Over the years, Empire State Wrestling held some of its largest events in its promotional and Western New York independent wrestling history at the Kenan Center in Lockport, N.Y. Many legends, like Kevin Nash and Sgt. Slaughter, and future stars of professional wrestling, such as Johnny Gargano and Tony Nese, appeared on these events. These Kenan Center “super shows” drew as many as 1,000 fans. After a three year absence from the Kenan Center, Empire State Wrestling (ESW) will rekindle this tradition when it presents “Wrestlebash X” on Saturday, November 23.
“I’m very excited to bring ESW back to the Kenan Center in Lockport,” said ESW promoter Brett Mednik. “There’s just something about the venue and shows themselves there that brings the best out of everyone and I can’t wait to see the energy from both the wrestlers and the crowd that night.”
Keeping in line with prior Kenan Center events, a former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) star will headline Wrestlebash X. WWE Hall of Famer D-Von Dudley will make his debut in ESW on that night.
Another tradition that will be upheld is the seventh annual rendering of the Ilio DiPaolo Memorial Cup match. Last year’s DiPaolo Cup match closed Wrestlebash and exhibited one of the best sequences of wrestling in the promotion’s history to end the bout between “The Patron Saint of Professional Wrestling” Brandon Thurston and “Red Death” Daniel Garcia.
You can read about that here.
Thurston will again compete in the match after winning it last year. It will be his sixth appearance which is the most all-time. He will be joined by EVOLVE Tag Team Champion A.R. Fox, 2015 DiPaolo Cup winner Bill Collier, Cleveland, Ohio’s Atticus Cogar, Puf and the winner of the “Last Chance” Battle Royal that will take place at the beginning of the night.
The other 2018 DiPaolo Cup finalist will also be in action. Garcia, the current ESW Heavyweight Champion, will defend the title against current EVOLVE Champion Josh Briggs. This will be Garcia’s second title defense since winning the title in August.
“Josh Briggs is one of the most high profile independent wrestlers on the planet today,” Garcia said. “He’s big, he’s talented and he’s athletic. But do not sleep on me. I have had the best year out of any independent wrestler in 2019 and I’m going to add to my body of work by beating Josh Briggs.”
Garcia’s walk to the ring will be extra special for Wrestlebash. Local recording artist Freak the Mighty will be performing his entrance music live at the Kenan Center.
The first-ever “war games” match in ESW history will take place at Wrestlebash. The Empire, featuring Jonny Puma, Will Calrissian, Chris Cooper, and Kevin Grace, will face a group of ESW’s young stars of “None of a Kind” Anthony Gaines, “Invincible” Vince Valor, James Sayga and “The Remix” Kevin Bennett in a steel cage. ESW Commissioner The Caesar will be in The Empire’s corner.
A pair of former Impact Wrestling stars will make their ESW debuts. Homicide and Eddie Kingston will team up to face The Butcher & The Blade (Pepper Parks and Every Time I Die guitarist Andy Williams). The Butcher & The Blade will look to continue their winning ways after beating Garcia and Thurston in a tag team match in September.
Frankie Feathers will eye extending his title reign to a full year after winning the ESW Interstate Championship at last year’s Wrestlebash. He will put the belt on the line versus Medina, N.Y. native Gavin Glass.
After unexpectedly winning the ESW Tag Team Championships in September, Handcrafted, the team of R.J. City and Gregory Iron, will defend their titles for the first time. They will face High Seas, the team of ex-Ring of Honor (ROH) star Cloudy and Nick Ando.
“Last show, we died and came back to life,” City said. “What can be worse than death? This match.”
For the first time in Wrestlebash history, a women’s singles match will be on the card. Fan favorite “Sparkle Hunter” Kate Carney will face Ontario independent wrestling stalwart Beautiful Beaa. Carney will look to preserve her 2019 undefeated streak in ESW versus the newcomer to the promotion.
The participants in the Last Chance Battle Royal will include faces both old and new to ESW fans. The match will include mainstays such as ex-WWE star Colin Delany, ex-ROH star Cheech, “Unkillable” Kevin Blackwood, “The Big Bang” Jerk Cockins, Dakota Orion and Vinnie Moon. It will also feature newer wrestlers such as Jeremiah Richter and Matt Rattcliff.
“Jerk about to get this heat going into the battle royal,” Cockins said. “Last chances are for winners. Watch Jerk win this battle and the war for the cup.”
Front and second-row tickets are sold out. General admission tickets are $15 pre-sale and $20 on event day. Doors are open at 4:30 p.m. with bell time set for 6:00 p.m.
Prior to Wrestlebash X, a video game tournament will be held. Participants can enter the tournament for $50. Attendees will also be able to visit a variety of vendor tables from local businesses.
Wrestlebash X will be recorded for ESW’s live-streaming outlets such as Powerslam.TV.