I could watch this over and over. Not just because PWG chose to troll Randy Orton. But because I love watching the Young Bucks and OI4K mix it up.
Friday night I saw a gutsy young wrestler answer an open challenge from Cash Flo. Even though Flo was bigger than him, not to mention far more experienced, Andrew Hunter took to the ring and his opponent with all the fearlessness of a veteran. He lost the match, but he won the crowd, and that is often the greater victory.
Andrew Hunter has dreamed of wrestling since the age of 8. “I never really had the aspirations of being in the Main Event of Wrestlemania. I just wanted to travel the world. I mean growing up and never having a consistent source of cable to watch the main stream product I watched wrestling where I could when I could. So this consisted of a lot of late 80’s and early 90’s Japanese tapes from AJPW and NJPW. I saw a range of the best of Stan Hanson to the best of Great Sasuke and everywhere in between. So I was captivated with the in your face smash mouth style from a young age.”
Not surprisingly, Andrew’s list of favorite wrestlers growing up has a little more diversity than most. Having watched so many overseas promotion, his favorites included Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger, Great Sasuke, Great Muta, and Ultimo Dragon along with Randy Savage and Brian Pillman.
Andrew began his training with Jimmy Feltcher at the Coliseum in Evansville, Indiana. “My first match was a handicap match. It was Brett Taylor, Michael Kaiden and myself against Nick Depp and Nick Willis. The match went ok but we all had a lot left to learn as it pertains to the business.”
Andrew draws a great deal of inspiration from his past when it pertains to his in-ring persona. He’s smaller than most of his opponents, but he’s fearless. “[I was] raised in a home of abuse and alcoholism. Being able to come out of that environment as a success makes you a survivor. What makes me unique is that survivor mentality.”
The Fearville Werewolf, as he is sometimes called, has had some great matches in his young career, citing Toby Farley and Aaron Williams as favorite opponents. His ultimate fantasy would be a match with the late Brian Pillman, but in reality, the opponent he desires most is Sami Callihan.
Andrew works mainly in Kentucky and Indiana area, with PWF and UWA being his home promotions. He’s already been a CCW Tri-State Champion and currently holds the AWA Junior Heavyweight Champion. If all goes well, Hunter has his eyes set on ROH, NJPW, PWG, and AAA
“I just basically want to be welled traveled internationally,” he says.
Indy wrestling fans have been telling WWE fans for years they were missing out. Last night, Indy fans were able to rise up and say, “See?? I told you so!”
Owens is only the latest to crash the WWE party. Bryan, Rollins, Ambrose, Harper, Zayn, Cesaro, Balor, Itami, Bayley, Emma, Neville. These are not pre-fabbed stars made by the WWE machine. All of these rising stars got to the WWE after years of busting their butts on the Indy circuit.
There’s more great wrestling to discover, possibly right down the street from your house. That’s why I wrote Eat Sleep Wrestle. That’s why you need to get out and see an Indy show.
Head over to Smart Mark Video to get a sample now. Look up CZW/WSU, PWG, OVW, IWA Mid-South, CHIKARA, Rockstar Pro, CWAI, Empire, Shimmer, AIW, or take a look at what Jeff Jarrett’s putting together at GFW.
If I left out your favorite promotion, please please enter it in the comments below.
A revolution is coming.
WWE published a great interview with Drake Wuertz on their website. Fans of IWA Mid-South, CZW, and PWG will remember Wuertz as Drake Younger, an outstanding indy wrestler with a brutal hardcore past. Wuertz signed with WWE in early 2014 and turned up on NXT in the unlikely role of a referee. While his indy fans may still be a bit disappointed, it’s clear Wuertz is happy and enjoying his role. He’s also doing a great job.