In this edition of Real Talk, I take a look at several workers who would do really well in PWG. Click to find out who I think should be in PWG. My opinion matters. It’s very important. Sorry but you’re not allowed to disagree. I make the rules now.
Before I start, I based my thoughts on a certain criteria on what I think gets performers over in PWG. You can be a solid worker, but that just isn’t enough to make it in PWG. They are on the radar of so many people in the wrestling business, and for good reason. In order to make it to PWG, you have to have offense that gets you to stand out, a dynamic personality, and the ability to put on great matches month after month. Plus having a cool gimmick/character helps out a lot too. Just because you can do spots doesn’t mean you’re gonna get in. PWG is on a level of its own, and very few people can be on that level.
The quality of shows in recent years has helped PWG gain popularity, and it is all thanks to the endless amount of world-class performers that pass through the American Legion Hall Post #308 in Reseda. While PWG brings in great talent from around the world, the guys they bring in aren’t always the best. What inspired me to write this article was my reactions to a match in PWG. It was Marty Scurll vs. Jay White. I watched this about a month ago and I was bored during the entire match. I got tired of it and just started writing this article because I truly believed that there were guys in SoCal that could do better than this.
Over the last few years, PWG shows have been lacking performers from Southern California aside from the Young Bucks. There are many factors as to why this is, but the biggest reason is that a lot of these guys aren’t on the radars of people outside of those in this little SoCal/West Coast bubble we’re in. The area has good talent, but they’re not getting noticed. Why? Well, that’s a topic for another column.
Back to my main point; I think there are several guys in SoCal who would succeed in PWG if given the chance. The wrestlers that I mention in this article have the things that it would take for them to succeed in PWG.
When I was making this list, the first person who came to mind was Eli Everfly. After coming up short for the award in 2015, Eli was named the winner of the prestigious Paul T. Memorial Award for Most Outstanding Wrestler in 2016. For those who don’t know what that means, it means he was the best in-ring performer in SoCal that year. In 2017, Eli is looking like he could be another contender for the award as he has been having a tremendous year inside the ring.
Eli brings a really fun style with cool high flying offense that the fans of PWG love. At this point in his career, he could hang with the guys on the PWG roster. There are tons of guys on the roster who can base for his high flying offense, so I could see him having great matches with anyone he’s booked with. He’s also someone who is willing to take crazy risks to entertain the crowd, which also gives him an edge over most workers in SoCal. His style was designed for PWG, and I truly believe that he could thrive in the promotion.
Aside from Eli Everfly, there’s no other guy in SoCal more qualified to be in PWG than Joe Heiken. A veteran of WWA4, Beyond Wrestling, IWA-MS, and CWF Mid Atlantic, Heiken is no stranger to audiences across the country. In recent months, Heiken has been winning over audiences here in SoCal after he began working for Finest City Wrestling in San Diego.
What really makes Heiken the sorta guy who would do really well in PWG is that he’s he’s really good in several departments. His in ring style would win over the fans, and his blindfolded Kung-Fu master character is something that feels natural for a place like Reseda. I truly think Heiken would make a really good addition to PWG’s undercard at the moment. I could also see him becoming a star in a few years if he continues to evolve.
Fresh off an appearance at Arena Mexico for DragonMania, Adrian Quest has been wowing audiences in places like EWF, FCW, AWS, and has been having some good matches in Championship Wrestling From Hollywood under the masked persona “Astro Viajero” where he teams with Espiritu (Fidel Bravo) as the Spirit and the Stars.
Like the previously mentioned wrestlers in this article, Adrian Quest is a guy with the sort of high-flying move set that would get him over with the PWG audience. Along with being able to do moves like a 630, Quest also has some pretty solid technical wrestling skills. If I had to describe him to people who have never seen him, I’d say he’s like a young T.J. Perkins with flashier offense. He would also make a great addition to PWG’s tag team division with his partner Andy Brown.
Speaking of Quest’s tag team partner, Andy Brown is another guy who I think could do really well in PWG. Along with his tag team work with Quest, Brown performs really well in singles matches. While Andy Brown isn’t much of a high flyer like the other guys on this list are, he’s capable of having really fun matches. He would fit in well with PWG’s undecard.
One of the biggest strengths Andy Brown has is his natural charisma and personality. Along with having a likable personality, he’s got a dynamic move set that would allow him to put on fun performances on PWG shows with a variety of wrestlers. Like I said, Andy is a versatile worker who can put on good singles matches, but the team of him and Adrian Quest would be a really good addition to PWG’s tag team division.
After winning the award for the 2016 SoCal Rookie of the Year, Brody King has been on a tear in SoCal and abroad. Along with being featured in headline matches for AWS and FCW, Brody has recently earned a spot in the rising Texas based promotion WrestleCircus.
A product of the Santino Bros Wrestling Academy, Brody has a really good modern heavyweight style. Along with obvious size and strength, Brody is very agile and can base well for high flyers. He also brings a unique presence to the table. Next to Eli Everfly and Joe Heiken, I think he could be a star in PWG if given the opportunity. His style is very dynamic, and it would most likely help him mesh with most of PWG’s roster. From guys like Michael Elgin, to guys like Lio Rush, there are tons of cool possibilities for Brody in PWG.
Despite being the least experienced in-ring performer of the group, Jake Atlas is one of the few pro wrestlers in the SoCal area that has crazy agility athleticism. He seems to have no issues with being able to do high flying spots. Knowing the PWG crowd, they’d more than likely enjoy his work. His match against Tito Escondido on CWFH Episode 314 was really good as well. I highly recommend people check it out on the Fite TV app.
I debated as to whether I should’ve included Jake in this list. Mostly because he’s still young in wrestling and being in PWG is a huge step up. Even Dave Maltzer says ROH guys work harder in PWG because it leads to more worldwide offers. While it would probably be a lot of pressure for someone of Jake’s experience, I think he’s solid enough to have fun matches on PWG undercards. But even if he isn’t ready now, he can still be someone who is on the PWG-level in a year or two as he is always improving.
Thoughts on if other SoCal workers could do well in PWG
Now I’m sure most people will read this column and go “hey, what about *insert name here*?” Well, I’ll be honest. There’s a lot of guys in SoCal who are good, but I don’t list some for several reasons.
Mike Camden for example is a guy who could probably do well in PWG based on what I’ve seen. I haven’t seen a lot of his recent stuff though, so I don’t know if he’s living up to his potential. If he is, I think he’d be a solid addition to PWG. Tito Escondido is another guy who could hang in PWG, but there wasn’t enough recent footage that showcases him well to put int his article. Still, he’s a guy who could have some really fun matches in PWG with a variety of workers.
There is also a reason why one guy specifically didn’t get listed.
A lot of people read this and probably though “why wasn’t Douglas James listed?” Some probably realize why, others might not. To sum it up, he signed a contact with another promotion in the area. The contract makes him exclusive to them. He can still work for shows promoted by the Santino Bros. Wrestling Academy, but he can now only be seen in a company that a lot of PWG fans are probably not aware of.
I started writing this column about a month ago before news of him signing broke. Once it did, I pretty much shrugged and deleted what I wrote. I don’t know if there’s anything in it that would allow him to work for PWG, and because of that I left him off this list. Hopefully the contact isn’t long or something comes up, because I think D.J. would be a solid addition to PWG too.
There are also a lot of guys in SoCal who are good but didn’t get listed. It isn’t because some of these guys suck. They just didn’t get listed because they’re either lacking in the sorta stuff that helps people standout in PWG, or are a year or two away from being on a PWG-level. I also think there are tons of SoCal guys who would do really well if they made their PWG returns, but this isn’t the article for that.
With all that said, I believe the guys I listed above would do well in PWG. Hopefully if/when PWG starts bringing in local talent, those six guys (as well as the others mentioned below) would bring a lot to the table. Not only do I think they would do well in PWG, I also believe all these guys have the ability to become stars on the independent wrestling scene outside of SoCal.