Kenshiro Inogami (Ninja K) vs. Cameron Cruise
The LoC star made a dazzling debut against Cameron Cruise, showing a style uncommon in the present mix here in Empire Pro. Cameron Cruise had trouble adapting to the style of Inogami, falling victim to his innovative offense early and often. The first crowd eruption of the night came as the result of Ninja K's North Star Press, a 450 splash style maneuver starting with him standing on Cruise's back and landing with his knees and hands across his spine. Cruise was able to mount a comeback midway through the contest but at the seven minute mark, Inogami took over for good following a series of kicks that ended in what he calls The Temporal Shift, a rolling Koppou Kick that knocked Cruise cold. Moments later Inogami locked in his finisher - The Imploding Star Submission, or the I.S.S. Cruise quickly tapped, leaving Kenshiro Inogami victorious in his Empire Pro debut.
Winner: Kenshiro Inogami (Ninja K)
Lane Stone vs. Troy Douglas
Empire Pro welcomed back native son Troy Douglas on Onslaught as he took on the upstart shoot fight phenomenon known as Lane Stone. Stone, having won his first few matches since his arrival finally met his match in Troy Douglas as Douglas defeated Stone in this one on one contest. Stone started strong, keeping Douglas off balance with hard striking offense and a hard full nelson slam that managed to earn him a two count, but it was Douglas reversing an Irish Whip into a flying clothesling that turned the tide for Douglas - and after Stone missed a charge into the corner, it was Douglas that capitalized by quickly locking in a front underhook facelock, stepping back onto the second turnbuckle and leaping out and around with a face first pedigree that earned him the final three count.
Winner: Troy Douglas
"Ice Cold" Sanket Desai vs. Foxx
In our second debut of the night, it was "Ice Cold" Sanket Desai taking on EPW's resident vixen Foxx in a one on one contest. Desai proved a worthy adversary for Foxx, controlling her early with his strength advantage and nearly got a pinfall on a quick snap suplex, vertical suplex, dragon suplex sequence that he ended in a bridge. However on this night it would be Foxx's quickness and agility that would win the day when Desai set Foxx up for his finisher, a spear he calls 'Frostbite' but missed the mark as Foxx moved to the side and caused Desai to go head first into the ringpost. Foxx quickly slammed Desai to the mat and climbed the corner, hitting her Vixen's Dive for the win.
Blitz/Leonard Johnson segment
[FADE IN. Standing in front of an EPW backdrop, Leonard Johnson, fresh out of the hospital, stands with his left arm in a sling, wincing visibly from the injuries he sustained at the recent Pay Per View event. Never the less, he’s made an effort, dressing in a suit, but he’s left the top button of his pale blue shirt undone, and there’s no sign of a tie]
LJ: Oh how the mighty have fallen. Adam Benjamin, resorting to libellous insults that only make him look stupid, and anger two men who can easily tear his head from his shoulders. It seems to be that any time any team steps into the ring against Blitz, they have to make some homophobic reference as if they are part of a far right extremist political party.
So, British National Party member Benjamin - you and your partner have a bond shared by country and an old woman whose primary function is to lure American tourists around palace grounds? How sad.
You come from a country that has respect for your fellow man? Either you have no respect for your opponents, or the homosexual community, or you are part of the homosexual community. Take your pick from the three. The BNP member in you tosses around homophobic insults towards people you have no chance of beating, showing a lack of respect for them. You still have the petty schoolboy mentality that says that anything you Brits would call “gay” or “fruity” is an evil that should be wiped from the planet and is OK to toss around as an insult as casually as Max and Jecht are going to toss you two from the ring. Or, you chose to be a technical wrestler to get some cheap thrills riding around on the mat.
[Leonard, who’s been getting increasingly more agitated, winces again, his right arm going instinctively to protect his left shoulder. He takes a few moments to calm himself down before speaking again]
LJ: No. I don’t think it’s even worth trying to educate you. Some people from Britain you can talk to. Others are so wrapped up in their tabloid media that it’s impossible. You are the latter. Your partner, the brains of your team, has at least had the good sense to realise if he had nothing good to say, he should say nothing at all.
You’re going to find out at Onslaught that all the talent and bloodlines you claim are nothing when you step into the ring with experience and power. Every bloodline becomes weaker and weaker and weaker as time goes by. Talent in singles wrestling very rarely translates into talent in the tag team ranks. It takes time to create a worthwhile tag team, to create a tag team that has the experience and knowledge to work as a cohesive unit without thinking about it.
And time is something you and your mute don’t have.
Adam Benjamin & Classy Mike C vs. Blitz
Blitz faced off against the team of Adam Benjamin & Classy Mike C in their first encounter following their loss to The Highland Park Social Club at Unleashed. Benjamin, the former Television champion put on a dazzling technical display along with Mike C, gaining and holding onto control of the match through a series of quick tags and fast moving offense. Benjamin wore down Max for the majority of the match as he and Mike C cut the ring off and managed to keep Jecht at bay. But a distraction from Leonard Johnson, still showing signs of wear from Unleashed on the outside gave Jecht the oppurtunity to come in and even up the odds and by time the referee was able to restore order, the damage was done. As Adam Benjamin went for a cross body block off of an Irish Whip, Jecht ducked and sent Benjamin flying over the top rope leaving Mike C. alone to be victimized by a spike piledriver from the former champs. Benjamin slid into the ring as the referee counted but was about a half second left as Max covered for the pin.
Karl Brown segment
[FADE IN. “The Dragon” is standing in front of an EPW logo, dressed ready to go to the ring. He has the Intercontinental Championship belt around his waist, and his ring jacket open]
Karl: I must’ve hit a nerve with the former Intercontinental Champion. He’s the ultimate professional wrestler, and he doesn’t like being reminded of the misguided stereotype certain aspects of the media want to portray - even though Barthes himself said that wrestling is no more ignoble than Greek tragedy. And he missed the point I was making. Not that I didn’t expect as much - he has this over the top personality he needs to exude to make sure he thinks people are talking about him. Whilst he’s not quite as bad as Joey Melton or Troy Windham in this regard, it seems that if people aren’t talking about him, he thinks he’ll disappear.
Did I say he was the stereotype? No. I said he was adding to it by his nonsensical ramblings. Did I decide to personally insult the man by saying he didn’t actually say much in the entirety of his first spot? No - I merely pointed out a fact. That he and Joey Melton could’ve used fewer words and still said the exact same thing. And this is coming from a man that wrestling writers sometimes complain about because of how wordy they think I am.
But let me do what JA suggested, and imagine I’m the one who Joey Melton cheated against to get the win last week on Aggression. I’ve just lost a main event match with nothing but pride on the line. I’m myself… no, I don’t feel any sort of anger or vitriol towards Melton. I haven’t felt angry after losing a match in quite a while to be honest. Maybe it’s because I’m more philosophical about it, but I just don’t see the point. Wins happen, losses happen. If you learn something from it, then there’s no need to be angry.
No do I feel any grievance with Dan Ryan for booking this match, any more so than when he didn’t tell me I would be facing you at Black Dawn, or when he came out and changed my match with X into a chain match. I didn’t pull a Steven Shane when I had Lindsay Troy pinned as the bell rang, and I didn’t complain to Andrew Medina when in the NWL the same thing happened in my first match against Maelstrom. I don’t worry about those kinds of things - It’s like Shantideva said - if there’s a way to end the suffering, there’s no need to worry, and if there is no way to end the suffering, there is no use in worrying.
Or, to put it another way, what’s done is done. Whilst there’s certainly a need to learn from mistakes we make, there is no use to be found in dwelling on the past. If for no other reason, dwelling on the past means we’re doomed to repeat it. A past failure that’s not learned from leaves you open to the same mistake, and if you’re dwelling on it, you’re open to making more mistakes. In this kind of industry, where one mistake can end a match, it’s not something you can really afford to let happen.
Or maybe I’m wrong, and my English Literature degree needs dusting off so I can go into the dusty world of academia. After all, I’m not the kind of person who, to use the colloquialism, talks smack to my opponents. I try and avoid using petty insults because I know how juvenile they make people sound, especially as they get older. If JA is that concerned with that kind of thing, maybe he’d have more fun on daytime talk radio - or, if he wants to get more explicit, evening talk radio. Something like Christian O’Connell, rather than John Humphreys. I somehow don’t see JA on BBC radio four.
But in all seriousness, I’m not in the least bit worried about tonight. If I win, I win. If I get pinned, I get pinned. If I lose the title because someone else got pinned, so be it - I knew the rules of this match, and the time limit, when I agreed to wrestle this week. You won’t hear any excuses or complaints from me after this match, because it quite simply isn’t worth it. I, for one, will get up after this match is over, go to the back, get changed, and work on improving myself before the next match. That’s who I am.
I just hope that JA and Joey Melton can say the same.
[Karl turns, and leaves the shot. FADE OUT]
Main Event for the Intercontinental Title - JA vs. Karl "The Dragon" Brown vs. Joey Melton
The main event of the evening saw three superstars battle it out for the EPW Intercontinental Title. JA and Joey Melton, who had been in several altercations against one another as of late took it to Karl Brown in the early going but quickly focused on each other as Karl Brown continually took advantage of the situation to mount offense that kept him in control through the middle portion of the match. JA seemed to have Brown in position at around the ten minute mark for a Karelin Driver but Joey Melton clubbed him from behind, locking a figure four leglock on Brown. As the referee checked on the champion, JA climed the turnbuckle and dropped a leg across the throat of Melton, covering him for a pinfall attempt that Karl Brown broke up at the last second. In the end it was the champion who held onto his title, taking advantage of a shoving match between Melton and JA by rolling up JA from behind for the three count while Melton simply stared at him and laughed, choosing to make light of JA rather than break up the pinfall attempt.
Winner: Karl Brown (retains Intercontinental Title)