Preview: Freelance Wrestling Sleepless in Chicago (2/1/19)

Chicago’s Freelance Wrestling has become a force out of 2018, joining the surge in independent wrestling thanks to great wrestling networks online, like (formerly, who will be airing Freelance’s Sleepless in Chicago PPV this coming Friday live. Founded in 2014 in a fierce Chicago area territory that already features All American Wrestling (AAW), SHIMMER, RISE, GALLI Lucha Libre, and more, Freelance’s hard-hitting no-nonsense style has made it a promotion to pay more attention to in 2019. Here’s a look at Friday’s card.

Ari Azteca vs. Jake Parnell vs. Kobe Durst vs. Gary Jay

Photo: Freelance

A four-way featuring some younger talents and a couple of veterans, this Fatal 4-Way is going to be full of piss and vinegar, as four talents look to make an impact with Freelance entering 2019. Ari Azteca has been a beast with Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) and IWA Mid South and will look to make an example of the other three on Friday. “Warhorse” Jake Parnell has been on fire of late – formerly part of the Viking War Party tag team (not the one that accompanied War Raiders to the ring at NXT TakeOver: Phoenix this past weekend) and is a name to remember for 2019. Kobe Durst is arguably one of the top prospects from an overflowing wealth of talent from Canada ready to make their names on the international indies – he’s already currently the Black Label Pro Indiana State Champion. And Gary Jay has been a veteran of the Southern, Mid Atlantic and Southern indies for 16 years and continues to be one of the US indies best-kept secrets.

Chris Castro vs. KTB

Photo: Freelance

Chris Castro started out in the Chicago indies, with Resistance Pro Wrestling, DREAMWAVE, and GALLI, before joining Freelance in 2014. Since then, he’s more known for his tag team work than singles, being a former Freelance Tag Team Champion with Matt Knicks in the Four Star Heroes. On Friday, Castro will go one-on-one with one of the most violent men in the American Hardcore circuit, Kyle The Beast (aka KTB), in what will be a force of nature. The former Game Changer Wrestling (GCW) World Champion will be looking to get his 2019 in Freelance off to a bloody start, and Castro may just be his first sacrifice.

Tyler Bateman vs. Robert Anthony

Photo: Freelance

Tyler Bateman is an emerging star from the West Coast scene, where he was part of the new NJPW LA Dojo and has been a star with Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), Bar Wrestling, Alternative Wrestling Show (AWS), Championship Wrestling From Hollywood and more. The leader of Violence Unlimited, originally with Funny Bone and recently Brody King, has terrorized the West Coast since 2008. He’s now branching out nationally, making friends with Pepper Parks and Andy Williams (of Butcher & The Blade) in Smash Wrestling and elsewhere, and makes his Freelance debut this Friday to make a statement. His statement may come at the hand of 17-year veteran and former CZW World Heavyweight Champion Robert Anthony. As Ego Fantsico, Anthony was a superstar in the US indies, and now reinvented, he’s putting his blood on the line to make sure people remember his name.

Eye Candy Elliott vs. Sonny Kiss

Photo: Freelance

Chicago’s own, Eye Candy Elliott, is a former IWA Mid South Tag Team Champion with Pat Monix, and the 24-year old is another emerging star from Chicago’s (and the Midwest’s) vibrant scene. But his new Boy Toy is going to be up against someone as predictable and pretty as himself in Sonny Kiss. New Jersey’s Sonny Kiss has only been wrestling since 2015, but he’s making waves – he gained national attention this year on Season Four of Lucha Underground as XO Lishus, and continues to make waves in Warriors of Wrestling, Beyond Wrestling, and Canadian indies like Greektown Wrestling and Capital City Championship Combat (C4). A rough and tumble promotion like Freelance may seem like an odd platform for either, but both are determined to show they belong, and there’s little doubt theses two may try and steal the show.

Scramble: Craig Mitchell vs. Louis Lyndon vs. Daniel Makabe vs. Alex Zayne vs. Ricky Shane Page vs. Flip Kendrick

Photo: Freelance

The Scramble Match is the new ladder match in the indies, and on Friday, Freelance presents a doozy. Craig Mitchell is a 10-year veteran of the Chicago scene, starting with Chicago Style Wrestling (CSW), before breaking out with Freelance in 2014. With Kenny Sutra in Team BETA, he’s a former Freelance Tag Champion. Louis Lyndon and Flip Kendrick come in as rejuvenated veterans, tag team partners in the legendary Midwest indie tag team Aeroform, that are 2x Absolute Intense Wrestling (AIW) Tag Team Champions and AAW Tag Team Champs, but on Friday, it’s every man for themselves. Emerging Canadian star Daniel Makabe, who primarily worked out of Seattle with 3-2-1 BATTLE! and Vancouver’s Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (ECCW), makes his Freelance debut to show off his wares. Alex Zayne is the wild card, an emerging star who has been honing his craft in IWA Mid South. Rounding out the Scramble is former CZW World Heavyweight Champion Rickey Shane Page. RSP is one of the most underrated wrestlers on the American Hardcore scene and is someone who can wrestle for anyone and against anyone, working for the likes of PROGRESS, Fight Club: PRO, Big Japan Wrestling, Beyond and more.

Greg Iron vs. Tony Nas

Photo: Freelance

Another CSW graduate, five year pro Tony Nas, another former Freelance Tag Team Champion with Roy Flash Gordon in the Superiority Complex, is also working on establishing himself as a singles threat in Freelance. He’ll have to do that by facing Cleveland’s Gregory Iron, a student of NXT’s Johnny Gargano who has been wrestling the US and Canadian indies since 2006. A veteran of AIW, Canada’s Alpha-1, Rockstar Pro, and Buffalo’s Empire State Wrestling (ESW), like many of the veterans on this card, is not about to lie down for the youngblood.

Darin Corbin, Mikey McFinnigan & Bucky Collins vs. Arik Cannon, B-Ryce, & A-Jizzle

Photo: Freelance

Darin Corbin has become one of the great wrestling nuisances, up there with The Miz, MJF and Stokely Hathaway, but he’s also garnered the gold to back up that talk. A longtime tag team champion with Ryan Cruz in the North Star Express, he’s competed for AAW, Oregon’s West Coast Wrestling Connection (WCWC), Minnesota’s F1RST Wrestling, and more in a 15-year career, including a near 100-day run as Freelance Champion. He’s pairing up with Midwest veteran Mikey McFinnigan (of Roscoe Eat Lisa fame) and former AAW regular Bucky Collins to take on another formidable trio. He’s facing a Minnesota rival in indie legend Arik Cannon, who has assembled a team featuring 2x Freelance Tag Team Champions The N-Words, B-Ryce and A-Jizzle, to enter a battle on Friday in Chicago.

Freelance Wrestling World Championship Open Challenge: Isaias Velasquez vs. ???

Photo: Freelance

For the main event, we know a couple things. One, that 13-year Chicago indie veteran and Freelance Champion Isaias Velasquez is competing. We know that he will be main eventing the evening in an Open Challenge for his Freelance title. What we don’t know, is who will be answering that call to step up and face Isaias for the belt. Could it be someone already competing on the card or a mystery opponent? We’ll have to tune in to find out!

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