On Feb 3, EPW kicked off their year with Hot Summer’s Night at Bodyslam Central. If this event is anything to go by, it’s once again going to be a huge year for EPW in 2018. Recap of the night below!
EPW Coastal Championship Match
Scotty Ryan © vs Taylor King
Hot Summer’s Night kicked off with championship action as Generation Zero’s ‘The Big Rig’ Scotty Ryan defended his EPW Coastal Championship against Taylor King. ‘The Child Star’ King was accompanied by TK Task Force member Tipene– he took the advantage.
Ryan showed the heart he is known for by constantly fighting off Tipene’s interference. As King became overconfident, Ryan latched on the Sharpshooter and had King tapping quicker than an audience being offered a Billy Ray Cyrus encore.
Winner and STILL EPW Coastal Champion: Scotty Ryan
Next on tap for Hot Summer’s Night was the scheduled Fatal Four Way for the Tag Team Championship. As the match was about to begin, a video aired of Dan Moore being interviewed backstage earlier in the day. Before we (or he) knew it, he was left laying by an unknown attacker.
Due to this attack and the mysterious disappearance of EPW Tag Team Champion Hayden Zenith, the Fatal Four Way was amended to become a Six-Person Tag Team Match. It was announced that Allyson Cruz would partner up with Nacho Friends to take on The Headhunters – Tyler Jacobs, Dan Steel, and their newest member… JARRAD SLATE!
Nacho Friends (El Nacho Taco & Del Cano) and Allyson Cruz vs The Headhunters (Tyler Jacobs, Dan Steel and Jarrad Slate)
While the crowd was still reeling from the shocking revelation that Jarrad Slate had turned against his SMDK partner, Slate appeared to fit in with The Headhunters seamlessly. With an intense new attitude and disdain for the fans, he took control.
Though Cruz and Nacho Friends looked to rally the crowd, overcoming this new Headhunters outfit seemed tough from the upset. A glimmer of hope arose when Tyler Jacobs became infatuated with the ‘Good Book’ he has been carrying around. Unfortunately, the glimmer was soon extinguished when the switch flicked, and Jacobs finished the match with a brutal straight knee and a pinfall victory.
Winners: The Headhunters (Tyler Jacobs, Dan Steel and Jarrad Slate)
Lord Jonathan Wimbledon vs Tipene
The muscle of the TK Task Force, Tipene made his debut against the wily and cagey veteran, Lord Jonathan Wimbledon. Whilst Taylor King vaped away in his corner, Tipene showed great strength and movement that gave glimpses into a future involving being more than muscle.
Showing the instincts that have served him well, Wimbledon countered and began to build some momentum. Wimbledon scaled the corner, primed to introduce Tipene to the British Airways… when the lights went out.
An eerie and creepy atmosphere fell on Bodyslam Central as we sat in the dark. As music slowly played, the video screen signalled the arrival of He. Of… Them. Adorning masks, three figures emerged from the darkness. In a manner that can only be described as terrifyingly brutal, the two figures laid waste to the ring and almost took Wimbledon’s head off with a Doomsday Device that was as frightening as it was appropriate.
Just as the fans thought they could catch a breath, they gasped in horror as the three men unmasked to reveal themselves as BILLY WILLIAMS, BOBBY MARSHALL and AZAZAL!
David Nero vs Kiel Steria vs Jay Taylor
With an audience and locker room on tenterhooks, these three men came out looking to make a statement of their own. At the beginning of a new year, all EPW wrestlers are looking to impress, wanting to forge a path that catapults them towards glory.
In a rapidly moving affair, Nero caught Steria unawares from the top rope to pick up the victory, as well as the early momentum in 2018.
Winner: David Nero
Julian Ward vs Gavin McGavin
Both these men had an impressive 2017 but were left reeling and looking for redemption after coming out on the wrong side of the ledger at ReAwakening 16. With a point to prove, these men looked to assert themselves in the ring, and as such competed in a match which ebbed and flowed.
As the going got tough, Gavin McGavin chose not to get going but rather to show his true colours. The ‘Real Wrestler’ appeared to land awkwardly and injure himself. Showing the upstanding character that may be the only thing that surpasses his talent, Ward went to check on him. McGavin used this to trick Ward and hit him with the old Roshambo kick to the groin. The referee had no choice but call for the disqualification.
Winner: Julian Ward
Davis Storm vs The Warship
Brothers in The Solution no more, Davis Storm put himself on the pedestal, crowning himself the general and demanding his soldiers fall in line. This left the former soldiers as unimpressed as Shania Twain with a rocket scientist, as they left ringside to let Storm and The Warship fight one on one.
Warship was on the backfoot early as an aggressive Storm took the upper hand. The Warship would not be deterred as he dug in deep and delivered two big spears to the six-time EPW Champion for what some may consider an upset victory.
Winner: The Warship
After the match, Richter re-emerged to confront both men in the ring. Without saying a word, Richter managed to get the two former allies to shake hands and remove their Solution armbands. The Warship exited through the front door, leaving us with many questions as to what is next after this big victory, and even bigger moment.
EPW Championship Match Contract Signing
‘The Don’ Michael Morleone © and ‘The Smashing Machine’ Chris Vice
Mean Dean Olsen made his way into the ring to introduce Challenger and Champion for the future EPW Championship Match. Chris Vice came out first, brandishing the EPW Invitational Tournament trophy in an entirely disrespectful manner. The new Champion soon followed. Morleone was a picture of class, handing over his hat to a young fan in attendance.
Eager to take on the Challenger, ‘The Don’ wasted little time in signing the contract. Vice, on the other hand, took his time, appearing to write a novel. Mean Dean inspected the signature to find Vice had written a crude message. Olsen read the message, “Suck my…”– he stopped short of presumably saying ‘phalange’. Vice let the Champion know that he won’t be signing since the title match will happen on HIS terms, before casually sauntering out.
A frustrated Morleone left. He turned at the top of the stage to thank the fans, a move which Vice capitalized on and attacked him from behind. Without a shred of remorse, ‘The Smashing Machine’ switched from jokester to killer as he drove Don’s head into the stage. Referees immediately ran to assist the Champion. Vice swiftly attacked again, choking Morleone before once more driving his head into the stage. Cold and calculated, Vice sent a very clear message: ‘The Don’ has a hell of a fight on his hands.
Three Stages of Hell Match
The Street Gang Hooligans (‘AK47’ Alex Kingston and Logan Grey vs The Untouchables (Marcius Pitt and ‘The World Beater’ Damian Slater)
The rematch the entire country had been waiting for. After tearing down the house at ReAwakening 16, these four men were ready to raise the bar once more. The first fall was billed as a Normal Match. However, when these teams compete, it’s anything but normal. Trading moves throughout the fall, it was The Untouchables who came away with the first fall after Pitt blocked an attempted Sunset Flip from ‘AK47’ and pinned him using Damian Slater for extra leverage.
Winners of the First Fall: The Untouchables
The second fall was a Tornado Match. The Street Gang Hooligans wasted little time taking the fight to the outside through the drinking section. It appeared to backfire early when Marcius Pitt powerbombed Alex Kingston into the brick walls of Bodyslam Central. Throwing caution to the wind, Logan Grey scaled the backboard of the basketball hoop, leaping off with a picture perfect death-defying moonsault from the top. As the teams fought outside, the tide turned when Grey was put through a table. This left Kingston fighting both Slater and Pitt back in the ring. Kingston courageously held them at bay until Grey was able to return. The action ramped up and escalated as the teams traded near falls with incredible offensive moves. It was a jaw-dropping tag team combination Wheelbarrow Blockbuster from the top rope on Slater from Kingston and Grey to score the second fall.
Winners of the Second Fall: Street Gang Hooligans
This brought upon the third fall; a No Holds Barred Street Fight. The teams scoured the ringside area for foreign objects and used them liberally. The fans sensed the desperation as the two teams wanted to prove their superiority. Kingston pulled out his skateboard and attempted to use it to ollie through Pitt, but it was Lights Out, Guerrilla Radio as Slater threw a trash can and put a halt to that idea.
The teams battled back into the ring, and as the action became increasingly and creatively more violent, it came down to Marcius Pitt alone with the Hooligans. It was time to pay the piper as Kingston and Grey beat him with repeated strikes of a kendo stick that would make even the most hardened fans wince. Kingston took the time to scale a ladder whilst Grey ensured Pitt was positioned and immobile on the table. An entirely befitting spectacular finish was delivered when ‘AK47’ soared off the top of the ladder to Frog Splash the prone Pitt through the table for the 1-2-3.
Winners of the Third Fall and the Match: Street Gang Hooligans
At the end of the night, it was The Street Gang Hooligans who stood tall after the incredible battle. If this is a sign of what’s in store for EPW in 2018, it’s going to be an amazing year. I hope to see you at the upcoming New Japan Pro Wrestling, Progress Wrestling, and EPW shows.
For Australian wrestling fans, what a time to be alive!