As we prepare for WrestleMania Week 2018, the staff of Last Word on Pro Wrestling will be sharing previews of the numerous indie events being held around New Orleans next week. We start off with Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2.
WrestleMania week has become a mecca of indie wrestling in recent years, as promotions from around the world come to the host city of WrestleMania for the week and put on showcases throughout the week to the largest congregation of wrestling fans on the planet. Last year’s breakout event was the inaugural Joey Janela’s Spring Break, hosted by New Jersey’s Game Changer Wrestling (GCW). Not tied to storylines or angles, Joey Janela’s Spring Break was a fun card featuring unlikely match ups and dream matches you never conceived of – like Joey Janela facing off against former WWE Superstar Marty Jannetty – to dream matches you wish you’d thought of, like seeing Matt Riddle face UFC Hall of Famer and former NWA World Heavyweight Champion Dan “The Beast” Severn. The first Clusterfuck battle royal even featured the funtastic return of former WCW Superstar Glacier. While last year’s inaugural event was a pleasant surprise, this year’s second edition now finds itself one of WrestleMania week’s radar events. Here’s a look at the card.
Last year’s Clusterfuck battle royal featured such names as Flip Gordon, “All Ego” Ethan Page, Veda Scott, WCW’s Glacier, Dink The Clown, “Gentleman” Jervis Cottonbelly and Arik Cannon, but was won by GCW/CZW bad boy Jimmy Lloyd. This year’s will be another fun filled event, more akin to the New Japan Battle Royal that kicks off Wrestle Kingdom each year rather than the Royal Rumble. While the entrants are mostly a surprise, they have announced two entrants so far – EVOLVE‘s Chris Dickinson and Irish superstar Martina “The Session Moth”.
David Starr vs. Mike Quackenbush
CHIKARA founder and indie legend Mike Quackenbush retired from the ring in 2013. Considered one of the United States’ top technical innovators, he came out of retirement briefly in 2016, for an exhibition match against UK legend Johnny Kidd, and later as Drew Gulak‘s farewell match before the latter headed to the WWE. Last year, he began to wrestle a little more frequently, facing Zack Sabre Jr. twice in CHIKARA and then facing Kidd once more at last year’s UK King of Trios. But he was goaded back into the ring at the end of 2017 by Max Smashmaster and seems to be returning, although most likely still in a more exhibition format. At Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2, he faces one of the international independent scene’s busiest guys in Philly’s David Starr, whose been wrestling for wXw, PROGRESS, RevPro, Defiant and more European indies, while still wrestling at home with PWG, AAW, CZW and more. This will be a technical dream with a healthy dose of comedic gold.
WALTER vs. Pierre Carl Ouellet
This will be about as physical as a match can get without being a Deathmatch. Germany’s WALTER has exploded onto the international scene the past year. A veteran of wXw since 2008, he’s taken the UK by storm (he’s currently the PROGRESS Atlas Champion) and is now making his brute strength known to North American, with critically acclaimed matches in PWG and EVOLVE. His matches against Keith Lee have become the stuff of legend. His opponent is former WWF World Tag Team Champion Pierre Carl Ouellet, whose making a comeback after returning to the ring slowly in 2016 (he retired in 2010). But as he showed on Twitter (link below), his strength is still there and he was always known as a heavy hitter.
CUT THE DECK @PCOQuebecer responds to @WalterAUT in one of the most ridiculous videos ! I have ever seen! A must watch! -Bad Boy Joey Janela @JANELABABY @GCWrestling_ #JJSB2. pic.twitter.com/0JyCfbKyTT
— PCO Perfect Creation One (@PCOisNotHuman) March 25, 2018
Matt Riddle vs. James Ellsworth
Last year, “The King of Bros” Matt Riddle went head to head against 2x NWA World Heavyweight Champion and UFC Superfight Champion Dan Severn in a hard hitting affair that felt more MMA than pro wrestling. This year, he’s facing a man that hopes his Two Hands and Fighting Chance will keep him alive – former WWE Superstar James Ellsworth. This will be an interesting fight in more ways than one.
Joey Janela vs. The Great Sasuke
The party host himself looks to continue to make a name for himself as the new loose cannon of pro wrestling and in doing so faces a Japanese legend. For nearly 30 years, The Great Sasuke has been brutalizing opponents around the world. Starting in Mexico following his training, he founded Michinoku Pro Wrestling in Japan in 1993. He’s fought in NJPW, All Japan, Pro Wrestling NOAH, WAR, Frontier Martial-arts Wrestling (FMW) – if it’s a Japanese promotion, he’s fought there. From Deathmatches against Atsushi Onita to facing Chris Benoit in the Super J Cup Finals, Sasuke can switch speeds and styles with anyone.
Nick Gage vs. Penta El 0M
It’s a battle of two champions who are known for their engaging personalities and their penchant for violence. On one side, current reigning GCW Champion and AIW Absolute Champion (and 4x CZW World Champion) Nick Gage, one of the most brutal and violent men to ever enter the squared circle. On the other, current reigning Lucha Underground Champion and PCW Ultra Champion Penta El 0M (aka Pentagon Jr.), who’s shown an evil streak and blood lust for whomever he steps in the ring with. This one may not pretty, but it’s going to be one that those in attendance will never forget.