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411Mania 2010 Independent Draft 6.28.10: Part One – Introduction, Keepers and Rounds One & Two

June 28, 2010 | Posted by Ari Berenstein

Introduction

Let’s Get It On! Welcome fantasy and independent wrestling fans to the 2010 Independent Wrestling Draft: Fight Night Round 4(11Mania). This is the fourth annual 411Mania fantasy draft where the focus is on the wrestlers and attractions that can be found on the North American independent wrestling scene. Here we seek to answer the question—if YOU were to start a professional wrestling company, who would you use and how would you book it?

This is the second year where draft participants will control their own promotion, deciding on the home region and wrestling style they will use to bring in prospective customers. The returning players had the choice of using the name and style of their previous company, or starting over with a new one. As you will soon see, there have been a number of changes made by the players that should make things interesting. In addition, the draft itself (which took place on Saturday May 15th, 2010) proved to be quite unpredictable, involving trades and a surprise development that shook up the early stages of the draft.

There will be nine participants playing this year, tying our all-time record. Six players have returned from last year and in addition we are joined by two rookies and one man who missed out on last year’s draft but is back to play the game this year. When all is said and done, all nine 411 writers will have a roster of their own, will present you their card and their results. Then YOU can cast your vote for whose promotion’s roster you endorse and which show you would pay to see. Who will emerge as the best judge of talent? Which deal-makers will emerge and forge a shocking bid to land a top pick? Who will use the roster they have and create the best show possible? It’s time to play the draft!

2010 Rules, Changes and Revisions

For this year’s 411Mania Independent Draft, the following rules were decided and agreed upon to both keep the playing field level as well as force owners to make their selections carefully. All draft picks were subject to the following requirements and limitations:

1. The draft will take place over 14 rounds with each owner receiving one pick per round (unless more picks are negotiated through trades).

2. The original draft order was set by random selection, as conducted by myself using the ol’ paper ballot in a ROH hat method. Call it the “Ari Berenstein Lucky Lottery” if you will.

3. Order of selection will reverse each round so that the company that selects first in the first round would select last in the second round and so on.

4. This year, each company will now be able to use two picks to draft a tag team as unit. To be eligible to be drafted as a team, the two wrestlers must be primarily recognizable as wrestling together as a tag team from 2009-2010. If a company uses a tag pick in their keepers round (see below), then it will only have one tag team pick for the rest of the draft.

5. International talent (defined as any performer from outside the United States & Canada) may be drafted, but must have wrestled three times in the United States or Canada since the beginning of May of 2009. Bookings through the end of July 2010 that had yet to occur prior to the draft were counted towards the three required appearances.

6. Talent under contract with World Wrestling Entertainment or Total Nonstop Action is considered ineligible to be drafted. However, the following rulings were made on specific wrestlers that either were signed or released during the week of the draft.

a. Tara was ruled eligible even though the draft took place the day before her last match with TNA. However, given the possibility her contract situation was a work done by TNA, a rule was made where someone could draft Tara, but if she re-signed with TNA that person would lose her and would not be able to select a substitution (i.e. “The Sforcina Clause”).
b. The following wrestlers were ruled ineligible for the draft for the following reasons:

Bret “Hitman” Hart – While he worked the independent scene for much of the last year doing signings and promos, Hart was under WWE contract throughout much of 2010 and when this draft took place.

“The Nature Boy” Ric Flair –Much the same as with Hart, Flair worked the independents but is now under contract with TNA.

Bobby Lashley –After being released from his TNA contract earlier this year it was clear he would be devoting most if not all of his time to Mixed Martial Arts.

The Motor City Machine Guns / The Young Bucks (a.k.a. Generation Me) —Though they occasionally work independent promotions such as PWG or ROH, both tag teams were signed to TNA contracts as of the date the draft was held. Thus these two teams and any other wrestlers in a similar situation were ruled ineligible for selection.

Bryan Danielson-The WWE release of Bryan Danielson caught most by surprise, but due to it taking place after the draft had occurred and most players had sent in their cards and results, Danielson will not be used in this year’s draft.

Any wrestlers previously ineligible due to leaving the wrestling business (Monty Brown, Matt Bentley, etc), remain ineligible.

c. The following wrestlers were ruled eligible for the draft for the following reasons:

Lance Storm – In addition to his two matches with ROH during the summer of 2009, Lance has also wrestled in a mask under the moniker of “The Ideal Canadian” against Bryan Alvarez in Tulalip Championship Wrestling a few months back. As Storm has shown a willingness to wrestle under the right circumstances, he will be available to be drafted as an in-ring competitor for this year’s draft.

7. Any talent that goes un-drafted will be considered a Free Agent and will be eligible to appear for any and all companies.

8. The “keeper” rule continues this year, with returning owners being allowed to retain the rights to one competitor (or tag team) of their choosing from their 2009 roster, except for those chosen in the first round or otherwise ruled ineligible. Returning players also had to give up their previous keeper selection and return them to the drafting pool.

9. To compensate for the keeper pick, there will be a Supplemental Round for first-time players or those who have had a year or more absence from playing. This will take place in the fifth-round of the draft.

10. Since this is a fantasy draft, we are bending the rules of physics and Mother Nature by declaring that a wrestler’s current injury status will not be reflected in their availability to be drafted. Thus KENTA, even though injured at time of the draft, is still available to be drafted and used on a show because he had the requisite appearances in America during the timeframe.

2010 Owners & Company Information

So who are this year’s players? Let’s introduce them by order in which they agreed to join and play the game this year. They are:

1. ARI ROH-BOT KENOBI (returning)
2. Vicious and Lansdellicious (returning)
3. Bermannnnnnnn! (returning)
4. Aaron “God Squad” Hubbard (returning)
5. “J.T.T.” Jeremy Taylor Thomas (returning)
6. “Massive Q” Sforcina (returning)
7. Jasper “That Was Then But Not Now Maybe Soon” Gerretsen (new)
8. Michael “ROH Hat Guy” Bauer (back after a year absence)
9. “High & Low Road” Nevett (new)

These are the companies that they have created, in the order they will be selecting:

# 1: Wrestling…on the WEB! (WOTW) : The Lansdellicious One, Chris Lansdell
Formerly known as Total Wrestling Alliance: Toronto (TWAT)
Wrestling Style: Pure wrestling, workrate city, focusing on those not given a chance elsewhere. Broadcast exclusively online.
Home Region: Eastern Great Lakes (Detroit-Toronto-Cleveland area, based in Toronto)
2nd Year Participant

# 2: New York Knock-Out Wrestling (NY-KO): Ari Berenstein
Wrestling Style: Physical Matches with an undercurrent of Technical showcase.
Home Region: New York-New Jersey (primarily the five boroughs of New York City)
4th Year Participant

# 3: Wichita Wrestling: Junior Division (WWJD): Aaron Hubbard
Formerly known as Heartland Combat Sports (HCS)
Home Region: American Heartland (Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Major Cities: St. Louis, Kansas City, Wichita, Oklahoma City, Tulsa
2nd Year Participant

# 4: Professional Wrestling of Windsor and Detroit (PWWND): Chad Nevett
Wrestling Style: High Impact/Technical
Home Region: Southwestern Ontario/Northern Midwest USA — Based out of Windsor, Ontario with shows in Toronto, Hamilton, London, Windsor, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Chicago
NEW Participant

# 5: Total Package Women’s Wrestling (TPWW): Jeremy Thomas
formerly Total Package Wrestling Extreme (TPWE)
Wrestling Style: Women’s Wrestling (Athletic, As Opposed to GLOW-style)
Home Region: Pacific Northwest (Portland, OR as HQ)
3rd Year Participant

# 6: KOAKH Pro: Samuel Berman
Wrestling Style: Hybrid with a focus on International Styles
Home Region: Chicagoland Area to the Twin Cities – Shows in Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Rockford, Minneapolis, St. Paul, etc.
4th Year Participant

# 7: Pro Wrestling Symphony (PWS): Jasper Gerretsen
Wrestling Style: International showcase & Comedy
Home Region: The convention circuit (as in, a special attraction at wrestling/comic book/video game conventions)
NEW Participant

# 8: Pro Wrestling 3.0 (PW3): Mathew Sforcina
Formerly known as Pro Wrestling 2.0, it appears that PW2 has upgraded to the next level.
Wrestling Style: Professional Wrestling for the Mature (18-45 Male) Fan.
Home Region: California (Los Angeles HQ)
3rd Year Participant

# 9: Sports Entertainment Xtreme (SEX): Michael Bauer
Wrestling Style: High Flying and Risque
Home Region: Las Vegas with shows in Reno and Arizona
Bauer has participated in 3 out of 4 drafts, returning after missing last year.

2010 Keeper Selections

Wrestling…on the WEB! (WOTW) owner Chris Lansdell has selected to retain the rights of…

Tyler Black
-Wrestling out of: Davenport, Iowa
-Current ROH World Champion
-Former 2-Time ROH World Tag Team Champion (with Jimmy Jacobs)
-Finisher: God’s Last Gift, Buckle Bomb to Superkick, Phoenix Splash

Chris Lansdell: I mean, it was obvious really. Steenerico were no longer eligible as a team, Nigel is now Desmond and Kenny Omega just didn’t fit what I was trying to do here. Tyler Black is unbelievably OMG awesome, and plus he’s the ROH champ. There’s a ton of prestige associated with having that title holder work for your fed. Black has the potential to put on some great matches with everyone on our roster, and was the only person we ever considered keeping from last year’s roster.

Previous Draft Selection
2009 Draft: 3rd round, 20th pick overall, Lansdell
2008 Draft: 1st round, 2nd pick overall, Bauer
2007 Draft: 9th round, 49th pick overall, Berman

New York Knock-Out Wrestling (NY-KO) owner Ari Berenstein has selected to retain the rights of…

Katsuhiko Nakajima
-Wrestling out of: Japan
-Former GHC Jr. Heavyweight Champion
-Protégé of Kensuke Sasaki
-Finisher: Knock-out Kicks, German Suplex

Ari Berenstein: My selection from which to choose a keeper pick this year was reduced greatly with the losses of Davey Richards as a first rounder, Hiroshi Tanahashi as an international name no longer eligible and bigger brand names such as Bobby Lashley and the signing of The Pope / Elijah Burke to TNA. My three realistic choices were Eddie Edwards (in prevention of someone choosing The Wolves as a unit), Dark City Fight Club as a tag team (and actually it was really hard to let them go) or Katsuhiko Nakajima. Ultimately I went with Nakajima for his international presence and appeal—and even though I don’t have anyone else on the roster yet, I know I’ll be able to find someone to match up with him in a main event level attraction bout. Nakajima’s blistering striking offense crosses language barriers and is sellable as a part of the top of my roster, so that was the final call.

Previous Draft Selection
2009 Draft: 4th round, 22nd pick overall, Berenstein
2008 Draft: Ineligible
2007 Draft: Ineligible

Wichita Wrestling: Junior Division (WWJD) owner Aaron Hubbard has selected to retain the rights of…

“The Intrepid Traveller” Paul London
-Wrestling out of: Austin, Texas
-Former WWE Tag Team Champion (with Brian Kendrick)
-Current PWG Tag Team Champion (with El Generico)
-Finisher: London Calling Shooting Star Press, 450 Splash

Aaron Hubbard: Initially, my keeper pick was Petey Williams. However, as I realized that this was going to be an all-out war of a draft and getting people for the roles I wanted in my company. With that in mind, I decide to trade up and get Paul London to be my top babyface on a hunch. That proved to be a wise decision on my part, since Chris Lansdell decided to keep Tyler Black, who I had planned on making the face of my promotion. Paul London is an awesome talent who adds name value to my product, both from the view of the hardcore indy fan and the casual fan who will remember his time in WWE. That mix of talent and name value is rare and something I could not let go.

Previous Draft Selection
2009 Draft: 3rd round, 18th pick overall, Hubbard
2008 Draft: Ineligible
2007 Draft: Ineligible

Total Package Women’s Wrestling (TPWW) owner Jeremy Thomas has selected to retain the rights of…

“Your Soul’s Tormentor”MsChif
-Wrestling out of: The Inferno
-Former SHIMMER Women’s Athletes Champion
-Beware the Scream
-Finisher: Desecrator DDT

Jeremy Thomas: When it came time to establish who my keeper pick from last year would be, the choice was honestly very simple. While other guys had a whole roster to consider, TPWW’s change in direction from last year meant I only had a couple people who made sense. But frankly even if there was a whole roster to choose from, Your Soul’s Tormenter would be first on the list of talent to hold on to. The 411mania Women’s Wrestler of the Year for 2009 may not be the SHIMMER Champion anymore, but she still commands the respect of the independents and ranks as one of the top female wrestlers in the world. By virtue of her tenure with TPWW, MsChif enters into the company’s new direction as the reigning TPWW Champion and will be defending it on our first show. Anyone coming to the company thinking it will be an easy fight to get the title had better think again.

Previous Draft Selection
2009 Draft: 7th round, 43rd pick overall, Thomas
2008 Draft: Not Selected
2007 Draft: Not Selected

KOAKH Pro owner Samuel Berman has selected to retain the rights of…

Jay & Mark Briscoe
-Wrestling out of: Sandy Fork, Delaware
-Former 6 Time ROH World Tag Team Champions
-Love to Drink Beer, Shoot Guns and Fight
-Finisher: Springboard Doomsday Device, Spike Jay Driller

Samuel Berman: Last year, KOAKH was able to secure the services of the Briscoe Brothers with the 16th overall pick. With the various restrictions on this year’s keeper selections, it was an absolute must that KOAKH Pro maintains control of the most bankable tag team commodity in all of Independent wrestling. While KOAKH Pro is sad to see other incredible talents like Shingo Takagi and Eddie Kingston head back into the draft pool, we wish them the best in their future endeavors and hope to bring them back to the KOAKH family in the future.

Previous Draft Selection
2009 Draft: 3rd round, 16th pick overall, Berman
2008 Draft: 1st round, 3rd pick overall, James
2007 Draft: 1st round, 1st pick overall, Berman

Pro Wrestling 3.0 (PW3) owner Mathew Sforcina has selected to retain the rights of…

Frightmare
-Wrestling out of: Sleepy Hollow
-Diminutive Assistant of Hallowicked
-411Mania 2009 Rookie of the Year
-Finisher: Super Frankensteiner, Moonsault Double Knee Drop

Mathew Sforcina: I didn’t really have a lot of options here. Given that I couldn’t keep my keeper from last year, nor my first round choice, and with one or two options not available, my roster was… Well, my roster kinda sucked. But then, it sucked last time, but I then I was going in with a goal and a story in mind (Aries & Friends V Delirious & Friends V Everyone Else in the company). This time, I was heading in blind. I almost took King Titus, but I didn’t want to burn a tag team this early, plus I was kinda hoping to pick them up still in the main draft. So who was left? Solid but boring picks like Albright or Smith, or picks like Braddock who was an in-joke that the people involved didn’t even spot. So, with few good options, I picked the 411 Rookie of the Year. Hey, better than nothing.

Previous Draft Selection
2009 Draft: 14th round, 88th pick overall, Sforcina
2008 Draft: Not Available
2007 Draft: Not Available


Before we begin, there was a Pre-Draft Trade involving myself (NY-KO) and Sam Berman (KOAKH). I have agreed to trade the rights to my first round draft pick (# 2 overall) and my ninth round pick (#74 overall) for Sam’s first rounder (# 6 overall), his third rounder (# 22 overall) and his ninth round pick (#70 overall).

Ari Berenstein: I agreed to this trade because I didn’t actually want the pressure of choosing second this year—because most certainly that meant either having to pick The American Wolves of The Kings of Wrestling or having to look like a fool for not picking them. No doubt both teams are super-talented and deserve top billing. However, I either chose or wound up with Richards, Edwards, Hero and Castagnoli in the previous three drafts…and this year my big idea did not involve any of them. So I was willing to drop down to the sixth pick overall and risk my top choice still being there, especially with the lure of an additional third rounder and a quicker route to my late round choices in the negotiation process. Sam’s interests did not conflict with mine, and so we agreed to the big bombshell move. You’ll soon see if it paid off for both of us.

Sam Berman: While the sixth position is certainly not the worst place to be slotted in the draft, KOAKH Pro management believes that aggressive moves yield the best results. While giving up our third draft selection and swapping picks later in the draft might be considered an unnecessary risk by some, the KOAKH brass is determined to feature the very best talent available. Acquiring the 2nd overall selection means that KOAKH will have a chance to draft one of the two commodities we are specifically focused on. We would also like to applaud NYKO management for being reasonable and thoughtful trade partners. We look forward to doing business with them in the future.

The Draft

It’s the beginning of the Draft and everyone has managed to make it onto the Google Wave meeting place…everyone that is except Mr. Tara, Mat Sforcina. It seems he has misjudged the time difference between U.S. EST and his alarm clock in Sydney, Australia has yet to go off. That means problems for at least one promotion, as we shall soon see.

Jasper: Who was in charge of waking him up?
Ari: His mom?

=Round One=

With the 1st pick in the 2009 411Mania Independent Pro Wrestling Draft, Wrestling…on the WEB! (WOTW) selects…

The American Wolves Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards

-Wrestling out of: Othello, Washington & Boston, MA
-Former ROH World Tag Team Champions
-Edwards: Current ROH Television Champion
-Finisher: Richards: DR Driver, Kimuralock; Edwards: Achilles lock, 2k1 Bomb

Chris Lansdell: The rules of the draft allowed us to pick two tag teams, but only regular teams were eligible for drafting. Given those rules, drafting the Wolves as a unit gave tremendous bang for our buck. Both men are workrate machines, and Davey is probably the best in the world right now. He’d never lower himself to selling out to WWE; he wouldn’t be allowed to use his moveset or anything. Edwards is totally underrated and as the ROH TV Champion he brings prestige to the fed too. Will we use them as a team or individually? Time will tell…

Previous Draft Selection

Richards
2009 Draft: 1st round, 7th pick overall, Berenstein
2008 Draft: 2nd round, 14th pick overall, Sforcina
2007 Draft: 3rd round, 13th pick overall, Berman

Edwards
2009 Draft: 10th round, 61st pick overall, Berman
2008 Draft: Not Selected
2007 Draft: Not Selected

With the 2nd pick in the 2009 411Mania Independent Pro Wrestling Draft, KOAKH Pro selects…

The Kings of Wrestling “That Young Knockout Kid” Chris Hero & “Very European” Claudio Castagnoli
-Wrestling out of: Metropolis & The United Banks of Switzerland
-Current and 2-Time ROH World Tag Team Champions
-Hero: Master of the Rolling Elbow
-Castagnoli: Co-Founder of the Bruderschaft des Kruzes in CHIKARA
-Finisher: Hero: KO Elbow; Castagnoli: Release European Uppercut, Ricola Bomb

Sam Berman: KOAKH Pro could not be more proud to select Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli with the 2nd overall selection. The Kings of Wrestling have an unparalleled record of excellence across the Independent scene, as the only team to hold the tag team championships in Combat Zone Wrestling, Ring of Honor and CHIKARA (and simultaneously, no less). In fact, Chris Hero is the only performer in history to hold championship gold in ROH, CZW, PWG, CHIKARA, and IWA Mid-South. No other team or individual would have been an acceptable selection in this spot and KOAKH is honored to be able to feature Hero & Castagnoli as a major part of our promotion.

Previous Draft Selection

Hero
2009 Draft: 2nd round, 10th pick overall, Martinez
2008 Draft: 1st round, 8th pick overall, Domingo
2007 Draft: 1st round, 6th pick overall, Berenstein

Castagnoli
2009 Draft: Keeper, Berenstein
2008 Draft: 3rd round, 19th pick overall, Berenstein
2007 Draft: 1st round, 6th pick overall, Berenstein

With the 3rd pick in the 2009 411Mania Independent Pro Wrestling Draft, Wichita Wrestling: Junior Division (WWJD) selects…

“The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels
-Wrestling out of: The City of Angels
-Multiple Time TNA X-Division Champion
-Two-Time ROH World Tag Team Champion
-Finisher: Angels Wings, B.M.E. (Best Moonsault Ever)

Aaron Hubbard: There were only two talents I even considered drafting here: Austin Aries and Chris Daniels. I came into the draft with a plan on who I was going to make my top heel, but I wanted to have a credible talent who could work and elevate my chosen one to the top of the card. Ultimately, I decided that Daniels fit that role better than Aries. Chris is obviously well known from his time in TNA, when many people called him the most underrated performer in the company. He can have a good match with anyone and works well with my plan.

Previous Draft Selection
2009 Draft: Ineligible
2008 Draft: Ineligible
2007 Draft: Ineligible

With the 4th pick in the 2009 411Mania Independent Pro Wrestling Draft, Professional Wrestling of Windsor and Detroit (PWWND) selects…

SHINGO
-Wrestling out of: Japan
-Former Dragon Gate Open The Dream Gate Champion
-Prominent Mullet Was Shaved Off in 2009.
-Finisher:Made In Japan, Last Falconry

Chad Nevett: : I’m not the most knowledgeable guy when it comes to indy wrestling, but since coming to the site, I’ve made an effort to pay attention a bit more and that included the glowing praise of Dragon Gate USA’s shows. None of the wrestlers on that roster blew me away more than SHINGO, a former bodybuilder and the biggest man on the roster. He may not be big by WWE/TNA standards, but he has a lot of power and skill. A win over him means a lot and you can tell as much right away. While a tag pick seemed like a good way to lock up two great wrestlers, SHINGO is good enough to be worth it as the centerpiece of PWWND.

Previous Draft Selection
2009 Draft: 4th round, 27th pick overall, Berman
2008 Draft: Keeper, Berman
2007 Draft: 8th round, 48th pick overall, Berman

With the 5th pick in the 2009 411Mania Independent Pro Wrestling Draft, Total Package Women’s Wrestling (TPWW) selects…

Amazing Kong
-Wrestling out of: Carson, California
-Her Weight is “None of Yo Damn Business”
-Bubba Killer
-Finisher: Implant Buster, Amazing Press

Jeremy Thomas: There are a host of talented names who have rejoined the independent women’s scene, but foremost among them is the woman known as KONG. The former TNA Knockout’s Champion joins TPWW with her eye on the prize. Kong’s list of title reigns is impressive on both sides of the Pacific and there are few women with the her aura and mystique. She is physically dominating and her wrestling skills can’t be denied; she is one of the few women in the wrestling scene to go toe-to-toe with the men in one of the nationwide promotions and she held her own there. Her skills will be an integral part of TPWW’s line-up and she is a central part of our mission: to deliver the best women’s wrestling that can be found anywhere in the world. With Kong on our roster, there is little doubt that our goal is well in reach.

Previous Draft Selection
2009 Draft: Ineligible
2008 Draft: Ineligible
2007 Draft: 11th round, 64th pick overall, Adamson

With the 6th pick in the 2009 411Mania Independent Pro Wrestling Draft, New York Knock-Out Wrestling (NY-KO) selects…

“Mr. Wrestling” Kevin Steen
-Wrestling out of: Marieville, Quebec, Canada
-Former ROH World Tag Team Champion
-Now More Ruthless Than Ever
-Finisher: Package Piledriver, Sharpshooter

Ari Berenstein: I was in a great position to get Claudio back for the fourth year in a row, along with Chris Hero as The Kings of Wrestling, but I wanted to go in a different direction after the previous three drafts where Claudio was a huge base for my promotional choices. I dropped down and hoped Steen was still available and there he was. Steen is on a huge roll on the independent scene over the past year, and his heel turn has only further placed the spotlight on his promo skills and dangerous mind for the business. Not only can he talk the talk, but Steen can flat-out go in the ring, in a diverse selection of matches from technical to hardcore. He’s not afraid to bleed and he’s not afraid to push the envelope in angles. Let’s face it, Steen is a good face, but a great top heel—and that’s exactly the role he will play in my promotion. He is going to be the antagonizing force in NY-KO and the heat he draws will surely bring in the fans who want to see someone cut him down to size. Oh, and if all goes to plan, he won’t be alone.

Previous Draft Selection
2009 Draft: 1st round, 6th pick overall, Lansdell
2008 Draft: Keeper, Bauer
2007 Draft: 6th round, 34th pick overall, Bauer

With the 7th pick in the 2009 411Mania Independent Pro Wrestling Draft, Pro Wrestling Symphony (PWS) selects…

Speed Muscle Naruki Doi & Masato Yoshino
-Wrestling out of: Japan
-Doi: Former Recent Open the Dream Gate Champion (14 months)
-Yoshino: 4-Time Open the Brave Gate Champion
-Finisher:Doi: Muscular Bomb, Yoshino: Sol Nasciente, Lightning Spiral

Jasper Gerretsen: For its first pick, Pro Wrestling Symphony is proud to announce that it has acquired the services of the team of Naruki Doi and Masato Yoshino, known to most American fans as Speed Muscle, a name they’ve definitely earned. Besides having an incredible chemistry as tag team wrestlers, both Doi and Yoshino are excellent singles wrestlers, giving the company quite a bit of versatility.

Previous Draft Selection

Doi
2009 Draft: 14th round, 92nd pick overall, Martinez
2008 Draft: 3rd round, 25th pick overall, Berman
2007 Draft: 14th round, 81st pick overall, Adamson

Yoshino
2009 Draft: 11th round, 72nd pick overall, Berman
2008 Draft: 3rd round, 25th pick overall, Berman
2007 Draft: 14th round, 83rd pick overall, Domingo

AND SOOOOO…we have come to Sforcina’s turn…and he’s STILL not here…DRAMA!

Ari: Okay…hmmm….what do we do now? Can anyone wake up Sforcina!
Sam: I say we wait another 5 min (quarter after) and then just go on without him – tough call but he knew what time we were doing this – it’s been on the calendar for two weeks.
Aaron: I say let Bauer get his pick since he’s here.
Sam: Like the Vikings at the NFL draft a couple years ago.

After giving Sforcina some additional time…
Sam: Seriously, they’re time zones, not the Paris Peace Talks
Ari: I’m pretty sure we double checked the time before…

After taking a vote (with a fancy-schmancy vote add-on), it was a UNANIMOUS call that we move on without young Mathew. Mike (Sports Entertainment Xtreme) received the eighth pick and so on until he actually arrives…IF he ever actually arrives…

With the 8th pick in the 2009 411Mania Independent Pro Wrestling Draft, Sports Entertainment Xtreme (SEX) selects…

“The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived” Austin Aries
-Wrestling out of: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
-Former Two-Time ROH World Champion, Former ROH World Tag Team Champion
-Also Known as “A-Double” and the “MV3” (Most Vascular Vegetarian)
-Finisher: Brainbuster, Last Chancery

Michael Bauer: Austin Aries – There was no way that SEX could pass on Austin Aries when he dropped to use at #8. We had plans to go elsewhere, but this was a totally unexpected surprise. A-Double is a bona-fide star and a huge first addition to the new venture. What especially makes this pick good in the long run is what we did next.

Previous Draft Selection
2009 Draft: 1st round, 1st pick overall, Sforcina
2008 Draft: 1st round, 4th pick overall, Westerfeld
2007 Draft: Not Eligible


=Round Two=

With the 9th pick in the 2009 411Mania Independent Pro Wrestling Draft, Sports Entertainment Xtreme (SEX) selects…

“Pretty Boy Pitbull” Kenny King & “Addicted to Love” Rhett Titus
-Wrestling out of: Las Vegas, NV & The Temple of Lust
-The Thrust Is a Must
-Affiliated with Austin Aries in ROH
-Finisher: Double team Blockbuster and Power Bomb

Michael Bauer: SEX is all about pushing the envelope and bringing back the glory days of the attitude era. I could not think of a better team to lead the way than these two. Rhett Titus has been getting more and more risqué every week from his “Thrust is a Must” to his hotel room interviews. Clearly, he was made to be in Las Vegas. And joining him is Kenny King, the Pretty Boy Pit-bull. Vegas will be a personal playground for him, sort to speak, and we have no doubts in King’s ability to perform in the ring.

Previous Draft Selection
2009 Draft: 3rd round, 15th pick overall, Sforcina
2008 Draft: Neither Selected
2007 Draft: Neither Selected

With the 10th pick in the 2009 411Mania Independent Pro Wrestling Draft, Pro Wrestling Symphony (PWS) selects…

“Lightning” Mike Quackenbush
-Wrestling out of: Westlawn, PA
-Leading Technico in CHIKARA
-Master of 1,000 Holds
-Finisher: Quackendriver IV, CHIKARA Special

Jasper Gerretsen: For its second pick, Pro Wrestling Symphony selects none other than “Lightning” Mike Quackenbush, one of the most versatile and well-traveled workers the American independent scene has produced in the last twenty years. The master of the Lightning Locks and the Quackendrivers brings a unique combination of excitement and experience to the table that’s just too good to pass up.

Previous Draft Selection
2009 Draft: Keeper, Berman
2008 Draft: 2nd round, 12th pick overall, Berman
2007 Draft: 2nd round, 9th pick overall, Matt Adamson

With the 11th pick in the 2009 411Mania Independent Pro Wrestling Draft, KOAKH Pro selects…

Jimmy Jacobs
-Wrestling out of: Kalamazoo, Michigan
-Now Prominent in both DGUSA and EVOLVE
-Currently Feuding with Jon Moxley and Kamikaze USA
-Finisher: The End Time, Contra Code

Sam Berman: While his profile has shrunk to some degree since leaving Ring of Honor, KOAKH is shocked to find Jimmy Jacobs available with the 11th overall selection. Jacobs has proven time and again that he is one of the most compelling players on the Independent scene, and an absolute lock to compete at the top of any card. Jacobs will most certainly be a force to be reckoned with in KOAKH Pro, and even now there are rumors that he intends to assemble an army of followers as he has in countless other promotions over the years.

Previous Draft Selection
2009 Draft: 2nd round, 12th pick overall, Thomas
2008 Draft: 1st round, 2nd pick overall, Bauer
2007 Draft: 2nd round, 12th pick overall, Berman

With the 12rd pick in the 2009 411Mania Independent Pro Wrestling Draft, Total Package Women’s Wrestling (TPWW) selects…

Tara
-Wrestling out of: San Bernadino, California
-Newly Free Agent After Stint in TNA
-Studying Mixed Martial Arts
-Finisher: Widow’s Peak

Jeremy Thomas: Tara’s last-second departure from TNA was Dixie Carter’s loss and TPWW’s gain. The former WWE Women’s and TNA Knockout Champion adds a veteran’s experience to our roster. Tara has wrestled some of the best that women’s wrestling over the last decade has had to offer. What’s more, she’s stood toe-to-toe with them and given as well as she’s gotten. Honestly, the second she became available this became a no-brainer pick; she is one of the most talented workers around and is a real ring general who knows her way around the psychology of a match and the art of storytelling in the ring. And, of course, she’s sure to become a constant threat for the TPWW Championship.

Previous Draft Selection
2009 Draft: Ineligible
2008 Draft: Ineligible
2007 Draft: Ineligible

With the 13th pick in the 2009 411Mania Independent Pro Wrestling Draft, Professional Wrestling of Windsor and Detroit (PWWND) selects…

The Dark City Fight Club Jon Davis & Kory Chavis
-Wrestling out of: Dark City
-Made Their Names in FIP and ROH
-Incredibly Street Tough
-Finisher: Dark City Street Cutter, Project Mayhem

Chad Nevett: One of the things I wanted in PWWND is some good tag matches so that shows would have some nice variety and Dark City Fight Club are a good place to start. I wanted a strong, skilled tag team and had seen enough of the Dark City Fight Club to know that they were what I wanted. Two big brawlers that are on their way up in the wrestling world. They have good chemistry and an imposing presence.

Previous Draft Selection
2009 Draft: 8th round, 52nd pick overall, Berenstein
2008 Draft: Neither Selected
2007 Draft: Neither Selected

With the 14st pick in the 2009 411Mania Independent Pro Wrestling Draft, Wichita Wrestling: Junior Division (WWJD) selects…

Jushin “Thunder” Liger
-Wrestling out of: Japan
-Junior Heavyweight Wrestling Legend
-Hugely Respected
-Finisher: Brainbuster, Liger Bomb

Aaron Hubbard: Jushin Liger was actually drafted as a bit of a misunderstanding. I knew I wanted I quality Japanese Wrestler in my company who could work against London and Daniels, and when we started the draft, an old list showed that KENTA was not available. With that in mind, I was planning on drafting Naruki Doi or Shingo Takagi, figuring one of them would make it to my second pick, but this was not the case. Since Liger is a legend he was a pretty obvious draft pick that kind of fell into my lap, but he was really my fourth pick for his role. The egg ended up being on my face when Ari drafted KENTA, which was a sign of things to come in the draft.

Previous Draft Selection
2009 Draft: Ineligible
2008 Draft: Ineligible
2007 Draft: Ineligible

With the 15th pick in the 2009 411Mania Independent Pro Wrestling Draft, New York Knock-Out Wrestling (NY-KO) selects…

KENTA
-Wrestling out of: Japan
-Former GHC Jr. Heavyweight Champion
-Coming Back Soon From Knee Injury
-Finisher: Go To Sleep

Ari Berenstein: Of all the available international wrestlers in this year’s draft, KENTA remains the top brand name and draw when it comes to the North American independent wrestling scene. Put KENTA in top billing and the show will draw-no doubt about it. More than that, KENTA will wow and excite the crowd with his blistering speed, fast array of kicks and impact moves. Also, KENTA just so happens to have a long-running rivalry / grudge against my keeper selection, Nakajima. It’s a battle based on the fight for respect and the desire to be called the best junior heavyweight wrestler in Japan. So right here and now, NY-KO announces its first main event of the new season will be KENTA vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima in a one-on-one battle for respect. They will fight until there is a winner and whoever emerges will no doubt be considered the best athlete on the NY-KO roster.

Previous Draft Selection
2009 Draft: 3rd round, 19th pick overall, Martinez
2008 Draft: 1st round, 7th pick overall, Berman
2007 Draft: 1st round, 4th pick overall, Adamson

With the 16th pick in the 2009 411Mania Independent Pro Wrestling Draft, Wrestling…on the WEB! (WOTW) selects…

“The Gold Standard” Shelton Benjamin
-Wrestling out of: Minneapolis, MN via Orangeburg, SC
-Multiple Time WWE Intercontinental and Tag Team Champion
-Accomplish Amateur Wrestler in College
-Finisher: Paydirt

Chris Lansdell: Speaking of underrated, Shelton was never given a fair shake by Vince and company. The man is uber athletic and tremendously talented in the ring, and can put on spectacular matches with almost anyone. Just looking down through my roster at potential matches for this guy gives me the shivers. Wait, what’s that? Back to back picks? Why, how convenient…

Previous Draft Selection
2009 Draft: Ineligible
2008 Draft: Ineligible
2007 Draft: Ineligible


We’re two rounds in and already some very heavy hitters are off the board–but there’s plenty more great picks from the independent scene from which to choose. Who will Lansdell pick next when we resume the draft? Will someone score with an ace pick? Which other former WWE or TNA contracted talent will be selected? Where the heck is Sforcina and will he ever make it to the draft? All of these questions and more WILL be answered in PART TWO of our feature… NEXT!

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Ari Berenstein
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