Why Scotty Ryan will win:
I believe Gen Zero are a funny quartet at the moment. Between the four of them, they hold the EPW Coastal Title (Scotty Ryan), the EPW Tag Team Titles (Alyson Cruz and Hayden Zenith) and, of course, the EPW Championship itself (The Don). However, I think it’s to say none of these competitors are actually the best in their respective divisions.
Before you rip my head off, hear me out.
The Don is very, very, VERY good and has been a real workhorse of the EPW upper card for years leading up to his break out campaign in 2017. His match with Davis Storm at RA16 was incredible, and his performance was, without question, one of the best individual efforts in recent memory. He is 100% a deserving champion. However, can we legitimately admit he is a better singles wrestler than the Marcius Pitts, the Damian Slaters, or even the Chris Vices of EPW? I don’t think so. The same can be said for Cruz and Zenith who, after the events of Hot Summer’s Night and RA16, would have to settle for being the 3rd best tag team in Perth behind The Untouchables and the Street Gang Hooligans. This may seem extremely harsh, but it is just the reality of the time we live in and the high level of competition on the EPW roster.
This brings me to Scotty Ryan…
Similar to his teammates, Scotty Ryan had an unbelievable 2017. His feud with Gavin McGavin will go down in EPW folklore as one of the finest three-match series in the history of Perth wrestling. Every bout was an absolute beauty, and they capped it off by winning EPW’s Match of the Year for their steel cage match at Hell or Highwater.
HOWEVER, although The Big Rig walked away with the EPW Coastal Championship, the reality is McGavin walked away as Wrestler of the Year. This has to beg the question: where does Ryan really sit in the pecking order? Is it simply down to luck McGavin is no longer the Coastal Champion? Is Ryan really the next break out guy, or are guys like McGavin or a Julian Ward actually ahead of him?
On the contrary, questions like these are exactly why Scotty Ryan can win this match. He runs on heart, guts and pure determination, and it’s guaranteed he won’t be resting on his laurels after 2017. He knows he has plenty of detractors, and he can see the hard work ahead in order to move further up the card. But he lives for these big challenges, and I can promise he is already focused and working his butt off to bring the best he can muster and give Slater a run for his money.
This is the biggest match of Scotty Ryan’s life.
And this is why he might win.
Why Damian Slater will win.
Because he’s better than Ryan. No questions or debate here. Damian Slater is a better wrestler than Scotty Ryan. I sincerely believe there are five wrestlers in Australia who should already have full-time contracts at world-recognized pro wrestling companies, and Slater is at the very top of that list. He was the best wrestler in Adelaide and now he is the best wrestler in Perth.
He is meticulous in his preparation and flawless in his execution. ‘Untouchable’ isn’t a quirky nickname or gimmick; it’s the perfect representation of where he stands in the EPW pecking order.
And if that’s not enough, he will also be dead-set grumpy after losing the epic tag match at Hot Summer’s Night. Can you really see a guy of his level losing two big main event matches in a row? Seriously?
The reality is whenever Slater wrestles a singles match, the question shouldn’t be “will he win?”. The only question is, “how can he lose?”.
Who will win?
Scotty Ryan COULD win.
Scotty Ryan NEEDS to win…
But can I sit here and say that Scotty Ryan WILL win?
No, not with the caliber of opponent he’s facing. Damian Slater is the best wrestler in Australia. Period. He will be three steps ahead of The Big Rig at every turn, and although Ryan will leave his heart and soul in the ring as he always does, the task ahead of him will simply be too great.
Slater has some pretty big fish to fry in the coming months… NJPW is in town and Slater is scheduled to join them on tour. And in the not too distant future, you can bet your ass he’ll be expecting a marque match up when Progress visits our shores. So although this probably puts him in the best shape of his wrestling life, it does also add an element of doubt for me.
How much can he possibly be focused on Ryan?
This is the biggest match of Scotty Ryan’s life, make no mistake. A win here has the capacity to officially stamp his 2017 as no fluke and elevate him into the genuine upper echelon of EPW. Slater is the very definition of FIGJAM, so he might not be giving Ryan the respect he deserves. There are intangibles at play which makes it impossible for me to predict with any real conviction.
But when in doubt, bet on the best.