In our third and final part of our "2013 - Year In Review" series, the KPW report staff turn their attention to the third championship to change hands by the end of 2013 - the KPW Tag Team Championship.
2013 opened with the proverbial bang for Rodeo Drive. And by "bang", I mean defending co-KPW Tag Team champion Lazarus Volt going through a table! The splintering of wood and dreams signalled the end of one dynasty and the beginning of another. The "new and improved" Rodeo Drive left the former champs Lazarus Volt and H-Flame and rode out of Tauranga as the new KPW Tag Team Champions, beginning a long party for the "A - Listers". The "Ayatollah of High Rollas" Charlie Roberts must have been smiling for weeks.
An equally big event for Rodeo Drive this year was its acquisition of key talent. In so many ways, Roberts' scouting and Donahue's negotiations were masterstrokes. After tense and high-power backroom negotiations involving "Danger" Donahue silver tongue and suitcases of money, the (first!) deal of the year was sealed. Say "hello" to the man who made Rodeo Drive into a tag team: poaching Steve Jordan from "The Elite" stable, - nothing personal, just business, like professional wrestling as a whole - much to the chagrin of manager The ATH and tag team partner Big Bull Addams.
Never forget that there's brains behind Rodeo Drive's athleticism and brawn. Alex Donahue - "Mister Pick 'n' Mix" himself - continued to scout the best talent for Rodeo Drive, in-between riding mechanical bulls and building sandcastles. As usual, everything "came up Donahue" - the Rodeo Drive manager succeeded in discovering the next big thing... and sent him to "HALLOWEEN HOWL 7" as a special gift for Rock 'n' Rage.
I speak, of course, of Bryant: mean, mouthy, strong and near lethal, he arrived on the scene later in the year and proved his potential against KPW mainstay El Condor in a hard-fought battle royal at the self-same show. Loyal to the almighty dollar and the almighty "A-List", Bryant stood by them in their time of need, taking bullets (and planchas) for the team like a pro.
But just like in life, the future in pro wrestling is not ours to see. Anything could happen, and in 2013, I think it did.
You see, on the horizon, there were two young men on the horizon who were on a collision course with destiny (and Rodeo Drive), though you would have been hard-pressed to call it ahead of time. One was a good-time rock 'n' roller from Reporoa. Trained by Lazarus Volt, he has a sideline as drummer in the band Faceplant. A natural performer, Stix loves to entertain the KPW fans with his skill and determination. Never backing down from a fight, the fans know they are in for a treat when Stix enters from the green room. Though he's never had a problem with the majority of the KPW locker room, there's always a few bad seeds seeking to poke up through the cracks.
One such bad seed was a young man named Shane Carver, who fancied himself as the "Demolition Man". After a match against Stix, Shane Carver sought to prove himself worthy of joining the fledgling stable of The Elite by making a brutal example of his opponent. Never one to miss out on a chance to cause a little mayhem and insert himself into the spotlight, a member of The Elite rushed to the ring and assisted in the cowardly and unprovoked attack, even going to far as to use a steel chair to "Pillmanize" Stix's bad knee. And who was the one stomping on the chair? Who was at ground zero for this brutal act? That would be "The Natural" himself... naturally.
The attack put Stix on the shelf for over six month and required surgery and rehabilitation. For the Reporoa reprobate, the time spent on the sidelines was the worst pain to bear. Jordan had taken Stix away from where he most love to be - in a wrestling ring, surrounded by an audience of fans - and Stix had plenty of time to consider that and what form his payback would take.
And so Stix headed into what he was hoping was just a "tune up" match, a little shakedown to shake loose any "ring rust". Stix knew his opponent was not to be taken lightly, but he was confident of his abilities. He knew he had to find out where his current capabilities lay if he was to have any chance of taking the fight to Steve Jordan. And in another strange yet poetic twist of fate, his opponent for this supposed "stepping stone" match was the other member of The (erstwhile) Elite... Bull Addams.
Bull Addams is a lot like a claymore mine, and I don't mean he's easily strapped to a combat helmet for a HALO insertion - I mean he works best when his front is pointed square at the enemy and you're just behind him, out of the blast zone. You never really know from which direction Bull Addams is going to strike; I've seen him go so far as to fake out his opponents before a battle royal. Power and savagery collide in a perfectly deadly combination. What makes Addams so dangerous is that you're never truly sure if he's not in fact the smartest guy in the room. The big Tauranga native is crazy like a fox, willing to let a team-mate make the first move while Addams sizes up the opposition and searches for an opportunity to strike. Sadly, being bereft of The Elite left the big man at a loose end. It seemed that the big Tauranga native functioned best as part of a team, after all. Still, he was nothing to ignore in the singles ranks, either. As his opponent in his upcoming match would discover...
Who won that match between Stix and Bull Addams isn't as important as what happened next: impressed by Addams' toughness, Stix offered him a chance to team up and get some payback on Steve Jordan. Never one to let an opportunity pass him by, grudgingly impressed by Stix's ability, and cogniscent of the fact that Jordan was holding championship gold, Addams agreed. One successful parlay with sympathetic KPW booking committee later, and the newly-formed "Rock 'n' Rage" had a Tag Team Championship at the biggest KPW show of the year.
Surely this development put Rodeo Drive on the back foot. A challenge to their Tag Team Championship they could expect, but the man that Jordan had worked so hard to cripple? Teaming with the wrestler whom "The Natural" had abandoned for the bright lights of the A-List and the guidance of "Danger" Donahue? This challenge was Rodeo Drive's proverbial chickens coming home to roost. So in many ways, Rodeo Drive were the ones who unwittingly sowed the seeds for their fall from championship grace, thereby unconsciously imitating the great heroes of European legend.
At KPW "HALLOWEEN HOWL 7", the newly-formed Rock 'n' Rage defied the odds, Rodeo Drive's cheating and the odds themselves to capture the coveted KPW Tag Team Championship in their first outing as a team. It seems that Rodeo Drive simply couldn't come up with an effective gameplan to counter the brand new tag team, despite their best efforts on the night. The fans were thrilled, both that cocky Rodeo Drive had been toppled from their perch and that Stix and Bull Addams had beaten their tormentors at last.
And so the end KPW's seventh annual "HALLOWEEN HOWL" show and the end of the year marked a significant diving line - a new chapter for Rock 'n' Rage and a new chapter for Rodeo Drive. The "A-List" lost the battle, but the war goes on. It's true that they suffered a major setback at the end of 2013, but begin 2014 Fresh (To Death): fresh with new ideas, fresh with a new "insurance policy", fresh with a brand new purpose: to dominate the KPW ranks, and make anyone pay who gets in their way!
KPW REPORTING STAFF