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Here we will produce articles that have been written about NPW in the press; both the wrestling press and the general press.


reprinted with permission by PWI Magazine.

This story originally appeared in the April 2002 issue of PWI.
Written by Liz Hunter.
Editor-in-chief Bill Apter

The Real Reason Why Stan Baker Despises Sam Holiday So Much

When Stan Baker first broke into the business many felt that his legacy would forever be tied to his uncle, the great Ox Baker. How many times during a Mid-American Telecast did the announcers call him Ox by mistake? Too many to count.
Now, as the years have gone by it has become apparent that when it is all said and done, Stan Bakers career will be more closely tied to his arch nemesis Sam Holiday, then to his uncle Ox, the master of the heartpunch.
The feud between Baker and Holiday consumed most of Baker's energy last year, and when it was all said and done (the year that is, not the feud) Holiday still wears the Heavyweight strap. One can see why the hatred that Baker has for Holiday runs deep. Or at least we thought we knew.
In preparation for this story, we picked up the phone and tried to talk to some of Stan's friends and relatives. Ironically enough it was Ox who opened our eyes (and more importantly our hearts) to why Stan Baker hates Sam Holiday so much!

Three very significant things have happened to shape this story since Ox spoke to us back in January. First and foremost, Stan has begun a feud with "Total Destruction" Steve Riley. It was Riley who defeated Baker at "Revelations/End of Days" back in December. Not only did this loss put Riley as the top contender to the American title, but it also demoted Baker out of the title picture. However, since that time Baker has taken exception to Riley and the two seem headed to a brutal feud that could literally rip apart arenas. When we asked Baker about the feud he said, "that momma's boy Riley cheated me out of my rightful position in the title hunt. Now he is going to pay. I'm going to hit him so hard in the heart that he will drop dead in the ring." Riley on the other hand dismisses Baker as a has-been. This feud has put Stan Baker in the unlikely position of fan favorite. The cheers that Baker hears are the first of his career in the heartland, and the big man is doing his best to shake off any attachment to the fans. "I couldnt care less about the fans. Once I am done with Riley Im going to take Holiday apart and rip the Heavyweight title out of his dying hands. Then well see if the fans still like me!."

The second thing of significance to happen since we had our enlightening chat with Ox Baker, is that it is becoming more evident every day that Holiday is hanging to his title by a thread. A series of nagging injuries, mostly to his ankle and knee, have him working less dates, and seeing less impressive victories in the ring. It would seem to be only a matter of time before someone catches Holiday off guard and ends his long title reign. The question for Stan Baker is how does he position himself best to be that man?

The third significant thing to happen was our own detective work as we dug deeper into this story. We dont want to risk losing our informants so we will not reveal who said what, but this is the general gist of the information that we gleamed from those closest to big Stan Baker. His hatred for Sam Holiday goes much deeper than what has transpired between them in the ring, and transcends their feud and even Middle America. Baker is seen as a thug, a talented thug, but a thug none the less. He has done a good job carving out a niche for himself here in what is now Northern Premiere Wrestling. He could undoubtedly have his pic of the independent litter, but has always wanted to stay close to home. But if the big boys in PWA, or even WCW ever came calling you just know that Baker would jump at the chance to try it out.

One of Baker's closest allies in the dressing room was remarking about last November when Frank Dusek and Brad Rheinghans of the PWA happened to be in the audience for a Minnesota show, how jacked up everyone in the locker room got. Especially Baker, who the friend says, was literally bouncing off the walls. Veteran Paul Diamond had to come over and calm the nerves of Baker. As a result Baker worked a sub par match that night against Holiday, and was depressed for weeks.

Stan Baker can live with the fact that he may never make it big, but what our eyes have opened wide to over the past weeks of research is that he cant live with, and he cant forgive, Sam Holidays contentment with his lot in life. Friends say Baker is always talking trash about Holiday, but not his values or his ring performance, but that he doesnt try harder to gain a spot with PWA or WCW. Those close to Holiday understand the Texan's reasons behind his lack of desire, how he prefers to be a big fish in a little pond, rather than the other way around. We understand, but Baker does not.

Holiday has everything in life that Baker wants the Heavyweight title, and a still promising career. Apparently Baker is so consumed with Holidays career decision that he has decided to try and control that decision by ending Holiday's career.

When we asked Baker last week about our theories, he at first laughed, then abruptly slammed the dressing room door in our face. Not ones to let an issue lie, we then brought up our findings with Sam Holiday. Holiday smiled broadly and replied. "Methinks you boys have been doing a wee bit too much thinking. Baker is as nasty a son of a bitch that I have ever met, but he doesnt give two bits about my career decisions, just the belt that I wear. Sounds to me like you boys been hoodwinked." Then after some silence Holiday said, "so do you boys figure that I'm not running my life right?." It was a question that we dont have the right to try and answer. And neither does Stan Baker.

No one seems to want to come straight out and say it, but all the evidence is there for the asking. Stan Baker is so consumed with hatred over Sam Holiday's decision to stay in Middle America that he wants to destroy him. Perhaps the recent cheers of the fans is just what Stan Baker needs to break his single minded obsession. Perhaps a new direction, and new friends will help Baker finally find happiness.

When we tried to reach Ox Baker for further comment on our story, he would not return our calls. He must figure that he has already done all he can to save his nephew from ruin.