Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to LWOPW’s first Empire Pro Wrestling event review for EPW V. For those of you who don’t know, let’s talk about this upstart promotion.
Empire Pro Wrestling is an Oklahoma-based independent wrestling promotion. While it may not be the biggest promotion in the state, it surely has a great amount of potential.
Originating in 2007 as “Xtreme Underground Wrestling,” EPW has undergone multiple rebrands. In late 2007, the promotion would take shape into “Sooner World Class Wrestling,” which it would remain as until 2015. In 2015, the promotion would take on the name “Empire Championship Wrestling.” Finally, the promotion would adopt the “Empire Pro Wrestling” moniker in 2020.
For more information on the promotion, stay tuned to our upcoming “Beginner’s Guide to Empire Pro Wrestling.” Right now, all you need to know is that this promotion is one to keep your eye on. Without further ado, let’s get into this product!
Note: I attended this event live, meaning my perspective may be different than those watching at home. Let’s get into the show!
Starting Off EPW V
To kick off the show, we have an unfamiliar face making his way down to ringside. He’s dressed in a full suit and a fedora, so you know this guy means business. The man comes out and announces that the company has been sold to his nameless boss. His boss is not here tonight, but he is here to do some ring announcing and take inventory for the company. We later find out that this man’s name is Dr. Samuel Dean. Dean runs down some of the exciting matches for tonight. He also announces that EPW World Championship open challenge match has been canceled due to comments made by champion Kevin James Sanchez on social media earlier in the day. Don’t worry, though, we’ll be seeing KJ throughout the show. It’s time to get into our first match of EPW V.
Ryan The Ripper & Duncan Kincaide vs. The Saints of Pro Wrestling (Shawn Sanders & Scott Sanders)
Our first contest of the night comes as the cocky team of Ryan The Ripper and Duncan Kincaide take on one of the most over tag teams in Oklahoma – The Saints of Pro Wrestling (Shawn Sanders and Scott Sanders). For this match, we have the EPW World Champion, Kevin James Sanchez, on commentary. There isn’t much heat going into this one, just two men looking to pick up a victory.
The bell rings and the match is underway. We get an immediate “Let’s go Saints” chant from the crowd. Ryan The Ripper starts off with Scott Sanders. Ripper and Sanders circle each other, eventually locking up in an attempt to get the advantage. Sanders would get the advantage over Ripper pretty quickly.
Throughout the match, Ripper refuses to tag in his fresh partner because he wants to prove that he can do it on his own. This leads to Kincaide tossing his partner to the wolves, and The Saints of Pro Wrestling are eating the scraps. The Saints of Pro Wrestling are super entertaining throughout this contest. They don’t wrestle the most exciting style but they are super charismatic.
In the finish of the match, Ryan The Ripper gets the flash pin on Sanders by grabbing his jeans for leverage. Post-match, Ripper celebrates and Kincaide attacks his tag team partner and Kincaide “Too Sweets” The Sanders Brothers on the outside. That was awesome! Overall, this match was a decent opener. The crowd was hot the entire time. The Sanders twins were on offense, but they cooled down when Ripper had any success. Ripper’s shock victory woke the crowd up, though. This is not the last time we’ll see The Saints of Pro Wrestling tonight on EPW V.
J.J Heffley vs. N’Zane
In our next match of the night, we have a wrestler dressed in boxing attire – J.J Heffley, taking on… A dog? Okay. You got me, EPW. I’m hooked! J.J Heffley is taking on a man with a dog gimmick – N’Zane. N’Zane makes his entrance to a death metal variation of “I’m a Barbie Girl.” Immediately, N’Zane is my favorite person on this card.
The bell rings and the match is underway. Heffley begins working N’Zane’s arm, but N’Zane transitions the spot into a pump handle position – which leads to N’Zane humping Heffley in the middle of the ring. N’Zane’s combination of athletic prowess and an insane gimmick is stellar. He licks the bald head of his opponent – the crowd pops hard.
In the finish of the match, N’Zane rolls up Heffley for the three-count. However, as N’Zane is celebrating, former EPW Internet Television Champion Father Padge makes his way down to ringside.
Padge grabs a microphone and asks Heffley to join himself and CM Burnham – stating “this [Heffley’s loss] will never happen again” if so. Heffley walks out with Padge, seemingly solidifying this alliance. This match was pretty great. The right person won, the beatdown from Padge was brutal, and the addition of Heffley to this stable gives him some sort of direction. I’m excited to see where this goes!
Jake Cole vs. Aeronaut
The next match of the night comes between your favorite country boy – Jake Cole, and the masked menace – Aeronaut. Dr. Samuel Dean announces that he doesn’t have an opponent
The bell rings and the match is underway. Cole is chatting with the crowd, leading to Aeronaut rushing him in the corner. Cole quickly gets the advantage. In the finish of the match, Cole drops Aeronaut with a stunner and pins him for the victory. No, I didn’t just jump to the finish – they just jumped to the finish.
This was a dominant victory from Cole. I’m not sure how new to the business Jake Cole is, but he looked a tiny bit awkward in the ring. However, the crowd loved him and he played really well to the audience. I’m excited for the future of this young talent!
Revan Addresses The Crowd
Next, we see former EPW Internet Television Champion Revan make his way down to ringside. Revan said that he wanted a rematch for the EPW Internet Television Championship, and out comes the champion himself – Warren Powers. This match is set for one fall!
EPW Internet Television Championship Match:
Revan vs. Warren Powers (c)
The bell rings and this match is underway. Revan and Powers start off with a test of strength. Revan – the shorter yet stouter opponent – managed to overcome Powers. In this match, Powers absolutely stood out as a top-tier talent in the promotion. In a great high spot, Powers would hit a suicide dive on Revan. Revan’s selling ability is just a treat to watch. In the finish of the match, Powers rolls up Revan for the pinfall and uses the ropes for leverage to retain his title.
Overall, this match was entertaining – but this is the third roll-up of the night. While one can appreciate consistency, I’d have liked to see some sort of a different finish. Nevertheless, this was my first time watching Warren Powers work and he has a great look and persona. I loved this contest.
Kevin James Sanchez Issues a Challenge
After the match, EPW World Champion Kevin James Sanchez would leave commentary and approach ringside. Grabbing a microphone, Sanchez challenged Father Padge to an EPW World Championship match at EPW Stars & Stripes.
Sanchez posted to the crowd, but Father Padge would attack him from behind. The Saints of Pro Wrestling hit the ring to make the save, leading to Father Padge retreating. The Sanders twins shook hands with our EPW World Champion. This match has so much heat behind it, and I’m so ready! It feels as though every single member of the EPW roster has stakes in this match. I’m so excited for this contest (Stay tuned for more information on that card).
Reggie Lincoln vs. Colt Killbane
In our next match, we have “Big Daddy” Reggie Lincoln vs. the barbaric Colt Killbane. Lincoln and Killbane are looking to build momentum heading into EPW Stars & Stripes. Let’s get into this contest.
Starting off, Reggie Lincoln and Colt Killbane tie-up. Lincoln manages to lock in a headlock, which he wrenches for a full 20 seconds before turning it into a grounded side headlock. From there, Lincoln plays to the crowd while wearing Killbane down. Lincoln is incredibly talented and has a great look. The finish saw Lincoln drop Killbane with an Olympic Slam, pinning him for the three-count victory.
Overall, this match did not get the reaction from the crowd that I thought it should have. Lincoln was incredibly entertaining! This match surprised me with how much I enjoyed it. The crowd was a little deflated, but this was the first match back from intermission – so I can understand. This match was a great warm-up match for the rest of the show. I’m excited to see what is in store for Lincoln.
Father Padge vs. Maddox Jones
Next, we have a match between Father Padge and Maddox Jones.
The bell rings, and the match is underway. Padge and Jones get into a collar-and-elbow tie-up, leading to a clean break in the corner. Padge begins to work on Jones’s arm, leading to a huge arm-trapped kick. Padge’s kicks look so stiff, it’s incredible. J.J Heffley is at ringside consistently helping Padge throughout this entire match. Ultimately, Padge would lock in a heel hook on Jones, leading to Jones tapping out.
After the match, the EPW World Champion made his way down to ringside to attack Padge. Padge would announce that he accepts Sanchez’s challenge for EPW Stars & Stripes. What a great segment! Padge has really grown into this role of his recently. Absolutely stellar!
EPW Tag Team Championship Match (EPW V Main Event):
The Psychotic Messengers (Malachi and Maniac Mike) (c.) vs. The Rebel Hearts (Christian Temple and Justin Gray)
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to your EPW V main event of the evening! It is your EPW Tag Team Championship contest between the champions – Malachi and Maniac Mike, and The Rebel Hearts – Christian Temple and Justin Gray. Temple and Gray are accompanied by the EPW Internet Television Champion, Warren Powers. Heck yeah, more Warren Powers! This crowd is super invested in Malachi and Mike as a tandem. Let’s see how this goes down!
The bell rings, and the match is underway. Immediate “Maniac Mike” chants from the EPW faithful. Mike and Gray start off in this match. Gray goes for a handshake, which Mike accepts. The pair lock-up, leading to Mike working the arm. The Rebel Hearts are dressed in full Young Bucks attire, but they’re managing to set themselves apart well enough with their character work.
Malachi tags in and drops Gray with a great bulldog. The crowd is still chanting “Maniac Mike”. Come on, man! Where’s the love for Malachi? These teams work over each other, and the crowd is hot for this. Easily the match of the night. In the finish of the match, Temple is attempting a maneuver that Malachi manages to reverse into a sunset flip roll-up for the three-count. The Psychotic Messengers have retained the EPW Tag Team Championships. This match was awesome, but no one was prepared for what would come next…
EPW V Goes Off the Rails
After the match, The Rebel Hearts attack Mike and Malachi. Warren Powers is leading the charge in an absolutely brutal attack. Adding to the idea that The Rebel Hearts are The Young Bucks from a different universe, Gray and Temple drop Mike with a Meltzer Driver on top of the tag team title. That was insane!
The Saints of Pro Wrestling would hit the ring, leading to Temple, Gray, and Powers running away with the tag team championship belts (despite not being champions). The show ends with The Saints of Pro Wrestling shaking hands – and celebrating – with The Psychotic Messengers.
This match and this ending angle were the best way they could have possibly ended this show. I’m absolutely pumped to witness next month’s edition of the show! Let’s move into our overall analysis.
EPW V: Overall Grade & Analysis
Overall, EPW V show blew my expectations out of the water. When I was invited to this show, I arrived at a small venue in a shady part of town and I was worried about what I was going to step into. So, what did I step into?
I stepped into a world of underrated and undervalued professional wrestling. I hadn’t realized the work that these people have been putting into this promotion – and they quickly made a fan out of me. Expect a lot more coverage on this show from me. Absolutely great! If you care about storytelling in the ring, I recommend you check out Empire Pro Wrestling.
The only match I can’t recommend would be the Cole-Aeronaut bout, only due to its length. On the positives, this show was packed with interesting stories and characters. On the negatives, this show would not exactly appeal to those who are interested in a high-octane, fast-paced, “40-superkicks-a -match” style of competition. With that in mind, I’m going to have to give this show a…
Sleeper Hit Of The Show: Revan vs. Warren Powers (c.)
Low Of The Show: Aeronaut vs. Jake Cole
Match Of The Night: The Psychotic Messengers (Maniac Mike and Malachi) (c.) vs. The Rebel Hearts (Christian Temple and Justin Gray)
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.
You can catch Empire Pro Wrestling’s next event – EPW Stars & Stripes live on Facebook or in Midwest City, Oklahoma on July 24, 2021.
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