While this past week’s WWE television began in earnest the build for its next pay per view with a somewhat surprising heel turn for the popular Braun Strowman on Raw and a continuation of issues with Samoa Joe and AJ Styles at Smackdown, the indy wrestling scene is stealing our main spotlight this weekend as last night was the historic “All In” spectacular at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, near Chicago and next Saturday evening Fight For A Miracle 4 is scheduled to take place at Danville Area High School featuring local talent, as well as several famous international stars who are providing a rare opportunity for local fans to see them in action several years after they were featured on national television for WCW, ECW and WWE.
Although last evening’s show near Chicago was scheduled to take place after our deadline, it is still safe to call it a historic event without knowing the match results. It was a show conceived, produced and promoted by a few independent wrestlers for their most ardent and loyal fans without the normal advantage of television penetration in the market that would provide the usual characterizations and storylines formulated to encourage fans to buy tickets or order it on a pay per view format. It was a non-WWE wrestling show that shocked the industry and its fans by selling out a 10,000 seat arena about fifteen minutes after tickets went on sale to the public with no actual card even announced at the time. With the addition of Starcast (think WrestleMania Axxess), a couple of days of wrestling events in a variety of fun formats for fans leading up to All In, it is not a stretch to say this is the biggest indy pro wrestling event in history.
Cody Rhodes, son of the legendary American Dream Dusty Rhodes (which would make him the grandson of a plumber), who made the daring career move a while back of leaving the security of the WWE, where he was not satisfied with his mid to lower card status because he felt he could be a main-event player if given the opportunity, struck out on his own on the indy circuit. He worked for a variety of promotions including ROH and Impact, traveling extensively around the United States as a true independent contractor and even went to Japan to further diversify his wrestling repertoire.
While working for New Japan, he got involved with the popular Young Bucks tag team of Nick and Matt Jackson and the sensational Kenny Omega, who was recently named the number one wrestler in the world by Pro Wrestling Illustrated in their famous PWI top 500 ranking. Suddenly, Cody Rhodes was a versatile performer at or near the top of many wrestling cards and he and the Bucks began imagining potential possibilities. They have turned their dreams into reality with All In.
With the partnership of Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkin fame, who did not let his prior frustrations with TNA sour him on his love for pro wrestling to the point where he sought and bought controlling interest in the historic NWA brand, things fell perfectly into place for Cody as he was scheduled to challenge Nick Aldis for that historically famous version of the world championship on last night’s show in Chicago. If victorious, Cody Rhodes and his famous father Dusty would be the only father-son combination to wear the once and maybe again prestigious top title of the NWA, a hook that many long-time wrestling fans might find hard to elude.
The pre-show was set to air on WGN and would include a battle royal with the winner getting a future shot at the Ring of Honor championship. What used to be impossible ( wrestlers from different promotions working on the same show) has become a reality with All In as wrestlers from Impact , Ring of Honor, New Japan, as well as from a host of other smaller indy groups were all scheduled to work the event. We should have results, the fallout and the speculation next week in this column.
Closer to home, True Wrestling and Love’s Travel Stops present Fight For A Miracle 4 at Danville High School on Saturday, September 8th with local wrestlers and top international stars scheduled to hit the canvas as a fundraiser for the Geisinger Children’s Miracle Network. A meet and greet is set for 5 o’clock and the show gets underway at 6:30 pm with tickets starting at $12. Unbreakable Andy Harner, Tim Rush and Super Crazy will square off in a Three Way Dance. Jason Furious goes toe to toe with Ultimo Dragon, who will have manager Sonny Onno in his corner, while Sam Adams defends his True Wrestling championship against veteran Juventud Guerrera. Tony Deppen, the Kings of Mustachery and Stevie Shields are other local grapplers advertised to be in action on what promises to be a great evening for local pro wrestling fans and all for a great cause. Hope to see you there.