Many people have Bucket Lists full of things they want to do before they die like dream holidays, meeting celebrities but me being a massive wrestling geek realised mine comprised of things all in some way linked to wrestling. So this got me thinking recently of who I really want to see wrestle before I die or they retire, so thought it might be fun to share them with you and see who makes it onto your lists. I have been lucky enough to see some great wrestlers live from both the UK and Worldwide wrestling scene but there are still a stupid amount of wrestlers I want or NEED to see wrestle in person, so here is a list of some and what makes me want to see them.
ZACK SABRE JR
Sabre Jr is possibly one of if not the hottest talents in the world right now, he has amazing technical and submission skills which have become known worldwide especially that Arm Bar of his. He has a kind of old school mixed with modern style which needs to be seen to be believied, recent standouts from the man hailing from the Isle Of Sheppey include winning both the PWG Battle Of Los Angeles and WXW 16 Carat Gold tournaments which both are highly thought of in the world of independent wrestling. Zack has shown he can adapt to match up against different styles of opponents, also tagging with the likes of Big Daddy Walter and Tommaso Ciampa showing how competent he is in tag matches as well as dominating singles wrestling. With a trip to The Electric Ballroom, Camden for PROGRESS Wrestling in July and a trip to Germany for Westside Xtreme Wrestling on the cards I’m really hoping to tick Sabre Jr off my list by the end of the year.
The Aerial Assassin has taken the world by storm in the last year and recently signed for the prestigious New Japan promotion, I have seen plenty of his matches on several demand services and YouTube but I think seeing him in person is a must for any wrestling fan in the world. His run with Jimmy Havoc in PROGRESS and matches with Marty Scurll in PROGRESS and REVPRO have been nothing short of breath-taking, they didn’t go unnoticed as he got to show his talents on a worldwide scale when TNA upon him to take part in their UK Tour in January. Some of the moves Ospreay has been performing have been unbelievable, especially his 630 Splash from the top rope which is a thing of beauty. It’s great to see a British wrestler being thought of so highly and getting to perform in one of the greatest wrestling promotions in the world, I’m hoping he gets to reach the highest level possible and add more World Title’s to his CV.
Long before we got to know and love Mr Owens there was another Kevin who tore up the independent wrestling scene, same man but a different surname Kevin Steen!! After stumbling across him whilst watching a Ring Of Honor show I was instantly hooked, Steen was an absolute beast on the microphone and equally as dominant in the ring. I then went trawling the internet and watched as much of Kevin Steen as possible and filling my wardrobe with his shirts, his matches with El Generico were some of the best I have ever seen and his teaming with The Young Bucks saw a different side of Steen. Upon hearing of his signing to WWE my first thought was “Please let him be himself” and to my surprise they have done exactly that, all be it under a different name he carried on where he left off in the independents. With WWE announcing that they are bringing live tapings of both Raw and Smackdown to Glasgow I snapped up my ticket’s and am now hoping Vince and Triple H wrap Owen’s in bubble wrap or cotton wool so he doesn’t pick up any injuries.
Wherever Chris Hero has wrestled he has made a great impact, be that CZW, ROH, NXT or PWG to name a few. An over 10 year veteran of the pro wrestling game he has been a part of some amazing matches and moments including the monumental CZW vs ROH war back in 2006, teaming with Claudio Castagnoli (Cesaro) as the Kings Of Wrestling, his run as Kassius Ohno in NXT and then his triumphant return to the independent scene. I was drawn to his hard hitting no nonsense style and love how it seems like he leaves everything in the ring each time he has a match. With Discovery Wrestling in Edinburgh announcing that he will be at their show on July 16th this means he will soon be removed from this list, so long as I can secure myself a ticket, would love to see him take on either Joe Coffey or the stupidly talented BT Gunn.
Until I found Lucha Underground online had only read about Pentagon Jr and am now so glad I got to see a match of his, he is so brutal in the ring it is hard to describe. His match at Ultima Lucha against the legendary Vampiro is a must see for anyone who has never seen Pentagon Jr before, it had all hardcore fans want blood, fire and wrestling!! After seeing him in Lucha Underground I needed to see more, upon hearing he had been announced for PWG BOLA 2015 I got all 3 nights on DVD and yet again was not let down by Pentagon Jr, his match against Zack Sabre Jr was phenomenal and had me jumping off my sofa whilst watching. I’m holding out that he brings his “Cero Miedo” mentality over to the UK again sometime soon as a dream match that I would love to see would be Pentagon Jr vs Mikey Whiplash, someone please make this happen somewhere other than inside my head!!
The Gentleman Jack Gallagher is one of European wrestling’s hidden gems and I expect to see him pop up on other continents very soon, if not I will be very surprised. He is one of the best technical wrestlers I have seen in a long time, this was on show in all its glory during the Tetsujin tournament last November in Liverpool which he came out as the winner, if you’ve not seen this make sure you check it out as Jack was unbelievably good during the whole tournament. Not only is Gallagher a great wrestler but also looks like he could more than hold himself in many forms of martial arts, a match between Jack Gallagher and Tommy End has to happen. Annoyingly I have managed to miss seeing Gallagher live numerous times and with the amount of UK shows available currently I will not miss out on seeing this super heavyweight gentleman again.
TYLER BATE (NOW SEEN)
The man who makes up one half of Moustache Mountain is one of the UK’s hottest prospects, from the matches I have seen online for Progress, WXW and Fight Club Pro I can’t disagree with that statement. He has the most muscular legs I’ve seen since Rhyno and seems as strong as an ox. His amazing strength lets him execute some awesome moves and can match most of the big names in British wrestling hold for hold, he showed his submission skills off in the Tetsujin tournament. He has all the attributes to become a champion all over the UK and also make an impact elsewhere as he already did when he competed in CHIKARA’s King Of Trio’s, would love to see him in PWG in the future. He looks set to be removed from this list soon though as Moustache Mountain, he and Trent Severn, are set to take part in ICW’s Tag Team Championship Tournament.
What is there left to say about The King Of Strong Style that has not been said before, WOW this man is one of the best of our generation to step inside the squared circle. His transition from New Japan to NXT has been seamless and its awesome that NXT have not changed his persona or character in any way, the charisma Nakamura has is unbelievable and has not been seen in WWE for a long time. I have seen a stupid amount of his matches online, his reign as IWGP Intercontinental Champion fielded some classic bouts and one of my favourite matches being this year against AJ Styles at Wrestle Kingdom. With NXT announcing that they are coming back to the UK in June it’s the perfect opportunity to see him in action live as I am attending Download Festival at Donnington Park in the UK where NXT are bringing their show, oddly I am looking forward to seeing NXT again more than I am the bands.
The Jackson brothers have slowly taken over the professional wrestling world be it as part of Bullet Club, The Elite or Mount Rushmore by constantly wowing crowds worldwide with their famed Superkicks. A lot of old school wrestling fans and ex stars may dislike the Bucks style and matches but I for one think they are two of the most entertaining guys on the planet and am left on the edge of my seat during every match I watch that they are involved in. With the Young Bucks you don’t only get breath-taking wrestling and superkicks, you also get great camaraderie and the interaction with the crowds is second to none with their throwbacks to late 90’s wrestling with the “Too Sweet” and “Suck It” most times they are on screen or in the ring. I was a little bit gutted when they had to cancel a trip to Discovery Wrestling last month as was really looking forward to seeing them live, but I am confident that they will be back in the UK by the end of the year and hopefully for Discovery.
I know I have said this about others on this list but yet again The Rainmaker is one of the best talents on the planet today, his dominance of the main event scene in New Japan in recent times has been awesome. His matches and IWGP Heavyweight Title defences against the likes of Goto, Tanahashi and Naito were all classics in their own way, his matches in Ring Of Honor showed his talents even greater against American counterparts and the matches were highlights of each ROH show he was on. Okada has been to the UK before as part of Revolution Pro’s Global Wars shows there is a hope that he could possibly make his way back over sometime in the future, as a wrestling fan I feel like something is missing having not seen him perform live.
I must admit the chance of me getting to see the legendary La Parka is pretty slim but never say never I guess. I was first drawn to La Parka as a teenager watching WCW Worldwide on Channel 5, loved his skeleton like ring attire, mask, the strut and how he always carried a steel chair to the ring including using it as a guitar. He was also one of the first Mexican luchadores I saw and became a fan of, his style of wrestling was so much different to what I was used to seeing and I instantly became a La Parka fan. After the demise of WCW I had to dig further afield for my La Parka fix online watching lots of his matches from Mexico, which in turn opened my eyes further to the wonderful world of Lucha Libre.
Mark and Jay Briscoe have been a dominant force in Tag Team wrestling for 16 years now since their debut in 2000, winning titles and accolades all over the world. The brothers have been a major part of Ring Of Honor and when you mention the promotion one of the first thing that springs to mind is The Briscoes, they have been a part in some of the best matches the company have had even facing each other from time to time. There rough and hard hitting style is awesome and wouldn’t look out of place in a bar fight in Sandy Hook, I think they are the definition of brawlers. Not only are they great Tag Team wrestlers but both have also shone in singles competition with Mark and Jay capturing singles gold along the way, Jay reaching the top of Ring Of Honor capturing the ROH World Championship from Kevin Steen. With Ring Of Honor teaming with Preston City Wrestling in the past, I am crossing my fingers that this happens again and Dem Boys make their way to the UK again.
Rampage Brown is one of my current favourite British wrestler’s and am chomping at the bit to see him wrestle live, hopefully this will happen at NGW’s Brit Wrest Fest this October in Manchester. Rampage is a mountain of a man and real old school style powerhouse, he’s held titles all over the UK and is my pick to win the PROGRESS Wrestling Atlas Tournament. He is great portraying both a heel or a face as shown when he was a member of Screw Indy Wrestling and then after splitting from the group becoming a favourite of the fans, watching on DemandPROGRESS when he makes his entrance the roar of the fans singing along to his theme music gets the hairs on the back of my neck standing up.
O’Reilly is on fire at the moment in Ring Of Honor and New Japan, be that teaming with Bobby Fish as part of Red Dragon or in singles competition he is becoming one of the most sort after wrestlers on the independent scene today. His recent feud with former Future Shock partner Adam Cole has been one of the best so far in 2016, their match at Supercard Of Honor in Dallas was unbelievably good and proved that O’Reilly belongs at the top of the card in main event matches. His submission skills and strikes are up there with the best in business and a dream match I would love to see in person is O’Reilly against Zack Sabre Jr as their styles would work brilliantly and would be a thing of beauty to witness live. If you have not seen a Kyle O’Reilly match make sure after you have finished reading this it is the first thing you do as I don’t think you will be disappointed.
I have only seen a handful of Ishii’s matches but now I have subscribed to New Japan World I will be going through his back catalogue as this guy is an absolute machine, quite possibly the hardest striker I have seen. I first saw his war against Shibata at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom in January and was drawn in by the brutality on show and how neither man would back down from the other, trying to one up each other with heavy strikes and violent head butts. When I saw Ishii win the ROH Television Title from Roderick Strong, I was doubly happy as he had won the title and would mean I would get to see more of him in Ring Of Honor. Revolution Pro Wrestling announced that Ishii will be appearing at their Summer Sizzler event in July which would be awesome to attend but my diary in July is already looking pretty full so won’t be able to make this but will look forward to seeing it online once its uploaded to Rev Pro’s site.
As I said Shibata’s battles with Tomohiro Ishii at the beginning of 2016 were as brutal as they come, I had never seen Shibata wrestle before this match and became an instant fan of his. I have only seen him wrestle in New Japan online and he has always impressed me with each outing he has had, the aggression he shows is unreal and has a real never say die aura to him. Be sure to check out his match online from Wrestle Kingdom X this year, it shows his brilliance in all its hard hitting brutality. As with Ishii he has also been announced for Rev Pro’s Summer Sizzler show which has made me even more gutted that I will be missing the show.
SOMEONE STOP THE DAMN MATCH!!!
Let us know your list if you have one or make us jealous by telling us if you’ve seen anyone on the list over on the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SomeoneStopTheDamnMatch