"Showtime" Robby Royce Defeated "Outlaw" Adam Knight
Won: February 3rd, 2005 - The LID Nightclub - Winnipeg, Mb
Lost: March 3rd, 2005
How: Lost to Mentallo
Length: 28 days (19th longest)
The PCW Heavyweight Championship reign of "Outlaw" Adam Knight was one for the history books. Not only was he a dominant wrestler in his fighting prime when he beat "Canadian Idol" Chris Stevens in a tournament final, but he was the largest man to ever hold the title and set a record for the longest reign, a record that would stand for years!
During his 301 days as champion, Knight engaged in some of the most impactful and violent matches in PCW's history. The unique talent of the "Outlaw" was that he was able to work with just about any wrestling style. As big and strong as he was, he was surprisingly agile & athletic, was an accomplished technical wrestler with tremendous endurance.
Knight could go from "slobber-knockers" with guys like Darren "The Bomb" Dalton to wrestling clinics with the likes of Mentallo. And when pushed to the limit, as he was in his feud with "Showtime" Robby Royce, he could get mean & nasty.
One of the early highlights of Knight's reign was the introduction of the "Outlaw" Challenge - a gauntlet match where a cocky & confident Knight agreed to face any three men in succession. On May 20th 2004, this "Outlaw Challenge" was doubly historic as it resulted in the PCW debuts of AJ Sanchez, Kevin Chevy & Danny Duggan (wrestling as Mask of Honor). Knight defeated all three young men in impressive fashion.
Though hated by the fans for his arrogant attitude, Knight was highly respected and he was willing to face anyone in the ring. He continued to feud with Stevens and even engaged in a short, but intense, rivalry with the second-year pro Antonio Scorpio who came *this close* on May 27th to upsetting the veteran champion.
In June, Darren Dalton, who had recently returned to PCW and was destroying the competition, challenged Knight to a future championship match. The two men were very well acquainted, having teamed up in 2002 to face The Road Warriors at PCW's Boiling Point event. While the initial challenge was met respectfully, the following week when Dalton was on tour, Knight ridiculed him publicly, dismissing his challenge.
When Dalton returned later in the month, he was seething. He and Knight engaged in a tense stare down that, not surprisingly, exploded into a wild brawl. Dalton was one of the few men in wrestling who could challenge the "Outlaw's" strength & power. In fact, undoubtedly, Dalton was the more powerful of the two men!
When they finally faced each other in a match, it ended in a disqualification and another wild brawl! But Knight claimed that was Dalton's only shot at the title. He would turn out to be wrong. On the same event, Kenny Omega returned from his knee injury, an injury that caused him to vacate the PCW Championship the previous March leading to the tournament and Knight's ascension.
Of course, Kenny wanted his championship back but Knight tried to play Omega and Dalton off each other, insisting only one could have a shot. Omega & Dalton faced Knight & Steve Stryker in tag action with the stipulation should their team win, the person scoring the winning pinfall would become number one contender. Omega & Dalton mostly worked well together, over-came the challenge of the unique situation with Dalton scoring a pinfall on Styker. That made "The Bomb" the number one contender and Knight could not refuse to face him.
On August 5th, PCW held an in-ring media conference to announce Knight vs Dalton for the PCW Heavyweight Championship at Beat The Summer Heat on the 19th of the month. To ensure order would be maintained, Commissioner Manos had the entire PCW roster standing between the two men, forming a wall to keep them apart.
The peace would not be kept for long. One week later, Dalton attacked the champion, tearing off all his clothes and leaving him staggering around in baby-blue bikini briefs, clutching the PCW Championship belt. The chaos forced PCW to consider their options in ensuring the title match was fought fairly and to a conclusion. They made it a Lumberjack Match!
On August 19th, at Beat The Summer Heat, Adam Knight faced his greatest challenge to that point and rose up to meet it, defeating Darren Dalton to retain the championship.
If the "Outlaw" thought he could breath a sigh of relief, he was wrong. Almost immediately, Robby Royce challenged him for the title and he reminded the champion of their previous "arrangement". When the championship tournament had been held in April, Knight wasnt even working for PCW.
He made a surprise return the previous week, attacking Mentallo to help Royce win his last chance qualifying match. In return, Royce instructed his Team Impact partner JP Kaos to give his tournament spot to Knight. The Quid Pro Quo had one added wager - if either Royce or Knight were victorious, they'd grant the other man a title shot. And now Royce demanded his rightful opportunity.
Royce was an accomplished veteran, a man who held more titles than perhaps any other and had won the top prize in every promotion he had worked. He still considered Knight a "kid" in comparison as Royce was a veteran when Knight was a rookie. To goad the "Outlaw", Royce actually sang karaoke at a PCW event, mocking Knight's run as "The Karaoke Cowboy".
The champion was not amused.
One week later, Knight viciously attacked Royce, smashing a steel chair over his head repeatedly. He was a bloody mess as the champion continued to batter him until Royce's wife, watching from the crowd, could take no more and hit the ring, imploring Knight to stop assaulting her husband. An enraged Knight shoved her to the mat as the crowd was near a riot! Young Danny Duggan, also watching the show from the audience, attacked Knight but was quickly subdued and beaten to unconsciousness as PCW officials and venue security swarmed the chaotic scene.
Royce was rushed to a nearby hospital, but incredibly, he returned during the night's main event, his head and face covered in dry blood and bandages, and blew a huge fireball at Knight! The champion recoiled in horror, rolling around on the mat in pain! Both men were suspended by PCW for two weeks, forcibly kept apart until the title match at the Back to School Bash on September 30th!
During that tremendous brawl, Royce appeared to have defeated Knight and won the PCW Championship, his hand raised and his title victory announced. But one week later, the referee of record for that match, Jean-Marc Levesque, pointed out that he had been struck - accidentally - by Royce and rendered unconscious. Levesque said his official call was a disqualification and thus Knight was still champion.
The fans were irate but Commissioner Manos agreed with Levesque that it was "his call" and then fired him for making "the wrong call". Manos announced Knight would once again defend the title against Royce, in an Iron Man Match and he, the Commissioner, would be at ringside.
Knight was confident, pointing out that the best Royce could do was get himself DQ'ed. But one week before the Iron Man match, the cocky Knight had a public work-out, another "Outlaw Challenge" where he defeated "The World's Tallest Midget" Mike Hammer, rookie Mask of Honor and 2nd year professional Cisco Satanico in succession. But the fourth challenger was Pete Chee, the maniacal but beloved masked man with the foul mouth.
While Chee was popular and talented, he was not in Knight's league, but oddly, on this night, he pushed the champion to his limit and actually scored a shocking upset by pinning the champion in the non-title contest. A flabbergasted Knight looked on incredulously as Chee unmasked to reveal he was Robby Royce!
The veteran challenger had now proven he could pin Knight fair and square and the champion looked rattled.
At PCW's Halloween Special on October 28th, they finally engaged in the 30 Minute Iron Man Championship match. Commissioner Manos was at ringside and both clearly understood the stakes in this one. It started fast and furious and they battered each other unmercifully. But as the 30 minutes ticked down, the match was tied 3 falls apiece and with Knight on the defensive, Royce could not score the deciding fall.
Manos immediately ordered the match to continue, no DQ, no Count Out, No Time Limit. Royce was buoyed, Knight was exhausted and angry. They wrestled for another nearly 30 minutes - almost an hour in total - before the champion finally managed to overcome his veteran challenger and pin Royce to end the match, and the feud....for now.
To celebrate his victory, Knight announced that he was the greatest PCW Champion ever and had only one week until his title reign would surpass the 231 day record of Chi Chi Cruz. Therefore, Knight declared the record-setting date would be called "A Knight To Remember" and would be a celebration of his magnificence. He would "take the day off" thus ensuring the day passed and he would set the new record as longest reigning PCW Champion.
On November 11th at "A Knight to Remember", the dapper looking champion basked in his own glory as he counted down the hours until he officially became the longest reigning PCW Champion ever. There was only one problem...the former champion was not about to let his record lapse unchallenged.
Chi Chi Cruz shocked the wrestling community when he showed up at "A Knight to Remember" and challenged Adam Knight to face him right then and there. "If you want the record, kid," Cheech lectured. "Earn it! Beat me if you can or Im taking back the title I never lost!"
Cheech was still angry about how his record-setting PCW Championship reign had ended and it was true, he was never defeated for the title. Cruz had won the title, becoming PCW's first Heavyweight Champion, by winning a unique, marathon-like series called the Quest of the Best which culminated in him facing Shane Madison in a best of 7 match series with the winner winning the title.
Cheech had prevailed and defended the championship honorably...until August 2003 when PCWs then-Creative Director Mike Davidson abruptly quit the company. Davidson made it clear he intended to start a rival promotion to destroy PCW and several wrestlers quit out of loyalty, intent on following him to his new promotion.
Cruz hadn't quit but he had secretly conspired with Davidson to remain PCW champion and then jump to the new promotion, bringing the title with him to deliver a shot through the heart of PCW. Kenny Omega earned his position as number one contender and, unaware of the plot between Cruz & Davidson, PCW's new Director Shallcross ordered the match to take place in September. But Cheech refused.
He finally relented but then no-showed the mandatory title match and was stripped of the championship. Ironically, Omega won the title defeating Adam Knight who had offered to replace Cheech, a sinister Plan B by Davidson who hoped Knight would win the belt and bring it to AWE.
Now Cheech was back, intent on defending his record-setting title reign and regaining a championship he felt had been stolen from him. Preying on Knight's pride, Cheech convinced him to take the match....and truly Knight understood the opportunity to cement a legacy and wanted to beat Cruz fair and square.
The crowd was buzzing at this surprising turn of events and solidly behind the veteran Cruz. But Knight proved he was the real deal, pinning Cheech clean in the middle of the ring and setting the record as longest reigning PCW champion.
With the idea of legacy firmly planted in his mind, Knight next announced he would defend the PCW Heavyweight Championship against WWE Legend Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart at the Christmas Classic live event.
It was a jam packed Lid Nightclub on a snowy Winnipeg night in December when Knight over-came the legend, and the incredibly rowdy crowd that cheered Neidhart on, pinning the former WWE World Tag Team Champion to retain his title.
As he celebrated in the ring, he was suddenly confronted by "Mecca" Shane Madison. It had been no secret that Madison was considering retiring from professional wrestling. Earlier in the year he had publicly said 2004 would be his last, that he felt he had accomplished everything he had wanted and his heart wasn't in it anymore.
But as 2004 came to a close, Madison realized there was one thing he wanted that he never accomplished - becoming PCW Heavyweight Champion. Madison congratulated Knight on his impressive victory over Neidhart and his record-setting title reign. But he also told the champion to enjoy his Christmas holidays because in 2005, he was going to cement his own legacy by taking his title.
Knight's joy turned to shock and then sadness...and then rage. And he spent the holidays stewing over Madison's impromptu challenge.
When PCW returned to action at the LID Nightclub in January 2005, Knight surprised everyone, especially Madison by declining the challenge. Madison responded with a heated interview calling the champion a coward.
One week later, on January 13th 2005, Madison faced his former MVP cohort and good friend, "Vicious" Donny Dicaprio. The excellent match was marred by the interference of Knight who stormed the ring and attacked Madison. Knight claimed Madison was partially correct, he was afraid - afraid of what he'd do to him if they ever wrestled.
Madison wasn't buying it and the two brawled all over the building. As management and security swarmed, Madison rammed Knight through a window of the LID Nightclub. The champion, covered in glass and blood, hightailed it out of the building, jumped in his car and sped away. Madison was irate and got into his car, still in his wrestling gear, and took off after Knight!
Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and the high speed pursuit through South Winnipeg did not last long. But back at the LID on January 20th, Madison made a major announcement - he confirmed that he was, in fact, going to retire but not until getting a fair opportunity at the one thing he wanted the most for his career - the PCW Heavyweight Championship. He said he wanted to end his career with a "John Elway send-off", referencing the Hall of Fame NFL quarterback who retired after winning the 1998 Superbowl.
That twist was good enough for Knight who agreed to defend the title, promising to send Madison off into the sunset with no legacy other than a man who was never good enough to win the big prize.
The epic match was set to take place on January 27th 2003 - "Outlaw" Adam Knight vs "Mecca" Shane Madison for the PCW Heavyweight Championship.. But the match almost didn't happen when Shallcross learned, at the last minute,that Madison had no intention of retiring at all and had publicly announced his joining a revived AWE.
AWE (Action Wrestling Entertainment) had been the brainchild of Davidson, conceived shortly after he resigned from PCW in August 2003. The original plan had been to form a rival promotion, lure the bulk of talent away from PCW and run weekly live wrestling events at a competing venue down the street from PCW's main location and hopefully defeat his former promotion.
Several PCW wrestlers had quit out of loyalty to Davidson, including Madison and, ironically, Knight. Apparently key to Davidson's plans, or simply an ego-driven desire to best his former partner Shallcross, was gaining control of the PCW Heavyweight Championship. Davidson was close with then-champion Chi Chi Cruz and and they agreed that Cruz would continue wrestling for PCW but do everything in his power to retain the championship so he could "jump ship" to AWE with the title that November.
However, Kenny Omega had compiled one of the best year's of anyone's career in 2003 and was clearly the undisputed number one contender. Seemingly concerned that Omega represented a grave challenge to his title, Cruz at first refused to wrestle him and then simply no-showed a mandatory title defense. In a clever twist, Davidson had a Plan B. He sent Knight to that event where the "Outlaw" offered to fill in for Cheech and wrestle Omega in a match for the now-vacant PCW Championship.
If all went according to plan, Knight would win and simply walk out, taking the title to AWE. Unfortunately for their plan, they did not account for Omega's tenacity and talent as the young superstar defeated Knight to win his first major championship.
When AWE presented their debut live event in November, Davidson had tried a different tact - Plan C - luring Omega to defend the PCW Championship. Kenny agreed, intending to spread his revolutionary style everywhere he could, but refused to do anything disrespectful to PCW or the championship. Omega defeated AWE's "Red Hot" Ryan Wood and Davidson's Plan C failed as well.
After AWE's debut event, they went into an unofficial "hiatus". Shortly thereafter, events conspired to make Shallcross & Davidson allies once again. Earlier in 2003, PCW had hired a local auto mechanic & welder to do repairs to the wrestling ring. The unscrupulous individual agreed to the contract, provided an agreed-upon estimate and then billed PCW for four-times the amount agreed.
When PCW rightly refused to pay the exorbitant charge, generously offering to settle the matter for the agreed-upon sum, the mechanic sued Davidson & Shallcross. By the time the lawsuit made it to court, in December 2003, Davidson had quit PCW and had a very acrimonious relationship with Shallcross. But the prospects of being co-defendants in a righteous cause inspired the two former close friends to find common ground.
By February 2004, Davidson was back in PCW as a Creative Consultant.
As the year wore on, Davidson informed Shallcross of his desire to revive AWE but claimed he wanted to do "in conjunction" with PCW. In fact, Shallcross was, at one point, asked to invest capital into the company, though he declined. But he was also willing, perhaps determined, to keep the peace and support Davidson's plan to promote quarterly "big shows" that would potentially drive an audience towards PCW's regular weekly events.
In a surprising tactical mistake, AWE had announced on their website that Madison was going to be a key member of their roster. And thus, his claims of retirement - and the reason Knight had agreed to the title defense - were simply not true.
Shallcross was not at all happy that Madison was willing to betray an advertised stipulation of a major championship match and threatened to cancel his title shot. As they engaged in a heated debate just minutes before the January 27th event was to begin, both men, with the encouragement of Davidson, agreed to let the match happen as advertised.
It was a tremendous match and with a large number of supporters on hand it even seemed like Madison put forth a career-effort. But the record-setting champion prevailed once again. Post match, Madison served the bogus stipulation by announcing he was retired..."from PCW".
And he meant it, at least at the time, as he knew something that only a few people did - that Davidson's AWE revival did not include friendly cooperation with PCW. A few days after the January 27th event, Shallcross received an anonymous e-mail from someone claiming he had come into some information "accidentally". The anonymous source explained he had been sent an e-mail from Davidson that was intended for someone with a similar name, and that it concerned PCW. The source expressed positive feelings for PCW, forwarded the Davidson e-mail and advised Shallcross to "do what you think is best".
The anonymous e-mail changed everything.
In it, Davidson detailed his plan to run as many events at possible, in competition with PCW. Most damning, the e-mail contained a directive to Madison to use his position in the PCW locker room to quietly prepare talent to be ready to "jump ship" at a moment's notice and a directive to Knight to use his positive relationship with rival Ring Masters Entertainment (RME) to secure use of their equipment in the AWE revival.
Quite clearly the plan was as it had always been since Davidson had quit - destroy PCW.
And he was in a great position to at least take a significant shot at that goal. The Madison retirement ruse would have made a great story of conquest had he been victorious in winning the PCW Championship. And while Knight was in on the AWE Revival plan, to his credit he was not about to simply lay down for his co-conspirator.
Either way, Davidson was in the driver's seat. The faux retirement created a scenario where Madison appeared to value AWE over PCW. And the victory by Knight still left the PCW Championship in the hands of a man ready to jump to the competition.
During the build up of the Madison/Knight match, PCW had been conducting the second-ever Quest of the Best, the unique tournament style contest that concludes with a Best of Seven match series. In the first Quest, it had been to determine a first-time PCW Heavyweight Champion, a series that saw Chi Chi Cruz defeat Madison 4 matches to 3. The second quest was to determine a new number one contender and it came down to former PCW Champion Rawskillz vs Mentallo.
At the January 27th live event, on the undercard of the Knight/Madison match, Mentallo had defeated Rawskillz in Match 7 to win the Quest of the Best and become undisputed number one contender. As a result, he was scheduled to challenge for the PCW Championship in the main event of PCW's Third Anniversary Spectacular in March.
But now Shallcross had a decision to make. He consulted with PCW Commissioner Manos to decide what to do about Knight and his apparent commitment to the once-again rival AWE. They had over a month until the Anniversary Spectacular and Mentallo, the number one contender, was on an extended tour across Canada.
There was no appetite for stripping Knight of the championship as he had truly been a respected and deserving champion throughout his record-setting reign. The discussion turned out to be moot, however, as PCW received unexpected help from an unexpected source:
"Showtime" Robby Royce!
Royce had spent much of 2004 trying to defeat Knight for the PCW Championship. Although he was finally defeated at the Halloween Special in an Iron Match match that went nearly 60 minutes, he refused to give up on his goal of winning the title. He immediately entered the Quest of the Best tournament but lost in the semi-final to Kenny Omega - a harsh reminder that Omega had been the main road block to Royce's efforts to earn a title shot in 2003 as well.
On December 16th 2004, Royce won the first ever Christmas Wish battle royale, giving him the opportunity to challenge any one he so desired. While most would assume he'd issue a challenge for the PCW Championship, Royce instead demanded a match against Omega! Royce explained people used to say "Kenny was like a young Robby Royce...then they said he was the new Robby Royce...then they said he was better than Robby Royce! But I know who I am," he screamed. "I am Robby Royce! I am still the man!"
To punctuate his angry statement, Royce attacked and brutalized Omega.
When PCW returned in 2005, Royce got his match against Kenny, but Omega did not show up. Royce said it was because Omega simply didnt have it in him anymore. One week later, Royce challenged him again...and again Kenny did not show up. Royce claimed he was retired, the challenge of facing him (Royce) was too much for the young Omega.
On January 27th, Royce again issued his arrogant challenge but this time Kenny was there and this time it was Royce who stormed out rather then face Omega.
One week later, with Madison gone from PCW due to his faux retirement and Knight as PCW Champion but committed to Davidson's rival AWE, Royce angrily confronted the "Outlaw". He claimed he had done nothing but win and win and win since he lost at the Halloween Special and deserved a title shot.
Despite Knight's loyalty to Davidson, he was still a fighting champion and readily agreed. And though Royce's challenge was purely selfish in nature, serving his own desire to be the best, it inadvertently helped PCW avoid losing their title to a rival as the new, far more brutal and aggressive Royce beat Knight to win the PCW Heavyweight Championship.
The loss ended Knight's record-setting 301 day championship reign, a record that would stand until 2008! Following his historic victory, if the fans wanted to salute Royce, they quickly realized he had no interest in being their hero.
Royce would declare his own war on PCW in 2005 and all but take the championship hostage as he unleashed "The Elite" on the company in an effort to cement his status as the greatest champion of all time.