Several Surprise Appearances At Indy Shows Ahead Of WWE WrestleMania 40

Surprise appearances at indy shows before WWE WrestleMania 40

WWE WrestleMania 40 weekend kicked into high gear on Thursday, April 4 and there were several surprise appearances at independent wrestling events across Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

World Wonder Ring STARDOM held their American Dream event at the 2300 Arena on Thursday night and there was a surprise return for Toni Storm, who made her first STARDOM appearance for several years. The AEW Women's World Champion headed to the ring after Mariah May, Mina Shirakawa, and Xia Brookside teamed together against Mayu Iwatani, Momo Kohgo, and Tam Nakano.

Storm presented Mariah May with flowers, telling her AEW ally that she was proud of her. Storm also expressed how grateful she was to STARDOM before she turned her attention to Mina Shirakawa, telling the STARDOM talent the Forbidden Door is always open should she ever wish to step through it. 

WWE's Natalya was also in attendance at the STARDOM show and she took a photo of several backstage, including STARDOM President Taro Okada. 

There was also a surprise appearance from WWE NXT's Charlie Dempsey at Josh Barnett's Bloodsport X as the NXT Heritage Cup Champion defeated Matt Makowski by submission. The likes of WWE President Nick Khan, CM Punk, Liv Morgan,  Sonya Deville, Braun Strowman, Karrion Kross, and Nia Jax were also in attendance at Bloodsport with Khan being pictured alongside GCW owner Brett Lauderdale, while CM Punk could be seen chatting to Nick Gage. Natalya later headed to the show, while Shayna Baszler was advertised ahead of time and picked up a win over Masha Slamovich with Zoey Stark in Baszler's corner. 

WWE opened their World at WrestleMania exhibition at the Philadelphia Convention Center and Rossy Ogawa, who is set to launch his own promotion in the coming weeks, was at the convention, as was Giulia. 

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Editor-in-Chief of Twitter: @theaidangibbons