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Rise of the Champions


Rise of the ChampionsDespite the chill weather outside, a packed crowd was in attendance at Wellington High School on Friday for KPW's first Wellington show of the year.  Fans from around the city gathered to witness the finest in New Zealand professional wrestling action as eight tag teams vied for the richest prize in New Zealand professional wrestling - the vacant KPW Tag Team Championship!

The show opened with announcer Blair "the Flair" introducing KPW's distinguished guest, Wellington City Councillor Rob Goulden.  Mr Goulden was on hand to present the belts to the eventual winners of the tournament.  Mr Goulden then led the crowd in a one minute silence for those affected by the shooting incident in Napier that had begun the day befo


The fan favourite team of Jade Diamond and Whetu entered with their technical advisor Mr Juno Huia, a New Zealand legend who wrestled in the "On The Mat" era as the Maori Warrior.  Manager Bobby Cool had obviously kept the ex-wrestler in the loop regarding the potential displayed by the young Whetu, and the original Maori Warrior was on hand to lend his wrestling experience to the team.  Their opponents were two of the strangest masked men that KPW had to offer, namely the IceWolf and El Condor.  Right before the lockup, Whetu made his warrior spirit known to all with a spirited haka which impressed everyone in attendance... except their masked opponents.  El Condor and Whetu stated out for their respective teams and seemed to be evenly matched until Whetu reversed a hip toss into a monkey flip.  El Condor was knocked from the ring, and unceremoniously dumped back in by his own partner.  Showing their teamwork, Whetu and Diamond worked on El Condor with an inverted atomic drop and dropkick, sending the high-flyer reeling!   Diamond tagged in and had the masked men in trouble with a vicious corner charge and a huge fallaway slam on the increasingly battered El Condor.  Diamond and Whetu kept up the pressure with a double-team that saw Diamond monkey-flip Whetu into a somersault senton on the hapless masked Mexican!

El Condor managed to make the tag to his team-mate.  Simons isolated Whetu's arm, catching the young Maori Warrior with a backbreaker for a quick near fall before returning to work the arm.  Whetu fought back, hitting a picture-perfect dropkick and rana which had the IceWolf on the run!  Diamond was tagged back in and took the fight straight to Simons with big right hands and a big back body drop.  Diamond showed why he lives up to his nickname of "Powerhouse" by hauling Simons aloft for a delayed vertical suplex, bringing his opponent crashing down for a near fall.  Diamond and Whetu gained a little payback for the masked men's arm-based attack with Whetu scoring a second-rope double axe handle on Simons' arm.  Obviously feeling the animal within, Simons struck back with a desperation lariat that turned Whetu inside out and earned a close two-count.

IceWolf tagged in his partner, but El Condor was caught in a "Maori drop" from Whetu and the race was on to make the tag!  El Condor was first by a heartbeat, but when Diamond made it into the ring, he dished out lariats for both opponents.  A double-team ace crusher from Diamond and Whetu stunned El Condor and a sitout spinebuster from Diamond slammed all the fight out of the masked Mexican.  Diamond tagged in Whetu and held off the IceWolf, allowing Whetu to ascended to the top rope and hit an amazingly high top rope head butt for the pinfall win to advance his team in the tournament.


The second match of the evening saw New Zealand's only third generation wrestler align with the arrogant Oceania champion, Shane Whitehead.  The fans hadn't forgotten how Whitehead and Morgan senselessly assaulted Jade Diamond and Whetu at the last show in Wanganui, and weren't shy about sharing their dislike of this team!  By contrast, the "Wanagnui Wild Men" Chris Delorean and Lazarus Volt entered to a chorus of cheers, Volt's friend Trinket the Clown scattering goodies to the adoring crowd.

Once the bell rang, it was all on; Morgan backed Volt into the corner and offered a surprisingly clean break.  Second time was not the charm and "3G" showed why he used to be called "The Rage", beating Volt down to the canvas!  A double-team attack went awry when Volt slipped out of the way and Morgan crashed into Whitehead!  Delorean came in to grab a piece of the action and the "wild men" backed "the renegades" into opposite corners, raining down punches onto their opponents.  Whitehead and Morgan countered by attempting to Irish whip Volt and Delorean into each other, but the flamboyant pair pulled off a "dosey-do" and cannoned into their unsuspecting foes!

Delorean took down Whitehead with a suplex, but the Oceania champion kicked out at one.  Delorean and Volt pressed the attack with a double-team arm trap neckbreaker on Whitehead.  Volt secured the arm of Whitehead and tried to take it out of commission, but "The Technician" belied his moniker by going to the eyes, much to the disgust of the fans.  Whitehead then capitalised with a lariat, vicious backbreaker and delayed vertical suplex where he took great joy in presenting the helpless Volt to fans on all four sides of the ring before bringing the dazed ringmaster back down to earth with a bump!

Morgan was tagged in and methodically continued the beatdown.  Volt rallied an trapped Morgan in the hotseat, looking to deliver a top rope belly to back suplex.  Morgan elbowed his way out of that predicament, but Volt avoided the subsequent corkscrew senton, allowing Volt to make the tag.  Delorean attacked strongly, but fell prey to a butterfly suplex from Morgan.  "3G" kept "Mr Love Potion 69" grounded with a surfboard, but Delorean got the fans on his side to help him battle back to his feet.  Morgan cut off any momentum gained with a flying headscissors, but Delorean came back on a criss-cross sequence with the "88 MPH" swinging clothesline.

Attempting to follow-up, Whitehead got involved as Delorean ran the ropes and gleefully clotheslined his opponent while remaining on the ring apron, angering the fans.  Delorean then staggered into a sleeper from Morgan and it looked like the "wild men" would be out of the tournament.  Delorean showed his resilience by battling out, but when both men tried to beat the other to the punch, they ended up flooring each other with clotheslines.  The crowd knew that the match hung in the balance and yelled their support for Delorean to make the tag.  Volt came in but Whitehead avoided the High Voltage (top rope dropkick), giving "the renegades" back the advantage.  Delorean tagged in but was caught in a sitout exploder suplex from Whitehead for the pinfall win.

TOURNAMENT QUARTER-FINAL MATCH #3:  "The Brute" J.E. O'ROURKE and PURPLE HAZE versus THE ROCK 'N' ROLL CONNECTION (Miles D'Rock and Jimmy van der Roll)

Fan favourites the Rock 'n' Roll Connection danced their way to the ring in all their silver-clad, slicked-back hair glory, ready to take on their opponents.   Second-generation wrestler and first rate brawler J.E. O'Rourke had been scheduled to tag with the Kiwi ex-pat Tank, but as the "pocket battleship" was sadly unavailable, KPW management had found a suitable replacement in the form of the unorthodox masked man Purple Haze.  O'Rourke seemed none too pleased with the ferocity of his tag team partner, but was determined to advance in the tournament even if he had "brawl for two".

Van der Roll and O'Rourke started out, the young rock 'n' roller quickly finding out why others call O'Rourke "The Brute"!  Shoved into the corner and battered with chops, van der Roll countered with his speed, avoiding a cross corner charge by going "up and over".  The experienced Miles D'Rock was tagged in and went toe-to-toe with O'Rourke, delivering a scoop slam and big back elbow.  The silver-clad dancing duo followed up with a double-team clothesline for a near fall.  van der Roll hauled O'Rourke over with a fisherman's suplex for another near fall.  O'Rourke decided to let Purple Haze have a go and the masked man exchanged hammerlocks with van der Roll, ending when the younger member of the Rock 'n' Roll Connection took Purple Haze down with a drop toe-hold and kept him down with an elbow drop.  However, "the Brute" used his boot when van der Roll ran the ropes, dropping the "Dancing Dutchman".  O'Rourke tagged in and kept van der Roll grounded by attacking his opponent's leg.   O'Rourke then unleashed "brute force" and battered van der Roll senseless.  "The Brute" tried to crush the breath from van der Roll with a massive bear hug, ramming his helpless opponent into the turnbuckles to add injury to injury.  A desperate van der Roll rallied to batter his way out and both men struggled to make the tag.  O'Rourke made it first by a split second, but came in to face a fresh Miles D'Rock, who pounded the Haze and rocked the psychedelic one's word with a swinging side-slam.  van der Roll cut off O'Rourke, enabling the Rock 'n' Roll Connection to hit a double-team powerbomb neckbreaker on Purple Haze for the pinfall victory and to advance in the tournament.


The next matched showed that the unthinkable had occurred, with the Youngbloods

- Inferno and Juice - tagging once more, albeit now battling for themselves, heedless of the rules and fans.  Their ambivalent attitude towards one another indicated cracks in their alliance might be present from the start.  Conversely, the Men In Black entered as a united front to the cheers of the KPW faithful.  This match promised to be the one to watch, with two experienced teams vying for a chance at the coveted KPW Tag Team Championship.  H-Flame and Jonnie Juice faced off at the beginning, each a long-time foe since the company's inception.

The "international superstar" showed his technical dominance by grabbing a headlock and hanging on, thwarting Juice's every attempt to slip free or counter.  Juice was forced to go to the eyes to break, but H-Flame was ahead of Juice's O'Conner roll-up attempt.  Juice hit an armdrag, but H-Flame somersaulted out of a monkey flip to land on his feet.  The two traded pinfall attempts, the KPW champion fighting up from the canvas and back down into a backslide on Juice for a two-count.

Juice tagged in Inferno and all thoughts of a technical match were abandoned as the fiery veteran hit the champ with a Thesz press and the two brawled to the outside.  Managing to make it back into the ring,  H-Flame worked on Inferno's arm and tagged in Max Damage so the big man could add his input with a second-rope double axe handle.  Damage lived up to his name by hitting a lariat and staying on the Inferno's arm.  The veteran showed his technical acumen by reversing, but the big man countered with a fireman's carry and kept Inferno down with a big shoulder block.  Juice managed to tag in and proceeded to play mind games with Damage, offering the bigger man a test of strength.  Damage laughed at the notion that the smaller Juice could out-muscle him.  To even things up, he dropped to one knee before reaching out to lock up with his smaller opponent... and was promptly kicked in the head by the wily Juice!

Juice cut "the Axe" down to size with a leg lariat for a two-count.  Overconfident, Juice went to bodyslam the big man, but couldn't get him off the ground.  Rallying, Damage hauled Juice aloft before slamming him to the canvas to the delight of the fans!    Damage followed up with a "Thunder in Taradise" (leaping legdrop) for a very near fall.  A Damage fallaway slam kept Juice on the ropes, with H-Flame tagged in and concentrating his attack on Juice's neck.  Juice and H-Flame brawled, the KPW champ scoring with a bodyslam but missing an elbow drop, opening him up for a seated dropkick from Juice to take control.  Inferno tagged in and stomped away on H-Flame, venting his hatred on his foe, much to manager Charlie Roberts' sadistic glee.  Inferno hung H-Flame in the ropes, drawing in Damage to retaliate.  H-Flame tagged in Damage, who battered Inferno with a huge elbow to the back and a bigger sideslam.  In desperation, Inferno hit back with a DDT,
 stunning the Motorua Monster.  The big man channelled his anger  and struggled to his feet, but was blindsided by a top rope dropkick from Juice!

Eschewing a technical attack, Juice just choked down Damage and then tried some amateur chiropracty by draping Damage over the ropes and standing on his back!  H-Flame stormed the ring but was forced out by referee Daniel Martins, allowing Juice to continue the attack on Damage's back.  Damage fought to his feet, but the cunning Juice raked the eyes to keep the advantage.  Inferno and Juice went for a double-team clothesline on Damage, but "the Axe" powered through their attempt and knocked both men down with a double clothesline of his own!  With both Inferno and Juice groggy, Damage tagged in H-Flame and slingshotted the KPW champ over the top rope so the international superstar could deliver a double clothesline of his own!

H-Flame then showed his power by press-slamming Inferno.  The KPW champ looked to have the match won by hitting the H-Bomb on Juice, but Inferno recovered to make the save, then blindsided H-Flame with the Extinguisher (lifting inverted DDT).  Max Damage stalked the unsuspecting Inferno as he furiously berated H-Flame, laying Inferno out with a Damage Gauge (jackhammer), but walked into a Starscream Superkick from Juice!  Juice looked to have the match won for his team when he hit the Butterfly Effect on H-Flame, but Damage made the desperation save to keep their title hopes alive.  Inferno and H-Flame brawled to the outside; seeing an opportunity, Juice climbed to the top rope and dived onto both men.

Damage looked like he was considering following suit.  The big man went to the top rope, but seemed to think better of it and climbed back down.  Suddenly, he ran the ropes and dived over the top rope and down onto his opponents with a suicide plancha!  With all the competitors in a heap on the floor, referee Daniel Martins had no choice but to lay in the count.  All the wrestlers struggled to their feet, but no-one made it back into the ring in time.  Accordingly, the referee was forced to declare a double count-out, eliminating both teams from the tournament!  The crowd howled its protest at such an inconclusive finish to such a great match, but the referee's call was final, as both teams had indeed failed to answer the ten count.

Following intermission, Blair "the Flair" announced that the KPW Title Committee had ruled that because of the double-count out The Men in Black and Inferno and Jonnie Juice in quarter-final match number four, the team of Shane Whitehead and Kade Morgan would receive a bye straight to the finals, where they would meet the winners of semi-final match number one, coming up next.

TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT SEMI-FINAL MATCH #1:  "Powerhouse" JADE DIAMOND and WHETU (with Mr Juno Huia) versus THE ROCK 'N' ROLL CONNECTION (Miles D'Rock and Jimmy van der Roll)



Morgan and Whitehead went into the finals confident of a win, given that they enjoyed a bye in the previous round, so were fresh and ready.  On the other hand, their opponents had already had two matches the same evening in order to make it this far.

Morgan and Whitehead attacked their opponents from behind even before the bell rang, continuing the bad blood between the two duos than began at the last show.

Ice Wolf & J E (the Brute) ORourke


PowerHouse Jade Diamond & Whetu
with Manager the Hype Bobby Cool

PowerHouse Jade Diamond & Whetu
with Manager the Hype Bobby Cool

PowerHouse Jade Diamond & Whetu
with Manager the Hype Bobby Cool

Kade Morgan 3G & Shane (the technician) Whitehead

The Rock n Roll Connection
Miles D Rock & Jimmy Van Der Roll


Tank & Chris Trance (Australia)
with (Manager Terry the Golden Greek) Barred

The Rock n Roll Connection
Miles D Rock & Jimmy Van Der Roll

Kade Morgan 3G & Shane (the technician) Whitehead


Chris De Lorean & Lazarus Volt (with Trinket)

Kade Morgan 3G & Shane (the technician) Whitehead

Kade Morgan 3G & Shane (the technician) Whitehead

The Men in Black
Max the Axe Damage & H-Flame (KPW Champion)


Jonnie Juice & Inferno with Manager Charlie Roberts

Double Disqualification