Preview: Making Towns Classic (5/12/18)

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Photo: Making Towns Classic

On Saturday May 12th at the legendary Nashville Fairgrounds in Tennessee, legendary indie superfan and longtime wrestling supporter Mike “Papa” Hales and Jeremy Snyder team up to present The Making Towns Classic, a 16-women tournament held over two shows on the same day, with the first session kicking off at 3:30pm and the second at 7:30pm. Papa Hales and Snyder have been attending indie shows across the United States, as well as Canada and the UK, up to 2-3 times a month, and it was this journey of “making towns” to see these shows that lead to the creation of the upcoming tournament. Last Word on Pro Wrestling recently talked to Jeremy Snyder about the tournaments name, which he noted that he and Papa Hales “came up with the idea together after seeing many great women at shows…(we) wanted to showcase rising women stars”. A stunning field has been assembled, featuring some of the best emerging women’s talent in the world (and few veterans), in what should be a fantastic day of wrestling fun.

The Arena is still used by various indie promotions today (Photo: Crossfire Wrestling)

The Nashville Fairgrounds is an interesting and exciting choice for a venue, as the building (built in 1922) has a long and storied role in professional wrestling history. During the height of the NWA territorial days, it was the home arena for NWA Mid-America, run by Nick Gulas and Roy Welch. In the early days of Impact Wrestling (when it was still TNA), it became known as the TNA Asylum, where they would tape many of their weekly pay-per-views. Although the actual Nashville State Fairgrounds were closed down by the mayor in 2010, the arena has still served pro wrestling, with various indie promotions and legends tribute shows happening. In 2014, Ring of Honor held its first ever live pay per view, Best In The World, at the Fairgrounds Arena. Making Towns Classic continues the tradition of pro wrestling’s finest with this amazing all-women’s tournament on May 12.

Here’s a run down of the participants for the event.

JORDYNNE GRACE

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There are few emerging stars on the independent circuit – male or female – that are causing as much headway as Jordynne Grace. The 22-year old has been making huge waves in the past year, whether it’s part of one of the indies’ most dominating tag teams, Team PAWG, alongside indie icon LuFisto, or in singles action, where she’s competed in the likes of Beyond, SHINE, WSU, CZW, NOVA Pro, Women’s Wrestling Revolution (WWR), and Smash Wrestling, not to mention in the UK with Pro Wrestling: EVE and Ireland’s OTT. She just recently captured the Black Label Pro Championship, defeating former UFC fighter “Filthy” Tom Lawlor.

SAVANNA STONE

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The Making Towns Classic is a great field for blending up-and-comers with established veterans, and 18-year old Savanna Stone is indeed one of the up-and-comers. She gained some international notoriety when she appeared on WWE television earlier this year, when she was one of Nia Jax‘s victims on Monday Night Raw (under the name Vanessa Floyd). But on the indies, Stone has been working her way up the ladder, learning and working with the best, and being a part of a tournament like this is a great way to make her mark. Trained by Michael Elgin, she’s worked for Glory Pro and Zero1 USA.

SU YUNG

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“The Undead Bride” has become one of indie wrestling’s most intriguing characters over the past few years, after a much different start to her career. She started out in 2008 with Mississippi’s Magnificent Ladies of Wrestling (MLW) and by 2010 was signed to WWE’s developmental in Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), where she competed under the name Sonia. After only a year, she returned to the indies, where she reinvented herself as Su Yung, working with SHIMMER, SHINE and many other promotions, where her happy go lucky self slowly began a descent into darkness that created “The Undead Bride” that everyone knows today. She’s also recently made her debut with Impact Wrestling, where she’s gone straight to the main event title scene.

HUDSON ENVY

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California’s Hudson Envy is another emerging star who has seen her stock rise considerably in the past year or so. A six year veteran of the ring, she debuted in 2012 with Cali’s Empire Wrestling Federation (EWF), before working with Alternative Wrestling Show (AWS), Vendetta Pro Wrestling (VPW) and other California indies. In 2015, she had a lengthy run in Japan with Stardom, that really put her on the map internationally, and she returned to work with the likes of SHIMMER, IWA Mid South, AAW, RISE and more. Expect her star to shine even brighter in 2018, and the Making Towns Classic is a great opportunity for her to continue to showcase her skills.

AJA PERERA

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One of the several international participants, Brazil’s Aja Perera is another newcomer of sorts to the indie scene who has a bright future. She started wrestling in Georgia in 2013 and her career really exploded in 2017, when she began working regularly with SHINE, Queens of Combat (QOC), SHIMMER and rise. She’s only just gathering steam now, so get a glimpse while you can before she takes off. At 23 years old, she’s only going to get better.

VEDA SCOTT

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Another veteran in the tournament, Veda Scott is perhaps one of the most recognizable talents in the tournament if you’re used to mainstream televised wrestling. From 2012 through 2016, she was a part of Ring of Honor, wrestling with their Women of Honor program, as well as acting as a manager, most famously as part of The House of Truth with Truth Martini. She’s also an international star, having worked everywhere from Beyond, SHIMMER, AIW, PWX and more in the United States, to such European promotions as Germany’s wXw, UK’s Pro Wrestling: EVE, RevPro, and IPW, Ireland’s OTT, and in Canada with Smash Wrestling.

ISLA DAWN

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One of the UK scene’s bright young talents, 24-year old Isla Dawn comes to the Making Towns Classic from Glasgow, Scotland, where she was trained by WWE Superstars Killian Dain (formerly Big Damo) and Aleister Black (formerly Tommy End) as well as UK star Mikey Whiplash. She debuted in 2013 with Scottish Wrestling Alliance (SWA), but has since worked PROGRESS, ICW, IPW, CZW, wXw and Japan’s Stardom. She’s begun transitioning to the North American in the past year, working with Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment (AWE) and SHINE, and joining the Making Towns Classic will be another step in showcasing her skills to a North American audience.

SAMANTHA HEIGHTS

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Ohio’s Samantha Heights is a regular with Rockstar Pro Wrestling (RPW) in her home state, where she debuted in 2013 after being trained by OvE’s Dave Crist. While she’s still an RPW regular, the past two years has seen the 29-year old break out of her regional comfort zone, working with the likes of SHIMMER, RISE, QOC, Wrestling Revolver and even Smash Wrestling in Canada.

ANGELUS LAYNE

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Another indie veteran adding experience to the tournament, Iowa born and raised Angelus Layne made her debut in 2010 with Iowa’s Pro Wrestling Phoenix (PWP). Since then, she’s travelled the US indies, working for SHIMMER, AAW, AIW, Heartland Wrestling Association (HWA), Inspire and most recently has become a regular with NOVA Pro.

ALLIE KAT

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Another star from NOVA Pro, Allie Kat is another of the great emerging talent taking part in the Making Towns Classic. She’s been working off and on for years since 2011, but it’s just been in the past few years she’s really taken off in the indie scene, where she’s worked around Texas for Anarchy Championship Wrestling (ACW) and WrestleCircus, as well as Limitless, AAW, IWA Mid South and more. She’s on the verge of exploding into the scene, and this tournament could be her big chance.

FAYE JACKSON

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Another fast rising star of the indies, Faye Jackson has only been wrestling for a few years, a product of Ring of Honor in 2016. She spent two years as part of ROH’s Women of Honor, as well as venturing out with NYC’s BriiCombination Wrestling (BCW), QOC, Game Changer Wrestling (GCW), WWR, AIW and Carolina Wrestling Federation (CWF) Mid Atlantic. She’s since departed WOH, but she’s only just starting to blossom into a bonafide star on the indie circuit. If you haven’t seen Jackson wrestle, you’re in for a treat.

PENELOPE FORD

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Don’t let her cheerleader good looks fool you – Penelope Ford is one of the business’ toughest women. Trained at the CZW Dojo in 2014 by the likes of WWE Superstar Drew Gulak, Ford has been wrestling men and women since day one and taking no prisoners. She’s still a regular combatant with CZW, and has taken her brand of ring warfare to such promotions as GCW, WSU, QOC and RISE, and has even ventured up north to Canada’s Smash Wrestling, Alpha-1 and C4. And if she needs to bring back up, she’s also part of Janelope alongside Joey Janela, who have become arguably the top intergender tag team in the sport. Before Penelope Ford goes ALL IN, she’s looking to claim the crown at the Making Towns Classic.

KYLIE RAE

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Not many wrestlers have hit their stride as quickly as Chicago’s Kylie Rae. Trained by AAW Champion ACH, in her first year of wrestling in 2016 she was already working for Booker T‘s Reality of Wrestling (ROW) in Texas and Tommy Dreamer‘s House of Hardcore (HOH). In just three years, she’s exploded into the indie circuit with SHIMMER, RISE, AAW, Freelance, WrestleCircus and more, even entering the WWE’s radar – she had a WWE tryout earlier this year. She’s still got lots to prove on the indie circuit, but at the rate she’s going, she just may not be still on it for long. Making Towns Classic is a great chance for her to prove herself in a solid field of her peers.

LAYNIE LUCK

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From Kansas City comes Laynie Luck, another emerging star out of America’s Midwest. She’s worked with SHIMMER, WrestleCircus, RISE, Maverick Pro, and IWA Mid South (to name a few), so the wrestling world is already starting to take notice of this bright young talent. At Making Towns Classic, she’ll be counting on more than luck to make an impression.

PRISCILLA KELLY

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“Hell’s Favorite Harlot” is only 21-years old, but Priscilla Kelly is already on her way to becoming one of the indie scene’s most popular performers. She started in 2015 out of AWE, but since then she’s skyrocketed quickly, working in SHINE (where she was the inaugural SHINE Nova Champion, holding it a lengthy 237 days), EVOLVE, Major League Wrestling (MLW), WSU, FEST, CWF, PWX and much more, often alongside her equally demented partner, Darby Allin. She even made her Japan debut this year, working with DDT and Tokyo Joshi Pro earlier this month. Kelly will be heading into the Making Towns Classic hungry and ready to make another imprint on the independent scene.

HARLOW O’HARA

Photo: Making Towns Classic

With Delilah Doom having to withdraw from the tournament early on, it opened up an opportunity for another indie wrestler to seize the moment, and that spot has fallen upon “The Priestess” Harlow O’Hara. She trained with WWE Hall of Famer Robert Gibson of the Rock N’ Roll Express in 2016 and only made her wrestling debut in 2017, but Harlow O’Hara has already begun to make big strides in the indie circuit. In just over a year, she’s already been crowned the Anarchy Wrestling Women’s Champion, and has begun to work with SHIMMER and RISE. She’s already made her British Isles debut as well, with both Ireland’s OTT and Northern Ireland’s Pro Wrestling Ulster (PWU). She may be the new face in the tournament, but she’ll be using the Making Towns Classic an event to further her name in the wrestling world.

Now that you’ve met the combatants, here’s a quick look at the first round match-ups.

  • PRISCILLA KELLY vs. SAMANTHA HEIGHTS
  • ISLA DAWN vs. HARLOW O’HARA
  • KYLIE RAE vs. VEDA SCOTT
  • FAYE JACKSON vs. ANGELUS LAYNE
  • LAYNIE LUCK vs. AJA PERERA
  • SAVANNA STONE vs. JORDYNNE GRACE
  • HUDSON ENVY vs. PENELOPE FORD
  • ALLIE KAT vs. SU YUNG

While first row is now sold out, you can still get limited tickets available (SEE BELOW)

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