by Josh White
Who doesn’t love a good list?
This week, in our new weekly feature Top Ten Tuesday, Josh White discusses his Top 10 independent wrestlers currently working the thriving UK independent scene.
Independent, or ‘Indy’ wrestling as it is usually referred to, is a far cry from that of the WWE. Its fans are at the core of the product and are extremely vocal in their support, or otherwise distain for certain performers. It’s this dedicated part of society that have allowed in part for the scene to grow once again, along with the fantastic rise of companies such as PROGRESS, Attack! Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Chaos, Fight Club: Pro, Insane Championship Wrestling, Revolution Pro and OTT (Over the Top Wrestling), amongst countless others. To be a part of this blossoming revolution of the graps is something that is to be both admired and respected, and it’s time we gave a voice to those working their fingers to the bone, putting their bodies on the line every night for our entertainment. Please note, for the purposes of this list I will not be including anyone that is signed to a contract with a major company (WWE, ROH, NJPW ect).
- Millie McKenzie
At the tender age of only 17 years old, the rightly nicknamed ‘suplex machine’ has made her mark. Having already stepped into the ring with the likes of Chris Brookes in a MOTY worthy bout for the Fight Club: Pro championship, winning the Defiant Wrestling women’s championship from Kay Lee Ray, and competing for the likes of Attack! Pro Wrestling and Chikara in their annual ‘King Of Trios’ tournament – it’s safe to say that the rise of this young woman will only continue onto greater heights in years to come.
- Bowl-a-rama (Splits McPins & Fat Cat Lloyd Katt)
Look, I know this is technically cheating as I’m naming a tag team for the number 9 slot, but it would be unfair to split these two apart (see what I did there?). Hailing from Hackney, South London, the proprietors of now unfortunately closed Bowl-a-rama bowling alley (James and Leigh Obstruction blew it up) are mainstays on the Attack! roster. Having already held tag team gold twice in the promotion and having worked for others including HOPE, the future looks to be bright. Also whilst you’re at it, just search for Bowl-a-rama on Instagram and you’ll find Fat Cat literally serenading the crowd with his own rendition of their theme song. I actually cried with laughter.
- Jack Sexsmith
The Pansexual Phenomenon is an absolute essential part of this list, and it would be incomplete without him. In a culture that was long associated with super-egos and machismo, Jack is breaking down multiple walls at the same time. His character reflects his true self and is an inspiration for so many people in society that are struggling with coming to terms with their sexuality. Sexsmith goes to show that no matter your creed, colour or sexuality you can achieve anything that you set out to do. A mainstay with PROGRESS and a semi-regular at Attack! , Jack is one of the most genuine and nice human beings you could ever hope to come into contact with. He has also just launched his own clothing line, Proud Apparel. Proud donates 25% of all profits to Stonewall, a UK based charity that supports and campaigns for rights of the LGBTQ community. A link will be provided at the end of this list if you feel inclined to add your support to this fantastic cause.
- Eddie Dennis
The former head teacher from the Welsh valleys took a huge risk when he left his position to embark on following his ultimate dream of becoming a full time professional wrestler. You’d be mistaken for thinking that his glowing demeanour and super, super friendly approach to everyone that comes his way would reflect in the ring. Wrong. I’m not quite sure exactly what happens, but something comes from within ‘the pride of wales’ when he gets to work. Combining raw power with speed, agility and a comeback sequence that frankly fires up a crowd like no other, Eddie is going to get back to killing it once he recovers from a very unfortunate injury. For now, you can catch him doing his first spoken word events, or at regular training sessions with Knucklelocks.
- Chief Deputy Dunne
Residing in Broad Street police station, Birmingham, the leader of the Anti-Fun Police has completely re-invented himself. The former member of GBH (Guilty By Hate) has broken out of his former shell and has donned the ‘no fun on his pants’ trunks, along with his trusty megaphone to shut heckling members of the audience up at his pleasure. A former Attack! Pro Wrestling champion in his own right, Dunne has taken his mantra of ‘nobody has any fun, nobody gets hurt’ to the masses. The law will be enforced, and he’ll ensure you’ll have NO FUN-AHHHHHH whilst he’s at it.
- Los Federales Super Santos Jr
Born to a legend of Lucha Libre, Super Santos Sr, Los Federales Super Santos Jr was destined to follow in his papi’s footsteps. Born and raised near Tijuana, Mexico, Federales spent his childhood obsessing over the squared circle. It was when the family decided to move to Wales that he decided it was time to don the mask. Now residing at Broad Street police station in Birmingham with ‘El Captain’ Chief Deputy Dunne and the Brothers of Obstruction (James and Leigh), life is good with NO FUN, NADA. Having made his professional debut at Attack! Pro wrestling’s Kris Travis Tag Team Invitational in 2016; it’s been quite the journey for our newest Mexican sensation. A thunderous (the crowd lost their collective minds) debut at PROGRESS alongside Chief Deputy Dunne last month has all but solidified Federales as a star of the future.
- ‘Flash’ Morgan Webster
Who the fuck is Flash Morgan Webster?
Your next PROGRESS world champion.
- Travis Banks
Your current PROGRESS world champion, the Kiwi Buzzsaw has his fair share of support, and more recently detractors. Some may critique his methods in retaining the title, but it would be completely unjust to say that he doesn’t leave it in the ring every single night. A lover’s quarrel of sorts between himself, Brookes and TK Cooper has left a question mark as to the future of any possible friendship between the two opposing sides. A regular also for Attack! and Fight Club: Pro (donning the moniker of Chief Deputy Dude Man Super Sexy Travis Banks and leader of the Anti-Anti Fun Police in Attack), you can’t help but love the man. A stalwart of the ring and a genuine nice bloke to top it off, Banks is a cut above.
- Mark Davis
One half of the Aussie Open with Kyle Fletcher, the Australian native has taken a huge step in forwarding his career by moving to the UK in hopes of making it. A high five from Dunkzilla may require a trip to A&E, but it’s a worthy sacrifice to have even a glimpse of the raw power he possesses once in the ring. A recent debut at PROGRESS in their Natural Progression series against his aforementioned team-mate, followed by an absolute sweet lord above me how are they both not dead rip any blood vessels that still work you’re going into overtime chop fest of a match against fellow big lad and current PROGRESS Atlas champion, Walter. Having also wrestled against the likes of Eddie Dennis, Ryan Smile and Johna Rock, and holding tag team gold as part of the Aussie Open in Attack, Mark Davis is a name you’ll be sure to remember.
- Chris Brookes
What can be said about Chris Brookes that hasn’t already been said? If it’s not putting on stellar singles matches with the likes of Keith Lee in WXW at their annual 16 Carat Gold tournament, to tagging in CCK with Travis Banks as part of the Commonwealth Catch Kings, or tagging with the sorely missed and recovering wholesome wolf Kid Lykos as part of the Calamari Catch Kings, Brookes quite literally has the ability to turn whatever he touches into gold. I don’t think I have ever seen someone step into the ring that has quite as much natural ability to hang with whoever he’s facing, no matter their age, size, gender, whatever. Chris has a profound method of making the crowd either love him, or really, really, hate him. And I mean HATE. Having already performed for Attack! (There’s an in joke – 10 points if you get it), Progress, Revolution Pro, Ring of Honor, Combat Zone Wrestling and is the current reigning and defending Fight Club: Pro champion – mark my words. Chris Brookes will take the professional wrestling world by storm. Get out of the way if you don’t want to be caught up in an octopus stretch.
PLEASE ALSO TAKE THE TIME TO CHECK OUT JACK SEXSMITH’S NEW CLOTHING LINE:
PROUD APPAREL (25% OF ALL PROFITS WILL BE DONATED TO STONEWALL)
Joshua White – Steelchair Magazine 2018.