By Todd Keneley
“OVERLOAD” is just 1 week away!
It is crunch time as everyone at UPW is gearing up to throw a Fifth Anniversary celebration that will blow the roof of The Grove of Anaheim. It is hard to believe, but this spectacular which is without question the biggest show in UPW history is only seven short days away! As I mentioned in the previous editions of The Wire, historic matches taking place at “Overload” will include the in ring return of the “World’s Most Dangerous Man” Ken Shamrock as he battles the first ever UPW Heavyweight Champion Sylvester “The Predator” Terkay. UPW Owner Rick Bassman and Commissioner Pete Doyle will settle their differences in a brutal battle for 100% control of UPW. Speaking of brutal, the storied war over the coveted UPW Tag Team Titles between Hardkore Inc. and The Ballard Brothers will culminate on February 20 as the feuding factions take each other to the limit and beyond in a hellacious Tables, Ladders, and Chairs (TLC) Match. As they say in the infomercials “But wait, there’s more!” It will be a gold rush of action and excitement as a total of three UPW Championships will be on the line. UPW Women’s Champion Erica Porter puts her title on the line against former WWE Women’s Champion, Ivory. Also, Frankie Kazarian steps into the ring to defend his UPW Lightweight Championship. To top it all off, The Outsiders Scott Hall and Kevin Nash have reunited as a destructive duo. They are locked in on UPW and are eager to wreak some serious havoc on February 20. Heavyweight Champion Tom Howard has once again stepped up and is primed and ready to defend the honor of UPW as he and a partner of his choosing will attempt to stop the onslaught of The Outsiders. The question on the minds of all of us at UPW and our great fans alike has been, Who will Tom choose? Well friends, the question has been answered…Tom Howard selects “The Fallen Angel” as his partner!
This week’s Wire comes to you a bit later in the week than usual as I had heard a rumor that Tom Howard had indeed made up his mind on who will stand by his side in an attempt to rid UPW of the deadly cancer of an invading Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. This story is a huge priority, and I wanted to get the scoop so I could share it with all of you. Howard did indeed end weeks of speculation as he selected none other than two-time former UPW Champion, “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels. While this decision may come as a shock to many of you, it makes all the sense in the world. Who better to go to war for UPW than two competitors who many would argue are the greatest Champions in the history of the company? Many names were floating around as potential partners for Howard. These names included the likes of wrestling legends Randy Savage and Roddy Piper. Although their skills, experience, and crowd appeal are very impressive, the downfalls include a long period of inactivity and potential lack of continuity with Howard. Such partners could let their ego get in the way of the true focus of this match, protecting the future of UPW. This would be very costly when facing one of the most cohesive and decorated tag teams ever to step into the ring. Other names included Superstars of the fighting world such as Bob Sapp and Tito Ortiz. Again, there can be no question that these guys are could make an amazing partner for Howard. They have proven themselves countless times in their specific style of combat. Sapp is a monster who steamrolls his opponents. Ortiz is a highly tuned fighting machine who combines knock out striking power with agility and technique. The question is, how would they fare in the squared circle? Could either one survive a Jackknife from the 7 ft. tall Kevin Nash, or an Outsider’s Edge from Scott Hall? A high profile, high stakes battle such as this is not the time nor place to find out. Daniels, like Howard has been a loyal supporter of UPW over the past five years. As Tom Howard put it in an exclusive interview earlier today, “I decided that I need an “Insider” to battle The Outsiders.”
Howard and Daniels both have a rich history in UPW. They have a powerful bond of mutual respect. This bond was forged in battle as the two faced each other with UPW gold on the line in the past. “The Fallen Angel” defeated Howard in a title defense back in December of 2000. This match was the main event of UPW’s first ever home video release, “Fresh Blood”. Howard would even the score on May 8, 2002 as he ended Daniels’ second reign as UPW Heavyweight Champion and claimed the coveted title for the first time. Tom and “The Fallen Angel” have teamed up in the past as well. In fact, at one point they faced a similar situation to the one they will experience at Overload. At the time, Howard and Daniels were part of Team UPW who defended the promotion from an invasion from Northern California’s All Pro Wrestling (APW).
Howard and Daniels have many similarities. Both men have held the UPW Heavyweight Title on two occasions. Both have also become international Superstars who have displayed their skills for audiences across the globe. Like Howard who is the current Head Instructor of UPW’s renown pro wrestling school Ultimate University, Christopher Daniels has also worked hard in the past to help the hungry young talent of Ultimate Pro Wrestling to perfect their skills. As a result, both have a vested interest in the future of UPW and will fight with all they have to ensure five more years and beyond.
Another upside to Daniels is his history of high profile matches in UPW. He has proven himself in the past against top level talent including Rob Van Dam and Kurt Angle. He looks to shine yet again in this confrontation with Hall and Nash. His traits and abilities are a nice fit when facing The Outsiders as well. If we were to put together a scouting report, history tells us that Hall and Nash have had the most difficulty in the past when facing agile technicians similar to Daniels such as Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. In other words, Tom Howard picked a hell of a partner! He and “The Fallen Angel” will make a hell of a team! This will be a hell of a fight!!!
As a result of Christopher Daniels joining up with Tom Howard, Daniels has agreed to sacrifice his shot at the UPW Lightweight Title. “The Fallen Angel” was scheduled to be part of the Fatal Fourway Match along with Mikey Henderson, Jerry Lynn, and UPW Lightweight Champion, Frankie “The Future” Kazarian. The departure of Daniels from the match has left an open spot. This brings us to our next late breaking story
Evan Karagias sets his sights on Kazarian’s Lightweight Title!
On February 7, UPW Mat Wars returned with its second live at The Raw Center titled “Coronation”. Once again, UPW delivered a highly entertaining and action packed show. The event also provided a shocking event which has turned out to have a major impact on “Overload”. As I reported last week, former WCW Cruiserweight Champion Evan Karagias recently joined the UPW roster. He was on hand at “Coronation” to watch the action and scout UPW’s many talented Lightweight Division competitors. Maybe it was his competitive fire flaring up, or maybe it was just jealousy, but Karagias did a little more than watch the action. In fact, if you take the “jea” off of the word “jealousy”, you are left with a good adjective to explain his actions on that night. After a match between James Lukash and Ma’koa in which Frankie Kazarian accompanied Lukash to the ring, Karagias made his intentions known. He blind sided Kazarian, and laid him out with a DDT. The cocky coward then grabbed the mic and proclaimed that as a former WCW Cruiserweight and WCW Hardcore Champion among other accolades, he was ready to add more gold to his collection of championships. He claimed that on February 20, he would be coming for Kazarian. As it turns out, he will get his chance. Kazarian did not take this attack lying down (well after he got back up that is!) Once it was announced that Christopher Daniels will no longer compete in the Fatal 4-Way, Kazarian demanded that Karagias be added to the fray. Was this a hasty move by Frankie? Does Karagias have Kazarian’s number? It is not easy to fluster the “Coolest person in the world”. Karagias has done just that. Will he have what it takes to best not only Kazarian, but Jerry Lynn and Mikey Henderson as well? Make sure you are on hand live at The Grove to find out!