Saturday, April 1, 2017

17 To Watch in 2017

Photo Courtesy of Ken Wallace
From Scott Hensley:

Here I go with another list. This one is 17 individuals/groups that I think are on the rise in the Southeast. It's mainly North Georgia with a touch of East TN, West TN, Middle TN, Florida, and Kentucky. My hope is that everyone can read the list and find a name or two that they aren't familiar with yet.

Some of these guys are rookies and some are more experienced guys who I feel like more people need to take notice of. If you feel like I missed someone then you have some options:
1) Bury me on your social media but make sure I can't see it. What do I know? How dare I have opinions and want to put people over!

2) Send me a message and let me know what exciting things you or your recommendations are doing.

3) Make your own list.

That being said here goes:

1) Austin Theory - If you don't follow the Georgia scene or WWN events then you're going to want to check out Austin Theory out of AR Fox's WWA4 school. Major league look, 19 years old, and crazy athleticism to go with it.

2) AC Mack - Mack is another WWA4 guy who what he lacks in size, he makes up for in personality. You're not going to believe this but he's another super athletic guy from WWA4!

3) David Ali - Ali isn't as far along as Mack and Theory but he has potential. He's another WWA4 guy that's definitely worth a look and starting to venture out a little more as his confidence grows.

4) Damage Control - This is a tag team from WWA4(I promise the whole list isn't WWA4...) that consists of Jaxon Vile & Damien Parker. These guys look like a tag team and they work hard. They have some experience outside of the South and bring a legit toughness to the ring, especially Vile.

5) Ayzali - A British female from the WWA4 school who has brains, technical ability, power, and some speed. She's no typical diva but she's a throwback to the women who look like they can mess you up - and I think she can.

6) Myron Reed - One of the most exciting guys I've seen in a long time. He's a super athletic guy that can flip and innovate but who also has the training of Rip Rogers, Dave Crist(from Irish Airborne/OI4K), and Michael Elgin. If you don't follow up on any other person on this list, take the time to look up Myron.

7) Axton Ray - A young and talented up and comer who is working hard, traveling, and winning people over in the far East TN area and now into the Carolinas. With Chase Owens and Jason Kincaid getting more and more outside opportunities away from NWA Smoky Mountain, Ray should continue to get a ton of opportunities and sit under some good learning trees.

8) Slade Porter - Think Colt Cabana's lovable little brother. This guy is based in Florida and oozes charisma and charm. He travels like crazy already and is only going to get better but he has some of those personality traits and the personal drive that can't be taught.

9) Jaden Newman - Very few if any teenagers have the experience that Jaden has. His family runs the Chattanooga area based TWE in Red Bank, where he's over like crazy. It's not just because his family runs it though, it's because he works his butt off every time he's in the ring. TWE brings in a revolving door of young and exciting wrestlers that Jaden usually gets the opportunity to work with so he has a built in network. He's also starting to travel more.

10) "King" Bailey Blake - the youngest person on the list. He can be found regularly at TWE and is far advanced beyond his 17 years. He works the crowd, he sells, he tells a story, and gosh darn it he just "gets it" or as much as a super advanced 17 year old can get it. I'm really looking forward to seeing what he has to offer if he sticks with it in the next 5-10 years.

11) Drew Blood - Blood has been around for a while but doesn't travel extensively. He has become a fixture at Southern Fried in Georgia though and is absolutely hilarious. He has some really funny YouTube videos and is definitely someone that everyone should try to see.

12) Andrew Duckworth - A North Georgia guy that trained under Azrael at Anarchy along with Stryknyn and Jacob Ashworth. He's a guy in that James Storm/Bobby Roode mold and he's improved his work and his look by leaps and bounds in just a year of working. He's under the tutelage of Greg "Woody" Hullender at Georgia Premier right now and I think he'll be a guy that gets a lot of opportunities soon.

13) The Th13teenth Floor (Ike Cross, Chris Bullet, Trevor Aeon, and Damien Bennett) - These guys are an exciting group of guys who feature a lot of creativity and athleticism. They have training from guys like Robert Gibson, Murder One, and Micah & Tracy Taylor. The reference is to the superstition of the 13th floor often being a place to be feared. These guys are all relatively new with Aeon standing out as a guy with more experience but who is still looking to make his mark. I think all of these guys will have a greater mark within the next few years but right now they're relying on the power in numbers and marketing themselves as a package to be feared.

14) Kevin Ku - The former Kevin Park is not new to wrestling but he's now a Middle Tennessee resident and looking to reinvent himself and get some momentum. He has a unique look and exciting work that he'll put to good use as a main part of the Southern Underground Pro promotion that will be starting soon in Nashville.

15) Bishop Kage - just the name alone probably makes you picture a powerhouse and that's exactly what you get with this veteran of West TN, who has recently had exciting matches with independent stars like ACH and Moose. He's an agile big man that has been at it for a while but is someone that has just recently come onto my radar. He's definitely worth checking out if you're in the Memphis area.

16) Harlow O'Hara - a female Robert Gibson trainee with a gothic touch. She's extremely new but surrounded by good teachers. Georgia is slowly gaining more and more able bodied females so she should have some good people to work with in the next few years.

17) Dylan Hales - Who? It's my list so I like to throw some curveballs. Dylan Hales is the son of popular Twitter wrestling fan Michael "Papa" Hales and has his finger on the pulse of independent wrestling as much as anyone. He's not a wrestler but he's a superfan and a networker who has recently come on board officially with the Scenic City creative team and unofficially with a variety of other independent promotions.

Hope you guys enjoyed the list.

For questions, comments, or future suggestions you can hit me up on Facebook or Twitter at ScottCHensley

Thanks for reading!

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