ESW Dude, Where’s The Wrestle? 8/26/2017

Empire State Wrestling presents Dude, Where’s The Wrestle?
From: North Tonawanda, NY

Opening Contest: Anthony Gaines vs. Sebastian Suave: Suave clotheslines Gaines and hits a sit out slam for a near fall. Gaines rolls to the floor to regroup. Suave introduces a commercial break of him working out on the big screen. His gimmick is being an endorsement wrestler, and it’s funny. Gaines superkicks Suave on the floor and hits a snap suplex. Gaines is met with a pump kick to the face. Suave hits an elevated backbreaker over the middle rope for a near fall. Suave punches Gaines in the corner a few times. Suave kicks Gaines on the mat and delivers a forearm strike to the chest for a near fall. Suave keeps control on the mat with a hammerlock and hooks Gaines face. Gaines elbows Suave, but is met with an overhand strike to the back. Gaines chops Suave and delivers a few clotheslines. Gaines kicks Suave and delivers a spin kick to send Suave into the corner. Gaines delivers a sliding clothesline. Gaines hits a springboard moonsault for a near fall. Suave forearms Gaines, but Gaines responds with a strike. They begin to trade strikes in the middle of the ring. Gaines headbutts Suave, but is met with a strike to the face. Gaines sends Suave to the apron, but Suave tries to ram Gaines into the corner, but Gaines counters and hits a springboard heel kick to knock Suave down on the apron. Gaines is eye rakes by Suave, and Suave locks in an arm bar in the ropes. Suave goes to the top rope and slaps Gaines. Suave has Gaines in a torture rack and spins around before dropping down for a near fall. Gaines avoids a clothesline and kick. Gaines misses a shining wizard and is taken down with an arm drag. Suave gets a victory roll and has a handful of tights to win the match. (***. I thought that was a really solid opening match and I was not expecting that kind of action. Suave’s character is entertaining and unique. They action was consistent and there wasn’t really a lull moment. These guys did a great job to start the show with a quality match.)

Prior to the next match, Roscoe Black has attacked Coconut Jones on the aisle as Gregory Iron said he was going to win the title all by himself. Jones is double teamed on the floor. Black rams Jones into the ring post back first.

Second Contest: ESW Interstate Champion Coconut Jones vs. Gregory Iron: Jones almost wins with an inside cradle. Iron nails Jones with a running forearm off the ropes. Iron strikes Jones on the mat a few times and chokes the champ over the middle rope. Iron kicks the middle rope into Jones throat for another two count. Roscoe chokes Jones over the middle rope while the referee is distracted by Iron. Iron misses a splash and lands over the middle rope. Jones is dumped over the top to the floor. Iron goes for a suicide dive, but Jones returns to the ring and is dumped to the apron. Jones shoulder rams Iron from the apron and delivers a kick to the head. Jones hits a slingshot spear into the ring. Jones clotheslines Iron a few times and hits a back suplex for a two count. Jones heads to the top rope, but Roscoe gets on the apron and is kicked off. Jones misses a top rope splash and Iron nearly wins with a rollup. Jones misses a kick and Iron hits a Codebreaker and a step up senton splash, but Jones reaches the ropes. Jones holds the ropes to avoid a move and Roscoe gets on the apron, but is knocked off again. Jones nails Roscoe with a kick to the face. Iron hits a Codebreaker as Jones tried to get back into the ring. Iron hammers away on Jones in the corner. Iron arm drags Jones into the corner. Iron clotheslines Jones in the corner followed by a forearm strike. Jones hits a flatliner and wins the match. After the match, Roscoe Black attacks Jones. Anthony Gaines comes out with a chair and hits Roscoe over the back, but Roscoe isn’t bothered by it. Vince Valor slides into the ring and attacks Roscoe. Roscoe is met with a double superkick and trips over Valor behind him. (**. A fine match with a good story behind it. Jones had some good offense and I’d like to see more of him. Jones seems like he’d do pretty well against some well known names down the line.)

Third Contest: Braxton Sutter (Pepper Parks) vs. JT Dunn: Sutter backs Dunn into a corner, but Dunn counters and kicks Sutter in the midsection to avoid a clean break. Dunn works over Sutter with strikes around the ring and a few chops. Sutter boots Dunn in the corner and delivers a shoulder block. Dunn trips Sutter for a one count and Sutter does the same leading to a standoff. Dunn nails Sutter with a discus elbow to send Sutter to the floor. Dunn goes to the apron and nails Sutter with a kick to the face. Dunn has a steel chair and sets it up next to the railing. Dunn sits Sutter on the chair and delivers a strike. Dunn runs around ringside and delivers a kick to the face. Dunn rolls Sutter into the ring after taunting the crowd. Dunn hammers away on Sutter on the mat. Sutter chops Dunn in the corner several times. Dunn rolls through and kicks Sutter a few times to knock Sutter to the floor. Dunn stomps on Sutter on the floor. Dunn chops Sutter around ringside. Dunn knee strikes Sutter on the back a few times and twists his neck. Dunn forearms Sutter into the corner. Sutter sends Dunn into the corner, but misses a rollup. Dunn kicks Sutter and hits a suicide dive to the floor. Dunn hits a springboard frog splash back into the ring for a near fall.

Dunn sits Sutter on a chair next to the railing. Dunn chops Sutter against the railing and runs around ringside. Dunn runs into a forearm by Sutter. Sutter suplexs Dunn onto the apron and both men are down at ringside. They both manage to get in the ring before the count of ten. Dunn and Sutter begin to trade strikes in the middle of the ring. Dunn kicks Sutter and runs into a snap powerslam for a near fall. Dunn tries for a slam, but Sutter breaks free and kicks Dunn. Dunn uppercuts Sutter on the top rope. Dunn follows looking for a move, but Sutter elbows Dunn off the ropes. Dunn responds with a strike. Dunn has Sutter on his shoulders, but Sutter elbows free again. They begin to trade strikes on the middle rope. Sutter hits a leaping middle rope neckbreaker. Dunn recovers to eye rake Sutter, but Sutter delivers an elbow and twisting fisherman suplex for the win. (***1/2. A very good match with the crowd into the action. These two delivered a quality match and Sutter got his shine. Dunn held his own very well and they made the most of the time to put forth an entertaining match.)

Fourth Contest: Daniel Garcia vs. Vince Valor: Valor shoulder blocks Garcia to the mat to start the match. Garcia gets a headlock on Valor, but that is short lived and is shoulder blocked again by Valor. Garcia kicks Valor in the midsection. Valor plants Garcia with a back suplex. Garcia slaps Valor talks smack to Valor. Valor misses a clothesline and tries for a slam, but Garcia breaks free and dropkicks Valor into the corner leading to a one count. Garcia chokes Valor over the middle rope. Garcia delivers a strike in the corner and a few knee lifts. Garcia goes for a under hook suplex and gets a near fall on Valor. Garcia tries to hook Valor, but Valor breaks free to hit a arm trapped flatliner and both men are down. They begin to trade strikes in the middle of the ring. Garcia knee lifts Valor, but runs into a couple of clotheslines. Valor hits a neckbreaker out of a hip toss. Valor tries for a slam, but Garcia breaks free and scissor kicks Valor for a two count. Valor hits a twisting DDT for the win. (*1/2. This is only Garcia’s second ESW match and it’s fairly obvious that he’s got a bright future even in defeat. The intensity is there and his heel attitude has a lot of potential. I was expecting this to be more one sided, but I’m glad Garcia got a little bit of shine.) After the match, they show mutual respect for each other. Valor leaves and then the lights go out and two masked wrestlers attack Garcia. Thy hit a standing elevated stunner. I have no idea who these guys are. They leave through the crowd.

Footage from the June 24th show highlighting the match between RJ City and Bill Collier is shown. City retained the ESW Heavyweight Championship following a knee to the face. Collier had made City submit, but the referee hadn’t seen it. Backstage, Collier confronted the referee and yelled at him. They stormed into Jimmy Olsen’s office. Collier wants Olsen to give him a rematch, but Olsen can’t do that. Olsen instead made a match with Collier taking on Brandon Thurston in a number one contenders match.

Fifth Contest: ESW Heavyweight Champion RJ City vs. Colin Delaney: Delaney gets wrist control to start the title match. City counters with a headlock. Delaney tries to kick City, but City avoids several times. City kicks Delaney in the midsection to fake out a test of strength. City punches Delaney into the corner and taunts the fans. City chops Delaney in the corner a few times. Delaney knocks City to the floor and tries for a dive, but City avoids it. Delaney springboards off the top to take City out with a dive on the floor. Delaney rams City into the corner followed by a kick to the face. City yanks Delaney off and hits a slingshot back suplex. City argues with the referee as Delaney tries to recover. City back rakes Delaney followed by a throat thrust. City slaps Delaney in the corner after faking a splash. Delaney hits a standing Spanish Fly as City tried to do it again. They begin to trade strikes in the middle of the ring. Delaney tries for the Crossface in the middle of the ring. It’s not fully locked in, and City is able to reach the ropes. Delaney pummels City with forearms in the corner. City delivers a knee strike in the corner. Delaney hits a stunner, but City hits a fisherman buster for a near fall. City tries for a knee strike, but Delaney counters with a DDT for a near fall. City back elbows Delaney, but Delaney hits a German suplex off the middle rope. Delaney drops City face first onto the top turnbuckle, but City delivers a Knee Arthur two times and wins the match. (**1/2. There was a little bit of comedy, and RJ is a funny guy. But, he’s also a more than capable wrestler and they did a good job here of having a competitive match with some comedy, but it didn’t overwhelm it. RJ City has been a guy in ESW that I’m more and more interested in seeing more of.)

Prior to the next match, Superbeast comes out and he’s pissed about not having a match. Earlier in the show he was changing outside and he was upset about that, too. A package is delivered to the ring and they are having a fifteen minute intermission. He remains there for the entire intermission. Then, James Saigel comes out and hits a spinebuster causing Superbeast to bail to the floor.

Sixth Contest: Cheech vs. Tarik: Tarik stalls a little bit in the corner taunting the fans. Tarik delivers a boot to the midsection and an elbow to the back. Tarik shoulder rams Cheech in the corner a few times. Cheech elbows Tarik and hits a head scissors out of the corner. Tarik stops Cheech with a boot the midsection and face. Tarik decks Cheech with a right hand into the corner. Cheech kicks Tarik away and delivers a kick to the face for a near fall. Tarik headbutts Cheech into the corner, but Cheech goes to the apron. Tarik tries to ram Cheech into the corner, but is rammed into the corner and Cheech hits a slingshot senton. Tarik bails to the floor and forearms Cheech to avoid a suicide dive. Tarik elbows Cheech over the middle rope. Tarik rolls in looking for a cover, but only manages a two count. Tarik is dumped to the apron and shoulder rams Cheech. Cheech goes for an elevated DDT and plants Tarik to the mat for a near fall. Tarik back elbows Cheech and tries for a go-behind, but Cheech elbows free. Tarik hits a springboard kick and covers Cheech for a near fall. Tarik sits Cheech on the top turnbuckle, but is shoved away. Tarik chops Cheech on the top turnbuckle and tries for a cutter, but Cheech avoids it and superkicks Tarik in the corner. Cheech nails Tarik with a running boot and a swinging kick for a two count. Cheech hooks Tarik for a suplex, but Tarik avoids it. Tarik is kicked away and forearms Cheech. Tarik hits the GTS, but Cheech kicks out at two. Tarik looks for a stunner, but Cheech delivers a kick. Cheech takes Tarik out with a suicide dive. Tarik pulls the referee in front of him and Tarik delivers a low blow. Tarik covers and pins Cheech to win the match. (**. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the other matches and I’m wondering if it’s because I’m seeing a lot of the same moves over and over again. It sure seems like a lot of the same style and the excitement of the moves when done constantly kind of loses steam for me.)

Seventh Contest: ESW Tag Team Champions Oliver Street Express (Andrew Cravatta & Randy Philbrick) vs. Alex Daniels & Kevin Blackwood: Blackwood tags into the match and Andrew arm drags Blackwood followed by a dropkick. Andrew head scissors Blackwood and tags in Randy. Andrew splashes Blackwood and Randy delivers a knee life and a standing moonsault for a two count. Andy elbows Blackwood from the top rope, but Blackwood sends Andy into the corner. Andy is held by Daniels allowing a splash by Blackwood. Blackwood sends Andy into the corner and delivers a forearm. Blackwood slings Andy onto the middle rope and Daniels hits a slingshot blockbuster leading to a near fall for Blackwood. Daniels drives Andy down with a back suplex and goes for a cover managing a two count. Daniels kicks Andy in the corner while having Andy in a tree of woe. Blackwood returns to the match and chokes Andy over the middle rope. Andy ducks a clothesline and tries for a head scissors, but Blackwood hits a double knee to the chest for a two count. Blackwood keeps a sleeper on Andy. Andy elbows Blackwood followed by forearms. Randy gets the tag and cleans house with clotheslines. Randy sends Daniels to the floor and tosses Blackwood with a fallaway slam for a near fall. Blackwood stops Randy with an uppercut in the corner and hits a Backstabber out of the corner for a near fall. Daniels tags in and argues with Blackwood. Daniels is knocked into Blackwood and the champs hit a neckbreaker/powerbomb combo for the win on Daniels. (**. Aside from Blackwood, I’m not really familiar with the guys in this match. The main angle here was likely to setup a singles match between Daniels and Blackwood since they don’t normally tag and they did not get along during the contest.) After the match, a couple of wrestlers come out and confront the losers. Caesar, the leader of the group, seems to be recruiting them. Kevin Blackwood forearms Daniels and Daniels is mugged. Blackwood appears to have joined the group. Blackwood hits a wrist clutch Burning Hammer on Daniels.

Eighth Contest: Ethan Page vs. Frankie Feathers: Feather gets a headlock on Page for the early advantage. Feathers wants a dance off, but Page gets a headlock on Feathers. Feathers sends Page into the ropes and is met with a shoulder block. Page blocks a hip toss and they both try to hip toss each other over the top. Page eye rakes Feathers and misses a clothesline. Feathers hammers away on Page and leaps over before hitting a dropkick. Feathers atomic drops Page and comes off the ropes to hit a swinging neckbreaker for a near fall. Feathers elbows Page and is decked on the top rope. Page tosses Feathers off the top rope to the mat. Page taunts the fans and stomps on Feathers. Feathers hammers away on Page, but is met with a knee lift. Page elbows Feathers to the mat. Page continues with a vertical suplex for a near fall. Feathers fights back with right hands to stagger Page. Page kicks Feathers and runs into a polish hammer. Feathers elbows Page in the corner and delivers a clothesline. Feathers drops Page over his knee and delivers a big boot for a two count. Page bails to the floor to avoid Feathers offense. Page is on the apron and Feathers follows to the apron. They begin to trade strikes. Page headbutts Feathers and Feathers gets back in the ring where Page hits a cutter. Page nails Feathers with a pump kick for a near fall. Page tries for a slam, but Feathers elbows free and misses a splash in the corner. Feathers misses a kick and Page tries for a back suplexc, but Feathers gets a rollup and wins the match. (*1/2. The ending sequence kind of felt off and the flow of the match in spots didn’t seem to go well at all times. It might have been in a cool off spot considering the next two matches have some bigger names involved or stakes.) After the match, they shake hands and they dance a little bit. Page ends up attacking Feathers afterward. Page hits Feathers with the ring bell to leave Feathers laying.

Ninth Contest: Bill Collier vs. Brandon Thurston in a number one contenders match: Collier avoids Thurston and Thurston goes to the apron before trying for a top rope crossbody, but is caught. Collier sends Thurston into the corner and tries for a slam, but Thurston gets a two count with a rollup. Collier nails Thurston with a big boot. Collier tosses Thurston with a snap suplex. Collier sends Thurston into the corner and delivers a chop. Collier runs into an elbow in the corner and Thurston chops Collier, but that has no impact. Collier chops Thurston to the mat. Collier scoop slams Thurston and delivers a leg drop for a near fall. Collier sends Thurston into the corner and misses a big boot in the corner. Thurston yanks Collier onto the top rope back first as Collier was stuck in the corner. Collier is stuck in a tree of woe and Thurston hits a double stomp! Thurston kicks Collier several times on the chest. Collier plants Thurston with a spinebuster. Collier goes to the middle rope and tries for an elbow drop, but Thurston gets an arm bar locked in! Collier struggles, but doesn’t submit. Collier gets to his feet and drops Thurston throat first over the ropes. Collier decks Thurston with a few clotheslines. Collier tosses Thurston with a fallaway slam. Collier hits a German suplex and runs into a knee strike. Thurston goes to the middle rope, but is speared in midair and Collier gets a two count! Collier hooks Thurston for a suplex and sits Thurston on the top rope. Thurston hammers away on Collier and hits a crossbody, but Collier counters to hit a dead lift German on Thurston! Thurston gets an arm bar on Collier after a tilt a whirl. Collier reaches the ropes, but Collier submits and the referee gives the match to Thurston. After the match, Collier goes after the referee and they go backstage. Thurston cuts a promo saying he’s coming for the title that RJ City currently holds. Thurston calls out Mikey Everynight and says he doesn’t belong in the business. Thurston is taking credit for his talent and success. Thurston wants to make sure that Everynight can never appear at ESW ever again when he’s champion. (***1/4. Okay, so this was a good match and they are clearly doing some kind of long form angle for Collier not being able to get the title. I like the idea of the angle. These two worked a good match considering the size differences. I was looking forward to this and I thought it was a good match.)

Main Event: AR Fox vs. Kevin Bennett vs. Super Crazy: Fox shoulder blocks Bennett, but Bennet arm drags Fox. They all trade arm drags and duck clotheslines. They all try for a dropkick and they have a three way standoff. Fox kicks Crazy and hits an arm drag/head scissors combo. Fox forearms both men from the apron and hits a springboard double crossbody. Fox forearms Bennett, but Bennett blocks a kick and forearms Fox. Fox tries for a back suplex, but Bennett lands on his feet. Bennett boots both men in the corner. Bennett avoids a kick and nearly pins Crazy. Bennett kicks Crazy and is kicked by Fox. Bennett forearms Fox and hits a slingshot stomp on Fox. Bennett hits a spinning splash onto both men for a two count. Crazy hits Bennett with a spinning heel kick. Crazy drives Bennett down with a backbreaker and clotheslines Bennett in the corner. Crazy locks in a tarantula in the corner, but can’t win the match. Fox kicks Crazy on the apron to break the hold. Bennett tries for a cutter, but Fox lands on his hands and kicks Bennett. Fox kicks Bennett and they run ropes until Bennett hits a springboard cutter for a two count as Crazy breaks the cover. Crazy slams Bennett and hits a moonsault for a two count. Fox stops the referee from counting to break the count.

Fox elbows Crazy in the corner and hits a cutter for a two count. Crazy sends Fox to the floor and Bennett hits a springboard DDT on Crazy onto the apron! Bennett forearms Fox from behind before getting onto the apron. Bennett has Fox on his shoulders, but Fox elbows free. Fox spikes Bennett with a Package Piledriver on the apron! Fox takes Crazy out with a suicide dive. Fox hits a somersault dive over the top onto Bennett. Bennett recovers to hit a suicide dive onto Crazy. Crazy baseball slides Fox and is sent into the ring post. Fox nails Crazy with a kick on the apron and springs off the post to take Crazy out with a moonsault. Bennett hits a springboard dropkick to send Fox to the floor. Bennett takes both men out with a somersault dive on the floor. Bennett is stopped on the top by Fox. Fox hits a Spanish Fly on Bennett leading to a near fall. Fox goes to the top rope and misses a 450 splash. Fox almost pins Crazy with a rollup. Crazy hits a sit out powerbomb on Fox, but Bennett hits the Tumbleweed off the top and pins Crazy for the win! (***1/2. The only thing that bugged me here was the lack of selling, but this was non-stop action with some fantastic spots. Bennett getting the clean win over an ECW legend is a big win for him. Crazy didn’t mail it in here at all and this main event absolutely delivered.)

Final Thoughts:
This ran just under 2.5 hours and it flew by for me. For the most part, this show is full of quality action. I easily give this a recommendation to check out. I’ve really been enjoying these ESW shows.
Thanks for reading.

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