Warrior Wrestling Hot Take
The Windy City of Chicago has stood witness to exhilarating moments of victory and devastating eras of destruction.
It has lived through The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, the Great Fire of 1871 and The Eastland Disaster, always rising and fighting through the darkness and the turmoil. It has become one of the most resilient cities, a central hub for blue-collar workers who live and die by their sports stars and fighters. Chicago has stood tall, roaring for the Road Warriors and applauding Ricky Steamboat's first-ever NWA World Championship win. Whether it be Wrestlemania or The World Series, Chicago stands tall in support of their chosen favorites.
If there is one thing Chicago loves the most, it's their hometown heroes, those who have risen up to glory but have never forgotten their roots in the Second City.
While CM Punk has certainly become one of the most famous Chicagoans who have ever lived, Warrior Wrestling has blazed a trail as one of Chicago's hometown wrestling promotions, bringing the fastest rising competitors to wage war on Al Capone's home turf. These modern day warriors are gangsters of a different breed. They battle with dropkicks and strikes, not Tommy Guns. They, not bullets, whiz through the air, all in the pursuit of glory, gold and victory.
Now, Warrior Wrestling undertakes its greatest journey yet, teaming with FITE to present The Warrior Wrestling Stadium Series. Having successfully brought professional wrestling back to the Windy City in a post COVID-19 world, Warrior now undertakes its most ambitious journey yet, bringing a series of live events to FITE direct from Chicago, assembling a cutting edge roster at the top of their game waging war.
The Stadium Series commences on Saturday September 12th, featuring the return of former Impact Wrestling World Champion and reigning Warrior Wrestling Women's Champion Tessa Blanchard, competing for the first time since March. The third-generation star remains one of the most brash and controversial talents inside or outside the squared circle and will certainly whip up a frenzy as she defends that evening against the number one contender, Kylie Rae. Rae has been on a tear in Warrior Wrestling and beyond in 2020, shocking the world of Impact Wrestling with her unique sweetness and technical wrestling mastery. Will Blanchard be able to solve the wrestling riddle that is Kylie Rae or will she become the latest to fall victim to perhaps the professional wrestler who is the most pure of heart anywhere? Blanchard steps back into the ring for the first time in months - but will she enter a world that has been forever changed...and if so, how does even she deal with it?
Warrior Wrestling will also bring the dream matches on September 12th. For fans who live and die by the mental chess game that is professional wrestling on the mat, perhaps the most proficient fighters in that aspect of the game are multi-time Impact Wrestling Tag Team and X-Division Champion Alex Shelley and the winner of the very first WWE Cruiserweight Classic TJP. In the tradition of Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko and Dory Funk Jr. vs. Jack Brisco, TJP and Shelley will wage war, putting on a clinic that will stretch limbs, tear muscles and wear down extremities in the all out pursuit of the most important thing for any athlete - the declaration of victory.
Six Man Tag Team wrestling has become one of the cornerstones of Warrior Wrestling, pushing the boundaries of tag team synchronization and the unique, layered aerial assaults that come from the hungriest of competitors striving for excellence.
The Rascalz - Wentz, Dez & Trey - have stunned the world by stepping into their own as the six man tag team unit to beat, leaving fans and opponents alike in shock and awe. If there is a trio that could conceivably match them as a mirror image, it may be their opponents at the first Stadium Series, Injustice's Jordan Oliver and Myron Reed, who have torn apart opponents in MLW and beyond and their partner, former X-Division Champion Chris Bey, who has finessed his way into greatness over the course of the year. This bout may be held under traditional wrestling rules, but how can one official, much less gravity itself, contain such madness?
While the women may be headlining the debut Stadium Series event, they are not alone in representing the greatness that is women's professional wrestling. Thunder Rosa, the reigning NWA Women's Champion, hot off stealing the show at AEW All Out, will step out onto the Chicago battlefield to continue her pursuit of raising the level and perception of professional wrestling, taking on former CHIKARA Grand Champion and Impact star Kimber Lee. While Thunder Rosa is a striker and submission specialist, Lee is perhaps the most varied and underrated competitor in the women's ranks today. If any fighter may be the Dark Horse preparing to shock the world, it may indeed be Kimber Lee. A victory over Thunder Rosa would send shockwaves across multiple promotions.
The battles don't stop there.
The Machine Brian Cage is seeking to find his path of redemption back to the Warrior Wrestling Championship, but to do so, he has to turn back the challenge of rising star Alex Zayne. Cage remains furious and without Warrior Wrestling Champion Brian Pillman Jr. to take his anger out on, Zayne may find himself going from competitor to victim in fast fashion. Can Zane use Cage's anger to his own advantage and in doing so, score the biggest singles win of his career?
Kevin Ku, who has built a tremendous amount of momentum leading to his recent signing with MLW will have to prove himself against the arrogance of former MLW Champion, MMA fighter Tom Lawlor. Can Ku overcome the leader of Team Filthy or will this night turn out to just be another opportunity for Lawlor to disrespect all involved?
The charismatic and powerful Warhorse returns to action, facing the maverick Joey Janela in what could prove to be one of the most unique clashes set for the Stadium Series. Will Janela's insane, unorthodox style be the key to bringing down the popular Warhorse?
Chicago's own Isaias Velasquez continues to test himself against the best in the world as lucha star Daga returns to the United States for Warrior Wrestling on September 12th. While Velasquez has been one of the best kept secrets in professional wrestling, can he rocket to the next level in his hometown by stunning the Impact Wrestling star? In a battle of high flying stars, who breaks the stratosphere first?
Meanwhile, the fallout of Warrior Wrestling's last big Stadium event will be felt when Dan the Dad is pursued by Elayna Black, seeking to humble and embarrass the self-proclaimed "Best Dad" in all of wrestling. It will be anything but a Cup of Team for Dad the Dad who may have finally embarked on a battle that even he can't handle from the fiery Black, who may indeed hand out discipline the likes of which Dan has never experienced.
This loaded lineup is only the first of Warrior Wrestling's Stadium Series, bringing the fight and fire of the Windy City direct to you, wherever you are, live on FITE!
Mike Johnson is the lead reporter for PWInsider.com and has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He can be found on Twitter @MikePWInsider and MikeJohnsonWrites.com.