ESQ had a formidable year entering the scene after becoming one of the second class of graduates to go through The Academy: School of Wrestling. Debuting and joining The Firm, he acted as both legal counsel and lawful muscle throughout their dominant year in Showtime Championship Wrestling. He quickly became one of the more impressive legitimate big men in Minnesota. Hopefully, rumors of his demise are greatly exaggerated and we see this counselor back before the wrestle jury making cases in the future.


“’The Face of Greatness’ was all over the place in 2018, working in MAW, Crushed, AWF, UPWA and more working regularly in Wisconsin and spreading his message for a “Brighter Future in Wrestling.” Jacobs also had a memorable performance in his debate against Ricky Noren at The Renaissance Review in October.”
(Photo: Effie Stop)


New year, whose mans? It was a tough year for James Tapia. After starting out like a house of fire wrestling for Showtime, Steel Domain, Battleground, and F1rst as well as travelling and beginning to generate buzz, he was one of many on our list that was laid low by injury. Despite this, the body of his work and promise for the future buoyed him with voters who expressed interest to see this lucha vaquero get back on the bull in 2019.


“The King of Throwdown” wasn’t quite as active in 2018 as he has been in recent years, but Venom made the best of his limited appearances by regaining his Pro Wrestling Battleground championship when he defeated Super Thunderfrog in May before dropping the title to Scott Story a few months later. Venom also appeared in F1RST Wrestling once again, proving that he’s still a trusted hand in one of the state’s top promotions.
(Photo: Knocked Out Entertainment)

50 Aiden Wake (6).png

The Queen Bee made sure her sting was felt throughout 2018 in Minnesota. Coming north from Iowa, she made appearances in multiple promotions including Showtime, F1rst, and MAW where she successfully defended her IPW Championship against Kara Noia in their GrandSlam event with Women of Nations. With more and more promotions getting on board with featuring women on their roster, voters looked forward to seeing more of Brooke Valentine in the coming year.
(Photo: Effie Stop)

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