With 2019 coming to a close it’s almost time to start the awards season. One award that never fails to intrigue me is the One To Watch categories as the answers are generally wide ranging due to Scotland having such a deep talent pool of established names along with up and coming talent. Before the polls open on January 1st I wanted to get my two pennies in and put out a list of names that you should keep an eye out for at a show near you.
Of course, it’s difficult to restrict this to only ten names so this may lead on to a couple other parts with more names added. For now though I’ve noted the ten wrestlers that you may not be too familiar with but are certainly worth looking out for. This isn’t a “top 10” per se but just the first ten names that sprung to mind that I think you have to see.
I decided to leave out the more obvious ones (like Krieger and Jason Reed for example who will have big years in 2020), and those that are already established names in Scottish wrestling. Hopefully I pick out someone you haven’t seen yet and want to find out more.
If you are a wrestler reading this and I have missed you out I can only apologise and to stay tuned for future editions as you may just appear…
This is based on a multitude of reasons but personal opinion would weigh heavy so let me quickly add the:
If there was a way to put together a prototype of what you would imagine a wrestler to look like, he must be swift as a coursing river, with all the force of a great typhoon, with all the strength of a raging fire and mysterious as the dark side of the moon. Caleb Valhalla is it. The beast from the North East is throwing folk about in WrestleZone right now but it’s only a matter of time before he’s travelling around the country and battering others for our entertainment. Still in the early stages of his wrestling career but with every appearance the confidence increases. Rock solid big man with fantastic agility that makes a scary combination.
“The Shooter” has been quickly establishing himself with his lightning fast move set and penchant for kicking. Skinner has been impressive in his short time wrestling, one of those guys that is clearly passionate to improve and evolve. You’ll probably see Ian at shows as part of the ring crew or helping out if he isn’t kicking jaws off wrestlers. His recent match with Robbie Wishart was just blink and you’ll miss it action of the highest order. He recently got his foot in the door at ICW and if they maintain their renewed focus on the up and coming talent for their GONZO brand, it won’t be long before Ian Skinner is battling for gold.
One of my ‘One To Watch’ picks last year, for my money, Hayze is one of the best in the country right now. Having recently broke into the likes of Insane Championship Wrestling and EVE, Hayze is only 18. Having been wrestling for about 3 years now, Hayze has been building plenty of experience, with an ability to step into any environment and put on a great match. Either as a scrappy underdog or smug bully, there’s certainly some comparisons to the likes of Alexa Bliss in that she excels at both.
Highly touted to be one of the next big breakout stars of the PBW Academy, Black has already faced some of the biggest names in the country with his match with current ICW World Heavyweight Champion Stevie Boy Xavier being rightly hailed as a fantastic contest. He’s young, fast and ridiculously polished for someone just making their way around the scene, Daz Black might just be the next big thing.
‘The Granite Bruiser’ (I’ve made that one up but if Rayhne wants to use it I will not fight her on it) Rayhne has taken the new Empress Division in Scottish Wrestling Entertainment by the scruff of it’s neck and has been dishing out punishment to anyone that steps up to her. A new focus in Dundee on women’s wrestling, along with opportunities to step in with the likes of Holidead and Sammii Jayne at SWE and Fair City Wrestling respectively, the PBW Academy graduate has all the tools to make an impact in 2020.
2019 has been a remarkable year for Craig Anthony, he’s currently enjoying a lengthy run as SWA Tag Team Champion with Kieran Kelly as I-Gen and was one of the mysterious Power Forward members that assisted Mark Coffey in ICW. 2020 though, with Kelly ascending rapidly as a singles competitor, is an opportunity for Anthony to step out of the tag team ranks and solidify himself as a singles wrestler. He is a remarkable talent, is a very good wrestler and that’s without considering his experience, Craig Anthony is a guy that could fit in anywhere on the card.
The current W3L Breakout Champion is certainly determined to make an impact in the world of wrestling, and has been travelling to the United States and Europe over the last three years to better himself as a wrestler. Having seen him wrestle recently he has something special about him that will certainly be one to watch, hence why he’s on this list.
If you had asked me last year after W3L Action Academy if Umar Mohammed would be on this list I would have laughed in your face (or put lol with an emoji) but this is what I love about wrestling, you should never write someone off straight away. The more I see Mohammed the better he gets, now he has joined Fife Pro Wrestling Asylum to continue his training there is no doubts that ‘The Asian Sensation’ is going to have a breakout year in 2020.
A name that I bring up constantly when this kind of topic is brought up. Dean Ford is a machine. He kicks folk for fun, has a swagger as he knows that he could batter you in second thanks to his actual prizewinning kickboxing background. If Dean Ford is on the show, someone is getting booted. He got a toe into ICW at the tail end of the year, hopefully something comes of that because more people need to see Dean Ford.
The tactician of Beauty and The Brain with Jesse Santana, Taylor Vite struck out on his own in 2019 due to Santana’s injury woes. Having appeared up and down the country from Caithness Pro Wrestling to Source Wrestling, his match with Alexander Darwin MacAllan at Source’s ‘Fusion 3’ event really caught my eye and I saw a bundle of potential ready to go. I think 2020, whether as a tag team, or continuing as a singles wrestler, will be a big one for Taylor Vite with his underdog fight and infectious charisma.
Thoughts? Opinions? Who would be in your Top 10?