Darin Childs, the man who has been the driving force behind ACW since it started, recently had his last in-ring match.  He and his company got me into independent wrestling and I owe him and the whole company a huge thank you for that. I started watching the Texas indies in 2009 but I have learned a bit about the build up and past of ACW. I am also doing a special “Final Pinned Down” with Darin as well as contacting several fans and fellow wrestlers who have known him the longest over the years to get their thoughts.  

Thomas Wesley is a long time fan who goes to a ton of indy shows.  “Darin Childs has been one of the most impactful wrestlers and promoters in the last decade here in Texas,” said Wesley. “With Anarchy Championship Wrestling, Darin has given fans of San Antonio and Austin far more than we ever imagined we would get. In a state with dozens of promotions, Darin helped ACW standout with his promoting and in-ring work. He may be stepping back from the ring of ACW but he is far from done giving the fans exactly what they want. He’s been doing it this long and shows no sign of slowing down.”

My first time seeing an ACW show was April 26th, 2009. It was called “Keep Austin Weird II” and was the only show done at Emo’s. This show had Childs and his fellow ACW partner, Jacob Ladder, both on this show. Ladder was putting his hardcore title up against Problems and JC Bravo.  Darin was in a crazy match for the U30 title, which is a belt that can only be won by people under 30, giving newer guys a belt to fight over.  

In his match, Childs was battling Brent Masters, Davey Vega, Super Electro, Arik Cannon, and Gary Jay. It was my first live show and I was hooked. That night was great ending with a Heavyweight Title Match between Jaykus Plisken vs Dingo vs JT LaMotta(c).

Childs has teamed up with a variety of talent: Jacob Ladder, The Children of Pain, Jerry Lynn and Paul London to name a few. He also had to battle most of them at one time or another. Jerry Lynn was a mainstay in ACW and when Paul London returned he targeted Childs and ACW, bringing in his new students, The Swarm, lead by Angel Blue.

“Infamous” Shawn Vexx: “When I first debuted in ACW, I was just happy to be there. After my match, Darin was one of the guys to tell me ‘this is your new home so don’t f**k it up kid’ jokingly! As I wrestled in ACW, I started gaining some fanfare but I never really had that match yet to help me gain a name… until I wrestled Darin for the first time. Being still new in the business, I wanted to shake things up and have people talking. I refused to shake Darin’s hand, I wanted him fired up because I knew he would give me everything and he did. I lost but I lit a fire in Darin because our rematch was a ‘Respect Match’. Same concept as an I Quit Match, but you get your opponent to say ‘I respect you’. We beat the crap out of each other because we wanted the best from one another. And although I was beaten down, Darin saw my determination and never say die attitude and said ‘Anyone willing to die for ACW, I can respect’. Over the years Darin has been my toughest opponent, an awesome mentor for the business side of things, and a good friend. I learned a great deal from Darin and I was given the opportunity to become Infamous. All because he saw good things in me, I had a fun ride. How do you repay a man for all that? Here’s to you Darin ‘We’re getting too old for this sh*t’.”

Childs had some amazing battles over the years both alone and in various tag teams or factions.  He had some lenghty and bloody rivals in Scot Summers and Shawn Vexx, both of who he has battled many times over the years. He has taken on the newest stars in Jojo Bravo and Ricky Starks. His final match was against Jojo for the Hardcore and Heavyweight title.

With his team they have come up with some great show ideas like the Queen of Queens which showcases the best of the Joshi’s from all over. There’s the annual Prom show and the Lone Star Classic tournament. 

I spoke to Biss next, who was a long time member of the Anarchy family and team. He was a huge help in bringing in talent and molding it. For a long while there was a house that many of the up and coming guys, like Jeff Gant, stayed at called the “Biss House.” Biss would eventually leave ACE and now helps run a different local promotion called Inspire Pro.

Biss: “The first time I saw Darin in a match was at a TWE show where the main event ended up being Bryan Danielson vs Christopher Daniels and even with that main event, the tag match that Darin was in still stands out in my mind. He was teamed up with Jacob Ladder and they were taking on two men who were students at the time, Schtizo and Hector N. Jacob. The ACW as you know it only had about five shows before I became a part of it. I bought my advanced tickets from Darin himself before that and we would spend time in the Walgreens parking lot just talking. What surprised me most about Darin was how much he wanted others to succeed in their quests and dreams and that he wanted to share all he had learned in wrestling to pass on his knowledge both good and bad.  I am sad to hear he is retiring from something I know he truly loved doing but glad the got to leave on his own terms.”

Darin now runs ACW but not so much the day-to-day stuff as he has a new team. But he is able to focus more on the big picture and the future of ACW is looking bright. I can not cover his whole career and all those he has affected over all this time in one post, or even 100. Childs impact has been that expansive. That massive. That great.

Long time fan Ludevig Voden , stopped going to as many wrestling shows after doing interviews and even a documentary on ACW. Having watched and Talked to Darin many times I had to get his thoughts.

“What can I truly say about Darin Childs… he has had his last match when often-time I have been one of his loudest and harshest critics over the years? He never had to prove anything to any critic. He never had to change the world or be seen as one of the greatest of all time. He never tried to reinvent the wheel. What he did do though was do it all, everything his way. There is a lot to admire about Darin Childs,” said Voden. “He has seen and done things in professional wrestling that so many before him and a lot more currently could not and cannot do. Not many can say they have run a promotion for a decade, not many can say they have given so many wrestlers not just their first break but their most consistent bookings. I could go on but I will end this here with these words. There will never be another Darin Childs and to be honest the wrestling world truly does need a lot more of them.”