistance Pro" hasn't been on my radar for the longest time, to the point when they were announced for National Pro Wrestling Day, it shocked me that the company was still going. But, with this inter-gender tag team match announced, I am intrigued. It features Robert Anthony, who has impressed in companies such as Combat Zone Wrestling teaming with Thunderkitty, who's gimmick is sweeping the wrestling world by storm. They are taking on the team of Darcy Dixon, who I've heard fairly good things of from other wrestling fans who have seen her live, and Jay Bradley who is coming off winning his TNA Gutcheck match against PWG star Brian Cage and earning a contract. So I encourage you to keep your eyes on this contest as well.
And don't forget, Tommy Dreamer will be there as well. Not sure if he will be involved in a wrestlers capacity, but I cannot wait to see.
Overall, as the title eludes, National Pro Wrestling Day is meant to be a celebration of all things pro wrestling, and is a great vehicle in order to showcase good to phenomenal talents that certain sections of fans may not know of. So please, either attend the event tomorrow night at the National Guard Armory in Philadelphia for free, or order the IPPV on SMVOD.com for either $9.99 for the afternoon or evening card or $14.99 for both cards. I will be watching live and most likely live tweeting on my twitter account (@TheWrestlefan) so join me in celebrating that weird, nerdy thing that is pro wrestling.