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Coming to Second Life(tm)[]

Alpin Criss rezzed into the virtual world of Second Life(tm) shortly before Christmas of 2008.

He learned of Second Life (tm) through various news articles that were published throughout 2008 about SL residents whom made livings off of Second Life (tm).

Alpin's gave Second Life (tm) a try because he had a passion for online gaming and was tired of paying monthly fees to play games like World of Warcraft (tm).

Alpin spent his first few weeks in the metaverse like most other new residents... bouncing around attempting to figure out what there was one could actually "do" on Second Life (tm).

Much to his dismay, there wasn't much that one could easily get into without spending thousands of Lindens to merely give it a try.

His early experiences trying to find something interesting to get involved in would shape his later philosophy about distributing as many of his creations for free so that other SL residents could have something to "do" and enjoy without the hefty price tag associated with much of SL content.

Pro Wrestling in the Metaverse[]

After two uneventful weeks trying to find a "home" within the metaverse, Alpin Criss discovered a small arena build in the middle of a crowded shopping mall. The owner of the very basic arena was none other than Icy Blackburn.

Icy would tell Alpin that he was going to start up a wrestling promotion, which would put on wrestling shows similar to the WWE but in a virtual world. He called his promotion SWE (Secondlife Wrestling Entertainment). And was recruiting people to join his roster.

Although Alpin loved the idea of virtual wrestling, he did not think he was experienced enough with basic SL controls to be very good.

Icy convinced Alpin that he could learn to wrestle, and Icy rezzed his pro wrestling system to give a demonstration and lesson.

The most advanced pro wrestling system at that time was created by TonyB Hax. It was a modification of the sex bed programs that used a simple command script to rez and align poseballs for two avatars to get into position to wrestle. Instead of a bed, a person would rez a pro wrestling mat that would also rez two poseballs upon which wrestlers would sit to wrestle.

Poseballs are small objects that avatars sit on in order to give the proper permissions to animate. Poseballs were and still are the most widely used method of doing multi-avatar coordinated animations.

Little did Icy or Alpin know that when they sat on the pro wrestling poseballs, the future of virtual wrestling would be changed forever.

Icy began his lesson, and almost immediately Alpin was severely disappointed.

Icy's description of his vision for his federation involved live matches that would feature wrestlers springing around the ring and beating each other all over the arena in front of a live crowd.

Alpin's imagination conjured up an image of wrestlers bouncing all over the mats, working in and out of the ring and in and out of the corners to pull off an exciting match in front of a live audience.

But nothing of the sort happened in that lesson, because poseballs do not allow wrestlers to actually move around the ring.

Instead, the system that Icy saw as the life blood of his fledgling federation would only allow wrestlers to pick from an assorted list of moves and transition almost instantly from one to the next.

Without being able to so much as take a step or having an option to "sell" an injury.

As Icy demonstrated the first few moves, images of exciting matches where heels would roll out of the ring to shake off a brutal attack; where wrestlers would fly through the air delivering punishing elbow drops from the top ropes; or where wrestlers would shoot the ropes and rebound for a high impact lariat were completely shattered.

The limitations of the poseball mat were obvious, and at that moment Alpin decided to put into motion a plan to do better.

Dissatisfaction[]

Alpin Criss had always been interested in video games. He especially appreciated video game design, a subject he knew very little about but was intrigued by.

Alpin was not a programmer, but he enjoyed playing games and in particular had played a wide variety of pro wrestling games.

Almost all of them left much to be desired.

As Alpin grew up, he became more interested in the story-telling aspect of professional wrestling than the "competition" aspect of it.

He began reading every biography of every wrestler published, fascinated and intrigued by any description of the process of actually performing a live match while working with your "opponent."

As he played more and more pro wrestling games, he was painfully aware of how poorly they captured the true "art" of being a professional wrestler.

Instead of emphasizing the performance art, game were merely competition based.

Alpin took mental note of his dissatisfaction with games in the pro wrestling genre.

He didn't understand why not a single game designer had yet to create a game where the wrestlers worked in "cooperation" to put on entertaining matches.

He couldn't figure out why these games only gave him control of "offensive" moves, when the true art of wrestling involved the ability to "sell" injuries, not just "inflict" them.

Smackdown Versus Raw would disappoint him year after year, falling far short of what he believed was an overlooked niche for pro wrestling gaming.

2006 ... 2007 ... 2008 ... all seemed to contain the same basic gameplay, and not a single version would come close to the pro wrestling role play that Alpin envisioned.

This dissatisfaction would be the seed for the Alpin Criss's pro wrestling system.

Becoming "The Nature Boy"[]

Alpin Criss spent his early childhood in the St. Louis area in the early 80s. One of his earliest memories is being "snuck" by his uncle and also his older brother to an NWA show that featured The Eight Wonder of the World Andre the Giant.

As he got older, Alpin Criss would retain a love for professional wrestling. As a teenager in the 90s, he was part of the age demographic that fueled the Monday Night Wars between the WWE and WCW.

While growing up, Alpin Criss was never a fan of the "Nature Boy" Ric Flair.

Instead his favorite wrestlers growing up would be Roddy Piper, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, and The Rock.

But as he began developing his own pro wrestling system, and as he talked to more people who were interested in becoming virtual professional wrestlers, he realized that he needed to use a gimmick that would communicate the very aspects of pro wrestling that his system would allow residents to capture.

Alpin Criss became "The Nature Boy" in order to demonstrate the in ring skills of perhaps the greatest bouncing heel to ever step between the ropes.

He hoped to adapt "The Nature Boy" persona in order to create a character that would resonate with people looking to wrestle virtually and entertain live fans.

He wanted a persona that would represent the golden age of professional wrestling when professional wrestling was "real."

Over time, as he developed the system and became a competent virtual wrestler, his admiration for the real "Nature Boy" would increase.

Nowadays, he can honestly say he's become a true fan of that other "Nature Boy."

Birth of the ACPWS[]

The AC Pro Wrestling System (ACPWS) was born to accomplish one thing ... to allow residents of Second Life (tm) to experience the thrill of performing live in front of an audience.

Alpin Criss' first obstacle to overcome was learning to animate. In order to do so, he picked up a copy of the free program Qavimator. To this day, he continues to use Qavimator to create his animations.

Animating on Qavimator was difficult to learn and easy to master. Alpin had never done any video game animating before attempting to create animations for the ACPWS.

Alpin began by simply creating "taunts" and "sells." Simple animations like a "Nature Boy" strut or grabbing for a wounded limb allowed Alpin to get a grasp on the basics of animating.

But a big issue for creating anything in Second Life (tm) is to overcome the cost of uploading necessary parts.

Up until this point, Alpin had joined Second Life (tm) merely to play a "free" game. Now he was learning that nothing in the metaverse was truly free!

In order to upload an animation, one must pay $10L. At the time, Alpin did not want to purchase Lindens, so he made money to upload animations the hard way, by "camping." on poseballs that would pay avatars over time.

Alpin would scour the metaverse for the best camping areas, eventually finding a shopping mall sim with a drum set and guitar for people to camp on.

Alpin, decked out in wrestling gear and a poor man's silk robe would rock that stand for the first month of his development of the ACPWS, earning the precious Lindens to upload his animations at a rate of $3L per every 10 minutes.

Initial progress was slow.

The second major obstacle he had to overcome was the limitations of the poseball system.

At the time, Alpin had no idea how to program. He had no clue what could and could not be done in Second Life (tm), and he had no idea how to script using Linden Lab's programming language.

The hurdle he had to overcome was a giant one. He had to animate two avatars at once.

So far, he had grown accustomed to triggering animations using gestures he would create. But gestures had no ability to trigger animations on other avatars, let alone synchronize them.

So Alpin sought advice from the only person in the world that had all the answers ... Google. After scouring the internet he stumbled across a script that a virtual machinima producer had created to animate multiple avatars using gesture commands.

The script was exactly what Alpin needed, and the website had the complete script available for free.

For the first time, Alpin found a Second Life (tm) resident who had created something important and who chose to give it away free to support other's creations.

This would further impact Alpin's belief that most creations should be as cheap and have a free component to allow residents who haven't yet decided to commit to buying Lindens a chance to give them a try.

Now in possession of a script to allow his gestures to trigger multiple avatar animations, Alpin Criss began working on his pro wrestling system ... a system that would give rise not only to one federation, but one of the most dedicated role playing communities within Second Life (tm).

Almost a month after he had entered Second Life (tm), Alpin Criss body slammed Icy Blackburn using the very first version of the ACPWS.

The impact of that prolific slam is still being felt across the metaverse.

The Near Death of the ACPWS[]

Alpin Criss quickly began creating more moves for his fledgling system. Soon his moveset expanded from a single scoop slam, to a variety of moves.

The punch, the elbow drop to the ground, the stomp to the ground, the piledriver, and the vertical suplex would quickly be added to the system.

Almost immediately, Icy Blackburn realized the superiority that having an independence from the poseballs would have.

He began recruiting a roster of people who would be in his shows, using the growing ACPWS as a lure to spark their imaginations.

One of the first great innovations of the ACPWS was the ability to control how one "sells" injuries.

The original "sells" included standing sells for injuries to the head, to the arm, to the chest, to the back, and to the leg.

The ability to "sell" injuries gave the wrestlers, even with the limited moveset of the early days of the system the ability to perform a variety of matches.

The ACPWS also innovated a technique for simulating aerial attacks. Alpin developed a unique technique for simulating a wrestler's climb to the top turnbuckle, and for allowing the wrestler to "attack" his opponent by launching himself through the air towards his opponent. Alpin's intuitive method allowed wrestlers to retain full control of their aim and distance while flying through the air.

These two important innovations would be what truly distinguished the ACPWS from other pro wrestling systems in Second Life (tm).

It wasn't long until other pro wrestling system creators would find out about the SWE and the work Alpin was doing.

Icy was promoting the opening of his federation all across the metaverse.

One day, shortly after Alpin logged into Second Life (tm), the ACPWS was nearly killed, and was never the same again.

By the time Icy's arena had rezzed, Alpin noticed Icy talking with a small group of avatars.

By this time, foot traffic to the arena was growing steady, so this wasn't all too unusual.

As Alpin got to work uploading a few new move animations, he slowly began paying attention to the conversation Icy was having with the guests.

And he would quickly be introduced to Gavin Vidor.

Alpin would find out that Gavin had already created a HUD based pro wrestling system.

In fact, Gavin had already used it to put on a few "shows" as promoter and owner of his own federation.

Alpin, Icy, Gavin and his posse discussed using his system at the SWE.

Gavin would let the SWE use it for the discounted price of $100,000L.

While Icy calculated how much of his milk money would have to be spent to use it, Alpin asked for a demonstration.

Instead of his system, Gavin demonstrated a powerbomb using a commercial system developed by a resident who called himself Mr. P.

Mr. P's Brutality Pack was a HUD based system that had a few pro wrestling moves programmed in.

It functioned similarly to a hugger, but instead of chatter allowed a resident to use a menu to select the move and target.

Thoroughly impressed, Alpin offered to allow Gavin to use his move animations for Gavin's system.

Not only did Gavin reject the offer, but a few members of his posse actually derided Alpin's work.

To them Gavin's system was the end-all-be-all, and no one could possibly create something that would rival it.

It was lunacy to even think about attempting it.

Particularly for this one month old avatar wearing a "Nature Boy" tag and a freebie silk robe.

For the briefest of instants, Alpin saw himself merely helping Gavin develop his "superior" system.

Gavin Vidor's system could have incorporated what would become the ACPWS.

The choice was entirely his to make.

And he chose to have the first laugh at this newbie's expense.

But in life, it's not who has the first laugh that counts, it's who has the last laugh.

And Gavin wasn't going to be laughing for long.

The First Modern Virtual Federation[]

On another fateful encounter, two fellow pro wrestling fans found their way to the SWE arena.

After a quick demo of the ACPWS, the two decided that they wanted to be a part of the SWE.

The only problem was that Icy Blackburn was really a kid.

Ivan Halfpint and Mattie McCullough could tell pretty quickly that Icy didn't have the resources to really support a federation.

So they offered to partner with Icy to support the SWE and make sure it was headed in the right direction.

Ivan wanted to do color commentary for the matches while Mattie helped run the day-to-day business with Icy.

Both offered to support the SWE financially, which was important since Icy depended on his older brother for the money to support the cost of renting the spot the arena was on.

Icy, however, had other dreams than sharing the responsibility of running the first modern virtual federation.

Icy saw himself as the "Vince McMahon" of virtual wrestling, and would often proclaim how rich he would become running a successful federation.

In the meantime, Icy began covering the walls of the arena with freebie vendors. In a matter of days he covered the walls with freebie shoes, which he tried to sell at a markup of $200-$300L.

Alpin did not like the vendors, because he disagreed with what he considered a "scam" of selling other people's freebie creations for money.

Icy literally papered the walls with the freebie vendors, and even began making low quality WWE t-shirts... something Alpin also disagreed with since it involved violating the WWE's copyright to its own work.

Worse, the vendors added to the already substantial lag generated by the surrounding mall. Eventually, the lag would become so bad that one could not even move.

It was under these conditions that Alpin decided he had had enough.

Unable to so much as test the new moves he was constantly uploading, Alpin decided to contact Ivan Halfpint.

Ivan and Mattie liked the idea of doing live wrestling shows, and created Second Life Championship Wrestling (SLCW). They had completed an arena and were starting to recruit a small roster.

In that early pro wrestling community, most wrestlers would bounce between the SLCW and SWE to see who would actually open and start running shows.

Alpin asked Ivan if he could use their arena to continue developing the ACPWS, since the lag was making it impossible to do so at the SWE.

Ivan readily agreed.

As Alpin continued developing the ACPWS, the system was nearly ready to allow for wrestling shows to actually be performed. Ivan had a small roster of loyal wrestlers, and with Alpin now at the SLCW developing the system, most the pro wrestling traffic shifted to the SLCW.

Icy was not happy with the situation. Despite reassurance the the SWE would still be allowed to use the ACPWS, Icy demanded that Alpin return to the fold and insisted that the SLCW could not use the ACPWS.

After several griefing incidents, Icy would be banned from the SLCW arena.

The tantrums he publicly through belied his actual age, and his bad behavior towards Alpin and Ivan resulted in not only his banishment from the SLCW arena, but in the loss of ACPWS support for the SWE.

Not long after, the ACPWS was fleshed out enough to be able to support actual shows.

The SLCW roster had grown enough for the first live show to take place with 3 matches on the card.

At long last, the SLCW opened its doors, and became the first modern virtual pro wrestling federation to use the ACPWS in front of a live audience.

SLCW Career[]

With such a limited roster, the SLCW staff consisted of Ivan Halfpint and Buger Shan as color commentators, and Alpin Criss served as referee.

Alpin would spend most his time either developing the ACPWS or training people to use it.

Since he saw his creation of the system as a conflict of interest when it came to wrestling in the SLCW, Alpin decided he would not attempt to use the ACPWS as leverage to get into matches on the SLCW cards.

That being the case, Alpin rarely wrestled outside of his referee duties.

There continued to be, however, a few key instances where Alpin was asked to wrestle, most often in World Championship matches.

Alpin Criss versus Sidney Washborne[]

First Blood Match

Sidney Washborne was quickly crowned the very first champion of the SLCW.

As World Heavyweight Champion, Sidney would battle the entire roster of the SLCW week to week.

Going into the first major Free-Per-View, Sidney needed an opponent that would help create a great match.

Ivan almost instantly thought of Alpin Criss.

At first, Alpin was hesitant to break his own rule and step into the ring as a wrestler.

Alpin always felt that as developer of the ACPWS, it was unfair to "step in" and steal the limelight when so many wrestlers worked week in and week out in shows.

Ivan and his roster, however, felt differently.

Despite Alpin's initial reluctance, Sidney was set to defend his championship against Alpin Criss in a first blood match at one of the SLCW's first Free-Per-Views.

Leading up to the match, Alpin was asked to cut an in-ring promo at one of the SLCW's house shows.

This promo would go down as the legendary "Sidney Bear Promo."

As Alpin sauntered to the ring to confront the champion of Second Life, he carried with him a commemorative championship bear created by Eric Stuart, a new member of the SLCW.

Alpin stepped through the ropes and cut a scathing promo, challenging the champion and warning him as to what would happen when he stepped into the ring with "The Nature Boy."

Words aren't always enough to get the message across, so Alpin dropped the bear onto the mat in the middle of the ring.

He then proceeded to drop three elbows onto the bear, knocking the stuffing out of it and leaving the audience with a promo the likes of which they had yet to see.

The match was set and as game day approached, Alpin concocted an original ending to the match.

Alpin had created a custom finisher for Sidney, the cutter bulldog, in order to give the champion a special "edge" against his opponents.

As the two wrestled for nearly 20 minutes in a hardcore first blood match, a chair eventually came into play.

Alpin slid into the ring, ready to bash his opponent senseless and draw not only blood but his first championship victory, when Sidney managed to reverse with a quick kick to the gut.

The vicious kick knocked the wind out of Alpin's lungs, and the chair from his hands.

With the instinct of a true champion, Sidney grabbed Alpin in his cutter bulldog, and managed to drive Alpin's head into the very chair he just dropped to the mat.

The impact would split Alpin's head open ... and allow Sidney to retain his title by drawing first blood.

Alpin Criss versus Eric Stuart versus Madmike Straaf[]

Hell in a Cell Triple-Threat Match

Months went by and the popularity of the ACPWS and the SLCW continued to grow. The roster expanded with fresh talent.

Navistar Skytower and Ivan Halfpint would host two weekly shows, Wednesday Warzone and Sunday Showdown respectively.

Ivan would work a deal with Metaverse TV to tape our Sunday shows.

During this time, the departure of Mattie McCullough left Ivan Halfpint sole owner of the SLCW.

He quickly recruited Alpin to become co-owner and help support the SLCW.

Alpin readily agreed to help Ivan out.

As not only co-owner, but also as creator of the ACPWS, Alpin felt more than ever that he should not be involved in story lines or in Free-Per-View events.

Despite his desires, Alpin once again would be recruited to participate in a ground breaking match.

Eric Stuart had become the head builder of the SLCW, and by the time the organization had expanded to its third arena, he had honed his craft.

Eric worked hard to create a working fence-cage, complete with an opening door and a ceiling you could crash through ... identical to the one that is used in Smackdown versus Raw.

The creation of a good cage called for a cage match to be performed at an upcoming Free-Per-View, and Ivan readily supported the idea.

Not being one to do the bare minimum, Eric not only wanted a cage match, but a triple-threat hell in the cell match.

The Free-Per-View would be the first to be taped by Metaverse TV, and with so many eggs in one basket, Ivan decided to once again persuade Alpin to step into the ring.

The three-way hell in a cell match would become one of the most recognized matches in SLCW history.

The battle between Madmike Straaf and Eric Stuart and Alpin Criss would span the entire ring area, inside and outside the cage, as well as on top!

But it was the finish that truly stole the show.

Perched at the edge of the cage, 30 meters in the air, Eric Stuart stood dazed. Madmike Straaf lay in the middle of the ring, having been knocked through the ceiling.

Alpin Criss charged at Eric, only to be back body dropped of the edge.

Alpin would crash through the announcers table, destroying it completely.

The collision would teeter Eric, who would also stumble and fall off the edge of the cage.

Madmike managed to recover, and make a cover over his two dazed opponents on the outside of the ring to claim victory.

Alpin Criss versus Tenzan Karu[]

Gold versus Gold Exhibition Match

Coming soon.

Alpin Criss versus Tenzan Karu[]

I Quit! Match

After a year of live shows and virtual television tapings and Free-Per-Views, the SLCW was a great success.

As General Manager, Eric Stuart had shouldered the responsibility of coming up with great match-ups week-in and week-out.

In celebration of the SLCW's success, the SLCW would hold its biggest Free-Per-View of the year, Wrestlefest.

Eric wanted the main event to be epic, and he recruited Alpin Criss to face none other than Tenzan Karu for his World Championship.

The match was set to be an I Quit Match between two of the very best virtual wrestlers in Second Life (tm).

At that time, Tenzan Karu had been built up to be a nearly unstoppable champion.

His aggressive, take no prisoners, no retreat style would thoroughly trounce the SLCW roster.

In order to challenge Tenzan's supremacy, Eric ordered the champion to face none other than "The Nature Boy" Alpin Criss.

The first to say "I Quit!" would be the loser.

The match-up was perfect for the main event.

The unstoppable brute force of Tenzan Karu versus the skill and audacity of Alpin Criss.

All of this featured in the main event of the biggest wrestling card of the year.

The battle would be an epic back and forth as the men would battle from pillar to post.

Alpin would lock in his famous Figure Four Leglock, only for Tenzan to power his way out or find the ropes.

Tenzan would lock in his brutal Double Arm Chickenwing, only for Alpin to narrowly escape.

As the two battled on for nearly 30 minutes, Tenzan went for a risky maneuver.

He set Alpin upon the ring post and proceeded to climb after him.

Tenzan set up to perform a superplex from the top rope.

But Alpin would reverse, causing a freak accident in which both wrestlers would fall from the top ropes to the arena floor below.

Alpin would land on his arm, breaking it.

Tenzan would land on his feet, severely spraining his knee.

This accident would cause the match to be suspended while both wrestlers were taken to the back to get medical attention.

For nearly three minutes the crowd held its breath as it waited for a word from the back on the condition of both men.

Suddenly, Alpin, arm in a soft cast, would burst through the stage curtains, dragging Tenzan down the ramp by his injured leg.

After rolling his opponent into the ring, Alpin dragged the injured Tenzan to the exact middle of the ring, and wasted no time slapping on the Figure Four.

Tenzan would nearly pass out from the pain of his injured leg being twisted in that figure four, but through sheer guts and resilience he managed to reverse the hold.

Alpin would release his Figure Four and both men climbed to their feet.

Tenzan seized the moment and applied his Double Arm Chickenwing.

With his broken arm, Alpin called out in excruciating pain. He was not close enough to the ropes to catch them with his foot.

Alpin refused to surrender, despite being unable to escape.

Tenzan held onto the move as long as he could, but his injured leg would fail on him.

Alpin crashed to the mat as Tenzan's knee buckled under the strain of the submission.

Alpin attempted to rise as Tenzan tried to regain his strength.

As Alpin got to his feet Tenzan locked in the Double Arm Chickenwing again, lifting Alpin even higher into the air.

This time, Alpin was in the middle of the ring and the ropes, his only chance of escape was impossible to reach.

Tenzan fought the pain and held onto the move for a brutal few minutes.

Alpin simply refused to quit.

Once again, Alpin held out long enough for the strain of the submission to take its toll on Tenzan's injured leg.

As Tenzan collapsed a second time, Alpin collapsed to the mat.

His broken arm was practically useless, and he was nearly unconscious from the pain.

Digging the last bit of his resolve, Tenzan hoisted Alpin from the mat and once again locked in the Double Arm Chickenwing.

Alpin could practically feel the broken bone in his arm grating under the pressure of the hold.

After the third and final attempted Double Arm Chickenwing, Alpin's broken arm could take no more abuse.

After 47 minutes of an epic battle in the main event of the most important card in the history of virtual wrestling.

In front of a loaded crowd of over 70 SL residents for the most important title in the SLCW, Alpin Criss was forced to quit by Tenzan Karu.

Leaving the DCWF[]

Coming Soon!

HKWF World's Champion[]

Coming Soon!

The Hiatus[]

The Return[]

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