July 3rd, EWF In COVINA, KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS HALL — It was 19 months since I last went to an EWF show. While the storylines have changed since the night Connected won the “Survivor Series style” match, capped with a major beatdown on “Ironman” Mike Maze at the “2013 Jingle Slam” event, the EWF has consistently drawn large crowds to their monthly Covina events. The ladder match, plus Gatson/Darevko III helped fill the hall on the first set of tapings for the latest edition of “EWF Fight Night in the Empire”.
1 – Prince Raccid Najjar (w/ Abu) p. Jimmy Laffin in pretty short order. While it’s unsure if Jimmy Laffin’s tumble over the ropes, and onto the floor made the match shorter than it might have been otherwise, Raccid did do a pretty good Pedigree to get the win, then dragged Abu to the back.
** Matt Sinister did an in-ring segment with Brute Daddy (f.k.a. Brute Baretto), who cut a pretty good promo for his latest wrestling gimmick.
2 – Brute Daddy used his size and power to outdo the smaller, speedier Tyler Ray, capping it with a Tiger Bomb, w/ 180-deg. rotation, for the pin.
3 – Very even match between Sasha Darevko & Brandon Gatson. Sasha went for his big set of chains to use on Gatson. When Referee Nick Lera took that away, Sasha pulled a smaller set of chains from his trunks, concealed it in his right fist, and delivered a KO punch to Gatson for the pin. To his credit, he kept the small set of chains hidden after the bell, to prevent the DQ.
4 – The tag team match between the duo of Bobby Lee Jr. & La Flecha Fugaz, & the duo of Fidel Bravo & Ryan Kidd was contested under lucha libre rules. The match was pretty even, complete with some high-flying moves and double-team action. La Flecha Fugaz hit a Modified Lungblower on Fidel for the pin.
5 – The match between Gary Yap’s Man In Black & “Uptown” Andy Brown was very even, and neither men could score the win before the 15-min. time limit. Gary Yap was very livid after the bell, and a couple of fans sitting in the front row really got in Gary’s face.
SM – There was more to the match between the Tag Team Champions, Congregation of Pain (Friar Juan Roman & Archimedes) & The Iron Cowboys (Heavyweight Champion “Ironman” Mike Maze & “Handsome” Johnny Starr). Perhaps Matt Sinister was right about “Ironman” and his apparent selfish tactics in the match, because Johnny Starr left him high & dry at the end. That allowed Juan & Archimedes to do an Iron Cross Powerbomb/Flying Headbutt combo for the pin. Wade Needham & I were like, “WTF is going on here?!”
M – The ladder match was a reasonable spotfest, and all 6 men in the match gave it everything they had. For awhile, it looked like Anthony Idol was trying to help Richie Slade get the American title back, after he lost it at the anniversary show to Mike Maze. Problem was, there was 4 too many EWF Heroes to worry about. When all was said and done, “The Baby Bull” Vance Garayt, was able to climb the ladder, and grab the title.
Overall, a great EWF card. The ladder match was very good for an EWF match, and some new feuds brewed after this night of action.
PERSONAL ASSESSMENT OF NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN WRESTLERS (Based on the night’s action)
Jimmy Laffin: Match was too short for me to get a good idea of his style of wrestling, and that could be because of the bad tumble he took over the ropes, and to the floor.
Tyler Ray: Good mix of high-flying moves and holds, while working with a bigger opponent. Might learn more if he faces someone of a similar weight class.
Archimedes: Complements Friar Juan Roman well, bringing speed and agility to go with his tag team partner’s size and power.
Adrian Quest: Great high-flying skills for a lightweight wrestler. Would like to see if he uses a mix of lucha libre & puroresu skills in a standard match.
Anthony Idol: Moves really well for a tall, big man, and has some great skills worthy of a 2014 SCU “Rookie of the Year” Runner-Up.
“Baby Bull” Vance Garayt: Also moves really well for a big man, and has room for improvement. Looking forward to see where this young wrestler, and potential 2015 SCU “Rookie of the Year” candidate goes as the EWF American Champion.
MOTN: American Championship Ladder Match, then Gatson/Darevko 3, then the Gary Yap’s MIB/Uptown Andy match
Photos from the event can be seen here