By B.P. Burke
In case you missed it, PPW Heavyweight Champion The Mecca marked our maiden voyage at the Slatington Expo Center with a bombshell announcement: he was laying out an open challenge to anyone who dared try to take his championship from him. Griffin McCoy was the first to seize the opportunity, and he came up short due in no small part to a well-time Mecca kick below the belt.
The question on PPW Nation’s mind is a simple one: who will be the next star to take a run at the man at the top of the mountain.
Here are a few people to watch out for when The Mecca calls out his next opponent:
The 6’5” 300-pound self-professed wrestling god is no stranger to walking into PPW with gold strapped around his waist, but the gold in question was the Impact Wrestling World Heavyweight Title. While he has seen success in the PPW ring, the former NFL defensive lineman has yet to represent the PPW Nation as a champion. Could that change by answering The Mecca’s call?
9. Breaux Keller
It’d be irresponsible to mention Moose without mentioning his opponent on April 7th at Glory Days. Any listing of the greatest PPW Heavyweight Champions in history is complete without the man who held the gold for nearly a year between 2021 and 2022. Don’t forget: that historic title reign ended at the hands of The Mecca, and Keller has never truly gotten his revenge on the now two-time champion
8. Tom Mitchell
Still in his rookie year, it may seem too soon for Tom Mitchell to challenge for the PPW Heavyweight Title, but upsets in pro wrestling are plentiful, and stranger things have happened than this potential shocker. Mitchell would be an underdog in a challenge against The Mecca for sure, but the popular young star has never been one to shy away from a fight and is undoubtedly destined to get better with time. The only thing potentially holding the broadcaster turned competitor back? A bitter rivalry that only intensified when The Dark Horse’s music provided the distraction that cost Mitchell his shot at the Golden Ticket.
7. Samuray Del Sol
The former WWE United States champion made his mark in PPW in a big, big way with a hotly contested win over the Neon Ninja, Facade. While he’s more of a globetrotter than a regular presence in PPW at this point, many national stars that pay a visit to PPW can’t wait to come back, and the talented luchador may be thinking big if he makes a return trip.
6. Brian Kendrick
It’s recently been announced that the former WWE Tag Team and Cruiserweight champion will be making his PPW Return at Glory Days on April 7th in a hotly anticipated contest with Facade. While the Neon Ninja has to be paramount in Kendrick’s mind, if he can add a victory over one of PPW’s best, making a run at the heavyweight title is the next logical step.
5 & 4. Joey Martinez & Vinny Mac
At Locked and Loaded, Championship Material came up a bit short in their bid to regain the PPW tag team titles for a third time, and it stands to reason that they may find the prospect of singles gold more alluring at this point. Martinez made it all the way to the finals of the PPW Heavyweight Title tournament back in 2021, and Vinny Mac has demonstrated himself to be just as capable as his partner. Could gold of a different kind be in one of their futures?
3. Clutch Adams
You may be thinking, “Isn’t Clutch already vying for the Golden Ticket?” Yes, he is, but Clutch Adams is nothing if not cunning and resourceful, and he knows that the only thing better than a shot at the PPW Heavyweight Title is TWO shots at the PPW Heavyweight Title. A two-for-one chance at the gold could be the key for the man who still makes a claim to being the rightful champion to become the undisputed title-holder once more.
2. Matt Cardona
The prolific Long Islander hasn’t made his way to PPW yet, but he’s been barnstorming across the country since leaving WWE, and a trip to Slatington, PA doesn’t seem too far out of the realm of possibility. He has recently been strongly linked to Steph de Lander, and the Powerhouse Predator will be attendance at Glory Days. Is she coming to do reconnaissance work for her new business associate?
Did you know that Ichiban means “number one” in Japanese? And the high-flyer of the same name, who has wowed crowds in and around Boston and New York City, could establish himself as the number one wrestler in PPW if he answers The Mecca’s open challenge and claims the heavyweight title as his own. The masked man has competed against some of PPW’s best in the past, including Raheem Royal, Encore, and Mantequilla. He even has a victory over former AEW Tag Team Champion Platinum Max Caster. All that being said, winning PPW gold would be the Number One win of his career.
Love him or hate him - for most, it’s the latter - it can’t be denied that The Mecca is going to hold on to his title with every fiber of his being. After his first run as champion ending almost as soon as it began,he’s assuredly anticipating a long reign, and he has the talent and cunning to pull it off.
Don’t be surprised if one or more of these ten competitors wind up accepting that open challenge before The Mecca’s reign comes to an end.