For those unaware of how Suburban Fight Pro operates, let’s paint the picture. This promotion came into existence in 2018 based in LA and specialize in “bar fights.” Imagine a bar, a mid size concert venue type bar, definitely not big enough for a wrestling ring by any means, but typically there is a stage on one end, a bar along one of the walls, maybe some tables and chairs, some lounging area. On a typical Friday or Saturday night, they have live music with a pretty full crowd looking on.
Now take that setting and add a wrestling match. EVERYWHERE.
The environment of the Suburban Fight Pro show is an incredibly different thing than you have ever seen. Wrestling can be out there sometimes, but this is on the very edge. The matches begin with the competitors coming out onto the stage with fairly normal entrances: music, some pandering to the crowd, trying to get everybody excited for what’s coming next.
Next is where this promotion establishes itself; it’s like nothing else.
From here everything breaks down, the wrestlers and referee move into the crowd with about 5 enormous gentleman running “security” which is really just them creating a perimeter so the wrestlers have at least enough space to hit their moves. That’s not where it ends… the fight moves. Next thing you know you are running around this bar trying to watch the action of a bar fight. These “security” guards are simply there to make paths and keep fans from getting hit by the action. The wrestlers are all over the place tearing the house down and the fans can’t get enough. They are all sprinting around this bar fighting amongst themselves for the best vantage point.
Photo Credit: Kevin @35mm_Wrestling
There were only 4 matches at this show, and that’s understandable considering how much energy it takes to actually watch them. The first was a tag match of mainly locals with the exception of Jimmy Lloyd, the different boy. It was a great start, really introduced the crowd to what was coming as this show went on after Double or Nothing, AEW’s inaugural PPV, and many in attendance were unfamiliar with this style. The second match was just as fun with M Dogg 20/20 Matt Cross, a Cleveland wrestling legend, facing off against Chris Bey, who recently joined Impact Wrestling. This kept the crowd engaged but by the end, the novelty, you can call it, had worn off.
After this is where everything picked up. The next match on the card was Priscilla Kelly vs Orange Cassidy vs Marko Stunt. Most wrestling fans are probably familiar with Orange Cassidy, who is part of the Best Friends now in AEW, and Marko Stunt, one third of the Jurassic Express in AEW. Many people will also remember Priscilla Kelly in AEW’s Women’s Casino Battle Royale and AEW Dark. These 3 put on an amazing match. The crowd was sweaty and revved up by this point.
At one point, Priscilla Kelly even crowd surfed into a senton across the room. This was such an intimate setting. Not to mention the fact that Orange Cassidy had wrestled earlier in the day at Double or Nothing in the Casino Battle Royale.
This just goes to show, you never know where someone will end up when you are at an indie show.
This match happened in front of probably 150 people and now Orange Cassidy is one of the most over superstars on the AEW roster. Nowadays you can watch Orange and Marko on TV every week, but it’s nothing compared to being in their personal space.
Now the main event is where everything got nuts. Nick Gage vs Darby Allin. I assume most people know Darby now as he has had a few big matches in AEW but his opponent is the king of this shit, Nick Gage. Darby came out on a mission, storming through the crowd as his music hit knocking anyone in his way down. This match went all over the bar and destroyed the place including Darby climbing up some wall art into a coffin drop onto Nick Gage. Both these guys seemed to come out with something to prove and neither was going down without a fight. In the end, Nick Gage came out on top in a brutal and exciting match with the crowd following them all over this bar demanding the war.
Suburban Fight Pro is definitely one of the more unique promotions out there. Wrestling is a very special thing in that you never know what will happen. At a show like this, it is even more apparent. I went with a friend of mine who wasn’t familiar with Darby or Nick Gage at the time. He went to this with me 100% on my recommendation, and he left as the main event started and his statement to me was “Once you’ve seen one of these matches you’ve seen them all.” Now he is a huge fan of Darby Allin after watching him in AEW and regrets leaving that show while I stayed. This just goes to show that indie wrestling can produce some spectacular talents. You never know what will happen.
Follow Jon on Twitter @Badger751