by Alex McCarthy (@AlexMc7489)
Since SCW is taking the month off, I have decided to provide my unsolicited opinion about which SCW stars will be on the rise in 2017. Bear in mind, this is not a top ten list. These are the stars who I think will bust out to the main SCW scene in 2017.
10. Bodie Van Zandt
Bodie Van Zandt made a splash in SCW in a great tag team with Xander Killen in 2016. They are former SCW Tag Team Champions. Things changed when Killen stabbed Bodie in the back. We missed Bodie at Insurgency, but I think we’re going to see a lot more of him in 2017. I’m not sure if he’s going to stand out on the singles or find a new partner. (I’d love to see Bodie and Dante Leon team up.)
Speaking of SCW Tag Team Champions, Raveboy is currently in a team with the indescribable, Bobbi Dahl. Now, those two have a hell of a challenge as they take on both teams of Latin Thunder and Sentai as well as ‘The King of Scott County’ Lord Steven Youngblood and Vilhelm Amery on January 21st at SCW Prestige, but Raveboy could have a very bright future ahead of him. I say could because Raveboy doesn’t always seem to have it together. If he can be sure he’s not a referee, he could make a big splash whether on the tag team scene or on his own.
8. Joe Acer
Joe Acer is a guy who comes from the last SCW graduating class to appear in 2016. He’s a guy that has a lot of potential in my opinion. The thing for me that is still interesting about Acer is his mystique. He’s not a guy who’s all over social media. He’s not a guy who is willing to have a conversation after the show, but he’s clearly a guy who knows how to get it done in the ring. He’s obviously caught the eye of Troy Peterson and IPW as he will be there on December 17th. That’s something I cannot wait to see. I know Acer is going to make an impact in 2017. Will we ever find out the story about the back paint?
7. Ript Studwell
This guy is really strong. Ript Studwell is REALLY strong. At Insurgency, he saved Connor Braxton who desperately needed a tag team partner against JT Energy and Gyasi Dwayne. Studwell uses the protein shake like Popeye’s spinach to get the advantage in the ring more often than not, but this guy is certainly headed straight to the top. With his size and impressive strength, it’s going to be hard to stop Studwell as he rises to the top.
6. Dante Leon
Dante Leon is arguably the best high flier to come out of the Black and Brave Wrestling Academy. This is a kid who has exciting matches no matter who he faces. Despite having a number of great matches in 2016, I don’t think he’s on a lot of people’s radars yet. I’m not really sure why. Whether he hook up with Bodie Van Zandt to form a Rock ‘n’ Roll Express style tag team, which I would love to see, or making breaks on his own, I think 2017 is going to be a great year for Leon.
5. Gyasi Dwayne
Gyasi Dwayne transcended being another Black and Brave Academy graduate to a big name player, for me, in Donahue, Iowa. He got the opportunity of a lifetime to marry himself ‘The Fashionista’ Marek Brave and JT Energy. I’m not saying he didn’t have the talent before. He’s always had the talent. The fact of the matter is, he’s put himself in a position to get noticed. When you’re hanging out with the champion, you’re going to get noticed. Gyasi is going to rocket up the rankings in 2017. He’s a guy who could do it in a singles situation or a tag team, but I am confident he can do it.
4. Vilhelm Amery
(Credit: Matthew Joshua Erbst Facebook)
Ok. Anyone who has sat near me at an SCW show knows I’m a huge fan of this guy. I’m going to try to talk about him objectively. When I first saw him, I was extremely entertained. At first, I thought he was one of those acts who was just good at getting the attention of the crowd but maybe not as proficient in the ring. As the months have gone on, I have realized how wrong that was. Vilhelm Amery is, in my opinion, the most improved wrestler of 2016, and the funny thing is, he was never bad to start with. If Amery keeps getting better as fast as he has been, he’s going to be one of the most sought after talents in the midwest. I don’t think it matters if he stays with Youngblood or breaks out on his own, his stock is going to sky rocket.
3. Violet Parker
Violet Parker delivered every time I saw her in 2016. I thought she had an amazing match against Angelus Layne back in October. They were supposed to have a rematch in November, but Layne was injured.The biggest roadblock for Violet in 2016 has been a lack of opponents. I’m BEGGING the women out there who want to be a pro wrestler, come to Black and Brave! Survive the class. Violet Parker is the First Lady of the Black and the Brave as well as SCW. She’s largely been unchallenged, but when she has been challenged, she’s delivered. I have no doubt she will be able to do the same in 2017. Women’s wrestling is reaching a whole new level the last few years, and it’s time for the independent scene to catch fire in the midwest and do the same.
2. JT Energy
The Filth You Can’t Wash Off. The first thing I thought when I first saw JT Energy was to never trust a man who wears his own face on his t-shirt. JT Energy stood out from the very first time I saw him. He’s a guy who is definitely taking his spot outside of SCW as well. He’s a guy who just garners the attention of everyone who sees him whether they love him or hate him. Or are disgusted by him. Whether it be his creepy dancing, his disgusting antics, or anything else, JT Energy knows how to get into the head of his opponent. JT Energy and Gyasi Dwayne served as thugs for Marek Brave toward the end of 2016, and if I were a betting man, I would suspect to see that group still together in 2017. Energy can ride the SCW Champion’s coattails to the top in 2017, but when he decides to seek gold of his own, I don’t think he’s going to have any problem.
1. Xander Killen
When I first started covering SCW regularly, I never imagined I would put ‘Adrian Alexander’ at the top of a who to watch in 2017 list. Adrian Alexander was one of the two guys in that tag team; I think it’s the ugly one. Xander Killen is still ugly, but damn, did he make a big impact in a short amount of time or what? When he dumped Bodie Van Zandt with the snap bulldog in the middle of the ring, he made 2017 a make or break year for him. Can he make a name for himself? If he fails, he may regret dumping Bodie like a bad habit for the rest of his career. I’m not saying he’s going to fail, I’m saying he took the gamble of a lifetime. I think he’s incredible in the ring. I think he’s shown in the last few months that he’s got potential. I hope he can take it to the pay window. I hope he can take it to the top. ‘The Managerial Measuring Stick’ Mark Storm was scouting him, seemingly, at Insurgency. If Mark Storm is watching him, you absolutely should be, too.
Again, this is my opinion. I think all of these guys have incredible potential. Everyone in SCW works hard. They’re all great. These are the guys who I believe are going to move up the ladder in 2017.