The NZPWI Invitational was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event hosted by the website New Zealand Pro Wrestling Informer (NZPWI). The event was the first interpromotional show ever held in New Zealand and featured wrestlers from the country's three major promotions Impact Pro Wrestling, Kiwi Pro Wrestling, New Zealand Wide Pro Wrestling, and Peter Ball's Major Impact Wrestling from Australia now called Impact Pro Wrestling Australia. Held annually in 2006 and 2007, it was primarily a single-elimination tournament and included a 20-man battle royal semi-main event. The battle royal would end via pin or submission between the last two entrants, the winner of which would receive an entry for next year's invitational.
The event was largely organised by Dion McCraken, NZPWI editor-in-chief, whose intention was to bring attention to professional wrestling in New Zealand. Similar to the Super 8 Tournament in the United States or the Super J-Cup in Japan, it showcased the top talent of New Zealand's "big three" and provided the first major television exposure for many independent wrestlers in the Australasian region since the days of Steve Rickard's "On the Mat" during the 1980s. The show also served as a reunion of sorts for older veterans of the era. John da Silva, a champion amateur and pro wrestler during the 1960s and 70s, was in attendance at the 2006 invitational and presented the trophy to "Heartless" Alfred Valentine after winning the tournament.
It was one of the largest show's ever held in New Zealand and the event received some coverage by the national media. The 2006 NZPWI Invitational was promoted by Fight Times Magazine in March 2006. The Machine, an IPW wrestler and first entrant to battle royal, was featured in a cover story for the Horowhenua-Kapiti Weekend Chronicle on 29 July. Two of its participants, IPW wrestlers Alfred Valentine and Jon E. King, were interviewed on TV One's morning talk show Breakfast by Kay Gregory days prior to the event.
The first annual NZPWI Invitational was held at the Lynfield YMCA on 12 August 2006, and was attended by a sell out crowd of 450 fans. It was the largest attendance for a live wrestling event in 20 years. The 2006 NZPWI Invitational was later shown on Sky1 and proved so popular that the network aired on primetime the following year. The second show was broadcast following the 9 December 2007 edition of WWE Smackdown, and again on Christmas Eve followed by the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The program was watched by over 100,000 people on SKY Television and both invitationals later released on DVD. Dion McCracken served as the colour commentator for both shows, with co-host Vinny Dunn in 2006 and manager Gary O. Davis in 2007, and his performance led to a full-time position as the head announcer of IPW Ignition.
Although plans were made to hold a third NZPWI Invitational in November 2008, the event was unable to gain the necessary corporate sponsorship to cover costs. Previous shows had been held at a significant loss, costing at least $15,000 to run, and almost entirely supported financially by McCraken himself. Due to the financial burden, as well as familial commitments, McCraken officially announced on NZPWI.co.nz that he would no longer be able to host the event.
2006 NZPWI Invitational
12 August 2006 in Lynfield, New Zealand (Lynfield YMCA)
|Dark||Lil T (with Paul Starr) defeated "Lyte Playa" Roger Ventura||Singles match||Unknown|
|1||Sweet Ass (with Gary O. Davis) defeated "Double D" Davey Deluxeo (with Jordan Invincible)||NZPWI Invitational Quarter-Final match||10:26|
|2||KPW Heavyweight Champion H-Flame defeated Joey Kinkade||NZPWI Invitational Quarter-Final match||08:23|
|3||Alfred Valentine defeated Jonnie Juice||NZPWI Invitational Quarter-Final match||06:30|
|4||IPW Heavyweight Champion Jon E. King (with Alexander) defeated Cruz||NZPWI Invitational Quarter-Final match||8:33|
|5||Sweet Ass (with Gary O. Davis) defeated KPW Heavyweight Champion H-Flame||NZPWI Invitational Semi-Final match||12:04|
|6||Alfred Valentine defeated IPW Heavyweight Champion Jon E. King (with Alexander)||NZPWI Invitational Semi-Final match||11:46|
|7||Jean Miracle won a 20-man battle royal by defeating Del Knox||First Invite Eliminator Battle Royal||47:56|
|8||Alfred Valentine defeated Sweet Ass (with Gary O. Davis)||NZPWI Invitational Final match||8:17|
The tournament took place on 12 August 2006. The tournament brackets were:
|Jon E. King||11:46|
|Jon E. King||8:33|
2007 NZPWI Invitational
10 November 2007 in Whangarei, New Zealand (Forum North Exhibition Hall)
|1||Dal Knox defeated “Lyte Playa” Roger Ventura||NZPWI Quarter-Final match|
|2||IPW Heavyweight Champion Jon E. King defeated KPW Heavyweight Champion H-Flame||NZPWI Quarter-Final match|
|3||NZWPW Heavyweight Champion D-Hoya defeated Alfred Valentine (with Flag Boy)||NZPWI Quarter-Final match|
|4||Cruz defeated IPWA Heavyweight Champion Dallas Mead (with Super Coach)||NZPWI Quarter-Final match|
|5||IPW Heavyweight Champion Jon E. King defeated Dal Knox||NZPWI Semi-Final match|
|6||Cruz defeated NZWPW Champion D-Hoya||NZPWI Semi-Final match|
|7||H-Flame won a 20-man battle royal by eliminating Jordan Invincible||First Invite Eliminator Battle Royal|
|8||IPW Heavyweight Champion Jon E. King defeated Cruz||NZPWI Final match|
The tournament took place on 10 November 2007. The tournament brackets were:
|Jon E. King|
|Jon E. King||Pin|
|Jon E. King||Pin|
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- McCracken, Dion (August 2006). "A New Tradition Begins as HAV Becomes NZPWI Invitational Grand Champion!". FightTimes.com. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
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- Burt, Andrew (29 July 2006). "Meet The Machine". Horowhenua-Kapiti Weekend Chronicle.
- Kay Gregory (Interviewer) (8 August 2006). "Tuesday August 8". Breakfast. Television New Zealand. TV One.
- "The end of the line for the NZPWI Invitational". Retrieved 8 July 2010.