Beginners Guide to Warrior Wrestling – Detailed Starter Guide

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Warrior Wrestling is an independent wrestling promotion based out of Chicago Heights Illinois. The promotion is headed by Steve Tortorello and Eric Hamilton whose vision for the promotion is as large as the heights reached by Warrior Wrestling. From running the first show in the gym of Marian Catholic High School to having the Warrior Wrestling Championship walked down the aisle of the Tokyo Dome by Will Ospreay at Wrestle Kingdom 16, this Beginners guide to Warrior Wrestling will get you up to speed with the fast-growing promotion.

Beginners Guide to Warrior Wrestling

Beginnings

“This began as a way for our team to have a creative outlet working in a field that we loved while at the same time doing a small bit of good in the world by raising money for the original host, Marian Catholic High School. It has evolved into a full-fledged independent wrestling phenomenon, and we are so grateful for all of the twists and turns!” – Steve Tortorello.

Steve attempted to get his foot in the door around various local promotions around the Chicago area prior to the start of Warrior Wrestling. When nothing came of that he decided to take his creative energy and put it into his own promotion. The idea for Warrior Wrestling was then pitched with the shows serving to raise funds for scholarships and extracurricular activities for Marian Catholic High School. With the permission of Steve’s boss, to host the shows at the gym and be affiliated with the school, Warrior Wrestling was off to the races. The first show took place on May 11th, 2018. The show was headlined by Jack Swagger (now known as Jake Hagger) taking on Alberto Del Rio.

Warrior Wrestling returned for a second show during All In weekend in September of 2018. The first Warrior Wrestling champion was crowned in the first-ever War of Attrition match which included none other than Rey Mysterio. Warrior Wrestling would continue to run shows in the gym of Marian Catholic High School until February of 2020. Warrior Wrestling 8 was the final show to take place inside the gym until October of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  During the pandemic, Steve and Eric found a way to host wrestling shows in a safe environment that stayed in compliance with regulations. The tradition continues today and is gearing up for year three.

The Stadium Series

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit wrestling promotions were forced to shut down overnight. Warrior Wrestling found a way to keep hosting shows even during the pandemic. “The idea of doing an outdoor show on the football field started in 2019 and was Eric’s idea it didn’t pan out in 2019 but then the pandemic hit,” Steve told LWOS during the Stadium Series interview from 2020.

Holding the shows on the football field allowed everyone to be socially distanced. The idea was tested in August of 2020 when Warrior hosted Friday Night Lights. For many wrestling fans, it was a way to experience wrestling live and still be compliant with Illinois COVID regulations and guidelines. The event encouraged fans to bring their own chairs and coolers and enjoy an outdoor wrestling show under the lights. With the success of the Friday Night Lights show, the Stadium Series ran for the first time in September of 2020. Some notable moments included Joey Janela running WARHORSE from the ring at the 50-yard line to the north end zone of the field before dropping him. Janela would also jump off the goal post onto Robert Anthony and Frank the Clown as they lay on tables in the end zone during the final night of the series. The clip from the final night of the three-night event went viral and even landed on SportsCenter.

The three-night run in September ended 2020 for Warrior Wrestling, but it was not the final Stadium Series. The series returned in 2021 and is planning to return in 2022.

Roster and Matches

Regulars

“We’ve been so blessed to develop a roster of stars that our fans have grown to love (and hate!) in addition to all of the major name talents that have come through Warrior Wrestling. Stars like Sam Adonis, KC Navarro, Trey Miguel, Beast Man, and…yes… Frank the Clown feel like ‘our’ people, and that’s really special. We’re so happy that they’ve shared their talents with us for so long.” – Steve Tortorello
Warrior Wrestling has seen a variety of regular talent over its tenure. Early regulars included Brian Cage, Moose, Tessa Blanchard, Lance Archer, Gringo Loco, Brian Pillman Jr, and The Rascalz among others.
Warrior Wrestling has always been able to bring in star power as the likes of Will Ospreay, The Strong Hearts, The Amazing Red, Rocky Romero, Jay White, Minoru Suzuki, The Lucha Brothers, Thunder Rosa, Athena, and many others have competed in a Warrior Wrestling ring.

Beginners Guide to Warrior Wrestling – The Championships

Warrior Wrestling Championship

Warrior Wrestling currently has three active championships on the roster. The Warrior Wrestling Championship was introduced at Warrior Wrestling 2. Brian Cage outlasted Rey Fenix, Penta el 0M, Sammy Guevara, Rey Mysterio, Austin Aries, Jeff Cobb, and Rich Swann in the first-ever War of Attrition to become champion. The Warrior original match is a three-fall match. The wrestlers are split into two random teams of four. When team one is eliminated whoever scored the fall picks their tag team partner and the match becomes a tag team match. The winning team of fall number two competes one on one to win the match.

Brian Cage held the championship until Warrior Wrestling 8 when he had to vacate the championship due to injury.  His reign saw victories over Bandido, all three Rascalz in a triple threat, Austin Aeries and Wardlow in a cage, Michael Elgin, and El Phantasmo. At Warrior Wrestling 8 Brian Pillman Jr outlasted Andrew Everett, Michael Elgin, Sam Adonis, Aramis, Black Taurus, Frank The Clown, and Lance Archer to become champion. He held the title until Night 3 of the 2020 Stadium Series and had wins over Robert Anthony and WARHORSE. In a triple threat match against Trey Miguel and Brian Cage, Miguel picked up the win and became champion.

Trey defended the championship for the first time on Night 1 of the 2021 Stadium Series successfully against Lee Moriarty. He again retained on Night 3 of the 2021 Stadium Series against Jake Something. His final successful defense was against Jonathan Gresham which ended in a no contest at Warrior Wrestling Sweet 16. He entered Warrior Wrestling 17 as champion and lost the title to Will Ospreay in a triple threat match that also involved Blake Christian.

Ospreay’s first defense was against Brian Cage at Warrior Wrestling 18 in South Bend Indiana. He returned to South Bend for Warrior Wrestling 21 and retained the championship against Blake Christian in a singles match. His next defense is scheduled for Warrior Wrestling 23 in Grand Rapids Michigan. He will defend in a War of Attrition match that will include Swerve Strickland, Jeff Cobb, Lance Archer, Matt Cardona, Brian Pillman Jr., Davey Richards, and Jake Something.

Women’s Championship

The second championship was introduced to Warrior Wrestling Women’s Championship. The title was introduced at Warrior Wrestling 5 in a match that saw Tessa Blanchard square off with Jordynne Grace with special guest referee Molly Holly. Tessa Blanchard came out victorious and was crowned the inaugural champion. Her first defense of the title came at Warrior Wrestling 8 where she defeated Britt Baker, Madison Rayne, Taya Valkyrie, Big Swole, Kylie Rae, Ray Lyn, and Tasha Steelz in a War of Attrition match. At the first Stadium Series show of 2020, she was defeated by Kylie Rae who became the second champion.

Kylie Rae made her first defense of the championship on Night 3 of the 2020 Stadium Series where she retained over Madison Rayne. She made her next successful defense against Holidead on Night 1 of the 2021 Stadium Series. Kylie Rae was defeated by Thunder Rosa on Night 3 of the 2021 Stadium Series making Rosa the third Warrior Wrestling Women’s Champion in history.

Thunder Rosa made her first defense of the championship against Mercedes Martinez at Warrior Wrestling 17. Thunder Rosa also brought the title to Mission Pro Wrestling with her and had successful defenses over Madi Wrenkowski and La Rosa Negra. The next title defense that took place in a Warrior ring took place at Warrior Wrestling 19.  Thunder Rosa battled Athena who made her Warrior Wrestling debut to a 30-minute draw. She successfully defended the title against at Warrior Wrestling 20 in a triple threat match against Athena and Skye Blue. Following Warrior Wrestling 20 Thunder Rosa relinquished the title shortly after becoming the AEW Women’s World Champion.

This opened the door for another triple threat match at Warrior Wrestling 21. Athena defeated Skye Blue and Shazza McKenzie who was being assisted by Frank the Clown to become champion. Athena made her first successful defense at Warrior Wrestling 22 against Janai Kai. She will put the title on the line again at Warrior Wrestling 22 against AQA.

Lucha Championship

The newest championship in Warrior Wrestling is the Lucha Championship. The first champion was crowned on Night 1 of the 2021 Stadium Series. Aramis defeated Arez, Dragon Bane, Laredo Kid, Black Taurus, El Hijo de Canis Lupus, Golden Dragon, and Gringo Loco in a War of Attrition match to win the title. He defended it at Nights 2 and 3 of the 2021 Stadium Series against Daga and Mr.Iguana respectively. At the Sweet 16 show, he defended it against Gringo Loco and Rey Horus in a triple threat match. His final successful defense was against Demonic Flamita at Warrior Wrestling 17.

At Warrior Wrestling 18 Sam Adonis defeated Aramis, ASF, Drago Kid, and Gringo Loco to become the second Lucha Champion. He has made successful defenses against Lince Dorado via count-out, Psycho Clown, and Aramis at Warrior Wrestling 19, 20, and 21 respectively. His next defense will be against Rey Leon at Warrior Wrestling 23.

Taking the Show on the Road

“Touring was the natural next step for us. We decided in late 2021 that we would use 2022 as an incubator year to throw a lot at the wall and see what sticks. So, we’ve set out on the road to see where else besides the Chicago market that Warrior might be viable. We’ve found a warm welcome everywhere we’ve gone!” – Steve Tortorello.

Warrior Wrestling first left Marian Catholic High School for the first time for Warrior Wrestling 17 which was held just up the road in Tinley Park Illinois. That event took place in December of 2021 and set the stage for taking the show on the road. The first out-of-state Warrior Wrestling show was Warrior Wrestling 18 which took place in South Bend Indiana at the Bendix Arena. From there the promotion returned to the Chicago area with Warrior Wrestling 19 in Cicero Illinois. The road trip continued with a stop in Indianapolis for Warrior Wrestling 20 and then back to South Bend for Warrior Wrestling 21. Warrior Wrestling 22 took place in Collinsville just miles from St.Louis. The road trip will conclude with a show in Grand Rapids Michigan on June 18th before returning home for a show at Malcolm X College on June 26th and the return of the Stadium Series this summer.

Beginners Guide to Warrior Wrestling – In Conclusion

We hope you found the beginners guide to Warrior Wrestling helpful. The promotion has made big waves and has shown no signs of slowing down. You can find ways to connect with them below.

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