Wrestle Inn Fantasy Draft: The Roster Reveal

In an earlier article you were introduced to the eight Wrestle Inn staff who were going to go head to head, aiming to draft the best possible roster from a pool featuring every current wrestler in the world. 12 picks in a men’s and women’s division, with at least one tag team chosen from the 24 picks (and tag team picks can only work as a tag team). Each person presented their strategy and vision for their company to give you an idea of what to expect.

But the time for talking has come and gone. The draft order was decided, with Frenzy Pro’s Molly Belle getting the right to make the first pick in the men’s division (an honour she seemed a little less than excited to get, as it meant she would pick last in the women’s draft). What followed was two weeks of drafting and suspense. There were some shocks, some name calling, and one feud in particular that might never be resolved (looking at you Corey and Katie). But by the end of it everyone had compiled their own personal roster.

Below is each roster, presented in draft order, with each ‘owner’ providing their thoughts on how the draft went as well as their finalised roster. At the end of it all, I’d encourage you to cast your vote for which promotion you think is number one!

But without further ado, here are the eight final promotions!

Frenzy Pro Wrestling

Owner: Molly Belle

Men’s (1st pick)Women’s (8th Pick)
PACMomo Watanabe
Jay WhiteSyuri
Chris BeySonya Deville
Karrion KrossUtami Hayashishita
Zack Sabre JrMillie McKenzie and Charli Evans
Lee Moriarty and Lio RushKay Lee Ray
Mike BaileyTay Conti and Anna Jay
Ilja DragonovCandice LeRae
Effy and AJ GrayFaye Jackson and Willow Nightingale
WardlowKiller Kelly and Lindsay Snow
HammerstoneCandy Floss and Xia Brookside
Cody RhodesSolo Darling and Jody Threat

I entered this draft with a very specific vision and proceeded determined to not stray from that mindset. I wanted a roster that accurately represented the name of my promotion, “Frenzy Pro.” I needed superstars who could straight up GO, but not only that, I wanted those who could talk, tell stories, harness creativity, create magic, and set the standard for professional wrestling both presently and in the future. Using this same line of thinking, I very much wanted to keep as much of my roster as possible under the age of 35.

It was interesting having the first pick in the men’s draft and last pick in the women’s, as I knew that 14 picks would always sit between my own. My first pick had to set the tone, and while Pac may not be everyone’s idea of the best in the world, he checked every box I desired and represented perfectly what I envisioned for my company. From then on, I complimented him with a roster full of athleticism and innovation. Early on in the women’s draft, I very much intentionally placed a focus on girls from Stardom as I worried about a few of my competitors and their more seasoned knowledge on Joshi wrestling. From there, I stayed true to my draft list and tried to keep my roster diverse and rich with personality. I also focused much more on tag teams, poaching young talent from all over the world. As much as I love my men’s division, I am even happier with my women’s division.

As far as why my promotion is better than the rest, I’ll leave that to you. I chose talent that I would enjoy watching compete against each other. I picked personalities that would shine in an atmosphere with very few limitations, as I outlined previously with a home on a streaming platform. I believe a promotion such as mine would thrive with a specific audience – that of seasoned and hardcore fans – of which I am. I catered to myself and not the “casual fan.” It’s hard not to in a fun situation such as this! Vote for me if you want to be a part of the FRENZY!!!

Knuckles Championship Wrestling

Owner: Corey Michaels

Men’s (2nd Pick)Women’s (7th Pick)
Nick AldisShayna Bazsler
Daniel Bryan and Eddie KingstonYuka Sakazaki and Ryo Mizunami
Adam ColeToni Storm
FTR (Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood)Charlotte Flair and Teal Piper
Tetsuya NaitoRaquel Gonzalez
The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff Hardy)Dakota Kai and Tegan Nox
The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso)Emi Sakura and Mei Suruga
Baron CorbinAllie
Hustle and Flow (John Cena and Hiroshi Tanahashi)Gigi Dolin and Cora Jade
Shinsuke NakamuraAofie Valkyrie
#DIY (Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa)Zoey Stark and Marina Shafir

In the advent of Knuckles Championship Wrestling’s major signings and development, the Kansas City promotion aims to please fans by giving both bite-sized and long-term stories by the talents that are proven to be great storytellers in the ring and out. Whether they be Midwestern talents or international talent, KCW has a lot to offer for those who want that gritty storytelling, blending old with new seamlessly.

KCW may have missed out here and there on obtaining talents such as Bobby Lashley or Randy Orton that would be fitting for the promotion’s Missourian roots, but there are plenty that fit the bill, and an extra in Tomasso Ciampa of DIY, who was personally trained by Harley Race. To keep the interest of viewers, there are four big pay-per-views: Winter Spectrum, Summer Rock, Autumn Blast, and Spring Buzz. Please join KCW as we bring respect back to the Show-Me State’s wrestling history, and let us show you what we’ve got.

Big Fight Alliance

Owner: Ryan Dilbert

Men’s (3rd Pick)Women’s (6th Pick)
WALTERRhea Ripley
Kevin OwensTakumi Iroha
Tomohiro IshiiMiyu Yamashita
Aleister BlackChihiro Hashimoto
Jacob FatuYoshiko
Calvin TankmanRisa Sera
Jeff CobbMercedes Martinez
Braun StrowmanMaika
Will HobbsMia Yim
Yuji Okabayashi and Yuji HinoCandy Lee
Brody King and LuchasaurusMax the Impaler
Go ShiozakiArisa Nakajima

Even with other folks snatching up talent like Big E and Keith Lee, I was able to stockpile size on my roster. My vision was to create a promotion overflowing with powerhouses. With hosses like WALTER, Jacob Fatu, Chihiro Hashimoto and Max the Impaler in the mix, I was able to do just that.

On the men’s side, I’m able to center the super heavyweight division around Calvin Tankman. I can offer fans matches like Kevin Owens vs. Jeff Cobb or Fatu vs. WALTER. And with a whole host of ass-kickers on the women’s side led by Rhea Ripley and Marvelous’ Takumi Iroha, I’m going to be able to provide some of the hardest hitting action crowds have every seen.

Big Fight Alliance is all about beef and brawlers. It’ll be the go-to stop for slobberknockers.

Pantheon Wrestling

Owner: Trent Breward

Men’s (4th Pick)Women’s (5th Pick)
Kazuchika OkadaMayu Iwatani
Kenny OmegaSasha Banks
Drew McIntyreHimeka
Pete DunneVeny aka ASUKA
AJ StylesJungle Kyona
Will OspreayKonami
Kota IbushiSarray aka Sareee
Sammy GuevaraBea Priestley and Jamie Hayter
Katsuhiko NakajimaRina Yamashita
Lance ArcherSuzu Suzuki
Ryu LeeDash Chisako
Kaito KiyomiyaSaya Iida

My original plans ended up taking a bit of a swerve as a lot of my hopeful mid-round picks got selected far earlier than I anticipated, and several big names I wasn’t expecting to have a realistic shot at ended up falling to me. After I snagged Okada I didn’t expect either Golden Lover to be available when my draft strategy would allow for it, yet I ended up getting both. I still have some great storytellers, but Pantheon is all about being able to deliver the very best possible product inside the ring. From top to bottom my roster is stacked with top tier talent covering a variety of styles. There are dream matches and long-term stories begging to be told once this roster comes together. One thing is absolutely clear, Pantheon Wrestling is going to be home to the modern masterpiece.

My women’s roster ended up coming together more as planned. My strategy of banking on some serious Japanese independent talent going under the radar because of a lack of western exposure ended up paying off: landing Yamashita, Suzuki and Chisako as late as I did ensured some ridiculous depth and variety in my women’s roster. Meanwhile getting both Mayu and Sasha to be my division figureheads was huge. It’s very Joshi heavy, but that was my intention given the strength and variety of the scene.

There are eight great promotions to pick from. But if you want the best wrestlers squaring off and delivering compelling classics, your best option is clearly Pantheon Wrestling.

Wrestle and Poetry

Owner: Scotland Underwood

Men’s (5th Pick)Women’s (4th Pick)
Roman ReignsBianca Belair
Big ETrish Adora
Seth RollinsMeiko Satomura
Los Parks (L.A Park and El Hijo De L.A Park)Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart
Scorpio SkyTam Nakano
CesaroNia Jax and Tamina Snuka
Davey Boy SmithTaya Valkyrie
Xavier WoodsJazzy Gabert
The North (Ethan Page and Josh Alexander)Jade Cargill
Hijo Del VikingoNo Pick Made
2 Cold ScorpioNo Pick Made
Fred YehiNo Pick Made

Unfortunately real life got in the way and Scotland was unable to finish the final couple of rounds for the women’s draft, as well as provide his full thoughts on the roster he managed to build. If I may speak on his behalf though, it is clear that he was able to bring together a roster with strengths both when it comes to character work and in ring action. 2/3rds of both the legendary Shield and New Day factions are in Wrestle and Poetry, and both the men’s and women’s rosters feature a nice mixture of wrestling styles, ensuring there is something for everyone. Any roster with Meiko Satomura commands respect after all! Even with a slightly reduced women’s roster size he was able to craft a compelling roster.

Actualized Wrestling Excellence

Owner: Thumbly Squeezed

Men’s (6th Pick)Women’s (3rd Pick)
MJFThunder Rosa and Holidead
Keith LeeIo Shirai
KENTAKris Statlander
Jon MoxleyDeonna Purrazzo
Jay LethalLeyla Hirsch
DanhausenThe IIconics (Peyton Royce and Billie Kay)
Sami ZaynHikaru Shida
Orange CassidyHeather Monroe and Dani Jordan
John SilverBig Swole
ReDragon (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish)Jennacide
Chad Gable and Drew GulakShazza McKenzie and Suse
Y2-‘Chet (Chris Jericho and Ricochet)Nikki Cross

I ended up making some picks I never expected to (seriously, thanks for handing me maybe the two biggest acts in the world in Moxley and Shida, everyone!) and began to worry that I’d diluted my vision some. I feel like I stuck the landing with guys like my boy Orange Cassidy, John Silver, and fantastic value in female talent like Jennacide and Nikki Cross. I’m proud of the AWE-original tag teams on both sides, especially Y2-‘Chet who are set to tear it up. From top to bottom everyone is, as I intended, self-defined and unique performers who can portray themselves to an audience of thousands or a single camera. BUT let’s not forget that they all can work, too. Lots of comments during the draft about AWE’s “big personalities,” but picture what Sami Zayn and Jay Lethal can do flying around the same ring while Moxley and Keith Lee throw serious lumber just for the sport of it. Meanwhile, MJF can’t shake Danhausen in the ring or his nightmares while Kris Statlander meets some of the few people who can fly even higher like Io Shirai. It’s going to be like nothing you’ve ever seen

…and that’s the entire point.

Dragon Wrestling Dungeon

Owner: Katie Rose

Men’s (7th Pick)Women’s (2nd Pick)
Brock LesnarAsuka
Samoa JoeBayley
Bobby LashleyBecky Lynch
Randy OrtonRosemary
Adam Page Kamille
‘The Fiend’ Bray WyattAlexa Bliss
Dexter LumisRuby Riott and Liv Morgan
Kofi KingstonXia Li
SheamusIvelisse and Diamante
Preston “10” VanceScarlett Bordeaux
Ricky StarksTenille Dashwood
Andrade Cien AlmasAbadon

This draft was my first ever and needless to say, I think I made some pretty great picks! The vision I had for my promotion was a roster of hard-hitters, with a few high flyers thrown in there. With the men’s draft, I nabbed a beast right off the bat with Brock Lesnar. I also was able to grab Bobby Lashley and Randy Orton. Imagine the types of matches we could get such as Lesnar vs Lashley or Randy Orton vs Hangman Page! Not to mention Ricky Starks vs Kofi Kingston! The possibilities are endless.

The women’s draft started off on a sour note for me after losing Shayna Baszler to a different promotion (I’m still not over it…..). I was able to nab the former Raw Women’s Champion Asuka, and of course Becky Lynch and Bayley! There are no limits when making these matches and these women are fighters! Of course Bayley and Becky have already put on great matches along with Asuka, but who wouldn’t want to see more? And we have two resident zombie bad asses in Rosemary and Abadon, who would put on hauntingly amazing matches. So many incredible women on my roster!

Both my men’s and women’s rosters are pretty WWE heavy, but I needed to get the best of the best in my promotion. If you want to see 5 star matches, then look no further and vote Dragon Wrestling Dungeon as your number one!

Ultimate Pro Wrestling

Owner: Jamie Johnson

Men’s (8th Pick)Women’s (1st Pick)
Shingo TakagiGiulia
Hiromu TakahashiMaki Itoh
Darby AllinJordynne Grace
El DesperadoStarlight Kid
The Lucha Bros (Fenix and Penta El Zero M)Nyla Rose
Chris DickinsonAZM
Tom LawlorBritt Baker
Santana and OrtizKiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz
The Great O-KhanSaya Kamitani
Rich Swann and Willie MackRiho and Rin Kadokura
Kento MiyaharaPiper Niven
Yoshiki InamuraSession Moth Martinez and Natsuko Tora

Now the draft is completed, it’s time to evaluate how it went! I think my roster is strong, in that it fulfills the clear aims I had in building a roster which is one for both now and the future. Wrestlers such as Darby Allin, Great O-Khan, and Maki Itoh are delightful rising stars, whilst Starlight Kid, Saya Kamitani, and Yoshiki Inamura fulfil my category of wrestlers with vast future prospect. In addition, Shingo Takagi, El Desperado, and Britt Baker D.M.D (among others like Hiromu Takahashi and Jordynne Grace) are talent which are clearly destined to peak at the absolute zenith of pro wrestling, and who are already high up in fan’s estimations. All in all, I’m happy with how my draft turned out, as despite the undeniable strength of the fellow rosters, I think mine succeeds in achieving the draft objectives I set out for myself.

So that’s the eight!

All that remains now is to pick your favourite below! You can only choose one, so do so wisely…And also let us know who you think was the most notable omission from the draft! Or maybe the steal of the draft?