Another day, another dolla. Holla. Nah, just kidding. If you think Derek Burgan shells out any sort of money my way for writing at
GumGod then you obviously have no idea how much of a penny pinching person Mr. Burgan is. I do this stuff for free. In case you don't know, the majority of
GumGod contracted talent write for more than one website, myself included. One of my other sites is quickly becoming the number one independent wrestling websites on the planet, the Declaration of Independents
Recently, the DOI has released their annual list of the top 250 wrestlers on the east coast independent wrestling circuit. A virtual "Who's who" of people who were cast off by World Wrestling Entertainment or who were never given a shot by the WWE. So here at GumGod, I plan on analyzing the Top 250 for you rasslin’ loving readers. I will work my way backwards from 250 until I bring to you the top guys that you have to see if they come to your area for an Indy show. Being that I am an expert
250) JC The Damager - JC had a remarkable year in 2003. He is probably the only person on this list who can claim that he was undefeated in the entire year. Mind you, he only wrestled once....in an 8 man tag team match....at a show in front of 25 people......in December of 03'......and he hasn't wrestled since then.......but his team WON AND HE GOT THE WINNING PIN FALL!!!!! He is undefeated and no one else on the Indies is. So take that Goldberg. (Burgan’s Notes: Goldberg?! For god’s sake Aponte, this kid’s tagline wouldn’t be Who’s Next? It would be Who Cares?)
249) The Motivator - Marc "The Motivator" Adler comes into the 249th spot and rightfully so. The reason he is placed here is due to his ability to take a beating and live up to the placement he receives in matches. See, Motivator (an marine drill sergeant) was working for USA Pro Wrestling in Queens. He was stuck in ticket selling matches that had him on a path to nowhere fast. Until one faithful day where he begged and pleaded and begged some more to get a more prominent match. So USA PW Promoter Frank Goodman decided to book him in a DEATH MATCH with the hardcore King of New York, Lowlife Louie Ramos. Secretly, everyone in the back thought this was a joke. Everyone thought Motivator would flop out there, look like a fish out of water. But to everyone surprise, Motivator delivered. He put on a hell of a match with Louie, ended up bleeding a gusher and more than held his own on the offensive front. Sure he lost, but that match alone stapled him (pun definitely intended as Lowlife Louie stapled a dollar bill to his forehead) in the DOI Top 250. (Burgan’s Note: First of all, when I first saw this guy’s name I thought is was ‘The Mutilator’, the gimmick that Vince McMahon originally wanted to give Mick Foley. After reading through Aponte’s thoughts, it made me think back to other recounts of garbage matches which people had stuff stapled to them and I have to see this for myself one day. I mean, the staples go through their f---ing skin?! I go out of my mind trying to separate my pages of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer that comes stapled, I can’t imagine what that would be like if it was stapled to my head. Hmmm, send that idea to Goodman, USAPro’s first ever Stapled Issue of the Observer King of the Marks Death Match~!)
248) Frankie Starz - Yet another former Marine on the Indies. Starz gets on this list due to his intangibles on the Indy scene. See Starz isn't the best wrestler on the planet. In fact, he isn't even that good per se. But....he is also the promoter of UWA in New Jersey where he has captured the tag team titles on several different occasions. His shows also draw a decent amount of people from time to time and managed to pull some big names in to wrestle for him. Chris Candido, Balls Mahoney, Homicide and others can be found regularly working a UWA show. So his place is warranted as he contributes to Indy wrestling not only by his ring work but by his promoting ability. (Burgan’s Note: A booker that books himself to win titles in his own promotion? Wow, you don’t see that much in wrestling….)
247) Johnny TNT - comes in at number 247 and rightfully so. Unranked last year, TNT has worked hard to improve in the ring and I fully expect with more training and more independent work that he will move up the list next year. Will he ever be in the top 10, NO. But he will definitely get into the top 200 and maybe even 150 one day. He is a bit short by wrestling standards but husky enough to hold his own. With a little trip to a gym, who knows, maybe he can bulk up properly to be effective. (Burgan’s Note: I love how Aponte writes “comes in at number 247 and rightfully so.” I wonder if Matt would have been livid if Johnny showed up at 245 or 225? “That’s just RIDICULOUS!!”)
246) Drew Blood - can't really say I agree or disagree cause I have only heard of him. I am sure I have worked a card or two with him on it and I know who he is, I just don't remember seeing him work. That is odd in my eyes since I make a point of trying to watch every match on every show I am on. So that means one of two things, either I missed his match. Or I was so unimpressed that I blocked it out. Probably the latter. (Burgan’s Note: Keep in mind that when Aponte says he watches every match on shows he is on, he’s not talking about the average 2 hour Indy show, he’s talking about the MARATHON LENGTH 6 hour plus USAPro shows. That is a true dedication to his craft.)
245) Devan Moore - Drew Blood's sometimes partner and sometimes opponent. See above. (Burgan’s Note: Not for nothing, but whatever happened to that kid Devan Sawa in Hollywood? He was supposed to be the next big thing but has almost done Jack Shit since the lead in Final Destination. He was also the guy “Stan” in Eminem’s music video of the same name.)
244) Rayza of the Elm Street Kids - a disappointment in my book. Psycho and Rayza collectively known as the Elm Street Kids are two friends of mine who I feel deserve to be higher up than the individual rankings they received. Rayza is the risk taker/bump machine of the duo and other than his size, there is no downside to him. He works hard in the ring, always wrestles injured (probably due to him being so small and fragile that he is usually hurt) and gives it his all. Doesn't get the opportunities on shows that he should get and 99% of the time is stuck in going-nowhere matches against inferior opponents. (Burgan’s Note: Aponte needs to do a column on the Elm Street Kids gimmick.)
243) Keenan Quinn - Have never seen him in action so I cannot comment. Maybe he is good. Who knows? Well people who have seen him probably know, but I don't. Maybe the next Steve Austin or possibly the next Bastion Booger.
242) Hasheem Chemical Ali - Good gimmick, ok worker. Obviously the name says it all. You can tell what kind of gimmick he is with all that is going on in the Middle East and you can imagine the type of heat he gets. Not a bad worker but definitely a lot of room for improvement. Should move up in the next year but not by much. (Burgan’s Note: How about a new gimmick for a face turn? Chemical Ali G.)
241) James Newblood - sometimes partner to Johnny TNT and sometime opponent depending on the fed they are working for. A serious highflier who can pull off some amazing spots. Unfortunately, ring psychology is not a word used in his daily conversations. Does he have potential? Absolutely. He is very skinny however and definitely needs to hit not only a gym, but a buffet table as well. If he can get some guidance from a veteran to show him how to tell a story, he could jump a lot of spots next year. But that is unlikely as there aren't too many options of places to train in the NY area. (Burgan’s Note: If there aren’t many places to train in the New York area, Indy wrestling is screwed. And is it me, or does this guy’s name sound like a perfect fit for the America’s Most Wanted team in TNA?)
240) Psycho of the Elm Street Kids - Rayza's partner. See above on where he should be ranked. Psycho is the worker half of the ESK. He is solid in the ring and helped train Rayza to be his partner. Psycho was one of the last few students being trained by Homicide and has potential to be higher up on the list. Also needs to work on his physique to bulk up some muscle mass and stop looking so tiny. Some solid tag team feuds with "REAL" tag teams should move them up in 2004.
239) Ricky Vega - Not too familiar with his work and haven't heard his name mentioned much as of late. So that means either one of two things, A) he is injured or B) he quit the business. Either way, I am not too positive he will be much higher on the list next year since he doesn't work much. (Burgan’s Note: Not for nothing, but have you seen what they have done to that developing little Latino minx Alexa Vega from the Spy Kids movies? Check out the ads for Slumber Party, they totally de-ethnicitize her and try to make a clone of Hillary Duff. SCANDALOUS~! Anyhoo, for real Vega action, check out the Spy Kids 3-D DVD where she does three live songs in the bonus features and is totally hot.)
238) Sonny Siaki - I bet you are wondering why he is so low on the list? Aren't you? Well it is based on Indy appearances only. TNA appearances don't count. He didn't work many independent shows last year so basically he is at the bottom of the list. Personally, even if he did work every Indy show last year I would put him this low cause quite frankly, I don't enjoy watching him wrestle. He may be a good person outside the ring, but in my honest opinion, inside the ring, he is the sh*ts. DRIZZLING SH*TS!!! (Burgan’s Note: But what does Aponte think of the Flying Elvis gimmick of Siaki’s?)
237) Queenan Creed - Has improved remarkably over the past few months. Unfortunately for him, this list is based on last years work. So therefore he is in the bottom of the barrel. If he continues to work on his game in the ring, he can definitely move into the lower 100's. Has the work ethic, just needs to click with his abilities.
236) Jack Marciano - Never heard of him. Seriously. Don't know how he made the list cause I pretty much know everyone here, even if I haven't seen them work, I have heard of them. Not this dude. I think he is a fake. Phony. If not, I apologize dude but I have no freaking idea who you are. (Burgan’s Note: I wonder what a guy like Siaki thinks about being ranked below guys like this?)
235) Eddie Kingston - Ditto. See Above.
234) Chris Idol - a man who's current claim to fame was that he was "involved" with Rob Feinstein. Is it true? I am not sure. Idol released several statements during the Feinstein scandal claiming that he did not have a relationship with him and that he was in fact, not gay. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Truth is, I do not believe him. I think he was packing the fudge with Good Ole RF. But that is neither here nor there. This list is based on wrestling and I haven't seen Idol do that. I have heard about him but can't judge. So I say his placing here at 234 is fair. (Burgan’s Note: For those not in the know, Chris Idol was Hi-Jinx in ROH’s Special K.)
233) Justin Toxicated - Cute name but kind of a play on Justin Credible. Watched him in action a few times last year and he seems to know what he is doing. No where near ready for the upper echelon of workers but seems to have a fire in his work and looks like he wants to improve. I expect more from him this year but not enough to have "STAR" written on him yet. Oh, and the name has to go. If it was original and there was no Credible on the Indy's, I would say keep it. But there is, and you my friend, are plagiarizing. Gimmick infringement. (Burgan’s Note: I love how Aponte starts off by saying the name is “kind of a play on Justin Credible.” You think? WHHHOOOOOOOOOO~!)
232) K-Brawlik - More of the same. Heard of him, never seen him. Can't comment on him. I see a pattern here as the lower the guys on the list, the less I see of them. Maybe that is why THEY ARE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LIST!!! Get better and get more work and you can make it to the top 100 people.
231) Archadia - I have actually read more message board posts than I have seen of him in the ring. Seems like an ok dude out of the ring.
230) Jack Victory - Wow, an old school legend. It is unfortunate that Jack is rated so low however he hasn't done much in the past year outside of World-1 and a bit of 3PW. Jack has obviously slowed down a step from the 80's where he was a big time regional star. Most current fans will only remember him as Steve Corino's lackey in ECW. Jack is still talented behind the mic and can still deliver a little bit in the ring. I would rate him higher myself but the DOI boys seen more of him than I have. (Burgan’s Note: Victory is allegedly the paper owner of World-1 after “buying” it from Steve Corino. However this looks to be as legit as Doug Gentry’s purchase of RF Video from Rob Feinstein.)
229) Harry Acropolis - Mark my words, this man will be in the top 100 next year if he keeps up the pace of his work rate. He busts his ass in the ring. While he is not that good, he definitely tries hard and with practice comes perfection. (Burgan’s Note: This is where me and Aponte disagree. I am of the thinking that the saying shouldn’t be “practice makes prefect” but instead “practice makes permanent” and if he is just doing the same things wrong or badly over and over again, he will never be able to do it right. If he’s training with someone that can correct his problems and practice the right way, then I can see him getting better.)
228) Neeno Capone - Heard tons of great things about him. Never seen him work though. But I hear he is a monster in the ring with some incredible stuff. Hope he can work more shows so I can see him in action more. Reeks of potential.
227) Aaron Payne - Don't know him.
226) J-Silva/Silvaman - Seen him a few times last year but haven't heard much from him this year. Maybe he cut back on his wrestling due to the dreaded "other commitments". If so, more power to him. Got to feed the family, you know. Could definitely move up next year however like I said, hasn't worked much this year so I doubt it. (Burgan’s Notes: What? 10 dollars a shot can’t feed the family?! Get your priorities straight kid!!)
225) Dan Payne - must be related to number 227 cause I have no goddamn clue who he is. But if I see him this year, I will let you guys know next year what I think of him.
Ok folks, 25 names down, 225 to go. I will be back next week with another installment of my breakdown of the Declaration of Independents (www.doiwrestling.com or www.declarationofindependents.net) Top 250 Independent Wrestlers. See ya soon!!! MATT OUT!!!!
Copyright © 2005 Derek Burgan. All rights reserved.