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By Mike Johnson on 3/24/2023 7:06 AM

ESW to debut in Medina 

Orleans County native Kevin Blackwood returns for East Shelby Vol. Fire Co. benefit event

 After a highly lauded event this past weekend, Empire State Wrestling sets its sights on debuting in a new city for a great cause. Spring Smash will take place on Saturday, April 15 at Medina High School (2 Mustang Drive, Medina, N.Y.) with proceeds from the event going toward the East Shelby Vol. Fire Co. This fundraiser returns for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic caused a paused in wrestling events. Previous events were held at the Lartz Building on the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds in 2018 and 2019. However, hosting the event at Medina High School will allow for better amenities such as an increase in seating, higher ceilings and more parking availability.

Spring Smash will feature many of the best pro wrestlers based in Western New York, including some with ties to Medina and Orleans County. The scheduled card for Spring Smash includes the following:

  • Former ESW Heavyweight Champion and Albion native "The Aesthetic Crippler" Kevin Blackwood will be in action. Now based in Los Angeles, Calif., Blackwood will take on To Infinity and Beyond's Cheech one-on-one in his homecoming match.
  • ESW Tag Team Champions High Seas (Cloudy and Nick Ando) will defend the titles against the debuting Greed (Lotto and Albion's Big Budget)
  • "The Queen of the Silver Screen" Katie Arquette will face the debuting Haley Dylan
  • Medina's own "A Cut Above The Rest" Gavin Glass and "Filthy" Maxx Cannon are set for matches
  • ESW Heavyweight Champion "The Remix" Kevin Bennett will defend the belt
  • One of indie wrestling's most unique characters Space Monkey will appear
  • ESW regulars such as "Invincible" Vince Valor, Frank Feathers and more will be in action
  • Check ESW social media platforms for future match announcements


Front row tickets are sold out. General Admission tickets are $20. A four-pack online exclusive of GA tickets are $60. Grade school students tickets are $10 while children 3-years-old and younger are free. Tickets can be purchased at where service fees apply. Ticket prices increase by $5 on event day. Doors open at 5 p.m. with the opening bell set for 6 p.m.


As Western New York’s premier independent professional wrestling promotion, ESW over the years hosted many of pro wrestling’s top up-and-comers and biggest legends. 

Many current All-Elite Wrestling stars wrestled for ESW including current AEW World Champion MJF, Buffalo's own Daniel Garcia plus The Butcher & the Blade and the Bunny, Matt Hardy, Dustin Rhodes, Adam Cole, Matt Sydal, Ruby Soho, Billy Gunn, Colt Cabana, Best Friends, Orange Cassidy, Danhausen, Jay Lethal, Eddie Kingston, Evil Uno, Lucha Bros, Ethan Page, Brian Pillman, Jr., Tony Nese, Private Party, Brody King, Mark Sterling, AR Fox and Iron Savages.

Current World Wrestling Entertainment stars Kevin Owens, Johnny Gargano, MVP, Jinder Mahal, Candice LeRae, Tommaso Ciampa, Cedric Alexander,  Damian Priest, Joaquin Wilde, Joe Gacy, Darryl Sharma, Robert Stone and Josh Briggs all wrestled in ESW’s ring.

Pro wrestling legends Kevin Nash, X-Pac, The Hurricane, D-Von Dudley, Al Snow, The Honky Tonk Man, Sgt. Slaughter, Raven, Brutus Beefcake, Demolition, Jim Duggan, Koko B. Ware, Bushwacker Luke, The Sandman and Bob Holly appeared at previous ESW events

Founded in 2002, ESW is run by Brett Stymus. Over half of ESW’s performers reside in the Western New York area. ESW runs regular shows throughout the year that draw several hundred fans, with some events being attended by up to 1,000 people. For more information, to schedule an interview or request media credentials for an event, please contact David Jarka at or (716) 348-4598. All cards are subject to change.

You can connect with ESW on the following platforms:






Independent Wrestling.TV

Over-The-Air TV: Throwback TV - WBXZ - Channel 56.4 (Thursdays at 8 p.m. & Fridays at 10 p.m.)