While personal agendas often play a part when it comes to in-ring competition, usually at the root is professional achievement. Be it a title, perceived status, or simply bragging rights.
However, at April Cruels Day, while those three things still play a part in most of the matches scheduled, personal animosity is the real driving factor for the competitors who will enter the Vendetta Pro ring.
The NWA Tri-Force Championship will be at stake as Mike Rayne defends against Will Roberts and Greg Hernandez. For Roberts, it’s an opportunity for the 2015 APW Young Lions Cup holder and PCW Heavyweight Champion to add another accomplishment to his already impressive list of accomplishments so early in his career. However, for Greg Hernandez, there’s more. Sure, he’d like to take the NWA Tri-Force title, and add insult to injury, but it’s also his opportunity to gain a measure of revenge on Mike Rayne for the assault he put down on Hernandez just a few short months ago.
The NWA Western States Heavyweight Championship will be at stake as Brawlin’ Bo Cooper once again gets his opportunity at Ricky Ruffin. Februtality had an unfortunate technicality, when the match booked by NWA matchmakers was set for a short ten-minute time limit–half the time of a standard time limit for a non-title match in Vendetta Pro–that caused the match to end in a draw. Though Vendetta Pro Commissioner Joseph Duncan could not do anything about the final decision, he could–and did–personally arrange for the NWA Western States title to be defended again at April Cruels Day with the Vendetta Pro standard sixty-minute time limit for Championship matches. However, this wasn’t enough for Cooper. The Punk Rock Powerhouse believed that he had won the match and the title as he had Ruffin pinned when the bell rang. Because of this, he attacked Ruffin and stole the Western States title belt, challenging anyone to try to do something about it and dispatching NWA official D.C. Brown when he attempted to get the belt. Although Cooper has possession of the physical belt, the title of Western States Champion is still with Ruffin. For “The Last Temptation”, things have now changed. The post-match assault, the theft of his title belt, and the blatant disrespect shown by Cooper has motivated Ruffin like never before. Perhaps as controversial as the ending to the match at Februtality, Ruffin went from being ranked as the #5 Contender for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship to off of the rankings entirely following the time limit draw. This has left Ruffin feeling like he now needs to prove that not only is he good enough to beat Cooper, but he’s good enough to be a top contender for the oldest and grandest Championship title in the history of Professional Wrestling. While Cooper still enjoys a size, strength and experience advantage over the Champion, history has shown that motivation can be the greatest factor in determining the winner of a battle, and right now, Ruffin may have an advantage in motivation even more massive than the 300-plus pound veteran Bo Cooper.
The Ballard Brothers and Von Dooms have been at each other’s throats for the better part of the last year. It started off as a simple best two-out-of-three series for contendership to the NWA Western States Tag Team title. However, things started to get complicated when not only the Western States Tag title, but Tag Team titles from other organizations got thrown into the mix. At Februtality, these two teams were finally going to settle things, with the bonus that the winning team would leave as the NWA Western States Tag Champs. One Double Countout later, and not only is nothing settled, but The Ballard Brothers have now formed an alliance with Apostle Judah Mathew. The three have assaulted The Von Dooms both inside and outside the ring, making this feud no longer simply about capturing Tag Team gold or professional achievement. It’s a very personal matter. What affect will the addition of Stryder to The Von Dooms have on this brutal conflict?
Vendetta Pro Wrestling’s richest prize, the Undisputed Vendetta Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Championship, is also at stake at April Cruels Day. SoCal Crazy has beaten the last two men to hold the title in Rik Luxury and Little Cholo-one of the few in all of Professional Wrestling who can claim victories over both men. He sits on top of Vendetta Pro as the Undisputed titleholder when at Februtality, he defeated the then-rightful Champ in Cholo. Little Cholo himself declared that if it had to be anybody, he was glad it was Crazy. But for Luxury, the three-time Vendetta Pro Heavyweight Champion has issues not just with Crazy, but with Vendetta Pro Commissioner Joseph Duncan, with Vendetta Pro itself, and with the National Wrestling Alliance as a whole. So much so, in fact, that he and his lawyer “The Voice” Donovan Troi, recently filed suit against all three parties in court, claiming damages from losing the title and not receiving an immediate rematch for it, in addition to a conspiracy among the three parties against him. Although Luxury lost the then-interim Vendetta Pro Heavyweight title to SoCal Crazy at Reflexion in January, the contract of the Interim title stated that when Cholo–then, the rightful Vendetta Pro Heavyweight Champion–returned to action within six months of having his title reign suspended due to injury–returned to action, that the Interim Champion would have an immediate match against Cholo to unify the two versions into a once-again Undisputed Heavyweight title. This clause trumped the automatic rematch clause that Luxury had for Crazy’s Interim title. However, the case against all three parties was settled out-of-court when Commissioner Joseph Duncan revealed that Luxury’s automatic rematch clause was still in effect, and would now be for Crazy’s Undisputed title. Although Luxury and Troi agreed to the settlement, it would be a proverbial feather in their cap to take the now-Undisputed Vendetta Pro Wrestling Heavyweight title from Crazy and for Luxury to become an unprecedented four-time Vendetta Pro Heavyweight titleholder. Just to add fuel to the personal flames, there is a rising hatred forming outside of the ring between Donovan Troi and Kitana Vera that may affect this rivalry in ways not yet contemplated. This match will be contested with the stipulation that if Rik Luxury does not capture the Vendetta Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Championship, he will be barred from competing for Vendetta Pro Championship titles for 365 days–one full year.
But perhaps the most personal of conflicts at April Cruels Day doesn’t simply involve two opponents or two teams of opponents, but two complete organizations. The Central Coast Cold War went hot back at Winter Wonder Slam: Black Friday last November when the team of Sledge and J.D. Horror–collectively known as Creepshow–made an unscheduled and uninvited return to Vendetta Pro Wrestling, trespassing on a match between the reunited Rock of Love and The Ballard Brothers:
Although at the time this wasn’t blatantly expressed as an invasion by San Luis Obispo-based Cen-Cal Professional Wrestling–an small wrestling organization formed by former Vendetta Pro Wrestling members and graduates of Vendetta Pro Wrestling’s Kayfabe College–it was clear at Reflexion that this was exactly what was taking place:
Since then, Billy Blade has appeared at Cen-Cal Pro both as a trespassing invader, and as an invited competitor. Likewise, Creepshow, Diskord and Cen-Cal announcer Jimmy Ray have been invited and have appeared in Vendetta Pro as representatives of Cen-Cal Pro. At Februtality, Creepshow took a tainted victory over SU/KA following interference by Diskord, who used his mysterious green mist as a weapon against Sunami. The challenge was then made by SU/KA that if Creepshow and Cen-Cal Pro don’t want to play by the rules, than neither do they nor Vendetta Pro. At April Cruels Day, Vendetta Pro and Cen-Cal Pro will once again engage in an Inter-Promotional match but THIS time, it will be under House of Horrors rules–the match made famous by Creepshow!
These two teams faced off before in a House of Horrors match back at September To Remember 2013–a match that went on to win the Vendetty for 2013 Match of the Year–but under much different circumstances. Back then, it was simply a heated rivalry between two of Vendetta Pro Wrestling’s top teams. Now, it’s two different organizations. This time, it’s two teams who at one time respected each other. This time, it’s strictly personal. Diskord has been banned from appearing inside or in the immediate vicinity of the Radisson Hotel Santa Maria.