Finally, a review of an indy show here on BWF.  Empire State Wrestling is a promotion local to Western New York that ran shows from August 2002 until November of 2006.  Other promotions formed in the meantime, including NWA: Empire and Next Era Wrestling Niagara.  Both of those promotions have since closed up shop, and from the ashes, Empire State Wrestling was reborn with their first show in nearly three years, ESW: Overdrive.

Overdrive featured the culmination of a tag team tournament that was originally supposed to be for the Next Era Wrestling Niagara Tag Team Championships, which were renamed and are now the ESW Tag Titles.  Yours truly was in attendance…

September 19th, 2009
St. Johnsburg Fire Hall

1. Dalton Castle defeated Freddie Midnight.

Wait – that’s not right.  I got these results from because it’s been a few years since I’ve seen an ESW show and wasn’t too familiar with some of the characters – but I distinctly remember Freddie Midnight picking up the win.  He stole a purse from a plant lady at ringside and used her hairspray to blind Castle, whom he then rolled up and hooked the tights for the win.  Midnight has a gimmick of being gay and continuously insisted that he’d make Castle love him.  And an interesting fact about Midnight – he’s Colin DeLaney’s older brother.

Brett Mednik came to the ring after this match and insulted the legacy of ESW.  This didn’t sit well with Flatline…

2. Flatine defeated Brett Mednik.

Flatline picked up the win, but I don’t actually remember how.  The aftermath was more important anyway…

-Mednik attacked Flatine after the match. (Former ESW wrestler) Shade came out and misted Mednik, followed by (fellow former ESW wrestlers) JP Hawke & “Gutterball” Scotty Roberts coming out to give Mednik the bowling ball.

3. Semi-Final – ESW Tag Team Title Tournament: Famous (Chris Cooper & “Mastiff” Will Calrissian) defeated Southern Hospitality (Curtis Lee Walker & Cassius Kutcher).

This match really got the crowd going.  With the fans solidly behind Southern Hospitality, chants of “Cooper Swallows” rang throughout the St. Johnsburg Fire Hall.  In the end, Famous outsmarted and outwrestled Walker and Kutcher to advance to the finals of the ESW Tag Team Title Tournament.

Following the match, Famous announced that if they didn’t walk out with the tag team titles, they’d strip naked and streak through the St. Johnsburg Fire Hall.

Caesar, Purple, and Tommy Mandrake made their way to the ring, and Caesar announced that he was looking to add another member to his stable.  He called out the Kovac brothers, and ordered them to fight for the spot.  Refusing, the Kovacs chased Caesar off with a steel chair.

4. Tommy Mandrake defeated Matt Kovac.

Yet another very entertaining matchup.  Mandrake got the win with a little help from his friends.

5. Semi-Final – ESW Tag Team Title Tournament: Mike Radski & Brandon Thurston defeated Maximo Suave and Colin Delaney.

Interesting to note that Delaney and Suave’s entrance music for this one was “Man In The Box” by Alice In Chains, perhaps an homage to DeLaney’s former on-screen ECW mentor Tommy Dreamer.  Radski and Thurston were the better team last night, picking up the win.  DeLaney and Suave shook the hands of their victorious opponents.

-After the match, Chris Cooper and “Mastiff” Will Calrissian attacked Radski and Thurston.

6. ESW heavyweight title match: Jonny Puma vs. Kevin Grace ended in a double disqualification when Chris Cooper and “Mastiff” Will Calrissian interfered.

Two of the region’s biggest stars, Jonny Puma and Kevin Grace battled for the ESW Championship in a match that never really took off, as the team of Famous, who claimed earlier in the night that they hadn’t forgot about Puma and Grace, attacked and caused a double disqualification.

Puma and Grace ran off Famous, and then proceeded to have a dance party in the middle of the ring, even paying tribute to the late Michael Jackson, complete with fedoras and sequined gloves.

7. “Inferno” Johnny Adams defeated Superbeast by disqualification.

Adams had Superbeast in a sleeper hold when Caesar hit him with a steel chair, earning his charge, Superbeast, a disqualification loss.

-Superbeast continued to beat on Adams after the match when the Kovacs ran out to make the save.

8. Cade Cassidy defeated Jimmy Andrews.

Andrews is a little guy compared to most of the rest of the guys on the roster.  Cassidy defeated him pretty easily.

The main event of the evening was supposed to be Famous taking on Thurston and Radski for the ESW Tag Team Championships, but due to the beating the duo suffered at the hands of Mastiff and Cooper earlier in the night, they were deemed unable to compete.  Famous thought that would mean they won by default, but the new commissioner of ESW had other plans.  Famous demanded to know who the new commissioner was – and proceeded to throw a tantrum in the middle of the ring when Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” rang out through the sound system – and was song along with by the entire crowd.  Jimmy Olsen came out in a suit and announced that he’s the new ESW commissioner, and that he’d found a team to replace Thurston and Radski – Jonny Puma and Kevin Grace!

9. Final – ESW Tag Team Title Tournament: Famous (Chris Cooper & “Mastiff” Will Calrissian) defeated Jonny Puma & Kevin Grace to become new champions.

This was a hell of a main event.  These four guys ooze charisma, and all four are great wrestlers.  After Puma hit a diving axe-handle from the top rope to the outside on Cooper, Mastiff went for an Asai Moonsault, but slipped, landing on his head.  The finish had to be improvised, and saw Cooper nailing Grace with one of the ESW Tag Team Championship belts to pick up the win – and the titles – for his team.

Following the fall, several members of the ESW locker room came out from the back and looked on in as EMTs rushed to the aid of “Mastiff” Will Carlissian.  We were told to exit the building immediately following the match so that they could get help in there for Carlissian.  As of this time, there has been no word released on his condition, other than that he suffered a serious injury.  Here’s hoping that Matiff will be ok.

I had a great time at the show.  I always have a better time at these independent shows than I do at WWE events.  I think at least part of that has to do with the fact that you never know who might be a future member of the WWE or TNA roster – Colin DeLaney, Cody Deaner, and Shawn (Gavin) Spears are ESW alumni, and I used to watch Eric Young in NeoSpirit Pro Wrestling in Niagara Falls, Ontario before he made it to TNA.

I’ve got camera phone pictures, and I will get around to putting them up later on tonight, after TNA’s No Surrender PPV.

Post by thinksojoe

The founder of and it’s parent company, Fropac Entertainment, ThinkSoJoE has been a wrestling fan since he first saw WWF television in 1986 at the age of four. His first wrestling memory was Hulk Hogan on Saturday Night’s Main Event talking about getting King Kong Bundy in a cage at WrestleMania 2. Sixteen years later, he met Hulk Hogan on the eve of WrestleMania X-8. On December 9, 2013, he legitimately won a Slammy Award (Best Crowd of the Year). ThinkSoJoE currently hosts the weekly BWF Radio podcast.

All posts by thinksojoe | thinksojoe on Twitter | thinksojoe on Facebook


  1. the new website is i was just on it and the next show is april 10th…esw puts on a good show

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

RSS Feeds

Posts by Category