A few months ago there was an announcement of a SoCal Legends award for B-Boy at AWS. The idea of a new award that would be separate from the year end awards and the hall of fame, to honor exclusively wrestlers who were trained in Southern California and made an impact, and continue to make an impact on the Southern California wrestling scene had been floated. Nothing had been finalized and it was still just a discussion. When you think of a SoCal legend, the first name to come to mind is B-Boy. And even though nothing had been finalized, when a plan was being made for B-Boy’s proposal to his girlfriend at AWS, the proposed legend award was used. Now, nothing had ever been finalized to create another award, but to me there are a few active wrestlers I would consider SoCal legends.
First my criteria on my selections are that they have to be currently active, or semi-active at the least, they had to have started their career before 2000, and they had to come out of Southern California.
Obviously B-Boy would be on the list. He came out of CCW’s Palace of Pain in Vista and made his debut in 1998. Right off the bat he became one of the top wrestlers in the area and won the SoCal rookie of the year award in 1999. Back in that time there were not as many promotions as there are now, and a typical month in Southern California maybe had 1/4th the number of wrestling shows that there are now, so competition was fairly tough to get bookings for wrestlers outside their home promotion. B-Boy’s talent allowed him to start taking bookings throughout Southern California at such promotions like UIWA, IWC, and Rev Pro. He also started working for UPW, and he was actually in the opening match the night John Cena (as Prototype) won his first wrestling championship. By 2001 he had really broken out and if you asked most people who the top three wrestlers in Southern California were, they’d likely say Super Dragon, Frankie Kazarian, and B-Boy. He won wrestler of the year in 2002. He then won it again last year. There has been 3 wrestlers to win wrestler of the year twice. Aside from B-Boy, one is in the SoCal Hall of Fame, the other is the current WWE Raw champion. He has also won match of the year several times. He has maintained a high level for 18 years. I mean this past weekend he had a 42 minute match with Douglas James that was in my opinion probably the best non-PWG match in SoCal this year.
I’m pretty certain that when he was born, Lil’ Cholo did a tope suicida out of the womb. He trained at WPW in Anaheim. There used to not be much of a cross over between the lucha scene and the American style wrestling scene, with Rev Pro really being one of the first to book a lot of lucha talent. Lil’ Cholo was one of the first to make the crossover and wrestle non lucha style wrestlers on a regular basis. WPW would run every Sunday and there was a lot of really bad wrestling taking place there, but you always knew you would get at least one good match, because there would be a Lil’ Cholo match on the card. Like B-Boy, Lil’ Cholo has worked all over, but has always come back to Southern California and has remained at a high level. In fact he may be as good as he’s ever been right now, just check out any of this year’s FCW matches.
The first time I saw Joey “Kaos” Munoz he was tag-teaming with Supreme (who I would add to this list except I have not personally seen any recent matches of his) against The Naybah Hoodz. He and Tech IX both were really impressive in the match and I remember going home and registering for CCW’s message board to make a post about how CCW should have a Kid Kaos versus Cruiser Eddie Williams match. A little bit later XPW started and he joined them and was usually one of the bright spots on some shows that would feature some really bad wrestling at times. XPW really made him a name on the indy scene, but after XPW ended the quality of his matches kept getting better. His match with B-Boy at AWS in 2014 won that year’s match of the year award. As a wrestler he looks as good as ever right now. I’m also just basing this on being a wrestler. If I was to talk about how great for Southern California the Santino Bros. Wrestling Academy has been I’d need several more paragraphs.
The fourth name I’d mention is Brawlin’ Bo Cooper. He was trained at EWF and wrestled his first match (as The Hangman) in 1996. Since his debut he has wrestled all over the United States and in Mexico. In Southern California he was a long time main-stay in EWF, and his performance in Battleground Pro earned him a wrestler of the year nomination in 2007. He has also had nice runs in Fit Pro and Vendetta Pro, and still wrestles regularly in MPW. Anyone who manages to survive in indy wrestling 20 years is a legend in my book (and likely borderline crazy).
I finally had a chance to check out the APW Young Lions Cup that Gold Rush Pro held last weekend. As most probably know from the story we had up on the site the other day, Brody King won the tournament and in doing so became the first wrestler from a Southern California school to win. I thought he did really good in the tournament but the wrestler who really impressed me was Dicky Maier. I admittedly haven’t seen much of his work in Southern California outside a couple of matches in Championship Wrestling from Hollywood, but I thought he was excellent. His match with Ju Dizz in the semi finals (Ju Dizz was great as well) was my match of the night.
With December being a little lighter on shows because of the holidays, I want to open up the site for anyone interested in doing any guest columns. I thought there was some good stuff when Jay turned his column over to guest writers earlier in the year and I’m hoping we can do that on a larger scale next month. A few people I’ve spoken to privately have committed to contribute already, but I want to open it up to anyone. Wrestlers, fans, promoters, whatever. The only restrictions would be to somehow tie it into wrestling in the area. If you are interested message us on social media or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first few webpolls for the 2016 year end awards will be starting in December too. Be sure to register on the message board in order to cast your vote.