Chi Chi Cruz Defeated "Mecca" Shane Madison
Won: January 30th, 2003 - Stratosphere Nightclub - Winnipeg, Mb
Lost: September 18th, 2003
How: Stripped Due To No-Show Mandatory Defense
Length: 231 days (10th Longest)
Chi Chi Cruz became the first ever PCW Heavyweight Champion when he defeated "Mecca" Shane Madison in Match Seven of a Best of Seven Series.
The unique Championship scenario, called The Quest of the Best, was created by PCW's then-Creative Director Mike Davidson to crown an inaugural champion. PCW had been without a Heavyweight title-holder since their inception in early 20o2. Davidson felt it important that PCW establish their identity and allow the competitors to assert their positions before holding a tournament.
The Quest of the Best was unique in that it consisted of a traditional battle royale to determine a #1 Seed in a one night tournament to determine a finalist for the Best of Seven Series. Following the tournament, a Wild Card Rumble was held so every PCW superstar had one last chance to qualify. The winner of the Rumble would become the second finalist for the Best of Seven Series. Those two men would then compete in thje Best of Seven series across all PCW's regular weekly venues to crown a first-ever Heavyweight Champion!
For much of the latter half of 2002, the favorite to become the top title-holder was Chi Chi Cruz.
Cruz debuted for PCW on August 22nd, 2002 and was the Real Action Wrestling(RAW) Heavyweight Champion. RAW was a promotion based in Charlottetown, Prince Edward island and ran numerous live events throughout the Maritimes and was well-respected, counting among its former champions, Kurrgan, Bobby Roode and many others.
Cruz won the RAW Heavyweight Championship on June 17th 2002 in Halifax, defeating Mad Man Williams in a Leather Strap Match!
With the veteran Cruz arriving in Manitoba to defend his RAW title, he set a new standard for competitiveness among the PCW roster. Under the auspices of Real Action Wrestling, Cruz defended the championship numerous times in PCW and made him the top contender for the vacant PCW title.
On September 26th 2002, at PCW's Back to School Bash, Davidson came out of retirement to face "Mecca" Shane Madison in a heated grudge match before a packed Stratosphere Nightclub. Since Davidson had not wrestled in a year and had worked in the office as PCW's Vice President of Creative & Talent Relations, the odds were decidedly in the favour of the talented Madison. In an attempt to tip those odds in his direction, Davidson appointed his business partner, PCW's Vice President of Marketing & Promotions Andrew Shallcross, as Special Guest Referee.
The entire thing was a vile swerve on the part of Davidson who had been conspiring with Madison for weeks. At the onset of the match, they both attacked Shallcross and beat him unmercifully until he was a bloody and barely conscious mess. Davidson announced he and Madison were "The Dynasty" of PCW and would prove he deserved more respect from the greater wrestling industry.
A week later, Davidson scored an impressive coup when he lured Chi Chi Cruz to the Dynasty as well. Utilizing his position as Vice President, Davidson was able to maneuver his men into preferred positions. The only thing preventing a complete coup by The Dynasty was the efforts of PCW Commissioner Tom Manos who valued Cruz & Madison but sought to maintain a fair and competitive environment despite Davidson's intentions.
On October 10th, The Dynasty grew again, adding "Ultra Violent" Rob Stardom to the group. One week later, TJ Bratt made a surprising return to PCW claiming he had a score to settle with Davidson & Madison. Since the formation of The Dynasty, it had been Madison's longtime MVP partner "Vicious" Donny Dicaprio contesting them, seemingly all by himself, on a weekly basis. He was certainly happy to have any ally, even an untrustworthy loose cannon like Bratt.
In the night's main event, Bratt was true to his reputation, turning on Dicaprio, revealing he had been hired to set up Dicaprio all along. The Dynasty seemed unstoppable until Halloween when they received a measure, albeit temporarily, of humility. Manos announced that, as a self-professed creative genius, Davidson was a fraud and brought out Steve Stryker to prove it. Stryker was Davidson's best friend from Alberta who claimed he was the source of all of Mike's great ideas but was tired of receiving no credit.
Davidson was embarrassed by the revelation of his now-former best friend, but that was not even the worst part of his night. While The Dynasty was victorious over Davidson's cousin Vance Nevada & Adam Knight, Mike was subsequently attacked by the returning "Playboy" Will Damon.
The downturn in Davidson's fortunes did not last long as one week later he defeated Stryker when Madison blasted him with a chair and placed a barely conscious Davidson on top for the pin. And later that night, Cruz & Madison beat Perfect Balance to cement their status as the top group in the company.
November 21st 2002 became a critical date in the fortunes of The Dynasty and had lasting implications on the eventual crowning of a PCW Heavyweight Champion. Early in the evening, Cruz was defending his RAW Championship against "Diehard" Greg Romijn when he was thrown from the ring and landed on his head, suffering a stinger and temporary paralysis.
Cruz was rushed to a local hospital in an ambulance. While the fans unanimously detested The Dynasty, they had come to respect the veteran Cruz and that respect now turned to concern for his physical well-being.
On the same night, the industry was stunned when "Beautiful" Bobby Jay debuted for PCW. Jay had been the owner of Top Rope Championship Wrestling (TRCW) and had no love lost for Davidson. It had been Bobby Jay who initially given Davidson his first job as Creative Director, in 2001, in TRCW. When Bobby was forced to fire the petulant Davidson for "unprofessional behavior", it resulted in Mike's conspiring to create Premier Championship Wrestling, sign TRCW's main venue and lure away most of their top talent.
That resulted in "the war of 2002" as PCW & TRCW battled ferociously for superiority not only in the ring but in the boardroom. Accusations of illegal wire tapping and anti-trust issues flew back and forth. At one point, PCW was poised to purchase TRCW, an act that would put the final nail in Davidson's revenge plot, but a hubris-intoxicated Bobby Jay demanded ten times valuation, a sum of $100,000, for his depleted promotion.
That act of defiance reignited the fierce rivalry but the battle began to take it's toll on Bobby. When, on a TRCW live event, local wrestler Scotty Styles suffered a serious injury that made media headlines, it brought unwanted government scrutiny to the industry and seemingly snuffed out Bobby's competitive fire.
TRCW soon closed it's doors, Bobby becoming it's final Heavyweight Champion until the title would be surprisingly revived in PCW three years later. The history between the promotions and the personal animosity between Bobby & Davidson made it a truly shocking moment when Jay was introduced in PCW.
But he was no longer "Beautiful", he was "Slobby" Bobby, a grotesque caricature who lost in short order to Dicaprio, one of his long time friends. Following the match, a gleeful Davidson revealed Bobby had come to him, hat in hand, and asked for a spot...and Davidson responded by making him wrestle his friend and perform in a humiliating fashion.
Mike Davidson held a grudge. And he vowed to humiliate Bobby every week until the veteran quit the business forever. But Bobby received support from an unlikely place - a Dynasty member, Rob Stardom. Perhaps it was not so surprising as Stardom had long been one of Bobby's closest friends and most trusted lieutenants in their TRCW days.
Stardom challenged Bobby to a friendly match in an effort to build up his confidence. But again, it was a vile Dynasty ruse. Stardom beat his former mentor and The Dynasty beat up Jay and humiliated him once again. But while The Dynasty played up dissension for a ruse, one very real crack began to appear in their seemingly unbreakable foundation - Chi Chi Cruz became beloved.
When Cruz suffered his serious neck injury, it was believed he'd be out for an extended period of time, if not permanently. But he returned one week later to a standing ovation from the fans. Cruz generally let Davidson do his talking but on this night he entered the ring alone and addressed the people directly. He explained that he was feeling a lot better but had been instructed by his doctor to take several weeks off. Cruz, however, refused, garnering another massive ovation.
He explained that he was a fighting champion and didnt believe in missing work if he could help it. He said he might not be 100%, but he was back. To prove it, he successfully defended the RAW Championship against a very capable "Sugardaddy" Dixon. The Dynasty came out to celebrate and while Cruz shook their hands, he seemed less than thrilled by their presence.
Commissioner Manos was an honorable man and refused to allow the respected former TRCW promoter Bobby Jay to be treated so poorly. He announced a Team TRCW vs Team Dynasty Eight Man Elimination Tag Team Match.
Feeling his team was unbeatable and doubting Bobby could find any allies, Davidson eagerly accepted and went one further, betting his hair that his team would win. Manos was happy to hear that and made one final ruling - to ensure order was kept and justice was served, he was appointing Shallcross as Special Guest Referee!
On December 5th, it was Team Dynasty - Mike Davidson, Rob Stardom, Shane Madison & Chi Chi Cruz - vs Team TRCW. Bobby revealed as his partners, Donny Dicaprio, Greg Romijn and, in a shocker, Commissioner Tom Manos himself! As soon as Manos entered the ring to a heroes welcome, the fight was on as the powerful Commissioner threw Stardom around like a rag doll!
Shallcross maintained order and called it down the middle. But the extremely talented Dynasty dominated and the match came down to Manos vs Madison & Davidson. Madison decided to take a bullet for his team, smashing a steel chair over the Commissioner's head, earning himself a disqualification. But the wily Davidson immediately covered for the 1...2....kick-out!! Manos hoisted Davidson off of him and began hulking up to the joy of the crowd!
One big boot to the face and a pump handle slam later and it was over. Manos had taken matters into his own hands and beaten Davidson & The Dynasty himself! And Mike had his head shaved!
Things began to unravel from there. Davidson accused Manos of orchestrating private meetings with Dynasty member Cruz in an effort to drive a wedge between them. He refused to be seen without a hat covering his bald head and demanded the tag team match result be over-turned. An equally irate Madison said it was unfair that Manos was even in the match and vowed to attack the Commissioner personally by seducing his fiance. Neither of their claims amounted to anything but it indicated a loss of focus for the once-dominant Dynasty.
Later that night, Madison & Cruz faced Dicarpio & Romijn and seemed off in their timing and cooperation. Cruz accidentally struck Madison causing him to be pinned and the two argued vehemently afterwards.
At the final event of the year, PCW announced the Quest of the Best and held a battle royale that very night. Fans were thrilled when Donny Dicaprio eliminated Shane Madison to win the rumble and become #1 Seed in the tournament.
In January 2003, a one night tournament was held, won by Shane Madison defeating his arch nemesis Dicaprio in the finals. Shockingly, Cruz was eliminated from the tournament but won the Wild Card Rumble.
Davidson's master plan seemed poised to come to fruition as Madison & Cruz would then face each other in a best of seven series. Davidson was thrilled, announcing the Dynasty had won, regardless of the outcome.
Madison expressed his believe that Cruz should defer to him as the "young, top prospect in the business". But not surprisingly, Cruz refused telling Madison if he wanted it, he had to earn it. As the two Dynasty allies came to blows, Davidson hedged his bets, encouraging both men to engage in the best of seven series "in the spirit of competition".
On January 16th 2003, the Quest of the Best, Best of Seven Series began at the Stratosphere Nightclub. Oddsmakers were split with Cruz holding an experience and size advantage but still suffering lingering effects of his serious neck injury, while Madison was the younger and more athletic of the two men.
But Night One belonged to the veteran as Cruz defeated Madison to take an early 1-0 lead in the Best of Seven series!
Four nights later at Rookies Sports Bar, Madison evened things up, dealing Cruz his first pinfall loss in his PCW career. The Best of Seven Series moved to Georgies Bar two nights later where Madison once again defeated Cruz, taking a 2-1 lead in the series.
But the following night, on January 23rd 2003, they returned to the Stratosphere where Cruz had been virtually unbeatable since his arrival five months earlier. With momentum on his side, Madison won his third straight match to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. Victory appeared inevitable for the Mecca as he looked poised and unscathed heading back to Rookies Sports Bar for match five.
On the brink of elimination, Cruz dug deep, defeating Madison following a Stunner, to inch closer to evening the series. Two nights later, Madison had his second opportunity to make history when the series returned to Georgies Bar.
PCW had arranged to bus many of their South End regulars to Georgies to witness the potential championship-clinching match. And, in fact, they thought they had witnessed a coronation of the first ever PCW Heavyweight Champion! But Madison had violated their vow to maintain a gentlemanly spirit and cheated and the ref hadnt seen it. And because of the potential for a series-winning victory, Commissioner Manos was in the building.
He would not allow the historic crowning of a first ever champion occur under a cloud of controversy. He threw out the decision and ordered the match to continue. Perhaps flustered, the near-perfect Madison appeared suddenly off his game. Cruz won the match, capping an improbable comeback to tie the series at 3-3.
The deciding match would take place back at the Stratosphere Nightclub the very next night. Undoubtedly January 30th 2003 would be an historic night as either Chi Chi Cruz or Shane Madison would become the first ever PCW Heavyweight Champion.
To that point, Mike Davidson had maintained a sense of objectivity, either not appearing at all or, when he did, standing in a neutral corner and wishing both men luck. But on this night, he made his very biased opinion clear as he tried to help Madison win. It was a rare misfire by the Dynasty manager as Cruz over-came both men to win the match and become the first ever PCW Heavyweight Champion!
Davidson then feigned happiness, announcing victory for the Dynasty. But as he held Cruz' hand aloft, the new champion responded by dropping Davidson with a right hook, ending his Dynasty membership forever.
The victory etched Chi Chi Cruz into the annals of history and drove a stunned Madison into a mecca-hol fueled depression.
Cruz was still the RAW Champion and his status as a duel title-holder truly made the first PCW Champion a respected icon across the nation. The following week, when Commissioner Tom Manos officially presented Cruz with the new PCW Championship belt, the entire roster held Cruz on their shoulders, but he was confronted by "Canadian Idol" Chris Stevens who had brought to PCW Cruz' former nemesis from RAW, Mad Man Williams.
It was a shocking beginning to the first title reign in company history and indicative of the wild 231 day reign of future PCW Hall of Famer Chi Chi Cruz!
As unique as the crowning of Chi Chi Cruz was, the end to his exceptional reign was steeped in controversy with the future of the wrestling business nipping at the veteran's heels and the whole situation shrouded in political intrigue!
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