Regardless of whether you're attending live in person or watching on IWTV, I think one thing we can all agree on is that there is A LOT of wrestling happening at The Wrestival New Year's weekend in Worcester, MA. And a lot of the matches are going to be so good that you're not going to want to miss them. Some of the shows have already built up cards where it just feels like the entire show is can't miss.
But alas, I have taken it down to a list of the ten matches I am most excited to see. There were a lot (and I can't stress that enough) of matches I left off of this list because otherwise it would've just gotten out of hand. I had to limit myself at ten and I'd say I did a pretty good job. And yes, they are going to be in a Top 10 order as well, where number one means number one!
10 ::: Jody Threat vs Trish Adora (Beyond Wrestling, Heavy Lies The Crown)
What would The Wrestival be without Trish Adora? A staple in Beyond and Worcester for such a long time and then seemingly looked over when Wrestling Open started. As this show is the very last show on The Wrestival, by this point, Trish Adora could (and should) be the new Independent Wrestling World Champion. This is also a first time match up, so to think of that care-free, unpredictable style of Jody Threat going up against the more precise and tactical Trish Adora really makes me wonder why this hasn't happened before.
9 ::: JD Drake vs Andy Brown (Limitless Wrestling, High Strung)
Two big hosses doing hoss things. Andy Brown may very well come out of this weekend with the most to talk about, as his name is a part of many key matches. But JD Drake is not to be taken lightly either. This is really a battle of two of the best, two of the biggest and just overall two of the type of wrestlers you just want to see beat the hell out of each other without a single weapon. They are the weapons!
8 ::: Kasey Kirk vs Hoodfoot (ICWNHB Pit Fighter 14)
This match has many implications for many different reasons. Hoodfoot is one crazy ass wrestler, and yet even he may not be able to defeat Kasey Kirk who has just had arguably one of the best years of any wrestler out there in 2022. I'm not sure why, but death match wrestling seems to sort of stop in NJ and not want to come up to CT and MA, so having this show in Worcester is kind of a big deal as well when you think about the matches The White Eagle is used to hosting versus how this whole card will be. This is an 11pm start time, but I'm really hoping a lot of death match fans show up.
7 ::: Anthony Henry vs Kevin Blackwood (Limitless Wrestling, High Strung)
When you talk about two of the best wrestlers in the world today and a match that was supposed to happen at The Wrestival last year, you need look no further than Anthony Henry vs Kevin Blackwood. In some ways, I feel a lot like the only peer either of these wrestlers has that is on that same level as them is each other. This will really help everyone to see what I've been saying all year and that is most everyone else is playing checkers while these two are playing chess.
6 ::: WARHORSE vs Perry Von Vicious (Pro Wrestling GRIND, All We Are)
In another first time match up, it's kind of special to me because the first time I went to Worcester for New Year's Eve I saw WARHORSE and now seeing him again just feels sentimental. Perry Von Vicious has had this on again/off again relationship with Wrestling Open, so the Worcester fans somewhat know him, but he's also just been such a strong presence in GRIND that this match is going to turn a lot of heads. WARHORSE is also up for the Independent Wrestling World Championship, which win or lose might also start having people seeing Perry Von Vicious in that similar light.
5 ::: Casanova Valentine vs Dr Redacted (ICWNHB Pit Fighter 14)
If you're looking for blood, look no further. A little while back, Dr Redacted was to face The Carver and then The Carver ended up getting injured so I had that idea of Redacted vs Casanova Valentine put into my head. This match is just going to be straight up brutal and I'm going to love every second of it. I just hope the Wrestling Open fans stay up to watch this one, just to give something they're not used to seeing a try.
4 ::: Andy Brown vs VSK (Blitzkrieg! Pro, Always The Hard Way)
This is it. This is the big one. Andy Brown came into Blitzkrieg! Pro and made a statement. I'll admit, the first time I saw him wrestle live I was hooked. He just has that way about him. After defeating Travis Huckabee in a Number One Contender's Match, Andy Brown now gets his title shot against current Blitzkrieg! Pro Bedlam Champion VSK. VSK has defeated a lot of names recently who were in a similar situation to Andy Brown, but I just feel like VSK hasn't faced anyone quite like Andy Brown before and this is his time. I'm thinking we're going into 2023 with a new Bedlam Champion and I get goosebumps just thinking about it.
3 ::: Karen Bam Bam vs Austin Luke (Pizza Party Pro, Pop! Pop!)
When you want to talk about matches that people might look at and dismiss but I know are going to be talked about long after they happen, you might be talking about this match. Pizza Party Pro has put together such a solid card and so to pick this match off of that show really says a lot about it. But I still feel like this clash of styles, the clash of wrestlers is just going to make this match so special. Prior to it being announced, I knew that Pizza Party liked to book both of these wrestlers and was hoping they'd be on this show but I never imagined they'd be facing each other. Two wrestlers with only the sky as their limit. This might low key be the match that steals the entire Wrestival.
2 ::: BUSSY vs Shook Crew (Blitzkrieg! Pro, Always The Hard Way)
Back at "Mercy Me", the idea for this match was put into my head and somehow it then became a reality a short while later without me even really mentioning it to anyone outside of Effy. So holy shit on the booking of this match. If you're looking for two more popular tag teams, you might not find them. If you're looking for a match that is going to hit hard, while also being fun and perhaps a little bit provocative, then this is also that match. Worcester loves Shook Crew but we all know Effy is only allowed there as a guest. With a card full of instant classics, this match alone is worth the ticket price to see this one live if you're able.
1 ::: Delmi Exo vs Emi Sakura (Pro Wrestling GRIND, All We Are)
If The Wrestival was a competition where every show was competing against each other (and in some ways they are), then I truly do believe that Pro Wrestling GRIND wins the whole three day event just by booking Emi Sakura. If you don't understand how huge this is, then I feel like I can't use other words to explain it to you but: THIS IS A REALLY BIG DEAL. On top of this, you have Emi Sakura facing off against a wrestler who is undefeated in GRIND (minus the Emerald 12) and has just been having the year of her life and that's Delmi Exo. This match is going to be Delmi Exo looking to make a statement and that's going to be a statement made at the expense of Emi Sakura, which just seems so surreal to say still.