You know you’re in for a treat anytime you see Aiden Wake on a card. One of the funniest performers in the state, Wake finds unique ways to humiliate himself at nearly every show while still coming across as a legitimate test to his opponents. Recent investments into his craft have been paying off as Wake’s work at The Academy has helped reinvigorate his in-ring skill while maintaining the fun persona that we love him for. The comedy work is brilliant but it’s also true that Wake is turning in some of the best pure in-ring work of his career to close out 2018 and it’ll be exciting to see what level “The Star Breaker” can ascend to in 2019.
(Photo: Effie Stop)


A year-plus-long story is almost unheard of in today’s world of instant gratification, especially in the world of independent wrestling, but Wild Pete and Leonard Literacy made it work and capped off their feud with an incredible “three levels of hate” main event match for MAW in November. “The Artist Formerly Known as Wild Pete” would be the first to tell you that he’s not the most technical in-ring performer, but he does bring a fun, energetic persona and a willingness to do just about anything in his matches.  (Photo: Effie Stop)


While this may feel like a big fall this year, Josh Price had one of his best years in wrestling… just not all in Minnesota. Working far more for the now defunct Fully Loaded Wrestling, he captured the KO and Tag Team belts with Scott Story and Rylie Jackson and much like last year, displayed an Arn Anderson-esque role in The Uprising stable. He also wrestled regularly to success with WGW and MIW, the later of which provided one of his most entertaining matches of the year in a (literal) Street Fight against long time rival and former tag team partner Orin Veidt.
(Photo: Jeremy Chura)


What can you say about a man whose power comes from a can? In Popeye-esque fashion 300 goes from mildly angry brawler to insane wrestling madman. He’s found success in F1rst shows as they continue to expand out from First Avenue in places like the Uptown VFW and the Zombie Pub Crawl. A friend to Fulton fans everywhere, his exuberance started to shift into a meaner streak as the year wore on. Although, that hasn’t stopped fans from flocking to non-wrestling get togethers to have Chaos smash beer cans on his indestructible skull or indulge in a tall boy with him yet.
(Photo: Knocked Out Entertainment)


Very few women in the professional wrestling scene cause more fear to her opponents than does Stacy Shadows. Her terrifying masks and punishing in-ring style is truly something to behold and we got to see a good bit of her here in Minnesota in 2018. Shadows held the SDW Women’s Championship early in the year, helping to resurrect that title and the women’s wrestling scene as a whole here in Minnesota. Shadows eventually dropped the title to Malia Hosaka, and while she didn’t gain any ground in this year’s 50, in a crowded pool she held stead and her presence was certainly felt this year on this side of the river from her home state of Wisconsin.
(Photo: Effie Stop)

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