Buffalo RiverWorks is proving to be a driving force behind the resurgence of local wrestling in WNY. Helping to lead the way is a 35-year-old referee, promoter, and and wrestling enthusiast David Jarka. Jarka noted that Brett Stymus is currently promoting Empire State Wrestling‘s (ESW) return to RiverWorks, following a very successful inaugural showing back in July, with Brawlfest. I asked Jarka what his thoughts were pertaining to the buzz generated by the local wrestling scene.
“Since covid regulations were significantly relaxed over the summer, the wrestling scene in Buffalo has seen significant buzz,” said Jarka. “There was no wrestling locally for about 18 months and the area fans were super hungry to rekindle the magic you can only experience at a live indie wrestling event.”
As for the resurgence of wrestling in Buffalo, and the birth of ESW, Jarka said, “ESW started in the Tonawanda area and traditionally was focused in Niagara County. The product ESW showcases at its events has always been solid. But a few years ago, an extra emphasis began on supplementing the local talent with notable wrestlers from out of state and wrestling legends plus an extra push to publicize events more. After doing those things, we saw a major uptick in fan support that took us to a new level locally that no other area promotions have been able to reach. It also led to ESW outgrowing some of its traditional venues and provided to run at bigger places such as RiverWorks. And the response we received running there in July was great. I think focusing more on a centrally located venue like RiverWorks makes it easier for fans to attend ESW events and will lead for us to grow even more.”
The latest wrestling review is being billed as “4th and Gold,” which is set to take place on Sunday, October 10, 2021. General admission tickets are on sale now, although first and second row tickets are sold out.
ESW is Western New York’s premier independent wrestling promotion.
Not only will the show include top independent talents hailing from the region, there will also be a number of national circuit wrestlers, including “a marquee matchup showcasing two of the best in-ring talents on the current independent wrestling scene.”
The matches taking place at “4th and Gold” include:
- Two major returns will occur in one match: 1) Fresh off being heavily featured on All-Elite Wrestling, ESW Heavyweight Champion “Red Death” Daniel Garcia will defend the title against former Impact Wrestling star Davey Richards 2) Ex-ESW Heavyweight Champion “Big Time” Bill Collier versus returning Impact Wrestling star Ace Romero
- In tag team action, the debuting Maine State Posse (Aiden Aggro and DangerKid) will face ESW staples To Infinity & Beyond (ex-Ring of Honor star Cheech and former World Wrestling Entertainment star Colin Delaney)
- Another tag team will make their ESW debut when The Mane Event (Duke Davis and Ganon Jones Jr.) takes on ESW regulars High Seas (former Ring of Honor star Cloudy and “Your Captain” Nick Ando)
- A special interpromotional match featuring the talent of New Jersey-based Northern Federation of Wrestling, when T.J. Crawford makes his ESW Buffalo debut versus the St. Louis, Mo.-based Everett Connors
- The first ever “Buffalo Tables Match” will showcase “Invincible” Vince Valor against Syracuse, N.Y.’s “The Moonlight Son” Mike Skyros
- A “12th Man Battle Royale” where the winner will earn a title shot against ESW Interstate Champion Frankie Feathers later in the night
Check ESW’s social media outlets for additional match announcements leading up to the day of the event. General Admission tickets are $20. Tickets can be purchased at ESWtix.com. The start time for “4th and Gold” will be earlier than typical ESW events as it will lead into the Buffalo Bills-Kansas City Chiefs game later in the evening. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. with a bell-time of 3:00 p.m.