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In professional wrestling, the independent circuit (oftened shortened to indie circuit) is the collective name of independently owned promotions which are deemed to be smaller and more regionalized than major national promotions.
Independent promotions are essentially viewed as a minor league or farm system for the larger national promotions, as wrestlers in "indie" companies (especially young wrestlers just starting their careers) are usually honing their craft with the goal of being noticed and signed by a major national promotion such as WWE, All Elite Wrestling (AEW), or Impact Wrestling. It is also not uncommon for veteran wrestlers who have had past tenures with major promotions to appear on independent shows, either as special attractions or as a way to prolong their careers.
The "indie" scene in the United States dates back to the days of regional territories. When a promoter ran opposition in even one town controlled by a National Wrestling Alliance sanctioned territory, they were often called an "outlaw" territory. This is considered by some to be a forerunner to indies since some stars of the past got their start in these low quality local rivals to the big regional territories.
The modern definition of the independent circuit came about in the middle to late 1980s and fully formed and flourished after 1990. These promotions initially sought to revive the feel of old school territorial wrestling after former territories either went national, such as WWF, went out of business, or eventually did both, such as WCW. Several indies did in fact manage to tour different towns within a region and maintain a consistent schedule.
After Vince McMahon, seeking regulatory relief, gave in 1989 testimony in front of the New Jersey State Athletic Commission where he publicly admitted pro wrestling was in fact a sports-based entertainment, rather than a true athletic competition, many state athletic commissions stopped regulating wrestling. This obviated the need for complying with many expensive requirements, such as the need for an on-site ambulance and trained emergency medical personnel at each bout. After the business was thus exposed and deregulated, just about anyone could be a promoter or a wrestler since no licensing beyond a business license was then required. Many thought they could save money by holding shows in lesser towns and smaller arenas with little to no televised exposure, leading to many shows being held only once a week or once a month in local towns.
Independent promotions are usually local in focus and, lacking national TV contracts, are much more dependent on revenue from house show attendance. Due to their lower budgets, most independent promotions offer low salaries (it is not unusual for a wrestler to work for free due to the fact most promoters can only afford to pay well-known talent). Most cannot afford to regularly rent large venues, and would not be able to attract a large enough crowd to fill such a venue were they able to do so. Instead, they make use of any almost open space (such as fields, ballrooms, or gymnasiums) to put on their performances. Some independent promotions are attached to professional wrestling schools, serving as a venue for students to gain experience in front of an audience. As independent matches are seldom televised, indie wrestlers who have not already gained recognition in other promotions tend to remain in obscurity. However, scouts from major promotions attend indie shows, and an indie wrestler who makes a good impression may be offered a developmental or even a full-professional contract.
The advent of the Internet has allowed independent wrestlers and promotions to reach a wider audience, and it is possible for wrestlers regularly working the indie circuit to gain some measure of fame among wrestling fans online. Additionally, some of the more successful indies have video distribution deals, giving them an additional source of income and allowing them to reach a larger audience outside of their local areas.
Unlike the North American or Japanese products which have large, globally renowned organisations such as WWE and New Japan Pro-Wrestling with several hundred smaller promotions, Australia only has approximately 30 smaller independent circuit promotions which exist in all but one of the states and territories, that being the Northern Territory. Tours from the North American product are regularly sold out in capital cities such as Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane.
February 26, 1993
|Melbourne, Australia||Festival Hall||4,000||Jake Roberts vs. Jim Neidhart|||
|2.||Wrestleriot 2 |
June 18, 1993
|Sydney, Australia||3,500||Road Warrior Hawk vs. Demolition Smash|||
|Wrestleriot 2 |
June 24, 1993
|Melbourne, Australia||Nailz vs. Big Boss Man|||
|High Risk Championship Wrestling TV |
July 17, 1999
|Festival Hall||Nailz vs. Primo Carnera III|||
|3.||International Incident (Day 1) |
October 5, 2005
|Melbourne, Australia||2,500+[Note 5]||Jeff Jarrett vs. Rhino for the inaugural WSW Heavyweight Championship|
February 25, 1993
|Brisbane, Australia||2,200||Jake Roberts vs. Jim Neidhart|||
|5.||International Assault Tour (Day 2) |
October 7, 2005
|Sydney, Australia||2,100||Rhino (c) vs. Jeff Jarrett for the WSW Heavyweight Championship|
|6.||Wrestleriot 2 |
June 26, 1993
|Adelaide, Australia||1,450||Big Bossman vs. Nailz|||
|7.||International Assault Tour (Day 3) |
October 8, 2005
|Newcastle, Australia||1,200+[Note 6]||Rhino (c) vs. Jeff Jarrett for the WSW Heavyweight Championship|
|8.||HoH 28 |
June 17, 2017
|Sydney, Australia||Sydney Showground||1,200||Tommy Dreamer and Billy Gunn vs. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson)|
|MCW 100 |
August 18, 2018
|Albert Park, Australia||Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre||Slex (c) vs. Will Ospreay for the MCW Intercommonwealth Championship|
|9.||HOH 15 |
June 24, 2016
|East Burwood, Australia||Whitehorse Club||1,100||Andy Phoenix vs. KrackerJak vs. Carlito vs. Tommy Dreamer in a Number 1 contenders Fatal 4-Way match for the OCW Heavyweight Championship|
|HOH 30 |
June 23, 2017
|MVP vs. Jack Swagger vs. Tommy Dreamer in a Three-Way Dance|
March 2, 1993
|Adelaide, Australia||1,000||Jake Roberts vs. Jim Neidhart|||
|Nailz vs. High Risk Warrior |
July 23, 1999
|Adelaide, Australia||Nailz vs. High Risk Warrior|||
|Psycho Slam Tour (Day 4) |
August 30, 1999
|Melbourne, Australia||Camberwell Civic Centre||Sabu vs. Chris Candido|
|Supanova Sidney (Day 1) |
June 27, 2009
|Sydney, Australia||Acer Arena||Spaceboy Dacey vs. Zander Bathory|
Lucha libre has many more independent wrestlers in proportion to the rest of North America, because of the weight classes prevalent in the Mexican league system as well as its emphasis on multiple person tag matches; just about anyone with ability can emerge from an independent promotion into either AAA or Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre and be a champion there. Independent Mexican wrestlers may use a lot of gimmicks, including some that may be based on copyrighted characters from American television shows, such as Thundercats and X-Men. (These gimmicks are often changed if the wrestler playing them makes it into AAA or CMLL; the most prominent example of non-compliance with this method is midget wrestler Chucky from AAA, whose gimmick is based on the Child's Play movies.)
|1.||DragonMania III |
May 11, 2008
|Mexico City, Mexico||Arena Mexico||17,000||Ultimo Dragon, Mistico and Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Ultimo Guerrero, Atlantis and Rene Dupree|
|2.||DragonMania II |
May 13, 2007
|Mexico City, Mexico||Arena Mexico||16,800||Último Dragón, Mil Máscaras, Marco Corleone, and Kazuchika Okada vs. Yoshihiro Takayama, Minoru Suzuki, Último Guerrero and SUWA|
|3.||ALL Elite |
February 8, 2015
|Mexico City, Mexico||Arena Mexico||15,000||Dr. Wagner Jr. and La Sombra vs. L.A. Par-K and Volador Jr.|||
|4.||Torneo Todo X El Todo |
December 8, 2007
|Naucalpan, Mexico||El Toreo de Cuatro Caminos||12,000||16-man Torneo Todo X El Todo tournament|
|DragonMania VIII |
June 15, 2013
|Mexico City, Mexico||Arena Mexico||Último Dragón, Atlantis and Rayo de Jalisco Jr. vs. Último Guerrero, Hajime Ohara and Mike Knox|
December 20, 2015
|Mexico City, Mexico||Arena Mexico||Rayo de Jalisco Jr., Octagón and Atlantis vs. Los Hermanos Dinamita (Universo Dos Mil, Cien Caras, Máscara Año Dos Mil)|
|Lucha de Leyendas |
June 23, 2013
|Mérida, Mexico||El Poliforo Zamná||11,500||El Hijo del Santo vs. Blue Demon Jr.|
July 5, 2008
|Monterrey, Mexico||La Arena Monterrey||10,500+[Note 7]||Atlantis vs. Blue Panther vs. Místico vs. Último Guerrero vs. Villano V vs. Tigre Universitario in a 6-way Mask vs. Mask match|||
|7.||DragonMania V |
May 29, 2010
|Mexico City, Mexico||Arena Mexico||10,000+[Note 8]||Mil Máscaras, Tatsumi Fujinami, Último Dragón and Brazo de Plata vs. Rey Bucanero, Chuck Palumbo, Atlantis and Arkángel de la Muerte|||
|8.||DragonMania XI |
May 28, 2016
|Mexico City, Mexico||Arena Mexico||10,000[Note 9]||Ultimo Dragon, Octagon and Caristico vs. Fuerza Guerrera, Tiger Ali and Mephisto|||
May 14, 2005
|Mexico City, Mexico||Arena Mexico||9,914||Último Dragón, Rayo de Jalisco Jr. and Tigre Enmascarado vs. Los Guerreros del Infierno (Rey Bucanero, Tarzan Boy and Último Guerrero)|
|10.||The Crash in San Luis Potosí |
August 10, 2017
|San Luis Potosí, Mexico||El Domo de San Luis||9,000||Rey Misterio Jr., Blue Demon Jr. and Rey Fénix vs. La Máscara, M-ximo and Rey Escorpión|||
Until 1984, no independent puroresu promotion per se existed in Japan; potential talent went directly into the training dojos of either New Japan Pro-Wrestling or All Japan Pro Wrestling. (International Wrestling Enterprise also was a third-party promotion until 1981.) The advent of the Japanese Universal Wrestling Federation offered a long-sought third alternative.
From 1986 to 1988 the Japanese system went back to the two-promotion system, but then the UWF was reformed and another promotion, Pioneer Senshi, was started. Because of Japanese societal mores which implied that a wrestler was a lifelong employee of a company and thus identified with it wherever he went, neither AJPW nor NJPW made an effort to acquire wrestlers trained in other promotions; wrestlers from the major promotions who left, such as Genichiro Tenryu, Gran Hamada, Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Akira Maeda, Atsushi Onita, and Nobuhiko Takada had to start their own independent promotions in order to keep themselves in the limelight (Wrestling Association "R", Universal Lucha Libre, Pro Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi, Fighting Network Rings, Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling, and Hustle respectively) .
As the 1990s ended, though, things began to change. Independent promotions began gaining more prominence as they were featured in major specialized media such as Shukan Puroresu and Shukan Gong magazines. With the death of Giant Baba and retirement of Antonio Inoki, which effectively broke their control over the promotions they founded, the major promotions began looking to the smaller promotions for talent.
In 2000, the first major signing from an independent, Minoru Tanaka by NJPW from BattlARTS, took place; soon after NJPW stocked the junior heavyweight division with independent talent such as Masayuki Naruse, Tiger Mask, Gedo, and Jado. On the same year, following the Pro Wrestling Noah split, AJPW was forced to fill its ranks with independent talent; Nobutaka Araya, Shigeo Okumura and Mitsuya Nagai signed up (Araya is the only one who remains, but other signings since then have been Kaz Hayashi, Tomoaki Honma, Hideki Hosaka, and Ryuji Hijikata.)
Noah admitted one wrestler from the independents, Daisuke Ikeda, to its ranks as well (Ikeda has since left, but other wrestlers from the independents that were signed included Akitoshi Saito, Takahiro Suwa, and Taiji Ishimori). Although AJPW, NJPW, and Noah remain committed to their dojos, the reliance on independents is growing as obscure talent is recognized for its ability.
For most of the years of ITV's coverage of British Wrestling, the dominant promoter in the United Kingdom was the Joint Promotions cartel, which was originally modelled on the NWA and later amalgamated into a single company. Nonetheless, throughout this period, untelevised alternative promotions flourished with at least one significant competitor to Joint for live shows.
Initially the main rival was the former dominant promotion in the territory, Atholl Oakley's BWA. By the time of its demise, wrestler/promoter Paul Lincoln had established himself as a major promoter with shows featuring himself as headline heel. In 1958, when Bert Assirati was stripped of the British Heavyweight Championship, Lincoln formed the BWF alliance of promoters to support Assirati's claim, later recognising Shirley Crabtree as champion. Lincoln's BWF was eventually bought out into Joint in 1970.
Welsh promoter Orig Williams also used the BWF name, promoting from the late 1960s up until the early 2000s and then sporadically until his death in 2009. From 1982 to 1995, Williams had a Welsh language TV wrestling show "Reslo" on S4C. Brian Dixon, a referee for Williams, set up his own company Wrestling Enterprises of Birkenhead later renamed All Star Wrestling c. 1984. An alliance with promoter and former top star Jackie Pallo failed to prevent Joint gaining a five-year extension on its TV wrestling monopoly from January 1982 to December 1986.
However, by the mid-1980s Dixon had won over many wrestlers and fans from Joint who were tired of the Big Daddy-orientated direction of Joint. Eventually this culminated in All Star gaining a TV show on satellite channel Screensport and later, a slice of ITV's coverage from 1987 until the end of ITV wrestling in 1988. By the end of this period, All Star had effectively replaced Joint (by now owned by Max Crabtree, brother of Shirley) as the dominant promotion in the UK.
Joint, renamed Ring Wrestling Stars in 1991, dwindled down before closing with Crabtree's retirement in 1995, All Star has continued to be the dominant non-import live promotion in the UK up to the present day. Its principal competitors since that time have been Scott Conway's TWA, John Freemantle's Premier Promotions, RBW and LDN Wrestling. Since the 1990s there have also been numerous American-style "New School" promotions.
|1.||Fear & Loathing IX |
November 20, 2016
|Glasgow, Scotland||The SSE Hydro||6,193||Joe Coffey vs. Kurt Angle|||
|2.||PROGRESS Chapter 76: Hello Wembley! |
September 30, 2018
|London, England||The SSE Arena Wembley||4,750||WALTER (c) vs. Tyler Bate for the PROGRESS World Championship|||
|3.||Fear & Loathing X |
November 19, 2017
|Glasgow, Scotland||The SSE Hydro||4,500||Joe Coffey (c-WHC) vs. BT Gunn (c-ZGC) in a Champion vs. Champion match for the ICW World Heavyweight Championship and ICW Zero G Championship|
|4.||RevPro 11th Anniversary Show |
August 26, 2023
|London, England||Copper Box Arena||4,072||Will Ospreay vs. Shingo Takagi|
|5.||Tribute to the Troops |
June 28, 2014
|Preston, England||Harris Flights||4,000||Joey Hayes (c) vs. Carlito for the PCW Heavyweight Championship|||
|Fear & Loathing VIII |
November 15, 2015
|Glasgow, Scotland||Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre||Drew Galloway (c) vs. Grado for the ICW World Heavyweight Championship|||
|6.||International Showdown |
March 19, 2005
|Coventry, England||Coventry Skydome||3,400||Christopher Daniels (c) vs. AJ Styles for the TNA X-Division Championship|
|7.||Strong Style Evolved UK (Day 2) |
July 1, 2008
|Manchester, England||Silver Blades Altrincham||3,000||Tomohiro Ishii (c) vs. Minoru Suzuki for the RevPro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship|
|8.||Strong Style Evolved UK (Day 1) |
June 30, 2018
|Milton Keynes, England||Planet Ice Milton Keynes||2,546||Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr.) (c) vs. CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada and Tomohiro Ishii) for the RevPro Undisputed British Tag Team Championship|||
|9.||True Legacy |
October 8, 2016
|Manchester, England||Silver Blades Altrincham||2,500+[Note 10]||Kurt Angle vs. Cody Rhodes|||
|10.||PROGRESS Chapter 36: We're Gonna Need A Bigger Room... Again |
September 25, 2016
|London, England||O2 Academy Brixton||2,400||Marty Scurll (c) vs. Mark Haskins vs. Tommy End in a Three-Way Dance for the PROGRESS World Championship|||
Note: Minimum attendance of 5,000.
- Light Grey indicates event was a free show and/or held at a major public gathering.
|1.||Clash of the Legends |
April 27, 2004
|Memphis, Tennessee||FedEx Forum||6,000?||Hulk Hogan vs. Paul Wight|
|2.||Heat Wave |
July 16, 2000
|Los Angeles, California||Grand Olympic Auditorium||5,700||Justin Credible (c) vs. Tommy Dreamer in a Stairway to Hell match for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship|
|3.||NWA New Jersey vs. NWA Pro |
June 27, 2009
|Newark, New Jersey||JFK Recreation Center||5,500||Apollo (c) vs. Dimitrios Papadon for the NWA North American Heavyweight Championship|
|4.||NEPW at the Lake County Fairgrounds |
August 24, 2002
|Painesville, Ohio||Lake County Fairgrounds||5,000||Julio Dinero vs. Dick Trimmins|
July 9, 2004
|Allentown, Pennsylvania||Cedar Beach Park||Rapid Fire Maldonado (c) vs. Mana the Polynesian Warrior for the WXW Heavyweight Championship|
|Throwback Night II |
August 28, 2004
|Memphis, Tennessee||Mid-South Coliseum||Terry Funk and Corey Maclin vs. Jerry Lawler and Jimmy Hart with Jimmy Valiant as special referee|||
|Dukes of Hazzard Festival |
June 12, 2007
|Nashville, Tennessee||Music City Motorplex||Iron Cross, Bobby Houston and Jerry Lawler vs. Stan Lee, Eddie Golden and K.C. Thunder|
|5.||Guilty as Charged |
January 9, 2000
|Birmingham, Alabama||Boutwell Memorial Auditorium||4,700||Mike Awesome vs. Spike Dudley for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship|
|Clash of the Legends |
June 15, 2001
|Memphis, Tennessee||Mid-South Coliseum||Jerry Lawler vs. Lord Humongous with Lance Russell as special referee|
|6.||Anarchy Rulz |
October 1, 2000
|Saint Paul, Minnesota||Roy Wilkins Auditorium||4,600||Justin Credible (c) vs. Jerry Lynn for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship|
|November to Remember |
November 5, 2000
|Villa Park, Illinois||Odeum Expo Center||Jerry Lynn (c) vs. Steve Corino vs. Justin Credible vs. The Sandman and in a Double Jeopardy match for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship|
|7.||Throwback Night |
July 10, 2004
|Memphis, Tennessee||Mid-South Coliseum||3,758||Jerry Lawler and Jimmy Hart vs. Corey Maclin and Kamala|||
|8.||ECW on TNN |
April 8, 2000
|Buffalo, New York||Flickinger Center||3,700||Super Crazy (c) vs. Yoshihiro Tajiri and Little Guido in a 3-Way Dance match for the ECW World Television Championship|||
|9.||ECW on TNN |
June 24, 2000
|Villa Park, Illinois||Odeum Sports & Expo Center||3,500||Justin Credible (c) vs. The Sandman for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship|||
|Throwback Night III: A Nightmare in Memphis |
October 30, 2004
|Memphis, Tennessee||Mid-South Coliseum||Jerry Lawler and The Rock 'n' Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) vs. Corey Maclin, Stan Lane and Jackie Fargo|||
|10.||Hardcore Heaven |
May 14, 2000
|Milwaukee, Wisconsin||The Rave||3,400||Justin Credible (c) vs. Lance Storm and Tommy Dreamer in a 3-Way Dance match for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship|||
|All In |
September 1, 2018
|Hoffman Estates, Illinois||Sears Centre Arena||11,263||The Golden Elite (Kota Ibushi, Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) vs. Bandido, Rey Fénix and Rey Mysterio in a six-man tag team match|
|2.||Luchamania USA |
January 26, 2013
|Los Angeles, California||Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena||7,000||Blue Demon Jr., Cien Caras Jr. and Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. El Hijo del Santo, L.A. Par-K and Rayo de Jalisco Jr. in a six-man tag team match|
|3.||Take Me Home Charity Show |
February 21, 2015
|Detroit, Michigan||Detroit Masonic Temple||4,500||2 Tuff Tony (c) vs. The Weedman for the JCW Heavyweight Championship|
|4.||Hatchet Attacks |
March 26, 2011
|Southgate, Michigan||The Modern Exchange||4,311||Corporal Robinson (c) vs. Ian Rotten in a Barbed Wire, Tables, Ladders & Glass match for the JCW Heavyweight Championship|||
|5.||WrestleCade 5: The Final 3 Count |
November 26, 2016
|Winston-Salem, North Carolina||Benton Convention Center||4,000||Matt Hardy (c) vs. Ryback for the WrestleCade Championship|||
|6.||Six Flags Slam Fest |
June 15, 2019
|Jackson, New Jersey||Six Flags Great Adventure Theme Park||3,700||Jon Moxley vs. Caz XL|||
|7.||Brawl at the Bush II |
May 14, 2011
|Brantford, Ontario||Brantford Civic Center||3,600||Haven, Lanny Poffo, Brutus Beefcake and Bushwhacker Luke vs. Big Daddy Hammer, Virgil and The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags) in a Survivor Series elimination match|
February 17, 2013
|Chicago, Illinois||Congress Theatre||3,500||Blue Demon Jr., Imágen Nocturna and Piloto Suicida vs. L.A. Par-K, El Hijo del Santo and Rayo de Jalisco Jr.|||
|Austin Warfare |
March 15, 2016
|Austin, Texas||Austin Music Hall||Cage, Prince Puma and Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Jack Evans, Johnny Mundo and PJ Black|
|Supercard of Honor XI |
April 1, 2017
|Lakeland, Florida||Lakeland Center||Christopher Daniels (c) vs. Dalton Castle for the ROH World Championship|
|9.||Wrestling under the Stars (Day 1) |
August 1, 2015
|Wappingers Falls, New York||Dutchess Stadium||3,341||Rey Mysterio Jr. and Alberto El Patrón vs. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson)|
March 3, 2017
|Waterbury, Connecticut||Crosby High School||3,300||Kurt Angle vs. Cody Rhodes in a Steel Cage match|
- This was part of a post-game show for an MLB game between the Columbus Clippers vs. Louisville Bats.
- This was part of a halftime show for a CFL game between the Montreal Alouettes vs. Calgary Stampeders.
- This was part of a halftime show for a CFL game between the Montreal Alouettes vs. Edmonton Eskimos.
- There are different reports on the attendance of the event with numbers ranging from 5,500 to as high as 10,000 and 12,000.
- There are different reports on the attendance of the event with numbers ranging from 2,500 to 3,000.
- There are different reports on the attendance of the event with numbers ranging from 1,200 to 2,000.
- There are different reports on the attendance of the event with numbers ranging from 10,500 to 11,000.
- There are different reports on the attendance of the event with numbers ranging from 10,000 to 13,000.
- Event is described as "heavily papered".
- There are different reports on the attendance of True Legacy with numbers ranging from 2,500 to 2,600.
- "Indies". ProWrestlingHistory.com.
- "The History of Wrestling at the Mid-South Coliseum". ProWrestlingHistory.com.
- "The Complete History of Smoky Mountain Wrestling". ProWrestlingHistory.com.
- Castle, Michael. "Entertainment, Value and WRESTLING: Why Independent Wrestling Promotions Matter". Bleacher Report. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
- Farmer, Matt (December 23, 2015). "The History of Independent Wrestling". TheIndyCorner.com. Archived from the original on June 12, 2021.
- "Vince McMahon has transformed pro wrestling from a - 03.25.91 - SI Vault". Archived from the original on 2014-04-07. Retrieved 2013-08-06.
- Meltzer, Dave (August 4, 2003). "First Monday update: Notes on Raw and Smackdown re. Rock & HHH, entrance videos, two new PPVs, GHC jr. tilte defended in SF, Daniels in UK, Dusty, Juvi and more". LiveAudioWrestling.com. Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Archived from the original on August 21, 2003.
- Meltzer, Dave (July 28, 2003). "Big week in Japanese wrestling, more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
The HWA ran its annual show on 7/19 in conjunction with the Columbus Clippers minor league baseball team. The show drew 8,757, which is more than double the Clippers average (4,500) or the crowd drawn last year with several WWE wrestlers on the show (4,400).
- "MAR. 7 IN HISTORY: Lawler headlines "Memphis Memories" card 20 years ago also featuring Funk, Idol, Koko, more". PWTorch.com. Pro Wrestling Torch. March 7, 2014.
- Cawthon, Graham. "Yearly Results: 1996". TheHistoryOfWWE.com.
- Meltzer, Dave (July 20, 1992). "Vader makes title history, title belt lawsuit, Bash 92, real names". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
Anyway, what this means is we've been underestimating the crowds of the Lucha Libre shows and that the original 5/16 show really did draw 6,250 (tickets were $20, $15 and $10 for that show and more freebies so the house was probably well under six figures but probably still in excess of $70,000).
- Alvarez, Bryan (June 17, 1996). "Brian Pillman future after Humvee accident, Ilio DiPaolo bio, WCW and WWF big gates over the weekend, tons more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
Actual attendance at the World Wrestling Peace Festival was 5,964. I incorrectly misinterpreted the number of comps as being about 1,500 less than it actually was, although in no way did it look like there were anywhere close to 6,000 in the building but that is a legit figure.
- Cawthon, Graham. "Yearly Results: 1998". TheHistoryOfWWE.com.
- Meltzer, Dave (November 8, 1993). "Oro dies in the ring, Sid Vicious vs. Arn Anderson stabbing incident". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
7,200 tickets were given away, enough to fill the Civic Center. About 5,500 showed up, a surprising amount of whom were certainly old enough to remember the weekly Thursday night cards from the 60s and 70s, and many of whom were kids who came largely to see the Big Bossman of WWF television fame.
- Meltzer, Dave (October 12, 1992). "Hugely successful WWE tour, terrible ratings, Von Erich sentencing". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
10/1 Shelby, NC (WWWOW - 5,200 fair grandstand show): [...] Van Dam won Battle Royal
- Campbell, Jason. "Christmas Chaos". ProWrestlingHistory.com.
- Benner, Eric (December 30, 2000). "Rougeau mega-show covers the bases". Canadian Online Explorer. SLAM! Wrestling. Archived from the original on April 14, 2016.
- Oliver, Greg (January 5, 2001). "Ouelett & Rougeau: Stronger together". Canadian Online Explorer. SLAM! Wrestling. Archived from the original on April 8, 2001.
- Meltzer, Dave (July 24, 1995). "Bash 1995 and AAA at the LA Sports Arena, Shamrock vs. Severn pro-wrestler shoot fight results, tons more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
Jacques Rougeau Jr. ran his first show on 7/15 in Verdun, QUE drawing what was reported in the newspapers as 3,500 fans but there is no way of knowing a real figure. The highlight of the show was Abdullah the Butcher's main event win over Richard Charland.
- Leroux, Yves (January 1, 2010). "Giants battle on Rougeau Christmas shows". SlamWrestling.net.
- Oliver, Greg (December 30, 1999). "Garvins topple Rougeaus for belts". Canadian Online Explorer. SLAM! Wrestling. Archived from the original on November 17, 2002.
- Meltzer, Dave (January 10, 2000). "NJPW Tokyo Dome reviewed, 1999 in revenue for promotions, more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
Jacques Rougeau's 12/29 show in Montreal drew about 2,600 fans in the 3,000-seat Pierre Charboneau Center, his biggest crowd to date. In the main event, Ron & Jimmy Garvin won the Johnny Rougeau tag team titles from Jacques & Raymond Rougeau.
- Benner, Eric (February 15, 1999). "Indie show thrills Quebec crowd". Canadian Online Explorer. SLAM! Wrestling. Archived from the original on February 10, 2005.
- Benner, Eric (February 19, 1999). "Rougeau puts heart into promoting". Canadian Online Explorer. SLAM! Wrestling. Archived from the original on January 31, 2005.
- Pearson, Craig (July 12, 2001). "Wrestlefest 2001; Border City Club's Bout Will Leave Someone Singing The Blues". Windsor Star. p. 45.
We'll find out when the BCW finale explodes on the Civic Terrace from 2 to 4:15 p.m., once again part of the annual Bluesfest in the biggest local wrestling show of the year. Two years ago, the BCW's riverfront spectacle drew 1,600 people, while last year it attracted 2,200 - one of the biggest draws for independent pro wrestling in Canada.
- Meltzer, Dave (March 8, 1993). "Superbrawl, Ross done with WCW, two major lawsuits, tons more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
Junkyard Dog, Don Muraco, Jushin Liger, Joe & Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit, Jake Roberts and Jim Neidhart are in the midst of headlining an Australian tour. First night in Brisbane on 2/25 drew 2,200 and 2/26 in Melbourne drew about 4,000. Must be interesting because they are using Liger vs. Benoit, who have no name identity in Australia, as the semifinal, and Neidhart vs. Roberts on top. Can you imagine Roberts and Neidhart having to follow those two?
- Meltzer, Dave (June 28, 1993). "Trying to fix WCW, Hogan about to leave WWF after King of the Ring". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
6/18 Sydney, Australia (AWF - 3,500): [...] Road Warrior Hawk b Demolition Smash
- Meltzer, Dave (July 5, 1993). "More WCW idiocy, Hogan leaves WWF, Roddy Piper returns, more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
6/24 Melbourne, Australia (AWF - 3,500): [...] Big Bossman b Nailz
- Meltzer, Dave (August 2, 1999). "Vince McMahon comments on Bret Hart, WWF Fully Loaded review, more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
7/17 Melbourne, Australia (High Risk Championship Wrestling - 3,500): [...] Nailz DDQ Primo Carnera III
- Meltzer, Dave (June 28, 1993). "Trying to fix WCW, Hogan about to leave WWF after King of the Ring". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
6/26 Adelaide, Australia (AWF - 1,450): [...] Big Bossman b Nailz **1/2
- Meltzer, Dave (March 15, 1993). "Japan Super Show, Hogan, Flair and Brutus return, ratings, more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
3/2 Adelaide, Australia (AWF - 1,000): [...] Jake Roberts b Jim Neidhart *
- Meltzer, Dave (August 2, 1999). "Vince McMahon comments on Bret Hart, WWF Fully Loaded review, more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
7/23 Adelaide, Australia (High Risk Championship Wrestling - 1,000): [...] High Risk Warrior b Nailz, Pit Bulls b DOA-DQ
- Meltzer, Dave (February 16, 2015). "Possible WrestleMania main event changes, Genichiro Tenryu retires, more UFC drug testing woes, future of NXT, CMLL at a crossroads, and more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
After the return of L.A. Park, Dr. Wagner Jr. and Fuerza Guerrera to Arena Mexico on 2/8 drew more than 15,000, more than five times the normal Sunday crowd [...] An outside promotion, All Elite, booked Arena Mexico using those three stars, and drew the biggest crowd in the arena since the Anniversary show.
- Meltzer, Dave (July 14, 2008). "Forrest beats Quinton, rule changes UFC ignores, Ring of Hell". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
On 7/5 at Arena Monterrey, they drew 10,500 fans for an elimination match where the loser would get unmasked with Mistico, Ultimo Guerrero, Villano V, Atlantis, Blue Panther and Tigre Universitario
- Meltzer, Dave (June 7, 2010). "UFC 114 in-depth, major change could affect TV, WWE injuries, NXT bios". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
Ultimo Dragon's annual DragonMania show took place on 5/29 at Arena Mexico, a TV taping for Japan. The show drew more than 10,000 fans, although tickets were cheap and a lot of people got in free. [...] The main event was the babyface legendary quartet of Mil Mascaras (who turns 71 in July) & Tatsumi Fujinami (56) & Ultimo Dragon (43) & Brazo de Plata (47) beating Chuck Palumbo (in Mexico for one match) & Rey Bucanero & Atlantis & Arkangel de la Muerte.
- Meltzer, Dave (June 6, 2016). "More details on WWE brand split, Jimmy Snuka found incompetent, more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
This was his annual DragonMania show taped for later broadcast on Japanese television. They heavily papered the show and had more than 10,000 fans attending with All Japan's Jun Akiyama and Yohei Nakajima being the major guests. [...] The main event was scheduled as Dragon & Octagon & Caristico over Fuerza Guerrera & Tiger Ali & Ultimo Guerrero via DQ for interference of Bucanero, and then Corleone made the save. They restarted as Dragon & Octagon & Caristico & Corleone beating Guerrera & Mephisto & Bucanero & Ali after U.K. wrestlers Saime Sahin and Jason LaRusso also interfered.
- Meltzer, Dave (August 21, 2017). "Ric Flair in critical condition in the hospital, G1 Climax finals, more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
The Crash ran its most successful event to date on 8/10 at the 11,000-seat Domo in San Luis Potosi, drawing 9,000 fans, the biggest crowd in company history, notable because it was a Thursday night show with no local television. They used Rey Mysterio Jr. & Blue Demon Jr. & Rey Fenix over La Mascara & M-ximo & Rey Escorpion in the main event
- Meltzer, Dave; Alvarez, Bryan (August 5, 1996). "Major changes to WWF syndication, Herb Abrams dies, Kobashi wins Triple Crown for the first time, more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
Several of the groups this past week have run free shows as part of fireworks festivals or country fair type of events. The biggest was Tokyo Pro's show on 7/23 at Atami Sun Beach which was reported as being viewed by more than 65,000 fans.
- Meltzer, Dave (May 15, 1995). "WCW taping policy update, real-life pro-wrestling shoot fight booked for UFC, an early "too many shows" story, tons more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
Onita's much-ballyhooed final match on 5/5 at Kawasaki Baseball Stadium drew a sellout of approximately 50,000 fans (announced at 58,250) which would be a gate in the $2.5 million range and tons more in merchandise
- Woodward, Buck (May 5, 2007). "THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE FINAL WWF SHOW, FMW ANNIVERSARY, A WWE STAR DEBUTS THAT WE STILL HAVEN'T SEEN WRESTLE ON TV AND MORE". PWInsider.com.
- Bixenspan, David (August 3, 2017). "Japanese Wrestling's Bomb-Loving Cult Hero Is Coming To New Jersey". Deadspin.com.
- Rohan, Jim (October 5, 2018). "The Final Fall of the UW". CagesideSeats.com.
- Meltzer, Dave (November 28, 1994). "Akira Hokuto and Big Egg Wrestling Universe, first Clash post-Flair retirement, ECW vs. NWA war, tons more!". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
The figures were more than just record-breaking, they were astounding. It was more than just the 42,500 fans, which more than doubled the all-time record for a woman's wrestling show that held up for 53 years (19,000 fans for a match between Mildred Burke and Elvira Snodgrass in 1941 in Louisville).
- Wall, Jeremy (2005). UFC's Ultimate Warriors: The Top 10. Toronto: ECW Press. p. 46. ISBN 1550226916.
- Cawthon, Graham. "Yearly Results: 1991". TheHistoryOfWWE.com.
- "Michinoku Pro-Wrestling Results: 2006". Purolove.com.
- Meltzer, Dave (November 28, 2016). "WWE Survivor Series review, Goldbergagrees to more matches, more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
Insane Championship Wrestling of Glasgow, Scotland ran the biggest show in its history, a card they had promoted for one year on 11/20 at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow. They drew 6,193 fans paid, a number probably hurt because WWE ran two television tapings in the same building, a Raw that sold out with 11,000 and a Smackdown that did 10,800, just two weeks earlier. It was the largest crowd for a U.K. based promotion since the Big Daddy vs. Giant Haystacks match at Wembley Arena in 1981. It was larger than any TNA crowd in the U.K. since 2012 (when they drew 7,000 at Wembley) and TNA has had weekly television in the market since 2007 while ICW has no television in the U.K. Last year they ran at the smaller SECC Arena and sold it out with just under 4,000.
- Meltzer, Dave (October 8, 2018). "Massive UFC 229 expectations, plus tons of news". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
Progress Wrestling ran its biggest show in its history, "Hello Wembley," on 9/30 at Wembley Arena, drawing 4,750 fans, the largest crowd for a U.K.-based promotion in England since the 1981 Big Daddy vs. Giant Haystacks match that drew 7,000 fans.
- Meltzer, Dave (July 6, 2014). "SummerSlam card, fall WWE direction, Jericho's return notes, What will take for Rock to return next year, PEDs in MMA, wrestling, reality of drug testing, TNA in New York and explaining TNA/Japan deal". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
Preston City Wrestling in England ran an outdoor show on 6/28 as part of Armed Forces day as a Tribute to the Troops show. It was a free show that drew just under 4,000 fans. Both the Mayor of Preston and his wife attended and were in the front row. Carlito and Chris Masters were the Americans brought in as guest stars.
- Meltzer, Dave (November 23, 2015). "Holm defeats Rousey, Nick Bockwinkel passes away, more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
The Insane Championship Wrestling show on 11/15 at the SECC in Glasgow, Scotland, drew a sellout of 4,000 fans, which as noted, was the biggest crowd for a U.K. based promotion since 1982. ICW has been packing 1,500 seat buildings regularly, particularly after a BBC piece made a cult hero out of Grado.
- Meltzer, Dave (July 9, 2018). "Death of Matt Cappotelli". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
The first show of the U.K. bouts with Revolution Pro was 6/30 in Milton Keynes, before a sellout of 2,546 fans. [...] Main event saw Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr. beat Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii to retain the British tag team titles.
- Meltzer, Dave (October 17, 2016). "Goldberg returning to face Brock Lesnar, tons more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
The WCPW show on 10/8 in Manchester, on the same night as the UFC show (although this ended long before UFC started) drew 2,500 for a show headlined by Kurt Angle vs. Cody Rhodes. The crowd was very hot for the short main event that ended with Angle winning via ankle lock.
- Meltzer, Dave (October 3, 2016). "TNA at a crossroads, WWE Clash of Champions review, more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
Progress Wrestling ran its biggest event to date on 9/25, drawing 2,400 fans to the Brixton Academy in London. We're told this was the biggest crowd for a U.K. promotion in England since 1981.
- "October 8, 1990 in Memphis, TN". The History of Wrestling at the Mid-South Coliseum. ProWrestlingHistory.
- Meltzer, Dave (August 14, 1994). "New goofy WCW gimmicks, SMW all-time record, AAA return to LA disappoints, Mr. August wins G-1 again, tons more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
Wrestling set its all-time attendance and gate record on 8/5 in Knoxville for the "Night of the Legends," drawing 5,000 fans and $40,000.
- "Night of Legends". The Complete History of Smoky Mountain Wrestling. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
- Meltzer, Dave (August 14, 1995). "Future of ECW and the Sunshine Network, controversial angle, revamped SummerSlam card, Collision in Korea, tons more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
The live attendance for Jim Cornette's show was 4,600 paid and slightly in excess of 5,000 in the building, both of which would be new company records. The old record for the "Night of Legends" last August in the same building was 5,000 fans, but 4,400 paid. The gate was $37,500, just a tad shy of the $40,000 record set last year.
- Alvarez, Bryan (January 22, 1996). "Results of the 1995 Observer Newsletter Awards, 1995 Record Book, tons more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
- Cawthon, Graham. "Yearly Results: 1999". TheHistoryOfWWE.com.
- Mac, Eddie (September 19, 2016). "This Day in Wrestling History (Sept. 19): Happy Birthday Renee Young!". CagesideSeats.com.
- Cawthon, Graham. "Yearly Results: 1997". TheHistoryOfWWE.com.
- Meltzer, Dave (December 8, 1997). "nWo Nitro plans that never panned out, ECW November to Remember coverage, Big Daddy passes away, Frank Shamrock to UFC, and more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California.
The November to Remember PPV, billed ahead of time as ECW's showcase event of the year, fell far short of the mark in that regard. As a promotion, it was the most successful by far in company history. For a group that has only drawn 2,000 fans on two occasions in its nearly five year history, it destroyed all existing company records with a sellout crowd of 4,634 (4,218 paying about $103,900, plus another $43,930 in merchandise which are phenomenal figures for a company of that size) at the Golden Dome in Monaca, PA on 11/30.
- Campbell, Jason. "Throwback Night II". ProWrestlingHistory.com.
- Campbell, Jason. "Throwback Night". ProWrestlingHistory.com.
- Cawthon, Graham. "Yearly Results: 2000". TheHistoryOfWWE.com.
- Campbell, Jason. "Throwback Night III". ProWrestlingHistory.com.
- Pantoja, Kevin (February 15, 2016). "Random Network Reviews: Hardcore Heaven 2000". 411mania.com.
- Nemer, Paul (March 27, 2011). "3/26 JCW iPPV Results (Raven, Eugene, Conway)". Wrestleview.com. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
- Lea, Chris (November 26, 2016). "WrestleCade 2016 in Winston-Salem". WXII-TV.
- Crowther IV, Rob (June 17, 2019). "Jon Moxley, Mick Foley Rock Northeast Wrestling's Packed Six Flags Slam". ThePopBreak.com.
- "Llego su Majestad LA Park a Chicago" [His Majesty LA Park has arrived in Chicago]. TheGladiatores.com (in Spanish). February 21, 2013. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
En Chicago el nombre de LA Park es garantía de poder y el pasado 17 de Febrero volvió a llenar el Teatro Congress el inmueble resulto insuficiente para un público que materialmente se volcó en la arena rompiendo el record de asistencia ya que cerca de 3500 personas se dieron cita para ver a su ídolo.[In Chicago the name of LA Park is a guarantee of power and last February 17 he once again filled the Congress Theater, the building was insufficient for an audience that materially poured into the arena, breaking the attendance record as about 3500 people gathered to see their idol.]
- Drasin, Ric; Collins, Bruce Dwight (2003). So, You Want to be a Wrestling Promoter?. Imprint Books. ISBN 1591099498.
- Snyder, Ronald (2017). Wrestling's New Golden Age: How Independent Promotions Have Revolutionized One of America's Favorite Sports. Sports Publishing. ISBN 978-1683580201.
- Greenberg, Keith Elliot (2020). Too Sweet: Inside the Indie Wrestling Revolution. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1773055763.
- Independent Wrestling TV
- Quackenbush, Mike (August 31, 2020). "Pro Wrestling Basics: What is Indy/Indie Wrestling?". YouTube.com. Til We Make It.
- Monday, Michael (November 17, 2017). "The Bottom Rope: Inside the world of independent wrestling". YouTube.com. NJ Advance Media.
- Sharma, Ishaan (July 7, 2021). "How Indie Wrestling Is Different From WWE (& How It's The Same)". TheSportster.com.
- Mathewson, Dan (August 26, 2019). "The Problem with "Indie Wrestling" (hint: it's not the wrestling)". ProWrestlingStudies.org.