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PWTorch columnist Sean Radican is presenting his top picks for the various Black Friday sales for wrestling DVDs. In Part 4 of the Black Friday Sale Guide, Radican looks at the best selections from the independents not covered in the other three guides. Included are sales associated with these titles below each selection.
RADICAN’S BLACK FRIDAY GUIDE (Pt. 4) – Top picks for best indies shows and Kayfabe Commentaries releases
TOP INDEPENDENT PICKS FOR 2015
– ”Absolution X,” July 14, 2015 (8.0) – Originally I had only seen a live edit of this event, but the final edit is much improved. Absolution is traditionally one of AIW’s biggest shows of the year. This show was a bit thin during the first half, but concluded with a really fun second half of the card capped by a fantastic main event.
Key matches include a fun Six Pack Scramble (***1/2), a returning Tim Donst vs. Nick Gage in an Anything Goes match (***1/2), AIW Champion Josh Alexander vs. Rickey Shane Page (***1/2), and an insane 10 Man Tag main event featuring Dudes on TV (Ethan Carter III & Matt Cross & DJ Z & Raymond Rowe & Samoa Joe) vs. Team AIW (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson & Alex Daniels & Johnny Gargano & Josh Prohibition).
You can purchase AIW’s “Absolution X” on DVD by clicking HERE or by visiting Shop.AIWrestling.com. Right now all AIW DVDs are priced at $10 for AIW’s Black Friday Sale. Also, if you visit SmartmarkVideo.com and spend $50 on DVDs/MP4s, you can save 30% on your AIW order. For more information on AIW, visit AIWrestling.com.
– ”Battle of the Sexes 2,” August 14, 2015 (7.5) – I’ve soured on inter-gender wrestling, but this offering from AIW was a lot of many. It was clear that many of the matches were designed to tell a story and entertain as opposed to relying on stunt bumps, which made this show a pleasant surprise.
Ethan Page vs. Allysin Kay was a hilarious match with Kay objectifying Page and Page in turn standing up for male rights. To Infinity & Beyond vs. Sugar & Spice with the AIW Tag Team Titles on the line was another match that told a good story with Taeler Hendrix putting Colin Delaney under her spell with a kiss. This was a fun AIW show that is well-worth checking out.
You can purchase AIW’s “Battle of the Sexes 2” on DVD by clicking HERE or by visiting Shop.AIWrestling.com. Right now all AIW DVDs are priced at $10 for AIW’s Black Friday Sale. Also, if you visit SmartmarkVideo.com and spend $50 on DVDs/MP4s, you can save 30% on your order. For more information on AIW, visit AIWrestling.com.
Other top AIW picks for 2015: “Make ‘Em Say Uhh,” April 24, 2015 (Young Bucks AIW debut) and J.T. Lightning Invitational Tournament 2015 Day One & Day Two, May 22 & 23, 2015 (I love tournaments and JLIT is a must-watch each year. Day two has two big non-tournament matches with Samoa Joe vs. Johnny Gargano and Absolute Champion Josh Alexander vs. Ethan Page.
–”Greatest Rivals Round Robin,” Sept. 26, 2015 (10.0)– This is one of my favorite independent wrestling shows of all-time and it was the best independent show I’ve seen since DGUSA’s first show, “Open the Historic Gate.” This was Busick’s farewell to the independent scene and what better way for him to go out than to face four of his biggest rivals on the indies in a round robin tournament.
Drew Gulak, Timothy Thatcher, and Eddie Edwards joined Busick in the round robin, which produced several really good matches and a couple of excellent matches in Gulak-Edwards (****1/2) and the main event with Busick facing his top Beyond Wrestling rival Eddie Edwards (*****). Edwards-Busick told a tremendous story and is my current top match of 2015. In addition to those matches, there’s several other standout matches on the card outside the round robin highlighted by a great match between Ricochet and J.T. Dunn. (***3/4).
You can purchase “Greatest Rivals Round Robin” on DVD by clicking HERE or by visiting SmartMarkVideo.com. Right now SMV is running a sale where if you spend $50 on DVDs/MP4s, you get 30% off your purchase. Beyond Wrestling is also running a sale where if you buy a title, you get another copy of the title free to give as a gift at LookMaNoFans.com. You can also watch all Beyond Wrestling events at YouTube.Com/BeyonDemand, which comes with a free 2 week trial and is priced at $9.99 per month with new shows added to the service as they are released. . For more information on Beyond Wrestling, visit LookMaNoFans.com.
– ”Americanrana 2015,” July 26, 2015 (9.0) – This was one of my favorite independent shows of the year. The atmosphere incredible for this show, which blew the doors off the building with some great action with a tremendous second half of the show. It says something when match after match is greeted with nothing but love and streamers from the crowd and this show accomplished that match after match. The card really built nicely to a crescendo with Death By Elbow vs. The Young Bucks (****1/4) being the blow away match this card needed to put it over the top as a fantastic show.
The undercard was solid live. Speedball vs. Cannon (***1/2) set the tone for the night and the show never slowed down outside of the disappointing Kingdom vs. Gulak & Busick match, which was only disappointing because it was so short. I really enjoyed everything I saw and even though I’m not a fan of hardcore matches, the Casket match was one hell of a spectacle live. You could tell by just being there live and watching the raw footage that this was a huge show and each and every performer went above and beyond (no pun intended).
The second half of the card delivered in spades. An awesome display of domination by Williams when he tapped out Fox quickly set the tone for a wild end to the show. Don’t sleep on Fury-Dijak (***3/4), which was an epic teacher vs. student match that built and built with twists and turns leading into the finish. The 10 Man brawl was insane with action all over the place. The diversity on this card really stood out and the women held their own as well with Lee and Lovelace (***3/4) tearing down the house in the semi-main event.
You can purchase “Americanrana 2015” on DVD by clicking HERE or by visiting SmartMarkVideo.com. Right now SMV is running a sale where if you spend $50 on DVDs/MP4s, you get 30% off your purchase. Beyond Wrestling is also running a sale where if you buy a title, you get another copy of the title free to give as a gift at LookMaNoFans.com. You can also watch all Beyond Wrestling events at YouTube.Com/BeyonDemand, which comes with a free 2 week trial and is priced at $9.99 per month with new shows added to the service as they are released. . For more information on Beyond Wrestling, visit LookMaNoFans.com.
Other top Beyond Wrestling picks: “King of Arts,” March 1, 2015 (CLL World Champion Shynron vs. A.R. Fox in a Ladder match), “The Real Thing,” May 31, 2015 (Samoa Joe vs. Chris Dickinson, Eddie Edwards vs. Donovan Dijak), and “Life Sucks and Then You Die,” June 28, 2015 (Cabana vs. Ryan vs. Cockstrong, Busick vs. Dijak, London vs. Fox).
– King of Trios 2015: Nights, 1, 2, and 3, Sept. Sept. 4-Sept. 6 2015 (8.5) – These three individual shows as a collection tell a number of great stories that begin on the first night and conclude on the final night of the tournament. The field was loaded this year with a fantastic mix of teams from CHIKARA, legends, the U.K. mixed with marquee teams like Team AAA (Drago & Fenix & Aerostar) and Bullet Club (A.J. Styles & Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson).
The best stories involve Devastation Corporation trying to repeat as King of Trio winners and the evolution of Kevin Condron’s character as the leader of Battleborn. Night 2 was my favorite night of the tournament with some fantastic storytelling, but night 3 was very strong as well as the tournament built to a satisfying conclusion. I highly recommend picking up King of Trios as a collection of shows.
You can purchase “King of Trios 2015: Night 1” on VOD/MP4 download by clicking HERE, “King of Trios 2015: Night 2 on VOD/MP4 download by clicking HERE, and “King of Trios 2015: Night 3 by clicking HERE, or by visiting ChikaraPro.com. Right now, CHIKARA is holding a sale at ChikaraPro.com where all VOD/MP4 download are $4 off with a limit of 7 shows to purchase at $7.99 each. CHIKARA DVDs are also on sale at SmartMarkVideo.com. Also, if you visit SmartmarkVideo.com and spend $50 on DVDs/MP4s, you can save 30% on your CHIKARA order.
Other top CHIKARA selections for 2015: “National Pro Wrestling Day 2015,” Feb. 8 2015, “Not Without My Daughter,” Oct. 23, 2015.
Progress Wrestling, which runs out of the UK, isn’t having a sale on Black Friday, as they make a limited amount of DVDs for each of their shows that usually sell out very quickly. They do have an on demand channel at Demand-Progress.com where they put up all their shows on VOD quickly after they are released. The shows are also available for a reasonable price if you want to download them on MP4 at Demand-Progress.com.
I have just started following Progress Wrestling, but it’s clear that they use a great mix of U.K./International independent talent like Will Ospreay, Marty Scurll, Jimmy Havoc, Tommy End, and Marty Scurll. The promotion also does a fantastic job of bringing in surprise independent talent from the U.S., as they did recently when Adam Cole and Roderick Strong showed up at their September event unannounced.
The atmosphere for Progress events is fantastic. They draw red hot crowds for most of their events and their popularity has really exploded this year. The strength of the promotion is its strong in-ring action and storytelling. Jimmy Havoc recently wrapped up a lengthy run as a fantastic heel champion, which was paid off to end his long-term storyline.
I really enjoyed the Super Strong Style 16 Tournament, which ran for two nights on May 24 and May 25, 2015. This tournament is well-worth going out of your way to check out. The Demand-Progress site is a great value and is currently available for U.S. subscribers on the Roku channel, which will allow you to watch Progress Wrestling in HD.
You can watch all Progress Wrestling events on VOD for $7.50 per month at Demand-Progress.com. Right now, you can get your first month of Demand-Progress.com for just $.99 by using the code PWP99CENT when you check out. You can also download the shows on MP4 for a separate fee at Demand-Progress.com. Right now Progress Merchandise is discounted 20 percent at Progresswrestling.com/shop using the code “blackprogressfriday.” For more information on Progress Wrestling, visit ProgressWrestling.com.
Misc. Indie Events
– ”King of Indies 2015: Night 1 & Night 2,” March 27 & March 28, 2015 – These shows were held during WM weekend this year and aired on iPPV via WWN Live. Night 1 was the weaker of the two events, but as a package this is a great deal on Blu-Ray given how good night 2 was. I really enjoyed Kevin Gill and John Roberts as the announce team on these two shows. The tournament was designed to shine a spotlight on unknown independent talent from California and by the end of the tournament names like Adam Thornstowe, Rey Horus, Jeff Cobb, and several others impressed me a great deal.
To avoid spoilers, I won’t get into the results of night 2, but it was a great show. There are also some good non-tournament matches on both shows such as Ricochet vs. Matt Cross vs. Joey Ryan and Ultimo Dragon vs. Juventud Guerrera.
You can purchase “King of Indies 2015” on Blu-ray by clicking HERE or by visiting DGUSA.tv. Right now there is no sale on this double Blu-ray set. You can also watch this event on separate VODs at WWNLive.com.
– JCW “JCW’s Back B—Ch!,” Jan. 23, 2015 – JCW ran several shows during the early part of 2015 and put “JCW’s Back B—ch!” out on DVD. The main event was a fun match between JCW fan favorite 2 Tuff Tony, who was defending the JCW World Championship, against Office Colt Cabana. If you haven’t seen Cabana’s act as a heel police officer that hates Juggalos, you owe it to yourself to check out this match. Cabana is versatile as a performer that it’s hard to believe someone that is usually so beloved in wrestling could portray a character like Officer Colt Cabana, but Cabana pulls it off.
Overall, this was a really fun show with some good in-ring action. The storytelling was good, as the show put a heavy focus on The Weedman vs. 2 Tuff Tony for the JCW World Championship on Juggalo Day, which is when the next JCW event was held earlier this year. Hopefully JCW can put their shows out on a more regular basis when they film them, as they’re a lot of fun to watch on DVD. Kevin Gill, Violent J, and Shaggy 2 Dope make a tremendous commentary team. They are hilarious and enhance the action in the ring.
You can purchase “JCW’s Back B—ch!” on DVD by clicking HERE or by visiting HatchetGear.com. Right now HatcherGear.com is having a 35% off sale on all JCW DVDs.
Other JCW recommendations: “BloodyMania 8” (Live from the GOTJ 2014).
– ”Back to the Territories: Mid-South w/Jim Duggan”(9.0) – Jim Cornette serves as the host of this series from Kayfabe Commentaries that takes a look back at different territories in-depth. The releases from the series I’ve seen so far have been tremendous and Cornette does a great job of navigating his guests through the history of the territory being discussed. When you mix in the production elements from Kayfabe Commentaries, you have a winning formula.
This release is well-worth going out of your way to see because Cornette and Duggan take you inside Mid-South Wrestling and paint a complete picture of how Bill Watts due to his forceful personality was able to take a group of strong personalities, keep them in line, and move them in the same direction. “It was a snake pit of tough guys,” said Duggan of the Mid South locker room, but everyone got along and moved in the same direction because when the company was running hot, everyone made money. Kayfabe Commentaries has hit a home run with this concept.
You can purchase “Back to the Territories: Mid-South w/Jim Duggan” on DVD by clicking HERE or by visiting KayfabeCommentaries.com. You can also watch this release on VOD at WWNLive.com. Right now there is no sale for Kayfabe Commentaries releases.
– ”Timeline The History of ECW 1999 AS Told By RVD” (8.0) – This was a very good edition of “Timeline: The History of ECW.” Although a lot of the topics RVD discussed have been talked about before, he did a good job of bringing the discussion of ECW full-circle by taking a hard look at his mindset as the events unfolded in 1999.
Kayfabe Commentaries does a really great job of putting the releases for this series together, as Oliver and RVD march through 1999 month by month with graphics that talk about a specific event or occurrence that lead into a discussion. As I’ve said before, one of the biggest benefits these releases have is the use of the ECW library via R.F. Video. When RVD and Oliver are discussing a certain in-ring moment, the footage is shown and it enhances the discussion. I give this release a high recommendation.
You can purchase “Timeline The History of ECW 1999” on DVD by clicking HERE or by visiting KayfabeCommentaries.com. You can also watch this release on VOD at WWNLive.com. Right now there is no sale for Kayfabe Commentaries releases.
Email Sean at PWTorchSean@Gmail.com
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