I know I’m selfish. I live in Tampa, home to several amazing independent wrestling promotions, FIP, Shine and Evolve, to name a few. But, what can I say, selfishness has to be put up with because there is no hope for a cure: I want more. Yes, I can travel, and I have to see other wrestling shows, but funds and time are not readily available for that sort of thing. If I could have my way, I truly wish the following 3 wrestling companies would stop by Central Florida. So, in no particular order, here is my wish list:
1) Ring of Honor: the super indie, has been around since 2002 and it started off with alacrity with Low Ki, Christopher Daniels and Bryan Danielson all in their first year class. Since that time ROH, has been home to almost every incredible male wrestler you can name: Colt Cabana, Kevin Steen, Claudio Castagnoli, El Generico, Jimmy Jacobs, ACH and Tyler Black are just a few of my favorites. While ROH routinely travels, Florida is rarely on their road map with the promotion having made only two stops to Florida in its existence. Seeing Ring of Honor live is really that amazing; it’s like having your eyeballs go on complete sensory overload and eventually explode. As far as TV viewing goes, the production value and camera work on ROH is abysmal. Even if the production was top notch, TV just can’t capture the incredible athleticism displayed in almost every match. Even their dark matches are mind blowing; and I mean you, Romantic Touch!
2) Pro Wrestling Guerilla: This is the wrestlers, wrestling promotion and it features tremendous athletic skill along with a sense of lightheartedness that reminders the viewer: wrestling is supposed to be fun! Created in 2003, PWG primarily wrestles out of Los Angeles with some limited travel overseas. Their current roster has tremendous diversity in style including Chris Hero, Candice LeRea and Ricochet to name a few. High flying, grappling, luchador, ground and pound, extreme…whatever you can think of they have it. Also, any dream match one can possibly conjure up and chances are, PWG has already done it. Want to see Roderick Strong and Rob Van Damn in a 3 way match with Chris Hero (you know you do)? How about legends like Terry Funk and Dusty Rhodes go at it? PWG is any fantasy booking, keyboard jockey’s delight.
3) Absolute Intense Wrestling: This wonderful little promotion has an all-star cast of the best male and female wrestlers across the country and an alumni roster to rival the WWE. Working out of Strongsville, Ohio (yup that is the actual name of the town!), AIW is famous for many things but most of all the diversity of their live events including all women’s events, inter-gender, extreme matches and all sorts of wacky hijinks. While there are probably millions of wrestling promotions in Ohio, the heartland of pro-wrestling, AIW certainly stands out as one of the best in the country.
So, dear wrestling promotions, I can’t promise you any money, wealth, fame or fortune for paying your fans in Tampa, Florida a visit. I can commit to Arnold Palmers and Cuban sandwiches along with my eternal gratitude!