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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Story of The Messiah
July 16, 2003 - by Mark Rose



William Welch started wrestling as soon as he graduated from high school beginning training under the guidance of Hombre De'Oro (who also wrestled as Carlito Montana) at Slammers Wrestling Gym. Slammers had it's own indy wrestling fed called the SWF (Slammers Wrestling Federation) and this where he got his start wrestling as "Iron" Mike Earhardt. After working and training there for two years he took a year away from the ring to take care of personal business. He then signed with XPW (owner Rob Zicari aka Rob Black) and began working a masked gimmick known as the Blunatic.

He was a jobber for a while with that gimmick and was then being considered for a tag team gimmick similar to what Right to Censor was in the WWE. Not able to find a suitable partner for the gimmick they decided to use him in a religious gimmick with the name "The Messiah".

The Messiah would become a breakout star for XPW working high profile matches with Supreme, Sabu, and New Jack. He even held their Deathmatch title and World title simultaneously. In August 2001, The Messiah was fired from XPW for reasons that are still a source of speculation. Rumors were out all over the place that he was fired for having an affair with Rob Black's wife Janet Romano aka porn star Lizzy Borden. Messiah claimed later in an interview that those rumors were completely false and his departure from XPW was due to him missing some dates and appearances with the company due to some personal issues. He had also stated he was no longer comfortable working for XPW and XPW's parent company Extreme Associates which is an adult film company.

He was pretty much out of the wrestling business until he received a phone call from Zandig and made his shocking debut in CZW on January 12, 2002 attacking then CZW World Champion Justice Pain and accepting his open challenge for a title match. Being formerly of XPW (which is a company that most CZW fans have a deep hatred for) it was very surprising that the fans embraced him right away and he gained a lot of fans in CZW that night. Although he came up short he impressed CZW's hard to please crowd so much that many called it the greatest CZW title match in the company's history.The next month at "This Time it's Personal" it was a fan's dream match as the Messiah collided for the first time with "Sick" Nick Mondo. Thanks to interference from Adam Flash, The Messiah got his first win in CZW over the very popular Mondo. Bad blood that still existed between The Messiah and Rob Black really first became noticed when for CZW's April show it was billed that Messiah would face someone from his past. It was originally scheduled to be one of Messiah's former XPW rival Kaos. Rob Black had at that time changed his mind and threatened any XPW worker that took a booking to wrestle for CZW would be fired.


XPW Owner Rob Black with Lizzy Borden.

Messiah's next appearance in CZW on May 8,2002 would be one of the greatest matches in CZW history as he collided in a 64 min classic 4 way match against Justice Pain, Sick Nick Mondo and Adam Flash. The end result was a double pin Mondo pinned Flash to win the Iron Man title and Messiah pinned Justice Pain and won his first CZW World title. His reign would be short lived as he lost the title the next month at Best of the Best 2 in an impromptu 3 way match against Nick Mondo and Justice Pain. Mondo and Messiah were swerved by guest referee Adam Flash and Justice Pain walked out with BOTH the Iron Man title and the World title. Even more unfortunate for the Messiah it would only be a short time later he would suffer a major setback, one that almost ended his wrestling career and could have cost him his life.

On August 1,2002 two attackers entered the Messiah's apartment and what happened would be a brutal attack. They knocked at his door and he thought they were friends of his roommate and let them enter. He was playing video games at the time and saw them arguing in a reflection on his TV. They then locked Messiah's door and when he confronted them they began their assault. They struggled with the Messiah and took him to the floor. One of them had him in a chokehold and the other grabbed a pair of gardening shears which would be used to cut his thumb off. He fought them off and made his way to the door. They managed to stop him and one of them attempted to cut Messiah's penis off. They finally left and the assailants actually took his thumb with them! Speculation was that they took his thumb as a sort of sick souvenir to get proof for a paid hit. The attack received major mainstream media coverage and was featured as a story on the Sept 21, 2002 edition of America's Most Wanted. The focus of the segment seemed to point the finger at XPW promoter Rob Black (Rob Zicari) who may have ordered this attack as some sort of revenge for the alleged relationship of the Messiah with Rob Black's wife. Coincidentally just days before the attack The Messiah during an indy booking in California received non stop crowd chants of "You f**ked Lizzy" to which he was responded to the unrelenting crowd "And she loved it!". Another strange occurence was that the office of Rob Black's company Extreme Associates was closed during business hours on the same day that America's Most Wanted had come to interview him for the story.


CZW had it's first annual Tournament of Death booked on August 31 in Dover, Delaware. In his first appearance since the attack The Messiah shocked the wrestling world and made his return entering himself in the tournament defeating one of his main rivals Adam Flash (the CZW Iron Man champ at the time) in an impromptu first round matchup. The crowd was FIRED up and the Messiah at the moment became the personification of the fighting spirit of CZW. Not even 30 days ago he was attacked and fighting for his life, now he was looking at a second round match in a deathmatch tournament. And what a second round match it would be. The Messiah would find himself in a fans bring the weapons match against the man who had taken him to a new level of hardcore wrestling, "Sick" Nick Mondo. The Messiah would come up short against Mondo but his victory was a bigger one than any deathmatch tournament. On that day he showed his attackers and whoever set up the attack that he would not let that setback end his career. He would move on strong for his career and for the success of CZW.

Two weeks later the Messiah returned to Viking Hall at the show that became dubbed "Ultraviolent Freedom of Expression". At the end of the show The Messiah hit the ring and would be joined by the entire CZW roster. The Messiah grabbed the mic and what followed was no promo, it was a shoot and a state of the union address for CZW. He declared his attackers as "cowards" and also made it very clear on his opinion who was behind his attack. Huge chants of "F**k Rob Black" and "CZW" would be official declaration of war of CZW and it's fans against XPW. This would turn out to be a very quick and strange battle but that....well, that's for another article.

The Messiah is now CZW's top heel leading a group known as the Hi V (High Five) consisting of himself, Trent Acid and Johnny Kashmere (the Backseat Boyz), B-Boy, Nate Hatred, and managed by Dewey Donovan. At the time I am writing this The Messiah is also the CZW World Heavyweight champion having regained that title by pinning Justice Pain at CZW's Cage of Death 4 event back in December of 2002. I hope you enjoyed this general synopsis of the story of The Messiah and I will be following this up with a story about the Philly Indy wars between XPW, CZW, Ring of Honor, and 3PW. Keep an eye out for that one.

Time to give credit where credit is due. The following were the sources of all the information contained in this article:

www.pwbts.com - in particular the archives of Bob Magee's column "As I See it"

www.socaluncensored.com - the interview posted with the Messiah by Cal Manska and Lonnie Hill from XPW1.com

www.czwfans.com - the interview with the Messiah posted by Nate Hiatt

www.amw.com - America's Most Wanted's official website, I also obtained the information on this story by watching the broadcast itself. Also for information on the William Welch attacker case click on amw.com's show archives and go to the September 21, 2002 episode.

The rest was from myself from seeing the footage on CZW home video.

If you are interested in purchasing high quality CZW videos go to www.smartmarkvideo.com they are the official source for CZW videos.


You can also see CZW every week on CZW Fake You TV check www.czwwrestling.com for local listings and if you don't live in area where you can see it you can download it every week at www.combat-honor.com or on MIRC at server irc.mircx.com channel #czw from CZW_Vidz or a few other folks who host it on there like combat-honor as well.

by Mark Rose


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