A Brief History

Added by Ben McClung

When I was given the opportunity to write for The Indy Corner, it didn’t take much thought to accept the offer and start writing my first piece. I’ve been in love with indy wrestling since the first show I went to back in 2002. In Maryland (which is on the east coast of the US) we only really had two indy promotions, Maryland Championship Wrestling and Mid Eastern Wrestling Federation. MCW was the cutting edge promotion that took half of MEWF’s talent and started their own brand. MEWF was the type of promotion that used out of shape guys with WWE dreams, and a few WWE wash outs and took your money each month. That’s where it all started for me.

I’d read for months about a promotion called Ring of Honor, and it just so happened that they were going to be coming to Maryland in October of 2003. So my best friend and I got front row seats and counted down the days. The top two matches on that show were CM Punk vs AJ Styles and Samoa Joe defending the ROH world title against Jay Briscoe. What I remember most about my first ROH show was seeing Styles reverse a shining wizard into the Styles Clash for the win. I was blown away by what all these guys were doing in the ring. It was so gritty, and low budget and far from what I’d been seeing on my TV for the 10 years before on WWE programming.

In the years that follows we traveled to anywhere on the east coast that ROH ran. Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Virginia…anywhere we could drive to within 6 hours or so. We got to see Jushin Liger, Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi just to name a few. So many guys we watched ended up in WWE, and seeing them there was like a badge of honor because they were ‘our’ guys.

At some point I fell out of love with ROH, as Gabe was fired and they were sold to Sinclair Broadcasting. It wasn’t that the product was bad, it was still amazing. It just wasn’t the ROH that I’d fell in love with. Now in 2016 I’m finding my love for ROH and indy wrestling alll over again, and with The Indy Corner’s help, I’m going to explore what’s out there and reminisce about what I’ve been to and already seen.

I also invite anyone reading this to listen to a podcast I do with Scott Andrews of the Working a Resthold Podcast and Alan Boon, who writes for The Observer about the UK indy scene. Our podcast is called Working A Resthold Presents ‘The Indy Darlings’. You can also find me on twitter at @nukethebridge, any feedback is welcome.

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