Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to LWOPW’s review for EPW Scars & Stripes. For those of you who don’t know, here’s the rundown on this Southern U.S independent wrestling promotion.
What to Know About EPW
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.
EPW Scars & Stripes 2021 Results
This show was broadcasted live on Twitch, later posted to YouTube on July 24, 2021. It took place at the American Legion Hall in Midwest City, Oklahoma. With commentary provided by Chris Anderson, Mike Andrews, and myself – Walker Stewart, this show was a landmark event for Empire Pro Wrestling. Without further ado, let’s get into this product!
Disclaimer: I did perform on this show as a broadcast commentator, but my performance on this show will not be influencing my review of the event. Unbiased and authentic journalism is my first priority in this industry.
EPW Scars & Stripes Kickoff
Starting off the show, we have ring announcer Tuck Davion making his way down to ringside. Davion is hyping up the crowd, very excited for tonight’s card. He has two announcements for the live fans in attendance. First, the planned match between EPW All-American Champion Drake Gallows and “The Homicidal, Suicidal, Genocidal Maniac” Sabu has been canceled. According to Tuck, the Oklahoma Athletic Commission has not permitted Sabu to compete tonight. However, he would stay throughout the event for autographs and photos. The second announcement covered the six scheduled matches for this card. We then transition into our first championship match of the night.
EPW Internet Television Championship: Warren Powers (c) vs. Dominik Whiteheart
Our first match of EPW Scars & Stripes is for the EPW Internet Television Championship. EPW Internet Television Champion Warren Powers defends his title against the debuting Dominik Whiteheart. After winning the championship on April 16, 2021, in a triple threat match involving then-champion Father Padge and Tyson Jaymes, Powers has been going on an absolutely phenomenal run. Whiteheart is an up-and-coming performer who has performed in various Oklahoma-based independent federations. Would Whiteheart be the one to vanquish The Motor City Machine Gun?
Starting off the match, Powers and Whiteheart exchange holds and strikes. Powers quickly finds himself playing offense, but Whiteheart manages to make a comeback. Despite being the heel in this contest, this crowd cannot help but cheer for Powers. These two are evenly matched, but tonight would not be the night for Whiteheart. With Whiteheart grappling with Powers from behind, Powers would grab the referee’s shirt and low blow his opponent at the same time.
In the finish of the match, Powers drops Whiteheart with a devastating Falcon Arrow.
Match Result: Warren Powers (c) defeated Dominik Whiteheart via Pinfall in 6:24.
This match was a solid opener. While the crowd may not have been familiar with Whiteheart going into the contest, he managed to hang with a guy like Powers. It’s matches like this that show glimpses of future stars. The EPW Scars & Stripes crowd is red hot after this.
The Rejects LM (Dr. Corvus & Elijah Sparks) vs. Maddox Jones & Adrian Vega
In our next match at EPW Scars & Stripes, we have The Rejects LM (Dr. Corvus and Elijah Sparks) taking on the team of Adrian Vega, and his trainer, Maddox Jones. Corvus and Sparks are dark, brooding beings that focus on nothing but the pain they inflict. They make their entrance to absolutely zero sound – one could assume the crowd is stuck in stunned silence. The crowd erupts for “Mic Check” Maddox Jones and his partner, Adrian Vega, who make their entrances next. The bell rings, and the match is underway.
Vega and Sparks start off this tag team contest. Sparks locks in a headlock, and Vega immediately drops him with a back suplex. Vega continues to go on a rampage, but Sparks and Corvus halt his momentum quickly. This crowd turns against the referee after multiple missed calls and tags. It almost takes over the match itself.
Corvus and Sparks make frequent tags and dogpile on Vega. The match becomes a bit formulaic with consistent beatings on Vega, building to the eventual hot tag from “Mic Check” Maddox Jones. In the finish of the match, we get a double-down with Vega and Corvus. Corvus makes the tag to Sparks, and Vega finally tags in Jones for the first time in the contest. Jones wreaks havoc on Sparks, dropping him with the Go To Sleep and the three-count.
Match Result: Adrian Vega & Maddox Jones defeated The Rejects LM (Dr. Corvus & Elijah Sparks) via Pinfall in 9:41.
This match was decent enough. Firstly, this crowd had no idea what to make of The Rejects LM. Who are they? What are they supposed to be? The crowd’s silence during Sparks and Corvus’s entrance makes me think that the crowd has no idea and may not have been super interested. Despite that, these two know how to work and were cool to watch. I just wish they would have played to the crowd a bit more!
Adrian Vega really stood out as a star player for this match. As I glanced over to my right from the commentary booth, I saw children crying as Vega got the mess kicked out of him. Needless to say, Vega made this match. I do wish we would have seen more from Maddox Jones in-ring, as he seems to be a great talent. Overall, this was a fun match and I enjoyed watching these four men compete.
Following this loss, Elijah Sparks throws a tantrum in the middle of the ring. Typical behavior from The Rejects LM.
Ryan The Ripper vs. Revan
At last month’s EPW V event, Ryan The Ripper managed to pull off a shocking victory in a tag team match alongside Duncan Kincaide against The Saints of Pro Wrestling (Scott Sanders & Shawn Sanders). This week, he attempts to continue his dominant rise as he takes on former EPW Tag Team Champion Revan. Let’s dive right into this one.
The bell rings, and the match is underway. Ryan shoves Revan, and immediately dives at him, whiffing it in the process. Revan drops Ryan with a back suplex. Ryan manages to dominate Revan the entire match. Revan finally manages to mount a comeback, and the action spills to the outside.
In the finish of the match, Ryan The Ripper hits Revan with the nightstick he had brought down to ringside with him. Referee Brent Wall rings the bell, and the match is over.
Match Result: Revan defeated Ryan The Ripper via Disqualification in 4:06.
This match was fine. The crowd didn’t seem super into Ryan, but this dude has an insane amount of potential. Revan was insanely popular with the crowd, and Ryan got a lot of initial heat after the disqualification. I hope EPW continues to do something with Ryan. If this guy is anything – he’s consistent. I wish these two would’ve gotten more time.
EPW Heavyweight Championship Status
Making his way down to ringside is the General Manager of Empire Pro Wrestling, Dr. Samuel Dean. The commentary team is confused as to why Dr. Dean is at ringside, as they were gearing up for their next competition. Dean announces that Kevin James Sanchez is still placed under concussion protocol. Thus, the General Manager is going to strip Kevin Sanchez of the EPW Heavyweight Championship. He calls for Sanchez to make his way down to ringside, but it’s not Sanchez’s music that hits.
God’s Work (the team of C.M. Burnham, Father Padge, and J.J. Heffley) make their way down to ringside and tear into Kevin Sanchez. This leads to Sanchez stumbling down to ringside, but he is held back by different members of the locker room. Padge waves Sanchez off, but one member of the locker room remains to defend Sanchez’s honor – Jake Cole. Padge claims that Cole looks like he is “ready for a fight”, leading to Cole stepping into the ring. Burnham tells Dean to hand the EPW Heavyweight Championship to Padge, as he was scheduled to compete for the belt tonight. Instead, Dean announces a mini-tournament for the vacant title. Father Padge vs. Jake Cole would be the first match of this tournament, and it would happen right now at EPW Scars & Stripes.
EPW Heavyweight Championship Tournament Semi-Final Match: Father Padge vs. Jake Cole
Before the bell rings, Padge rushes Cole in the corner effectively. Padge drops Cole with a massive kick and knee strike combination for a two-count. Padge attempts the Black Mass, but Jake Cole avoids the maneuver and drops Padge with a sitout uranage for the two-count. What an absolutely hot start to this match.
In the finish of the match, Padge drops Cole with the Black Mass for the pinfall victory.
Match Result: Father Padge defeated Jake Cole via Pinfall in 1:24.
This match was exciting, despite its short nature. I wish it would have been a bit longer, but Padge looked absolutely destructive out there. Great showing from both men.
After the match, Padge had some harsh words for Kevin Sanchez.
EPW Tag Team Championship: The Psychotic Messengers (Maniac Mike & Malachi) (c) vs. The Saints of Pro Wrestling (Scott Sanders & Shawn Sanders)
Next, we have the EPW Tag Team Champions, The Psychotic Messengers, taking on The Saints of Pro Wrestling. At EPW V, The Psychotic Messengers put on an incredible main event match against The Rebel Hearts (Christian Temple and Justin Gray). After the match, The Rebel Hearts (alongside Warren Powers) beat the bricks out of Mike and Malachi. Who would come out to make the save? Scott Sanders and Shawn Sanders, of course. Thus, we now have a friendly match-up between The Psychotic Messengers and The Saints of Pro Wrestling. Let’s get into it.
Sanders and Mike start off in the middle of the ring. We get a lock-up, pushed into the corner, and a clean break from Sanders. Sanders bows to the crowd. This is a great indicator that these guys have their working boots on tonight.
Mike backs Sanders into a corner and we get frequent tags between Mike and Malachi. The Saints of Pro Wrestling take control. Sanders wears down Mike with a headlock, and we get frequent tags between The Sanders Brothers. Scott and Shawn drop Mike in the corner with a double hip attack. That was awesome. This crowd is red hot for this contest.
In the finish of the match, Scott and Shawn Sanders are attempting a double-team maneuver on Malachi that is blocked by none other than… C.M. Burnham?! Burnham interferes in the spot, leading to Sanders chasing his former manager to the back. In the midst of the chaos, Malachi wins the match via rollup.
Match Result: The Psychotic Messengers (Maniac Mike & Malachi) (c) defeated The Saints of Pro Wrestling (Scott Sanders & Shawn Sanders) via Pinfall in 11:41.
This match was so entertaining. The Saints of Pro Wrestling have been on an awesome run on the independents recently, and this match is just a testament to that. Malachi and Maniac Mike make such a great pairing, and they’re crazy over with the crowd. This was a great tag team contest at EPW Scars & Stripes.
As Tuck Davion is set to thank the crowd for attending this show, we see the 19-year-old “Technical Savage” Derek James make his way down to ringside… with a chair. James rips the microphone from Davion’s hand, and declares himself “the only true legend in this state”. James runs down the ECW legend – Sabu – who is sitting near ringside at a merch table. The crowd forgets where they are, and begin to chant “ECW”. In a great line from commentary, someone remarks “It seems like these fans forgot… this is an EPW show”. Classic.
With Derek James hijacking the production, the crowd is going ballistic with “boo’s”. Who would become the savior of the masses on this night? That would be your EPW All-American Champion – Drake Gallows. “The Urban Legend” Drake Gallows told James that he wasn’t going to let this young, cocky performer disrespect a legend like Sabu. Gallows rushes the ring, and… THIS IS A MATCH!
No Disqualification Match for the EPW All-American Championship: Drake Gallows (c) vs. Derek James
Immediately, Gallows rushes the ring and the two collide with chairs! Gallows gets the better of this evenly-matched exchange, and Gallows haphazardly tosses the chair at James’s chest. That was awesome! These two proceed to brawl around ringside. They toss each other into the tables, and even in front of Sabu himself! Eventually, Gallows’ dominance transitions into a lovely sit-down strike exchange between the champion and the challenger. James and Gallows sit in chairs in the middle of the ring and throw potatoes at each other. Gallows would get the better of the exchange, but he wouldn’t hold his dominance forever.
As Gallows locks in a submission maneuver, the EPW Internet Television Champion – Warren Powers – would make his way down to ringside. Powers rushes the ring and pulls referee Brent Wall to ringside. Powers strikes the referee, leading to James and Powers laying the smackdown on Drake Gallows. James and Powers have teamed before in other promotions in a tag team referred to as “Television”, and now Powers is here to help his colleague.
In an underrated, comedic spot, Derek James picks up a chair and emphatically plants it on the back of Ref. Brent Wall, who is still laying on his front after the brutal strike from Powers. Powers and James would set up a table in the corner of the ring, later walking backstage and procuring a second table. As Powers and James are setting Gallows up for a table spot, Revan makes the run-in to save his tag team partner. So… Powers and James put Revan through the table instead.
James sets up Gallows for a move through the table. However, it wouldn’t be Gallows going through the table. As Derek James climbs to the top rope, Sabu makes the save via a chair shot to the face of The Technical Savage. Gallows drops James with a powerbomb through the table. One… two… three.
Match Result: Drake Gallows (c) defeated Derek James via Pinfall in 14:50.
This is genuinely one of the best matches I have ever had the privilege of witnessing live. The energy from this crowd picked up this match. Gallows proved exactly why he is the reigning and defending EPW All-American Champion. Derek James, at only 19-years old, is one of the best performers on this card. I would not be surprised if either of these guys got picked up by a major promotion very soon. Absolutely stellar show and I really hope EPW manages to give the fans more between Gallows and James in the future. Go out of your way to watch this match on the EPW YouTube channel!
EPW Scars & Stripes Overall Review
This show had some great matches top to bottom. Once again, you can expect great professional wrestling from this upstart Oklahoma-based independent wrestling federation. Here are some final closing notes:
Overall Grade: B+
Sleeper Hit of the Show: The Rejects LM (Dr. Corvus & Elijah Sparks) vs. Adrian Vega & Maddox Jones
Low of the Show: Revan vs. Ryan The Ripper
Match Of The Night: Drake Gallows (c) vs. Derek James
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 VI live on Twitch or in Midwest City, Oklahoma on August 28, 2021.
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