Friday, April 4, 2014

Any Shows This Weekend? Mania Weekend's Here, Y'all!

THE REMATCH HAPPENS SATURDAY... oops did I leave caps lock on? Well this match deserves it.
Photo Credit: Gregory Davis/Dirty Dirty Sheets
WrestleMania weekend has arrived, but if you think the only show of note happening is the Big One, then you are sorely mistaken. Whether you're in New Orleans for the weekend or you're in a locale around the country, odds are a wrestling company near you might just be celebrating wrestling during its biggest domestic weekend of the year. I won't be able to cover all the shows, but I will give the 411 on the big events going down.


The John A. Alario, Sr. Event Center in Westwego, LA plays host to Ring of Honor's Supercard of Honor VIII this weekend. The doors will open at 6 PM local time for the Friday show, and the show will feature the fifth Ladder War in company history. Adam Cole and Jay Briscoe will both attempt to climb the ladder to see who is, once and for all, the one, true ROH World Champion. The IWGP Heavyweight Championship won't be on the line in Louisiana, but the right to face off against Champion Kazuchika Okada at War of the Worlds will be. Kevin Steen and Michael Elgin will square off for the right to battle the Rainmaker. A shot at the Tag Team Championships for War of the Worlds will also be on the line in a three-way match. The former Champions reDRagon, the amazing Forever Hooligans, and the team of Hanson and Ray Rowe will engage in battle to see who gets the Young Bucks in New York City on May 17. Tommaso Ciampa will defend the Television Championship against Jay Lethal in a best two-out-of-three falls match, while Michael Bennett and Mark Briscoe will clash in a no DQ match. Matt Taven takes on a mystery wrestler of Truth Martini's choosing, while RD Evans puts the New Streak on the line against Silas Young. Roderick Strong will battle Cedric Alexander. Also appearing on the show will be Adrenaline Rush, Matt Hardy, Adam Page, Jimmy Jacobs, BJ Whitmer, and Andrew Everett.

A Wrestling Odyssey kicks off the WWN Live Experience for the weekend at the McAlister Auditorium, located at Tulane University in New Orleans. The show is a special cross-promotional show featuring eight matches from across several different promotions. The show kicks off at 4 PM Eastern Daylight time, 3 PM local, and it will be available for purchase on Internet pay-per-view via WWN Live. Chris Hero will defend the EVOLVE Championship against a heretofore unknown challenger. Also on the show, Drew Gulak defends the Combat Zone Wrestling Championship against Timothy Thatcher under World of Sport rules. A pair of SHINE titles are on the line. Ivelisse Velez puts her SHINE Championship against Jazz in what should be a barnburner, while the Lucha Sisters of Mia Yim and Leva Bates put their newly won Tag Team Championships against the SNS Express of Sassy Stephie and Neveah. Trent? puts the Full Impact Pro Championship on the line against Lince Dorado, while "One Man" Mike Dell puts his WildKat Sports title on the line against Steve Anthony. Finally, the Bravado Brothers will meet Joey Ryan and Candice LeRae in a special tag team attraction. This show is quite the supercard. If I was going to purchase one show on the weekend, it would probably be this one.

Dragon Gate USA's first show this weekend, Open the Ultimate Gate, takes place at the same McAlister Auditorium. Bell time is 9 PM Eastern Daylight time, 8 PM local, and it will be available for purchase via WWN Live. Both top titles will be on the line. Johnny Gargano puts his Open the Freedom Gate Championship against Ricochet, who actually holds DG Japan's top title, the Open the Dream Gate Championship. Will Ricochet be able to take both titles home with him? The Open the United Gate Championships will be on the line when the Bravado Bros. defend against the Premier Athlete Brand of Anthony Nese and Caleb Konley. In a non-title match, current EVOLVE Champion Chris Hero will take on ECW and FMW legend Masato Tanaka. Low Ki has been dragged out of retirement to face Trent?, while Chuck Taylor and Drew Gulak welcome The Colony in battle. Rich Swann will butt heads with Biff Busick, and AR Fox is also scheduled to be in action.

NWA SAW will hold another round of TV tapings at the SAWMill Arena in Millersville, TN at 8 PM local time. Among the scheduled talent will be Jeremiah Plunkett and "Prime Time" Brian Lee.

Additionally, if you're in New Orleans, you can go to the premiere of Meet Me There, the horror film co-written by Brandon Stroud and starring Dustin "Goldust" Runnels. The film starts at 11:59 PM local time at the Prytania Theatre in New Orleans, LA. However, if you get there earlier, you can catch the red carpet arrivals. Though it's technically not a wrestling show, it's something cool featuring a friend of mine and wrestlers in the film. Help support innovative filmmaking, and innovative art altogether.


WrestleCon is a giant convention to be going on all weekend long at the Sugar Mill in New Orleans, LA. Vendors will be there, and special guests include, but aren't limited to, Sting, Adam "Edge" Copeland, Goldberg, Roddy Piper, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Jake Roberts, DDP, the Steiner Brothers, Mickie James, Bret Hart, and Celeste "Kaitlyn" Bonin. But the main event will be the Super-Indie Live Wrestling Show happening at 8 PM local time. This show is like a PWS card on crack. The main event features Masato Tanaka going up against Kevin Steen. Other action includes Sid Vicious against Doug Gilbert and Colt Cabana vs. Jeff Jarrett. Luke Hawx, Hurricane Helms, and Cassidy Riley will take on Matt Striker, Steve Corino, and Adam Pearce in trios action. Drew Gulak, Chris Hero, and Michael Elgin will collide in a triple-threat, while DJ Hyde and Masada clash in an Ultraviolent Affair. "The Manscout" Jake Manning teams with Sojo Bolt to tackle Joey Ryan and Candice LeRae, while Bad Influence will make an appearance.

SHIMMER Women Athletes liked taking its show on the road so much last year, the promotion is doing the deed again this year. SHIMMER Vol. 62 takes place at, you guessed it, the McAlister Auditorium, with a 4 PM Eastern/3 PM local bell time. The show will be broadcast on WWN Live. Only one match has been announced, but it is a doozy. Cheerleader Melissa will be in for the fight of her life, and LuFisto gets the opportunity of a career. The match will be best two out of three falls, and the two warriors will be given 90 minutes to settle their issue. The SHIMMER World Championship is on the line. This match could end up being the best of the entire weekend of ANY card. Also appearing at Vol. 62 will be Athena, Barbi Hayden, Mercedes Martinez, Heidi Lovelace, Veda Scott, Kimber Lee, Kay Lee Ray, Veda Scott, Nikki Storm, Sassy Stephie, Neveah, Thunderkitty, and of course, Candice LeRae.

Back home in Easton, PA, Wrestling Is Fun! will kick off the 2014 Tag World Grand Prix at the Charles Chrin Community Center of Palmer Township (or the Easton Funplex if you're nasty). Doors open at 6:30 PM local time for Block A first round and quarterfinal action. First round matches include the Spectral Envoy (Hallowicked and Frightmare) vs. the Devastation Corporation (Blaster McMassive and Max Smashmaster), the Heart Throbs (Antonio Thomas and Romeo Roselli) vs. 3.0 (Shane Matthews and Scott Parker), the Osirian Portal (Ophidian and Amasis) vs. the Colony X-Treme Force (Arctic Rescue and Missile Assault Ants), and the Batiri (Obariyon and Kodama) vs. Old Fashioned (Marion Fontaine and Jervis Cottonbelly). In non-tournament action, Mark "Mr. Touchdown" Angelosetti takes on Juan Francisco de Coronado.

Also in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, the granddaddy tournament of them all, the East Coast Wrestling Association's Super 8 Tournament will emanate from the Newark Area Boys and Girls Club in Newark, DE with a 7 PM local bell time. This year's participants are Gran Akuma, Matt Cross' Beard, Oliver Grimsley, Steven Walters, John Skyler, Matt Saigon, Ricky Martinez, and Kao Storm. The entire tournament will play out on the show, and other ECWA talents, including last year's winner Damian Dragon and the monster Ahtu will also be there.

ROH's second show this weekend will also be at the John A. Alario Sr. Events Center, and it will be a television taping. Bell time is 2 PM local. Trios action headlines this show as the Briscoe Bros. team up with Kevin Steen to take on Adam Cole, Matt Hardy, and Michael Bennett. If Tommaso Ciampa survives his Television Championship defense at Supercard of Honor, he will defend against Roderick Strong. The Forever Hooligans will split up for this taping, as Rocky Romero draws Michael Elgin and Alex Koslov gets Jay Lethal. BJ Whitmer battles Cedric Alexander, and in what will most likely drop jaws, ACH tackles Andrew Everett. Also scheduled to appear are reDRagon, Luke Hawx, Corey Hollis, Mike Posey, Silas Young, Matt Taven, the Romantic Touch, Adam Page, Jimmy Jacobs, Veda Scott, RD Evans, Hanson, Ray Rowe, and TaDarius Thomas.

DGUSA will be back at the McAlister Hall on Saturday with Mercury Rising, and of course, it'll be available on WWN Live. You wanna get your order in by 9 PM Eastern/8 PM local. The iPPV main event will pit Johnny Gargano against Low Ki. I am not sure if Gargano will defend the Open the Freedom Gate Championship if he doesn't drop it to Ricochet, however. The show will also feature a miniature trios tournament to carry on the Dragon Gate Six Man Tradition for Mania weekend. Three qualifier matches will take place: Chris Hero, Masato Tanaka, and Roderick Strong vs. Ricochet, Rich Swann, and AR Fox; Trent?, Anthony Nese, and Caleb Konley vs. Orange Cassidy, Drew Gulak, and Chuck Taylor; and Bravado Bros. and Moose vs. the Colony and Lince Dorado. The three winners from those matches will collide in a triple-trios match to decide the tournament. The SHINE Championship will be defended, Biff Busick and Su Yung will be on the show, and in a special, live-show-only main event, the team of Bad Influence, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian, will take on to-be-determined challengers.

NWA Smoky Mountain debuts at the Hancock County Rescue Squad in Sneedville, TN at 8 PM local time. The event is a fundraiser for the venue, so head on out for a good cause.


Enjoy WrestleMania, folks.

A lot of wrestling is centered around New Orleans this weekend, but you can find it anywhere in the country on any given weekend. It's up to you to find the local gems. Wrestling can only grow if you support it, and besides, your favorite wrestler or company might be already out there. You just don't know it yet.