By: B.P. Burke
“All Fight, No Flight.”
Primal Fear’s signature war cry is more than a simple catch phrase. It’s a motto that the group, along with their manager, Delilah, embody every single time they step through the curtain.
The trio of Adrien Soriano, Gabriel Hodder, and Matthew Omen burst onto the scene in late 2021, racking up wins in six-man tags against teams that included some of the very best PPW has ever offered. The talent defeated in those early appearances ranged from the most decorated team in PPW History, South Philly’s Finest, to former PPW Heavyweight Champions like Afa Jr. and Sam Adams, to Noah Kekoa, who made a name for himself in the WWE developmental system.
A win over SPF and Adams earned Primal Fear a tag team title shot, with Hodder and Omen representing the group at PPW Reborn, but the young upstarts fell short in an effort against their more experienced opponents. The pair was impressive enough in defeat to earn a rematch in a three way, but the new team introduced into the mix, Championship Material, emerged with a win (and the tag team titles) at April’s Super Show III.
The new champions - Joey Martinez and Vinny Mac, guided along the way by Mr. Ruda - emerged as a dominant force in the tag division for most of 2022, finding themselves embroiled in a feud with the makeshift team of Tom Mitchell and Johnny Moran. Meanwhile, Primal Fear came up short in 6-Man action against South Philly’s Finest and their super-sized partner, “American Muscle” Alec Odin. This was followed by Hodder & Omen being one of the teams steamrolled by Championship Material in a gauntlet match at Anniversary IX.
With the losses racking up, Primal Fear found themselves at a crossroads. Sticking true to their credo, they fought.
Perhaps bolstered by an appearance in All Elite Wrestling, a reinvigorated Primal Fear came back with a vengeance at Eyes Wide Open this past October. Adrien Soriano realized his sky-high potential by ending Andy Header’s second reign as PPW TV Champion. Later that night, Hodder & Omen finally got the better of South Philly’s Finest as well as the up-and-coming tandems of Primetime Heat and Nolan Pierce & Trevor Kage to earn top contender status in the tag division.
Even with the ever more dysfunctional unit of Moran and Mitchell added into the mix, Hodder & Omen kept their eyes on the prize at PPW Thunderstruck, securing tag team titles after a yearlong chase. Soriano’s hard-fought victory earlier that night over an incredibly game Griffin McCoy guaranteed that all three members of Primal Fear would leave Thunderstruck with gold.
And we now know that they’ll end 2022 as champions.
But 2023 is right around the corner, and so is PPW All Night Long. The new leadership team of Joe Davis and Mr. Ruda is certainly taking all contenders into consideration. Championship Material certainly has close, close ties to Ruda, and it’s hard to think of a team more deserving of a tag title shot than the former champs. Johnny Moran, so instrumental in helping Davis and Ruda secure their power, is the longest reigning TV champion in PPW history and almost certainly has his eyes on a second reign, though his former partner Tom Mitchell will likely do everything in his power to stop that from happening. Impressive up-and-comers Primetime Heat were also helpful in securing the win for Ruda and JD and could be towards the front of the line for PPW Tag Team Championship contention as well.
And then there’s always PPW’s well-earned reputation for bringing in the best and brightest on the wrestling scene, as seen by the recent arrival of talent like Steven Fuerte and Raheem Royal, who could both have their eyes on Soriano’s TV gold. Surely Andy Header, one of only three 2-time TV champions in PPW History, would leap at an opportunity to avenge a devastating loss and become the first-ever three-time TV champ.
No matter the challenger or challengers, one thing is for sure: Primal Fear will not fly away in the face of adversity.