It’s an awkward age. Well, it used to be back in my day. Final years of high school. Trying to figure out what you were going to do with your life. Taking a more pronounced interest in the birds and/or bees. It was a real coming of age.
The same can’t be said for EPW’s Re-Awakening 16.
Much like any high school you have the teachers, the cool kids, the truant vagrants, and the guys who get that scholarship and head off to their private school to keep on excelling (shout out to TM61 – Thorne still owes me a night out as my wingman; however fruitless that would be for me).
EPW’s 16th year is nearing completion, and reports are due in.
Storm vs Morleone
“The Don” Michael Morleone challenges Davis Storm for the EPW Championship. Storm is the teacher. Storm has more professional wrestling knowledge and ability in his pinkie than most mere mortals have in their entire bodies. The problem is, he knows it, and much like a popular high school teacher, he uses that fact to bend the rules and influence young minds to do his bidding. Whilst stablemates have previously followed his direction religiously, they’ve usually paid for it as Storm kicks his feet up, and carries on his merry way. Eventually, all the transgressions catch up with these corrupt teachers and they end up paying the price.
The Don has had a strange old path to this huge main event. He came into EPW like a kid in his first year of high school. A little cocky, and a little proud of himself. As the matches rolled on, he would tweak things slightly, fitting into new group upon new group trying to find his identity. The Don that lies before us at Re-Awakening is no longer trying to fit in or find himself. He knows what he’s all about and knows where his future lies. He’s earned the respect of the wrestling community, and on Saturday November 25th, No Holds Barred, we’ll see if he’s able to take the next step and graduate with honours.
Vice vs Ward
The Invitational Tournament is the most prestigious tournament in Australian Wrestling. It has been a vital milestone in the careers of Jimmy Payne, Davis Storm, and Alex Kingston. At Re-Awakening, Chris Vice and Julian Ward do battle for the 2017 trophy.
Vice is the big bad bully. He does what he wants, says what he wants, and doesn’t attend classes (except to pelt empty coke bottles at you). Yet, he somehow graduates with the sports award. Unless you were that guy or gal in high school, you probably want to see him get his.
Julian Ward – unassuming – plies his craft until you realise, ‘hey, this kid is smart. This kid is good. Could this kid become the dux of the school?’ He very well could. Honing his craft in the Great White North, Ward has come back a casa en fuego. Picking up the huge scalp off Damian Slater at Vendetta, it seems that he believes. We believe. The second-best Ward since Callan may just walk out of Re-Awakening with the Invitational Tournament trophy in hand.
Ryan vs McGavin vs Jacobs vs Steria
The EPW Coastal Championship is on the line, and the journalistic bias needs to be laid out on the table. You can be sure I’ll be chanting, ‘Come on You Scotty!’ from the front row of the drinking section.
What a year for Generation Zero’s Scotty Ryan. He went up against Gavin McGavin – the smug kid who seemed to have all the answers – and took what was most precious to him. Like a spandex-clad Gollum, McGavin lost it, attacking everyone before him in pursuit of the Coastal Championship. At Re-Awakening, he gets his chance to avenge the loss of what he deems his precious Championship. But, don’t sleep on the other contenders in this match. Tyler Jacobs, the hard-hitting, crafty veteran can beat anybody on any day. He will be duly motivated as the top-knot aims for the top-spot in the Coastal Championship division. Let’s not discount former EPW Champion, Kiel Steria: the dark horse. With the way he moves, you don’t realise just how big he is! If anybody gets in his way, they’ll be leaving as happy as the Eagles’ faithful upon discovering their new logo. Either way, let’s hope that the COYS Nation rallies behind Scotty Ryan as his Coastal Championship reign continues.
The Untouchables vs The Street Gang Hooligans
If not for the three revered accolades on the line, this next match could main event any day of the week – twice on Sunday. But, it comes with a heavy heart. Marcius Pitt was the cool kid at school. Everyone loved him, he got on well with all the cliques… Until Damian Slater came along. The Jock switched schools, and lo and behold, Pitt was no longer the kid that everyone admired. What’s a guy to do? Naturally, you try to mark your territory. Pitt and Slater had some battles, but it’s almost as if Pitt has admitted defeat. If you can’t beat them, join them, right? Pitt’s alliance with The Untouchables is as Soul destroying as a spiritual leader missing out on that elusive premiership triumph.
At Re-Awakening, Alex Kingston and the man called Logan Grey will be looking for revenge. The Street Gang Hooligans know how to kickflip some faces in. With any luck, they can beat some sense into Pitt and help him see the light again, because really, what sane person willingly helps Taylor King win a match?
Re-Awakening is EPW’s Sweet Sixteen. As its body changes, what will we get on November 25th? Will we get that beautiful girl that matures ahead of their time that we can dote on in the new year? (Not creepily, we’ll talk to EPW, get to know them, get put in the friend zone – the usual). Or will EPW break out in blemishes that no bottle of Clearasil can fix, as the bullies reign supreme? Grab your tickets, pin your corsage, rent out your best $50 suit and we’ll see you at the big school dance.
Eric McFarland is a pop culture obsessed, sports loving, pro wrestling tragic.
Photo Credit: Pix Photography