The extent to which we’ve reached the saturation point in pro wrestling is a constant question among the most die-hard fans. With over 15 hours of televised wrestling to watch a week, it’s never been harder to keep up. But despite the quality of what’s shown on the small screen, the most exciting action has—and always will be—on the indies.
TV pro wrestling is limited by the restraints of censors and the need for mass appeal. But there are no real restrictions to the creativity of local and underground shows, where more colorful characters are enthusiastically embraced. And although, as a matter of pure accessibility, it’s way easier to tune into whatever’s playing in your own home—it’s been clear for a while that the brightest stars had all tested their might in smaller venues long before they arrived in AEW or WWE.
Now, we’re counting down some of the brightest rising stars on the indie circuit in the United States in celebration of the eccentric world they inhabit. It seems likely these performers will get scooped up by a big company, sooner rather than later. Make sure to catch these insane talents in your hometown before an entire stadium of fans stands in your way!