Preview: EPW Vendetta (8/25/18)

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This Saturday, at Cyril Jackson Rec Centre in Bassendean, Western Australia, Explosive Pro Wrestling (EPW) presents Vendetta 2018. Headlined by three title matches, including a steel cage match, this show should have plenty of action to offer. The annual EPW Invitational Tournament is underway, and we get the two B Block semi-final matches on this show as well. With their big annual show ReAwakening now in view on the horizon, look for the beginning of angles to start setting up that show in November. Let’s take a look at what’s happening at this year’s EPW Vendetta:

Triple Threat Tag Team Match for the Number One Contenders for EPW Tag Team Championships: Street Gang Hooligans (Alex Kingston & Logan Grey) vs. The Head Hunters (Dan Steel & Twitch) vs. Kiel Steria & David Nero

Photo: EPW

Last month at Hell Or High Water, The Headhunters defeated the Street Gang Hooligans, with some help from their stablemate Jarrad Slate, so both teams are being included in this both as a result of that: The Headhunters for getting the win, the Hooligans for being shortchanged in that bout. On top of that, the month before at Evolution, during a tag match between the Hooligans and Steria & Nero, Steel and Slate of the Headhunters came in and attacked the four men, causing it to go to a no contest. This is the blowoff to the tension built between these teams, and is sure to be fantastically chaotic. The Hooligans are not just a cornerstone of EPW’s tag team division, but a cornerstone of EPW itself. Their matches against the Untouchables from ReAwakening (EPW’s big yearly show) last November and Hot Summer’s Night this past February are well worth going out of your way to see (both of which you can check out at Powerslam TV). Their creatively brawling style mixed with some high flying, including their skateboard spots, is a great change of pace on any card. That said, this is the time for the Headhunters. They’ve been undefeated since their debut in February, and all that build has to be heading towards a title match, and this match is that path. This match will settle the score between these seven men (Slate will most likely interfere), and set up the Headhunters for success later on.

Prediction: The Headhunters

Taylor King and The TK Taskforce (Tipene & Jack Edwards) vs. Julian Ward, Jordan Bishop and Johnny Wimbledon

Photo: EPW

King and his Taskforce have been the bane of EPW, and the babyface foil of Ward, Bishop, and Wimbeldon are the perfect pairing. Ward, Bishop, and Wimbeldon are all coming off losses in their most recent EPW bouts, whereas Taylor King is coming off an EPW Invitational Tournament A Block win last month over Craven, although Tipene lost his tournament match. Much like the opener, this match will keep the crowd hot, as the babyfaces have enough flash in their offense to keep things exciting, and with six guys in there, there won’t be lulls. King and his cronies will come out victorious, as he’ll need to keep strong going into his A Block Final next month.

Prediction: Taylor King and The TK Taskforce

EPW Invitational Tournament B Block Semi-Final Match: Billy Williams vs. Gorgeous Gary Schmidt

Photo: EPW

Billy Williams is coming off of a win over Jordan Bishop last month at Hell Or High Water, but his ally Azazal jumped Jordan before the match. Gary, on the other hand, is in the midst of the early months of his return, after a three hiatus, who has been 3-1 in EPW since his return in May, his sole loss to Taylor King. Williams and Azazal, two months ago, attacked Davis Storm at Evolution, and Williams mockingly faked Storm’s theme music when he came out for his match. So I expect Storm to make a response here, and cost Williams his Invitational Tournament match, to set up a rematch down the line, and to further Gary’s return story, where he has unfinished business with Taylor King, who may just meet him in the finals.

Prediction: Gorgeous Gary Schmidt

EPW Invitational Tournament B Block Semi-Final Match: Tyler Jacobs vs. Hayden Zenith

Photo: EPW

Generation Zero, the faction consisting of Hayden Zenith, Allyson Cruz, Michael Morleone, and Scotty Ryan, is starting to show some cracks. They walked out of ReAwakening last year holding every championship in EPW. Then, two months ago, Zenith and Cruz lost the tag belts to the Untouchables, which led to some disunity amongst the crew. Last month, in Morleone’s EPW Heavyweight title defense, Zenith came out to assist, but ending up throwing powder in Morleone’s eyes accidently. Zenith is no doubt looking for some redemption, to bring prestige back to his team. Tyler Jacobs hasn’t wrestled since May, hasn’t won a match since February, and hasn’t won a singles match since last September (which he won by DQ). But that’s all about to turn around. Jacobs will pick up the win here, and Zenith will fail and continue the downward spiral of Generation Zero. Jacobs will go on and face the winner of Gorgeous Gary and Billy Williams in the B Block Finals next month.

Prediction: Tyler Jacobs

EPW Tag Team Championship Match: The Untouchables (Damien Slater & Marcius Pitt) (c) vs. The Nacho Friends (Del Cano & El Taco Nacho)

Photo: EPW

Pitt and Slater are two of the very best that Australia has to offer. Slater participated in the inaugural Cruiserweight Classic for WWE, and the two have been part of the core of EPW for some time. They’re also part of the remnants of The Mighty Don’t Kneel faction. They took the titles from Gen Zero two months ago, and Pitt got a singles win last month over Robbie Eagles of PWG fame, with the assist from both Slater and Amber, who has been accompanying the team as of late. While she’s not listed as being at Vendetta, she’ll show up in some capacity. The Nacho Friends haven’t wrestled in EPW since May, but are always popular with the fans. I don’t expect EPW to switch the titles so quickly, so look for the Untouchables to retain here.

Prediction: The Untouchables

EPW Coastal Championship Match: Scotty Ryan (c) vs. AZ Vegara vs. Jay Taylor

Photo: EPW

The “Big Rig” Scotty Ryan has been the Coastal champion for almost a year now, but with the unsteadiness going on in Generation Zero right now, nothing is certain. This match about last month at Hell Or High Water, where Ryan teamed with fellow Gen Zero member Hayden Zenith to defeat Vegara and Taylor. Vegara and Taylor had the match one on a couple of occasions, but their egos got in the way as they argued about who would get the pin, costing them the match. Afterwards, they both clamored for a title shot, and Ryan granted it to both of them. Despite everything going on with Gen Zero, look for Ryan to retain.

Prediction: Scotty Ryan

Steel Cage Match for the EPW Heavyweight Championship: “The Don” Michael Morleone (c) vs. Gavin McGavin

Photo: EPW

Last month, Morleone successfully defended his title against the EPW 2017 Wrestler of the Year, Gavin McGavin. However, between Zenith’s aforementioned interference, a ref bump, and a low blow from McGavin, it was far from being settled. Booking a steel cage match for the rematch is perfectly logical, as disqualifications and outside interferences are solved by the cage. That said, Gen Zero will almost certainly try to interfere. McGavin has won every title in EPW except the Heavyweight crown, and has been on a hot steak in 2018. Morleone is in the middle of an unsteady time in his faction, that’s already lost some of their gold. Those three things are a recipe that may spell disaster for Morleone. This match will be very good, perhaps even brutal, as these are two of the best in EPW, and have shown they are willing to take chances in the ring. I’m expecting this to be the match of the night, and to see a new championed crowned, due to a botched assist from Gen Zero.

Prediction: Gavin McGavin

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