In an industry that holds home to literally thousands of independent wrestling hopefuls, It is key that one find his or her own identity when searching for a suitable character; something that will stick out and be regarded later on, long after the bell has rung and the show has ended. The idea is to send the audience home happy while depositing a lasting impression into each individual memory bank, something can appear to be a daunting task with so many faces rotating through the independent circuit; a cutthroat level that sees more failures than success stories, but can offer a true “diamond in the rough” type of potential.
Today, I decided to get on Twitter and find a few characters that left a lasting impression, all of which execute gimmicks and personas that are sure to stick in your mind long after you have visited their merchandise tables.
1) Seymour Snott
“The Geek with the Physique”, “The World’s Strongest Mathlete” or “The Leader of the Nerd Herd”…no matter which of his many nicknames you choose they are all incredibly suitable for the wrestling super nerd that could easily put any bullies head into a toilet. Snott has been an independent darling dating back to the 90’s and was trained by the highly underrated Michael Modest, one of the focal points of the ultra popular documentary “Beyond the Mat”. On top of being a recognizable face in the independent wrestling circuit, he is also king of the best gifs and nerd related tweets on the web. Perhaps adding “The Geek with all the Tweets” to his growing list of nicknames will be something he does in the near future; until then, I advise that you catch him wrestling if you have the opportunity.
2) Twisted Sisterz (Holidead & Thunder Rosa)
Upon first glance, Holidead & Thunder Rosa will scare the absolute daylights out of you, but rumor has it that they are two of the most approachable and down to earth souls currently making the rounds on the independent circuit. With more talent between them than 100 indie wrestlers combined, it is no surprise that this unforgettable pair plays double duty and are both heralded as a successful tag team in addition to being memorable singles competitors wherever they go, with Rosa pulling triple duty as she is also the masked character Kobra Moon when working for Lucha Underground. Talk about two hard-working women in the business with nowhere to go but forward. Get familiar with these two if you aren’t already.
3) Drugz Bunny
Some people are not amused or have some type of stigma when you bring up the rouge Hoodslam promotion; as if the fact that they have fun and don’t provide “all ages” entertainment is a bad thing. I, for one, am not one of those people. When I look at Hoodslam I see a rare type of togetherness and community that the rest of the independent wrestling circuit can benefit from; the fact that it just so happens that they drink like sailors and smoke like chimneys while doing so is merely an added bonus and release for both the performers and audience alike. One of the most popular members of that roster (and one of the most recommended wrestlers people tag or send my way via the internet) is wrestling’s “Original Rabbit” Drugz Bunny, who embodies what it means to be a Hoodslam superstar to the T. He’s edgy, different and most of all unique. If you truly want to reach the “entertainment” spectrum of the sport, I suggest you check out his “1920’s Prohibition Match” against James C immediately for a massive Youtube win.
4) Aspyn Rose
Aspyn Rose touts herself as being “Pro Wrestling’s Mermaid”, but beneath the gimmick she is so much more than that. At the tender age of 21, she has already established herself as one of the most unique talents in wrestling and before you even hit play and watch one of her matches you can simply look at her photos and see that she is a star in the making. Aspyn Rose oozes poise and confidence, from her on key facial expressions down to her signature look, connecting with the audience almost immediately, leaving a lasting impression long before she ever locks up with an opponent. She is no slouch in the ring either; as a product of current Ring of Honor champion Jay Lethal, Rose strives for perfection between the ropes, getting better and better with each match. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see her and her signature turquoise hair in the ring of a major company sometime down the line.
5) Shayna Baszler
It’s not a new trend; an MMA fighter turning pro-wrestler (or vice versa), but lately it feels like the quality of MMA fighters choosing to perform as pro wrestlers has drastically improved. Of all of the hot young talent vying to make the transition my two favorites are easily Matthew Riddle and former Ultimate Fighter competitor Shayna Baszler. Baszler’s gimmick is simple, to the point she really doesn’t have to do anything but be herself. Yes, I said it…Shayna Baszler’s gimmick is being Shayna Baszler.
Part of MMA’s “Four Horsewomen”, with brute toughness and an amazing athletic ability, Baszler seems destined to do as well in the sport of professional wrestling as she has in MMA, where she holds 15 wins, 14 by way of submission. It seems as though a transition into pro-wrestling was a no brainer for the Sioux Falls product, a sport that combines athletics and personality, something Baszler knows a lot about. Baszler is a legitimate badass, plain and simple and with her new-found knack for professional wrestling, it’s only a matter of time before she has her name spoken in the mix with best talent the world has to offer. Also, $10 says she could beat CM Punk quicker than Mickey Gall.
Do you know of any other interesting characters on the independent circuit? Do you have a comment or care to further discuss? Be sure you follow me @NicholasGrooms on Twitter and keep the discussion going!
All photos courtesy of individual twitters/instagrams. For individual photo credit, please message the page.