Global wrestling stars coming to North Tonawanda

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Empire State Wrestling (ESW) kicks off 2018 by returning to the St. Johnsburg Fire Hall, 7165 Ward Road, North Tonawanda, on Jan. 20. ESW’s first event of the year will feature internationally renowned wrestlers such as Mark Haskins from the United Kingdom, Lucha Underground’s Brian Cage, as well as Impact Wrestling’s Braxton Sutter. Sutter will team with Every Time I Die and North Tonawanda native Andy Williams.

Haskins makes his ESW debut after wrestling all around the world. He wrestled internationally for Impact Wrestling, as well as promotions in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada and the United States. Haskins will face longtime ESW stalwart Brandon Thurston. Thurston is fresh off beating his former faction-mate Mikey Everynite in a street fight at the previous show.

Cage is well-known for wrestling for Lucha Underground on the El Rey Network. After spending time in World Wrestling Entertainment’s developmental system, Cage traveled the globe like Haskins, wrestling in Mexico and Japan, as well as Reseda, Calif.-based Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.

Williams and Sutter will make their Western New York debut as a tag team at the January event. Together known as “The Butcher & The Blade,” Williams assisted Sutter in his win over Sami Callihan at the Every Time I Die Christmas Show in December. This will also be Williams’ hometown debut as he was born and raised in North Tonawanda.

Newly crowned ESW Heavyweight Champion Kevin Bennett will put his title on the line for the first time against former champion R.J. City. After winning the Ilio DiPaolo Cup at November’s event, Bennett cashed in his shot at the heavyweight title during City’s match against Sutter that same night and scored the pin on City to become the new champion.

The Bennett-City match was first announced on ESW’s new podcast “Inside the Empire” by ESW promoter Brett Mednik, which is available now on SoundCloud and YouTube. The podcast will take an in-depth look at previous ESW events, preview future ones and feature ESW’s numerous personalities.

Also in action will be The Cogar Brothers who lost via disqualification against the ESW Tag Team Champions Oliver Street Express at the November event, as well as your regular ESW favorites and villains.

Front row tickets are sold out, but $15 general admission tickets are still available. Ticket prices increase $3 at the door. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the bell rings at 6 p.m. For more information, please visit

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