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Ask 411 Wrestling: Who Had the Most Matches Over Wrestlemania 40 Weekend?

April 26, 2024 | Posted by Ryan Byers
Billie Starkz ROH Supercard of Honor Image Credit: ROH

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Last year, a reader by the name of Iain from Winnipeg – who went to great lengths to explain that he was not Tyler from Winnipeg – asked what I thought was an interesting question:

Who had the most matches over Wrestlemania weekend?

Technically, nobody asked me that question this year.

However, I was still personally curious to know the answer, so I decided that I would set about compiling the relevant statistics. So I guess, technically, the person who asked this week’s question is me . . . which is the first time six years of writing this column that has happened.

Let’s start by laying out some ground rules: I defined “Wrestlemania weekend” as beginning on Thursday, April 4 and continuing until Monday, April 8. I counted wrestling shows anywhere in the world, not just those that occurred within the general vicinity of Philadelphia, where Mania was taking place. Also, because we are talking about shows occurring all around the world, I should clarify that the date I used for the show was the date in the show’s home country. I have to specify that because we have cards taking place on both sides of the international date line, meaning that the date on which a show occurs in Japan might not be the date in the United States, for example. I am also counting only matches that actually took place over Wrestlemania weekend. Shows that were taped earlier and aired on television during Mania weekend do not count.

I intentionally excluded one promotion’s shows from the statistics, that being Kaiju Big Battel. For those not familiar with KBB, it focuses on matches between over the top “monster” characters like Kung Fu Chicken Noodle and the Silver Potato. From what I understand, some of these characters are portrayed by individuals with pro wrestling experience and some of them are portrayed by people who don’t have much background in the pseudo sport because, really, the amount of actual wrestling they’re doing is pretty minimal. In any event, because it’s near impossible to know who these people are and because few to none of them appear in their KBB personae outside of KBB shows, I’ve left them on the sidelines.

With all of those rules out of the way, let’s get to some numbers.

. . . no, not those numbers.

Much like last year, I was able to find record of wrestling shows taking place on five continents over Mania weekend: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Across those continents, there were 172 shows over the long weekend with approximately 2,597 separate wrestlers competing on the cards. (I say “approximately,” because I admit that there may be circumstances where a more obscure wrestler works under multiple names and I was not able to catch it.) Interestingly, these stats represent a significant increase over last year, when there were 136 shows including 1,854 wrestlers.

Of those 2,597 wrestlers, the vast, vast majority only had one or two matches over the course of the weekend. In fact, by my count there were only 154 wrestlers who had three or more matches.

The vast majority of those individuals had three matches. I’m not going to make you read a list of all their names, because that would be remarkably boring. However, I do want to note that there were two WWE-contracted wrestlers who had three matches over the course of the weekend, which makes them the WWE performers who competed the most during Mania weekend. They are Jey Uso and Drew McIntyre. Of those two, Uso is actually the only wrestler on the WWE roster who had a match on Smackdown, Wrestlemania, and Raw. McIntyre, meanwhile, had two matches on Wrestlemania (thanks to Damian Priest’s MITB cash-in) and one match the following night on Raw.

Incluidng Jey and Drew, 111 wrestlers had exactly three matches over the course of the weekend.

Now, let’s take a look at those wrestlers who had four or more matches.

We begin in a promotion called Megaslam Wrestling, which is based in the U.K. I am not particularly familiar with Megaslam, but they have been active since 2009 and appear to market themselves as holding family friendly cards. Their shows seem to primarily be smaller, shorter affairs, consisting of between three and five matches and using limited crews of wrestlers. Because of that, it is not unusual for a Megaslam wrestler to have multiple matches on the same show. During Wrestlemania weekend, Megaslam held two cards, one on April 6 and one on April 7. On those shows, two of their wrestlers wrestled twice, giving them four total matches for the weekend. Those gentlemen are known as NIWA and Derek (yes, just Derek). There is very little information out there about Derek, but NIWA is a ten-plus year veteran who is originally from New Zealand and has also wrestled for CMLL in Mexico under the name of Johnny Idol.

Speaking of New Zealand, the NZ city of New Plymouth played host to a craft brew festival that ran over Wrestlemania weekend. Called the Taranaki Beer Festival, the event organizers apparently decided that a little bit of grappling would be the perfect thing to keep festival-goers entertained between brewskis. Thus, indy group Capital Pro Wrestling was called in to run some shows. Specifically, they ran twice at the festival, once on April 5 and once on April 6. A CPW wrestler by the name of Spartan worked twice on both of those shows, giving him four bouts for the weekend.

There are two more wrestlers who had four matches over the weekend without ever having set foot in the United States. The first is Makoto, a joshi wrestler who started her career at the age of 16 and was an early rival of AEW’s Riho in Japan’s Ice Ribbon promotion. This Wrestlemania weekend, Makoto wrestled four different matches in four different promotions in her home country, those being the aforementioned Ice Ribbon, Asuka Pro, YMZ Pro Wrestling, and Secret Base. The other remaining four-matcher who stayed in her home country is Kanji, a British star who had a match in London for all-women’s promotion EVE on April 5 and then had a series of three matches across two shows for the Welsh promotion ATTACK! Pro Wrestling on April 6 and April 7. She was helped out a bit here by the fact that ATTACK! has its own 24/7 Championship, similar to WWE.

Now, let’s talk about folks who were in the U.S. to rack up their four matches over Wrestlemania weekend. As has been the case for many years, Dragon Gate sent a healthy contingent of wrestlers to the states for the festivities surrounding Mania. Of those DG wrestlers, Kzy, Dragon Kid, and YAMATO all had four matches. Kid and YAMATO were together on the same four shows for the weekend, those being Game Changer Wrestling’s GCW/JCW vs. The World, Joey Janela’s Spring Break 8, WrestleCon’s Mark Hitchcock Memorial Show, and a co-branded show in New Jersey that saw the stars of Dragon Gate face the stars of Expect the Unexpected Wrestling. Kzy had a slightly different lineup than his colleagues, as he missed GCW/JCW vs. The World but instead appeared on “Can’t Deny It” a show that Seattle indy DEFY held in Philly for Mania weekend.

We’ll hear more about Dragon Gate later in this column.

Moving on from Japanese wrestlers, how about some Canadians? In the Pacific Northwest, two wrestlers from British Columbia, Judas Icarus and Travis Williams, are a tag team known as Sinner and Saint. They split their time this weekend between Philadelphia and Toronto, having two matches in each city. In Philly, they were on the previously mentioned DEFY show as well as a show promoted by Georgia’s ACTION! Wrestling and just called DEAN~!!! in tribute to Dean Rasmussen, the recently deceased founder of the Death Valley Driver Video Review, the website that is indirectly responsible for the existence of AEW. In Toronto, they wrestled on two shows for the indy promotion Smash Wrestling.

And after Japanese wrestlers and Canadian wrestlers, let’s go to an Australian wrestler. Aussie Shazza McKenzie has been kicking around the U.S. indy scene for quite a while, and she was in Philadelphia for Mania weekend, appearing on the GCW vs. TJPW show, which pitted Game Changer Wrestling talent against wrestlers from Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling. Aside from that match, she wrestled in New Jersey over Wrestlemania weekend, appearing on shows for the Monster Factory and ICW in addition to a freelance show called ThrashElvania.

Veteran wrestler 2 Cold Scorpio also split his time between Jersey and Philly on Wrestlemania weekend. In Philadelphia, he first wrestled on GCW’s For the Culture Show, a now annual event which celebrates Black talent in wrestling. He then appeared on a card for Battleground Championship Wrestling called “A Tribute to the Extreme.” Yes, we’re still dong ECW tribute shows in 2024, thirty years later. Then, in Jersey, he wrestled two matches for a company called Super Powers of Wrestling, which included a bout against Homicide. Now that’s one I would be interested in seeing.

Major League Wrestling’s Jimmy Lloyd was close to home for Wrestlemania weekend, as he is originally from New Jersey. He had four matches in Philly over the weekend, including a singles match with the now-rarely-seen UltraMantis Black on a show called Dan Champion’s 40th Birthday Bash and a singles bout with Joey Janela for Suplex Vintage Wrestling’s SuplexMania card. He was also in a six man tag match for the Labor of Love promotion on April 4 and was one of many, many entrants in Joey Janela’s annual Clusterfuck Battle Royale on April 6. (We’ll be hearing a lot more from that battle royale in this column.)

Another name in the Custerfuck Battle Royale was Shota. He is a Japanese wrestler who is technically a freelancer, though he works an awful lot for DDT. In addition to the battle royale, he was also on the previously mentioned DEFY and GCW/JCW vs. The World shows in addition to appearing on “DDT Goes Philadelphia,” the Japanese promotion’s effort to put on its own freestanding show in the U.S. (And, no, it’s not supposed to be “DDT Goes to Philadelphia.” It’s a play off of “Wrestlemania Goes Hollywood.”)

Speaking of Japan, young Nightmare Factory trainee Terry Yaki recently made some waves by touring with Pro Wrestling NOAH for the first time, but he was back in his home country of the United States for Wrestlemania weekend, where he competed four times. Three of those were GCW shows that we’ve already talked about, namely GCW/JCW vs. The World, For the Culture, and Joey Janela’s Clusterfuck Forever. His fourth and final show was the SuplexMania card that we discussed in connection with Jimmy Lloyd.

One country that I did not expect to see represented on this list was France, but here we are, as masked French wrestler Aigle Blanc (which translates to “White Eagle”) made their way to the United States for Wrestlemania weekend after gaining some exposure in the UK’s RevPro and Germany’s wXw in recent months. The Eagle wrestled on the Monster Factory show, GCW/JCW vs. The World, and Joey Janela’s Spring Break in addition to a fourth show that we haven’t had occasion to mention yet, that being a collaboration between Iowa-based indy Wrestling Revolver and New York indy House of Glory.

La Estrella is another international star and, despite his Spanish name, he is Japanese in origin, having begun his career in Dragon Gate but more recently having moved to North American and worked independents throughout the U.S. and Mexico in addition to wrestling for AAA. He used his new positioning in the Americas to get four matches over Mania weekend, beginning with a joint show between Labor of Love and Sean Henderson Presents on Thursday, moving to a Battleground Championship Wrestling show on Friday, and then getting in two shots on Saturday, starting with SuplexMania and wrapping up with the joint Dragon Gate/ETU show.

Going back to the world of women’s professional wrestling, up and coming star VertVixen – also known as Glitch the Gamer in the Women of Wrestling promotion – got in her four matches in over Mania weekend by wrestling exclusively in the northeast, starting with three Philly shows, starting with the previously mentioned DEFY, then moving on to a solo U.S. show promoted by Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling, then hitting Effy’s Big Gay Brunch (a show highlighting LGBT+ talent), and concluding in New Jersey on a card for SPARK Joshi Puroresu of America, a U.S. women’s promotion that opened its doors during the summer of 2023.

Game Changer Wrestling and MLW mainstay 1 Called Manders is next, and he appeared on four shows that we’ve already discussed: GCW/JCW vs. The World, ACTION DEAN~!!!, REVOLVER x HOG, and Joey Janela’s Clusterfuck Forever.

Also on the GCW/JCW show and ACTION DEAN~!!! was Robert Dreissker, an Austrian wrestler who has mostly made his bones in Germany’s wXw but came to the U.S. for Wrestlemania weekend. He was also on Monster Factory’s card and a show we haven’t yet mentioned in this column, Combat Zone Wrestling’s Live at the Murphy Rec, which took place on April 7. Interestingly, Dreissker was always in tag team action over the weekend and always with another European star, namely Germans Laurence Roman and Norman Harras, who do not manage to make this list in their own rights.

We wrap up our list of wrestlers who had four matches over Mania weekend with a trio of female stars. First is South Carolina’s Jada Stone, who was first on a card by Trinidadian promotion All Caribbean Wrestling called Philly Mania, then on GCW For the Culture, then on SuplexMania, and then on SPARK. Los Angeles’s Viva Van is next, with her bouts coming on TJPW Live in Philly, Clusterfuck Forever, TrashElvania, and SPARK. Last but not least it’s Georgia’s Dark Sheik, who actually started off by wrestling in California for the Hoodslam promotion on Friday and then flew to Philly for three GCW shows on Saturday: Clustherfuck Forever, GCW vs. TJPW, and Effy’s Big Gay Brunch.

With that list out of the way, we now move on to the individuals who wrestled FIVE times over the course of Wrestlemania weekend.

We’ll start with a guy who had five matches without even coming to the United States for Wrestlemania weekend proper. Welsh wrestler James Ellis did that, mostly in his home promotion ATTACK! Pro Wrestling in Wales. He started on Thursday for another promotion, DEFEND Indy Wrestling, also in Wales. Then, on Saturday and Sunday, he had two matches each on two shows for ATTACK!, both of them in the Welsh capital of Cardiff. All of these matches were for the ATTACK! 24/7 Championship, which we previously mentioned in connection with the wrestler Kanji.

Now let’s talk about a wrestler who had his five Wrestlemania weekend matches in two different countries. That man is Ricky Knight Jr., nephew of ROH’s Zak Knight and AEW’s Saraya Knight. Ricky flew to the United States and appeared on the previously mentioned DEFY and GCW/JCW shows in Philadelphia before wrestling on a card promoted by British indy PROGRESS in Philly. The PROGRESS show was on Friday and, by Saturday, Knight was back in the U.K., where he wrestled for a company called World Association of Wrestling in Norfolk on Saturday and then a show in London for RevPro on Sunday.

DDT wrestler MAO also split his time between two countries. He was in the United States and actually wrestled four matches in the same day on Thursday, April 4, for GCW/JCW, DDT Goes Philadelphia, Sean Henderson Promotions/Labor of Love, and DEFY. Then, he hopped on a plane and flew all the way back to his home country of Japan, where on Sunday, April 7, he was in the main event of a show called DDT April Fool, wrestling in a tag match that went to a 30 minute draw and also involved Zack Sabre Jr. on loan from New Japan.

Now let’s move to wrestlers who had their five matches solely within the borders of the United States. Up first is Jordan Oliver of the East West Express, who was on three GCW shows, those being GCW/JCW vs. The World, Joey Janela’s Spring Break, and Clusterfuck Forever. Then, he was on the SuplexMania card and wrapped up on a show we haven’t seen yet, in New Jersey for Super Powers of Wrestling on their card END GAM3.

Another GCW mainstay for the last couple of years has been a young man from Boston named Alec Price. Given that I referred to him as a GCW mainstay, you can probably guess that several of his five appearances came on Game Changer cards, and you would be correct, with those being GCW/JCW vs. The World, Joey Janela’s Spring Break, and Clusterfuck Forever. In addition to those cards, he was also on the ThrashElvania and ETU/Dragon Gate shows.

We wrap up with two lady wrestlers who actually teamed with each other over the course of Wrestlemania weekend, Billie Starkz and Janai Kai. They were partners on the GCW vs. TJPW show, where they lost to TJPW’s Miu Watanabe and Rika Tatsumi. They were also both on the SPARK Trailblaze card, albeit in separate matches. Aside from that, they were kept separate from one another, with Janai wrestling on Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport X, a New Jersey show from 5 Star Wrestling, and GCW For the Culture. Starkz, meanwhile, was on DDT Goes Philadelphia and TJPW’s standalone show before becoming the first ever Ring of Honor Women’s Television Champion at Supercard of Honor. (And I like Billie and am happy for her but, man, was there a less necessary championship to create than the ROH Women’s TV Title?)

And now we head to the wrestlers who had SIX matches during Wrestlemania weekend, and there are eight of them.

However, the first four racked up those six matches under some fairly unique circumstances, similar to what we saw with the Taranaki Beer Festival back towards the beginning of the column. In the small town of Walgett, New South Wales, Australia, an agricultural show was held over Wrestlemania weekend. The folks behind the Walgett Agricultural Show decided that pro wrestling would make for great entertainment for show-goers, and they partnered with All-Star Wrestling Australia. ASWA sent four wrestlers to the ag show and they wrestled several times throughout the weekend in different combinations, be it two singles matches, one tag team match, or one four-way match. Those men were Aries, The Puppeteer, Alex Box, and Keegan Brettle. I would also like to note that, from cursory online research, it appears that the Puppeteer’s gimmick involves him being a literal Puppeteer, which is a new one on me.

A former Open the Dream Gate Champion for Dragon Gate, Shun Skywalker came over to the U.S. for Wrestlemania weekend and made the most of it. He was on six of the shows that we previously discussed, namely DEFY, GCW/JCW vs. The World, the Mark Hitchcock Memorial, Joey Janela’s Spring Break, ETU/Dragon Gate (appropriately enough), and ThrashElvania. On the DG/ETU show, he had a singles match against Alec Price, who we saw earlier in this column.

Another Japanese star who flew across the Pacific for Mania weekend is Rina Yamashita, though admittedly she pops up in this country quite regularly. Yamashita was mostly on GCW shows for the weekend, including GCW/JCW vs. The World (where I guess she was part of “The World”), Joey Janela’s Spring Break, Effy’s Big Gay Brunch, Clusterfuck Forever, and GCW vs. TJPW. She also worked on one non-GCW show, that being the SPARK Trailblaze card in New Jersey.

Now let’s country-hop again. U.K. wrestler Big Lou Nixon traversed the pond, where he wrestled twice for GCW, one of those matches being on Bloodsport and the other on GCW/JCW vs. The World. Interestingly, he was then on four shows that we haven’t heard much about thusfar in the column. First is ICW No Holds Barred in New Jersey, and then it was New Fear City wrestling’s show MurderMania Killadelphia, where Nixon lost his RISE European Deathmatch Title. His next bout was for a freelance show just called “Evil Ways I Think of Demons” on April 5, and then he wrapped up his weekend on April 7 in New Jersey for Ruthless Pro Wrestling, where he was in yet another deathmatch. Good luck not dying, Lou.

Our final member of the six-match club is probably the biggest pro wrestling star in this entire column, a little fellow named Mistico. For those who do not follow the lucha libre scene too closely, this is the wrestler who was the original Sin Cara in WWE. He was known as Mistico in Mexico before signing with the E and, when he returned to his home country, he had to be known by a variety of different names because there was a new Mistico. However, he is now Mistico once again, reprising his most famous gimmick. Over Wrestlemania weekend, Mistico came up to Philadelphia along with many other lucha stars to compete on the Mark Hitchcock Memorial show. Then, he returned to Mexico and wrestled on five lucha cards over the weekend, the most notable one being the 81st anniversay show for CMLL, the oldest wrestling promotion in the world.

Last year, “Speedball” Mike Bailey was the man who had the most matches over Wrestlemania weekend, and he set that record with seven bouts. However, this year, there were FOUR individuals who tied Bailey’s record and appeared in seven matches over the long weekend.

Though we’ve seen wrestlers from across the planet wrestling in multiple different countries thusfar on our list, all four of those individuals appeared exclusively in the Philadelphia/New Jersey area during the big weekend. Also, perhaps not surprisingly, all of them appeared at Joey Janela’s Clusterfuck Forever.

The first is U.K. wrestler Man Like DeReiss, who, in addition to the Clusterfuck, was also involved in DEFY, GCW/JCW vs. The World, PROGRESS Chapter 166, For the Culture, ThrashElvania, and CZW Live at the Murphy Rec. DeReiss actually got involved in two championship matches over the weekend, though he was unsuccessful in both, failing to wrest the DEFY Tag Team Titles away from the Bollywood Boyz and going down at the hands of PROGRESS World Champion Kid Lykos on that company’s show.

Our next seven-match club wrestler was born in Chicago, Illinois and began his career there, though he quickly went down south to Mexico, where he wrestled in IWRG and on other independents under the name Gringo Loco, which stuck. Currently, he is a GCW and MLW mainstay, and, in addition to the Clusterfuck, during Mania weekend he was involved in DEFY, GCW/JCW vs. The World, ACTION DEAN~!!!, PROGESS, Joey Janela’s Spring Break, and REVOLVER x HOG.

The one and only female member of the seven-match club is Russian star and TNA roster member Masha Slamovich. Masha mostly stuck with Game Changer shows over Mania weekend, including not only the Clusterfuck but also Bloodsport X, GCW/JCW vs. The World, Joey Janela’s Spring Break, and GCW vs. TJPW. Outside of the GCW realm, Masha showed up at REVOLVER x HOG and SPARK Trailblaze. Fun fact: In preparing this column, I learned that, in Japan, Masha wrestled under the name “Skinripper.” I’m not sure why she didn’t keep that one.

Rounding out the seven-match club is a young wrestler who, quite frankly, I don’t think I had heard of prior to Wrestlemania weekend. It’s not surprising that he wrestled quite a bit over Mania weekend, because he is a Philadelphia native. I’m talking about 21 year old Marcus Mathers. Mathers got perhaps one of the biggest upset wins of the weekend when he defeated twenty-five year Dragon Gate veteran Dragon Kid on the DG/ETU show. In addition to that and the Clusterfuck, Mathers was on GCW/JCW vs. The World, ACTION DEAN~!!!, PROGRESS, Joey Janela’s Spring Break, and SuplexMania.

And . . . is that it? Could there possibly be anybody who wrestled more than seven matches over the course of Wrestlemania weekend?
Why yes, yes there is.

There is one man who wrestled EIGHT times over the course of the weekend, breaking Mike Bailey’s record from last year by one match. That man is none other than . . .

“Speedball” Mike Bailey.

That’s right. Bailey is the guy who wrestled the most over Mania weekend for the second consecutive year, and he broke his prior record by one match, with all of those bouts being in the general vicinity of the Wrestlemania site. For the records, those bouts were on DEFY, Bloodsport X, DDT Goes Philadelphia, GCW/JCW vs. The World, the Mark Hitchcock Memorial, Joey Janela’s Spring Break, REVOLVER x HOG, and, lastly, Joey Janela’s Clusterfuck Forever.

So, congratulations to the Speedball for being Wrestlemania weekend’s iron man once more. Will he be able to do it again for Wrestlemania XLI?

To find out, tune in to this column in one year’s time, unless everybody tells me they hated this column, in which case I’ll find something else to do.

We’ll return in seven-ish days, and, as always, you can contribute your questions by emailing [email protected]. You can also leave questions in the comments below, but please note that I do not monitor the comments as closely as I do the email account, so emailing is the better way to get things answered.