The Collective, an initiative started by New Jersey’s Game Changer Wrestling (GCW) at this past year’s WrestleMania week in New Jersey/New York, is a unified effort from some of the top indie promotions in the US, plus a few international flavorings, to offer unique showcases of talent during the biggest week of pro wrestling in the world. The Collective is making its return for 2020 in Tampa, Florida for WrestleMania 36, and it is getting bigger and better than last year. This past week they’ve announced several more events, bringing the total to an even dozen. Here’s a look at the three latest events, plus a recap of the full week so far.
Black Label Pro (Indiana) & ACTION Wrestling (Georgia) presents Warhausen’s Wrestlevania
The latest announcement came on Tuesday, when Indiana’s Black Label Pro and Georgia’s ACTION Wrestling teamed up to announce Warhausen’s Wrestlevania. Warhausen is a unique tandem of two of the most electrifying characters in the US indies today, WARHORSE and Danhausen. Warhausen are two uniquely entertaining dudes, so expect the unexpected in this most likely bizarre event.
Game Changer Wrestling – For The Culture
Just announced on Sunday, GCW’s For The Culture will be a very special showcase, and arguably the most important show of the week. Working in part with Midwest indie star AJ Gray, For The Culture will be a showcase of wrestlers of color, to show just how powerful presence minorities have in professional wrestling’s present and future.
Glory Pro (Illinois)
Alton, Illinois’ Glory Pro is also joining The Collective in 2020, and the promotion has become one of the top indie promotions in the Midwest, focusing on its proximity to St. Louis. With such a plethora of Midwest and Southern indie wrestlers exploding in the past year, Glory Pro should provide a top-notch showcase during WrestleMania week.
Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport
One of the highlights of 2018’s WrestleMania week was the introduction of another hosted event, Matt Riddle’s Bloodsport, which was a shoot style card where you could only win by knockout or submission. Combining some of the toughest pro wrestlers in the world alongside former MMA fighters, it was revived again this past spring. But with Riddle now signed to NXT, it assumed a new host for the second edition, in former UFC Heavyweight Champion and NJPW star Josh Barnett. He just hosted a stand-alone sequel this past September, and now it’s back once again in its usual slot as part of The Collective in 2020.
Wrestling with Wregret presents Just Another Romantic Comedy: Watch Party
Back in 2006, Victory Multimedia released an independent romantic comedy film entitled, Just Another Romantic Wrestling Comedy, that featured former wrestlers Chyna and April Hunter, as well as former NJPW and MMA star Don Frye. A low budget B-Movie, it’s mostly forgotten in the annals of time. But during The Collective, Wrestling With Wregret‘s Brian Zane is hosting a watch along party where fans can marvel at a piece of wrestling lore and have some fun in the process.
Markus Crane’s Bondage A Go Go
This has all the trappings of being a Motley Crue video filmed in a fight club in LA, as filmed by Rob Zombie. Markus Crane is a sick individual, who enjoys hurting himself as much as he does opponents. He’s throwing a show featuring “no ring” deathmatches inside the bar, plus live music and live BDSM performances.
Black Label Pro (Indiana): Threat Level Midnight
Black Label Pro returns again for their second appearance with The Collective in 2020 (and third overall, after throwing Adventures in Wrestling last year in New Jersey). BLP has exploded in the past year, going from a strong local promotion to strong Midwest promotion to one of the US indie’s strongest independents. They’ve announced their event in 2020 will be Threat Level Midnight.
Pizza Party Wrestling (New Jersey)
Pizza Party Wrestling actually threw their debut show last WrestleMania week in their home of New Jersey and ran independently, but this year they’ll be joining The Collective in Tampa. They had a surprisingly good show out of the gate, featuring Robbie Eagles just before he exploded in New Japan. They’ve continued as an ongoing promotion, throwing two more shows since – including one in Philadelphia – and look to go into WrestleMania week in Tampa strong.
Pro Wrestling FREEDOMS (Japan)
The most recent announcement is that one of Japan’s most violent deathmatch promotions, Pro Wrestling FREEDOMS, will be coming over to hold their first-ever US event. GCW fans are no strangers to FREEDOMS top stars, as they’ve come to various GCW events in the US over the past few years, with GCW making their Japanese debut recently working with them as well. The reigning 4x King of FREEDOM Champion and Japanese deathmatch legend Jun Kasai is most likely coming over which will be worth the price of admission alone if you’re a deathmatch fan.
EFFY’S Big Gay Brunch
In the past year, EFFY has emerged as one of pro wrestling’s greatest comeback stories. Comeback from what you ask? Last year, the Florida indie star was vilified for a match against NXT Superfan Izzy. But the enigmatic grappler is now one of the US indies’ hottest properties, and he made Chris Jericho‘s studded leather jacket look cool way before the Judas Effect. His success has been rewarded with his own hosting event during The Collective, entitled EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch.
Suburban Fight Pro Wrestling (Los Angeles)
Suburban Fight Pro (SFP) is a hardcore indie from the West Coast, based out of Los Angeles, California. With no ring and no rules, their events are literally bar fights featuring pro wrestlers. And most of their combatants are hardcore fighters. The started up in early 2018, and so far have partnered with GCW on several post-GCW LA-based events that happen as “after parties”, so it’s only logical they’d be up for a spot. Expect this to be some late-night craziness.
Joey Janela’s Spring Break 4, April 3, 2020 – 8pm
The one that started it all for GCW at WrestleMania, Joey Janela’s Spring Break returns for its fourth incarnation, and so far is the only announced event that has a fixed date, of Friday, April 3 at 8pm. These always feature some fantastic fantasy dream matches, like WALTER vs PCO (that re-launched PCO’s career), Joey Janela vs Great Sasuke, Dan Severn vs Matt Riddle, and LAX vs Rock N’ Roll Express, not to mention lots of other fun matches.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. The Collective will have most of the events available through FITE.tv.