WINNIPEG, Mb - Seinfeld was the top comedy, ER ruled the TV airwaves, Gangsta's Paradise, Waterfalls and Kiss from a Rose were on everyone's favorite mix tape and a young Adam Knight, not yet an "Outlaw" stepped into the ring for the first time.
It was 1995, in front of an enthusiastic crowd gathered for River City Wrestling - the young upstart wrestling promotion run by the incomparable Wayne Stanton - as Knight nervously adjusted his mask (a not uncommon way to protect the identity of a highly-touted prospect as he learned the ropes).
Staring across the ring at him with a cocky smirk was four-year veteran Robby Royce. This moment was special for both men as it was Royce who helped train Knight for his pro career.
Still just a youngster himself, Royce was one of the most talented in-ring performers in the territory and when the more established veteran "top guys" didn't have time for the "kids" that showed up to train, Royce was happy to step in.
The opportunity to train a prospect with Knight's physical tools the right way appealed to Royce who knew, in time, it would be guys like him and the future "Outlaw" that would supplant the old guard as the areas premier attractions and industry leaders.
Though 6'5 and approaching 300lbs, Knight was understandably nervous, but the 18 year old was soothed somewhat by the fact his debut would be against his trainer. Royce had no intention of taking it easy on his protege, however and a few minutes after the opening bell sounded, the rookie had his first match behind him...and the first loss on his record.
Few in attendance on that snowy fall day could have predicted that they were witnessing the beginning of an odyssey that would see it's latest chapter take place this Saturday, January 12th, more than two decades after that fateful November night.
From then to now, Adam Knight & Robby Royce have been inexorably linked, contesting each other in multiple promotions, across multiple provinces, exchanging multiple championships.
Royce's premonition of his & Knight's futures did not take long to come to fruition. With a CWF Heavyweight Championship reign under his belt already, and a slew of Junior Championships, Royce would quickly establish himself as the territories' top talent.
He'd go on to hold the CWF Championship six times and capture the NWA North American title (to go along with a plethora of other accolades) before jumping to TRCW in 2001 where his old rival Knight was firmly ensconced as the top guy and Heavyweight Champion!