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Five Midwest Stars About To Take Over Wrestling

Skye Blue, Dante Martin, Axel Rico, Gringo Loco, and Billie Starkz are extremely talented young Midwest wrestlers, and will be impact players for years to come.

Some of the biggest names in the history of professional wrestling have come out of the Midwestern states of America. Legends like Bob Backlund, Mick Foley, Brock Lesnar, and the Funk family as well as today’s megastars like CM Punk, Seth Rollins, Jon Moxley, Johnny Gargano, Ruby Soho, and many, many more hail from the region. Today, there continues to be a wealth of talent rising from the Midwest. Skye Blue, Dante Martin, Axel Rico, Gringo Loco, and Billie Starkz are extremely talented young Midwest wrestlers and will be impact players for years to come.

Skye Blue  

One of the most popular and talented young wrestlers anywhere in the world is Skye Blue. Blue’s performance at a dark match for AEW led her to her receiving a spot in the Casino Battle Royal at the All Out pay-per-view event in her hometown of Chicago. Since then, Blue has worked several AEW matches, including a contest against the legendary Serena Deeb on Dynamite. Expect Blue to continue to be a part of the rising AEW women’s division.

Blue’s infectious personality and never-give-up attitude in the ring has made her a fan-favorite in the Windy City and beyond. Skye’s signature move is an impressive-looking Code Blue, and she also boasts an impressive submission game. The young star has proven her indie mettle, going the distance with one of the most respected names on the circuit Anthony Greene. The two’s match at Black Label Pro’s return event was spectacular, and Blue showcased the star power and the technical prowess of a future mega-star. Blue is the current AAW Women’s Champion, joining the titles’ impressive lineage that includes Jessica Havok, Kimber Lee, Kris Statlander, and fellow Chicagoan Kylie Rae. At AAW: Windy City Classic XVI, Blue was able to defeat Allysin Kay to capture the title.

Skye also enjoyed long reigns as ZERO1 USA Women’s Champion and the CSW Women’s Champion. At only 22 years old, Blue has already accomplished so much and looks poised to be a key feature in both AEW and independent promotions for years to come.

Dante Martin

Already one of the biggest breakout stars in wrestling, Dante Martin is still just getting started. While many wrestlers on this list hail from Chicago, Martin comes from the Twin Cities of Saint Paul/Minneapolis, Minnesota. Though not twins, Martin and his brother Darius first gained notice as the high-flying tag team Top Flight in AEW. Darius is expected to make a recovery soon, which should lead to an interesting future for both talented fighters.

During his singles run, Dante has worked with many of the top names in AEW such as Kenny Omega, Young Bucks, MJF, Matt Sydal, and many more. Martin’s continuing feud with Team Taz has been one of the most compelling stories in AEW, and many fans have discovered their love for Dante during his feud against the top heel faction in the company. Even during his impressive television run, Dante is a major player on the independent circuit. In past events for Warrior Wrestling, Martin showcased his talents against Joey Janela and Bandido in terrific singles action. Dante also partnered with his girlfriend Skye Blue against Kylie Rae and Isaias Velazquez in a fun Warrior match. Besides Warrior, Martin recently competed against fellow high flyer Alex Zayne in a stunning exhibition of what-did-I-just-see maneuvers for Black Label Pro. Martin picked up the victory against the saucy Zayne and will return to AEW as a top-ranked single competitor looking to capture a championship in near future.

Axel Rico

Axel Rico is one of the best young Independent wrestlers around

Your mom’s favorite wrestler, Axel Rico is a name to remember. Rico made his AEW Dark debut against fellow indie star and AHFO member Jora Johl on 2-15-22. The always cool and charismatic Rico was able to entertain the crowd by rubbing Johl’s bald head and the two brawled outside the ring. Rico came up short in the match, and will hopefully have more luck in a future AEW opportunity. Inside the ring, Rico has a terrific style and is always able to get a reaction from the crowd, whether they boo or cheer. The San Juan Puerto Rico born wrestler has had excellent matches for AAW and Warrior, including a Fans Bring The Weapons Match at AAW: Hell Hath No Fury versus Skye Blue and Christi Jaynes.

Despite their hard-hitting matchups and his public rejections, Axel is a good friend of AEW’s Skye Blue and Dante Martin (it’s Instagram official). Rico frequently tags with Rico De La Vega and Chuco as the team La Sociedad Boricua in AAW. The team is one of the most popular in the promotion, frequently appearing on AAW Alive and their pay-per-view events. Axel was able to secure his first singles victory at AAW Alive XXVII, defeating Sean Logan. For many years, AAW has been the proving ground for talented young Midwest wrestlers, and Rico is no exception.

Gringo Loco

Gringo Loco Billie Starkz are two of the best independent wrestlers around

The Based God, Gringo Loco is one of the most exciting in the Midwest and beyond. Loco made a major impression on fans during the wild lucha trios match at GCW’s The Wrld On Wrestling from the Hammerstein Ballroom. The leader of Team Gringo, Loco led his partners Arez and Demonic Flamita over Bandido, Laredo Kid, and ASF in an excellent showcase of the lucha style of wrestling. Gringo has also been involved in a feud with legendary Mexican luchador Psycho Clown, including a brutal contest at GCW. Loco is becoming a mainstay of the promotion as he will host The Wrld on Lucha at GCW’s The Collective event during Wrestlemania week. Like Blue and Martin, Loco is also a mainstay of Warrior Wrestling and could be in line for a chance at either the Warrior Lucha Championship currently held by Sam Adonis or the Warrior Wrestling Championship held by Will Ospreay.

Loco’s swag is off the charts, as his variety of jaw-dropping moves set. Loco isn’t afraid to jump off of anything or onto anything/anyone. In his hometown of Chicago, Loco has had great showings in a scramble or multi-man matches, winning over the formidable package of challengers Dark Sheik, Alex Zayne, Nick Wayne, Ninja Mack, and Dante Leon. The young Wayne, who was recently offered an AEW contract from Darby Allin, Loco, and Steven Tresario, recently opened West Coast Pro Wrestling: The Art of Drowning in California with a banger. Loco is a desired performer for every promotion currently operating, showing Loco’s growing popularity all across America. Loco-mania is even growing internationally, as he was recently invited to the home of lucha, Mexico. Loco was announced as a participant in the AAA promotion. This is a dream situation for Gringo, who continues to ascend to new heights.

Billie Starkz

A young legend in the making, Billie Starkz of the Big Starkz Brand is on the way to wrestling greatness. Billie Starkz is still years away from the legal drinking age, and she is already extremely skilled and accomplished. Billie Starkz has no fear of facing an opponent, shown in her fight against the behemoth Calvin Tankman at Paradigm Pro Wrestling. Starkz will again have to rely on her toughness again against the sadistic Atticus Cogar, who is known for painfully inserting handfuls of green spikes into the head of his opponents, at an upcoming GCW match. Starkz’s willingness to take on any opponent shows the confidence that gives her such a strong connection to fans, as well as the promotion’s confidence that Billie can handle herself against more experienced opponents. One of the experienced wrestlers Starkz was able to defeat was the hardcore legend, Mickie Knuckles. This win was able to secure Starkz the Girl Fight Championship, which she still holds today.

Frequently known as “Space Jesus,” Starkz is representative of the newest generation of ultra-cool and versatile young wrestlers of today. Winning or losing, Starkz’s passion for wrestling is etched on her face each time she enters the ring. Starkz seems to always have a smile behind the mask of pain while she wrestles, and this joy creates a special connection with her dedicated fans. All five of these young talented Midwestern wrestlers have a special connection to their audience and a special future.

Make sure to check out these competitors as they come to an independent show near you! What talented young Midwest wrestlers would make your list? Comment below!

Written by Joel Kananen

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