Empire State Wrestling presents Sky Is The Limit
From: North Tonawanda, NY
Opening Contest: ESW Interstate Champion Frankie Feathers vs. Nick Ando: Ando misses a splash in the corner and Feathers responds with a couple of clotheslines. Feathers backdrops Ando out of the corner. Feathers clotheslines Ando over the top to the floor. Feathers goes to the apron, but Ando grabs the boot and drops Ando face first onto the mat. Ando hooks Feathers for a suplex, but Feathers blocks and they both attempt suplexs. Ando drops Feathers face first to the mat followed by a kick and a Falcon Arrow for a two count. Ando chops Feathers in the corner and hits a running dropkick in the corner for a two count. Ando keeps a front face lock on Feathers for a few moments, but doesn’t get a submission. Feathers punches Ando several times and breaks free with a front suplex. Feathers misses a spinning kick, but decks Ando with a right hand and chop in the corner. Ando flips in the corner and hits a clothesline from the apron. Ando hits a somersault senton for a two count. Ando tries for a piledriver, but Feathers counters by ramming Ando into the corner. Ando avoids Feathers, but misses a running dropkick in the corner. Feathers continues with a few clotheslines and an atomic drop. Feathers hits a running boot to the face for a near fall. Ando chops Feathers, but is met with a pump kick and back suplex for a near fall by Feathers. Feathers drags Ando to the center of the ring and tries for a double under hook. Ando avoids the move and elbows Feathers followed by a clothesline for a two count. Ando chops Feathers a few times. Ando goes to the apron and shoulder rams Feathers, but is stopped on the top with a spinning kick and crashes to the apron and then the floor. Feathers tries for a cover, but Ando kicks out at two. Feathers forearms Ando, but is met with a kick to the face. Ando tries for a suplex, but Feathers nearly wins with an inside cradle. Feathers counters a backslide and hits a lifting sit out Pedigree for the win. (**1/4. A solid finish for a decent overall opening match. It was a quicker paced match than I was expecting, so that was a pleasant surprise. Feathers performances continue to get better the more I see him compete.)
Second Contest: ESW Tag Team Champions Game Over (James Sayga & Vince Valor) vs. Jerk Cockins & The Landlord: Landlord and Sayga kickoff the match with Landlord eye poking Sayga. Sayga decks Cockins with a forearm strike and chops in the corner. Sayga chops Cockins against the ropes and tags in Valor to keep control of the match. Valor chops Cockins in the corner followed by a strike and tags Sayga back into the match. Cockins is tossed out of the corner with a double hip toss. Valor nails Landlord with a clothesline while Sayga nails Cockins. Landlord is driven down with a double chokeslam. Valor and Sayga hit a slam/DDT combo. The champs cover and win the match easily. (*1/2. I was not expecting this to be a squash match, but I liked it for what it was.)
Before the next match, MJF talks about a serious car accident that happened with Puf and several of his friends. MJF says it upset him for Daniel Garcia and Kevin Blackwood to be on the shelf. MJF thinks God has a sense of humor for Puf to be okay. MJF preferred that Puf just die in the accident.
Third Contest: MJF vs. Puf: Puf responds with strikes, but a throat thrust stops him and MJF chokes Puf in the corner. Puf blocks being sent into a corner and backdrops MJF. Puf tries for a splash, but the referee is put in the way. MJF stomps on Puf’s foot and delivers a chop block. MJF taunts the crowd and pummels Puf with strikes on the mat. MJF keeps a headlock on Puf and taunts the crowd while choking Puf over the middle rope. MJF leaps onto Puf’s back and Puf drops down to the mat in a sleeper. MJF thinks it is over, but Puf prevents his arm from dropping three times. MJF stomps on the foot and yanks Puf down to the mat by his arm. MJF stomps on the foot again and sends Puf into the corner face first. MJF continues to work over Puf in the corner several times. Puf blocks being rammed into the corner and elbows MJF. Puf steps on MJF’s foot and rams MJF several times into the turnbuckle. MJF elbows Puf to stop the offense. Puf rams MJF into the corner and hits a big splash to drop MJF. Puf comes off the ropes and hits a splash for a two count. Puf runs into an elbow in the corner. MJF sits on the top turnbuckle and double stomps Puf on the arm. MJF locks in an arm bar, but Puf doesn’t give in. Puf reaches the ropes to break the hold, but MJF bites Puf’s fingers. MJF taunts Puf and slaps him across the face. Puf responds with a slap of his own. MJF spits in Puf’s face and ducks a clothesline. MJF settles for an eye poke and comes off the ropes, but Puf hits a spinning slam. Puf drags MJF to the corner and climbs to the middle rope. Puf misses a Bonsai Drop as MJF rolls out of the way. MJF has the timekeepers hammer, but the referee takes it away. Puf tries for a chokeslam, but MJF low blows Puf and delivers a clothesline for the win. (**. This match was carried by the unbelievable heel work by MJF. He did a fantastic job getting the crowd to despise him, and the crowd got behind Puf quite a bit as a result.)
The next match is an internet exclusive match and was recorded earlier in the evening.
Fourth Contest: Vinnie Moon vs. Sebastian Suave: Moon decks Suave to the floor and continues to deliver strikes. Moon chops Suave around ringside. They get back in the ring where Suave rams Moon into the corner and delivers a few shoulder rams. Moon rams Suave into the corner and delivers a few shoulder rams of his own. Moon punches Suave in the midsection several times followed by a chop. Moon tosses his shirt at Suave and continues to deliver chops in the corner. Moon chops Suave and plays to the crowd. Suave sends Moon into the corner and misses a clothesline and elbow strike. Moon head scissors Suave to the mat followed by a hurricanrana. Moon delivers a stomp to the foot and another chop. Moon chops Suave some more and runs the ropes to arm drag Suave across the ring. Moon dropkicks Suave for a near fall. Moon has Suave on his shoulders, but Suave bails to the floor. Moon hits a suicide dive to the floor to take Suave out. Moon rolls Suave into the ring and goes to the top rope. Moon avoids Suave, but is dumped to the apron. Suave grabs Moon and hits an elevated backbreaker for a tow count. Suave eye pokes Moon to the mat. Suave gouges Moon’s face and bites Moon’s ear. Suave maintains control with a stomp. Suave nails Moon with a forearm smash to the chest for a near fall. Suave keeps Moon on the mat with a neck vice. Suave chops Moon in the corner, but runs into a boot. Moon kicks Suave away and hits a top rope crossbody. Moon decks Suave with a few forearms. Suave forearms Moon and it met with a springboard elbow strike by Moon for a two count. Moon waits in the corner and runs into a boot by Suave. Suave kicks Moon away, but Moon hits a slam for a near fall. Moon heads to the top rope, but is crotched by Suave. Suave hits a Kryptonite Crunch, but Moon kicks out at two. Suave chops Moon several times in the corner. Suave sits Moon on the top turnbuckle and tries for a suplex, but Moon holds onto the ropes. Moon shoves Suave off the middle rope to the mat. Moon leaps off the top hitting a swanton bomb for the win. (*1/2. There wasn’t a need for this match to go nearly as long as it did. That, or they needed to find offense that wasn’t so repetitive that made the match rather boring to me.) After the match, Suave attacks Moon. Suave gets distracted by Dakota Orion and Moon hits a middle rope Codebreaker. Suave gets hit by a GTS from Orion, as well.
Back on March 24th, 2018, Kevin Bennett beat Pepper Parks, but was violently attacked by Parks afterwards with a steel chair. April 28th, Parks attacked Bennett following a Bennett victory. Parks sent Bennett into a chair face first in the corner. May 19th, Parks defeated Bennett in quick fashion to win the ESW Heavyweight Championship. Parks suggests to Bennett that he rethink wrestling because it’s his era. On June 30th, Parks advises Bennett to rethink the idea of a rematch against him. Parks also bragged about beating Bennett in under six minutes. August 25th, Parks gets distracted by Andy Williams during a title match with Bennett. Well, Andy turns on Bennett and embraces Parks. Parks retains the title against Bennett. October 6th, Bennett pins Parks in a tag team match after hitting a springboard cutter and a reverse suplex. November 24th, Parks screwed Bennett out of the DiPaolo Cup in a match with Ken Doane. On the same night, Bennett attacks Parks after Parks won a match against RSP. January 19th, Bennett gets involved in Parks vs. Thurston, which led to Thurston winning the title. I love the video package to give a full background as to why the match is happening.
Fifth Contest: Kevin Bennett vs. Pepper Parks in a street fight: Parks starts the match with a quick chair shot during his entrance. Parks whips Bennett with his belt. Parks continues to whip Bennett around ringside with his belt before they enter the ring. Parks brings a couple of chairs into the ring and wedges one into the corner. Parks drops Bennett with a chop in the corner. Bennett sends Parks into the wedged chair. Bennett grabs the belt and whips Parks over the back. Bennett grabs a chair and Parks begs off. Parks bows down to Bennett, but Bennett whacks Parks over the back several times. Bennett chokes Parks with a chair before leaving the ring and going backstage to grab something. Bennett returns with a trash can full of weapons including chairs, and a cooking sheet. Bennett nails Parks with the cooking sheet. Parks begs off in the corner, but Bennett clubs away on Parks with right hands. Parks powerbombs Bennett onto the trash can. Parks stomps on Bennett to keep control of the match. Parks sets the chair up and chops Bennett. Bennett forearms Parks and delivers a backbreaker to the edge of the chair. Bennett goes to the floor and goes under the ring to grab something.
Bennett introduces a table to the match and sets a table up on the floor. Parks hits Bennett with a trash can lid. Parks chops Bennett against the ropes and delivers a forearm. Bennett stops Parks with a headbutt. Parks dumps Bennett to the apron. Bennett forearms Parks and they end up on the apron. Parks hooks Bennett for a suplex, but Bennett blocks and they trade forearm strikes. Parks and Bennett stagger on the apron a few times. Bennett boots Parks on the apron. Bennett hits a leaping cutter off the apron through the table on the floor! Bennett piles chairs in the middle of the ring as Parks remains laid out on the floor. Parks knee strikes Bennett in the corner and powerbombs Bennett onto the pile of chairs for a two count. Parks yells at the referee for not counting to three. Parks lays Bennett onto the chairs and stands on Bennett for a moment. Parks heads to the top rope, but Bennett delivers a forearm strike. Bennett climbs to the middle rope and hooks Parks for a suplex. Bennett hits a suplex off the top onto the chairs to win the match. After the match, Andy Williams forces Pepper Parks and Kevin Bennett to shake hands. (***1/4. It’s a good match, but I was expecting more of a brawl and maybe some blood. The video package presented this as a blood feud and then it lacked that element. Despite my desire for blood, it was a good match and the crowd reacted well to the action.)
Footage from A Night At The Johnsburg focusing on the Anthony Gaines/Cesar issues in focused on. A masked man attacked Gaines by hitting a gut buster and it’s revealed as being Will Calrissian.
Sixth Contest: Anthony Gaines vs. Will Calrissian: Gaines ducks a clothesline and chops Calrissian a few times. Gaines floats over the back and misses a heel kick. Calrissian nails Gaines with a knee to the head. Calrissian continues with knee strikes and a dropkick to a seated Gaines for a two count. Calrissian forearms Gaines against the ropes followed by a knee lift to the midsection. Gaines avoids a splash in the corner and chops Calrissian in the corner. Gaines hits a couple of running forearms in the corner. Calrissian catches Gaines to hit a backbreaker and a clothesline to the back of the head. Calrissian chokes Gaines over the bottom rope. Calrissian elbows Gaines and delivers a throat thrust in the corner. Calrissian drives Gaines down with a backbreaker and keeps Gaines over his knee. Cesar attacks Gaines in the corner by choking Gaines while the referee is distracted. Calrissian puts a knee over Gaines throat to maintain control. Calrissian uppercuts Gaines and continues with knee strikes to the face. Calrissian punches Gaines several times, but runs into an elbow strike. Gaines dumps Calrissian to the apron and hits Will to the floor. Gaines takes Cesar out with a moonsault on the floor.
Calrissian stops Gaines with a tilt a whirl backbreaker. Calrissian sends Gaines into the corner chest first followed by a gut buster for a near fall. Gaines ducks a clothesline and nails Calrissian with a clothesline of his own. Gaines begins to trade strikes with Calrissian from their knees. Gaines kicks Calrissian to the mat, but Calrissian hits a rolling fireman’s carry. Gaines avoids a moonsault to deliver a superkick and hits a moonsault from the bottom rope, middle rope, and goes to the top rope, but the lights go out. Another masked man is in the ring and nails Gaines with a chair. It’s revealed to be Chris Cooper. After the match, Gaines is handcuffed and gets a chair shot to the head. Cooper drops Gaines with a curb stomp. Cesar puts a chair on Gaines leg, but the ESW Tag Team Champions make the save. (**1/2. I thought it was a solid match before the DQ finish and the aftermath. I really dug Calrissian’s style of wrestling and he came across really well. Gaines has good babyface fire and can sell a beating very well.)
The next match is another match that was taped earlier in the evening.
Seventh Contest: Atticus Cogar vs. Gavin Glass: Cogar tries for a hip toss, but Glass counters and nails Cogar with a kick to the floor. Glass hits a suicide dive to take Cogar out on the floor. Cogar dropkicks Glass after Brother Christian distracted Glass. Cogar hits a springboard dropkick to Glass’s head for a near fall. Cogar chokes Glass in the corner for a few moments. Glass ducks a few strikes and nails Cogar with a knee to the face leading to a near fall. Cogar nails Glass with a forearm strike for another two count. Cogar clubs Glass over the back several times and hits a suplex. Cogar connects with a standing moonsault for a two count. Cogar chokes Glass in the corner while the referee is distracted, again. Cogar splashes Glass in the corner leading to another near fall. Glass slaps Cogar, but Cogar responds with forearm strikes. Glass hits a standing Slice Bread for a two count. Cogar drops Glass to the mat and superkicks Glass. Cogar hits a German suplex for a two count. Cogar tosses Glass with an overhead suplex and plants Glass to the mat with a modified DDT for the win. (*1/2. This came across as if it was just a filler match.)
A video package highlighting the tag team career of Andrew Cravatta and Randy Philbrick is shown. Tonight, they do battle in a loser must retire match. The video included their backyard wrestling footage.
Eighth Contest: Andrew Cravatta vs. Randy Philbrick in a loser leaves ESW: Andrew takes Randy down to the mat and they quickly go to the floor. Randy misses a shoulder ram on the apron and is kicked by Andrew. Andrew hits a top rope crossbody for a one count. Andrew rams Randy into a corner and delivers shoulder rams followed by an overhand chop. Randy rams Andrew into the corner and connects with a series of strikes. Andrew hits a tilt a whirl head scissors. Andrew counters a powerbomb with a rollup for a near fall. Andrew kicks Randy in the corner and tries for a crossbody, but Randy hits a swinging side slam for a near fall. Randy connects with a standing moonsault for a two count. Randy kicks Andrew on the chest and Andrew is driven down by a back suplex. Randy misses a charge in the corner and Andrew head scissors Randy to the floor. Andrew misses a boot and is yanked down on the apron. Randy takes Andrew out with a somersault dive to the floor. Randy tries for a cover, but Andrew kicks out at two. Randy stomps on Andrew several times to maintain the advantage.
They both attempt running crossbody blocks, but they collide and drop to the mat. They begin to trade overhand chops in the middle of the ring. Andrew kicks Randy several times and hits a sit out powerbomb out of a Burning Hammer position for a two count. Randy almost wins with a rollup out of a headlock. Randy kicks Andrew and almost wins with his feet on the ropes, but the referee stopped that. Andrew almost wins with a rollup from behind. Andrew drops Randy to the mat with a flapjack. Andrew goes to the top rope, but is crotched by Randy. Randy tries for a middle rope cutter, but Andrew counters with a crossface facebuster off the middle rope. Andrew locks in a modified crossface, but Randy crawls for the ropes only to fail and is forced to submit. (**. I have no idea who these guys are and the match lacked the kind of emotion you’d expect from a career vs. career match. They seemed to work a fine match and obviously have chemistry. It just didn’t click for me.) After the match, Andrew cuts a promo about their history and says that they both are leaving ESW together. Randy thanks the fans and puts over the guys in the back. That’s kind of bizarre for both guys to then retire from ESW.
Ninth Contest: ESW Heavyweight Champion Brandon Thurston vs. Bill Collier: Collier starts off by shoving Thurston to the mat to display his size advantage. Thurston delivers a leg kick several times, but Collier sends Thurston into the corner and they have a standoff. Thurston kicks Collier several times and connects with a few strikes. Thurston chops Collier a few times, but runs into a shoulder block. Collier shoves Thurston into the corner again. Thurston chops Collier several times, but we see Daniel Garcia is watching in the crowd. Thurston arm drags Collier and stares at Collier on the mat. Thurston sends Collier into a corner and taunts the crowd. Collier shoulder rams Thurston several times in the corner followed by elbow strikes and an uppercut. Collier misses a splash in the corner and is met with a kick. Thurston yanks on Collier’s arm over the top rope from the apron. Thurston follows up with an arm breaker and a knee drop to the arm several times. Thurston yanks on Collier’s arm on the mat leading to a two count. Collier sends Thurston into the ropes to deliver a superkick. Collier drops Thurston to the mat with a couple of chops. Thurston fights back with several strikes and a kick. Collier stops Thurston a big boot and leg drop for a two count.
Collier lifts Thurston into the air and hits a Falcon Arrow for a near fall. Collier misses a spear and hits the post. Thurston continues to deliver several kicks in the corner to stagger Collier. Collier stops Thurston coming off the ropes, but Thurston gets a two count with a rollup. Collier hits a swinging slam, but Thurston kicks out at two. Collier has Thurston on his shoulders, but Thurston breaks free to deliver a few kicks and leg sweeps Collier to the mat. Thurston nails Collier with a double stomp and hits a German suplex. Thurston holds onto the hold and hits a few more German suplexs. Thurston tosses Collier with a t-bone suplex for a near fall. Collier battles back hitting a fallaway slam. Collier runs into a chop and Thurston hits a cutter for a near fall. Thurston runs the ropes and hits a tilt a whirl arm bar looking for a submission, but Collier refuses to give in. Collier powers out and sends Thurston into the corner. Thurston boots Collier in the corner. Thurston leaps off the top, but is caught and Collier tries for a slam. However, Thurston counters with an arm lock. Collier climbs the ropes with Thurston and hits a middle rope fallaway slam!
Collier follows up with a spear, but Thurston kicks out at two. Collier misses a running boot in the corner. Thurston decks Collier over the back and chops Collier several times. Collier ends up in a tree of woe and Thurston delivers a double stomp for a two count. Thurston locks in the Sharpshooter, which pisses off Daniel Garcia in the crowd. Collier reaches the ropes as Thurston leaned far back. Garcia throws a drink at Thurston. Collier drives Thurston down with a chokeslam, but Thurston kicks out at two. Thurston quickly locks in an arm bar and forces Collier to submit. (***. A decent title defense for Thurston, but it was obvious during the match that the goal is for an eventual showdown between Thurston and Garcia for the ESW Heavyweight Championship. Regardless of that, it was a good match with both men showcasing their stuff well.)
Brandon Thurston cuts a promo putting over the Buffalo area and puts over ESW as being one of the best places to wrestle on the independent scene. Thurston noted he’d defend the title against anyone. Daniel Garcia appears on the aisle way walking with crutches. Garcia gets in the ring and shocks the audience by ditching the crutches and gets in Thurston’s face only two months after the car accident. The crowd erupted for that. Garcia tells Thurston that nobody cares about what he has to say. Garcia takes credit for ESW’s success and how this show is the first time it sold out. Garcia notes that Thurston doesn’t main event. Garcia promises to carry Thurston to a main event match because he’s the best that Buffalo has seen. Garcia slaps Thurston a few times. Garcia gets stopped by several officials. Garcia ends up grabbing the title.
Main Event: The Lucha Brothers (Rey Fenix & Pentagon Jr.) vs. To Infinity And Beyond (Cheech & Colin Delaney): They start off with some comedy involving jumping on the ropes, which Fenix does very well and Delaney jokingly tries to do. Pentagon does his usual taunt to Cheech. Cheech shoves Pentagon and says he’s not afraid of Pentagon. Cheech blocks the taunt and is kicked by Fenix. Delaney gets involved, but is dropkicked by Fenix. Cheech kicks Fenix leading to double kick by Cheech and Pentagon causing all four men to be down in the early moments of the match. Cheech knee lifts Fenix followed by a strike. Cheech plants Fenix with a back suplex. Pentagon is met with a double hip toss and a seated clothesline by Delaney. Fenix gets in the match and delivers a few chops. Fenix runs into a double kick and Pentagon gets back in the contest. Cheech splashes Pentagon, but Fenix nails Delaney with a springboard kick. Cheech is double teamed in the corner and is nailed by a double superkick in the middle of the ring. Fenix and Pentagon kick Delaney to the match. Pentagon splashes Fenix onto Delaney for a near fall. Cheech sends Fenix to the floor and Pentagon remains in the match taunting Cheech.
Pentagon tries his taunt, but Cheech chops Pentagon. Pentagon responds with a chop to the chest. They trade chops until Cheech kicks Pentagon on the knee. Pentagon hits a sling blade. Fenix hits a Canadian Destroyer on Delaney. Fenix tries for a suplex, but Delaney hits a stunner. Cheech and Delaney hit a Codebreaker/DDT combo on Lucha Brothers, but they can’t get a three count on either man. Cheech sits on the top rope waiting for Fenix. Fenix takes Cheech off the top with a hurricanrana. Fenix double stomps Delaney and Pentagon hits a Package Piledriver. Fenix nails Cheech with a suicide dive on the aisle while Pentagon covers Delaney to earn a three count and win. (**1/2. It’s a quick and short match, which is a little disappointing. I was hoping for a longer form match and allow for Delaney and Cheech to showcase themselves against a top team. It’s a solid fast pace match, but I left the match bummed that it came across more of a showcase for Fenix and Pentagon and that Cheech and Delaney were just along for the ride.)
Cheech cuts a promo thinking they are world class tag teams and thanks the fans for selling out the venue. Fenix chimes in and says they want back in ESW.
Congrats to ESW for a sold out show, that’s always a great accomplishment for any independent wrestling promotion. There is some good wrestling on the show and good character by MJF. I’ll give the show a mild thumbs up as it lacks on standout match and the short time the main event got was a bit disappointing for me.
Thanks for reading.