ASCA Wrestling Making History in Italian Indie Wrestling
A few months ago PWPonderings was proud to present information on the major weekend that ASCA Wrestling has coming up on May 16th through the 18th in Italy. I was excited when I first started talking with ASCA management and spreading the word about independent wrestling world wide. We recently asked ASCA Wrestling management to give us some details and information about the promotion and their huge shows coming up featuring Dave Mastiff, Uhaa Nation, Tommy End and many more of the top wrestlers in Italy.
You can follow ASCA Wrestling on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/ASCAwrestling
Here’s what they told us and some information about the upcoming events:
Why did you rename the promotion from AWL to ASCA?
Let me start by thanking you and PWPonderings for giving us this opportunity, we really appreciate it. AWL was born in 2011, but it wasn’t the right time. We did some cool stuff, including an event with the legendary Bruno Sammartino in his hometown, but nobody seemed to care. It was hard, and it still is, to promote pro wrestling in Italy. Most people think wrestling is a joke or they just watch WWE and they want you to be just like them. I remember being on message boards, not too many years ago, and almost nobody knew what TNA, ROH or NJPW were.
So AWL stopped promoting shows and, instead, we started to promote pro wrestling . There is a guy, his name is Andrea, that deserves all the credit in the world. He opened up a facebook group, called “Indyvidui Italiani” (which stands for “Italian Indyviduals”), a community of people that love independent wrestling and want to talk about. When I joined the group there were about 10 members. In these three years I have known some great guys thanks to this group. We attended wrestling shows together, we bought DVDs and reunited so we could watch them together and, most importantly, we offered an alternative to guys who wanted to quit wrestling because they didn’t like WWE anymore and they didn’t know what the entire world had to offer.
Last December we thought the time was right for a reboot. We changed our name and started all over again. The 90% of the people who attended the Super 8 Cup is a member of our facebook group, guys who came from all parts of Italy to support this project. This is probably our biggest pride. And timing was right this time, not only because our group got bigger and more knowledgeable, but because European wrestling has improved so much in the recent years. There is so much talent our there and the companies, especially in the UK, are doing great business.
When you held the Super 8, did you want it to tie into the same theme as the Super 8 that has been held by the ECWA promotion here in the USA for years? Were you influenced by the Japanese tournaments such as the Super J Cup also?
Tournaments are so cool man. I have attended two editions of the 16 Carat Gold and it is an unbelievable atmosphere, you don’t know what to expect. Actually, last December we ran the second edition of the Super 8 Cup; we already did it in 2011, when we still were AWL, and Flavio Pantaleo, who last year lost to Tommy End in the final, won the tournament. We will probably do it all again next year, it has become some sort of tradition.
To be honest I haven’t seen much ECWA, but I must give them credit because the Super 8 concept is very cool. I remember seeing the ippv edition when Tommaso Ciampa won the tournament and I really liked the show. Also, since we were promoting our first event, it was smart to do a tournament because in this way you just need 8 guys to run a show.
Yes, the Super J Cup is a great influence. It is easy to say that the 1994 edition was one of the best events in the history of the business. I started watching wrestling thanks to WCW when I was a kid and I loved the “small guys”, so when I found out that a lot of them competed in Japan I started to revisit those match. I think we could do a big Super J Cup in Europe too, there is enough material to do it!
Who are some of the upcoming talents in the Italian independent wrestling scene?
I am proud to tell you that the best upcoming talent will be at our shows. I am talking about Mark Fit, this kid is 19 years old and he is a student of the game and he has his head on his shoulder. Quite frankly he is the only great upcoming that I see at the moment, the best Italian wrestlers are on their mid twenties or so. Maybe there is a young star out there, but I don’t know him. I have said it before, it is hard to promote wrestling in Italy. I am rarely able to see a DVD or something else to check out new talents. We are changing this too, our events will be available on demand and quite frankly every Italian company that wants to succeed should do it too.
Does having talent such as Tommy End, Uhaa Nation, and Dave Mastiff help the locker room environment/ how does it affect the talent who are the “originals”
They love it. They are fans of these guys, it is like a dream come true. I am booking some of my idols and I am so excited, I can’t imagine how happy are the guys who will share a locker room with them and especially the ones that will wrestle them. Another reason why European wrestling is so healthy right now surely has to do with the fact that we are in front of great people. We got in touch with pretty much every “major” European promoter and we have dealt with professional wrestlers that do their job and respect the business.
I hate to mention just one guy, but I have to give props to Tommy End because this guy is a phenomenal human being. He put us over so huge that is still amazes me. More than one wrestler told me that Tommy had nice words about us. He is defending his wXw World championship at our shows and he helped us make the deal. We had a great talk with a gentleman and a smart business man like Tassilo Jung, but Tommy’s will was decisive. This is why European wrestling is doing great right now. We don’t have WWE or NJPW here, it is like a territory based business. And I love being a small part of it.
The Ultimate Challenge, May 16th
1) Round Robin challenge between Flavio Pantaleo, Kyo Kazama, Great Requiem and Damien Dunne
Ready To Start Day 1, May 17th
1) WXW Title: Tommy End defends vs. Red Devil (it’s the first time that the WXW Title is defended in Italy. Red Devil is a great “young veteran” from ICW, he has wrestled the likes of El Generico, Dick Togo, Chad Collyer, Jamie Noble, Ares and Matt Morgan; he has worked for CZW and IPW:UK)
2) Elimination Match: Team ICW (Mr. Excellent, the ICW champion and Dolbone) vs. Team ASCA (Flavio Pantaleo, Kyo Kazama and Great Requiem) we have a working agreement with ICW, they have been around since 2001
3)Wrestling Italia Cup Semifinal: Mark Fit vs. Damian Dunne: Fit is a talented 19 year old, he did well at the Super 8 Cup so we called him back. Dunne works all over the UK scene and has faced some of the best European talents.
4) Wrestling Italia Cup Semifinal: Morgan Webster vs. Robbie X: Robbie X is 18 years old and he’s ridiculously talent: he has already wrestled guys like Prince Devitt, AR Fox, Paul London, Brian Kendrick, Tommy End, Johnny Gargano, Davey Richards, Zack Sabre Jr, Jay Lethal and the list goes on and on. Webster is good too, he’s working hard to become a name in the UK scene, he recently debuted in PROGRESS.
5) Wrestling Italia Cup Final: TBD vs. TBD
Ready To Start Day 2, May 18th
1)30 Minutes Iron Man Match: Uhaa Nation vs. Trent Seven (Trent Seven primarily works in Fight Club Pro and he’s an “european strong style” specialist. He has wrestled the likes of Eddie Edwards, Davey Richards, Tommy End, Sami Callihan, Nigel McGuinness, Drake Younger… he loves to work with hard hitting guys. He has worked in BJW and CZW too).
2) ICW Title: Charlie Kid defends vs. Dave Mastiff vs. Flavio Pantaleo (Charlie Kid is defending the ICW Title on May 10th which would affect this match depending on the result): the ICW title is the most prestigious Italian belt. Charlie Kid is a big man but he has technical skills too, he’s the reigning champion and he has competed against Mike Quackenbush and Trent Seven at the Super 8 Cup. You surely know Mastiff, he’s probably the best big heavyweight in Europe. Pantaleo has been in the WXW Dojo and he was trained by Bad Bones and Daisuke Sekimoto.
3) Jack Gallagher vs. Mr. Excellent: Gallagher is a great grappling specialist who made his name in Europe wrestling amazing matches with Davey Richards and last year he toured with Zero-1 for 6 months, wrestling in BJW and NOAH too. He has wrestled everybody in the European and a lot of international guys too, he has just worked with Drake Younger in his retirement tour. And he’s facing Excellent, who’s the best Italian grappler. He’s been in wrestling for 13 years, he’s one of the most decorated wrestlers in ICW history.
4) Scramble Match: Damien Dunne vs. Morgan Webster vs. Doblone vs. Mark Fit vs. Red Devil
5) Hardcore Match: Great Requiem vs. Kyo Kazama.