Spotlight: Maximum Championship(s)

In 2002 young upstart wrestling promotion with hopes and dreams of becoming a National Promotion was formed in the heart of Music City.  Nashville Tennessee the birthplace of Total Non Stop Action, was already hosting a weekly pay per view series that mixed some familiar names from the recently shut down WCW and a myriad of unknown talents through out the US.  June 19, 2002, TNA introduced the X-Division Championship that carried the motto, “It is not about weight limits, it is about no limits.” The concept that became the centerpiece of the start up company was unique to a national viewing audience, but not all that original, because a similar concept  was launched three years earlier in Southern California by the UIWA.

The First Ever Maximum Champion

The Maximum championship concept, was well before its time. UIWA and more accurately Trent Taylor created the concept, “The title was my child…It was an attempt to move away from Hardcore and into something like the style B-Boy, Super Dragon and guys that are fast paced,” from the SCU Message Board some 8 years ago. The first champion dates back to Primetime Peterson October 15th 1999. Trent went on to say “I was however looking for it to be a movement…It was an attempt on my part to do the next “ECW” thing without doing ECW. My goal with that title was to create a new class of wrestling that focused on fast paced wrestling that still made sense. (Meaning a lot of guys kick out of moves that should be finishes.)”   The UIWA Version of the MAX Championship would only last a little over six months, but would change hands several times between Primetime Peterson and Tech  IX.  The final champion for UIWA was Hardkore Kidd.  B-Boy did defendedthe title once for Kidd and the belt was officially retired June 24th 2000.

The title would be revived by PCW a few months later as explained by PCW Booking on the Message Board, “PCW will continue where the UIWA left off. PCW’s next show (we’ll have the date within a couple of days), will feature an 8-man tournament to crown the new PCW Maximum champion” The tournament would start in April 2003 in the City of Industry with Mike Vega defeating Lil Cholo and B-Boy defeating Lucky.  The next day in Buena Park, Scott Lost would defeat Foob Doog and Joey Ryan defeated Dante.  The second round of the tournament would kick off with B-Boy defeating Mike Vega and Joey Ryan and beating Scott Lost.  In the finals, Joey Ryan would win the PCW Maximum Title by defeating B-Boy.  Joey Ryan would continue to be the Maximum Champion.  When PCW closed shop, Battle Ground Pro would continue the legacy of the championship, it re-created its Lucha Libre Title into the Maximum Title recognizing Markus Riot as the new Max Champion on January 13th. 2007.

The Maximum Title continues to be an integral part of BPW.  The champion “Raunchy” Rico Dynamite defeated Robbie Phoenix back in at the Battle Rages on in February.  This Saturday Night, June 25th “Raunchy” Rico looks to defend his championship against the very formidable Tito Escondido at the American Legion Post #716 in Los Alamitos for BPW’s Lord of the Warriors.

When Millennium Pro Wrestling was rebooted at the end of 2010, it was important to the returning promotion to make the addition of the UIWA/MPW Maximum Championship. In 2011,  Logan X is a two time Max Champion. He most recently was successful in defending the Millennium Pro Version of the Maximum Title at Millennium Pro Wrestling’s “Zoogz Rift Memorial Show”.  “Lethal” Logan X won by rolling up Under Pressure for a pin after the match was restarted when Under Pressure attempted to steal a victory.

The Maximum title has accomplished what Trent Taylor had hoped for over a decade ago.  The title and its legacy survives in duality here in Southern California.  Obviously the Maximum Championship and its lineage is disputed between the two promotions, with both parties, essentially ignoring the other.  With both MPW and BPW wishing to honor the former champions like Primetime Peterson and Tech IX, they’ve also helped to keep a piece of SoCal History intact and maybe that is reason enough for two Maximum Championships.  But perhaps, at some point down the road, maybe the promoters of Battleground Pro and Millennium Pro can come together and hold a Unification Bout.