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Empire Pro Wrestling: The Night Everything Changed III

Well ladies, gentlemen, and nonbinary others. it has been a few months since I was able to write about Empire Pro Wrestling in Oklahoma. While this was their third anniversary show, I do believe that it was a night where things changing and evolving into bigger and better. The event was held at the Southern Oaks Recreational Center in Oklahoma City and commentary was provided by NJPW announcer Walker Stewart and EPW's Tyler Cordingly.

The opening contest was Mitch Onyx against Devion the Technician. The two competitors shook hands ala Ring of Honor style. Guy Sterling, a local manager, delayed the match to cut a promo about how he just wants to get a good view of the match. Once the bell rang, the two combatants circled each other. When they went to tie up, Devion had other plans and he rolled thru and picked on of Mitch Onyx's ankles. Onyx was able to escape. The two men then tie up. Devion goes behind, Onyx reverses that with a go behind of his own. Devion is able to turn that into an arm bar. Onyx works his way out of the arm bar and gets a little space. When Onyx is ready to return to action he requests a test of strength from Devion. The two men lock hands with what seems to be an equal footing. Mitch Onyx is able to eventually force Devion to the mat for a two count. When Devion kicks out, Mitch relenquishes the test of strength. Devion kips up and is able to grapple Mitch into a headlock takedown. This was also good for a two count. Both men get back to their feet. Devion charges Mitch Onyx, but Mitch leaps up with a leap frog. Mitch then runs at Devion who replies with a leapfrog of his own. Mitch wise enough to try and take advantage of the recovery tries to reverse. This does not take Devion off guard as he just does a leapfrog over his opponent. Both of these men are looking like equals matching not only speed but strength and cunning. Devion would then hit a huricanrana and place Mitch in an armbar. Devion appears to think that he will not win a game a speed. Onyx escapes and performs a few manuevers that takes the speed back up. Devion still wanting the slower pace escapes to the outside. Mitch Onyx will have none of that. He follows Devion out by attempting a double kick between the top and middle ropes. Devion slides into the ring as Mitch is exiting. Devion hits the far rope for some extra momentum and dives out with a topei. Devion follows up his advanatge by beating Mitch Onyx on the outside. Onyx is not down and out though as he starts to exchange those blows on the floor. The two men eventually return to the ring and Devion would go to a corner for a breather. Mitch Onyx will take advantage of this by running at him and delivering two massive knees to Devion's chest. As Devion stumbles out of the corner, Mitch Onyx hits him with a hanging neckbreaker. Onyx now wanting to end the match pins Devion. Not allowing Devion time to breath Mitch Onyx places a reach chin lock onto Devion. Devion not out yet breaks free from the chin lock and starts to deliver some European Uppercuts. Onyx and Devion trade blows. Devion would eventually taunt Mitch Onyx asking if that was all he had? Onyx then gave Devion a superkick. Both men fall down and the ref begins to count. The Ref gets to the count of 5 before Devion is back to his feet. Once Mithc Onyx is back to his feet, Devion starts to deliver a series of flying forearms. Devion then signals to the crowd that he wants to put the match away. However, he is thwarted by a michinoku driver. This gives Mitch Onyx a two count. Meanwhile on the outside, Guy Sterling is repositioning his chair. Inside Devion hits a tornado DDT just like his coach Fuego Del Sol. Montego Seeka the Empire Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Champion then comes out. This distracts the ref as Montego gets on the apron. Guy uses this opportunity to cost Devion the match. With help from outside forces your winner is Mitch Onyx. Mitch Onyx and Guy Sterling then reveal that Mitch has been aligned with Guy all along. The three men then give Devion some parting blows.

This was a great start to the night. I did feel like Devion was holding back some by using so many holds. If these two men would have gone balls to the wall that match it would have stolen the show hands down. I don't recall if this was my first time watching Mitch Onyx or not but Devion didn't do this match alone and he deserves credit also for making this a good match.

The second contest of the night was one that has been in the making for almost a year now. Former tag partners now turn bitter enemies. The Widow Maker Tyler Watts against The Stone Wolf Duncan Kincade. These two have been battling all across Oklahoma since Duncan broke up Sinister Vanity to rejoin his family in the Saints of Pro Wrestling. Duncan would duck out matches whenever he was able to do so thus preventing the scorned Tyler from exacting revenge. Not on that night 18 November 2023. At the Night Everything Changed III they engaged in a Dog Collar Match. Tyler wore white to the ring which it would not stay white very long as both men became bloody early into the match. However, before the match officially started, Tyler wants the the Sanders Brothers, who accompanied Duncan to the ring, to be sent to the back. No such luck as this is a match with no rules. When it came time to put the collar on, Tyler eager to get the official match started put the collar on. The Lone Wolf not one to be collared refused. When the ref Martin Justice reminded Duncan that he has to do it, Duncan momentarily obliged. He then had second thoughts and entered the ropes. Martin was able to coax Duncan out of the ropes to put the collar on. Duncan ever the opportunist, attacked Tyler hitting him with the chain. Tyler is able to recover and start fighting back, Duncan has now lost the advanage. Tyler is able to put the collar onto his opponent. They then both exit on different side of the ring. The two men start to play tug of war with a corner post between the two. Tyler Watts is able to pull the chain enough to take Duncan off balance and slam his head into the post. Tyler then untangles himself from the ropes. Tyler follows up one post skull hit with another. The Sanders Brother then grab Tyler Watt's attention. This allowed a now bloody Duncan Kincade to recover. Duncan slams the chain into The Widow Maker's forehead. Tyler falls to his hands and knees. On all fours like a dog, Ducan starts to whip Tyler with the chain. Ducan would then boot Tyler in the head. Ducan enters the ring to celebrate the beating that he just delivered to Tyler Watts. Tyler gets up and is not bearing a crimson mask. Despite all of the dirty tactics that Duncan is employing, the crowd has not sympathy for Tyler. They want Ducan to beat him into a bloody pulp. Tyler recovered enough to get into the ring. Tyler with some wit about him used the chaing to hit Duncan in the gut downing Ducan. Tyler puts the chain around Duncan's head (see the image above). When Duncan does not give up after that Tyler switches to working on the legs of his opponent. Tyler starts with a Indian Deathlock then maneuvers into a Figure Four Leg Lock. While in this position Duncan's shoulders go flat to the mat. He is forced to kick out at two. Duncan then starts to fight back. He breaks out of the Figure Four. That does not do Duncan any good. Tyler then puts Duncan in a Yes Lock. Duncan passes out and the ref must stop the match. Tyler Watts wins via TKO. After the match when Duncan comes to he mistakenly takes a few swings at the ref.

Both men bleed early in the match. I think that the Sanders Brothers did take from this match at times. They were ringside and kept distracting Tyler Watts. When I think of dog collar matches it is one competitor trying to escape but unable to due to length of the chain which didn't really factor in much to the match. The way they did the match it did break from the formula of a Dog Collar Match. Besides the action in the ring the fans really did not want to back Tyler. This is unfortunate. If the wrestlers are trying to tell one story and the fans don't want it that hurts the performance.

Ozzy Hendrix against Wolf of War (c) for the EPW International Championship followed the Dog Collar Match. Both men immediately start to exchange blows. Ozzy, who is normally cool and laid back, must have gotten something in his weed as uncharacteristically Ozzy Hendrix is aggressive. Wolf of War tires of exchanging blows an attempts a suplex. Ozzy is able to temporarily block it but would eventually get slammed by the bigger man. The two men get back on their feet and Ozzy yells at Wolf of War that he cost him everything. I am not sure what Ozzy Hendrix means by this. Ozzy then follows his ejacuation by striking Wolf of War with a right hand. Then another right hand. Wolf of War is not phased by this pummeling. Wolf of War then blasts Ozzy who stumbles backwards. Ozzy attmepts to recover with a shoulder talk but it does not effect Wolf. Ozzy attempts another but is caught and thrown across the ring. When Ozzy Hendrix gets up Wolf of War charges and executes his own shoulder block knocking Ozzy down. Ozzy relentlessly gets up to receive strong looking chops from Wolf of War. Wolf would stop chopping Ozzy in order to deliver a scoop slam. Adding salt to any wounds that Ozzy has, Wolf of War calls for a real challenge out of the back. Ozzy starts to climb up in the conrer of the ring but Wolf goes over and starts to choke him with a knee. While the Ref is admonishing Wolf, Ozzy recovers enough to give Wolf of War some forearm shots. Wolf answer them with a choke slam. This is good for a two count. Ozzy gets up and Wof of War attempts a clothesline. Ozzy ducks. Wolf of War turns around to receive a spine buster. Ozzy exits the ring and grabs a chair. The ref warns Ozzy not to use it. Ozzy to full of anger does not listen to the ref and hits Wolf of War with the chair. Wolf of War wins via DQ. That did not stop Ozzy who continued to hit Wolf of War the chair until security pulled the chair from him. Ozzy was then pulled from the ring. As Ozzy was about to go threw the curtain, Wolf pops right back up as if nothing had happened and tells Ozzy to come on. This feud is not over yet.

This was a match that I think could have used a video recap since I was not sure what was going on. I will admit that I haven't been to the show in two month though due to other obligations. I loved the more aggressive Ozzy Hendrix. Inside and out of the ring Ozzy is always laid back from my experience. After the number of shots Wolf of War took from Ozzy after the match it was a shocker for him to pop up like that.

Another big stipulation match for the night was E-Bone against Gemini Loser Leaves EPW. These two men 'hate" each other. When the bell rings, the two lock up like Billy Goats fighting for dominance. They push each other back and forth. E-Bone is able to get Gemini in a headlock from their shoving match. Gemini easily shoves E-Bone off from that. Gemini is able to hit the ropes and rebound for the second no look leapfrog of the night. Gemini then hits a huricanrana being assisted by the ropes. E-bone would then roll out of the ring. In a mocking fashion, E-Bone puts on a blue version of Gemini's mask. The disrespect gives E-Bone the advantage. E-Bone takes Gemini down and delivers a elbow drop straight to the heart of Gemini. This gets him a two count. Gemini crawls to the corner and uses it to assist him to his feet. E-Bone charges at Gemini who easily evaded. E-Bone takes down Gemini and head to the top rope. E-Bone takes time to imitate Eddie Guerrero. This gave Gemini enough time to foil E-Bone's plans. Gemini delivers a superplex, but wait he turned it into the Tres Amigos. Now it is Gemini's turn to climb the ropes. E-Bone recovers and catches Gemini on his shoulders. E-Bone does a Somaon Drop. Not letting up E-Bone then redners a painful slingshot suplex. E-Bone would them whip Gemini into the corner and start the ten punches in the corner. Gemini escapes between E-Bone's legs. E-Bone quickly follows Gemini and while Gemini is attempting to take a breather E-Bone hits a hanging neck breaker. Everyone seems to be #neckstrong tonight. E-Bone throws Gemini into a corner. Gemini is able to stop E-Bone and deliver a bulldog. Gemini then gets on the middle rope to deliver a block buster. This would get Gemini a two count. Both men get up and hit the ropes just to knock each other down with a lairat. As both men get back to their feet E-Bones is caught grabbing a chain. A pump handle slapm attempt by E-Bones takes out the ref. Gemini takes possesion of the chain and hits E-Bone while the ref is down. Gemini then hits his version of Sliced Bread aka Greetings from Planet 9 for the win. E-Bone refuses to leave. Security pulls him out of the ring and out of the building.

Gemini has been walking the heel turn recently. This was certainly the nail in the coffin for that. Overall it was another good match. With the faced paced guys EPW uses I could build an entire division if not promotion around guys like that in Oklahoma. This match is also part of Oklahoma independent wrestling that bothers me. E=Bone and Gemini tagged together just recently at a different promotion. Yes the other promotion acknowledged that they hated each other but for how fierce they hated each other that should not have happened.

EPW held their second Hall of Fame induction. This year's honoree is the Oklahoma Hardcore Legend Kareem Sadat. Kevin Sanchez is the man who gets the honor of induction his friend. The two are former tag champions together. Kevin mentions how Kareem is instrumental in all of the guys in the back and their learning. This is because even if he didn't directly touch the lives of the wrestlers the ones he has touched and taught in his 30 year career have gone on to teach others. Kevin Sanchez retold a story about one of the first hardcore matches he had agaisnt Kareem. Kareem's mom was sitting ringside and Kevin slapped her hand like he would the rest of the fans ringside that night. Well Kareem did not like that. One of the first things Kareem did in that match was hit Kevin with a kendo stick and say not to touch his momma. After the story was finished, Kevin said that wrestling was Kareem's life and this (EPW) was his baby. It is now our turn to take Kareem's baby and grow it. Kevin then called Christina into the ring to accept the plaque on behalf of her father. Kareem Sadat is a highly decorated vetran of the Oklahoma wrestling scene. His accolades are too long to list here. He once told me that he was the only man to face New Jack in the state of Oklahoma. He was the only man brave enough to do so. Along with that he was the longest reigning All American Hardcore Champion.

After that emotional affair, there was an intermission so that everyone could compose themselves. That and who could follow it? C. M. Burnham had the duty to follow that after intermission. Now C. M. Burnham was not supposed to be there as he was suspended last month. C.M. Burnham explains that due to a clause in a match at a different promotion, The Foreman Red James won and it lifted his suspension. So C. M. Burnham is back and will be throwing his name in contendership for the Commissioner job which EPW is holding.

Before C. M. Burnham left the ring Father Padge, his son, comes out with the current Commissioner Christopher Samuel Dean. Christopher Dean and C.M. Burnham exchange words before Badger James comes out to face Father Padge. Badger James looks like an emo pirate and is accompanied by Trench Blyth. When the bell rings, Badger James and Father Padge circle each other. Padge will end the circling by kicking Badger James in the gut. Badger would then be able to get Padge into the corner. Badger James hits a seated Father Padge with a cannonball. From this Badger would pin and get a single count. Not letting Padge get space Badger locks him in a wrist lock. When Father Padge escapes this he rolls to the outside of the ring. Padge would slowly and methodcially get back into the ring. The two men will engage in a collar and elbow lock up. Padge gets the losing end of that as Badger puts him in a headlock. Padge fights out and knocks Badger down. Bager is holding his jaw and complaining about his teeth. Blyth tell Badger to spit the teeth out and keep fighting. Padge whips Badger James into the corner and hits him with a splash. Then follows up with a high knee. Badger then is able to reverse an Irish Whip and put Father Padge in the opposite corner. Badger delivers a bigger splash than Padge did. Badger then throws Padge down out of the corner by his head and pins him. Only a two count. Tench Blyth calls for Badger to hit Padge harder. Padge is able to escape the onslaught of Badger and knock badger down with a shoulder block. Father Padge slings Badger into the corner and charges after. Badger is able to put up his boot to knock Padge down. Badger then delivers a leg drop from the middle rope. Badger and Padge start trading blows while coming to their feet. The two men will seperate. Badger then runs at Padge who catches him in a spinebuster. Padge covers for a two count. Then out of nowhere a man clad in black attacks Trench Blyth with a kendo stick. This distracts both competitors as neither man knows who he is. Badger exits the ring to try and help Blyth but ends up on the receiving end of the kendo stick himself. Padge stays in the ring. The masked assailant then gets in the ring when Padge is inquiring with the ref on hwo the match would be called. He then starts to beat Padge with the Kendo stick. When Padge was laying in a heap the masked assailant revealed himself to be Jason Simon. Jason said that Padge had cost him a month of action. By trying to kill him and breaking his trachea. Now on December 16th at the next show he wants Padge in a Tables Match. Padge would accept before being assisted to the back .

While I was away, The Saints of Pro Wrestling have created legal issues with Christopher Dean over the #1 contendership for the EPW Tag Team Titles. The Saints had gotten an injunction issues preventing any other team from being named #1 contenders. Christopher Dean had an unsigned contract that if the Saints would sign it tonight he would honor it. However, if they lose or cheat to win their opponents will become #1 contenders. If the Saints did win honorably they had a year to cash in their title match. The Saints signed the contract and agreed to the stipulation. We wondered if the Saints could even read. Christopher Dean does boot Duncan to the back. The opponents tonight are the team of Vic Russo and Kevin Sanchez known collectively as BMF. The bell rings and Vic and Scott Sanders are the two legal men. The two men lock up. Scott pushes Vic into the corner and has a clean break. They tie up again this time Vic pushes Scott Sanders into the ropes and a clean break. Both men trade shoulder blocks with neither showing any effect. Scott then calls for Vic to participate in a test of strength. Scott then pokes Vic in the eyes. Scott then tags Shawn in. The two men double team Vic by choking him. The brother then tag again and whip Russo into the ropes to do a double shoulder tackle. Scott then delivers blows that pushes VIc Russo into the corner. Scott locks on a rear chin lock. Russo then battles his way out of the chin lock and is able to tag Kevin. Kevin then starts to clobber Shawn. Shawn and Scott tagged at the same time as Kevin and Vic. Kevin is doing the flip flop fly of Dusty Rhodes. As Shawn falls Kevin tags VIc in. Vic then delivers a elbow drop. Vic pins for a two count. The men get back up and Vic whips Shawn into the corner. Vic attempts to climb the turnbuckle but is unable to do so. Vic instead just delivers ten punches in the corner. Shawn then takes control momentarily. Shawn whips Vic into ropes and attempts a lariat. Vic goes under his arm. Kevin gets in and BMF both hit a clothesline on Shawn. Scott seeing the tide are not his and his brother's favor pulls a chain out from under his leather vest. Christopher Dean was still ringside and stopped Scott from using the chain. This distracted Shawn and allowed Kevin to get a rollup pin. The winners and new #1 Contenders Kevin Sanchez and Vic Russo.

Nice story revolving around this. As they both have attorneys involved I can see this continuing.

Semi main event for the night was an Open Challenge by Montego Seeka. His scheduled opponent Tank Bryson was not able to make it. Guy Sterling accompanied Montego Seeka to the ring. Guy says that before they get to the open challenge which had not been accepted by any of the cowards in the back he would like to say he should be the new commissioner for EPW. The fans should vote for him as he is the right man for the job, So, now that that business is out of the way we should have a ceremonial ten count since no one answered the open challenge. The ref starts to count. One no one comes out. Two still no one comes out. Three and Seeka is still waiting in the ring. Four music hits surprising Guy. Five the competitor for that music comes out Trench Blyth with Badger James has answered the open challenge. Guy not sure who answered the call between Trench and Badger says Seeka isn't like one of these fan's mom on prom night he doesn't take two at the same time. Blyth says the challenger is him. Fans are excited to see this unannounced match and start to chant "Trench is going to Kill you!" Seeka will jump Trench before the match officially starts. Blyth fights back and is able to throw Montego Seeka out of the ring. Trench then dives out after him. Blyth has control and is laying in some big blows. Seeka must roll into the ring to escape. Seeka is in the corner. Blyth charges at Montego Seeka in the corner but Seeka delivers a urinagi. Trench rolls to the center of the ring Montego then runs and lands a double stomp on his downed opponent. As Blyth is getting up Seeka delivers a double forearm smash to him. Seeka then delivers a side slam to Blyth. Seeka pins and gains a two count. The two men get to their feet and Seeka attempts a verticla suplex. Blyth blocks it with a small package pin. Blyth is showing signs of not being defeated. While Seeka is still reorientating from his kicking out Blyth delivers a shining wizard to him. Another pin and two count for Blyth. Trench Bluth bounces off the ropes agains and is stopped by a spine buster. Seeka transitions into a Texas Cloverleaf. Blyth escapes and is able to drop kick Seeka into the corner. He follows up with a high knee to Montego Seeka. Blythe tries to continue his attacks but Guy Sterling distracts him. Mitch Onyx then further distracts Trench by taking out Badger James. Mitch Onyx came out of seeminlgy no where. Seek is able to turn this distraction into the win by hitting a Jumping Tombstone Piledriver. The three men celebrate the retention of the title.

The main event of the night is the EPW Call Your Shot Ladder match their version of Money in the Bank. The six competitors are: Malachi the Savior from Suffering, Wrangler Rhett, Gatekeeper, Tommy Too Good, Jean Claude, Elijah Sparks. The bell rings and chaos ensues. Wrangler Rhett immediately throws Jean Claude out of the ring. Gatekeeper attacks Elijah Sparks. Tommy Too Good goes out for a ladder. While the other participants are battling, Tommy Too Good sets up the ladder and attempts to climb it. All of Tommy's opponents realize that he is trying to end the mactch and rush to the ladder to pull him off. Gatekeeper then tries to climb the ladder. He is stopped. Malchi tries his luck but no avail. Malachi hits the outside hard. Elijah pulled him off and is now repositioning the ladder. Elijah does not intend on ending the match now as he repositions the ladder to dive out on to the mass of men trading blows. Elijah is the first to recover and gets back into the ring to maneuver the ladder under the briefcase. Elijah starts to climb but is pulled off by Tommy Too Good with a powerslam. Too Good now tries to climb the ladder but is foiled by Malachi. Rhett ties to get in on the action but his face meets with the steel of the ladder. Tommy Too Good then scoop slams Malachi. At some point a small ladder was set up in he corner. Rhett whips Too Good into that corner. Sparks and Jean Claude are brawling on the outside. Gatekeeper reemerges on the inside of the ring to start dominating those opponents. Rhett, while Gatekeeper is distracted taking out others, puts the small ladder on his neck and starts to spin. The tornado ladder takes out anyone who dares come too close. Rhett being the only man standing in the ring decides to climb the ladder. His ascension was stopped by Gatekeeper. Gatekeeper is able to his fingers on the briefcase before Malachi pulls him down. Gatekeeper spears Wrangler Rhett. Rhett escapes to the outside. Gatekeeper then starts to attack the other participants. He lines them each up on the middle rope and one by one starts to jump on them. Tommy Too Good is able to knock Gatekeeper out of the ring with small ladder. Too good then sets that ladder which is about three foot tall up and attempts to climb it. Tommy Too Good obviously wasn't the valedictorian of his class. Rhett knocks Too Good our fo the ring. Rhett then sets the ten foot ladder back up. He starts to climb it again. However out of no where we hear a sinister laugh. The source is Gatekeeper he is going after Rhettand prevents Rhett from wining the match. Gatekeeper pulled Rhett onto his shoulders and slammed Rhett's face into the ladder. Jean Claude tries to get in on the action and his face also meets the ladder. Malachi seems to be bidding his time on the outside allowing the others to damage each other. Tommy Too Good suplexes Rhett onto the ladder. Tommy then uses this time to set up and attempt victory via a five foot ladder. Elijah Sparks stops this attempt. Elijah then sets up the ten foot ladder to try and win the match. The participants then seem to take their turns trying to climb the ladder. Jean Claude hits what looks like a reverse DDT on Gatekeeper. Too Good hits Rhett with a weird looking version of an F5. Malachi hits Sparks with a Flatliner. Malachi then throws Tommy Too Good our of the ring. Malachi is able to climb the ladder and retrieve the briefcase. Malachi the Savior of Suffering now has one year to cash in for a title shot in EPW.

Pictures courtesy of Drew Hopkins of EPW.


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