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In this edition of the THURSDAY VETERAN SPOTLIGHT, I wanted to highlight an unsung hero of the independent wrestling circuit for quite some time. He still is, in my opinion, the best pound-for-pound striker in tri-state area history. He is also the most underrated junior heavyweight in the game today.

Some might call him “the Suicidal Demon”. Others might describe him as “the Good Guy”. There is even a select few that might call him “Angel Dust”.

However, we all know him as AZRIEAL.


I first witnessed Azrieal live at Ring of Honor’s At Our Best at the RexPlex in Elizabeth, NJ on March 13, 2004. As a part of Special K, a group of rich kid ravers that were high flyers in between the ropes, Az, known as Angel Dust, was a part of the Scramble Cage II main event against the Carnage Crew of Loc, Devito, Masada, and Justin Credible.

At the end of the incredible spectacle of abuse, including incredible dives off the top of the cage to the arena floor, Loc and Devito caught Angel Dust at the top of the steel structure. Angel Dust, who turned Devito’s daughter into a partier at the beginning of 2004, was then given a spike piledriver from the figurative rafters and through two tables as a receipt. 

The Carnage Crew might have won the war, but Azrieal won a fan in me for putting his life on the line for the world of wrestling.

Over the years, I have followed Azrieal’s career. He literally helped put junior heavyweight wrestling on the map in New Jersey. In Jersey All Pro Wrestling, his strong style offense allowed him to dominate, winning the JAPW Light Heavyweight Title four times and the Tag Team Championships twice with his close friends Jay Lethal and Dixie.

In fact, his feud with Lethal in 2004 over the Light Heavyweight Championship was critically acclaimed by independent journalists and fans alike, highlighted by an incredible ladder match that took place on September 18, 2004 at the 7th Anniversary Show in Rahway, NJ.

His work in American Championship Entertainment was something to behold as well. Azrieal was a former Diamond Division Champion, winning the title from a tired Envy at Destined for Greatness in March 2008. Az’s matches with Mo Sexton, Bandido, Jr, and Mike Donovan were must-see. In fact, at Success Is Your Victory at the newly christened Morgan Jr. Arena in Wallington, NJ on May 9, 2015, “the Good Guy” won the ACE Fight For Flight Championship in a three-way match with Joey Adams and Josh Glide.

Azrieal’s legacy in the independent scene is second-to-none. He has held championships in the ECWA (two-time Unified Heavyweight Champion), Combat Zone Wrestling (two-time Tag Team Champion alongside Bandido, Jr), Brii Combination Wrestling (Heavyweight Champion), and Pro Wrestling Magic (Junior Heavyweight Champion and Tag Team Champion with Anthony Felipe). Over his twenty-year career, he has put on solid matches with everyone he has entered the ring with. 

“The Good Guy” has also traveled internationally, doing a Summer tour with the influential Japanese promotion Dragon Gate in 2006, primarily performing in cutting-edge tag team matches alongside talent like Jack Evans, CIMA, Genki Horiguchi, and Masaaki Mochizuki.

Jon Harder, the founder of this website, had this to say regarding Azrieal:

“During my time in ACE Pro Wrestling, I was lucky to call a plethora of wrestling bouts with Azrieal. His lethal limbs were second-to-none when it came to delivering strikes to an unsuspecting opponent. One of my favorite moments ever was when he gave Mike Lewis, a vastly underrated wrestling manager and ACE’s resident “Rodent Scumbag”, a double stomp off the top rope. To this day, I believe it might be the greatest double stomp in wrestling history. Completely unbiased on my end, by the way.

In all seriousness, Az was very quiet and laid back, but he was always around to help younger talent with advice both in-and-out of the ring. I always appreciated his kindness whenever he spoke, and his success in wrestling is well deserved. I hope one day that GCW places him in the Independent Wrestling Hall of Fame. His contributions to pro wrestling go deeper than in the ring, and he 100% deserves his flowers while he’s still performing.”

Azrieal is still wrestling several times a month in New Jersey, including for Game Changer Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Magic, and East Coast Professional Wrestling. He’s in the best shape of his career and looks as if he’s getting better every year he competes.


Congratulations to Azrieal for this week’s THURSDAY VETERAN SPOTLIGHT. He IS independent wrestling in New Jersey.


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