by: Lasse Korup Nielsen
The biggest wrestling tournament in the Nordics returns in 2023 as BODYSLAM! once again brings the ScandiGraps Invitational to Voxhall in Aarhus. The wrestlers participating are, at this very moment, making the final preparations before it all goes down on the 8th of September.
Participant #1: Ender Kara
From: Stockholm, Sweden
ScandiGraps Invitational experience: 2021 (semi-finalist), 2022 (semi-finalist)
There is no doubt that Ender Kara is a favorite to make it far in this year’s field. He’s one of the more experienced wrestlers, when it comes to the ScandiGraps Invitational tournament.
Making his BODYSLAM! debut at the 2021 SGI, Ender Kara quickly made himself known when he defeated Gabriel Faust to secure himself a spot at the semi-finals against the eventual winner of the tournament, Aliss Ink. The following tournament, he yet again managed to impress with a valiant effort against Francesco Akira. Again he lost to the man who would go on to win that tournament.
In 2023 there is no doubt that the Ender Kara that shows up at Voxhall will be an entirely different animal. He’s gathered even more international experience and recognition. He completed two tours of Japan where he wrestled for the Japanese Big Japan Pro-Wrestling promotion.
You can be sure that Ender Kara will bring determination, hunger, and brutality in his quest to ensure that 2023 will be his year.
Participant #2: Man Like Dereiss
From: Birmingham, West Midlands, England
ScandiGraps Invitational experience: None
“The Lyrical Dragon” has been on a tear throughout the UK scene for the past few years. From PROGRESS, NORTH Wrestling, Wrestle Carnival or many of the other prestigious promotions in the UK. The entire ScandiGraps Invitational competitors have better prepare themselves for when The Lyrical Dragon Tour brings the fire to BODYSLAM!
Bringing the skills, both in the ring and on the mic, Dereiss aims to make his BODYSLAM! debut one of the most memorable by winning the SGI. Having previously faced off with fellow SGI participants Ender Kara and Robbie X, Dereiss is not walking into the tournament completely blind regarding the other participants.
Man Like Dereiss will make his way to the ring in Aarhus with self-confidence. And it does not matter if it is old foes like Robbie X or opponents he has never met before, like Emeritus. “The Lyrical Dragon” will go through them all, with the skills and the swagger as only the best can do it.
Participant #3: Emeritus
From: Parts Unknown
ScandiGraps Invitational experience: 2020 (winner)
Participating in his second ScandiGraps Invitational tournament, Emeritus will be the competitor who might not be the most experienced SGI competitor. But as the only entrant that has experienced winning the SGI. Back in 2020 when the SGI tournament was first established, Emeritus was one of the competitors that looked most like a possible winner at the time. And when he defeated Xander in the finals of the tournament, after an excellent match he proved that he was indeed a winner.
Now that he again finds himself in the field for the SGI, Emeritus has to be the obvious odds-on favorite to win the tournament. Can Emeritus repeat his success and be the first and only person to win 2 SGI tournaments?
Participant #4: Xander
From: Randers, Denmark
ScandiGraps Invitational experience: 2020 (runner up), 2021 (semi-finalist) 2022 (runner up)
Xander is the most experienced, when it comes to the ScandiGraps Invitational. Xander has participated in every SGI since its creation. Always a bridesmaid though, Xander has gotten close and almost made it on two of his three past attempts but just managed to fall short of hoisting the trophy high.
Losing in the first SGI final to Emeritus back in 2020. And again in the 2022 final of the tournament when he fell to Francesco Akira, Xander certainly is not one to be underestimated. He could be the one who is most likely to win the whole thing and finally fulfill his SGI destiny.
Having recently come up short with his RandersPagne tag partner in their quest to regain the tag team titles, Xander now looks for a new purpose. Finally obtaining the tournament victory that has eluded him for the past three years would make Xander’s 2023 look much more positive than what his current record shows.
Participant #5: Toby Zane
From: Cloudsdale, Equestria
ScandiGraps Invitational experience: 2021 (quarter finals)
Everyone’s favorite Brony looks to achieve the biggest upset in his career and be the one to win the ScandiGraps Invitational. Toby is likely the favorite underdog of the BODYSLAM! faithful, and he is the wrestler in BODYSLAM! that shows the most heart when it comes to his matches.
However, Toby is not a stranger to upset victories as when he back in 2020 managed to defeat all three of the Easy Loverz members in a gauntlet match. More recent success came at the Copenhagen Dreaming event when he managed to beat Gabriel Faust and Valentine in a triple-threat match.
The fans or wrestlers best not write off Toby Zane when it comes to this year’s SGI. He could be a dark horse in this year’s tournament and surprise everyone with the upset of the year.
Participant #6: Adonis
From: Randers, Denmark
ScandiGraps Invitational experience: 2020 (quarter finals), 2022 (quarter finals)
The other part of the RandersPagne duo. Adonis will, much like his tag team partner Xander, seek to gain some positive achievement in 2023. Now that their quest for tag team gold has ended unsuccessfully. However, the ScandiGraps Invitational tournament is not made for tag team partners to win together. This is every man for himself.
Back in late 2019 Adonis got badly injured by Swedish Elite and had to sit out most of 2020, which forced Xander to go at it as a singles wrestler until the 2020 ScandiGraps Invitational where Adonis made his return to active competition. Maybe Adonis would also want to test himself and see how successful he could could be as a singles competitor. The SGI tournament would certainly be a test of his skills.
Who knows how this tournament might end? The BODYSLAM! fans might end up watching the finals of this year’s SGI be a collision of tag partners. RandersPagne vs. RandersPagne. Xander vs. Adonis.
Participant #7: Robbie X
From: Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England
ScandiGraps Invitational experience: None
Robbie X likes to go by the moniker “King of the Cruiserweights” and he has certainly managed to pick up a lot of gold across the UK in his career. There don’t seem to be many promotions that Robbie X has not wrestled for and found success in. Now the high-flier will test his mettle against the wrestlers of BODYSLAM! when he tries to win the ScandiGraps Invitational.
Robbie walks into Aarhus as the clear veteran out of the participating wrestlers. It seems clear that playing on his experience advantage when he stands across from his opponents in the ring is an obvious strategy that Robbie could rely on.
He’s been in some of the most prestigious tournaments in wrestling such as the British J Cup, Super Strong Style 16, and the Speed King tournament. Faced off against some of the best wrestlers there are, like Will Ospreay, Lio Rush, Pete Dunne, and Michael Oku. So Robbie X is used to performing on the brightest stages and with the best opponents, can he use his experience advantage and win another esteemed tournament and take home the SGI trophy?
Participant #8: ???
ScandiGraps Invitational experience: ???
As Carlos Zamora had to pull out of the tournament, the last participant in the ScandiGraps Invitational is so far a mystery. BODYSLAM! management has hinted that there could be a very fitting replacement once on the 8th when the tournament kicks off.
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