The only wrestler on the list so good that cats ask for him by name. The Crime-Fighting Feline continued to delight this year delivering high-flying and comedy all rolled into one. Similar to Chris Jordan, Wildcat is a wrestler’s wrestler, keeping himself in great condition and able to take on all comers big and small and still keep up with the next generation coming out of The Academy. Fantastic in singles competition but a phenomenal pairing as part of the Minnesota Wrecking Zoo with Super Thunderfrog. Wrestled regularly for F1rst and AWF as well as appearances at Heavy On, MAW, and others in addition to teaming up with Thunderfrog and Air Wolf to compete in CHIKARA Pro’s King of Trios, one of the largest professional wrestling tournaments in the World.
(Photo: Effie Stop)
Although the Husky Heartthrob no longer calls Minnesota home, Kody Rice will always have a place in Minnesota’s heart. He didn’t have quite the success or exposure to fans as last year’s dominant performance but punched quite a time card before moving to IL mid-year. Rice main-evented Heavy On Wrestling’s “No Love Lost” event as well as competing for a qualifying spot for their new Heritage Championship at FortuneBaynia. He remains a staple on both the Pro Wrestling Battleground and F1RST Wrestling rosters where he regularly delivers match-of-the-night-type performances both as a tag team and singles competitor. We wish the Hardcore Heartthrob the best as he takes the next steps into and out of the ring and anticipate that he finds himself atop taller and taller ladders (hopefully figuratively).
(Photo: Knocked Out Entertainment)
One of the most impressive natural athletes we’ve seen come out of The Academy, Brandon Gore has caught the attention of promoters throughout the state and nationwide. In fact, he found himself doing work as an extra for both WWE and NXT in 2018. He had a run with Showtime’s Future Clash Championship and won the Steel Domain Tag Team Championships with Aaron Corbin rounding out a solid second year in the ring. Although he doesn’t always seem to be as visible as some of the flashier Academy graduates, given his intense in-ring work and ever-improving character, he should get plenty of opportunities in the coming year.
(Photo: Knocked Out Entertainment)
*Record Scratch* I bet you’re wondering how he got up there. Would you believe us if we told you he jumped flat-footed from the mat? Let your brain noodle that for a second. Following his brother Air Wolf through The Academy, Angel Dorado may have graduated from their School of Professional Wrestling, but he’s still waking up to see the bus fly by as he’s still in High School. Despite his age, Dorado is already doing things in the ring that no one else can. His innovative offense will leave you rewinding the clip on YouTube or just letting the .gif roll over and over while your brain tries to catch up. Angel Dorado is an rare athlete with an incredible ceiling and we wouldn’t be surprised if Angel Dorado flies into the Top 10 in 2019. Dear Mama AngelWolf, whatever you’re feeding your sons? It’s working.
(Photo: Indulging Disorderly)
With two decades of professional wrestling under his belt, Mitch Paradise remains one of the most polished wrestlers in Minnesota. In his 20th year, he worked regularly across the State in Steel Domain Wrestling, Minnesota Independent Wrestling, Midwest All-Star Wrestling, French Lake Wrestling Association and main-evented the final Prime Time Wrestling show in January. Paradise defeated Lance Hoyt at Heavy On Wrestling’s FortuneBaynia in July bringing their lengthy feud to a presumed close. What awaits Mitch in 2019? Hopefully more hoss fights and helping the next wave of great big men develop their craft and learn from one of the most trusted in-ring performers and best big men in the history of Minnesota.
(Photo: Keith King)