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Blackwood versus Bennett for ESW Gold

Two friends turned foes will fight for ESW Heavyweight Championship

After celebrating its 20th anniversary in August, Empire State Wrestling returns to Buffalo RiverWorks for “Overdrive” on October 8. Overdrive will feature one of the most anticipated matches in ESW this year when ESW Heavyweight Champion “The Aesthetic Crippler” Kevin Blackwood puts the title on the line against “The Remix” Kevin Bennett.

The Blackwood-Bennett match was originally scheduled to occur in March. However, Bennett pulled out of the match due to a training injury. Throughout the year, Bennett clamored for the title opportunity he previously earned after returning from his injury. Blackwood granted his request at the conclusion of August’s show, thus setting the stage for Overdrive’s main event.

Scheduled to appear at Overdrive include:

  • Ilio DiPaolo Memorial Cup winner “Invincible” Vince Valor and Frankie Feathers will team up against American Strong Style
  • New ESW Interstate Champion “The Prize” Alec Price
  • ESW Tag Team Champions High Seas
  • The debut of Beyond Wrestling tag team Waves and Curls
  • To Infinity & Beyond (ex-World Wrestling Entertainment star Colin Delaney and ex-Ring of Honor star Cheech)
  • “Courageous” Christina Marie
  • The return of “Blue Thunder” Jay Freddie
  • Former ESW Tag Team Champion Gregory Iron
  • Stay tuned to ESW’s social media platforms for more match and appearance announcements

Tickets will soon be available for purchase at starting at $20. Doors open at 6 p.m. The opening bell is set for 7 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 Matt Hardy, Billy Gunn, Dustin Rhodes, MJF, Adam Cole, Orange Cassidy, Eddie Kingston, Ruby Soho, Jay Lethal, 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, Iron Savages, Brody King, Tony Nese, Danhausen and Mark Sterling.

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

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, The Hurricane and Al Snow 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.)

Be sure to join our WWE / AEW Discord server and connect with other pro wrestling fans.
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