2002 – The Year in Review

Dixie Monroe - Candy Sommers - apartmentwrestlers.com

The year 2002 was a significant change from the previous year. After a tumultuous 2001, filled with lawsuits and defections, 2002 was a much more positive year, although full of surprises and changes.

Tabitha Van Dyne and Lisa Nash - www.apartmentwrestlers.com The year began with the promotion regrouping after the debacle of the previous year surrounding the legal dispute with Heaven. With fences mended and hurt feelings soothed, ACW officials looked to move in a positive direction, despite a nagging paranoia over possible other disputes with talent. Instead, with a soft economy and diminishing opportunities for talent defections, the year saw stability reign as very few talent disputes occurred, but the promotion continued to expand, adding numerous new competitors as well as adding a number of established veterans.

February saw the entrance of two new competitors in ACW – Tabitha Van Dyne and Lisa Nash. Van Dyne is the younger sister of former ACW competitor Veronica Van Dyne. Attending an apartment wrestling convention on a lark in Madrid, Spain, she caught the attention of ACW Founder Tanako X. After training at the ACW Academy DoJo in Chicago, she was sent to Europe for further seasoning and worked extensively in Poland. She got lost in the shuffle somewhat as ACW expanded, but is one of the bright young stars being looked at if she can keep her focus and commitment intact.

While a newcomer to ACW, Lisa Nash was certainly well known within the apartment wrestling industry. A former Parisian Women’s champion, Nash had met with success throughout Europe. Her entrance was greeted with high expectations but her stay in the promotion ended up being a disappointing one. “I thought I would be treated with a little more respect when I came in,” said Nash. “Instead, a lot of the girls acting like I was any other newcomer. I didn’t come all the way over her to be treated like that.” Nash left the promotion abruptly in September and is not expected to return.

In June, Gia Torelli and Kristy Broussard entered. WIth an extensive background in martial arts and combat sports, Broussard entered with a reputation, something that didn’t necessarily sit well with many of the ACW competitors. “These girls seemed to care more about being cute than being tough and my approach was a lot different,” said Broussard. As a result, Kristy freelanced working for other promotions while still being loosely affiliated with ACW.

Torelli, on the other hand entered as the golden girl, a fan favorite. What she lacked in brute strength, she made up for with finesse and speed. Unfortunately for her, she was sometimes overpowered by the bigger, stronger women in ACW. After taking some time off in the spring, she began working with various promotions, most notably the now defunct Night Fights. Both women are still affiliated with ACW and may return in the spring.

July saw the biggest match in ACW history as top-ranked challenger Daniella Cartier knocked off the undefeated ACW champion Heaven. The match had been heavily hyped as the much anticipated rematch between the two competitors. Heaven won a controversial match the previous year and fans had clamored for the two to meet again. A car accident sidelined Cartier for six months and Heaven was embroiled with legal problems for the second half of 2001, so their July meeting served as a comeback for both.

With the win, Cartier established herself as the preeminent woman in the sport, while a surprisingly humble Heaven took the loss in stride, acknowledging that the non-stop pace as a champion had become too large of a burden. She recently began competing again and is still considered by many to be the best in ACW. While another rematch is in the works, both are content to improve their skills against other competition.

Tanako X and Tiffani Jones - www.apartmentwrestlers.com August was another turning point for the promotion as ACW welcomed it’s newest competitors – the Motor City Posse. Chrissy Martin, Carmen Jones and Libby Watson, working as independent models in Detroit, formed a unit intended to circumvent the hassles of working with modeling agencies. They were approached by ACW with the idea of being a crossover between the apartment wrestling and entertainment worlds.

While the trio’s entrance did spawn a great deal of attention, it also met with a great deal of backlash from ACW veterans who felt that the Posse was getting a lot of attention and opportunity without having to pay their dues. Nonetheless, ACW will continue to advance its plans to interact with other players in the entertainment world. “While we respect the thoughts of our talent, the bottom line is that they work for us. We pay them and we have to do what is necessary to enhance our revenue streams,” said X. “I have always done what I have felt is best for this promotion and everything has worked well over the years. I met with each of them and told them to basically concentrate on bettering themselves and less on others in the organization. We’re in a recession right now, so if they feel strongly enough, they’re welcome to leave and go somewhere else. I can tell you that in 2003, the inmates will NOT be running the asylum!”

October saw the release of the much-anticipated Volume One of the ACW Video Tape Series. Featuring the Motor City Posse (Chrissy Martin, Tiffani Jones and Libby Watson) as well as Gia Torelli and Kristy Broussard. The tape is the first in the line of new media offerings in development.

ACW continued its strong merchandising plan in 2002 offering more products. “We have been fortunate in expanding more than we had anticipated possible in 2002 and we plan to roll out a number of new items in 2003,” said Tanako X. “One thing we would like to do is focus the merchandising attention on each ACW girl, thus allowing each of them to have their own lines of T-shirts, hats, mugs, etc. We’re very excited about what is coming up in the new year!”

While 2002 and good year for the promotion, 2003 promises to be even better. ACW is in negotiations to bring in new stars including a prodigy of former champion Heaven. As well, a number of former featured stars have returned to action, including Candy Sommers, Miranda Alexander and Dixie Monroe. All three have taken part in recent taping for Volume Two in he ACW Video tape series, as have champion Daniella Cartier and Niki Foxe. The tape, which will be released in March may include matches with other ACW, including Heaven, Tabitha Van Dyne and Diane Hunter.

“We were happy with 2002, but we can do better in 2003,” said X. “We hope to expand our brand awareness and have an opportunity to bring in more exciting sexy performers. For all of the ACW fans…stay tuned.”

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