Pro wrestlers will be back in fundraiser for East Shelby Fire Company

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 February 2023 at 7:27 pm

Event moved from fairgrounds to Medina school gym for ‘Spring Smash’ on April 15

Photos by Tom Rivers: Joe Gacy applies lots of pressure on Kevin Bennett during their wrestling match on May 4, 2019 during the “Fairground Fallout: Return of the Empire.” That was the last time Empire State Wrestling held an event in Orleans County. The wrestlers will be back on April 15, this time in a bigger venue at the Medina Junior-Senior High School gym.

MEDINA – The pro wrestlers who entertained crowds for events in 2018 and 2019 will be back in Orleans County on April 15.

Empire State Wrestling will bring the “Spring Smash” with eight or nine matches to the medina Junior-Senior High School gym. That is a change from the previous events at the Lartz Building at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds.

The gym has more seating room, higher ceilings for wrestlers to jump off the top ropes, a bigger parking area and more heat.

Ryan McPherson, the event chairman, expects at least 500 people for the wrestling. That would be up from the high of 350 at the fairgrounds. The event will continue as a fundraiser for the East Shelby Volunteer Fire Company.

“We’re very excited,” McPherson said today about the return of the wrestlers. “We were happy with the turnout before. Everybody who came had great things to say. We are hoping this will be an even bigger draw.”

There will be four wrestlers with local ties in the ring on April 15: Thomas Green “Big Budget” of Albion; Kevin Lockwood (aka Kevin Blackwood), an Albion native; Gavin “A Cut Above the Rest” Glass, a Medina native; and Jacob Miller (aka Maxx Cannon) of Medina, also known as “The Filthy One.”

Medina’s Gavin Glass was in action during the May 4, 2019 at the fairgrounds. He waits to get tagged in by his partner Rob Sweet. Glass, a 2015 Medina graduate, will be back on April 15.

McPherson said there will be discounts for students in grades 12 and younger at $10 each while general admission for adults in $20. Kids under 3 can get in for free with an adult. There also is a four-pack ticket option for adults at $60.

“We are instituting special pricing for grade school students and hope to make this our largest and most family-friendly event to date,” he said.

McPherson said the half of the ringside tickets have already sold. He appreciates the school hosting the event. There will be mats on the floor and the ring will be set up on that to protect the floor.

The doors will open at 5 p.m. with the first match at 6. The action should continue until 8:30 or 9 p.m.

Several of the fans at the fairgrounds wrestling events exclaimed about the athleticism of the wrestlers, and how physical the matches were. There were drop-kicks, body slams and other moves. McPherson said many of the fans felt like it was WWE.

“It is definitely not fake,” he said.

McPherson urged people to take in the spectacle of the event, with the many colorful characters and strongmen.

“There is a ton of excitement,” he said. “I think everyone will be blown away by how much fun it will be.”

For more information on tickets, click here.

Kevin (Lockwood) Blackwood, an Albion native, pins Scotty O’Shea during one of the matches on April 28, 2018 during the debut “Fairgrounds Fallout.”