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10 OF THE BEST- Aussie Wrestlers To Watch In 2024




By Mick Robson


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I love Aussie wrestling. It's the primary reason The Arena Media exists in its current form- I did start it as a blog of sorts back in 2016 to cover my love of WWE and UFC, but it has evolved since, with the goal being to promote Australian pro wrestling as much as possible- along with still covering WWE and UFC (and now AEW).


Today in our newest instalment of the 10 of the Best series, we look at ten wrestlers who I think have the most potential to make a big splash in 2024. Believe me when I say- this was insanely difficult. The Aussie scene is so chock full of talent that narrowing it down to only 10 wrestlers is a near impossible task. To get myself out of this conundrum to an extent, a couple of caveats-


1) If they've held the top championship or are an established main event star in the big Aussie promotions, like a PWA or MCW, I'm not including them. It goes without saying that guys like Robbie Eagles and Mick Moretti are going to kick all the ass in 2024. This is more for the younger talent that haven't had that real major spotlight yet.


2) In a similar vein, if you've had a good amount of international success as an Aussie taking over in the US, UK, Japan, not getting included here. All the love to people like Charli Evans, flying the flag for us in places like GCW.


That first point leads me to touch on someone who I'm a massive fan of- Ben Braxton. An amazing athlete who has captivated audiences in PWA and Newy Pro this year, he seems set for a landmark 2024. I'm being a bit cheeky by not including him in the 10 of the Best but giving him a shoutout here- he won the Newy Pro Heavyweight Championship at Deck The City Halls a few weeks ago. And while Newy Pro isn't the powerhouse that a couple of other Aussie promotions are, they've got enough of a name- as well as now a presence on FITE/TrillerTV- for me to sneak Braxton in his own little section here. But still... Brax for Colosseum 2024!


I'll still probably slap a few honourable mentions in at the end too. Aussie wrestling is truly an embarassment of riches.


Disclaimer: 10 OF THE BEST isn't a series in strict order. It's just, as it says in the title, 10 of the best in a particular category.


Let's do this!


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10- Scott Green


Scott Green returned from a devastating leg injury at Rumble In The Jungle this year, and has gone on to wow crowds in promotions like Newy Pro, PWA, IWA and Rock N Roll Wrestling. The Smokeshow is an excellent athlete, and his "totally not a stoner" gimmick is really over with crowds. Like a bogan Orange Cassidy, he typically comes out chilling, munching on a bag of Smiths chips... before busting out ranas while still holding the damn chip packet. Only making his return at the Rumble In The Jungle show in August, Green has quickly made up for lost time and I look forward to seeing what he can do with a full calendar year under his belt in 2024.


Also, side note, he's got a GOAT entrance theme with The Next Episode. If he signs to a major company, they better cough up the cash for the rights to it!


9- Vinnie Vain


Vinnie is a performer who started in the Australian scene quite a few years ago now, but has really built momentum with his performances in the last couple of years, getting more bookings around NSW. Companies he has worked at include his "home" promotion of AWE, as well as EWA, All-Star Wrestling, and FWA, where he currently holds their Heavyweight Championship, as well as holding the Mercury Championship simultaneously until recently vacating it. 


Working as the arrogant and self-assured "Bad Guy" character, Vinnie wrestles with the confidence of a mature man, but athletically and aesthetically stacks up and surpasses many of his younger peers. Pairing with Piers Austin- who plays the smarmy Ari Gold type to perfection as his manager- was a real masterstroke. Vinnie has all the tools to succeed at a higher level in Aussie wrestling, he just needs that one break-through opportunity in a larger promotion to see it come to fruition.


8- Otis


No, not the lovable big man from the Alpha Academy. Otis calls Wollongong home, and cut his teeth in the local Rock N Roll Wrestling promotion for a number of years. As RNR was affected by COVID, and didn't run shows for an extended period of time, Otis found success in companies closer to Sydney, establishing himself and capturing championships in EWA and All-Star Wrestling.


Standing out with a physical, intense style, Otis can lay claim to some real hidden gems in 2023 in Aussie wrestling. His triple threat match for the Rock N Roll Championship against Hunter Hayes and Captain Keato (now known as Moses) might just be the best match RNR has put on, his turn as Lethal Weapon Champion in EWA showed him to be extremely adept at the hardcore style, and although I haven't seen all of his All-Star work, I have caught the promos online along with his tag partner Morgan Rose, featuring some excellent character work. A real workhorse and a throwback tough guy in some respects, Otis is another one with boundless potential who just needs a shot on the biggest platforms Aussie wrestling can provide. For example, he would have been a great choice for the SLAM battle royal in front of 1700 strong in Canberra.


7- Jimmy Townsend


Townsend has been a PWA mainstay for several years now, going back to his run as comic relief tag team, The Prefects, with Billy Preston. Always a talented athlete, Jimmy did struggle a bit in the promo department. That changed in 2023, where he found his voice, and a new level of confidence following a trip to the United States. Maybe a pep talk with his old mate Grayson Waller helped. Nonetheless, he found the missing piece to the puzzle, and was rewarded with a featured spot alongside Mick Moretti, currently serving as the PWA Tag Team Champions in the Joker and the Thief tandem (another GOAT entrance theme contender).


I don't know what the plan is, but I felt like the partnership with Moretti was a mechanism to push Townsend to the next level, much like Moretti did with his long feud with a young man by the name of Matty Wahlberg (even if COVID f'ed it up a bit). Either way, I expect to see this confident and ever-improving Jimmy reach that next level as a singles star in 2024- he recently made a step towards that as he beat Jackson Kelly to claim the IWA Heavyweight Championship towards year's end.


6- Cherry Stephens


Cherry Stephens hasn't actually been wrestling a very long time, but she's taken to it like a duck to water. I once compared her to Kurt Angle in terms of her meteoric rise in PWA. Not only did she have a pretty clear knack for the in-ring side of things, she showed impressive acting ability and strong character work, first in helping facilitate the split of the Prefects, but also taking part in a storyline with Big Fudge and Will Kiedis that saw her quest for the Soul of PWA Championship used as a bet- a storyline that I consider among the best PWA have pulled off, in large part due to Cherry's performances.


While Cherry was strongly featured coming into 2023 as the Soul of PWA Champion, after epic matches with Mick Moretti & Jimmy Townsend, it seemed like she was de-emphasised a little following her title loss to Unsocial Jordan in the middle of the year. It's hard to stay at the top of the card all the time, but someone with the work ethic and ability of Cherry Stephens deserves to be much more than just another face on the roster. I hope that her featuring in the main event of the Mounties house show in January- a title match with PWA Champion Jessica Troy- is a sign of a renewed focus on Cherry in 2024.


5- Will Kiedis


As an Instagram post by the man himself chronicled, Kiedis had quite the 2023. Reigning as a featured player and champion in places like IWA, Newy Pro, and of course, PWA, Kiedis delighted in riling up crowds everywhere he went. Excellent on the mic and unafraid to piss people off, Kiedis served as a foil to many popular babyface stars, like The Tuckman, Scott Green and even musical guests Digby from Big Red Fire Truck and Emmy from Red Hook!


Kiedis also got some rare mainstream exposure for Aussie wrestling, appearing on the Today Show the morning of PWA's Beer Bash show. Sure, he got beat up by Jessica Troy, but he got his face on national television and got to spend time with his hero Karl Stefanovic! He would then go on to have a killer match that night with Tuckman. A losnig effort, but seems like it's onwards and upwards in 2024 for Kiedis- who currently reigns as both the Middleweight AND Women's Champion (yeah) in Newy Pro.


4- Kingsley


There are few more entertaining characters in Aussie pro wrestling than Kingsley. It's an absolute treat to be ringside for a Kingsley match, she will make you laugh constantly with all her little ad-libs and facial expressions. Last year saw her as the leader of the Bad Bitch Nation with uncle Jack Bonza, and while that fell by the wayside, Kingsley became part of a new sensation- the Backslide Girls! Born from Kingsley, Shay Kassidy and Everett Connors jointly winning a 6 Pack Challenge with backslides at the exact same time, the alliance morphed into a Kingsley/Shay tag team where they became a wrestle-pop duo. It's silly stuff, but it got over very quickly with the PWA crowd, thanks to the commitment of Kingsley to the bit.


Outside of PWA, Kingsley has been the choice for a couple of companies to build a women's division around, speaking to the level of in-ring acumen she has built up. Both SLAM and Rock N Roll Wrestling brought her in as a foundational part of the women's roster, and she couldn't have closed out the year any better- winning the inaugural SLAM Women's Championship in front of over 1700 people in Canberra! The future is bright, and THAT'S the tea.


3- Tommy Knight


Tommy Knight is one of the more decorated wrestlers to make this list. In truth, perhaps he should have been excluded from it due to his strong reigns with the Wrestle Rampage Australian National Championship. And to drop even more truth, I've only really heard about Wrestle Rampage, based in South Australia, I haven't seen it online on platforms like FITE, as I have with PWA and MCW. I've looked into it a bit as I'm writing Tommy's entry, and it turns out I can watch WR on YouTube. I'll have to get onto that.


But it's worth singing Tommy Knight's praises anyway. I'm including him based on the work I have seen him do in MCW, where he's been a tag champion, and PWA, where he's been a Colosseum entrant. Also seen him have a couple of bangers with Slex in MCW and SLAM. A mountain of a man with an extremely hard hitting style, at the time of writing he's just gone over to Japan to wrestle for the GLEAT promotion. Hopefully, those international opportunities continue to stack up over the next year and beyond.


2- The Tuckman


The Tuckman has had the rookie year that all Aussie wrestlers should aspire to. Making his proper PWA Black Label debut in late 2022, the "beer drinking, barely thinking" Tuckman was an instant hit. He spent 2023 kicking all kinds of goals, featured prominently in PWA, Newy Pro, IWA, Rock N Roll and SLAM and even New Japan (through the Tamashii off-shoot).


Despite the highly popular beer gimmick, Tucky is a serious athlete, with one of his signature moves being a gorgeous springboard cutter. He's noticeably gotten more ripped as the last year or so has gone on, with his physical transformation serving as a statement that behind all the fun, Tuckman is putting the work in, work that was rewarded with the Soul of PWA Championship at Colosseum, and a Black Label event named after him the following month. The man is on a rocket ship, and it's sure to keep ascending in 2024.



1- Paris De Silva/Jude London


Paris De Silva is someone who's been around and been prominent on the Aussie wrestling scene for several years now- but it's been as part of a tag team, alongside Jude London as the Velocities. His wrestling ability has been top tier for the longest time, as has Jude's- matches with Aussie Open and the Nations prove that- but 2023 saw him shine even further as a singles star, getting to the finals of the prestigious Colosseum tournament and having one of the matches of the year with NJPW's Zack Sabre Jr. Complete with new entrance attire, leaning heavier into the "Spartan Spirit" moniker, and new entrance music, Paris came across as a star- albeit still the perennial underdog due to his size and style- and the results at both Coloseeum and the Beer Bash triple threat against Jude and PWA Champion Jessica Troy speak to that.


Given that Jude London ran an almost parallel path to Paris, losing in the semis, we've got to give him his flowers too. What I think this ending to 2023 can do for both Velocities is position them as main eventers regardless of whether they work tags or singles. I'm not suggesting for a second that the Velocities should break up- I consider them one of the best teams in the world, put them in the Super Jr Tag League FFS- but there's no reason after Colosseum that either man couldn't be slotted in as singles main eventers where need be. I give Paris the slightest of edges due to being slightly more crazy in his high-risk offense, but both are brilliant. A bright 2024 in store without a doubt!


Honourable Mentions


Some more amazing talents I wish nothing but the best for, and would love to see them featured more and have more success over the next year and beyond! Same caveats as before, so if I don't mention you, maybe I consider you too successful already to qualify.


Lee Morrow, The Chief Rig, Dazza, Sam Osborne, Kasai, Jay Sorbet, Moses, The Bachelor, Dicko, Frankie B, Nikki Van Blair, Big Fudge, Dan Archer, Gym Bro Jessie, Backman, Aysha, Erika Reid.


Plus many, many more, I couldn't possibly name them all! We'll need an Aussie PWI 500 at this rate. Support Aussie wrestling!


Also, I'm painfully aware that my coverage is primarily NSW-centric. If there's promotions from different states that I need to check out, let me know, along with the way to check them out! Very glad I've found Wrestle Rampage stuff. I've looked for EPW stuff online, but have not been able to find many full shows. I know QLD wrestling is starting to up their game a lot, but is there a way to watch it beyond jumping on a plane interstate every weekend? Let me know!


Until next time, take care.

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Who's Behind The Blog
Image of Mick Robson, founder of The Arena Media

Mick Robson is a freelance writer from Australia. A lifelong fan of pro wrestling and MMA, he endeavours to bring that passion through his coverage in news, reviews and opinion pieces.

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