As the FIFA World Cup races toward the pointy end, it has been a tournament full of surprises, controversy and shock results. At EPW Hell or Highwater, the attention shifts to another prestigious tournament. The 2018 EPW Invitational Tournament commences as the EPW roster jostles to get their hands on the Invitational Trophy.
Before we bid adieu to football (or “soccer” to those who probably take issue with Lucy Zelić’s magnificent pronunciation), let’s cast an eye over the EPW squad and put together our best XI. This side could take on any team in this World Cup; Germany couldn’t even make it out of the group stage!
As the esteemed Manager of EPW F.C., I’ve decided to play with a Diamond 4-4-2 formation to make the most of our bruising forwards and our creative flair along the wings. After the easiest part of any coach’s job, the cuts, it’s time to find out who made the team.
Given the ferocity in which Steel headbutted Jordan Bishop, this Headhunter was a no-brainer to put into the forward make-up. Those headbutts made Zinedine Zidane look tame. A robust forward, Steel would be well placed to head home the high ball flying in from the wings.
Complimenting the size and strength will be the speed and agility of Del Cano. It will be interesting to see how the lucha will attack the goal but I’m backing him in to give any defender headaches with his unique attack. As long as he doesn’t spray shots on goal as bad as he does his tan (his words, not mine) we could put up some cricket scores.
On the left is our Captain, “The Big Rig” Scotty Ryan. Ryan is a natural leader, as evidenced by the way he was able to calm down the tensions within Generation Zero after the loss of their Tag Team Championship. In the ring, he shows a smooth skillset much akin to Dele Alli on the football field.
Logan Grey plays the role of the Attacking Midfielder. When competing in EPW, he manages to contort and swing his body in angles not easily found on a protractor. With that creative flair and imagination, can you picture what sort of innovative offence he could produce in the middle?
Jonathan Wimbledon takes a Defensive Midfield position. The wily and cunning veteran has seen it all and acts as a guiding influence for both attack and defence. He may still be bruised following his outing with Billy Williams and THEM at Evolution, but without the English representative, we would not be able to guarantee that the Cup was coming home!
Taking up position on the right wing is “The Child Star.” It’s been all abuzz for Taylor King since his entrance and achy breaky victory against Gorgeous Garry at Evolution. Staying out of the way of thuggish defenders like a Sergio Ramos, King will be influential in swinging crosses in like a Wrecking Ball. (Sometimes as a writer, you have to pick the low-hanging fruit!)
“The World Beater” Damian Slater is the team’s Left Back. It’s a bit of a risk given that Adelaide footballers have been on a slide since the A-League Premiership in 2016. This Manager is not so quick to write off 2016 Premiership teams, as Slater is on a roll having recently won the EPW Tag Team Championships and is perfectly placed to defend staunchly.
The Centre Backs are the last line of defence before the Goalkeeper is engaged. They must be solid, imposing and have the instinct and agility to cut off the opposing team’s attacking forays. With that in mind, I have selected Hell or Highwater opponents Kiel Steria and Tipene. Steria is a man whose size belies his agility, and Tipene has shown a ton of promise whilst cutting an imposing figure in his own right. Good luck to any Forwards trying to get around this defensive wall.
On the opposite back flank to his Untouchables tag team partner is, at Right Back, Marcius Pitt. The old saying is that you have to strike whilst the iron is hot, and The Untouchables are so hot right now. Pitt knows what it is like to be a champion and with this European background, we can expect the competitive beast that is Pitt to bring his attitude to the field to shore up the defence.
Goalkeeper: Bobby Marshall
Whilst he is more well-known for delivering the offensive kicks (and Facebook posts), Marshall is a tall and mobile man who will be able to cover the net with ease. It’s also said that Goalkeepers can be a bit of a crazy bunch, and given his history, one could say he fits that bill. Between the goalposts, Marshall is law and it will take a wonder strike to beat him.
It would be interesting to see whether this XI would be a team of champions or a champion team. Whilst we may not ever be able to see how these players would go on the football field, we will be able to see how they perform within the squared circle.
At Hell or Highwater on July 21, Invitational Tournament action begins so come on down and find out who will still be in the running to add their name to the list of illustrious trophy winners.
Eric Mack is your pop culture obsessed, sports loving, pro wrestling tragic.
Check out his Sports podcast at http://www.sportheads.com.au or on Facebook @thesportheads