The world of independent professional wrestling is jam-packed with matches of all shapes, sizes, and colours. Every night of the week, promotions across the world run shows for audiences of all sizes, and literally, anything can happen. That level of unpredictability is why I love indy wrestling (and Indi Wrestling but that’s another story) and why I want to spotlight some of the matches that I think other fans should check out. Here are some of my favourite independent wrestling matches from the week of January 23-31, 2023.
Wheeler Yuta vs. Marcus Mathers | Beyond Wrestling Miight Snow
I talk about prodigies often in this column, and both young competitors carry that label, although both are in different stages of their careers. Marcus Mathers calls himself the Young Prodigy, as the gifted young wrestler looks to ascend the independent wrestling scene. Wheeler Yuta, who has already used the indie system to reach its pinnacle and join AEW, now looks to achieve new heights across the wrestling world.
A win for Marcus would certainly increase his indie rep, while Wheeler must have felt the pressure to protect his many accomplishments. This set the stage for a high-stakes, non-championship matchup, and both men delivered. Both prodigious talents have laid the groundwork to be known as premier and beloved wrestlers, while still wanting and scrapping for more and better.
I really enjoyed the defensive wrestling employed at the beginning of this match, as both heady athletes looked for a mistake to capitalize on. A few minutes in, the pace and intensity picked up, as Mathers used his impressive athleticism to fly around the room and deliver a series of pinpoint accurate kicks and big manoeuvres. A highlight of the match was Mathers delivering a tremendous Blue Thunder Bomb into Lionsault combination, which was only good enough for two.
Calm and collected, Yuta stood tall against his younger opponent, punishing him with submission holds. Yuta channelled his Blackpool Combat Club mentors during the match, leaning on expertly placed shots to the body to lead to joint manipulation. Wheeler’s Chicken Wing hold was a near submission, but Mathers chomped down on Yuta’s hand and reached the bottom rope for a break. Marcus was able to respond with a nasty spinning neckbreaker that sent Wheeler’s entire body awkwardly into the ropes.
A natural high-flyer, Mathers hit a terrific dive to outside and followed it up with a 450 splash, but Yuta showed his toughness and was able to kick out. After a great back-and-forth of pin attempts and reversals, Yuta was able to capture Mathers and deliver a nasty pile driver for the win.
For Wheeler Yuta, his return to independent wrestling was a major success. Even in defeat, Mathers looked like he belonged and gained a new goal to avenge his loss. This was an excellent match and showed that Marcus Mathers belonged amongst the highest levels of professional wrestling right alongside Wheeler Yuta.
Lio Rush vs. Alec Price | Beyond Wrestling Miight Snow
Lio Rush is one of the most eclectic and electric members of the professional wrestling community, showing up for brief yet memorable stints all across the world. His talent is undeniable, and this main event match was a treat to watch.
Alec Price came into this match as the ace of Beyond Wrestling and left with another impressive victory on his resume.
The motors on these two athletes are world-class (not a compliment to Channing Thomas) and were at full throttle from moment one in this one. Rush was able to control the match early, but a vicious double stomp from Price, while Rush was caught in the ropes, was the momentum-shifter. Alec delivered his signature face-kick in the corner and leg drop off the top rope looking to secure his hometown win. Rush was able to withstand, then nailed Price with a downright nasty Pele kick. The kick-based offence in this contest was off the charts.
Rush hit Price with an insane combo, first a rolling spear and then Spanish Fly, gaining huge cheers from the Beyond faithful. Late in the match, Price and Rush’s motors were still humming, so both men decided to trade big forearm shots. A spinning back kick into a springboard cutter into a frog splash seemed to be enough for a Lio Rush victory, but the rangy Price had just enough to get a leg on the ropes. The action then entered a new gear, featuring both men going for their respective kill shots. In the end, as has been the case many times, an Alec Price Suprice Kick was the deciding move en route to victory.
Overall this match was a banger, a barn burner, and a blinding blizzard all in one. Go out of your way to check it out, and all the good stuff that Beyond Wrestling/Wrestling Open is doing on IWTV.
If you have an independent wrestling match that you thinks deserves to make this list, comment below or let me know @NoAverageJoel on Twitter.