Auckland pro wrestlers battle it out for hero status

By Troy Rawhiti-Forbes

Troy Rawhiti-Forbes explains the Auckland pro-wrestling scene

"Double D" Davey Deluxeo is a golden-haired pretty boy with an unusual nickname, but there's nothing pretty about the way he does his work.

As many young wrestling fans discovered during Labour weekend at the Armageddon expo in Auckland, the three-time Impact Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Champion delights in humiliating his opponents and antagonising his audiences.

He is also one of the most experienced competitors in New Zealand.

Deluxeo is an IPW original, having endured countless bumps and bruises since 2003 when a group of aspiring Auckland-based wrestlers pooled their resources and formed their own company.

Almost five years later IPW is the driving force of a resurgent pro wrestling movement which includes two organisations in Wellington.

Having been involved since day one, "Double D" could well argue that he has every right to talk up his game.

One competitor who doesn't agree with Deluxeo's take on public relations is "The One" Vinny Dunn, who has won the hearts of wrestling fans from around the country after only two years in the business.

A former Bartercard Cup rugby league player, the fiercely proud Hibiscus Coast native has already captured the IPW South Pacific Championship, and his fan support continues to grow unabated even though he himself was once as hated as the despicable Deluxeo.

Such is the way that pro wrestling works; a wrestler can be a hero one week, and a "doghead" (as Dunn would say) by the next.

Just ask Alfred Valentine.

Once a highly respected leader of the new pro wrestling movement, Valentine built his reputation on a combination of scientific wrestling techniques and high-flying acrobatics.

However, a trip to his native Switzerland saw Valentine undergo a major attitude adjustment.

Now calling himself the "Ex-Patriot", Valentine believes he is a lone proponent of the real truth; that our society is in decay.

Taking it upon himself to tell New Zealanders what's wrong with New Zealanders, Valentine has thrown respect out the window. He doesn't care much, because he hates this place.

So much, it seems, for the Swiss being all about neutrality.

Such is Valentine's disdain for the country that he has called home for most of his life that he employs a dull-witted local lad as his personal flag bearer. The boy, says Valentine, is a typical product of NCEA. Ouch.

Deluxeo, Dunn and Valentine are expected to appear this weekend at IPW's next show, Unleashed 2007.

Taking place this Saturday at 2pm in Freemans Bay, IPW hopes the afternoon time slot will be attractive to the hundreds of children who whooped up a storm at Armageddon.

In the main event, Deluxeo and Valentine will join the current IPW Heavyweight Champion, the malevolent Jon E. King, in a six-man tag team match.

Their opponents will be the wildly popular trio of "The Deal" Dal Knox, The Machine and "Lyte Playa" Roger Ventura.

And you can count on "The One" to challenge any doghead who stands in his way.

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