Indy Wrestling Corner: 12 Years and Counting
Every year new independent companies are formed while others go out of business. There are many reasons why a company would go out of business, so to survive for a few years, let alone over a decade, is a huge accomplishment. There are a few independents that have lasted a long time. The East Coast Wrestling Association has been around since 1967, and is home of the famous Super 8 Tournament.
Another company that has hit the decade milestone, and flown right by it, is West Coast Wrestling Connection. The WCWC was founded by Jeff Manning and Pat Kelley. Their first show was on March 20, 2005, so we are hitting the 12th anniversary. On May, 24, 2014, the company debuted on television, and they’ve been a mainstay in the Pacific Northwest since. They are based out of Salem, OR and run monthly television tapings from the Jackson Armory in Portland, OR.
The first WCWC Pacific Northwest Champion was George Michael, who ended up holding the title 6 times. Currently the belt is held by The Grappler. The Legacy Championship, currently held by Ricky Gibson, who I wrote about previously, was first held by Jeremy Blanchard. Gibson won the title in a 3 way match for the vacant title after Ethan HD was stripped of the belt and fired after attacking a referee. The WCWC Tag Champions are The Bonu$ Boyz of Clutch Kucera and Sugar Brown, with the first champions being Only The Best, made up of Memphis Raines and Mike Dempsey. The Boyz won the titls from former WWE wrestlers Gangrel and Sinn Bodhi. Mike Dempsy was also the first WCWC Lightning Division champion, winning the belt in 2006, but it was retired in 2013. The final champion was Eric Right. There have been 7 men to hold all 3 of the still active titles, Ethan HD, Caleb Konley, Mikey O’Shea, Eric Right, Gangrel, Alexander Hammerstone, and The Grappler. Only 1 man has held all 3 and the Light Division Title, Eric Right.
Without a doubt, one of the biggest factors that helps to keep an independent company in business, besides the fans, are the wrestlers. You need a good mix of vets that can draw in fans, and the up and coming talent to keep the fans there. The WCWC has both of those things. Wrestlers like the previously mentioned Gangrel and Sinn Bodhi, and Matt Striker can draw the fans that are looking for some name recognition. Wile the young cats like Alexander Hammerstone, Caleb Konley, Mikey O’Shea, and Eric Right keep them coming back. The WCWC has a revolving door for the talent, so along with the mainstays, the fans can be surprised by new and returning talent they haven’t seen in a while and jumping right into the action. Darin Corbin and The Whirlwind Gentlemen all recently made their returns to the WCWC.
A lot has changed on the wrestling landscape in the past 12 years. Companies and wrestlers have come and gone, but in the Pacific Northwest, one thing is for certain, every month you’ll be able to attend the TV tapings for West Coast Wrestling Connection, and be highly entertained. And if you can’t attend the tapings, or don’t live in the Pacific Northwest to watch them on TV, you can always tune in on YouTube or the Fite App. If you do tune in to their weekly show, then you’ll be certain to hear the great play-by-play and color commentary being called by Blake Chadwick and Morty Lipschitz.
Here’s to another great 12 years, at least, to the WCWC!
* All pictures were taken by email@example.com
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