• By Anthony Cox, Kayfabe Kickout Senior Columnist


I had the pleasure this past weekend of attending an independent show put on by Jim Miller's Pro Wrestling Xpress outfit. I give props to Mr. Miller for having an independent company that has lasted for 18 years when it is well known that a lot of local companies don't last that long. It's a credit to PWX for being around so long and giving so many wrestlers a chance to learn their craft. I remember going to their first show for PWX when I was 14 years old and seeing the likes T. Rantula, Quinn Magnum, Big Poppa Gator, and even Headshrinker Samu. At the time they were running their shows out of the back of an abandoned mall, but the crowds were always loud and passionate. Also a great place for fan interaction. All of the things that I have always enjoyed about the independent wrestling scene. Even now, PWX showed that they could put on an excellent card top to bottom with guys like Ryan Reign, Chris LeRusso, Gory, Jason Cage, and Dean Radford. The show had a little something for everyone whether it was some guy who brought a giant stuffed fish to the ring (awesome!) Or showing that TNA isn't the only company that can have a beautiful female referee, but this one actually officiates matches between guys. PWX actually showed me everything that is good about the independent wrestling scene. When casual fans think of professional wrestling, they always think of the WWE with its glitz, glamours, high production values. They think of guys like John Cena, Randy Orton, and CM Punk, and everything taking place in sold out arenas to packed houses all across the World. What a lot of these fans don't think about are the shows taking place at local YMCAs, high school gyms, armories, old churches, and other small venues. They don't know about the excellent matches taking place in front of crowds of 50-200 people, but they are out there. The independent wrestling scene, to me, is the most important part of professional wrestling. Without the independent scene, there wouldn't be many places for guys to learn their craft and there wouldn't be a place for former WWE stars to continue to wrestle and make a living. There are very few precious roster spots available in WWE and TNA while THOUSANDS of others look for a place to wrestle. The independent wrestling scene fills that void, and gives ups chances to see the stars of tomorrow today. I have DVDs of matches from 2003 and 2004 which feature the likes of AJ Styles, Zema Ion and CM Punk wrestling in front of small crowds right down the street from my apartment at a place known here in McKeesport as the Palisades. This venue is historical not only for having those guys wrestle there, but for also being a place back in the 1970s where you can see legends such as Bruno Sammartino and Andre the Giant. This shows that while big time wrestling may have long been gone from that venue, a new group of eager young talent were ready to have their names added to the list of stars who have wrestling in that same venue. Before CM Punk was "Best in the World", he was trying to be "The Best in Pittsburgh" and hoping that a WWE contract would be on deck soon (he wasn't too far away from it). As I watch these local shows being put on, I still wonder who will be the next guy to get that contract with either WWE or TNA? How can you support indy wrestling? By going to these local shows which usually don't cost much. You can also help by purchasing DVDs of their shows and visiting their gimmick tables at the shows and buying some merchandise. If the indy fed in your area happens to have shows that run on local TV, I would suggest checking them out. And the last thing that I could promise is that you will get plenty more actual wrestling! Crowds where fans clap after seeing an excellent match regardless of the outcome, and a lot of good memories. If PWX can keep more folks like me who have been interested in their product for 16 years or more, then I can't see why they won't be around for another 18 years. To Jim Miller and the folks of Pro Wrestling Xpress, keep putting on great shows because you never know who is going to show up and write about you guys. If fans want to know more about PWX, they can visit their website at http://www.prowrestlingexpress.com/. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @whosantcox. And you can also send feedback to my email invidwarriorz@gmail.com

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