Why Australia is Ready for a Wrestling Boom
In the early 2000's, it seemed like British wrestling simply didn't exist. Sure, there were a few guys from the UK wrestling in different places, like Fit Finlay and Doug Williams, but the British wrestling scene wasn't there. But today? The UK is one of the hottest pro wrestling markets on the planet, only behind the big three of US, Japan, and Mexico. What happened? Well, a combination of several things, actually. Zack Sabre, Jr. traveled the world, showing off his skills in NOAH and and PWG; homegrown British companies like Progress and Revolution Pro began having killer matches; new, young talent went from green boys to superstars in their own right, like Will Ospreay and Marty Scurll. Needless to say, it didn't take long for the United Kingdom to go from virtually unknown for pro wrestling, to an independent powerhouse. And guess what? The same thing is beginning to happen Down Under.
Australia, like Great Britain, didn't have much in the way of pro wrestling, and its little sister New Zealand, had essentially nothing. Today? The second largest company on the planet, New Japan Pro Wrestling, is doing a joint-show tour of Australia with Aussie promotions. Why? Because they see what's about to happen: Australia is about to explode onto the independent wrestling scene. As of now, there are three major Aussie companies that are making waves across the Pacific Ocean: Melbourne City Wrestling, Explosive Pro Wrestling, and Perth Wrestling Association, with Southern Pro Wrestling causing noise on the edge of the world in New Zealand. This corner of the planet is powder keg of talent, waiting to go off, with talent like Slex, Robbie Eagles, Adam Brooks, Dowie Jones, and more, putting on astonishing matches month after month, just under our noses.
But mere talent isn't enough to cause a boom period. There has to be eyes on the product; and this is why we are on the cusp of the Australian wrestling revolution: other people are finally taking notice. Will Ospreay has taken several dates Down Under, and raved about how good the talent is there. The aforementioned NJPW tour is under way as we speak, shining a light on the quality of performers for Japanese fans. New Zealand's own Travis Banks is currently Progress Wrestling's World Champion, showing how good Kiwi talent to Britain, alongside TJ Cooper, fellow New Zealander who often appears for Progress. Speaking of Progress Wreslting, they also are doing a joint-show tour of Australia in April, with MCW, EPW, and PWA. PWG has used several Australian or New Zealander wrestlers, like Jonah Rock, Adam Brooks, Travis Banks, and more, bringing Aussia awareness to America. Finally, even WWE is taking notice. TM61, Australian natives and veterans of the Aussie independent scene, are on the brink of a huge push in the NXT Tag Team division, and Buddy Murphy, another Australian native, just got moved up to 205Live, debuting on the program next week. The world is finally taking notice.
Australian and New Zealander wrestling can only get better from here. With so much young talent that's already so good, and with larger companies finally taking an interest, it seems like the reputation of the wrestling down under is about to sky rocket. Take note of the top talent now, and remember their names, because you're going to be talking about them for a long time to come.