The amount of professional wrestling available at the click of a button these days is staggering. Dozens of independent and foreign (to me) companies have streaming services or streaming partnerships and that number just seems to be growing by the day. When I decided to start writing about wrestling, I figured my main focus would be on NJPW as that was the main company I followed outside of WWE’s NXT brand. There were always other companies on the borders of my interest that I would check out every now and then but nothing that I followed regularly. I didn’t expect that, when I started getting heavily into NJPW again with the lead up to Dominion, that it would reignite a love for wrestling that had really started to fizzle out. It was the spark that made me want to dig in deeper to other companies to broaden my horizons even more and the catalyst for fully moving on from WWE. Consider this a primer on pro wrestling streaming services but know that it isn’t an exhaustive list. I’m going to talk about the ones I am currently subscribed to and why they interest me, and I’ll probably mention some others along the way.

WWE Network

To start things off, though, I’ll make mention that today I officially canceled my subscription to the WWE Network. I haven’t watched Raw or Smackdown in months and the last main roster PPV I watched was Wrestlemania (I think? I can’t even remember at this point which can’t be a good sign). I caught matches here and there as I heard about them but, for the most part, I was off of the main brands entirely. This all sort of sunk in when I realized I didn’t bother to watch any part of Extreme Rules because nothing on the show interested me enough to take the time to watch. Even with names like AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Daniel Bryan, and Samoa Joe on Smackdown the show began to feel more like work than fun each week. The only place I’ve actually found enjoyment with WWE programming is NXT and the various offshoots it creates – NXT UK, the UK Title Tournament, the Mae Young Classic, and the Cruiserweight Classic. Fortunately, the weekly NXT shows and NXT Takeover events find their way to Hulu. And since the WWE Network desperately tries to get former customers back by offering a free month, I’ll take advantage of that offer to watch this year’s MYC before signing off once again.

The WWE Network is still an incredible deal for the money if you have an interest in the current product or even want to go back and watch classic shows and matches. For me, I’m just not there right now and my ten dollars can be better served on another service where my interest will be piqued week-to-week and month-to-month. I’m sure at some point I’ll find my way back to the WWE Network, but with gaffes like the century-long Roman Reigns/Brock Lesnar feud and welcoming the unapologetic racist Hulk Hogan back into the fold I don’t know when that will actually be. They’ve got some ground to cover before I’m going to become a believer in the product again.

I think it’s worth noting how much the WWE really, really doesn’t want you to cancel your subscription. I had to get through three different screens asking me to reconsider before I could actually end things. To add to that, they tried to convince me to reconsider with this sweet little number:

WWE Network call to action trying to convince users not to cancel

Not only that, but when you actually do get to mash that big “Cancel” button it’s not actually a big button at all. It’s just some plain text below a “Keep Subscription Active” button that I actually missed when I was first scrolling down the page. No doubt this is to confuse users into missing the thing completely as they instinctively click on the first button they see at the bottom of the page:

WWE Network cancelation screen

With that out of the way, let’s talk about the places I am spending my money to watch wrestling and why!

NJPW World

NJPW World is a no-brainer. It’s obvious that 90% of the content on the site so far comes from New Japan Pro Wrestling as I’m writing along with the G1 Climax 28 tournament. NJPW comes in at the very affordable price of 999 yen which, today, converts to $8.93 US a month. They really got in on that 999 craze the WWE Network started. They offer not only a huge archive of classic NJPW shows and matches but also live streams of major and minor shows with house shows thrown into the mix here and there. I believe the G1 this year is the first time they’re offering English commentary on every single show, so if you’re into that they’ve got you covered. I tend to watch with the Japanese commentary because their excitement is incredibly infectious despite not knowing what they’re actually saying at any given moment. The English commentary generally features Kevin Kelly and one other – sometimes Don Callis, sometimes current wrestlers on the roster like Rocky Romero and Chase Owens.

NJPW World also offers documentaries and interviews (some with English subtitles) as well as post-match interviews for each show. The latter is also available on their YouTube channel. NJPW has a handful of other companies with whom they partner and some of those companies’ shows featuring New Japan talent will also make it to the service including Ring of Honor, Revolution Pro Wrestling, CMLL. Finally, NJPW has its own developmental system and promotes their shows under the Lion’s Gate banner. These make it to NJPW World so you can have a chance to see up-and-coming talent before they make their big breaks in New Japan.

Cost: 999 yen/roughly $9 USD
Billing: 1st of the month – so if you sign up on July 31, be prepared to be charged for the month of July and then the month of August the next day.
Apps: iOS app that basically works as a Chromecast device for their website and an Amazon Fire app; I use the latter and it’s been great for me

If you’re a lover of independent wrestling or just want to see what else is out there, has you covered in every conceivable way possible. I don’t say that lightly or with hyperbole or anything like that – they offer content from nearly 40 different companies and it’s enough to make your head spin. It can be pretty overwhelming at first and I think that’s one of the reasons I never dove too deeply into it before. As I was considering all of my streaming choices last week, though, I got an email from them promoting Beyond Wrestling Americanrana ’18 featuring Joey Janela and David Starr in a no-ropes barbed wire match. There were a few other matches on the card with names I’d seen wrestle before, others with names I’d recognized but hadn’t actually seen, and names who were completely new to me. They offer a free one-week trial (or you can bump that up to two weeks with promo code FREELANCE which, as of this writing, worked) so if you know of a promotion streaming content on their service there’s really no reason to not give it a shot.

I nestled in to watch Americanrana live on Sunday night and recoiled in horror as Janela and Starr tore each other apart in a barbed wire match. I think it had been at least 15 years since I’d last watched a barbed wire match and this was just as gruesome and brutal as the ones I remember from ECW. Once the show was done, and over the course of the next couple of days, I watched shows from Women’s Wrestling Revolution, Black Label Pro Wrestling, NOVA Pro Wrestling, and Westside Xtreme Wrestling – and all without paying a cent, yet, as I’m still under a free trial. I think you’ll find enough to get yourself hooked if you give them a shot.

Cost: $10
Billing: By date of registration
Apps: Apple TV app and a Roku beta app – the Roku app can be spotty at times but, hey, it’s a beta. Cut it some slack.


This is a brand spanking new one for me. There is a rich history of insane women’s wrestling from Japan and I’ve watched matches here and there but never followed a company the way I follow something like NJPW. This is going to change for me on August 1 when I mash the “subscribe” button on Stardom World. Stardom is the top women’s wrestling promotion in Japan and perhaps the top women’s promotion in the world. Most of those names I’m unfamiliar with, but Io Shirai will soon be making her mark in NXT after having left Stardom. Toni Storm recently ended a 258-day reign as the World of Stardom Champion and Viper (Piper Niven in last year’s Mae Young Classic) is the current SWA World Champion. I just got my first taste of Stardom by watching Kagetsu wrestle Mayu Iwatani for the Wonder of Stardom Championship in a match that made me regret not signing up for this service much, much sooner. Plus, this thing is just $7 a month and I can sure think of a lot of stupider things I could spend $7 a month on than some of the best women’s wrestling on the planet. Stardom doesn’t offer live streaming of events, but when it does upload shows they come with English subtitles so all of us westerners can follow along.

As August rolls around Stardom will kick off their annual 5 Star Grand Prix (5*GP) tournament which follows a similar format to NJPW’s annual G1 tournament. The tournament is made up of two brackets of eight women who will wrestle under round robin rules with the winners of each bracket going head-to-head to become the winner of the Grand Prix and earn a shot at the World of Stardom Championship. As I understand it (like I said, I’m new to Stardom) the bracket matches are wrestled with 10-minute time limits which will make things a bit easier to digest for those on a time crunch as compared to the G1. Stardom has released the brackets for the tournament which are as follows:

Blue Stars Block

  • Mayu Iwatani
  • Saki Kashima
  • Momo Watanabe
  • Hazuki
  • Natsu Sumire
  • Kelly Klein
  • Nicole Savoy
  • Jamie Hayter

Red Stars Block

  • Kagetsu
  • Jungle Kyona
  • Tam Nakano
  • Konami
  • Natsuko Tora
  • Rachael Ellering
  • Kimber Lee
  • To Be Announced

The tournament runs from August 18 to September 30 with the dates and times listed here:

Cost: 750 yen/roughly $7 USD
Billing: 1st of the month – so if you sign up on July 31, be prepared to be charged for the month of July and then the month of August the next day.
Apps: No app support at the moment, though if you’re using Amazon Fire you can use Silk or Firefox to login and watch


I’ve written about Major League Wrestling here before but it deserves a mention here as well for being one of the major indies that drew my love of pro wrestling back out of me. I remember following MLW in its first incarnation in the early 2000s. They gave me my first glimpses of Satoshi Kojima as he held the MLW Heavyweight Title for nearly 300 days and brought feuds like CM Punk vs Raven to another audience outside of Ring of Honor. MLW served to fill the void that was still left for me after ECW folded and even featured the voice of ECW, Joey Styles, on commentary. A year ago, in July 2017, MLW announced that it would begin running shows again and it’s been off to the races ever since.

Current-day MLW still offers the same hard-hitting fusion of styles that the original MLW offered. You’ll see mat wrestling, high-flying, and extreme matches peppered throughout their show as well as some unique stipulation matches like the recent Battle Riot and their upcoming version of War Games. If you’re lucky enough to have beIN Sports US available to you on whatever service you use to get cable, you can watch MLW every Friday night. If not? They’re also kind enough to upload every episode of MLW Fusion to YouTube every weekend. You’ll find a mix of names you’ve probably already heard of (Shane Strickland, Low Ki, MJF, Jimmy Havoc, Pentagon, Fenix) and maybe some new ones (Fred Yehi, Tom Lawlor, Jimmy/Wheeler Yuta) along the way. For me, the names in the latter half of that group were ones that I had seen come up online but had never actually seen wrestle until I started watching MLW.

If you’re looking for an hour to fill a wrestling-sized void in your heart and schedule each week, MLW Fusion is a no-brainer. It’s free and it’s on YouTube so it’s basically available everywhere.

Cost: Free
Billing: None!
AppsIt’s YouTube, c’mon

On The Cusp

There are a few services out there that I haven’t pulled the trigger on just yet but that I definitely have my eyes on. At the moment I think I’ll stick with what I have and see how well I manage my time/life with the services mentioned above before I add something new to my plate. Nonetheless, I wanted to mention them.

Sendai Girls

Sendai Girls’ Pro Wrestling is another Japanese women’s wrestling league and is just getting into the streaming game. They don’t have as much content stored up as Stardom; they were founded in 2005 but just entered the streaming world within the last few months. As of this post they currently have three videos up on their service with one free to watch right now. Of note on the Stardom roster is Sendai Girls’ founder Meiko Satomura who will be featured in the 2018 Mae Young Classic. I thought Sendai Girls was also in the $10 bracket so I was holding off on subscribing, but I just saw that it’s only $5.99 so… like… why wouldn’t I? I may still wait until the library is a bit more fleshed out, though.

Cost: $5.99
Billing: By date of registration
Apps: Sendai Girls runs through Pivotshare which notes that it can be viewed on iOS devices, Apple TV, and via Chromecast


PROGRESS is a UK-based league formed in 2012. If you haven’t heard of PROGRESS then I’m going to assume you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years. They put together some huge shows featuring ridiculous indie dream matches like Walter/Matt Riddle and Zack Sabre Jr/Kassius Ohno (Chris Hero) as well as NXT/NXT UK talent and defenses of the WWE UK Title. PROGRESS is about to embark on a US tour so if you’re in Philadelphia, Boston, New York City, Chicago, Detroit, or Seattle don’t pass up the chance to check them out. They’ll be touring with World Champion Travis Banks, Women’s Champion Jinny, Tag Team Champions Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake and Zack Gibson), Pete Dunne, Moustache Mountain, Flash Morgan Webster, Jimmy Havoc, Mark Andrews and more.

Cost: $7.99
Billing: By date of registration
Apps: PROGRESS runs through Pivotshare which notes that it can be viewed on iOS devices, Apple TV, and via Chromecast

There’s truly no reason to get stuck with or to pay for bad wrestling in the current landscape – not to mention all of the indie wrestling you may have at your fingertips in your area! If you’re like me and found yourself being drained by pro wrestling because you were trying to find ways to love WWE programming again, don’t give up hope. I mean, yes – give up hope on WWE doing something interesting or good with their main rosters but don’t give up on pro wrestling as a whole. If you scratch even the slightest bit under the surface you’re going to find what you’re looking for and find your passion reignited.

Who do you stream with right now? Leave a comment and let me know who didn’t make the list that I should consider checking out!

(Quick footnote: the images used in the featured image of this post were two of the first images that came up when Google searching “bad wrestling”.)