Real Talk 29: With Pleather

Taking a look at PWG’s lineup for their next show, and some thoughts on the future of Maverick Wrestling.

(Update 2/16/19: In  light of current events regarding LTP, I retract everything I’ve said about him and implore promoters not to use him or anyone who is under investigation for, or has committed sexual acts on a minor.)

Before I start, I demand you all go read the 2018 SoCal Sprawler Awards. MMA in SoCal is way better than Pro Wrestling in SoCal. Don’t even bother wasting your time reading this article about and go read my article about MMA fights. There are videos with knockouts too! Who doesn’t love a good knockout? A terrible person. That’s who. Don’t be a terrible person. Go read now!

PWG’s lineup for next week: Proof that the independent scene is still full of talent

You know what’s amazing? Despite many fans fearing the talent pool in the independent wrestling scene is drying up because of top stars getting signed to WWE deals, PWG has continued to book stacked lineups that remind everyone that there are still tons of great workers on the independent scene right now.

For those who don’t know it, here’s the lineup for PWG’s Hand of Doom next week in Los Angeles:

PWG World Title Match: Jeff Cobb (c) vs. Trevor Lee

PWG World Tag Team Title Match: The Rascalz (Zachary Wentz & Dezmond Xavier) (c) vs. Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent?)

Bandido vs. Flip Gordon

Laredo Kid & Rey Horus vs. LAX (Ortiz & Santana)

Robbie Eagles vs. Jonathan Gresham

DJ Z vs. Puma King

Jungle Boy vs. Brody King

This lineup for Hand of Doom is certainly proof that PWG is still in touch with what today’s wrestling landscape, as well as knowing what their audience wants to see. It is also proof that the independent wrestling scene’s talent pool is still deep. Nearly every match on this card has the potential to be an early MOTYC.

The two matches on this show I think everyone should keep their eyes on the most should be Brody King vs. Jungle Boy and Bandido vs. Flip Gordon. Bandido is probably in the Top 5 when it comes to best in-ring performers in the world right now. He’s one of the few performers in wrestling that when I come across a match of his, I’ll make time to watch it. Flip Gordon has been growing as a performer, and over the past year, he has become one of the best workers in independent wrestling. I can see these two meshing very well and putting on a crazy match.

Then you have this great looking match featuring two SoCal products: Brody King vs. Jungle Boy. Ever since he debuted at GCW’s LA Confidential in November 2018, Jungle Boy has become independent wrestling’s latest breakout star. Jungle Boy has been turning heads and is poised to become a headline performer in the next few years the same way Brody King did in 2018. On paper, this is a great match with two guys who could easily adapt to each other’s style. I truly believe this match has all the potential to be a show-stealer, and possibly one that puts Jungle Boy on more people’s radars.

The rest of the lineup for PWG’s Hand of Doom also looks great. Jeff Cobb vs. Trevor Lee should be a fun one, and possibly a good sendoff for Trevor Lee if the reports of him being WWE bound in the near future are true. The tag team title match also has the potential to be a crazy match. Trent? and Chuck are always entertaining in PWG, and I think The Rascalz are the best tag team in wrestling at the moment next to LAX and the Young Bucks. DJ Z vs. Puma King should also be a fun match, as well as Gresham/Eagles. Speaking of LAX, their match with Laredo Kid and Rey Horus should be awesome as well.

Tickets are still available for the show. I don’t know how many are left, but if I didn’t have non-wrestling plans on the night of the show I’d buy a ticket. If you’re free on January 18th and haven’t been to a PWG show because the shows would always sell out quickly, this is the perfect time to grab one and head to a show.

LTP

(Update 2/16/19: In  light of current events regarding LTP, I retract everything I’ve said about him and implore promoters not to use him or anyone who is under investigation for, or has committed sexual acts on a minor.)

Maverick

“The thought of (a) new brand name had some appeal, but ultimately the word ‘Maverick’ was very much in line with the vision of the brand, our fans, and the personalities of the leadership group.”-Brandon Ficara, owner of Maverick

If you haven’t heard by now, Maverick Pro is now just Maverick. They also made several changes to their staff.

Taking over as booker and head of talent development will be Paul London. Killer Kross, the promotion’s champion, will also be taking a role with the promotion as a “brand ambassador.” I’m not sure what responsibilities that will come with it, but okay. The promotion also announced its operations will be handled by Paul McGee. Josh Goldstein, who has been with the promotion before Brandon Ficara purchased Maverick Pro, will be the Director of Business Development. The promotion’s first event after being rebranded will take place sometime in March 2019 at a CrossFit gym in Culver City.

I’ve had numerous conversations with Maverick owner Brandon Ficara after he became the majority owner of Maverick Pro in 2018. During my conversations with him, Ficara, who is now the full owner of Maverick, often told me his main goal with Maverick was to help elevate the scene and put on awesome shows. Also during my conversations with him, he acknowledged the hardships he’d be facing with Maverick given the negative publicity that was associated with the company in the past. He came across as passionate and willing to listen to feedback for the sake of bettering his product. While I do feel Brandon Ficara has a huge hill to climb before he can fix the previously tarnished reputation of Maverick, he’s taken a few steps in the right direction to clean it up.

The biggest improvement I think Ficara has made to his promotion so far was hiring Paul London to be the booker. In the past, one of the biggest criticisms I had about Maverick Pro was the poor booking and lack of direction the company had. Now I don’t know if Paul London will be a good booker or not, but I do think having someone with experience in the wrestling business is a better choice than the inexperienced bookers Maverick Pro had been using in the past. While I don’t know much about Paul McGee’s background, I don’t think keeping Josh Goldstein will benefit the promotion. As for Kross’ role as brand ambassador? Who knows how that will play out. I always felt the title “brand ambassador” was a blanket term to describe people who don’t really do anything but are associated with a company.

With all that said, the biggest thing about all this is the choice of Paul London as the booker. I think that is the biggest make or break factor in whether or not Maverick becomes a success under Brandon Ficara’s ownership. It’s hard to predict what will happen or what direction the product will go in with London as booker, but I do have some hope that the product will show some improvements with the move.

 

About the Author

Andrew
SoCal's favorite son.