Pro wrestlers deliver high-flying punch in event at Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 April 2023 at 7:55 am

4 locals among those providing lots of action in ring at school gym

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – A group of wrestlers try to knock each other out of the ring in the opening battle royale for Empire State Wrestling’s “Spring Smash” at Medina High School gym on Saturday.

About 450 people attended the event in the return of the ESW to Orleans County. Previous events were held at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds with 350 attending the debut event in April 2018 and then about 200 in May 2019.

The move to the high school resulted in a much bigger crowd and more space for the wrestlers to leap off the top rope. The event was also a fundraiser for the East Shelby Volunteer Fire Company.

In the opening battle royal, the last wrestler in the ring earned the right to take on the Kevin Bennett, the ESW Heavyweight title champ. Space Monkey won the battle royal to earn a shot at the title.

Kevin Blackwood, an Albion native, flies off the top rope to hit Cheech from Infinity And Beyond. Blackwood, whose real name in Kevin Lockwood, flew in from Los Angeles to wrestle in front of his family and friends in Albion.

Blackwood, 32, has been a professional wrestler for six years. He also works as a tattoo artist in LA.

Cheech puts Kevin Blackwood in a painful hold during their match. Blackwood said he wrestles all over the United States and Canada almost every weekend, sometimes at two different events.

He tries to be relatable to the audience and is known for athletic moves in the ring, including a double stomp from all angles.

Kevin Blackwood is victorious in his match against Cheech, and many of the hometown fans show their appreciation.

Jacob Miller of Medina wrestles as Maxx Cannon – “The Filthy One.” Miller, 29, has been wrestling for three years including the past year with the Empire State Wrestling. Here he has Frank Feathers on his shoulders before tossing him to the mat. Cannon won the match against the former ESW champ.

“I try to be someone the crowd remembers,” Cannon said.

Maxx Cannon makes his entrance and greets some of the fans. Cannon was a member of Medina’s football, basketball and baseball teams. He works with his father Wayne Miller doing siding and roofing jobs.

Cannon said he enjoys the atmosphere at the wrestling events, and training with the other wrestlers.

“I’ve made some of the best friends of my life through wrestling,” Cannon said. “Wrestling really is like a family.”

Thomas Green, 21, of Albion made his debut on Saturday with Empire State Wrestling as “Big Budget.” Green, left, threw a member of the High Seas – “Your Captain” Nick Ando – out of the ring and then pounded on him in front of the ringside crowd. High Seas are the tag team champs for ESW.

Green is part of a tag team with “Lotto” in a team called Greed and also the Body Bag Brothers. Green said his role as a wrestler will shock many from Albion. He graduated from 2019 and was vice president of the art club and sang in the choir. He didn’t play any sports.

Green waits to be tagged in by Lotto in their match on Saturday. The two delivered many blows to the High Seas team, which retained its title. Green picked up the opponents and flung them in the air with ease.

Green works at Wegmans in Brockport, and has been training as a wrestler for about two years. He wrestles with Ground Zero Wrestling in Rochester and hopes he can be a regular with Empire State Wrestling, which usually has its events in Buffalo.

“It’s entertaining being in front of people,” Green said.

He is one of the bigger wrestlers at 350 pounds, but shows a lot of nimbleness in the ring.

Gavin Glass (left), a Medina native, delivers a kick to “Hybrid” Sean Carr. Glass returned to ESW after being off nearly a year following the birth of his daughter. Glass wrestles as “A Cut Above The Rest.” He also is a graphic artist and designs many of the T-shirts and merchandise for the wrestlers.

Glass, 25, now lives in Lockport. He has been wrestling for almost nine years.

He was happy to be back in the ring and wrestling in front of a home crowd on Saturday.

“It’s something that I love,” he said about wrestling.

Gavin Glass jumps from the top rope at the “Hybrid” Sean Carr.

Haley Dylan of Buffalo puts the squeeze on “The Queen of the Silver Screen” Katie Arquette in the only match among women wrestlers.

Katie Arquette was victorious in the match against Haley Dylan.

Space Monkey does a flying somersault off the top ropes to crash into Kevin Bennett, the ESW champion. Their match concluded three hours of action. Bennett was able to retain his title.