Its a term that's only been in existence a short amount of time: "indy legend"
For the most part, we all start wrestling with the same goal and that's to land a full-time job in this business. Very few reach the WWE level, but a lot more actually make a living at wrestling. Whether its going to Puerto Rico, Japan, England, Mexico, Canada, Thailand, or wherever the fact is that there are more opportunities available besides the local show down the road. There are so many avenues available that very few seem to know about. But what does indy legend mean exactly??
Its basically someone who has never really made it the "big show", or not for long, but is still respected by their peers. There is a ton of talent traveling the world today that will probably never be seen on WrestleMania, much less any WWE programming. Does that make them any less of a wrestler? Hell no. In every industry, there are guys that are well-known by the public but just as many that only the true, die-hard fans will know. These are the guys that, in most cases, are WAY better than anyone you're ever going to see in a big time environment.
Guys like Bryan Danielson, Nigel McGuiness(Desmond Wolfe in TNA), Mike Quackenbush, KENTA, Jerry Lynn, Jay and Mark Briscoe and countless others have been able to make a living in this business. But no one knows these guys unless you are in the business and actually follow more than the local scene. Locally guys like Greg Anthony, Derrick King, Motley Cruz, Flash Flanagan, Austin Lane, Pokerface, Alan Steele, and others have made a name for themselves. But even in Memphis, not many people know the names I just mentioned. But if you ask any wrestler they know those names, or they should. Why is it that we know them but no one else? What is it that makes them so respected and yet no real recognition? They're all respected for one thing, ability. Plain and simple.
For some reason, some of the most talented never seem to catch on with the general public. It could be a lack of marketability, or desire by that individual to step up to the next level. Whatever it is doesn't matter much to me. The bottom line is, of the guys I've named and the ones I haven't, they will always be respected and looked up to whether 100 people or 100 million people know their name.