Kiwi Pro Wrestling (KPW) is a promotion based in Wellington, New Zealand.
Started in May 2006 by veteran New Zealand wrestler Rip Morgan. It was formed with the express purpose of taking NZ wrestling from club level to professional level and groom local wrestling talent to compete on the world stage. CEO Rip Morgan and commissioner Butch Miller have many years experience as pro wrestlers on the international circuit and have extensive contacts in the international pro wrestling scene. KPW's talent pool includes returning veterans such as Rogue Trooper and Irishman Mike Ryan from 'On the Mat' days on NZ television, as well as upcoming wrestling talent.
Since its formation, KPW management has gone out of its way to actively involve former wrestlers, recognising that their invaluable experience and knowledge are essential for invigorating NZ pro wrestling. Wrestling legends such as Steve Rickard, John Da Silva and Robert Bruce, all former champions, have thrown their support behind the company and contribute to the New Zealand Legends profiles on the Kiwi Pro Wrestling web site. Butch Miller (one half of the world-famous Bushwhackers), arguably the most successful wrestler from New Zealand, acts as KPW commissioner and regularly appears at KPW matches with his 'Bushwhacker Shack'. His partner, Luke Williams, is a wrestling promoter based in Puerto Rico.
KPW's first show, Storm Warning, was held on June 23, 2006. Up until August 2007, KPW have staged eleven further shows since, the reviews of which can be found on their web site.
Two of KPW's wrestlers, Juice and Creed, wrestled briefly on Sunday morning children's television show What Now.
KPW were also on TV ONE's Good Morning show on July 6, 2006, promoting their July 7 Ring Rampage show at the Taita Community Centre. There were interviews with CEO Rip Morgan and Butch Miller, as well as a tag team match featuring D-Money, Juice, Creed and H-Flame.
KPW broadcast their December 2006 match 'Xmas Kracker' on Triangle TV during June 2007 and posted the promo on YouTube. More match clips have been added since.
Kiwi Pro Wrestling brought wrestling back into central Wellington in March 2007 with the 'SlamTime City' and 'Kaos Theory' held at Wellington High School in April and July respectively. Like 'Xmas Kracker', these matches were filmed by Ocular Films (Wellington) for future broadcast. The company staged their 'Australian Invasion' match in August 2007, this being their first show, matching local against overseas talent. Four wrestlers from Melbourne appeared: Tank, Iron Horse, Grudge and the Sheik. In October 2007, KPW staged their Halloween Howl II match in Wellington, continuing in their series of matches staged around various themes. The company also started their "Wild 4 Wrestling" training school in March 2007 for aspiring professional wrestlers and referees. In February 2008 Kiwi Pro Wrestling champion H-Flame and Max (the Axe) Damage represented KPW in Hobart, Tasmania in successful matches against NAW opponents. On April 18, 2008 Kiwi Pro Wrestling stages the 'Eve of Destruction' show in Wellington, New Zealand.
Several local and national newspapers have published articles about Kiwi Pro Wrestling being: City Life, Wellingtonian, Capital Times, The Dominion, National Business Review, Hutt News and New Zealand Herald. KPW's latest article covering the Hobart matches is in the Australian People magazine February 27 issue.
There is currently a significant amount of controversy following KPW's, (more specifically, Rip Morgan's) announcement on 3 June 2008, of the wrestlers that will take part in the 2008 New Zealand WWE trials, to take place in Auckland.
KPW issued a press release to say that all wrestlers from New Zealand promotions (NZWPW, KPW, IPW) and Australia were invited to apply to audition.
Those named to audition for WWE are (promotion in brackets):
- The Ram (KPW)
- Hollie (KPW)
- Powerhouse Jade Diamond (KPW)
- H-Flame (KPW Champion)
- X-Rated (KPW)
- Tank (NAW)
- Terry The Golden Greek (KPW)
- Jason Steele (WWP)
- Max (the Axe) Damage (KPW)
No wrestlers from New Zealand Wide Pro Wrestling, Impact Pro Wrestling or Australia were invited to audition, in what is regarded as a huge stab in the back, not just for the wrestlers, but the fans, New Zealand Pro Wrestling Journalists,and all others involved, especially given Auckland-based IPW wrestlers have performed at KPW shows to help promote their local business.