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Major Updates to Brawlfest

Jay Lethal will replace Buddy Matthews among other show updates

A few weeks ago Buddy Matthews informed Empire State Wrestling that he was not able to perform at Brawlfest on Saturday, May 21 at Buffalo RiverWorks due to other commitments. In response, Empire State Wrestling (ESW) booked current All-Elite Wrestling (AEW) star and two-time Ring of Honor (ROH) World Champion Jay Lethal. Lethal will take Matthews’s spot in the match against current Impact Wrestling star Trey Miguel and will conduct a training seminar for ESW’s locally-based wrestlers the day before Brawlfest. For several years, Lethal was unable to wrestle on the U.S. independent wrestling scene due to an exclusivity clause in his ROH deal. However, Lethal is now branching back out in the American indies with ESW being one of his latest stops.

A response was received regarding the open challenge issued by ESW Interstate Champion Frankie Feathers. The challenge was accepted by a current member of the Impact Wrestling roster and will be revealed  live at Brawlfest.

A 6-person scramble match will take place between ESW regulars “A Cut Above the Rest” Gavin Glass and Vinnie Moon, up-and-coming indie stars Levi Everett and Brayden Lee, the returning “Moonlight Sun” Mike Skyros and a mystery opponent.

The massive force Jeremiah Richter will be in action at Brawlfest. He will be guided by his new confidant Cerin Rahne.

ESW will live stream several kickoff matches prior to the start of Brawlfest on the Facebook page of one of our longtime sponsors, The Closed Fist podcast. Among the matches will be ESW staples “The Big Bang” Jerk Cockins against James SaygaAll Japan Pro Wrestling tag team The Saito Brothers will also wrestle on the live stream. 

In light of the recent Buffalo mass shooting tragedy, a food drive will be held at Brawlfest in an effort to assist City of Buffalo citizens with the donations going to FeedMore WNY. ESW recognizes that many Buffalonians will experience a difficult time providing themselves and their families with the grocery items they depend on due to the closure of the Tops on Jefferson Avenue. To help assist in this time of need, fans are encouraged to donate non-perishable food items at Brawlfest and members of the ESW roster and crew will match the total amount donated by those in attendance.


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. 

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

Many current All-Elite Wrestling stars also wrestled for ESW including Matt Hardy, Billy Gunn, Dustin Rhodes, MJF, Adam Cole, Orange Cassidy, Eddie Kingston, Ruby Soho, Colt Cabana, Lucha Bros, Best Friends, The Butcher and The Blade, Daniel Garcia, Brian Pillman, Jr., Allie, Matt Sydal, Ethan Page, Evil Uno, Private Party, Shawn Spears, Bear Country, Bobby Fish, Brody King, Tony Nese and Mark Sterling.

Pro wrestling legends Kevin Nash, Brutus Beefcake, Sgt. Slaughter, X-Pac, The Honky Tonk Man, Jim Duggan, Koko B. Ware, Bushwacker Luke, Demolition, D-Von Dudley, Raven, The Sandman, Bob Holly and several others 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 up to 400 fans and an annual “super show” that boasts crowds of 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

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