The Indie 52 is back. The world of independent professional wrestling [indie] 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.
This week I went a little hardcore with my matches, as doors and danger abound in these Ohio-based brawls. Here are some of my favourite independent wrestling matches from the week of February 1-6, 2023.
The Rascalz vs. Second Gear Crew | No Disqualification Match | Wrestling Revolver: Night At The Moxbury
When Jon Moxley warns the crowd that a match is going to be a wild one, you know that you’re about to see some shit go down. A first-time-ever trios dream match, this was the definition of a wild one, full of everything I personally love about over-the-top, crowd juicing, high-spot pro wrestling.
The Rascalz’s high-flying and innovative offence gave them an early advantage, but the tough SOBs of SGC battled back, taking the fight to the outside. Doors, table fragments, and an extra guard rail were pulled out from under the ring, setting up a glorious playground of plunder. After getting passed around like a bottle by SGC, Trey Miguel was the first combatant sent through a door, but he was not nearly the last. A bloodied Zachary Wentz turned the tables, by introducing a ladder into the match, just adding to the chaos. Wentz was able to ride his ladder onto the three members of SGC underneath, getting just a two count.
This began another run of The Rascalz utilizing their tandem offence, which was broken up by the chair and door-swinging madman Matthew Justice. Then everything went crazy, and the action became too fast to write down. The match spilled into the crowd, for more madness. Trey Miguel ascended the scaffolding in the back of the house and took out a crowd of wrestlers with a gorgeous moonsault. Then in a stroke of mad evil genius, the SGC carried the aforementioned scaffolding to the ring, just after removing the floor padding. Justice and Wentz climbed the scaffolding and delivered back-to-back splashes from way up high. The Young GOAT Myron Reed was able to dive out of the ring and nail Justice with an amazing cutter to the outside.
If all of that mess wasn’t enough, for you, the ending provided one more explosive moment. Trey Miguel somehow set Manders face on fire and that was finally enough to get someone down for a three count. Holy smokes just writing that tired me out, and way more madness occurred in between the spaces in this bonkers match. The crowd was so into this, and for good reason. After the match, all six wrestlers shared a well-deserved beer and a huge ovation. Both teams possess their unique fighting styles and skill sets, and the juxtaposition made this fight special and fun. The true professional tough guys, these six athletes went through a lot in this match and it is certainly worth a watch.
Derek Dillinger (c) vs. Wes Barkley vs. Paul London vs. Joey Janela | AIW Intense Championship Match
If you ever wanted to see former three-time WWE tag team champion serenade the crowd with a minutes-long vocal performance, this match is the one for you. Paul London made his AIW return in this championship contest and treated the fans to his rendition of an unidentified old-timey crooner’s love ballad while entering the ring. The crowd was confused but respected the dedication to the art of performance. In true bad-boy fashion, Joey Janela responded by singing a short tune about how large his package is. This was a strange prelude into what would become an equally strange and highly entertaining mess of a match.
The Intense Champion Derek Dillinger set the tone early, stuffing a cold hot dog into Janela’s mouth, unknown where the singular sausage originated from. There was also a great amount of garbage that was tossed and swung around and into the wrestler, in the cruder and grimier sections of the match.
Back into the ring, the four wrestlers beat the smack out of one another, nailing each other with fists, door fragments, and anything else brought by the fans.
Dillinger was accompanied by Ziggy Haim, who was armed with a tennis racket and ready to full Stefi Gras on Janela. The Bad Boy was prepared and raised his finger guns onto Haim. Ziggy then, unfortunately, ate a Wes Barkley and non-breaking table sandwich, as Janela hit Barkley into her with rocking Death Valley Driver. Janela again tried to break the door by placing it over Barkley and hitting them with a top rope double stomp, but the table won that battle remaining in perfect condition.
London has made his return two wrestling in recent months but flashes his veteran skills and high-flying ability with a nice swanton dive to the outside in an early highlight. He also dunked the champion Dillinger in a koi pond in the venue, an interesting mixture of Michael Scott and generic high school movie bully. London delivered an impressive double stomp splash manoeuvre that resulted in damage dealt to all three of his opponents.
At the end of all this chaos, Dillinger was able to retain his belt with some help from the belt. Dillinger stomped Maserati into the belt to pick up the victory. In truth, everyone involved was a crowd favorite, which can result in an electric crowd that fuels a memorable match.
If you have an independent wrestling match that you thinks deserves to make this list, comment below or let me know @NoAverageJoel on Twitter.