We are currently speeding down the road to WrestleMania 34, and what a trip it’s been so far. We’ve covered it pretty extensively here at With Spandex, from the battle royal name scandal to the early betting odds to the possibilty of Rusev getting hit in the face with a paint can on the Grandest Stage Of Them All. With all the Mania-related … mania, it can be easy to overlook how many other cool wrestling shows are happening the first weekend of April. That is, until we list a bunch of them right here in this article!
(All times listed are local to New Orleans.)
NXT: TakeOver: New Orleans – April 7, 6:15 p.m.
We’ve got Aleister Black vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas for the NXT Championship, Zelina Vega and Candice LeRae probably getting involved in that, Ember Moon vs. Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women’s Championship, the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, and some other things that aren’t official on television yet because of spoilers! I’m going to try not to use the phrase “stacked card” too many times in this article, but that is a STACKED CARD.
Ring of Honor: Supercard Of Honor XII – April 7, 7:30 p.m.
Speaking of STACKED CARDS (last time I will use that phrase!), ROH‘s twelfth Supercard of Honor looks like either the season or mid-season finale for the ongoing Bullet Club drama. We’ve got Kota Ibushi facing (Team Cody member) Hangman Page plus Cody vs. Kenny Omega for leadership of Biz Cliz in the double main event. I’ve talked about this crazy soap opera in my New Japan column and it’s only gotten better since my last article, with a shocking Bury the Bear sneak attack and Page taking an Ibushi-esque moonsault off a balcony.
It’s been kind of overlooked, but the other half of the main event, Dalton Castle vs. Marty Scurll for the ROH World Championship should be a barnburner too. These two majestic birds have been gold together so far, and you know the entrances as well as the wrestling here are going to be epic. Like all ROH shows, you can watch Supercard of Honor here.
WrestleCon SuperShow – April 5, 9:30 p.m.
If reading about the ROH show made you sad because it’s so close to a Golden Lovers tag match yet so far, cheer up because Omega and Ibushi will be tagging together at WrestleCon SuperShow! Last time we talked about this match, both tag teams were in good shape, but now the Best Friends are more like Best Frenemies. Since Chuckie hurt Greg, he’s been looking for a new best friend a la 2008-2009 Paris Hilton. He’s in Chaos now and claims he’s tight with Okada, so … maybe it’ll be Okada? (Do you think him ranking Okada only the #3 hunkiest man in NJPW hurts our chances of that happening?)
The 2018 SuperShow will also feature Jeff Cobb vs. Tomohiro Ishii in a battle of two of the hardest to knock over men in the world, Penta Om and Joey Janela in a battle of beloved bad boys, and more. And now I’m annoyed I already said “stacked card” too many times.
IMPACT Wrestling Vs. Lucha Underground – April 6, 9 p.m.
Two of the matches that have been announced so far sound certifiably insane: Johnny Mundo vs. Johnny Impact somehow, and Sami Callihan vs. Eddie Edwards in an “I Quit” match. The latter is a grudge match payoff to that botched chair/bat spot everybody was freaking out about earlier this month, and Sami will be representing LU (even though the spot happened on IMPACT) as his Jeremiah Crane character. As you might expect, the build to that has only gotten more intense. And we’ll be able to watch it all on Twitch!
The Crash – April 6, 12 p.m.
Tijuana-based promotion The Crash will bring it’s own brand of not-specifically-subterranean lucha libre to NOLA as well. The main event pits Penta Zero M against Austin Aries, and the rest of the show includes Rey Fenix vs. Flamita vs. Rich Swann in a triple threat, Daga vs. Brian Cage vs. Willie Mack vs. Sami Callihan in a fatal four way, and many more significant wrestlers from the U.S. and Mexico.
Combat Zone Wrestling: Welcome To The Combat Zone – April 7, 3 p.m.
CZW is known for its ultraviolent brand of wrestling, but it looks like its WrestleMania weekend show should feature more varied levels of violence than, say, the Tournament of Death.
This show will include Sami Callihan (I swear I’m not trying to push Callihan super hard; he’s just very busy this weekend) vs. Joey Janela (also booked to the gills over this period of time) in a match that’s sure to be hardcore, Will Ospreay vs. Dezmond Xavier in a match that’s sure to have SO MANY FLIPS, and Joey Ryan vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman for the CZW Wired Championship. Welcome To The Combat Zone will be available to watch here.
Pro Wrestling Revolver: Pancakes And Piledrivers II – April 7, 11 a.m.
Last year Pro Wrestling Revolver’s first Pancakes & Piledrivers show was a huge hit and yes, it included a pancake fight. This was before the New Day had even heard of pancakes (citation needed!) So obviously they’re doing a sequel!
Breakfast food violence aside, this show looks like it will be extremely rad, with matches including the Lucha Brothers vs. Teddy Hart & Jack Evans and Jeff Cobb vs. Shane Strickland for the first time ever. But I’m most excited for the triple threat match between Jessicka Havok, Meiko Satomura, and Kimber Lee, who just got released from WWE and is now living her best pro wrestling life. P&P2 will be available to watch on the High Spots Wrestling Network.
Revolution Pro Wrestling: Live In New Orleans – April 6, 4 p.m.
Sorry for mostly being excited about the top notch New Japan talent you booked for this show, RevPro, but holy heck did you book some top notch New Japan talent! Live In New Orleans will feature Kota Ibushi, the Ace of the Universe himself Hiroshi Tanahashi, Minoru Suzuki, Will Ospreay, Rocky Romero, and Juice Robinson, plus Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Tomohiro Ishii for the Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship. I feel like that match will end with the Stone Cold Pitbull knocking ZSJ down and using his body like a rolling pin until the Brit looks even more like GQ Model Paper Mario.
If you go to this show, could you do me a favor and sing “Kaze Ni Nare” extra loud for me? Thank you. Oh, and everyone else can watch RevPro shows on the internet here.
PROGRESS Wrestling – April 6, 12 p.m.
Ever-expanding indie promotion PROGRESS has already given us quality British strong style wrestling, British Strong Style (the stable of Pete Dunne, Trent Seven, and Tyler Bate,) and Finn Balor’s entrances as the Joker and Hannibal Lecter. Now it looks like they’re going to give us another great show in New Orleans, with the likes of WALTER, Toni Storm, Will Ospreay (another busy guy this weekend), and Travis Banks. You can check it out on their streaming service here.
Game Changer Wrestling – April 5, 3 p.m., and April 6, 11:55 p.m.
In a very on brand move, both of GCW’s NOLA shows are run by performers who are working to change the pro wrestling game in their own ways. Joey Janela is, in my opinion, one of the most creative current wrestling promoters along with being skilled in the ring. Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2 will feature James Ellsworth vs. Matt Riddle as well as Janela vs. the Great Sasuke in the main event.
The day before JSB2, Matt Riddle will host his own GCW-backed show, Bloodsport. Riddle, a former MMA fighter, is known for shoot style wrestling, and the Bloodsport card looks about as shooty as you can get without pulling a Pillman. Three of the matches (including Low Ki vs. Riddle in the main event) are Knockout Or Submission Only, and two are No Ropes, No Pinfalls. You can watch that and other GCW shows on Smart Mark Video.
Shimmer Women Athletes: SHIMMER 100 – April 7, 4 p.m.
With Moolah in the news, we’ve been talking a lot about the state and history of women’s wrestling in North America lately. Since it was founded in 2005, Shimmer has worked to change the perception of female wrestlers, displaying them more as athletes and entertainers and less as sex objects.
It looks like their Mania weekend show will be yet another entertaining display of athleticism, with Nicole Savoy defending her championship against Mercedes Martinez, Shazza McKenzie defending the secondary championship against Tessa Blanchard, and many more of the best indie women wrestlers competing. You can watch Shimmer shows online on the World Wrestling Network.
WWN Supershow – April 6, 8 p.m.
Speaking of WWN, they’re having their own supershow on April 6. Several championships from WWN and its affiliated promotions are on the line here: Keith Lee (c) vs. Daisuke Sekimoto for the WWN Championship, Zack Sabre Jr. (c) vs. Munenori Sawa for the EVOLVE Championship, LuFisto defending her SHINE Championship against a TBD competitor, and an EVOLVE Tag Team Championship match between Doom Patrol (c) and Ringkampf.
Kaiju Big Battel – April 7, 11:55 p.m.
And finally, monster fights. Kaiju Big Battel is a promotion that lovingly parodies both pro graps and Japanese kaiju movies by having people in monster costumes wrestle each other. It is truly a thing of beauty. There isn’t much information out there about their NOLA show yet, but it is sure to be weird and amazing. You can watch it the show live on Twitch, Kaiju Big Battel’s full past shows on WWN, and several full matches on their YouTube channel.
WrestleMania weekend in New Orleans will also see shows from House of Hardcore, Beyond Wrestling, Pure Pro Wrestling, EVOLVE, and more.
Which of these shows sounds coolest to you? Is your favorite indie promotion doing something cool we should all be watching on Twitch that weekend? Let us know in the comments!