When fans look back at 2018, two names that stick out for having breakout years would be Austria’s juggernaut WALTER, a regular from Germany’s Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw), and PCO, the former 3x WWF Tag Team Champion who returned from a 5-year hiatus to his career defining moments. Throughout this past year, WALTER cemented Ringkampf‘s domination of wXw with his third wXw Tag Team reign, legitimized PROGRESS‘ Atlas Championship division with two Atlas title reigns, and won World Championships in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), PROGRESS and Ireland’s Over The Top (OTT) Wrestling (the last three of which, he still holds). Meanwhile, PCO – formerly Pierre Carl Ouellette of the Quebecers – has returned from the grave as the “Not Human” French-Canadian Frankenstein that has become one of the indie scenes great attractions – he’s had slug fests and prison fights with the likes of Matt Riddle, Brian Cage, Homicide, Dan Maff, Nick Gage, Eddie Kingston and Chris Dickinson. And even WALTER. It was their match at this year’s Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2 over WrestleMania Weekend that launched PCO’s comeback into a mania and propelled WALTER to World Championship material – it became a match of legend, for it’s sheer brutality. But it wasn’t their first encounter, and it wouldn’t be their last. This is a feud that is now 10 years in the making.
WALTER vs. PCO: GERMANY, 2008
wXw’s biggest annual event of the year is a tournament called 16 Carat Gold. It’s the longest running tournament in Europe for pro wrestling – kind of Europe’s Battle of Los Angeles. The 2008 field was a who’s who of today’s top stars, including Chris Hero (Kassius Ohno), Tommy End (Aleister Black), El Generico (Sami Zayn), Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan) and Mike Quackenbush, as well as Japanese stars like Noamichi Marufuji. But it also marked the first time that PCO would encounter WALTER. At the time, they were both at very opposite stages of their career than they are now – in 2008, PCO was winding down from a career that had dwindled in North America, and WALTER – then known as Big Van Walter – was only a 3-year pro. Both men would be eliminated in the first round – PCO by wXw veteran “Bad Bones” John Klinger, and WALTER by Ares. With both out of the tournament, on the third night, they ending up facing each other, but in a four way elimination tag match. In the end, PCO and his wXw partner Absolute Andy emerged victorious, against the three other teams, including WALTER with Marc Slater.
Two months later, the two finally squared off for the first time, at wXw Full Force VII, with the young bull WALTER upsetting the grizzled veteran PCO in under ten minutes. Oh wait a difference a decade can make.
WALTER vs. PCO II: SPRING BREAK
UNLOCK THE MATCH ANNOUNCEMENT!
Friday. April 6 2018. 1155pm.
Live from New Orleans.@GCWrestling_ presents: Joey Janela’s Spring Break II #JJSB2https://t.co/hdclxJ1ZHD pic.twitter.com/uve9zfB7z9
— Bad Boy Joey Janela (@JANELABABY) February 20, 2018
When Joey Janela released the above preview for the match at this year’s Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2, the general reaction online was more shock and confusion. Why was one of the fasting rising indie stars in the world facing a “washed up” former WWF star? While PCO had been fairly dormant since 2010, he’d actually started his comeback a few months earlier. He’d appeared for Black Label Pro twice in January, first in their BLP Rumble, then in singles action against “All Ego” Ethan Page, both on the same night. But to the majority of the wrestling world, this seemed like an odd mismatch, a novelty match designed to make the younger WALTER look even more like an animal. But instead, it was a brutal hoss fight that saw PCO emerge as his “Not Human” character and absorb every chop WALTER could throw and continue coming forward. And not only did PCO stand ground with WALTER and win over the audience, but he got redemption for his loss 10 years previous, defeating the Austrian brute. And suddenly, a star was re-born.
WALTER vs. PCO III: MONTREAL STREET FIGHT
Now tied at one win a piece, they had their rubber match in PCO’s home turf, in Montreal, Quebec with International Wrestling Syndicate (IWS). A hard hitting promotion known for it’s hardcore fights, PCO faced WALTER in a Montreal Street Fight at Hardcore Heat 2018. With the momentum of his new found indie rise, PCO once again defeated WALTER, now leading their singles confrontations 2-1.
WALTER vs. PCO IV: HALLOWEEN IN IOWA
— The Wrestling REVOLVER (@PWRevolver) September 28, 2018
On Saturday October 20, Iowa’s Wrestling Revolver (Sami Callihan’s promotion) is holding Tales from the Ring, and the WALTER vs PCO 2018 Trilogy will hit it’s finale. But with PCO leading their matches 2-1, a win by WALTER would simply tie the series up. Another win by PCO would make him WALTER’s albatross of 2018. But one thing is for sure. It will be another slugfest of thunderous proportions. Interesting to note that #Impact and #GWN are both tagged in the announcements for this event – could we see this end up another IMPACT Wrestling Twitch special? The two have worked together on this year’s May special IMPACT x Wrestling Revolver: Penta Does Iowa.
WALTER vs. PCO V: WRESTLEMANIA WEEKEND?
Saturday – 4/6/19 – 4pm
White Eagle Hall
Jersey City, NJ
More info soon…
Who's next to join The Collective? pic.twitter.com/xVToj7ZQ26
— GameChangerWrestling (@GCWrestling_) September 27, 2018
Could there be a fifth and final installment? Should WALTER finally beat PCO in Iowa, it would even their lifetime feud to 2-2. A rubber match would need to be booked to decide the final victor. GCW, who kickstarted the feud back up with Spring Break 2, is running a “Collective” show on Saturday April 6 next year during WrestleMania Weekend, a co-promotion with Montreal’s IWS. The promotion responsible for their second match this year. Could the two band together to make it happen once again on the biggest weekend for wrestling of the year? Time will tell.
In the meantime, WALTER and PCO has become a hoss fight for the ages. A feud built on savagery instead of spots, brutality instead of technique, two monsters amongst men who can take the pain as much as they can inflict it. Like classic feuds like Stan Hansen vs. Vader, Minoru Suzuki vs. Tomohiro Ishii, or Bruiser Brody vs. Abdullah the Butcher, while the matches may not contain high spots, it is an all out war that just escalates every encounter and never fails to capture the imagination of the audience.