With an on-sale date for the Granddaddy of Them All announced, it’s getting to be time to start packing to get on the Road to WrestleMania, and that means it’s time for independent wrestling promotions all around the country to start putting their plans for wrestling’s biggest weekend together.
We’ve gotten drips and drabs from the World Wrestling Network, but today’s WWN Alerts has laid their entire schedule for More Than Mania 2018 out in front of us. Let’s take a look and then pick out some points of interest, shall we?
Thursday, April 5
- Evolve (8PM Central)
- Beyond Wrestling (11:55PM Central)
Friday, April 6
- Progress (12PM Central)
- Evolve (4PM Central)
- WWN Supershow 2018 (8PM Central)
- GCW Presents Joey Janela’s Spring Break II (11:55PM Central)
Saturday, April 7
- Progress (12PM Central)
- Shimmer (4PM Central)
- Style Battle Season 1 Finale (8PM Central)
- Kaiju Big Battel (11:55PM Central)
My first thought is “my god, that’s a lot of wrestling.” My second thought is “YEAH JOEY JANELA’S SPRING BREAK II!”, because the first one still stands as, hands down, the most fun wrestling event of the year.
WWN WrestleMania weekend mainstays Shimmer and Kaiju Big Battel returning is welcome news, as is that Evolve haven’t been forced by recent woes to cut any of their own shows from the lineup, keeping the usual “two Evolves and a WWN Supershow” formula, even if said Supershow hasn’t yet been confirmed as another entry in the long-standing Mercury Rising tradition just yet.
Beyond also returns from last year, but this time Chikara are off the menu, replaced by a second Progress show as their reach in the US deepens, as well as the Season 1 Finale of Style Battle. That last one is notable in that Style Battle was created explicitly to fulfill FloSlam’s need for content, and although the shows were plagued by bad venues and weak crowds, I very much enjoyed Style Battle’s mix of match-to-match storytelling and focus on new and interesting talent. So, once Flo pulled the WWN shows, I worried that was the end for Style Battle, and it’s heartening to me to see that they’ll be finishing what they started.
(And presumably this means at some point between now and WrestleMania weekend, Style Battle Season 1, Episode 8 will have to happen to give the finale tournament its eighth man.)
On the other hand, somewhat telling by their omission are the Sunday morning timeslots that ACW and FIP occupied last year. Granted, that was kind of a special occasion in that the shows were built around a meet-and-greet with the Broken Hardyz, so maybe they were always meant to be a one-off, but there was something appealing about the idea of turning WrestleMania Sunday into an all-day wrestling extravaganza. Granted, it was also exhausting, so I’m not exactly begging for these shows to make a return appearance, just... let’s say taking note of it.
VIP package tickets will go on sale to those who purchased VIP tickets for last year on Monday, October 23, to the general public on Wednesday, October 25, and individual tickets for each show will hit the market two weeks later, all on WWNLive.com. As far as what’s on deck for each of these shows, naturally months out we don’t have any matches yet, but WWN Champion Keith Lee has been announced for the shows.
What the announcement doesn’t let us know just yet is what WWN’s plans for streaming these bad boys are. Last year everything except for Progress, Shimmer, and Chikara streamed through FloSlam, and of those, only Chikara opted to not stream live at all, leaving Progress and Shimmer to air through WWNLive.com.
Volume of shows at a single relatively low cost, of course, was the big upside to FloSlam, and without it, assuming all these shows air at the usual price through WWNLive, you’re looking at an even hundred dollars if you want to watch them all live, with an extra five on top for each show you’d like to also get VOD access on.
Here’s hoping WWN find another way to package these down, whether as a discounted bundle if they choose to continue iPPV, or (preferably) by joining up with or creating their own streaming service, because otherwise, my poor wallet is gonna take a hell of a beating here.
There you have it, folks
Excited for our annual springtime deluge of wrestling, Cagesiders?