Hello everyone. This latest blog entry is about my time at Empire State Wrestling’s Rochester event on February 22 called “Second Coming”. Let’s dive right into the happenings and some other tidbits on this show.
My preparations for the day went a lot smoother than the previous month. I started getting everything prepared as soon as I woke up and it was a lot less stressful of a situation. My wife stayed home with our daughter for this one. I ended up driving there by myself. Earlier in my referee career, I made this drive to Rochester a lot. This was one that was super familiar to me, granted it was nearly one calendar year since the last time I made it.
In one of my first ever Rochester drives, I got a speeding ticket on one of the area highways. So when I got pulled over by a State Trooper on the same stretch of highway on this day. It felt like a Deja Vu moment. He pulled me over because my muffler was too loud (yeah, still working on that…) and let me go on a warning because he said he was looking for bad guys and I was a good one. When he drove off, he stopped by me and gave a “Go Bills!” shout out.
Second Coming was held at Village Sports in Fairport, which is a suburb of Rochester.
It was ESW’s second time at this venue and second time running a show in the Rochester area, so the event was named appropriately. Some fun facts about Fairport: The village’s nickname is the “Crown Jewel of the Erie Canal”. Fairport is also the hometown of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman and Buffalo Bills co-owner Kim Pegula. Village Sports is a multi-purpose sports venue with half the arena being an ice surface and the other half being turf. Obviously, the wrestling show was happening on the turf part of the venue but the whole building was still pretty cold throughout.
The turf was installed recently so a large tarp was required across the entire surface.
A cool thing about Village Sports is the owners’ bulldog marches freely throughout the venue. He even spent some time in the ring, reminiscent of The British Bulldogs’ Matilda. Thankfully, he did not relieve himself in it. Prior to the show, Spectrum News Rochester contacted me about covering the event. I met up with its cameraman/reporter before doors opened and arranged a quick interview for him with Colin Delaney. It was fun to play an athletic communications-type role and that one of the press releases that I regularly send out before each event actually paid off in getting press coverage. I’m strongly considered pursuing a master’s degree in public relations before landing my new job because I enjoy this work so much. I still might someday.
Empire State Wrestling’s front row tickets are individually reserved. ESW promoter Brett Mednik asked if I could help front row ticket holders get to their seats once they entered, so I did that after handling my PR duties. It was something new for me which was cool. I ended up reffing two matches on the night. Brett thought I was not coming because this event is sort of outside the normal ESW realm, but thankfully I still got a referee spot out of it.
My first match was Nick Sullivan versus Vinnie Moon. I refereed both of these guys before. However, it was a little while ago. Sullivan really laid some hard chops in on Moon and hit some big power moves. However, Moon was able to squeak away from this match with the win.
My second bout was To Infinity & Beyond with “Big Cat” Lemmer against Bear Country with Vinnie Paulino.
This match was set up earlier in the night when Lemmer and Paulino continued their feud from last year. Paulino and Lemmer got into another verbal confrontation before Bear Country jumped Lemmer from behind which was followed by To Infinity & Beyond chasing them off while wielding chairs.
This match was off the hook. I highly recommend watching this on any of the streaming services it is available on such as Powerslam.TV and IndependentWrestling.TV. For years, I felt To Infinity & Beyond should be signed to one of the major companies, and once again, they proved it that night. This was my first time reffing Bear Country at Second Coming. I feel it is only a matter of time before they are on a much bigger stage, as well.
The refs for the night were me, Referee Richard Head and Referee Brett Vincent. Last year, Vincent only worked the opening match. But this time around, he got more and I am happy for him to get a bigger workload. The draw for the show was markedly higher than last year’s. I think this can be a permanent stronghold for ESW for the time to come and potentially could be run more than once a year. The ring crew after the show went smoothly.
During it, I talked to two fans about their battle jackets and they gave me some good tips for when I finally get around to working on mine.
After Second Coming, I went to Wimpy’s for dinner. It popular fast food joint in Rochester with a few guys before making the trek home. It was my first time there after hearing it being lauded for several years. As I reflect on this show, one thing that I thought about at the end of the night was where I was a year ago health-wise. Last year, I was making my first wrestling show back after my gallbladder removal so I still felt edgy about that. I also was experiencing chronic fatigue that would affect me for the next 10 months. I was very concerned about being able to ref a show in my state of being. I’ve come a long way since then. I feel a lot better about my health and my personal longevity as a referee since then.
As mentioned earlier, you can watch Second Coming on ESW’s live streaming services such as Powerslam and IWTV. I highly recommend this as always. I think the ESW product measures up well with many of the top independent wrestling promotions out there and you will not be disappointed.
The next ESW event is at the end of March. When Western New York’s top wrestling promotion returns to the Frontier Fire Hall in Niagara Falls, N.Y. for “Spring Breakdown”. It feature Jeff Cobb, Maine State Posse, Jake Something and Joe Gacy. Keep an eye right here to Pro Wrestling Post for an event preview.
As always, thanks for reading!