RIP: CAC Life Member Roland Alexander

CAC Life member, Roland Alexander, the San Francisco-based promoter of APW, died yesterday. A major supporter of the CAC, Roland required all of his new trainees to become CAC members.

Our deepest condolences to Roland’s family, friends, students and fans on his passing.

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7 Responses to “RIP: CAC Life Member Roland Alexander”

  1. I’m going Miss you Roland I know that there are ton’s of follow Workers and Owners get saying Remember that time Roland said this and that. Roland had love for us all never forget that. even if you wrong him he still love you.

    Really Gonna Miss You – Smokey Robinson

  2. John Arthur Lowe November 7, 2013 at 5:36 am

    A couple of months ago, I was trying to get Roland to come out to the Oracle OpenWorld show, as I was bouncing around the idea of a vendor holding live pro wrestling events inside the exhibit hall.

    It’s tragic we lost Roland so suddenly, and that makes each subsequent reunion all the more bittersweet as we lose more and more of our extended family as time goes on.

    I do take comfort knowing that his students will carry on his work and his vision will live on through his promotion.

    So the next time you attend a reunion, remember to hold these relationships in the ring of friendship near and dear to you.

  3. had to share this!!

    Jason:

    Roland was so proud of you and Gabe he call you son and said look at my boy he got that will to win and will be something and damn you are. you started clickwrestle.com and that something that fans love and you started a wrestling company that was worldwide. and that brought a smile to his face because when you meant that goal and Chickfight took off Roland at Kezr. had a big smile on his face and he got to teach the women in the ring what they were doing wrong. I know this is really hard on you because you were his everything. you did the website and video’s for him and and he share tons of storys with me of how you guys Jason Gabe and Doug were family No I’m not go on wednesday not because I don’t love him but because My love for him pain me not seening that man fight like he did every day to keep those door open at APW.

    you three guy’s mean the world to Roland and so did his family at All-Pro Wrestling. Please Jason go see your Dad one last time and tell him how much he meant to you because you sure meant the world to him. He loved you with all his heart and was happy that your helping CAC wrestling. I hope you know you were loved by that man and he was so proud of you.

    JASON DEADRICH
    I don’t think APW would still be here without this son being born in 1997. This is the guy that took the website out of my hands and developed it into one of the better websites in all of pro wrestling. He added the online application. Without the online applications, there is no business. Even the greatest salesman/recruiter needs leads. The phone calls to create stronger leads cannot be made without the online application. There is never a Boot Camp student signed without these online applications. I love the wrestling promotion as everyone else does and he has played a huge part in that division as well but the APW BOOT CAMP still remains the largest revenue generator in APW. Jason also took the production which in 1995 and 1996 was already pretty strong and one of the strongest in Indy wrestling, to a higher level. Jason took that production to an entire different level. Sure, we had great wrestling and great booking but pro wrestling had changed in the mid 90?s and production was as large a part of pro wrestling as anything else. I still feel deep in my heart that there is no Indy promotion out there that can put on the quality live show that APW puts on. It is all done on a shoestring budget. Jason was behind the creation of ClickWrestle and has provided the wrestling community with online footage at affordable prices for the last several years. One of his greatest accomplishments in pro wrestling has to be ChickFight. After running King of Indies in 2001, I had no desire to promote pro wrestling any longer. I wouldn’t have minded doing a Queen of Indies either separately or in conjunction with King of Indies. I hope this inspired Jason because he finally did a ChickFight tournament. Jason has done with ChickFight what I wanted to do with King of Indies but never did. He took it Internationally and now has television and it continues to grow. I seriously don’t think there would be a Shimmer today without ChickFight. Jason has accomplished quite a bit in pro wrestling in the short 10 years he has been involved. He is a Board of Director of Cauliflower Alley Club and I appreciate his involvement in CAC because I am a huge fan of them because without those legends, I would have never had the inspiration to start APW back in 1991. I owe them! Cheap plug but if you are not a member of this organization, you need to be. The fees are only $25 annual and $300 for a lifetime membership and you should attend the banquet every year in Las Vegas. The 2008 banquet will be a good one. APW has always been heavily involved and especially with the training seminars and this coming years seminars are going to be the best with many legend guest speakers. Go check them out at http://www.caulifloweralleyclub.org . Back to one of my older sons and wiser sons, Jason Deadrich. I am so proud of all his accomplishments in APW and with his own company Black Pants Production. In 2002, I was ready to allow APW to die with all that took place with PWI but there were 4 people among many others that stood out and would not allow APW to die. They were Robert Thompson, Jason Deadrich, Gabe Ramirez and Shannon Ramirez and I will forever be grateful to them. Jason takes lots of heat on the message boards along with Gabe and I still get my fair share but that is always the sign of success and Jason certainly has enjoyed more success in his baby finger with pro wrestling that most of the Idiots on the message boards would dream of.

    GABE RAMIREZ
    Many refuse to believe Gabe is my son. Sometimes, I wonder. I sometimes think he is my twin brother but I look a few years older than him so I know that isn’t possible. Gabe was one of the largest pains in the ass when he first attended a gym wars show in 1996. Jason and I used to have meetings of the minds trying to figure out what to do with the guy. We named him Ultimate Gym Warrior and it only seemed to make matters worse. He now started to develop relationships with some of the wrestlers. We finally came up with a good idea. If you can’t beat them, join them so we offered him a position as Head of Security with APW. At least he was on our team now. Gabe made sure to shadow me and it seemed he was around the gym 24/7. These were the days when he wasn’t married and had lots of spare time on his hands. He would attend late night meetings. Sometimes, he wouldn’t say much because he remembered the old line, “Keep your mouth shut, your ears open and absorb like a sponge”. Gabe and I became close because he was a socializer. He was always forcing me to attend strip clubs with him. I used to think the guy had a machine in his home that produced phony $1 bills. That is all I remember about him at the clubs is he passed them out like candy. When I tell him this, he always denies it and claims “How would you know, you fell asleep”. If I fell asleep at the strip club, that either tells you the seriousness of my sleep apnea or tells you the quality girls they had at this particular strip club. Gabe would always hold get-togethers and bar-b-q’s. I swear, I could go to his house and spend 4 hours and have the funnest time doing nothing but telling stories and bullshitting and eating. Nobody can bar-b-q like this guy. His carne asada w/corn tortillas and a squeeze of lemon are out of this world. Gabe soon began to master everything thown at him in APW. When someone masters something, it is the greatest thing in a company. It allows you to move everyone up. When Gabe mastered something, I would tell Jason it was time for him to move on to something bigger and better and we would move Gabe into the Jason responsibility and find someone that could handle Gabe’s job. That would also be Gabe’s job to find someone to replace him and train him and you don’t know how tough that can be. Gabe has done it all. His greatest accomplishments in APW have been to handle the boys. That is a difficult job. He has somehow mastered it. He is the guy that keeps the communication line open with the wrestlers. Not just APW wrestlers but outside wrestlers we look to bring in. Part of that job entails getting the guys booked on other shows to allow them the exposure and experience necessary to move up to a higher level. Gabe has opened doors in Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico and other Indies in the U.S. Gabe has been very successful with that responsibility. I always measure success by where the wrestlers go and the chatter the idiots on the message boards create. When they begin to bad-mouth you, it only means you are doing something in the wrestling business they always dreamed of doing but either didn’t have the know how to do it or the balls to do it. They are couch potato wrestling fans who can only achieve by hiding behind a computer. So Gabe is an asshole. Big deal, while you may think he is an asshole, he is doing something you only dream of doing but can’t. Think about the success he has had. Wrestlers have been booked in Japan. Sure, they make the excuse that some have paid their way to Japan. Some have. Some have not. You do what you have to do to get to the next level and get exposure. If that means paying for an airfare while the promotion pays for the hotel and payoff, then so be it. It all washes out. Earlier this year, 4 wrestlers went on tour in Portugal and were paid very well, got free food, hotel, and airfare and made a good enough showing, they are wanted back again with more wrestlers this time. What Gabe did was open a door for the wrestlers, more wrestlers and the promotion. He opened a door for Kafu in Puerto Rico. That has caused bookers like Bushwacker Luke to have some very nice things to say about Kafu. People forget that guys like Luke are still very high on the Vince McMahon list. WWE keeps a close eye on Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is very good experience and was almost a requirement for every wrestlers to go through to eventually get full-time jobs in the top territories in pro wrestling during the 70?s and 80?s. Gabe opened doors in Mexico and several APW wrestlers had regular gigs in Mexico for a period of time. Their expenses were paid for on those trips but nobody on a message board mentions that because it is positive. They can only dwell on the negative and the booking where they had to pay their own airfare. I’d like to know how many California Indy wrestlers have these same opportunities. Strike that! I want to know how many Indy wrestlers in the U.S. have those opportunities? Gabe has also been a very good match maker. You think matchmaking is easy? Some people can’t match make. I’ll never forget TC Martin running his promotion in Sacramento and booking Sabu VS. Dan Severn. Talk about style clash!? Gabe has been a very valuable piece of the overall success of APW and helped us keep the doors open for 16 years now. Can you believe we are in our 17th year of business, WOW! He also started a couple of business from it that are doing very well. For Indy wrestlers reading this and are wondering where their next portfolio comes from, you don’t have to look any further. http://www.onestopwrestlingshop.com is the answer to all your pro wrestling needs. It is a great website for fans to pick up DVD’s and other wrestling merchandise but it is also a website where wrestlers can get their portfolio’s including resumes, videos and pictures done. They can also order gear. Top quality gear. I am very proud of the job one of my older sons, Gabe Ramirez has done and I wake up every day praying “Thank God for Gabe Ramirez because there might be an APW without him”. Hate him all you want, I love him as a business associate and as a father and friend.

    SHANNON RAMIREZ
    One of my few daughters. The first lady of APW. She was pretty shy when she first came around APW. She has learned most facets of the pro wrestling industry when it comes to running a live event and has done it all including, ticket sales, merchandise, running the floor and being in charge of the students and security, etc… etc… etc… There were a couple of females around APW who had the opportunity to move into the management level of APW and Shannon took the ball and ran with it. She coordinates the ordering of extra chairs for Gym Wars events. She coordinates the annual Christmas Party/Awards Banquet. That is not an easy task especially when you consider there is a building to rent, food to order, trophies to order and hotel for those that drink too much and want to stay near the festivities. She has helped Gabe tremendously when it comes to running Pixel Perfect and the One Stop Wrestle Shop. I can’t think of anything she hasn’t done. I wish she learned more about pro wrestling so she could get involved with creative booking and matchmaking. There really isn’t anything she doesn’t do. She has been known to be rough on people but deservedly so including myself when it comes to having one too many Capacino Blasts. She sometimes is the sister I never had but that is only because I always try to act 20 years younger than I really am. She has been more like a daughter to me.

    As you can see this blog was a long time coming and is a long read already so I must save the remainder of my family including, wrestlers, trainers, students, volunteers etc… for another post.

    I’ll try to come up with another blog in the very near future and certainly before the Christmas holidays are upon us. Again, as always, thanks for reading!

  4. This is supposed to be a tribute area for Roland Alexander who passed away and is still missed in our community, rather than for propaganda and pushing others. Had known Roland since first corresponding with him by mail in 1970 as we all did back then(he was in Norcal, I in SoCal). I think CAC members Eddie Moretti and Dave Meltzer knew him even longer.

    Roland absolutely loved pro wrestling as well as roller derby, classic SF Playland at the Beach amusement park, the Giants and 49ers and R/B soul music in no particular order. Actually, his favorites that he always brought up in conversation back then were Derby SF Bay Bombers Tuffy Brazone(sp) and Charlie O’Connell with Joanie Weston, Annie Calvello right behind.

    But of course most everyone knows him from his association with pro wrestling. He always knew he’d be involved in some way and actually had his first pro match even before Eddie Moretti began paying tribute to Lonnie Mayne, one of their top favorites along with Ray and Pat, Rocky Johnson of course, Peppers Gomez and Martin, Ernie Ladd, Missing Link Pampero Firpo, Billy “Spirit of America” Graham, Paul Demarco and Lars Anderson, The Samoans, Earl Maynard, John Tolos, Fred Blassie, Ken Ramey, Haru Sasaki, Rose and Wiskowski, Roddy Piper and many other top names.

    After outlaw wrestling shows(which were done seriously and with respect for the biz circa 1977-8) and some work in Phoenix(where he and Eddie tried out and got in some matches), most of you know his history in forming Pacific Coast Sports which became All Pro Wrestling. First the Boot Camp school, and then the APW promotion itself. His love of Roy Shire’s classic “Big Time Wrestling Promotion” was continually evidenced in so many ways from ’94 until his passing with him first building around a normal-sized blonde bomber wrestling great(Michael Modest playing the Ray Stevens 1961 role and even being billed from NYC) and even naming some of his graduates with derivations of Shire wrestler names like “Demarco.” He brought back longtime Roy Shire Cow Palace ring announcer(and program maker after Vik Berry) Allan Bolte as his first announcer when APW the promotion really got going.

    Roland also always loved the brotherhood and camraderie of Cauliflower Alley and think he said his first annual banquet event when we were still doing them in Los Angeles at the Sportsman’s Lodge was 1992 when it was just the Saturday night awards event. He’d always say he looked forward to seeing the boys plus his 70′s pals like Eddie, Joe Pottgeiser, Luke Sintel and so many others.

    Shot pictures for him of his first Bootcamp training with outstanding Roy Shire wrestler Ricky Thompson(doing the training the first years) and Modest, Matt Hyson/Spike Dudley, Woody Farmer’s Mike Lockwood/Erin O’Grady later Crash Holly in WWE, Donovan Morgan, Big Mike Diamond/Max Justice, Frank Murdoch(named for Dick, another favorite), Super Diablo and later TJ/Vic Grimes, Steve Rizzono, Vinny Massaro and just a wealth of talent.

    Few seldom ever saw him as anything other than upbeat and positive through the Beyond the Mat portrayal, 2001 or major health issues more recently. He was always a total, total character. Whatever came about after his King of the Indies(in terms of Iron being formed ala Misawa’s Noah in Japan) two day tournament, it set the precident in motion for Ring Of Honor and so many other great promotions and events that followed. Roland and his crew specifically brought in all the best possible talent for King of the Indies that year including winner Bryan Danialson, Lo-Ki, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and Sakoda, Scoot Andrews, Chris Danials and Frankie Kazarian, Spanky, Bryan Alvarez, Ballards and Melissa along with others from SoCal’s UPW/Rick Bassman amidst all his own top APW talent.

    ROH’s Gabe Sapolski and many others have commented publicly that KOI’s and all those great names Roland utilized in 2001 continues to have influence.

    Roland didn’t have any sons. He did however(which will always continue) have his step-daughter in his last years who he loved and cherished her as if she was his own(which we all discussed at his memorial a few months back at TJ/Vic Grimes Church. And she said she felt the same way about Roland.

    Roland’s Pacific Coast Sports office and gym/dojo were immediately closed and boarded right after his long-time great booker Markus Mac put together that last Gym Wars Roland Alexander Memorial Show. It’s truly sad for all of us not having to make that trek we all knew by heart, on the 880 fwy down Cabot Street West and that curved right turn to the business park where PCS/APW lived and breathed. But APW continues as does Roland’s spirit. Love those “I’m A Roland Alexander Guy” shirts that his beloved wrestlers like Dave Dutra wear to the ring now. Music and acting legend Kris Kristofferson’s son(broken in at APW) Jody put it best saying Roland and his promotion would stay with him in his heart and soul wherever he goes. Drake Younger said even though he broke in in Indianapolis and now heads to WWE developmental, his 2+ years with Roland and APW will forever blue-print him as a “Roland Alexander Guy” as well. Actually, if Roland did have any sons in spirit and in heart, it would be all his Bootcamp trainees plus APW wrestlers that were family like Adam Thornstowe, Rik Luxury, Timothy Thatcher, etc. They may not have been initially trained at APW, but they were and will always be APW family.

    Roland, rest in peace and never lose your positive spirit. Finally was able to add this to your CAC obit page, and you truly gave wrestling and your APW promotion everything you had. Sure, things weren’t always perfect and they never are in this life. But you gutted out the hard times, stayed positive, forward and on-course. You will always be an indelible character fondly remembered as part of your wrestling family. And you are indeed missed, taken from us far too young.

  5. Roland contacted me last year on Facebook and he told me that he used to watch my mom and dad skate on the San Francisco Bay Bombers…my mom is Carol “Peanuts” Meyer and my dad is Tony Roman. last year i invited him to a Roller Derby Dinner at Harry’s Hof Brau in San Leandro and he was able to meet the great starts of the banked track and he was so happy to meet my mom and talk to her about watching the Bay Bombers…he talked to her about seeing my father and her skate at the Championship Game in 1970 at the Oakland Colliseum and being there at the game was just amazing to him…he had such a fantastic time meeting alot of Roller Derby skaters that he used to watch on T.V and at live games…i was very blessed to have met him and talked to him on the phone and on FaceBook…you will be dearly missed Roland

    -Mark Roman

  6. @Lano:

    this was his words on his blog back in the day so I just copy and paste that all not trying to put anyone over or anything like that!

    but anyways life without him isn’t fair he left a huge hole in our hearts

    In Roland We Trust

    Thank You Roland

    Thank You

    for caring about Wrestling

  7. Today at the A’s game I swear I saw Roland at the game on tv in the MVP seats look just like him I guess my heart will not let go!!

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