Arizona’s Two Largest Promotions Join Forces
by Greg DeMarco
Arizona wrestling has become a territory full of the backstabbing, underhanded tactics that are typically reserved for sports entertainment scripts produced for television. But two promotions have displayed character above all others to form the most powerful alliance in the state. On December 4, 2007, it was announced that Arizona’s longest running promotion, Impact Zone Wrestling, had acquired Rising Phoenix Wrestling, the fastest growing promotion in the southwest. Very little was known about the acquisition, what it meant for the talent in Rising Phoenix Wrestling, or the future of both companies. After weeks of meetings and discussions, all of the details are finally available.
The deal was orchestrated by IZW Board of Directors member Strangler Steve King. IZW did not acquire Rising Phoenix Wrestling the company, but rather the rights to book and promote RPW superstars in the state of Arizona. This move was motivated by King’s desire to get all of the top talent in the state under one roof. This influx of talent will allow 2008 to be filled with fresh and exciting match-ups for Arizona wrestling fans.
Impact Zone Wrestling also gained control over the NWA Arizona Tag Team Championships and the NWA Arizona Heavyweight Championship. The joining of these two titles with the IZW World Heavyweight Championship and the IZW Tag Team Championships, allows one stacked roster to compete for the most prestigious championships in the state. On January 5, 2008, IZW will unify the state’s championships at the Broadway Recreation Center in Mesa, Arizona in a show that will be headlined by the biggest match in Arizona wrestling history: IZW World Heavyweight Champion “The Hawaiian Lion” John Williams versus RPW’s NWA Arizona Heavyweight Champion “XXX” Lawrence Tyler in a unification match that will give one man sole possession of the moniker “greatest wrestler in all of Arizona.”
While IZW has taken on full responsibility for booking and promoting the state’s best wrestling events, Rising Phoenix Wrestling has taken over full production of televised wrestling product, which will consist of a weekly online broadcast and regular DVD releases. “IZW Impulse” will debut during the month of December, and will be a weekly look at the matches and interviews that shape the current and future landscape of Impact Zone Wrestling. All of the production you’ve come to expect from RPW will remain intact, giving the state’s best competitors an increased amount of exposure. IZW Impulse will be hosted by Greg DeMarco, the former Voice of RPW, who will be joined on commentary by Arizona newcomer J.T. O’Sullivan.
IZW’s December 18 show at The Sets in Tempe, Arizona saw the first signs of the new partnership. Along with the XXX-Lion unification match, it was announced that TNT (Brandon Nitro & Johnny Dynamite) had refused to defend their NWA-AZ tag team titles on January 5. IZW Board representative Steve King then stripped TNT of their tag team titles, declaring them vacant. On January 5, 2008, The 602 Wrecking Crew (Jacob “The Riot” Herzberg and “The Irish Hand Grenade” Marty Murphy) will defend the IZW Tag Team titles against Native Blood (Navajo Warrior & Ghost Walker) in a tag team match that will now also be for the vacant NWA Arizona Tag Team titles. By the end of the January 5 show, the biggest belts in all of Arizona will all be unified for the first time ever.
Keep checking ImpactZoneWrestling.com and RisingPhoenixWrestling.com for more announcements about the January 5 supershow at the Broadway Recreation Center in Mesa, AZ, as well as the link to view the debut episode of IZW Impulse! 2008 promises to be a year of increased competition, intensity, and exposure for the thriving Arizona wrestling scene, and with IZW and RPW teaming to lead the way, the sky is the limit for Arizona wrestling!