T’was the Friday before Christmas, and all through the bay not a fan was unhappy or disappointed that day…well, until the end of the show. On 12.19.14, All Pro Wrestling presented Kristmas Kaos! The event was the last production of the year for the Northern-California Independent Promotion and I for one can’t think of a better way to end 2014. In what had all the potential to be a rough year for APW—given the passing of founder Roland Alexander in November 2013—the staff and crew of All Pro Wrestling, with large contribution from students of the APW Boot Camp that lives on in no small part thanks to Gold Rush Pro Wrestling, has consistently put on stellar shows this year. Despite rough weather in the Bay Area, the raucous Daly City crowd still turned out. In fact, among those in attendance at Kristmas Kaos were actor and music legend Kris Kristofferson, and pro-wrestling journalist and Wrestling Observer Newsletter publisher/editor, Dave Meltzer. This year’s capstone event lived up to the standard already set by APW; headlined by a “Title vs. Career” match that also had implications for longstanding APW faction Pink Mink Inc, #APWKristmas was a magnificent show from top to bottom and there was not a bad match on the card.
Match #1- Aaron Solo vs. Truex
Kristmas Kaos began just the right way, with a fast-paced match featuring two young wrestlers! APW’s own Truex has a well-established mean-streak that can be seen on almost any occasion that he is in a ring, but the debuting Aaron Solo more than held his own. According to his bio, Aaron Solo hails from San Francisco and was trained at Storm Wrestling Academy. The Bay Area crowd was behind the hometown hero, Solo who has appeared a number of promotions throughout the year including Big Time Wrestling, Ring of Honor, and WWE. Solo looked great in his APW debut and just as he started to gain momentum, Truex, with shades of William Regal, retrieved brass knuckles from his trunks and tried to attack Solo; luckily Marcus Lewis arrived to thwart this attempt and the match continued. Lewis is quite familiar with Truex’s tricks and later on in the match tried again to alert the referee to another scheme. This time, however the referee was busy asking Lewis to get off of the ring apron while Truex used the foreign object against Solo, securing an ill-gotten win.
Match #2- Matt Carlos vs. Will Cuevas: #MagnificentVsMoneyMaker
Former APW official Will Cuevas’ stock is on the rise having defeated former APW Universal Heavyweight Champion “Golden Boy” Dylan Drake in a first of its kind “Respect Match” at Halloween Hell. Having overcome a former champion, the next logical step was for Cuevas to go after a member of All Pro Wrestling’s most powerful and influential faction, Pink Mink Inc. Matt Carlos—accompanied by manager Markus Mac—has been a long-standing member of the faction and he and Cuevas had a hell of an outing. Carlos began working over the back of Cuevas before the two ended up trading stiff rights until the exchange concluded with Cuevas giving Carlos a few knife-edge chops…ya know, as a Kristmas gift. The bout could only be described as a hard-fought match that ended when the competitors fought to their 10-minute time limit. The crowd was so into this match that they pled for an extension, but the official ruled it a draw. Post-match, Pink Mink Inc. manager Markus Mac stepped into the ring and though it looked like “The Pink Mink of Professional Wrestling” would attack his client’s competitor, he actually shook his hand out of respect. When Mac told his client to do the same, Carlos slapped away the hand of Cuevas to a chorus of “boos”
Winner: None; Time Limit DRAW
Match #3- Cold Cold World vs. Chris Hero & Jody Kristofferson
At the last APW show, Caesar Black and his cronies attacked APW Boot Camp Graduates, Marcus Lewis and Sione Finau, until Kristofferson and his partner on that night, JR Kratos made the save. Cold Cold World has proven themselves a force to be reckoned with in California. Grundy and Rood formed a tag team in 2013 called PB&J (Pretty, Black, & Jakked) and found moderate success, but since acquiring Caesar Black as their leader they’ve become a dominant force, making a name for themselves in promotions throughout California, including Territory League, the promotion run by former WWE superstar, Rikishi; but they’d have their work cut out for them against Hero and Kristofferson.
The Knockout Artist has wrestled for promotions worldwide, like westside Xtreme wrestling in Germany, and held Heavyweight Championships in promotions like Combat Zone Wrestling an Pro Wrestling Guerilla; and wrestled for a time in WWE NXT as Kassius Ohno. Possibly most-impressive, however was Hero’s attainment of the historic APW Worldwide Internet Championship! His partner, APW Boot Camp Graduate Jody Kristofferson has found his own measure of success as well having performed in WWE NXT as Garrett Dylan and having ascended to the top of the mountain in APW in becoming the APW Universal Heavyweight Champion.
This bout began with Hero and Rood, who got the upper hand when he began to deal out upper cuts that looked as if he was trying to send Hero’s head into the ceiling. Hero is no slack though, he returned a trifecta of chops that looked like they caved Rood’s chest in. Hero lived up to his name dealing out a huge boot that would knock a lesser man out cold. However at the leadership of Black, CCW kept their competitors fresh and took control of the matchup until Kristofferson got the hot tag and the War Pig went wild! Kristofferson picked up the win and Caesar Black entered to protest. The War Pig was going to give the CCW manager a hard right hand for his trouble but was attacked from behind by “The Trendkiller” Kevin Michael Johnson with a silver platter—symbolic of the one Kristofferson has been served his whole life. Johnson was not supposed to be in Daly City as he was not scheduled to compete and was officially on the Injured Reserved Roster. But “The Trendkiller” clearly believes that the rules don’t apply to him and his group. Johnson, Grundy, and Rood all have a bone to pick with APW and led by Caesar Black the group has put APW on notice and are to be called “The Animal Farm.”
Winners: “The War Pig” Jody Kristofferson & The Knockout Artist” Chris Hero
Match #4- Dalton Frost vs. “The Real Masterpiece” Chris Masters
The Cowboy from Cold County, Texas, Frost has had an impressive year in APW. He had a great outing at APW’s September event, War at the Shore against the “Iron Idol” Idris Jackson in which he dominated, yet came out on the losing end. However at Halloween Hell, Frost won a match of international proportions against the “British Messiah” Timothy Thatcher. As for Masters, of course his reputation precedes him; the WWE alum and California native remarked to the crowd how he was glad to be back home in California after having traveled around the country!
Masters kicked things off by doling out a few shoulder blocks which from someone like Masters changes a man. Frost however showed that he’s not one to go down easy and delivered a Tilt-O-Whirl slam. Just when it looked as though Masters would lock Frost in his signature hold, it seemed as if the mass of Frost was more difficult to lock in than expected. After he went up to the top rope and came up empty Masters took advantage and won the match. Upset by the outcome, Big Dirt retrieved his lasso and proceeded to blatantly choke Masters. But Masters freed himself and cinched in his Master Lock to make the crowd happy!
Winner: “The Real Masterpiece” Chris Masters
Match #5- 4-Way Tag Match for the APW Tag Team Championship
The first Championship match of the night was for the Tag Team titles and first out was Massaro and Pedroza representing Pink Mink Inc., and the crowd was none too pleased to see them. Next out to a very…FREAK-y reception, was the pair of Jeckles the Jester and his mini-Freak Jinxx; this would mark the first time that they teamed together in an APW ring and they did not disappoint. Next out was the all hyped up duo of APW Boot Camp Graduates Sione Finau and Idris Jackson, and they were followed by the Champions who were introduced by their manager Donovan Troi.
During the opening of the match, Pink Mink Inc. and Classic Connection went after The Freaks, Finau, and Jackson and referee Manny Mars had trouble getting control. Once he finally did, the match got underway; under the rules of this match, two competitors would be legal at a time and any active competitor could tag in any another regardless of their team affiliations. The referees control was short-lived though as the men fought to the outside and Jeckles took his own partner Jinxx, and power bombed him onto the other combatants. Speaking of The Freaks, they lived up to their name once again as Jeckles literally used his partner as a baseball bat.
Massaro and Royal smartened up though and decided to work together despite being on different teams, and they were quite successful, until Royal learned the hard way that there is no honor amongst thieves as “The Nice Guy” turned on his friendly foe. The Champions tried to gain an upper hand when Shapiro distracted the referee and Royal went for the low blow, but the foul attempt was to no avail. Finau has had multiple tag partners in his stint in All Pro Wrestling, but one might say that “The Mad Tongan” has finally found his niche in APW’s tag team division as he and Jackson actually picked up the win! In the course of the finish it was revealed that referee Manny Mars was hesitant to count the pin because he was on the payroll of Levi Shapiro who tried (and subsequently failed) to fix the match. Post-match Donovan Troi got into the ring to protest the decision, but The New Champions quickly shut “The Voice” right up.
Winners and NEW APW Tag Team Champions: “The Mad Tongan” Sione Finau & “Iron Idol” Idris Jackson
Match #6- APW World Wide Internet Championship:
“King of Sleaze” Joey Ryan vs. Virgil Flynn (c)
In keeping with tradition the King of Sleaze offered his gross saliva-ridden lollipop to a member of the Daly City audience, and riddled with germs though it may be, a fan accepted it. Ryan is of course known as a founding member of Pro Wrestling Guerilla, and has in the past appeared for TNA wrestling. Most-impressive though is the fact that just a few weeks earlier, he defeated “Rock Legend Scum” Adam Thornstowe who was the longest reigning APW Universal Champion in the company’s 20+ year history until he was defeated by Rik Luxury! The Champion Flynn has been a fighting champion and overcome some insurmountable odds before including defeating Chris Hero and Jeckles in a 3-way dance, as well as defeating former Olympian Jeff Cobb, all with the title on the line.
The champion wasted no time and went right after the challenger. The two traded control for a bit and at once point Ryan got 3 successive pin-attempts that were each only to a 1-count and demanded that they should count together as 3, but APW Senior Official Sparkey Ballard was having none of that. In a match that was billed as Sleazeball vs. Cannonball, both competitors lived up to their monikers, including a spectacular human cannonball from Flynn onto the challenger. Ryan showed his resilience though when he refused to go down after a corkscrew moonsault from the champ. As a matter of fact, it took, not two, but three 450° splashes from the top rope to finally pick up the win, but once again against all odds, Virgil Flynn retains his title
Winner and STILL APW World Wide Internet Champion: Virgil Flynn
Match #7- APW Universal Heavyweight Championship
“Double D” Dave Dutra vs. “Wrestling Personified” Rik Luxury (c) Career Vs. Title (and Pink Mink Inc.)
And now for the MAIN EVENT! To recap the stakes of this match as established at the end of Halloween Hell: Dutra challenged Luxury to a match for the top prize in APW and said should he lose he would retire from professional wrestling…but if he won, he wanted not only the title, but he wanted the dissolution of Pink Mink Inc. Dutra is by all counts a young competitor who has shown much promise since his debut in APW after graduating the APW Boot Camp. Luxury of course is not for nothing called “Wrestling Personified;” having ascended the ranks of All Pro Wrestling and capturing his first Heavyweight Championship against APW’s longest reigning Champion of all time, Dutra would not make easy work of the champion. Also, with his manager Markus Mac in tow, and Pink Mink Inc. on the chopping block who could tell what kind of “questionable” tactics could help the Champion; after all, if necessity is the mother of invention, desperation is the father of brilliance.
Of course this was a pro-Dutra crowd who held signs up like, “Are you seeing Double-D?” and “If Dutra loses we riot.” This was only Dutra’s second career attempt at the APW Universal Heavyweight Title (the first against International Superstar Timothy Thatcher), but he put it all on the line. Throughout the course of the match Dutra was mounting a strong offense which in turn made Markus Mac begin to appear nervous. Although Champion Rik Luxury would live up to his reputation in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage by removing the padding over one of the ring turnbuckles and exposing the steel underneath. Before Luxury could use this to his advantage however, “Double D” attempted a double knee strike to the head and it landed perfectly, the only problem: it landed on referee Sparkey Ballard instead of its intended target.
While the official was out cold, all of the other members of Pink Mink Inc. crawled out of their respective snake pits to try and help Luxury put Dutra away, but to no avail; “Double D” sent each one packing! He eventually hit a super-plex on the champion and before he went for the pin, jumped up to the top rope to seal the deal with an elbow drop, but the champion kicked out! The second official to oversee this bout took a nasty fall throughout the course of things and before another referee could enter the ring, Luxury hit Dutra with the title and busted him open. With this match on its third referee, the champion could not put away the challenger so he resorted to even lower tactics.
Luxury brought a chair into the ring and made clear his intentions to piledrive Dutra right on-top of it. It was at this point that Pink Mink Inc. manager Markus Mac inserted himself into this bout…but in this case to stop Luxury from using the chair. “Don’t do this Rik. You can beat him!” Mac tried to convince his client but was put down for his efforts. It was at this point that the night—and possibly the course of All Pro Wrestling—changed dramatically; Thunder Rosa, an APW ring girl whose duties usually consist of collecting the wrestlers effects and returning them to the locker room, got involved in the match and handed the champion the title to use it against a recovering Dutra. After this, Luxury delivered that nasty piledriver and picked up the ill-gotten win. This match left many with heavy hearts and confused feelings, not the least of which is what the hell got into Thunder Rosa?
And with that Dutra’s in-ring career was ended, not with a bang, but with a cheap-shot assisted by Luxury’s new associate. Post-match the locker room emptied with people paying respect to Dutra for his valiant efforts against the cheating Champion. Dutra then gave a touching speech that acknowledged the fans for their support and closed with the message to the fans, “We owe everything we do to all of you!” and with that Double D rode off into the sunset.
Winner and STILL APW Universal Heavyweight Champion: “Wrestling Personified” Rik Luxury
A wonderful show overall and a card that left the crowd happy…unless they were Dave Dutra fans; but alas that is the risk we run as wrestling fans! So many exciting stories that I personally cannot wait to see continued: Animal Farm, The NEW Pink Mink Inc., What’s next for Markus Mac, How will the new tag champs fair in their first defense? The next APW show is a can’t miss and I’ll be there to report on it just for you, right here on Social Suplex!
JC Howard is the Social Media Coordinator at All Pro Wrestling, he hosts a weekly news and current events podcast called “Cut Down with Sickboy & JC,” and is a First Voice Media Apprentice at 94.1 FM KPFA in Berkeley, California.
Can’t believe Dutra lost!