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WRESTLING COLUMNS

A Flash for the Gold
February 20, 2004 by LucharesuFan619


On April 24 at the NCW Arena in Red Lion, PA, Jeff Jarrett will defend his NWA World Heavyweight Title on a non-NWA-TNA card for the first time since regaining the title from A.J. Styles on October 22 of last year. Receiving a shot at such a prestigious championship would be the highlight of just about any performer's career. Up-and-coming independent wrestlers would give up their paycheck for months just to be able to step into the same ring in which sits the NWA title. However, for 32-year old David Becker - better known to indy fans as Adam Flash - working someone as famous as Jarrett and battling over a title as legendary as that of the NWA isn't really all that new. Throughout his 12-year career, Flash has gone head-to-head against some of wrestling's biggest stars, yet he unfortunately remains nothing more than a "C" level indy performer. Hopefully, that trend will begin to change with his approaching match against Jarrett.

Flash's wrestling style - for those who've never seen him work - isn't all that conventional, and in fact is quite elementary, but not to the point of being mundane. Unlike so many performers who seem to resort to the most elaborate movesets possible in order to obtain a distinctive style, Flash tends do stay to the basics of the game and use a repertoire comprised of relatively fundamental manuevers...no corkscrew 630 sentons, sitout fisherman's piledrivers, or inverted t-bone suplexes. Rather, he's tended to follow the saying of "less is better," but not to an excessive level that makes him seem boring. Flash has always utilized as his finisher a high elevation Flying Leg Drop, which - depending on what promotion he does it in - is called either "The Last Call" or "The Last Resort." During the days when he surfed throughout the Northeast indies, many fans in attendance at shows he was on would joke about whether or not he'd hit his head on the venue's ceiling when attempting the move, since he would gain so much hang-time.

In his Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) matches, Flash has adopted a secondary finishing manuever, which he calls "The Move of the Month." He sits his opponent on the top turnbuckle, as if for a Huracanrana off of the top turnbuckle, but instead of executing a 'rana, he holds his foe's head and leaps backwards (off of his standing position on the top buckle), eventually landing with an X-Factor on the ring mat (his foe sails off of the buckles with him and lands face-first on the mat, while Flash lands in a sitting position). Flash's other signature manuevers aren't too intricate: a Brainbuster Suplex, a Death Valley Driver, a Running Sitdown Powerbomb out of the corner (dubbed, "The Flash Bomb"), a Michinoku Driver II ("The Flash Driver"), a Lariat, a Piledriver, a Chokeslam ("The Rachie Slam"), a Release Vertical Suplex-style Throw, and a Huracanrana off of the top turnbuckle.

It's not the Nova-esque innovation exemplified by his moveset that causes him to appeal to many indy fans, but instead his charisma. He's displays a good sense of humor and enthusiasm in his character when he cuts promos and he performs the right mannerisms at the right time in a match. The fact that he uses relatively basic moves is actually to an extent another reason why he's survived in such a harsh business for more than a decade. In a way, Flash is a very old school type of wrestler, relying more on telling a story in a match than awing fans with death-defying, never-before-seen maneuvers. He'a also got an excellent look for a wrestler and a perfect build for his profession.

While Flash can - as he's proved before - survive and even shine in Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Matches, Flash is more at home just working a normal match, and all the while teasing the crowd with an arrogant persona. He's a wrestler the mold of, say, Christian, in that he can do it all - mat wrestle, fly, brawl, and, as an added bonus, take some sick bumps (he's performed a leg drop off of one of the steps on a ladder that's set up in the ring and out through a ringside table on a number of occasions) - but, unlike many performers, doesn't try to convolute his strong mastery of the basics by adding in an excessive amount of intricately choreographed spots to his matches.

It was back in November 1991 that Flash - then at age 20 - first stepped into a wrestling ring, teaming with Ramblin' Rich Myers against a tag team known as The Outrageous Ones. Since then, it's been an uphill battle for the veteran of the U.S. indy circuit, but as the saying goes, good things happen to good people. In 1995, Flash - working under his real name - competed on a series of WCW house shows and competed against Scott Norton (singles match), Japanese stars Shinjiro Ohtani and Koji Kanemeto (tag-style), and even Chris Benoit (singles). Several of those matches aired on episodes of WCW Saturday Night and WCW Pro.

Following his outings in WCW, Flash became a mainstay in the Maryland-based Mid-Eastern Wrestling Federation, where he became a member of the tag team, Menace 2 Society. His partners in the alliance regularly rotated between Romeo Valentino and "Mighty Sexy" Quinn Nash. Menace 2 Society eventually broke up and Flash - who won the1996 award for MEWF's Most Improved Wrestler of the Year - had a series of matches with Nash (they actually continued to work together on a frequent basis until around 1999). Their feud culimated in Flash capturing the then-vacant MEWF Light Heavyweight Title on March 2, 1997 in a three-way Ladder Match against Nash and Steve Corino.

Around that same time, Flash and Corino were paired up in other feds as the duo, Lethal Weapon, even holding the IPWA (Independent Pro Wrestling Alliance) Tag Team Titles together. Their partnership eventually came to an end, too, and they had a couple of matches with one another throughout 1997, both in the MEWF and in the American Wrestling Council (including a match in that promotion's December 1997 "Great Eight" tournament).

Flash's matches with Corino, Nash, Reckless Youth (a.k.a. Tom Carter), The Headbangers, and others in promotions such as the MEWF, AWC, and NWA 2000 earned him some shots with the WWF during the latter part of '97, and then some ECW matches in 1997 and 1998. His ECW debut came on December 27, 1997 in Blackwood, NJ, when he lost to Paul Diamond. Then, half a month later on January 16 in Rostraver, PA, Flash happened to be at an ECW show when it was realized that Sabu didn't have an opponent. Suffice to say, officials threw Flash into the ring to do the quick job for the Arabian maniac, which was assuredly quite an honor for the indy veteran. His next ECW gig was on January 31, when he was scheduled to take on the late Big Dick Dudley, only to be attacked as he was walking to the ring by Taz. "The Human Suplex Machine" then proceeded to take out Big Dick and his Dudley "brothers," Buh Buh Ray and D-Von, before cutting a promo in which he ripped into then-rival Bam Bam Bigelow.

Flash didn't work another ECW show for almost year, as his next - and as it turned out, final - appearance the promotion was on December 17 (almost the one-year anniversary of his ECW debut) when he served as the opponent of future-Baldies member Spanish Angel on a show in Allentown, PA. Flash kept himself occupied in '98, besides the rare ECW booking, by continuing to work for various indy promotions, including Steel Domain Wrestling (where he joined Cueball Carmichael and Jimmy Cicero to form the "High Society" faction), Jersey All Pro Wrestling, and Maryland Championship Wrestling (for which he became the inaugural Cruiserweight Champion on November 4).

Although it saw him win the MCW Tag Team Titles with The Bruiser (who he partnered up with as "The Family of Freaks"), 1999 was an especially key year in Flash's career because it was when he was first paried up with "Doomsday" Danny Rose, who he still is the partner of to this day (they call themselves, "The Rachies"). Rose took Bruiser's spot in The Family of Freaks and served as Flash's partner regularly in promotions such as the FWA, in which they won the tag team titles in 2000. Interestingly, Flash - who captured the NCW Heavyweight Title (his first Heavyweight Title, but not last) in February 2000 - took the 499th spot on the 1999 DVDR 500 list, right in front of - believe it or not - Taz(z). In an interesting tidbit, August saw Flash team up with a future cohort of his in CZW, Claude "Ruckus" Marrow, on a card to benefit indy wrestler Leroy "Tiny" Miller, who died earlier in the year due to medical problems.

Then, on November 17, 2000, Flash captured his second heavyweight title, that of MCW, and dropping it just half a month later (right back to Jimmy Cicero) didn't take away any of his intensity, as he regained the belt on May 18, 2001. Six days before recapturing the championship, however, Flash wrestled Nick Berk in what was his debut for CZW, a company that he still works for on a regular basis to this day. After working some tag team matches with Rachies partner Danny Rose, Flash received in October of '01 a shot at the CZW Heavyweight Title. His taking champion Justice Pain to his limit in that match earned Flash a high profile match at CZW's Cage of Death III show, which occurred a few months later (in December) and served as the promotion's debut event at Viking Hall (the former ECW Arena). On that card, he captured the CZW Ironman Title in a three-way match that included "Sick" Nick Mondo.

Flash's exposure in CZW led him to get a few other promotions. For one instance, his participation in Steve Corino's Pennsylvania/Premier Wrestling Federation has seen him be matched up against The S.A.T. and Christopher Daniels (who he wrestled in the first round of the 2001 Legacy Cup Tournament), among others. Flash's most recent success outside of CZW has transpired in IWA Mid-South, in which he debuted on August 2, 2003 (the second night of the promotion's King of the Deathmatches Tournament Weekend doubleheader) by teaming with fellow CZW star Sonjay Dutt to win a triangle tag team match. Flash didn't work for the promotion again until just recently, as he returned just yesterday night in a win over Austin Aries. Then, tonight he'll wrestle IWA-MS' owner, Ian Rotten. In an interesting related tidbit, Flash has teamed with Rotten's "brother," Axl, three or four times (give or take) before on an on-and-off basis over the past few years, although this will be the first time he'll be working with Ian.

Flash held the title for four months (although he didn't defend it much during that period, though), losing it in a four-man, hour-long "High Stakes" Ironman Match that's regarded highly by CZW fans. He did, however, regain it two months later and held it for another three months before dropping it to former-XPW standout The Messiah in October. Flash broke up with his Rachies partner, Danny Rose, in early 2003 and formed a tag team with Ian Knoxx called, "The Broad Street Boozers." They lasted until November, when Flash turned heel and - shortly thereafter - joined CZW's premiere heel stable, The Hi-V (pronounced, "High Five"), which he remains a member of to this day.

Half a month before Flash made his IWA-MS debut, he participated on the final MCW show ever, entitled "The Last Dance: The Shane Shamrock Memorial Cup." The event came on July 16 and Flash - who had consistently wrestled for MCW since mid-1998 - lost his MEWF Cruiserweight Title to the late Michael "Crash Holly" Lockwood. It was in MCW that Flash had been provided with the opportunity to work with a who's who of wrestling icons, including Lockwood, Chris Candido, Mikey Whipwreck, Jerry Lynn, and Eddie Guerrero, along with notable independent stars like Chris Chetti, Christian York, Lance (Simon) Diamond, the late "All American" Jeff Peterson, Julio Dinero, and The Haas Brothers (current WWE SmackDown! competitor Charlie & the late Russ).

While the collapse of MCW was a regretful period of Flash's career, it certainly hasn't taken away his determination to succeed in the business. With 12 years of experience under his belt, and counting, Flash is set to solidify his status as one of the most sought-after threats on the independent circuit. Although he assuredly won't win the title from Jarrett in their April 24 meeting, the mere chance to wrestle for the NWA title will catapult Flash once again into the spotlight of the U.S. indy circuit, where he was a time from '96 - '98 during his series of classic showings against Quinn Nash and Steve Corino. To a degree, Flash dropped the ball back then, as he never realized his full potential and was the centerpiece only for what were relatively small promotions, such as the MEWF and MCW. While NCW isn't at the same level as a promotion like ROH, the fact that it'll be showcasing the first NWA Heavyweight Title defense in almost half a year to not be on a TNA broadcast will certainly gain the 4/24 show some substantial publicity.

Hopefully, the interest that the title match generates will in turn serve to re-catapult Flash back into the upper echelon of the indy circuit, where he for a period sat so comfortably. The guy has yet to receive his real "break" that he has so earned through his hard work over the years, and that to a degree was because he's been working primarily for promotions - such as CZW - that are wrongfully stereotyped as "garbage wrestling," which Flash practices anything but. The work ethic is - and always has been - there for Adam Flash; it's getting his name out to the masses that he seems to have had a problem with. Let's hope that this NWA title shot helps Flash to renew his once prominent position among the talents showcased on the current independent circuit.

by LucharesuFan619..


Mark Rose wrote:
Being a huge Adam Flash fan myself I just wanted to say this article was outstanding. Adam Flash is perhaps the overlooked indy wrestler in North America. He's a solid performer. Honestly I think the only reason Adam has never been seriously looked at by the WWE is because he was not blessed with the ability to cut great promos.
wrote:

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