October 22, 2008
Former B.C. promoter gunned down
By MARTY GOLDSTEIN - SLAM! Wrestling
The ongoing gang warfare in Abbotsford, BC claimed another victim on Monday, this time one with a history in both the pro wrestling and mixed martial arts scenes.
The Abbotsford News reported Tuesday that the owner of World Extreme Fighting Gym on Clearbrook Road, 28-year-old Todd Joseph "Joe" Krantz, was found shot to death, after police responded to 911 calls just past 9 p.m., sprayed with bullets as he left work via a back stairwell. Police were canvassing door-to-door in a search for clues after daylight broke. His murder follows on the heels of a reported shooting at an associate of his in Langley last month.
On April 15th, Krantz' apartment was raided by the police drug squad after a month-long investigation. Authorities laid nine charges after finding Krantz' eight-year-old daughter in the apartment near two loaded handguns, six cellphones, body armour, ammunition, handcuffs, brass knuckles, pepper spray, thousands of dollars in cash, 66 grams of heroin, 127 grams of cocaine and 248 grams of crack cocaine. Also found was gang-related gear labeled "Independent Soldiers" and "Kelowna."
After that bust, Krantz posted on the canada.com web story on May 4th stating "Believe it or not, some things are not always as they seem." Sources say that Krantz was not a main player in the gang world but "liked to play the role" of a heavy. According to the Vancouver Sun, Krantz had also been due in court in February in Kelowna on a "creating a disturbance" charge.
In an June 2004 interview with Fred Johns on somethingcool.ca, Krantz explained he got into the wrestling business after seeing an Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling show in Walnut Grove at the urging of a high school buddy who eventually joined ASPW, Precious Paul Pederson. After breaking in as a referee, he moved up in the All-Star Pro Wrestling office after both of Fabio Chiesa's original partners, fellow grapplers Randy Tyler and Mike Roselli, had departed.
Admitting to being "cocky and arrogant", Krantz decried the "primitive and almost violent mentality" of others after being caught red-handed plastering cars with ASPW flyers in the parking lot at an ECCW show at Bridgeview Hall in Surrey in 2002.
Krantz bought into the ASPW promotion in 2004, and was even handling the payoffs to the wrestlers, but after a disastrous unannounced cancellation at Cloverdale Fairgrounds in October, he blamed "the lack of insurance compounded with the incompetence of Fabulous Fabio," called his critics "idiots," and left the wrestling business to focus on building a team of fighters.
The 5'7", 185 lb. Krantz began competing as a fighter in 2007 under the moniker J Money, winning only 1 of 3 fights. His black Escalade bore plates with his fight name.
Besides leaving his fighters, friends, daughter and family to mourn his loss, according to a Facebook post by his pregnant ex-girlfriend Tamara (Tae), he was supposed to meet with her the night he was murdered.
Marty Goldstein writes far too infrequently for SLAM! Wrestling, and hosts The Great Canadian Talk Show weekday afternoons on 92.9 Kick FM in Winnipeg.