The drama was tense and the emotions were high at Empire State Wrestling’s previous event at the St. Johnsburg Fire Hall in North Tonawanda, N.Y with Hit Me With Your Best Shot. Those in attendance saw “Red Death” Daniel Garcia make his long-awaited return and capture the Empire State Wrestling Heavyweight Championship from Brandon Thurston.
On Saturday, August 17, the wrestlers of Empire State Wrestling (ESW) will look to rekindle those competitive fires when Western New York’s top independent wrestling promotion returns to the St. Johnsburg for “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”.
“This is our last show in North Tonawanda for the summer and there will be more active than the fire hall can hold,” said ESW promoter Brett Mednik. “Don’t miss out on the premium wrestling promotion in Western New York.”
Garcia’s first title defense will be against “Blue Thunder” Jay Freddie after Freddie bested Impact Wrestling’s Josh Alexander in a No. 1 contender’s match at the last event.
“Jay Freddie is a very talented guy who’s been a staple of independent wrestling in the Northeast United States for over 10 years,” Garcia said. “He’s a regular at places such as Limitless Wrestling, Beyond and has experience in Japan for Wrestle-1. He is highly regarded as a workhorse and as one of the hardest hitting, and technical wrestlers in the Northeast. I am excited to test my iron against someone of his caliber, but I will show that my youth and consistency will overcome his experience and complacency.”
Local wrestling legend Jonny Puma will face-off versus viral star “None of a Kind” Anthony Gaines. This will be Puma’s first official match in ESW in several years as him and the “old guard” continue to attack several of ESW’s young rising stars.
“Puma is one of the founding fathers of ESW,” Gaines said. “Without him, who knows where it’d be. That’s why I brought him back. Never thought he would turn his back on me for doing that. But that’s life. He chose the wrong guy to stab in the back and Saturday, he’s going to face the reaper.”
Other members of the old guard will square off against some other up-and-comers in a 6-man tag match. ESW Commissioner The Caesar and ESW Tag Team Champions Famous (Will Calrissian and Chris Cooper) will battle The Universal Era (Vinnie Moon, Dakota Orion, and Ryze).
“I’m sorry but Will, Cooper and myself have literally no idea who these kids are,” The Caesar said. “Hopefully our match is early enough so these prepubescents get home before the streetlights turn on.”
“Pretty sure these kids asked me to buy them White Claws in a gas station parking lot last week,” The Caesar pondered further.
Two All-Elite Wrestling stars will be in action. Trent Barretta will take on “The Blade” Pepper Parks. Meanwhile, Evil Uno will face ex-World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) star, Colin Delaney.
Fellow WWE alum Gangrel will be appearing, as well. Gangrel last came to ESW at its Albion, N.Y. debut event last year, beating Gregory Iron.
Iron will continue his feud with his former Handcrafted tag team partner R.J. City. Their match at the last event was highly unconventional, to say the least.
“This is the greatest feud the world has ever seen, and it’s only just begun,” City said. “Now we’re picking our own partners to face each other in a tag match. It’s like a singles match, but with two more people. Big feud!”
ESW Interstate Champion Frankie Feathers will put his title on the line against ex-Ring of Honor star Cheech. Feathers’ last match in ESW saw him tag with WWE Hall of Famer Bushwacker Luke at the promotion’s debut in Cuba, N.Y.
There will be a triple threat match featuring some of the rising stars from across the Northeast U.S. The bout will include Evolve’s Josh Briggs, Cleveland, Ohio’s Atticus Cogar and the locally-based sensation “The Remix” Kevin Bennett.
After some tense moments on the last show between the two, Cogar’s manager Brother Christianson will not be in his corner at Hit Me With Your Best Shot.
“Atticus and I were not on the same page when he fought Bill Collier,” Christianson said. “We had a miscommunication that led to losing the match. I emphasize the ‘we’ in that statement. Atticus is laying it 100 percent at my feet, so I decided to take Saturday off. Will Atticus beat Bennett and Briggs without my guidance? I wouldn’t rule it out. What he definitely will get however is a reminder of the value I bring to him.”
Puf is scheduled to appear as well as “Big Time” Bill Collier who issued an open challenge rather than waiting for ESW management to determine his opponent.
Pre-sale general admission tickets are $15. Tickets increase $5 day of the event. Front and second-row tickets are sold out. Doors open at 5 p,m, with bell-time at 6 p.m. Hit Me With Your Best Shot will be recorded for ESW’s streaming service partners such as Powerslam.TV.