Empire State Wrestlings Tough Luck | The Jarkaster Journey

Hello, everybody!

Welcome back to another edition of my referee blog. This entry is about my time at Empire State Wrestlings Tough Luck that took place on March 18 at Buffalo RiverWorks. This was an interesting show so let’s jump into the details.

With this being ESW’s return to Buffalo RiverWorks for the first time since November of last year and the surplus of top-level indie talent booked on it, there was a lot of hype going into Tough Luck. This occurred even with running the night after St. Patrick’s Day, which was a good sign.

Empire State Wrestlings Tough Luck

One advantage to running on that day specifically was that Game Changer Wrestling held a show the day before in New York City and one the following day in Toronto. This made Buffalo a convenient spot for the GCW regulars that were booked for Tough Luck. Even a good chunk of the regular GCW roster that was not booked came to the show just to hang out.

Empire State Wrestlings Tough Luck
[Photo: TMK Pro Wrestling Photography]
Over the last several months, I took on more responsibility with social media stuff along with public relation duties. For Tough Luck, I also picked up the hotel keys for the out-of-town guests on my way to the venue. I take my daughter to her dance classes on Saturday morning so I typically arrive later than the other locals. Therefore, it was a little easier for me to grab the keys.

Two podcasts came to the event to cover the show. Buffalo Brews Podcast interviewed James Sayga prior to the show and WittyNOTfunny Sports covered Tough Luck while it was in progress. It was cool for us to receive coverage from these locally-based outlets. I hope this is something that becomes a regular occurrence.

My family was originally supposed to come, but we found out two days before the show that my daughter had her first baseball practice. So my wife and children were not going to make it. Then that afternoon, my son came down with a fever and could not go to the practice with my wife and daughter. My parents missed the show to watch him, allowing my wife and daughter to go to the practice.

Among the plethora of GCW talent on the show, two GCW referees were also booked. Dan Perch and Scarlett Donovan refereed on the event along with Richard Head, Ryan Rice, and myself. With the extra referees, I only received one match assignment for the night.

Prior to the show starting, we got changed in a curtained-off locker room area on the second floor of RiverWorks. A hockey tournament was being played, so those teams were using the regular ones. A random waitress came up the stairs asking for a “Mancer”, so I brought her to Mance Warner. She handed him a beer and said a fan bought it for him. This is another example of the completely random things that occur at wrestling shows.

Empire State Wrestlings Tough Luck
[Photo: TMK Pro Wrestling Photography]
I refereed Vinnie Moon versus Jeremiah Richter. Richter was accompanied to the ring with his Edge of Hope pals, and Moon came out with his new manager Will Calrissian. It was a fun match that proved to be interesting, with the always stern Edge of Hope on the opposite side of the goofy tandem of Moon and Calrssian.

My other referee duty for the night involved being a part of a pull-apart after the Frank Feathers-Vince Valor match ended in a no-contest. After the mayhem was contained, Valor issued a challenge to Feathers to face him in a dog collar match at ESW’s Brawlfest 2023 in May at RiverWorks. That will be an intense match!

The rest of the night I spent monitoring social media posts for spammers posting fake streaming links, catching up with some friends that showed up, and chatting it up with the WittyNOTfunny guys. It was not what I expected to do going into the show, but I enjoyed the time spent with everyone.

Overall, the show was electric. Every match was on point, and the fans dug everything. The draw hit about 500 people – one of our biggest recent draws. If you missed Tough Luck in-person or the IndependentWrestling.TV live stream, I recommend watching it on demand via IWTV.

After the show, I helped ESW promoter Brett Stymus ensure that everyone got their room keys that were supposed to get one. There was no after-party or anything like it so I jetted home.

My upcoming workload is a little heavier than recent times. On April 15, I will be at ESW’s debut in Medina, N.Y. with Spring Smash at Medina High School. Then on April 30, I will return to Buffalo Championship Wrestling for Chaos in Cheektavegas at the Donovan Post in Cheektowaga, N.Y. Finally, as mentioned earlier, I will be at ESW at RiverWorks on May 13 for Brawlfest 2023 – which will feature Matt Cardona.

Training-wise, I will be stopping periodically at Buffalo Wrestling Academy in the Eastern Hills Mall in Williamsville, N.Y. BWA will be holding open tryouts for anyone interested in training for any aspect of the wrestling business on April 23.

Lastly, ESW is looking for people interested in holding vendor tables at events, businesses that would like to be sponsors, and nonprofit organizations that are looking to fundraise. If any of these opportunities appeal to you, email me at media@eswwrestling.com for more information.

As always, thanks for reading!