Wrestle Inn Fantasy Draft: The Preview

Imagine if you will that the wrestling industry suddenly collapsed, with major promotions closing their doors and every performer was suddenly a free agent. How would you go about shaping a brand new promotion to become the next industry leader? That was the task put before eight Wrestle Inn writers and editors, as they prepared to enter a fantasy draft with the aim of crafting the best roster possible.

The journey will be split up into two articles. The first will introduce the eight contributors and their promotions, presenting to the reader their vision and strategy for the draft, as well as the rules. Then it will be followed up with the aftermath of the draft where you can see everybody’s completed roster and their sales pitch before helping us decide who won this battle. Want to skip all the talking and go straight to the rosters? Then this link will be your friend. Otherwise keep on reading to get a better idea of what each promotor is looking for.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of the rules, allow me to introduce to you the eight owners and the companies they will be representing, presented here in alphabetical order. See if there’s a promotion that catches your eye, and who you would put your money on coming out on top:

Actualised Wrestling Excellence

Owner: Thumbly Squeezed

I don’t intend this to try to trick your eyes or seem like some kind of AEW ripoff, I’m just a nerd who liked that my name’s acronym was itself a word. What IS intended is the flexibility it implies. This isn’t just about high-flying spots, or deathmatches, or hilarious comedy wrestling, or good old fashioned kayfabe storytelling – because I want it ALL. That being said, I want people on this roster who have made it their own. If you have a vision for what your piece of the product will be, and you’ve developed it to something unique that is yours, I want you in my ring entertaining my fans. You’ve thought it through and actualized your take on wrestling, so you belong here. This should allow me the flexibility to roll with whatever happens in the draft and, hopefully, capitalize to snatch up amazing performers who don’t fit others’ preferred niches.

Shows are better that can stand out while balancing all kinds of different styles, and that is my goal. To leave you smiling, then breathless, then angry, then aghast, but going home happy because you felt all those different emotions. Hopefully the final cut includes a well-rounded enough set of talents across the board to make that happen. If all goes well, we’re going to leave you in AWE.

Big Fight Alliance

Owner: Ryan Dilbert

Big Fight Alliance will be built around hard-hitting action between powerhouses or as Big E so aptly put it: “Big meaty men slapping meat.” I plan to showcase hefty wrestlers who thrive in slobberknockers. Rather than have the typical cruiserweight or junior heavyweight division, Big Fight Alliance is going to have a super heavyweight title for hosses over 300 pounds.

Consequently, I’ll covet size in the draft. Give me your fat guy wrestlers, your giants, your barrel-chested bruisers. And when the pool of larger folks dries up, I’ll shift my strategy to grabbing the best available talents.

I got some sleeper picks in my pocket and years of fantasy football drafting experience to lean on. I’m ready to take this thing.

Dragon Wrestling Dungeon

Owner: Katie Rose

As the owner of Dragon Wrestling Dungeon, I aim to entertain with our technical, straight-shooting, submission style wrestling. With all our elite professional wrestlers from all around the world, we offer a variety of skills no other wrestling promotion has. Each of our wrestlers has grit and determination – making them all-star athletes.

You want the highest quality entertainment? Well, you’ve got it with Dragon Wrestling Dungeon. My athletes exude confidence and the finest athletic ability. Now sit back and enjoy the best of the best locking up and putting on 5 star matches.

Frenzy Pro Wrestling

Owner: Molly Belle

My name is Molly Belle. I am the owner/visionary behind Frenzy Pro Wrestling – an entertaining and fast-paced wrestling show for the invested and hardcore wrestling fan. With an aim to lean both younger and more athletic – as well as showcasing as many 5-tool players as possible – I envision action unmatched and full court press storytelling. I expect nothing from my roster other than passion and heart. It is my belief that with those two things, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.

Striking the market amidst total uncertainty and landing a lucrative deal with a popular streaming service, Frenzy Pro is able to not only provide action at a high level but with creative freedom never before seen as well. Diverse and inclusive, everyone is welcome through our doors. As the woman leading the company, I believe in the outlined vision and bring as much passion and heart to the table as every single superstar that will soon be acquired. I’ve scouted tirelessly and am ready to not just bring an identity to Frenzy Pro but bring the “badass” back to mainstream wrestling as well.

We are Frenzy Pro. Let’s get wild.

Knuckles Championship Wrestling

Owner: Corey Michaels

Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Theme song: “Gravemakers and Gunslingers” – Coheed and Cambria

Once upon a time, Missouri was another hotspot for professional wrestling territories in the United States, thanks to wrestling legend, Harley Race. Many stars came through Missouri to wrestle in Race’s Heart of America Sports Attractions, including Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, and many more. This continued until WWF started buying out wrestling territories promoted by NWA. Knuckles Championship Wrestling seeks to return Missouri to its former wrestling glory.

Kansas City may be a fantastic place to find barbecue, but with the importance of professional wrestling to KC’s culture, KCW promises to deliver that gritty, exciting style. Think of it as a mixture of an unproblematic Ruthless Aggression era mixed with pre-Wednesday Night War era NXT. While appreciating fondness for the days of old, KCW also delivers what modern fans love of professional wrestling. Now, Missouri is known as the “Show-Me State”, so let us show you what we got!

Pantheon Wrestling

Owner: Trent Breward

At its core, pro wrestling is a way of telling stories. It can be as simple as two people who dislike each other, or a complex narrative woven through years of smaller events that shape that character’s very image. And I want Pantheon Wrestling and its wrestlers to embody that ideal. I’ll be looking to bring in people who know how to use the ring as a canvas for storytelling, and how to extend that with their personalities when they’re not duking it out.

To bring the vision of Pantheon Wrestling to life, I need great wrestlers and strong personalities. Ideally my first few picks in each division will harbour both traits, and then I can fill the roster in with a mix of strengths. They don’t need to be wild gimmicks (though one or two never hurts!) but I want each person to be distinctive and bring something to the table that isn’t replicated by anyone else on the roster.

But the one thing I absolutely want everyone to bring to the table is Fighting Spirit. You don’t earn the right to be a part of the Pantheon without it.

Ultimate Pro Wrestling

Owner: Jamie Johnson

My philosophy heading into the draft is one similar to what Liverpool FC manager Jürgen Klopp once said about his transfer policy for the club – “I don’t buy superstars, I make them”. I am going to attempt to build a roster of wrestlers to fit this mantra to hopeful perfection. These will fit into one of three categories: (1) being full of potential, (2) being a rising star or (3) a wrestler who hasn’t quite reached the lofty pinnacle they are capable of. My draft is designed to afford these categories of wrestlers vast opportunities at the top of my card.

Wrestle and Poetry

Owner: Scotland Underwood

Unfortunately real life intervened, and so Scotland’s pre-draft strategy and post-draft review had to take an understandable back seat. However his promotion’s name alone drives home the essence of his vision. If I may put words into his mouth: art coming to life with the squared circle as their canvas. When the next article is available, check out his picks, and see if you can envision his strategy and how it influenced the building of his promotion.

The Draft Rules:

There were a lot of rules and information presented in terms of draft structure and execution, but what you need to know as the reader are the following:

  • Two drafts would be run, one for men and one for women, with the order for picking flipped (so whoever picks first in the men’s draft picks last for the women). Each draft runs for twelve rounds in a serpentine fashion.
  • At least one tag team must be picked across the two drafts, and they constitute one pick. They can be an existing team or one of your own imagination, however those drafted in a team can only compete and be promoted as a team. So if The Lucha Bros are chosen, you can’t then plan to push either as a singles performer.
  • All wrestlers chosen are selected as they are as of March 2021. So a young wrestler might have a promising future, while an ageing vet might bring immediate value but only for a short time. The one exception is if a wrestler is currently injured, that injury is ignored and they are immediately available for the promotion.
  • Trades were allowed, as well as one swap-and-replace after the completion of the draft. As long as at the end of it all, everybody had 12 picks in each draft, along with one tag team.

Ready to see the rosters? Then click the link to see what our eight contributors were able to assemble, and help us decide who is Wrestle Inn’s ultimate promotor!