I was first exposed to independent wrestling back in the early 2000’s. This was at the time that pro wrestling was at an all time high on television and in the arenas. I could not get enough of it. The first independent show I remember seeing on tape featured Christopher Daniels and I asked myself “didn’t I see this guy on ECW a few weeks ago?”. That would be the reaction many people got when they first take a look at an independent show. I watched more and more and seen many great matches in due time and in today’s age of independent wrestling, it is much different now in many areas than it was almost 20 years ago. Here, I am going to explain why independent wrestling matters.
There are many and I mean MANY independent promotions across the united states and even around the world. You can even look up a local one in your area and there has to be one a few miles from where you live. Many independent shows that are in your area run once (or sometimes twice) a month and it is easily accessible to the general audience unlike the bigger companies that will arrive once every 4-8 months or even once a year or every few years. In my area of the tri-state of New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia, there are numerous independent promotions that have a huge following such as Warriors of Wrestling in Staten Island, House of Glory in Queens, Jersey All Pro, CHIKARA, MLW, and much more. That is one of a few examples, but the south, mid-west, and even overseas have promotions with large followings. You cannot miss any in your area if you decide to go to one.
Each of these independent promotions no matter how big or small they are, have a different variety of pro wrestlers. If you want hardcore, then a promotion like CZW is for you. If you want technical wrestling, then Progress is for you. I can go on and on about it, but the fact remains that many independent promotions have a mix of everything for every fan to enjoy. There are even many wrestlers in the current scene that portray more of themselves no matter if it is LGBTQ friendly, a version of a character in the mainstream entertainment realm that inspired them, Strong Style, Lucha, and many more. Even if it is wrestlers you have not seen before, you might like their performance after the match. A prime example of this happened at Keystone Comic Con when House of Hardcore had their ring there for live matches. There were wrestlers that many people never seen before and by the time the match was over, they got a standing ovation. All it takes is a good match and a good chemistry with the crowd for them to respond in that way no matter if the wrestlers are babyfaces or heels. You will get your money’s worth when you go to an independent wrestling show and the tickets are very affordable. You can even meet the wrestlers during intermission and there are always great stories of fans meeting them during intermission or before the show begins.
One thing about independent promotions is that they also showcase the potential future stars of tomorrow. Sure that we occasionally see the bigger stars come there for their matches, but they are also there to help the younger and upcoming future superstars that you could see on television whether if it is wrestling seminars, or watching the matches of the other men and women and giving pointers, it is always great to see many of the bigger name wrestlers never forgetting where they came from. One instance is when Lisa Marie Varon going out of her way to help the promoter after the show. I am sure that many of the other bigger names do this too, but this story is widely known. The one person that you have watched on a recent independent wrestling event could be your face of the company of whether it is WWE, Impact, or AEW in the future and when you see that happen, you will be proud to see him or her succeeded to that level. Independent wrestling matters and many big promotions and news outlets today recognize it more than they did years ago and that is a game changer. Go out and support independent wrestling!