Now that we have reached the start of 2020 it’s time to take a look at the wrestlers who look certain to break out and make stars of themselves this year.
There are so many to pick as 2020 has a whole host of names who could make this year their own. From hard-hitting strikers to entertaining acts to gifted high fliers; the men and women of British Wrestling are showing that the scene is indeed alive and well.
The first honourable mention is someone who’s been around for a few years and wrestled in the Progress Pre-Show match a number of times now. Josef Kafka is an eccentric heel who’s managed to stand out with his unique entrance and his stand out in-ring work. By working closely with Pro Wrestling Soul he has managed to create talking points such as the Kafka Cup with matches full of Josef’s wackiness. If given the chances he deserves and given time on a microphone, 2020 could be a huge year for Kafka.
JJ Gale is a current RevPro contender who is still working on making a name for himself and has so far only made a few appearances on RevPro shows. Appearance-wise JJ is different from the rest of the contenders’ division by being smaller and less physical. He also wrestles a different style by using more of a fast-paced aerial style. With these combinations, he is starting to stand out from the division and could be the next big name cruiserweight to come out of BritWres. As he has so far only had limited appearances, he still has a long way to go but if his matches against Rob Lias and Hikuleo are to go by, he is looking like a real standout of the contenders’ division.
Man Like Dereiss has made a name for himself teaming alongside Dan Maloney in ATTACK Wrestling as the team “The 0121” and even spent the majority of 2019 as the ATTACK Tag Champions. In 2019 Dereiss also managed to make his debut on NXTUK in a losing effort against Eddie Dennis. He has managed to stand out with his stand out character work and top-level in-ring work. If Dereiss can continue his momentum from 2019 then he is sure to have a brilliant 2020.
The Young Guns are two wrestlers by the name of Ethan Allen and Luke Jacobs who have come through the Futureshock system in Northern England and after wrestling, since 2018 looks set for a huge year in British wrestling. They are a young tag team who have already managed to show that they have amazing chemistry when teaming with each other and are able to put on top-level matches against each other.
In 2019 they managed to pick up the Futureshock Wrestling Tag Championship by beating former NXTUK tag team champions, Grizzled Young Veterans, and doing so received a huge rub that made a lot of promotions stand up and take notice. November 2019 ended up being a huge year for Ethan and Luke as they firstly made their debuts for Progress Wrestling when they face the team of Pretty Deadly in Manchester. Just a week later he wrestled on Tetsujins last ever show and had a match that alot of people considered the match of the night. 2020 has started with the Young Guns being announced to wrestle at Ambition during the WxW 16 Carat tournament in Germany and to make their debuts for Fight Club Pro in Wolverhampton.
The tag team look set to quickly become a top card tag team around the UK who by the end of 2020 will almost certainly be champions in multiple promotions.
In recent years Ireland’s wrestling scene has produced top-level stars such as Finn Balor, Becky Lynch, Jordan Devlin, Session Moth Martina and Scotty Davis. The latest product of the scene is ‘The Technician’ Michael May.
Wrestling since 2013, Michael has been under the learning tree of wrestlers such as Johnny Moss, Phil Boyd, Marty Jones and Ikuto Hidaka whilst being a part of the Pro-Wrestling ZERO1 Dojo. With such a wealth of experience’s behind him, Michael has built a technical style which has helped him stand out put on matches that have helped him get bookings around the UK.
After making a name for himself wrestling for OTT, Michael May has gone on to wrestle for companies around Europe such as ICW, Breed, ASW, FightClub Pro and most impressively wrestling multiple matches for NXTUK. His stand out moment from 2019 however was when he wrestled against Jonathan Gresham for Fight Factory Pro Wrestling in Ireland. After the match was uploaded to YouTube for FREE a mass audience got to see a technical masterclass between the two which also lead to May receiving bookings for companies such as TETSUJIN amongst others.
With such a great 2019 it looks almost impossible that Michael May won’t rise up and receive main event bookings as he looks to stand out in 2020.
The only female in this list is Skye Smitson. Skye is someone who slowly built a name for herself working along the south coast for companies such as UPW and BEW but in 2019 she finally started to establish herself as a standout female talent.
Thought out 2019 Skye managed to debut for new companies and wrestled more matches then she did in any other year of her career. In November Smitson took part in a tour for German company WxW. She spent a month touring Germany wrestling top names such as Little Miss Roxxy and Killer Kelly. In BEW she became the wrestler who would get the top matches against imports in matches against wrestlers such as KC Spinelli and Priscella Kelly. 2020 has already started off well for Skye as she wrestled top EVE talent Rhia O’Reilly and has become a part of the top heel stable in the company.
If Skye can continue the momentum that she has built in 2019 and continue to grow on her already impressive move-set then 2020 is sure to be the year of Smitson as she will continue to debut for new companies and have exciting matches.
Another tag team make the list as the Welsh duo of Greedy Souls, Brendan White and Danny Jones are looking set to take 2020 by storm. Whilst both wrestlers were having great 2019s, in June they decided to take their friendship further and become a tag team that would give them an increased chance of bookings, enter Greedy Souls. A team of two guys with a badass attitude and the wrestling skills to back it up.
Brendan White had a top-level 2019 full of stand out matches and debuts for new promotions. He managed to join the contenders’ division for Revolution Pro and became a regular on their shows. He was also a regular for promotions such as ATTACK Wrestling, GOOD Wrestling, Pro Evolution Wrestling, and REACH. With these appearances, he was able to establish himself as a British workhorse and a powerhouse who could be relied upon to but on matches that would always stand out.
Danny Jones’s 2019 was also filled with top card matches and major debuts. Whilst Danny Jones continued being a regular for promotions such as Dragon Pro and ATTACK Wrestling he also managed to debut for two major wrestling companies. In September he made an appearance for NXTUK when he teamed with Beano in a losing effort against Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel. Then in November he wrestled for Ring Of Honor in a losing effort when challenging for the ROH World Television Title against Shane Taylor in Newport, Wales.
2020 has already started off big for Danny Jones as he is currently on his second tour of Japan with AJPW. As a tag team or as single competitors both of the Greedy Souls look to be set to become popular names in the British scene and are very deserving of the title one to watch in 2020.
The final name on this list and by far the youngest. At just 18, Joe Nelson is a wrestler that BritWres can be built upon. He has been wrestling for a few years now and built a cult following upon fans who have seen him live and believe in his potential.
Through out 2019 Joe Nelson has been trying to get himself noticed whilst still learning from top names in BritWres. In IPW he became a member of the Anti-Fun Police which helped him learn from Chief Deputy Dunne. In ATTACK he joined Fraser Thomas and Rufio becoming a Lost Boy. All whilst still picking up singles wins and belts like the Breed Pro New Breed Title. Those who have seen him wrestle or wrestled alongside him have praised how much potential he has to become a big name in the BritWres scene.
2020 has already been a big year for Joe as Kid Lykos himself showed how much faith he has in the potential of Joe Nelson bestowing him with the name and mask of Kid Lykos II. With the original Kid Lykos and continuing the name of CCK, Nelson looks set to pick up a lot of bookings throughout 2020 where his in ring work is sure to continue the legacy of Kid Lykos and will help propel him to the top of most wrestling cards.
It is looking likely that 2020 is set to be a big year with Progress taking a new direction, if the recent shows are to go by, and with a recent influx of new promotions cropping up the names listed in this article will be set to shine throughout the year alongside a large amount of top level names already appearing around the UK & Ireland. This is just another sign that BritWres is not dead and looks set to have a very bright future.
If any of these names are new to you make sure to check out Youtube for any available matches and follow their social media so that you can stay up to date as their name grows throughout the year.
You can find the author of this article on Instagram @ThisIsLeggett. Thanks for reading!