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Empire Wrestling Federation


Empire Wrestling Federation

Empire Wrestling Federation
Acronym EWF
Founded 1996
Headquarters Southern California
Founder(s) Bill Anderson and Jesse Hernandez
Owner(s) Jesse Hernandez

The Empire Wrestling Federation (EWF) is an independent wrestling promotion based in San Bernardino, California. It is owned and operated by Jesse Hernandez. The EWF is also tied to Hernandez's wrestling school, The School Of Hard Knocks. The EWF is the longest running promotion in Southern California, running continuously from 1996. The EWF is a former affiliate of the National Wrestling Alliance.


  • History 1
  • School of Hard Knocks 2
  • Current champions 3
  • Defunct Championships 4
  • Annual events 5
    • Great Goliath Battle Royal 5.1
    • Inland Title Series/Inland Title Tournament 5.2
      • 2011 5.2.1
      • 2010 5.2.2
      • 2009 5.2.3
      • 2008 5.2.4
      • 2007 5.2.5
      • 2006 5.2.6
  • Charity Events 6
  • Staff 7
    • Officials 7.1
    • Referees 7.2
    • Commentators 7.3
    • Ring Announcers 7.4
  • References 8
  • External links 9


EWF was founded in 1996 by Bill Anderson and Jesse Hernandez. The promotion's name comes from the Inland Empire, the popular name of the area surrounding San Bernadino.

It saw its first show in May 1996 at the Boys and Girls Club of San Bernardino as Bobby Bradley defeated Tom "Zuma" Howard to become the first EWF Heavyweight Champion. In 1999 Bill Anderson left the EWF and formed his own promotion and wrestling school, the International Wrestling Council in Riverside, California. In June 1996 a tribute to Superstar Billy Graham was held.

Several EWF wrestlers from the past have gone on to national fame, including The Honky Tonk Man, Tony Atlas and Tom Brandi. Many EWF wrestlers appear as jobbers on World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) broadcasts, and at the 1999 Royal Rumble the orderlies sent to apprehend Kane were performed by the EWF roster, including then owners Bill Anderson and Jesse Hernandez.

School of Hard Knocks

The EWF School of Hard Knocks is owned and operated by Jesse Hernandez and is currently located at the American Sports University, 399 North "D" Street in San Bernardino, CA. The School of Hard Knocks became the Official Training Facility of the National Wrestling Alliance in 2007 and has trained countless students from such countries as Canada, France, Australia, India, Great Britain, Russia, Mexico and others, in addition to those students who come to the school from all regions of the United States. The EWF's School of Hard Knocks has sent several wrestlers to the WWE, TNA, NWA, ROH and other prominent promotions across the globe including Melina (WWE), Rico Constantino (WWE), Frankie Kazarian (TNA, WWE), Awesome Kong (TNA, AJW, WWE), Rocky Romero (NWA, ROH, NJPW, AAA, CMLL), Ricky Reyes (ROH), Alex Koslov (CMLL, AAA) and Shelly Martinez (WWE, TNA). The School of Hard Knocks also has served as the training area for Chris Jericho (WWE), Layla (WWE), Eve Torres (WWE), Rhaka Khan (TNA), Lena Yada (WWE) and others, who looked to brush up on their in-ring skills.

Current champions

Championship: Current champion(s): Date Won: Won From: Location:
EWF Heavyweight Championship Gary Yap's Man in Black[1] August 7, 2015 Mike Maze Covina, California
EWF American Championship "Baby Bull" Vance Garayt[2] July 3, 2015 Vacant
EWF Tag Team Championship Juan Roman & Archimedes[3] May 8, 2015 Mega King & Tyshaun Prince

Defunct Championships

The EWF Cruiserweight Championship was introduced in 2004 and was won by Liger Rivera in a 4-Way match. It was defended from 2004 until is was retired in 2011. It had been featured in the EWF's Match of the Year in both 2009 and 2010. Ray Rosas was the last EWF Crusierweight Champion.

Annual events

The Empire Wrestling Federation currently holds two annual events, the Great Goliath Memorial Battle Royal and the Inland Title Series. The Great Goliath Memorial Battle Royal, held in honor of the wrestler who trained Jesse Hernandez, the EWF's owner and promoter, has been held during the EWF's Anniversary Show in May since 2006. The winner is awarded a trophy or plaque and is granted a shot at the EWF Heavyweight Championship.

Great Goliath Battle Royal

Won By: Year Won: Location: Notes:
Ironman Mike Maze 2013 Covina, CA Won the vacant EWF Championship-
Joey Ryan 2012 Covina, CA Last minute surprise entrant
Josh Dunbar/Shaun Ricker 2011 Covina, CA Both men eliminated each other simultaneously, declared Co-Winners
Chris Kadillak 2010 Covina, CA
Devon Willis 2009 Covina, CA Used his title shot at The Covina Classic, winning the match by countout against then champion, Brandon Gatson. Lost their rematch at Knockdown Dragout 3
Ryan Taylor 2008 Covina, CA Used his title shot at The Covina Classic, losing to then champion, Scorpio Sky.
Dan "The Man" Kobrick 2007 Covina, CA Used his title shot at The Covina Classic, losing to then champion, Joey Harder.
Cincinnati Red 2006 Covina, CA Gave the trophy to Great Goliath's daughter, Paloma, and forfeited his right to a title match.

Inland Title Series/Inland Title Tournament

The Inland Title Series was a round robin style tournament, held at the end of the year. The winner of the ITS was granted a shot at the EWF Heavyweight Championship. In 2010, the format and name of the event was changed. It became the Inland Title Tournament and switched to an 8-Man, single elimination tournament. The winner will be granted a shot at the EWF Championship.


The Inland Title Series returns November 25, 2011 in the Knights of Columbus Hall in Covina, CA. Originally Chris Kadillak was advertised to face Ryan Taylor in the first round but was later replaced by "Project 56" Joshua Dunbar. This was also the first time Scorpio Sky was able to score a win over "Mega King" Tommy Wilson in an EWF ring.

Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
Jeremy Jaeger
Mondo Vega
Jeremy Jaeger
Scorpio Sky
Scorpio Sky
"Mega King" Tommy Wilson
Jeremy Jaeger
Ryan Taylor
"Project 56" Joshua Dunbar
Ryan Taylor
Ryan Taylor
Willie Mack
Willie Mack
Robby Phoenix


Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
Hector Canales
Tommy Wilson
Tommy Wilson
Scorpio Sky
Scorpio Sky
Liger Rivera
Tommy Wilson
SoCal Crazy
SoCal Crazy
"Handsome" Johnny Starr
SoCal Crazy
"Brawlin" Bo Cooper
"Brawlin" Bo Cooper
"Project 56" Josh Dunbar


Participant: Record: Notes:
SoCal Crazy 3-0 Is the only wrestler in ITS history to finish undefeated
Terex 2-1
Freddy Bravo 1-2
Tim Lovato 0-3


Participant: Record: Notes:
Matt Jackson 2-1-1 Finished tied for 1st. Chose to stay tied and compete for the EWF Tag Title
Nick Jackson 2-1-1 Finished tied for 1st. Chose to stay tied and compete for the EWF Tag Title
Johnny Paradise 1-2
"Top Shelf" Jeremy Jaeger 1-2


Participant: Record: Notes:
Brandon "Nitro" Gatson 3-1-0 Defeated Scorpio Sky in a tie breaker match to win the ITS.
Scorpio Sky 2-2-0 Lost to Brandon "Nitro" Gatson in an ITS tie breaker match.
Ryan Taylor 1-2-0
JT Blackstar 1-2-0


Participant: Record: Notes:
Joey Harder 3-0-1 Defeated T.J. Perkins in a tie breaker match to win the ITS.
TJ Perkins 2-1-1 Lost to Joey Harder in an ITS tie breaker match.
Hook Bomberry 1-2-0
Jason King 0-3-0

Charity Events

The Empire Wrestling Federation is always giving back to the communities it runs in. On March 10, 2012, the EWF put on a show for the students of Thompson Elementary School in Highland, CA. “Honestly, I see this as a way to keep the families engaged and involved,” said Principal Funchess, adding, “This is just a great opportunity for Thompson families to come enjoy a positive event here at the school while supporting academic achievement.” [4]

In April 2012, the Empire Wrestling Federation will have 2 benefit shows. On April 13, EWF presents Wrestling for Autism and April 14, an anti-bullying campaign and fundraiser for Drew's Voice.



  • Owner / Promoter: Jesse Hernandez
  • Commissioner: Frank Mott
  • Deputy Commissioner: Handsome Johnny Starr


  • Senior Official: Nick Lira
  • Justin Borden
  • Christopher Lee
  • Chicko Suave
  • Ryan "Mickey" Moreno


Commentators: Dates:
"Webmaster" Wade Needham and "The Expert" Matt Sinister October 14, 2011 – present
Kelli Lee and "The Expert" Matt Sinister July 2, 2011 – October 14, 2011
Lalo Gonzalez, Kelli Lee, and "The Expert" Matt Sinister June 5, 2011 – July 2, 2011
Lalo Gonzalez and Kelli Lee N/A – July 2, 2011
Lalo Gonzalez and Larry Pena 2008-2011
Mike Aguirre, Larry Pena, Mad Macintosh, and Lalo Gonzalez 2008
Mike Aguirre, Larry Pena, and Mad Macintosh 2007-2008

Ring Announcers

  • Jessica Walters 2005-2006
  • Mike Aguirre 2005-2007
  • Lalo Gonzalez 2008-2010
  • Josh Austin 2010-2012
  • Benjamin Thomas 2012-present
  • Jake Alexander 2014–present


  1. ^ "EWF Championship history". Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "American title history". Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "Tag Title history". Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "Throwing down for grades at Thompson". 
  • 1998 "Secrets of Pro Wrestling" Discovery Channel documentary that toured EWF facilities
  • Newspaper article on EWF
  • EWF newspaper article 2
  • Nacho Libre presented by EWF and Krikorian Theatres
  • EWF Newspaper article 3
  • EWF at
  • Throwing down for grades at Thompson

External links

  • Empire Wrestling Federation Official Website
  • Empire Wrestling Live Website
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