Explosive Pro Wrestling
Hot Summer’s Night
February 2, 2019
Western Australia’s Explosive Pro Wrestling open up their 2019 with Hot Summers Night, their second show in the promotion’s new home, The Gate One Theatre. The promotion is coming off a strong end to their 2018, with Re-Awakening 17 being a good show highlighted by two matches, The Untouchables vs Street Gang Hooligans in a Ladder match and Jonah Rock vs Julian Ward. Australian Wrestling is coming off a start of the year kicked off by Melbourne City Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Australia’s January shows which have drawn significant buzz and attention. February 2nd 2019 is also one of the busiest Australian Wrestling dates in a long time, with EPW, Adelaide’s Wrestle Rampage (featuring Jonah Rock’s last Australian independent match) and MCW (featuring Mikey Nicholl’s return to Australia after leaving NXT). There is pressure on EPW to prove that they are part of the top echelon of Australian promotions and that they deserve the sort of buzz an MCW or PWA generate. For this opening show of the year, they have put together a strong line-up that has the potential to deliver a card which is right up there with the country’s top promotions.
Tyler Jacobs vs Craven
Tyler Jacobs is one of the original EPW talents and a trainer at EPW’s school. He recently transitioned from being a street-brawler character to having ‘seen the light’ and become an evangelical preacher. EPW is introducing a group of their trainees into the promotion as Jacob’s ‘Children’.
Craven made his debut with EPW last year, but this match should see the beginning of him becoming a regular fixture on their shows. Craven has a decade of experience but is just starting to break out as a highlight of the Australian scene. He is also going to be a regular visitor to The Crash in 2019. He’s one of the hidden gems of Australian Wrestling and should add a lot to EPW’s undercard.
This is an intriguing match-up, with one of EPW’s veterans against a fresh face to the promotion. It is two experienced workers against each other, and I expect it to be a good match (depending on how much outside chicanery there is from Jacobs’ kids). Seeing how it is Craven’s start as a regular in EPW, I’ll take him for the win. Prediction: Craven
The Headhunters vs Dan Moore and Jonathan Wimbledon
Dan Moore returned from injury at Re-Awakening 17 as Dan Steel’s mystery opponent. Their match went to a double count-out, which was a bit of a disappointing finish to see on the promotion’s biggest show of the year.
Their feud continues with Dan Steel teaming with his regular tag partner Twitch and Moore teaming with veteran babyface Jonathan Wimbledon. This should be a solid match, with four experienced workers who know what they are doing. I expect Wimbledon to eat the fall here to put more heat on Dan Steel and build to the conclusion of the Steel/Moore feud. Prediction: The Headhunters
Logan Grey vs Kiel Steria
With both of their teammates not available on February 2nd, we’ve ended up with a one on one match between one half of the tag champs and one-half of their next challengers. These are two of the most exciting talents in EPW and they have never faced off one on one before. I expect an athletic contest between these two, which has the potential to be a sleeper match of the night contender. Kiel will likely take the win, to build him and David Nero as stronger challengers for the Street Gang Hooligans’ tag titles. Prediction: Kiel Steria
The Untouchables vs Scotty Ryan/Julian Ward
In our 2018 Australian/New Zealand Awards, The Untouchables was the unanimous choice for the best tag-team in Australia. Marcius Pitt and Damian Slater have their first tag match of 2019 against two of EPW’s upper-midcard babyfaces in Julian Ward and Scotty Ryan.
Both Ward and Ryan came up short at Re-Awakening 17, with Ward coming up short in a very good match against Jonah Rock and Ryan submitting to Gavin McGavin in his attempt to become a double champion. Scotty Ryan is still the EPW Coastal Champion (though he hasn’t defended the title since August 2018) and Julian Ward has come close but has never been able to get the big win in EPW (he did, however, win the main title at WA’s secondary promotion NHPW at the end of 2018).
The work in this match should be good, but I’m much more interested in the storyline implications of the match. The Untouchables should take the win, but I’m most interested in seeing how this transitions into Ward and Ryan fighting against each other. It could be a slow burn, with miscommunication leading to the babyfaces losing. However, I’d prefer to see one of the two turns on the other in this match to start the program off hot. Prediction: The Untouchables
EPW Invitational Tournament Final
Gorgeous Garry vs Taylor King
This match was originally scheduled for Re-Awakening, but got postponed after Taylor King injured his bicep. These two feuded throughout most of 2018 and were meant to meet in the Invitational Tournament Final.
The build for this match has mostly focused on ‘The Child Star’ Taylor King disappearing from the public eye, deleting his Instagram account and having his Twitter account be taken over by his fanboy Jack Edwards. Meanwhile, Gorgeous Garry is planning an extravagant entrance to try and top the Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball entrance that Taylor put together for their last one on one match at Evolution 2018.
These two have worked against each other a lot over the past year and it should turn out to be a solid match. Taylor King should take the win, as he looks to be one of the talents that EPW is looking to elevate in 2019. Prediction: Taylor King
Claremont Street Fight
‘The Don’ Michael Morleone vs Zenith
After their last match at Re-Awakening ended with Zenith (he dropped his first name like a main roster WWE talent) being DQed, a Claremont Street Fight between the former tag partners got booked for Hot Summers Night. As my Twitter friend @gapinmaws pointed out, it’s kind of silly to have a Claremont Street Fight since it’s known as one of Perth’s rich and snobby suburbs.
The mean streets of *checks notes* Claremont, Perth. pic.twitter.com/yI4rGKzwxW
— "TAFKA" jncos (@gapingmaws) January 26, 2019
Anyways, this should be a good and heated fight. Their match at the last show was kind of just getting going when it ended on a DQ. I expect Zenith to take the win here as he needs the momentum coming off his heel turn. Prediction: Zenith
Gavin McGavin (c) vs Mick Moretti
Gavin McGavin has had a hot start to 2019, putting together his own #GavinvsAustralia angle and touring throughout the country as EPW Champion. Over the five months, he’s been champion, McGavin has defended the title six times. If he can get past his challenger at Hot Summers Night, he’ll hit seven defenses; a new record for the EPW Championship. However, he has to get past arguably the hottest rising wrestler in New South Wales, Mick Moretti.
This match was set up after McGavin made fun of the #YoureGonnaNoticeUs and #NowWeConquer campaigns that Moretti started to raise the international profile of Australian Wrestling. Moretti responded with a challenge, and he’ll now make his debut for EPW competing for their top championship in the main event.
ICYMI This video from Mick Moretti was the response to the Open Challenge thrown out by Gavin McGavin as part of his #GavinVsAustralia tour.EPW officials noticed it and agreed that this was a match the fans would like to see. So, at Hot Summer's Night it'll be Rapscallion vs Real Wrestler. Who walks away with the EPW Championship?Get your tickets today from https://www.showtickets.com.au/2019/02/02/epw-hot-summers-night/ EPW Perth – Explosive Pro Wrestling #thetimeisnow #epw #epwperth #explosiveprowrestling #youregonnanoticeus #australianwrestling
Posted by EPW Perth – Explosive Pro Wrestling on Saturday, December 22, 2018
I will be interested to see how the crowd receives Moretti because whilst he’s very over in Sydney he is also a wrestler who I think it can take time for a crowd to get onboard with his aggressive weirdness. McGavin is the top heel in EPW at the moment, and is fantastic at being an asshole, but his match against Scotty Ryan was very much a split crowd with his cheering section being louder than ever before.
Both wrestlers have a high level of technical ability and are very good at incorporating character and storytelling into their performances. It was very much not a match I’d considered in depth before it was announced, but once it was I got more excited. I think these are two wrestlers who should mesh together really well as opponents.
I have to go with McGavin as the winner, but I don’t think that a shock upset with Moretti taking the belt is out of the realm of possibility. Prediction: Gavin McGavin
As I said in my introduction, I think that there’s pressure on EPW to really deliver with a strong start to 2019. But I think that Steria vs Grey, Morleone vs Zenith and especially the main event of McGavin vs Moretti have the possibility to be early stand-out matches for Australian Wrestling in 2019.