After finishing off 2019 with one of its biggest events in years, Empire State Wrestling (ESW) will look to keep the good times. It is rolling into the new decade. ESW presents “Shipwrecked on Grando Island” on Saturday, January 25.
Shipwrecked on Grando Island will be ESW’s debut in Grand Island, N.Y. It takes place at the Radisson Hotel. The venue is popularly known throughout Western New York for allegedly being haunted by the spirit of a little girl.
The event is a play off the name of “Your Captain” Nick Ando, one of ESW’s roster staples from Rochester, N.Y. and he is excited that ESW is crafting this show in his style.
“I can’t think of a better way for ESW to kick off 2020 than to celebrate a local treasure and regional icon, ‘Your Captain’ Nick Ando,” he said. “I mean, it’s about time I get the attention I deserve. Poppa’s star burns bright, you know, so good luck to anyone trying to take the spotlight off of me.”
One of the premier matches at this groundbreaking event will be ESW Heavyweight Champion “Red Death” Daniel Garcia defending the title against Binghamton, N.Y. native “Hybrid” Sean Carr. Garcia previously beat current EVOLVE Heavyweight Champion Josh Briggs in November while Carr makes his return to ESW after a nine-month layoff.
Carr sees some similarities between Garcia and himself.
“I’m looking forward to getting in the ring with Daniel Garcia,” Carr said. “I remember it wasn’t too long ago I was where he is at now – a young, talented kid who is building a name for himself. But I’m not that kid anymore. I’ve built my name with a resume of heavyweight titles and the one title that’s missing on that list is the ESW Heavyweight title. So I’m coming for that. Let’s see how good this kid really is.”
The other two ESW championships will be up for grabs. After being jumped after his last two title defenses by Roscoe Black, ESW Interstate Champion Frankie Feathers will face him one-on-one in the ring with the belt on the line. ESW Tag Team Champions Handcrafted will issue an open challenge after beating High Seas in November.
“It’s an open challenge,” R.J. City said. “I don’t really want it to be that challenging, but most importantly, we’re open.”
A battle between two Ilio DiPaolo Cup winners is scheduled. The 2019 DiPaolo Cup victor “Unkillable” Kevin Blackwood will face the 2018 DiPaolo Cup winner “The Patron Saint of Professional Wrestling” Brandon Thurston.
Several special guests are set to appear including two stars making their returns to ESW. One half of the current IMPACT Wrestling World Tag Team Champions “All Ego” Ethan Page will square off against three-time former ESW Heavyweight Champion “Big Time” Bill Collier. Space Monkey will make his ESW return versus “Silver Teeth Satan” Atticus Cogar. Although Collier and Cogar fell short in November’s DiPaolo Cup match, both put on impressive performances within it and will look to build off that momentum against their featured opponents.
Social media star Danhausen will be making his ESW debut. Over the last two years, Danhausen’s popularity rose sharply on the independent wrestling scene while also competing in Ring of Honor (ROH) and Beyond Wrestling.
Former ESW Tag Team Champions James Sayga and Vince Valor will be in action. The team will face a pair of youngsters in Matt Ratcliff and Jeremiah Richter. The latter will be looking to make their mark against the former champs.
“We started at Grapplers Anonymous together about a year ago and now find ourselves against ESW mainstays,” Ratcliff said. “We know exactly what Sayga and Valor are capable of. But we’re here to make a lasting impression and we have the element of surprise on our side.”
A triple threat match is planned between former ROH star Cloudy, “The Big Bang” Jerk Cockins and Dakota Orion.
“Jerk Cockins isn’t playing around when it comes to weather,” Cockins said. “Cloudy with a chance of superstar is what I’m thinking about. As for Dakoda Orion, Jerk doesn’t go stargazing and clearly Orion’s belt won’t be in the sky on Saturday night.”
Doors open at 5 p.m. with the action starting at 6 p.m. Front and second-row tickets are sold out. General admission tickets are $15 pre-sale and $20 on event day. Only 400 total tickets are available for this event.
ESW’s official after-party will be held at Mooney’s on Main in Tonawanda, N.Y. Shipwrecked on Grando Island will be recorded for ESW’s live-streaming outlets such as Powerslam.TV.