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Some Indie Talent Showcases I plan weeks in advance. Other times I see one match and immediately start writing. This is one of those weeks, and you can probably guess what that match is as we take a look at Colby Corino.

Colby Corino is the son of legendary wrestler Steve Corino, and nephew of the great Allison Danger. At only twenty five, Colby has already created an amazing list of matches and truly cemented his own legacy. His time as part of the Ugly Ducklings has given us a memorable hero, and his time elsewhere has given us a nefarious heel. As with many legacy wrestlers, Corino's career is a lot longer than you'd expect, but he is truly just coming into his own. Half the matches on this list are from this year, but he's certainly been putting on good matches for some time now. The first match for Colby according to Cagematch is a tag team match with his dad...from 2001. Five year old Colby was the mystery tag partner of Steve, and the rest is history.

colby 2

Colby's career began in earnest in 2009, and by 2010 he was already holding gold. He won the tag titles in Premier Wrestling Federation with his father, but that was just his first tag partner. Under his American Tiger persona, Colby won the belts with Andrew Everett in 2014, and in 2016 would form the Ugly Ducklings. Lance Lude, Rob Killjoy, Colby Corino, and Coach Mikey would become one of the most beloved stables in indie wrestling. I've included two Ugly Duckling matches on this list, but trust me, there are plenty more.


Colby would win singles belts all over the Mid-Atlantic in places like PWF, VCW, AML, RCW, and more. The first time that people saw Colby on a national stage was when he was in ROH as the young boy of the Decade. This caused friction in the stable between BJ Whitmer and Jimmy Jacobs leading to Jacobs's final ROH match. Then it would lead to a feud between Steve Corino who was on commentary and Decade members BJ Whitmer and Adam Page. Over the last few years Corino has fought in places like Evolve, GCW, the NWA and is slowly becoming a national name. Everyone is starting to know Corino, but there's another Colby quietly building: deathmatch Colby. You know I love deathmatch wrestling, and seeing Colby in that world has been wonderful. I love seeing the various different styles that Colby has wrestled in, and more than just being a good wrestler, he's a good dude. Two matches on this list I saw in person, I've interviewed Colby before, and he actually suggested some matches for this list. When you see him interacting with fans, especially with kids, you see someone who truly cares. I find it funny that the first show he ever wrestled on was a benefit show, because 20 years later I first saw him in person at a benefit show. Giving back to wrestling, his friends, his family, and his fans, is important to him. So without any further wait, let's look at some of the best matches of Colby Corino.

colby vs dante

#10: Colby Corino vs Dante Leon

 I had to include a deathmatch somewhere on this list, and this one was fantastic. Not only is it a deathmatch, it's a no ring deathmatch. Corino has slowly become a staple in No Peace Underground, and it's great to see him getting a big win. Dante Leon is very much a rising star, and you can tell he was the hometown hero in this match. If you've never seen a no ring deathmatch before, this is such a unique type of fight that no other style of wrestling match can compare to. It really feels like every location is a new chance to try cool stuff based on your environment.

Both men take advantage of their location in this match, using not just folding chairs, but some old wooden ones as well. They leap off steps, through guardrails, and onto just brutal hardwood floor. Colby still isn't known as a deathmatch wrestler, but matches like this help build that legacy, and cement that he is just as hardcore, if not more, than his father. When the thumbtack bats come out and the blood starts flowing, any remaining questions are gone. These two will be names we talk about for a long, long time, and it's because of fights like this. Colby even gets the win despite it being Dante's town, and those are the moments that matter.

#9: Colby Corino vs Homicide

 This is the first of two Corino vs Homicide matches on this list, and this is one of my favorite feuds Colby has had. The only reason Homicide went after Colby is because of his long running feud with his father. This war between these two brewed for months until they met here in Capitol Wrestling. Colby was very much the underdog going into this fight, and really fighting his family's ghosts. It's a really interesting story, but that wouldn't mean anything if the match was bad. Fortunately for us, it's a wonderful fight.

Colby hits his inverse senton early, and that's how you know this is angry Colby. For most of the match Colby gets just decimated. For most of the match it seems impossible for Colby to win, but as we see throughout this list, he just doesn't give up. That's the side of Colby that I love to see, as he will do anything to defend his name in this match. Ultimately, Colby gets the win as an attempt to sabotage him backfires. Homicide doesn't exactly take this loss well, and we'll talk about the fallout of that later.

colby vs matt

#8:Colby Corino vs Matt Cardona

  This one is a personal favorite of Corino's, and I get why. This is really a tale of two matches depending on if you followed it online or in person. Online, this was cocky heel Cardona fighting another indie darling. This was during the build up to Cardona vs Gage, and Colby was very much the plucky underdog face. In the building however, Cardona was a hero. It was a massive pop when he came out as hundreds of kids who never even heard of a GCW cheered for their favorite. It's a great reminder that the wrestling world isn't just Twitter, and the match itself was a worthy main event.

Corino was the right choice to face Cardona, and he showed that he can hold his own with anyone. Corino gets in some strong offense as he flies around the ring, and he understands his role perfectly. He needs to be the heel to the local crowd, but not so heelish that the people online see Cardona as the face. It's a fine line to walk but he does it perfect. There's quite a few nearfalls in this match where I actually though that Corino would win, and that's what a great match can do. Of course Cardona won, but the entire crowd loved it, and in wrestling that's what matters.

billy vs colby

#7: Colby Corino vs Billy Brash

  AML needed to crown a new Prestige Champion, and Corino and Brash were given the chance to pick up the vacant belt. This isn't the last we'll see of this title, but Corino won it in fantastic fashion. Corino put some great work in during this match, proving that he deserves to be champion. He has a great style in this match of cocky yet efficient. Any chance he gets to deal just a little extra damage, he does, but with a smirk. Brash is no slouch either, and he's someone that I think needs to be talked about more. Corino pulls out all the punches though, hitting everything from a poisonrana to a double stomp to the back of the head. When Colby finally hits the Sonsetter, it's all over, and what a great match. It's an absolute battle, and one that Corino walks out of with his head held high.

#6: Ugly Ducklings vs Georgenasty Boys

  Man Colby always puts on amazing matches on his birthday doesn't he? Taking place on his 24th birthday, Colby, Rob, and Lance all teamed up to take on the Gymnasty boys and George South. We've talked about the Gymnasty Boys before made up of White Mike and Timmy Lou Retton, now known as T.I.M.. The story of the match is that George wants Colby to leave the ducks and join with him again, but Ducks always stay together. This match is incredibly fun as these six talented wrestlers go to war. It's even better in hindsight now that the Gymnasty Boys have split up and George South has retired.

We'll never see another match like this, and this is too special to need a rematch. Everyone gets a chance to shine in this match, which given the number of people could have been difficult. Everyone pulls their weight though, and they take advantage of the backyard setting. They wrestle all over the place, and almost get burned on torches. The match gets absolutely crazy, especially as Corino is leaping off buildings and across the entire ring. It's a ridiculous match, and if you told me that Colby would somehow top it on his next birthday I wouldn't believe you.


#5: Wrestling Prodigies vs Ugly Ducklings

  One of two matches on this list that I got to see in person, this was the main event of Ducks Fly Together. While it was originally just billed as a tag team match, before it began it was announced to be a Ducks Rules match, which means no rules. This also led to a hilarious moment of Coach Mikey aggressively removing the tag ropes. When the match actually starts, the Wrestling Prodigies hit a beautiful pair of superkicks. If you haven't seen Jackson Drake and Jay Malachi before, you're in for a tweet. They truly are fantastic, especially for being 17 each. The best word I can use for this match is fun. It's just incredibly fun from start to finish. If you read my Ducks Fly Together Review, I spoke with Colby where he said that the door spots were the Prodigies' idea. They were all watching Bloodsport and they said they've always wanted to try a door. Colby said if they bought doors he'd gladly put them through them, and so he did.

The door spots are great, but the back body drop onto a bridge of chairs is my personal favorite. Well, either that or at 2:50:05 on the IWTV stream when you can see a chair hit me in the leg, that was fun. So of course, I am biased on this match, but watching it back it still is incredibly enjoyable. They hit all kinds of great spots, and really do the best they can with the relaxed ruleset: piledrivers on chairs, people crashing into the second row, and great door breaks. In addition to that, they just do some wonderful wrestling. Good sequences, big power moves, impressive submissions, all of it. One thing I haven't mentioned yet is why this show happened. The entire show is a fundraiser for Lance Lude who is battling cancer. He's part of the Ugly Ducklings and is on commentary for this match. After the Ugly Ducklings win Lance joins them in the ring for a really emotional chat as they all sit down and thank the audience and wrestlers. It's something special that goes beyond wrestling, and as you are watching the match the gofundme page should still be shown on screen.


#4: Colby Corino vs T.I.M.

  We already saw Colby win the Prestige Title, and now we turn our attention to when he lost it. The Infinite Man, T.I.M. formerly known as Timmy Lou Retton, has become one of the absolute best wrestlers on the independent scene. This match with Corino was a major stop on that road, and what a stop it was. These two men have made the Prestige Title my favorite belt in AML, and I cannot wait until the next time they lock up. Corino was the only champion in AML to keep his belt through the pandemic due to various reasons, so this was the only title defense on the card. Corino brought that champion energy to this match, and this match is actually a personal favorite of is. Watching it, you can understand why.

He's going out there with someone he's known for years, and putting on a show stealing performance. You would expect this match to be fairly high flying, which it has its high spots, but this fight is much more of a brawl than you'd expect. Corino and T.I.M. trade some brutal blows, and the Death Valley Driver that Corino hits on the apron is devastating. The thing about the Prestige Title is that matches have a 15 minute time limit, and so making a match for that belt good requires a wrestler to be able to tell a great story and pace a match well in a quick setting. This match shows how to win a crowd and get them invested when you don't have an hour to tell that story. T.I.M. absolutely deserved the win, and Corino was just the guy for him to face.

colby vs rob

#3: Colby Corino vs Rob Killjoy

  This was another Corino suggestion, and I see why. Corino and Killjoy are tag partners in the Ugly Ducklings, and seeing them face off was a delight. I love matches like this, and from the beginning they are working holds brilliantly. They know each other so well, and as such they can do very intricate complex sequences because they understand how the other moves. Killjoy is a very technical wrestler, and he really puts those skills to use in this match. This match has lots of sequences that I couldn't do justice in describing and just need to be seen to be believed. They seem telepathic at times, especially when bouncing off ropes into rollups are involved. Every time you think a sequence is going to end, they just keep going. As such, the fight feels like a mile a minute and even a few minutes in you're already wondering what it will take to end this.

Corino really takes a beating in this match, including chopping the steel post. As the match wears on, the hits becomes more rough. Instead of just grappling, they start just punching each other in the face repeatedly. As with many of the best matches on this list, Colby gets the win with the sonsetter. This was one of the first Killjoy singles matches I've seen, and that's something I need to rectify. He's a great tag guy, but this match proved that he is just as good on his own. I absolutely don't want the Ducklings to break up, but I need more Killjoy vs Corino matches. This was a brilliant match that was executed well, and a must see.

colby vs homicide

#2: Colby Corino vs Homicide

 Here we are later, and Capitol Wrestling has transformed into Catalyst Wrestling. This match sees a completely different Colby ready to face off once again with the biggest thorn in his side. This empty arena match is one of Colby's personal favorites, and I mean, of course it is. Just watch this brutal affair and you see a decades long feud brought to a close. The match starts nice enough inside the ring, but when they leave it gets nasty. Homicide slams Corino's ankle through a piece of wood, and Corino sells it like he got his ankle broken. Colby takes a beating throughout this match. He gets slammed into a brick wall, through chairs, and much more. It's not full deathmatch Colby, but it certainly has that echo.

Colby shows he's willing to do anything to win this match, and that includes fire. The moment that he started pouring lighter fluid I freaked out. I never thought I'd see Colby take a flaming table spot, but sure enough, here we are. The fact they then cut to commercial really gives that "uhhh technical difficulties please stand by" vibe, like something had gone truly wrong. Homicide grabs the fork and begins to carve up Corino, but Colby manages to hit Homicide with it. Just like the flaming table, the person who introduces the weapon gets hurt by it. Ultimately, Colby wins by Ref's decision, and that's what this feud came to. The match couldn't be contained, and a darker Corino was unleashed.

#1: Colby Corino vs Steve Corino

 This absolutely had to be number one on this list. There are very few matches where as soon as the closing bell rings I know I’ll be doing an Indie Talent Showcase, but this is one of them. A father vs son match is such a special moment, and this match lives up to that aura. The first time I ever saw Colby Corino was in ROH when he was the young boy for the Decade. Seeing him getting humiliated by BJ Whitmer and Adam Page so they could get under the skin of Steve was such an interesting story, and here we are years later seeing Colby face his father. Early in the match the commentators do a great job of building expectations that Steve can only wrestle for about 15 minutes. He’s been retired for years at this point, so you believe that he would get gassed after about 15 minutes. The fact that they continue to focus on that early on makes it so remarkable the longer the match goes on, as the match is over twice that long. What makes this match so special are the little moments that mean so much. A personal favorite of mine is when Colby has Steve in a guillotine hold. Steve tries to do the spot where he stands up with Colby hanging on so he can powerbomb him, but he can’t get him up. Normally that would just show how tired Steve has grown, but here, it’s a father who can’t lift his son anymore. He can’t pick him up and carry him, and that moment of realizing your own aging and the passage of time is universal.

A recurring theme in the match is whether Steve will pull out all the stops such as unprotected head shots, and early on he doesn’t. He wants to win, but he doesn’t want to maime his child. Eventually that restraint begins to fade as Steve wants to prove he’s still a fighter. Colby doesn’t make it easy on Steve though, as he’s cocky and arrogant the entire match. Steve tries to not just pulverize his son, but wow Colby is asking for it here. And that’s on purpose. He doesn’t want to beat his dad, he wants to beat Steve freaking Corino, and if he has to be a jerk to get that Steve Corino, then he will. The pair did have a match back in 2016, but this a very different Colby. He’s found his family in wrestling with the Ugly Ducklings, who accompanied him to ringside for this match, and the story behind this match reflects that. The things he said about his dad, and the promo from Steve, combine to tell just a beautifully tragic story. Fifteen minutes into the match Steve is starting to sell that he is indeed gassed, and Colby capitalizes on that. You really think that the match could end at any moment. It’s around this point in the fight where Steve stops holding back. He climbs the turnbuckle with Colby in the corner and just starts punching away.

The brutal punches he would have refrained from ten minutes earlier he’s now hitting without remorse. Colby doesn’t win this match just because his father held back the first few minutes; however, he wins this match because he’s freaking fantastic in the ring. He hits just incredible moves both grounded and from the top rope. Twenty-Five minutes into the match and it still shows no sign of slowing down. The two men just absolutely refuse to go down, and one thing that I find interesting is that Colby is the one who starts bleeding. His mouth gets busted, and given everything we’ve talked about in terms of father vs son and the passing of time, the fact that they younger one is the one who bleeds is really interesting. It really adds something special to the story of this match. Despite the fact that Steve is the one who’s been retired, who said he’d get gassed, and is having to fight his own son, Colby is the one to bleed. By the time Colby starts bleeding there is no doubt that Steve is willing to do anything to win, including a death valley driver on the apron. At the thirty minute point the ref checks on Steve, and that’s the moment when it really sets in how long this match has been, and how much Steve has been through. Colby doesn’t want the match to end by ref stoppage, he wants to beat this man more than anything else in his entire career. Steve finally gets back to his feet and stumbles around the ring. He knows this is his last match, and he doesn’t want to go out without a fight. After a ripcord lariat 33 minutes in from Steve, I really thought it was over. Steve is just not giving up, no matter what. Colby hits a brainbuster, a knee from the ropes, and a kick to the back of the head, but it’s just not enough. Finally, after almost 35 minutes Colby sets up his finisher and utters, “I would say I’m sorry, but I’m not.” He hits the sonsetter, and finally, it’s over. Paint it Black by the Rolling Stones plays as father and son lay in the middle of the ring exhausted. It’s a truly amazing match, and one that everyone needs to see.

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