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Empire Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame Announcement


Sep 11, 1997
Katy, TX

Recently, in an untelevised event – Empire Pro Wrestling Owner “The Ego Buster” Dan Ryan hosted a number of fans in a ballroom at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada during Sin City Showdown weekend – the purpose of which was to announce the inaugural member of the EPW Hall of Fame.

Below is some footage from that event.

[The shot opens with Dan Ryan at the podium onstage. Ryan smiles a bit waves as the fans cheer and alternately boos for old times’ sake. Ryan gives a little wink to someone in the audience and the camera cuts to his wife Alaina, with his daughter Cecilia on the seat next to her.

The camera cuts to shots of several more EPW stars, all dressed in formal wear.

Sean Stevens.

Cameron Cruise.

The First.

Jared Wells.

The shot goes back to Ryan as he begins to speak.]

RYAN: Ladies and gentlemen, members of the roster, fans in attendance – Empire Pro Wrestling started as the brainchild of a man by the name of John Miller back in 2003.

[Cheers go up.]

RYAN: As he was starting out on this venture, he contacted me, at the time a part of the Global X-Treme Wrestling staff and asked if I could offer any advice or support on the project. I signed on and initially stayed in the shadows, but what followed was the start of a wonderful journey for me. Empire Pro has become something I treasure more than anything I’ve done in my career. There was a time when my own career in the ring was my primary focus, my drive, my motivation. Empire Pro made me realize that there is more joy in helping along the career of others than I ever could have imagined. There’s something about the gratefulness in the eyes of a competitor who you’ve shown belief in, who you’ve handed the keys to, and who has gone on to become among the biggest stars in the sport. It’s the time that I’ve been approached after a show, not by a fan, but by members of our roster and been told… thanks for giving me a shot. Thanks for showing faith in me. These moments stand out above anything I’ve ever done on my own. Hopefully, this will be my legacy.


RYAN: Speaking of legacy – as we celebrate our 50th edition of Aggression here in Las Vegas, I can think of no better time to institute a way for us to honor our past by starting the Empire Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame.


RYAN: The inaugural member of the Hall of Fame is someone who’s fate in this business has often been intertwined with my own. He was our first big fan favorite star, and he main evented more shows than I can count. The storylines of the shows we put on almost always revolved around him and he is a man whose passion, work ethic, talent and drive helped to shape this company in its formative stages into what it has become today. He helped pave the way for every roster member that came along after him and late last year, along with current World Champion Sean Stevens, he wrestled the match of a lifetime in his final Empire Pro match.

[The shot goes to Marcus Westcott, sitting in the crowd, barely containing a **** eating grin as huge applause starts to erupt.]

RYAN: Ladies and gentlemen, the inaugural entrant into the Empire Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame – former EPW World Champion and my bitter enemy for life… [Ryan gives another little wink, then the camera shows Westcott chuckle a little bit]…. Call him “The Mecca”… call him “BEAST”…. Either way, call him a Hall of Famer. Please welcome… MAAAARCUSSSSS WESTCOTTTTTT!!!!!!!

[Marcus Westcott rises out of his seat to a huge pop and the sounds of Saliva's "Ladies and Gentlemen", and buttons his blue Armani as he heads to the stage, stopping to shake hands with a couple EPW wrestlers and staff, before heading up the steps to the stage. He smiles and shakes hands with Dan Ryan, who fakes a cheapshot, then smiles and gives him a quick chest bump hug and slap on the back. Marcus whispers something in his ear and with a nod as Ryan hands him a large golden plaque. Moments later, as the fans are on their feet giving a standing ovation, he poses with Ryan for a few press shots before heading to the podium. He stands at the microphone soaking in the cheers, before letting out a huge smile. This makes the crowd go even more nuts.

Marcus pauses as his music fades out, looking down at his plaque and smiles, before placing it on the podium and adjusting the microphone. He pauses, and lets out a big breath, as the crowd starts launching into a "MAR-CUS! MAR-CUS! MAR-CUS!" chant. Finally, he smiles and holds his hands out, palms down, motioning for the crowd to reign it in.]

MW: Thank you... thank you all very much.

Wow, where to begin? First off... I must say that I'm very proud to be standing here tonight and accepting this honor. To be recognized like this... more than any four or five star match... more than any Championship... those things, they tell everyone that you were great for that moment. Something like this... to be recognized over a CAREER, for your entire body of work... that means so very much to me, and I'll always have Empire Pro Wrestling to thank for that.

When I first came to EPW, I had vision, and I had a goal. I wanted to be part of the team that picked Empire Pro up, placed it squarely on our shoulders, and carried it to great places. I figured with guys like Dan Ryan and Christian Sands and myself leading the charge, there wasn't anything that EPW couldn't do. In my very first match, (chuckling) I got punked by Dan Ryan, and that pretty much defined most of my EPW career. But above all that, despite all the forces working against me, I was able to accomplish my goal. Over the course of several months, Christian Sands and I set the bar for what it means to be a Champion in this company, and EPW hasn't looked back since, and has kept raising that bar. As much as I may be known for being associated with A1E, I will never forget that it was in EPW that I won my first World Heavyweight Championship.

A few people have asked me about the way I went out. I want to make one thing perfectly clear, that my retiring from EPW has nothing to do with issues with management, or any unhappiness with the company at all, and it certainly wasn't because I was taking a powder after losing to Sean Stevens, who, by the way, deserved everything he's ever gotten from winning that match. Sure, I'll admit that was really disappointed in losing. Show me a person that isn't disappointed after losing a Championship in any sport, and I'll show you someone that's a stone cold liar. But that's not why I retired.

I actually made a decision once I was named #1 contender for the World Title, and that decision was, that if I came out of that match as Champion, I would continue defending the title until I lost, at which point I would retire, or if I lost, as I did, then I would retire right then. Either way, I was going out on MY terms, and I was going out either as a Champion, or a guy that did his absolute best to show each and every member of EPW, and each and every fan that watches, that I can still go, and I can still run with the best of them anywhere I go. And I did just that!

[The crowd responds with a monster chant of "ONE MORE MATCH! ONE MORE MATCH! ONE MORE MATCH!", and that gets Marcus smiling.]

MW: Heh... Well, I'm only 34, and as I showed at Russian Roulette, I can still hang, and probably beat, the very best there is out there. There's a phrase in this business, and that's "never say never", so I'll leave it at that.

Just a few thank you's before I go... to Paul Freeman, for inviting me to take part in breaking ground on EPW and building this company from the ground up... to Dan Ryan, despite our obvious issues, he still gave me a shot to prove myself... to all those in the EPW locker room, thank you for all the great shows we put on... to Jessica, thank you for just being there through everything, no matter how good or bad it was, and to all the fans, thank you for giving me a stage to perform on for you every night and making me love my job. Thank you so much for this honor.

Saliva's "Ladies and Gentlemen" hits once again, and the crowd lets out a gigantic pop as Marcus waves to the crowd, and turns to walk off stage.

[Wide shot of the crowd as they give Westcott another standing ovation.

It pulls in one more time to show Marcus waving to the crowd once more and the scene slowly fades out.]

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