Empire State Wrestling (ESW) will return to the Falling Leaves Festival, Jefferson Avenue Park, Salamanca, NY on Friday, September 28. The event is free of charge and will be located near the corner of Main and Broad Streets, next to Rite Aid. This family friendly event stars at 5 p.m. Western New York’s top wrestling talent to appear with ex-WWE stars Shannon Moore and Colin Delaney.
Former World Wrestling Entertainment stars Shannon Moore and Colin Delaney will be in action. Moore is for his time in WWE and wrestling for its Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) brand. He also wrestled earlier in his career for World Championship Wrestling (WCW), in which he held the Hardcore Championship.
Delaney is coming fresh off the heels of yet another appearance on WWE’s 205 Live show, facing Lio Rush last month. In his last appearance in ESW, he teamed with Cheech as Infinity and Beyond and defeated Handcrafted, the team of Gregory Iron and R.J. City at “Brawlfest” in May 2018.
ESW Interstate Champion Anthony Gaines will be in action. The viral star lost his last match via countout to Frankie Feathers before either wrestler even made physical contact in August 2018 at “4th and Gold”. Although Gaines lost the match, he did not lose the title since he was not pinned, submitted or knocked out and went on to jump Feathers from behind and deliver a vicious beatdown.
Kevin Bennett is scheduled to wrestle in Salamanca. Bennett challenged Pepper Parks in a rematch for the ESW Heavyweight Championship at “4th and Gold” in a match that both competitors brawled around the outside and eventually saw Parks receive a significant gash to the forehead. However, Bennett lost the match due to interference from Every Time I Die guitarist Andy Williams, as Parks and Williams signaled the reforming of their tag team The Butcher & The Blade. Before anymore damage could be done, Puf came out to save Bennett, which in turn setup the possibility of a showdown between those two versus Parks and Williams at ESW’s next show “Overdrive” in October.
Another ESW regular set to appear is one half of the tag team North America’s Most Wanted, Daniel Garcia. Earlier this year, the 19-year-old Garcia faced Drew Gulak on 205 Live. His last match in ESW was at “4th and Gold” in which him and his tag partner Tarik were unsuccessful in winning the ESW Tag Team Championships from Game Over.
There will also be a special attraction women’s match. The competitors in this bout will be announced closer to the date of the event. The last women’s match in ESW happened at “4th and Gold”, which saw former Impact Wrestling star and WWE Mae Young Classic participant Allysin Kay defeat Kate Carney on a match that was exclusively filmed for PowerSlam.TV. Stayed tuned to ESW’s social media pages to stay informed on when this bout will be available on the streaming service.
ESW promotes eight shows a year, primarily held at the St. Johnsburg Fire Hall in North Tonawanda, N.Y., boasting crowds of over 400 fans. Larger “super show” events have been held at the Kenan Center in Lockport, N.Y. and the Frontier Fire Hall in Niagara Falls, N.Y., drawing crowds up to 1,000.
As Western New York’s premier independent professional wrestling promotion, ESW over the years has hosted many of pro wrestling’s top up-and-comers and biggest legends. Current World Wrestling Entertainment stars Kevin Owens, Luke Harper, Matt Hardy, Goldust, Rhyno, Jinder Mahal, Curt Hawkins, Cedric Alexander, Ruby Riott, Tye Dillinger and Tony Nese have appeared in ESW’s ring. Pro wrestling legends Kevin Nash, Brutus Beefcake, Billy Gunn, X-Pac, The Honky Tonk Man, Jim Duggan, Demolition, Raven, The Sandman, Tommy Dreamer and several others have appeared at ESW events.
Founded in 2002, ESW is run by Brett Stymus. Over half of ESW’s performers reside in the Western New York area.