Two Championship titles were affected by the events that took place last night at the fifth-annual Terror Rising event in Santa Maria, California.

The first involved Vendetta Pro Wrestling Underground Champion “Apostle” Judah Mathew being introduced as the NWA Pacific Coast Heavyweight Champion. NWA Vendetta Commissioner Joseph Duncan has since confirmed that the Vendetta Pro Underground title has been rechristened as the NWA Pacific Coast Heavyweight title, reflecting an elevation in the status of the title. While the modern NWA Western States Heavyweight Championship recognizes past Western States titleholders, at this time the modern NWA Pacific Coast title only recognizes previous Vendetta Pro Underground Champions due to the number of Pacific Coast titles that were recognized throughout California, Oregon and Washington through the years–often simultaneously, such as the Los Angeles and San Francisco versions.

For the most part though, this was merely a cosmetic change as Judah Mathew remains Champion, and even sports the same title belt.



The major change of the night however was the NWA Western States Heavyweight Championship. Coming into the event, “Loverboy” Matt Riviera had issued an open challenge for his title. Although the challenge was initially accepted by NWA Elite Pro Wrestling star John Saxon, one must actually be physically present to accept. Two-time former NWA World Heavyweight Champion “Ironman” Rob Conway hinted that he may be the one to challenge for the title, however, it seems he was actually serious about going to the beach–in fact, it wasn’t even a beach in California.

The person who accepted the challenge for the NWA Western States title was Vendetta Pro Wrestling Kayfabe College graduate and two-time former NWA Pacific Coast Champion “The Last Temptation” Ricky Ruffin, and after a long and hard-fought battle, Ricky Ruffin emerged as the new NWA Western States Heavyweight Champion! To put this into perspective, Riviera had turned back the challenges of former Vendetta Pro Heavyweight Champ Chris Masters, former WWE World Tag & TNA X-Division Champ THE Brian Kendrick, and BOTH members of the current NWA World Tag Team Champions, Elliott Russell & Sigmon, The Heatseekers. Riviera even managed to recapture the title after briefly losing it to former NWA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett, while climbing the ladder to #6 in the World. Ruffin, having already scored a pinfall of current NWA Southern & Mid-South Heavyweight Champion “Golden Boy” Greg Anthony, has now went 2-for-2 against one of–if not the–most dominant factions in the National Wrestling Alliance and Professional Wrestling as a whole, The Empire. What lies next for the new Champion, and what–if any–will the response be from The Empire? Either way, congratulations to Ricky Ruffin on becoming the new NWA Western States Champion!