Zeke’s Year in Review – Wrestling (Indy Edition)
In 2011, if you had asked me what “Indy Wrestling” was, I wouldn’t really know what to tell you. I honestly had no interest in it…not even TNA! Ok, TNA can be argued one way or another, but the way they handled the Bobby Roode (Rooooooooooo) situation at Bound for Glory made me just stop even trying on Thursday nights. But that’s besides the point. I was mostly unaware of the entire Indy scene until my good friend, and tag team partner, Jacob (go #SlightlyBlack) introduced me to Evolve and Dragon Gate USA. I was floored by the level of craftsmanship these guys brought to the ring. It was an easy jump in to also pick up Chikara, ROH, and PWG when I could. I didn’t watch as much as I wanted to, but I’m happy to report that I saw just about every Evolve and DGUSA event that went on this year, including getting to see Evolve life when it came here to Jacksonville. So with that being said, let’s move out to the Indy Edition of my Year In Review.
2012 Wrestler of the Year – El Generico.
Jacob is not a very loud, rambunctious man when we sit down to watch wrestling. He typically picks his seat on the couch, leans back it a Cold One, and enjoys. So when El Generico’s theme sit during the Dragon Gate USA “Chuck Taylor Invitational” I knew I’d have to pay attention. Jacob lost his mind. And by lost his mind, he calmly stated “Guys…I’m marking out right now.” His performance in the match was awesome, and he went on to have an amazing series of matches in Evolve/DGUSA alone with Samuray Del Sol (one of my favorite “rookies”), CIMA, Ricochet, Sammi Callihan, and more. I dove into his past work, as well as his work with other companies, and I was floored not only with his in-ring ability, but the sheer over the top nature of his gimmick, that of the “generic luchardor” (when he’s really just a white guy from Canada). His promos were witty, his tweets were hilarious, and the love that he has for the business and his fans is nearly unmatched. El Generico is my Indy Wrestler of the Year…and he more than deserves it.
2012 Tag Team of the Year – The Super Smash Bros
When I first laid eyes upon this tag team, I honestly didn’t expect much. I mean, they were named after a video game, how good could they be? Their first match was decent, but the more I saw of these guys, the more I wanted. They have a great “big power man, smaller agile man” tandem, and their chemistry is incredibly tight. Each match brought out something new and exciting. I found myself cheering for them to when, even when they were against a team of guys that, individually, I liked more. They are currently the PWG tag team champions, and I have a feeling they will be seeing more and more titles before their careers are done. The Super Smash Bros are definitely smashing.
2012 Pay-Per-View/Event of the Year – Chikara King of Trios
Every year, Chikara puts on a multi-team tournament consisting of, what else, trios. Some are well established factions and stables, who are together every year in and year out, like F.I.S.T. (First In Similar Tights), The Colony, and The Spectral Envoy. Others are blasts from the past like Team WWF (The 123 Kid, Aldo Montoya, and Tatanka) or Team Extreme (Tommy Dreamer, Jerry Lynn, and 2 Cold Scorpio). And then you have a team up of solid competitors, like Jigsaw, Quackenbush, and Toyota. These 16 teams compete over 3 days to be crowned the King of Trios! It’s an exciting tournament full of great tag team, singles, elimination, and of course, 3 on 3 matches. Prior winners include The Colony, F.I.S.T., and this years winner: The Spectral Envoy! It was a great event with some fun, exciting matches, for an all around grand time.
2012 Match of the Year – Johnny Gargano vs AR Fox vs Ricochet vs Akira Tozawa (DGUSA)
For over a year now, Johnny Gargano has defend the Open the Freedom Gate Championship in Dragon Gate USA. He’s taken on all comers, against the likes of Masato Yoshino, Chuck Taylor, and the three guys mentioned above. So for their final show of the year, they had a four-way elimination match, pitting the champion Gargano against the three men who the fans had voted his best opponents had been in 2012. And this match delivered! There was some amazing spots, some great counters, and in the end, Gargano managed to overcome an injury that almost took him out of the match at the hands of rival Jon Davis to retain his belt. If you want a match that shows you what the young, fresh competitors of the Indy circuit, as well as some of the best talent Japan has to offer, then this match is a great place to start.
2012 Story of the Year – Kevin Steen vs ROH.
Kevin Steen, sometimes known as Mr. Wrestling, lately has been referred to as Wrestling’s Worst Nightmare. When he rejoined ROH after his defeat against long time rival, and former tag team championship winning partner, El Generico, many thought that Steen had seen the light, and was ready to make amends for his former ways. That feeling didn’t stick around for long, as Steen began to run rampant over the entire ROH locker room, defeating anyone and everyone in his path. He eventually found his way to a match with Davey Richards, and walked away with the ROH World Championship. Since then, not a single person has been able to stop him, as he’s defeated every person thrown in his path. Even Jim Cornette, who at the time was in charge of ROH, wasn’t able to escape being his victim. At the final show of the year, Final Battle 2012: Doomsday, one man had stepped up to end his reign of terror. That man was El Generico. But at the end of the day, despite coming up the victor in the past, Steen was able to silence his eternal rival, and goes into 2013 with the belt firmly around his waist. Is there anybody out there who can stop Steen? From the looks of it, we ain’t seen nothing yet.
And that’s it for my 2012 Year In Review! Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know why! 2012 was a great year for aniRAGE, and we look forward to making 2013 even better! So stay tuned for more right here at anirage.com!