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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Wrestling Follower
"The Elite Five" & "The Future '06"
March 3, 2005 by Marlo K. Jones


The FIVE Best Independent Professional Wrestling Promotions In The United States in 2005. And as if THAT isn't enough, keep reading to see what Promotions to look out for in 2006!!!

Here is a list of what I believe to be the Elite Independent Professional Wrestling promotions in the United States as of this current time. TNA is not included for the simple fact that they are not an Independent promotion anymore. TNA has been in the Big Leagues since they moved out of Huntsville, Alabama into the Nashville Fairgrounds, and then into their "Universal" studio. Also, Ohio Valley Wrestling could theoretically be added to this list, but since it is a developmental territory for the WWE, it will not be included. So now, as promised, here is the Wrestling Follower's Top Five Promotions in the Indies:

RING OF HONOR

Ring Of Honor did something that every independent promotion wants and needs to do. They brought value to their top title while building a steady and complete fanbase. They used just about every wrestling style in the world to bring themselves to this Honor, and they only seem to be improving as they experiment with new wrestling concepts. Austin Aries will be a top star for a long time to come just by being able to dethrone Samoa Joe for the belt last December. This is the type of thing that needs to be done in wrestling. ROH Heavyweight Champion: Austin Aries ROH Tag Team Champions: The Havana Pitbulls (Ricky Reyes and Rocky Romero) ROH Pure Wrestling Champion: John Walters

IWA MID SOUTH WRESTLING

A promotion which uses just about every wrestling style in the World, IWA Mid South has recently promoted a more balanced wrestling show which is based around grappling (finally.) Ian Rotten ( who is the promoter of the company and of ECW infamy.) keeps the Deathmatch mentality though, competing in a memorable feud with Combat Zone Wrestling owner Zandig. They took the whole Deathmatch concept to a new level with the sickening matchups that reminded us all of Big Japan. Their Resume includes Chris Hero, C.M. Punk, Samoa Joe, and many other worthy independent stars, they control their territory like no other promotion.

JERSEY ALL PRO WRESTLING

JAPW has proven time and time again that they are the Independent promotion with the Big League promotion feel. They were able to bring in stars from across the broad spectrum of Wrestling promotions (such as Roderick Strong and Sonjay Dutt (NWA TNA and NWA Florida), El Generico, Beef Wellington, and Kevin Steen (International Wrestling Syndicate), as well as taking a great feud to the next level (Christopher Daniels vs. A.J. Styles.) Not only that, but they went hardcore as well (which they have been known to do) bringing in Mike Awesome and Vader, as well as the Homicide/Low Ki (w/ B-Boy) sneaker angle where they feuded with Teddy Hart and Jack Evans.

PRO WRESTLING GUERRILLA

PWG has been known to be the best So-Cal promotion out there. Super Dragon has toured all over the U.S. even defeating former ROH Heavyweight Champion Samoa Joe with his great wrestling skill. This promotion out of SoCal is sure to be one of the top promotions in the U.S. for 2005. With wrestlers such as Excalibur, Scott Lost, and wrestlers who fly in, such as Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian, we will be hearing way more of PWG this year.

NWA WILDSIDE

Wildside is a great promotion running out of Cornelia, GA which has alot of Junior Heavyweights going at it in great matches. They seem to be the only promotion who draws less than 150 fans each week, but still has not only National TV clearance, but has a great Internet presence. Bill Behrens was offered a job with WWE, but he turned it down to stay with Wildside. This is also the promotion that made A.J. Styles a household name, with a local audience.

EIGHT HONORABLE MENTION(S)

East Coast Championship Wrestling (DE)
Chikara Pro Wrestling (PA)
New England Championship Wrestling (MA)
Professional Championship Wrestling (Texas)
NWA Florida
USA Xtreme Wrestling (New York)
All Pro Wrestling (California)
Gateway Championship Wrestling (St. Louis)

FOUR INTERNATIONAL HONORABLE MENTION(S)

Internet Wrestling Syndicate (Quebec)
Italian Championship Wrestling (Italy)
Frontier Wrestling Alliance (U.K.)
Border City Wrestling (Canada)

TWO PROMOTIONS ABOUT TO BREAK INTO THIS LIST

NWA Cyber Space Wrestling Federation (N.J.)
Xtreme Championship Wrestling (Denton, TX)

ONE PROMOTION TO WATCH

Ring Of Honor

by Marlo K. Jones ..


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