Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Brandon Espinosa returns to Stride Pro Wrestling

Espy vs. AT Brooks
Courtesy: Steve Belcher

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
It's been more than a year, but after some late night negotiations, Stride Pro Wrestling General Manager Sam Hunter has inked a deal to bring back Brandon "Espy" Espinosa. The former MWR Missouri Champion will be in Marion this Saturday night. He will face another St. Louis wrestler in Justin D'air. 

Justin D'air
I'm eager to learn more about D'air as this will be the first opportunity I'll have to see him in action. The Neon Icon has quite a pedigree though, wrestling for several promotions in Missouri and Illinois. However, I'm also excited that Espy is coming back. I had to miss the show he wrestled on for Stride in June 2016. But I did get to see him battle "Farmer" Billy Hills in Cape Championship Wrestling last summer.

My first experience with Espy came in All-American Pro Wrestling. He and Ace Hawkins were one of the best tag teams on the indy scene at that time. The duo was extremely popular and had some of the most epic matches in AAPW history against Team Overkill of Matt Cage and Christan Rose. One of my favorite matches remains the ladder match between the two teams at AAPW Zero Hour. The battle lasted nearly 20 minutes and Espy and Ace came out as champions. Even though their team name was Minor Threat, they were major players and top-tier talent.

My AAPW birthday bash in 2012
Courtesy: Jason Wilkey Photography
Another one of my favorite memories from AAPW didn't involve a match at all. Executive Producer and Promoter Chris Hagstrom surprised me on my birthday (we had a taping that night) with a birthday cake. The babyfaces on the roster all joined me and Chris in the ring and sang happy birthday. Espy was front and center for that celebration too. It made this aging commentator feel special for sure.

Don't forget, bell time Saturday night is 6:30 at the Illinois Star Centre Mall in Marion. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Come dressed in a Halloween costume as we celebrate the holiday too.

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