With independent companies being forced to shut down their events due to new state and city requirements on large gatherings and social distancing as a result of the coronavirus, some are still carrying on as best they can. That’s because cancellation is not an option when it comes to these promotions’ ability to keep the lights on and these wrestlers’ ability to continue making a living. In order to help support that cause, WrestleTalk and Will Ospreay have put together a fantastic card for an empty arena show, “WrestleTalk Showcase No Fans Monday“ being run on March 16th and streaming live on Youtube at 3 PM ET.
Announced a few days ago, this event will see a card of UK dream matches featuring wrestlers who are working for a grand total of $0. That’s right, the wrestlers, crew, referees, commentators, etc have no base pay. Any money they do make will come from the fans, who have the ability to make donations during the show. These donations will be split evenly among every person working. WrestleTalk is also selling a t-shirt online where 100 percent of the proceeds are going to these wrestlers as well. It’s truly a wonderful thing these wrestlers are doing, as Ospreay said, to give back to the fans whose continued support means the world to the independent wrestling community. At a time where where wrestling shows are being cancelled, postponed or altered, Ospreay and WrestleTalk are providing entertainment for the fans and giving them a chance to give back as well.
There will be wrestling. Now, let’s take a look at this stacked card.
The O.J.M.O vs Paul Robinson
One of the UK’s hottest new products takes on a legend as The O.J.M.O is set to face Paul Robinson. This match marks the fourth time these two have shared a ring but just the second time they’ve gone one-on-one. The first occurred in June 2019 when The O.J.M.O defended his Battle Pro Wrestling Championship against Robinson in a death match.
With just over two years pro wrestling experience under his belt, the O.J.M.O has seen his star rise rapidly, with 2019 being a huge breakout year. Totaling just 36 matches in his first two years on the scene, the O.J.M.O brought his brand of exciting and charismatic wrestling all around the UK, with over 100 matches in 2019. This included Rev Pro, PROGRESS, Frontline, IPW: UK, Fight Club Pro, OTT, Southside Wrestling Entertainment. The longest reigning BPW champ at 315 days, the O.J.M.O is in the midst of his first reign as RevPro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Champion.
From two years to 16 years experience, Paul Robinson has had an incredible, if not underrated career as one of British wrestlers true pioneers. Known for his mentorship of many young wrestlers including Marty Scrull and Zack Sabre Jr. in Leaders of New School and Will Ospreay, his protege, in Swords of Essex. Robinson is also known for his role in Regression, the stable that helped Jimmy Havoc during his phenomenal 609-day reign as PROGRESS champion. In his career, Robinson has won 11 titles, including the PROGRESS Proteus Championship, which he still holds today.
Kyle Fletcher vs Connor Mills
Two impressive young wrestlers and academy trainees are set to go head-to-head when PWA Academy’s Kyle Fletcher takes on PROGRESS Wrestling School’s Connor Mills. This will be the sixth time these two 21-year-olds have shared the ring, but just the second time in a singles match.
Known as the Aussie Arrow, most are likely familiar with Fletcher due to his fantastic tag team with Mark Davis known as Aussie Open. Together, the two have won 11 titles and have had countless successes in the UK scene. But as a singles wrestler, Fletcher is no slouch either. Now in his fifth year as a wrestler, 2019 has seen Fletcher split from Davis due to the latter suffering a knee injury that has kept him out of action. Forging his own path, Monday will just be the latest opportunity the young Aussie has to show why he’s a breakout star in the making.
Also in his fifth year as a wrestler and also largely known for his tag team style, Connor Mills got his start with PROGRESS Wrestling, teaming with Maverick Mayhew as M&M. It didn’t take long for the two upstarts to find themselves in a huge position, facing Jimmy Havoc and Mark Haskins at the end of 2017. From there, Mills has continued to grow his profile with 2019 a huge year for him, having won his first two singles titles in International Wrestling League and Pro Wrestling SOUL.
Lucas Steel & Nathan Cruz vs Robbie X & Kid Lykos II
There’s some fun tag team action on tap for No Fans Monday as Lucas Steel teams with Nathan Cruz to take on Robbie X and Kid Lykos II.
The veteran of the group, Nathan Cruz is still just 29 years old even though he’s already had a 13+ year career. Having joined the independent scene in 2006, the so-called “Primma Donna,” was actually the first ever PROGRESS Champion. This was the first of nine titles Cruz has won in his career including the British Wrestling Revolution tag team championship, which he still holds today.
A 24-year-old former boxer, Lucas Steel has only been wrestling for a few years, but in that short time, he’s already begun to make his name in the industry. Steel first began training for New Generation Wrestling in 2012 on-and-off and made his official debut six years later. He’s currently both the Undisputed and GenX champion with the promotion. In addition, he’s coming off a recent tour with All Japan Pro Wrestling, his first excursion outside of the UK.
Just 25, Robbie X has been on the scene for parts of 14 years having made his debut for 1 Pro Wrestling in 2007. In the ensuing years, Robbie X has mainly been a staple in SWE and NGW where he one half of the current tag team champions alongside Matt Myers. In his career, Robbie X has won 19 titles and wrestled all around the UK.
The youngest wrestler on the scene is the just 17-year-old Joe Nelson, who now dons the moniker, Kid Lykos II. Debuting in 2016, Nelson has enjoyed a nice career thus far given he’s still just a teenager. In 2020 however, upon the retirement of Kid Lykos, Nelson became Kid Lykos II and joined Chris Brookes in a newly made CCK, where the duo briefly won the ATTACK! tag team titles, one of nine belts Nelson has won in his four-plus years as a wrestler.
Giselle Shaw vs Aleah James vs Mercedes Blaze
Three talented women’s wrestlers will take part in a triple threat as part of Monday’s dream card as Giselle Shaw takes on a newcomer in Aleah James and veteran in Mercedes Blaze.
A name to watch in the women’s scene, Giselle Shaw is a five-year veteran who was trained by the legendary Lance Storm. Considered a technician and high-flyer, Shaw truly broke out in 2019 when she became a regular with Pro Wrestling EVE and Rev Pro Wrestling, where she is the current women’s champion. Having made her way around the UK scene, Shaw has won six titles in her career and has taken part in such prestigious tournaments as the SHE-1.
Aleah James has not been wrestling long but in her short career, she’s already impressed, gaining new fans after each promotion she makes her debut in. James has wrestled for ATTACK!, London Lucha League, Rev Pro and recently, Schadenfreude and Friends where she took on Chris Brookes.
In 2015, early in her career, Mercedes Blaze took part in a WWE tryout. Four years later she returned to make her debut for NXT UK. In the ensuing years, Blaze has wrestled for Battle Pro, Wrestle Force, Pro Wrestling EVE where she took part in the SHE-1, Tidal Championship Wrestling, Frontline and more. In her career, Blaze has won several titles as well.
David Starr vs Callum Newman
The winner of WrestleTalk’s inaugural wrestling scholarship and current protege of Will Ospreay, Callum Newman is set for the match of his career when he takes on indie darling David Starr in a match that is good enough to main event just about anywhere.
At just 16 years old, Callum Newman is one of the young lions with Frontline, having made his debut with the promotion at the J-1 League. Newman has wrestled several matches for the promotion, including a triple threat against Jimmy Havoc and David Starr. Still a very young wrestler, Newman is in good hands being trained by Ospreay. The future is bright but on Monday, he’ll have a tough go of it when he faces David Starr.
He’s the cream in your coffee, your favorite wrester’s favorite wrestler, the leader of ‘We the Indie.’ He’s David Starr and among the indies, there may not be a more recognizable name than his. An eight year pro, the 29-year-old Starr has fantastic charisma and passion that make him such a great promo. In the ring, he’s a stud as well. Starr has been wrestling since 2012 but it wasn’t really until 2016 where he became a household name. In the ensuing three-plus years, Starr has been seen everywhere from the U.S. to the UK to Germany to Japan to Canada and just about everywhere else in between. He’s a former winner of PROGRESS’ Super Strong Style and Combat Zone Wrestling‘s Best of the Best. The finalist from last year’s Battle of Los Angeles, “The Product” has won 24 titles in his career including four he currently holds. Starr is a real wrestling treasure and he’s sure to put on a show on Monday.
Scramble of Doom: Malik vs Paul Sayers vs Adam Maxted vs Chuck Cyrus vs Carlos Romo
Scramble matches always bring a lot of chaos and this one should be no different as five of the UK’s finest will share a ring at No Fans Monday.
Wrestling out of Essex, Malik has been on the scene since 2015. He’s a three-time champion, including the XWA British Heavweight Championship which he currently holds. Paul Sayers has wrestled in New Zealand and Japan in addition to his time in the UK. He’s been wrestling for over 10 years. Irish wrestler Adam Maxted has been wrestling for four-plus years and has won 10 titles including four he still holds, among them the OTT Gender Neutral Championship and Frontline Heavyweight Championship. Trained by the Knight Family, Chuck Cyrus has been wrestling since 2009, mainly with WAW and SWA, both promotions where he’s won titles. Rounding out the scramble is the White Wolf Wrestling School product, Carlos Romo. With just over six years experience, Romo has definitely shown himself to be a rising star in the UK scene where he is a regular with Rev Pro. In his career, Romo has won five titles including the Triple W tag team titles which he still holds today.
Will Ospreay vs Bea Priestley
The main event of No Fans Monday is a special one as it pits NJPW against AEW, boyfriend vs girlfriend, Will Ospreay vs Bea Priestley in an intergender showdown for the first time ever.
Just 23 years old, Bea Priestley began her wrestling career in 2016 and has continued to grow as a performer in the past several years. Priestley started her career in the UK scene with PROGRESS, IPW and WCPW among others, before transitioning to Stardom, where she has become a regular. Priestley also works regularly in EVE, was involved in the World of Sport revival and is now part of the women’s division in AEW. A former winner of the Goddesses of Stardom Tag League, Priestley has also won titles in WOS and Defiant as their women’s champion and is a former World of Stardom Champion. Priestly, along with Jamie Hayter is the current Goddeses of Stardom Champion as well.
Priestley is good but then there’s her boyfriend, Will Ospreay, who may be the best wrestler in the world right now. Just 26 years old, Ospreay is a nine-year veteran of the industry with countless accolades and five star match distinctions to his name. In 2019, Ospreay had one of the best years of any professional wrestler, mastering both the junior and heavyweight divisions in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Ospreay first made his name in PROGRESS Wrestling, IPW, SWE and other companies in the UK scene before joining the NJPW roster in 2016. Since then, Ospreay has been phenomenal, working matches in EVOLVE, Ring of Honor, TNA, CZW, wXw, and OTT among others. He started his own promotion in 2018, Frontline, which is helping grow the next generation of British stars. In NJPW, Ospreay has won Best of the Super Junior twice, taken part in the Super J Cup, New Japan Cup and G1 Climax, and has won four titles total in the promotion. Overall, Ospreay has won 19 titles including the Rev Pro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship that he still holds today.
Stay tuned to 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.