PWS co owner Eric counts down the Top 25 Most Significant Pro Wrestling Syndicate Moments Of 2012.
Got a tie here, sorry
Big Van Vader returns to wrestling, wrestles at PWS, reunited with former NOAH Tag Team Champion partner 2 Cold Scorpio for the first time ever in The United States, and later reunited with former manager Paul Bearer for the first time ever post WWE. Vader was well received by the PWS crowd receiving chants of “you still got it” and even showed his lighter side by dancing with Rikishi at a PWS event.
The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase showed up at PWS to raffle off his watch. What? Yes it happened.
Honky Tonk Man showed up at PWS to sing his theme song. Yes it happened.
24.) PWS became the first indy promotion to partner with Five Dollar Wrestling whom brought their stars Freight Train and Dynomite to three PWS events.
23.) PWS launches its own Video On Demand website. Instead of pressing dvd’s, maililng dvd’s, and fans waiting to get dvd’s in the mail … PWS launched its own VOD website where fans can instantly download matches or full events. PWS has also released full events for free on Youtube so fans can check out the product.
22.) Bret Hart appears at PWS in September in front of 1,000+ fans. This was an honor to have The Hitman be part of PWS and was also the first time that Bret and nephew Teddy Hart appeared together at an independent event. This also was the first time Teddy appeared in The US in months.
21.) Reality Check running wild. PWS’ Reality Check stable consisting currently of Kevin Matthews, Devon Moore, Alex Reynolds, Dave D-Struction Sturch, and Damian Gibbs has become the top heel faction in independent wrestling. For a brief moment wrestling legend Virgil became PWS’ bodyguard as well as Jay Lethal and Amazing Red whom, never, fell to the dark side prior ever in their careers.
20.) An injury free year. With such a talented roster of stars that are known to do some insane manuvers , it is fantastic to say that there was not one serious injury at PWS this year.
19.) Two of the biggest wrestling news websites began doing live play by plays for PWS event. Pwinsider & Wrestlezone have both been providing live coverage of PWS events which they are ultra selective about and only do for bigger events (ie WWE, TNA, top indies) . We have been honored to be included.
18.) RIP National Wrestling Superstars. NWS (also known as NPWS) tried relentlessly to get PWS events shutdown. As a result , PWS decided to fight back. PWS’ Kevin Matthews & Pat Buck stormed the ring of a NWS event and called out promoter “Dapper” Joe on his actions. A couple weeks later, NWS, whom ran 40+ shows annually in New Jersey for over a decade called it quits.
17.) PWS to be featured on MTV show. MTV cameras were rolling at PWS in December as PWS Bombshell Miss Adiva was cast for an episode of MTV True Life. This is great exposure for PWS to people whom may have not known the company existed.
16.) Pat Buck throws down Tag Titles. Pat Buck was one half of The PWS Tag Team Champions with John Silver however when Buck became a co-owner of PWS he decided that a promoter should also not be the company’s champion. This was hugely significant as frequently independent promoters book themselves all over their own events including with titles and in main events. This signified that PWS is very different than other organizations and won’t insult the fans’ intelligence.
15.) Gimmicks galore ! PWS officially had the first post WWE matches of Phantasio, El Matador, The Goon, Simon Dean, Rene Dupree, and Mantaur, while also having the first post WWE appearances of Papa Shango and The Shockmaster.
14.) PWS runs an event to raise money for Hurricane Sandy victims in Rahway NJ. This event which took place in November was huge on multiple levels . The event was originally scheduled to take place at The Rahway Rec Center, however the venue was damaged heavily by the storm. The town of Rahway was a disaster area with downed trees and no power. While other promotions in the north east cancelled their events, PWS marched on strongly and proudly, finding a nearby venue that was able to be powered off of generators. PWS ran an intimate kick ass wrestling event in front of a mostly standing only room crowd in the middle of a disaster area. This signified that PWS will never cancel or quit no matter how much the deck may be stacked against them.
13.) The PWS Heavyweight Title is passed from Sami Callihan to Kevin Matthews to Matt Hardy. Callihan is one of the top independent wrestlers in the world, Matthews a former WWE developmental talent whom has been integral to PWS’ success since 2007, and Matt Hardy whom is one of the most recognizable non WWE , non TNA wrestlers in the world proudly puts over PWS as his favorite organization to work with.
12.) 74 year old international wrestling legend Mil Mascaras wrestled Samuray Del Sol in June at PWS. This was as shocking as it was special as fans never thought they would get to see the legendary Mascaras wrestle live , and PWS was able to make that happen. This match between arguably the greatest luchadore of all time and arguably the greatest luchadore right now made headlines across Mexico.
11.) PWS goes to iPPV. After turning down offers from Go Fight Live and Gabe Sapolsky’s WNN , PWS launched its own internet pay per view company themselves. This truly examplifies the Do It Yourself (DIY) mindset of PWS.
10.) PWS stands up to Psycho Sid. When Psycho Sid no-showed PWS in March , PWS not only booked replacements (plural), but PWS co-owner Pat Buck literally called Sid’s cell phone from the middle of the PWS ring so PWS fans can vocalize their frustration. In perhaps the ballsiest and most controversial move of the year, in any wrestling organization, Sid’s phone number was given out to the live crowd. This one move established two important things: PWS will not be bullied by anyone and PWS will always be brutally honest with its fans.
9.) The arrival of Star Man. Star Man became a huge breath of fresh air on the independent wrestling scene as this nostalgic icon and PWS exclusive quickly became the absolute most over individual in independent wrestling in an astonishing quick fashion. Yes other stars are popular, heck any name you can conjure up has probably wrestled in the PWS ring, however no star has ever garnered the amount of popularity in their first year on the independents as Star Man. Outside The PWS ring Star Man was featured in a hip hop music video, was shown on TMZ on Fox, and appeared in the crowd of WWE’s Monday Night Raw resulting in a “we want Star Man” chant which made headlines around the world. Inside The PWS ring, Star Man dethroned Anthony Nese to become the second ever PWS Tri State Champion.
8.) Anthony Nese quits TNA Impact Wrestling in favor of doing a PWS iPPV.
Nese whom was part of PWS prior to signing with TNA was informed by TNA that he would not be allowed to compete in a match with Sami Callihan against The Great Muta and KAI in June. Nese responded to TNA by asking for his release. Anthony Nese is one of the most under appreciated wrestlers in the world. Respect.
7.) PWS brokered a deal with All Japan Pro Wrestling where the legendary Great Muta and AJPW Jr Heavyweight Champion KAI came to The United States to compete at PWS in June as PWS celebrated its 5 year anniversary. Made headlines all over Japan.
6.) PWS is shown on Fox’s TMZ. PWS debuted Saved By The Bell sitcom star Mr Belding in September which resulted in a lot of media press including being on the front page of the highly trafficked Yahoo.com , various radio station websites including Z100 and KTU , Buzzfeed, various entertainment magazines, and TMZ on national television.
5.) Jerry Lynn announces his final match anywhere on The East Coast will be inside The PWS ring. This is hugely significant and meaningful as Lynn, whom started with PWS in 2008 and had an illustrious 24 year career chose PWS as the place to have his East Coast farewell .. and he will be doing so opposite the legendary Lance Storm whom was kind enough to come out of retirement for this special match.
4.) PWS launches its own women’s wrestling promotion. PWS Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling debuted in October and has been running full fledged women’s wrestling events every other month since. The upcoming Bombshells event on February 9th is very loaded and perhaps will be where Bombshells begins to really hit its stride.
3.) PWS launches a Wrestling School. In June PWS opened its wrestling school under trainer Pat Buck. The first class of students made their PWS in ring debut in a Student Battle royal in September. The school continues to grow as the original class continues to progress and a new class of students are beginning their journey into pro wrestling. PWS students have been integrated onto PWS events and will also be the stars of PWS Student Clash taking place in January. PWS is very proud of our students for their accomplishments in such a short amount of time.
2.) Founder Eric ‘Tapout’ Pleska forms a registered partnership with Pat Buck. This was a huge move not only as PWS became a legit registered business and became the only independent promotion in the state of New Jersey to pay the mandated NJ entertainment tax but as the various strengths of this duo compliment each other so well that the future of PWS clearly has a very high ceiling with no limitations.
1.) PWS ran events on a consistent schedule while consistently providing top level events in front of large amounts of the smartest wrestling fans on the planet. PWS ran 8 events in 2012 with an average attendance of 900 fans. PWS’ top draw of the year was 1,021 at The Rahway Rec Center which to put into laymens terms is higher than the past Ring Of Honor, TNA Impact Wrestling, and Evolve wrestling events at The Rahway Rec Center COMBINED. People may debate what the best indy wrestling promotion is, but there is no debate about the smartness and high level of dedication of the fans of Pro Wrestling Syndicate.