The WWE recently announced a WWE World Cup tournament, with the semi-finals and finals taking place at WWE Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia in November. One of the qualifiers last night on Monday Night Raw featured Baron Corbin inserting himself in a Global Battle Royal, with the winner advancing to the World Cup tournament. As it would turn out, Corbin’s “global stars” were in fact a squad featuring indie wrestlers in very 80’s and 90’s ethnic gimmicks, except for the winner. And it wasn’t Corbin. Corbin was outsmarted when returning WWE “legend” Conquistador upended Corbin to win the Battle Royal, only to unmask to reveal the returning former Raw General Manager Kurt Angle. But who were the other men representing the “global” field? Here’s a look at the other indie wrestlers who made appearances for the WWE last night in the Global Battle Royal.
From Russia, Gregor Valkan, portrayed by FLASH FLANAGAN
The man in the Russian hat is actually no former Soviet, but is 26-year veteran Flash Flanagan. Perhaps the most recognizable of the bunch, the 44-year old from Indianapolis, Indiana competed for the USWA in the mid-90s and even worked enhancement for the WWF various times from 1997 through 2002. He left for Puerto Rico, becoming a regular with IWA Puerto Rico for the next few years, and had a few stints with Ring of Honor in the mid-2000s. He continues to work for Midwest indies like Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling (SICW) and Hoosier Pro Wrestling (HPW).
From Egypt, The Sultan of Shawarma, portrayed by IDRIS ABRAHIM
The Sultan of Shawarma may look familiar to wrestling fans who watched IMPACT Wrestling in 2017, as Idris Abraham, a solid worker from the Canadian (Ontario) indies, was part of the company’s X Division for a short spell. He’s a regular performer in Ontario indies like Smash Wrestling and Border City Wrestling, where he’s part of a tag team with Joe Coleman called Halal Beefcake. The duo will actually be appearing at the next IMPACT One Night Only, filmed this past weekend in Windsor, Ontario for Border City Wrestling’s 25th Anniversary show, where they faced the duo of former WCW World Heavyweight Champion David Arquette and RJ City.
From Mexico, El Hombre Si Nobre, portrayed by EGOTISICO FANTASICO
The loudest pop of the bunch from the Chicago audience was given to “Mexico’s” El Hombre Si Nobre, but the man beneath the star lucha mask is actually Illinois’ Egotistico Fantastico. A 13-year indie veteran trained by WWE Hall of Famer and 7x NWA World Heavyweight Champion Harley Race, Fantastico has competed for many promotions over his career, including a run with CZW as “Ego” Robert Anthony where he captured the CZW World Heavyweight title. In the mid-2000s, he spent some time as a WWE developmental wrestler with Deep South Wrestling (DSW) and then Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) as well, and last year worked a TV taping for NXT as an enhancement to Velveteen Dream. He still works the indies, working for the likes of Freelance Wrestling and Berwyn Championship Wrestling, as well as occasional returns to CZW.
From Poland, Stanislav the Squeezer, portrayed by CJ ESPARZA
Most definitely not from Poland (although it’s still not confirmed if he’s a squeezer), Stanislav is actually long time All American Wrestling (AAW) regular CJ Esparza, better known as one half of the tag team Zero Gravity with Brett Gakiya. Aside from AAW, Esparza is a regular wrestler fighting with Chicago Style Wrestling (CSW), Zelo Pro Wrestling, and Wrestling Revolver, the latter of which he made his IMPACT Wrestling debut as part of the Wrestling Revolver x IMPACT Twitch special, Penta Does Iowa.
From Chile, The Chilean Seabass, portrayed by ROY FLASH GORDON
More of a Chicago Seabass actually, as the Chilean was portrayed by emerging Illinois indie star Roy Flash Gordon, who cut his teeth early with CSW and Freelance. He’s only been wrestling since 2014, but the past year he’s become a regular with Canadian Wrestling’s Elite (CWE) in Winnipeg, Manitoba as well as working with Game Changer Wrestling (GCW), Rockstar Pro and others.
From Antarctica, Winston Von Voorhees, portrayed by PAT MONIX
One of the Chicago indie scene’s bright young stars, Pat Monix portrayed the Antarctic doctor on Raw. Beginning with GALLI Lucha Libre in 2016, he’s now a regular performer with IWA Mid South, Black Label Pro, GCW and Freelance, as well as other area indies.
From Belgium, The Belgium Waffler, portrayed by CHRIS THOMAS
“Bad Boy” Chris Thomas isn’t from Belgium, but actually Nashville. A 17-year veteran of Southern and Midwest indies, he’s worked for the likes of Main Event Championship Wrestling (MECW) in Indiana and Illinois’ All American Pro Wrestling (AAPW).
From Luxembourg, Thunder Montgomery, portrayed by AARON ORION
An 11-year veteran of the Michigan indie scene, Aaron Orion portrayed the biggest member of the troupe, Thunder Montgomery. A regular with Detroit’s Xtreme Intense Championship Wrestling (XICW), he also works with Canadian indies like Superkick’D and Barrie Wrestling, as well as Freelance, Glory Pro, and various other Midwest promotions.