April 6, 2006
REAL NAME: Frank Kazarian
In March 2001, Kazarian teamed with Nova (later Simon Dean); The team, managed by Loonie Lane, became known as Evolution, and competed in UPW, Phoenix Championship Wrestling and Zero-One. On May 30, 2001, Evolution would win a tournament to become UPW Tag Team Champions, and then on July 20th, they won a Triple Threat match (which included the Backstreet Boyz and Joey Matthews/Christian York) to win the PCW Tag titles.
That same year also saw Kazarian make several appearances on WWF Jakked. In March, he teamed with Keji Sakoda against Kaientai and then in December, he teamed with Mickey Henderson against Crash Holly and Hardcore Holly.
In early 2002, Kazarian and Nova headed to Japan where they competed against teams such as Naohiro Hoshikawa/Yoshito Sasaki and Steve Corino/C.W. Anderson. Back in the States, Kazarian began accumulating singles titles, taking the PCW Television Championship defeating Prodigy (Tom Marquez) on May 18, 2002, and then defeated B-Boy and Brian "Spanky" Kendrick on August 15th for the UPW Light Heavyweight Championship.
Kazarian continued to travel to finish out 2002, heading to Birmingham, England to tag with Nathan Jones to defeat Disco Inferno and Johnny Swinger on November 29 and then travelling back to Zero-One in Japan in December, teaming with Low Ki in a losing cause against Masato Tanaka and Tatsuhito Takaiwa.
Kazarian's list of stops grew after returning from Japan. He wrestled for Cleveland All-Pro Wrestling, Maximum Pro Wrestling and New Era Pro Wrestling. In April 2003, he partipated in ECWA's Super 8 tournament, defeating Chris Sabin in the first round, before losing to eventual winner Paul London, and a year later, traveled to Australia to several shows for World Wrestling All-Stars.
After returning from Australia, Kazarian began working for NWA-TNA in June 2003. Almost immediately, he began feuding with Chris Sabin in his quest to win the X Division Championship, but was unsuccessful. He was, however, more fortunate in working some shows for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, becoming the first ever PWG Champion, defeating Joey Ryan on August 30th in Industry, California.
Kazarian left TNA in October 2003 and worked several UPW shows, even winning the Light Heavyweight Championship and retaining the title against Jerry Lynn and Evan Karagias on UPW's 5th Anniversary show in Anaheim, California on February 20, 2004. Nine days later, he was in Japan for Zero-One's Third anniversary show, where he and A.J. Styles lost to the NWA International Light Heavyweight Tag Champs, Leonardo Spanky (Brian Kendrick) and Low-Ki.
Returning to TNA in early spring 2004, Kazarian defeated Amazing Red on March 31st to win the vacant X Division Championship. After several successful title defences, Kazarian lost the title to A.J. Styles.
While attempting to regain the X Division title, Kazarian also saw quite a bit of tag action with Michael Shane as his partner. On July 28th, Kazarian and Shane defeated Styles in an Ultimate X match to become co-champions. Kazarian lost the title to Petey Williams in a 22-Man X Division Gauntlet match on August 11, 2004.
Kazarian continued to split time between teaming with Shane and competing in the X Division for the remainder of 2004. In addition, he also worked for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and various other independent companies.
However, after working a TNA Impact taping on February 25, 2005 (where he teamed with Michael Shane and Christopher Daniels to defeat Styles, Ron Killings and Sonny Siaki), Kazarian left TNA. The day before, he had teamed with Shannon Moore to defeat Nunzio and Big Vito in a dark match at the WWE Smackdown tapings.
Kazarian would spend the next few weeks working independent shows, before returning to WWE to lose to Mark Jindrak in another dark match. He was also honoured by the Cauliflower Alley Club as a "Future Legend" on April 18, 2005.
In May, Kazarian debuted in Ohio Valley Wrestling, battling Kid Kash to a draw in the OVW TV title tournament. By July, he was appearing on Velocity, defeating Funaki, Danny Doring, Scotty Too Hotty and Paul London. However, before the end of August, Kazarian had been released by WWE.
Kazarian returned to the independent circuit, wrestling for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Jersey All Pro Wrestling, World Series Wrestling in Australia and winning the UXW title, defeating Elix Skipper and, in May 2006, defeated A.J. Styles and Teddy Hart to win the JAPW Light Heavyweight Championship.
In July, Kazarian returned to TNA, losing in his return bout against X Division Champion Senshi. Since his return, Kazarian has reteamed with Matt Bentley and are taking aim at the NWA Tag Team titles.
--- compiled by John M. Milner
FRANKIE KAZARIAN STORIES