Preview: EPW – ReAwakening XVIII (11/9/19)

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Whilst a majority of the eyes in Australian wrestling will be focusing on Melbourne this weekend the astute fan will be looking westward as well. Since Explosive Pro Wrestling (EPW) will be celebrating their 18th birthday with an incredibly stacked card for ReAwakening XVIII.

Let’s break it all down now!

Wrestling tournaments have become a staple on the Aussie scene over the last few months. This weekend though Australia’s longest-running, and perhaps most prestigious, tournament culminates with its semi-finals and finals.

The EPW Invitational Trophy has been run every year and in the past has seen the likes of Shane Haste (aka Shane Thorne), Davis Storm, Marcius Pitt, Alex Kingston, Damian Slater, and Logan Grey walking out winners. With a guaranteed EPW Championship opportunity awaiting the winner, this tournament can be the first step to becoming a megastar in any competitor’s careers.

EPW Invitational Trophy Semi-Final: Julian Ward vs Kiel Steria

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In the first of two semi-finals, Julian Ward is set to take on Kiel Steria.

For Julian Ward, recent times in EPW have been tough, as he has seemingly stumbled at the final hurdle again and again. However, after being unable to capture the EPW Coastal Championship back at Goldrush in April that all changed when Ward chose to turn his back on his best friend Scotty Ryan and aligned himself with The Untouchables. After joining The Untouchables Ward would go on to steamroll through his tournament quarter-final against Craven. This weekend he’ll be looking to keep this newfound momentum rolling.

Conversely, Kiel Steria has already had a decorated career in EPW. As a former EPW Tag Team Champion and EPW Champion Steria knows how to win the big one.

Can Ward finally get over the final hurdle or will Steria’s experience propel him back into the EPW Championship picture?

EPW Invitational Trophy Semi-Final: Gavin McGavin vs Dan Moore

In the second semi-final matchup of the evening, two EPW veterans will square off.

Dan Moore is a three-time former EPW Tag Team champion, and the only man of the remaining competitors to have previously won this tournament. Will this tournament experience prove crucial?

Standing in Moore’s way is none other than ‘The Real Wrestler’ Gavin McGavin. This year has been an incredibly tough one for McGavin. Having started out the year on the top of EPW as the EPW Champion things quickly went downhill for McGavin after he lost his championship and then suffered injury after injury. With just two wins this weekend McGavin could be right back where he began the year though.

The Taskforce (Jack Edwards & Tipene) vs Tyler Jacobs & Taylor King

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Last year Taylor King and The Taskforce were loyal friends. But oh how much things can change in one short year.

After failing to win the EPW Invitational Trophy at last year’s ReAwakening event the King would do as many a child star before him has done when faced with adversity. King’s life went off the rails as he slipped into a pit of despair and bad life choices.

It was during this period which King’s loyal friends The Taskforce would show incredible support to their friend/boss and ensure he received the professional help he needed. Little did they know hey would be placing him into the hands of the cult-like figure Tyler Jacobs.

Throughout much of 2019, Jacobs had been growing a cult following, known as his ‘Children’. With King now in rehab it was Jacobs who would become King’s sponsor, and in the process convince him to become one of his ‘Children’.

This weekend The Taskforce will be hoping to beat some sense into King and rescue him from the cult of Jacobs.

Jay Taylor vs Del Cano

The EPW School Of Pro Wrestling has become a fertile breeding ground for fresh young talent. However, one man has taken exception to the incredibly talented individuals coming out of that program.

Jay Taylor has appointed himself as the gatekeeper of EPW. In doing so he believes all prospects coming through the school must go through him in order to earn a place in EPW.

De Cano on the flip side though has embraced the school, its talent, and the showcase events which it holds. In doing so Del Cano has even seen his career bloom, picking up a huge win over former EPW Champion Bobby Marshall.

Davis Storm & Richter vs The Untouchables (Damian Slater & Marcius Pitt)

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Following his unsuccessful hard-fought encounter with EPW Champion Don Morleone at Hell Or High Water emotions got the best of ‘The Godfather’ Davis Storm. As Storm was taking in the breathtaking response and adulation from the EPW faithful the cocky Untouchables looked set to ruin the moment.

Little did they know their greatest nightmare was awaiting them. With his surprise return Richter would come to the aid of his long-time ally and drive The Untouchables out with Storm remaining unharmed.

Having had they egos dented and moment ruined The Untouchables are looking for revenge this weekend. That’s not all they want though. Across social media The Untouchables have made it clear that they are sick of the veteran Storm receiving all of the praise following every show. At ReAwakening, they will be looking to once and for all end the career and legacy of Storm, and if they have to take down Richter in the process, then so be it.

EPW Tag Team Championship: The Street Gang Hooligans (Logan Grey & Alex Kingston) (c) vs Plague (Dan Steel & Aaron Hawk)

One of Australia’s best tag team will be facing one of their toughest challenges yet at ReAwakening.

The Street Gang Hooligans have proven they are the standard-bearers of tag team wrestling in Perth, having held the EPW Tag Team Championships for over a year. This weekend though they will be tasked with defending those titles in a Claremont Street Fight.

Looking to rip the EPW Tag Team Titles from the grasp of The Street Gang Hooligans are the team simply known as, Plague. This team has shown no reticence to use dirty tactics in the past in order to secure a victory. So this format will suit them to now end.

However, Street Gang Hooligans are no strangers to wild, brutal and painful matches. In fact, they won the championships in a brutal ladder match against The Untouchables.

Who will prevail when there are no rules?

EPW Championship: ‘The Don’ Michael Morleone (c) vs Mikey Nicholls

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Since capturing the EPW Championship from Gavin McGavin back in April ‘The Don’ has been racking up impressive title defenses. In just seven months Morleone has already seen off challenges from Davis Storm, Damian Slater, Gavin McGavin, and Gorgeous Garry. At ReAwakening, though he faces stiff competition in the form of Mikey Nicholls.

Since returning to EPW after stints in Pro Wrestling NOAH, NXT and New Japan Pro Wrestling Nicholls has been unstoppable. Coupling this international experience with a long history in EPW, Nicholls may be the man to finally unseat Morleone.

Back in November 2006, Nicholls won his first EPW Championship. Will history repeat itself in November 2019 and see Nicholls begin his third EPW Championship reign?

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.

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