Pro Wrestling has long had it’s behind the scenes stables of friends, some who worked together on screen or in the ring, but who travelled the roads together regardless of storyline. From the WWE’s infamous Kliq (Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Triple H & X-Pac) to The Bone Street Krew (The Undertaker, Yokozuna, Savio Vega, Rikishi, The Godfather and The Godwinns), to more current groups like oVe (Sami Callihan and The Crist Brothers) and The Rascalz (Dezmond Xavier, Zachary Wentz, Trey Miguel & Myron Reed). But there’s a new group of wrestlers from Buffalo, New York that is poised to break out in 2019, known collectively as The Buffalo Brothers. Based out of Buffalo’s Empire State Wrestling (ESW) and products of the Grapplers Anonymous school run by Brandon Thurston, Mikey Everynite and Pepper Parks, this tight-knit group is starting to take over the upstate New York and Southwest Ontario (Canada) indie scene and in recent months, venture beyond their regional territories.
— Bush Leauge A.Willams (@Double_R_R) December 15, 2018
Kevin Blackwood entered pro wrestling in 2016, and became a top star with Toronto’s Smash Wrestling last year, working from dark matches to top-level feuds with ease and quickness. Last year he even attended a tryout for EVOLVE Wrestling in Detroit. Kevin Blackwood continues to be a force in Smash Wrestling, as well as ESW, and has expanded his travel schedule to include stops with Synergy Pro Wrestling, a new company in New Jersey, as well as Blackcraft Wrestling, Maine’s Limitless Wrestling, Syracuse’s Wild/Zero Wrestling, Erie, PA’s Revenge Pro, and Federation de Lutte Quebecoise (FLQ) in Quebec. A cruiserweight capable of hanging with the best of them, he’s also tough as nails, as seen on Sunday night’s hardcore match against Holden Albright at Smash: In Your Dreams
The big and lovable Puf has become an instant fan favorite in every promotion he’s competed for, including ESW, Smash, Limitless and others. Puf made his splash on the indies this year and looks to be a break out star in 2019. Alongside fellow Buffalo Brother Daniel Garcia, Puf was named one of the Rookies of the Year in Pro Wrestling Illustrated.
Anthony Gaines started out with Rochester’s Upstate Pro Wrestling (UPW) in 2014, but by 2016 he was firmly entrenched in ESW’s camp. A former ESW Interstate Champion, he also competes regularly with Erie, Pennsylvania’s Pro Wrestling Rampage, where he’s a 2x (and current) PWR Tag Team Champion with Jet Rebel in The Homewreckers. Gaines gained some notoriety this past year when a video of his match vs Ace Romero, where the considerably larger Romero slammed an airborne Gaines out of the ring, went viral.
“Red Death” Daniel Garcia has been one of the fastest rising stars out of the Buffalo area in some time. A regular wrestling machine that is one of the top young stars in Smash Wrestling and ESW, he’s also worked with Limitless and other indies. He even made his WWE earlier this year in a match on WWE 205 Live, in a match against Drew Gulak. Alongside Puf, Garcia was picked as one of the Rookie of the Years for PWI.
Kevin Bennett remains one of the premier prospects out of Western New York. A long time staple and main event star with both Smash Wrestling (where he’s the company’s top heel) and ESW (where he’s a top face), the former ESW Heavyweight Champion also made his WWE in-ring debut this year on an episode of SmackDown Live against Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas, as well as multiple on-camera roles. He made his Rockstar Pro debut this past Friday as part of the Rockstar Pro/IMPACT Wrestling event live on Twitch.
BUTCHER & THE BLADE (Pepper Parks & Andy Williams)
The elder statesmen of the group, the new tag team The Butcher & The Blade features one of the groups mentors, Pepper Parks (formerly Braxton Sutter in IMPACT Wrestling). Parks is a near 20-year veteran of the indies, and a student of Les Thatcher‘s Heartland Wrestling Association (HWA), where he’s a former 2x HWA Heavyweight Champion. Throughout his career, he’s also worked for Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), where he’s a former CZW World Tag Team champ with BLK JEEZ in #TVReady, as well as a four year run with IMPACT. As a testament to Parks’ own coaching and training skills, he was recently a guest trainer at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando. In Butcher & The Blade, Parks teams with real life best friend Andy Williams, who has only been wrestling since 2016. But Williams isn’t some young kid – for many music fans, Andy Williams is best known as the guitarist for international hardcore band Every Time I Die, which has been rocking the world since 1998 as part of Epitaph Records. Williams joined his lifelong love of pro wrestling in 2016 with Parks’ help, where he’s become a dominant force in Smash, ESW, PWR and Blackcraft Wrestling. One of his earliest matches was an intergender match at the first Joey Janela’s Spring Break in 2017, where he teamed with Penelope Ford against Pepper Parks and his real life wife, former IMPACT Knockouts Champion Allie. The duo also host the successful wrestling podcast, Kickin’ Asss with Jesse and Andy.
With so much young potential in the group, and the veteran leadership of Butcher & The Blade, 2019 could be the year that the Buffalo Brothers make their impact on the national US and Canadian indie scene.