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ReviewsEmpire Pro Wrestling Defying the Odds Review

Real Rasslin readers welcome to the first ever review of Empire Pro Wrestling (EPW) out of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This amazing promotion is a mix of good old NWA style action mixed with the extreme of ECW. This review is about their most recent show “Defying the Odds” which was held in Shawnee, Oklahoma and was a benefit for the Oklahoma Hardcore Legend Kareem Sadat. All proceeds from the event went to Kareem’s family. Additionally all the wrestlers who participated volunteered for the show because Kareem Sadat is family and that brotherhood is a central part to the wrestling industry.

The show opened with Corttni Sadat entering the ring surrounded by the wrestlers, managers,and referrees to give an update on her husband. Cortni informed the crowd that Kareem has been fighting and in the hospital since 15 February 2022 but is in stable condition. However, his battle is far from over and asked for prayers and other good thoughts. One of the mainstays of the promotion Drake Gallows was then handed the mic. He reminded all that Kareem was pivotal in helping establish EPW as part of the Brothers of Hardcore. He ended it with saying “Don’t give up on him” the mantra of the night is #fightlikekareem.

The opening contest was a title for title bout for two Majestic Championship Wrestling belts featuring Skidz the 24/7 on Call Champion versus Nashoba the Majestic Championship Heavyweight Champion. Neither of the championships are featured in EPW often, however, due to the night being for Kareem both men put them on the line. The 24/7 on Call Championship is similar to the WWE 24/7 Championship and can be won or lost at any time. Nashoba started the match with a little trash talk telling Skidz he wouldn’t be winning his title. The two men tied up, Skidz was able to get a rear waistlock on Nashoba and take him down with a mat return. Followed by a flatliner for a one count. Skidz quickly climbed to the top as Nashoba was recovering and delivered a flying shoulder tackle. Trying to put the match away quickly Skidz pinned but only two. This prompted Skidz to tell the ref that no it was a three. This would turn into a defining mistake as from that point on it was all Nashoba with quick strikes and a quicker roll up for the win. Nashoba is now both the Majestic Heavyweight Champion and 24/7 on Call Champion. However, remember how the 24/7 on Call Championship has the same defense rules as the 24/7 title in the WWE? Well, Skidz did. While Nashoba was celebrating his win Skids rolled him up to regain the title.

Gemini the EPW World Champion comes out to celebrate. This is his first appearance as the champ since he won it back in January at Nuclear Warfare. He tells the fans that this wouldn’t be possible without them. That he is grateful for their support but before he could go any further, The Spotlight Logan Knight’s music hits. Logan Knight is the number 1 contender for the title. He won that at Nuclear Warfare in EPW’s unique Nuclear Warfare match. Logan says he is glad that Gemini is the champion as he doesn’t care for Maddox Jones the former champion. This didn’t sit well with Maddox who then came out. Maddox Jones told Logan to shut up his shot is next month but due to the way he lost the title, Maddox wanted a rematch tonight. Maddox lost the title due to the ref being accidently knocked down. The three men then face each other waiting for the first man to make a move. Out of nowhere, Drake Gallows hits Gemini with his own title. The crowd and other participants are stunned. Before a melee can break out, the special commissioner for the night, Shyan, who is Kareem Sadat’s Daughter, comes out. She says that if they are going to fight it won’t be in a brawl but it will be a fatal four way for the title in tonight's main event. All men are in accordance with this ruling. Unfortunately, Drake Gallows exited with the title and not the rightful owner Gemini.

The next match is between MLP, whose look seems to be inspired by La Parka from WCW in the mid 1990s, and Jason Simon. Jason Simon easily drew heat from the crowd by simply being an unknown person to the loyal EPW crowd. When the bell rings the two men start circling each other. When Jason Simon goes in for a collar and elbow tie up MLP ducks under and struts about. This angers Simon who visibly shows his frustration by yelling at the crowd. The two men go to tie up again but SImon swerved and kneed MLP in the gut. This doubled MLP over allowing Simon to give him an uppercut. A quick pin and not even a 1 count. Simon then pulls MLP up and whips him into the corner following it up with a series of splashes. However, on the fourth splash attempt MLP moves out of the way. Simon is stunned, allowing MLP to take over with a snap mare into a low drop kick. MLP then puts Jason Simon in a sleeper. Simon easily fights out of the sleeper. Once free Jason Simon gives MLP but MLP ducks. Simon attempts again and is successful. This puts MLP on all fours. Jason Simon hits the ropes and rebounds with a curb Stomp that would make Seth Rollins proud. 1-2-3; ring the bell; your winner Jason Simon.

C.M. Burnham entered the ring with his clients the Saints of Pro Wrestling. The Saints of Pro Wrestling are twins named Scott and Shawn Sanders. C.M. Burnham starts his promo by saying he is honored to be here at a show that is benefitting Kareem Sadat as he was lucky to have managed him his last few matches before the medical incident. It was good to see [Kareem’s] family here which bring him to why he is out there. His family is missing someone, Duncan Kincade. Duncan has been associated with Tyler Watts as a tag team called Sinister Vanity. Burnham tells Duncan to come out and join them. In the name of family unity all Duncan would have to do to come back is come out. Duncan comes out, however you can see on his face that he is torn between loyalty and love of family and his current tag partner. Burnham restates that all he needs to do is embrace them. Before an answer is given Tyler Watt comes out. Burnham dismisses him saying it has nothing to do with him. This must have sparked a fire in Tyler as a brawl between the four men broke out. The refs came out to break up the fight. C.M. Burnham then says they are willing to fight tonight if the Special Commissioner will make it official. Shian then comes out from backstage. Since they wanted to fight a ref. can ring the bell and they can have a match. Tyler Watts and Scott start the match. After some back and forth action Tyler tags Duncan in. The crowd boos and jeers Duncan. Scott is able to quickly throw Duncan into the corner occupied by the Saints of Pro Wrestling and tag Shawn. Duncan fights out of the corner. However, due to a few headbutts Duncan stumbles back into the Saint’s corner. Scott and Shawn exchange a few quick tags and double teams keeping Duncan in the corner cutting him off from Tyler Watts. Eventually, Duncan is able to escape and tag Tyler in. The two legal men are Tyler Watts and Shawn. Watts and Shawn exchange blows, Tyler makes enough space to tag Duncan back in. Shawn then tags Scott and they double team Duncan. Scott goes in for a pin but only a two count. Duncan must use the ropes to get up and secretly tags Tyler. While Duncan was getting up Scott was signaling for a Stan Hansen strength lariat which hit the mark when Duncan turned around. However, Tyler Watts was the legal man. Not a problem for the Saints as Tyler received his own lariat which ended the match. The winners are the Saints of Pro Wrestling. Duncan rolls out of the ring and is met by C.M. Burnham and they exchange some words privately. I can only assume it is about him rejoining the family.

The next match is that of a clash of two giants. Jack Talos, who has been on the RealRasslin Podcast [click here for that episode], and Wolf of War. Wolf of War is used to being the big man in the match and doing as he pleases. Wolf of War is accompanied to the ring by the Psychotic Messenger’s Manager Lucien. That is not the case tonight as Jack and him tie up. Jack seems to easily overpowers Wolf of War, shoving him into the corner. Lucien jumps on the apron harassing the referee telling him to get them out of the corner. Jack Talos and Wolf of War reset in the center of the ring. Wolf calls for a test of strength. Jack Talos takes the early portion of the test but Wolf attempts a comeback. The comeback is ended by Jack sending him into the ropes. On the rebound Jack Talos gives Wolf a big boot. Lucien distracts Jack, giving Wolf of War some time to recover. Once he is recovered Wolf tries a series of shoulder tackles to take Jack Talos down. These do not work so he turns the tables and tells Jack to try it. On the second try Jack Talos takes Wolf of War down. This is followed up by Jack giving a massive side slam to Wolf. Lucien again gets on the apron. Distracting Jack Talos. This distraction proved to be beneficial as it allowed Wolf of War to go on the offensive as he attacked from behind. Wolf of War uses Jack being in the corner to deliver some painful knife edge chops. Sadly no whoos. Jack just eats those chops and puts Wolf of War into the corner. Jack removes a flak jacket from Wolf of War to make his chops more efficient. Jack Talos tells the crowd to be quiet. He then proceeds to give Wolf of War a massive Paul Wight style chop. Jack then puts Wolf of War into a fireman’s carry. Lucien gets in the ring. Jack then dispatches him while carrying Wolf of War. Jack Talos’ power seems to be unmatched at this point. Jack then does a rolling fireman’s carry. He could have put Wolf of War away there but instead opted to give him a massive clothesline before getting the win.

After the match Leo Fox came out. He challenges Jack Talos to a match next month at the PTX Con in Paris, Texas. Leo Fox states Jack is used to being the big man, used to pushing around his opponents but that will not be the case with him. Jack is more than eager to get the match on tonight. However, Leo has a manager there to prevent the match from happening that night. It is now time for intermission. No you don’t have to take a break from reading this article just the action took a break.

During that break in action I was able to catch up with Jack Talos in the back. When asked about what he thought of Leo Fox challenging him he scoffed “Leo is a joke that he thinks that he is the same” Jack definitely does not think Leo Fox is going to be an issue for him next month. We will have to wait and see how that plays out.

The in ring action resumes with a special match. For one night only Striker, a man in the EPW Hall of Fame, will come out of retirement to honor Kareem Sadat. He will tag with Adrian Vega against El Gallerdo Uno and Leo Fox. El Dorado Uno and Vega started the match Vega easily takes El Gallerdo Uno off his feet prompting Uno to tag Fox. Leo Fox rushes in toward Adrian Vega just to be taken down by a series of deep arm drags. Fox rolls out of the ring. After regrouping Fox wants nothing to do with Vega he wants “the old man”. Vega complies. In spite of that chaos breaks out as all four men start brawling in the ring. The crowd chants for Striker. The ref restores order to the match. Fox and Striker go back and forth. Striker eventually tags Vega who gains the upper hand on Fox. Fox then escapes to tag Uno. The two are then able to isolate Adrian Vega in the corner for quick in and out tags. When Leo Fox thinks they have done enough damage to Vega he goes for a pin but only gets a near fall. This prompts Leo to argue with the ref saying it was a three. After the argument is finished, Leo Fox looks to put Vega in a Boston Crab but Vega kicks him off creating enough room for him to tag in Striker for a hot tag. Unfortunately this does not turn the momentum Leo Fox has built is merely slows it down. Leo gets Striker on the ropes and chokes him. The ref counts to 5 then pulls Leo off. The rules seem to be loose on this match as generally a five count is a DQ. Fox sends Striker into his corner where El Gallerdo Uno is waiting. Leo Fox then unleashes a series of upper cuts. Striker falls to the bottom turnbuckle this prompts Leo Fox to do a running cannonball ala Kevin Owens. Fox pulls Striker to the center of the ring for the victory. The fighting spirit of Striker proves different as Fox only gets a two count. Both men stumble to their feet as they have both undergone some damage from the match. They both hit the ropes and attempt a flying cross body. The referee starts “1-2–3-4-” neither man in moving “5-6-7-” Fox and Striker are both stirring ”8-9-” the men leap to their corners and tag in their partners preventing this match from ending in a double count out. Adrian Vega after being locked out of the match is able to take control. Vega lifts Leo Fox up for a Samoan Drop and gets a two count. Vega then attempts an Irish Whip on Fox but it is reversed. Striker is able to get a blind tag. Striker comes in and gives Leo Fox a facebuster. Adrian Vega holds El Dorado Uno off on the other side as the ref counts to three. Winners are Adrian Vega and Stryker. Adrian and Striker start celebrating in the ring. Uno is not happy and doesn’t want the action to end so he steps up and slaps Adrian Vega in the face. Adrian doesn’t take this lying down; he returns it in kind with a scoop slam. El Dorado Uno rolls out of the ring seeing that he can get his revenge another day.

The following contest is a one fall twenty minute time limit entering first was Pastor Brent. His opponent hailed from the pink side of Mexico Sweetcakes. Sweetcakes jumps onto the ring with a vivacious “Hey!!!”. After entering the ring, Sweetcakes gives Pastor Brent a slap on the bottom, outraging the Pastor. Pastor Brent then chases Sweetcakes around the ring. Both men get back into the ring Pastor Brent expresses his contempt to having to wrestle Sweetcakes and tell the ref to check him. Sweetcakes is all too enthusiastic to be checked and presents both front and back to be patted down. Sweetcakes also turns the table on the ref and pats him down for foreign objects. After these shenanigans are finished the bell finally rings. Before Pastor Brent could exit his corner Sweetcakes rushes over and forces him into the corner. While he is getting Sweetcakes to back out of the corner, Sweetcakes plants a big smooch on Pastor Brent. Sweetcakes is a luchador that wears a pink Mistico mask. Pastor Brent is able to get Sweetcakes on the ropes after the ref got them out of the corner. Pastor Brent gives Sweetcakes some chops while he is in the ropes then scoop slams him in the center of the ring. Sweetcakes comes up grabbing the yam bags as Taz would call it. Sweetcakes obviously took control. Before long Pastor Brent is able to corner Sweetcakes and go up for a ten punch combo. Pastor Brent tells the crowd that he knows this doesn’t look appropriate as his junk is right in Sweetcakes face. Fans are calling for Pastor Brent to pull Sweetcakes mask off. Pastor Brent does not listen to them. Eventually, Pastor Brent puts Sweetcakes away. The two men shake hands after the bout.

The next match is a trios match. The first set of men is the Psychotic Messengers. This stable consists of Wolf of War, Lucien, Malachi, and Tank Bryson among others. Their opponents are X-Rated. This group is The Sanchez Brothers Kevin and Shane and Ozzy Hendrix. When the bell rings, Hendrix and Tank Bryson quickly start trading punches. The exchange was won by Tank as he gave Hendrix an Alabama Slam. Tank attempts to keep the action going by giving Hendrix a vertical suplex. Ozzy Hendrix blocks and reverses the vertical suplex.Ozzy tags Shane Sanchez in who gives Tank a swinging neckbreaker. Keeping with the quick tags Shane tags his brother Kevin in. Tank is able to get a tag into Wolf of War, who was seen earlier against Jack Talos. Wolf of War wastes no time giving the member of X-Rated on the apron a cheap shot before leveling Kevin in the middle of the ring. Wolf of War is able to showcase his strength that he was not able to do against Jack Talos. Once all members of X-Rated are taken out Wolf of War tags Malachi in. The Savior of Suffering wastes no time getting Kevin into the corner to start a series of quick tags. Eventually, Kevin is able to mount a comeback from the corner with a series of punches that were influenced by Dusty Rhodes. This flurry of blows buys Kevin enough time to tag in Ozzy Hendrix. The legal man for Psychotic Messengers is Tank Bryson. Ozzy throws Tank Bronson into the ropes and delivers a spine buster onto him. In an attempt to stay fresh and keep the advantage Ozzy tags Shane Sanchez in. After a good amount of offense Tank is able to regain the advantage. Tank Bryson throws Shane into the corner and tags Malachi. Malachi sets Shane up for his signature move of a Shattered Code Breaker. The set up for this move is spreading his opponents legs to where they are held open by the middle ropes. Malachi then runs and hits a code breaker on the trapped man. Malchi was able to perfectly execute this move. Malachi attempts a pin; it is good for a two count. Thinking more damage needs done Malachi tags in the heavy hitter Wolf of War to continue the beat down. Eventually Shane is allowed to tag Ozzy Hendrix. After a few exchanges of blows Ozzy attempts a tag but neither of his partners want a part of the monster known as Wolf of War. After a few more minutes of dominating Ozzy, Wolf tags Tank Bronson back into the match. Tank immediately gives Ozzy a massive headbutt. The headbutt was reminiscent of the Glasgow Kiss that Sheamus gives his unfortunate opponents. Tank attempts another pin. Only good for a two. Ozzy somehow manages to tag Shane Sanchez in. Shane gives Tank Bryson a spine buster. Malachi then has to break up the pin at two. The match continued. Shane then tags his brother in to attempt to keep the advantage. However, that does not work as Kevin is quickly laid out and takes the pin. Winners is the Psychotic Messengers.

After the Psychotic Messengers go to the back, X-Rated are still in the ring. Shane is visibly upset with his brother. They start to exchange words. Shane points out that Kevin is the weak link in the group. That their entire careers Shane has been the one looking out for the team. Shane was the one that brought in Ozzy Hendrix. That Kevin left him alone; Kevin has suffered injuries in the past. Kevin leaves the ring tired of the berating. Tensions seem to be coming to a boil between the two men.

It is now time for the main event. As made earlier in the day it is a fatal four way. The first participant to enter is Drake Gallows who insisted that the ring announcer calls him the champion. Possession is 9/10ths of the law after all right? The Spotlight Logan Knight then comes out followed by Maddox Jones and the real champion Gemini. Before the bell rang Maddox Jones warned the ref that Gemini would knock refs out. The bell rings. The participants tease a four way test of strength. Gallows had other plans as he would attack Gemini after he locked up with Logan Knight and Maddox. The four men pair off Logan Knight and Maddox; Gemini and Gallows. All four men go outside. Gemini slams Gallows head into a table. Maddox slams Logan Knight onto the floor. There is no padding on the floor. Drake Gallows reverses his fortunes and crotches Gemini on the ring post. He then tugs both legs for good measure. Gallows proclaims “no balls on [Gemini]”. Gemini falls to the outside. Drake Gallows picks him up and slams Gemini on the ground before throwing him in the ring. The punishment Geminis is receiving continues inside as Gallows chokes him on the ropes. Knight throws Maddox into the ring. Meanwhile Gallows irish whips Gemini but on the return Gemini drop kicks him. All four participants seem to like fighting outside the ring as that is where they return. This time with different dance partners. Logan Knight is now combating Drake Gallows and Gemini has faced off against Maddox. After some more chaos on the outside Maddox wants to finish the match so he rolls Gemini into the ring. He pins and gets two. Maddox is angry with the ref telling him it was a three and showing him how to count to three. This gives Gemini time to get to his feet albeit with help of the ropes. Maddox attempts to clothesline Gemini over the ropes but Gemini outsmarts him by pulling the ropes down. Maddox tumbles to the outside. Gemini runs to the opposite side of the ring bouncing off the ropes. He flies threw the middle and top rope hitting a suicide dive on all three of his opponents. Maddox is the first to recover and enters the ring. Gemini attempts a sunset flip on him but Maddox holds the ropes. Gallows takes this opportunity to launch Gemini’s head into Maddox’s crotch. Gallows gives Logan Knight a piledriver. Gallows stands up just for Gemini to deliver a slice bread for the win.

You can connect with Empire Pro Wrestling on twitter @EmpProWrestling on youtube @EmpireProWrestlingOKC then on Facebook by clicking here. #JointheEmpire

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