Talking about the most important show of the weekend, some other show, a promoter crying about the problem their peers created, and a fun match.
AWS is celebrating their 15th Anniversary this weekend, fuckers.
On March 23rd, 2002, the AWS wrestling promotion was born when they co-promoted an event with local Lucha Libre promotion FMLL. The main event would feature La Parka and Shocker going over the team of Super Boy and Captain Oro. The semi-main event saw Essa Rios defeat Piloto Suicida, and also saw current AWS Tag Team Champions B-Boy going over Lil’ Cholo. In the years after, Bart Kapitzke would promote events in the corner of the warehouse where the Frank & Son Collectible Show is located in the City Of Industry, and AWS would grow into one of Southern California’s most prominent wrestling promotions as the years went by. Along with shows, Bart also ran a booth, the Alternative Wrestling Shop, that was a haven for local fans at the time looking for merchandise or VHS tapes of various Puroresu, Lucha Libre, old ECW events, and US Indy shows, giving the fans in the local area more access to be able to check out wrestling from all over the world.
The Frank & Son era of AWS featured events that showcased a wide variety of talent in addition to the local stars that are prominently featured on its shows. Lucha Libre stars such as Mil Mascaras, Konnan, Super Astro, Super Boy, Dos Caras, Blue Panther, El Canek, Pscicosis, Rey Mysterio, Sr., Felino, and more appeared in an AWS during these years. Internationally known performers of all different backgrounds such as the “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson, Nosawa, Damian 666, Manny Fernandez, Francine, Sonjay Dutt, Ruckus, TARU, Colt Cabana, Kikuzawa (also known as Kikutaro), and more had made appearances during this time period as well. The Frank & Son era AWS shows also played host to what was the closest fans of the east coast based Combat Zone Wrestling and the defunct SoCal based Xtreme Pro Wrestling would get to an inter-promotional feud between the two rival deathmatch promotions in 2004 when CZW stars Messiah, Wifebeater, and Adam Flash in a bloody feud against Santino Brother’s Wrestling Academy trainer Mongol and former XPW stars Supreme and Kaos, with Dynamite D playing a part in the storyline. Also during this time, future WWE superstars Karl Anderson and Fergal Devitt (now known Finn Balor) made various appearances on AWS events at Frank & Son’s when AWS was an affiliate of the local NWA Pro group that was headed up by David Marquez.
In 2007, Bart would open up an actual storefront for the Alternative Wrestling Shop across the street from where the Frank & Son Collectible Show was located. The shop would be the home of the AWS Wrestling School, where TJ Perkins and Johnny Paradise taught. Bart would begin running events in the parking lot of his business while also renting out the space to bands for concerts. During this era, Bart would set himself apart from other local promotions by booking several three-ring, World War 3 Battle Royal style matches, including one that featured 150 competitors. Bart would also begin to rejuvenate the women’s wrestling scene in Southern California when he began promoting women’s tournaments, with the first taking place in 2009 that saw Candice LeRae become the first AWS Women’s Champion while also launching a women’s division to his promotion that has grown through the years, making it a staple of AWS shows. AWS would also partner up with the Empire Wrestling Federation during this era to present a series of events called “United Forces.” Eventually AWS would head back to the Frank & Son Collectible Show for a few shows in 2012 before ending up in their current home in South Gate. Future NXT stars Shane Haste (Shane Thorne) and Mikey Nicholls (Nick Miller) also made appearances in AWS during this era.
The most important aspect about AWS, however, has always been the promotion’s history of showcasing Southern California’s top local stars throughout its years alongside big name draws such as the above mentioned Lucha Libre legends, as well as former ECW stars such as Sabu and Raven. Nearly every top star in the Southern California area had been a part of AWS, whether it’d be the Frank & Son era, the parking lot era, or the current one. Wrestlers such as Super Dragon, B-Boy, Joey Ryan, Samoa Joe, Scorpio Sky, Frankie Kazarian, Scott Lost, the Young Bucks, Lil’ Cholo, Ricky Reyes, Rocky Romero, Human Tornado, T.J. Perkins, Los Luchas, Willie Mack, Ryan Taylor, and more have been part of AWS in the past. These days, top SoCal wrestlers such as Tyler Bateman, Ray Rosas, Tito Escondido, Douglas James, Eli Everfly, Brody King, Adrian Quest, Andy Brown, and look to take AWS to another level. Surviving in independent wrestling, especially in Southern California, is a difficult thing to do. Very few have been able to keep themselves going for more than five years, and even less have survived to make it close to their 10th anniversary,. AWS has not only withstood the test of time, but it has also proven itself to be a very vital asset to the Southern California wrestling scene. When Bart put the promotion on hiatus in 2015, a huge void was created in the SoCal scene, especially in the Los Angeles area. On August 25th, 2016, after almost a year of inactivity, Bart brought AWS out of hibernation when he presented AWS’ 14th anniversary event aptly titled “For The Fans,” thus filling the void in the Southern California scene that had been left after AWS’ hiatus. Since then, AWS has put on several events that have received lots of praise and positive feedback from fans.
On March 25th, 2017, AWS will be celebrating its 15th anniversary with an event that features a wide variety of talent of all backgrounds such as former ECW star Blue Meanie, who will be in a tag match involving H.A.T.E’s Rico Dynamite and Tito Escondido, as well as AAA and Lucha Underground star Taya Valkyrie facing SoCal favorite Ruby Raze. There are also matches such as the 2016 SoCal Rookie Of The Year Brody King taking on Jeckles The Jester, Buggy Nova facing former TNA wrestler Raquel, and a Four Way Match for the AWS Lightweight Championship featuring SoCal Crazy taking on Mariachi Loco, Suede Thompson, and Eli Everfly. Plus former AWS Tag Team Champions Los Luchas,, Phoenix Star & Zokre, will be going up against former AWS Heavyweight Champion Human Tornado and his partner, one of SoCal’s brightest prospects, Adrian Quest in tag team action.
Then you got a few other matches that could end up being in the Top 5 matches of the month in the SCU monthly rankings. Ray Rosas vs. Douglas James, two of SoCal’s most consistent performers in terms of in-ring quality, seem like they could have a great match with each other based on their styles of work. To be totally honest with you people this shit might end up being the match of the night. I’m really interested in seeing what these guys will do together in the ring and how their match turns out. Then we have the other two AWS championship matches set to take place that night. The AWS Heavyweight Championship match between defending champ Tyler Bateman and challenger Ryan Taylor could be really awesome. Much like Rosas/James, I think these two have styles that would blend really well with each other’s, and that should result in a great match being produced by these guys. And not to be neglected, the AWS Tag Team Championship match featuring champions B-Boy & Lil’ Cholo (who were also AWS’ first tag team champions) taking on the random but interesting team of Brian Cage & Willie Mack should make for a nutty experience featuring cool spots. Both these matches, along with Rosas vs. James all look to be great matches and worth the price of admission alone.
If you’re interested in attending this event, check out the Facebook event page for this show to get ticket information, and check out the SCU events page for details. This event is without a doubt the most historically significant and most meaningful wrestling show to take place this weekend, as it is a true celebrating of not just the hard work and sacrifices made by Bart Kapitzke and his team, but also a celebration of the Southern California independent wrestling scene past, present, and future. If you’re able to attend this show, try to do so.
Promoters in glass venues shouldn’t throw stones.
I was on Facebook last week, and an interesting post came up on my news feed from someone who promotes shows in the area after a friend commented on it. I figured that it was so thought-provoking and would be interesting to discuss on this site. Now I won’t name the person who wrote this, as I don’t want to put them or their promotion on blast. Plus they already hate me enough as it is because I don’t go to shows that don’t appeal to me or have no time to attend (because important family priorities>indy wrestling shows in shitty neighborhoods), and speak my mind honestly on things I do know about. I’m not going to get into that more, but I am just going to get into why I think this following comment from that person was really, really fucking silly.
Every Week I see these polls coming out for Rankings for Women’s Wrestlers and every week they are missing one thing Women West of the Mississippi! If your not including these women your polls are a joke!
Actually, the real joke here is that these things are not the fault of things like “East Coast Bias” or anything, but the fault of promoters putting no effort into expanding their audience outside of their home base and social media followers.
The west coast independent wrestling scene has been neglected for years by various wrestling media outlets when it comes to things like coverage or recognition because of how promoters out here suck at spreading the word of their promotions. This is not a new phenomenon. Part of the reason why is because the west coast scene has been behind the east coast and midwest areas for decades now is because nobody here knows how to promote outside of their bubbles. Aside from Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (and in the past, XPW), west coast independent wrestling promotions FUCKING SUCK AT GETTING THE WORD OUT THERE ABOUT THEIR SHOWS AND TALENT. It’s that simple.
In the past few years, more and more workers have been filming their own matches and promoting themselves, but really the lack of recognition for west coast talent, male or female, falls directly on the shoulders of one specific group of people and that’s the promoters themselves. The person who wrote that comment above has only held a few shows, so it isn’t fair to just place all the blame on that person for the lack of west coast names being put on stupid rankings lists that nobody gives two fucking shits about (SCU’s rankings are the only ones that matter, bitches). This person is going about things in a counter-productive way. Instead of bitching and turning to their Facebook friends to look for reassurance that the west coast is being ignored cause of ‘east coast bias” and such, they should be stepping their shit up while rallying other promoters to do the same for their talent.
This shit doesn’t apply to just this one promoter, it applies to so many others here on the west coast. Here in SoCal, nobody is putting their shit out there aside from PWG and PCW. EWF sometimes posts videos on Youtube, but they’ve slowed down on those in the last year. Everyone else in SoCal either has their thumbs up their asses or aren’t doing a good job at letting people know they have shit they can watch. Nobody in SoCal is streaming their events or promoting iPPVs. Instead all we have are small-time promoters doing nothing but bitching on social media about certain things that are only happening because they’re not doing their fucking jobs right. This shit is madness! I’m not going to speak for the rest of the wrestling regions “West of the Mississippi” as some places (like NorCal for instance) do a much better job at getting their shit out for people to see, but the promoters who run here in SoCal need to step the fuck up and earn their recognition instead of going Facebook to complain about the lack of it.
Match Of The Column
The Match Of The Column is a surprisingly fun match in Lucas Riley vs. Daniel Torch from Maverick Pro’s March 18th, 2017 event I watched this while at work this morning on FanDeLucha’s YouTube account and found myself entertained by this match. The ring announcer fucking sucks a lot though. Check it out bitches.