#RAWlternative Debuts Tonight

Written by Kenny Pete


#RAWlternative presented by Beyond Wrestling.

For the people checking out Pop-Break’s RAW Reviews & week in corporate wrestling recaps, you’ll find a current theme. Dissatisfaction. Not just with the writing, or the presentation or the over / under use of certain talent, but with the overall show script. Long Interviews to open the show, commercial breaks between matches, seeing the same people 8-10 times over 3 hours, endless shilling of the network & “whats trending” from 3 segments ago. To sum it up, the show has gotten stale. There is a large section of the “sports entertainment” audience who are tired of seeing the same formula play out the same way, week after week, month after month, no matter who the players are. Watching corporate professional wrestling on television has become one man’s vision & if you don’t share that vision, his product isn’t for you.

Luckily, there is an alternative. Tonight, Beyond Wrestling, An independent professional wrestling company based out of Providence Rhode Island, is offering #RAWlternative for Free on their Youtube channel

Beyond Wrestling along with the help of Smart Mark Video have teamed up with other indie promotions from all over the US & Canada to bring you the best in what Independent Professional Wrestling has to offer. #RAWlternative will be a live youtube stream of a collection of matches from promotions like 2CW, AIW, Inter Species Wrestling, AAW, Inspire Pro and C*4 and feature matches from NXT superstar Kevin Owens ( FKA Kevin Steen) & former WWE superstar Brian Kendrick, as well as current NJPW stars The Young Bucks, Kyle O’Reily & Ricochet among many other future stars of the industry.

in 2011, I got a chance to see Brodie Lee and Claudio Castagnoli on a Chikara Pro show in Union City NJ, hosted in a second story warehouse that could barely fit the ring and the 200 fans there to see the show. Back then they were top draws on the independent scene, today they are global sports entertainment superstars known as Luke Harper and Cesaro respectively. Tonight #RAWlternative will be a provide a gaze into the crystal ball to see that the future of professional wrestling will be.

Listed below is the announced card & why you should care about the matches.

Young Bucks vs. Super Smash Bros courtesy of Smash Wrestling (Twitter: @smashwrestling)

The Young Bucks are currently the hottest act in all of Tag-Team wrestling & are a big part of New Japan Pro Wrestling who just drew over 50,000 people to the Tokyo Dome for the biggest show of their season, Wrestle Kingdom 9. Think the look of the ’92 Rockers blended with the ’98 NWO anti-authority attitude. They do the Too Sweets, Crotch Chops, Backflips and Superkicks. Lots and lots of Superkicks. They will be taking on The Super Smash Bros who will be able to match them hold for hold & flip for flip in their own video game, 8-Bit inspired style. If you have never seen these 4 athletes before, now is you chance to have your mind blown. Smash Wrestling is based out of Toronto, Ontario Canada and host anywhere from 7-10 events a year to a small but passionate audience.

Ricochet vs. Josh Alexander courtesy of Alpha-1 Wrestling (Twitter: @A1Wrestling)

Ricochet is one of the top high fliers in professional wrestling right now.  In 2014 he won major titles in Japan for both Dragon Gage and New Japan Pro Wrestling. He is also seen by a national audience as Prince Puma on  Lucha Underground, which is broadcast on the El Rey Network.  Josh Alexander has been a Great talent in the Ohio area for over a dozen years and is finally getting the industry recognition that he has worked extremely hard to earn.  Alpha 1 Wrestling has been hosting events since 2010 in Hamilton, Ontario Canada.

Chris Hero vs. Colin Delaney courtesy of 2CW: Squared Circle Wrestling (Twitter: @2CW)

This is a battle of two performers who where told “Thanks but No Thanks” by corporate professional wrestling in America and continue to put on Tremendous matches long after their time as “sports entertainers” has come & gone. Chris Hero is a 15 year veteran and master craftsman who has wrestled all over the world & is able to  put on tremendous wrestling matches outside the confines of the dreaded “sports entertainment” style. Colin Delaney will play a classic comedic foil to Hero’s technical prowess & this match will be a classic throwback to what you remember and love about pro wrestling while showing you some things you’ve never seen before.

Johnny Gargano vs. Ethan Page courtesy of Absolute Intense Wrestling (Twitter: @aiwrestling)

Cleveland, Ohio is a part of the US that has been scorched & burned by the traditional idea of an outlaw wrestling promotion. It was through these circles where I first heard the term “Shindie” as promoters would book & cancel shows at a moment’s notice and perpetuate the lousy practices of outlaw wrestling. AIW has been working hard since 2005 to regain the trust of Independent Wrestling fans by putting on the best shows they can on a consistent basis. This match will feature 2 of the brightest stars in indie wrestling in “All Ego” Ethan Page from Canada and Cleveland’s own Johnny Gargano. Both wrestlers are shining examples of where the future of professional wrestling is headed.

Mia Yim vs Athena – courtesy of Absolute Intense Wrestling presents #GirlsNightOut (Twitter: @aiwrestling)

Also from AIW is an offering from their Women’s wrestling brand, Girls Night Out, which are their shows that feature all female Wrestlers. Athena & Mia Yim are 2 of the best wrestlers in the business to represent women’s wrestling in 2015.  This is not your typical “divas” match, these women are every bit as tough as they are beautiful and will happily kick your teeth down your throat if you feel otherwise. These super talented ladies we’re just put in a wrestling match with the story being “who is a better wrestler” and tore the house down in a show stealing effort from both ladies.  If you’ve never taken women’s wrestling seriously before, Mia Yim & Athena will make you take women’s wrestling seriously after this match.

Takaaki Watanabe vs. Andy Dalton courtesy of Inspire Pro (Twitter: @InspireProWres)

This will be a classic “Culture Clash” as New Japan Pro Wrestling’s strong style export Takaaki Watanabe will take on current Inspire Pro Wrestling champion “Dirty” Andy Dalton from ‘the dirty south’. This will be a stiff contest between two classic bruisers and looks to be the #HossDivision contest of the show. Inspire Pro has been doing Great things in Austin TX, regularly hosting shows at The Marchesa Theatre and is currently mixing in some Chikara Pro talent with it’s regular crew.

Ninjas With Altitude vs. Food Fighters courtesy of Inter Species Wrestling (Twitter: @ISDub)

Inter Species Wrestling does things a little bit differently.  Their next show on 2/28 at the Heirloom Arts theater outside of Danbury CT is called “Boner Jam III”. They have created the first ever “Lego Deathmatch”.  They have hosted the first ever successful homosexual wedding in professional wrestling between characters known as Glaad Badd and the Craigslist Homo. To say their presentation of pro wrestling is “unique” is a massive understatement. They have been a part of The Warped Tour on numerous occasions, and continue to push the creative envelope when it comes to the progressive style they present. This ain’t your Dad’s pro wrestling show, that is for sure.

Eddie Kingston vs. Keith Walker courtesy of AAW Pro (Twitter: @AAWPro)

Eddie Kingston is a Classic throwback to the days of Tough Guys. The kind of guys who may not have been in the best physical shape, but you would never even think about crossing them at a bar or on the street.  Keith Walker is a talent who I’ve heard lots of Great things about & specifically was told that this match was not only the show stealer that night, but also Keith Walker’s ‘coming out party’ to the rest of the national indie wrestling scene. AAW is based out of Chicago IL and regularly hosts events in Berwyn & Merrionette Park IL.

Kevin Steen vs. Mike Bailey courtesy of C*4 (Twitter: @C4Wrestling)

Kevin Steen (now NXT Superstar Kevin Owens) is riding a wave of huge popularity as not only an outstanding wrestler but a truly entertaining personality.  Originally from Montreal, Kevin trained was trained by former wwe tag team champion Jacques Rougeau and went on to rule independent wrestling here in the US for the last 5 years becoming ROH world champion on many occasions. “Speedball” Mike Bailey has to be seen to be believed. At 170 lbs (soaking wet w/ a brick in his pocket) the baby faced Bailey comes to the ring in a traditional karate gi and sporting a wide eyed grin.  Once the bell rings though, there is no denying his talent & ability with his high flying acrobatics & stiff karate kicks. He was just booked for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla’s next event in Reseda CA on 2/27 and if he does well there, the US will be seeing more of Mike Bailey much sooner than later.

Brian Kendrick vs. Dark Sheik courtesy of Hoodslam (Twitter: @HOODSLAM)

Former WWE Tag-Team Champion Brian Kendrick is a Free Spirit.  His perspective on life is very focused & at the same time, very left of center. He is definitely not your typical professional wrestler. I don’t know too much about Dark Sheik, but it sounds like a fun character to come out of Hoodslam, who bring a west-coast urban flavor to their presentation of independent professional wrestling.

Rich Swann & AR Fox vs. Christian Rose & Matt Cage courtesy of DREAMWAVE Wrestling (Twitter: @DWWrestling)

Another Chicago based promotion, Dreamwave Wrestlling will be showcasing 2 of the talents the mid west has to offer in Christian Rose and Matt Cage vs 2 of the best high fliers in the business today in AR Fox & Rich Swann. This will be another really fun, fast paced, high flying contest between 4 really talented athletes who will risk health and wellness for the adulation of the fans chanting “This is Awesome”. Don’t Blink.

Kyle O’Reilly vs. Gary Jay courtesy of Saint Louis Anarchy (Twitter: @stlanarchy)

Current ROH tag team champion and one half of the tag-team Red Dragon, Kyle O’Reilly has got a MMA hybrid style of kicks & strikes as well as submission based grappling.  Gary Jay is a cagy veteran, who sometimes wrestles as a Barn Owl complete with wings and “Hoots.” This will be a really fun match and another great example of what talented wrestlers can do when allowed to focus on their strengths as performers.

The hosts of #RAWlternative,  Beyond Wrestling have announced that the match they will be adding to the special has Never Been Released before & the only way you will be able to see what it is is to tune in to the show.  In the meantime, feel free to check out my favorite Beyond Wrestling match on their youtube channel HERE between Biff Busick & Timothy Thatcher. Who cares if it was filmed in a dungeon?!
I don’t need to give you the “hard sell” at the end to tune in to #RAWlternative on youtube tonight, I’ll let the creator of Beyond Wrestling & #RAWlternative, Drew Corderio handle that.

“The Purpose of “RAWlternative isn’t to get fans to stop watching WWE. The purpose of #RAWlternative is to get the internet wrestling community to band together for one night to raise awareness for the mainstream alternatives. If you are unhappy with what you see on your TV every Monday night, please don’t stop supporting professional wrestling. Tune in to #RAWlternative on 1/19/15 and thrust yourself head first into the indie scene. We are teaming with a dozen of the most prominent independent wrestling promotions in North America to broadcast some of the best matches of 2014 to a worldwide audience.”
Just like art, poetry, music or film, Professional Wrestling is an Art Form. Its performance, Its athletic, Its an emotional journey. It can be what you make of it. There is no wrong answer.  If you don’t like the movies that Michael Bay makes, check out some John Woo stuff. If you don’t want to listen to Nikki Minaj, you can dig up some Goapale instead.  Gone are the days of a singular vision being force-fed to the audience.

Today there is an Alternative.Tonight there is a #RAWlternative.Official #RAWlternative Facebook event link.

Official #RAWlternative Youtube Stream to kick off at Approximately 7:30 pm on Monday 1/19/15

You can purchase DVD / mp4s / VOD Steams from all of these promotions at Smart Mark Video.com and SMVOD.com

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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