There is no more West Coast bias. Not only is the talent here already, but more top stars are coming out west to compete. With stronger promotions, and more options wrestlers can do well remaining on this side of the country. The talent in the west coast wrestling scene is deep, plentiful, and boasts history-making Tag Team Champions on the California coast, a double champion in Hollywood, and a 22-year-old Phenom wearing Future Stars of Wrestling (FSW) Heavyweight Gold for the first time with an unlimited ceiling.
Royce Isaacs had a 2018 that you dream about. He is the first double champion in Championship Wrestling from Hollywood history and won the FSW and Best of the West Tag Team Titles with Jorel Nelson as One Percent. Isaacs has the look and the game to carry the torch. The Hollywood Heritage and United Television Champion is growing into the role and is expanding his brand. The man from Denver is defending the UWN TV Crown in Denver for the first time in January, and if Isaacs continues at this pace a rematch with NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis could be in his future.
Another man who had a dream year was the Ultimate Finesser and new FSW Heavyweight Champion Chris Bey. Bey took the FSW strap from Hammerstone on December 14th, and also won the FSW Tag Titles in 2018 with Suede Thompson as the Bag Boyz. The 22-year-old from Northern Virginia has all the tools to be a star. There are plenty of contenders for him in Las Vegas now, so the new champion will have no time to enjoy the moment. More concentration in singles would benefit Bey with guys like Hammerstone, John Morrison, Sefa Fatu, Shogun Jones, Owen Travers, and…..
Bey’s best friend Thompson is also due for singles gold. Suede won the Percy Pringle III Memorial Cup in 2018, but lost in his title attempt. The talent is there for Thompson to be a singles Champion again (FSW No Limits 2017). A challenge for either of Royce Isaacs belts would be great, but the Bag Boyz alter ego Double Platinum is going strong in Arizona and Hollywood, so another tag belt might be more likely.
The women’s division out west is undeveloped, but signs of life are showing and the talent is improving. The two main women’s champions in the southwest, Tessa Blanchard (PCW ULTRA), and Taya Valkyrie (FSW) are more worldwide stars than independent. Heather Monroe has the looks, personality, and her mat game is beginning to follow. She looked good in defeat against Taya Valkyrie and lost two tough hard-fought contests to Ayoka Muhara to close out the year in Hollywood. If Monroe can string together some wins a title shot could be in the offing.
Muhara arrived late in the year in Hollywood. She’s tall, strong, and green, so more experience this year is going to be a better indicator of her potential.
The same can be said for Sandra Moone. Moone also had a tough loss against Taya Valkyrie, but she was competitive, and the moment didn’t look too big for her. Moonpie has a surprising toughness and goes to a different place when the bell rings. The competitiveness, grit, and desire are there which should lead to more wins in 2019.
Warbeast (Josef/Jacob Fatu) has been the PCW ULTRA Champions for nearly two years, but 2018 may have been the best. Josef teamed with Jacob Fatu for all of 2018, and the Champions continued to dominate. Wins over Reno Scum (Thornstowe and Legend), Le Familia De Tijuana (Bestia 666/Damian 666), and Ohio Versus Everything (Dave and Jake Crist) cemented their status as the top team out west.
One Percent may have something to say about that when 2019 is done. Royce Isaacs and Jorel Nelson became two time FSW Tag Champions, and also won the Best of the West Gold. They’ve wrestled in Seattle, Texas, and are being booked on Impact Wrestling and Ring Warriors. These two work well together and have a great feel for each other’s game. 2018 was just the beginning as bigger bookings are on the horizon.
EJ Sparks capped off a terrific year in his home state by winning the Arizona State Championship on the season finale of Championship Wrestling from Arizona. Sparks is a legitimate homegrown star in the two-year promotion and regained the Crown after losing it in a devastating turn of events at AZ100. Sparks will likely have to fend off the nauseating, and former Arizona State Champion Gino Rivera as well as a host of young prospects.
Native Las Vegan Damian Drake lost a heartbreaker to Owen Travers in FSW No Limits Title bid, but the way this young man continues to develop he is sure to add singles gold to his mantle. A change in attitude might be just what he needs in 2019 by seeking less inspiration from the fan base and more internally.
Jake Atlas has all the tools to be a star. He collected his first singles title by taking the Santino Bros. Wrestling Championship from Brody King earlier this month. Atlas is the number one contender for the PCW ULTRA Light Heavyweight title, but never seems to get a shot at it, and he was a part of the most recent WWE Tryouts. It wouldn’t hurt Atlas to wrestle outside of California more so he can gain experience against different opponents and enhance his exposure away from the golden state. A PCW title shot is certainly deserved, and a rumble with PCW ULTRA Double Champion Shane Strickland would only help his career.
By the end of the year, wrestling fans will know who Sefa Fatu and Shogun Jones are. The young and talented athletes were two of the last four remaining in the Against All Odds Rumble, and either could have won it. Nobody eliminated more people than Shogun Jones. He tossed four just with the big boot alone knocking two off the top turnbuckle. Jones has a mean streak to go with his power and strength. Don’t be fooled by his size because he has surprising quickness and transitions into moves effortlessly.
Sefa Fatu is the brother of Jimmy and Jay Uso, and the comparisons are real. The younger Fatu can fly like his older brothers and already delivers a lethal Superkick in tight space. One difference is Sefa wrestles with anger, and has a fire at a young age his brothers didn’t possess. The kid isn’t looking to make friends. He just wants to beat people up and expect his ascension to be quick.
You can catch many of them on the wrestling streaming service PowerSlam TV on Roku, Apple TV and other streaming providers. You can download Powerslam TV for Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Prime and Google Play. There’s also a web browser version and if you use the code LASTWORDFREE, you can get a 30-day FREE trial!