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Who doesn’t like buffets? I think it gives customers a sense of getting their money’s worth.  I mean you can eat as much or as little food as you like. That’s what makes buffets great. Wrestlemania weekend has become a buffet of sorts. World Wrestling Entertainment is providing tons of events for its WWE universe. If you have interests outside the universe, Wrestle Con may be the answer for you.  Five of the biggest independent companies in America are bringing their best to the weekend. Dragon Gate USA, Evolve, Shimmer, Combat Zone Wrestling, and Chikara Pro Wrestling are bringing their unique blends to New Jersey and professional wrestling fans should be very excited.

Dragon Gate USA brings a unique style of professional wrestling that can only described as the “Dragon Gate style” of hard hitting and quick action. Fans are treated by the best experienced and young talent make the trek from Japan  to entertain but fans are also get some of the biggest names in the world of independent wrestling.

This is not to be confused with Evolve Wrestling. Evolve concentrates on the sport of professional wrestling. Dragon Gate USA and Evolve Wrestling are both lead creatively by Gabe Sapolsky who fans of his work would consider him one of the most creative minds in professional wrestling and has built up a following for his work. Evolve and Dragon Gate USA are sister promotions but don’t go into these shows expecting the same presentation.

Shimmer presents a blend of the best women talent from across the world. It is not uncommon for its fans to travel far distances to its home in Berwyn Indiana to see these women compete. This isn’t women’s wrestling you may be accustomed to seeing on World Wrestling Entertainment or Total Non-Stop Action though both companies employ veterans of Shimmer. This company presents women’s wrestling as professional athletes who perform beyond any compare.

Combat Zone Wrestling presents wrestling with an edge. What you can expect is some young talent who you may hear big things from in the future. It isn’t uncommon for some of the biggest names in Professional Wrestling to either cut their teeth or get early opportunities in Combat Zone Wrestling.  Current World Champions Austin Aries and CM Punk both have competed for Combat Zone Wrestling and the full list would be a who’s who of the sport. Combat Zone also gives opportunity to some of the biggest names in independent wrestling who may be in the process of making their names in other companies but still come to Combat Zone and give it their all. Combat Zone isn’t for all ages because there is an element for their shows that may not be for all ages. Death matches are common at these shows and seeing broken glass and barbed wire are some of the tools used in these matches and they get bloody and violent. These matches have their own merit but aren’t for everyone.

Chikara Pro Wrestling is possibly the most unique company promoting professional wrestling today. This company may not be for everyone as they embrace what can be called a more comic book take on professional wrestling. Expect big characters putting on a hybrid of lucha libre in what can only be described as the Chikara style. If you have children I can highly suggest this show as measures are taken to ensure everything from the action in the ring to behavior of the audience is kept “family friendly”. Don’t confuse family friendly with PG. Chikara does a great job of putting on performances and stories that treats the fan with respect.

The wonderful thing about Wrestle Con is that you can buy tickets for every show or you can buy tickets to one or two of the shows. Fans have an incredible experience as many fans haven’t had the opportunity to see many of these companies live and Wrestle Con presents just that. I assume that some of the wrestling matches that will have fans buzzing Wrestlemania weekend will happen at one of these shows. All of the information can be found at http://www.wrestlecon.com/. I mean you can watch as much or as little wrestling as you like. That’s what makes Wrestle Con great.

— Alex Goff @alexgoff84