| Absolute Championship Wrestling|
|Established||1997 - present|
|Location|| Painesdale, Michigan, United States of America |
Castellon, Valencia, Spain
|Formerly|| National Wrestling Federation |
Global Wrestling Federation
|Video Pages|| YouTube |
Absolute Championship Wrestling (ACW) is a wrestling group founded in 1997. It is located in Painesdale, Michigan, United States of America and Castellon, Valencia, Spain. ACW is known for its character driven story-lines and attention to production values. The American side wrestles in an indoor custom-made ring, while the Spanish side makes use of various outdoor environments (such as playgrounds and parks).
Absolute Championship Wrestling can trace its roots back to an early federation in the mid-90's called Global Wrestling Federation (GWF). But ACW doesn't consider its birth until the summer of 1997 when GWF became known as the National Wrestling Federation (NWF). This is when their wrestling became more organized and they became more serious about their wrestling.
For many years NWF competed and existed with little to no communication with wrestling groups. A part of this was due to the lack of population in their home territory which is the upper peninsula of Michigan, so there were not any other competing wrestling groups in that part of the state. Also at that time the internet was not a big part the area as it is now. So this isolation is what essentially made the NWF, now ACW, develop its unique style of character driven storylines and production values.
As opposed to other wrestling groups, each NWF wrestler portrayed a cast of characters. This was done to establish a full roster that would allow for creativity in story line writing. But this also meant each wrestler could wrestle up to 5 times a night. That amount of wrestling seemed to establish dedication and pride in the wrestlers for what they are doing. So despite having at times a small roster, NWF, now ACW, has never called it quits.
A little less than a decade long as the NWF, it officially changed its name in the middle of 2006 to Absolute Championship Wrestling. They cited the name change due to multiple other National Wrestling Federations existing and wanting a unique name to match their unique wrestling. Soon after this name change, ACW began converting their old tapes of recorded material into digital format and established a YouTube account on September 1st of 2006. And soon after that ACW was contacted by Cam of Global Backyard Wrestling News (GBYWN) and became part of the restarting process of GBYWN.
ACW Spain Banner
In January of 2009, ACW joined the National Backyard Wrestling Alliance and in February, ACW expanded in a way it had not predicted. Two brothers, Fernando and Francis Morante, of HWA Spain approached ACW with an offer of becoming ACW Spain and expanding ACW into Spain. The existing wrestlers of ACW watched the wrestling matches of HWA Spain and were immediately impressed with the heart and talent the Spanish wrestlers showed. So on the 21st of February, ACW made it official that it had expanded into Spain. Since the expansion ACW has made it a de-facto policy that the wrestlers in Spain should not be considered a separate group, despite being referred to at times as ACW Spain and having separate championships, but as part of the main group who happen to be in Spain. One effect of this policy is that wrestling matches coming from Spain aren't labeled as ACW Spain but simply ACW, and are uploaded on the same accounts as the American videos. It was the intention of ACW to keep its identity as a unified group, rather than separate groups that are only linked by a name.
Then in March of 2009, ACW participated in its first supershow, Salt Lake Spring Break Showdown. It competed against other federations such as New Generation Wrestling (NGW), Lewiston Wrestling Federation (LWF), Battle Born Wrestling (BBW) and Championship Battleground Wrestling (CBW). The show was held in Salt Lake City, Utah then later in the week, Las Vegas, Nevada. It marked the first time ACW competed in two west coast states, Utah and Nevada. ACW showcased the characters of Jake Xinn, Houston, Glassier, Safety Guy and Nick Richards at SLSBS. A highlight of the show was when Jake Xinn won the LWF World Championship from LWF wrestler Nails.
And in June of 2009, ACW's very own Josh McMullin went to Chicago, Illinois to wrestle in the Global Domination supershow. There he joined Alex Ohlson of Bridgeview Wrestling Association to form the team of Agent Orange. This is the first time ACW wrestled in Illinois as well as the first time that an ACW wrestler teamed with a wrestler from another group. They went on to defeat future GBYWN World Champion, FX, and an independent wrestler for his tag partner. Although not particularly large for an ACW wrestler, Josh McMullin was taller than the majority of the wrestlers who attended and thus earned the nickname "redwood".
In early 2010, ACW joined the Global Wrestling Circuit and the BYWRulz forums. ACW wrestler, Hung Lo, would join the Kayfabe Challenge, where contenders had to face off in promo challenges in tournament style competition. Hung Lo would make it to the finals, where he was defeated by the Rizz of the Lewiston Wrestling Federation. Cameras recorded Hung Lo's reaction to the defeat and the unexpected subsequent self-explosion. There are rumors that the Spain "faction" might purchase a ring and tour Spain under the ACW name. Also there is interest to start wrestling in Tucson, Arizona, which is normally known for being a wrestling wasteland.
Example of ACW graphics design
One of the aspects that have allowed ACW, particularly the American side, to be unique is its production values. They have focused on producing wrestling for the general public rather than the BYW community itself. This is a by product of its long time isolated from other groups before entering the major BYW community.
As opposed to wrestling outside, ACW quickly moved indoors to wrestle to avoid the harsh northern Michigan winters (which are only made worse by the proximity of the Great Lakes). This has allowed ACW to decorate what they call their "arena" with logos and banners. Also indoors allows more usage of electronics. The primary benefit of this is their usage of entrance videos and event videos on multiple TV screens. And recently ACW has made use of strobe lights and a fog machine for entrances.
On the post production side of things, ACW produces its entire events straight to DVD or in a way that can be easily produced on DVD. They cite their main reason as creating a reliable archive of matches as their video tapes have been slowly degrading due to the humidity in Michigan. So there has been a recent emphasis to put old videos on DVD. Currently there is a project to put their old footage from 2001 onto DVDs.
On the Spanish side of things, members actively design their own costumes and title belts. This has yielded one a very unique black and silver world championship belt. Also ACW has contracted Dave Perez from New Generation Wrestling as an announcer for the Spanish matches. But post production is done on the American side with the intent on future DVD compilations.
With its emphasis on production, ACW has developed its own resources to produce graphics, websites, videos, and music. And since their integration into the BYW community they have produced graphics, logos, as well as the theme music for GBYWN. Also members of ACW do production work on occasion for other feds on an individual basis. A wrestling internet radio show which featured former pro wrestler and trainer Les Thatcher has used ACW music. Currently the professional wrestling group American Xtreme Wrestling uses a faded American flag logo designed by ACW. And the Lewiston Wrestling Federation has an outro video also designed by ACW. When ACW joined the BYWRulz community, it redesigned their logo and background.
ACW has made semi-regular contact with the world of professional wrestling through Kayfabe Commentary's YouShoot. YouShoot is a regular DVD series produced by Kayfabe Commentaries (KC) where they get people in wrestling to answer no-holds-barred questions about anything from questions submitted by the public. KC encourages the public to submit videos, but also accepts questions via e-mail. It is hosted by Sean Oliver and frequently has wrestling personalities that have worked for KC in the past.
Honky Tonk ManEdit
"YouShoot: The Honky Tonk Man" which has Hypnosis and Loco imaged on the cover
The first ever YouShoot featured former professional wrestler, and current trainer, the Honky Tonk Man (HTM). Two ACW characters, Hypnosis and Loco, are featured in the chapter "Pain & Fear" which is the longest chapter on the DVD.
In Loco's video, he criticized Honky Tonk Man's complaints about wrestlers who hurt him, and Loco boasted that he hurt many wrestlers himself. This is what the Honky Tonk Man had to say about Loco on the DVD: "You say you have injured a bunch of wrestlers. Well you have put them out of work...!", "You're bragging about [censored] wrestlers up, sounds like Bill Goldberg to me...", and "Loco you should be in matches with Bret Hart..." And since it has been posted on YouTube, fans of Honky Tonk Man have had worse to say about Loco. The general reception has been that Loco was making a legitimate shoot on HTM and has been so far the most heated contact ACW has had with the professional wrestling world. Despite some of the negative reaction, the Loco video has spawned some mimicry on YouTube in the form of a guy who calls himself Revelations. Revelations has been posting a series of videos challenging the Honky Tonk Man while using a laugh characteristic of Loco.
Hypnosis dug into Honky Tonk Man's past and criticized him for his praise of Hulk Hogan and his feud with Jerry Lawler in his video. Honky Tonk Man responded to Hypnosis's Hulk Hogan comments with this: "I have never stooged for Hulkamania. I am probably one of the foremost critics of Hulkamania. Not with Hulkamania's ability to change the business, the ability to sell tickets, or to be one of the most recognizable characters in the world." And then he tries explaining why his feud with Jerry Lawler was real by telling a lengthy story on how Jerry Lawler, and possibly Jim Ross, was jealous about his commentary skills. This video was much less controversial than Loco's and has received more positive comments on YouTube.
The next YouShoot ACW took part in involved the former valet Missy Hyatt. This time Hung Lo and Valor Valancy sent in videos.
Hung Lo made an offer to Missy Hyatt to join "Team Hung Lo" in his video. Missy Hyatt's response didn't directly answer his question but included her feeling herself and the words "Hung Lo... Come on baby!", "Looks like he is in my basement...", and "If I get home tonight and that is in my basement, I'm going to be really upset, because I got my stripper-pole getting put in tonight." This video had the opposite reception of Loco's and has overwhelmingly positive responses on YouTube.
Valor Valancy in his video, warned Missy Hyatt against joining Team Hung Lo and that he had a "rat trap" to catch her if she joined with Hung Lo. But unfortunately it didn't meet the deadline to make the DVD. It can still be viewed on the ACW website as well as its video pages though.
A former character in ACW, the Lethal Licker, returned with his "woman" to participate in a YouShoot with a former wrestler, Kevin Sullivan. Leathal Licker commented Kevin Sullivan's retirement in Florida and Sullivan's departure from the "dark side" while making licking actions with his "woman". In response, Kevin Sullivan described his religions experiences and his philosophies on faith. After the DVD, the Leathal Licker thanked Kevin Sullivan for his in depth and respectful response.