Brent's coming home....But what does he want?
Oklahoma native and former WWE Superstar Brent Albright will be making an appearance in NWA-U this Saturday when he takes on NWA-TNA X Division star Sonjay Dutt. But ever since the announcement that Brent would be making an appearance in Tahlequah, the question has been running through many fans minds: Why is Brent coming back? Is he just here to wrestle Sonjay or might his reappearance have something to do with his cousin, Oklahoma Triple Crown Champion Rocco Valentino?
Like most family, Brent & Rocco have a storied past. Rocco trained Brent and tag teamed with him in the beginning of his career, bestowing the Valentino name on him and christening him Cousin Vinnie. They were the cornerstone of the most powerful faction in OPW, the VIP Crew. Rocco was the brains. Brent was the technician the enforcer. And with only a brief exception, OPW was the longest harmonious relationship between these 2 men.
The arrival of OCW saw the rise of Brent's star as he won the OCW Oklahoma Title. Rocco and Brent continued to wrestle, but not so much together anymore. Brent was champion. Rocco held the TV title and was beginning to move away from the ring. Brent was getting job opportunites from WWE. Things looked good for him. But was cousin Rocco jealous of the attention being placed on Brent?
Tensions had arisen before between the two. Rocco actually defeated Brent in a "Loser Leaves OPW" match in 1999. Brent took that opportunity to move to California and train with Donovan Morgan. But after a year, things were patched up and the VIP Crew was reunited. While in OCW, Rocco was the man who ultimately cost Brent the Oklahoma Title when he accidentaly hit Brent in the back, allowing Beau Dalton to pin him and capture the gold. There was never a match or a feud between the 2, but the relationship was certainly strained and, although Brent would stick around OCW for a while, he never really associated with Rocco again during that company's existence.
Then came SRPW and the rift betwen the 2 widened even further. Rocco hated SRPW. He hated the owner. He hated the concept. And yet his own flesh and blood was walking over there and within a month of their creation he was their heavyweight champion. Brent would only hold that title for a month as his actions would cause the SRPW Board of Directors, headed by Pete Maguire, to strip Brent of the title for conduct unbecoming a champion. But Brent had bigger things to do. He went to Japan. He got more WWE dates. He also wrestled for NWA-TNA. And Rocco just sat and watched. It seemed like nothing was going to bring the family together again. But all that was patched up after Brent left and went to Ohio Valley Wrestling. At a party held by Jenna Love and Kaci Kannon, Rocco & Brent reunited and, while they've never had the chance to officially tag team together, they patched up their differences. Brent even came to his cousin's aid in December, 2004 when Rocco was being double teamed at a TPW show by Anthony Jackson & Romero Contreras while defending the TPW Oklahoma Title. That was the last time Brent appeared in an Oklahoma ring and VIP Crew looked just as strong then as it did in 2000.
Since then, both cousins have risen to new heights of greatness. Brent had a 4-month stint in WWE as Gunner Scott. Rocco won 5 different titles in 4 different Oklahoma federations all in 2006, establishing a record that probably won't be broken any time soon. But at the last NWA-U show, Rocco joined together with Christopher Fox, forming Hate, Inc. The 2 greatest egos of Oklahoma wrestling are now working together and they seem intent on bringing NWA-U to its knees. One of the main reasons that Brent parted ways with Rocco was due to the issues of ego and corruption. Might Brent be coming back to try and straighten out his cousin? Or is Brent coming here to resume his role of enforcer and make sure that Rocco continues to hold onto all 3 titles he currently owns? Hopefully some sort of answer will be provided at the second annual Chris Candido Memorial Cup Tournament this Saturday.