Indie Watch is our regular series that looks at all of the amazing talents working the independent circuits around the world. Some are veterans revitalizing their careers, some are indie prospects hitting their peaks, while others are names to be on the watch for! In this edition, we look at the cult hero rise of St. Louis, Missouri’s WARHORSE.
Almost seven years into his pro wrestling career, WARHORSE has become a cult favorite on the East Coast of the US indies. He started out around his home territory with Beyond tapings in St. Louis, plus sneaking into the Illinois scene with Dynamo Pro and GALLI LUCHA. By 2014, he had begun to create a buzz in scenes around the area – he was a regular with Beyond Wrestling, IWA Mid South, St. Louis Anarchy, Full Impact Pro, and dozens others. A large part of that was his involvement with an indie stable called Viking War Party.
Featuring “The American Viking” Alex Herzog, Frank Wyatt, and the youthful Jake Parnell, the Viking War Party became a rising stable in the US indies in Beyond, IWA Mid South, and more. But before they became a dominant stable in the US indie boom, something happened. Jake Parnell went from being “Warhorse” in quotes to WARHORSE by name.
He became a rising gladiator in the Midwest, feuding with the likes of, and having one of the most underappreciated feuds of the past five years on the US indies against Gary Jay (which continues to this day) in IWA Mid South, EVOLVE Wrestling, Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), St. Louis Anarchy, Glory Pro, and even more. This feud, arguably more than anything else he’s done in his singles career, turned Jake Parnell into a Warhorse more than his own mere declarations years prior.
WARHORSE went viral for a spell in 2018, following a match where he caught his face in the turnbuckle, ripping his cheek and mouth quite substantially. But in true WARHORSE fashion, he finished the match before getting medical attention.
— WARHORSE (@JPWarHorse) February 20, 2018
WARHORSE wears facepaint and finds himself distanced from the group helped break him out. He’s now found himself an outsider who battles anyone, a little bit darker, a little more make-up, and a little more decorated. In many ways, WARHORSE has become the Sting of the Midwest – the colorful “Littlest Viking” is no longer running with the four Norsemen and he’s spent enough time in rafters to know that one name is all you need to strike fear and get results.
2019 has proven to be a breakout year for WARHORSE, as he captured the Black Label Pro Midwest Championship early in the year, followed by capturing the IWTV Independent Wrestling Championship in September. Since then, he’s exploded on the US indies scene (and is preparing to make his first UK tour), partnering with another indie star breaking out this year in Michigan’s Danhausen, collectively known as WARHAUSEN. To celebrate his oustanding year, together with Danhausen they are hosting a Game Changer Wrestling (GCW) Collective show in Tampa for WrestleMania week in 2020, Wrestlevania.
Check out our full list of previous Indie Watches, showcasing emerging talent from around the world!
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.