Game Changer Wrestling announced last week that they would be launching an “Indie Wrestling Hall Of Fame” in collaboration with the Orange Crush brand. Three inductees have already been announced: Jerry Lynn, Homicide, and Ruckus.
These are three very good nominees to start things off, and I only expect the class to get better from here on out. Here are some independent wrestling legends that I expect to see nominated this year, if not in the near future.
Although he hasn’t wrestled since his WWE release in 2020, Chris Hero would still be a meaningful signing for nearly any promotion in the world. His influence on independent wrestling is still felt throughout many wrestling styles and wrestlers in today’s day and age. There’s no doubt that Hero’s work in promotions like IWA Mid South, Ring Of Honor, CZW, PWG, and NOAH earn him an instant entry into the new Hall Of Fame. In my eyes, he’s a “first ballot” type prospect alongside the likes of a Homicide or Jerry Lynn, or people who’ve already been nominated.
Richards seems to fly under the radar when most talk about historic independent wrestlers, but I most certainly believe he has the resume to be featured in the Indie Wrestling Hall Of Fame.
Richards was an important part of Ring Of Honor during an important stretch of time for the company in 2006 all the way through 2013. He, like Hero, has some of the greatest matches that have stood the test of time, even through the high work rate era we’re currently in. Even after taking a small break from wrestling in 2018, Richards has come back in 2021 and began yet another fantastic run around the independent scene.
When it comes to longevity, Sabu could be considered the greatest independent wrestler of all time. The 36-year in ring veteran has competed in so many promotions throughout his career that it’s hard to even keep count.
Sabu was also an integral part in the massive uprising of ECW in the late nineties, which was most definitely the hottest independent wrestling company in the world at the time. Sabu’s case might not because of his influence or in-ring work, but because of his longevity and classic feuds with the likes of Rob Van Dam and Taz.
Although I’m not sure if Danielson would be in favor of this induction or not, he’s undoubtedly a first ballot candidate for the Indie Wrestling Hall Of Fame.
I can say without much doubt that Danielson is the greatest independent wrestler to ever live. His work in ROH, Noah, Dragon Gate and PWG still is a joy to watch and still holds up as some of the best work of all time by anybody.
Even when Danielson ventured to WWE, he still tried to put a heavy emphasis on his in-ring work and didn’t let that system water him down too much, to an extent that he was able to pick up more of a vicious style as soon as he left the company and became a part of AEW.