In this newest look into my journey as an independent professional wrestling referee, I chronicle my time at Empire State Wrestling’s latest event “Temperature Rising”.
My good friend, Jeff, came up from Virginia for the next few weeks and gave me a ride to the show for ESW’s Temperature Rising. My wife was driving up to a bar that was a short walk away from the after-party spot for a benefit that night thus I would drive us back home with her car later. Therefore, this arrangement worked out perfectly.
I arrived at the show a little bit earlier than usual. This turned out to be nice because I felt a lot less rushed when ring announcer Chris Gullo and I recorded some Facebook live videos hyping up the event, especially the Brandon Thurston versus Daniel Garcia main event. I was also able to catch up with people a little bit easier than normal.
The referee assignments went a little different than normal. Referee Andrew Mollon arrived late due to a family obligation and got the bulk of the matches in the second half of the card, including the final two matches. This led to me receiving the first three matches of the night. The first two were pre-show fights in which one match flowed straight into the second one. Then I came back out for the third one after the national anthem and recap video to start the main show.
The first match was between Slade (also known by his alter ego gimmick “The Dyad” Sebastian Braun) and Ryze of The Universal Era. Ryze picked up the surprise win via crucifix pin upon the more imposing Slade in a quick match.
As Ryze and his tag partner Dakota Orion celebrated, Cloudy came out and challenged Orion to a singles match, citing that he and his partner Nick Ando were supposed to face the tag team that night but Ando could not make it. Orion accepted the challenge and also scored the pin fall via crucifix when Cloudy attempted a cocky cover for a pin.
I next reffed Bill Collier versus Atticus Cogar. This was a hard fought bout with both guys laying into each other. It was a really effective opening match to get the crowd roaring. Cogar’s manager Brother Christianson got on the apron during this one. Next thing I know, Collier pushes me away from him, Cogar goes to hit him and accidentally smacks Christianson and turns around and eats a big smash to the face for Collier’s victory.
I am glad I was able to ref three matches in a row, although this is not something I normally I would prefer. Typically when doing ref assignments, it is best practice to not assign refs to consecutive matches so they can be briefed on anything before they go out for each one. However, in this case, I was able to test my endurance a little bit. Over the last few weeks, I hit the gym more frequently to try and get back to my pre-surgery strength and stamina.
I was pretty spent after this one, and honestly I was a little concerned and I did my best not to think too much on whether or not I still possessed the well-being to continue for my fourth match later and just chilled the hell out and I was getting way into my own head. At the time, I chugged a bunch of water and sat and watched the show for the most part. I did not want any paranoid anxiety in my nerves making me feel worse than I actually was.
My last match was Kevin Bennett against Brian Pillman Jr. I am really glad I got to ref this one, as Pillman’s dad was one of my heavier influences when I started training years ago. I will not be able to ever ref Brian Pillman Sr. But I can say I reffed his son and I think that is cool.
I felt much better mentally after this match, knowing I made it through and I think that groggy feeling I was experiencing was more so in my head than anything and I felt a lot more confident in myself afterward.
After that, it was intermission, and I was already done for the night. I was able to go hang out with Jeff and my two other friends Tony and Mark who I used to watch a lot of wrestling pay per views with and got to catch up with all of them for a little while.
When the show restarted, I finished getting changed and was able to watch the rest of the show in the back and prepare to record more Facebook live videos at the end of the night. The Thurston-Garcia main event was off-the-hook and I believe lived up to the hype. I did not expect the ending at all and it was such an emotional moment for everyone involved. I highly encourage everyone to watch it on one of ESW’s streaming partners such as Powerslam.TV when it becomes available.
You can also read my news article on the match here.
I hope, considering my schedule, to write more details about this match similar to what I did on the Ilio DiPaolo Cup Finals in November. Stay tuned.
We then cleaned up and then headed to Mooney’s on Main for the after-party and chowed down on some food. I concluded the evening when I ventured down to the benefit my wife was at and listened to some damn good punk rock before heading home.
That sums up my day at Temperature Rising. I am not totally sure when my exact next booking will be at this moment but I plan on being busy writing throughout July. Keep checking Pro Wrestling Post to see more of my work as it comes in.