WrestleMania weekend is the most exciting weekend in professional wrestling’s calendar year; and this weekend is shaping to be one of the best ever. I’m here for a breakdown of all WWN Live related events going on, what you should buy, could buy within budget, prioritizing cards, previewing what you need to know, and much more. I’m wasting no time as there’s a lot to get to with this guide. Let’s get into it.
WWN Live Show Rankings
1. WWN Supershow: Mercury Rising 2016
2. EVOLVE 58 & 59
3. SHIMMER 80
4. Welcome To The Combat Zone
5. Kaiju Big Battel Content of Champions
WWN Live will be running 6 events over the course of 2 days from April 1-2 all taking place at Eddie Deen’s Ranch in Dallas, TX.
WWN Supershow: Mercury Rising 2016 – April 2 – 6 PM PT/9 PM ET – Link
First in the rankings is Mercury Rising 2016, as this has shaped up to be a must see show. The card is star-studded with the top three matches being a six man tag with Kota Ibushi, Johnny Gargano & TJ Perkins vs. Will Ospreay, Tommy End & Marty Scurll, Timothy Thatcher vs. Sami Callihan (potentially for the EVOLVE Championship), and lastly Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Chris Hero. The six man tag pits three man that were on EVOLVE 1 vs. the so-called new wave EVOLVE breakout stars. Ibushi coming back is a huge draw for the show and my attention, especially with interactions against Ospreay, End, and Scurll waiting to explode. You can’t go wrong with Gargano and Perkins either. Thatcher and Callihan have excellent chemistry, and with the belt presumably on the line, it will only make things more intense between two of the most intense and talented wrestlers in the world. Zack Sabre Jr. and Chris Hero have had classic battles in the past, and look to have one more, as the two are two of the best technical wrestlers on the planet; and are damn good at hurting others. Also on the card are Ethan Page, Ivelisse, Catch Point members, and Fred Yehi. If I were to recommend any WWN Live show for a singular purchase, it would be this one. This is WWN Live’s WrestleMania, with three spectacular top matches, as well as other feuds coming to fruition all on one ‘supershow’ hence the title.
It’s no secret that the other two EVOLVE shows have been booked for hardcore fans as well. There are tons of matchups spanning both cards, and I listed them second on the rankings together as if you buy one, you’re most likely to buy the other; it makes no sense to just get one show here.
EVOLVE 58 – April 1 – 2 PM PT/5 PM ET – Link
EVOLVE 58 almost looks better than the Supershow on paper, with a top to bottom potential hamster-on-a-wheel professional wrestling clinic. Timothy Thatcher defends his EVOLVE Championship against Matt Riddle, which is bound to at least be an improvement from their first match, plus the two are going all out on WrestleMania weekend. WWN is hyping this as a big deal, and there are promos being put out to almost make it a sports build. Zack Sabre Jr. takes on Will Ospreay in a rematch of their 16 Carat Gold match that’s been polarizing yet well received from reviewers. One of the best tag teams in the world, Heroes Eventually Die in Chris Hero & Tommy End take on Catch Point of Drew Gulak & Tracy Williams — I might even go as far as to say this is the sleeper match of the entire weekend. Three straight singles matches plus a tag title defense for Johnny Gargano and Drew Galloway round out the card. Ricochet vs. TJ Perkins, which could be great, Sami Callihan vs. Ethan Page could morph into a wonder-wall brawl, and Marty Scurll and Fred Yehi may just put on a technical wrestling clinic, and we may see Yehi get a big win.
EVOLVE 59 – April 2 – 10 AM PT/1 PM EST – Link
This card is no slouch either. I am personally looking forward to EVOLVE 58 more, but this card may have more potential bloomer matchups, which over deliver. Ricochet vs. Will Ospreay is the main event of the show, which may be a selling point in itself, as two current cruiserweight pioneers will be sure to leave mouths agape and freak people out with athleticism. Timothy Thatcher vs. Marty Scurll has happened in various places, with their best match happening in APW in California, if they can recreate their magic, they can have a very good grappling match. Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Matt Riddle is one of the more intriguing matchups of the weekend for WWN. Matt Riddle is by far the fastest learning young wrestler, and he’s taking on one of his own kind, a grappler, in Zack Sabre Jr. Riddle is best known for his defense as Zack can put on a grapple show. TJ Perkins vs. Tommy End is on the long list of sleeper matches, in which this seemingly was booked out of nowhere, but the mix of Perkins intensity and agility combined with End’s killer mindset could make for a fantastic matchup. Another lax title match, although a match that once again could surprise me, sees Johnny Gargano & Drew Galloway defend the EVOLVE tag titles against Catch Point of Drew Gulak & Tracy Willams, who at this point may be dead after their battle against Heroes Eventually Die. Chris Hero vs. Fred Yehi is an arguable dream match, which is so low on the card it might just steal the show. Rounding out the card are Sami Callihan vs. Anthony Nese and Ethan Page vs. a mystery opponent coming from WWN’s tryouts.
SHIMMER 80 – April 2 – 2 PM PT/5 PM ET – Link
Not only is this the 80th SHIMMER show, but this is one of their most important shows of all time. Interest in women’s wrestling is at least at a 2010s-level high, and people are willing to give many promotions a chance. I suggest this as a starting point, return point, or whatever may have you. A one-night 12-women single elimination tournament is occurring to determine who will become the first ever Heart of SHIMMER Champion. The field is stacked with participants being Cheerleader Melissa, personal favorite and workhorse Nicole Matthews, Cherry Bomb, Kimber Lee, Candice LeRae, Veda Scott, Jessika Havoc, NICOLE SAVOY (majorly underrated), Leva Bates (oh), Heidi Lovelace, LuFisto, and lastly Crazy Mary Dobson. This makes for an incredibly interesting tournament with all the potential matchups, and with pure wrestling being the focus on one of the biggest stages for SHIMMER ever, expect everybody to try their hardest and go all out in this tournament. I’m also a sucker for tournaments and belts — you put that together with a mostly awesome looking field and some of my favorites; and you’ve got a recommended spectacle of a show that will undoubtedly at the least have a few fantastic matches.
CZW Welcome to the Combat Zone – April 1 – 6 PM PT/9 PM ET – Link
Don’t get me wrong, this is still a card I look forward to, but by no means is it any better on paper than most of the WWN Live shows. Viva La Lucha! was supposed to run in this spot, but CZW was the replacement, and they’ve delivered a couple great matches on paper for CEE-ZEE-DUB hardcore fans to take in, casual fans/attendees, and WWN Live experience in-takers. The main event sees MASADA face Matt Tremont in a No Ropes Barbed-Wire Match, which is a ‘hardcore’ selling point, but by no means is what I want to personally watch on the card. Sami Callihan takes on Bull James, which could very well be the first big breakout match for James’ career on the indies, as Callihan and him have NXT chemistry, and share the same ‘kill it’ mentality. James has a lot to prove, and I’m sure he knows that, and with one of the best workers on the planet in the same ring as him, this has a lot of potential. Jessicka Havoc defends her WSU Women’s Championship against Cherry Bomb in a match that could be quite solid, David Crist faces one of wrestling’s hottest prospects David Starr, and Tim Donst faces Joe Gacy. In my most anticipated matchup of the show, The Amazing Gulaks team up with Chuck Taylor of all people to face the Nation of Intoxication in a TABLES MATCH! That has hoot written all over it, and could very well be worth the price of the iPPV or ticket with the Callihan/James match, the spectacle (good or bad) of the main event, and guys that are still announced but have no matches such as AR Fox and Joey Janela.
Kaiju Big Battel Content of Champions – April 1 – 9:55 AM PT/12:55 AM ET – Link
If you’ve never heard of Kaiju Big Battel, want to experience it, realized that Kota Ibushi is on the card, or various other reasons, then this is the show for you. This ranks last in the rankings, as it’s so niche as a show, it only targets certain demographics, and it’s a very late night show; unlikely to be enjoyed the same not-live from my point of view. The main event of the show sees a Triple Action Faction match for the Grand Championship with Silver Potato vs. Dr. Cube vs. a mystery faction. In the co-main event, Kaiju fans will vote for who becomes the People’s Choice Champion, with participants TBD. Also the Arm Wrestling Championship will be defended, the Triplicity Team Championship is up fir grabs, a crazy ass sounding “Classified by the NSA ?” labeled thing will occur, and Paco Plantain faces Hell Monkey as the winner becomes the first ever Southern Division Champion. Definitely a show to buy if you just want to take in the craziness, and see Kota, but if not, save money and spend it on other options in the rankings.
That does it for this weekends WWN Live ‘More than Mania’ preview. If you’re going to buy every show, that’s awesome, and I’m sure WWN loves you for that type of support. If not, your best bet is to follow my rankings and your budget, and combine them to see what content you can watch from WWN Live … with every show available live on iPPV and/or on demand. I will be watching every show from WWN Live, and am excited to participate in Wrestling With Words’ huge WrestleMania weekend coverage. Every show will be covered, along with all the usual WWE festivities, complete with other independent show coverage as well. For all WWN Live coverage, as well as WrestleMania weekend coverage and beyond; you’re already in the right place: Wrestling With Words.