“You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.”
John Wooden
Hall of Fame Basketball Coach
UCLA

Alex Del Monacco - www.apartmentwrestlers.com
For Alex Del Monacco, winning the championship was the easy part
.
Holding the title has been much more difficult.” Really, the wrestling part of it is easy, it just comes naturally. It’s the other stuff that wears me out.”

Del Monacco entered the promotion as a fresh face at a point where the promotion was suffering. After years of legal entanglements with previous champion Heaven, and a cat and mouse game that then champion Diane Hunter played with the title belt, when Daniella Cartier won the title back, the promotion had a competent, attractive and physically gifted torch bearer. At the same time, it sought to bring in other competitors to face her. One of these was Del Monacco, a woman with extensive technical skills, She was also a well-known internet and magazine model bringing a bombshell sex appeal that raised a lot eyebrows. “I think a lot of people resent the way I look and I can’t figure that out,” she says. “It’s a shame because they look at me as just a pretty face and don’t appreciate my grappling skills.” Most in ACW regard her as one of the best technical wrestlers to ever enter the promotion. Despite holding the championship belt, she is only now beginning to pick up some of the nuances of apartment wrestling. As well, she is trying to juggle her busy modeling opportunities with public appearances and a hectic travel schedule. With all of this she has managed to run off a string of 22 straight victories. Still, she hasn’t won over everyone.” I don’t know why some of the fans give me such a hard time. Sometimes I just think some of them want to hear themselves trash talk. Sometimes it’s hard to listen to, especially when I’m sitting home with aches and pains from a match. It’s like. they sit home and ignore the fact that I’m bouncing around furniture and stairs and the floor getting battered and bruised. They don’t realize how much time I spend in the gym or on the mat training. Throw on top of that the autograph signing and promotional events, it seems like it never stops.”

Alex Del Monacco - www.apartmentwrestlers.com
Del Monacco has been engaged in a running battle of wits and words with a critic on the ACW Yahoo group. “Basically, this chick is just ragging on me, criticizing me and saying I’m not this and I’m not that, but she doesn’t bring anything to the table, she won’t wrestle me. She even admits that she doesn’t stand a chance against me, but she still keeps talking shit. The thing is, it’s like criticizing because that’s all you can do. I could take it if another wrestler was critical but from someone who doesn’t know anything about what it is like to wrestle and bump and grapple and battle, it’s just empty, hollow words.”

“I’ve been there, believe me,” says former champion Daniella Cartier. “After I won the belt for the first time, I couldn’t get a break from the fans. They were merciless, constantly criticizing me about one thing or another. After a while though, I guess I won a lot of them over. Maybe Alex just needs to keep proving herself. Of course I might have something to say about that.” The former champion suffered an injury after dropping the belt to Del Monacco on New Years eve 2006. Since that time she has taken to time off to recuperate and recharge her batteries. “I want the belt more than anything,” says Cartier.”But I don’t miss the pressures and burdens, I can tell you that.”

Alex Del Monacco - www.apartmentwrestlers.com
Moving forward, Del Monacco has been cautioned by ACW management as well as Cartier and other wrestlers not to get caught up in the petty arguments and instead to focus on the belt. “I know they’re right. it’s just one of those things where you’re trying to build a body of work. To perfect your craft, to be the best you can be, to become the champion, the best in the business and despite win after win have someone take cheap shots at you. Besides, I get a lot of support from fans on my website.”

Whether or not she begins to gain the repspect of the fans, she is certainly gaining the respect of her fellow wrestlers. “I thought she was just another cover girl wanna-be,” said fellow ACW girl Brycee Adams. “She’s stronger than she looks and she knows how to use leverage. She almost broke my arm with that weird thing she does with her legs. I saw her wrestle Nyla [Jay Romero] in a training match and she did a cartwheel and halfway through she wrapped her legs around Nyla’s head and did a sit-down faceplant. I saw her in a test of strength against Diane Hunter and when it looked like Diane was winning, Alex just slid between her legs, pulled and flipped her and pinned her 1-2-3. I mean, I will beat her one day but I’ll give her her props. The bitch can go!”

Does Alex have to hold the belt for another couple of years to gain the fans respect or will they finally realize that that she is the head of the class. “I don’t know about that, but looking around I realize, for all their words and all their criticism, there’s only one champ and that’s me. Love me or hate me… I’m the champ… and you’re not!”